Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Reformation Writer: Scaring Away the Fears that Spook Your Writer’s Heart by Jerusha Agen

His footsteps were sure as he marched up the stairs, the vital words he’d carefully, prayerfully written clutched in his hand. 
Jerusha Agen

The doors of the church loomed over him. 

Martin Luther lifted his paper and nailed the ninety-five theses to the door. 

The world would never be the same.

While most of our culture thinks of October 31st as Halloween, some Christians realize that date celebrates something far more important. It’s Reformation Day.

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation that changed not just church history, but the history of humanity in countless ways. 

Today, Christians have Bibles in their own language and churches that allow and encourage individuals to study Scripture on their own. Christians have a clearer understanding of salvation by faith alone, through Christ alone. They have a deeper knowledge of the mercy, grace, and providential omniscience of God. These are just a few of the many positive changes brought about by the Reformation.

And it all started with words. As the Holy Spirit moved in Martin Luther and other reformers in several countries, opening their eyes to the truth of Scripture, He guided them to speak of their newfound convictions, but more importantly, to write of them.

Through letters, booklets, and full-sized tomes, the written word became the means by which the crucial truth of the true Gospel was declared.

But what if Luther, John Calvin, and the other reformers hadn’t written a word? They probably had no idea, before they put pen to paper, that their written words would have such enormous impact.

Maybe they were just like us. Maybe they battled fear and doubt that told them their words wouldn’t be good enough, people weren’t going to like what they wrote, they weren’t the right person for the task. 

Luther certainly had plenty of reasons to fear when he wrote his ninety-five theses, letters, and books. People tried to kill him because of his writings, and he knew that when he wrote many of them.

Yet, though Luther had higher stakes and actual danger threatening if he wrote the truth, he still obeyed God’s call. He fearlessly wrote the first words, then more, and then more.

When I sit in front of a blank document on my computer or get stuck midway through a manuscript, fear often assaults me. I’m not a good enough writer to write this story. I’m not creative enough. Readers won’t like it. Agents and publishers won’t want to publish it. Maybe I’m not supposed to write at all. Maybe I’m wasting my time.

Sound familiar? Or maybe you have other doubts and fears, such as worry that this book won’t be as successful as your previously published works. Perhaps that the story or article won’t turn out as good as it is in your head. Maybe that people will criticize or reject you and your writing.

But if you’re a Christian writer, you have a reason and the means to fight those fears. Just like Luther, you’ve been called to carry God’s message, to write His truth and share the hope He offers through your writing.

Our writing may not change the world as much as Luther’s did (though you never know, right?), but following God’s call—beating back the fear to step out in faith—always changes the world, even if it’s only by changing one heart, and even if that heart is the writer’s.

So this Reformation Day and in the days and years to come, let’s be reformers with our writing. Let’s cut through our fears with the assurance that we have been called by a mighty God who has prepared the way and will carry us through to the completion of His work.

You have been chosen and equipped for this exact moment in history. What will you write that will change the world?

What doubts and fears hold you back from writing? How do you overcome them? 

Please share!
About the Author
Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes romantic suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. With a B.A. in English and a background in screenwriting, Jerusha is the author of The Sisters Redeemed Series. Jerusha writes about fighting against fear in our everyday lives at the Fear Warrior Blog (www.JerushaAgen.com/blog). Visit Jerusha at www.JerushaAgen.com and connect with her on Facebook (@JerushaAgenAuthor) Twitter (@SDGwords), and Pinterest (@JerushaAgen).

Website – www.JerushaAgen.com
The Fear Warrior Blog – www.JerushaAgen.com/blog
Twitter – https://twitter.com/sdgwords
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JerushaAgenAuthor/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/jerushaagen/

The Protector by Jerusha Agen

When trafficking survivor Tamara agrees to share her story at an awareness event, she doesn’t realize that her decision might cost her life. As an unknown killer tries to silence her, a handsome stranger shows up, determined to save her from harm...But who will protect Tamara's heart?

