Welcome to the blog of author Tricia Goyer!

Friday, November 30, 2007


Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book, If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for.

~~Alice Walker

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday's Tip...Writing the perfect scene by Randy Ingermanson

Writing the Perfect Scene

Having trouble making the scenes in your novel work their magic? In this article, I'll show you how to write the "perfect" scene.

Maybe you think it's impossible to write the perfect scene. After all, who can choose every word perfectly, every thought, every sentence, every paragraph? What does perfection mean, anyway?

Honestly, I don't know. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Style is a matter of taste.
But structure is pretty well understood. Maybe you can't write the perfectly styled scene. But you can write the perfectly structured scene. And that's a whale of a lot better than writing a badly structured scene.

A scene has two levels of structure, and only two. They are:
The large-scale structure of the scene
The small-scale structure of the scene

Read the rest here!

Also, check out Randy's blog for interviews with Jeff Gerke who is launching his own Publishing House! Cool.

Also, stay tuned...I'm being interviewed by Randy in a few weeks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Manufacturing art

Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand -- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods -- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.

~~Willa Cather

Monday, November 26, 2007

Some scribes you should know...

This list is from Wellness Walkers.com

African American :

Inspirational Romance: Marilynn Griffith

Inspirational Women's Fiction:Stacy Hawkins Adams

Inspirational Contemporary Fiction:Victoria Christopher Murray

Inspirational Urban Fiction: Michelle McKinney Hammond

Inspirational Break Out Author of the Year: Sherri L. Lewis


Inspirational Historical Romance: Tricia Goyer

Inspirational MultiCultural Fiction: Marilynn Griffith

Inspirational Suspense: Brandilyn Collins

Inspirational Science Fiction: Donita K. Paul

Inspirational Young Adult Fiction: Melody Carlson

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Little Thanksgiving Trivia!


1623–July 30, Governor Bradford ordered a day of prayer for their withering harvest. Rain soon fell and the crops were saved.

1777—General George Washington proposed a national holiday that would combine harvest home with a more formal day of giving thanks.

1789—The year of his inauguration, President Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving proclamation—but it lacked popular support.

1798—President John Adams designated May 9, 1798 as a time for “solemn humiliation, fasting and prayer.”

1815—President James Madison restored the observance of Thanksgiving on April 13.

1827–Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale begins petitioning presidents and government officials to make Thanksgiving Day a national holiday.

1861–First Pilgrim celebration

1863–President Lincoln issued two Thanksgiving proclamations—August 6 & the last Thursday of November.

1864--Thanksgiving has been celebrated on the last Thursday of November since this time.

1941–In December, a Congressional Joint Resolution specified that the holiday be permanently set on the fourth Thursday in November.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lynne Thompson's Writer's Corner

Lynne kindly let me share this with you all!

Magazine Writing Q & A
(Answers to my most asked questions)

Question: Should I send an e-query or send my query letter in the mail?
Answer: Personally I love e-query. No envelopes or stamps to mess with and usually a quicker reply. You need to check though with the market guide to see if the publisher accepts e-queries. Most do, but there are a few who hang to the old tried and true through sleet and snow group.

Question: Do I have to send in the entire article or is a query enough?
Answer: Well, the answer is both. You need to send the query to get the assignment. If you are a beginning writer, or new to that particular magazine, they may want to see the entire manuscript first. This is called “on spec” and means you may do all the work and they will still reject you without pay, but if they like your style they will probably use you again. It's a way to get “in the door.”

Question: Can you send the same query letter to different magazines at the same time?
Answer: Yes, but...
First, be sure and tell them in the query that you are sending this as a simultaneous submission (you don't need to list to whom). Second, I'm hoping that your query isn't a “shotgun” letter ie. sending the exact letter to everyone. Each query should reflect the individual voice and needs of that particular magazine.

Question: When can I send my published article in to another magazine?
Answer: That depends. First, it depends on the kind of rights the first magazine purchased. If they purchased “All Rights” then you can't sell the article again. It belongs to them forever. Personally, I don’t sell “All Rights.” If you sold “First Rights” which is what I sell, then you need to refer to your contract or writer's guidelines. Most magazines secure their right to that article for 60 days after it runs in their publication. Be sure and check before trying to sell the article again, called “Reprint Rights.”

