|Publisher:||In the Weeds, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)|
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So much variety…anyone will find something they like in Drawn...I'm giving copies as gifts to friends. - Alice Oakley, founder, Foster Angels of South Texas Foundation
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Drawn based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Austin’s Beth Fowler turns her dreams into a thriller named Drawn By Jim Goodson Austin author Beth Fowler book’s about dogs, cats and God have delighted thousands of readers. Simon and Schuster outbid 11 major publishing houses to publish her best-selling trilogy Could You Love Me Like My Dog, Could You Love Me Like My Cat and Could You Love Me Like My God? in the late 1990s. She followed those successes with a photo-filled history of Episcopal missions in Texas for the Texas Historical Foundation in 2000. The Spirit of Missions is a staple in Episcopal churches and schools throughout the state. Yet Fowler has always been troubled by a recurring dream involving a wolf, red moons and the apocalypse – a dream that became more complex as she got older. Why would she have such similar – and sometimes terrifying – dreams over and over? Is there something she should be doing about it? After 12 years of mulling over her dreams, she decided to try her hand at fiction and write about them. And why not? She was already a successful author and she wanted to expand her literary skills. So her dreams became the catalyst for Drawn, a 300-page fictional account story about a young woman named Eva Meriwether who negotiates a world of fakery and zealots but fortunately finds some real, caring friends. Her task is to determine what is true and good and which is false and evil. Austin is the perfect setting, although Fowler curiously never refers to the city by name. Her love for her hometown is obvious in the care she takes to tell us tidbits of the city’s history: the location of General Custer’s encampment during Reconstruction; the heretofore unrevealed similarity between the layout of Austin and Jerusalem, with the state capitol occupying the same spot as the Dome on the Rock. “Through Eva’s eyes and Beth’s amazing research, it is possible to see how downtown Austin could resemble the landmarks of Jerusalem,” Austin aerial photographer Jim Innis says. “I moved to Austin in 1978 and have visited Jerusalem many times since 1974, yet never put the two together, until now.” The wrapping of celestial events, mankind’s fate and Eva’s steely innocence is an irresistible combination. Fowler’s challenge is to make us care about Eva – which we do. Otherwise, a cynic could easily dismiss her dreams and hallucinations as the ramblings of a self-centered schizophrenic. Eva could be schizo, but she is not uncaring – and therefore not a mental case. “Eva would be very appealing to a 20-something film audience,” says Logan Craft, a Dallas producer and former Episcopal priest in Santa Fe, whose New Mexico church is featured in Drawn. “This group could identify with questioning their own perception in the face of inexplicable circumstances.” Some people have lost sleep reading Drawn. “I found myself unable to stop reading and staying up until 2 a.m., saying, ‘One more chapter, one more chapter,’ ” reports Misty Fisher, a past board member of the Texas Circuit of Writers and Poets. Drawn was made available at the 2012 Texas Book Festival Oct. 27-28. A month later, Barnes & Noble ordered a printing and Fowler’s husband Michael Buls helped her ship cases of books in December. During the holidays, Barnes & Noble filled special orders from customers in scattered cities like Albuquerque, Washington, D.C., Madison, Wisconsin and Marble Falls, Texas. By February she shipped the last of her books to fill reorders and Drawn began arriving at local Barnes & Noble stores in March. Drawn’s second printing is underway and Fowler looks forward to Barnes & Noble book signings in May (please see separate sidebar). At a Texas Book Festival, Fowler bonded with fellow new fiction writers Cindy Stone (Mason’s Daughter) and Laura Chavez (Girl from Long Guyland). The threesome encouraged each other, swapped pages and attended Texas Writer’s League workshops. In an editing class, Fowler’s school friend and award-winning author Carol Dawson said many writers could not edit their work because it was such a separate skill. Yet hiring an editor was expensive, so she had trained herself to do it. Dawson emphasized the difference. “To edit, you leave your pen in the drawer and take out your knife.” After Dawson’s class, Fowler and Stone drove 13 hours to meet Chavez in Taos, New Mexico. The trio holed up for a week and slashed their manuscripts, rewriting like maniacs. Fowler typed on her laptop on a twin bed. Stone and Chavez faced each other over a dining table. The result for Fowler was a skeleton with a harrowing insert about a tornado destroying Eva’s car. The insert, based on a storm Fowler survived, required that she rewrite everything leading up to it and everything after, because the new action altered the plot. By the next annual Taos trek, Ms. Fowler struggled with completing Drawn. Her friends fine-tuned their e-publishing and consulting plans. While working in advertising prepared Fowler for self-publishing, nothing except “writing, writing, writing” prepared her for fiction. She thought the St. David’s history took “forever” to write, when she completed it in three years. By comparison, Drawn took 12 years “to ponder” after the initial dream inspiration, and then 12 years to write. But write it, she did. It’s a harrowing story and makes you wonder: how would you face the apocalypse? It could happen any time, whether you look at it from a religious or scientific standpoint. The sun supposedly has enough hydrogen to burn for thousands of years, but are we sure of that? Fowler’s dreams and Eva’s experiences tell a different story. They tell of a Texas countryside scorched by wildfires – which is exactly what happened last year. Eva’s Austin experiences will make you look at familiar sights differently. And if you’re unconcerned about the end times, you’ll still enjoy Fowler’s knowledge about her hometown. Several readers have mentioned taking a walking tour to follow Fowler’s sketches and descriptions through downtown Austin and the Capitol “and see what Eva sees.” Liz Bremond, founder of Tuesday Night Time-Out Ministry and a native Austinite agrees. “You’ll never look at the State Capitol the same way again,” she says. “Drawn is a riveting eschatological thriller you can’t put down until the final revelation.” Jim Goodson is a former editor and publisher of Park Cities People and currently edits the national men’s ministry magazine St. Andrew’s Cross. Also a freelance writer, his work has appeared in many Texas and Colorado newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News and the Colorado Springs Sun.
If Beth Fowler's Drawn is one thing, it is unlike any novel I've read before. And that's a good thing. The character development centers around one person. Protagonist and intuitive/clairvoyant Eva Meriwether, whose behavior is unpredictable and emotive to the point of being otherwordly. Clairvoyant visions, cryptic, symbol-ridden nightmares, and biblical and mythological references abound in this eschatological thriller. In fact, that seems to be Fowler's greatest strength: weaving her knowledge of the paranormal and mystical into every chapter of a novel few readers will be able to put down. Fowler reveals symbolic meaning behind nearly every number, dream, and animal mentioned in the novel. And her audience will keep reading to learn just why Eva's visions and premonitions increase after she relocates to her native Austin. Readers will be eager to discover which new acquaintances and friends are good and which are sinister and scheming. Those interested in the paranormal and mystical and how they hold meaning in our lives will find Drawn engaging. And as a sidenote--those fans of Austin, Texas and particularly its history won't be disappointed. Her knowledge of the history and topography of the Violet Crown City rivals her portrayal of the spiritual reality behind things.