Thursday, October 28, 2010

Contests and more contests!

      For those who love to enter contests, I have oodles for you this month!  Get out your calendar and mark the dates; you won't want to miss out on a chance to win goodies! Some are on my site and some are on the blogs where I'll be guest author! Yes, November is busy for me but also for those who want to follow where I'll be. Some sites will have me there all week which is so wonderful of them.

     What's up for grabs?  Autographed books and...Chocolate!! Many of the contests will give you the opportunity to sign up to win those tasty spicy chocolates and caramels from Cowgirl chocolates. Their link is over there on the left for who want to hop over and browse order some until you win mine! Their selection is fabulous and makes it hard to decide which flavor to try first. The store is a chocolate lovers dream come true. If you live in the area, be sure to stop by. If you've been IN the store, leave us a comment of what YOU found there!

     Ooops, I stopped in to tell you about all the contest opportunities. I will just list the dates and links; enjoy!! Be sure to right click on the links below and 'open in a new tab' otherwise this site will be replaced by the new link. Mark your calendars and have a great time in November! Thanks for following me.

Oct 31:  Word of the Week - Goes til Dec 11

Nov 1-30:  Deanna Jewel - Monthly Contest

Nov 1-30:  Fresh Fiction - My Page

Nov 1 and Nov 3:  Knits and Reads

Nov 18:  25 Years Later

Nov 21:  Blog Jog Day - Right Here!

Nov 22:  Daniel Carter - Blog

Nov 23-Dec 15:  Fresh Fiction - Contest Page

Nov 25:  Toni Anderson

Nov 28:  Romance Alley

Dec 1-31:  Quiet Fury Books - Holiday Giveaway

      Also, I'm giving away a gift card on my FaceBook Fan Page once I hit 500 followers (and we're getting close) and again when we hit 1000 followers. I'll pick the winners from those who are fans. If you aren't a fan of that page, hop over and get in! Tell your friends so they can get in on these contests, too! Thank you so much for popping!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Author Interview - David Fingerman - Mystery/Suspense

Congratulations to the Winner!!


       Thank you all for stopping in to read about our guest, David Fingerman, mystery/thriller author. We’re on location at the cemetery today and not because it’s a crime scene from his book but for a more important reason than that. David’s parents passed before his books were in print and they  never got to know that David became a published author. So, today, we’re here to share David’s books not only with you, but also with his parents so they will know the great things that are happening with their son. Please grab a warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate and have a seat with us. We have lots of warm blankets for those who need them.

Deanna:  David, thank you so much for sharing this with us! I know your parents have been following you in their own way. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

David:  Hi, Deanna.  First, let me say thank you for letting me appear on your blog.  People say I'm quiet and keep to myself.  Oh wait, everybody already knows that.  Well, let's see ~ considering the stuff I write, I'm actually quite a peaceful (and sane) person.  Unlike my characters, I do try to avoid confrontation. 

Deanna:  What made you want to become a writer?

David:  I can't not write. (Ha, Ms. Sexton, I did learn something in your high school English class – double negatives.)  Writing is something that I love to do.  I also love to tell stories.  You know how some people can make really witty comebacks without missing a beat?  That's not me.  I can come up with zingers, but usually the next day.  In writing I can get away with that.

Deanna:  Do you write under a pen name?

David:  I haven't yet.  I like to tell people that I haven't yet written anything that I'm too ashamed to put my name to.  But seriously I am considering it because I am writing in different genres.

Deanna:  As authors, we love all of our characters. Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

David:  Evil = easy.  I love writing nasty characters.  So far (knocking on wood) I have never gotten writer's block while writing an evil character.  In Silent Kill, Andrew is the calmest, most laid back person in the book.  I had a hell of a time writing some of his scenes.

Deanna:  I've roamed through your website. You've got a lot of stuff there that will interest our readers, for sure! Tell our readers a little about your book, Silent Kill.

David:  Police must follow a labyrinth, leading into the darkest tunnel of a twisted mind. A mind that carries no value for human life... Minneapolis police officer Louise Miller has attitude. Not only does she have to deal with the good old boy mentality of the department, but she's also a gay police officer who has to deal with harassment on a higher level. When one of her few friends on the force goes missing Miller investigates, despite her captain's order to leave it to the detectives. As Miller scours the precinct for any sign of the missing officer, Elias Boughton is on a psychopathic rampage.

