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15 Survival Quotes for Writers

ebay 8-12-09 001

This blog post first appeared here, September 8, 2016.

Recently, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Association yearly conference in Nashville. Armed with my program booklet for the four-day conference, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the various sessions the conference offered.

In this post, I’ve included only a snippet of key elements and survival tips taught in the sessions–elements that caused me to sit up and take notice. Hope they are an encouragement to you as well.
Erin Healy, How To Think Like Your Editor

  • Authors who edit place high values on their books. (And readers will thank you.)
  • Don’t give up ownership.
  • Read your story like a reader, for emotion. Read your story like an editor, for clarity.
  • About Erin

Susan May Warren & Rachel Hauck, Supercharge Your Series

  • Put all your good stuff into one book, and pitch that book.
  • Create over-arching character.
  • Put the secret in the middle of the book. Don’t wait until the end.
  • Keep raising the stakes.
  • About Susan

Steve Laube, Developing a Thick Skin

  • Criticism is a form of rejection, but “No” means “I believe in you. You can do much better,” which essentially, is a huge encouragement.
  • Don’t engage the critic publicly. Own the mistake.
  • Emotion is essential to good writing.
  • Persistence is Key.
  • About Steve

What survival tips do you have? Please share!

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8 Survival Quotes for Writers

fanned book

This blog post first appeared here, September 22, 2016.

Recently, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Association yearly conference in Nashville. Armed with my program booklet for the four-day conference, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the various sessions the conference offered.

In this post, I’ve included more snippets of key elements and survival tips taught in the sessions–elements that caused me to sit up and take notice. Hope they are an encouragement to you as well.

Susan May Warren & Rachel Hauck, Go! Write Something Brilliant

  • Start the novel at the core of the problem.
  • How well a reader connects with and cares for your character determines the success of the story.
  • Find the universal emotion that is relate with.
  • What can your character do at the end that he couldn’t do at the beginning?
  • About Susan
  • About Rachel

Janice Thompson, Sustaining a Lucrative Writing Career

  • Good things come to those who have a strategy plan.
  • Keep your name out there and in front of readers/editors.
  • Have  your brand on your Facebook header.
  • Throw arrogance into the trashcan.
  • About Janice

photo cred: google

 

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8 Survival Quotes for Writers

fanned book

Recently, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Association yearly conference in Nashville. Armed with my program booklet for the four-day conference, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the various sessions the conference offered.

In this post, I’ve included more snippets of key elements and survival tips taught in the sessions–elements that caused me to sit up and take notice. Hope they are an encouragement to you as well.

Susan May Warren & Rachel Hauck, Go! Write Something Brilliant

  • Start at the novel at the core of the problem.
  • How well a reader connects with and cares for your character determines the success of the story.
  • Find the universal emotion that is relate with.
  • What can your character do at the end that he couldn’t do at the beginning?
  • About Susan
  • About Rachel

Janice Thompson, Sustaining a Lucrative Writing Career

  • Good things come to those who have a strategy plan.
  • Keep your name out there and in front of readers/editors.
  • Have  your brand on your Facebook header.
  • Throw arrogance into the trashcan.
  • About Janice

photo cred: google

 

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15 Survival Quotes for Writers

ebay 8-12-09 001

Recently, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Association yearly conference in Nashville. Armed with my program booklet for the four-day conference, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the various sessions the conference offered.

In this post, I’ve included only a snippet of key elements and survival tips taught in the sessions–elements that caused me to sit up and take notice. Hope they are an encouragement to you as well.

Erin Healy, How To Think Like Your Editor

  • Authors who edit place high values on their books. (And readers will thank you.)
  • Don’t give up ownership.
  • Read your story like a reader, for emotion. Read your story like an editor, for clarity.
  • About Erin

Chip MacGregor, Working With an Agent in the New Industry

  • The writer has opportunity more than ever now in the publishing industry.
  • How and where can I market? (author branding)
  • All art is hard.
  • The author is a miniature business
  • About Chip

Susan May Warren & Rachel Hauck, Supercharge Your Series

  • Put all your good stuff into one book, and pitch that book.
  • Create over-arching character.
  • Put the secret in the middle of the book. Don’t wait until the end.
  • Keep raising the stakes.
  • About Susan

Steve Laube, Developing a Thick Skin

  • Criticism is a form of rejection, but “No” means “I believe in you. You can do much better,” which essentially, is a huge encouragement.
  • Don’t engage the critic publicly. Own the mistake.
  • Emotion is essential to good writing.
  • Persistence is Key.
  • About Steve

 

What survival tips do you have? Please share!

 

 

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Historical Fiction Author Interview: Marie Sontag

Hello! Thanks for stopping by! I’m pleased to introduce historical fiction author, Marie Sontag, who, in the midst of the unexpected, refused to let her passion die.

Tisha: Hi, Marie! I’m glad you’ve decided to share your heart with us today! What compelled you to write historical fiction centered in WW2 Poland?

when god closes a door

Marie Sontag: “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” A friend had cross-stitched this phrase for me in 1978 when my hopes of teaching ESL in Poland were dashed. The Christian group that I worked with decided not to send me overseas due to health concerns. Having a Polish paternal grandfather, I felt called to touch the lives of those behind the Iron Curtain, knowing that many of them came from the same religious background I had inherited from my parents. Like myself for many years, I knew that many in Poland had “a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge” (Romans 10:2, NASB).

Stas_Alcatraz_1996
Stas’ in CA, 2008

Fast forward to 1996. Married to a wonderful husband and raising two boys, we opened our home for one year to a sixteen-year-old foreign exchange student from Warsaw, Poland.

