Intriguing Book Cover

This is an interesting article about an interesting book cover.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. You heard it, right? While I try not to, I do ninety percent of the time. And it’s a subject thing, isn’t it? What one person finds attractive could be hideous to someone else. We all have preferences and opinions. How can one cover please everyone? It can’t. But that’s not the mystery. Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

 

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The Writing Life

Last month I attended the Orange County Christian Writers Conference. Having attended the event previously in 2012, I had vacillated before registering earlier this year. My experience three years ago was a high point in my writing life, as an excerpt from my developing novel caught the attention of publishers and editors and won three fiction awards. Astonished and elated, I had vowed to dedicate all my free time to completing the book and pursuing publication before the end of the year.

Within weeks, however, the demands of my career and graduate school and life thwarted all my good writerly intentions. With my creative energy allocated to finishing my course work at Chapman University and numerous guest columns and blog posts, progress on my novel stalled. There was simply no time to write more than a few chapters for my MFA workshops, and I labored over those small accomplishments. While I did return to the novel at full speed in 2014 in order to fulfill my 150-page thesis requirement, I have often felt disappointing and even disobedient to God by not finding a way to finish. Even worse, as the years passed, I began to diminish the merits of the recognition my excerpt had received and question what I had believed was my lifelong calling. It shouldn’t be this hard, I thought. Perhaps I heard God wrong. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

Writing Great Dialogue

It is important to write great dialogue. Today’s featured article teaches us how.

Conversations written with emotion are excellent page turners. When the reader is offered an in-depth look into two characters particular situation, I recommend having both characters point of view to consider, instead of skimming over the conflict as in many cookie-cutter novels.

Dialogue can hold your attention as you learn both sides of the issue. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

Accepted

We writers receive rejection letters for many different reasons. However, when the “Accepted” letter arrives, it is a happy day.

As writers, we long to hear or see that word. Our writing has been accepted – by an editor who wants to read it, a publisher who wants to publish it, or a reader who wants to read it. Too often, though, we hear the opposite along this path to publication. “Rejected” is not used so often these days when our tender feelings are considered. Sometimes, we’re just “passed,” which sounds a lot like death. Or our subject is “not what they’re looking for,” or “doesn’t meet their editorial needs,” or they “already published something similar.”

The myriad forms of rejection include “the writing is not strong enough,” “I didn’t identify with the main character,” or “the story didn’t pull me into it.” On another hand, writers can be rejected just because they are new and publishers are afraid to take a chance on them. It seems there are a thousand ways to be rejected. New writers are counseled to expect rejection as part of the process of writing – as normal, or as a badge of honor. I’m still trying to believe the phrase “the more you’re rejected, the closer you are to publication.” Is that a mathematical formula? Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

Writing Challenges

A multi-published veteran writer shares her experiences.

This year, I celebrate fifteen years in as a published author and ten years with my fabulous agent, Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency. Next year, in 2016, I will celebrate twenty years as a writer.

I am closing in on sixty books published and two million books in print, and in a few days I will be in Dallas, Texas at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention to accept the award for the RT Inspirational Romance of the Year for Sadie’s Secret, book 3 of my historical romance series The Secret Lives of Will Tucker-my first RT award.

And yet, every time I sit down at my keyboard, I have this moment…this challenge…can I do it again? Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

Inspiring Adoption Story

We enjoyed this inspiring adoptions story.

In 2005, I traveled to China with my cousin, who is a single mom. It was a big trip, because she had adopted a 9-month-old baby girl, and was finally bringing her home. The group we were traveling with included a lot of families picking up their daughters, so I had a lot of down time on my own.   

I spent a lot of time chatting with our travel guide, Jack, and asking him questions about the adoption process in China. Adoption has always been something I was curious about. I’m adopted, my brother is adopted, and there’s a lot of international adoption in our family — it’s abnormal if you’re not adopted! In fact, one of my other cousins has five Chinese daughters. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

Writing During Trying Times

This article is a good reminder for all of us to persevere under trying times.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Albert EinsteinSimon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear.
John 18:10

CHilbert April 2015
Some days you have to eat all of your brussel sprouts – and that stinks.
Some day’s life stinks.
It just does.  Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

Colorado Christian Writers Conference

If you are in the area, the Colorado Christian Writers Conference is next week. It is informative and will take place in the beautiful town of Estes Park, Colorado.

The May 13 – 16, 2015 CCWC, my 19th year directing, will feature a faculty of 56 authors, editors, and agents. Choose from 18 early bird workshops on Wednesday, 8 continuing sessions,and 42 workshops or 4 hands-on clinics! We will again offer 4 (yes, FOUR) one-on-one 15-minute appointments with the faculty of your choice for those who attend the entire conference with a bonus FIFTH appointment for the first 75 registrants.

But CCWC is about so much more than numbers and opportunities to strengthen your writing and marketing skills, to get valuable feedback on your work, to pitch to editors and agents, and to form deep friendships with others who share your passion for words and for the Lord. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly