Sunday, October 4, 2020

Little Lamb Book Spotlight on "Good Night, Fireflies"

Interview with Janet L. Christensen about her book 
“Good Night, Fireflies”:

Congratulations on writing this book “Good Night, Fireflies” for publication! 
Let’s talk about it …

Alexis: Why did you write this book with a focus on fireflies?

Janet: When my youngest son was little, he used to be afraid of the dark. I remember one trip away from home that we forgot to pack his nightlight. We were all ready for bed, and I had to get dressed again and go out and purchase a nightlight before we could go to sleep. So, writing a book that spoke to kiddos about their fears had always been important to me. The fireflies? That was all God.

Alexis: How did you receive the inspiration for this story?

Janet: I run pretty fast and furious most days. Between working full-time, raising a family, helping out with different ministry projects, and writing, my mind is constantly working through one project or another. I bet you, and a lot of your readers, can relate. Getting my mind to quiet so that I can just listen to God is sometimes a challenge. Well, God found a way around that. He always does. How did He catch my mind completely quiet and ready to listen? He woke me up at 3 o’clock one morning. I found myself wide awake with the most beautiful story about fireflies dancing in my head. Then, of course, I was too excited to go back to sleep.

Alexis: The hero of your story is a boy named Landon. Tell me about him. What does he look and sound like? What are his hobbies? What does Landon want to be when he grows up?

Janet: Landon is sweet little boy, with a big heart and a glint of adventure in his eyes. He is fearless in all things by day, but when the lights go out, his fears of monsters chase him. He likes dinosaurs and superheroes and playing with his cat. And he loves spending time with his daddy. What does he want to be when he grows up? That is a good question. We haven’t really talked about that one. But I think Landon would be a great entomologist. He came up with some great observations on those fireflies.

Alexis: Why does Landon want to do anything but sleep?

Janet: Landon is afraid of the shadow monsters that hide in his room after the lights go out. He will do anything to delay going to bed, even brush his teeth twice! Landon knows that as soon as his daddy turns off the lights and walks out of the room, the monsters will once again sneak out of their daytime hiding places to scare him.

Alexis: How does Landon’s daddy use faith in God to ease his fears about bedtime?

Janet: When Landon can’t quite picture how God can be with him since he can’t see Him, Landon’s daddy takes him outside into the summer night to catch fireflies. When they finally catch one, Landon’s daddy asks him if the firefly disappears when its light goes out. When Landon discovers that the firefly is still there, even when its light goes out, his daddy tells him that God is just like that firefly. Even though we can’t see Him, He is always with us and is there to help us when we are afraid.

Alexis: What role does your real-life faith in God play in your storytelling?

Janet: I think it plays a huge role. I really believe that He wants to use my storytelling talent to encourage others in their own personal faith journey. I enjoy writing for all ages, but the fun part of writing for kids, is the challenge of taking the abstract concepts of faith, love, and hope, and making them visual and relatable for young ones. I am blessed and humbled that He has allowed me to pen the beautiful stories He has given me for this purpose.

Alexis: What do you want readers to receive from reading this book?

Janet: I want readers to know that God is with them through all of the challenges they are facing. We are living in a turbulent time right now. It bothers me, even with my strong faith, to watch what is happening in the world. But God is still on His throne and no matter what happens down here, He will never leave us. He loves each and every one of us too much for that.

Alexis: If you could step into this story as Landon’s mommy, what would you do to comfort him?

Janet: I am not sure I would have done anything differently from Daddy. He hit it out of the proverbial park on this one. I would have hugged Landon, of course, and reiterated Daddy’s message. Then I would have probably baked him some cookies the next day, and we could have talked about it over cookies and milk. I would love to hear Landon retell what happened the night before in his own words.

Alexis: Do you (the author) like fireflies? Why or why not?

Janet: I absolutely love fireflies! Where I grew up, we didn’t have fireflies. But when I was a young girl, we would visit my dad’s cousin every summer on the way back east to see my grandparents. I remember giggling as my sisters, cousins and I tried to catch these elusive glowing bugs. It is a memory that brings a smile to my face every single time.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Janet! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Janet: I wrote Good Night, Fireflies six years ago, but God’s perfect timing released it right before all the chaos of this year. He knew this was the perfect time to share this story of overcoming fear with the world. While I was fretting and stewing over failed publishers and other publication challenges and setbacks, He had it all worked out. All that to say, even though the times we are living in feel so out of control, God is here with us every step of the way. And He will work it out for His glory in His perfect time.

Alexis: Thanks so much for inviting me to visit with you for a bit.

Janet: It has been a pleasure! May God bless you and your readers, today and always.

Author Bio:

Janet L. Christensen is an award-winning writer, speaker and encourager who loves to captivate audiences with inspiring stories. 

Whether it is with the stories she writes or with the stories she tells with the help of one of her puppet friends, Janet is sure to deliver an entertaining message of hope and love.

Janet was born and raised in rural South Dakota and after spending some time living and adventuring in Idaho and Wyoming, she and her family have returned to the place of their roots. 

When she is not writing, she enjoys living the life of a pastor’s wife and leading children’s or women’s ministry projects. 

She is the proud mother of two teenage sons and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Sully.

About the Book:

What do God and fireflies have in common?

Landon will do just about anything to avoid bedtime. He can't sleep when the shadows turn ordinary things in his room into spookies and creepies! His fears are put to rest one memorable evening when his daddy teaches him an important lesson about God's everlasting, ever-present love: just like the fireflies, God doesn't disappear when the lights go out.

Through the power of prayer, Landon learns that he can call on God whenever he's scared and find comfort in the love of his Father. Children will find lasting comfort in relating this familiar image to our ever-present and loving Father.

Connect with Janet:

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