The Long and Short of It:
Greetings, my name is Laura Emily Rose Beals. (Formerly Jenkins. If you’ve been following L.E.R. Jenkins you’re still in the right place. 🙂 ). I am a Christian Speculative Fiction writer. I mostly write fantasy but like to dabble in Historical, Sci-Fi and Steam-punk.
I started writing when I was fifteen and have been in love with stories ever since. My main inspiration for writing speculative fiction is J.R.R. Tolkien. Once I picked up The Hobbit, I was doomed to be a fantasy writer.
So other than being inspired by Tolkien, why fantasy? Three reasons.
Stated by Tolkien himself…
“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
I’ve been given an incredible freedom through Christ and I want others to share in that freedom through my stories, and I hope, have a more personal part in it.
God has a wondrous imagination, it’s all over in His Creation. The colors of a sunrise, the beauty of a new child, the thousands of different animals, the men and woman around us. What’s crazy, He gave that imagination to you and me. Fantasy is a perfect avenue to show off that God given imagination, and create a window, a glimpse into the wondrous mind of The Creator.
I strive to write stories that reflect my faith in Jesus Christ and shine the light of His truth in the face of lies. To give the readers a piece of the love, hope and joy I have found in a personal relationship with Christ, and the best way I know how to do this is through pictures. Through showing them people, events, places, and the choices of others. Through stories. With fantasy I have the freedom to go anywhere, show them anything. I am unbound by what they may think is believable, and show them a picture of unbelievable things, to illustrate a deeper, profound truth that has been lost in our culture. Flannery O’Connor puts it this way…
“Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.”
Fantasy is my outlet for my shouts, and for my large and startling figures.
God has taught me so much about Himself and following Him through writing. If I wasn’t a Christian, I wouldn’t be a writer. This blog is a mix of my life, my writing and my faith that saturates it all. I hope you find inspiration and encouragement here.
I grew up in Western Washington. My surroundings, pine forests and the Cascade mountains, became inspiration for my own fantasy worlds.
I was home schooled all the way the High School. This gave me the opportunity to concentrate on writing through my later High School years and also to be apart of the One Year Adventure Novel Writing Curriculum by award winning author Daniel Schwabaurer. Through OYAN I finished my first book and became a part of an online community where I grew as a writer, made some amazing friends, and even met my husband.
On October 19th, 2013, I married my best friend and fellow writer Daniel Beals. (He has a blog too, check it out by clicking HERE.)
How it All Started:
I didn’t always want to be a writer, and to be quite honest with you, becoming a writer was not on my list of thing I wanted to be when I grew up, far from it. Reading was very difficult for me because of dyslexia and problems with the muscles in my eyes, and, I hated it. You would never catch me reading, it was boring and too hard. But God had a plan for me that was much bigger than my reading problems. One day I picked up a book, on my own, and began reading. (It had lots of interesting pictures and I wanted to know what was going on in them.) It was slow and very difficult, but I read that whole book by myself. Since then, you will more often than not find me with my nose in a book.
The day God called me to be a writer is a day I shall never, ever forget. It was October 9th, 2006. There I was, just beginning to map out my very first novel and I wasn’t sure if I should make it “Christian” or not. Part of me was afraid that if I made it a “Christian” novel, it would be too cliché. I had nearly decided to drop the Christian elements and just go for a regular old fantasy tale when I opened my Bible to this verse: “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever,” Isaiah 30:8. I have never felt more speechless in my life then at the moment I read those words.
God is truly amazing. He took a little girl who hated to read and made her into a lover of words. God wanted me, me of all people to be his writer. The journey has been anything but easy and is far from over, but I know that as long as He’s in charge, everything will be alright. I am a writer, and I wouldn’t trade being that for anything in the world.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (NIV)