Jerusha is giving away THE PROTECTOR, a free romantic suspense novella, to subscribers of her newsletter! To get your free downloadable copy, sign up using this link: http://eepurl.com/caGZZz

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Journey from Book to Movie by Miralee Ferrell

Miralee Ferrell
Hi everyone, Annette here. I'm pleased to welcome Miralee Ferrell for a visit to Seriously Write today. She's the owner of Mountain Brook Ink, and she's also a multi-published author who has a heart to help other authors. She's here to share her story of working with a Hollywood producer. Read on!

The Journey from Book to Movie
by Miralee Ferrell

I thought it might be fun and interesting for readers to learn how this journey toward having a book made into a movie came into being—as well as to see how much God had a hand in it all.
In the spring of 2015, I received an email from a Hollywood producer, followed by a phone call. Imagine my surprise when she asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them. They were no longer producing the Love Finds You books into movies and were working on a different project for UP TV, a possible three-movie series, and she hoped I might be able to work with them. She explained that she’d optioned Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming, two or three years earlier, and loved it. Of the thirty-five or so titles she’d read of the line, that was her favorite. However, UP TV didn’t want to make historical or old west movies, so she’d shelved the project.
During that time period, I’d gotten my rights returned to all of my LFY books and had retitled them Finding Love in Last Chance, California, Finding Love in Tombstone, Arizona, and Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon. Sundance became Outlaw Angel, and all four are still in print.
Here’s the amazing part: I came very, very close to turning down that contract offer with Summerside for Sundance. I was disappointed in the advance and royalty rate, and shortly after they released it, they sold the line to Guideposts, and that company didn’t continue the line much longer. Understandably, sales waned on their final releases, and I was disappointed with my sales from that final book as my others had done quite well. For a long time, I wished I hadn’t taken that contract and instead held out for one with another company for a three-book series. However, had I done that, I doubt Runaway Romance would ever have been written. It was Sundance that grabbed Chevonne’s attention and caused her to contact me.
It took several hits and misses of sending ideas to UP for various storylines before they approved this one, then the serious work began. Writing fifteen-page summaries of the book/movie idea, reviewing the script after it was written, and writing the book. Now, we wait for the final event—the airing of the movie and soon-to-be release of the book. It’s been an exciting, amazing journey and I give God all the glory for bringing it to pass!


When a reality TV star meets the reality of life, will it be her downfall or her salvation?
Runaway Romance by Miralee Ferrell

Ann Stanway had it all—a starring role in a reality show, an adoring boyfriend, and a sparkling future with limitless possibilities. Until the rules changed and the life she’d thought was real no longer existed. Leaving L.A. seems like her only option, and she lands in Kentucky at a quiet Amish inn—as far removed from her past as possible. Now she knows what was missing in her life--peace, true friendship and, dare she hope, a man who accepts her for who she is--or at least who he thinks she is. 

Hunter Lewis is intrigued by the new woman staying at his friend’s Amish inn. Annie appears to be what she claims, but she’s secretive and won’t open up. He’s been burned by a woman before and can’t tolerate deception. But his interest in Annie is growing, and the attraction seems to be mutual—until something happens that makes Hunter question everything he’d thought was real. Dare he risk his heart, when he’s certain Annie is keeping secrets?

Can their new romance withstand the pressure, or will Ann choose to run again?


About the Author

Miralee Ferrell is a best-selling, award-winning author with over 20 books in print. She started writing women’s fiction for Kregel, then moved to Historical Romance, writing for Summerside (the Love Finds You Line), Barbour, David C. Cook, and Mountain Brook Ink. She’s also written a couple of contemporary romance novels, as well as five middle-grade horse novels, called Horses and Friends. She’s not only an author, she’s the publisher of Mountain Brook Ink, a small traditional publisher with a vision to help new authors get published as well as multi-published authors. She lives in the Pacific NW with her husband, two dogs, two cats, and 11 chickens. She’s an avid horsewoman and enjoys hiking and riding the trails near their home with her grown daughter.

