Saturday, September 29, 2007

Happy Dance!!!!


Join me in congratulating Georgiana Daniels for finishing SECOND in the Lit category of the ACFW's Genesis contest!
WOOOHOO, Crit Partner! You Go, Girl! I'm so proud of you!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Friday Five


This week's Friday Five:
Favorite Board Games
1. Pay Day. Have you ever played a marathon game of Pay Day?
2. Yahtzee. My husband is so good at this game.
3. Farkle. My daughter is SO good at this dice game!
4. Apples to Apples Bible Edition. Some of the combinations my kids put in this game makes me wonder about their spiritual education! LOL But at least we learned that beards were fun!
5. Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit DVD edition. My son and I play this on the sly, when my daughter, who is the QUEEN of all things LOTR, is busy. Otherwise, she plays with us and smokes us in about six moves.
What about you? Do you have favorite board games? Any you really HATE? (For me the NO WAY I'M GONNA PLAY THAT games are Sorry and Aggravation.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This Week From CFBA


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
REMEMBERED
(Fountain Creek Chronicles, Book 3)
(Bethany House, 2007)
by
Tamera Alexander

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tamera Alexander is a bestselling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Alexander’s books have won multiple awards, including Romance Writers of America’s 2007 RITA® for Best Inspirational Romance, the 2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, 2007 Bookseller’s Best, and Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction of 2006.
Her books have received acclaim from Library Journal, True West Magazine and Historical Novels Review, and Rekindled debuted on the CBA fiction bestseller list. She has a professional background in business management and conference coordination. A leader of women's ministries for over twelve years, she is currently active in music ministry, facilitating small groups, and mentoring other women. A graduate of Harding University, Tamera lives with her husband and their two teenagers in Greeley, Colorado.
Her other two books in the Fountain Creek Chronicles are Rekindled (Book 1) and Revealed (Book 2)To celebrate the release of Remembered, as well as the 3-volume boxed set of Fountain Creek Chronicles (Rekindled, Revealed, and Remembered), Tamera is currently giving away boxed sets in a contest on her website. Check out the contest at http://www.tameraalexander.com/ . From a Distance, the first book in Tamera’s next historical series (Timber Ridge Reflections) releases in spring 2008.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Though loss is often marked in a single moment, letting go of someone you love can take a lifetime...The threat of war--and a final request--send Véronique Girard from France to a distant and uninviting country. In the Colorado Territory, she searches for the man who has held her heart since childhood--her father. Pierre Girard left Paris for the Americas to seek his fortune in fur trading, vowing to send for his wife and daughter. But twenty-five years have passed and his vow remains unfulfilled. Sifting through shards of broken promises, Véronique embarks on a dangerous search for a man she scarcely remembers. His grief finally healed, Jack Brennan is moving on with life. After years of guiding families west, he is now working as a freighter to the mining towns surrounding Willow Springs. What he doesn't count on is an unexpected traveling companion on his trips up into the mountains, and how one woman's search will cause havoc with his plans... and his life.

"Alexander again delivers a most amazing story. The characters are more than words on the page; they become real people. Though there are French words sprinkled throughout the story, they enhance the emotions rather than distract the reader." --Romantic Times
"...a rich historical romance by possibly the best new writer in this subgenre." --Library Journal
"Alexander has done it again with Remembered, third in the FOUNTAIN CREEK CHRONICLES. She's fashioned characters that are as rich and deep as the mountains and valleys they explore throughout the pages, coloring the story as adeptly as the heroine does her canvas. I was drawn immediately into the ages-old heartaches of both of the main characters, understanding at once Veronique's reticence to make a place for herself in the unknown wilds of America and Jack's uncompromising love for this land that he’s cut a swath through time and again. They both have a series of mountains to overcome in the search for Veronique’s father, but I enjoyed watching their faith and appreciation grow with each turn of the page. And woven adeptly through it all is the encompassing truth of the Lord's sovereignty—that sometimes He takes away, and sometimes He gives us what we need, not what we're looking for.
Anyone's who's read the other Fountain Creek books won't want to miss this one, but it easily stands alone. The characters will take you by the hand and lead you heart-first into their stories, and by the time they release you at the end, you'll feel as though you've taken up residence just across the Creek from them, as surely as they have in your heart." --Roseanna White, christianreviewofbooks.com
"Remembered, the third book in the FOUNTAIN CREEK CHRONICLES, takes us back to Willow Creek and revisits beloved characters from the previous two books in the series, Rekindled and Revealed. Tamera Alexander has the remarkable ability to create places, and characters who endear themselves to us, even those just briefly mentioned. If I had lived in the late 1800s, I would love to have met these people and would surely have been inspired by the way they lived out their faith.Remembered is a delightful read, well-researched and well-written. I expect to see great things from this author in the future." --Lindsey Freitas, bookloons.com
"Remembered is an absolutely wonderful continuation of the FOUNTAIN CREEK CHRONICLES." --Amanda Schafer, armchairinterviews.com

