Welcome to the blog of author Tricia Goyer!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Centurion's Wife


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Centurion's Wife

Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2009)


Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

Davis Bunn is an internationally acclaimed author who has sold more than six million books in fifteen languages. His audiences span reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include My Soul To Keep, and Full Circle. A sought-after lecturer in the art of writing, Bunn was named Novelist in Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University.

He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write.

Her first novel, a prairie love story titled Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979. This book was followed by more than 75 others.

After Love Comes Softly was published, Oke found her readers asking for more. That book led to a series of eight others in her Love Comes Softly series. She has written multiple fiction series, including The Canadian West, Seasons of the Heart and Women of the West. Her most recent releases include a beautiful children's picture book, I Wonder...Did Jesus Have a Pet Lamb and The Song of Acadia series, co-written with T. Davis Bunn.

Janette Oke's warm writing style has won the hearts of millions of readers. She has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medallion Award, The Christy Award of Excellence, the 1992 President's Award for her significant contribution to the category of Christian fiction from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and in 1999 the Life Impact Award from the Christian Booksellers Association International. Beloved worldwide, her books have been translated into fourteen languages.

She and her husband live nearby in Alberta, Canada.


Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma.

Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions.

Head of the garrison near Galilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death--and missing body--is causing such furor.

This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, the story unfolds the testing of loyalties--between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Centurion's Wife, go HERE

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Brainstorming with friends.

Hi friends. I don't know if you caught my tweet yesterday about my filing to-do list, but while "getting things done" I came across this fun excersize for writers that I did at a retreat a few years ago.

Have a writing party...or just gather a few friends.

For you writers out there . . . have you ever thought of brainstorming with friends? You don't need a big number. How about 11 or the same could be done with half that number. (Yes, 5 1/2 authors would work fine.) Here's what we did. Try it!

The writer who is "up" gets 1 hour and 15 minutes. (We limit it to three a day, because our brains get fried.)

Then she uses about fifteen minutes to talk about the idea--sharing as much as she knows about plot, characters, setting, etc.

Then the writer explains her needs. Some people need help with minor plot points and others need ideas for the whole book. (Yes, I can claim in part the success of dozens of CBA authors :-)

This is when things get crazy, and we play the "what if" game. One person has an idea. If it's a great idea we build on it. Not-so-great ideas are put aside. Ideas fly around the table and plot, conflict, motivation, characterization forms before our very eyes. Excitement builds as we all jump in with our brilliance. People come up with things I never would have thought out, and then others build on that. And who knew, I even came up with a few good ideas too.

During the last twenty minutes, we stop all the ideas and ask everyone to write a "List of 10". This means on a sheet of paper we write down ten things the author can do with the book. It can be a list of scenes, or conflicts, or more ideas.

Finally, we go around and read our lists. Someone's one or two more ideas are thrown in, but for the most part our work is done.

What do you think? Is this something that could work for you?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What is required to "succeed" in this business?

Guest Blogger Mary DeMuth! Mary...I want to be more like you!

God calls some to write, but not all respond to the calling. And even when we respond, that doesn’t guarantee publication. (Nor does it mean that if God called us to write that He automatically means publication).

But if we peel away God’s calling and look underneath, there are a few things needed to succeed in this occupation:

Thick skin and a tender heart. Some folks develop a thick skin but they grow bitter with each rejection. The key is relinquishing the pain to Jesus, asking Him to tender us in the process, to bow up under the humiliation, to get to the place in our walk with Him that we enjoy identifying with Him in humility. (Think of writing as one big sanctification journey if you dare.)

Tenacity. I can nearly predict who will succeed in this industry when I first meet a writer. Those who believe they are God’s gifts to the literary world, shun feedback, and prima-donna their way through the process don’t last long because they never accept criticism and keep a thin skin.
You can read an article about divas I wrote for Writer’s Digest. But those who accept advice, weather feedback, and keep at it succeed. Call it dogged perseverance.

