Helping Others Through Faith and Fantasy

Posts tagged “getting published

Mikelyn Bolden Dishes About Her New Book

Fellow Dothan author, Mikelyn Bolden, just released Flight To Facilis, the second book in The Waiz Chronicles. MIkelyn talking

So I asked her to come give us a little insight into why she has to be so sickeningly industrious as to write ANOTHER book, have a baby, travel the world, and still maintain her sanity. Amazingly, she stuck around to answer the questions anyway.

BUT FIRST…Newsletter image

Now, on to Flight!

FlightToFacilis-Cover-F-2

Summary: Joel’s achieved the impossible. He’s escaped from The Temple of Differe School, twice. His actions are seen as a scandalous crime in Differe, but on his second flight he discovers a city in the West End has the power to pardon his offense. He can be free of the headmaster forever . . . if only he can get there.

Disguised as a temple guard, Joel races to the capital city of Facilis with a band of rogue Differian soldiers. The group wreaks havoc along the way, as Joel learns Differe’s power stretches well beyond its borders and is controlling many of the villages in the West End.

As he nears Facilis, he begins to realize his quest for freedom will impact more than himself. That is, until the city falls under siege to Differe, and he gets caught. (more…)


Aside

Book Release Party Poll

I featured the picture of our cat because, seriously, everyone loves kittens. But now that you’re here, I’d be much obliged if you could answer three questions for me. You can select up to three answers for each.



 

Totoro


The Literary Fellowship on YOUTUBE

interview photos

In case you were unable to see me be a nerd live, the video from the September 20th Literary Fellowship is now on Youtube.

GO WATCH IT!

Diana T. Benson, Bill Pottle, Rochelle Carter, and I all discuss the writing process, getting published, and book marketing.

Click on the box below to be taken to the video.

Enjoy!

The Literary Fellowship JPEG


Join Me On the Literary Fellowship This Saturday at 10:00 A.M.

Join me this Saturday (September 20th) at 10:00 A.M. CST on The Literary Fellowship, a place where Christian authors gather to share their passion for writing.  We meet the third Saturday of each month on Google Hangouts on Air. I, my publisher, and two other Ellechor authors will be guests and will be discussing what it means to be an authorpreneur.

What’s an authorpreneur you ask? Come on over on Saturday and you’ll find out.

Hope to see you all there!

Click on the box below to be taken the promo video.

Google Hangout


Author Ashlee Willis Gets Grilled…And Survives

I know I just did an author interview earlier this month, but I keep meeting really cool writers. Young Adult author Ashlee Willis is one of them. See?

 AshleeWillisAuthorPic

Doesn’t she look cool? Well, it just so happens that her first published book is also cool. And she stopped by to tell me just how awesome it is.

Word Changers

Synopsis

Escaping from the turmoil of her home, fifteen-year-old Posy finds herself at her usual haunt … the library. When she chooses an unfamiliar book from the shelf, she does not devour its words as she usually does…

Its words devour her.

Posy is pulled into the pages of a fairy tale in turmoil. Characters whisper of rebellion against their Plot. And Posy must find a lost princess whose role in the story is crucial, before her own role in the book comes to a horrible end.

With the haughty but handsome Prince Kyran as a reluctant companion, Posy ventures past the Borders of the Plot, into the depths of the treacherous Wild Land forest that lies beyond. Secrets are buried there, dangerous and deadly.

Yet the darkest secret of all is the one Posy carries within herself.

Soon it’s clear that finding the lost princess is the least of Posy’s concerns. The Author of the book must be found. His Plot must be put to rights again, his characters reminded of who they were first created to be. Only then will the True Story be written, both for Posy, and for the tale she has now become a part of.

What was the main inspiration for The Word Changers?

It began with a childhood wish to visit the worlds in some of my favorite books, and it grew in my imagination over the years until one day I knew I had a story I had to write!

Who’s your favorite character in your book and why?

I admire Kyran a lot. He has lived a life within the Plot for many years, a Plot which has gotten worse and worse. He has had to watch his beloved sister suffer at the hands of his parents. And yet through his anger and bitterness he manages to open himself to love and forgiveness.

