Today I am pleased to post the following interview with Acacia Beumer, author of Launch Out Into the Deep. Acacia has quite a testimony and is living proof that God can use anyone in His work, no matter their circumstances. Acacia has made it her mission in life to offer hope to the hopeless.
Welcome, Acacia. To begin with, would you please tell us a little about yourself and, in doing so, also share your testimony.
Hi Dana! Thanks so much for this opportunity! My name is Acacia Beumer and I am presently in graduate school studying Marriage and Family Therapy. I am in the final stage in my course of study, and am more than half way through my one-year internship as a social worker at a local behavioral health hospital for teens and adults. I am and have been happily married for almost five years to my husband John, who is presently serving his country in Afghanistan. We have two beautiful daughters: Jana Grace is 3 years old and Jaci Marie is 1. I will answer the question about my testimony in one of your other questions.
Tell us about Launch Out Into the Deep. What's it about?
Launch Out Into The Deep is an in-depth devotional that will challenge the reader to answer the question as to where they truly are in their faith in God. In the words of a reviewer, “It is important for a religious book to make the reader feel comfortable, and Acacia Slaton Beumer does exactly that, leaving us, the reader, to make up our own minds, unlike some paperbacks that boast and force into accepting just one point of view. By making US ask the question, we eventually find the answers in ourselves.” – J.F. Shaw, Amazon.com
What inspired you to write this book?
Dana, at the age of 15, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. My former psychiatrist told my parents that I would never be normal and function in society. Prior to this experience, my mom said, “Acacia, you can’t get to heaven on my salvation. You will have to know Jesus for yourself!” I found myself in a situation that my parents could not deliver me from; the doctors could not heal me. My back was up against the wall and that’s when I came to the realization that I needed a savior. At the time I wrote this book, I was working at a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. These youth were in seemingly hopeless situations and were plagued with diagnoses that limited them from believing they could live a happy and healthy life. I wrote this book to inspire those who are in hopeless situations that they see no way out of!
How long has the book been out, and what kind of responses has it gotten in both the religious and non-religious market?
Dana, the first edition of Launch Out Into The Deep was published in 2006. We recently came out with a new edition that was published this year. Many readers commented on wanting to hear my testimony and believed the book would be great for group discussions. Based on this info, the book was republished with a chapter-to-chapter discussion guide for personal study and reading circles, and also includes my testimony. The book is also available in audio and e-book. Most of the reviews on Amazon are from individuals who describe themselves as not religious. Dana, I am sure you are aware that the market is presently flooded with devotionals and inspirational books of all kinds. I believe that Launch Out Into The Deep is a gem in this generation – a diamond in the rough. Among those who have read it (believers and unbelievers alike), some have commented that they were not expecting much but were pleasantly surprised with the message and how it was relevant to their situation. In the words of one reviewer, “I was in a confused state with my religious beliefs. Now I can't wait to further my knowledge and understanding of my relationship with God. I want to make peace with myself and others. I truly feel like a totally different person after having read this book. I feel like I have taken the first step to receiving salvation.” – Katia, Amazon.com
What do you hope to accomplish with this book?
My desire is that this book will make Christians stronger in their faith and will be a step towards salvation for unbelievers or those who question the Christian faith.
How do you feel about many of the wishy-washy "Christian-living" books on the market today that are filled with fluff and feel-good messages but very little truth?
Dana, that’s a good question! I feel that some Christian writers are so focused on writing books that will appeal to the masses (for Christians and unbelievers alike) that they sugarcoat their message in order not to offend or decrease their ratings. Also, a person can only write at a level of where they are spiritually. So, if there is not a strong spiritual conviction to walk in holiness in their personal lives, then it’s not going to be relayed in their message.
I noticed that your book has over 60 reviews on Amazon. I'm sure many fellow writers (such as myself) would like to know did you procure those reviews from reviewers and review blogs or are the reviews from faithful patrons who purchased your book and chose to write a review?
First of all, let me say that getting reviews is no easy task! My reviews have come through a combination of readers and mostly blog sites. I’ve given away over one hundred copies of my books and have written to over one hundred blog sites requesting reviews in exchange of a complimentary copy of my book. Let me say that most of the responses were “No.” But let me also point out that these “No’s” were with good reason, as reviewers are constantly bombarded with authors (like me) who request book reviews. Persistence pays off. It’s also good to consider publications that have access to lots of reviewers. So I have subscribed to publications of these sorts and was able to advertise my book and get requests from interested reviewers. There are a number of publications and resources online that will point you in the right direction. Do your research and be willing to give out copies of your book knowing you may not get a response. I’ve recently sent out over 20 books and have not received responses, but hope I will hear something soon as they go through all the other hundreds of requests they’ve received from authors like myself who hope and pray that their book will stand out amongst the hundreds and thousands that are published each year. I hope this helps!
What plans do you have for the future?
I would like to have an opportunity for speaking engagements. I believe that my background in counseling and my book will open many doors for ministry. I know that the Lord has birthed a message within me and I am totally trusting Him to open doors that have been closed.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our blog audience today?
Yes, Launch Out Into The Deep has recently been awarded the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages 12 plus and is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal for the Most Outstanding Religion and Spirituality Book! Thanks for this opportunity, Dana! Readers, you can learn more by visiting my site www.launchoutbook.com. Sign up for your newsletter and receive 2 free sample chapters from the book, 2 audio readings (from the audiobook) not featured on our site, and a free animated screen saver based on the vision behind the book cover.
Disclaimer: My participation in this book tour does not mean that I have read and/or agree with the work being promoted. Typically, unless I'm doing a book review, I do not have the opportunity to read the books before promoting them. The purpose of virtual tours is to help fellow authors promote their works, and while I am very particular about who and what I promote, I cannot guarantee that the beliefs and views stated in any specific book are my own.