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Post Conference Aftermath

I am home. Phew!
I had thought I would trickle into the blog posts some of the things I learned during the past week, but now I think I should just put them down here ASAP before all the wonderful things trickle out of this Teflon Colander I call my memory.
First things first. My crit partners are every bit as fun and amazing in person as they are on line. We gelled as a group. I can't wait to get back to critting with new depth to our relationships, more specific things to pray for, and some new 'inside jokes' to refer to.
Some amazing things God taught me this week:
You do not know who has been praying. I ran into the woman who eventually won the Genesis Award for Historical Fiction, and she wrapped her arms around me like we were long lost sisters and said she had been praying for me since the finalist list came out. I am confident that if I had won, she would have been cheering the loudest. So when her name was called as the winner, I was so thrilled for her my hands hurt from clapping and my cheeks ached from grinning. Congratulations, Carla Stewart. I am so happy for you!
You do not know who might be watching. I saw things, both good and bad, that I am sure the people who were performing the act of kindness or the eye roll of disdain didn't know I saw. I saw people leading the blind, pushing wheelchairs, picking up dropped articles, carrying parcels, praying with and for those in need, running errands, and being servants in amazing and creative ways. Not for public applause or accolade, but because it was the right thing to do. I also saw some frail human behavior in small doses that made me wince for the person. People are watching, evaluating, wondering. But more importantly, God is watching and knows the heart. God took me to task for a rather shoddy attitude I had toward one particular part of the conference, His Spirit saddened by my lack of willingness to give grace to fellow sisters in Christ. For two days I smoldered over this thing, certain I was RIGHT, and they were being foolish. I even found a few people who shared my discontent, and we simmered together. But God spoke Grace over me, reminding me of how hurtful this judgemental attitude was, toward the people in charge of this aspect of the conference, to my own outlook daily, and to the people I was carping with. Which leads me to the third thing I learned.
You do not know who may be listening. As you walk through busy halls, the crowded lobby, the bustling classrooms, you catch snippets of conversations, snatches of dialogue, wisps of words. I had to wonder if anyone happened by my own conversation, would the bits they heard edify them? Would they smile as they passed on and think, "Gracious words."?
God's hand was moving during this conference, whether it was orchestrating some 'divine appointments' (Which He did for three women that I know of...they just 'happened' to be at the conference appointment desk looking for a meeting with an editor who was booked solid at the same time a conferee who wanted to cancel their appointment with the same editor 'happened' to be there. God is so good.) or putting us at a table with someone we didn't know we needed to meet, or showing us that we needed some attitude adjustment or needed to be able to speak the truth to someone we cared about, even if that truth wasn't what they wanted to hear.
At the beginning of the conference, Rachel Hauck, the worship leader, told us that somewhere in the next few days we were going to have the opportunity to have our feelings hurt, our way thwarted, and our beliefs challenged. When that happened, she urged us to say "Grace, Grace" upon the person who offended, thwarted, or challenged us. It took me a couple of days, but I finally got the hang of it. I pray those I might have offended will do the same for me.
Exciting things that happened at the conference:
My crit partner Georgiana Daniels finished second in her category in the Genesis. You GO GIRL! And also got the go ahead to send a FULL MANUSCRIPT to one of the best agents in the business as soon as it is finished. I stand ready to do all I can to help her in whatever way I can to get that 'baby' birthed and on the way.
My crit partner Kaye Dacus (whose name I have been mispronouncing for pretty much as long as I've known her {it's Day-kuss not Dock-us}) had the happy news that editors were actually looking for Jane Austin type historicals. Ransome will be snapped up soon! Kaye stands on the verge of great things.
Friends, new and old, are a wonderful thing. The double common bond of Jesus Christ and a passion for words made instant friends of complete strangers.
I received requests for proposals from both the editors I met with. And Karen Schurrer is one gracious lady. She overlooked a faux pas on my pitch sheet with kindness.
Dinner with my agent was delightful. He's such a good storyteller, and having been in the industry for 50+ years, has met everyone and seen just about everything. And the six other clients who dined with us were terrific ladies that you'll be hearing from soon. I can't wait to read "The Pickle Lady"'s story. I laughed aloud just reading the pitch.
There were so many more wonderful things that happened at the conference. I took some terrific classes, learned things I want to try, learned about some things that I KNOW won't work for me (I can't seem to use a spreadsheet when I am writing a novel.) and got validation for some things I'm already doing.
Now I'm off to write thank you notes to the folks I met. And I'm fired up to get back to work. It's good to be home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Ex Files
(Touchstone June 19, 2007)
by
Victoria Christopher Murray



