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The Because Fiction Podcast

110 EpisodesProduced by Chautona HavigWebsite

Taking the pulse of Christian fiction, Because Fiction explores the lastest trends in Christian fiction, discusses genres, specific authors, new releases, and classics as well. If it's Christian fiction (or something readers love), we talk about it.


Episode 38: Dan Smith & Saving Ebenezer

Journalist, podcaster, and multi-genre author of Saving Ebenezer, S. Daniel Smith is this week's guest and here to talk with us about:

  • His articles regarding missions during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • His podcast and writing about science fiction and fantasy
  • His fabulous Christmas novel, Saving Ebenezer (that I mentioned in Episode 21)

If you want to skip to just our discussion of the book, you'll find that at approximately 23.5 minutes into the episode. But I encourage you to listen to Dan's heart for missions, what the Lord is doing with his writing, and how he got started.

Note: links may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you.

Who Is S. Daniel Smith?

Dan's first works were nonfiction articles for magazines and newspapers.  In fact, he has two recent articles about how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting missionaries in different countries. I'll get those links to those articles and add them in later here.  I thought I had them but can't find them. Stay tuned for those.

Dan always wanted to write fiction, so he decided back in 2015 to learn how to write fiction. So he made that decision and started learning writing craft using things like the Novel Marketing's 5 Year Plan to Becoming a Best-Selling Author. That program helped him learn to write short stories which will help him with writing longer works.

His Facebook group of Sci-Fi fans led to Dan's podcast, Coffee in Space. Guys, it's a fun podcast, so if you love Sci-Fi or fantasy, you might want to check it out. I mentioned in the podcast that I'd listened to the episode with Madeleine Mozley, and if you enjoy Christian Sci-fi, I think you'd really enjoy that episode.

Why Saving Ebenezer Is My #1 Christmas Book Recommendation This Year

Saving Ebenezer is one of the best novel continuations I've seen. While staying faithful to the original story, he gives us more and shows us where Dickens fell just a bit short of the true goal of Marley's warning. He even brings in one tiny element of It's a Wonderful Life, which, of course, makes perfect sense.  After all, It's a Wonderful Life is a retelling of Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Saving Ebenezer begins seven years after the events of A Christmas Carol. It explores giving everything away without faith behind your actions.

After an opening line that ripped out my heart, Dan then really made the whole Cratchit family come alive. He wrote with a flair and style very similar to Dickens without the excessive wordiness that Dickens employed. The characters stayed who Dickens made them to be, but they grew because that's what people do.

Dan spoke to how the original manuscript for this went to a much darker place than he finally ended with in his final draft. Instead of that dark place, he and his editors and beta readers worked together to make sure the book ends on hope.  As we discussed in the podcast, Dickens focused on hope and love, but Dan brought the element of faith in here and created a perfect trifecta right there.

Also... let's talk about a beautiful cover, guys.  

Check this out.  See?

Beautiful.  Here's the synopsis:

Seven years after Jacob Marley and the three ghosts of Christmas changed Ebenezer’s life, Scrooge has a problem. He’s given away most of his money and brightened many lives, restored churches, and made London workhouses better for those living and working inside. If only all of that made him feel better about his life…

Doubt plagues Ebenezer. Even with all of his philanthropy, he still has questions he can’t answer. Are the scales balanced? Did he do enough good after that fateful Christmas Eve to avoid Jacob Marley’s fate? And after a very special person dies, he adds another question: Why did God let it happen?

When he falls ill himself, Ebenezer’s questions take on a new desperation.

From the Cratchits to the workhouse fundraisers to nephew Fred, you’ll be reintroduced to several old friends, as well as a few new ones. With each visitor, Ebenezer tries to get closer to the answers to his questions. As the clock starts to run out, Ebenezer will need the words from an old friend to tip the scales in his favor.

Saving Ebenezer picks up on a story started by Charles Dickens in 1843 with A Christmas Carol. Christians will appreciate a heartwarming story of God's love shown in tragedy while all readers will enjoy the common points between Saving Ebenezer and the original work.

Even better than that...

Read the book on Kindle Unlimited, and then go grab your kindle copy for .99!  That's right, Saving Ebenezer is on sale for just .99 right now. But once you are done reading it and seeing how awesome it is, go grab a paperback of the book for a gift or two or three.

AND... leave a comment below about when you first read or heard A Christmas Carol read and I'll giveaway a copy next week.

Also... did you hear what he says?  He is working on continuing the story of Belinda Cratchit and her adventures.  I'm so excited.

To find out how to sign up for his newsletter, I recommend going HERE and emailing him. :)

Like to listen on the go? You can find Because Fiction Podcast at:
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