Blog title
Hey! I've moved. You'll be directed to my new blog in 3...2...1...

Tools for Writers/From the Story Board to Vlogging/My Friday Blog Picks

Friday, April 29, 2011

On Wednesday of this week, Nancy J. Cohen over at The Killzone blogged about Visual Tools for Writers It was interesting and there are a lot of different ideas in the comment section as well if you'd like to check it out.

Jennifer Wilkov guest blogged over at Rachelle Gardner's blog on Vlogging Anyone?

Fellow Realms author, Andrea Boeshaar at Just The Write Charisma blogged on the topic of The Art of Marketing: Video Trailors . . . Do They Sell More Books? and Martha Rogers, also another Realms author also blogged about Resources and Tools for Writing this week.

So if you are looking for a variety of different resources you've got a lot right here. Anyone find anything else out there in cyberland?

Will a Royal Wedding Boost the Sales of Romance Novels?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I have to admit I've wondered if the Royal Wedding will increase the number of sales of romance novels sold that are set in England, be they historical, contemporary, secular, or inspirational.  What do you think? I'm very selfishly hoping so.  For all of us who have novels coming out that are set in England I think we may have a tiny advantage, but who knows, it's a wild and crazy business.

One week from today, my very first novel will officially be released. I've been more than a little nervous. But for some strange reason the butterflies winging around my stomach have settled into a kind of fluttering excitement and I've joined them in the dance. Afterall, it's only once that my first novel will wing its way into the hands of readers. Since I have a three book contract readers will also have the opportunity to read them as well and I hope and pray they do. And I hope each book is better than the last but that each book brings with it something new and unexpected. But this first book of mine will always be my first book and that's just way special.
 I encourage you to take a moment and go to Amazon and look inside this novel. I want you to party with me on line and just do it for the fun of it. Go there and look and click the little "like" sign if you do like what you see and read. And then someday in the future if you read this book leave a review on Amazon.

So what do you think about romance novels and the Royal Wedding? Will this event boost the sale of romance novels? I'm going to think positively here and say yes. Yes! It will! Because a lot of us love a good love story.

Remembering The Spirit of Truth

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Follow this link to an EWomen Devotional SPIRIT OF TRUTH and have an awesome EASTER.

Passion of the Christ/Good Friday/Remember Me

Friday, April 22, 2011


IMDB Passion of the Christ  If you want to read more about the movie and the cast.

I highly recommend this post by Jessica Patch regarding Passover if you didn't see it this week. What's the Point of Passover?

The Juggling Act of Writing A Series

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In the world of publishing I'm a newbie. My first book, Secrets of the Heart, releases May 3rd. However, it is already in stock on Amazon. Hint. Hint. :) I love what I'm doing and besides writing I'm working full time as a counselor. I've had a lot of experience juggling different life events and different types of schedules, but this one is interesting and challenging in a different sort of way.

You may have heard about the demands of writing a series, and marketing, and revisions. But when it's YOU carrying the responsibility of getting everything done and done well and you've never done it before it's a bit intimidating.

I'm currently working on revisions for Book Two called Chameleon. I've got a great editor. You know you have a great editor when she takes the time to teach you along the way. 

Secrets of the Heart just arrived in my home mailbox on Saturday. It's an awesome experience to hold your first book and kind of humbling and thrilling all at once when you think about all the folks who help pull it together. Just The Write Charisma 

But with each step things get a little more complicated. For instance, I'm trying to set up my first official book signing at a bookstore in town I just love. Not sure yet when that will happen. I'm researching and writing Book 3 which is due to my editor on October 1st. I am not a fast writer, but I'm becoming smarter at writing. I'm really brainstorming different ways to get my book into the hands of readers that will enjoy it. All of this takes time.

If you are writing a series and you are not yet published here are some tips I think may help you.

  1. Write the first three books in the series before you try to sell it. 
           Why? When you sell it your publisher may want the last book to be your first book. During the time I was trying to sell this series another acquisitions editor at a different publishing house asked me that question. I didn't have all three books written. Only the first one.

