Dianne Neal Matthews

I attended my first writers conference in 1999, convinced that they’d kick me out once they discovered I had no writing talent. The third year, I gathered enough courage to schedule an appointment with the editor of a major Christian magazine to pitch a personal experience article. While the piece didn’t fit his periodical, John liked the basic story and suggested changes to make before I submitted it. I was thrilled that he didn’t just say no.

At dinner that evening someone asked if I’d had any exciting appointments. I told them about my meeting with John. Joanne shouted, “He’s looking for you!” She had just come from John’s workshop. He’d talked about a woman who had showed him an article he really liked, but he didn’t get her name. I doubted that I was the woman since I had talked with him less than two hours earlier, but Joanne was convinced, and so convincing. I wondered…

A few minutes later, John walked by. My fellow diners urged me to go after him. “There he is!” “Go talk to him!” “Yes, it’s you he’s looking for!” As John and I passed each other, we made eye contact. No sign of recognition. My heart sank, but then I decided to boldly seize the moment—for once in my life. I called his name and asked if he was looking for me. A little confused, he explained he’d been talking about a lady who showed him an article that only needed one sentence changed. He had not taken her name down, thinking she would get back to him. He said that he had been expecting to get tackled in the dining room; I told him that he almost had.

I crawled back to my table, and we all laughed about the misunderstanding. But Joanne felt horrible and I felt worse. Then I realized that editors must meet so many people at conferences––surely they don’t remember every writer who makes a fool out of herself.

In July, John notified me that my article would be in the December issue. I immediately emailed Joanne with the news: “So you were right—he was looking for me. He just didn’t know it at the time!”

 

Women of the BibleDianne Neal Matthews is the author of five daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook or Twitter.

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Miss Tavistock's Mistake

Miss Tavistock’s Mistake by Linore Rose Burkhard

Are you a cheerleader or a nitpicker?

by Linore Rose Burkhard

Every author I know, myself included, wants to make readers happy, especially the cheerleaders who love our genre and stories. After all, by loving and reading our books, they keep us in business. Nevertheless, not all readers agree on what works for them, and some get downright nitpicky.

What’s a writer to do when we are stymied by conflicting feedback? Case in point:  my recent release (Miss Tavistock’s Mistake: Brides of Mayfair, Book One).

Reader 1: “The Jane-esque language in this novel is exquisite.”

Reader 2:  “Kudos to Ms. Burkard! (for) a few words or phrases that were new to me.”

Reader #3: “I have no idea what that word means.”

And what about pacing? We try to build plots that snowball to keep those pages turning. One reader writes, “This latest offering from Burkard explodes onto the page;” another, “Like a runaway horse, the plot picks up speed, hurtling along…” But just when I’m about to relax that I nailed the pacing, another writes, “It took me a few chapters to get into this book, but once I did…”

Wait. It took a few chapters? Aargh.

So what’s a writer to do? Personally, I watch for responses that are repeated. For example, phrases like “pure delight,” “a hero to swoon for,”  “a perfect escape.” If I see such phrases in numerous reviews, then I can be sure I’m hitting the sweet spot for my cheerleaders. I have to accept that, as with most things in life, I can’t please everyone.

But I sure do appreciate the cheerleaders. If you love a book, be sure to review it and let the author know what they’re doing right. You are the ones we write for and who help keep us going!

 

Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, she also writes contemporary suspense and contemporary romance. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.

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Risk Management CoverOften, when an author begins writing a series, they have an idea of how long it will be. Knowing in advance when to stop gives the author the opportunity to develop their characters and their series, and to bring it to a logical conclusion with a satisfying character arc and ending.

Which just goes to show how little I knew about writing a series when I began my By the Numbers series. In fact, when I wrote the first title, No Accounting for Murder, I didn’t even know it would be a series. Until I wrote THE END.

Well, last December, she said, “I’ve had enough. June’s book will be my last.” She meant the June 2020 book. And I thought, “Okay. I’ll simply end the series and go on to something else.”

Not so easy. This was a character I’d been writing about for more than fifteen years. I’d published ten books, was just getting ready in December to release number 11. It was like putting down the family dog.

Or worse.