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Victoria Christopher Murray always knew she would become an author, even as she was taking quite an unlikely path to that destination. A native of Queens, New York, Victoria first left New York to attend Hampton Institute in Virginia where she majored in Communication Disorders. After graduating from Hampton, Victoria attended New York University where she received her MBA.Victoria spent ten years in Corporate America before she decided to test her entrepreneurial spirit. She opened a Financial Services Agency for Aegon, USA where she managed the number one division for nine consecutive years. However, Victoria never lost the dream to write and when the “bug” hit her again in 1997, she answered the call.Victoria originally self published Temptation. “I wanted to write a book as entertaining and compelling as any of the books on the market, put God in the middle, and have the book still be a page-turner. I wasn’t writing to any particular genre – I didn’t even know Christian fiction existed. I just wanted to write about people I knew and characters I could relate to.” In 2000, Time Warner published Temptation. Temptation made numerous best sellers list across the nation and remained on the Essence bestsellers list for nine consecutive months. In 2001, Temptation was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in Outstanding Literature. Since Temptation, Victoria has written four other novels: JOY, Truth Be Told, Grown Folks Business, and A Sin and a Shame. All of her novels have continued to be Essence bestsellers; her last three each reaching #1. In addition, Victoria has received numerous awards including the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and in 2006, she was awarded the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being the pioneer in African American Christian Fiction.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The Ex Files:
A Novel About Four Women and Faith...
There are four ways a woman can handle heartbreak. She can fall apart, seek revenge, turn cold, or move on. The Ex Files is the story of these four women: When Kendall Stewart finds her husband and her sister in bed together, she vows to never let anyone get that close again. But when she is faced with saving the life of the woman who destroyed hers, will she be able to forgive? When an NBA superstar tells his mistress, Asia Ingrum, that he's decided to honor his marriage vows, her shock quickly gives way to revenge...but her decision may come back to haunt their five-year-old daughter. Every night Vanessa Martin wonders why her husband committed suicide. Even worse, she contemplates joining him in eternity. Will Vanessa be able to gather the strength to live again? Sheridan Hart is finally finding her way after a lie destroyed her seventeen-year marriage. Her new love is ready to get married, but will she commit to this younger man or is her ex-husband taking up too much space in her heart?When their pastor asks Kendall, Asia, Vanessa, and Sheridan to meet weekly for prayer, they can't imagine they will have anything in common. But then a devastating tragedy strikes and these strangers are forced to reexamine their choices. Will they find true friendship, or will prayer -- and their union -- fail them?


Disclaimer: I have not read this book. I do not recognize the publisher Touchstone. Some readers may find some of the content less Christian Friendly than they prefer. Please check out the CFBA blog roll to the left for reviews by some of our readers, then decide for yourself if it is something you wish to read.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Last Minute Conference Prep....





T-minus 42 hrs and counting. I can't believe it's getting so close!


List of things to do:


Go to the bank.

Swing by the store.

Pack

Organize my carry-on.

Print boarding passes.


Top five things I'm looking forward to the most:


1: The workshops and classes.


2: Meeting new people.


3: Five days of no school or bookwork.


4: Rooming with Steph and the Stowaway.


5: Meeting my crit partners in REAL LIFE!


I did give myself a manicure today, so I can check that off my to do list.


T-minus 42 hrs. I am so excited!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Friday Five



This week's Friday Five is Game Shows I've watched in the past week.

A Preface: Three weeks ago, the cable company shuffled their channel list once more. My MIL, who is suffering a serious relapse of her cancer, was an avid watcher of The Game Show Network. In the channel-shuffle, they bumped the GSN up into the tier of channels above her current cable package. Several calls to the cable company to set things up and one very memorable run-in in with my FIL and the installer, and BINGO! we've got GSN back for the MIL. A few days each week, (2-3 depending on schedules) I go to my MIL's to help care for her (though she's doing so well, she shooes me away). So we have been enjoying the GSN 24/7. This week's 'five' is Game Shows I've watched.

