Friday, November 21, 2008

Don't stop stopping by

Some of you keep checking to see if I have any new posts about authors up. Well, don't stop dropping by. More posts are coming soon, I promise! And some of you have asked me where's my newsletter. I know, I know, it's coming too. The months of October and November have been super incredibly busy. Just crazy with family stuff and writing to meet deadlines. So, please be patient, I'll be back up and running soon.

Hugs to all,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We have a winner of Megan's book

Hi all, Cathy, congratulations, you're the winner! If you'll send me your snail mail addy to, I'll get your copy sent to you. Thanks so much!


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Winner of Michelle Sutton's Book

Hi all,

Jessica! You're the winner of Michelle's book. I'll send you a private email, but wanted to post it here.

Thanks so much for entering the drawing.

Hope you guys will come back. I've got a lot of great interviews coming up in the near future with lots of fun giveaways.

Thanks again,

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Author Megan DiMaria - win a book!

Hello everyone, today I'd like to welcome Megan DiMaria to my blog. Please leave a comment if you'd like to be entered in the drawing to win a copy of this book!

Megan DiMaria loves to be an encouragement to women as they live out their faith in today’s busy world. Her upbeat personality and deep appreciation for the humor in ordinary moments creates a bond with other women as they laugh and learn that life is an adventure, one not for the weak of heart.
Searching for Spice, Megan’s debut novel about a long-married woman who wants to have an affair—with her husband, released in April 2008. Her second novel, Out of Her Hands, released in October 2008. Out of Her Hands is about taking life as it comes with all its surprises and challenges. Her son’s dream girl isn’t what she had in mind. Between her family, her job, and her friends, life is moving at warp speed. How will Linda manage when she realizes it’s all out of her hands?
Megan and her husband live in suburban Denver near their adult children. They often travel back to their roots in Long Island, NY to visit family and get their fill of delicious Italian food.

All right, Megan. Plug time! Please tell us a little about your latest release and why readers should run out and buy it as soon as it hits the shelves. Have you ever heard the expression, “When our children are little they’re on our feet and when they’re big they’re on our hearts?”

Yes, I have.

That’s how my character feels in Out of Her Hands. Linda learns how to deal with unpleasant choices made by adult children, she helps her father-in-law mourn the loss of his wife, and has to contend with the fact that her best friend is moving across the country. My early feedback says that I write what many women are currently living though. One reviewer said, “This is a great read for a quiet afternoon or in those times when you feel your own life spinning out of control and need the reality check of knowing you're not in it alone.”

Oh, wow, this sounds great. I can already think of several people who might like a copy of this book.

How many full manuscripts did you write before you sold? I wrote two full manuscripts before I got my first contract. My first manuscript doesn’t deserve to see the light of day, but it proved to me that I could write a novel-length piece of fiction. I began writing Searching for Spice, my first published novel, to enter it into the ACFW Genesis contest. It didn’t score well, but I hung in there and worked on it for a year before it was acceptable.

In your opinion, what’s the most fascinating thing about writing? I love to discover the story highlights along with my characters. I’m not a plotter, I’m an intuitive writer. I know the beginning and end of the story as well as the main plot points. I find it very exciting the see the plot unfold as the story continues.

What’s something you can tell us about yourself that most people don’t know? I’m never bored and almost always have a goal that I’m pushing toward.

LOL! I know that feeling.

When did you start writing for publication and what did people say when they found out? Following college graduation, I was a radio and television reporter. I started writing for publication in magazines and newspapers in the early 1990s when I was a stay-at-home mom. Writing is a natural extension of who I am. When I started writing novels, it wasn’t much of a shock to those who know me.

What is your favorite food? I love Italian food and vegetables.

Tell us a little about your family. I’m blessed because I have a wonderful marriage—we’ll celebrate our 30th anniversary this January. We have three great young adult children that live nearby, and we spend a lot of time together enjoying each other’s company. Occasionally we’ll make to the trip to Long Island, NY to spend time with the entire DiMaria clan, and that’s always a fantastic visit.

Who are your favorite authors? I would hate to pin myself down to a few favorite authors because I read voraciously and enjoy many different genres.

What are you reading now and what’s in your “to be read” pile?
This past week I’ve read Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins and Enoch by Alton Gansky. My to-be-read list includes Quills & Promises by Amber Miller, Riven by Jerry Jenkins, Beloved Castaway by Kathleen Y’Barbo, Rhythms of Grace by Marilynn Griffith, Where the Heart Leads by Kim Vogel Sawyer, and The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher.

Sounds like a pile I might like to raid!

Do you set out to write each story with a particular theme or does the theme develop as the story does? When I write, the theme develops along with the story.

Do you have a particular method for tracking the details in your story? Can you tell us a little about this? I always have a word document that has the details about each character listed.

Who has had the most influence on your life in general? In your writing life? I think I’m greatly influenced by the times in which I grew up. My generation was the last generation to enjoy a lazy, carefree childhood and at the same time I grew up watching huge events unfold: the civil rights movement, the deaths of JFK, RFK, MLK, the Viet Nam war, peace marches, Woodstock, the women’s movement, Roe V Wade, the rise of the religious right, etc. Forget about all the technological changes that have occurred. I’m blessed to be living during interesting times. As far as my writing life goes, the authors of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) have had the biggest impact. If it weren’t for that organization, I don’t know if I would have persevered until I was published.

Do you have an agent? If yes, did you have the agent before you sold your first book or after? My first contract was a direct result of meeting Jan Stob, Tyndale’s acquisition editor, at the 2006 ACFW conference. Since then, I’ve come to be represented by Beth Jusino of Alive Communications.