Forgiving hearts. No matter how far you’ve ventured in this writing business, you will encounter situations and people where forgiveness is needed and warranted. Folks are messy. I am messy. Two messies together make for mud pies to the nth degree. For some it may mean forgiving a judge or an editor or an unkind (or kind!) critique partner. For others it may mean acknowledging that the little green monster is alive and well, recognizing that envy has eaten at your heart. Those folks look at others (and we’ve all done this) and think things like, “I can write circles around him. Why is he published and I’m not?” or “She just started and has an agent already. I’ve been at this ten years with no agent in sight.”

Humility (which relates to my first point). Everything in this life, including the writing life, is a great gift. Accept the accolades and the acrimony in stride. It’s not about you. I remember author Liz Babbs telling me something that changed my life. She said, “If I am ever famous, it’s to make God famous.” He gives us the sun and the rain both. He should get the glory for that. And if we succeed, we run into a pesky, touchy situation.

These two quotes have helped tremendously:

“Never cease praying that you will not become a star or a celebrity. Donald Davidson has said, 'Our culture places an absolute premium upon various kinds of stardom. This degrades and impoverishes ordinary life, ordinary work, ordinary experience.”

From Scribbling in the Sand, Michael Card “It is by affliction chiefly that the heart of man is purified, and that the thoughts are fixed on a better state. Prosperity, unalloyed and imperfect as it is, has power to intoxicate the imagination, to fix the mind on the present scene, to produce confidence and elation and to make him who enjoys affluence and honors forget the hand by which they were bestowed.” Samuel Johnson

A dedication to craft that grows each year. You cannot succeed if you don’t study, practice, and spend time reading and listening to writing greats. There are no shortcuts. Nor is there a point in time you can sit back and rest on your laurels. Every article and book you write must be better than the one before because of your commitment to growth.

A strong belief in God’s sovereignty. You could do everything “right” and not get published. You could do everything “wrong” and be published. But either way, God is sovereign. He orders our journeys in the way He designs, to bring Him maximum glory and the greatest growth in our hearts. Rest, rest, rest in that today. And don’t think that once you’re published, you can slough off that belief. I don’t know if I’ll publish again after my contract runs out (soon). But I do know that God is ordering my journey. It’s up to me whether I follow Him joyfully or begrudginging. (And isn’t it true that He loves a cheerful giver?)

I need to get back to my 2000 words now. But I felt compelled to write these words. Writing is hard, folks. Anyone who tells you different is selling something.

author, speaker, book mentor
M a r y D e M u t h
Daisy Chain releases 3/1
Compared to Peace Like a River and To Kill a Mockingbird
Like an Oprah book, but with hope
marydemuth.com . . . thewritingspa.com

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Expo...are you going?

ECPA Announces Christian Book Expo Dallas 2009

Consumer Book Event to Be Held March 20-22 in Dallas

Visit www.ChristianBookExpo.com for the scoop on this first-ever show
Check out the social networking links (MySpace, etc) at the CBE website. Bloggers can join group/s and tell friends about CBE.

Dallas/Fort Worth, TX—The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) is launching the Christian Book Expo Dallas 2009, a new consumer-oriented book event. This event, a first for ECPA and the first Christian book fair of its type, will bring together publishers, authors and consumers. ECPA is holding this event to reach a critical demographic – anybody making or influencing book buying decisions.

The first Christian Book Expo will be held in Dallas, Texas, March 20-22, 2009, at the Dallas Convention Center. More than 389,000 square feet (100,000 is exhibit floor) has been reserved and dates are being set for the event in 2010 and 2011. ECPA is inviting publishers, ministries, authors and booksellers to exhibit in this open-to-the-public event. Activities at the three-day Expo will include workshops, seminars, mini-events and evening programming—all lead by authors.

“Reaching the consumer is essential to the future of Christian publishing,” said ECPA President Mark Kuyper. “Our goal with the Christian Book Expo is to connect the top authors from across the country with core customers from the region. We are dedicated to reaching the largest audience possible with the life-changing message in books, Bibles and other Christian resources.”