1. Match Game 75. (men with porkchop sideburns, polyester leisure suits, white buck shoes and belts)

2. Family Feud with Richard Dawson (He kisses EVERY woman on the show right on the lips! EW!)

3. To Tell The Truth with John O'Hurley (I never know who is telling the truth, and where do they find these people???)

4. Chain Reaction (The host is cute and the game fun.)

5. Lingo (Sort of bingo meets crosswords meets scrabble.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another Bethany Book Cover Survey

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=MHy2PZb91IbUYNg_2f_2fAEUvg_3d_3d

Click on the above link for a five question quiz on a new book cover from Bethany. When you take the survey, you are entering to win a free book. :)


I'll tell ya later which one I chose, but stop back again and let me know which one you chose and why.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This Week From CFBA



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
LIFE, LIBBY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
(Harvest House Publishers March 1, 2007)
by
Hope Lyda

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hope Lyda has always wanted to write. Ever since she was a young tyke with a spiral notebook in hand, she had the urge to fill it. Sadly, Peggy Meets the Midgets did not cause Hope to be deemed a child prodigy, so she continued her path of education. She was grade-obsessed but also truly enjoyed sharing laughs with her circle of creative friends.
Hope attended the University of Oregon and graduated with a double major in Journalism: Advertising and Telecommunications and Film. With aspirations to write screenplays or teleplays, she of course ended up doing public relations for non-profits until she entered the publishing field in which she has worked for 10 years.
Her passions are quiet ones—she loves a good read, an afternoon of free thinking time, writing, journaling, road trips, travel, and pondering life from her back yard pergola. She loiters in bookstores frequently, though has never been arrested for such. Her big hope is to encourage others to embrace their dreams and understand their faith journeys through the practice of journaling and the art of creative living. She hopes to also inspire such things through the themes in her fiction including Hip to Be Square and Altar Call. (There are also visions of a nice Casita with a hammock in Mexico—but one thing at a time.)
When not living in her head, she resides with her husband, Marc, in the Pacific Northwest.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Libby Hawthorne makes exotic trip itineraries but never leaves Seattle. She’d like to attend church but winds up at a bookstore. She longs for love—but who has the time? Delayed happiness has been worth it, because she’s about to get her dream promotion...
Or not.
So now what?
When a corporate merger leaves her demoted and disillusioned, Libby realizes she needs to start living authentically...and soon. But just as she tries to uncover her purposed life, her cruel and unusual boss, Cecilia, demands that Libby hide Seattle’s most famous homegrown rock star in order to keep her new, bad job. For the first time in years, Libby doesn’t have a step by step plan to guide her. She must trust her faith and her heart. But what is she supposed to do with her growing admiration for Blaine Slater, a new VP from Chicago, or the surprising kindness of the rock star living incognito in her Seattle apartment? Through the humorous twist and turns, Libby uncovers a big life truth—the detours we are afraid of might just be the perfect path to happiness.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Goals- time for a recheck



Okay, one week before the conference, it's time to recheck those goals. I've taken off some, added others, and am pressing on.



1) Write synopsis/proposal packet for Drums of the North Star, including series ideas. DONE!
2) Attend ACFW Conference in September. Only a week away! I can't believe it!
3) Pray, pray, pray! (this one should be #1...or #1-10) Sometimes God brings things into your life that DRIVE you to prayer. That's where I am right now, seeking God as my strength and refuge.



4) Finish edits on The Bartered Bride. The crit group is deep into the edits on this one. One more round after this should see the ms all the way through crits.
5) Write synopsis/proposal packet for Bartered Bride including series ideas. Done!
6) One Sheets for Drums and Bartered Bride for the conference. Done, and thanks to Kaye, they went through a mini-critique with the Middle Tennessee Christian Writers Group and got the thumbs up.
7) Business cards designed and printed. Check!
8) Proposals printed and sample chapters for the conference, as well as sample chapters for the Early Bird Session on Characters and Emotions. I have one set of sample chapters left to print, and I need to gather my highlighters and pens for this class.
9) Pack! So far I'm only to the 'mental packing' stage. I probably won't pack until next Tuesday. Though I might go shopping this week. :)
10) Mundane but necessary travel junk. Confirming flights, hotel reservations, shuttle reservations, etc. will happen early next week.
How are your goals shaping up? Have you had to adjust your expectations, your goals, or your wants? I've had a few curveballs thrown at me this year that have caused some readjustments. I've also relaxed my goals for the upcoming conference. I'm not there to SELL! at all costs a manuscript. I'm going to meet people, to make friends, to learn all I can, and to see what the possibilities are for me. I have to tell you, this has taken so much pressure off.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Contest Winner!


