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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Thursday, September 30, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: L. A. Hollis


L. A. Hollis is a published author. She has also been a columnist and feature writer for the Traveler Weekly Newspaper, and for other local and regional publications. She resides in Southern California with her husband, Mark, and five children.


Other books by L. A. Hollis:
“I Cannot Tell a Lie: The True Story of George Washington’s African American Descendants. (Linda Allen Bryant)





GOING IN CIRCLES


Bruce Jones and Marcus Emerson are members of the “posse” an elite group of five football standouts at UC Berkeley. There isn’t a female on or off campus that is immune to the suave brother’s legendary tactics with the fairer sex. Bruce is the leader of the group and his words are considered golden by those wanting to perfect their “playah” skills. The smooth talking brother’s popular handbook for lesser men, titled, “The Playah’s Guide for Dummies,” is a much sought after publication by the male student body on campus. Its witticisms on the treatise of male/female relationships make for great fun.


Amber is Bruce’s younger sister and she sets her sights on his best friend, Marcus. Marcus has managed in the past to fend off his numerous admirers until she appears on the scene. An instant attraction sparks a lively romance. As the lovers set off on a funny, touching, journey of the heart, their relationship is wrenched from them in tragic circumstances.


Twelve years will pass before the lovers are reunited and given a second chance to live the life that was meant for them so many years before. Will they find the happiness that eluded them in the past?




How did you start out your writing career?


My mother is an editor and publisher of a newspaper in Illinois. I believe I inherited the flare of the pen from her. I’ve always loved to write and I believe that’s a must for an author.


What did you learn while writing this book?


That I love writing in the romance genre.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?


My goal was for readers of this book to experience the highs and lows that occur in any romantic relationship. I wanted to deliver a page turner with powerful emotions, sensuality, and incomparable humor. I believe Going in Circles is totally fresh, with an emotional and uplifting storyline  a memorable “feel good” read.


What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?


Writing daily on a consistent basis.


If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?


Johanna Lindsey, Karen Robards, and Beverly Jenkins. All three writers make their characters believable  a feat that I aspire to do in my writing.


What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?


How much time it takes to finish a novel, the need to attend more writing conferences, and to get a great editor.


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?


The “do” is to be able to work through constructive criticism about your writing and the “don’t” is not to become discouraged when you receive it.


I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?


For my novel to be made into a movie. I believe “Going in Circles” might just accomplish my fantasy.


What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?


The sacrifices you have to make to become a writer. Your daily life sometimes has to take a back seat. You also have to study the craft of writing fiction.


What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?


The best advice was to never take no for an answer. The worst  give it up and do something else.


If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?


Italy


What is something readers would be surprised you do?


Delving into the different martial arts.


Our theme this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found works well for you?


On line bookstores, book clubs, and blogs.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?


To make life complete, you need to experience true love and once experiencing it . . . you’ll find that love can truly conquer all things.


Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?


I can’t give a peek at this time, but I can promise another page turner.


How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)


Readers can reach me at Lindab116@aol.com or on my page at Amazon.com.
http://www.amazon.com/L.-A.-Hollis/e/B003T6OIBO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0



Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Going In Circles.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Isla Morley

(photo credit: Molly Hawkey)

 
Isla Morley grew up in South Africa during apartheid, the child of a British father and fourth-generation South African mother. During the country’s State of Emergency, she graduated from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth with a degree in English Literature.


By 1994 she was one of the youngest magazine editors in South Africa, but left career, country and kin when she married an American and moved to California. For more than a decade she pursued a career in non-profit work, focusing on the needs of women and children.


She has lived in some of the most culturally diverse places of the world, including Johannesburg, London and Honolulu. Now in the Los Angeles area, she shares a home with her husband, daughter, two cats, a dog and a tortoise.


Come Sunday


Abbe is a restless young mother living on the outskirts of Honolulu with her husband, Greg, the pastor at a small church. Their lives are suddenly riven by tragedy when their three-year-old daughter, Cleo, is struck and killed by car. As Greg turns to God and community for comfort, Abbe turns inward and reflects upon her own troubled past. Isla Morley brilliantly weaves the story of Abbe’s grief with a gripping tale of her tempestuous childhood in apartheid South Africa---and how Abbe’s father, a villainous drunk, held her family hostage for decades with his rage, until they finally began to plot their escape from him. Come Sunday is a spellbinding drama about a woman breaking free of her grief and of her past, and what it takes to revive hope when all seems lost.