You can connect with Miralee at the following places:
Website/blog/newsletter signup      www.miraleeferrell.com
Website/blog for Mountain Brook Ink    www.mountainbrookink.com
Facebook Group (she prefers this over friend requests)  --

Miralee’s featured book, Runaway Romance (the book and movie) can be found on Amazon. It releases Nov. 1 in both print and ebook. The movie’s air date is yet to be announced, but it will be within the first quarter of 2018. You can find Runaway Romance here.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Group Therapy by C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson
Would you visit a doctor who doesn’t keep up with the noteworthy medical journals in his or her specialized field? Or never attends conferences about the latest, greatest breakthroughs in medicine? Would you call 911 and trust a law enforcement officer who doesn’t recertify regularly on the gun range? Or never attends trainings that teach him or her what to do in an emergency?

Why are those things so important? Why is it a good idea for the pilot of an airplane to have logged significant hours behind the controls of the aircraft he or she is flying? Is it because you want them to be competent? Even confident? Your safety and the lives of you and others are at stake, right?

Of course. But there is one other aspect to a doctor going to a medical conference, a police officer attending a conference on terrorism, or a pilot meeting with other pilots at a training session.

They get to meet with others like them. They get to “talk shop.” They get to swap stories. They get to hang around people who “get them,” before they head back to their places of employment and become bombarded by us.

Now, on this blog site, we may not be talking about life and death here, but let me ask you a question. Do you attend a writers group? Regularly? Do you fellowship with other writers and actually talk about your writing? Do you read the latest and best books out there on the craft and swap those titles with those group members?

I am a chapter president of a local writers group. I helped establish one about seventy-five miles away from my home several years ago and decided it was time to help establish another closer to home. Why? Because it’s important to me. I need other people’s eyes on my work. I need to hear what people have to say about my writing…the good…the bad…and all the comments in-between. But it’s always a blessing to be able to sit and chat with people who “get me.”

You fellow writers know what I’m talking about. Family members love us, but if they are not writers, they don’t understand how we can get so excited about sentences, grammar, character development, and plot. They may be listening with a smile on their face, but their inner dialogue goes something like this:

“Oh, my word, how I wish I hadn’t ask how his writing is going…How can I excuse myself from this conversation…” Your aunt scans the nearby bystanders. “I always run into people in the grocery store. Why can’t there be anybody I know standing around here now? When I really need them? But noooo, they always stop me in the aisle when I’m in a hurry to get home.”

She takes a quick peek into her purse, acting as if her phone just rang. “Oh yeah, I am a concealed weapons permit holder…I could just shoot myself…in the foot…accidentally, of course. Looks like I have no other choice.” She grabs her gun, aims the purse downward, and—

“Harriet? Is that you?”

Startled she looks up and sees the man from her neighborhood—the one who lives two blocks over, has a long beard, severe dental issues, and who has been arrested three times for stalking other women.

Harriet slowly releases the gun and zips up her purse. “Oh, hi, Bernard, long time, no see.” She turns to you. “Honey, can you excuse me for a minute, I need to ask Bernard something.” Your aunt leans in close and pinches your cheek like she did when you were four years old. “Unlike some famous authors I know, this poor guy can’t catch a break. And I’ve been looking for someone to start mowing my lawn. Thought I’d give him a chance to get on his own two feet, you know?” She gives you an exaggerated wink and pats you on the shoulder. “I am so glad to hear that your writing is doing good. It’s been great catching up. You tell that momma of yours to call me, will ya? Phone lines run north and south.” And with that cliché and a wave, Aunt Harriet walks off with the makings of a serial killer.

You’re a writer. You’ve been there. You have your own “getaway” stories. You understand. But the Aunt Harriets of the world don’t. No fault of their own, but they just don’t get us. That’s why writers groups are so important.

At our group, we also pray for each other and get to know one another just a little bit more every second Saturday of the month. However, the best thing that happens when I leave each meeting is the boost of encouragement I receive from the group to “get back at it” with a renewed fervor. So much so that I have two series going now at the same time. Call me “insane,” but aren’t all writers? Just a little?