What advice do you have for a beginning author? Continually strive to improve your craft by studying books on writing, attending conferences and writers groups, and writing and submitting.

Any parting comments? Yes, accept that there is a process to becoming a published author; it’s usually something that doesn’t occur overnight. Pray about the direction of your writing and be open to the Lord’s leading, even if it leads you in a direction you had not anticipated.

Megan, thanks so much for being here today.

Readers, if you'd like to contact Megan, here is the link to her website and the link to her blog.

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing to win a copy of this fantastic book on Sunday, November 9th.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Author Michelle Sutton talks about her new book and answers a few other questions. Win a free copy!

Michelle Sutton is here today to talk about her newest release, It's NOT About ME. Please be sure to leave a comment so you can be put in the drawing to win a copy of this awesome book.

Welcome Michelle, it's good to have you here.

BIO: Michelle Sutton is a member of ACFW, Volunteer Officer on the ACFW Operating Board, Editor-in-chief for Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Sheaf House Marketing Director, edgy fiction writer, book reviewer, avid blogger/alliance member, CWOW blog mistress, mother of two teenagers, wife, pet owner, social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Plug time! Please tell us a little about your latest release and why readers should run out and buy it as soon as it hits the shelves.

It’s a fast paced story with characters who are very much like real people. It’s also edgy, so if you like a nice sweet prairie romance you won’t want to read my story. However, if you love angst, drama, and tension in a story you’ll probably like mine. Just don’t read it during a weeknight if you have to go to work the next day. I’ve been accused of keeping people up too late at night.

If you’re like me, you’re always writing something whether on the computer, in your head, scratch pieces of paper, etc. Where do you get your ideas? What triggers a story idea for you?

I may see someone in a situation and think, “what a great premise that would make.” But I’d say nine times out of ten I just feel like the idea came from the Lord. He’ll pull to mind some experiences I’d had either through work or my personal life and prompt me to create a tale using those scenarios or something very similar in order to bring the reader to a place where they will glean something from it.

In your opinion, what’s the toughest thing you find about writing? The easiest?

The toughest thing? I don’t know. Never had writer’s block. Maybe just sitting down and doing it. The easiest is actually writing the story. It’s like a movie reel is rolling in my head while my fingers type the story as I see it.

When did you start writing for publication and what did people say when they found out?

I started writing in August 2003 with the intention of selling to Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired line. I hadn’t a clue how to write so it was rejected, but considering that I had no experience at all, it was still a pretty good story. From that point on I’d be asked by everyone who knew me if I’d sold a manuscript yet. Then after my book came out in print people constantly ask how my book is doing in regards to sales. They seem to want to see me do well as an author rather than just being nosey. It’s funny how people just assume you’ll be quitting your day job in the future, like selling a novel will make you rich or something. They have no idea.

Tell me about it! (Although, I did quit my day job, but not just to write! LOL)

How long did it take you to get published?
Exactly five years and one month from the day I started my book was in print and for sale.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

Depends on the story. If it’s a story that I don’t want people to associate with my job or me as a state employee, then I’ll locate it in another state. Otherwise I will place it in Arizona.

What would you be doing with all the time you spend writing if you weren’t writing?

Reading, of course. I have been an avid reader all of my life.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

Smack dab in the middle of my living room.

How do you make time for God in the craziness of life?

I pray when I am walking or driving or just singing. I try to read my Bible regularly. I’m in a weekly Bible study and I never miss church. This all helps.

Tell us a little about your family.

I’ve been married for 18 years to a great guy. He graduated from high school before I was born so there is a big age difference, but we are very compatible. I have two sons who are sixteen and fifteen. One is a junior and the other is a sophomore in high school.

Who are your favorite authors?

Do you have all day? Sheesh, I love so many authors I’ll just list some right now off the top of my head. Siri Mitchell, Tosca Lee, Susan Meissner, Sherri Lewis, Melanie Dobson, Virginia Smith, Francine Rivers, Robin Lee Hatcher, Deb Raney, Rachel Hauck, Susan Page Davis, Julie Lessman, Kristin Billerbeck, Karen Kingsbury, Kathi Macias, J. M. Hochstetler, Victoria Christopher Murray, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Claudia Burney, Melody Carlson, Maureen Lang, Marlo Schalesky, Bonnie Leon, Sandra Glahn, Nancy Jo Jenkins, Tracie Peterson, Cindy Woodsmall, Kristin Heitzmann, Nancy Rue, Chris Fabry, Christa Banister, Tamera Leigh, Julie Klassen, Tracey Bateman, Deanna Dodson, Michelle Moran, Jenny B. Jones, Tricia Goyer, Allison Pittman, etc.

Wow! And I'm right there with you on the favorites. Just about everyone you listed is in my to-be-read pile right now...ha.

What’s next for you in the world of publishing?

The sequel to “It’s Not About Me” releases in Sept. 2009. It’s called “It’s Not About Him.”

What do you hope people take away from when they finish reading your book?

Examples of true love, real faith, and boundless joy for Christians and non-Christians alike.

How many books have you written? List them for us so we can be sure to find them in the bookstore or online!

For now you can only buy It’s Not About Me. Look for the sequel next year. The others are listed on my website and have not been sold yet.

What advice do you have for a beginning author?

Learn the craft and join a legitimate writer’s organization like ACFW where you can learn about the business and become a better writer before you try to sell something.

Any parting comments?

Thanks for the opportunity. Peace, everyone!

Thanks so much, Michelle.

Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us.

Readers can find Michelle online at:

Just a reminder: Leave a comment and I'll enter you in the drawing for a free book. Winner will be announced on Saturday, November 8th!