Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Christmas Carol Epiphany

And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us—full of grace and truth. John 1:14

 As writers we agonize over the right word for each sentence. We scour the thesaurus determined to find the word that conveys our thoughts, or anchors our point so there will be no misunderstanding, no question as to what we want to say.
God had one special word for his children: Jesus

Sometimes we hear a word so often it loses its power. In our culture today the words love and hate are flung around for everything. I hate peas. I hate that movie. I hate that place. I love candy. I love to shop. I love that commercial.

At Christmas time, singing carols is one of the joys of the season. I learned the words to them as a first grader. We were given little pink sheets of paper with the words to all the carols and we strolled through my hometown singing at every door.

We all know the words, but often we sing them without thinking about what they really say. After many years at odds with God, he drew me back. That first Christmas after I rededicated my life to Him, I sang the same old carols with the same old words, but this time they were backlit with an awareness, and a knowledge that had been absent before.

Phrases like:

God and sinners reconciled
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see
Please with man as man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel
Light and life to all he brings
Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die
Born to give them second birth

That year those words and verses resonated with me in a way they never had before. I wasn’t just singing nice words to a song. I was ‘seeing’ them and ‘hearing’ them and ‘understanding’ them in a way I never had before. My Christmas Carol Epiphany.

This year when you sing the carols in church or around the piano with your family, or hear them on your radio or ipod, listen to them carefully, let them sink into your spirit and comfort you this Christmas season.

Words are important to a writer. But these words are important to everyone in this fallen world.

 Merry Christmas Peace on Earth

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Love Inspired Cover

Looky what Santa left in my stocking early this year. My new cover for Rekindled Romance. It's my first Love Inpsired and it's due out in April. 

Rekindled Romance is the first in the Dover, Mississippi series. Book #2, Restoring His Heart is due in June 2013.

This story is introduces the Durrants. Two brothers and a sister who live in the small Mississippi town of Do Over, Mississippi. more commonly called Dover.

When Shelby Russell is forced to return to her hometown to recuperate from a serious health issue, she is prepared to find her ex fiance and his two adorable children living right next door.

Can't wait to hold the book in my hands.



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Surprise Contracts. Priceless

Ginger -
At the ACFW conference this year in Dallas, I got a wonderful surprise. I learned Barbour Publishing was going to purchase something I wrote. I was getting my first publishing contract!

When the news came, my friends, who all knew of the surprise contract, turned to me waiting for the cheers and squeals of delight that usually accompany such news, but all I could comprehend at that moment were relief and thankfulness—relief that all my years of working and hoping had not been in vain, and an overpowering thankfulness to the Lord for finally making it happen.

Like other writers, I spent years clinging to the hopes of one day being published. I knew I had a God-given gift and the desire to use it for God’s glory, but what was taking so long? It’s hard to keep going sometimes when you don’t see any progress towards your goals. I began to wonder had I misunderstood God? Was I fooling myself into believing I could be a published writer? With so many options available today to self-publish, why was I waiting for a traditional publisher to validate my writing? The doubts were endless and my future seemed bleak. 

I was pregnant with my son when I read a newspaper article about another writer who’d sold her first manuscript and suddenly become an overnight sensation. In that article, she stated she’d been writing for ten years. Although I’d been formulating stories in my head most of my life, I’d only recently put pen to paper and started writing my first story and I remember commenting that if it took me ten years to get published then I would give up long before that. That son is now twenty-three years old, and still I persevere.

What kept me writing all those years? Faith. Faith that God had given me something that He wanted me to use. I repeated two verses over and over. Hebrews 11:1 which reminded me that faith meant being certain of what I hoped for but could not see, and Jeremiah 29:11 which promised God had a plan for my life, a plan to give me hope and a future. I had no way of knowing I would ever get a publishing contract. I could not always see how He was working in this part of my life. I only had my faith that God had given me something and that He would someday bring it to fruition in His time.   
The squeals of joy and delight came later. But in that moment, when I learned He had answered my long time prayer, my heart was overcome.

All I could do was praise the one who made it happen.   
Ginger Vaughn. Winner surprise contract from Barbour for Plantation Christmas Weddings Collection.

