Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Author Spotlight- Mary DeMuth

Welcome to this week's Author Spotlight. I have an amazing author, speaker, and book mentor with us this week. Let me introduce Mary DeMuth.

Mary, welcome to The Writing World.

Please introduce yourself by telling the readers a little bit about yourself.
I’m the author of 11 traditionally published books, one ebook on how to get published, with several more books in the hopper. I live in Texas with my three kids and husband.

1. What made you want to begin writing?

I couldn’t help but write. I’ve been doing it since I can remember.

2. What's your favorite book you've written?
Probably Thin Places: A Memoir because there is so much of me and my difficult journey overcoming a hard past. It hurt to write, but because it hurt so much, the potential for growth for those who read it (and healing) is big too.

3. When did you first start writing and what was your first book?
I’ve been writing since forever, but more purposely since 1992. I spent tent years writing in obscurity, writing miles and miles of unpublished words. None of that was wasted, though, because all that hard work made me a faster, better writer. My first published book was Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005), and it’s still in print.

4. Are you traditionally published or self published?
Mostly traditionally published (Zondervan, WaterBrook Multnomah, Harvest House, Tyndale, Thomas Nelson, etc.) I recently e-published The 11 Secrets of Getting Published. http://www.marydemuth.com/2011/08/only-2-99-my-book-11-secrets-of-getting-published/ And here’s my books page. I have a mixture of parenting books, a memoir, and several novels: http://www.marydemuth.com/2011/02/books-by-mary-demuth/

5. What were the biggest challenges you faced when you first started publishing your work?
Understanding the publishing industry and learning how to market my book.

6. Have you experienced a writer's block? How do you overcome it?

7. What is one thing you never leave home without?
My cell phone.

8. Do you have any books that are currently in the works?
Yes, a book about spiritual warfare: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0736943803/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwrelevantpr-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=0736943803 And a book about spiritual growth

9. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I had an email recently where someone said they couldn’t believe my latest novel had been published, and that I had to learn how to write sentences. Ouch. Why are people so mean? (And for the record, I know how to write sentences!) The best compliments come when readers tell me they no longer feel alone after they read my books.

10. Are you currently reading a book? If so, what's it about and would you recommend it to others?
I just finished The Bishop by Steven James. If you like suspense, it’s a good read, but if you’re queasy, maybe not. There are some scary elements in it.

11. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write, write, write. Give yourself deadlines and meet them. Set a word count goal every day. Read widely. Read craft books. Go to conferences. Find a writers critique group. Be willing to listen to critique. Take risks.

12. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Just that I’m a word servant for their sakes.

Thank you for your time. It was wonderful having you with us today. We wish you the best in your writing journey. Have a wonderful day.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Upcoming Photo Contest

I'd like to announce the next contest that's coming up.

Photo Contest

In this contest, all persons wanting to enter will have one entry ONLY. All photo's submitted must portray all elements in the contest detail to be considered. There will only be one winner. The person who wins will have their photo used as the cover of Silenced. All work will be given credit to the photographer within the first part of the book.

Elements for Photo:

Subject: Female (dark hair and clothing)
Remember the book is about "cutting" please portray this in the photo.

More information to come at a later date. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Crazy Busy Days

Things around my house have been crazy busy lately. I've managed to get behind on my critiques as well as my blogs. But here I am now trying to catch up.

My novel really hasn't been center of attention lately. Even though it should be. I just want to have a completed manuscript by Christmas. Therefore, I'm going to make it a point where I get to do some editing every day. Even if it's just one page.

My critique group is still going strong. I just love it. The other authors there are so nice and helpful. So far they've helped me find errors throughout 11 chapters within my novel to help me better the novel. Awesome!

At this point, I'm waiting to hear back from some awesome authors to see if they'd like to star in the Author Spotlight. Therefore, keep your eyes out for our next Author.

Well, there's the update for the day. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Author Spotlight- Jayden Woods

This week in my Author Spotlight... I'd like to welcome Jayden Woods. She has written several awesome books that I have downloaded to my Nook from Barnes and Noble's website.

