Monday, December 17, 2007

New Year Cheer

Ah, Christmas time. Cold. Rainy. Windy. Snowy. Finding the right gift for loved ones. Less work, more play. Time with family. Mouth-watering food.

I guess one of the most wonderful things about this time of year, for me, is looking back on the past and, more importantly, looking ahead to the new year. Some people, my lovely wife included, don't think much about the new year. But I do! To me, it's a romantic, reflective time. And it's a time to listen to what God might be leading you to do in the new year. Something totally different. Something you've never done before!

Each year, our family goes to the Krispy Kreme donut shop for hot chocolate, coffee, and donuts. As we sit around, enjoying the warmth of the coffee shop and the smell of fresh donuts, we go around in a circle and tell the family what each of us would like them to pray for us--for the entire new year. We also go over the previous year's prayer requests and see if and how the prayers were answered. Pretty cool stuff.

Personally, I have a lot of things floating around in my mind, as far as the new year is concerned. I've got some new freelance writing opportunities I'm hoping open up. My agent is shopping my fourth novel--we'll see what happens with that. And I have some other ideas that I'm praying about. We also have three elderly parents and an aunt, who we will have our eye on this year...hoping they stay strong, but knowing anything is possible.

I've kind of rambled. That's all I have time for now. Take care and be thinking about what you're gonna do in 2008 that's going to be a big deal. If you want, share it here by leaving a comment!



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Library News From Author Gail Martin

I'm amazed how many people I speak to who want to write books. Did you realize an estimated 80 percent of all Christian fiction readers are women? When I write fiction, I write to testify--through real, gritty, contemporary suspense stories--what Christ can do in the lives of ordinary he can TRANSFORM the darkest heart. I don't necessarily write for women (maybe I should...then my books would sell more). But, as a Christian suspense novelist, I have to write what God prompts me to write.

All that said, I want to tell you about a new book, coming out at the end of December 2007, by fellow author and friend, Gail Martin. In this new book, Writing The Christian Romance, Gail provides a comprehensive how-to guide that emphasizes the differences between Christian and secular romance. While the book focuses on Christian romance, it provides excellent information for writing any Christian fiction genre and includes chapters on: creating believable characters, emotions and the sense, sexuality, spirituality, point of view, dialogue, introspection, plotting and pacing. The final chapter focuses on selling the Christian romance novel with information about Christian writers conferences, contest, finding an agent and learning how to prepare a book proposal for submission.

You can order the book from and find out more details here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Library News From Author Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren is a multi-talented author. I don't read chick-lit, but if I did, I'd read Susan's books, simply based on the great type of person she is. I encourage you to check out her latest.....Here's the scoop on it: Russia? Not again. Josey's finally living the good life - she's got the man, the (almost-perfect) wedding, the two-story Cape-Cod house of her dreams. That is until her man drags her back to Moscow! Josey knows she has the guts to follow her own dreams across the world, but she's not so sure she can play the perfect wife while her husband chases after his. Josey's set on having the perfect life…even in a world without hot water, decent take-out and size-two leather fashion. But can she find the courage to tell her man the secret that will change their lives forever?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Road Trip Therapy

Okay...I can't figure out how to put captions with the above photos. So, I'm going back and re-entering this text. As for the top photo, that's Cindy Woodsmall and Amy Wallace (l-r) and below them is our friend, author Beth White. Okay, now on with my post.....

Two of my friends and Atlanta neighbors—authors Cindy Woodsmall (left) and Amy Wallace (center)—recently asked me if I'd like to go with them on a road trip to Mobile, Alabama, to do a fiction workshop and book signing at Cornerstone Books and Gifts, the city's largest Christian bookstore. Knowing it would be a 6-hour drive each way, and that it would take me away from home for a day and a half, it really took me a long time to decide whether to do the event or not. I finally felt led to go, and I'm really glad I did.

Fiction writing is such a solitary endeavor. Not only that, but it is extremely difficult to "make it" in the industry. Therefore, the rare chances I get to spend with other authors—talking about our books and promotions, talking about our publishers and agents, discussing our latest projects—it is always totally refreshing and rejuvenating to me.

This recent trip was no exception. We had a gas, getting crowns and "BK Joe" at Burger King; calling Cindy's husband, Tommy, to have him pinpoint the next Starbucks along our right; brainstorming about our books; and spending a wonderful evening and day with fellow author Elizabeth (Beth) White. Beth and her husband, Scott, not only invited us to stay at their wonderful "beach" house, but they even had a party for us with a bunch of lovely people there in Mobile the night before our signing.

By the way, if you like great fiction, I encourage you to check out the wonderful novels written by Amy Wallace, Cindy Woodsmall, and Elizabeth White.

This trip was so much fun, I just emailed Cindy and Amy, inviting them to meet me for coffee and a little more therapy!

Later. CM