Conference Countdown | Tips and Advice | 18 Days to go

DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE ELSE!

 

I was painfully reminded only a few minutes ago of why we should NEVER do this. I won’t go into details except to say this: It is very true! When you take on too much and spread yourself too thin, you miss important things. When you have too many blogs, you don’t post often enough on any of them and you end up having a smaller number of “likes” on each one.

At any rate, the point is this: No one can do a better job of being YOU! You are unique, one-of-a-kind, fearfully and wonderfully made and NO ONE else can be YOU!

Remember that while you are preparing for conference in the next two and a half weeks.

 

1) NO ONE ELSE CAN WRITE YOUR STORY!

Even if two authors took the exact same story line, characters and plot to write – you would end up with two VERY DIFFERENT stories at the end!

 

2) NO ONE IS DEALING WITH EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS YOU ARE!

God knows what you can handle and what you can’t and He knows what challenges you need to encourage you to be the best you can be!

 

3) NO ONE ELSE LOOKS AT THE WORLD THE WAY YOU DO!

You are the only person who sees the world the way you do and no one else can understand exactly how that outlook is.  

 

4) NO TWO PEOPLE GET TO THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME ALONG THE SAME ROUTE!

Every author I talk to has a different story to tell about how they went from Chapter 1 to Contract. We can read all the books about “How to Write”, follow all the rules about queries, send material to the same agents and attend all the same conferences but no two authors are going to go from Chapter 1 to contract along the same route.

Each author finds an agent differently. Each author gets a contract differently. Each journey is different and we really should not try to judge ours by anyone else’s.

Remember that. And have a great conference!

 

God Bless!

And watch for more posts to come as we count down to the 2014 ACFW Conference!

Author Spotlight: Vannetta Chapman | And a SURPRISE GIVEAWAY!

 

Today we welcome Bestselling Author:

FLowers N Butterflies Polaroid

 

 She has come to share with us – a little of her own writing journey
and some of that much-needed encouragement.

Thank You Vannetta!

God Bless You!

 

OK, first – questions:

 

– Many authors say their first novel will never see the light of day. Was “A Simple Amish Christmas” your first completed novel? (And let me just say here – if it was… WOW! Because it is AMAZING!)

Actually A Simple Amish Christmas was the 9th book I wrote and the first book published – so take heart! I still think those other 8 novels are good books, and in fact I am publishing one of them as an indie book this month.

 

– Can you tell us a bit about what inspires you to write both Cozy Amish mysteries and such wonderful Amish Romances?

I do enjoy writing about the Amish. I think their lifestyle is very close to that of our grandparents, and also they remind me of simple country folk that can be found all over our country.

 

– Would you mind sharing with us how many rounds of querying you went through before getting that “YES!” or if you went about it a little differently…?

Oh my. I sent out a LOT of queries. I could have easily wallpapered a room with my rejections, and I am NOT exaggerating. Honestly, I think it was a matter of hitting the right agent and the right publisher at the right moment–which has to be a God thing. OUR PART, in my opinion, is to keep the faith, keep writing, keep learning, and keep submitting.

 

– You released “A Simple Amish Christmas in 2010, “Falling to Pieces” in 2011 then “A Perfect Square”, “A Promise For Miriam” and “Material Witness” in 2012. That sounds like a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Is there an interesting story in there or just interesting timing on the publishers part?

Yes, I was writing for 3 publishers at once, and it was a bit of a roller-coaster. Fortunately my agent helps to work out the coordination of those contracts, and the publishers are very understanding about my timelines as far as when I can get a book in to them. I do enjoy writing in two different sub-genres and now I’ve added inspirational romantic suspense to the mix!

 

– Do you have any special tips or hints you would like to share with struggling or novice authors out there?

Absolutely. Keep writing! (I might have mentioned that before.) The biggest mistake I see is when writers finish their first book they stop and tinker with it, or simply wait for a publisher to pop up and offer them a contract. With each book we write, we learn new skills. It’s important to attend classes, workshops, critique groups–whatever helps you to grow as an author. And above all–keep writing.
Thank you for having me. I’d be happy to answer questions if anyone has a question. Feel free to post them in the comment section.