ECPA is actively marketing this event to area pastors, lay leaders, Christian ministry workers, area counselors, retailers and influential consumers. “Dallas was the natural choice for the first-ever Christian Book Expo,” says Kuyper. “There are more mega churches in the Dallas metropolitan area than any other city in the country and thousands of Christian book buyers call Dallas home.”

ECPA is currently finalizing the event pricing structure and will announce the specific prices soon. According to current price models, a consumer would pay no more than $50 for admission to the entire three-day event. Day passes will be significantly less and children under 17 would be admitted for free.

Kuyper and the ECPA Board believe the Christian Book Expo will compliment other industry shows. Says Kuyper: “We are strategically reaching out to consumers of Christian books. We know that a positive experience will only make them more loyal to Christian products—wherever they are sold.”

Christian products will be sold to consumers at the Christian Book Expo. ECPA sees several options for purchase—either direct sales from an exhibiting publisher, direct sales from an exhibiting retailer, or an exhibiting publisher can make sales arrangements in its booth from a local retailer. ECPA is also talking to retailers about a centralized store for the entire Expo.

However, Kuyper says that event sales are not the goal of Christian Book Expo Dallas 2009: “We are trying to build future retail sales. We believe these influential Christians will experience these authors and their message and take that message back to their friends and church families and in turn refer them to their local retailer. Our goal is for awareness and exposure.”

Support for the event is widespread across the industry. Michael S. Hyatt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Nelson and ECPA’s Chairman of the Board, believes this consumer-oriented event will provide significant opportunities to enhance the audience for religious books, “After attending the Guadalajara Book Fair this past fall, I saw first-hand how an event like this could connect authors and their books to the general public on a large scale. I think that ECPA’s Christian Book Expo will provide a similar opportunity for authors, retailers, and consumers to come together in a way that creates excitement for anyone who loves books. And for Thomas Nelson, we believe this event will be a positive experience for both our authors and our retail partners. We are committed to making this event a success.”

Hardy Weathers, President of the Nazarene Publishing House, agrees: “As a member of ECPA's board and the leader of a denominational publishing program, I am excited about the Christian Book Expo in Dallas. It is an opportunity for us to reach outside our natural audience to a larger group of influential book consumers.”

For more information on the 2009 Christian Book Expo, contact Mark Kuyper, 480-966-3998.

Visit www.ChristianBookExpo.com

Monday, January 26, 2009

What are some of your favorite book titles?

Out of all my books, my favorite title is Arms of Deliverance. It's a perfect title for this story about rescuing a Jewish child during WWII.

When it comes to creating a title of a book, the publishing house makes the final decision. This comes after LONG discussions with editors, marketing people, and salesmen. These people know their stuff!

The titles of half of my historical novels have been changed. Here are the old titles, and what they were changed to. I like the publishing house's titles MUCH better!

Mine: Theirs

The Orchestra = Night Song
Flight of Darkness = Arms of Deliverance
After a Thousand Nights = Dawn of a Thousand Nights
A Valley in Spain = A Valley of Betrayal
This Shattered Land = A Shadow of Treason
To Touch the Sky = A Whisper of Freedom

They've kept all my non-fiction titles, except one. In the middle of writing my book for teenage mothers I noticed the title wasn't working with the teen moms I mentor. After some brainstorming we changed it.

What Every Teen Mom Needs = Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom

Now, maybe I can get your help!
I have a stand-alone novel I'll be writing for Guideposts. It's a granddaughter/grandfather journey to Europe, visiting the places he experienced during WWII. There is romance (w/ granddaughter in her 30s) and a deepening of the granddaughter/grandfather relationship. Her grandfather also meets up with someone from his past who he saved during the war.

The title I have now is: Remembering You. It's a fine title, but I'm not completely sold on it. I'd like to convey heartwarming relationships, history, and reunion. Thoughts?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What I've learned! Join Me.

Please join me TODAY (January 25th, 2009) as I am the featured Inspirational Luminary on InspireMeToday.com.