 

 

 

 

Stas Oct 2016
Twenty years later, he still calls us Mom and Dad.Stas’ in CA, 2016

In 2008 we visited Stas’ and his family in Warsaw, and, in addition to visiting sites such as the Royal Castle. We also toured the Warsaw Rising Museum. That’s where I sensed God opening a window.

 

 

 

Tisha: This sounds fascinating! I love that you didn’t give up when your dream drowned, but that you used a disappointment to feed your desire. How did visiting the Warsaw Rising Museum lead to what you would write?

Stas_Marie_Krakow
Poland, 2008

Marie:  One of the Rising Museum’s exhibits told how the Polish Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, ages 10-20, fought alongside the Polish Underground during a two-month suicidal effort called “The Rising” in order to drive the Germans from Warsaw. They hoped to show the Allies that they did not want their country turned over to the Communists at the end of WWII. Their hope for freedom did not materialize until 1989.

mail carriers
Mail carriers

I immediately knew I wanted to write the story of those brave scouts so that youth here in the US would know the heights of bravery others their age had reached, inspiring them to dig deep within themselves to find similar causes worthy of such courage. I uncovered research that told of brave ten-year-olds serving as mail couriers carrying illegal Polish newspapers through the occupied streets of Warsaw. I learned of courageous twelve-year-old girls sloshing through fetid sewers to carry ammunition to various parts of the besieged city, and twenty-year-old scout leaders blowing up railroad tracks to prevent German tanks from reaching the eastern front. Using this research, I wove the information into a young adult historical fiction novel titled, Rising Hope.

 

Tisha: Thanks so much for sharing your passion, Marie! I’ve learned a bit about Poland, too! Readers, if you’re interested, please check out Marie’s website and follow her on social media. Plus, read the thrilling novel, Rising Hope, that was born out of a simple love trip to Poland!

What are some doors that have closed for you? Have you found your open window yet?

Reviews for Hope Rising

CoverPic

Rising Hope tells this story through the eyes of fictional scouts whose lives intersect with historical figures. Reviewers have said, “Rising Hope is a thrilling young adult novel that tells the story of the Polish Scouts’ involvement in the Warsaw Rising against the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1944.” – The Sarmatian Review

Julian Kulski, age ten when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, and twelve when he joined Warsaw’s fight against them, was the son of the Polish mayor of Warsaw in 1939. Now seventy-seven, Kulski states, “Rising Hope is an homage to all Polish teenagers who fought the German evil so bravely during WWII. A must read.” – Kulski, author of The Color of Courage

Rising Hope Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/_AwZhJ9pGBY

 

About Marie Sontag

me_2012 copy

Marie Sontag loves to bring history to life through historical fiction. With a BA, MA and PhD in education, she has taught middle school for over 15 years. She has written a middle grade series “Ancient Elements” that takes place in Ancient Mesopotamia, and book 1 of a young adult series, Rising Hope, placing readers alongside Boy Scouts and Girl Guides who helped the Polish Underground fight the Germans during WWII.

Connect with Marie through her website website

and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorMarieSontag/

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Novel Sneak Peak: photo inspiration

I write from inspiration. Photos are a great way to enhance the flavor of your novel. I know it helps me! Over the years, I’ve collected vintage treasures from the era I write about, taken photos at war museums, and so far, these photos have given me clear direction for describing my characters’ world.

Here a few WW2 items that I describe in my WIP novel, To Rise.

I’d love to hear from you! What do you think is the most fascinating? Leave a comment!

Enjoy!

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Novel Editing: One Sheets Pt. 3

One Sheet Easy

In the midst of editing my novel and preparing for the ACFW writer’s conference, I delved into writing One Sheets for two of the books in my Midwest trilogy.

One piece of paper with author blurb and information, back cover blurb, captivating photo . . . easy, shmeasy, right?

Ah, ha-ha, yeaaaah. No.

Any writer knows that One Sheets are not very easy to write. And I add: not easy to write on your own.

As writers, we work solo until our masterpiece is completed. But then the solo work ends, and we recruit happy beta readers or critical family members to offer their viability on the book matter.

But a One Sheet — now, this is where we can’t do it on our own. Bryan Cohen in his book How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis (which is, by the way, .99 today on Amazon!) hits it home when Bryan says that authors hate writing book cover blurbs, because after they’ve spent countless hours thinking and crafting their novel, a blurb shouldn’t take over eight hours to write.

Alas, it does. I didn’t think it would be too hard, either. Buuut, I slogged through six drafts of my first novel’s One Sheet before I turned to my very honest sister (who will only read a book if the cover blurb is compelling), and said, “Hey, Amanda, will you please read this and tell me if it’s good?”

Five minutes later: “No.”

Ugh. I’d spent hours on it! “Okay, what’s missing?”

“Intrigue. Make me read it.”

I tilted my head, my thoughts turning over and over. “Okay…”

I sat down at my computer and clacked away for about twenty minutes. The adrenaline of trying to please her, to get her to say, “Yes, I want to read this!” spurred me to think very fast.

When the blurb was done, crafted with vivid verbs, imagery, and what I hoped was intrigue, I sat back, very satisfied. But I shouldn’t be the one to be satisfied.

I had to satisfy and sweep the reader into opening the book.

“Okay, Manda, what do you think?”

With interest, she scanned over it. And an eager expression cross her face. “I like it, and I want to read it.”

“Why?” (Always a good question for a writer to ask.)

She smiled. “Because it has the best friend’s brother in there, and I want to know why he’s there.”

Grinning, I knew I had nailed it for at least one reader.

So, the teachable moment? >>> Involved your hard-to-please readers when writing One Sheets! If your back cover blurb sweeps them off their feet, then good chances are, you’ve nailed it!

And you might not even have to spend 10 hours working on it.

>>> I’d like to know — what is your process for One Sheets?  Let me know in the comments! <<<