Most current book: "Godric the Kingslayer," Sons of Mercia Vol. 2, releasing September 27, 2011

Available Book: The First Lost Tale of Merica: Golde the Mother

"The Lost Tales of Mercia" is a series of ten short stories set in England near the end of the Viking Age. These swashbuckling tales, based heavily on true events, educate and entertain simultaneously. The First Tale follows the mother of Eadric Streona. It raises the question of who fathered the boy that would become notorious as one of the most treacherous men in England. 

1. Who are you and what do you do?Jayden Woods is my pen name, and I have been an avid writer ever since I learned to write at all. I also love to draw and compose music, so at an early age I had the additional dream of becoming a filmmaker. I grew up in the hills of rural Tennessee until moving to Los Angeles to study screenwriting at the University of Southern California. I went on to work in Hollywood for a short while before deciding that I wanted to establish myself as a novelist first and foremost. I moved to St Louis where I have focused on publishing the Sons of Mercia trilogy while continuing to write and studying Psychology on the side.

2. What type of books have you written?
I write in several genres. My first few books were science fiction and fantasy, but I moved towards historical fiction as my fantasy stories became more and more realistic. With "Eadric the Grasper" I dove in all the way, immersing myself in Anglo-Saxon history and carefully matching my story to the known facts.
3. What’s your favorite genre to write? Favorite to read?
The answer to that question is once I am constantly exploring. I believe that a great story can be told in any genre, so I like to read and write all sorts. I must say, however, that the thrill of writing historical fiction has gone unmatched for me, even though I've returned to writing fantasy. Something about piecing together characters and stories based on tiny little clues from history is both exhilarating and very fulfilling.
4. Are you a self published author? If so, what made you decide to do self publishing?
Yes. For a long time, I confess, I spurned the idea of self-publishing. Several dozen rejections later, I began to reconsider. These days, agents don't blink an eye at your grandiose novel unless you have some sort of proof to assure them it's good. This became my goal with self-publishing, and it worked. I gathered a lot of great critical reviews before publicly releasing the book. Kirkus Discoveries chose "Eadric the Grasper" as one of the top 12 books of 2010. This finally got me noticed by an agent, and now we are working together to find a major publisher for the series.
5. When and why did you began writing?
I wrote my first storybook when I was five years old. Ever since, I have been addicted to writing and it's hard to explain why. I am a very passionate and emotional person. I think I realized at a young age that I could not afford to express the full extent of my feelings to other people on a daily basis, so I learned to hold in all my rage, all my sorrow, all my joy, and all my desire deep inside myself, then let it loose once I was alone with pen and paper.
6. What do you consider is the hardest part of writing a book?
Starting it, for sure. There is hardly anything as daunting as staring at a blank page and figuring out how to link your first few scribbles to that large, writhing mass of ideas in your head. For me, once the first few pages are done I can see my story coming to life through the words, the rest flows out with relative ease.
7. What is the title of the book you are working on now? What inspired you to use this title?
The book I'm currently writing is called "Ashes of Dearen." It's an epic fantasy, and it's actually a rewrite of a story I wrote years ago. A full explanation of the title would actually give some of the story away, so I'll just let you wonder for now.
8. Do you have any advice for other writers who are beginning to write?
Ask yourself why you write and what you hope to achieve through your writing. Do you do it for yourself, or for others, or for both? Do you want to keep it private, or do you want to share it? And why? I feel like too many people write for the wrong reasons--such as the vague goal of "being a writer"--or they don't know what they hope to achieve with their writing and so, inevitably, they never achieve it. Answering these questions will help motivate you and focus your writing accordingly. In any case, if you plan to share your writing, it is important to think of your audience as you're writing.
9. Do you have any advice for writers for the writing process?
If you sit for an hour in front of a blank page and never write a word, don't feel discouraged. Sitting and thinking is actually an important part of the writing process. People around you may not understand that you are "working" if you haven't yet written something, but a huge part of your work as a writer is to THINK!
10. What book would you suggest others to read? Why?
"The Farseer Trilogy" by Robin Hobb is my favorite book series, ever. So read it, and hopefully you'll love it, too! But my point is to read whatever you love, and always try to read the work of a writer you feel is better than you are. It will give you something to aspire to.
11. What author do you look up to and why?
Robin Hobb, because she's amazing. Also my husband, Malcolm Pierce, because he's also one of the best writers alive and one day the whole world will realize it. But even if they don't, he'd keep writing anyway.
12. Please tell us your main website and any other means of contacting you...
My main website is http://www.jaydenwoods.com.
 You can read my short stories and other pieces of writing at http://talesofmercia.wordpress.com. "Eadric the Grasper" can be purchased in various stores in paperback (http://www.amazon.com/Eadric-Grasper-Sons-Mercia-1/dp/1452862869/) or as an ebook (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Eadric-the-Grasper/Jayden-Woods/e/2940011823541). Vol. 2 releases soon--September 27, 2011--so get reading!

