Blog

The Revisionary Receives Grace Award

This month, The Revisionary received the 2017 Grace Award for Speculative Fiction in faith-based fiction. The reader-driven Grace Awards first let readers select the finalists in each category before a panel of judges reviewed them to choose the winners. Here’s what the judges had to say:

THE REVISIONARY by Kristen Hogrefe (Write Integrity Press) ~ This dystopian novel was engaging and well-paced, reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, with a more modern vibe similar to The Hunger Games. The author uses deep point of view in a first person present style, in keeping with current tastes in fiction. The story never stagnates but keeps moving and surprising all the way through. The plot follows young Portia Abernathy who has clung to the belief that if she excels enough to get drafted into an upper-level educational system, she can change the laws that keep her brother in prison. Her meager existence with her father in a world without electricity or most basic creature comforts is a struggle, but she has learned how to survive and hopes to beat the system at its own game. Portia is shocked when she learns the system is not only stacked against her, but that there are those targeting her for failure. In the midst of the chaos, she finds surprising friends and allies. This volume is the first in a post-apocalyptic series called The Rogues and deservedly takes first place.

Thank you to all my readers for catching the vision of this story! If you enjoyed The Revisionary, check out the sequel, The Revolutionary. And be watching for the finale in this trilogy, The Reactionary, scheduled to release early 2019.

~ Kristen

Tweetables

The Revisionary Receives Grace Award – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Happy Father’s Day! A Goodreads Giveaway for you – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Advertisements

How to Beat Burn-Out this Summer

Have you ever wished that summer break were mandatory for everyone? I certainly have, but wishful thinking gets us nowhere. However, those of us who work year round can still find ways to beat burn-out.

Clear the calendar

This item is the hardest for me. No matter how much I try, my weekly calendar (not counting work obligations) looks like ink exploded all over it.

The only tip that seems to work is scheduling mandatory “do-not-disturb” time. If someone asks for that time, we can respond, “Sorry, but my calendar is booked.”

It’s not a lie. We’ve set aside intentional time for ourselves (and our families), and honestly, that’s a very good thing.

To read the full post, visit DailyPS.com. I look forward to your comments!

~ Kristen

Tweetable

How to Beat Burn-Out This Summer – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

The Revisionary Wins Selah Award

My heart nearly beat out of my chest as Eva Marie Everson, the Blue Ridge Conference Awards Director, called my name. Not just for finaling in two awards (an honor in itself) but for winning them both.

Last week, The Revisionary won one of Christian Fiction’s most notable awards, the Selah,  in its category of Speculative Fiction. It also received the Directors’ Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction.

At the Awards Ceremony with Conference Directors Edie Melson (left) and DiAnn Mills (right)

One of the best parts was celebrating with friends who also received awards. I remember meeting Lindsey Brackett at the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference a few years ago when we were just talking about our book projects, and now, she won three awards for her debut novel Still Waters. Go, Lindsey, and congrats to all the finalists and winners!

Pictured with Multi-Selah Winner Lindsey Brackett (left) and Awards Director Eva Marie Everson (center)

I want to say a big thank-you to everyone who helped make this moment possible, including my family and supportive friends, my editor Marji Laine, and mostly my Savior Jesus Christ who entrusted me with a writer’s calling. Writing can be lonely, thankless work at times, but most callings can be. Praise God for the endurance to keep going, regardless if the podium is in sight or not.

The Revisionary and its sequel The Revolutionary are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

~ Kristen

Tweetable

The Revisionary Wins Selah Award – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Live Rare in a Medium-Well World

This coming Friday, I’m honored to give the virtual commencement address for my school, Alpha Omega Academy. The best part? Since it’s virtual, you can attend!

Many of you know I enjoy a good pun, but the title I chose for my address has a serious point. How can we live meaningfully when the world wants us to settle for status quo?

To join the live stream, click here and find the specific event for the graduation. The event starts at two o’clock Central time (or three o’clock for all my East Coast friends).

Plus, join me on Twitter during my address to answer a lighthearted (but related) poll.

To the Class of 2018, congratulations! I pray God will use you in wonderful ways.

~ Kristen

Tweetable:

Live Rare in a Medium-Well World – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Graduates, what would you teach us?

This weekend, I’m excited to attend the graduation for some amazing young people I’ve watched grow up through youth group. They might say they learned from me, but in many ways, I learned just as much from them.

I met with them for coffee a few weeks ago to hear about their plans and next steps. Listening to their dreams inspired this post, which appears in full at DailyPS.com.

Whether you’re a graduate or farther down life’s road, I hope this post encourages you.

Post excerpt

Graduates are on fire for life and its seemingly endless possibilities, but those of us on the other side know Forrest Gump was right when he said life can be like a box of chocolates—and not always in a good way. As a result, we adults have both wisdom and experience to offer. However, let’s take a moment to switch places and ask ourselves what we can learn from the Class of 2018.

Celebrate your success, and don’t dwell on defeat.