Unable to write this final story, I tried something different. I asked Carly what she’d do with her time once she retired. What would hubby Mike do now? I researched why Carly would retire (health reasons), and I asked her about how she thought her faith journey would look.

In short, we talked.

Now I was excited to share this with readers, because I was excited for her. For the new path she’d enter. The new adventures she’d have—outside the pages of my stories. And the story flowed as I wrote the story of Carly’s heart.

So stay tuned for Risk Management, available now for pre-order here and officially releases on June 30th. And the segue novella, Mysterious Ink, will release in September.

Question for readers: Do you like to read a series in order, or are you happy to read any which way you get the books?

Leeann Betts

Leeann Betts

Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. Risk Management, which releases June 30th, 2020, is the 12th and final story in her cozy mystery series, “By the Numbers”. Watch for a segue novella in August that weaves Carly’s story with the upcoming new cozy mystery series, “Mysterious Ink Bookstore Mysteries”, with its first title releasing in December 2020. Together she and Donna have published more than 30 novellas and full-length novels.

 

 

Website: www.LeeannBetts.com Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

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Blog: www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

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Books: Amazon http://amzn.to/2dHfgCE  and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2z5ecP8

What Can Be Online University: online courses on the craft of writing

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items

 

 

 

 

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Christie & Cosmo in Vegas

Christie & Cosmo in Vegas

Miss Christie’s little black ears twitch at each note as morning birds serenade us. We start most mornings (God, weather, and coffee supply willing) in our treetop screened porch, nestled under blankets, Bible and journal nearby. Very soon, Miss Christie and I will begin our days from the pleasurable confines of Cosmo, my Class B RV.

The three of us are hitting the road on Memorial Day, heading to Oklahoma City, where we will reside in an RV lot for a ten-day horse show. The Amazing Miss Clara—my nine-year-old quarter horse mare, Jess, our trainer and several other dear friends will meet us there.  Anticipation has my arthritis flaring already and I am giddy as a schoolgirl in June.

After way too many weeks of COVID, Netflix, and Cheezits, I am beyond

Miss Clara

Miss Clara

ready for a road trip. And for the blood, sweat, tears, joy, and laughter of enjoying every second of my equine love affair. Few things make me happier than spending time with Clara. I know all of her little secrets, where she loves to be scratched, how best to brush her in all her favorite places. I know her smell, her nicker, and the feel of her body in any number of communication modes.

Just thinking about her makes me happy. As I was plotting my current novel, I wanted to throw in this kind of passionate love and demonstrate how it could morph into an addiction. For extra fun, I propelled the whole idea into the near future and asked how that addiction could be played out in VR (virtual reality). Having set the stage, I wondered what that addiction might look like at a fancy dinner party where my heroine finds herself a bit on the bored side. Cool things happen—but that’s a story for another day.

Interesting storylines come from everyday occasions. And from our best of friends—four-legged and otherwise.

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Her newest novel, Capsized by Death, is the fourth book in her award-winning Jo Oliver thriller series. She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.

Catherine loves to interact with her readers at www.CatherineFinger.com

https://www.facebook.com/CatherineFingerAuthor/

 

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Fun trivia: The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883. The first person to cross it was E. F. Farrington, the Bridge’s master mechanic.
Zipline Photo

Zipline Photo

But instead of walking across the bridge, he went by zip line!
I discovered this fascinating bit of trivia while doing research for my novel, A Sicilian Farewell, part of which is set in late 19th-century Brooklyn.

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is an award-winning author who writes riveting fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. Her latest novel, IN BLACK AND WHITE, a love story about racism, released in November 2019.

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

MaryAnn has also written THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES trilogy, a page-turning, family saga revolving around the life of Maria Landro, a woman torn between two worlds, and who must choose between them. MaryAnn’s books for children include five picture books: WHO IS JESUS?, TOBY TOO SMALL, CANDLE LOVE, THE DANDELION PATCH, and POEMS FOR WEE ONES and one chapter book: DO ANGELS RIDE PONIES?

MaryAnn lives in New Jersey with her husband Dom. They’ve been married 50 years and are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters, a very smart son-in-law, and six rambunctious grandchildren. When not writing, MaryAnn loves to paint, play the piano, and make up silly songs with her grandchildren. You can learn more about MaryAnn at maryanndiorio.com.

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