Thank you Jayden for your time and best of luck with all your future plans with your books. Have a wonderful day.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Interview with Author: Kimberly MacEachern

Weekly Author Spotlight

1) Who are you? What do you do? My name is Kimberly MacEachern. I am the oldest of three kids and I have a wonderful husband and two children of my own. Recently I gained guardianship of my younger brother. I am a caregiver, mother, wife, and a big sister. I am always wanting and willing to help anyone I see in need. Throughout my entire childhood I loved writing, it was my escape. In the past few years since my children began school, I returned to my passion, writing and I can’t be happier.

2) What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? My writing process seems to change with each story. Right now I am beginning to keep a note book and whenever I think of a new idea for a story I write it down, and expand as the ideas begin to flow. Then I take a day or two thinking about how to start the story, before I actually begin. My regular routine is right after my morning workout I get dressed and head to the basement, my office where I stay planted for a minimum of two hours.

3) What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers? I think the most important tool for a writer is time. At least that’s always been my biggest tool, I can virtually write anywhere as long as I have a notebook and a pen, and the problem is finding enough time.

4) What motivates you to write? I can’t say for sure what motivates me to write, but I do know that if I am not writing or busy working on a project I become extremely cranky. I guess you could say I don’t feel good about myself and don’t feel fulfilled without writing. Writing makes me complete, it’s more of a need then motivation.

5) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I think every writer from time to time suffers from writer’s block. I don’t think there is a cure. When I come down with a case of writer’s block I usually switch up my routine and take a break, Spend extra time with my kids or begin a new sewing project. I am always looking to improve on something so when I get writer’s block I do what I can to improve something else around the house.

6) Do you have any advice for other writers? The best advice I can give an author is not to jump into the first deal they are offered. Always check with the better business Bauru, and ask your peers for their thoughts before signing on the dotted line. And if you love writing and enjoy it, whether your great at it or don’t have a clue on what you’re doing, as long as you enjoy it then stick with it. In the end all the really matter’s is what you think of yourself.

7) What is the message in your book? What are your readers’ reactions to it? Each story I write I always write it with the intention of somehow placing the same message in each one and that is, The world can be a better place all you need to do is act like it is and soon enough other people will catch on and hopefully the world will one day treat each other the way they themselves wish to be treated.

8)8) Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I learn something new from each book I write. I can’t sit down and pin point exactly what I learn but it usually has something to do with improving myself as a mother or a wife. Most of the time each book manages to teach me just a little bit more patience.

9) What are your current/future projects?
Right now I am working on finishing the first draft on my newest manuscript “The house.” I already have plans for eight different short stories. Once this manuscript is done I plan on to returning to writing short stories, I believe I can right them better.

10) What book(s)/author(s) have influenced your life and writing? To be honest the book that has influenced me the most must be “Angela’s ashes” by Frank McCourt. My favorite author has to be Dean Kootntz. Right now I am currently reading his series “Odd Thomas.” I can’t let the list be complete without Stephen King, Anne Rule and Anne Frank.

Check out more about the author and her work here: Facebook Group


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