Thursday, July 14, 2011

Debut Author Spotlight ... Keven Newsome

by Keven Newsome

It must have been fifth grade when I began my writing journey, but writing video game spec fic. And the best part was that all the characters spoke in King James English, because that’s what they did in the game. But it was my first attempt at writing, and that counts for something.

I didn’t write again for several years, focusing instead on music and art. In Junior High I started a series of sketches that had a story behind them. This germ of a story took root and ignited that fire of writing. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and those thousand words were screaming to be written down.

High School is when I really started writing. I did about four short stories, which I still have but haven’t read in years because I’m sure they really suck. I also hand wrote about 150 pages of a novel based on that story germ from Junior High. It was full of narrative summary, anachronistic dialogue, and teen angst, all wrapped in a medieval candy shell.

After graduating college in 2002, I began what I affectionately call My Practice Book. Its real name is Among Dragons. And it’s a prequel to that horrific attempt to write I made in High School. This book is on my list to be rewritten and reworked, because it’s actually a decent story even if the writing stinks. I had a copy printed, and it sits on my shelf as a reminder of how much I’ve learned.

My intention after completing this prequel was to go into the trilogy of books based on… you guessed it… that story I started in High School. I reworked it, reoutlined it, and made it into something exciting and worth writing. I wrote about fifty pages and then hit a block. But it wasn’t a writer’s block, per se. It was a block of distraction. You see, my creative mind was dwelling on something else that had recently come up.

On a Goth girl with the gift of prophecy.

So I began to write Winter’s story. December 2006, I finished the first draft. A second draft followed, then beta readers and a third draft. I tried my hand at submitting the third draft, but received nothing but no’s. I didn’t even get past the query letter stage.

In the fall of 2009, Winter was a finalist in the Marcher Lord Select Premise Contest. Little did I know this contest would be the pebble that begun the avalanche to being published. A year after entering that infamous contest, I received an email from one Kat Heckenbach. She had read my book and loved it. She passed it on to a friend of hers who was reading it and loving it. That would be Grace Bridges, owner of Splashdown Books.

Grace sent me a message. And while it was glowing and full of praise for the book, it contained one small sentence that almost made me want to throw out the computer. “For your own sake, I wish you would find a bigger publisher than me.”

Grace finally relented after I convinced her no one else would have me. I guess the whole premise of my book sounds a little too risky. We signed in December 2010, and Winter was released June 1, 2011 under a new paranormal imprint of Splashdown Books called Splashdown Darkwater.

Risky? Winter instantly became an in-house best seller for Splashdown Books. And I’m honored, and very thankful, that Grace didn’t see risk in my book…but potential.

by Keven Newsome

Splashdown Books, 2011

Winter Maessen didn't ask for the gift of prophecy. She's happy being a freak - but now everyone thinks she's crazy. Or evil.

Goths aren't all the same, you know. Some are Christians.

...Christians to whom God sends visions.

Students at her university are being attacked, and Winter knows there's more than flesh and blood at work.

Her gift means she's the only one who can stop it - but at what price?

Keven Newsome is a graduate student at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is pursuing a Master of Arts in Theology specializing in Supernatural Theology. He writes stories that portray the supernatural and paranormal with a Biblical perspective. Winter is his first book. He currently lives in New Orleans, LA with his wife and their two children.
Keven also heads up the team at the New Authors' Fellowship collaborative blog.


Keven Newsome and Splashdown Books are giving away one e-book of
WINTER to one lucky commenter.

Contest Rules:
Comment on Keven Newsome's My Writing Journey by Thursday, July 21, 2011 and your name will go into a drawing for a free e-book of Winter in the e-book format of your choice. Contest closes Thursday, July 21, 2011 at midnight. The winner will be posted on Friday, July 22, 2011. Winner must provide an e-mail to Brenda AT Brenda Anderson Books DOT com. Don not post your mailing address anywhere on this blog.


  1. Keven, your story probably resonates with many authors who've been writing stories since they held a pencil in their hand. I'm glad you pressed on with your writing and that it's now bearing fruit.

    I pray God will continue to bless your writing journey.

  2. Congratulations, Keven. In-house best-seller, that's awesome. Can't wait to read WINTER!

  3. No offense intended in any way with this comment: I'm impressed that a Baptist would tackle prophecy through a Goth girl! Way to go, Keven. This novel actually sounds intriguing, but I don't have an e-reader.

  4. Thanks everyone! Did you know I'm studying Supernatural Theology? We Baptists are way too timid with a topic that integral to our beliefs. I want to do something about that.