Thursday, August 2, 2018

Five Factors by Carrie Stuart Parks

Next month, September, I’ll be joining my mentor, Frank Peretti, at the ACFW conference in Nashville. We’ll be presenting the Early Bird portion called “On Writing.” This has been an amazing ride—to go from writing how-to art books to becoming an award-winning, best-selling author in just a few short years. Maybe I should more accurately call it an adventure. Adventures have a lot of pitfalls, wicked witches, and setbacks along the way. So let me present five factors to success.

1. A mentor. I’ll have to admit having “the Dean of Christian Fiction” as my mentor was huge. Frank and his lovely wife, Barb, had been friends for years. We met through Frank’s and my husband, Rick’s, mutual love of the banjo and all things bluegrass. When I wrote a short story for Barb for Christmas one year, Frank saw potential in my efforts. It was his choice to mentor me. For eight years. I’m a slow learner. I listened to everything he said and did it. I’d show up with post-it notes, highlighters, red pens, paper clips, and the writing I’d done the day before (or re-writing as the case may be.) If he said I had to fix something, I fixed it. A good mentor is priceless, but you have to …

2. Listen. If your friend, mom, beta reader, critique partner, mentor, or 1st cousin once removed on your mother’s side said that a sentence was strongly phrased, they got lost, they couldn’t figure something out… fix it. Don’t argue that it was your sheer genius at work. If one person doesn’t get it, multiply that by hundreds—your reading public. This is because you’re…

3. Too close. You are too close to your work. In your head, you have that scene clearly in front of you, the sounds, dialog, action, smells, where you are going…but that doesn’t mean you’ve actually written it on the manuscript. This can be frustrating because you’ve worked on this story for so long you hate it, yet it’s still your baby. The good news about writing is there’s always . . .

4. More to learn. I estimated I read over eighty books on writing, went to countless conferences, took numerous on-line classes, entered competitions, and studied the craft from every angle. I still do. Never accept something as “good enough.” If you have to, put it aside and work on something else, then come back to it. Because you need to be . . .

5. Persistent. I had fourteen proposals go out on my original book. Fourteen “no’s.” Each time I got rejected I’d mope a bit, then get back to work.

Of course, there’s so much more, but we’ll start with these five. God bless you as you write.

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.
After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

Amazon Buy Link - Formula of Deception

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning, internationally known forensic artist. Over the past thirty-six years, she has worked on major criminal cases for such agencies as the FBI and ATF as well as numerous police and sheriff’s departments throughout the US. She is the author of over twenty books, both fiction and non-fiction.

Along with her artist-husband, Rick, a former visual information specialist for the FBI in Washington DC, they travel across the US and Canada teaching forensic art courses. They are the foremost instructor of forensic art in the world.

She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity.

Connect with Carrie at:; Facebook: Carrie Stuart Parks, Author; twitter: @CarrieParks