Sometimes, life and its school of hard knocks jade us. We see the rejection letters, the closed doors, and the failed hopes. When we do, we often lose sight of all the bright moments we’ve experienced, too.

On the other hand, graduates are young and resilient—and for the most part, not as burned by disappointments. For those of us feeling frayed, let’s exercise our stamina again. Accept defeat and criticism when they come, learn from them, but don’t dwell on them.

Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate those successes. Graduates know how to party, and we need to cheer for the moments where we do make the deadline, conquer the laundry pile, and get the upper hand on “adulting.”

To read the full post, visit DailyPS.com. Congrats to the Class of 2018!

~ Kristen

Tweetable

What graduates can teach us – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

Author Interview: Apples or Oranges?

I want to give a big shout-out to Carrie and her beautiful website Reading Is My Superpower for hosting one of the most delightful author interviews I’ve had to date.

You can learn all sorts of important things about me … whether I prefer apples to oranges and summer to winter. Most of you can probably guess the latter.

Though it’s lighthearted, the interview also gave me an opportunity to share about my heart for writing The Revolutionary.

I hope you enjoy it. Click here to read the post.

Oh, and if you feel so led, feel free to chime in on any apples versus oranges preferences you have.

Have a great week!

~ Kristen

Tweetable

A delightful author interview – @kjhogrefe and @MeezCarrie (Click to Tweet)

 

 

The Grass is Greener Where You Water It

Springtime in Florida means greenery is in full bloom everywhere except my front yard. My poor yard. I’ve never had a green thumb, and when I bought my home, the previous owner clearly hadn’t possessed one either.

But I do water. Or God does. But I suppose that to have green grass, one should have something other than weeds in the first place.

I digress. This post isn’t about my lost-cause lawn. It’s actually about relationships and commitments in general-and sticking with them.

What are you watering?

I heard a pastor use this phrase when giving a talk on marriage. He said that there are three phases to marriage: 1) infatuation, 2) disillusionment, and 3) commitment. I’m not married yet, but from what I’ve read and witnessed, that sounds about right.

The pastor said that most marriages fall apart in phase two when people wake up and realize their partner isn’t perfect (hello!) and think that the grass looks greener elsewhere. And that’s when he made this statement: The grass is greener where you water it.¹

In other words, relationships require work, but what we nurture grows.

While this principle applies to relationships, I think it also applies to any area of our lives where we’ve made a commitment.

Is your water bucket getting low?

Maybe your commitment is to a job or ministry. Signing the contract or getting the training was exciting, but now, you’re just worn out.

For me, my commitment is to a three-book writing contract I signed in November of 2016 with Write Integrity Press. It was such an exciting answer to prayer, and today, I still thank God for this opportunity.

But that’s not to say the last year and a half have been a joy ride. Sometimes, I feel exhausted and borderline burned out.  At the moment, I’m working through some tough-love edits to my third book. Maybe I’d rather go sit at the pool after work, but that choice won’t help my messy manuscript make its deadline.

How to keep our commitments green

So how do we keep our commitments “green” when we’d rather retreat to other pastures?

#1. Remember our covenants and contracts.

When people say I do, their vow includes all the for betters (which they can imagine) and all the for worses (which they have no idea are coming). The husband and wife pledge themselves to each other before God and witnesses.

When I signed my book contract, I made a commitment to my editor that I would deliver a three-book trilogy within a certain time frame. Ironically, this last year has been one of the busiest of my life. Sometimes, I share a laugh with God and say, “Really? We’re going to do this now, too?” I’ve struggled to write in the in-between moments and sometimes had to say no to very good things I wanted to do in order to sit on my couch and peck at my keyboard.

But that’s the thing. Commitments often require choices that aren’t glamorous but yield more lasting satisfaction.

#2: Remember, this is a season.

Some seasons last longer than others. When you’re dealing with fatigue, disappointment, or worse, remember what Solomon said:

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV)

Thinking back to previous blessings or answered prayers can  help to draw ourselves out from tunnel-vision mode and realize that both highs and lows end at some point.

Take a deep breath and tell yourself: This is a season. It won’t last forever. (Repeat until you feel the floor becoming level again.) Give your situation some perspective, and remember that ultimately, God orders our seasons for a purpose designed to benefit us (Romans 8:28).

#3: Remember who walks beside us.

Ultimately, the best consolation is that we never have to face any part of our journeys alone. Tired? Weary? Disillusioned? Heartbroken? Jesus knows how all that feels.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15 NKJV)

We can take our cares to this all-knowing and understanding High Priest and find “grace to help” just where we need it (Hebrews 4:16).

The “grass” or commitments of our lives may seem brown at times, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep watering them. On the contrary, we should water them more, because God has entrusted them to us. With His enabling power, we can be faithful and trust the growth and results to Him.

~ Kristen

Notes

¹ For the series on marriage, visit Church of the Highlands.

Tweetable

The grass is greener where you water it. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)