 

Please join me in thanking Vannetta for taking time
out of a very busy schedule to answer these questions for us.

 And I hope all of you have found this as inspiring as I have!

Keep reading for details on the giveaway.

 

 

Now for some other info about Vannetta and her wonderful books

 

And you can find more on her WEBSITE.

Vannetta Chapman Headshot

The first thing you need to know about me is that I write Fiction full of GRACE.  Every plot is different. The characters change. Some of my books are mysteries, others are novellas, and some are romances. But they all are stories of light, hope, and truth. Stories that at least for a moment touch the deepest places in our heart.

Tales that whisper hope. That speak of family and community. That remind us of God and His love.

What do I write? If I had to reduce it to four words, I suppose I’d say I write Fiction full of GRACE.


I hold a BA and MA degree in English, and I am proud to be represented by Mary Sue Seymour, AAR. I have published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, and have received over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups.  I am honored to be a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Faith Hope and Love.

I live and teach in the Texas hill country with my husband, cats, and a rather large herd of deer. Our four children have flown the nest; however, we are fortunate that they all live close enough to visit.

I have always felt that my faith was at the very center of who and what I am, and I am thrilled beyond words to be able to now write about something that is so near to my heart. At various times I have served as a pianist, teacher, church secretary, and worship team member. While living in the Dallas area, I served as an adjunct professor of English Literature at Dallas Baptist University. When we moved to a small town in Central Texas, I continued teaching for a few years, but I now write full-time and I play the keyboard in our church’s praise band.

My grandfather was born in Albion, Pennsylvania, and I am currently researching whether I might have Amish roots.


December 2013, I was honored to be featured on the ACFW page. In that interview I discuss how I came to write Amish fiction, and why I continue to do so. You can read that interview here. I was also featured on the ACFW page when I first began writing. That piece speaks to the amount of grace in my life. I’m enormously grateful that God is so willing to give each and every one of us more than one chance, more than two chances, but in fact a multitude of chances …

ACFW Feature

MY FIRST SALE:

Vannetta Chapman
by Tiffany Amber Stockton

“Finding a good balance is always a challenge. I want to live in the present that God has given me, live with intention, and be appreciative of what I have now.”
—Vannetta Chapman

After graduating from college, launching into a teaching career, re-establishing a family after a painful divorce, and writing nine novels, Vannetta Chapman knows the meaning of a challenge. However, since so many others also face the challenge of balance, she sees herself as like everyone else.

God used the pain to help shape her life and her writing.

Thankfully, Vannetta Chapman’s parents have always been supportive of her in all she’s pursued. During her years as a single mom, God used the pain to help shape her life and her writing. He showed her His grace and love, and confirmed to her His plan and purpose. Eleven years ago, she met and married her husband, and she wouldn’t be the author she is today without his love and support.

Click here for rest of feature…


Vannetta is a proud member of the following writing organizations:

American Christian Fiction Writers

Faith, Hope and Love (Inspirational Chapter of RWA)

Romance Writers of America

 

 

Vannetta Chapman has so many wonderful books, it’s hard to know which ones to highlight so I will just tell you about what is coming up! Exciting! (Keep reading – we’ll get to the giveaway I promise)

 

Hidden

HIDDEN is an inspirational romantic suspense scheduled for release on September 30th.

Home is where our story begins …

DANA JACOBS would rather forget the night of tragedy and violence that marred her childhood. She is now supervisor in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico. Her team is prepared to handle any threat—biological, chemical, conventional, cyber, even nuclear. BENJAMIN MARSHALL is newly assigned to Dana’s office. Straight from a six year military deployment, he is not what Dana wants or needs.

Ben knows God has a reason for putting him in this place at this time—to help Dana. When a local school is threatened, they open a case which leads them on a chase through the Enchanted Circle and Carson National Forest, pursuing a man filled with a bitterness Dana can understand. But her anger is different. It’s justified, it remains hidden inside, and it hurts no one.

Can Dana face her own mortality? And when she does, can she truly understand what it means to forgive and to be forgiven?