So, fellow author, to what writers group do you belong? What? You aren’t part of one? Why not? Oh, there aren’t any in your area? Why not start one? Maybe God is waiting for you to do so. What? You don’t have the time? Have you ever heard the phrase, “If it’s important to you, you make the time?” Hmm....

It’s really all about group therapy: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).

Was the Apostle Paul just talking about “church”?

I think not.

(The Blake Meyer Thriller Series, Book 3)

A Perverse Tale. A Precarious Truth. A Personal Tribulation.

Supervisory Special Agent Blake Meyer is at an impasse. Bound and beaten in a dilapidated warehouse halfway around the world, Blake finds himself listening to an unbelievable story. Right and wrong warp into a despicable clash of ideologies. Life quickly becomes neither black nor white. Nor is it red, white, and blue any longer.

Every second brings the contagion's release closer, promising to drag the United States into the Dark Ages. Tens of millions could be dead within months.

Every moment adds miles and hours to the expanding gulf between him and his family. What is he to believe? Who is he to trust?

C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister with a B.A. In Bible (Houghton College, Houghton, NY), an M.A. in Christian Studies (Wesley Biblical Seminary, Jackson, MS), and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (National-Louis University, Wheeling, IL). He presently works as an assistant principal in a middle school.

His Blake Meyer Thriller series is out! Book 1, 30 Days Hath Revenge, is now available! Book 2, Triple Time, is also available! Book 3, The Tide of Times, just released! Also, the second edition of his award-winning debut novel, The Serpent’s Grasp, is now available!

Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too.

Website:                                www.ckevinthompson.com/
Kevin’s Writer’s Blog:         www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/
Facebook:                              C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page   
Twitter:                                  @CKevinThompson
Goodreads:                            C. Kevin Thompson

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Got Five Minutes? By Letitia Suk

Tish Suk is my guest on Seriously Write today. I loved her post and though she isn't a writer, the post definitely applies to the writing life.  I hope you will take a few minutes and read today's article. - Terri Weldon

“Take five minutes to pray for your work each day and see what happens,” was the challenge proposed by our pastor to the congregation years ago. I remember thinking something like, “Duh!” Of course, I already pray at least five minutes a day for my work...don’t I? Surely all the praying-on-the-run I did each day for all the flying curveballs added up to more than five minutes.

The nudging continued so the next morning I grabbed a timer on the way to my prayer chair, set it for five minutes and began to pray specifically for my work. Wow, that timer took a long time to ding! Challenge accepted—I was ready to see what would happen. 

Like many of us, my work is multi-faceted. So I decided to give a minute to each of the five areas for my day-to-day projects. It seemed like one minute would be easier that five. I know, wimpy, right? 

The first minute I gave to my coaching clients. They invested time with me to bring focus and intentionality to their lives and I wanted to give them my best work. My writing got the next minute. The current projects, the longed-for projects, my skill and wisdom in putting words on a page. Good thing the timer rang because it was easy to zone off into work mode instead of praying. 

Speaking ministry was next. Events already scheduled and those I wanted to schedule. For my communication skills to grow and for lives to be changed. A lot for one minute. 

My part-time chaplain work got minute #4. Patients, sensitivity, staff and overall blessing for the hospitals. 

The last minute I saved for specific work stuff on that day’s agenda: marketing, blogging, networking. This time the five minutes flew by.

He was right—things happened! I felt more partnered with God in all aspects of my work. Not just that I was working for Him but with Him as I laid the concerns out each day. I saw clearer productivity and greater results.

All these years later, I still set my timer most days. My work depends on it.

Each day holds 1440 minutes...hard to claim a legitimate excuse for not finding five of them to invest in prayer over your work. You might be amazed at the return.

P.S.—The same five-minute principle works for other areas of your life too!