Kidnapping and murder are games he plays, blindly obeying a voice from his past. As the body count rises, Miller is convinced the detectives are heading in the wrong direction. Trying to fit the puzzle together, each clue revolves around a particular Rottweiler. As the mystery unravels so does her life, and the case becomes more personal than she ever dared imagine.

Deanna:  I love mystery/thriller novels and for some reason, many of us love being scared! Not sure I understand that but I DO know that! Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?

David:  On my website they’ll find links to Twitter, my Blog, FB, and more. You are all welcome to stop by.

Deanna:  Readers, you can find LOTS of info about Dave, his books, his tour dates/links, his blogs and what’s he up to. Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

David:  Yes, and then some.  My favorite genre is suspense, but good writing is good writing.  I'll read most genres as long as it's well done.

Deanna:  What's a typical day in your life as a writer?

David:  The excitement never stops.  I get up, feed the cat, feed me, get cleaned up, check emails and websites I belong to, read the paper (online), do the crossword puzzle (online), then write for a few hours, take a break for lunch and if the weather is nice, maybe go out for a walk, then write a few more hours.  (I know, settle down, cowboy.)  I try to treat my writing like a job and put in about six hours/day Monday through Friday

Deanna:  Most of us have pretty vivid imaginations when it comes to story lines. Where do your story ideas come from?

David:  Everywhere.  Some stories were ignited from songs that I heard, snippets of conversation, cloud formations, graffiti, etc.  I spent over twenty years in the court system and witnessed all sorts of human (and inhuman) behavior that I've used for character traits and story ideas.

Deanna:  Are your friends and family supportive?

David:  Very much so.  Unfortunately, my parents are no longer alive and never got to see my first book.  I remember when I first started serious writing, I wouldn't let anyone read my stories until they were published.  My first published story was about a man who inadvertently stopped souls from entering into the next realm.  My mother read it and said, "Well isn't that . . . interesting." Still, she was proud and always supportive.

Deanna:  Why the switch from supernatural short stories to a non-supernatural novel?

David:  Silent Kill is a particular story I wanted to tell.  I actually did have thoughts about adding a supernatural element when I started, but the deeper I got the more it said to me that this was supposed to be a straight suspense/thriller.  Have no fears.  Along with the third book in the Louise Miller series (the sequel, Playing the Hand She's Dealt will be released next year) I'm also writing a horror novel.

Deanna:  Are you afraid people will think of you as your evil character?

David:  Bwahahahahah!  Let them.

Deanna:  LOL  Very good, David, I love it! Do you work harder now, or when you had a 'real' job?

David:  I work much harder now as a writer.  It takes a lot more discipline to be in charge of your own time.  Besides, if I don't work hard at this writing thing, my wife will make me go out and get a 'real' job.

Deanna:  Many of us can relate to that, but writing is basically a solitary life as far as writing goes. How important is a support group of writers?

David:  I find it invaluable.  I belong to two writers' groups.  Not only is the support there (they know exactly what you're going through), but so are the critiques.  They catch not only grammatical errors, but also what does and doesn't work in the plot, what needs more work, etc.

Deanna:  Do you base your characters on real people, or are they completely made up?

David: It's a combination.  Certain character traits that I see will be incorporated in my writing.  If I'm walking down the street and see someone with an odd limp or facial tick ~ one of my characters is going to have an odd limp or facial tick.  I just have to make sure that my character's personality isn't similar to anyone I know, or at least different enough that they would never recognize themselves.

Deanna:  What is the easiest and hardest part of writing for you?

David:  The hardest part for me is description.  You can't just say "It was a hot and sunny day" ~ boring!  You have to fill in the details.  "The sun beat down, its rays drilling a migraine into Louise's skull."   Setting the scene is necessary filler so the reader can see in their mind what you're writing about, and also it adds depth to the character.  The easiest writing for me is dialogue.  I can almost hear the conversation in my head as I write so I can make it sound natural.

Deanna:  Who or what were you in a prior life?

David:  If there is such a thing, I think that I must have been an Irish musician.  I don't have a drop of Irish in me know (that I know of), but there is some Irish music that when I hear it, I'll stop whatever I'm doing and melt.  I'm also guessing that I was a lighthouse keeper at one time.  I can find no other explanation as to why I've always found lighthouses so fascinating.

Deanna:  Then you have to hop over to my website and click the tab ‘About Me’ and check out my upcoming novel, Whispers at Ghost Point’ which is about a ghost in an abandoned light house in SC!