**This book will be available in print and ebook format through all standard vendors.

(I’m betting  this is the book Vannetta Refers to above)

 

Don’t forget the next installment of her new Amish Village Mysteries!

Murder Tightly Knit

This next installment is scheduled for release December 16th! I know I can hardly wait!

When a local Amish man is found dead, the Middlebury Amish Artisan Village comes under suspicion. Two amateur sleuths—one Amish, one English—will have to work quickly to keep fear from dividing their community.

As fall blankets the Pumpkinvine Trail with leaves of brown, gold, and orange, a local Amish man is found dead on the path. The only clues to the murderer’s identity point in two very different directions—toward the local survivalist group and toward the Amish Village—specifically the village’s knitting shop, The Cat’s Meow. The police call in a federal investigator, and he quickly puts everyone on the suspect list. Amber Bowman and Hannah Troyer know who isn’t guilty—they know this community down to the last buggy, but can find the guilty party before someone else is in danger?

While Hannah helps Amber solve the mystery, she and Jesse Miller continue courting. But when Jesse’s prodigal brother returns to their farm, Jesse becomes distracted by family troubles. He and Hannah will have to overcome the tension in order to keep their relationship alive. And Amber and Hannah will need to work quickly to solve the murder mystery and bring harmony back to the Amish community.

 

 

Vannetta recently announced that her 3 Shipshewana Mystery Novels are being compiled into 1 volume! Don’t we all just love having three books we LOVE in one place!

            

A Perfect Square        Falling to Pieces         Material Witness

The eBook version is already available for Pre-Order at Amazon HERE!

 

And… we don’t have much information yet but I know I’m excited about this series to come!

Plain and Simple Miracles Series (set in Oklahoma, romance)

  • Anna’s Healing (Book 1 – October 2015)
  • Joshua’s Mission (Book 2 – February 2016)
  • Sarah’s Orphans (Book 3 – October 2016)

SOUNDS EXCITING DOESN’T IT!

 

 

WOW!

SO MANY GREAT BOOKS!

Where will you start reading?

 

Vannetta Chapman is a particular inspiration to me for a couple of reasons.

She was a single mom during much of her writing career and I personally relate to that as, I’m sure, do many of our readers!

And… she was another author who was presented with the idea to write Amish fiction – a genre she had no real experience with – but her wonderful agent convinced her it was a good fit for her so she went right to work researching and writing.

And I don’t know about you but I think her stories are just AMAZING!

GOD BLESS YOU VANNETTA! And may you continue writing for years and years to come!

 

AND NOW…

… our GIVEAWAY!

 

Vannetta has graciously offered to give away ONE of her books
to ONE of our readers!

ONE of our readers will win a book (of their choice) of Vannetta’s

Click HERE for a complete list of her books!

 

What do you have to do?

First you have to SHARE this post!

You can share it on the social media site of your choice!

Then come back here and post a comment below with the link!

 

FOR FACEBOOK:

Click HERE and share our Facebook Post.

EDIT: Apparently Facebook will NOT let me see all of the shares due to privacy settings so…

You can chose whether to post a comment HERE with the link
or on the FB post itself.

 

The contest will run from today until September 14th.

Winner will be announced no later than September 15th

rules and regulations for all contests can be found HERE.

You will get one extra entry if you LIKE our post
and another if you FOLLOW our blog!

 

God Bless You all and Have a GREAT week!

Conference Countdown | Tips and Advice | 20 Days to go

EDIT! EDIT! EDIT!

 

Even though this is clearly a paper tacked to a school wall, it holds some very important lessons, for even even for us adult writers…

 

No matter how perfect you think your manuscript is, there are always going to be mistakes!

How do I know this? Because every single PUBLISHED book I have ever read, I have found at least 1 ONE mistake. No it’s not always the writer’s mistake. A lot of times it is obviously a publishing error or even a computer glitch-type thing. But there is always at least ONE! 

So… don’t get too hung up on your editing.

But DO IT!

And do it again.

And do it again.

And then have someone else read it.

And then do it again.

And then, put it down and MOVE ON!

You’ll never get the next story written if you stay hung up on the first.

But ALWAYS edit your first story!