Letitia (Tish) Suk, www.letitiasuk.com, invites women to create an intentional life centered in Jesus. She blogs at hopeforthebest.org and authored Getaway with God: The Everywoman’s Guide to Personal Retreat) and Rhythms of Renewal. She is a speaker, personal retreat guide, and life coach in the Chicago area. Find Tish: https://www.facebook.com/Letitia.Suk.Author/


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Audience? What audience? by Braxton DeGarmo

We all know what an audience is. A big challenge for many is finding that audience. That’s certainly true for Indie authors, and becoming truer for trad pub authors, whose publishers expect more and more marketing from them.

If you Google the phrase “finding an audience as an author,” you’ll come up with dozens of blog posts and articles on the topic. They all pretty much say the same thing. You might read the first one and your eyes glaze over as you think, Duh! That’s obvious. But had you truly considered it before and acted on it?

A lot of it is just common sense. Geographic: Where do my readers live? Are they urban or rural? Does their climate have them hibernating over long, dreary winters with a pile of your books by their reading chair to brighten the day? Demographic: Age, gender, race, native language, social status, and more. Some bloggers tell you to know your target before writing your book. True, to a point. You don’t want to write for action-oriented males, ages 18-25, if your real audience should be women, ages 25-50, seeking a romantic escape . . . because their own action-oriented male is asleep on the couch. <Ahem>

A branch of demographics has been labeled psychographics. That might include things like
readers’ backgrounds/upbringing; their health; their goals, beliefs, and values; and their lifestyles. Then there’s their behavioral traits. Do they prefer paperback or eBook? Are they already loyal to your genre? Do they tend to buy on impulse and throw money at books, or are they Amazonians who struggle to pay $0.99 for a good book? (Yes, that’s a dig at Amazon, the epitome of love/hate relationships for authors.)

The answers to some of these questions really are apparent. The USA is the #1 market for books and the native language is English, obviously. But some answers don’t become clear until you’ve established yourself as an author. If you’re just starting out, your demographics are likely to look like . . . you. Makes sense. You’re writing what you like, so it stands to reason that others like you might as well. By the release of book two, you’ll likely have discovered other traits that help broaden your perspective about your readers. Things like Facebook pages and Google Analytics (to track your website) can be a tremendous help.

Having said all this, there is one thing all these blogs and articles don’t mention—our faith. As Christians, we can’t ignore our beliefs when discussing audiences. Are you writing to the choir? Maybe you want to pull fence-sitters back to earth. Perhaps you’re called to reach the fallen, heathen world. Maybe it’s not a task of you finding your audience, but of God’s targeted audience finding you . . . and Christ through you. Knowing this, understanding God’s goal for your writing, is what really counts before writing your book.

So, you’re thinking, Okay. I’m getting a sense of who sits in my audience. What next? Well, stay tuned for Part 2.

Have you found your audience? How did you go about it?


Braxton DeGarmo spent over 30 years in Emergency and Family Medicine, both in and out of the military, before retiring to focus on writing in 2014. He writes from a Judeo-Christian worldview, but he writes his stories to reach and entertain people of all backgrounds. Many of the incidents in his books are based on real occurrences, people, and experiences in his own life, such as learning to escape a water crash in a helicopter. Human trafficking, medical kidnapping, government corruption, and other social injustices have become the premises used for his stories. And the technologies described in his books are all current . . . and possible. His latest novel, Kidnapped Nation, was released in April of this year and is book six in his MedAir Series of suspense and thrillers. Kill Zone: Ten Deadly Thrillers will remain available for a limited time after its release October 3rd.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Write Race by Gail Johnson

Take a peek at the photos on my camera, and you will quickly surmise this girl loves capturing horses in action. So it was only natural that I watched the Kentucky Derby this year. However, it wasn’t the horses that held my attention but the amazing stories behind the majestic animals, especially Gunnevera's trainer, Antonio Sano.
The Kentucky Derby

In Venezuela, he was known as the best—the “Czar of the Hippodrome” until his life changed in 2009 when he was kidnapped twice in one year. The first time his kidnappers drove him to an ATM, forced him to give them money, and then released him. The second time, he was held for thirty-six days. This time a $360,000 ransom was paid for his freedom. That year changed Sano’s life forever. He and his family left the life they knew and came to America to begin again.