How similar are you to your main character? Or was she fashioned after someone else you know?

Posy is much like I was at her age, although I was possibly even more shy and unsure of myself than she is. She comes from a broken home, like me, and she is, at 15, ready for adventures into danger and forgiveness (which feel very similar sometimes …). Despite our similarities, though, Posy is her own person – she is not me, nor is she anyone else I know. She is bits and pieces of many things, some real, some from my imagination, some from within myself and some from without.

Your bio says that you enjoy hiking. How much of the scenery/landscape in The Word Changers was inspired by places you’ve been and things you’ve seen?

A lot of it, actually! I love walking in the woods and by streams and rivers, and my love of all things outdoors flows over into almost everything I write, including The Word Changers.

What are the most important metaphors in your plot—the ones you hope inspire people to pursue God?

One of the themes of The Word Changers is of forgiveness, and the fulfillment we can find through it, no matter how painful it may be. There were metaphors for God as the author of our lives, and that, though He can, He won’t take control of our stories until we ask Him to. I also explored the silence of God, and how most times such a silence is on our end, not His.

Have you written your entire life?

Yes, just about! I started writing short stories and poems and songs when I was a small child. I wrote a children’s book (a fairy tale called The Moon’s Test) when I was 12, and then my first full-length chapter book when I was 15. Most of my early stuff was pretty horrible – my sister was my partner in crime for much of it, and we still like to get it out sometimes and laugh over it.

How do you balance homeschooling your son, being a wife, and writing?

Most days I don’t really feel like I do balance it, to tell the truth!  I’m constantly wishing I had a “schedule,” but it never seems to happen. This past year when I was homeschooling, we did schoolwork in the morning, and now and then I’d get an hour or two of writing done in the afternoon while my son was playing or at a friend’s. I plan to get strict with myself this coming school year, though (my son will be attending a local Christian school), and hope that I will get much more writing done because of it!

Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done? Or wanted to do?

I think God put the desire to write in me. It’s hard for me to explain it any other way. It gives me a happiness and fulfillment in a way that nothing else in my life does. Don’t get me wrong – it’s by no means a better fulfillment than God or family. But writing helps me understand those things, and myself, better. Writing complements the rest of my life – helps me value even more the things that have eternal worth.

What is your work in progress?

I’m working on two books (the first one is finished and the sequel is at the halfway point). They are as yet untitled and until my agent sees them I probably won’t be able to talk about them in much detail. But they are Christian young adult fantasy, as is The Word Changers. I’ve always written standalones before, so this is a new and different challenge for me!

Where did you grow up? How did your hometown (or other places you have lived) inspire your writing?

I grew up in a little town called Moberly, right in the center of Missouri. The library that Posy visits in The Word Changers is, in my mind at least, the very library that I lived less than a block away from in my own hometown. It has changed some over the years – they’ve built on, etc. – but the little poky, dusky library of my childhood is the one I wrote into my book. I also grew up down the street from a children’s writer, Daniel Schantz, who happened to also be a good friend of our family. His writing inspired me, and his friendship and kind critiques of my childish scrawls encouraged me and gave me the faith to keep following my dream through the years.

Best book you’ve read?

Impossible to answer, really! The Chronicles of Narnia are definitely top of my list, though.

Give five random facts about yourself.

  1. I am ambidextrous.

  2. I am notorious in my family for having horrible aim, as well as being quite clumsy (great combination, huh?).

  3. I’m a half-hearted vegetarian.

  4. I hate cooking, but love baking.

  5. I’m a sucker for British comedy.

When not writing, how do you spend your time?

Gardening, walking, reading, photographing, hunting for used books, blogging, spending time with friends, spending time with family, watching period mini-series.

If you had 3 genie wishes, what would they be?

Well, I think I would only really need one wish:  For all the people I care about to know, pursue and love God.  But if I get two freebies, I’ll take them! My second wish would be to live in a cottage in the woods, near the sea. My third would be to, like Posy, fall into a fairy tale and become a part of it for a while … although, unlike Posy, I’d like to be able to choose which one I fall into!