And if you are one of those people that can edit one story while writing another, GO FOR IT because, chances are, you are going to be doing it at some point or other in your writing career anyway.

So edit, edit, edit and then move on!

But… with conference coming up, it wouldn’t hurt to go over your MS at least once – just a cursory look at it.

 

And then get to writing. Get back into that groove so that you can honestly say that you are working on the next project when someone asks!

 

God Bless!

And watch for more posts to come!

Conference Countdown | Tips and Advice | 24 Days to go

Realize that your FAVORITE Authors are still…just…people!

 

 Mom: Just remember, when we get to the hotel and you see Tricia Goyer and start to squeal, I’m going to pinch you. Then when you see Shelley Shepard Gray or Suzanne Woods Fisher and you start to squeal, I’m going to pinch you again until – when you see someone else, you stop to think before you start squealing.

Me: Oh ha ha ha… Hey! When I met Melanie Dickerson, did I squeal? No, I cracked a joke. I think I handled that pretty well.

Yes the above was a real conversation

No, she wasn’t really serious… at least I don’t think she was.

But you get the idea.

Far too many people meet someone they’ve seen on TV or a movie, or someone who wrote one of their favorite books and they do two things.

1) They are overwhelmed by excitement and they squeal/scream/yell/faint (I could go on and on and on I’m sure but you see where I’m going with this)

2) …and this one may actually come first in their head but the first point was so much more fun to write so it went ahead of this – They forget the actor/writer/producer/musician they are speaking to is actually a real person!

 

I’m sure that Mary Ellis, Sarah Sundin and Colleen Coble really enjoy knowing their readers enjoy their books. And I’m sure they don’t mind (if they’re not in the middle of something super important like a facial or getting their teeth cleaned) signing their book for you and listening to you tell them how much you love their writing.

I’m also sure it gets old really fast to have people falling all over you and track you down to get your autograph or bend your ear when you have somewhere to get to.

 

So that is the focus of today’s “helpful advice”.

 

REMEMBER that the authors/agents/editors who are at ANY conference you attend are there for the same reason you are – to learn and to make connections.

REMEMBER that, while they are there to make connections, that means holding an intelligent conversation and discussing writing – NOT squealing and running after them no matter where they go.

REMEMBER that they were once where you are. Every best-selling author was once a newbie – unpublished and unsure of themselves!

REMEMBER that they WANT to help you get to where they are. It may not be true of every writer’s organization but it certainly is true of ACFW!

REMEMBER that you may, one day be where they are and while it may sound trite, treat them the way you hope your fans will one day treat you.

 

At the end of the day, they are just people – like you. And they want the same things you do – to enjoy the conference, learn a lot, meet new people and make new friends!

You never know who will be your next critique partner, prayer warrior, best friend, co-author, publisher, editor, agent or proof-reader! Make the best impression you can and be yourself!

God Bless!

And watch for more posts to come!

Author Spotlight: Jennifer Beckstrand

 

Today we welcome Bestselling Author:

Flower Wreath Flat Oval

 

 She has come to share with us – a little of her own writing journey
and some of that much-needed encouragement.

Thank You Jennifer!

God Bless You!

 

OK, first – questions:

– Many authors say their first novel will never see the light of day. Was that the case with you… is there a “first” book you’ve written but not published?

My first book was a Western historical romance that hasn’t been published yet. I would really like to publish it because I think it’s really good! However, knowing what I know now – especially about the craft of writing – I can see that the book would need extensive rewrites before I would even consider sending it to someone.

 

– What major differences could you tell us about in regards to Kensington and Summerside Press?

Kensington is a lot bigger publisher so they have a very specific and time-tested process to get from first edits to publication. Every editor is different. My editor at Kensington believes in less editing, more letting the author tell the story the way she wants to. My editor at Summerside was more hands-on, which was a very good thing because my first book needed a lot of rewriting!

 

– Would you mind sharing with us how many rounds of querying you went through before getting that all-important “YES!”?

I probably queried 15 agents about my Western historical and got rejections from all of them. I connected with my agent through another agent at a writers conference. It was a serendipitous match.

 

– How much (if any) of your second book did you have completed before you signed a contract for the first?