Thank you for being with us today, David. I hope you’ll soon have more followers on your site and many more readers of your books. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

David: I know they love contests so I will pick a winner from those who leave me a comment here, a question, or just to chat. I’ll be around for that, too. The winner will receive a signed copy of Silent Kill! Thank you all for reading about me; I’ve enjoyed our time together!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Contest - Word of the Week

       Mark your calendars for October 31st so you can hop over to my website to begin collecting the Word of the Week. Every Sunday, starting Oct 31st, I will post a word to make a sentence until Dec 11. At that time you'll send me all the words, including any punctuation, to my email to enter the contest and I'll pull a winner on Dec 16th.

       What's up for grabs? Would the thought of winning chocolates keep you coming back once a week to grab the words? Well, that's what the winner will receive. These aren't just any ol' chocolates. They are from a wonderful shop in Moscow, Idaho called Cowgirl Chocolates, where the owner makes not only milk and dark chocolates, but also caramels.

       That's not all. She has come up with a fantastic idea for those who love 'hot, spicy' foods...she adds jalapenos and habaneros to her chocolates and caramels!  Just a few sniffs of the little wrapped truffles and you can smell the heat. If you like spicy, you'll love these. They are to-die-for delicious and they melt in your mouth, making you devour them before you realize they're GONE! I wouldn't lie to you about something this wonderful. Hop over to her website and place your order. You'll have them gone before I pull a winner in December!

       Love contests? I look forward to see your entries flow into my email from Dec 11 - 15th! Good luck to all of you!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nov 21st - Join Us!!

Hop over to my website and read about
this 2nd Blog Jog Day - some sites will be 
offering prizes and mine will be one of them. 
More info to follow but mark your calendar 
now for Sunday, Nov 21st.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Author Interview - Julie Wise - Life/Relationship Coach

 Right click HERE and open this in 
another tab to get the crackling fire sound

Welcome to our chat with Julie Wise. I hope when you finish reading her interview, you’re inspired to make your life better or find out what to do to change your path. Grab a mug of hot spiced cider and join us before this roaring fire! Can you smell the burning pines and hear the crackle?

      Julie Wise is a professional life and relationship coach who works with people to take their dreams from wishing into reality. She knows from personal experience the challenge of starting over when your dream has fallen apart. Instead of giving up, she learned how to reinvent herself and discovered that there is always a bigger (and better) dream waiting to happen. In her new book, Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease, she offers a fresh, practical and hands-on approach to inspire readers to overcome their challenges and achieve their heartfelt desires.

Deanna:  Julie, thank you for taking the time to be with us today. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Julie:  I’ve spent my life reinventing myself every three years or so. My university degrees are in translation (French, Spanish, German, Russian), but I’ve worked as an ice dancing coach, an artist creating wall designs, a newspaper editor and a consultant working on projects across Canada and even in Argentina. I think this helps me in the work I do now - coaching people to make their dreams happen - because I’ve done it in my own life over and over again.

Deanna:  What made you want to become a writer?

Julie:  I’ve always wanted to write. As a child, I created books with my own stories and illustrations and very proudly printed my name on the cover. My father had a bookstore and I loved to spend time among the new books, running my fingers along the spine, and imagining that it was my name on the front.  He was also a marvelous storyteller, so I’m sure I inherited some of his word-weaving talent. Over the years, I’ve written poetry and short stories, even a novella and a fictional memoir, but I haven’t published anything until now.

Deanna:  Do you write under a pen name?

Julie:  I use my own name to write. My writing style is honest and open, and I want to maintain that approach with how I sign my books as well. I want my readers to feel they can trust me so I don’t hide behind another name.

Deanna:   Do you read in the same genre you write in?

Julie:  I read all kinds of books, but certainly my preference is for inspirational books and travel writing.  I look for books that have a positive uplifting message and that inspire me to greater heights. I hope that’s what Dream BIGGER does for my readers. The book I’m currently writing is about a 3-month journey to Ireland I took two years ago, so I’m finally delving into the world of travel writing, something I’ve wanted to do for years.

