Faith Forward Press
Faith Forward Press is a small imprint in the Nashville area that adheres to traditional, conservative, Christian content and values. FFP is founded upon the belief that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God and that Jesus is the one and only Son of God and Messiah. All fiction and nonfiction works are presented with the belief that God redeems all who choose to call upon the name of His Son, Jesus, for forgiveness of sin.
Lisa Heaton, Director of Stories and Big Dreams – Always busy with our next venture.
Kimberly Lazenby, Outreach Coordinator and Content Development – The most loyal word-nerd who puts up with way too much for way too little compensation.
Kim, a Texas native, wife, and homeschool mom, has a heart for the truth and a passion to know Jesus more each day. She is a site contributor on many of the Daybreak web pages. Kim spends countless hours reading my too-fast-to-be-accurate page entries and scouring the internet for new videos and articles to keep you up to speed.
If all that wasn’t enough, Kim works diligently to get Daybreak into the hands of ministries and readers, anyone who will read and share the free ebook. It’s almost ridiculous how well she speaks of me and believes in the work I’m doing for our Jesus. I can speak just as outrageously over her heart for Him and still fail to paint an accurate portrayal of how devoted she is to Jesus and to sharing His love with others.
On a personal level, Kimmie has become my best friend and ministry partner. God did the sweetest thing by bringing together two girls from some eight-hundred miles apart. Kimmie joined my Zoom Bible study called the Gathering back in the summer of 2020. In the matter of a few weeks we began talking daily. Best friendship became true sisterhood. I’m the older, bossier sister, but Kimmie is pretty plucky herself.
Like me, early after the Covid plandemic began, Kim saw the massive deception in the world and remains intent on warning anyone who will listen. I can’t tell you how her encouragement has helped to keep me focused on the Prize this past year.
Amy Longstreth, Editorial Coordinator – Book lover with the patience to read second drafts without asking why the writer keeps making the same mistakes.
Amy began working with me on You. Are. Loved. and has since been the first round of eyes editing my newest manuscripts. Over the past years, Amy has and still is reading back through my old material to make needed editorial changes that help each story be all it can be.
Amy is a certified ASL interpreter and a gifted teacher. She’s a wife and mom and servant of the Lord.
Bob Pulley, Video Pro and Songwriting Partner – The guy who is always up for any of my creative madness.
I can’t say enough good about this retired-from-the-Post-Office buddy of mine. Bob has people pulling him in ten different directions to help them with videos, yet always makes time to help me with whatever video questions I have. He’s taught me enough to allow me to brave filming videos myself, but as a perfectionist, is likely embarrassed by my production skills. Sorry, Bob.
Bob is responsible for the beauty that became the You. Are. Loved. trailer, (Watch here) which, by the way is a book trailer inviting you to step into the journey of knowing and embracing the spectacularly-unbelievable love that Jesus has for you. A PDF of the book is free online here, along with some videos that allow me to journey along with you. (You’ll see why I said, “Sorry, Bob.” Filmed at my desk during the quarantine, in the video you will hear my dryer clanging and phone ringing.)
Jason Minton, Tech Guy – And the guy who won’t take money because he’s awesome and loves Jesus and feels sorry for a fledgling ministry.
Jason has a full-time job and large family to keep him busy. Since the first launch of my Lisa Heaton Books page, Jason has been a source of cheap and often free help when I don’t know what I’m doing. He was my first video guy, the infamous “Jason, Jason, Jason” of my Bloopers Reel (found at about the 3:30 minute mark of this video).
Kelly Heaton, Man with the Money – Believed enough in a dream to plant the original seed money and helps out still when expenses are high and the bank balance is low.
This guy does what he does as a contractor so that I can do what I do as a writer. It shouldn’t surprise me that I fell for a carpenter. 😉 I wouldn’t take anything in the world for FFP’s CFO and man who has my coffee made when I wake.
Faith Forward Press was established in 2013 with one book and a thousand big dreams. Years later, our list of titles has grown to include:
Lisa’s Story of Failure and Faith and Writing
In my early years I wanted to be a published author way more than I wanted to be a good writer. I was a decent storyteller but a novice in style and understanding of the mechanics of writing. A few times I drummed up enough courage to send something to a literary agency, then waited with the hope that someone just might recognize my greatness, or at least my potential. Each time I received a generic rejection letter, it never occurred to me that my writing was the problem, that maybe I wasn’t great at all. I know now that when receiving those early manuscripts, an agent couldn’t possibly get past the poor writing to even appreciate my story.
Over the course of nearly a decade this went on with months, sometimes years between new submissions and subsequent rejections. I quit at least twenty times–maybe more. I swore I was done after each rejection and felt a little smaller and a lot farther away from my dream with every new dashed hope. Eventually, an agent took an extra few minutes to tell me I needed some writing classes. I can’t remember how he phrased it, but I thank you, Steve Laube, for going that extra inch. That was really all I needed, just something besides a form letter saying no thanks. Your honesty forced me to admit the problem was never the agents; it was the writer.
I kept writing and writing and kept believing that I had stories to tell that were worth reading. I still lacked understanding over the mechanics, but at least my style was getting better. When I finally wrote Unmending the Vail, I did submit directly to one Nashville publisher since I had a friend who worked there. This time the rejection letter included an invitation to try their self-publishing division.
Self-publishing?! That was out of the question for me since I needed to be validated and reassured that I was good enough. Didn’t self-publishing mean you were a total reject and failure? At a time when brick-and-mortar bookstores were closing across the nation, signing on as a new author with a traditional publisher was becoming less and less likely.
Within weeks of the rejection of Unmending the Veil, I knew the Lord was guiding me to, not self-publish but faith publish. What began with Abraham’s story of being called to a place he didn’t know led to my own faith forward press toward a career that would require me to learn to write for and seek the validation of an audience of One. I still had much to learn and a skill to develop, but those steps of faith were exactly what this just-okay writer needed to take to become one stronger and more grounded in her relationship with the actual Founder of Faith Forward Press, the One who called me to go to a place I didn’t want to go, then blessed me beyond measure for going anyway.
All these years later, I’m so thankful the Lord gives us what we need to grow us and stretch us and build our faith rather than what we want. I now have a growing business and ministry that allows me the freedom to maintain my voice in my writing. I’ve been told countless times how different my fiction work is compared to the Christian norm. I dig into the messiness of life that traditional publishers often won’t. I only now realize that’s part of the blessing. If I had signed on with a publisher, I would have allowed someone else to mold me into what’s more common in the industry. That’s the beauty of following Jesus, the Word, the original Storyteller. He has been able to sculpt me and the stories I’ve written without third-party interference. He is and always will be the Author of my faith.