Sano built a new life in Florida and in 2015, along with three Venezuelan clients, purchased a $16,000 yearling named Gunnevera. That horse and Sano proved to be winners in nine races. Two years later, Sano stood in front of the Churchhill Downs stall that housed Gunnevera. The dream of a lifetime! The Kentucky Derby.

Sano’s story is one of determination in the midst of the most horrible circumstances. We may never face such conditions. But we all have our own race to run.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV

So what can a writer learn from a horse trainer?
  • Never let your circumstances dictate your actions.
  • Learn to recognize a blessing when you see it.
  • Before you can contend, you must show up.
  • Not everyone runs the same race.
  • One loss doesn’t prove your worth.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize.
  • Celebrate every victory accordingly!

So, my friend, run your race in your own unique way. And when you reach the finish line on this project, take a break, and then begin your next project! Happy writing!
Gail Johnson

To hear more about Gunnevera and Sano click here. To find out who won the 2017 Derby, click here.

About the Author
Gail Johnson is a retired cosmetologist and homeschool teacher. She lives in the South on a farm with her family and three dogs where she writes inspirational fiction/nonfiction. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is currently learning the entire process of indie publishing. You can connect with her on Center of His WheelFacebook, and Twitter.

For more posts by Gail Johnson, click here. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

A Buffet of Romance by Mary Manners

A Buffet of Romance
Mary Manners
Inspirational Romance has grown into a scrumptious buffet, offering a variety of heart-racing tales like never before. Characters in inspirational stories are by no means perfect; they often harbor flawed and even scandalous pasts and are searching for redemption. Today’s inspirational novels tend to be edgier with themes and plot-twists that mirror current headlines. Authors are not afraid to don boxing gloves and duke it out by weaving newsworthy, tough issues into their plotlines.
The most satisfying romances involve the transformation of the hero, heroine, or both. A struggle with mistakes of the past is a common theme while hope for the future prevails with a highly-sought happily-ever-after. The genre has actively branched out into the young adult marketplace. Today’s teens yearn for stories they can relate to…wholesome romances with lessons that are heartwarming and ultimately positive.
Inspirational romance has a growing variety of food groups sure to satisfy all readers, whether their tastes run to historical, contemporary, suspenseful or young-adult stories. Beyond the inspirational flavor, what makes these romances so good is no different from what makes any other story good—an interesting plotline with relatable characters who are searching for something more…something to fulfill their heart and soul.
So fill your plate (and your library shelves) with stories sure to leave an impression. And remember that it’s perfectly fine to enjoy a second helping…even a third or fourth.

Claire McLaughlin, weary of running a corporate rat-race, dreams of pursuing her passion to bake sweet confections. So when former college roommate Lila Brooks asks for her help with catering services at Diamond Knot Dreams Bridal Boutique, Claire grabs the invitation with both hands.

Ryan Kendrick has returned home to Clover Cove to raise his step-brother following the death of their grandmother. Hired to renovate the Town Square, he rents office space on the second floor of Diamond Knot Dreams and soon succumbs to talented Claire McLaughlin’s sweet confections—as well as the blue-eyed beauty herself.

As their romance blooms, so do the shenanigans of Diamond Knot Dreams' meddling spirit, Ellie. Will her antics help to draw Claire and Ryan closer together, or bring the blossoming romance to a grinding halt?
Mary Manners is a country girl at heart who has spent a lifetime exploring her joy of writing. She has two sons, a daughter, and three beautiful grandchildren. She currently lives along the sunny shores of Jacksonville Beach with her husband Tim.
A former teacher and intermediate school principal, Mary spent three decades sharing her love of learning. While growing up in Chicago, Mary worked her way to college through a variety of odd jobs including paper girl, hot dog vendor, grocery store cashier, lifeguard, swim instructor, pizza chef, and nanny. Many of these experiences led to adventures that bring a touch of humor to her stories.
Mary’s writing has earned her multiple awards including a two-time Inspirational Reader’s Choice award, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, the Aspen Gold, the Heart of Excellence, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
Mary loves long sunrise runs, ocean sunsets, and flavored coffee. She recently conquered her fear of heights (sort of) by completing the Gate River Run over downtown Jacksonville’s bridges last spring.
Connect with Mary at her website: www.MaryMannersRomance.com.