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

To keep writing, even (especially!) when it gets tough! That’s when the really good stuff starts happening! Inspiration is great, and all stories start with it – but hard work is what will get you to “the end.”

Thanks, Ashlee, for stopping by.

If anyone reading would like to get to know Ashlee better (or BUY HER BOOK!!!!!), and you’re a weirdo, then schedule a visit to Missouri where she lives with her husband and young son. But don’t expect much attention because she’s pretty busy writing, reading, enjoying tea with friends, hiking, taking pictures, and practicing the piano.

If, on the other hand, you’re a normal person, then just check out her websites below.

Websites

Blog:  http://ashleewillisauthor.wordpress.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AshleeWillisAuthor

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7849640.Ashlee_Willis

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BookishAshlee

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Word-Changers-Ashlee-Willis-ebook/dp/B00K5HZ4M2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406065755&sr=8-1&keywords=the+word+changers

Word Changers


Corrected Post / Writing Contest College Winner: The Truth Will Set Your Free, by Emily Butler

flannery o'connor

 

The Truth Will Set You Free

William Blake once wrote, “When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.” In Flannery’ O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” O’Connor strives to communicate truth to her readers in a much more directed and intentional way. Her truth-telling comes from an intention to convince, or inform, the ignorant. O’Connor’s religious beliefs led her to do so; she spread the truth to others just as Jesus did—through parables. Stories touch the heart, while overt direction tends to offend. Nevertheless, Flannery O’Connor writes to convince the ignorant and apathetic using a robust and sometimes hard-to-swallow theme of hypocrisy throughout “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”

The very names of O’Connor’s characters demonstrate her theme of hypocrisy. O’Connor intentionally names two of the antagonists, June Star and John Wesley, symbolically. With further analysis, it becomes evident that “June Star” is a name symbolic of astrology and horoscopes, practices which are prevalent in pagan religions such as Hinduism, Wicca, Buddhism, and Shintoism. At the same time, the name “John Wesley” is symbolic of Christianity— the religion that O’Connor practices herself. The real life John Wesley was a revivalist and the founder of the Methodist church. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the two children act horribly on a car ride to Florida  After the car accident occurred, both June Star and John Wesley screamed, “We’ve had an ACCIDENT!” but were disappointed that no one was killed. To the reader, there is no difference in their behaviors (O’Connor 185; O’Connor 189). Evidently, O’Connor wants her readers to analyze the symbolism she provides through these two characters. Her apparent intent in developing June Star and John Wesley as practically the same person is to cause offense by demonstrating their hypocrisy regardless of their religious affiliation . This consistency of awful behavior displays one of many clues into O’Connor’s theme of hypocrisy.

The character of Grandmother is similarly oblivious to her hypocritical behavior. She tells June Star to be ashamed of herself in public, yet does not say a single word to her in terms of discipline once the family returned to the car (186). Grandmother does this because she truly does not care about the actions of June Star; she only cares about how June Star’s rude behavior may reflect upon her as a “lady.” Grandmother also wears white gloves and elegant clothes in public so that she would be recognized as a lady (O’Connor 184). It could be said, therefore, that her attire provides the reader with a concrete symbol of hypocrisy: white for an outward display of purity and class juxtaposed against her manipulative and uppity behavior. Grandmother’s character proves to be the most effective example of hypocrisy—O’Connor writes her to be like a normal person a reader would see in 2014.

Not only do O’Connor’s name choices and character development confront the reader with the various guises of hypocrisy, but she also further emphasizes the shallow piety of her characters by juxtaposing them with the character The Misfit, who is the embodiment of the opposite evil: one who is perfectly aware of his own sins, but who is nonchalant and apathetic toward them. The Misfit very clearly states, “Nome, I ain’t a good man,” and continues to provide examples of why and how this is true (191). With this comparison, O’Connor is provoking internal conflict within her readers. As my English class discussed this story, the general consensus was that this character is a terrible person deserving no mercy. But I began to think, “Is it worse to do bad things, know it, and not hide it than to do bad things, know it, but act like you have it all together?” One could say that they are equally bad. After acknowledging this internal conflict within myself, it became clear that O’Connor is challenging her readers to question their own choices, and to examine their attitude toward their mistakes.

