That’s Not How Advertising Works

You know how when you’re watching TV, you see the same ad at least eleven thousand times? And how if you’re watching something online, you get the same commercial two or three times in a row sometimes? The internet has made it easy for advertisers with data tracking. If you look up shoes, you automatically […]


Are Some Plot Devices Off Limits?

The furor over the recent Game of Thrones rape scene has me thinking—much more than I care to—about when and whether we can include this kind of violence in our work. Within the span of a single day, I read several different articles that address this issue, though not all in the same way. The […]


Big Girls Cry

An image scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed the other day. It was a picture of an overweight woman, hanging upside-down by her legs on a stripper pole and crunching up, presumably working her abs. Next to her picture, as a comparison, was a picture of a plump rotisserie chicken on a spit. The caption read, […]

Create a Playbuzz Quiz

How To Set Up a “Which Character Are You?” Quiz with Playbuzz

Guest Blogger: Nadine Brandes Readers like to interact with their favorite authors and their favorite characters. One fantastic way to let your readers do this is to create a Which Character Are You? quiz. I recently set one up for a Facebook Party I threw for my book, A Time to Die. Here are some things I learned through […]

Photographer Chris Kotsiopoulos

New Publisher: Brimstone Fiction

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas launched a new imprint, Brimstone Fiction, which will publish the speculative genres. The company is specifically looking for Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and YA speculative. Brimstone publishes in print, e-book, and audio, with plans to release two books a quarter. Brimstone’s guidelines indicate it will accept manuscripts from 55,000 to […]

old lady

I’m Not Old Enough For This

Over the past few months, I’ve been helping plan my church’s women’s retreat. Usually we have several volunteers (of whom I have been one for many years) who all help with organizing the details. Usually the head of women’s ministry takes care of a lot of the nitty-gritty and behind-the-scenes details. Not so much this […]

Scavenger-Evolution final front

Yes, My story starts in a brothel

Yes, I also went to seminary, and still love Jesus very much. So what happened? Am I trying to tempt people into lusting after prostitutes? Do I enjoy the look when people look up from the first page and think, “What kind of story is this?” The story is about a husband who has lost […]


A Fond Farewell

Wow . . . It seems like so long ago that I got asked to join a fun and smart group of writers on a spec fic writers blog called New Authors Fellowship. So many of the writers were good friends and excellent role models. I remember the thrill of excitement when I got the invitation to […]


Alphabet Blogging: X is for…

Xeroxed characters. Have you ever read a book and thought that every single one of the characters sounded and acted the same way and even seemed to have the same motivations? It’s almost like the author just copied one character several different times, gave them a different hair or eye color to distinguish, and set […]


What Christian Writers Offer That Others Can’t

Guest Blogger: Glen Robinson In the book, More Than Words: Contemporary Writers on the Works That Shaped Them, Stephen Lawhead writes about how the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien influenced him as a writer. Lawhead concluded from his study of Tolkien as a writer that regardless of what you write, who you are comes through in […]

E-book reader and variety of books

Top 5 Things I’ve Learned About Selling Ebooks

Guest Blogger: Kessie Carroll There are a few things that go without saying, so I’m not detailing those. Namely, the story and editing have to not suck. The cover has to be awesome, with high contrast and readable text at thumbnail size. Without those two things—you know, having a QUALITY PRODUCT—you’re not going to sell […]


I Wrote Some Words Today

And I liked it. Don’t laugh. Sometimes putting thoughts into words is hard work. It wasn’t tonight, but it’s been very hard lately. Oh yeah, I’ve got all the excuses. Actually other people make them for me. “You’ve been through so much change lately.” “You’re very busy.” I guess. Who isn’t busy though? And when […]

Author's Journey

Unexpected Turn in the Journey to Publication

Unexpected Turn in the Journey to Publication

Many of you have walked with me lo, these many years, ever since the Marcher Lord Select Contest of 2009, when Alara’s Call (then known by a much lamer title that shall not be spoken here) was voted off the island in the first round. You may remember when I announced that OakTara had given […]

Creative Nook

The Resolution

The Resolution

After they murdered The Cleaning Fairy, The Gnomes started running amok. Mother instituted The Plan to take care of them. So the gnomes began The Retaliation. This started The War. Now, the war must end. The Rise of the Gnomes Part Six: The Resolution Mother sat for a long time, just staring at the leader […]

Critical Views

Teacup Review: Avenir Eclectia

Teacup Review: Avenir Eclectia

It’s been a while since we sat down with a cup of tea and a book. But I just finished Avenir Eclectia, with which some of you may be familiar, so I thought I’d share my observations. It’s hard to review a book when its authors and editors are your friends. One always worries about […]

Guest Blogs

Interview with Morgan Busse

Interview with Morgan Busse

I am so very excited for my good friend and critique partner, Morgan Busse. Last Tuesday was the release of her 3rd book (and also the final book of the her trilogy). I thought you all might want to get to know a little bit more about her and her books (which I highly recommend). […]

Life and Such

You Never Know How Long You’ve Got

You Never Know How Long You’ve Got

My Facebook feed flooded last week with stories about Jonathan Crombie, the actor who played Gilbert Blythe in the Anne of Green Gables movies. It seems like every woman in my generation confessed to having had a crush on him. Gretchen Kuykendall Engel put it well when she wrote, “There is a bit of Gilbert […]

Marketing and Promotion

Christian SpecFic? Or SpecFic by Christians?

Christian SpecFic? Or SpecFic by Christians?

Avily brought The Great Christian Spec-Fic Debate to NAF yesterday, and as I started to compose my response, I realized it was a whole other post. The Christian submarket only came about because general market romance novels got so explicit Christian women wouldn’t read them anymore. So publishers created this segment with clean romance novels […]

News for Writers

Splashdown Books changes business model

Splashdown Books changes business model

Grace Bridges, owner of Splashdown Books, recently changed the company’s business model from royalty share to an author co-op. Under the royalty share plan, books were published with no cash investment by the author. Now, authors will pay Bridges for the editing of their books, but will retain all rights and royalties while effectively self-publishing […]

Our Faith

The Good Friday on which I truly mourned

The Good Friday on which I truly mourned

Good Friday is a difficult holiday. Like Yom Kippur, it’s not something one “celebrates.” It’s something one “observes.” Tenebrae services are somber, yet once they are over, it’s easy to go home and return to “normal” life. That day, and the day that follows, should be ones of solemn contemplation. Yet we get up and […]

Random Things

Saving Old Stories

Saving Old Stories

My eleven-year-old mentioned last night that he was planning to throw away his story, “Once Upon An Alien,” of which he had written about seven chapters. Because he was going to write something new. Now, being the ADD-ish writer that I am, I totally understand how a new idea can trump an old one, and […]