How did you start your writing career?


I stumbled on it, really. I came back from a year abroad and answered an ad in the classifieds for an ‘editorial assistant.’ Which is a fancy way of saying, “Gopher.” In a couple of years, I went from writing phony Letters to the Editor to being the Editor. It’s weird, writing to yourself.


What did you learn while writing this book?


Just because you sit in the swivel chair and have command of the keyboard doesn’t mean you are always in control of the story. Strong characters have a way of doing things and saying stuff you didn’t plan – kind of like the weird uncle who comes to your house on Thanksgiving. Writing Abbe Deighton’s story also taught me about the tenacity of the human spirit. No matter how deep the grief, life always finds a way.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?


I never planned to write a novel. In fact, because my early writing career was so unsatisfying, I planned never to write anything but airmail letters back to my mom in South Africa. But once I started capturing Abbe’s journey, I wanted to finish it. And when the finish line got within sight, I wanted to have it published. And when that wild fantasy came true, I realized, “Oh gosh, people are going to read this!” So now I think, “If this can be the book that someone out there needs to read on a rainy day and is moved by it, then I have accomplished something great.”


What is the toughest test you’ve faced as a writer?


Spending a couple of years writing something that in the end didn’t quite sparkle. The old hag who sits in my head and criticizes my every word cackled very loudly when this happened. I have no idea how I’m going to gag her when I start on the rewrite.


If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?


Cormac McCarthy because I love his stories, but also because he knows something about persevering and about not being pulled into the marketing fandango book publishing often requires.


Anne Lamott because she knows God has a sense of humor and writes about faith in an unconventional and authentic way. And because she must just drive theYes-But-What-Category-Does-This-Fall-Into people nuts.


Natalie Goldberg because she taught me about the importance of capturing first thoughts. And because if she came to tea at my house she’d tell me how to fix my second novel (no, she’d probably say something along the lines of “Give yourself tremendous space to wander in, to be utterly lost with no name, and then come back and speak” – p.130 of Writing Down the Bones, for those who wish to look it up.)


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?


When bad things happen to you, pay attention, take notes. Tell yourself, “It’s all material.” That’s the do part. The don’t is this: don’t work on a computer that’s connected to the internet. It’s just that much easier to check your emails or go trawling on Facebook for old flames whenever you hit a rough patch in your writing.


I borrowed this question from author Carleene Brice… What is your author fantasy?


Because I was adopted at birth, one of my fantasies is having a blood relative find my book in a store and turn to my headshot on the back cover and see an undeniable resemblance. But then my fantasy usually takes a turn for the worst, and the long lost relative who plans the reunion arrives on my doorstep in bib overalls and no front teeth and hands me a sign-up sheet for the Moonies.


What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?


I have a friend who reads non-fiction exclusively because he wants to read only about Things That Are True. It’s too bad. There are deep and eternal truths to be found in books, most particularly in those where everything is made up. Both through reading and writing, I have learned how to live a more meaning life. I’ve learned through the stories of fictional characters (some even of my own creation) how to forgive, and how to love.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?


Grow a thick skin is hands-down the best advice. The worst: go online and read about your chances of being published.


If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?


I’d like to see the Aurora Borealis. And I’d like to go somewhere remote on a little boat (not the touristy kind) where I can sit and watch whales all day.


What is something readers would be surprised you do?


Write by hand.


Our theme this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found works well for you?


Being on a blog tour has generated a lot of conversation around the book. I think many book lovers put more stock in reviews by readers than those by critics.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?


There is a Center of the universe, and I am not it.
And also this: things do not stay bad forever – hope is as obstinate as a weed.


Can you give us a sneak peek at your next book?


Just as soon as Natalie Goldberg fixes it.


How can readers get in contact with you?


