Friday, September 29, 2017

That will Never Sell


Have you ever heard that? I have multiple times.

By the way, this is Christina Rich, and I'm one of those authors that, according to the publishing world, never should have been, at least not with my first book.

The Guardian's Promise, a book birthed during a message about being a bond-servant while my husband and I visited a church. I remember it quite well, it was almost seven years ago to the day. I sat in church and wrote notes. No, not sermon notes, but plotting notes, and then I came home and wrote an overview of the story. I wrote that story in fifty-five days and started entering contests and  querying agents. Many of the responses I had received were, "it'll never sell" and "there is no market for it".

Why? Because it was an inspirational romance set in Ancient Judah and I wasn't Francine Rivers. Of course, I was disappointed. I loved the story and the characters and dreamed of seeing it in print, but then most writers dream of seeing their stories in print.

After hearing the same thing over and over, attending small conferences, and hearing it again I really dug deeper into the Lord. I removed my focus from the book, which I knew had been God-given, and started focusing on Him, but I also kept thinking that if I could just get to a big conference I'd sell the book. It never happened.

Most of us know about Seekerville, and every year they throw a huge birthday party. This particular year they  held a pitch contest? And guess what? I received a partial request from Emily Rodmell, and editor from Love Inspired, my dream publisher.

I sent it off in November 2011 and waited. And I waited. Come June 2012, I finally asked for advice and it was suggested I contact Emily through her email, well at the time, when I'd sent my manuscript off, it was done snail mail. I didn't have an email. A couple of lovely ladies helped me out there. I emailed her and received a prompt response with a revise and resubmit letter. 

Gracious. I took it as a rejection, but I was informed that it was a good deal. By the end of July, I resubmitted, electronically and quickly forgot all about it. 

Seriously, I did. I mean after all, I had been told it would never sell. I didn't have high hopes for my story.

The American Christian Fiction Writers conference was coming up and I knew I needed to get there. I knew I had to get to Texas so I could sell my story. Again, I didn't make it. But a month later, well after everyone had come home from the conference and shared all their wonderful news, I ended up in Texas.

Here is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote for Seekerville right after I received the call, I just can't rewrite any better.  (I hope it's okay to share.)




You see my sister-in-law was graduating nursing and my dear mother-in-law wanted to be there, so I escorted her. After several hours of flights and layovers I was sitting on the floor of my sister-in-law’s living room thinking about how awesome it was that she was fulfilling her dream, and if I’m to be honest, I was a little sad about how mine had yet to be. No sooner had the thought tripped through my brain I opened my email. And there it was at 10:13 p.m., an email that could only be one of two things, a rejection or an offer.

Everything after that, I’m sure was a bit comical. Just ask my mother-in-law, Tina Radcliffe and Ruth Logan Herne. I mean, how does one react? How is one supposed to react? 


I called Emily the next day with pen and paper in hand. All I remember saying is okay, multiple times. Even when she asked if it all sounded good to me. Okay. So she wants to buy my story. 

No, wait, she bought my story, right?

I sent a text out to my peeps. I sold!


I received phone calls and texts. My friends jumped up and down, they squealed, they cried. I was in a state of shock. Seriously, what happened? Was this real? I got an email from Twitter, good ‘ol social media, telling me Emily Rodmell was following me. Me! So, I hopped on over there and what did I see? A tweet about how she bought a new author for LIH a manuscript set in Biblical times. Hey, that’s me. 


You better believe I saved that baby in a screen shot. *g*


Hubs called me, “Well, you just had to go to Texas and sell a book, didn’t you?”  Yep, I knew it too. But it still hadn’t completely sunk in. I was getting sick and all I wanted to do was go home and sleep in my own bed and let hubs take care of me. It wasn’t until we were on the plane in Houston that it began to click. You see this lady sat next to me and struck up a conversation. She asked what I did and I gave her the typical answer, “I’m a stay at home mom.” My mother-in-law, God bless her, nudged me and said, “go on.”


“Oh, and I just sold a book.” 



 If you're reading this and you're waiting to sell, keep writing, keep knocking on doors, and keep learning the craft while you wait. 

Blessings, 

Christina

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How Do You Fit Reading into Your Day?

