The Vanishing Sculptor: CSFF Blog Tour

This month’s featured CSFF book is The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul, the Dragon Lady of Christian fiction. Mrs. Paul’s books have made a definite splash, and I’ve been hearing their ripples for years, but this is the first I’ve actually read. It is fun, more than usually so, even for a children’s book . . .

The Vanishing Sculptor

. . . or is it YA? Adult fiction? The heroine is 22, and the cover declares the book a “fantastic journey of discovery for all ages” — yet to me it felt like a children’s book in all the best ways, from the humour to the outright themes of trusting in God. I would love to hear from other bloggers and readers on this. How would you classify this book? How much do age classifications matter, actually?

Enough about that for now. (Except that I hope it’s not enough about that, because I want to read your comments.) Tomorrow I hope to post an interview with Mrs. Paul, addressing important questions like “What’s it like to write about dragons as a Christian?” and “Why ‘tumanhofers’? Why not ‘dwarfs’?” On Wednesday, look for my official review.

In the meantime, check out Donita K. Paul’s Web site, read some of her Dragon Bloggin’, or check out the book on Amazon. And if you’re looking for more, read the posts of these fine CSFF Tour Bloggers:

Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Rachel Briard
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Linda Gilmore
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Crista Richey
Cheryl Russell
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams
KM Wilsher






8 responses to “The Vanishing Sculptor: CSFF Blog Tour”

  1. Dona Watson Avatar

    I found VS to be a bit too simple for an adult but a solid YA book. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any YA reader, regardless of their preferred genre. I agree with Rebecca that it can be problematic to market a book for “all ages.” I usually read adult fiction so when I see this label, I automatically assume it won’t be complex enough to hold my interest. For VS, however, the charm and humor found in its pages helped to make up the difference for me. I agree that a well-written book is more likely to appeal to readers of any age. And that is what Mrs. Paul has achieved with her DK books and VS.

    Rachel, I downloaded Worlds Unseen sometime ago, then forgot about it. Then I just came across it yesterday, but didn’t realize it was yours! He he…Now I need to dig it out and read it! I love your posts so I’m looking forward to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Donita K. Paul Avatar

    I originally thought the very first book was for tween girls. The marketing department of WaterBrook decided otherwise. Judging from the emails I get from readers, they were right. Here is a partial list of age range from the emails: soldiers in Iraq, a missionary in Columbia, a grandfather who took the book away from his granddaughter, scolded his daughter, then later returned the book with the four others purchased as he came back. And: a schoolteacher in Thailand, a young man in Japan, a Deist who was born in an Arabic family raised among Christians and Jews, many, many school teachers from elementary to senior high, parents, and grandparents, and a Franciscan priest who read them beside the deathbed of his mentor. My oh my, who would have predicted all that.

  3. Krysti Kercher Avatar

    Oh, Donita’s books are grand for just about all ages! When it arrived in the mail two plus months ago, I was excited! I’d already gotten a taste of Lady Peg’s zany nonsequiturs in critique group. I hogged the book to myself and refused to share that first read-through (though my daughter was fascinated by the dragon on the front and begged me to share what was inside).

    Now I’m reading The Vanishing Sculptor to her. She’s nine, and she loves Beccaroon! And she’s very caught up in the adventure of it all.

    My son was introduced to Donita’s books a few years older than that, at age 11 or 12. He really enjoyed them too, and was thrilled when she autographed her books for him. He’s expanded his interests to political thrillers (wow, what whiplash!), but he still loves Science Fiction and Fantasy, and reads whatever good books he can get his hands on as he has time.

  4. Rachel Avatar

    Becky, I also raised an eyebrow at the “all ages” classification on the front cover, but like you (and Rael and Josh and his 83-year-old friend), I enjoy GOOD work for any age. I suspect plenty of adults buy YA and children’s books, and plenty of teens buy adult books. The labels have less to do with what people read and more to do with where to shelve things — necessary, I suppose.

    Rael, I’m so glad you’re enjoying Worlds Unseen! Thanks for telling me so often; it makes my day :).

    KM, thanks for stopping by!

  5. Josh Audenby Avatar
    Josh Audenby

    To me, age really doesn’t matter. My neighbor who just turned 83 is reading great fantasy books for tweens and teens. She reads books of adventure, action, and great heroes. When she goes back to her adult crime books, she tells me, “Give me a good fantasy any day. Don’t give me a crime mystery, with too much detail and thought, when you figure out who did it by the second chapter.”

  6. KM Wilsher Avatar

    Rachel, I’ve only read the first chapter, but it did have a children’s feel to me.

    I don’t know where I stand on that. I love some YA and don’t others. Some children seems more YA.

    I can’t wait to visit Tuesday and Thursday for your subsequent blog posts!

  7. Rael Avatar

    This is on my to-read list. Looks like a good one! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve wondered about the age-classification question myself, though in regards to Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga. That series would fit in either Children, YA, or Fantasy/Sci-fi also… To me the age classification doesn’t matter at all if the book is good, well-written, and family-friendly. Those are generally my favorite ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I look forward to your review, Rachel!

    (And I’m still loving your book! Maggie and Nicholas have just joined up with the gypsies – I love the little guy who’s attached himself to Maggie, and their story about why the birds and gypsies are friends is wonderful!)

  8. Rebecca LuElla Miller Avatar

    Great intro post, Rachel.

    For me age doesn’t matter. I read adult books when I was young and kid books as an adult. The really good books, in my opinion, reveal something different for each age group.

    This “all ages” was a marketing ploy WaterBrook came up with (I assume). I thought when I first heard about it that it would not work. After all, we writers are told to target a particular audience and not write for “everyone.” But I started seeing the DragonKeeper books shelved with adult books and with youth books, sometimes both in the same store. In other words, it really was getting a wider exposure.

    But if I had to pick, I’d say these are tweener books, the kind most suited for 6th-9th grades. And still, I love them.


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