Question: How many rejection letters did you get before you finally sold an article?
Answer: This is a dangerous question. If I said 20, and you've received 21 rejection notices, does that mean you're going to quit writing? The reality is, God is looking for obedience. So if you've received 100 rejections, and He says keep going, then that is your answer. I would suggest, however, that you keep working to improve your craft.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Stepping Stones

This just in from Rita Gerlach!

Stepping Stones is now an online magazine for writers. New features have been introduced, such as ‘Advice from the Pros’. You can read what advice Brandilyn Collins and Tricia Goyer have to offer this month. Also, there are two interviews you may want to read, one for suspense author Wanda Dyson, the other for fiction writer Susan Page Davis.

Rita asked authors, ‘If you only had one classic to read, what title would it be?’ Fun! Go on over and find out what your favorite author/s had to say.

Also, Check out ‘Comfort Foods for Writers’. A yummy recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cheese Cake, and a Pumpkin Bread recipe from Hershey awaits! There are other recipes in the sidebar link. One is from Christian cookbook author Jennifer Cote for her luscious caramel sauce.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fire and smoke...

"You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke."

~~Arthur Polotnik

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Writing advice from Mary DeMuth

10 Ways to Get Started in Writing

Here are some specific ways you can hone your writing skills this year. This list is by no means exhaustive, but if you incorporate some of these ten tasks into your writing life, improvement awaits you (how's that for passive voice?!):

1. Find a writing mentor and establish a prayer team. I fledged my way through eight years of writing before I met my mentor (who is also one of my closest friends). Although I definitely see those eight years as greatly important in terms of learning to labor in obscurity, I see the last four years as more fruitful because of my friend Sandi. She helped me craft my first sellable query letter. She rejoiced with me when I actually sold an article. She attended Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference with me.

Even more important: consider pulling together a team of praying folks who will lift you up as you write. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without my Writing Prayer Circle. You’ll see them thanked in every acknowledgment section of my books. Stop right now and pray about who God might want to bring into your circle of prayer. Send out an invitational email, then faithfully email your team on a regular basis. Prepare to be blessed.

2. Start blogging. If you would like to make yourself write (and volume of writing is very helpful in developing your voice), start a blog. Go to http://www.blogger.com/. Follow their instructions and begin posting. I am not techno-savvy, but I was able to do this with little pain. Here are some of my favorite writing industry blogs:
· http://www.michaelhyatt.com/fromwhereisit/ (Industry insider Michael Hyatt’s blog),
· http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/blog/ (Randy Ingermanson’s amazing blog for fiction writers)
· http://terrywhalin.blogspot.com/ (A very, very good resource for writers)
· http://www.themastersartist.blogspot.com/ (I post here on Tuesdays). There are more amazing blogs listed on the right of this page. Do yourself a favor and check them out.
· http://noveljourney.blogspot.com/ (Novelists are interviewed there nearly every day!)
· http://www.mywritingmentor.blogspot.com/, (Tricia Goyer’s mentoring blog)
· http://www.chipmacgregor.com/ (an agent’s perspective on the industry, very valuable)
· http://wildfiremarketing.blogspot.com/ (a marketer’s perspective)

3. Join a writer's group. If you haven't been critiqued yet, it is important that you accustom yourself to this. If you happen to live in Dallas, you can look up The Dallas Christian Writers Guild or the Rockwall Christian Writer's Group. From the Rockwall group, three of us split off to form Life Sentence, a more intensive critique group. I would not be the writer I am today without Leslie and D'Ann.

There are also amazing online groups that provide information, community, and sometimes critique. Here are a few:
· The Writers View 1, for professional writers. Format: Every week we pose two industry or writing related questions. Both professional panelists and members give valuable information. Go here to join.
· The Writers View 2, for new and upcoming writers (same format as above). Go here to join
· American Christian Fiction Writers: Cost is 40 dollars a year. You get a discount for the annual conference and access to loops and great teaching. Critique groups often spur off this larger group.
· Fellowship of Christian Writers
· Christian Writers Group International
· American Christian Writers
· The Writers Information Network
· Christian Writers Guild

4. Go to a writer's conference. I personally recommend Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference. Last year I taught there about the spiritual life of the writer. Mount Hermon is where I got my start. An amazing Christian fiction conference is the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. Go here for more information.