You can email me at isla_morley@yahoo.com and visit me on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Isla-Morley/120805304632410?ref=mf

For those of you who like to browse websites, mine is http://www.islamorley.com/.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Cheryl Robinson

WHEN I GET WHERE I’M GOING


After thirteen years in Hollywood, Alicia Day is giving up her dream of stardom and heading home to Detroit—and back to her roots.


Hope Teesdale is desperately seeking the truth about her husband’s death when she hears from her long lost half-sister Alicia. Suddenly her idea of family is put into question.


Heave Jetter hasn’t spoken to her sister Hope in years. Her spirit is being held captive by an abusive boyfriend. Her only comfort comes from admiring a mysterious man from afar on the streets of Detroit.


As the sisters reunite, they’re determined to help one another find their silver linings. And realize that they never have to go it alone again.

 How did you start out your writing career?


For several years after I completed a fiction writing class as an elective at Wayne State University , I was trying to develop my writer’s voice. I quickly finished a manuscript in the early 90’s and sent it out and received nothing but rejection letters from literary agents. One letter stated, “I can tell you have a voice and I’m sure one day your books will be on bookshelves, but we have no use for your work.” I will never forget that. No use? It was like they were saying you can write, but we still don’t want to be bothered with you. Being the kind of person who doesn’t take to rejection too well that letter was my last straw among so many. But the desire to write would never leave.


Then in 1997, I read the article "How I Did It" in Essence Magazine. It featured Kimberla Lawson Roby. She was discussing how she broke into the publishing industry by initially self-publishing. While I was reading the article, I told myself that was exactly what I was going to do. A light bulb really did go off in my head, because before that I didn't even know a person could publish their own book. She mentioned how supportive her husband was and how he told her to go for it and follow her dreams. There were no cheerleaders in my corner telling me what I could do only what I shouldn’t try to do, what I couldn’t afford to do. But I just knew that I could, believed that I would, and had Kimberla's article to inspire me along the way. Five years later, I self-published my first novel and a couple years later I signed my first publishing contract.


What did you learn while writing this book?


We all need a little help to get through the rough patches life throws at us. Some of us need a lot. Heaven needed a lot of help and all of the sisters needed each other.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?


I wanted the characters to feel real while also entertaining the reader and I want readers to feel connected to each of them. I have a feeling which sister readers will like the most, but I could very well be wrong.


What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?


Effectively balancing my time between writing and promoting what I’ve written. Every author can’t afford to tour, but we all need an audience.


If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?


1. Maya Angelou to say thank you. Her autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, got me through some challenging teenage years.


2. Kimberla Lawson Roby because I’ve been reading her books since the late 90’s and she was one of my great inspirations. I’ve told her thank you before so maybe just to talk.


3. James Patterson because he's the highest paid author and according to Forbes Magazine earns $70 million a year. I think I could learn a lot from someone who sells more books than anyone. I'd love to find out.


What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?


1. That it's impossible to please everyone.


2. Trust your instincts. They are rarely if ever wrong.


3. There will be plenty of bittersweet moments.


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?


Do study the craft of writing.


Don't believe everything you hear or read—consider the source and their intentions.


I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?


To have so many readers anticipating my upcoming release that my publisher has to go into a second printing before the release date and my book is an instant New York Times bestseller.


What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?


Writing is not a racket. I’ve heard that tossed around recently. Writing a novel isn’t easy, and it’s also a very lonely process. It takes countless hours and what feels like endless days and nights. I can’t speak for all writers, but I write because of how I feel while I’m doing it. How it transports me from my reality to a fiction world that still feels real and allows me to see the world through the eyes of my characters. I probably write for the same reason people read.


What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?


Best: Even though you have a publishing contract you will still have to work just as hard as you did when you were a self-published author.


Worst: Before I signed a book deal someone suggested a vanity press, which is essentially a publisher who charges you to print and distribute your books. Why would I have done that? I was already self-published.


If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?


Cape Town.


What is something readers would be surprised you do?


Try to solve real life murder mysteries.


Our theme this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found works well for you?


