Interested in becoming a member of the Gavin Goodfellow Fan Club? Just fill out the form below (be sure to include your mailing address), and you will receive a Fan Club certificate signed by the author herself, an official Gavin Goodfellow Fan Club membership card, a "Get Gavinized" dog tag, and a full color Burnt Swamp map of Ashboro with pictures of the characters. The membership is FREE for a limited time--to get the buzz going. The Gavin Team will even cover the cost of shipping & handling.
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Fan Letter Posted on the Burnt Swamp Blog 12/10/08:
The following fan letter is awesome. Thanks so much, Bethany! I'll answer your questions at the end of this post.
"Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons shall separate you from the loe of God." I appreciated this passage from the book because the words conveyed the message of how God protects everyody. You showed this in your book, Gavin Goodfellow which opened doors to an exciting world for me. I heard about Gavin Goodfellow: The Lure of Burnt Swamp when you visited my class and discussed it. The Lure of Burnt Swamp caught my attention and kept me intrigued. While reading the book, the expression on my face showed shock and anticipation. My jaw dropped, and my eyes widened. Have you endured a spiritual experience like Gavin's before? The vivid details allowed me to experience the same feelings the character went through. I tasted the book that Gavin's uncle asked him to eat in his vision. When Gavin got caught in the Lodge, so did I.
I have many words to describe this book: interesting, down to earth, and suspenseful. I felt connected with both the characters and the setting. Gavin found adventures in Delaware; I live in Delaware. Why did you choose to set your book in the tiny state of Delaware? I related mostly to Molly. We both found ourselves pulled into trouble by our adventurous cousins, and we both strived to get good grades. I related well to Gavin, espcially when Molly and Eric wanted to trespass into the lodge. My cousins always wanted to do something adventurous. I knew doing it would be wrong, and I did't want to be a part of it; I tagged along though. One time, my cousins wanted to run around the farm, climb hay bales, and wander through the woods. I knew we shouldn't, but I went anyway. Gavin's mom seems a lot like my dad because they both act very relaxed, but can but their foot down. Gavin's dad reminds me of my mother because they both can be strict but for good reasons I do not always appreciate.
After reading The Lure of Burnt Swamp, I realized that we don't always want the fate that's forced upon us, but we must make the best of the situation. When I opened this book, the words on the pages leaped at me and I became lost in them. I appreciate spiritual fantasies because of your ability to write a touching book.
Gavin Goodfellow captivated me. The unpredictable story left me on the edge of my seat. Libraries and schools need to stock this book. I'm amazed how well written a book can be. Relating to the characters made it more enjoyable. What inspired you to write such an amazing book? I cannot wait to read the rest of the series to find out what you have in store for Gavin. If you have any tips on how to write an amazing story, I would love to hear them. Thanks for inspiring me to write.
Your devoted reader,
Have I endured a spiritual experience like Gavin's before? Yes, I wrote out of my own experience and have had a number of "mountain top encounters" with the Lord (the attic scene, in particular, although it was exaggerated as I didn’t see Jesus in tangible form). On the other hand, the New Age and witchcraft parts are total research.
Why did I choose to set the book in the tiny state of Delaware? Well, it goes back to writing from experience. Since this is my first attempt at fiction, I thought it best to work with familiar surroundings. Besides, the real Burnt Swamp is such an intriguing place—did you know that there really were fires that burned for long periods of time in Burnt Swamp? But, if you'll look closely, you'll see that, although the Eastern Shore is mentioned in the preface, I don't really identify Delaware anywhere in the book. I wanted to leave my fictional setting vague . . . but, just as I had hoped, you recognized local landmarks. That makes it special for people who love the First State as I do.
What inspired me to write Gavin? Well, in a word, God. I was reading my grandson’s copy of the first Harry Potter book and had a fleeting thought: Somebody needs to write a Christian book that’s just this much fun to read. Immediately, three words penetrated my spirit: “You do it.” You can imagine my apprehension! I began peppering the Lord with my doubts. But Lord, I don’t know how to write fiction; I don’t know how to write for kids; I don’t know how to write fantasy . . . That’s when He reminded me that I am already doing a lot of things I didn’t know how to do because I’d been obedient in the past to the call to write and publish. When I shared the overwhelming vision with my writing friends, a number of professionals came alongside to mentor me. I studied the craft of novel writing. We brainstormed plots and subplots. They edited my many drafts over and over again. And now they’re helping me as I work through the process all over again in writing books two and three in the series.
As far as tips on how to create an amazing story, you already have a strong gift for words. I would like to invite to you participate in our writers' group that meets once a month in Georgetown. Delmarva Christian Writers' Fellowship is free and would be a great encouragement to you. Check out our website at www.delmarvawriters.com. We have some other young people who have been coming lately who are writing fantasy, so when you’re ready to do some creative writing, you’ll fit right in. Our group can help give you a sense of direction.
Thanks again for your amazing letter, Bethany!