Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Same Kind of Different as Me

Do yourself a favor and read this book.

Same Kind of Different as Me is nonfiction. Typically if I'm talking about a nonfiction book here on Forensics and Faith, it's a how-to on marketing or writing fiction. Same Kind of Different as Me tells a true story. And it's a story that will make you a better person for having read it.

This Christian title has been on the NYT bestseller list for 53 weeks and is sitting at #11 right now. What's making it sell? The incredible story. And the way it's told.

Ron Hall is a white man, an upscale art dealer used to wealth. Denver Moore is a black man, raised picking cotton in virtual slavery. What brings them together? Ron's wife, Deborah (Miss Debbie), and her dreams.

Same Kind of Different as Me is a poignant, endearing story of friendship. It's a biting, difficult story of God's allowance of suffering. It's a story of marriage and forgiveness. And miracles. It's a message about homelessness.

Writer Lynn Vincent has done a masterful job in editing and re-writing the original manuscript written by the two men. The book is written in first person, both from Ron's point of view and from Denver's. These points of view--so radically different in perception and sound--come across distinctly, strongly characterizing each man. Many novelists should do half as well in writing character POVs so distinctly as Lynn has. She told me she wrote the book as closely to a novel as she could. She set scenes. She employed chapter hooks. She allowed characterization to unfold. Lynn's writing is a great example of how nonfiction "as told to" authors should write.

Are you a nonfiction writer? Study fiction techniques.

Opening paragraph (in Denver's POV): Until Miss Debbie, I'd never spoke to no white woman before. Just answered a few questions, maybe--it wadn't really speakin. And to me, even that was mighty risky since the last time I was fool enough to open my mouth to a white woman, I wound up half-dead and nearly blind.

Same Kind of Different as Me isn't always easy to read. But it's a book you'll never forget. As the back cover says, it's a "story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it." At the end of certain chapters this "Don't forget to b r e a t h e ..." Seatbelt Suspense author was so moved I simply had to put the book down ... and breathe.

Do check out the Same Kind of Different as Me Web site. Ron and Denver are speaking all over the country. There's a movie deal in the works. (You can read about that in the "FAQ" link.)


Pam Halter said...

Sounds amazing!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Sounds like an incredible story of God's grace!

Anonymous said...

The authors live near me and showed up at my church for a presentation. At the end, Denver sang an old negro spiritual...there wasn't a dry eye in the place.

I'm glad you lauded the book on your blog, Brandilyn. Beyond the entertainment value and how well written it was, this story changed the way I think. That's rare.

K. Gilbert - Dallas, TX

Anonymous said...

Not only did I need to stop and breathe, I needed to stop and cry because I could no longer see the words on the page. I absolutely loved it. It read it in one day because I could not put it down. I've purchased a second copy to loan to friends. One of the best books I've read in a long time!

Jodi Hughes said...

Thank you for posting a review of “Same Kind of Different as Me.” I work with Thomas Nelson, and we would love to follow your blog and hear what readers think of this exciting book. I also want to let you know that Ron and Denver have just released a new book “What Difference Do It Make?” which updates readers on their activity since the last book came out. Please email me if you are interested in receiving a complimentary copy of the new book for review on your site.

Jodi Hughes

Maryln said...

This book was recommended to me because my friend said that it reminded her of my husband and I. Of course I got it and read it. What a compliment it was as I read this remarkable book. I could barely put it down. Oh that we could live up to this. Only by God's grace and power. Also gave it to a friend and she read it straight through!! Loved it too. Have ordered the sequel from the library. Anxious to read, "What do it matter?" Maryln