     2.   Use of time.

          Life will be much easier when you get that contract. You won't have to be writing and researching all the time when you could be spending time marketing, speaking, selling your product, and GASP, spending time with your family. :) 

     3.  Marketing.
          You can't afford to just sit back and think your book will sell its self just because it's out there on cyberspace bookshelves and the brick and mortar stores. You need to become a businessman or woman. Sure we all have different gifts and skills but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try all aspects of this gig.

Believe it or not this is just the tip of the iceberg. Do I say this to scare you? No. I share this to help you be prepared for your dream come true time. Dare to dream about a writing career. No one can guarantee publication but to have a shot at it you have to be ready when opportunity knocks. And it will knock. Are you ready to answer the door?

Tell me about your experiences writing a series or what you are doing to prepare for that all important opportunity. If you happen to find yourself on the same road as I am at the moment let me know how it's going.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Even Regency writers like Brad Paisley. :) Enjoy. And have a great Sunday.

Patty Smith Hall/Blog Pick of the Week/Seekerville

Friday, April 15, 2011

 Patty Smith Hall from Seekerville

A romantic at heart, Patty Smith Hall is an award winning, multi-published author. Her stories of encouragement and hope can be found in Guideposts, Journey and Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. Her Genesis award winning manuscript, Hearts in Flight, will be released by Love Inspired Historical in July, 2011. Patty resides in her home state of Georgia along with Dan, her husband of 28 years.  Patty's Blogspot               

If you are looking for Jillian today I'm blogging over at Just The Write Charisma where you will have a chance to win my new book, Secrets of the Heart. Come on over!

Dialogue. Let's Talk About Talk

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

If these elephants could talk in human words what do you think they'd be saying? "Hi there, want to go stare at the human zoo?"  Maybe the other would respond "Let's go shoot water at them. It's hot outside anyway." Well that's my brief thoughts about elephant talk. My thoughts about talking this week are all tied up in dialogue. I love it!

I've been told that I'm heavy on dialogue. Me and Elmore Leonard, right? :) What's not to like?

What do you like when you read a book? I'm passionate about dialogue though I am working hard to find a nice balance in my own work. I've recently discovered something about myself which I think is good. I write my first drafts almost completely in dialogue and then go back and layer in setting, the senses, etc.  Now I would think that this is not how most historical romance writers write. I imagine that most have a heavier hand on setting. That seems reasonable doesn't it? We need to be immersed to some extent in where the writer is taking us so we can become grounded in the story.

I think dialogue can really make a story move. Think about a few lines or paragraphs of dialogue that kept you riveted in a book. Look for pages where there is a lot of dialogue. Do you like what the author did or would you have preferred more narrative or description? Maybe it's just a matter of personal taste, maybe it's more than that.

So when you read a novel, do you like more setting than dialogue? More dialogue than setting? And if you say you want to read a nice balance then which would you choose to have a little more of? Why am I asking you all these questions? Because I'm starting book three and I want to explore another some techniques. Do you do stuff like this?

Inspiration Sunday/Chris Travis/The Hidden Hand of God

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chris Travis is a great guy with a huge heart. He used to preach at our church in Cincinnati and now he's in Manhatten, NY where he taught math to middle school kids in Harlem. What an experience he and Lindsay have had there these past few years. Now they are church building.

Chris came back to us recently and preached about God's Hidden Hand. If you want some inspiration then listen to this when you have time.  Our church is pretty big and I never got to know Chris and Lindsay real well but always admired the way Chris could reach an audience.  I encourage you to read this book and visit Chris's Blog and check it out. I think you will be reading more from Chris Travis over the years and I know that you'll be blessed. And no, he didn't put me up to this.