Our contest winner is:
Lacy J. Williams!!!! Congratulations!
Lacy has won a copy of Sushi for One?
Thank you to everyone who entered, and thank you to Camy and Zondervan for the interview and the giveaway.
For those interested in how the drawing is held, we (my kids and I) write each person's name on a piece of paper, then drop it into my son's day-glo orange hunting cap (the kind that is fur lined and has ear-flaps. It's a Minnesota thing., :)
Congratulations again, Lacy.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Friday Five



This week's Friday Five:
Five things I learned/noticed while attending my MIL at the hospital this week:
1. No matter how hard a hospital tries with the air fresheners and cleansers, the whole place always smells of warm disinfectant.
2. Rochester Methodist Hospital (part of the Mayo Clinic) has the best nurses in the world.
3. What did we do before plastic? I would venture to say 90% of all hospital equipment and supplies are either made of or packaged in plastic.
4. I have the two greatest kids in the world. (I know I'm biased, but they have been SO terrific this week.)
5. Prayer works, not just for the object of the prayer, but for the person praying. My MIL is coming home today, bypassing the nursing home where they thought she was going to need to go for the next little while. On Wednesday, while she slept, I sat praying for her and reading through some Psalms. The power of God's Word to seep into your soul and heal those hurting places, to comfort, to calm, to be the refuge He promises to be...WOW! I was so uplifted and refreshed. God is good, ALL the time, even when we can't see the way.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

This Week From CFBA



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Sushi for One?
(Zondervan, September 1, 2007)
by
CAMY TANG



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Camy Tang is a member of CFBA and is a loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick-lit. She grew up in Hawaii, but now lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious poi-dog. In a previous life she was a biologist researcher, but these days she is surgically attached to her computer, writing full-time. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. Sushi for One? (Sushi Series, Book One is her first novel. Her second, Only Uni (Sushi Series, Book Two) comes out in February 2008!

To celebrate the launch of her debut novel, she's got a huge contest going on. Camy is giving away baskets of Christian novels and an iPod Nano! Only her newsletter YahooGroup subscribers are eligible to enter, so join today.

For more information about the contest, visit her website.
Contest ends October 31, 2007!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Lex Sakai’s family, big, nosy, and marriage-minded, is ruled by a crafty grandmother. When her cousin Mariko gets married, Lex will become the OLDEST SINGLE COUSIN in the clan, a loathed position by all single female family members.
Lex has not dated for years.
Grandma homes in on this fact and demands, bribes, and threatens Lex to bring a boyfriend (not just a date) to her cousin’s wedding.
Lex does not want to date ... not since that terrible incident a few years back ... but, Grandma doesn't give her that choice.
Lex's options are slim because she has used her Bible study class on Ephesians to compile a huge list of traits for the PERFECT man (and the more she dates, the more she adds to the list).
The one man she keeps running into (and is completely attracted to) doesn’t seem to have a single quality on her list. It’s only when the always-in-control Lex loses control and lets God take over that all the pieces of this hilarious romance finally fall into place.




Camy was gracious enough to submit to an interview and answer some questions. She's also giving away a copy of SUSHI FOR ONE?, so leave a comment and enter to win this wonderful book. The winner will be announced Saturday, September 8th.





Camy, thanks for taking the time to visit with me at On The Write Path.

Thanks for letting me chat with you!

Your first novel, Sushi for One, released this past month. Can you tell us a little about how the story went from idea to published novel?

People have asked me if Grandma Sakai is based on my own grandma. No, she’s not. However—unfortunately—she’s a conglomeration of my friends’ aunties, mothers, and grandmothers.

I think lots of people can relate to at least one relative who’s always pestering the single people in their family about getting married and having kids. Sometimes it’s amusing, sometimes it’s downright annoying.

I wondered what would happen if the Buddhist matriarch of a family fell down hard and heavy on a close-knit group of cousins who all happened to be Christian.