InspireMeToday.com is a website that provides the best inspiration daily, each day from a different Luminary from the fields of empowerment, health, business, family, loving relationships and more. You'll enjoy reading my 'Today's Brilliance', my personal 500-word text of the best things I've learned in life. The 30 minute interview with me and Gail Lynne Goodwin is amazing!

As my gift to you, just use the affliate code provided on this invitation to access the free inspiration! Please stop by, check out the site and help us inspire the world, starting with you! Thank you for your support. We greatly appreciate you!

When you register, please remember to use my referral code:


Friday, January 23, 2009

How the writing process works!

I get questions all the time about how the writing process works. That's why I've decided to give you an "inside peek" at the process I'll be going through on the next book I'm writing. It's a true story (as-told-to me!) and will hit stores Spring 2010!

As you read this remember that this is just how this project will work. Every project is different. Also remember this is my 20th book, and with every book I write a little bit faster. So don't expect this pace for your first book. My first one took me two years to write:

Book 20:

1. Sign the contract!

2. After the contract is signed ½ of the advance will be sent to my agent and she will send me (ghostwriter) and the author (it's her story) our %. (Sometimes this takes a while!) My name will be on the cover. It will say: "with Tricia Goyer."

3. We will be assigned an editor. Or in our case we will be working with an editorial team. Editor #1 is the acquiring editor. Editor #2 will be the one who will do the major editing.

4. I will write the book, author will share her story/heart. She will answer my questions via phone. We might meet up! I will write the first draft, and we’ll hold off on editing until the whole book is complete.

5. First draft will be complete by April 1. I will send author a finished copy. Once the big edits are fixed, we’ll go through the whole manuscript page by page.

6. I will send the complete manuscript to publisher on May 1.

7. Once publisher has the manuscript 2+ people will read it and give their input. This input will be sent to Editor #2. Editor #2 will then work with me on the weak areas. After we work through these areas we’ll send it to author to read through and comment.

8. During this process I’ll edit with feedback from author (perhaps even daily) on specifics. Editor #2 and the other editors will do a great job in spotting areas that need work—areas we completely missed.

9. We’ll work 1-2 months with on the editing with editorial staff. (May/June/maybe July)

10. Editor #2 will send an edited manuscript to publishing house.

11. The publishing house team will read the manuscript and look for any problem areas. By this point there should be no problem areas and they’ll give it two thumbs up! This is considered an “accepted” manuscript.

12. We will be sent the second ½ of the advance. It will again be divided by %.

13. Around this time the publishing house will ask for a dedication and acknowledgements.

14. We might also be asked to give input on a cover and on the back-cover-copy (which are the words on the back).

15. The book then goes to copy editing. 3-4 copy editors will check the manuscript, looking for grammar problems, typos, etc.

16. Publishing house will send me a galley to read, with their questions included. Questions should be minor here. Most of the questions will point out areas the copy editors have changed to make the sentence grammatically correct. (They just want to make sure that we okay the change.) We need to catch all errors here because it’s really hard to change them later.

17. Author might be asked to do a pre-interview for the sales people, so they can be prepared for the launch.

18. The book will show up in the publishers Spring 2010 catalog!

19. We will also read through the galleys to make sure everything reads as it should.

20. Around this time the publishing house will also ask me and author for a list of people who would endorse the book. It will be up to us to contact these people and ask if they’d be interested. We will compile a list of names, addresses, and email addresses and send them to the marketing director.

21. Once we finish reading the galleys and answering the copy editors' questions, the publishing team will typeset the book. This means they put it into the actual book format. It will have the copyright page, the page numbers, and the acknowledgements.

22. We will have one last time to read through it and check for errors. There should be no errors by this point, and we should be completely happy with the book.

23. After this, we will start working on media materials. We might answer questions about the book or write interview questions for the marketing director to use.

24. We will also start talking about other marketing ideas, such as a book launch party or blog tours—to help spread the word. By this time the author will have her website in place so that when the book launches it will be ready to go.