Deanna:  Many authors have a set pattern to their work day. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Julie:  When I’m in the midst of writing a book, I tend to write mid-morning to mid-afternoon.  I try to write for four hours a day, every day. I start by making some notes in my “writer’s journal”, a folder on my computer where I track my progress day by day. I’ll note down what I want to focus on that day, any challenges I foresee and how to work with them, and then I’ll go back once I’m finished writing for the day to comment on how it went. This journal keeps me focused and moving forward. Some days I write for the full four hours, and sometimes I reread what I’ve previously done and do some editing. I like to get out for a walk afterward to clear my head and get myself back into this world again. While I’m writing, I’m in another space, the world I’m writing about, and it takes time to step back out of it again.

Deanna:  Keeping a journal is an interesting way to stay on track. Most of us have pretty vivid imaginations when it comes to story lines. Where do your story ideas come from?

Julie:  Dream BIGGER came to me last December as I was writing the book on the Ireland journey. It simply showed up in my mind, insisted that I drop everything and focus on it, and showed me what the structure of the book would be. It’s a message that clearly wanted to be voiced, so I listened and now the book is published.  I wrote about experiences from my own life as well as from clients I’ve worked with as a coach. I also interviewed six people from around the world who had dreams that had expanded beyond their expectations and had a community or global impact. So my writing comes from real life.

Deanna:  Can you share an excerpt of your book with us?

Julie:  This excerpt is from the introduction to Dream BIGGER:Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease.
       “Did you daydream as a child? Do you remember the magic of imagining you could fly like an eagle, or discover new lands like Christopher Columbus, or find a cure for cancer? Perhaps you pictured yourself standing on stage accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, hearing the thunder of applause or savoring the majestic silence from the peak of Mount Everest.
       If you stop for a moment and remember what that felt like, chances are you’d describe a sensation of freedom, joy, and ease as well as a strong sense of accomplishment and a deep connection to who you truly are.
       This is what it feels like to live our dreams. And, yes, we can experience that today, even if we’re all “grown up.” That’s what this book is all about—learning how to rekindle the magic of dreaming, creating a road map for the journey and moving past the obstacles along the way.”

Deanna: You book will definitely get people thinking, and wanting, to make changes in their so they can head in the proper direction. I’m a firm believer in positive thinking. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Julie:  I want to encourage readers to believe in their dreams and take steps to achieve them. So I’ve set up an online contest in which people can post a short video about their dream and become eligible for amazing prizes designed to help them make their dream happen. Just for entering, they get a free one-pager with tips on manifesting their dream. I’m hoping that by entering the contest, and seeing the other videos, we’ll all be inspired to live the life of our dreams.
     I invite your readers to stop by my website and look around.

Deanna:  Readers, grab those video cameras and start filming, then get it uploaded to Julie’s contest page! Thank you all for joining us; I hope you were all able to enjoy the fire! Feel free to comment or leave a question for Julie and she’ll comment back to you shortly.
     Julie, again, thanks for being here and best of luck on the rest of your tour!

Julie:  This was fun, thank you! I look forward to seeing many videos get entered.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Character Interviews with both heroes from Never Surrender

We're lucky enough to be on location in Dubois, Wyoming with both heroes from Never Surrender - Brandon Wakiza and Taima. If you've read the first two chapters of my novel at Bookbuzzr, you'll know both of a valley between the Absaroka and Wind River mountain ranges when his people were free to roam wherever they wished, before Dubois was developed as a town in the late 1800s. Brandon is half Shoshone and lives in Dubois in the present time and Taima is half Shoshone and half white and lives in 1835.

This is Dubois as it looks pretty much today. I've been there and can attest to that as I've walked those wooden sidewalks. I also eaten at the Cowboy Cafe, roamed the Mercantile Store and had a latte from the Pony Espresso back in 1997 before I ventured out to explore the mysterious Whiskey Basin. One can't explain how peaceful this city is with the surrounding snow-capped Rockies, watching as the children giggle when the stage coach pulls up to take them for a ride or to smell the fresh air scented with sagebrush. Dubois takes you back in time and if you've not there, I certainly suggest a visit. That would allow you to also take a trip to Whiskey Basin where the petroglyphs are and my story starts.

 Deanna:  Brandon, thank you for being with us today. Forgive me for saying so but your eyes are so blue. A woman could easily be speechless trying to gaze into your soul. OK, on with the interview. Can you tell us about the day you first saw Kate in the gift shop?