Cynthia -
“What do you mean I should reconsider going to Dallas?” I looked at my husband astonished as we sat eating pizza. Hadn’t we decided just two weeks before that the trip to the ACFW conference would take too much money and time?
            “I’ve changed my mind. I think you ought to go.” This complete turnaround in my husband’s attitude made me suspect something was afoot.
    Not that I had any reason to believe I would get a contract or even a look from an editor or agent at the conference. My first year experience in 2011 had helped me realize how little I knew about writing in spite of having written and self-published one novel.  I had spent my summer finishing and polishing my second full-length novel and writing two novellas to go in collections proposed by my critique group, the Bards of Faith.
   Convinced at last that they knew more about getting published than I did, I had tried to incorporate as many of their suggestions into my novellas as I could, and I had spent a lot of time studying books on fiction writing and editing. Still, I couldn’t quite believe that I would see results any time soon. But since my husband said go, I trusted him.
    So it was that I sat with my friends near the front at the opening session and heard my name called as one of the winners of Barbour’s surprise contracts for previously uncontracted writers. I stumbled my way to the stage, tripping over the microphone cord and almost pulling it out of President Margaret Daley’s hand. She gave me a letter from Barbour offering me the contract, and then she handed me the microphone. I hardly know what I said. I hope I thanked the Bards for all their help.
      The most surprising thing to me has been everyone else’s reaction. I received so many hugs of congratulation, not just from friends, but from complete strangers. My appointments with agents and editors seemed so different from the year before.  I walked around ACFW in a haze trying to understand what this would mean to my future as a writer.
      Like all mountaintop experiences, this one had to end, and I found myself on Monday morning trudging up the stairs to my office, facing stacks of papers to grade that I had assigned while I was gone. As I searched in my purse for my keys, I turned to look at my door and saw a surprise. The door hung with crepe paper streamers, ribbons, and beads, and a large sign proclaiming, “Congratulations on your contract. We’re proud of you.” This encouraged me so much. Later that afternoon, my colleagues on the whole floor came into my office singing, “Happy contract to you,” and bearing a cake. Having friends who can rejoice with those who rejoice means so much.
    I don’t know what God has in store for me through all of this. My entire writing journey has been marked by miraculous signs of his leading and of his sending people to encourage and help me.  Getting a contract is another humbling sign of his approval of what I’m trying to accomplish by writing down spiritual truths that he has taught me in the form of stories. I praise him for the privilege of being allowed to write.

                                                                        Cynthia Leavelle

Saturday, October 13, 2012

ACFW Dallas Conference Report

 Well normally I come back from this conference filled with hope and enthusiasm that this year will be the year I sell a book. Two years ago I got an agent, Last year we had news of a pending sale on a Heartsong, plus lots of nibbles from several interested editors.

            But this year was completely different. This year I went to the conference with four contracts in my pocket. One from Heartsong, two from Love Inspired and one from Barbour. Wow!  What a great feeling. It changed the way I approached the conference too. No more nervous anxiety about pitching my books to editors or agents. No more trying to determined which editors might be a good fit for my current story. This year I could go simply to enjoy the experience, meet with other authors, spend time with friends and do a lot of networking.

            The first night my agent, Joyce Hart took all of her clients to dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. What a fun night meeting other Hartline authors.

            The next day was one of the most exciting for our group, The Bards of Faith, the Jackson, Mississippi writers group I belong to. Four of us sent a proposal to Barbour for a Christmas novella collection and it sold. Two of the authors were unpublished. One of the highlights of the conference is when Barbour awards surprise contracts to unpublished authors. This year the contracts went to our two members. Cynthia Leavelle and Ginger Vaughn. We’d all know about it for weeks but couldn’t tell them. What fun seeing their faces when their names were called.

            That night I got to attend a meet and greet with Love Inspired editors, Tina James and my editor, Melissa Endlich, and all the Love Inspired authors at the conference. I’m so excited to be part of this wonderful group of people.  

            Friday night was another Love Inspired event. The authors all went out to dinner at an Italian Restaurant and had a great time. One of the editors from Publishers Weekly came with us and wrote a very nice article about us with a picture.

            Saturday night was another big event, the Carol Awards. The of the most prestigious awards in Christian Fiction. Two of our members, our fearless leader Aaron McCarver and Diane Ashley, won for their Christmas Novella. What a way to end the evening. We’re so proud and happy for our members. It made for a very fun and upbeat ride home from Dallas to Jackson.

