Friday, April 27, 2007

Aspiring Retail article on Christian fiction

In a recent blog entry, Brandilyn Collins pointed out a great article in Aspiring Retail's May issue called "Christian Novelists on the Rise" as well as another piece in the same issued called "Passionate About Christian Fiction". The latter is an interview with Carol Johnson of Bethany House.

Fascinating stuff. Check out the issue here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Research ups and downs

One of the ways I research for my fiction writing is to read biographies/autobiographies of people in the same profession as my characters. For example, half of my first novel takes place on a modern-day working cattle ranch. My shelves are full of books detailing this way of life. I also subscribed to (and still read) various magazines related to ranching. But there's nothing like hearing about a profession in the first person. It's learning by immersion, mostly. I came to a point where I could imagine my settings based solely on photographs and descriptions, and my character's voices came naturally because I truly understood what they would be thinking.

For settings, there's nothing like visiting in person. However, I believe it IS possible to learn about a setting from your armchair.

One potential danger with research is to never start the writing because you're so consumed with researching. You must start writing, sometimes even when you don't feel you have enough research. During the process of writing questions will arise, and that's when you go searching for a specific answer. Often the best way to find an answer is to pool your friends. One of them will probably know somebody who will know the answer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dabbling Mum Interview

Alyice Edrich from The Dabbling Mum recently did an interview with me about time management and resting for writers.

The interview begins:

Alyce: Has there ever been a time in your writing career where you had to tell yourself to "slow down"? And if so, what was going on at the time?

Me: Usually what happens for me is I'll spread myself too thin. There was a time recently where I was doing so many "good" writing projects. I was very busy, but I wasn't content. I realized I needed to re-evaluate where I was spending my writing time.

Click here to read the rest of the interview. And while you're at it, check out Alyice's great website The Dabbling Mum. She has an informative newsletter specifically for writers, plus much more.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Book Buzz column

Heather Ivester, an online friend of mine, has a great column called "Book Buzz" in CWO (Christian Women Online) magazine. The column features short book reviews of both fiction and nonfiction. Read the column here.

Heather also maintains the blog Mom 2 Mom Connection. Says Heather about the blog: " vision for Mom 2 Mom Connection is for it to become a comfortable gathering spot for women in all seasons of mothering, as well as anyone interested in the topics of writing, parenting, and Christian living."

Even if you're not a Mom (like me), it's worth checking out.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Sibella Giorello Interview at

Recently I interviewed Sibella Giorello for Nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize, Sibella talked about her journalism roots, why she turned to fiction, how she balances being a homeschooling mom and wife with her writing, and much more. Check it out.

"When I started my book The Stones Cry Out, I knew nothing about the FBI, nothing about forensics, and I am the world's worst scientist."
--Sibella Giorello

Read the full interview here.
Read my review of The Stones Cry Out here.
Read the first chapter of The Stones Cry Out here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A great resource for writers

I just discovered a brand new blog/newsletter put out by Tricia Goyer (A Valley of Betrayal). It's called My Writing Mentor, and I'm looking forward to learning from Tricia and others. The first post features a Q&A with James Scott Bell (No Legal Grounds) and others.

Check it out here and sign up for the free newsletter today.

FIRST Blog Tour - Wishing on Dandelions by Mary DeMuth

It is April 1st (or 3rd!), time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour. The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature is:

Mary E. DeMuth

and her book:

Wishing on Dandelions

(NavPress Publishing, 2006)


This month's feature is very special. The author is one of the FIRST Day Blog Alliance Members!!! Click here for her Blogspot! MARY E. DeMUTH has spent the last fifteen years as a writer. Winner of the 2003 Mount Herman Christian Writers Conference's Pacesetter's Award, she now splits her time between writing and planting a new church with her husband, Patrick, and two other families. Wishing on Dandelions is the second book in the Maranatha Series. The first was the critically praised book, Watching the Tree Limbs. She has also written two parenting books. Building the Christian Family You Never Had and a new one called Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture which will release this summer with Harvest House. Mary, Patrick, and their three children make their home in Texas.

Read the first chapter here at

And you can read the first chapter of Mary's 1st novel
Watching the Tree Limbs