Take Your Writing to the Next Level at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference

March 4th, 2015

If you’re feeling the nudge to write for publication, whether that be articles, blog posts, poems, curriculum, or books, consider attending the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference (near Santa Cruz, CA), March 27-31, 2015.

The conference is for writers of every skill level, from unpublished to professional. Several literary agents and editors will be there; you can seek to set up a one-on-one appointment or dine with them at lunch or dinner.

Major Morning Tracks

Davis Bunn Facebook

Davis Bunn

I’ll be teaching “Take Your Story to the Next Level,” one of six Major Morning Tracks. Participants in this comprehensive fiction track will examine crucial elements of solid stories, including character and dialogue, point of view, plot structure and story arc, opening scenes and story climax—how to create a solid commercial structure. Come with your story idea in mind because you’ll have opportunity to apply some of what you learn in class.

Afternoon Workshops

Janet Kobobel Grant

Janet Kobobel Grant

I’ll also be joining with literary agent Janet Kobobel Grant of Books & Such and Laura Christianson of Blogging Bistro (she’s my online marketing manager) to lead an afternoon Q&A workshop, “Planning Your Book Launch.” Janet, Laura, and I will attempt the impossible feat of covering everything you need to know about planning a book launch in one hour!

Here’s the description and outline for our workshop:

You have a book in the works. When should you reveal the cover? What should you include on your author website? Do you have to be engaged on several social networks? Hire a publicist? Run contests with big-ticket prizes? During this panel discussion, you’ll learn insider secrets for planning a successful book promotion.

Click to download a PDF of the workshop outline: Planning Your Book Launch – Workshop Outline

Head Start Pre-Conference Tracks

Laura Christianson

Laura Christianson

Laura Christianson will also facilitate a Head Start Pre-Conference Track, “Take Your Blogging and Social Media to the Next Level,” from March 25-27. During her interactive mentoring clinic, Laura will approach blogging and social media from a business perspective. She’ll help participants pinpoint their ideal reader, polish their message, plan a publication schedule, and practice proven techniques for building community.

Her track is by application only because it’s limited to 8 participants. She told me today that she still has a few spots open.

There’s so much going on at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference; it’s just amazing. You will make lifelong friends and network with many others who love the written word as much as you do. Hope to see you there!

Acts of Faith Series ebooks: Free or Discounted

March 2nd, 2015

Through May 31, 2015, you can download the ebook version of the three books in the Acts of Faith series for free or at a huge discount.

Janette Oke and I co-authored this historical fiction series that takes place in first century Judea.

The Centurion’s Wife (book 1): FREE!

The Centurion's Wife

When her family’s wealth and power are lost forever, Leah is sent to Pontius Pilate in hopes that he might arrange a strategic marriage. But despite her betrothed’s striking countenance and postion, Leah deems life as a centurioun’s wife a fate worse than death.

Head of the garrison near Galilee, Alban has ambitions that could one day see him at the seat of power-in Rome itself. Eager to prove himself, he takes on the assignment of a lifetime, one that will put his career, his beliefs, and his very life at risk.

But when the death-and missing body-of an obscure rabbi find Leah and Alban searching for the same answers, what they discover changes everything.

The Hidden Flame (book 2): $6.99

The Hidden Flame

In first-century Judea, the followers of the Way have burgeoned into a vibrant, growing community that cannot be ignored.

Jerusalem is in turmoil as itws religious leaders on one side, and their Roman rulers on the other, conspire to stamp out the fledgling Church. And Abigail, who throught she had finally found home and safety, is caught between the opposing forces.

Two suitors desire the lovely Abigail’s hand in marriage. Ezra, a successful Hebrew merchant and widower with important connections among the Sanhedrin, is looking for a mother for his children. The Roman soldier Linux is fascinated by her winsome charm and possibly could offer the sanctuary–maybe even the love–for which she yearns.

But her heart has been captured by neither of these. Will her faith and courage survive a heartbreak beyond comprehension as the followers face a gathering storm of persecution they never could have foreseen? A glimmer of hope beckons Abigail forward…

The Damascus Way (book 3): $6.99

The Damascus Way

One of the Top 10 Inspirational Novels of 2011 —Booklist

Young Julia has everything money can buy—except for acceptance by either Gentiles or Judeans in Tiberias. When she discovers the secret her beloved Greek father has kept all these years, she is devastated. Julia and her Hebrew mother are indeed less than second-class citizens. Her future is dark with clouds of uncertainty.

