At my age, you’d think I’d rest on the laurels of the books I’ve already written, yet here I am with another deadline and deep in research. Writing is a joy and an occupation not confined to an age group. To see the words spring into being on the pages and trusting God to inspire me, is fulfilling in ways I cannot describe. Reading through previous books, it seems unreal that they came from my trusty laptop. Writing is a gift, like any other gift. I may have no success with gardening, or painting a picture. I’m sports and electronically challenged, and while I love to sing, the best instrument I play is the radio. I’m not a hiker, walker, runner or physical training enthusiast. I enjoy cooking, but with just the two of us, find myself staring at the refrigerator more frequently than a cookbook, hoping for inspiration. My active imagination has gotten me into trouble from time to time, but if I could not imagine or dream, I couldn’t write. My books portray women in ancient times that modern women can identify with; The Samaritan Woman, Martha, Mary Magdalene, Claudia-Wife of Pontius Pilate, Ruth, Mary, the mother of Jesus. Each one has become real to me as I delve into their history and bring them to life. Age is only a number and I want to encourage those of you who feel you are too old to start that book you’ve always dreamed of writing … My first Biblical Fiction was published when I was 71. You can do the math. Start that story today!Read More
Recently I was able to attend the annual San Diego Public Library Annual Local Author Event. It was good to talk to other authors, see our latest book displayed, (In my case it was: Mary, Chosen of God. Of the many events planned, I found one session enlightening. From the perspective of one who has gone the self-published route in the past, it was interesting to hear the perspective of a local bookseller in regard to this issue.
Why are they reluctant to carry a self-published book?
1. Consignments are awkward. It someone wants a book and the supply is gone, the bookseller has to contact you individually to bring more in. If you are out of town or on vacation, your reader will lose interest.
2. They have to keep separate accounting which is time consuming.
3. If there is damage to one of your books, the bookseller is on the hook to replace it.
4. Do not tell them the book is for sale on Amazon.com. even if it is! Booksellers are in the business to sell books and Amazon is competition.
5. Spend the money to have an attractive cover done. Not blatant, it needs to fit in with the other books.
One Company he recommended having your book published through is INGRAM SPARK for the following reasons:
1. They are an independent but well-known book distributor most booksellers get their books through.
2. Books are returnable.
3. They send one check a month to Ingram, eliminating a separate check to you.
4. While royalties are lower it is still reasonable cost for the book.
To see if the bookseller is interested in carrying your book, send an e-mail with a cover of the book, a brief summary, the first page of the book and perhaps the blurb from the back cover of the book. This tells him a great deal. Appeal, your writing abilities, and your professionalism! Self-publishing is a difficult road. Marketing is expensive and time consuming. If you are determined, maybe these few points will help.Read More
At workshops I often tell the story of how my first book got published. It was the result of many years of trial and error and chasing down editors at conferences. It was Journey to the Well and no one was doing Biblical Fiction. It was finally suggested to me that I get an agent. “No problem” said I, naively. No one in Southern California was taking new clients, especially someone writing Biblical Fiction. I flung up my hand towards the heavens and said, “If you want this book published, you have to find me an agent!” In looking through the Christian Writer’s Market Guide one day, I kept coming back to an agent in Pittsburgh and felt strongly I was to call her. Cross country, cold turkey. To my amazement and delight, she liked the idea of my book and asked me to send 3 chapters that would stand her on her ear. Whew! I must have picked the right chapters for we signed a contract and she’s been my friend and agent for 12 years. She couldn’t place that first book, due to the market, so I went through Xulon Press so I could take the book with me on my speaking circuit for Christian Women’s Clubs. That’s where the ego trip began. I forgot who the real author of the book was. When I finally came to my senses and acknowledged Him as the One who had inspired me to write the book, the doors opened and Revell published Journey to the Well. I never forgot after that to give glory where it was due! Seven years and ten books later, I am more than happy to give God the credit. He is the author and finisher of our faith, and giver of gifts.Read More
Someone asked me what type of a writing schedule I used. It reminded me of an article I read about ten well-known authors and when they wrote. The list was as diversified as the authors themselves. One wrote in the wee hours of the morning, one wrote at night, one scheduled a specific time, another allotted himself to write at lease 1000 words a day, etc. One even put on a three-piece suit, went across the hall to his office, wrote from 9 to 12, stopped for lunch and to answer e-mail and then wrote again from 1:30 to 5. No two claimed the same schedule. We are as diverse in our writing habits as we are with our genres. I sit down and write rather randomly. I can go for days without writing, and then buckle down and write a chapter a day. I do my best writing the day before I need a chapter to take to my writer’s critique group. LOL. It’s not when you write, but its what you accomplish when you sit down at your computer. And may I suggest prayer first? Turn your project over to the Lord and let the Spirit inspire you. Ask him to help you use your gift to glorify Him. You will see a change in your writing, no matter what time you set aside to work!Read More
Ah, another book finished and approaching publication, and of course the editor asks for endorsements. Hmmmm. I have many great author friends, but most of them are besieged by other authors to endorse their books. I’ve been fortunate to secure one or two, but where do you go to get a major endorsement? Sometimes your agent can suggest endorsements from her other authors, as mine did, and sometimes you can take a chance and write to a well-known author. I was fortunate to have T.Davis Bunn endorse “Martha” in exchange for a small favor I did for him at a conference. Jerry Jenkins has been a speaker for our Guild several times, but an extremely busy author, so he kindly opted out. My editor sends out review copies and has done blog tours, which give excellent feedback. Those can be used also. Sometimes an author will do an endorsement for your book in exchange for an endorsement on their book. I’ve done that also. All that said, the ones that thrill me the most are from my readers. It keeps me writing!Read More
My college sojourn lasted only a year and a half. By that time I was given a new respect and love for the Scriptures. God’s Word was imbedded in my heart and a hunger was birthed to know His Word deeply and intimately. I had learned what God sought to teach me, to know His Word intimately and see the people presented in the Scriptures for the human beings they were. I had spent hours studying, taking notes, taking tests, and hardly seeing my husband as I immersed myself in studies. Finally He released me from college studies to begin writing again.
As I began to write other books (six were Biblical Fiction, and I am working on my seventh) and delve into the Scriptures for insight into the women I was writing about, research became a joy. I promised myself, and God, that while I had poetic license to add characters and dialogue, my stories would be true to incidents actually spoken of in the Bible. I felt the burden God had put on my heart was to take women who had been maligned, either in Scripture or in the well-meaning pulpits of the world, and show them as God saw them, with love and understanding. I saw the woman at the well in the Gospel of John not as a prostitute or loose woman, but as someone who was a victim of the circumstances and times she lived in. She was an overcomer, as Jesus urges us all to be. Martha, a mover and shaker, was also a woman with a heart; Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute, the Scriptures never say that about her. I had to then create the circumstances whereby Satan had access to her life—the seven demons. Claudia is mentioned in the Bible in only one paragraph, but her background in history was fascinating and the story emerged. Ruth was a joy to write and research, with a slightly unusual portrayal. The Lord, who in a way I could not miss, put the subject of Mary, the mother of Jesus, firmly on my heart as my next book. With some reluctance in regard to the subject, I obeyed. Mary, Chosen of God, was challenging, enlightening and written with reverence.Read More