Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Anybody out there dizzy like I am? Are you being bombarded by offers, suggestions, advice, luring seminars, and workshops—all to expose your writing, enhance marketing efforts, and boost sales?

Confessing…I’ve been caught in the gotta-try-that frenzy. Most of us are dashing here and there, hoping to get that platform built. Eager to get our books promoted. Trying to get that door to open, one that will make our work soar to the top. Trying to book that big speaking engagement. Trying, trying till we collapse into bed, our head exploding with endless possibilities—too many to try. And some, too expensive to accept.

So, what to do? How to dodge the firing of internet luring? I just came up with five practical steps, simple to follow. And with a bit of diligence, they will bring serenity to the internet insanity.

1. Begin the day with prayer for God’s wisdom—abundant wisdom to choose, evaluate, and discern.

2. Be careful. Is the offer sounding too good to be true? It probably is.

3. Be prepared. Is the lure touching your emotions with wording: “only three spots left; act now and save…offer only today.”

4. Be bold. Check out input from trusted fellow authors and speakers. They will share their experience, giving valuable insight.

5. Be faithful and embrace this truth: in the midst of endless offers, God offers His grace to accomplish what we cannot.

At the end of the day, you can put your head on the pillow of peace, and having made Godly-wise decisions, your heart will echo, “All is well with my soul.”

Janet

Judson Press, 2011

Simply Salsa, Amazon Best-selling book

 

Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Although blind, Janet Perez Eckles inspires you to see the best in life. With her #1 Amazon best-selling release, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta, she inspires you to look beyond a complicated world to find the simplicity of God’s joy and success.
www.janetperezeckles.com

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Maureen Pratt Author PicPeace to you! Maureen Pratt here with my monthly blog about specific aspects of the writing process. Today, I thought I'd highlight some suggestions about immediacy in our writing.

Whether we're writing fiction or non-fiction, we want our prose to carry the feel of immediacy, or a sense of time and place that draws the reader in to the exclusion of all other distractions and detractions. Compelling central plots do this to a certain extent, of course, but to carry someone along for the duration of a book requires some hooks-within-the-hooks. Immediacy boosts action to a more lively level, and it helps root scene and character to-the-minute instead of somewhere, out there, in time. 

For example, let's say you and I just won a shopping spree (here's the plot hook), but the event takes place in the wee hours of the morning on an excruciatingly hot day and the air conditioner in the store is broken (here are distractions from the initial excitement of the primary hook) and we're both just getting over the flu. Feel your enthusiasm waning, even just a little? What if we added a treasure hunt within the spree, perhaps a very valuable diamond ring is hidden somewhere among the merchandise, and we get to keep it if we find it – a hook-within-a-hook that can motivate beyond the heat and discomfort and bring an immediacy and action to something that might otherwise be more descriptive than dramatic.

Immediacy is helped along by avoiding gerunds (pardon the pun!) and connective phrases, and by precision. "We were looking in the shoe department hoping to find…" becomes "In the shoe department, we found…" or "We were running out of time…" becomes "We only had six minutes left…"

In non-fiction, creating immediacy makes facts come alive. This is not the same as fictionalizing a situation or place, but rather is expressed in the way various details are described. For example, perhaps you need to write a piece about your church's Sunday prayer service and potluck. Beyond the "who, what, when and where," paint in the "why." Why does one person always bring a fruit salad? Why does a particular worship song bring tears to a young man's eyes? Why does the assortment of dishes provided always seem to satisfy, even if no one plans it down to the ingredients? The "why" allows for personalities to come forward and details to leap to life in their daily context – immediacy in the making. It also helps build empathy between the reader and story.

Another strong technique for non-fiction is to write about what's going on outside a particular place or event as a backdrop for what is going on inside. I was able to do this in an article I wrote for Saint Anthony Messenger Magazine (www.americancatholic.org) last year, when I contrasted the freeway traffic humming outside a school with the beautiful music of a children's choir within it.

For inspirational non-fiction, such as a devotional or prayer book, immediacy comes from the specific examples you can write about that illustrate the point you are trying to get across. Think Our Lord teaching in parables. So, an essay on coping with pain becomes lessons learned from someone's journey through a dark valley of pain.

To create your own sense of immediacy while you are writing, practice this: Imagine your reader only has sixty seconds to spend on your story. Imagine the seconds ticking by (or place a clock that ticks off the seconds next to your workspace) as you write. Feel the pressure of that time passing, disappearing, and taking away your reader. At the end of the minute, put your work aside for awhile (a few hours, or even a day). Revisit it, and see the difference in what you wrote while under the immediacy of pressure – you might really like it!

The more in-the-moment writing can be, the more powerful, and immediate, the pull for the reader to keep reading, no matter what else is going on in the world around.

Joy and peace,

Maureen

www.maureenpratt.com

http://blog.beliefnet.com/gooddaysbaddays/

 

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Pamela S. Meyers

Pamela S. Meyers

Hi, Pamela S. Meyers here with more tips on marketing your new book.

The release date for my historical romance from Summerside Press, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (LFYLG) is fast approaching. April 1st will be here before I know it!

