3 Questions Wednesday with Eva Marie Everson

headshot (1)It is my privilege to welcome Eva Marie Everson, multi-award winning, best-selling author of both fiction and non-fiction, back to 3 Questions Wednesday. If you like books where you care deeply about the characters, you’ll love hers. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win her latest, God Bless Us Every One.

So how did she answer our 3 questions? Let’s find out–

Hello, Eva! What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Eva:  The first book I read when I decided I might want to know what I was doing!!! was “Writing the Blockbuster Novel” by Albert Zuckerman. I have to say … that one book taught me so much! About two years ago I bought Robert Benson’s “Dancing on the Head of a Pen.” I was so blown away by it, about the honesty behind it and the practical writing tips within, that I asked him to be the keynote speaker at Florida Christian Writers Conference during the 2016 conference. He totally blew everyone out of the water!  I’m also a sucker for anything written by James Scott Bell. That man simply knows his business!

I loved “Dancing on the Head of a Pen” also. Had to read it back to back. Now tell us…

What secret talents do you have?

Eva: LOL … I can pick up pretty much anything with my toes! I’m double-jointed in my elbows … and (more seriously) I studied choreography for years. I’m actually pretty good at it!

That’s an interesting talent. 🙂 Last question: 

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Eva:  Take out! I don’t cook …  Actually, my husband cooks …very well. So, whatever he wants to prepare! But he makes these chicken wings that are to DIE for! First he fries them, then he smothers them in this barbecue sauce my good-ole-southern-boy brother gets for us (some secret recipe!) and bakes them. I could eat them until my heartburn kills me! 🙂

My husband cooks well also. They could trade recipes…

Eva Marie is going to bless someone with a print copy of “God Bless Us Every One”. Leave a comment to be entered…


GodBlessUsEOGod Bless Us Every One
Charlene Dixon–called Charlie by family and friends–is devastated at the recent loss of her job. For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.
When Charlie arrives–broken and confused–Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie prickles at working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher and her old crush from schooldays, but is even more put out at that the choice of the Dickens’ classic for the holiday performance. When she discovers her estranged father’s involvement her world turns on its head once more. But when Sis and Dustin encourage her to take a deeper look at the story behind A Christmas Carol, Charlie learns about trust, faith, and forgiveness and the needs of people in their own community.

headshot (1)Eva Marie Everson is a multi-award winning, best-selling author of both fiction and non-fiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the managing editor of Firefly Southern Fiction. She enjoys working with new authors through her company, Pen In Hand, Inc. She is married, has three children, and the world’s greatest grandchildren. She can be found at EvaMarieEversonAUTHOR.com

Do the Write Thing

by Carlton Hughes

In 2005, I attended my first writers conference.

frog-48234_1280Boy, was I “green!”

I had no idea what to expect and no idea about how to conduct myself. Editor appointments? Elevator pitches? One-sheets? All Greek to me.

My expectation was that I would meet a publishing representative, and he or she book-309822_1280would read my “book” (which I had printed out and put in a big blue binder) and sign me to a contract at dinner. Then the next year I would return to the conference as the keynote speaker, with my published book featured prominently in the conference bookstore.

Again: boy, was I green!

That book has yet to be published, but I have had several publication successes (along with numerous rejections) and have learned some things about writers conferences along the way:

  1. Relationship trumps everything. The contacts and friends you make at a writers conference are priceless. At that first conference, an editor from Thomas Nelson (Yes, you read that right—THOMAS NELSON!!!) agreed to look at my work. We hung out at the conference and developed a friendship. We kept in touch, and several months later he got laid off from Thomas Nelson. But the friendship remains, and we have helped each other through life’s ups and downs. I could fill several blog posts about other dear friends I have made at these events. Never discount the value of relationships forged at a conference.
  2. Your work IS important, so learn how to polish and pitch. I pitched that first book WAY TOO SOON! I cringe now at the work I initially submitted. Learn from the instruction at the conference and find out the right way to polish and then pitch your work. Don’t jump the gun and think you’ve created a bestseller right out of the gate (I resemble that remark).
  3. Have fun! At that first writers conference I found people just like me—people who like to spend hours talking to the imaginary characters in their head. I discovered that I am not alone in this endeavor. Writing can be a solitary thing, but at conferences you’ll meet people who share the same hopes, dreams, and computer problems as you.

My two favorite writers conferences are Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in Black Mountain, NC (held in May) and Kentucky Christian Writers Conference in Elizabethtown, KY (held every June). Check them out!


