ACFW Conference – Mike Hyatt Keynotes

Mike Hyatt’s Platform

Mike gave two keynotes. In the first, he shared his professional and writing journeys. The second was focused on his book “Platform” which was released in May and soon became a New York Times bestseller.

                            “Best time to be an author”

Mike gave 5 reasons for this opinion, all of which are based around the overall position that the “power has now shifted to you” (the author). Previously, the power was very much in the publishers’ hands.

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ACFW Conference Recap – part 3

ACFW Conference Program

Once again, the day starts with worship and a devotional from Peter Leavell. Peter had an incredible story of learning to surrender to God through a really tough season.

Peter’s story involved letting go. For all of his 30+ years he had been able to rely on his own intelligence and abilities. Then he was struck down with a strange autoimmune disease that robbed him of his physical strength and some of his cognitive skills. He couldn’t work, couldn’t write. All he was left with was … God.

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“Everything”, Mary deMuth

Everything, Mary deMuth

I’ve been grappling with writing this review for a few days now. I’ve been fortunate to be part of Mary’s “Launch Team” for the book and so received an advance copy of the PDF. I’ve been blessed by participating in a closed group on FB with the other 100 or so members of that team.

I so wanted to be praising this book from the rooftops. All the other reviews (at present) are overwhelmingly positive which is fantastic. I worry that I’ve missed something significant.
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ACFW Conference Recap – part 2

Beyond the Borders Clan

Day 2 begins with breakfast in the main auditorium. I sit with fellow non-Americans, the “Beyond the Borders’ Chapter as we are known within ACFW.

This is fun as I get to meet Lucy, a fellow Aussie, Grace, one of two Kiwis and some other lovely ladies from Canada and Bermuda. Cathy, our “chief”, has organised us to sit together.

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ACFW Conference Recap – part 1

Last week I attended my first American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference in Dallas, Texas. I soon became aware that it’s probably the biggest Christian fiction writers’ conference, not only in America, but almost automatically as a result, the world.

This is based on 2 stats:

1. Almost 700 fiction writers were in attendance. Yes, fiction writers. There’s no non-fiction at this gig.
2. The number of agents (17) and editors (32) that attend. By all accounts there is no other Christian writing conference (in America) where more professionals turn up looking for new writers as well as offering their vast experience to many.

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What Readers Are Saying….

“Fast-paced, intriguing, thrill-ride of a read”

Mike Dellosso, author of Scream


“Not to be missed.”

Ronie Kendig, author of Nightshade


“Powerhouse story”

Dineen Miller, author of The Soul Saver


Endorsements for Angelguard


“Debut novelist Ian Acheson storms into the publishing world with Angelguard, the first in a supernatural trilogy that pits angels against demons, terrorists against civilians and a University professor against a Machiavellian businessman.  With shades of Peretti’s early novels, Acheson delves into the heavenly realm with both angelic and demonic characters taking centre stage in battles unseen by the humans they both pursue. The demons are grotesque, spiteful and exude evil in contrast to members of the Angelguard, stunning creatures, devoted to the Lord and ferocious warriors. As each supernatural being is unique in this tale, so too, the characters that inhabit the earth below. As tragedy strikes in each city, Acheson introduces the reader to a pivotal character, wounded by their losses yet imbued with a desire to fight against the fear that has infiltrated the world. Readers will identify with Thierry, Jack and Loren as survivors of each attack and be swept along as their paths merge in a way only God could have designed. Angelguard is a fast paced, arresting novel from the explosive beginning until the climactic conclusion, packed with frantic pursuits, intriguing suspense, witty dialogue and spiritual challenges. Ian Acheson is a writer not just worth watching but one well worth reading!”

Rel Mollet, Family Fiction correspondent,


“Fans of Frank Peretti’s Darkness novels will love Angelguard. Ian Acheson does a masterful job of weaving the seen with the unseen. Fast-paced, intriguing, this book is a thrill-ride if I ever read one!”

Mike Dellosso, author of Frantic, Scream, and Fearless


Adventure and the supernatural collide for an intriguing read in Ian Acheson’s ANGELGUARD! Witty angels, foul demons, and compelling humans all make for a read that is enjoyable and exciting. With Acheson’s unique writing style and a compelling plot, ANGELGUARD is not to be missed!

Ronie Kendig, author of Nightshade, Trinity and Talon


“Almost eerie in its realistic portrayal of today’s terrorist-riddled headlines, Angelguard is a powerhouse story that compels you to consider the supernatural battle waging around us every day. I for one will never again read about today’s events without thinking of them in light of God’s angel armies battling evil.”

Dineen Miller, author of The Soul Saver and Winning Him Without Words


“This book grabbed me from page one and wouldn’t let go. It kept me up past midnight, and then left me with fantastical dreams. Although it reads like a first novel, its fast-paced dialogue and intense action make this book unputdownable.

Angelguard refers to the angelic figures who guard those who pray. The story pulls back the curtains that separate the physical and the spiritual and imagines a realm inhabited with White Knights (the angels) wielding swords of brilliant light and murderous dark assassins (the demons) battling for the power to influence humankind.

First time author – Ian Acheson – has obviously been reading Frank Peretti! It’s very action heavy and lacking in character development. Saying that, the dialogue was sleek and smooth and the plot was never dull. Perhaps the book’s greatest achievement is how Ian portrays the prayers of the faithful tipping the balance, feeding the White Knights with supernatural strength – it’s powerful stuff.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed Angelguard, but greater things are to come from Ian Acheson. I’ll be keeping my ear to ground for the next book in the supernatural trilogy.”

James Warwood, Writer

A Lucky Dip

Strange title for a post on something so important as reading the Bible, but it reflects how I started out when I committed to read the Word each day.

I subscribe to a number of daily devotional newsletters but one I’ve subscribed to for years: John Eldredge’s Daily Reading (subscribe here, need to put in link).

Eldredge’s takes a snippet from one of his books and usually contains some Scripture whilst the second has a weekly theme, for example, “God honours truth”. It then uses a relevant bible verse supporting the theme with a small commentary. Read more

His Presence or His Presents

As I mentioned a couple of days ago I read a number of devotionals plus blog posts each day and I especially take note of a common theme that appears across multiple readings.

I love it when this occurs. The Lord has a particular lesson He wants me to learn and more often than not it’s something about His character.

Today was one of those moments. Read more

A Kid’s eye view of the world

Take a moment to think about how you felt when you were last on a great adventure or holiday. When you saw something incredible for the first time. Maybe it was the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower or your first time at Disneyland.

Or perhaps you can remember a time as a kid or when one of your kids saw something special for the first time? Read more

The Pursuit – Part 2

I titled the page in my journal “A New Dawn”. Underneath the title were my goals for the next year, a practice that I follow most years.

It was 1 January 2009, over 3 years ago.

The first goal read: “of transformation, being renewed in my mind”, a few lines down it read, “of spending quality time with God and His Word everyday!” Read more