Hello! Meghan Carver here.

When I was a child, I read all the time.

Seriously.

All. The. Time.

When I was in middle school, I spent an entire day on summer break reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It hadn’t been assigned, since we were out of school. But I had heard of it and was curious. It was so good, I barely moved from the couch and read it in one day.

Now, decades later, I have six children, I homeschool, I write, I keep house {sort-of}. There are too many responsibilities to list. You know what I mean. J

I can no longer spend an entire day reading. Some days, I can barely find five minutes to read.

How’s a busy girl to fit it in?

{Shameless photo plug: 
My daughter reading my August Love Inspired Suspense, 
Deadly Disclosure, which is still available online.}

Of course, there’s always staying up late or getting up early. Too often, I stay up late. {Can I get an amen? J}

But I’ve found another few ways to fit in reading. Keep your book or kindle handy when you ~~

Cook. When I wait for something in the oven or I’m stirring something in the pot, I read. Of course, be mindful of your time or you might burn the Christmas caramels. Don’t ask me how I know.

Brush your teeth. If your book is really good, you’ll get in a few more minutes on your pearly whites.

Wait in line. At the pharmacy, in the grocery store, at the school.

Have to sit through a boring movie. Sometimes, there are movies that others in my family want to watch, but I just don’t. But movie-watching is sometimes a family activity, and that husband or that child just wants me to sit next to them. Why not read?

Shower. I haven’t actually tried this, and it may not work well with a print book. But with a neoprene, weather-proof, zip-up case for a kindle, reading can be done in the shower.

My kindle is always in my purse. ALWAYS. Any spare moment, out it comes.

I’m always on the lookout for more tips, though. How do you fit reading into your day?











You can find me at www.meghancarver.com or on Facebook

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I'm Late...again by Leann Harris

It stinks when you know you're suppose to post and you can't find the day. Sorry. I spent last week at the ACFW Conference in Grapevine, Tx. What fun talking writing, swapping stories with other writers and not having them think you've lost all your marbles. The workshops made me realize I need to improve my social media skills. I didn't take a single picture of the event! I spent time with other Love Inspired authors and editors, learning how they got into publishing. What interesting stories. It's nice to know you aren't the only strange one out there.
Since I didn't take any pictures, here's a picture of Big Tex who stands over the State Fair of Texas, which starts Friday. There's a cornydog with my name on it. (This is the only time I'll eat one.)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Scripture

Jerusalem


Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:6-9

Friday, September 22, 2017

First Sale Friday: From Dream to Reality

by Lisa Jordan, @lisajordan
When I was sixteen, I read The Promise by Danielle Steel. By the end of the novel, I knew I wanted to write books--I wanted to create that same heart sigh with my readers. I majored in fiction writing in college but then left to marry a handsome Marine and have a family.
Over a decade ago, I decided to get serious about becoming a published author. I wrote during NaNoWriMo, joined ACFW, attended conferences and worked with amazing writing mentors. I wrote a novel, making many newbie mistakes, and ended up shelving the book several times. 
Then, in 2009, I entered the ACFW Genesis award, taking 2nd place in my category. Additionally, I had pitched it to Love Inspired editor, Tina James and literary agent, Rachelle Gardner. Both requested the full manuscript, but Rachelle asked me to send it to her first. After submitting to Rachelle, she offered representation. She submitted my manuscript. 
On January 7, 2011 at 3 PM, I received the call that turned my dream into reality--Love Inspired editor, Melissa Endlich had read my manuscript, loved it, and wanted to offer me a book deal. I cried so hard my poor husband thought someone had died. 
Lakeside Reunion debuted in November 2011. The following year, it won the ACFW Carol award in short contemporary romance. 
This is the story of my heart and a love letter to my husband because Lindsey's fears about her former fiance's job keep her from finding her second chance at love. When Hubby and I were married, he was a military policeman in the United States Marine Corp and dreamed of becoming a police officer like his dad. I was so afraid of losing him in the line of duty that I begged him to give up his dream. And he did. At the time, I wasn't a Christian and didn't have God to carry my anxieties. When I told him this novel was my way of having closure of keeping him from his dream, he reminded me he was the one who made the choice. 
With the encouragement, mentorship, and prayers of good friends, I've been able to fulfill my dream of becoming a published writer. Since then, I've had the privilege of working with Love Inspired to publish 4 more novels. The thrill of seeing my name on a book cover doesn't get old. 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Words, Words, and more Words



