Storyteller and Children's Literature Author

ACFW Conference 2016

A bustling Nashville held the ACFW conference this year. You may have been one of the lucky ones to attend. All attendees were meant to sit in those seats as Divine appointments. Newbies and aficionados who have been coming since inception, rubbed shoulders. You who didn’t get the chance to go, I want to encourage you to plan on next year which will be held in Texas.

Over four hundred, like-minded and slightly ticked in the head men and women, slugged back and forth down halls to meetings and ballrooms. Eyes on phones in hand reading the app to find the next place, deciding if they should boost themselves with a coffee or step into the restroom, trying to be on time, find a good seat, and not get lost.

Most people don’t understand writers who hear voices, configure intricate scenes and engaging dialog, take in everything around them, and file it for a possible future crime or passion. These slightly slouched, mostly bespectacled, and almost always introverted people, came to learn from the best, made appointments, were encouraged, and sometimes become disappointed and even crushed.

They shared a common thread—write the perfect book. The writers spent three days learning together and praying for one another. The power of prayer was felt throughout the two floors of the gathered children of the most high. The sweet Spirit breathed through the rooms and into the lungs and hearts of those willing to receive.

The inspiring words of our esteemed key note speaker, Ted Dekker, brought tears, smiles, laughter, and people to their feet. He encouraged us to work out our love for the Lord and others on paper, to fight through troubles in our soul while struggling to find answers to life’s burdens by interacting with our characters. As our protagonist learns, so might we.

Some storytellers had agent or editor appointments, all nerve racking and often life changing. The lucky ones were asked to send chapters. The editor or agent had a spot or niche that fit what the writer had poured their heart into. Most got sent away to work harder or pitch to another. Those leaving the meetings wore smiles of rejoicing or drawn faces and moist eyes. All were Divine appointments. The Lord doesn’t make mistakes. A “No” is not a sentence of doom, but of learning and redirection. 

A few crafters took the challenge of being sharpened by authors who wielded a red pen and bloodied the first chapters of their babies. Brave souls—we slightly crazy writers are—took the risk.  Is all this worth the emotional upheaval? Yes. Risk takers are the ones who win in the end and hold their baby wrapped in a hard cover with their name splashed on the front, or downloaded around the world.

The Gala, oh the Gala. Excitement filled the air as over five hundred well dressed men and women, in everything from Sunday best to tuxes and elaborate sparkly gowns, were full of expectations. The food scrumptious in a beautiful presentation and placed on laden tables. The question on everyone's mind--who will win this year’s awards? It thrilled us as we watched the winners cross the stage with gracious beaming smiles and give the glory and praise to their Lord.

You may ask—should I go next year? Pray. Search the Lord to know His will and remember, He promised to direct you.

Robin Densmore Fuson  
Gala Ready

Interview/Book Give Away

Hello Robin!
It’s so nice to have you on my blog today. Thank you for giving us time for an interview. I am looking forward to learning a little more about you and your writing. Can you tell us what genre you write and a little of your writing journey?
I started my journey by writing Christian Children Fiction. I have one book in a series published and two more on the verge of publication. My children’s blog, where over a hundred and fifty stories centered on Biblical character lessons, is very popular with families and schools. On my other blog, I have a few fantasy children stories along with articles and Flash fiction stories I’ve written in their entirety. My Christian Historical Romance novella as well as a Flash Fiction I wrote have both won awards.
What book are you featuring today and what story can you tell us that has something to do with your book?
My book, Rosita Valdez and the Giant Sea Turtle (, is the first book in a series for children third through sixth grade. I visited the Cayman Islands a while ago and had the opportunity to snorkel. Also while there, I visited a turtle farm and held young giant sea turtles. I believe those two things became part of my story of Rosie.
Can you give us a short summary or back copy blurb about the book you are featuring today?
Come on an adventure with eight year old Rosie and her friends as she meets a giant sea turtle in a cove of the Pacific Ocean. Watch and learn with Rosie as she struggles with truthfulness and as she jumps into action when crisis comes to the cove.
What do you do when you sit down to write? Do you listen to a certain type of music or eat chocolate or exercise? Anything special?
I normally go to my cozy office with a cup of tea and play soft music. The music is chosen to enhance the vivid pictures in my mind to produce the mood of the scene or character or the energy level I needed to evoke the feelings of my character. I can’t write a frightening or dangerous scene with mellow music. My blood needs to pump, so I rev up the beat but still keep it as background to not distract me but enhance my experience that I hope is conveyed to the reader.
What is something unique or amusing about yourself or your life that we would like to know?
Well, I have a dozen things but I’ll concentrate on two. I collect giraffe figurines and pictures. They are all over my house in nooks and crannies and out in the open. The big thing in my life—I have dyslexia where my brain doesn’t connect the dots like other people’s do. That’s why writing is not what I would have chosen. The Lord said He would work through my disability. I can’t take the credit for making the words develop into pictures on the page, He enables me.
Give us a short biography about yourself and tell us how we can contact you (fb, twitter, website).
I live in Rifle, Colorado, with my husband Jimmy. Together, we celebrate with seventeen grandchildren. Grand Prize winner for romance and People’s Choice for flash fiction, I am multi-published and write a blog for children and their parents and teachers. I’m a member of ACFW, Vice President of ACFW Colorado Western Slope, and member of John316 Marketing Network. I enjoy leading a Bible study group and singing in two community choirs.
A few years back, my late husband and I went to Russia and Ukraine to help teachers learn new techniques in sharing God’s word through their local church and Awana program. I love to have company and challenging my young guests to explore and discover the many giraffes in the obvious and hidden nooks and crannies of our home.
You can find me:
*GIVEAWAY!* One free paperback of this same title will be given to the winner of a drawing. Anyone who makes a comment on this post on my blog ( or on my facebook author page (Linda K. Rodante) will be put in for a drawing. On Monday, following this blog, a winner will be drawn and their name will be given to the author who will contact them and arrange for the book to be sent.

