Saturday, December 12, 2009

Margaret Daley's Christmas Peril


We're happy to have Margaret Daley with us this week!
Click on the photo to the left to visit the author's website. Read on to learn more about Margaret and her book...

1) How did this story come to you?
I was asked to write a novella with a Christmas theme so I came up with Christmas, OK to be the setting for my story. My heroine is fleeing for her life with her five-years-old daughter and ends up in Christmas, OK.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I’ve been writing for over thirty years. I sold my first book after writing almost three years back in 1981. My first book came out in 1982.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m not sure what would surprise my readers, but here are three things about me. I love Christmas music throughout the year. I hate exercising, but I’m doing the treadmill for forty-five minutes every other day. Watching a TV show helps the time pass faster when I’m exercising. I have a neurotic cat and two somewhat normal ones.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m finishing up my third book in my homeschooling series for Love Inspired called A Daughter for Christmas. It will be out next November. After that I have a Love Inspired Suspense book I have to write about a group of female bodyguards. The first book in that series will be out next December called Christmas Bodyguard.

5) Parting comments?
I love to hear from readers. They can contact me at margaretdaley@gmail.com or visit my Web site at http://www.margaretdaley.com/ and read excerpts from my books.

Friday, December 11, 2009

January Writing Contest Deadlines

January 8
Award of Excellence (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Colorado Romance Writers
http://coloradoromancewriters.org/aoe.html

January 9
Book Buyer's Best Contest (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Orange County Romance Writers of America
http://www.occrwa.org/bbb2010.html

January 12
Write Touch Readers Award (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Wisconsin Romance Writer's of America
http://www.wisrwa.org/contest.html

January 15
Bookseller's Best Award (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America
http://www.gdrwa.org/bba_entryform2010.html

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Southern Magic Romance Writers of America
http://southernmagic.org/gaylewilsoncontest.html

Golden Quill (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY)
Desert Rose Romance Writers of America
http://www.desertroserwa.org/goldenquill/goldenquill.htm

Judge a Book By Its Cover
Houston Bay Area Romance Writers of America
http://www.hbarwa.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69&Itemid=82

Marlene Award
Washington Romance Writers of America
http://www.wrwdc.com/ee/index.php/marlene_awards/

January 23
Winter Rose Award for Excellence-Published (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY; For Published Authors)
Yellow Rose Romance Writers of America
http://yellowroserwa.com/contestPub.php

Winter Rose Award for Excellence-Unpublished (INSPIRATIONAL CATEGORY)
Yellow Rose Romance Writers of America
http://yellowroserwa.com/contestUnpub.php

Disclaimer: This is by no means a full list of all contests offered. I do not endorse or recommend any contest, but provide these dates for information purposes only. Do your own research before entering any contest. Dates are always subject to change by contest chairs.

Ebooks vs Print Books


Yesterday's post regarding my journey to publication caused some questions regarding my decision to publish in ebook format. First of all, it's the way of the future. Barnes & Noble owns fictionwise.com. They're reformatting from 350-500 books per week in the ebook format. Do you think they'd be taking the time if this wasn't a lucrative venture? Hardly.
Secondly, the ebook market is booming. Many large publishing houses are opening up e-lines. They realize that ebooks are the way of the future. Most people have what they need to read an ebook in their pocket. Smart phones. (For info on what type of software you need to download in order to read ebooks on your cell, go to www.fictionwise.com.)
The benefits of ebooks are endless. I save paper and ink. I can read anywhere, anytime when I download ebooks to my Blackberry. I have 12 of them stored in it right now. In a long line at Walmart? No problem. Sitting in the doctor's office waiting for an appointment? No problem. I can read in bed and not disturb my husband because I don't need a night light. The font is adjustable. Right now, my font is larger, darker, and brighter than any paperback and I believe it causes less eye strain. Many ebooks, especially classics that have fallen into public domain, are free. And, ebooks are cheaper than print books. Currently, I'm paying $5.99 or less for the books I download from www.desertbreezepublishing.com.
So, in a nut shell, I LOVE ebooks. Currently, I buy nothing but e. There are a couple of new releases I've been interested in, but I refuse to buy them in print format. I'm waiting for them to hit the market in e. I don't have to time to wait until the perfect time to read a print book. I can read e almost anywhere, any time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Never Give Up!


I've had several people ask me to share my journey to publication and offer a little advice. Here goes... The little guy above is a white faced squirrel who was persistent. He lives on a golf course in Myrtle Beach and if you leave your cart unattended while making a shot, you'll find that whatever you were snacking on has disappeared. His perseverance paid off.

The first book I finished writing was a young adult novel. That was approximately three years ago. Eventually, I shelved it and decided I wasn't getting anywhere because I didn't have a good grasp of the craft. At that point, I bought every book I could find on writing. Most of them came from eBay because I can find even the out of print books there.

I studied everything I could find on writing for over two years. I knew I wanted to write Christian fiction, but wasn't sure where to start. I was lucky enough to find ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers.) The membership fee was the best money I've ever spent. I was amazed that some of the big names in the Christian market were nice enough to take the time to answer questions. I can't recommend ACFW enough if you're interested in writing Christian Fiction. You can learn more about them at http://www.acfw.com/.