Jacob, Abigail’s brother, is now a young man attempting to find his own place among the community of believers. Does it mean trading away the exhilaration and adventure of his current profession as a caravan guard?

Hired by Julia’s father to protect a wealthy merchant’s caravans on the secretive “Frankincense Trail,” Jacob also reluctantly takes on the perilous responsibility of passing letters and messages between communities of believers now dispersed across the land. He is alarmed to discover that Julia, hardly more than a girl, is also a courier. Can their initial mistrust be put aside to accomplish their mission?

Video Interview on Writer’s Talk With Alton Gansky

February 16th, 2015

I recently had the honor of doing a Skype interview with Alton Gansky, host of Writer’s Talk. You can watch the video on YouTube (below) or download it from iTunes, Stitcher, or Podbean.

We talked about loads of topics, including my use of the pen name “Thomas Locke” for two new series Revell is publishing.

Q&A with Thomas Locke: Does the Idea of an Emissary Parallel Your Own Experience?

January 13th, 2015

Does the idea of an emissary parallel your own experience

Q: Does the idea of an emissary parallel anything specific to your own experience?

Davis Bunn (aka, Thomas Locke): It absolutely has a personal connection. Emissary is a Latin word that means ambassador.

My wife, Isabella, and I live for part of the year in the UK and the other part in the US. Increasingly, in our ministry efforts outside of writing, she and I are the only Christians in the room. We feel as if we are emissaries to the world.

During the time we live in the US, it’s easy to become insular. It’s a simpler and more comforting existence if our world is restricted to the community of believers who see the world the same way we do. In the US, our friendships and contacts can mostly be centered around fellow Christians.

Both situations feel right. But the direction we’re feeling called is to this community outside our faith community: the general university system, general entertainment, the growing world of nonbelief. In the Creative Writing class I recently taught at Oxford, for example, I had 29 students. Four of them were devout Muslims. If I am going to honor their creative efforts, I have to do it from the standpoint of explaining where I’m coming from, in terms of my own world view. But our differing life experiences and world views cannot color the way that I view the quality of their writing. I have to live out my faith in a way that speaks without words.

This has been a main reason for writing Emissary. I’m trying to reach out and to communicate a sense of hopefulness in a manner that meets my readers where they are.

Q: Have you had any “ah ha” moments in regards to your personal decision to be an emissary?

Emissary by Thomas Locke

Davis Bunn: Isabella and I marked a turning in our own outreach when we were invited by a seminary in Easy Germany to travel there about a week after the Berlin Wall fell. We arrived the day the East German government granted permission for churches to open after they’d been shuttered for 40 years.

We walked to what had been the main cathedral in the city and saw a young man standing in the doorway. He was staring at a poster that showed fields blowing in the wind and had the Bible verse, John 3:16. The young man looked at the words in absolute, complete confusion. He’d never seen them before.

During that moment, my wife and I both got the sense that this type of ministry was where we wanted to be.

More Q&A

Check out more Q&A posts at DavisBunn.com and purchase Emissary at TLocke.com:

Why are you using a pen name?”

How do you hope to encourage EMISSARY readers?

What is “epic fantasy for modern readers”?

Who are your favorite fantasy authors?

Enter the ‘Emissary’ Sweepstakes

January 10th, 2015

Emissary, the first book in the Legends of the Realm epic fantasy series, released January 6, 2015. This series is published under my pen name, Thomas Locke. (Here’s an explanation of why I’m using a pseudonym).

I invite you to enter my month-long giveaway of limited-edition artwork prizes featuring the Emissary cover art.

EmissaryEnterToWin_1200x628 high res


I’ll be giving away multiple prizes each week to U.S. residents who enter the sweepstakes at http://woobox.com/pan363, or right here on my blog:

You can enter once per email address per day. You get bonus entries when your Facebook and Twitter friends enter, and you get additional bonus entries when you like the Facebook page of one of our partners. It’s all explained on the entry page at http://woobox.com/pan363.

If you don’t use Facebook, you can enter the Sweepstakes by leaving a comment on the Official Rules page. Be sure to include your email address with your comment so I’ll know how to contact you if you win.


