Thursday, August 21, 2014

Advice from a bestselling author

Stephen King
A writing colleague sent me the link to an article that gleans 22 pieces of advice from bestselling author Stephen King's memoir, On Writing. I've read the book, but it was refreshing and eye-opening to re-read King's advice. Surprising how in our intense efforts to become better writers we drift from the basics over time.

Here's the link so you can read the article: "22 Lessons From Stephen King On How To Be A Great Writer." (Click on the article title.)

Happy writing,

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CWG end-of-summer course special

You Want to Write. CWG Will Show You How.

The Christian Writers Guild is running an end-of-summer special for its mentor-guided writing courses. Sign up for any course by September 10, give the name of the CWG mentor who referred you *which would be me, Michele Huey), and they’ll send you a free copy of one of these novels:

Prime of Life by Peter Bekendam; Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn; Matthew’s Story, Mark’s Story, or Luke’s Story by Jerry B. Jenkins

Courses include:

  • Apprentice 100:  Writing Essentials  Six skills to help your writing sell
  • Apprentice 110: Think Like a Writer  Establish yourself as a professional
  • Apprentice 120: Write Like a Writer  Opportunities and techniques for success
  • Apprentice 130: The Art of Short Nonfiction  Keys to writing print and web articles
  • Apprentice 140: Fiction That Sells  Seven tools for today’s novelist
  • Apprentice 150: Mastering Social Media  Build your publicity platform

Keep learning and keep writing,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Operation First Novel

Have you written a novel and you haven't been published by a traditional publisher?

Look into the Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel.

Open to CWG members who have not yet had a book published by a traditional, royalty-paying publisher, this annual contest has given new novelists a chance for their work to be read. This year three winners will receive publication packages from the Christian Writers Guild and BelieversPress for a combined value of over $30,000.

For details, click here to visit the web page.

Here's the email from CWG:


Make Your Publishing Dream a Reality

You Can Win Over $20,000 and Be a Published Novelist by Next Year

Submit your completed novel to our Operation First Novel contest by September 3 and you could win a publishing package worth more than $20,000!

It’s easy to enter. You just have to be a Guild member (click here to join)
who hasn’t yet had a book released by a traditional publisher.

Bonus Webinars
When you register for Guild membership
, we’ll give you, absolutely free, a set of five recent CWG webinars on the art of creating popular fiction — a $50 value! Review all five sessions to make sure your story is ready to enter.

When You Enter
Besides submitting a 75,000- to 85,000-word fiction manuscript, you also submit:
● a logline (a one-sentence summary with plot elements and an emotional hook)
● a 750-word synopsis

Judges will review each manuscript for characterization, plot, conflict, dialogue, setting, mechanics, and writing quality.

First prize includes a full print and e-book publishing package as part of the Jerry B. Jenkins select line from Christian Writers Guild Publishing, a $21,000 value!

Second place wins a print publishing package from BelieversPress worth $6,500!

Third prize is an e-book publishing package from BelieversPress worth $2,800!

Don’t Wait
You have until September 3, 2014 to enter.

Click here for full contest rules, descriptions of the three award packages, and a link for submitting your entry.

The winners will be announced January 16, 2015 at the Writing for the Soul writing and publishing conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

You’ve written your novel. Now take the next steps to make it a winner — in Operation First Novel!

Will you be the next new voice in fiction?

Happy writing,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New novel launched

  54-year-old Linda Laverly longs to experience, just once more, that head over heels feeling of young love. The only problem is her husband.

Dear friends,
The day has finally come! Before I Die, my second novel (actually the first novel I ever wrote) has been released by Helping Hands Press as an e-book ($2.99) and paperback ($14.99) on Amazon. 