My agent, Mary Sue Seymour, asked me to write an Amish book. A few weeks after I had finished it, she sold it to Summerside. So my second Amish book wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye. 🙂

 

– Do you have any special tips or hints you would like to share with struggling or novice authors out there?

The biggest mistake I see new authors make is not learning their craft. You must learn how to write well or it doesn’t matter how many Facebook likes you have. Learn your craft. Read with the intent to study how good writers write. Practice your writing every day. And don’t give up!

 

Please join me in thanking Jennifer for taking time
out of a very busy schedule to answer these questions for us.

 And I hope all of you have found this as inspiring as I have!

 

 

Now for some other info about Jennifer and her wonderful books

 

And you can find more on her WEBSITE.

I grew up with a steady diet of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. After all that literary immersion, I naturally decided to get a degree in mathematics, which came in handy when one of my six children needed help with homework. After my fourth daughter was born, I started writing. By juggling diaper changes, soccer games, music lessons, laundry, and two more children, I finished my first manuscript—a Western—in just under fourteen years.

I have always been fascinated by the Amish way of life and now write Inspirational Amish Romance. I am drawn to the strong faith of the Plain people and admire the importance they put on enduring family ties. I have visited and studied Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where I met with a bishop and a minister as well as several Amish mamms, dats, and children. It has always impressed me at what salt-of-the-earth people they are. My interactions with these kind people have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have a dear Amish friend with whom I correspond in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She helps me keep my facts straight and gives me inspiration for my stories.

My goal is to write uplifting, inspiring stories with happy endings and hopeful messages. If my books make readers want to give themselves a big hug or jump up and down for joy, I’ve done my job. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers and am represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

There are three Amish romances in the Forever After in Apple Lake Series (Summerside/Guideposts). Kate’s Song, Rebecca’s Rose, and Miriam’s Quilt are all now available.

I have six Amish Romances in the works with Kensington Books. The first and second books, Huckleberry Hill and HuckleberrySummer, are now available in stores and online. The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill is set in northern Wisconsin Amish country.

The series, The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill, is about an elderly Amish couple who try to find suitable mates for their grandchildren. What could be more fun than throwing two young people together to see if sparks ignite? No one would ever suspect two octogenarian Amish folks of mischief.

Romantic Times gave Huckleberry Hill 4 1/2 stars and chose Huckleberry Summer as a TOP PICK.

 

And now about her books:

 

Huckleberry Christmas

Second in the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series

COMING OCTOBER 2014!

Huckleberry Christmas CoverYoung widow Beth Hostetler has come to Huckleberry Hill to start afresh and make her own way without the interference of her late husband’s family. In addition to a feisty toddler, Beth has dresses to sew, cows to milk, and great-grandparents to care for. She doesn’t have the time or the inclination to entertain thoughts of a husband, even if every widower and bachelor in Wisconsin seeks her hand. Her first marriage to a harsh, demanding man was hard enough. She is perfectly happy being alone, not answering to anyone but God. Tyler Yoder is no different than the rest. With his infuriating sense of duty, he sees Beth as a woman in need of rescuing. His offer of marriage doesn’t tempt her in the least, but his handsome face and kind heart just might. Will this be the Christmas that she finally finds love?

After having been burned by love once, Tyler Yoder has given up on the whole idea of romance. He simply wants a godly wife with whom he can share companionship and the load of daily living. Beth Hostetler comes along at just the right time. She’s a hard worker, an excellent mother, and a beauty, to boot. And, with a son to raise, she needs a man’s protection. But when Beth spurns Tyler’s marriage proposal and offers to help him find a proper Amish wife, Tyler realizes where his affections really lie. Will he be able to convince Beth that love is at the heart of his persistence? And will she accept his heart for Christmas?

Don’t miss the first two books in this series: Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Summer!

And watch for Huckleberry Spring and Huckleberry Harvest – COMING SOON!

 

 

Kate’s Song

The first book in Jennifer’s Forever After in Apple Lake Series

 

The expected course of Kate Weaver’s life is baptism into the Amish church and strict observance of the Ordnung. But Kate is blessed with a beautiful singing voice, and when another path leads her to the academy for vocal training, she struggles to understand God’s will for her life. She returns home after a violent encounter with a fellow student, and though she is drawn to the peace and devotion of the Amish lifestyle, could her calling forever separate her from the people and the way of life she holds so dear?