Throughout January, I’ll be doing several “Flash” giveaways on the Thomas Locke Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/tlockebooks. You could win a copy of Emissary or other fun prizes by liking a photo update during each one-day giveaway.

Be sure to visit Thomas Locke’s Facebook page daily (from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Pacific Time) during January to see if there’s a Flash giveaway that day.

Q&A: Are You Going to Stop Writing Inspirational Fiction?

January 5th, 2015

Are you going to stop writing inspirational fiction

Q: Many of your readers are drawn to the Christian message that permeates your stories. Now that you’re writing under the Thomas Locke pen name, will you stop writing inspirational fiction?

Davis Bunn: My hope and prayer is that I have many new faith-based stories to tell. In fact, several are in the works.

As with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia stories, the books I’m writing under the Thomas Locke pseudonym present a clear moral structure, but the Christian message is far more muted than in my other works.

For details, see my answer to “Why are you using a pen name?”

More Q&A

The discussion continues on my Thomas Locke blog. Check out these posts:

Why is the EMISSARY protagonist named “Hyam”?

How do you hope to encourage EMISSARY readers?

What is “epic fantasy for modern readers”?

Who are your favorite fantasy authors?

Video Book Trailer of ‘Emissary’ by Thomas Locke

December 15th, 2014

In January, I’m entering a new realm with my stories: an epic fantasy series targeted to the mainstream market, written under my pen name, Thomas Locke.

Hot off the press, here’s the video trailer for Emissary, book 1 in the Legends of the Realm series:

News of the Realm blog

If you’d like to learn more about Emissary, subscribe to my new blog at http://tlocke.com/blog/.

Reviews of Emissary

Here are links to early reader reviews of Emissary:

The Captive: Free ebook Short

Get a free peek of Emissary; visit http://tlocke.com/ and download “The Captive,” a free ebook short, to your digital device.

Q&A with Thomas Locke: Why are You Using a Pen Name?

December 10th, 2014

Why are you using a pen name

Why are you using the Thomas Locke pseudonym for your upcoming fantasy novel, Emissary?

Emissary is book 1 in a three-book series called Legends of the Realm. This series and an upcoming techno-thriller series for the mainstream market will carry the Thomas Locke pen name.

When you pick up a Thomas Locke book, do not expect an evangelical story. Instead, these stories harken back to what J.R.R. Tolkien did with The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien was a survivor of the trenches in World War I. When war returned with World War II, the darkness he saw was difficult for him, personally. He felt as if the world had not healed.

In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he offered a new concept of lore that acknowledged the grip of war, the darkness people faced that had to be combatted, and the courage that was required.

That is precisely what I am trying to do in the Legends of the Realm series. I’m not putting forth a Christian message for believers. I’m creating a new kind of story that includes the positive aspects that come from our life walk: courage in the face of hardship. Growth. Change. The story is intended to draw in a mainstream audience. I would love for my current readers to be fascinated by this new direction I’m taking. But Emissary is not intended to be another Davis Bunn book.

What is the significance of Thomas Locke?

Thomas is my legal first name, and Thomas Locke was the first of my ancestors to immigrate from Wales to the United States. He was a cabinet maker – a skilled laborer who took a gamble by starting a new life in a distant place.

Thomas Locke’s grandson was Francis Marion, a military officer in the Revolutionary War known as “Swamp Fox.” In the movie, The Patriot, Mel Gibson plays a character loosely based on Francis Marion.

I have always admired the adventuresome spirit of my ancestors, and I hope these new adventure stories will honor the Thomas Locke name.

More Q&A

The discussion continues on my Thomas Locke blog. Check out these posts:

How do you hope to encourage EMISSARY readers?

What is “epic fantasy for modern readers”?

Who are your favorite fantasy authors?

Emissary Reviews

The first reader reviews of Emissary are in! Click here to see what they’re saying.

Introducing the Thomas Locke Brand: Epic Fantasy for Modern Readers

November 23rd, 2014

Emissary by Thomas LockeFriends,

Many of you are aware that January 2015 marks an exciting new direction in my writing career. My upcoming novel, Emissary, is an epic fantasy story for a mainstream audience, and will be published under my pen name, Thomas Locke.

In my next few posts, I’ll answer your questions about why I’m publishing Emissary and the other two books in the Legends of the Realm series, plus another three-book series, as Thomas Locke.

I will also continue to publish many new faith-based novels as Davis Bunn.