25. The author will also clear her calendar for two months around the time of the book release because there will be a TON of media interviews.

26. Spring 2010 the book will launch, the media will be talking about it, the author will be doing tons of interviews, and many people will buy the book and have their lives blessed!

27. And I will be awed that God did it again!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fun Interview at Lena's blog

I love doing Lena's interviews!

Check it out:
I love having Tricia Goyer visit our blog. Tricia, why did you become an author?

I first thought about writing in 1993. A friend from church, Cindy Martinusen told me about her aspirations to become a novelist. My first thought was . . . Real people do that? She invited me to attend Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference with her. I was new as new can be. I was also 22-years-old and pregnant with my first child, but I learned enough at that conference to start off on the right track. And I’ve been actively working at my writing ever since.

If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream job?

I’d be an artist. I have a natural talent for drawing/painting but I haven’t developed it!

If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?

I’d be a WASP (Women Air Service Pilot) in World War II like I wrote about in Dawn of a Thousand Nights. Those women were amazing!

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I should just go apply at Wal-mart now...

A few years ago on a e-writers group that I'm a part of I was shocked to hear that other writers have the same uncertainities that I have. The truth is that award-winning, best-selling authors (who I tag behind with applause) often peer at their words on the page and think, "I should just go apply at Wal-mart now, cause I don't think this story is working at all." I can relate.

For me, doubts come as I piece the story together. A heart-warming scene here, a description there, another layer of conflict--like the pieces of puzzle I set them into place, hoping they fit. Sure, I have an idea of the picture/story I'm trying to create in my mind, but there's no box lid to look at as I work. It's more like a fuzzy, sort-of complicated, and ever-morphing idea in my mind on which all my words are built upon.

Yes, after having ten novels under my belt, I do have a system to my madness. I don't question how to write dialogue. I don't find myself halfway through the novel and wonder what my character's movtivation is. (A quarter of the way, maybe, but not half-way.) Yet, even with an intermediate knowledge of novel writing, there is one elemet that cannot be overlooked, and that is the power of the Holy Spirit within me as I write.
My husband John reminded me of this as we walked down a country road and I lamented about so much that I still had to do on my latest book (due date looming). John used the example of Samson to cheer me up, telling me, "He may have been a muscle man, and he maybe even lifted weights now and then, but that can no way explain the man's strength. He could have killed five men with his own strength--maybe ten. But one thousand? Only the Spirit of God upon him could have achieved that."

This simple illustration gave me peace as I strolled along. In my own strength I may be able to write a few good paragraphs--maybe even a few good chapters--but it is God's Spirit within that enables the impossible. I can build up my writer's muscles. I can flex my typing fingers with diligence, but a story that touches lives and impacts heart is the work of the Spirit within.

God knows the story. He has a clear view of the picture on the top of the puzzle box, and He clues me in as I tune in to Him. And, boy, am I glad about that!

I don't know, what do you think . . . should I post a magazine cutout of a hunky guy near my computer screen to remind me of this Samsonite truth?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Annual Writer’s Digest Competition

For 78 years, the Annual Writer’s Digest Competition has rewarded writers just like you for their finest work. We continue the tradition by giving away more than $30,000 in cash and prizes!

Win a trip to New York City !

GRAND PRIZE: $3,000 cash and a trip to New York City to meet with editors or agents.Writer's Digest will fly you and a guest to The Big Apple, where you'll spend three days and two nights in the publishing capital of the world. While you're there, a Writer's Digest editor will escort you to meet and share your work with four editors or agents! Plus, you'll receive a free Diamond Publishing Package from Outskirts Press.
Entry Deadline: May 15, 2009.

For entrants paying with a credit card, we will accept manuscripts submitted online. Manuscripts in the script categories must be submitted via regular mail.

Compete and Win in 10 Categories!
Inspirational Writing (Spiritual/Religious)
Memoirs/Personal Essay
Magazine Feature Article
Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
Mainstream/Literary Short Story
Rhyming Poetry
Non-rhyming Poetry
Stage Play
Television/Movie Script
Children's/Young Adult Fiction
Entry Fee: Poems are $15 for the first entry; $10 for each additional poem submitted in the same online session. All other entries are $20 for the first manuscript; $15 for each additional manuscript submitted in the same online session.