I also wanted the cousins to be not-your-average chick lit heroines—I wanted them to be characters that readers would relate to and yet find intriguing. So I made one a jock, one a flirt, one a cactus, and one a doormat. The Sushi Series was born.


I loved Lex Sakai. And I loved a peek into the Asian culture. How much of your life made it onto the pages of Sushi for One? Are you an athlete like Lex?

I made Lex as good at volleyball as I always wished I was. I’m nowhere near as good as Lex is—although I have watched games with women who ARE as good as Lex, and they’re simply amazing.

Lex isn’t that much like me, but she has traits that I wish I had, like volleyball skill. Lex says exactly what she’s thinking and doesn’t care what people think of her, which is kind of how I wish I was. She’s also pragmatic and logical—again, the way I wish I was!

One of the most stirring scenes for me centered around the painting in the pastor’s office. Is that entirely fictional?

Actually, that painting was inspired by a story I heard in college. A sculptor had been commissioned to sculpt a statue of Christ on the cross, but it was so gruesome and horrific that the church members didn’t want it.

The sculptor had purposefully made it gruesome because that’s how the crucifixion was—it wasn’t pretty or mournful, it was downright horrible. The sculptor had wanted to show the depths of Christ’s sacrifice so that we could more keenly feel how much He gave for us.

I don’t know what happened to the actual statue, but that story haunted me for many years. I remembered it as I was plotting the storyline for Sushi for One, and made it into a painting hanging on the pastor’s wall.


What sort of response have you received from readers so far?

Most people have enjoyed the book, which makes me very happy!

How do you handle the great reviews and the not so great ones?

Throughout this entire writing journey, God has constantly reminded me that my success or failure is entirely in His hands. That’s hard for me, because I tend to want to control everything, or at least, feel like I have control.

So when I see reviews, I really try lift them all up to God and not let them affect me, whether good or bad. I’m not always successful, but at least I’m trying.


You also have a critique service (http://www.storysensei.com/). How are you able to balance your family, church, writing, and working with other writers?

Funny you should ask that, because recently, God has convicted me about setting firmer boundaries in my life. He’s revealed to me what my priorities are—my family, my church youth group, and my writing. I take on critiquing jobs when I have time, but I’ve been better lately about saying no when I’m just too swamped with something else.

What are some of the common mistakes or shortcomings made by newbies that you run across in your critique service?

Not enough conflict. Donald Maass says it best—he recommends for writers to add some form of tension or conflict into EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE. This is because unlike real life, conflict is what keeps people interested in the story. Basically, make something “not right” in every single sentence on the page.

Most writers think that’s insane when they first hear it, but I always tell people to try it for a page in their manuscript and then compare the before and after. It sometimes requires some major rewriting, but people always notice how much more riveting the writing and the action is after adding more conflict and tension.


What advice would you have for authors not yet published?

Complete something new each year. I meet lots of writers who keep revising the same story, or who start lots of things but don’t finish them.

Editors and agents want to know that you can complete a manuscript and that you have more than one book in you. You don’t want to be a writer with lots of different great story ideas but no complete manuscript, or a writer who only has their one manuscript that’s been polished for the last several years.

When you start submitting to agents and editors, try to have at least three manuscripts done. In my experience, a writer’s third complete manuscript is usually about the level where it’s good enough to submit.

What’s coming next for you?

In February, the second book in the Sushi Series, Only Uni, comes out. That’s Trish’s story. And then in the Fall of 2008 will be Single Sashimi, which is Venus’s story.

Also, right now I’m running a contest on my website where I’m giving away baskets of Christian fiction and an iPod Nano! Only my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers are eligible, so join today:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Camys_Loft/join

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. And congratulations on Sushi for One!

Thanks for having me here, Erica!
Be sure to leave a comment to enter to win a copy of Sushi for One? I can tell you, I stayed up ALL NIGHT reading this one (got to bed at 6 am) and loved it. You won't be disappointed!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Blog Award!


“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”
My crit partner Georgiana has bestowed upon me the honor of the Nice Matters Award. What a sweetie!
I'm going to nominate:
CJ who blogs about life, art, and weebles.
Linda A., my dear SIL who doesn't have a blog but is so faithful to read here.
Kaye, one of my crit partners who blogs such wonderful things about writing that have helped me a TON!
April P. who blogs about life in my beloved Kansas.
Rachel who blogs about the writing life.
Sally who blogs about Christian Fiction, the writing life, and household tips. May you settle into your new Kansas home quickly!
Donna who blogs when I tag her. LOL
Blog on, girls!