To put it simply, Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is a literary slap in the face. O’Connor’s underlying, yet overwhelming, theme of hypocrisy throughout the story provides convincing, and somewhat forceful, truth to readers. From my perspective, O’Connor’s purpose for this parable is to provoke her audience to reflect upon their own lives and choices. She simply painted a literary picture of various common expressions of hypocrisy so that readers will become aware of the darkness around, and within, themselves. O’Connor’s ideal world would not necessarily be made of all faultless people, but comprised of people who are aware of their sins, and deal with them appropriately.

 

 

Work Cited

O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Literature and the Writing Process. Eds. Elizabeth McMahan, et. al. Boston: Longman, 2014. 183-93. Print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Writing Contest College Winner: The Truth Will Set You Free, by Emily Butler

flannery o'connor

 

“The Truth Will Set You Free”

William Blake once wrote, “When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.” In Flannery’ O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” O’Connor strives to communicate truth to her readers in a much more directed and intentional way. Her truth-telling comes from an intention to convince, or inform, the ignorant. O’Connor’s religious beliefs led her to do so; she spread the truth to others just as Jesus did—through parables. Stories touch the heart, while overt direction tends to offend. Nevertheless, Flannery O’Connor writes to convince the ignorant and apathetic using a robust and sometimes hard-to-swallow theme of hypocrisy throughout “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”

The very names of O’Connor’s characters demonstrate her theme of hypocrisy. O’Connor intentionally names two of the antagonists, June Star and John Wesley, symbolically. With further analysis, it becomes evident that “June Star” is a name symbolic of astrology and horoscopes, practices which are prevalent in pagan religions such as Hinduism, Wicca, Buddhism, and Shintoism. At the same time, the name “John Wesley” is symbolic of Christianity— the religion that O’Connor practices herself. The real life John Wesley was a revivalist and the founder of the Methodist church. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” the two children act horribly on a car ride to Florida  After the car accident occurred, both June Star and John Wesley screamed, “We’ve had an ACCIDENT!” but were disappointed that no one was killed. To the reader, there is no difference in their behaviors (185; 189). Evidently, O’Connor wants her readers to analyze the symbolism she provides through these two characters. Her apparent intent in developing June Star and John Wesley as practically the same person is to cause offense by demonstrating their hypocrisy regardless of their religious affiliation. This consistency of awful behavior displays one of many clues into O’Connor’s theme of hypocrisy.

The character of Grandmother is similarly oblivious to her hypocritical behavior. She tells June Star to be ashamed of herself in public, yet does not say a single word to her in terms of discipline once the family returned to the car (186). Grandmother does this because she truly does not care about the actions of June Star; she only cares about how June Star’s rude behavior may reflect upon her as a “lady.” Grandmother also wears white gloves and elegant clothes in public so that she would be recognized as a lady (184). It could be said, therefore, that her attire provides the reader with a concrete symbol of hypocrisy: white for an outward display of purity and class juxtaposed against her manipulative and uppity behavior. Grandmother’s character proves to be the most effective example of hypocrisy—O’Connor writes her to be like a normal person a reader would see in 2014.

Not only do O’Connor’s name choices and character development confront the reader with the various guises of hypocrisy, but she also further emphasizes the shallow piety of her characters by juxtaposing them with the character The Misfit, who is the embodiment of the opposite evil: one who is perfectly aware of his own sins, but who is nonchalant and apathetic toward them. The Misfit very clearly states, “Nome, I ain’t a good man,” and continues to provide examples of why and how this is true (191). With this comparison, O’Connor is provoking internal conflict within her readers. As my English class discussed this story, the general consensus was that this character is a terrible person deserving no mercy. But I began to think, “Is it worse to do bad things, know it, and not hide it than to do bad things, know it, but act like you have it all together?” One could say that they are equally bad. After acknowledging this internal conflict within myself, it became clear that O’Connor is challenging her readers to question their own choices, and to examine their attitude toward their mistakes.