My friend who made my book trailer for Thyme for Love is hard at work developing a trailer for LFYLG, and he came up with a fantastic idea to have me personally introduce the story at the beginning of the clip. In addition to the romance, the story centers on the Rivera building which was built in 1933, the year my story takes place. The building is featured on the book cover and is now an historical landmark. Anyone who has ever visited the town will immediately recognize the building.

We decided that I would start the trailer standing in front of a current day color picture of the Riviera and then seemingly step back in time and be standing in front of a black and white photo of the building taken from approximately the same spot in the 1930s.

Of course, a real studio is the ideal locale for recording this type of thing, but since neither of us has a studio, we created a mini
studio in my living room by hanging a green sheet on the wall. We then attached the camera to a tripod, and brought in all the lighting we could find. I stood in front of the sheet and gave my intro, then donning a cloche hat, a style from the 1930s, I took a step as I transitioned into the 1933 setting. Ed will use special software to add the two shots of the building behind me.
Outtakes No. 2

I only had about four or five sentences to deliver and I quickly learned it’s not that easy. We did about 20 takes before we got one we felt would work well. Each time I flubbed the lines or forgot to put on the hat as I transitioned to 1933, we had to restart. When I thought I had it mastered I started switching the last names of my heroine and hero. Of course we laughed a lot which made taking so many takes a lot easier to swallow.

Along the way I learned some things that might help you if you are game to try this.

  1. Have a good camera. I don’t have a video camera that is strictly for video, but I do have a small digital camera that takes HD
    movies.
  2. Use a tripod to keep the camera steady.
  3. Use cue cards. I printed my script on a sheet of 8.5×11 paper, and we had it on an easel at eye level, but I had to shift my eyes to read it. I ended up ad-libbing, which worked until I kept giving my heroine the hero’s last name. He had to hold up a sign with her last name written on it so I wouldn’t flub it again. In retrospect, I’d tape the dialogue to the tripod underneath the camera. If you do this and have longer dialogue, a third person to hold cue cards next to the camera is strongly advised!
  4. Lastly, have a lot of  patience and a sense of humor. We had to do a lot of takes to get it right. Check out the video of my outtakes at the link below . We did have a lot of laughs, which is always good medicine.

 

You can access the short video of some of the outtakes at:

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MosesQuilt_N134101

The Moses Quilt by Kathi Macias, New Hope Publishers, January 1,
2013

  As if facing major decisions about the love of her life and
her future isn't enough, Mazie Hartford is also wrestling with a nagging
question about her family's past. And the answer seems connected to her
great-grandmother's Moses quilt. Can the patchwork pieces of a former slave's
story stitch the pattern of her tomorrow?

 

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has
authored nearly 40 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper
columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in
various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi
is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’
conferences. She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced
Writers and Speakers Association) and was the 2011 Author of the Year from
BooksandAuthors.net. Her novel set in China, Red Ink, was named Golden
Scrolls 2011 Novel of the Year and was also a Carol Award Finalist; her October
2012 release, Unexpected Christmas Hero, was named 2012 Book of the Year
by BookandAuthors.net. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with
her husband.

This new release information was uploaded by Cecelia Dowdy. Happy reading!

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Sherry Kyle, author

Hi, Sherry Kyle here, writing to you on my laptop from Central California.

I prayed fervently on my way to the Capitola Mall on Saturday. The direction of my prayer went something like this, “Please, God, help me to be a listening ear to those who need encouragement coming into Inklings Books & Things. Help me plant a seed for Christ. And if I sell a few books, well, that would be nice too.” I wasn’t nervous or anxious at being the featured author at my neighborhood bookstore. Instead I was eager to see who God would bring my way. Here are three stories that I hope bless you as much as they blessed me:

The first couple I spoke with was a quiet, older pair. They gingerly picked up my books and looked at the back covers, saying they didn’t know a child they could give The Christian Girl’s Guide to Style to and usually didn’t read books like Delivered with Love. “Thank you for taking a look,” I said, smiling. After we talked a few minutes, they moseyed to another part of the store. It wasn’t long before the woman came back and expressed her interest in writing poetry and her desire to publish one day. After finding out she was a Christian, I took the opportunity to tell her about Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Before Catherine left, she thanked me for all the information and signed my mailing list.

Inklings signing

Raul, a twenty-six year old young man, was the next person who came by. “Are you an author?” His face lit up and he extended a hand. “I’ve never met a real author before,” his voice rose in excitement. After shaking his hand, we talked like two people who share the same passion for books. I discovered Raul loves “paranormal” books, a far cry from what I write, but it didn’t matter. I was able to encourage him to pursue his writing dream.

A woman named Carol walked right up to the table and said, “I love supporting local authors.” It didn’t matter what my novel was about she wanted to buy it. As we chatted I discovered she had a brain injury, which prevented her from writing. I found out she taught creative writing years ago and had a story idea that she felt had never been done before. Her eyes clouded when she shared the image that sparked her imagination. She wanted to write again, but was afraid. I told her that before I write I pray to God to help me because
I can’t do it in my own strength. I also asked her if she would consider writing an article instead of a novel—something possibly more doable for her. After I signed her book she thanked me for listening and told me I was worth my weight in gold.

On my way home I thanked God for answering my prayer.

We can and do make a difference. Praise God!

Do you have a similar book signing story? Please share.

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