Add $5 per manuscript to all entries postmarked after May 15, 2009.

Entries postmarked after June 01, 2009, will not be accepted.

Grand Prize: $3,000 cash and a trip to New York City to meet with editors and agents.

You'll spend three days and two nights in NYC and a Writer's Digest editor will escort you to meet with four editors or agents of your choice! (Includes airfare within the U.S., meals, transportation and related expenses.)

First Place: The First Place Winner in each category receives $1,000 cash, a manuscript critique and marketing advice from a Writer's Digest editor or advisory board member, and $100 worth of Writer's Digest Books.

Second Place: The Second Place Winner in each category receives $500 cash, plus $100 worth of Writer's Digest Books.

Third Place: The Third Place Winner in each category receives $250 cash, plus $100 worth of Writer's Digest Books.

Fourth Place: The Fourth Place Winner in each category receives $100 cash.

Fifth Place: The Fifth-Place Winner in each category receives $50 cash.

Sixth through Tenth Place: The Sixth- through Tenth-Place winners in each category receive $25 cash.

First through Tenth Place Winners also receive a copy of the 2010 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition and a one-year subscription (new or renewal) to Writer’s Digest Magazine.

11th through 100th Place: All other winners receive distinctive certificates honoring their accomplishment.

For entrants paying with a credit card, we will accept manuscripts submitted online. Manuscripts in the script categories must be submitted via regular mail.

Entry Deadline: May 15, 2009
Late Entry Deadline: June 01, 2009
(Add $5 per manuscript or poem to Entry Fee(s))

Thursday, January 15, 2009

If I've said it once, I've said it a THOUSAND times

... if you're interested in becoming a professional writer consider attending a writer's conference. Here are a few to choose from!

2009 CONFERENCES:Feb 26-March 1, 2009. Florida Christian Writers Conference. Leesburg, FL(relocated from previous site). Keynoters: Davis Bunn, Dr. Calvin Miller, CecMurphey. More info: http://www.flwriters.org/

February 28, 2009. Oregon Christian Writer's One Day Winter Conference at theRed Lion Hotel, Salem, Oregon. Keynote William P. Young, author of The Shack.More info: http://oregonchristianwriters.org/members/content/view/198/241/

March 29, 2009. Christian Cruisers Club Writers Cruise. Will set sail fromMiami, FL. Destinations include San Juan, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, U.S.V.I. andSt. Martin/Sint Maarten, N.A. More info:http://www.christianwritingcruise.com/default.html

April 1-3, 2009 Mount Herman Pre-Conference Mentoring Track, Mount Herman, CA. April 3-7, 2009 is the Main Spring Conference. More info:http://www.mounthermon.org/writers/

April 12, 1008. Orange County Christian Writers. Spring Writer's Day withBeverly Lewis, Dan Benson, Brian Bird and Chip MacGregor. More info:http://www.occwf.org/

April 24-35, 2009. Delaware Christian Writer's Conference. Newark, DE. Moreinfo: http://www.delawarechristianwritersconference.com/

May 1-2, 2009. Antelope Valley Christian Writers Conference, Lancaster, CA. Moreinfo: http://www.avwriters.com/

May 1-2, 2009. Northwest Christian Writer's Renewal. Northshore Baptist Churchin Bothell, WA. Keynote: Doc Hensley. More info:http://www.nwchristianwriters.org/default.asp?id=8533

May 13-16. 2009. Colorado Christian Writer's Conference.