Number one would be my Web site. I have Pam at Pageturners.net to thank for that. Putting that aside for a moment it's been somewhat hard for me to analyze for some reason. There are so many wonderful resources for readers to log on to and writers to promote their work on. It's hard for me to decide to go with one or another or go wtih most of them. This campaign I went with many of them. I do continue to advertise with the same sites from book to book so that has to say something. Let me also say that I have done interviews or book cover placements with each one of my books with AALBC, Mosaic Books, Urban-Reviews, RAWSISTAZ, APOOO, Book Remarks. And I've done an online campaign with Ella Curry of EDC Creations for two of my books. I also did a very successful internet tour with Marlive Harris of The Grits for Sweet Georgia Brown. I'm also doing some things this year with Sormag and with Sylvia Hubbard of Motown Writers. If you ask me what works best that's what's hard for me to judge. I’m still evaluating that, but I also do things just to be supportive. What works for one author may not work for another. And what worked or didn’t work for one book may or may not work for the next. It's best to give them a try and determine for yourself. I’m not sure what my online marketing campaign will be next year. I'll work on that in January.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?


Whatever your thoughts are so shall your experiences be. If you think positively, you will be surrounded by others who think the same way. If you're negative and always think the worst of a person or a situation that's what you'll get.


Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?


Tentatively titled Remember Me, it is the story of two women who went from being best friends in high school to perfect strangers as adults after the loyalty that defined their friendship was tested. A fatal accident brings the women together to face their past, present, and future.


How can readers get in contact with you?


My Web site is http://www.cherylrobinson.com/


My blog is http://www.mybestlife365.blogspot.com/
My email address is newfictionwriter@msn.com






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Friday, September 24, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Lorna Seilstad

Award-winning author Lorna Seilstad has called Iowa home her whole life. She received her B.S. in education from Lubbock Christian University. After her first child was born, she quit teaching and became a professional wiper. “I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby's bottoms, and countertops every day. But at naptime, I wrote." Today, she writes historical fiction with a generous dash of humor. Making Waves is her debut novel. She and her husband have three children.


Making Waves


When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews.


But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's gambling problems threaten to ruin the family forever. Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father's name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart--even if it means abandoning the family she loves?


How did you start out your writing career?


When my youngest daughter was a baby, I decided I wanted to get back into writing. I hadn’t written fiction for years, so I started writing fan fiction. I found a great site, with 4,000 members, with a Christian base. There, I was able to practice the things I was learning about writing and was able to find my voice.


I presented my manuscript to Andrea Doering, Revell’s senior acquisitions editor, at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2008 conference. This later lead to a three-book contract.


What did you learn while writing this book?


To write even when I didn’t feel like writing. I wanted to have it done by the time ACFW conference came. I had to work fast to do that and get it polished. When you’re writing a book with humor in it, sometimes it’s hard to write on days you don’t feel funny.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?


I think people picture the past in black and white. I wanted to bring it back to life – in full color. Times change and styles, but the basic human nature of people doesn’t. People back then laughed and cried about the same things we do. I also wanted bring out how much God values truth—especially being honest with ourselves.


What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?


Starting book two. I sat in front of the screen for a couple of days. I kept thinking, “Can I do this again?” I talked to my mentor and writing friend and told her I was having trouble starting the new book. She told me. “Yep, and it will only get worse with each book. That’s our reminder that we can’t do it, but God can.”


If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?


Madelyn L’Engle—A Wrinkle in Time was the first book that literally swept me into another world, but her books on writing are pure poetry.


Mary Shelley—I want to know what possessed such a young woman to even think about writing Frankenstein. (And talk about a book that’s better than the movie!)


Amelia Bloomer—She was a woman’s suffrage writer and I just finished doing research about her for A Great Catch, book 2 in the Manawa series. I’d love to speak to her personally and ask her where she found the courage to advocate a change in women’s dress and to begin a women’s suffrage paper.


Wouldn’t those three make for fascinating dinner companions? I can almost imagine the discussion. If I could sneak in a couple more, I’d pick Jane Austin and Willa Cather.


What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?


I wish I would have known to do more interesting things so I’d have something to talk about in interviews.


I wish I would have known the amount of time the publicity side of publishing takes.


I wish I would have known to keep a more detailed timeline on book one. It is much harder to go back and create one than to do it while you’re writing the book. On the second book, I was much more careful.


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?