Turmoil in the Dining Car People's Choice Winner ACFW (2015)

Robin Densmore Fuson

Turmoil in the Dining Car

“Jennie, what has arrested your attention?”
I hadn’t realized I’d been staring. I turned my smile toward my mother. “A young mother has her hands full with an active young boy about four years old, a toddler, and an infant. The boy is all over the place. First under the table, then sitting on the seat and cutting the table cloth with his butter knife, then sticking his finger in the butter and licking them clean. She’s pulled him down from crawling up the chair three times in as many minutes, while holding her infant and occupying the other child. I don’t see any other adult helping her.”
The dining car swayed and hummed its clickity-clack in a comforting way. The uniformed waiter with starched napkin over his arm and a tray laden with plates stepped to our table.

“Ah, here’s our food.”
The waiter distracted us with a wonderful aroma of our hot breakfast of eggs, ham and biscuits. My father surveyed the meal over his notes in his hand, as it was being served, then turned his attention to the young man. “Could we have some more coffee?”

The waiter nodded to Father as he stepped away.

Mother smiled at my father. “Charles, please set aside your notes for the duration of the meal.”

“Sorry my dear Elizabeth, I’m going over them to have them firmly in my mind.”

“You have said that five times a day for the last four. You will have them eating out of your hand with your powerful and persuasive words.”

“I’ll put them away.” They gazed at each other as he folded his papers and slid them in his breast pocket. I detected the twinkle in my father’s eye as he winked at her. “I’m not the one who will sway them, it’ll be my beautiful wife and daughter.” He included me in his smile.

I loved my parents and the way they showed their love for each other even in public. They weren’t stuffy the way older couples were, in this dawning era of the 1920’s.

Father wasn’t as sure of his abilities as everyone else was, which made him more approachable as a husband, father, man, and pastor. His humble attitude was as real as the smile he readily gave. No pretense with either of my parents. I smiled at them and grasped their hands. Father’s prayer was short and to the point.

We had started our tasty meal when my attention was drawn to the small boy in the back of the car. “The boy is scrambling up the back of the seat again. You two should sneak a peek, it’s quite humorous. Oh, look, I think he has gotten out of her reach. She’ll need to stand to reach him across the table. What has gotten his attention?” I frowned and jumped up. “Oh no!”

The boy’s hand curved around the emergency chain stop. The mother was too late. She managed to reach his trousers to bring him back down when his hand tightened. As she tugged him down, the train lurched while we evidently rounded a curve, her pulling on the boy brought him off the side of the seat. He didn’t let go of the chain.

Immediately, the whistle blew as the brakes engaged. We were thrown forward, which meant backwards to me. Chaos ensued as people, dishes, food, the whole lot were scattered. The screams, squeals, and crashes were deafening.

All of a sudden, everything came to a stop.

I opened my eyes to an eerie silence. I found myself plastered to the window covered in food. I looked up to see the sky through the opposite window. We must be on our side. I became aware of a weight on my stomach and upper legs. It was my mother! “Mother!” She didn’t respond. I moved her down so I could sit up.

“Mother.” I removed her hat that had gone askew. Blood came from a cut above her eye. I slid out from under her and grabbed a part of my petticoat. I ripped a piece off and pressed it to her head. “Mother. Sweetheart, please wake up.” Her pulse was strong. Breathing fine. I whispered in her ear. “Mama.”

I looked around at the mayhem. Those legs were familiar. “Father!” He was under a table that had come unbolted from its anchor on the floor and landed sideways on him. I needed to go to him, yet I should keep pressure on this cut. What should I do? I shook her again. “Mother.”  

This time, she moaned and moved her head. “Mother.” Mother opened her eyes. “Mama, we have been in an accident and you have a cut on your head. Can you hold pressure here? I need to go see to Father.” I put her hand on the petticoat where blood was seeping through. She nodded and obeyed.

I crawled over to my father. “Father.” I tried to lift the table. It wouldn’t move!

Crunching sounds met my ear as someone walked on broken glass behind me. “Ma’am, are you alright? Do you need help?”

“Yes. Can you help me move this off my father?”

Together we moved the table. I crawled to him. Later, I would be pulling glass shards out of my hand, but for now my only thought was for my father. I shook him and said his name, but there was no response. With the man’s help, I gently turned him over. I felt for a pulse. “No! Not you!” I fell in anguished sobs over my father’s lifeless body.

“Wait, let me near.”

I got out of the way as he leaned over Father. He whispered something into Father’s ear. Father gasped and coughed. I was stunned. I threw my arms around Father, but this time with tears of joy. I looked up to thank the man. He wasn’t anywhere in the car. He had vanished.