Brandon:  It started with an inner pull I felt the instant I looked up at her in the store that day...a sense of familiarity yet I knew I'd never met her. We said a few words then she moved past me to look at something. I made my way to the door but couldn't step outside. I leaned against the door frame and listened as she talked with the old Indian; he's a good friend of mine. I knew I wanted to get to know her better and find out why I felt I knew her. She's a beautiful woman and she looked at ease in her tight jeans and sweatshirt that day. *he gives me a huge smile and a wink* She also had on a nice pair of snakeskin boots.
Deanna: Do you believe in fate?

Brandon:  I believe in a higher spirit that makes things happen that we're not aware of. One might dream of things in their future yet not understand them when the dream happens. I certainly felt that with Kate. Her emerald eyes pulled at something deep inside me and to this day, I still don't understand how we came to be in the same spot at the same time. I can only assume the Great Spirit was at work to bring us together.

Deanna:  What surprised you most about Kate?

Brandon:  Her interest in the petroglyphs. Somehow she knew about Whiskey Basin and I didn't want her exploring out there alone. I was surprised when she allowed me to go with her. She did insist on driving that day, too; her way of controlling her surroundings as best she could.

Deanna:  Taima, you're half white and I know you're proud of that. Can you tell us a bit about your parents?

Taima:  My father, Sakima, captured my mother when they were young from a situation similar to how Kate came into my 'possession' if you will. My parents eventually fell in love and as I grew up, my mother taught me English as well as many of my people. She knew one day I would need to know English. My father doted on her and I'd always hoped I would find a woman to love me the same way. I learned to respect a woman's mind and her intuition because my mother was a smart woman. She taught us many things.
Deanna: I know it's hard to talk about, but your mother and wife were killed at the same time, correct?

Taima: They were and yes, it is still hard to talk about. White men invaded our camp while many of our warriors were on a hunting trip. The cruelty inflicted on both of them that day is unspeakable and started my hatred toward the white man. My wife, Witashnah, was a beautiful woman, slender, long black hair; she loved everyone and her eyes could melt a man's heart. Our love would have lasted an eternity.

Deanna: Tell us a bit about Taima, the leader of his people.

Taima:  My parents taught me that there is one, maybe two, true loves on one life. I'd already lost the one true love in my life and didn't want to replace her. My father was a one-woman man and I guess I followed in his footsteps in that respect. When I lost Witashnah, I knew there would be no replacing her. No one else could fulfill the need in my heart that she filled, nor replace her as my soul mate. I refused to even look at other women as a replacement for her.

Deanna:  Taima, from the moment you rescued Kate from the Blackfoot warrior that day, neither of you got along. Can you explain any of that to us?

Taima: *he laughed out loud* Kate is an emotionally strong woman with a passion for life; one who thinks she can control her surroundings and the people in it. She's opinionated and doesn't hide that; she spoke her mind right from the beginning, unaware that I understood every word she said. But she had no idea of the dangers lurking in the untamed wild of the mountains. She insisted I release her and that was not an option...and the fact that I wasn't about to release a beautiful woman even though I didn't want her for myself.

Deanna:  One last thing...the emerald stone ring you wear on the leather strip around your neck. I have to ask about it?

Taima: *his long fingers caress the ring at his throat*  I can't say a word about this, I'm sorry. Your readers will have to finish the story to understand the meaning behind this ring. *wink*

Deanna:  I don't want to spoil the story for our readers so we'll stop there. Thank you both for being here, for letting our readers see into my two main characters. I know after they read your story, they will fall in love with both of you the same way I did.

Want your OWN copy of Never Surrender? Visit Amazon or Barnes and Nobel but make sure the NEW cover shows up, not the yellow cover or you'll get the yellow cover. Wait for the NEW orange dream catcher cover to show (it should be there any day) and that's what you'll get. Thanks so much!!

Readers, I'd love to hear your comments if you enjoyed this interview. Thank you for stopping in to read, even if you don't leave a comment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Author Interview - Betty Collier - Christian Inspiration Author

 Congratulations to the winner:

Tanja Haack

      We are in the garden again today, in a normal suburban neighborhood, with Betty Collier, Christian inspiration author, to learn what makes her write so passionately. I encourage each of you to visit her website to learn even more about Betty and her inspiration.

