Monday, August 28, 2006

New Book & Music Website:

I wanted to let you know about a new website I'm co-founding called ( It features Christian book and music reviews, interviews, articles, contests, surveys, and novel excerpts.

Be sure to sign up to receive our e-newsletter, because everyone who signs up will be entered in a drawing for a huge book & cd prize pack. And if you refer a friend to the site, and the friend mentions your name when they sign up, your name will be entered again for each friend that signs up. Check it all out at our Contest page.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Enjoying Life?

I recently heard an amazing quote: “If you’re not enjoying your life, then you’re not spending enough time with God.”


That kinda hit me over the head, right between the eyes. Haven’t we all had times in our lives when things aren’t going the way we plan? We’re unhappy (though not even sure why), and our natural inclination is to bite the head off anyone who rubs us wrong? I wonder if those are the times when we neglect God. It’s an easy trap to fall into. Ask me how I know.

What about in our writing? We all have those days when we’re rather do just about anything but write (think trimming toenails, mowing the lawn, or cleaning the garage). Is it possible those times happen more often when we forget to spend time with the Author of the world?

Here’s my challenge for you. Spend time with the Lord today before you do anything else, including write. And when you sit down at the keyboard, whisper a little prayer. Something like this:

“Lord, thank you for putting the desire in my heart to write. I ask you to help me today/tonight to hear your words. I pray that I would write what you want me to write, and I ask you to speak to me and guide me every step of the way. I ask you for your wisdom, and I commit my writing to you. Thanks for helping me.”

Life is meant to be enjoyed. So don’t let anyone steal your joy today. You’re meant for great things!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

To Make a Short Story Long

Many writers overwrite. I’m not one of them. One of my struggles is making a story long enough. If you fall into the same camp, here are a few tips I’ve found to make a short story (or book) long:

1. Look for places where you’ve summarized a scene. Dramatize it instead.

2. Look for scenes where a character has a lot of interior monologue. Bring in a second character for them to talk with.

3. Look for time gaps. What happens in them that you could make into a scene?

4. Add another character. Perhaps someone your main character doesn’t want to see, or wasn’t expecting to see.

5. Add a subplot. Are there any existing characters you could give scenes? Maybe your villain?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Full Tilt by Creston Mapes (FIRST blog alliance)

It's August 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and their latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:
Creston Mapes

Creston Mapes' first book, Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol, has been selected by the Romance Writers of America (RWA) as a finalist for its 2006 Inspirational Readers Choice awards in the category of long, contemporary novel. Awards will presented this summer in Atlanta at the Marriott Marquis hotel.

Full Tilt, the second book in the Rock Star Chronicles, is racking up a number of fine reviews, many stating that its story/writing has surpassed the quality of that in Dark Star. His third novel, a psychological thriller based in Las Vegas, is due out in 2007.

As he has for 20 years, Creston resides in the Atlanta metropolitan area with his hometown sweetheart and four marvelous children. He loves reading, painting, morning walks with his dog, family outings, watching hockey, going on dates with his wife, meeting friends for coffee, and spending time in God's Word. Read Creston's Complete Bio

To read the first chapter of Full Tilt at the in the Reading Room, click here.