There are MANY other amazing conferences. Here's a comprehensive list.

5. Set a weekly word count goal. For the novel I just handed in, I set a 10,000 a week word count goal. For my non-fiction (since it involves more research) my goal is 6000. I used to think that many words were impossible, but once I set the goal, I met it. If you are serious about writing and improving your craft, set goals.

And set deadlines, too. Tell yourself you must finish an article or book by a certain day and then EXCEED that deadline.

Give yourself baby-step goals. Want to break into publication? Set a query letter writing goal per week, or an article-producing goal per week. Write a short story a month, or three poems.

6. Pay it forward. Do some writing for free, whether it be a long-thought out letter to a struggling friend or a non-profit publication needing your words. When you’re starting out your journey, there will be opportunities to do this. My teenage daughter got her first writing publication (not paid) through our church’s magazine. Not bad, considering the circulation is 10,000. Not only did she minister to many, but now she has a publishing clip to show magazines when she starts pursuing publication.

7. Do something you've never done before. Terrified of poetry? Pick up a book of sonnets and try to construct one. Non-fiction proposals freak you out? Write one. Here's a 50 page tutorial I’ve written that you can purchase for ten dollars on my website.

Terrified of query letters? Don’t even know what they are? Check out this free query tutorial on my website. Never written a short story? Just do it! Stretch your wings; flex your writing muscles. Doing a variety of writing will also help you hone your voice.

8. Read great books and articles.
· Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers Market Guide
· Writers Market Guide
. Sandra Glahn’s amazing tutorial about great writing
· Sandra Glahn’s information about magazine writing:
· Sandra Glahn’s How to Break Into Publishing:
· On Writing by Stephen King. A bit raw, but one of the BEST books on fiction writing I've ever read.
· Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Again, a bit raw, but very, very good advice. Anne writes crazily (if there is such a thing) but it works. She's got a terrific voice.
· Randy Ingermanson’s Advanced Fiction Writing Ezine
9. If you've had a novel in your head for days (months, years, decades), why not make this year the year you write it? November is National Novel Writer's Month. My friend D'Ann wrote a novel in a month that way, later honing it. It garnered the attention of a really great agent! Here's a link: http://www.nanowrimo.org/. If you aren't sure how to start, check out Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake method.

10. Get your head (and heart!) on straight. Writing for publication is a difficult journey, particularly if you’re a Christian and don’t want to fall into prideful temptations. My notes about the inner journey of the writer addresses this issue of pride and many others. You can download it free here!

There you go! I hope this has given you a good foundation for exploring writing. I look forward to hearing about your writing journey.

With joy,
Mary E. DeMuth
Silly Bio Stuff:
Mary E. DeMuth loves to help folks turn their trials to triumph, particularly Pioneer Parents. Her books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), Watching the Tree Limbs, Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress, 2006), and Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House 2007). A mother of three, Mary lives with her husband Patrick and their three children in Texas. They recently returned from Southern France where they planted a church. She blogs nearly-daily at www.relevantblog.blogspot.com . Check out her newly redesigned website at

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published."

~~Russell Lynes

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Interview on Unlocking Secrets for Women!

The below is from an interview I did with Candace on her show...

Tricia Goyer is a amazing writer, mother and strong women of faith, who over came many obstacles that add depth and experience to her writing. Tricia's latest book, Generation X Parenting will help you recognize the challenges faced by today's parent. Listen to Candace's exclusive interview with Tricia as they find they have lots in common! After listening to Tricia and Candace speak, maybe it will inspire you to start your own dream of writing!Website: http://www.triciagoyer.com/

Listen/Watch this Interview

Monday, November 12, 2007

I see myself clearer...

“I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

~~Joan Didion

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Don't Let the Stories Die!

Veteran's Day is a time to remember:
In 2000, I got my idea for what came to be my first historical novel, From Dust and Ashes. Wanting to know more about the 23 men who liberated Mauthausen concentration camp, I contacted the 11th Armored Division who put me in touch with six of the veterans. These men then invited me to attend the 59th reunion of their division. I wasn't expecting that at all. I thought they'd point me to a good research book or allow me to interview them over the phone.