To put it simply, Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is a literary slap in the face. O’Connor’s underlying, yet overwhelming, theme of hypocrisy provides convincing, and somewhat forceful, truth to readers. From my perspective, O’Connor’s purpose for this parable is to provoke her audience to reflect upon their own lives and choices. She simply painted a literary picture of various common expressions of hypocrisy so that readers will become aware of the darkness around, and within, themselves. O’Connor’s ideal world would not necessarily be made of all faultless people, but comprised of people who are aware of their sins, and who deal with them appropriately.

 

Work Cited

O’Connor, Flannery. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Literature and the Writing Process. Eds. Elizabeth McMahan, et. al. Boston: Longman, 2014. 183-93. Print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Writing Contest Middle School Winner: The Sumanian Crystal, by Michael Taylor

Sumanian Crystal Picture

 

Chapter 1: I’m Jackie Jones

My name is Jackie Jones, and I’m 13-years-old. I have two adoptive siblings, a mom, and a dad. I go to church. Go to school. Have friends.

You would think that I’m a normal, everyday kid, right?

But what if I said there was more to my life than what I’ve told you? What if I said I had secrets? Secrets that would change my life and other certain people’s lives forever? What if I said I knew stuff? Stuff that would put me and those certain people in danger? What if I said I was . . . an alien? Not from Canada, but from out of this world?

My name is Kenyundimensog, but you can call me Kenyun. My people are called the Sumis because my home planet is Sumania, which is something like twenty-five galaxies away from yours. In case you’ve never travelled through space, that’s ridiculously far away.

Why am I here? I was sent to your planet to retrieve an artifact one of our people stole. He’s a traitor to our kind, and he was my best friend. Oh, and he decided to hang out on your planet. Surprise! I hate to say this, but he is ten times more powerful than a normal human. Bummer, right? Even his name sounds terrifying. Kenyogalmenjink. Pretty horrible. But we called him Kenyo for short.

Kenyo was tired of Sumania. It’s a long story, but let’s just say he had some trouble with bullies and didn’t get along with the king. So what did he do? He snuck into the royal treasury and into a secret vault (which isn’t so secret anymore), and stole a huge crystal that had amazing powers to hold the planet together. Oh, and did I forget to mention the crystal also provided us with all the food, energy, and other supplies our planet needed?  Well it did.

Not that Kenyo cared. He just grabbed the crystal, hopped onto an escape launcher, and punched in a destination for the farthest planet with life forms away from Sumania.

So that’s why I was sent.  Because I was his closest friend and apparently everyone thought I could talk him into returning the crystal. Though they had to know I would end up battling him. Jerks.

And I didn’t have much choice.  Without the artifact, our planet wouldn’t survive ten Earth years. Which isn’t very long. One year on our planet is thirty-and-a-half years on yours. Translation: Sumania had about three years to survive.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Kenyo found out I am here. Which is why I disguised myself as a boy named Jackie Jones and snuck myself into an orphanage to get adopted. It’s the perfect cover.

So now I’m stuck on some far-away planet without any help from my people. I guess I should count myself lucky for all my military training, though I can’t say I pictured myself using my skills on my best friend. The most support I get is a nightly pep-talk from the Sumanian ruler, King Domesicanesetical (or King D for short).  It’s the same each time. My alarm goes off at midnight, I pull out some Dimensional Gel, squirt it on the ground, and a portal to Sumania opens up, revealing King D’s worried face.

“Don’t worry, King D. I’ll find the traitor and restore the planet to its former glory!” I assure him.

His panicked look tells me he doesn’t buy my confidence. “I wish I could say the same. I put all my faith into you. Do not fail us!”

“I won’t. I give my Sumanian Promise!” I say.

The king’s face turns purple. “You know what happens when you don’t fulfill a Sumanian Promise!” he yells. “The whole galaxy will blow up if you don’t fulfill that promise! That promise hasn’t been made in over a thousand years!” He starts sobbing.