May 17-21, 2009. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Ridgecrest,NC. More info:http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/article_main_page/0%2C1703%2CA%25253D152237%252526M%2\5253D201125%2C00.html

June 3-6, 2009. Write to Publish Conference. More info:http://www.writetopublish.com/

June 19-20, 2009. Kentucky Christian Writer's Conference. Elizabethtown,Kentucky. Featured Speaker: Terry Whalin. More info:http://www.kychristianwriters.com/

June 22-27, 2009. St David's Christian Writer's Conference. Grove City, PA.Featuring Jane Kirkpatrick, Sally Stuart and Gayle Roper. More info:http://www.stdavidswriters.com/

September 16-20, 2009. Christian Prophetic Poets & Writers Retreat. Norcross,GA. More info: http://www.voicesofchrist.org/voc_blowthetrumpet.html

October 3, 2009. Susquehanna Valley Writers Workshop. Lewisburg, PA. More info:http://www.marshahubler.com/workshop.html

Monday, January 12, 2009

Keep Your Writing Resolutions: 5 Tips

I "stole" this from my agent, Janet Kobobel Grant's blog, Between the Lines.

My husband told me on New Year’s Day that he read somewhere (how’s that for citing a source?) that 40% of those who make New Year’s resolutions keep those promises to themselves for at least six months.

To help you to keep the resolutions you made regarding your writing, I have five tips.

Follow the BIC Principle. The most important way to improve any aspect of your writing is to put your Butt in Chair. (For the dainty among us, you could call it the SIC Principle, Seat in Chair.) If you don’t sit down and write, you can hardly make the best-seller list or craft a better sentence, can you?

Let someone else read your material. I know one writer who often becomes discouraged that she’ll ever be a published author. To keep herself motivated, she lets astute readers give her feedback. They consistently return her manuscripts with high praise–and some suggestions. It’s a winning combo.

Read widely. There’s nothing like reading a marvelous novel to remind you that the sky’s the limit when it comes to creative expression. Or read a nonfiction book that causes you to rethink your worldview. Yeah, your manuscript could have the same affect on someone. Read newspapers, read blogs, read magazines. Read, read, read.

Be accountable. Find a writing partner who wants to be serious about the business of creating on paper. Set individual goals (e.g., so many words per day, or to finish your rewrite within the month) and then check in with each other regularly to cheer yourselves on.

Write your passion. Sometimes we become so tuned into the market that we set aside what we feel passionate about and try to write what we think publishers want, what readers want, what seems highly marketable–everything but what you, the author, wants. I believe writers should pay attention to the market. But they should also listen to their hearts. That’s where the really great stuff resides.

So now it’s your turn. What are other good writerly resolutions?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Novel Matters!

I'm excited to introduce to you a new blog that will launch Monday, January 5, 2009. It's called Novel Matters (the site is beautifully designed!) and will be the combined effort of seven talented colleague authors, Sharon K. Souza, Bonnie Grove, Patti Hill, Kathleen Popa, Latayne Scott, Debbie Fuller Thomas and Jennifer Valent.

At Novel Matters they will discuss the art of fine fiction from the viewpoint of author and reader. They'll talk about what makes good fiction good, and what we as writers can do to improve our work. That's where you come in. They'd love for you to drop in to novelmatters.blogspot.com and get involved in the dialogue. Tell them what you like (or don't like) about the books you're reading and why. Hear what other readers are saying, and learn a bit about the writing process from the other side of the page.

Be sure to add Novel Matters to your Favorites folder and drop in from time to time. And tell others who would enjoy participating in the dialogue about the site.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Writer's View

I'm a panelist over at Mary DeMuth's The Writer’s View. If you're looking to take the next step in your writing consider joining.

To join The Writer’s View, go to http://www.yahoogroups.com/thewritersview. You’ll need to fill out a questionnaire so they can determine which group fits you.
~~The Writer’s View 1 is for professional, well-published writers.

~~TheWriter’s View 2 is for intermediate writers who may have some publishingcredits, but are still pursuing publication.

The groups work as follows:
1. Every Monday and Thursday, a panelist posts a question for the group. Everyone is invited to participate.

2. Limit of 250 words per post (excluding panelists), no more than two posts a day.

3. All posts are moderated. Posts that are off topic or too long are rejected.

4. Denominational or theological discussions are discouraged (not that we don’t like a good debate, but our focus is about the publishing industry and the craft of writing).