            Now it’s time to go back to work and produce those books that I have contracted. Three of them are done, and the last one in in the works. Next year when I go to conference I might have real books in the conference book store. That should be fun!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting for Isaac

 It’s 9:30 am, Wednesday, Sept 29. Seven years to the day when Katrina hit. I’m sitting in my gazebo, waiting for the Isaac to come through Brandon, Miss. The feeder bands – the outside edges of the hurricane - are arriving now. My house faces north so as I sit here, the gray clouds are making a huge arc from east to west, outlining the hurricane. Kind of eerie.
  Waiting for this storm is a nerve wracking even when you know it’s not going to be very bad. No one up here in the Jackson area is stocking up on food, or gas. Life is pretty much normal. I’ve prepared. All the hanging pots are taken down – they could turn into missiles in the high winds - the potted plants have been tucked away in bushes or brought in. Outdoor furniture cushions removed, everything tied down and stowed.  
   The wind is coming and going. When it’s calm the air is humid and still. There’s a heavy feeling in the air. Then the wind rushes through and cools everything down a bit. I wish I could stay here in the gazebo and let the wind whip around but when the rain gets here I’d be drenched. And a tree might fall on me out here. We lost three 40ft pine trees and one oak tree seven years ago. We lived in the gazebo for 4 days after Katrina since we didn’t have power.
  The main problem this time will be rain. Lots and lots of rain. Having lived many years in Louisiana I know those folks are in for some rough times. The land is low and doesn’t hold much water, there’s no place for it to go. Swamp land, you know.
   A stiff breeze just passed through sending my wind chimes singing. Guess I’d better haul them down too. I left the hummingbird feeders up because the little guys are still eating like crazy. We have four in the yard right now, all heading south. I’ve tried to take their picture but they are too fast for my I-pad.
    The wind is becoming steadier, not much break in it now. Right now it’s heavenly out here. 81 degrees, the breeze is cool and gentle. My roses are beautiful; I even have a couple of blossoms on the magnolia tree. Unusual for this time of year. I could almost forget there’s a storm coming. The sky is light again none of those gray clouds in the video. It won’t last.
   Maybe the Lord is trying to speak to us through this kind of waiting period. The clouds come and go. The sky darkens and brightens, the wind blows off and on and while we live in anticipation of a storm today, we should be living in anticipation of Him the rest of the time.
   LOL as I typed that last word, the sun came out. But it won’t last. Nothing does. Not life. Not families, not possessions. Not book contracts or lack of book contracts. He alone lasts and is forever. So while I wait for Isaac, I want to remember who waits for me at the end of these storms in life.
God Bless

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I’m so excited to welcome award winning, bestselling author Sandra Robbins to my blog. Sandra, Thank you so much for stopping by.                                                                      
Tell us about your new book Angel of the Cove, your first full length historical from Harvest House and book one in the Smokey Mountain Dreams series.

            Angel of the Cove is a historical romance set in 1894 in Cades Cove, Tennessee, a remote valley in the Smoky Mountains. Anna Prentiss has never wanted to be anything but a nurse. Before she can start school in New York, however, her brother sends her to Cades Cove, deep in the Smoky Mountains, to spend a summer apprenticing to the local midwife. Anna is determined to prove herself and then head to the big city.     
    But nothing could have prepared Anna for the beauty of the Cove, or the community and friendships she finds there. And she certainly wasn't prepared for Simon Martin, the handsome young minister, or the feelings he arouses in her. Has God's plan for Anna changed? Or is she just starting to hear Him clearly?

Mountain Homecoming, Book 2 in the series, will release in March, and the third book will release later next year.

Most readers know you from your exciting Love Inspired Suspense novels. Angel of the Cove is a new direction for you. How did that come about and do you have any difficulty moving between the two different genres?

When I first began to write, I wanted to write historical romance. When I went to my first writers’ conference, I discovered that editors were more interested in other genres at that time. I’ve always been a big fan of mystery/suspense/ thrillers, so I decided to try my hand at writing a cozy mystery. I sold that book and then sent a proposal to Love Inspired Suspense for a romantic suspense novel. It’s been wonderful writing for that line, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I recently signed a new contract with them that will bring my total in the LIS line to nine books.

However, historical romance is still dear to my heart, and I kept persevering with Anna’s story. I seem to move between my stories set in the past and my contemporary ones without any problems. In my suspense stories my research tends to revolve around police procedurals while my historicals deal with how life was lived in days gone by. I find both fascinating.

Is there a part of writing a book that is most enjoyable to you? Such as, laying out the plot, creating the characters, doing the research?

