Where did you get the idea for the “Black Bean Bandits?”
Just like in the story of Gideon from the Bible, we wanted the bandits to steal the town’s food supply. Since chili seemed like something a town out west could pride itself in we knew the bandits would be stealing a secret ingredient used in making the town’s chili. We combined this with the fact that in a western the bad guys always wear black, and it became pretty clear that the “Black Bean Bandits” were the perfect villains for the job.
I like how you transposed Gideon’s fleece into hot chili! Did you find it challenging to take a well-known Bible story and recreate it in a totally different culture and time period?
Yeah, we really wanted to keep a lot of the core elements of the Gideon story in place, and once we had the general concept for the story fleshed out, we had to re-read the story multiple times to integrate some of the smaller details. The Asherah pole Gideon cuts down in Judges is replaced by the sign the bandits post in town. The clay jars Gideon breaks open to reveal the torches inside are replaced with chili pots that our heroes bang loudly. When you know the story of Gideon, you’ll find a lot of fun hidden surprises like that in our version of the story.
Having the “Ponderin’ Points” is a terrific way to get parents and children talking about the story and lessons. What inspired you to include that section?
We wanted to create an entertaining story that carried an important lesson about standing up for what’s right. The Legend of Gid the Kid is primarily a fun retelling of the Gideon story, handled in such a way that it can be enjoyed by those who may not know the Bible story very well. We felt it was important to have a section in the back that helps families ask questions they may not have thought about when reading the story and can point them to the true story of Gideon in the Bible. Ultimately, we really hope to lead our audience into meaningful conversations about the topic of our book, which is why we have devoted a page of “Ponderin’ Points” that also includes activities and questions they can discuss as a family.
How would you advise children to deal with bullies?
If somebody is picking on you, or if you see someone being bullied, the first thing to do is to pray about it. Ask God to give you wisdom in dealing with them. God often uses difficulty in our lives to make us stronger in our spirit, and you’ll know when He has called you to make a stand.
Secondly, you need to seek support from your parents and teachers. If they are aware of the situation they will most likely be able to help you resolve it peacefully.
Thirdly, as our book says, “doing the right thing ain’t always easy.” Sometimes, taking a stand against a bully will make things worse, but you can’t let your fear of how others might respond keep you from doing what you know is right. Are you ready to make a stand against what is wrong, even if it means facing more trouble?
Lastly, before you confront a bully, find others to stand with you. You don’t have to stand alone. It is more difficult for a bully to pick on several who stand together than on one who stands alone. Again, if you aren’t being bullied, but an unpopular kid is, God may be calling you to stand up with them and be their protector.