PROMPT: Write a one-sentence “pitch” for your Work-In-Progress or for a piece you are thinking about writing. Describe your work in a way that might attract an editor/publisher.


Bonus Pictures (slideshow) from the 2016 ACFW Conference in Nashville, Tennessee – Jennifer & Betty attended!

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3 Questions Wednesday with Betty Thomason Owens

13782199_10207533036983914_6770409064301955671_nWelcome back to 3 Questions Wednesday, Writing Prompts Crew member, Betty Thomason Owens. 

I couldn’t resist grabbing this recent photo of you and your husband at a waterfall in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. Wow! That mission trip looked like so much fun. And such a blessing. Now you’re back, and getting down to the business of marketing your latest release. Thanks for taking the time to answer our 3 Questions interview.

First question:

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Betty:  I know you’re probably looking for writing craft books here, but the books that shaped my writing most are novels that I’ve analyzed and studied to learn the craft. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and Emma (my two top favorites of hers) are three of those. I’ve read and re-read these stories, asking questions and digging until I get the answers. Maybe they just wrote them without thinking too deeply about structure and craft, conflict and nuance, but I’ve found so much value there.

Just in case you’re wondering, here are a few of the questions I ask myself:

How does the writer make me want to turn the page? What makes the scene work? When are the stakes raised?

What a good idea! I’ll have to apply that to some of my favorite novels. I’m curious to see how you answer this next question–

What secret talents do you have?

Betty: Invisibility. No really. I can enter a room and not be seen. I can be in a room and no one knows I’m there. I’ve had this talent all my life, especially at dances when I was a teenager. The only thing is, where is it when I need it? When something really embarrassing happens—why can’t I disappear?

Also, when my sons were little, I had eyes in the back of my head, but I’ve long since lost that ability.

Ha ha! Now that’s funny, especially the one about your sons. That would’ve been a handy tool when my children were young. Now, my favorite question–

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Betty: My famous spicy chili—no beans, just meat and spice. I offer spaghetti for a base, if you like, and a number of toppings. If you can’t eat spicy foods, I’d also offer chicken salad, one of my personal favorites, served on fresh croissants. Homemade apple pie and vanilla ice cream for dessert. And southern hospitality demands sweet tea with the meal, and coffee with the dessert.

Oh, wow! Sounds wonderful. When can we come?

Betty would love to bless one reader with her latest release, Carlotta’s Legacy–your choice of Kindle or print. All you need to do is leave a comment below to let us know if you’d like a chance to win her book. Here’s more information about the book:


Carlotta’s Legacy

Rebecca Lewis’s life is in a downhill plunge.  Will marrying an Italian count bring her the love she’s dreamed of?

Carlottas Legacy Front CoverRebecca Lewis is a reluctant bride-to-be. Marrying Riccardo Alverá, a young Italian count, may seem like a dream come true—an instant answer to her family’s dire straits. But it also means she must leave American soil, possibly forever.

Riccardo is relentless in his pursuit of Rebecca. After her father’s death, she and her mother set sail for Italy. Though Rebecca is still plagued by doubt, Riccardo’s warmth and humor soon melt the icy frost encasing her heart. But as Rebecca settles into his Italian villa, her questions and fears return.

His mother, Carlotta Alverá, is dedicated to strict Roman Catholic beliefs. Will she ever accept Rebecca, who has no real faith? After Rebecca’s mother decides to pursue life on her own terms, peace comes to the villa. But not for long.

Trouble finds Rebecca, even in the tranquil heart of Italy. As political unrest shakes the core of Italian society, a dark shadow falls over Riccardo’s beautiful estate. In her deepest despair, Rebecca confronts her past, finds forgiveness, and finally … the love and acceptance she’s always longed for.


Betty Thomason OwensBetty Thomason Owens writes historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, teaches basic novel writing, and speaks on the liberating power of forgiveness.

Her writing credits include 2015 Grace Award-winning Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015), a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series (2014), and the recently released Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2 of the Legacy Series (Write Integrity Press). She writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger, (2015). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

You can contact Betty via email here. Please follow her on Twitter!

Amazon Author Page
http://bettythomasonowens.com

https://facebook.com/betty.owens.author

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The Learning Will Never End

By Betty Boydtypewriter-1248088_1280

Until a couple of years ago, writer’s conferences were very foreign to me. I have attended various other types of conferences. It was part of my job. When I joined a local writer’s group almost three years ago, they were talking about all these wonderful writer’s conferences. I was intrigued.

So in 2015, I journeyed to my first writer’s conference with a writer friend, to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. The scenery is splendid, idyllic and set in the mountains of North Carolina.

