Friday, July 31, 2009

Surrender the Wind ~ Officially Released!

The time flew by. Tomorrow Surrender the Wind will be officially launched out into the world, and I'm so excited I can't sit still for two minutes put together.

Tomorrow I'm visiting my mother, who is now reading the book for the third time and telling all her friends about it. Hubby and I and mom will go to lunch to celebrate, then visit her Barnes & Noble. I'm either going to bake a cake or one of those luscious strawberry shortcakes from the bakery to top the day off.

On Sunday, I'll put on my finest -yet casual- duds and visit several local bookstores. How ca
n I stay away! I've got a few hundred postcards about the novel that I'll give to them, and if they like I'll sign any copies they have and get those dates for signings cinched.

It seems like yesterday I signed a contract with Abingdon Press for my latest romantic historical. The experience has been wonderful. Everything from the
initial request from my dear editor Barbara Scott for the first three chapters, to the request for the manuscript because she needed to know what happened after Seth knocked on the door of an ancestral manor house in England. I'll never forget the day I came home and there was a message on my phone machine from Barbara informing me that a contract would be offered and how she wanted me to know right away so I could celebrate over the weekend. And then came the book cover designs, the series of edits, writing the Acknowledgements and book club questions, and an article for, and so much more.

If I live to be 110, I will never forget this moment in my life. My goal as a 'storyteller' has been to bring to my readers tales that will do more than just 'touch the heart', but will stir their souls and give them a respite from the hectic world we live in.

If you have purchased a copy of Surrender the Wind, I thank you. Please allow me to send you a bookplate with my signature so your book is signed and a bookmark. Just email me with a request.

If you have read Surrender the Wind, and enjoyed it, please tell someone
about it. And if you find a few free moments, I would greatly appreciate a review on Amazon and other online bookstores.

I invite you to visit my website where you can read the endorsements from other authors. There is a new page and a new video for the novel I am currently in the process of writing entitled Beside Two Rivers. I'm so excited with the direction this book is going. It will be my best yet!
To all those who encouraged me along this journey, who have supported me and believed I should never give up ~ thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Write Historicals?

(What's outside my window. Sunrise. I'm up by 5 am after a restless night. The birds are beginning to sing and I can tell the sky will be clear today.)

Over the last few days, I've been thinking about inspirational historical fiction. Not textbook, dates and famous names fiction, but inspiring love stories and why I write them. I have only ran across a few people who have said they will not read this genre, that they prefer contemporary fiction. But for the most part, the readers I know love it.

I can't imagine not writing in this genre, replacing it with another. Immersed in the story and the lives of my characters, is a form of escapism even for me, just as it is for my readers. My heart pounds and my imagination races when the story flows.

Historicals draw us back in time. Think of what we would miss if no one wrote them. Can you imagine a world without Jane Austen's novels, or Bronte's
Jane Eyre, or Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind?

What genre do you write and why?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Keeping Your Writer's Voice

Yesterday afternoon, I had lunch with my best friend Sandi. While we were digging into our sesame chicken and my chicken and broccoli (that's right, I like steamed broccoli), she posed an interesting question to me.

She asked these questions. 'Writers read a lot. How do you keep your own voice while reading other writers' work? Are you influenced with the style of other writers? How do you have your own style and not the style of others?'

I set my fork down, and paused a moment to ponder. All I could say in the moment was I write what I visualize in my mind. I see the picture of the character and the scene and write it down. It just comes naturally and I strive NOT to ever imitate any author.

How do you keep your own voice?
Has your writing style been influenced by the style of others?
How would you describe your style?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oh, Happy Day!

I had a feeling it would happen today. No knock on the door. But when I went downstairs after answering some emails, and opened the front door, there on the porch was a large box from Abingdon Press. Inside --- the first copies of Surrender the Wind.

The cover looks better than on the ARC copies. What is thrilling about this is knowing my readers who preordered will be getting their copies in the mail, and that come August 1 more readers will be able to walk into a bookstore and buy a copy.

It's not about me, you know. It's about how God has bles
sed my life and opened up doors for me that I thought might not ever open. It's all about readers who lay out money to buy my book in this sluggish economy. It is about you. I want my writing to please you, bless and inspire you, give you a respite from a hectic world, give you a doze of hope, and take you faraway to another place in time, a time of raw courage and ideal love. I suppose that is why I am meticulous with my work, and it took me two years to write this book from first draft to finished copy.

I pray that I have reached that level with you, my reader. Let me know if I've passed or failed. But in my heart of hearts, I'm persuaded if you love inspirational historical romances, you will love Surrender the Wind.

Visit my website at

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Print Runs...

(What's outside my window: A sunny day...downy woodpecker on the tree, and an empty park across the street. Where are all the children these days? I hardly see any playing outside anymore. So sad.)

The first print run has been sold, and so the book is going into a second printing before the release date. This is great news. There were lots of bookstore orders and preorders by readers.

So, my friends, we are in the marketing phase. It actually began once the ARCs were ready to go out. Marketing is a daunting task for some writers. But let me encourage you. It can actually be a whole lot of fun.
Over on Stepping Stones Magazine for Writers and Readers, I've posted two articles about building a Book Trailer. Daunting? Yes. But so fun to do.

Have you made a book trailer you'd like to share? Post a comment with the link.

What other kinds of things can a writer do with a video besides it being a trailer? Share your ideas, please.