Nathaniel King has never wavered in his commitment to the community and the Old Order Amish Church into which he is baptized. Secretly in love with Kate, he is devastated when she leaves the community to attend the academy. When Kate returns, will she finally make his most profound hopes a reality, or will she break his heart all over again?

Now available from Summerside Press

Book 2: Rebecca’s Rose

Book 3: Miriam’s Quilt

 

 

And DON’T MISS this wonderful collection of stories from our favorite authors!

An Amish Christmas Quilt

 

an-amish-christmas-quilt_sm

 

A collection of short novellas from three of your favorite Amish authors to get you in the Christmas spirit. Available in October!

 

A bit about Jennifer’s contribution:

Anna and Felty Helmuth’s grandson, Gideon, plans to spend Christmas on a beach in sunny Mexico. But Anna is quite sure he’d rather be with them, snowshoeing, ice fishing—falling in love. And she knows the perfect girl. Not only is Dottie Schrock an excellent quilter and baker, she’s having a party. There’s just one complication—Gideon is not invited. Dottie has her reasons, but Anna trusts that the spirit of Christmas—and true love-will change her mind, and her future …

 

 

 WOW!

SO MANY GREAT BOOKS COMING SOON!

 

Jennifer Beckstrand is a true inspiration to me and I consider her a valued mentor!

She could have balked when her agent presented the idea of writing Amish fiction but she didn’t. She dug in her heels and got started! I admire her so much for that!

GOD BLESS YOU JENNIFER! And may you continue writing for years and years to come!

 

 God Bless You all and Have a GREAT week!

Ask An Author Part 1 | Answers from Jennifer Beckstrand & Vannetta Chapman!

For this part of “Ask An Author”, I asked 5 questions to different authors.

Here are their answers:

 

Answers from Jennifer Beckstrand:
(You can read more about Jennifer on her website: HERE or by clicking on her picture > > >)

On your business cards (if you have them), do you put your phone # or just e-mail, Facebook, twitter, etc…?

Just email and Facebook. I still have some older ones left, but my next business cards will include my Twitter account.

If you have another “business” – such as editing services or book reviewing, do you have separate cards for that or list everything on one card?

I don’t have another business, except for mom and grandma.

When preparing for a conference, what do you typically take with you as far as your current WIP (work-in-progress) – just a proposal, a one sheet, the first 3 chapters printed, the full MS, synopsis, etc…? All of the above?

Just a proposal.

How important do you think it is to have an agent? Do you consider them to be more a representative of you… or your work?

I think it’s extremely important to have an agent. She represents me and my work equally.

With social media taking over so much of promotion, how much of your appearances or book-signings are done through your publisher and how much is completely on your own?

Book signings are on my own. My publisher arranges guest posts on blogs. I will occasionally arrange to do a post on a blog on my own.

Be sure to watch NEXT Saturday for Jennifer’s Author Spotlight
– where she will answer even more questions for us.

 

 

 

 

Answers from Vannetta Chapman:
(You can read more about Vannetta on her website: HERE or by clicking on her picture >>>)

On your business cards (if you have them), do you put your phone # or just e-mail, Facebook, twitter, etc…?

My business cards list my webpage, Facebook, twitter and pinterest on the BACK.

On the front is a small picture I had designed which also has my webpage, and what types of books I write. I never put my phone number or physical address on a business card.

If you have another “business” – such as editing services or book reviewing, do you have separate cards for that or list everything on one card?

N/A

When preparing for a conference, what do you typically take with you as far as your current WIP – just a proposal, a one sheet, the first 3 chapters printed, the full MS, synopsis, etc…? All of the above?

If it’s a Christian conference (like ACFW), then the one sheet will do just fine. If they want more, they’ll ask you to mail it to them.

How important do you think it is to have an agent? Do you consider them to be more a representative of you… or your work?

I think it’s very important. I write in several genres and for several publishers, so it has been very helpful for me.