An old superstition. But still, his panic almost had me convinced it was true.

“We’re dooooomed!” he cries as he fades away and the room goes dark. The gel oozes back into the bottle.

It’s nice to know he has such faith in me.

 

Chapter 2: The Fight

 

It had been two-and-a-half years since I landed on Earth before I’d found any trace of Kenyo. In case you haven’t been following, that meant my time was seriously running out. I was beginning to think I’d get to see if the whole Sumanian-Promise-galaxy-explosion thing was true. But that’s when my luck changed.

I was following a hunch I’d had after a gas station in Florida was attacked by a teenage boy with super-human strength and tentacles. After searching the area, I stumbled into an empty cave. There, in the ceiling, was the Sumanian crystal. It provided the only light, but it was strong enough to illuminate the whole cave, which looked about  two miles long. Half of the cave’s floor was covered in water, and I could tell from the way it bubbled and churned that it was full of sea life.

I found Kenyo sleeping in a shack at the water’s edge. I pulled out my sword and prepared to chop off his head when he snapped awake.

With one swift motion, he slapped the weapon out of my hand and put me in a headlock. One twist and he would have killed me. I elbowed him hard in the stomach, and he bent over groaning.

There was my chance!

I slipped out of his arms and grabbed my sword, turned, and swung. He dodged it too late, and I grazed his ear and the side of his face. It was a small wound, but I could tell he was furious. He wiped away the blood and balled up his fists.

Then the unexpected happened.

A tentacle flew out of his side right under his ribs and wrapped around me. It lifted me up three feet off the ground. Another tentacle came squirming out of his other side, snaked toward my face, and poked me in the eye.

How dare he!

And then it slapped me. Then again. And again. And again. This went on for about five minutes as Kenyo rolled on the floor in laughter.

Finally, I was able to twist my sword arm free and slash at the tentacles. They fell to the floor and wriggled around for a few seconds before falling still. Kenyo screamed in agony and anger as I circled him, my back to the water.

Before I could make another attack, he whistled. The water behind me erupted. A shark the size of a whale burst from its surface and sank its teeth into my leg as its bulky, torpedo-shaped body slid back into the depths. I fell to the ground as it pulled me with it. Once in the water, I knew I wouldn’t stand a chance. Ignoring the blinding pain, I twisted and swung my sword around like crazy. The shark’s skin was so tough I barely made a scratch on its nose, but it was enough. Its teeth loosened, and I flung myself away from the water just as the shark disappeared beneath the surface. I made sure I was out of reach, and then turned to face Kenypo once more. That’s when I realized he was escaping, the crystal in tow behind him by a rope.

I jumped to my feet and ran as fast as I could, quickly catching up thanks to the huge crystal slowing him down. I swung by swung my sword at him, but he dodged. Then I did the next thing that came to my mind.

“Kenyo! The King!” I yelled. “The King has come for us. He’s right there!” I pointed to  the other side of the crystal. He realized it was a silly trick, but his hesitation was all I needed. I slashed at the rope with my sword, and it snapped in two. Then I slashed at his leg. Kenyo dropped to the ground, clutching his thigh where I’d nick him. In one quick motion, I pulled out the bottle of Dimensional Gel and emptied the entire thing. The portal to King D flew open. He was very surprised to see me, as you can imagine, but before he could say anything, I shoved the crystal through. There was an ear-splitting cracking sound as the edges of the portal stretched to their limit. Then finally, with a blinding blast of energy, it squeezed through. The blast knocked me backwards so hard I hit my head on the floor. I was barely aware of the portal and the crystal disappearing completely. Before I blacked out, I saw Kenyo’s form standing over me. I swung my sword wildly and felt it make contact. The last thing I remembered was Kenyo collapsing to the ground next to me.