Friday, October 20, 2017

A Road Less Taken by Ruth Kyser

Ruth Kyser
No longer is there only one path to publication—writers have many options. Today, author Ruth Kyser shares the road she took, as well as some advice for both new and experienced writers. ~ Dawn

A Road Less Taken

I’ve chosen to take a different route to publication than most of my counterparts. Perhaps it’s because I got a later start in my writing career than most.

Several years ago I received a plaque from my sister. It was a quote from George Eliot:

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

Back then I was working as an insurance agent in a stressful, full-time job. For years I’d dreamed of becoming an author, but I had never become serious about it. Oh yes; over the years I’d written countless stories. I’d even submitted them to major publishers. One manuscript had even been considered by a publisher for almost a year. Then I received a letter with those dreaded words, “I’m sorry, but your manuscript doesn’t fit our needs at this time.”

Fortunately, I also received a heartfelt note from the editor telling me my writing had promise and he hoped to receive something more from me in the future—and encouraging me not to quit. Several years passed and I suddenly realized one day that if I were ever going to do anything with my writing, I needed to do it NOW. I wasn’t getting any younger, and at this point in my life, I certainly didn’t have time now to submit my work to publishers and wait for months for feedback.

Then my husband gave me a Kindle. I checked out Amazon’s website and quickly discovered the world of self-publishing. 

Becoming an independent publisher/author (‘indies’) fits my life well. I’ve always been a little bit of a renegade, choosing not to do things in the usual fashion.

Seven years and thirteen books later (the fourteenth is being released in November), I still feel as if I’m learning the trade. I’ve also learned that as authors, we need each other’s encouragement more than ever in this solitary, occupation we’ve chosen for ourselves.

So, for what it’s worth, here’s my advice to upcoming authors and veterans alike:

1. Don’t allow discouragement to seep into your life. It’s easy to get depressed when you feel you’ll never finish your current project. Just keep plugging away.

2. Stay grounded in scripture, and take time for prayer.

3. Find a network of other authors. There are online groups of veteran writers who are more than willing to answer your questions.

4. Hire professionals, especially if you are going the Indie route.

5. Don’t quit. Keep writing—no matter what.

And remember, the stories you have to tell can only come from your heart. Study the craft, read the Classics, reflect on the beauty of words, and what you have to say that no one else can say.

Then, and only then, can you write those words the Lord has placed on your heart to share with the world.

May God bless your writing journey, dear friends!

A Place Called Hart's Desire is a contemporary Christian romance, set in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Christian Romance Author Ellie Hathaway escapes for two weeks to a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains, intent on finishing her book within the deadline. Of course, it only confuses the issue that the cabin she's staying at is the same one her parents originally reserved for her now-defunct honeymoon.

Then Ellie meets the owner's son, Lucas Hart—a widower wracked by grief and with a heart hardened against God. Ellie is immediately drawn to Luke, but she cautions herself against falling for a man so obviously still in love with his dead wife.

Can Ellie help Luke find his way back to God? And in the process, will Ellie's heart be totally broken—or will she also learn to forgive, and love again?

Ruth Kyser is a native Michigander--wife, mother, and grandmother--who writes Christian Inspirational Romance. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and enjoys reading almost as much as she loves writing!

Ruth's Mission Statement: "My goal is to write stories that entertain, but more importantly, educate readers about Jesus Christ and His love for them."

You can learn more and connect with Ruth here: