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Monday, April 24, 2006

Front Page

Well, I took another baby step today. A bigger one! I wrote a press release and sent it to the paper of the small city I grew up in. 3,000 people read about my latest book on the front page of the Atkins Chronicle. Even better, my science Junior High teacher contacted me to congratulate me. She remembered me enough after thirty years to look me up in the year book. Yes, it's a small paper, but I'M ON THE FRONT PAGE!!!! Praise God!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Baby Steps

Took another step yesterday. Still actively seeking a larger publisher and received yet another rejection, but...this rejection did offer encouragement. The publisher said, "...though well-written and worthy of publication, is just not fit for the line of titles we are developing." Encouraging, right?

They sent out the all too familiar form letter, only this one had a multiple choice and the above statement is the one they circled. At least they didn't circle the one saying my writing needed honed, or that the material didn't "grab" them for any number of reasons. If I had to be rejected, I'm glad they choice the above answer.

I am continually working on improving my writing and constantly writing and coming up with more story ideas, so I'll keep pursuing these people. Eventually, someone is going to say, "Let's take her on if only to shut her up. She is persistant." LOL!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Blog Tour with Colleen Coble

I've joined a blog tour to help promote interest in Colleen's newest book, Alaska Twilight. Enjoy and stay a while. After viewing the other blogs, I realize mine is kind of boring as in plain. So ya'll come liven it up, okay? So glad to spend time with you, Colleen.

1. How long did it take for your first novel to become a reality?

Forever! It took a year to write it and another six years to sell it.

2. Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?

I'm a junkie for shows like Discovery and Travel Channel. I go about
constructing my novels in a little off kilter way. I pick the setting first.
Then when I research the area, I'm able to draw in cultural aspects that can
play a role in the plot. For example, Alaska Twilight, is set on the
southern coast of Alaska. I pulled in brown bear study, factored in elements
of the terrain that added to the suspense, and the Midnight Sun elements. I
even had a weiner dog race. Elements of the setting can add so much to the
theme and the tone of a book. Most writers miss out on the richness they
could pull in from the setting.

3. What is the best advice you can give a pre-published author?

Attend conferences. I know some will say they can't afford it, and I say
it's a business. If you're going to go into business, you have to be ready
to plunk down some investment. Conferences are invaluable for networking
with other writers, meeting editors and agents, and learning more about the
craft. Sell pencils on the street if you have to, but GO.

4. How would you describe your journey to publication?

Long and frustrating. But necessary. I learned a lot in those seven years.
Seven is the number of perfection, you know. The biggest thing I learned
is that I will never "arrive." I want to always be seeking to improve my
craft, to find new ideas, and to reach down and help someone else along the

5. Who is your favorite character and why?

I love Haley in Alaska Twilight. She had so much to overcome, but she hung
in there. Even with only one leg, she was game to give it all she had.

6. What is the best writing advice anyone has given you?

Seek to get conflict on every page. Read Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout
Novel for more on that.

7. Any other comments you would like to give to encourage aspiring authors?

Never give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up. Get the
picture? And find some critique partners. They are invaluable to brainstorm,
encourage, commiserate and just generally make your life better. Also, see
who you can help. Don't just take, give it out too.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

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My daughter got married on April 1, 2006 and, if I do say so myself, looked like she stepped off the page of a wedding magazine. The wedding was was the preparations that were a nightmare. My daughter insisted on cupcakes. 200 of them! Guess you got to bake'em. Me. The first batch went in the oven at 7:30 a.m. and the last batch at 3:30 that afternoon. In between baking, I had to frost them using this handy dandy decorating tool which left my hand cramped into the hand of a crone.

The next day there were six of us joyfully sitting down to make bouquet balls. You know the round styrofoam balls with real flowers poked into them? Anyway, they're all the rage nowadays. We didn't have enough silk "stuff" to fill in the spaces, so had to run to the store. It took us so long to finish these "masterpieces" that the petals were beginning to fall off. Let me tell you there were six frazzled women, including one frustrated bride-to-be trying to finish those bouquets. We all prayed they'd hold up until the wedding the next day. They did.

Although there were threats of rain (we live in the desert, what's the chance?) the clouds dissipated and the skies were a brilliant azure blue. The wedding was perfect!!! Praise God for not striking down those six grumbling women. It was worth it! (But I am glad it's over and they are headed for a week in Tahiti).