Monday, December 28, 2009

Pick the next Marcher Lord Press novel!

By now you may have heard of Marcher Lord Press. Founded by industry veteran Jeff Gerke, the press specializes in speculative fiction from a Christian perspective. So far they've published 9 novels, including their best-selling By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson.

For their Spring 2010 season of titles, they're doing something a little different. Jeff is allowing us, the readers, to choose one of the novels in the next set of books. The contest started several weeks ago as the competition was narrowed down in synopsis contests, and then first chapter contests. Now three contestants remain, and we have until New Year's Eve to vote! The winner is set to be announced at midnight.

Your vote really does matter. Some of the finalists were chosen by one or two votes.

Here are the three titles currently in the running:

This Side of Eden

Premise: What would the world be like today if no one had ever sinned? Carter Friese is about to find out.

The Sending

Premise: The Garden of Eden holds a 4,000 year old secret. One believer must risk his faith to find it.

The Last Apostle

Premise: Imagine that John, the last Apostle, never died, because nineteen centuries ago Christ sent him on a special mission.

Click here to download the full synopses and sample chapters of the finalists.

And then head here to cast your vote! You do have to become a member of the message board, but it's really quick and easy. Click on "Marcher Lord Select" and then "Phase 4 Poll for Main Contest".

I voted for "The Sending". The author, Matt Koceich, is a friend of mine. His wife, Cindi, even took all my author photos at the Writing for the Soul conference last year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

22 Authors Share Their Most Memorable Christmas Gifts

What was the most memorable Christmas gift you ever received and why was it special?

One of mine came when I was eight years old and had just discovered the Chronicles of Narnia at my local library. I was working through the books one at a time, but that Christmas morning my sister and I opened up a gift that contained the whole set! I remember peeking in the top of the box and just seeing the words "Narnia" and getting all excited.

I asked 22 popular Christian novelists what their most memorable gifts have been, and their answers are now posted on Read them here. Included are Jerry B. Jenkins, Francine Rivers, Beverly Lewis, Erin Healy, and many more.

Your turn. What was your most memorable Christmas gift?

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thicker than Blood book trailer unveiled!

Created by The Perrodin Bros., the book trailer for Thicker than Blood is here! Brothers Jace and Patch did a fantastic job capturing the themes and story of the novel while including some really cool special effects. Jace is a homeschool graduate, and Patch is currently a homeschooler. Thanks, guys!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Neta Jackson (Advice for Novelists, Part 109)

Here's another post in my Advice for Novelists series in which editors, authors, agents and publicists answer the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Don’t wait for inspiration. Sit down and apply perspiration. Discipline yourself to write. It’s a job (as well as a joy).

--Neta Jackson, author of the Yada Yada Prayer group series, and many more. Visit her website.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Survey: What Christmas Question Would You Most Like To Ask Your Favorite Author?

I'm putting together a Christmas feature for, and I need your feedback. If you could ask your favorite author only one of these four questions, which would you pick? Whichever one receives the most votes is what I'm going to ask the authors in the feature! Unless one of you suggests a better question in the comments, of course. :)

Writing From The Gut

I shared this post recently over at the Scribble Chicks blog, and I thought you all might like to read it too:

Most writers think about their stories and characters at all hours of the day. We'll be in the shower and a scene idea will pop into our head (and we'll scramble to write it down on the wall with a bar of soap). We'll be making dinner and a snappy line of dialogue will appear out of nowhere. This is especially true if you're brainstorming for ideas of what to write.

After I wrote my first novel Thicker than Blood, I really struggled with what to write next. Should I write a sequel or something new? I bought a little notebook at Barnes and Noble, called it my Novel Notebook, and started jotting down ideas. Early on in the book I made myself answer the question, "What I really want to write about is ____". I got the idea from James Scott Bell in his book Plot & Structure, and I figured if it worked for him, then I could give it a try.

Weeks passed. I kept writing in that idea book. I asked myself the question, "What I really want to write about is ____" again. I had an answer, but I still didn't know if it should be a book. I had so many different snippets of ideas, but I kept shooting them down. I was floundering and miserable.

But that's not really the point of this post. :) Fast forward several months, even a year. I eventually decided on an idea and started writing my second novel. Then one day I finished it and happened to go back to that original idea notebook just for fun. I discovered something that shocked me. Every one of those responses to the "What I really want to write about" question I had incorporated into the novel . . . unconsciously.

Or maybe not.

There often comes a point in our writing when we have enough information (even if it doesn't feel like it), and the breakthrough will come when we sit down and write. You know more than you think you know about your story. Why not try the unfettered approach today? Just write. Trust your instincts. I bet what you really want to write about will come through.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Win a signed copy of Thicker than Blood before you can buy it!

I'm giving away 3 signed copies of my debut novel Thicker than Blood ... before you can buy it! Find out how you could win over at my website.

In other news, has just posted an in depth interview with me about how I got started in writing, where the idea for Thicker than Blood came from, my writing style, and much more. Check it out here if you're interested.

Today I'm blogging over at the Scribble Chicks blog about "Going with Your Gut" in your writing. That can be read here.