Do write, write, write. I recently read it takes 10,000 hours of writing to reach the level of being a professional. I think that it takes at least that many hours to find your voice too.


Don’t—miss an opportunity to learn. If God blesses you with a mentor you can learn from or leads you to a book or website, glean as much as you can from the experience. Learn the rules of the game before you start playing. Develop a teachable spirit.


I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?


Author fantasy? LOL.I’m not sure I can share that in public. Honestly, my fantasy has been to hold a book that I’ve written or to see it on a the shelf of the bookstore. My husband’s fantasy has been for me to make enough money to buy him a boat.


What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?


That I am working even if it’s at home. A lot of people think I can drop everything and do something during the day. Sometimes I can, but sometimes I can’t.


What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?


Best? I’ve received so many pieces of great advice. Judy Miller told me when I pitched my manuscript with the editor to be as passionate about it with the editor as I had been when I talked about it with her. She said passion is contagious, and I agree completely.


Worst? You’d better not get your hopes up too high. I understand why people say this, but it feels like they’re projecting their insecurity on my dreams.


If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?


I’d love to see Scotland or England, but my husband really wants to take me to Thailand. He lived there for two years, teaching agriculture through a 4-H program, but he says they don’t have chocolate. I’m not sure I can live without it.


What is something readers would be surprised you do?


I also do wedding coordinating. I guess romance is in my blood. I love weddings and love making the day turn out the way the bride imagined it.


Our theme this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found works well for you?


I’m new at this, so I’m really still following the advice of others. I really enjoy my Facebook connections. Twittering was a challenge at first, but I think it works well once you produce Tweets of value to readers. I’m thrilled with the ten-writer blog I’m part of at http://www.inkspirationalmessages.com/. We have a lot on readers joining us.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?


I know that I’m a child of God. I know I’ve been blessed to find the love of my life in my husband, and I know I want to glorify God with my life.


Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?


Absolutely! I’m excited about A Great Catch. It releases in June 2011, and it was so much fun to write.


When twenty-two year old Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the Lake Manawa resort guests, the spunky and clumsy suffragette is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. Busy working in the suffrage movement, she has neither the time nor the need for a man in her life. The “cause” is much too important.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer at Lake Manawa before he is forced into the straight-laced, dawn-to-dusk business world of his rival brother. He has no plans for romance until Emily crashes into his life at a roller skating rink.

When subterfuge and distrust interfere with their budding romance, will the pitcher strike out completely? Or will the suffragette find strength in her faith and cast her vote for a love that might costs her dreams?

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)


Website: http://www.lornaseilstad.com/
E-mail: seal4life@cox.net
Facebook: Making Waves Fan Page
Twitter: LornaSeilstad


I would love for readers to sign up for my newsletter, where they can get a chance at quarterly giveaways, and I love to hear from readers.


Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Making Waves.



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Thursday, September 23, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Darlene Franklin


Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin recently returned to cowboy country—Oklahoma. The move was prompted by her desire to be close to her son’s family; her daughter Jolene has preceded her into glory.

Darlene loves music, needlework, reading and reality tv. Talia, a Lynx point Siamese cat, proudly claims Darlene as her person.


A Woodland Christmas is Darlene’s eleventh title with Barbour Publishing. Seaside Romance and Prodigal Patriot, both historical romance set in New England, became available from Barbour this summer. Visit Darlene’s blog at www.darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com for information on book giveaways and upcoming titles.


A Woodland Christmas


Gabe Noell, an itinerant woodcarver, moves from town to town in the Piney Woods of East Texas. His “sawdust sermons” are even more valuable than the furniture he crafts. The advice he dispenses help four couples find their way to the miracle of love at Christmas.


Synopsis of my story, The Face of Mary: Five years ago, Joseph “Joey” Carpenter told Mary “Polly” Jessup that he would marry her when she grew up. She treasures his words in her heart, but he forgets her and instead returns home with a law degree—and a girlfriend, the banker’s daughter. When the bank prosecutes Polly’s absent-minded father for taking the bank’s money, she turns to Joey for help. Will Joey recognize the face of his true love in time for Christmas?


How did you start out your writing career?