Although research takes a lot of time, I think that is the most enjoyable to me. I like finding the answers to questions I have that relate to the book. Also you never can tell where your search is going to lead. I may start out looking for one thing and I may find myself going in an entirely different direction. For instance I was recently researching the first hospital in a particular area and came across an article about a hotel that was connected to the grounds of this hospital by a footpath. Since this hotel had been important to the area, I had written it into the story, but I had it miles away from the hospital. So I had to go back in the manuscript and change that.

Every author and aspiring writer has a different faith journey. How has yours unfolded?

I’ve always had a deep faith in God and have known He was guiding me throughout my life. However, my eyes have been opened so much more to this since I have been writing. I was a teacher and a principal. I had no idea how anybody went about getting published, but I knew I wanted to write. And I wanted to write books that would uplift people and strengthen their faith in God.

I can only shake my head in amazement at how God put people  I’d never heard of in my path and blessed me through them. I have had the opportunity over the past few years to work with some wonderful editors, and my agent Natasha Kern is amazing. I can never thank her enough for her guidance and support. Then there’s the thrill I get when a reader sends me an email and tells me how my book has touched her life. I thank God for what He’s done in my life.

If you could offer one piece of advice to struggling writers, what would it be?

            It would be—Never give up. I recently read that Kathryn Stockett received over 70 rejections for the book The Help, but she persevered. She now has a best seller and a movie. That’s not going to happen to all of us, but publication is a real possibility. So keep trying.

I want to mention your latest Love Inspired Suspense book, Fatal Disclosure that released this past spring. (It’s a wonderful book and I urge everyone to pick up a copy.) There was a time when romance publishers wouldn’t touch a suspense plot. Now they can’t get enough of them. Why do you think that is? What the universal appeal of romantic suspense?

I believe one reason romantic suspense sells is because it is a subgenre of romance. Romance novels sell more than any other kind. So women are going to buy a book that promises a good romance. Mystery and suspense novels have always thrilled readers and are still doing it today. I enjoy reading romantic suspense, and I really enjoy writing it. At present I’m working on the first in a LIS three book series about a Cold Case Files Department. I’m looking forward to solving some fictional crimes that have gone unsolved for years. The first book will release next year.

Thank you so much Sandra. I know everyone will be eager to read Angel of the Cove and we’ll be looking forward to book two later this year.

Mountain Homecoming releases in March, 2013.
A Lady’s Choice (Summerside Press) releases in April, 2013   

Sandra Robbins and her husband live in the small college town where she grew up. Until a few years ago she was working as an elementary school principal, but God opened the door for her to become a full-time writer.  Her books have been finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Contest for excellence in mystery writing, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Holt Medallion, and the ACFW Carol Award. Since Sandra is a Southerner by birth, she enjoys setting her historical romance and romantic suspense books in both the past and present-day South. Her latest book Angel of the Cove releases August 1 from Harvest House Publishers. To find out more about Sandra and her books go to  or send her an email at

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Meet Valerie Comer

I’m excited to welcome new author Valerie Comer to Literally Lori. Valerie’s novella, Topaz Treasure is the lead off book in the Rainbow’s End Collection from Barbour Publishing. We also share the same agent, Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.

Thanks, Lori! I'm so excited to be here. I've enjoyed getting to know you a bit through our agent's email loop and to share your thrill at your recent contract. Congrats!
Thank you. I know there will another contract in your future soon.

1.  First off, tell us how it’s been seeing your book in print and stepping into the world of published author.

The moment I sliced the tape on the cardboard box and lifted out the first copy of Rainbow's End was surreal. My hands trembled as I stroked the gorgeous cover and touched the beautiful spine and back cover. Because I live in a rural area of Canada, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing Rainbow's End in stores, but lots of people have sent me photos of it on the shelves.
  Am I odd? I had to sit down and read the whole book from cover to cover. Somehow I needed to experience it as a reader, not a writer.
  Having people tell me what part they loved best about the novella and ask me what happened to the secondary characters afterward has been rewarding. All in all, having a published novel (or novella, in my case) is an experience to be highly recommended!

2.  What is geocaching and how did this idea come about? It’s very unique theme to base a collection on.

Geocaching is one of the few ways that technology gets people off the sofa and out the door exploring God's creation. It's basically a treasure hunt game using GPS (global positioning system) receivers that can be played singly or in groups. To find out more about it,"
  My husband and I began geocaching in 2008. It's introduced us to some areas of natural history and unique hiking trails in our region of British Columbia, Canada. It didn't take long for me to start daydreaming about how to incorporate the idea into stories, so when Nicole O'Dell and I began tossing around ideas for a collection of novellas to propose to Barbour Publishing, geocaching seemed a natural and interesting foundation. Thankfully, our co-authors and Barbour agreed!