Everyday Video

"Be encouraged, the people that are in your life are not accidents."
                                                                                 ~Chris Travis

Friday Blog Pick/Rachelle Gardner's What A Fiction Editor Looks For

Friday, April 8, 2011

I took a little break from my blog last week in order to meet my deadline.  But I wanted to catch up with my blog picks that I do on Friday. This one over at my agent, Rachelle Gardner's blog was exceptionally good and of course reminded me of what my editor was going to be looking at when she reads my second book, Chameleon, The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book Two. I encourage you to be brave and fill your head with knowledge.   What A Fiction Editor Looks For

After you read through that post think about where you may need to concentrate some of your writing efforts. Here's one of mine:

"Make sure there are enough secondary characters, that they each play a role in the story, and that they’re intriguing in their own right." My issue isn't that my secondary characters aren't intriguing, in fact they love to be in the spotlight. My fantastic editor has had to encourage me not to do this so much. One of the reasons for that is the word count. I'm not supposed to go over 80,000 words, so that means I have to be certain I can tell my hero and heroine's story within that word count. If I get carried away with my secondary characters then it's hard to get everything to fit in the story.

Keep this in mind when you are writing for publication. What issues do you struggle with related to what a fiction editor looks for?

Does It Ever Get Easier?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I turned in my second book yesterday to my editor at Realms/Charisma House. Sometime next year you will read this book, Chameleon: The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book Two, I hope you'll read it, after it goes through a few more stages. The first thing I'll get back from my editor is the, Substantial Edit - that's the big one. And from this edit comes the revision letter. If you didn't get a chance to read Colleen Coble's guest blog post at Rachelle Gardner's blog then click here: Joy of Revisions

I want those of you who are on this publishing road with me and those of you who are still striving for publication to take hope, to have hope. It may be challenging and it may be that you're thinking this is way too hard, but I'm here to tell you that it is possible.

A lot of this business, in my limited experience, is about ATTITUDE. You can have a good one or a not so good one. The choice is yours. I had a different experience writing this book than I did my first book. By the way, my first book, Secrets of the Heart releases May 3rd! Hard to believe. I can't wait to hold that baby in my hands.

So what was different about writing this book?
  • Limited Time. Before I got my contract I had time to write at the speed I was able to write. Now, it's all about deadlines. I had some nailbiting experiences this time around. Could I keep my deadline? For awhile there it was touch and go. I don't like to admit that but it's true.
  • Change of Process. I tried something different this time and it helped my creativity but made my personal revision process difficult before I hit the send button. I wrote in scenes and not in a linear fashion. So I had a lot of great scenes but not an outline. I'm not a plotter. I'm a pantser. But I'm learning. I think I need to be somewhere in the middle. It took me more time than I wanted to spend on putting this book together. I'm sure my editor will let me know if it worked well or not.
  • Series vs. Stand Alone. I had to make sure that the characters from my first book melded well into my second book. Those characters I continued to use anyway. That was both fun and challenging. I don't know which is easier, but it does take planning. At one point in the book I was going to bring in three additonal characters from the first book and then I realized it really wasn't necessary. So you have to weigh these things out and that's where it might have been easier to be more of a plotter this time around.
So does it get easier? Not yet.:) But it does take you to a different level of learning that I hope will eventually make the process a little bit easier. If you love craft, and you love to learn, you will get better. I wouldn't be afraid to try new things, but you might want to have a better plan than I did if you are working outside the home in additon to your writing, or if you are raising children, taking care of parents, etc. We all have our responsiblities don't we?

So if you are a writer and you've already written two or more books what can you share that made it easier for you or what did you learn that you hope will make it easier the next time around?

If you are not published yet but have written two or more books, what was your experience?

And if you are a reader and not a writer what have you noticed about authors books after the first one? Better? Worse? The same?


Sunday, April 3, 2011

NEED SOME INSPIRATION? Watch the videos and read the story. Impressive. I think we'll be hearing a lot more about these teens and Vy Higgens. Personally, I'm going to adopt the hand shaking and foot stomping warm up as a part of my warm up sessions for my writing each day.

Gospel Teens Video