The odd thing is that I worked as a society editor for about 18 months long before I started writing seriously. In the wake of my divorce almost twenty years ago, I picked up pen and paper and have never put them down. I began writing devotionals and progressed to my first novel. My first book, Romanian Rhapsody, came out in 2005.


What did you learn while writing this book?


I learned a lot about myself as a writer. I wrote a story that I felt was well told, but rather simple. When I read it again, months later, I thought, “Wow, did I write that?” I am learning to trust the process. That the terrible first draft can and will turn into something readers will want to see. I take a lot of comfort from that when I’m struggling with a new project.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?


I hope my readers will search for the qualities that set apart Mary apart, in themselves and in others—and seek to emulate them.


What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?


Doubting myself! Over and over again. Would I ever succeed? Now that I have several books under my belt, will I continue to grow—both in craft and in book sales? Should I write? Obviously, I kept coming back for more, and now I am fortunate that I write full time. Nonetheless, doubts still creep in. I suspect they always will.


If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?


First of all: J.R.R. Tolkien or any of the other Inklings. He created such a complete world and such powerful characters. I bow in his presence.

Second would be a toss up between Dick Francis and James Lee Burke. They are my favorite mystery authors, because of their strong characters and settings. Francis took the narrow world of British horse racing and made it accessible to people around the globe.


Third: how about John Grisham? How did he get started writing? How does it work to cross so often between books with strong Christian themes to books that simply tell a great story? Have his editors ever tried to get him to tone down his Christian message?


What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?


1. I wish I had become part of a national network, such as ACFW, a long time ago.


2. I wish I had a better handle on marketing myself (and the reality that I would need to market myself).


3. That writers don’t have to stick what they know—they can write about what interests them, provided they’re willing to do the research.


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

DO read, read, read and write, write, write. Those two things will do more than anything else to improve your writing.


DON’T take any one person’s opinion too seriously.


I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?


I’ll borrow one of my answers from Debbie Macomber’s dare at the 2009 ACFW conference: what dream is beyond your wildest fantasy as a writer?

I would like to support myself by writing one book a year; and I want to have a tangible, financial legacy to pass on to my family.


What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?


Writers live in their heads. I described myself recently as a video camera that records everything going on around me, and everything enters into the writer’s grist mill.


What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?


The best advice is pretty basic: study your target market. Study everything from the authors and books they publish to their submission guidelines. A movie producer told me he looked at the first page and the last page of a script. Did the writer get the format right? Was it the right length? Only if the manuscript met those two criteria did he continue reading.


The worst? What I remember is the pain I felt when an editor described me as a “beginning writer” (after I had been writing for more than 10 years). I will never submit to that magazine. That wasn’t so much bad advice as a bad reaction to it!


If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?


I would love to visit Australia and New Zealand. There are other places I want to visit—Hawaii; the Caribbean; the British Isles. But those are all places I might make on my own. I doubt I’ll get down under.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?


I watch almost every kind of reality TV. I’m not ashamed of watching television. I need “down” time, to recharge. I can certainly justify the beauty of shows like So You Think You Can Dance or the learning offered by Amazing Race. But what draws me to shows like Hell’s Kitchen (even the name makes me cringe) or Project Runway?


Our theme this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found works well for you?


I have recently added a monthly author interview and book giveaway component to my personal blog, and my number of visitors has increased exponentially. Some of the visitors who come to check out the interview come back for my more personal posts. That, plus the personal and professional posts on Facebook, keep me in the public eye.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?


God loves me! That is the rock bottom, foundational truth that has helped me survive tough times from abuse to suicide.


Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?


My second historical Vermont book, Bridge to Love, comes out in September. The Year of No Summer, when frost or snow occurred every month and destroyed all crops, held New England in its grasp in 1816. Only Calvin Tuttle desperately needs a successful crop, to pay the bank. Especially since he’s in love with the banker’s daughter.


How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)


Email: belovedfranklin@msn.com


Web/blog: http://darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com/





Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A Woodland Christmas.


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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Only Way is Up Blog Tour

Folake Taylor is an outpatient Internal Medicine Physician in the suburbs of Atlanta Georgia. She is married with a little girl. She obtained her residency training at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta after her initial medical education in Nigeria. She was born in the United Kingdom to Nigerian born parents.