I finished my first adult novel, Killing Time, and began entering it in contests. I used the feedback to make my story stronger. I must have rewritten that novel a dozen times. It finaled in the 2009 Duel on the Delta. It was written in first person and when I found out that the contest judge was a Harlequin editor, I had a short amount of time to change it from first person into third (Harlequin doesn't buy first person for their Steeple Hill line). I had no clue how to write a deep third person and expected third place, which is how the saga ended.

I continued to rework Killing Time. I was told by an agent that it might be a hard sell because the first 3 or 4 chapters are set in a jail. That novel has found a home at Desert Breeze Publishing and will be out in August of 2010. It wasn't submitted to any other publishing house and I'm content with my decision to publish in ebook format. The people at Desert Breeze are among the nicest people in the business and their books consistently receive high reviews and they allow authors to write what's on their heart.

The best advice I can give you is...NEVER GIVE UP! You'll never reach the goal of publication if you give up. Also, write something every day. If you write 1,000 words a day, you'll have a novel in two months. Take another month or two to edit and it will be ready to submit. And, STUDY, STUDY, and STUDY SOME MORE! I take writing very seriously and still buy and study writing books. I learn something new from every one I read.

And one more piece of advice...take advantage of NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) if at all possible. It will change the way you write forever. I wrote a WWII romantic suspense, Queen of Hearts, during NaNoWriMo. If all goes as planned, it will release in April of 2010 with Desert Breeze Publishing.

If I'd given up, I wouldn't have found a home for these two books. SO, NEVER GIVE UP AND KEEP ON KEEPING ON!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

John L. Owens' THE NINTH GENERATION


We're happy to have John L. Owens with us. Click on the photo to the left to visit his website. Read on to learn more about John and his book...

1) How did this story come to you?
The story slowly unfolded while cleaning the acrylics of our family-owned tanning salon. My wife and I took turns running it. Between customers, it was a great escape to delve into the setting of The Ninth Generation and to ponder the dialogue that might have taken place between Noah’s father, Lameck, at 112 and Enoch, at 364 years of age. The time period before the flood had fascinated me and there were mysteries that I longed to solve. I had also prayed for something that would help our 18-yr-old adopted son to obtain a Biblical world view. An adventurous, fast-moving novel with some clean romance seemed in order.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I had followed the advice of David Morrell, author of First Blood, who said to writers, “Your goal should be to write something that’s important to you, not to the critics.” And while I had utilized the editorial arm of The Christian Writers Guild, the final novel was a difficult sell to a regular publisher – most prefer a New Testament time period. I had also taken a position on Genesis 6:4 – the angelic / human view – that may have been uncomfortable to some. So, with prayerful consideration and some advertising – publishing experience, I decided to go with a reputable pod Christian publisher (Xulon). If it was meant to multiply, perhaps it would. At least I had something to give my son and, interestingly by request, to the mothers of his friends.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I passed out once when asked to speak in public. / God used a witch to open my eyes to the reality of the demonic (she was delivered and saved). / I served as academic dean to the first above-ground pastoral training school in the former USSR.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am working on a field manual on spiritual warfare – Positioned for Victory (non-fiction), while thinking about another more contemporary fictional novel that might parallel The Ninth Generation – Jesus prophesied that the last days will compare to the days of Noah.

5) Parting comments?
For those who have ever wondered what it was like living among the centenarians, and would like to preview a well-researched, imaginative novel, please visit my book site.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.TheNinthGeneration.com – contains links to blog and podcasts

Laurie Alice Eakes "The Glassblower"


We're happy to have Laurie Alice Eakes with us today talking about her new release "The Glassblower." Click on the image of her book to visit her blog and learn more about the book. Here's her interview:

1) How did this story come to you?
a. I set out to write a historical novel about New Jersey for Heartsong and started reading a book on New Jersey history. A chapter on the glassmaking industry fascinated me, and I built from there.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
a. That was painful. I’d sold two books when I submitted this proposal. I’d submitted a lot of proposals around this time and subsequently. 20 months later, nothing had sold and I was thoroughly discouraged. I was even looking into going back to school and kept praying that God would show me what else to do if He no longer wanted me to write. I was in New Jersey at a training when I got the call from my agent that JoAnne Simons wanted my New Jersey historical series. That led to the sale of eleven books in the next nine months.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
a. I’m extremely shy in person.
b. Pasta makes me gag unless it’s smothered in cheese.
c. I read a hundred and fifty books a year.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Right now, I just finished my first long mainstream historical for Revell called Bride of the Mist out in January of 2011 and am working on the third New Jersey Historical, set in Cape May in 1899. Next I’ll start on my first Regency for Revell, out in May of 2011.

5) Parting comments?
I think as a younger woman I must have prayed for courage, patience, and a job I could love, for God made me a writer, a profession one can love, but which certainly takes courage and patience.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My blog is most frequently updated www.seizethechance.blogspot.com