Christina Rich, here and I love words, especially weird and outdated ones. I recently wrote a novella set in 1909, an era completely new to me. After researching things like modes of transportation, clothing, and popular food items, I did a search of slang terms and found an interesting list.

absotively – absolutely and positively
acknowledge the corn – admit responsibility for
Adam’s ale – water
all to the mustard – excellent
almighty dollar – money, god of America
applesauce – blah, tripe, nonsense, foolish talk
go to the bad – attend Sunday movies, dance, or otherwise offend the Rotary Methodist god
birthday suit – nature’s garb
cake eater – tea-hound, lounge-lizard, lady-bug
snake’s hips – something excellent
flumadiddle – humbug, flummery, nonsense
full of prunes – you’re crazy, you’re wrong
gibble-gabble, mulligatawny – foolish talk
to ride the goat – to be initiated into a secret society
fluzie – a daughter of joy, prostitute
Heavens! – formerly, god’s resident; now, an expletive
hotsy-totsy, tootsie-wootsie – a girl all to the mustard, all O.K.

#56, A Dictionary of American Slang


You might recognize a few of them and some are down-right silly, but I couldn’t help adding them into the story. Of course, I checked to makes sure they lined up date-wise.


You may be wondering what the big deal is with knowing the history of words. Well, you wouldn't find the Gestapo fighting alongside Genghis Khan and cavemen would not have used an airplane. I'm sure it seems a little ridiculous to you, huh? Honestly, though a genteel lady wouldn't tell a companion she needed to use the outhouse, not in Regency England, but she would ask for a powder room. Of course, a genteel lady probably wouldn't mention such things anyway, but if she were, she'd most likely use the word privy and bathroom would be completely out of the question since hat word, although used for a few hundred years, didn't come to mean what we Americans know it as until the 20th century.

As an historical author I try to take care with the words I use. If I'm not, I'm bound to receive hundreds of emails pointing out my mistakes.

What the Dickens?

Yeah, really! I'm not fooling you. Readers, especially those who enjoy and know their history, aren't always forgiving and since a lot of us writers are readers too, that means we probably know our stuff, especially when it comes to slang. I’m one of those guilty readers who looks up the usage date.

You want to know something interesting? You probably already know it, but I'm going to share it anyway. Much of the slang I've encountered are creative exchanges for curse words. *GASP* I know, right!
 
Just look at jiminy crickets. Do you know where it originated? No, not Walt Disney. According to the Internet, cause y'all know we believe everything we find there, jiminy crickets was used in England as a curse word to keep the speaker from being guilty of taking the Lord's name in vain. Seems it was used in a few movies before Pinocchio even made the screen in 1940, but who knows when it actually came into use.

Remember the good 'ol days of Leave it to Beaver? Jeepers, Wally! Yeah, those were the days when children were respectful, moms cooked, cleaned and looked like they spent the day at the spa, and dads used gentle discipline. It was a real, right upstanding show with lots of moral values. Now, I'm not saying anything against the Beave, because I loved watching all the reruns, but Jeepers is another one of those words used in exchange for the Lord's name. The word came into existence sometime in the 1920s, most likely made up by a good-little-church-girl turned flapper.

Here is one of my favorites, mainly because I've been dinged (and if I'm to be honest I probably dinged a few writers for it too) for using it prior to the 1800s. What the Dickens? I mean it only makes sense that this term is coined after Charles Dickens, right?

Wrong!

I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of. What do you call your knight's name, sirrah?
Merry Wives of Windsor
William Shakespeare
1602

That's quite a few years before Charles Dickens was born. Over two hundred years to be exact. I'm sure you already know what it means, but just in case, it's what the devil.

I love discovering the origination of words, not just because I need to know them for writing, but because I find them interesting. Guess I'm weird like that. 

What slang did you grow up with or have used over the years? Do you know the origination or why it came into existence? Care to share? Can you guess which three phrases from the list I used in my most recent novella?

*portions of this post have been previously published by Christina Rich