******************************

I woke up in a hospital bed, but it wasn’t on Earth—I was home! I sat up and was surprised by the darkness of the room. The only light was a dim lamp by my bed. Then the lights popped on and the King, his guards, and my Sumis family were in the room with an Earth cake and a bunch of sodas (how did they know?). I looked at the window and saw a crowd standing around the hospital. The next two weeks was nothing but celebration for my saving the galaxy.

I never found out what happened to Kenyo. Maybe he died. Maybe he didn’t. But since we got our crystal back, I guess he’s your problem now.

 

The End

 

If you are an alien and want to chat about my Earth experience, just send a message to my email: iknowyouareanalien123@sorry.com. The sequel to this book will be coming out Neveruary 32, 2014. Bye!


And The Winners of the Writing Contest Are…

Contest WinnersHere is the posting schedule:

Michael Taylor: Friday, June 13th

Justin McNabb: Friday, June 20th

Emily Butler: Friday, June 27th

Please congratulate these young writers! They did an awesome job!

 

 


The Finish Line

The writing contest is now officially closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted!

Over the next week, I’ll be reading the entries. Winners in each category will have their manuscript returned with suggestions for edits prior to the submission being posted up on my website. I’ll also give some less detailed editorial suggestions to those who didn’t win as a way of saying thanks for entering.

Good luck!Writing Contest Finish


Slugs, Torture, the Publishing Process, and Other Horribly Slow Things…

While I wait for Daniel and the Sun Sword to hit the presses NEXT SUMMER, I’ve been working on the second book in the Sons and Daughters series, and I recently hit the 100-page mark! For some reason that’s always been a major milestone for me. So…Huzzah!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

On a different note, I’ve had several people ask about the publishing process in general. It’s quite fascinating, really. That is, if you love learning about how millions of people subject themselves to cruelly slow tortures devised by the literary industry.  Here’s a break-down for those who can stomach it:

 

Some people (like yours truly) skipped the literary agent steps and submitted straight to publishers. And I have to say, Ellechor was awesome and quick getting back with me, but that has been the exception, in my experience.  If you’re interested in those big NY publishing houses,  don’t even think about submitting your book unless you have an agent. They’ve exiled writers to the moon for less. I swear.

So there you have it. Throw in a few racks, thumb-screws, and public burnings, and you’ve got the picture.  But despite all that…it’s worth it!

Writers are crazy.

Oh yeah, and just so the title of this post is accurate: I have some stupid slugs in my garden. There.

 


Guest Blog by Christian-Fantasy Author Scott Appleton

I am excited to host Scott Appleton, veteran Christian-Fantasy author and really cool guy. His input and guidance to me as a writer has proved invaluable. And don’t forget to check out his websites and books below. Enjoy!

Scott Appleton

Fantasy fiction. The very phrase evokes feelings of dread and hope, both of which are powerful motivators in a story. From when I was very young I loved mythology and history. The old English book Pilgrim’s Progress left a lasting impression on me. I was amazed that such blatant allegory had succeeded in not only stirring my imagination but also in convicting my soul.

And that is the power of a good fantasy book. It can provide spiritual lessons that are easier to accept because we understand them in a fictional setting, and it can remind us of the stark contrast between good and evil. The most effective stories remind us that we are created beings accountable to an all-powerful God and we are either for him or against him.

Fantasy stories written from the Christian worldview provide some of the strongest scenarios of all, thanks to these facts: 1) An all-powerful God can exact terrible retribution on those who defy him, and 2) Christian writers value repentance which of course brings about the greatest evolution of characters in stories through transformation.

We are at an exciting time in Christian fiction. We still only have a handful of solidly written and truly original fantasy works available, but slowly that is changing.

My fourth Fantasy novel Neverqueen released December 2013 and it is part of the ever-growing storyworld of The Sword of the Dragon series. You can find my books in stores or online and learn more about me and my writings on my websites.

See you out there in the fantastic worlds that we will explore together!

Scott Appleton is a Christian freelance writer living in southeastern Connecticut. He lives with his wife and three children. His books include Swords of the SixOffspringKey of Living FireNeverqueen, and By Sword By Right.

 


Bursting With a Story?

So far, I’ve had several AWESOME people make several AWESOME submissions to my AWESOME writing contest!