I felt SO unworthy to meet with these men. I knew very little about WWII, and I didn't want my inexperience to show. Not to mention the $1000+ for airfare, hotels, rental car for a book I didn't have a contract to write.

I urged a friend to go with me, and I've been so thankful we went. The men were caring and opened their hearts to me. They shared stories with me that they hadn't shared with anyone before. They laughed. They cried. They took my hands and thanked me for caring about their story. They hugged me and kissed my cheeks.
When it came to writing my novel, I wasn't writing about fictional characters. I was writing pieces of Charlie's story, bits of Arthur's experiences. The memories that made LeRoy cry made it into my book. The snapshots that Tarmo carried around in his mind for 60 years transformed into scenes in my novel (and the novels to follow!).

I get many letters from readers who say that my novels come to life on the pages--that's because the men's experiences came to life to me as I looked into their eyes and saw glimpses of young heroes. Also, the following year I went to Europe and walked the streets of the SS housing with a man who'd been nine-years-old when the camp opened near his home. Again, I "saw" the story in his eyes as he shared--this time from someone on the outside.

There was an added benefit to this diligent research that I didn't expect. After my second novel Night Song came out I received a letter from a veteran. He made a list of twenty minor research points that I'd gotten right, and then he asked, "One thing I didn't understand was the faith element of this story. Can you tell me more about your faith in God?"


Because I had done the research, I'd was able to share about my Jesus with a veteran who has since passed away.

One more fun thing I didn't expect. One of the men I met at the reunion was Pete. Pete was a medic--the one medic I met. Years later I received a letter from a reader who had read From Dust and Ashes. She was a survivor of Mauthausen--actually, she was born there. When she was 3-weeks-old she was close to death. When the gates were open a medic spent a full day lancing and cleaning infected boils on her skin, saving her life. She asked me if I knew any medics. I knew one, and I passed on his phone number. It turns out Pete was the one who saved her life! They have since met on numerous occasions.

If I hadn't gone to that reunion I wouldn't have met Pete, and I wouldn't have been able to connect him with Hana--what a God thing!

Of course, I do have regrets concerning research, too. In my most recent series on the Spanish Civil War I received a letter from a SCW veteran who said he was willing to help me with research. The letter got put into my "very important" pile on my desk and weeks and months passed. I pulled it out again, and I planned on calling him when I heard from someone else that this man had passed away. That has happened more than once with men who offered to be interviewed, and I'm always regretful of the "one more story" I missed. After all, once gone they are gone for good.

If you have a veteran in your life ... today is the perfect day to reach out--to listen to his or her story. Don't let the stories die, when you have a chance to make a difference.

Below are photos of a few of the men I've interviewed.
To read some of their stories, go to:
To watch my NEW video about my WWII Liberators Series, click here.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Don't dress up...

One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you're maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones.

~~Stephen King

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Time Management

Hello and good morning!

Check out my It's Real Life blog this month. On Tuesdays and Thursday's I'll be posting Time Management tips! As writers and moms and wives and workers and...well, all the other "people" we are, it's hard to find the time to do it all.

Today is an awesome perspective by Rene Gutteridge. So pop on over!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Anyone relate?

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

~~Douglas Adams

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Getting Along with your Characters!

I found this over at Susan May Warren's and Rachel Hauck's writing blog, Book Therapy.

Its a contest...and it will help you!

Check it out...

Ask the Doc: Contest!

We at Book Therapy care about your WIP, and its problems...

We know that getting along with your characters can be a challenge. They're moody, or introverted, or maybe they simply don't want to cooperate with your plot. Worse, sometimes they refuse to come out and play! We understand...and want to help!! Here's your chance to get real advice from book doctors trained to help you fix your fiction.

What is your MOST VEXING issue in your current wip? Go to the Ask the Doc entry form, write your answer, and be eligible to win a copy of NOAH LUKEMAN's THE PLOT THICKENS -- 8 WAYS TO BRING FICTION TO LIFE~ ! A fascinating book about CHARACTERIZATION and how to create juicy conflict. A MUST HAVE for every fiction writer's library!