With social media taking over so much of promotion, how much of your appearances or book-signings are done through your publisher and how much is completely on your own?

Very few of my book signings are done through my publisher. They take care of store placement, ads, etc. But anything I set up with libraries, reading groups, etc. I do myself. I have done book-signing tours through my publisher, and also have gone to ALA through my publisher.

 

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH
to both of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to answer questions for us!

And may God Bless You Both!

I hope you have all found this as helpful as I have!

SPECIAL Author Spotlight! Cindy Loven and Laura V. Hilton

Today we welcome the writing team:

Floral Banner w Lines Cindy & Laura

 They have collaborated on a book in the wonderful Quilts of Love series: “Swept Away”

And they have come to share with us – a little of their own writing journey…
to give us a glimpse into how they collaborated on this book
and to offer some of that much-needed encouragement.

Thank You Cindy!

Thank You Laura

God Bless You both!

 

 

– What brought the two of you together to work on “Swept Away”?

Cindy: Laura and I have been good friends for years, meeting online in a pastor’s wives group over ten years ago. She asked if I was interested in doing a proposal together, and so the idea was hatched.

Laura: I remember it a tiny bit differently. I mentioned to Cindy I was trying to come up with an idea for it and zap she had one. And not one, but three. I was completely impressed how quickly she came up with them. I told her since the book was her idea, she gets credit for it – name on the cover and 50/50 if it sold.

 

– Is there any advice you can give us about the pros and/or cons of co-authoring a book?

Cindy: My advice is check any ego, or pride at the door – it can easily get bruised. You have to work through the differences of opinions.

Pros you become closer friends, cons, you can get your feelings hurt easily. One more pro, when you’re finished with the book, you are much closer than before. Or at least we were.

Laura: What Cindy said. Neither Cindy nor I knew anything about co-writing a book and it showed. It also hurt us both when a mutual “friend” quizzed both about our parts in the book and went running to the other with comments (usually twisted) so I would suggest keeping quiet about it with others.

We did it a bit differently too. Cindy came up with the idea. I am a multi-published author, she very much a beginning author. We agreed that I’d write and she’d research. I ran everything by her that I wrote before it went to the critique group.

We also negotiated on the original idea she came up with as it was women’s fiction and I write romance. So I added a male lead and his complete story to her female lead characters and her story idea. Cindy also tried her hand at writing several scenes and I included each of them in the story – with a few exceptions. Most of the scenes in Grandma’s point of view in the story are Cindy’s. Also, all of the quilt descriptions are hers.

 

– How do you coordinate with each other’s agent/editor/publicist teams?

Cindy: I didn’t have an agent, so Laura’s agent agreed to rep me for this project. As far as editors, we worked together with the team at Abingdon, and we worked with Laura’s critique group solely to avoid any confusion. We have a Facebook page for Swept Away, where we will be posting about any promos and giveaways going on. Also interviews (like this one) can be linked THERE.

Laura: I have nothing more to add here. My street team is promoting this book currently.

 

– Is there a plan for more? Would you co-author another book anytime soon?

Cindy: We did submit two other short blurbs/proposals, so we can’t say no that we would never co-author together, but at this time, there is no plan for that. I am concentrating on my children’s books and Laura is working hard on her Amish books.

Laura: What Cindy said here too. With Cindy, it totally depends on if the publisher decides to buy either of her other ideas. With anyone else… I don’t know. I would have to ask how other authors who co-author do it, so it isn’t wrong.

 

– Do you have any special tips or hints you would like to share with struggling or novice authors out there?

Cindy: Keep writing, you never know when your next idea, project, or book will catch the eye of an editor or publisher.

Laura: Persevere. Write, write, write, and read, read, read. Join a critique group. Learn from your mistakes, and keep writing and rewriting.

 

 

Please join me in thanking Cindy & Laura for taking time
out of their very busy schedules to answer questions for us.

 

And I hope all of you have found this as helpful as I have!

 

 

“Swept Away”
by Laura V. Hilton & Cindy Loven

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother.

When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but also as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between him and his new employer’s granddaughter. Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts online researching him.

What she discovers could change her life and her heart forever.