There were almost 400 people in attendance, which was overwhelming for me. I loved the idea of choosing classes that encompassed all the genres of writing, but also business, marketing, and social media.

I was anxious about being around all the other writers who had already been published, or who wrote for great blogs. I felt like I didn’t belong, and that I could never measure up to any of these wonderful writers.

The first thing I learned was not to compare myself to anyone, and that God wanted me to be the writer he intended. I was where I was supposed to be at this juncture in my writing path.

At first, I didn’t want to sign up to talk to any of the teachers, editors, or agents because I didn’t have anything to pitch. But God gave me the courage to sign up, just so I could learn from the experience. The people I met with gave such great advice that succeeding at writing did not seem so distant to me.

The keynote speakers at the conference were inspiring, exciting, and committed in making sure that everyone did not quit but pursued their passion.

I took another leap of faith in May 2016 and attended my second writers conference. However, this time I felt like I really belonged. God had guided me here.

So what are writing conference experiences?

Can you write a story with these four words?

  • Inspire
  • Write
  • Pitch
  • Read

 

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Opportunities Wait for You at Writers’ Conferences

Con OneBy Deborah Malone

After having several books published, I decided I had something to offer and have been teaching at writing conferences for three years. I love sharing with fellow writers what I’ve learned over time. One area I’ve been working on is how to balance my teaching/marketing and still leave time for writing – still working on that one.

Teaching gives me the opportunity to travel, meet other authors, and continue to learn from the best. Maybe teaching is something you’d like to look into sometime during your journey. For now, I’d like to give you five reasons I believe it’s important just to attend a writers’ conferences. You never know what opportunities might be waiting for you at your next conference.Con Two

  1. Meet other authors:  What better place to go than to a writers’ conference to meet those who are as passionate about writing as you are. Being around other writers can be encouraging. When I get home from one,  I’m always excited and ready to tackle my writing projects. Talking with others and learning about where they are on their journey to publication will give you inspiration.
  2. Networking: Attending writers’ conferences is a great way to network. I’ve had two articles published in magazines because I met someone affiliated with the publication. You will meet other writers who might be further along in their journey and may be willing to mentor you or even swap critiques.
  3. Sell your books: Conferences are great venues to sell your books. Most will have tables you can rent at a reasonable price where you can display and sell your books. People who write usually love to read so it’s a great opportunity.
  4. Learn the craft: Most conferences will have a keynote speaker and then have several writing-related classes to choose from. How many times have you heard things like, “tighten up your writing,” “deep POV,” and “show don’t tell?” Well, here’s your chance to ask those questions that have been burning inside you. You will also be able to keep up with the ever-changing world of publishing.
  5. Meet editors, agents, and publishers: Conferences afford a great opportunity to meet people who will further your journey to publication. For a small fee, you can have a chapter or two critiqued by an editor. I remember the thrill of having my first critique and the encouragement I gained from a one-on-one appointment with an editor. I had one editor tell the participants she was open for appointments and she would even welcome ideas. I had an idea for an article on writing cozy mysteries and I presented it to her. She wanted to publish the article so I went home and wrote it and submitted it to her.

So try to attend a writing conference sometime in the future. You never know what opportunities await…

Writing Prompt: The door creaked as it opened. Every person in class looked  up and were surprised to see…


Buckhead Deadbuckhead dead
Skye Southerland and Honey Truelove have just finished an interior design job for Sylvia Landmark, one of Buckhead’s most eccentric characters, and their designs are to die for. After a celebration at Sylvia’s home where they reveal the new décor, including a desk with a possible link to the pirate Blackbeard, Sylvia turns up dead, leaving the ladies wondering if this desk is worth more than they bargained for. Skye and Honey are now suspects in the murder of a woman who had few friends, and plenty of possible enemies.
In an attempt to clear their names, Skye, Honey, and Honey’s loveable cousin Ginger embark on a journey to find the real killer, figure out the history behind the desk, and clear their names before they end up going to jail, or even worse, becoming the next victims! With plenty of warnings from Skye’s husband Mitch, and the ruggedly handsome Detective Montaine assigned to Sylvia’s case, these girls still manage to get right in the middle of the investigation, while having time to enjoy all that Georgia has to offer.

DMalone (4)Deborah Malone’s first novel “Death in Dahlonega,” finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was nominated for 2012 and 2013 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Novel Category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published and her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails,” edited by Olin Jackson, as well as in the “Christian Communicator” and “Southern Writer’s Magazine.” She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association, Advanced Writers and Speaker’s Association and American Christian Fiction Writers.