Saturday, October 22, 2011

VBT# Guest Post with Melody Carlson

When I recieved an email from Leanne - Glass Roads PR if anyone would love to have the author Melody Carlson appear on their sites with a guest blog and when I heard that I jumped for the chance as author Melody Carlson would have to be one of my all-time favourite authors and my most favourite Christian author. I love her books - not just the occasional one but all of them.
One of her series which would have to be one of my favourite series is called True Colors and today's VBT# Guest Post features one of the Titles - Color Me Enchanted -  Moon White.

Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits By Melody Carlson

Have you even wondered why some teens are drawn toward things like Ouija boards or psychics? Or why séances are still popular at sleepovers? Does it just have to do with Halloween and that spine-chilling need for a good scare? Or could it be something more? And, as a Christian, should you be concerned?
Those questions, as well as some confused reader letters, prompted me to tackle the “supernatural” in one of my teen novels (Moon White, TrueColors, Nav Press). And whenever I write an issues-based novel, I’m forced to research—and often in some dark places. So I began scouring websites, learning more about Wicca and the occult, trying to grasp what was really going on with today’s teens—and how I could write about it in a helpful and relevant way.
But, as usual, when I write a teen book, I go back to my own adolescence...trying to connect with my inner teen...and I suddenly remembered a short era when a friend and I got very interested in witchcraft. I had honestly forgotten about this time and was fascinated to recall how we scoured some witchcraft stores on a local campus—I think we even purchased a few things. Fortunately, this interest was short-lived and I became a Christian not long afterward.
However, as I reconnected with my inner teen, I had to ask myself—why had I looked into witchcraft back then? Why do teens dabble with it now? Suddenly the answer became crystal clear. I was searching. I’d been calling myself an atheist for several years by then, but I was spiritually hungry—starving in fact. Consequently I was looking for spiritual answers—something that would fill that empty void within me. I wanted a supernatural force in my life and I didn’t even care where it came from. I needed something bigger than me, more powerful than me, something to hold onto. I had no idea at the time that I was really searching for God.
This realization changed the way I viewed my research. Instead of feeling disgusted and dismayed by the witchcraft/Wicca sites (which are not particularly enjoyable) I began to recognize that these people (mostly girls) were simply searching too. They wanted a power source in their lives just like I wanted one in mine. They just hadn’t found God yet.
This led to another discovery. A girl who’s attracted to a religion like Wicca is usually seeking to gain some control over her life. Something is wrong and she wants to change it. To do so, she’s often enticed to purchase something—like “magical herbs”—to create a potion that will give her some control over her situation. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even realize she’s being tricked.
But think about it, wouldn’t you love to have control over a bad situation sometimes? Wouldn’t you love to be able to change the circumstances that make your life unpleasant? So what if someone offered you the “power” to do just that? Perhaps if you’re fifteen, you wouldn’t see that person as a charlatan and you would fall for it.
Which brings me to another important factor in understanding this generation’s attraction to the supernatural. Follow the money. The more I researched, the more it became painfully obvious that Wicca and witchcraft and the occult are money-making enterprises. Thanks to the internet, these savvy distributors sell anything imaginable—and many things you can’t. That leads to some serious motivation—these marketers want to hook their unsuspecting young customers and reel them in. Of course, these potions and trinkets and how-to books don’t come with a money back guaranty. Nor are they approved by the FDA. Yet they are a multi-million dollar industry.
So, in a way, it’s a perfect storm. Teens that are insecure, lost, unhappy, and searching...meet up with an unregulated industry that offers supernatural answers and power and control...for a price. And, oh yeah, I never even mentioned how this opens a door for Satan to slip in and wreak havoc. For that...you’ll have to read the book.

About The Author : Melody Carlson

Chris, my husband of 29 years, and I live in a cabin in the woods near the beautiful Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. Our two sons are grown and we're the proud grandparents of a beautiful granddaughter.
Both boys live nearby and we see a lot of them. We've converted their old 'bunkhouse' into a writing studio for me and a guest area/billiards room for friends and family who are always welcome. We recently gave my writing studio (still suffering from its past as a teenage boy's bedroom with carpeting the color of mud) a facelift. Now it's all mine and quite divine, which is great since I spend a lot of time up here.
In the last few years I've been given a real gift: my adorable granddaughter, Anika. She's always brings a smile to my face. There's nothing better than cuddling up with her and reading her favorite book, which happens to be The Little Blue Engine right now. She loves it when I do the train voices, and she can do a pretty mean imitation of the wornout old train that's too tired, "I cannot...I cannot...I cannot." It's a line that can come in handy for a little girl who wants to be obstinate. Not that my darling granddaughter would be obstinate!
Chris and I enjoy camping as often as we can. We started with 'tent camping' when the boys were young (and we were younger too). Then we upgraded to pull trailers, and finally to our fully equiped RV, which allows us an enjoyable way to experience nature without roughing it too much. Hey, a girl needs her comforts!
We also love biking, hiking and skiing and we're fortunate to live in an area that's great for both downhill and cross-country skiing. Sometimes when the snow is just right (like last Christmas) we can cross-country ski right out our door and into the woods. I'm also an avid gardener, which is a serious challenge in a climate where we've seen snowflakes fly on the Fourth of July, or where deer think that an unlocked gate into my courtyard garden means that the "salad bar" is open. But we do enjoy the wildlife, including the variety of birds, rabbits, and squirrels. Okay, I'm not crazy about the racoons who sometimes think it's open season in my fish ponds, but I've learned not to stock expensive fish.
Reading has been a lifelong passion. I started out with Little House on the Prairie books and then Anne of Green Gables. Some of my favorite grownup authors are Elizabeth Berg, Ann Tyler, Rosamunde Pilcher, Maeve Binchy. In fact, it was some of their stories that first inspired me to write nearly fifteen years ago.
My life is very full and I stay pretty busy with a packed writing schedule. But I'm grateful for the work I get to do everyday and it never seems to get old as I sit in front of my computer and tell the stories in my heart.

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