But it’s not too late. If you’re a 6th grader, high-schooler, or college student and you’re about to BURST with a story of your own, submit it for consideration.

Now.

It can be a short story or the first chapter of a book (15 pages or less) from any genre of fiction or non-fiction. A winner from each age group will receive a written critique of their story, and will have the edited version of their work posted on my website.

There is no cost for submission, and the deadline is May 23rd. See my website for more details.

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Writing Contest Kids—College

CONTEST GUIDELINES: If you’re a middle schooler, high schooler, or college student and a writer, here’s your chance to shine. Sign up to follow my blog at http://www.nathanlumbatis.com, and then send me an email at nathan.lumbatis@gmail.com letting me know you are registering for the contest.

RULES: Submit a short story or the first chapter from your manuscript (app. first 15 pages or less) by email on or before May 23rd. Most genres are welcome, but any inappropriate material (gore, sexually explicit themes/scenes, etc.) will automatically disqualify the entry.

WINNERS: The best three entries will be chosen as winners: one from middle school, one from high school, and one from college. They will then receive a written critique of their entry, and the edited version of their work will be posted on my website and social networking profiles.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get experience and feedback on your writing!Writing contest


It All Starts Somewhere

“When did I start on this path?”

Do you ever ask yourself that question? It’s something I’ve thought about a lot. When did I first know I wanted to marry my wife? When did I realize I wanted to become a counselor? When did I begin to love writing?

For you, the questions might be different, but they’re worth reflection. It’ll give you insight into how God has orchestrated your life: led you, pushed you, given you reign, or smacked you upside the head. The flip-side? It’ll encourage you for the future. Confused about something in your life? Not sure how all the pieces will fit together? Wait and watch. See how God will use it. Life is like a mystery story where every detail is there for a reason.

I remember when I really started on the path to writing. I didn’t know what it would come to in the end (and still don’t, if I’m being entirely honest). But it all began when I was homeschooling as a teenager. Nearly every day, my sister and I would hurry to finish our lessons so we could go exploring. The eastern fork of the Choctawhatchee River ran behind my house, and the sloping, wooded river basin was the perfect place to get lost, forget about the real world, and set up camp underneath an ancient beech tree. It was ideal for a little writing. And great inspiration for story-scenes and maps, which every fantasy author knows is a must.

Maps and scribblings

What about your story? Your gifts? Your abilities? Already figured out how God will use them in your life, or are you still waiting to bloom? Just give it time. It is spring, after all.


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A Kid and Teenager’s Guide to Getting Published

Whenever I talk to kids and teenagers about writing, there are usually three questions that come up. How long have you been writing? What made you want to be an author? How do you get published? The first two questions are easy to answer; and let’s face it, people only ask them to be polite. (Since I was 14 and because it’s fun. There, I answered them).

People are really interested in the last one. For an author, to be published means a lot of things. Recognition. Encouragement. Relief. Relief most of all. Relief that all the creativity swirling around in your head, and all the effort it took to craft it into something real, wasn’t for nothing. So on to what matters: how kids and teenagers can get published.

There are loads of contests, websites, and magazines that exist solely to publish those in the K-12 category. Below is a list of my favorites. Just be aware that there are TONS more, which you can find by doing a simple Google search.

 

 
1) Stone Soup: This website welcomes submissions by young people up to age 13.
2) Teen Ink: This magazine is written by teens, and it’s a pretty big deal. They’ve been around forever, so check them out no matter what you write. Because they want it.
3) The Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers: If you’re in High School, check out this contest for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.
4) Kids Bookshelf: This site accepts short stories and poems from those 17-years-old and under.
5) Just 4 Kids Magazine: This website accepts submissions from kids and teens to post on their online magazine.
6) Launch Pad Magazine: If you’re ages 6-14, then you can submit your work here.
7) KidsCom: Each week, this site publishes five submissions from kids ages 11 and younger, and 12 and older.
8) KIdsWWwrite: If you’re 16 or younger and like to write stories or poems, check out this website.