Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Thank you so much for joining us today for another interview in our ongoing series. For this interview, we sat down with multi-award-winning author Allen Brokken to talk about his book, Still Small Voice, book 2 in the Towers of Light Series! Allen Brokken is a Christian, husband, father, storyteller, and leader. He spent much of the last decade running youth programs that his children participated in as a volunteer while he was working full-time in technology leadership. He has since branched out into a number of different things, with writing being the main thing, but he also developing resources for homeschooling families. He also has a heart for encouraging fathers to connect with their families & puts out the dad joke of the day on his Twitter! Keep reading to find out more about Allen and his award-winning book, Still Small Voice!
MCA: Hi Allen, thank you so much for joining us again, and congratulations on yet another Mom’s Choice Award! Can you tell us the inspiration behind the second book in the Tower of Light Series, Still Small Voice?
Allen: My kids are the inspiration for my writing. As they were growing up, I wanted them to have amazing stories that instilled good values while being fantastic and engaging. Of course, there are “classics” like that, but I didn’t feel we should always go back to the last century to find reading material. So I wrote my own.
MCA: As the saying goes, If you want a thing done well, you have to do it yourself! What are some of the key lessons found in Still Small Voice?
Allen: This book focuses on children learning to listen to their conscience. Throughout the story, the children are faced with choices they didn’t ask for but must take a step back and listen to that Still Small Voice to know what to do.
MCA: Can you tell us more about the underlying theme of Still Small Voice?
Allen: Today, there’s a focus on self-care and doing what will make you personally happy. While that has its place, there’s a point where what’s going to make your child feel comfortable right now isn’t the right answer in the long run. That gets more complicated as kids age and become part of peer groups that aren’t necessarily looking out for their best interests. What seems like the right thing at the moment, the easy thing, or the thing your child might do to just get along with the crowd is wrong. Sometimes the person driving the bad choice might even be in authority over the child. In those moments, I always hoped my kids would listen to their conscience and do the right thing, even if it was hard. So as they were growing up, I wanted to tell a story about kids in a challenging situation learning to follow their conscience.
MCA: Can you tell us about some of the unique elements that can be found within Still Small Voice?
Allen: Still Small Voice is a fantasy story set in a world like the 1800’s frontier in the United States. That’s a very different setting from most fantasy stories and adds a unique flavor to the whole tale. Since I wrote it for my family as a family read-aloud, it has elements that appeal to different ages. It has the emotional depth and action older children need to stay engaged while providing some whimsy with animal hijinks to keep younger children from tuning out. One of the places I had the most fun writing about was the town of Loggerton. The story goes through a lot of heavy moments, and as a writer, I feel it’s essential to give the family a break from time to time to catch their breath. So Loggerton offers our heroes a chance to rest, and there’s a bit of comedy reminiscent of an old-timey show you might see at Silver Dollar City or Disney’s Frontier Land
MCA: What kind of response from readers have you received?
Allen: Families love the series. They enjoy that the siblings are “on the road,” which makes it even more of a family adventure novel. The animals are a hit for all ages, and parents appreciate the allegory around listening for the Still Small Voice.
MCA: This book is the second in a series. What can readers expect to see in the next book of the series, Fear No Evil?
Allen: Fear No Evil picks up just hours after Still Small Voice and keeps the action moving. This story is the children’s most demanding challenge yet as they get separated by tragedy on the river. All alone, lost in a valley of darkness, they’ll have to depend on their faith to fear no evil.
MCA: We can’t wait to hear more about it!