Thursday, October 13, 2011

Writing for Love Inspired Historical

Yesterday, Emily Rodmell stopped by and spoke about writing for Love Inspired Historical. She's "actively seeking." That's music to a writer's ear.



Here on the Craftie site, we have quite a few historical authors who've decided to follow the call: Victoria Bylin (see the book above!), Lyn Cote (a Carol winner), Winnie Griggs, Louise Gouge, Patty Smith Hall, Eva Maria Hamilton, Christine Johnson, Karen Kirst, Jessica Nelson, Allie Pleiter, Cara Putman, Naomi Rawlings, Regina Scott, and Lacy Williams.


Most started like you... I love books... followed by I love to write... followed by How do I do it???


Today, if you have a question about writing for Love Inspired Historical (LIH), be sure to post it in the comment section. As you can see we have fourteen authors who often stop by to respond to comments. They are a wealth of talent and knowledge.


In the meantime, here are the guidelines for writing for LIH.


The LIH mission statement:
The Love Inspired fiction program features wholesome Christian romance that will help women to better guide themselves, their families and their communities toward purposeful, faith-driven lives.

So, what do you need to know about writing great books such as the following by Winnie Griggs...

DETAILS
Length: 70,000–75,000 words
Executive Editor: Joan Marlow GolanSenior Editor in charge of line: Tina James Senior Editor: Melissa Endlich Associate Editor: Emily RodmellAssistant Editor: Elizabeth Mazer

Editorial office: New York

CONTENT
Captivating historical romance: love and faith throughout the ages.

This brand in the Love Inspired imprint is a series of historical romances featuring Christian characters facing the many challenges of life and love in a variety of historical time periods.
Love Inspired Historical should be complex stories rich in period detail that will sweep readers into the past and absorb them from page one.

We are open to seeing manuscripts set in the following time periods: biblical fiction, Americana (e.g., Westerns, post-Civil War, etc.), European historical eras (e.g., Tudor, Regency and Victorian England, 18th-century Scotland, etc.) and 20th century (turn of the century through World War II). We are also interested in stories featuring missionaries abroad in exotic locations during various historical periods.

Each story should be set in the past, and focus on an emotional, satisfying and mature romance; however, the characters should not make love unless they are married. Even if characters are married, lovemaking must occur offstage. Any physical interactions (i.e., kissing, hugging) should emphasize emotional tenderness rather than sexual desire. Please avoid any mention of nudity.

All stories should focus on one hero and heroine who meet as early in the book as possible. The hero and heroine should be on the page together in the first chapter—the first page is even better. By the end of the story the main characters should be in a committed relationship.
In addition, we are looking for opening chapters that are compelling and grab the reader's attention from the first line of the story. Some ways to create effective openings are to employ dialogue, keep paragraphs short, or open with a dramatic situation. Ineffective openings tend to occur when there is little or no dialogue or the author focuses on background and setup (e.g., heroine is in a car/bus/train/plane, reviewing the reasons why she is returning to or leaving her hometown).

Drama, mystery and even a touch of humor all have a place in the series. Foul language and swearing do not. Paranormal or horror elements are not acceptable. Conflicts cannot be solved purely by divine intervention (e.g., an angel arriving to save the day). Any subplots should come directly from the main story. Secondary characters can also help contribute to a substantial and gratifying story.

An element of faith must be present in the books, and should be well-integrated into the plot. The conflict between the main characters should be an emotional one, arising naturally from the story. The progression of the story will incorporate the faith journey of each protagonist, whether struggling to accept faith or simply being active in their church community. By the end of the story, hero and heroine must be both believers and members of a church community.

Because Love Inspired sells to both CBA and ABA bookstores, we must adhere to CBA conventions. Christian characters in the stories may not consume alcohol, play cards or gamble. Other taboos include explicit scatological terms, Halloween celebrations or magic. Lying is also problematic in the CBA market, and characters who are Christian should avoid lying or deceiving others. Exceptions can be made but they must be approved by an editor.

We are looking for authors writing from a Christian worldview and conveying their personal faith and ministry values in entertaining fiction that will touch the hearts of believers and seekers everywhere.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for this great opportunity. I think I am more interested in 'biblical fiction'. I have a work on that (though not long enough) but there, I set the story around a real bible event. Is this allowed? It was set during the period of Jesus ministration and I referred to him. Any interested editor or experienced author(LIH) can pls contact me (olufissyalabby@gmail.com) and I will e-mail it to you.
    I don't know much about history but I do know my Bible. Thanks all. I love this blog!

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  2. Olufisayo, thanks for being with us on the Craftie Ladies blog! Although I'm not an historical author, I'm sure Jesus could be mentioned in a story set in Biblical times. In my LIS stories, I always mention the Lord and refer to scripture.

    Get your manuscript into a final format and then send a query letter or the first three chapters, synopsis and cover letter to one of the Love Inspired editors. This blog provides information in the archives. Also, I suggest you stop by www.seekerville.blogspot.com, which focuses on helping Christian writers acheive publication.

    And keep writing! Most of us penned a number of books before we sold. We became stronger writers and more aware of what the publishers wanted as we moved forward. Nothing is wasted...God uses all of our work for good.

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  3. Although I am only a reader I do like seeing what goes into a book and what is required.
    I do enjoy the LIH books. and its great that more have the opportunity to write for LIH.

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  4. There is one set in AD 90. That's Bible time.

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  5. Pamela is that Carla Capshaw's book?

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  6. Historicals are so much fun to research!

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  7. Jenny,
    It is. I like Biblical Fiction. Right now I never seem to have enough time to read it, but it's in my TBA list. I did read Carla's though.

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  8. Thanks Debby. I will do that. Stay blessed

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