Marketing Trends

This week I read a couple of online articles about the plight of the contemporary writer. In “Farewell to the Golden Age,” legendary author Philip Yancey summarizes the changes in publishing, both from his personal perspective and that of the industry as a whole. He notes, “Every year my royalties go down,” and notes that the reason he can still pay the bills as a full-time writer is because of his extensive backlist.

Yancey laments, “I do worry, though, about new authors who don’t have a backlist to depend on.  As readers are trained to pay less (or nothing) for books, how can authors survive?” Read more.

Kelly and Nancy

Showing Verses Telling

As writers, showing verses telling is a tricky one to learn. We will be running a three-part series of featured articles on this topic.

Here is article one.

One of the struggles that comes with writing is when a character feels  vulnerable  and so tries to hide their emotions as a result.  Fear of emotional pain, a lack of trust in others, instinct, or protecting one’s reputation are all reasons he or she might repress what’s going on inside them. After all, people do this in real life, and so it makes sense that our characters will too.  Protecting oneself from feeling exposed is as normal as it gets. – See more.

Kelly and Nancy

A Mom for Umande

There is a new children’s book on the market that sounds interesting.

Maria Faulconer is excited to announce the April release of her latest children’s book, A Mom for Umande by Dial Books for Young Readers. It received a starred review on Kirkus and is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Maria was inspired to write Umande after seeing a photograph of a baby gorilla snuggling in the arms of his surrogate mom. An adoptive mom herself, she was captivated by the joy on their faces and knew she had to write a story about this resilient little gorilla.

This is the true story of a baby gorilla, born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado, whose mom was too young and didn’t know how to take care of him. He was hand-reared by the amazing zookeepers and found love 1,000 miles away in the arms of a surrogate gorilla mom at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly


John 15:15

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

Are Writing Contests Helpful?

Have you entered a writing contest? Was it helpful?

Recently, one of my clients emailed that two of her stories had placed near the top in a writing contest and would be included in an upcoming anthology. An editor’s note soon followed confirming that all three stories my client submitted will be published in the anthology. Her note ended with, “Quite an achievement!” Nice. But the bottom-line question for today is, do writing contests help your career? For the answer to that question, click here.

Kelly and Nancy

Can You Spot A Liar?

Parents are pretty good at detecting lies when their children tell tall tales. But do our characters spot a good lie when they see one?


Are you bad at spotting a lie?

New research by Dr. Leanne ten Brinke, a forensic psychologist at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and her collaborators, suggests that our instincts for judging liars are actually fairly strong — but our conscious minds sometimes fail us.

Luckily, there are signs we can look for when trying to detect a lie. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly



Research, you either hate it our you love it. We like learning new things around here and this article features how different authors researched their tomes.

I just finished reading a brand new historical romance by a client of mine–it’s not the final draft–and sprinkled throughout the manuscript are little research notes for bits and pieces of history that she still needs to discover to put the finishing touches into the book. These details are not something that would stop the average reader from enjoying the story, but those who are well-versed in the time period will appreciate and desire these little historical snippets that my client is still working to fill in. My client’s notes got me thinking about the extremes authors go to do book research. Click here to learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

Cloudy With A Chance For Meatballs

Yes, we need to keep learning. Grammar for writers is especially important. This article caught out attention.

Thanks to a two-week run of rain in my part of the country, a local announcer’s repeated prediction of showers has finally driven me to write a post on his use of what to my ears is unidiomatic usage: “a chance for” in the context of weather.

The established weather idiom is “a chance of,” as in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Click here to read more.

Kelly and Nancy

God’s Gotta Bigger Shovel

What an encouraging and personally challenging article.

Thirty years ago, Suzanne refused to help another writer because “she’ll become my competition.” I didn’t agree then; I strongly disagree today.

I believe in the principle of giving ourselves freely and sharing what we know. I don’t think of others as my competition. I think of them as other writers who are trying to sell what they write. I want to help.

Here’s my favorite verse that’s not from the Bible: Yea, the Lord shoveleth it in; I shoveleth it out; and behold, the Lord hath a larger shovel (Jubilations 4:4). Click here to learn more.

Nancy and Kelly