The Q&A series will take place here at DavisBunn.com and at my new Thomas Locke blog, http://tlocke.com/blog/.

Other than this introductory post, I’ll be blogging about entirely different topics at TLocke.com, so I hope you’ll subscribe to “News of the Realm” so you can receive my e-newsletter and my latest blog posts.

Click this link to sign up now: http://eepurl.com/5cnH5 (be sure to click “Receive Blog Posts” in the Subscription Options.

I’m also active (as Thomas Locke) on several social networks. Hope you’ll join me!


Why did you choose to write epic fantasy and technological thrillers for the mainstream market, when many of your recent books have been contemporary suspense for the inspirational market?

For the past several years I have grown increasingly concerned over the all-pervading darkness that nowadays forms the core of both character development and story within the fantasy and science fiction genres.

Last autumn, Publishers Weekly held a global forum on where science fiction and fantasy were headed. A panel that included some of the largest New York publishers and editors in these fields brought several key elements to light. Here are the four points I found of crucial importance.

First, in this last publishing cycle—from January to June 2014—not one book has been released in either fantasy or science fiction that hearkens back to the classical heroic structure of by-gone days.

Second, both of these genres have become redefined by the electronic game industry, which is soon expected to top Hollywood films in terms of both profit and revenue.

Third, the key impact of e-games on both character and story theme was described as “grey-scaling.” This means there is no longer room for either heroes or villains. This is important in e-games because the player is offered the chance to take on every role. None are deemed wrong, or bad. All are equally valid.

Fourth, the classical story structure has been deemed passé. This structure formed the basis for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and for C.S. Lewis and the Narnia series, and has its roots in the ancient Greek heroic structure, many of which were told as fantasies.

Do all readers want dark, hopeless stories?

Long before this conference confirmed my growing suspicions, I felt the question these NY publishers overlooked was, “What has happened to the readers of classical fantasy and science fiction? Are readers satisfied with the direction that these publishers have chosen to take?”

I do not disagree with the new direction as a concept. But I fundamentally dispute this mind-set of exclusively focusing on the new, the dark, and the hopeless.

Twenty months ago, I began working on a new project so far removed from anything I had ever done before, I feared there would be no chance of finding a publisher. But the idea ignited me to the point where I needed to follow this creative passion.

Epic fantasy for modern readers

Emissary (book 1 in the Legends of the Realm series) follows the original Greek concept of ‘epic.’ Nowadays the term has been redefined to basically mean nothing more than, long. Originally, an epic tale was one where the principal character sought to achieve a quest. The hero’s journey, both externally and the hero’s need to conquer inner demons, formed vital life-lessons for the audience.

My aim with this fantasy was to fashion an epic that would suit modern tastes. I threw out what has become the standard format for fantasy novels, with their long-winded descriptions and elaborate settings. Instead, I used the sentence structure and pacing of a mystery. It is tight, with what I hope will be seen as a smooth and seamless action-flow that leads to a satisfying crescendo.

This project adheres to the original Greek structure of inherent value, what Hollywood refers to as ‘leave-behind.” In Emissary, the principal character rises from nothing to forge an alliance that has profound and far-reaching impact, simply by accepting the challenge of his own self-worth.

Free eBook Short

Free eBook The Captive

Get a taste of the Legends of the Realm series with The Captive, a free short story excerpted from Emissary. Visit http://tlocke.com/ for handy links your favorite online bookseller.

Winners List for ‘The Patmos Deception’

November 5th, 2014

We had a lot of fun the last couple of weeks giving away copies of my new novel, The Patmos Deception, on my Facebook page.

Patmos Deception_WebHere is the complete list of people who won a book:

  1. Greg A.,Middleburg, FL
  2. Chris B., Riverside, CA
  3. Judy C., Chester Gap, VA
  4. Ross H., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  5. Kristine M., Littlefork, MN
  6. Heather N., Magalia, CA
  7. Beth P., Elkhart Lake WI
  8. Bonnie T., Fort Lauderdale, FL
  9. Ted W., Salinas, CA
  10. Virginia W., Davenport, Iowa

Thanks so much for playing, eveyone!

Free Sample Chapters

If you’d like to read the first three chapters of The Patmos Deception for free, click here http://www.davisbunn.com/book/the-patmos-deception-by-davis-bunn.htm and then click the icon that says “Read a sample chapter.”