Deanna:  I’m so glad you’re visiting with us today, Betty. You are, indeed, an inspiration to so many. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Betty:  Thank you for having me as a guest on you blog. I love to share with other readers. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, RN, author, and child of the King.  I’ve been married to the absolute love of my life for 24 years, and we currently live in our dream home with our 2 sons, ages 16 and 11. My greatest accomplishment is that I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I am committed to doing the work that he has called me to do. My greatest joy and satisfaction comes from the life I share with my family.  A luxury to me is to find time on a Saturday afternoon to watch a Lifetime movie. I believe if you use one of your Saturday afternoons to read this book, you will feel like you have watched a Lifetime movie.

Deanna:  What made you want to become a writer?

Betty:  I never considered myself a writer, and if you had asked me prior to January, 2009 if I would ever write a book, my answer would have immediately and adamantly been “absolutely not!” I never had a desire to write a book, and perhaps my honesty will make you wonder if the book is even worth reading. I can assure you…I AM A WRITER.  I became one overnight, and in fact, I remember the exact night it happened. It was after midnight when January 9th turned into January 10th, the night I dreamed about this book. I am confident that if you allow me to share my journey with you, you will agree that I am indeed a writer.

Deanna:  Has it helped you spiritually to put your thoughts to paper so others could read your experiences?

Betty:  It has definitely helped me spiritually because I wrote the book based on faith, well aware that not everyone would share my faith, but I wrote it to share my faith with those who choose to believe. I wrote the book to share my testimony of faith, hope, humor, romance and love. Testimonies are meant to encourage and inspire others, and I have been just as encouraged by my readers. As one reader told me, “It’s like being on a roller coaster. I didn’t know what to expect next. I was laughing on one page and crying on the next… This book is a masterpiece!”

Deanna:  Do you have any tips for others who might want to write about their own experiences?

Betty:  All of us have something to share with others, and if we would simply take the time to begin the writing process and stay committed to it, we could all write something to share.  I definitely encourage anyone who wants to write to simply sit down and begin writing.

Deanna:  Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Betty:  Being a woman of faith, I definitely enjoy inspirational and encouraging books, but I don’t limit my reading to just that genre.  There are many books out there to enjoy, and I would never want to be limited to just one type.

Deanna:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Betty:  Because I have so many other “job titles,” writing became a way of life after-hours. If I had waited until I actually had time to write, it never would have happened. So I made time each and every day, and squeezed in time whenever I could, ensuring that I wrote something daily. I believe I am probably one of the most sleep-deprived people you will ever meet, but when you are consumed and obsessed to write and share your story, you cannot sleep anyway. After I finished my “day job” as an RN, and my evening job as wife and mother (and ALL that entails) I would find myself in front of my laptop until 2:00AM every morning until the book was finished.  It only took one month to write it, but that is because I was totally convinced that my new-found passion to share my journey of faith had to be put on paper immediately. Thoughts, words, paragraphs, and even whole chapters would come to me, and I had to get them down on paper before I lost them. My day would begin at 6:00AM being all the other things that I am, and end 20 hours later at 2:00AM being the one new thing that I discovered I had become.

Deanna:  That is true determination and passion. I commend you for sticking to the keyboard until you finished! What’s next for you? Will there be another book for those who enjoyed this one?

Betty:  My plans are simply to share my journey with others, and I will go wherever this book takes me in order to do that. This is only the beginning. Although I had no prior plans to write a book, after literally becoming an author overnight, I know that this is something that I will never give up now. I am passionate about my story, and it’s my desire to reach as many people as I can to inspire and encourage them. There is more to come, but I will have to wait on divine inspiration to figure out what that is.

Deanna:  What does the title of your book mean? 

Betty:  The original title of the book was “We Never Would Have Made it Without YOU” and the “YOU” that I was referring to was the Lord.  I had given a copy of the draft manuscript to my friend Kartriece who designed the cover page because she had been anxiously waiting to read the book she designed the cover for.

Unbeknownst to me, Kartriece’s mother asked her if she could take a “sneak peek” at the copy. Her mother sent me an email the very next day which really encouraged me, so I saved the email. It said, “I asked Triece this morning if I could take a look at your book with the intention of skimming through it because I knew I wouldn't be able to read it through just yet.  After reading the first few chapters, I commented to Triece that I wondered if it was just because I knew you that it was so heartfelt.  I have come to the conclusion that it is the anointing.  I didn't get any work done this morning because I kept going back to your book.  I have finished it from beginning to end and I was truly blessed by it.  I commend you for actually doing what God has led you to do.  My heart strings were tugged in more ways than one as I took a walk with you inside your testimony.  God is awesome and I am so glad that I know him.  Thank you for sharing.”