 

 

“Swept Away” will be available for purchase on November 18th. It is already available for Pre-order at several book-sellers!

CHRISTIANBOOKS   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   BOOKSAMILLION

You can find more about “Swept Away” at GOODREADS & ABINGDON PRESS

 

 

About Cindy:

Who am I?

I am a pastor’s wife, with many interests. Frugality and saving are part of my life, Stamping is an outlet for my “artsy” side, Reading books and writing reviews are a passion for me. Writing a book is something I dream of doing… That is me.

You can follow Cindy’s book reviews HERE and read more about upcoming books HERE.

 

 

About Laura V. Hilton and her wonderful books

Laura is an award winning author, a pastor’s wife, married over twenty-five years and has five children. She home-schools, reviews favorite books and writes books herself.

Her books include Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, Promised to Another, Healing Love, Surrendered Love and Awakened Love.

The Snow Globe will release in Sept. 2014 – and Swept Away in Nov. 2014.

 

You can follow Laura’s book reviews HERE and read more about upcoming books HERE.

I’m especially excited about Laura’s Christmas books!

A White Christmas is Webster County releases in September of 2014! 

A Mother’s Helper

Mercy Lapp is ready for a fresh start. Having lost her beloved fiance in a fishing accident during his rumschpringe, she escapes the painful memories by moving from her community in Shipshewana, Indiana, to Seymour, Missouri, where she takes a job as a mother’s helper. She isn’t exactly shy, but she’s hesitant to get involved with the youth in the community because she isn’t going to stay. She especially doesn’t want a new romance.

An Adventurous Hero

Abner Hilty is excited to see his twin brother, Abram, for the first time in years. The two fled their hometown of Shipshewana when their witness of a murder put their lives in danger, Abner heading to Montana to work on a ranch and hunt big game, Abram meeting a girl in Missouri, marrying, and settling down there. Abner decides to spend the holidays with them in Seymour, but he has every intention of returning to Montana, maybe even for good.

An Unexpected Snowstorm

At a chance encounter, Abner is immediately drawn to Mercy, and even more so when he realizes that they’ve met before, back in Shipshewana. Initially alarmed, Mercy soon warms to his attentions, even though she keeps him at arm’s length. She also branches out and begins attending youth functions, forming new friendships that are solidified during a rare snowstorm. Just when Mercy and Abner are beginning to think about a long-term relationship, Mercy gets a phone call that changes everything. The information would have been welcome months ago, but now that she knows Abner, she’s torn, and she will have to do some serious soul-searching to decide how to act on it.

 

The Snow Globe releases in November of 2014

 A Compassionate Young Woman.

Esther Beachy enjoys working for an elderly woman who is wheelchair bound. Her client, Anna Petersheim, is pleasant and tells captivating stories. Plus, her home is quiet and far more peaceful than Esther’s, with so many siblings. She only dreads the day when Anna’s grandson, Viktor, will return from the river to take over the farm. She and Viktor were classmates years ago, and he’d been an obnoxious flirt who paid attention to every girl but her.

A toughened riverboat captain

A seasoned riverboat captain, Viktor Petersheim has seen his share of trials. He left the Amish after the death of his parents and siblings in a house fire for which he still feels responsible. Now, after years of working on the Mississippi River, he returns home to claim the farm he inherited from his grandparents and, hopefully, to repair some of the damaged relationships and broken hearts he left in his wake.

Love off the river.

When Viktor arrives home, it doesn’t take long for him and Esther to realize their mutual attraction. Even so, their relationship remains as tumultuous as a shaken snow globe, like the one Esther finds at a garage sale and gives to Viktor’s grandmother as a token of affection. Viktor isn’t the only man with an eye on Esther, and soon it looks as if she’s ready to make a future with someone else. Will the two go their separate ways again? Or will the hand of God work something beautiful out of their angst and agitation.

 

 

I confess I have not read all of Laura’s books yet but I am working it. I look forward to reading Cindy’s work as well.

Both if these women are a prime example of how God works in our lives – moving us ever forward along the path he’s laid out for us. All we have to do is obey and follow.

 

GOD BLESS YOU CINDY & LAURA!

 

 God Bless You all and Have a GREAT week!