3. Tell us a little about your story.

 Rainbow's End consists of four novellas based on a fictional church outreach event--a geocaching hunt--set along the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. All of our characters participated in this event, and sometimes popped into each other's story for a line or two.

My novella, Topaz Treasure, is the first of the four. Lyssa Quinn is the volunteer coordinator of the event and it's her job to seek out donations and sponsors from the community. This might not be a big deal for some people, but Lyssa has always been reserved about sharing her faith, so publicly aligning herself with her church is a huge step for her. Imagine her shock when she finds her former humanities professor--young, cute, and very anti-Christian Kirk Kennedy--stocking shelves in Osage Beach's newest electronics store.

4. I’ve read many collections. Some have only a place connecting the stories, others have the characters interacting. Rainbow’s End did a fun job of including small cameos of the other characters. Was that hard to coordinate? As a reader it was fun to find familiar scenes and look at them from a different point of view.
  As the only author without other deadlines at the time of contract--and the only one experienced in geocaching, I wrote my novella first and sent it to the others to read and crit. This gave them some ideas as to where they could tuck my character(s) into their stories. When they had written their stories, they sent them to me, mostly to double-check the geocaching scenes. However, this also helped me see where their characters were at specific times during the collection's timeline so that I could give some of the (formerly faceless) walk-ons in my own story a bit more personality and a name.
  As for the timeline, we chose the dates for the geocaching event's beginning, mid, and end points, then kept track using the calendar in our Yahoo! group. We plugged pivotal scenes into the calendar, especially if there was weather mentioned that might affect other characters. It actually was far more fun than difficult to coordinate.

 5. What next for you? Any more novellas or books on the way?

Besides the release of Rainbow's End in May, 2012 has been "The Year of the Proposal." I have written several proposals that are out seeking a home, including two additional novella collections with other authors. My agent is working hard for me. We currently have a book (first in a 3-book series) under serious consideration at a publishing house, so we're hopeful--and excited!!--about that.

Thanks, Valerie for sharing your time with us. We’ll look forward to your next book. How can readers contact you? 

If anyone is interested in learning more about upcoming books and promotions, I'd love for them to 'like' my Facebook page at and/or subscribe to my blog at You can also sign up for my 3-4 times a year newsletter from my website. Thanks so much for the invitation to visit on your blog, Lori!

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local food movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, gardening and geocaching with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters. Check out her website and blog at

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Paradise Surprise!

You will not believe what happened to me this week while on vacation.  It’s one of those things that if I put it in a book the editor would scoff and say, “No one will believe that.”  

            First off, you need to know that my hubby and I were on an unexpected free trip to the Big Island of Hawaii (He won a sales contest. J) In the meantime, I was anxiously awaiting the final word on a proposal I’d sent to Love Inspired. My agent had told me the editor wanted to buy it, but until there was a contract officially offered – well anything can happen.

Time arrived to leave on our trip with no word from the editor. I was really hoping for a solid answer so I could stop anticipating and enjoy our time on the island. We arrive at the gorgeous Fairmont Orchid Resort, meet up with other contest winners and have a lovely dinner at sunset on the beach. Hard to be too disappointed when you’re in paradise, so I let go of the anticipation and gave myself over to a week in Hawaii.
       The next morning we woke up crazy early – time difference ya know. My hubby got up when he heard the iPad ding. Not two seconds later he laughed and said “listen to this.” He then proceeded to read me the email from my agent telling me she had a contract offer from Love Inspired for my book. I jumped out of bed, called my agent ( it was five am in Hawaii but 9:30 in Pittsburg) and got all the details. Needless to say, I was over the moon happy about the news.  Waking up in Paradise with a contract! Wow. It just doesn’t get any better than that. J

Needless to say the rest of the week was spectacular. (See pictures.) Of course every time the iPad dinged we both raced to read the latest email. Alas, no more contract offers that week. LOL  But we got to celebrate in paradise!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Special Guests, Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver

I’m so excited to welcome multi-published authors Diane Ashley and Aaron McCarver to my blog. Not only are they a wonderful writing team but they are wonderful people as well. Thank you both for visiting Literally Lori today.