5 additional winners will be drawn from the entries to receive a copy of either a Susan May Warren or Rachel Hauck novel.

Winners will be announced in My Book Therapy at the end of the month!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Direct Contact with...me!

Writing wasn’t easy to start. After I finally did it, I realized it was the most direct contact possible with the part of myself I thought I had lost, and which I constantly find new things from. Writing also includes the possibility of living many lives as well as living in any time or world possible. I can satisfy my enthusiasm for research, but jump like a calf outside the strict boundaries of science. I can speak about things that are important to me and somebody listens. It’s wonderful!

~~Virpi Hämeen-Anttila

Saturday, November 3, 2007


You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.

~~Neil Gaiman

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday's Tip: Pros and Cons of entering contests by Deb Raney

*A chance to get your book in front of readers who might not otherwise pick them up (especially a chance to share your faith with secular readers.)

*Winners get free advertising via the contest Web site, print ads in publications like Romantic Times BookClub, RWR, etc., and word of mouth.

*A trophy, medal or certificate to remind myself that someone once thought I was a decent writer. ; )

*Publishers seem to like being able to call you an “award-winning author” (next best thing to “best-selling author”?) on book covers, in endorsement taglines, catalog copy, advertising, etc.

*It’s nice to have a list of awards to put on your bio and as part of proposals. This is probably more valuable to unpublished writers than published, but either way, awards are a way of recognizing excellence (or at least what several people perceived as excellence.) I’ve also had publishers put mention of the awards on the cover of the books when they went back to press, which is a nice and permanent recognition.

*It can get expensive. My publishers are almost always willing to provide a case or so of books for entries, but I pay the entry fees and shipping out of my own pocket. I enter 8-10 contests a year and spend around $2-300 in entry fees and postage. (Fees range anywhere from $15 to $40 plus 3-5 books per entry, plus shipping.)

*It can be time consuming filling out entry forms, packaging up books, etc.

*It can feel like a rejection and a waste of money if you don’t even final.

*It can give you a severe case of puffed-uppedness if you let a win go to your head.

*It can give you a false sense of your book’s success since award-winning does NOT equate bestselling (in fact, from what I hear, often the opposite it true.)

*Some of these awards have been heavily “overrun” with erotica categories/titles, so that in any advertising (or even an internet search) your book may appear alongside one with a very suggestive cover or title.

A few contests I routinely enter because of their value in recognition (prestige), Web presence, advertising, etc. include:
The RITA (judged by published authors)

The HOLT Medallion (judged by readers)

The National Readers’ Choice Award (judged by readers)

The Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence (judged by readers and professionals)

The Booksellers’ Best Award (judged by booksellers)

The ACFW Book of the Year Award (judged by writers and professionals)

The FH&L Inspirational Readers Choice Contest (judged by readers)

The Golden Quill (judged by readers)

More Than Magic Contest (judged by ??)

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence (judged by readers and booksellers)

Winter Rose Contest (judged by ??)

I’ve stopped entering certain contests (including several in the above list) because they really don’t offer anything in return—no mention on a Web page, no ads in publications for winners and finalists, very little prestige associated with the award, etc. And while I still see getting my book in front of secular readers as an important reason for entering, I’ve had to weigh each contest’s offer carefully against the expense and time involved.

The Christy Award and The Christian Book Awards (formerly the Gold Medallion) are the granddaddy of CBA awards for fiction, but books have to be entered by the publisher, so those are out of my hands.

Some authors find more value in contests judged by readers, others feel those judged by their peers or by booksellers carry more weight. It sort of depends on what you see as the most important reasons to enter.

The above are all contests for published authors (and most lean toward romance) but many of them have a counterpart for unpublished authors ( Golden Heart/RITA, IRCC/Touched by Love, etc.)

There are also contests for both published and unpublished for more specialized genres such as the Daphne du Maurier for mystery writers.

Deborah Raney
The novel that inspired the award-winning film from World Wide Pictures
REMEMBER TO FORGET, a Clayburn Novel from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster
Visit my website at: http://www.deborahraney.com