The original title was confusing, and it was from her words and what she got out of the book… taking a walk with me “inside my testimony” that made me change the title of the book to “Living Inside The Testimony.” That actually was the essence and heartbeat of the entire book anyway, and I had repeatedly used those same words throughout the book.  She helped me to bring it to life.

Deanna:  Am I the only one getting goose bumps here? Wow. Readers really do help us when they write to us. Betty, there are so many well known inspirational authors and books already available by very well known people. How can you compete with them? 

Betty:  Writing is not a competition; it’s my passion, and I am passionate to share my story, a journey of faith discovering God’s amazing love and abundant blessings. We all need to be inspired and encouraged, and I know there is an audience for my book that has not been reached my mainstream Christian and inspirational authors. If I didn’t have the faith to believe that the Lord would take my book wherever it needs to go, I never would have written it. This is a faith journey, and if you read the book, you will see that my journey has been inspired by faith, hope, humor, romance, and a lot of love, taken from the perspective of an everyday person whom readers can all relate to.

Deanna:  What makes your story different?

Betty:  My story is different because it comes from an everyday person who realized how God’s amazing love and abundant blessings have always surrounded my life. Because of that realization, I am sharing my life inside the testimony while helping others realize they too live inside testimonies meant to encourage and inspire others.

Deanna:  What kind of response have you gotten from readers?

Betty:  I wrote the book to encourage and inspire others, but I have been just as encouraged and inspired by their comments. It confirms my original belief that the Lord wanted me to share my journey of faith.  As I share my journey, I get feedback from readers that they too have been living inside testimonies, and they are encouraged and inspired after realizing their journeys have been prepared uniquely for them by the ultimate MASTER PLANNER.  Believers as well as non-believers enjoy the book because it offers hope in the future, and forces you to take a look at your past and realize that it really wasn’t you that was in control of it anyway.

Deanna:  Faith and belief really does make things happen. What is your favorite quote from the book?

Betty:  “I guess when you live inside the testimony, it’s hard for you to see it as a testimony, and you really don’t appreciate it for what it is.”

Deanna: That statement is so true. Many of us take too much for granted rather than appreciating what we have. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Betty: I’d like to give away a copy of my book to one lucky reader. The first person to go to my facebook page and click and then leave a comment indicating they saw my interview on Deanna's blog spot will receive a complimentary copy of my book "Living Inside The Testimony" and a tote bag.

Deanna:  Betty it’s been a pleasure having you here today. Thank you so much for sharing with us. We all wish you the best with your book and getting the word out for others to enjoy your writing.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A little something to help bring your writing alive!

      Have you wondered what it was exactly that made you fall in love with the last book you read? I mean the one that totally pulled you right into the story to become one of the characters in the book? The words would have swirled around you with such comfort you found yourself on page 52 before you realized you were that far into the story. You felt what the characters were feeling, smelling, touching...the amazing ability of a writer to do that for you is not something that just happens. The author knows how to pull you in without you realizing it.

      Next time you pick up a book, try to pay attention to the point of view in the story. For those who don't know what that is, it's being in the head of the main characters. Take for instance the heroine - she lets you know what she thinks about things, how she feels when she sees a man who makes her heart skip a beat or how the sound of trickling water over stones in a stream immediately calms her down. A good author will not be in one head for a paragraph, then hop into another character's head and back to the main character. The writer will stay with the main character's thoughts for a full scene or more, sometimes a full chapter. This type of writing keeps the reader moving along smoothly in the story.

      If the author head hops, this will cause the reader to have to go back and reread lines or paragraphs in order to remember who's thoughts were the correct character. Try to watch for that next time you read. If you find that you zip right through a book, it's because the author wrote so you didn't have to reread lines again and again to figure out whose head you were in.

      Does this make any sense to you?  LOL Some will read a few pages in the store before they purchase a book to look for this exact thing. Does the author head hop? If so, it will take you longer to read a book this way because you will be confused as you read. Head hopping makes the reader dizzy and I find myself doing that also when I read an author who head hops. It's just irritating to me as a reader. I hate having to go back and reread paragraphs to figure out where I should be.

      I hope I haven't ruined you for reading some of the great books out there. Just because head hopping goes on in the writing doesn't mean the book is bad, it may just take you longer to get through it. Have you read books that you've had to do this? How did you feel when you had to keep going back to reread? Thanks for sharing with us!