1.  Most of your readers are familiar with your many Heartsong Historicals but Lily is your first trade paperback book (?). Lily is the first in your Song of the River series. Tell us a little about this story. Lily is the oldest of three sisters. We begin her story in 1859 before the Civil War. This was the heyday for steam-powered riverboats on the Mississippi River. In a bid for independence, Lily purchases a riverboat only to discover that she is a co-owner with a gambler who has his own ideas about how to earn money on their boat.

2. I know you are both passionate about history and making sure the details in your books are accurate. How much research did you have to do before you could start writing? We did research separately and together on all aspects of that time period. Also, we continue researching as we write the story to make sure our facts are correct.

3. Did you find the transition from the smaller books (50,000 words) to the larger ones( 85,000+) challenging? Not at all. In fact, we went over our word count with Lily. Our wonderful editor, Becky Fish, had to remove almost 10,000 words to meet our publisher’s plans for the book. She did a fantastic job.
4. As co-authors who gets to do the plotting and who does the romance and emotional side? We brainstorm together on all of the aspects of our books, so I can’t say that one does one while the other does something else.

5. Is there a portion of the books that you enjoy writing more than others? For example, the action scenes, the romance, the black moment or the part where you type – The End? Diane – I love writing the action scenes. They seem to come together faster for me than other parts. Aaron – I love planning scenes that include a lot of characters like holiday celebrations, balls, and family get-togethers.

6. Struggling writers are always looking for encouragement. What advice would you give them? Diane - You can only fail if you quit. I know (from personal experience) about rejections and writing things that will never see the light of day, but if you can look at this as a journey rather than a destination, you have begun to succeed. Aaron – What Diane said is so true, perseverance is one of the most important tools a writer must have. Also, attend writers’ conferences to get the chances to meet with agents and editors.

7. Can you tell us how your individual faith journeys have helped you along your writing path? Diane - I believe God planted in me the desire to write and has been guiding my footsteps along the way. Of course, I find that easier to see as I look back than it is as I take each step. I trust that He is still guiding me and will until that day when He takes me home. Aaron – I dreamed of being a writer when I was very young, as I have always loved books. I later realized that dream was based on selfishness as I mainly wanted to see my name on a book. As I grew older, and grew in my faith, God led me to Christian fiction and showed me how my childhood dream could be used be Him to minister to others.

Thank you so much Aaron and Diane for visiting and sharing your experiences. We look forward to Lily and the other books in the series.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Edits Oh My

I recently completed the edits for my upcoming book, Beautiful Dreamer. It wasn’t my first edit, but it’s been a long time since my last one. These edits were actually very easy and painless and the editor was very kind and gracious. Whew. What a relief. Edits can be daunting and frustrating especially when the editor doesn’t seem to “get” your book. You work hard to make sure you’ve put the necessary background information, an explanation of the characters motivation, the reasons for certain behavior and actions, but now someone is telling you they don’t make sense or they’re not clear or sometimes, downright wrong.
            I had an editor tell me to change “cut the muster” which is correct, to “cut the mustard” because that’s what most readers thought it was. Eek.
            So what do you do? Go with the flow. No one ever wrote me about the “muster/mustard thing so in the end I guess it didn’t make a big difference. On the other side, my acceptance of the editor’s suggestion earned me an “easy to work with” notation in her files. A win/win situation.
            I’m not good with the grammar side of things so I normally bow to the editors skill in that area. Small changes in sentence structure, repetitive phrases and the like, I accept the suggestions offered. This time I only stood my ground on one issue but I’m not sure I’ll win out. We’ll see when the book is released if the city is spelled St. Augustine (my choice) or Saint Augustine (editors choice).
            In the long run it probably doesn’t matter. What matters is my book will be out there and God willing will touch someone’s life in a positive way no matter how St. Augustine is spelled. That’s the ultimate goal after all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My First Interview

It's a new year with new goals, new hope and new opportunities. I'm excited about my new book, Beautiful Dreamer, coming out this year from Barbour Heartsong. hop over to the Gazebo page and read the blurb. I'll post the pub date as soon as I know it. Right now I'm waiting for edits. Gulp. I've been through edits before and they can be either easy breezy or painfully tough. We all like to think our books are nearly perfect but the truth is, editors see things we don't and they always make your story better.

Now it's time to start promoting my book. something I'm not really great at but I did take the plunge and gave an interview to Lynda Schab at the Examiner. The link is below.  Thanks to Lynda for the opportunity and be sure and check the entire sight.