Monday, November 30, 2015

Today's Monday Meet-Up is with Debut Author, Kristen Remenar!

Happy Monday!!
I am super excited about the month of December at my website: where I will be interviewing published authors for each Monday Meet-Up!
To start it off is the lovely Kristen Remenar who has TWO books being debuted just months from each other.
So, stop by my website and say hello to Kristen. No doubt you'll learn some wisdom for your writing journey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

It's Monday! AND It's Thanksgiving Week! Time for Bonus Monday Meet-Up!

Check out my website for TWO awesome interviews today!

First of all, I interview my SUPERSTAR agent, Carrie Pestritto from Prospect Agency!

THEN, to sweeten the holiday deal, acquiring editor, Jim Watkins from Wesleyan Publishing stops by to answer some business questions.

You won't want to miss their professional writing advice.

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's Monday, and that means Monday Meet-Up!

That means it's Monday Meet-up! Every Monday, I post an interview with a publishing professional (literary agent, editor, or author). It's a fantastic resource to learn about the industry and how to turn our writing into published work.

Last week, I interviewed literary agent, Linda Glaz, from Hartline Agency.

This week, the fabulous Ann Byle, literary agent from Credo Communications, stops by to answer some questions.

Next week, being THANKSGIVING week, is extra special because you get two interviews! One is with my lovely agent, Carrie Pestritto from Prospect Agency, and the other is with super cool acquiring editor, Jim Watkins, from Wesleyan Publishing!

You'll want to check it out!
You can find Monday Meet-up at my website:

Don't forget to leave me a comment, or to sign up for weekly e-letters.

Happy Monday! See you tomorrow for Tip Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tip Tuesday: Writing tips for aspiring authors

Tip for Tuesday, November 10, 2015

taken from googleimages (

Join a critique group! 
Once you finish a draft, it's only natural to feel a sense of accomplishment. However, you are far from done. 
Revision is its own beast, and you'll need help. Having another set of eyes...or two sets...or three sets...really helps you see the glaring errors or a plot development that doesn't quite work or a character that doesn't feel authentic enough. 

Finding a group of fellow writers and critiquing each other's work is therefore beneficial. 
How to find a group of fellow writers? 
1. Join a writer's association. Oftentimes there are others looking for critique groups in your area or even completely online.  
2. Print out a flyer or two and post them in the local library and bookstore. Ask to see if critique groups already meet at the library or bookstore and see if there is a contact number. 
3. Create your own. If you have an acquaintance or two who like to write, you can start there. 

What to do from there?
1. Decide when to meet and where. Maybe once a month? Online? At the coffee shop?
2. Send a chapter to each participant (or at least comparative pages...up to 10 pages is the norm for many). You read the chapters sent to you ahead of time and critique them before hand. Others will do the same with yours. 
3. Some groups will bring copies with them and read right there. 

No matter what, critique groups are a great way to strengthen your work and make that draft reach its potential! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

New Venture...or is it?

Two weeks ago I had the immense privilege of attending Maranatha Christian Writers' Conference. It was fabulous, dream-affirming, life-changing. 

First of all, I met the most amazing people. All of whom were eager to help in whatever capacity they could. That was a good thing. Even though I am not new to writers' conferences, this was a different branch of writing, and I found myself unsure.
I had taken a nonfiction book proposal. It was about a topic that I felt needed to be written about, mostly because I've experienced it a lot. I was unsure because I normally write fiction, so nonfiction was a whole new ballgame.
Not only did I get the advice and direction I needed, I also received some interest from industry professionals.
I left the conference full to the brim and excited, once again, about this writer's journey.

So, what will it be?
Fiction or Nonfiction?
Image result for changing course
Hmm... I've got to talk to my agent about this!

Not only that, but I have an awesome NEW website! It's simply!
You can't mess that one up! Check it out...

Lastly, come here each Monday for MONDAY MEET-UPS. It's another new venture I'm taking where I will bring to you interviews and advice from industry professionals (authors, agents, editors). Learn the ropes with me from the best of the best!

Until next time,

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Write What You Know? OH NO!

My husband was reading a section of the historical fiction novel I'm working on. After reading it he said something along the lines of, "I really like the scene between the father and daughter, but the fight scene before it I didn't like as much." Then he paused and said, "Don't take this the wrong way, but I thought that writers should only write what they know. So, why are you writing war scenes?"
Now, grant it, I had asked him to read it and tell me his HONEST thoughts, so I can't get too bothered (but I did have to count to ten before I responded).

It made me stop and ponder the notion of only writing what we know. I first heard it at a writer's conference. A well-meaning publishing professional stated that authors needed to stick with they know. That it makes the writing more "authentic." It makes theory. A lot of our life experiences show up in our writing. Also, I'm sure that agents and editors reading disingenuous stories might make their eyes glaze over.

But every story I write is new to me. Sure, character experiences might be similar to different experiences in my own life, but each story is unique with complicated plots, unique settings, distinct time periods, etc. I am not an expert at all of the story lines, but I see it as a good thing. Writing what is unfamiliar to me allows me to grow as a writer. I research, then I research some more. I read. A lot. I make plot notes, and setting notes, and conflict outlines.

So, I'm taking my husband's comments as a challenge. I will rework the war scene. I will rethink it, interview a few men who've been in the trenches, maybe even watch a war movie or two. Then I will revise and make it better. I will keep doing that until I get it right.

Because writing what I "don't" know is a challenge. And it's a challenge I gladly accept.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Don't Get Too Comfortable!

Get out of that writing box!! 

I've been to many writing conferences where I've heard the cliched saying, "Write what you know."


How can I grow as a writer if I don't push myself out of that comfortable box I like to lounge in (it is pretty comfortable in there). Writing what you know is a great place to start, yes, but venturing out to a new genre or book style is a great way of becoming an even better writer.

1. First of all, it forces you to RESEARCH. If you want to write well, especially outside of your comfort zone, you have to read, read, read (that's the BEST kind of research!). Read books in that genre, make notes about what works with them, what are the commonalities in the genre, any stereotypes to steer away from, that sort of thing. Then it involves researching whatever novel idea is percolating in that brain of yours. If you want to venture into historical fiction (like my fantastic writer friend, Rachel Anderson) then you need to research that time period and make sure it is reflected in the story. This is not always easy, and it is definitely time consuming, but it will help your writing be that much more authentic.

2. Next, it makes you rethink everything you thought you knew about writing! Sitting down, turning on the computer, and just going at it, is hard to do when your new to the "world" you're creating. Creating an outline, a map of the setting, summaries of characters and their arc, all that is going to make you sweat a little. But all of it is super important when thinking outside of your comfort box.

3. It opens the door for new acquaintances/friendships. By seeking out those who write in that genre you're exploring, it expands your circle of totally awesome people you associate with, and hey, there's nothing wrong with that!

4. It can SHOVE you out of a writing rut! 'Nuf said.

I have had this idea for a retelling of a historical character for a couple years, but I let it sit for a couple years. It's scary because it's a genre I've never written, and it's going to need a ton of research in order to "get it right." Finally, I made a decision that I was just going to push myself out of my comfort zone and do it. What I've learned has blown me away. Yes, the research has been intense, but I have fallen into this story completely. Yes, I second-guess myself about whether I'm good enough to tackle this writing project, but if not me, then who?

Let me know about how you've stepped out of your comfort zone when it comes to writing. Any tips that have worked for you?