The Only Way is Up


This book features the author’s experiences and views on pertinent life issues as an immigrant to the United States of America. The objective is to empower women. However, the greater part of the message is of relevance to a general audience. Some of the issues that are the focus of this book are:

• Identity
• Health & Preventive medicine
• Finding a mate
• Relationships & Family
• Single parenthood
• Teenage pregnancies
• Gender roles
• Diet & Nutrition


PODCAST



MP3 File




Book Trailer



Purchase the Book Online at:


• Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Only-Way-Up-Journey-Immigrant/dp/0982667205/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

• BarnesandNoble – http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780982667200/?itm=1

 
• Books A Million – http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781448618019?id=4715246323067



• Indiebound - http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780982667200


For More Information


• Visit the author online at http://www.theonlywayisup.net/.

• View the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/TheOnlyWayisUpTour





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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Katherine Jones Scholarship Winner

My Inspiration


I recently took a trip to Atlanta to attend the Black Writers Reunion & Conference, after winning the Katherine D Jones scholarship sponsored by SORMAG. And I think I broke out of my shyness because I had a BLAST on top of learning so much about the literary industry, and sharing my dreams with others. I have always thought of myself as an introvert, but I'm truly an extrovert who really loves to meet and greet others sharing a common interests for books, reading, and writing. I met some of the most amazing writers from all across the country with personal stories of inspiration, who offered words of encouragement and a wealth of information that will assist me during my writing in progress.


One writer I met in particular was someone like me, the previous year, gathering all the resources she needed to make her dreams of becoming a published author, TRUE. Inspiration #1 Nakia R. Laushaul, author of The Truth As I See, driven by her faith to write and published her book of poetry and prose within a year. WOW! In addition, she hosted one of the workshops this year at BWRC, sharing with other authors how to write some cents into it by turning your passion for writing into a potentially lucrative business.


I had the opportunity to meet several other writers such as Dwan Abrams, Stacy Hawkins Adams, and Vincent Alexandria titled book Black Rain, which is now set to show on the big screen. What an amazing accomplishment for Mr. Vincent! I was so fortunate all workshops of my choice and one of my favorite ones were with Sharon Ewell Foster who hosted Creating Strong Characters, Dialogue & Style, and Writing Christian Fiction. Inspiration #2 Sharon made me realize there’s no escaping my desire to write the story that is on my heart, especially if GOD has a hand in the destiny he has pre-determined for me. All I have to do is just write it. Therefore, I am writing it with everything I had learned to carry me through my journey.


I also enjoyed meeting and participating in Linda Beed's workshop. She hosted Authors as Activist. Inspiration #3--- thanks Linda for helping me see my passion beyond the quote of ‘just writing’. My passion as an author activist is to help other see that their life has value. Inspiration #4 Renee Daniel Flagler who hosted the workshop So You Wanna Write. I simply love Renee’s personality as a determined, professional, easygoing, God empowered enterprising person. What a true motivator! Her presentation was phenomenal for anyone who has a desire to write. She told me to just write, write, and write!


Attending the Black Writers Reunion & Conference was a blessing beyond belief just to be in the presence of other writers who uplifted each other with fellowship, and made this stranger within myself, feel as though I was a part of a whole new family. Many doors have been open, one, which allowed me to join a local writers group with a few published authors from the conference. I have formed many friendships with kindred spirits who embrace the muse of writing and networking. Most importantly, I have removed the term 'inspiring' writer from my vocabulary when ask if I’m a writer. Inspiration #5 a special thanks to Tia and Monica, the directors of BWRC who encouraged me to claim and believe what I am.


I am a writer!


Here's a link of my slides (pics) from the conference...


http://www.slide.com/r/t6I-DExF5D-kaMK1eqEhmOXT-dnZx5wY?previous_view=mscd_embedded_url&view=original



Leticia Bouvier-Williams is the first recipient of the Katherine Jones Scholarship awarded to an aspiring writer to attend a live conference.




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About Me

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I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.

I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.

I’m available for:

Online promotion coaching
Lectures
Seminars
Freelancing
Contact me at:lchwriter@gmail.com

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