Here’s the book description:
Linda Laverly wants to fall in love again—to experience deep in her soul that head over heels, I’m-crazy-about-you feeling just once more. Time is running out, she thinks; her sister died at fifty-five, and Linda is just one year shy of that milestone. So she leaves Brian, her predictable, dependable, faithful, but unromantic husband of thirty-two years to try to find a spark again. Is her quest worth risking her family, her job, her reputation, her faith? As she wrestles with issues of aging and self-image, anger and betrayal, she finds the love she’s longing for where she least expects it.  (Women’s fiction, Christian fiction) 

Here’s what reviewer Kerin M. had to say about the book:
“I LOVED IT! I LOVED IT! I LOVED IT! My eyes were filled with tears at the end. You had the courage to write about the secrets of women our age – that longing to be loved and not just taken for granted – or to feel like we’re stuck with each other now, so let’s just make the best of it. I saw my own self in Linda. Thank you for writing this story. May God bless it and cut it loose to touch the lives of many others.” 

To download your e-book or order your paperback from Amazon, visit my Amazon author page and click on BEFORE I DIE. Here’s the link to the Amazon page where my books are listed:

If you want your e-book autographed, go to and request an autograph. It’s free!

You can also order an autographed paperback from me by

  • emailing me your order ( and mailing me a check for $15, plus $5 shipping and handling, if it’s to be mailed. I don’t have a problem delivering books to folks in Punxsutawney who have ordered them. If that’s the case, the cost of the book will be $15 (tax included). My address is 121 Homestead Lane, Glen Campbell, PA  15742.

Thank you for your interest. Please share this post with anyone you think would be interested in Before I Die.  

Happy reading,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Make your dialogue really talk

. . .  is the topic of tonight's Christian Writers Guild webinar.

Presented by Dennis E. Hensley
Tuesday, August 12
8:00 to 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time

Dialogue has two central functions: to provide vital information and to advance the story’s action. But the way that is conveyed can involve accent, stage direction, timing, word choice, slang, sentence fragments, shoptalk, professional vocabulary, and emotional connotation.

Getting the right blend is the trick, and Doc delivers numerous tips on how to master the art of “talking the talk.” As the author of eight novels, two plays, and more than 150 short stories, Doc draws from his hands-on experience to help you make your dialogue functional, entertaining, and believable.

Dennis E. Hensley, Ph.D., is the author of 54 books, the most recent being Jesus in the 9 to 5. He is director of the professional writing major at Taylor University, and a columnist for Christian Communicator. His 3,000 freelance articles have appeared in Downbeat, Modern Bride, Writer’s Digest, Essence, War Cry, The Writer, People, Vista, Evangel, The Detroit Free Press, and The Indianapolis Star, among many others. He is a judge for the annual Christy Fiction Awards, the Evangelical Press Association Awards, and Operation First Novel contest.

Click here to register.

Coming up later this month:

Your Novel’s First 50 pages (part 2)

Presented by Jeff Gerke
Tuesday, August 19
8:00 to 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time

First impressions are vital. Compelling opening scenes are key to catching an agent or editor’s attention, as well as keeping readers engaged. In this continuation of Jeff’s June 19 webinar, you’ll learn more about:
• how to bring your protagonist onstage the first time
• how (and why) to establish normal for your hero and your story world
• what exactly goes on a great first page
• what makes for a terrific first line

Jeff Gerke is a novelist and book doctor. He worked for a dozen years at various publishers before founding Marcher Lord Press. His books include The Art &Craft of Writing Christian Fiction, Plot Versus Character, and The First 50 Pages.

Click here to register.

SOURCE: Christian Writers Guild Webinars webpage.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Autograph your e-books

Authors, your readers can receive a personalized inscription that they can view in their favorite reading apps and devices! Yes, you can autograph your e-books!

Readers, you can request an autograph from an author.

This service is FREE through

A writing colleague told me about it months ago, but, true writer that I am, I put off looking into it. It was just one more thing to add to the to-do list. You know? (You know.)

But today, I decided to try it.

It's not that hard to do:

1. Sign up on the website.
2. Add the widget assigns you to your blog and website. Add the AUTHORGRAPH tab to your Facebook page.
3. Make noise about it on your social media.

Happy reader, happy writer.

Here's my widget (notice I put it in the right margin below the list of my books):

Happy writing,