5. Limit your signature line to your name and two other lines (blog, website, etc.) If you ever wonder why your signature is cut off, it’s because of this. We are not an advertising venue. (And please, please abide by this. Long signature lines make it harder on the moderators).

6. Be sure to cut your tails! (the remainder of the post you’re responding to). This also helps our moderators.

7. Don’t post View posts elsewhere. If you like something someone said, ask permission to post elsewhere.

8. If there’s something you’re burning to discuss, please send an email to thewritersview-owner@yahoogroups.com. We can’t guarantee your question will be posted, but it will be sent to the other panelists as a possibility. Most questions sent this way do get posted eventually.

And don't forget I'll be on Focus on the Family TODAY & TOMORROW!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A dream realized!

In every person's life there are "big dreams." They are the ones that seem unreachable, yet are fun to think about just the same.

This week (1/8 & 1/9) you'll have the chance to experience one of my dreams with me by listening to my broadcast on Focus on the Family Daily Radio!

Listen in to Focus on the Family on your local station! Or ... if you can tune in, request a copy of the broadcast here:

Part 1 (Jan. 8th)

Part 2 (Jan. 9th)

Also, as a BONUS I'll be chatting on the Focus on the Family Marriage Forum.

Come chat with me!

Finally, if you like the broadcast, please email FOF and let them know you'd like to hear more broadcasts for Gen Xers ... and those in our generation! Also, thank them for having me on!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Today is January 1 for Me

Today is January 1 for Me

Yes, I know the calendar says January 6, but today is January 1 for me. December was filled with ... well, you know December ... it was filled with everything! This included a vacation to Southern California to visit my four sisters and my dad. We drove back, arriving home the 4th. And then January 5th my novel Sunflower Serenade was due. Can you say EXHAUSTING?

So since it's January 1, today I wrote my "January List" of healthy habits, and I'm starting them. Today I'm going to resume my exercise routine (after I finish this blog). And today, I'm starting my Bible reading plan. I'm doubling up until I get caught up!

This is the reading plan I'm using.

I already started reading in Genesis, and I just had to pause to write this blog. Why? Because I had to share with someone ... God our Creator is amazing! (And since the rest of my family is still sleeping, I thought I'd share it with YOU.)

The creation story is one of my favorites in the Bible. I love it because God is so subtle, yet there is so much behind His Words. For example Genesis 1:24:

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, and [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so." Amplified Version

In those two sentences is packed within a million Discovery Channel/Animal Planet episodes. Just think about that.

Yet, I cannot rejoice about creation without also marveling at the Creator:

[But] in the last of these days [God] has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom he created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order]. Hebrews 1:2 Amplified

Do you know what I thought of when I read that? I am in the middle of that mess. I am part of His creation. I am in the world He made ... and even though sometimes I feel lost in the reaches of space (not literally) He knows me. I can even go as far as to say that when I allow the Son His rightful ownership Jesus WILL make, produce, build, operate, and arrange my days in order. My MOMENTS in order.

Today may be January 6th, but I'm pretending it's January 1, just to get on track. And this New Year my main goal is to learn moment-by-moment to hand over all over myself and to give Jesus His rightful place. It's only when He holds the keys to my year, my mind, and my heart that I will run--my life will run--as it ought to.

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Advice for Novelists (Part 58)

C.J. Darlington, co-founder of TitleTrakk, is running a great series on her blog: She started a series of blog posts in which industry professionals (editors, agents, publicists, authors, etc.) share their responses to this question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Today, the talented, multi-published, Robin Jones Gunn shares her answer: Trust God in the small things. Obey Him in the most menial tasks and details. He notices. He orchestrates a very diverse universe. Be available to Him. Let Him shepherd you.

Then do what Jesus said to do. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.

--Robin Jones Gunn, author of the Christy Miller series, Sierra Jensen series, the Sisterchicks series, and more. Visit her website here.