Daily Archives: May 10, 2012

Wooding bases ‘Dagger’ on personal experiences

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By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Dan Wooding’s career must rate as one of the most unusual in journalism. For he has gone from being a London correspondent for the National Enquirer and a staffer on the Sunday People and the Sunday Mirror, two of Britain’s raciest tabloids, to an undercover reporter and campaigner for persecuted Christians in the restricted countries of the world.

And now international journalist, Dan Wooding, 71, founder of the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), has put his many years of exciting and often dangerous travel to good use in Red Dagger, his 44th book — and his first novel.

The fast-moving book, much of which is based on his many years of traveling to some of the world’s hot-spots, features a Palestinian terrorist who belongs to the Red Dagger terror group from Gaza, a place that Wooding has visited several times, an Irish double agent, and a drunken American journalist who moves to London and spends too much time in a pub called “The White Hart” which had been nicknamed “The Stab in the Back” because that is where tabloid journalist gathered to verbally stab each other in the back.

Wooding knows all about this journalists’ pub as it was there that he recommitted his life to Christ back in the late 1970s and went to Uganda to write “Uganda Holocaust” with Irish-Canadian, Ray Barnett, who later founded the African Children’s Choir.

Each one of the characters finally finds redemption in their twisted lives, but not before much mayhem has been committed and the world had stood on the edge of complete disaster.

“Red Dagger is the result of more than 20 years of loving work,” Wooding told me. “It began when a colleague told me that I should put together a novel that incorporated all the years of personal experiences I have had since I first entered journalism with The Christian in London back in 1968.”

This, said Wooding, has included the time he was arrested and locked up in a cell in Lagos, Nigeria. Also when he and a colleague were in a hotel in San Salvador, El Salvador, when a car bomb exploded in the parking lot and badly damaged the hotel and, finally when he and his wife Norma were held up by terrorists in Bethlehem and were going to be shot by them. That was until a quick-thinking Arab taxi driver saved their lives by explaining they were visitors from the USA.

“Although none of these experiences are used in the book as they occurred, they helped me to imagine many of the scenes included in the book,” said Wooding. “Also, my travels to Gaza were great background to writing up the many scenes there.”

Red Dagger has already received interest from movie producers and praise from various celebrities who have read it.

They include veteran American entertainer, Pat Boone, who said, “Dan Wooding’s latest book, Red Dagger, is a gripping novel about terror, betrayal and redemption. Much of it is set in Gaza, but also features a Northern Ireland terrorist and an American journalist who, after moving to London, finds himself spending too much time in a bar called ‘The Stab in the Back’ with other drunken hacks. The conclusion of the book has a most dramatic twist that held my attention right to the very end. I enthusiastically endorse Red Dagger, which is written by one of the world’s most traveled journalists.”

Rock keyboard legend, Rick Wakeman, about whom Wooding penned his biography called “Rick Wakeman – the Caped Crusader” – foreword by Elton John – wrote, “Terrorism is a dangerous subject both in reality and in fiction. To bring Christianity in as a major part of the plot is potentially even more dangerous, but Dan Wooding portrays all his characters as both very real and very believable in this novel that literally sets off at a tremendous pace from the very first page. I found myself thinking very visually whilst reading it and that’s the secret of any good novel.”

So if you want to enter the dark and dangerous world of international terrorism and be inspired with its conclusion, this is the book for you, or even for a friend who loves good novels.

To purchase a copy of “Red Dagger” (Tanswell Books), go to: http://www.lulu.com/shop/dan-wooding/red-dagger/paperback/product-11050174.html;jsessionid=89997AD165003FF2695A468AB262C07D
It is also available as an e-Book file download.

You can also get it at http://www.amazon.com/Red-Dagger-Dan-Wooding/dp/0578056534

If you live in the USA and would like an autographed copy of the book, just send a check for $20 (which includes postage) made out to Dan Wooding, and mail it to Dan Wooding, PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609. For overseas orders, please add a further $3 USD. Also, please put in the memo section of the check, “For Red Dagger.”

To Christian entrepreneurs: Have patience, pray often

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Have you ever tried to sell something that you did not believe in 100 percent? People contend the best sellers are those who

can sell themselves out of a paper bag. But, what if these clever individuals lack the belief in the product? Are you less or more likely to purchase it? Business owner, I tell you today that you must be able to convey to your customers that you have a passion for your product. Forget about turning a buck so quickly, and get to the root of why God has called you to the world of entrepreneurship – to make someone else’s life better.

There are stories upon stories about entrepreneurs who have taken their desire to make a needed service into a profitable corporation. The one I enjoy reading is Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, an online shoe and apparel store.  Legend has it that the inspiration of Zappos.com, which is based in Henderson, Nev., came about because Hsieh could not find a pair of brown Airwalks in the mall. Hsieh wanted everyone to have the chance to purchase the best brands. Better yet, the brands are never out of stock. Hseih did not have a passion for shoes, but he does have a passion for providing customers with exceptional customer service. I can attest to the quality of the company’s customer service.

In the business world, patience is often overlooked. Everybody wants to be first. Do not confuse patience with dragging your feet. Patience involves devising a detailed map or steps to achieve a goal. If you don’t practice patience in business, mistakes occur or opportunities are missed. The Bible says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience” (Proverbs 19:11, NIV). Whenever you start to get in a rush to jump into a venture, think about your relationship with Christ. If you have ever brought a wayward child to Christ, you would understand. You plant seeds along the way, and the greatest reward is that person eventually accepts Christ in their heart. Just imagine if you would have thrown Christianity at them – would you have received the same end result? Plus, there is no timetable. You ask God to deliver the tools you need to make the gift He has given specifically to you to mature in time.

The calling to become an entrepreneur is not an easy one to us, but God placed it in your heart because He knows your abilities. Some of you might doubt yourself or others might attempt to channel their negative energy onto you, but God will make a way. I was one of those people who had no other choice but to let Him guide my steps. Prayer and mediation is a big part of what keeps me doing this entrepreneurial thing every day. Pray consistently. It is not the bank loan or the customers or clients that will keep you afloat, it is your devotion to the One who gave you the skill set to take the journey.

It is interesting how God places things in our hearts. The best advice is to never challenge His moves. The more you embrace and pray for Christ’s guidance in a business venture, the clearer the vision for you becomes. I always tell individuals who approach me about marketing, it the process is not one that takes place overnight. According to Entrepreneur magazine, the ideal strategic marketing takes at least six months. But the mindset is understandable. The world is the same way. But, as believers, we don’t have to replicate the world.

Contact Tonya via Twitter @twhitaker1974 or at admin@mediaspencer.org.