3 Questions Wednesday with Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Thomason Owens

Well, this is it, our final 3 Questions Wednesday interview. What better way to end our “inspired” run than to interview one of the blog’s founders? That would be me, of course.

What do you love most about the writing process? The least?

I love writing the first word and then the first sentence of a fresh, new story. It can be a little like digging up space and preparing the garden soil for precious seeds that will sprout and grow. Each part of the gardening process, from that first sprout to bloom buds and full-blown blooms gives me pleasure. Even the winter prep, which reminds me of what I like least about writing: finding and deleting unnecessary scenes. It is difficult for me to cut and prune what I’ve written. Like the shrubs and plants we trim, the final product will be stronger for those sacrifices.

Good analogy. I enjoy gardening, too. Next question—

Give a shout out to a writer friend and your favorite book they’ve written.

I could get into real trouble with my friends if I pick the wrong one here. So, I’m looking back for this one, to a few years ago when I had just signed on with Write Integrity Press. You know when you find a book so good, you want to go see if the author has more so you can read all of them? That’s exactly how I felt when I read Imperfect Promises by Elizabeth Noyes. Intrigue, suspense, romance—it was all there. I loved the characters, so I was thrilled to find she had more. There are five in all, and I have loved all of them.

Ooo! I love Betty Noyes’ books. Last question—

Were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

I guess you would call me a mid-bloomer. I was in my thirties when I developed a desire to write. That was only the beginning. If I’d known then how much work it would require, I might have gone another direction. But I’m glad I stuck with it. I’m still blooming, by the way, each time a new book releases.

Thanks for not mentioning bloomers. I was holding my breath. We both know your humor.

Dear readers, thanks so much for being such an integral part of 3 Questions Wednesday and the Inspired Prompt blog. By reading and sharing our posts and adding your comments, you have supported us.

Most of all, we’d like to thank the many, many authors who agreed to let us interview you on 3 Questions Wednesday. YOU helped us reach a far wider audience.

This is 3 Questions Wednesday…signing off.

3 Questions with Hope Bolinger

It’s 3-Questions with Hope Bolinger, a literary agent at C.Y.L.E., and a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. Let’s get to know her, the first question, what was the best money you ever spent as a writer concerning craft? How about marketing?

Hope: I would say any Serious Writer conference, class, or online simulcast has been incredible. I believed this long before I worked for them, but they really do offer incredible prices and great materials for marketing, publishing, and craft.

Great recommendation for our readers. Next question, if you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Hope: Know that writing is a long process. When I first started at 16, I began querying agents at 17 and wondered why I never heard back. It comes with a steep learning curve and will take a lot longer than you expect. Keep going and keep writing!

Wonderful advice, thank you. Our final question, were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

Hope: Definitely a young writer, but I truly believe that age doesn’t matter in writing. If you have an important story to tell, tell it, no matter if you’re 16 or 60.

We all have a story in us. Thanks for sharing! Connect with Hope on the following platforms:

Click to tweet: Know that writing is a long process. When I first started at 16, I began querying agents at 17 and wondered why I never heard back. It comes with a steep learning curve and will take a lot longer than you expect. Keep going and keep writing!

BIO Hope Bolinger

Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 600 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids to Crosswalk.com. She writes about 250-300 articles a year. Her modern-day Daniel, “Blaze,” (Illuminate YA) released in 2019, and they contracted the sequel “Den” for July 2020. Her superhero romance she co-wrote with Alyssa Roat releases from INtense Publications in September 2020. She has also contributed to books published by Broadstreet, Taylor University Press, and New Hope. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to connect with readers at her website: hopebolinger.com

Book Blurb: Den

Danny Belte barely survived his sophomore year at King’s Academy, having to deal with horrible initiation practices, stomach-churning cafeteria food, and the constant threat of arson.

His junior year doesn’t start off much better. Facing a series of mysterious suicide attempts that begin on day one–and a disturbing pattern that appears to connect them–Danny has a feeling something far more sinister is at play. He tries to narrow down a list of suspects as those closest to him disappear, one by one.

Can he protect his friends from a possible murderer on the loose? Or will he find himself trapped in a fate worse than a lions’ den?

Available on Amazon, Hope Bolinger author page.

An Inspired Fellowship

by Betty Thomason Owens

The road of our imagination can be as serpentine as Highway 1 on California’s Pacific Coast. It often leads across bridges that afford vistas of immaculate beauty. As writers, we try our best to “paint” those vistas with words the reader’s brain can translate into scenes.Like that beautiful highway, most roads eventually lead to someplace. In the case of a story, it leads to the final two words, “The End.”

I approach that point today, as I write this final post for Inspired Prompt, the multi-author blog I helped develop eight years ago. When Jennifer emailed me and asked if I’d be interested, I had no idea what I was saying yes to. If I’d had an inkling what it would require of me, I may have run away. Swiftly. With conviction.

In retrospect, however, this blog has developed me as a writer more than I developed the blog. It also gave me opportunities I would never have had otherwise.

So, I’m thankful to Jennifer Hallmark, our “idea person,” who became a best friend. And to Christina Rich, who built the original blog and helped us get on our feet, so to speak. We were a triple threat back in the day. 😊

Over the years, we’ve been through a number of changes. In fact, the blog sort of metamorphosed like the caterpillar-butterfly transformation. You may think that’s overstating but being on the inside and seeing what it was and what it became, I think it’s apropos.

But I am not the reason for that. Jennifer and I managed to pull together a crew of writers who brought enough talent with them to drive us into places we never dreamed of going. The best part is the teamwork, the fellowship, and the friendship that developed. I was able to share with them the knowledge I had gained as they shared with me what they knew.

I think I can safely say, love bound us together. What a blessing!

We treasure you also, our readers, especially those who have remained with us over the long haul. Thanks for being there. Thanks for commenting and sharing. My greatest hope for you is that what you’ve gleaned along our writers’ road will stay with you.

So, this is not goodbye. Though I am sad, it is not an end or a parting of the ways, it’s a fork in the road. Like that beautiful, Pacific highway, ‘round every turn is another possibility.

I will not say goodbye, or even “adieu” but I will tip my hat and say, “thanks, from the bottom of my heart.”

Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.

– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

The Inspired Prompt Crew

What a month we’ve had! Someone put on Facebook that this has been the longest April in modern history. I suppose for some that may be true. It certainly has been a unique one.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our month of sharing what’s new in the lives of the crew.

For those who are working on manuscripts or marketing their latest releases, the present situation either provided more time for those pursuits or interrupted them completely. Many of us have discovered more important things like children and family.

When all is said and done, those are the pursuits in our life that mean the most. Thank you, dear readers, for following our blog.

And now, as we stand on the threshold waiting, our prayers are with you as you work through the present environment, whatever that means in your individual situation.

May God bless and keep you!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. — Psalm 23:1-3


What’s New With Carlton Hughes

Professor, Writer, Speaker, Children’s Pastor, Carlton Hughes has been busy, in through the present pandemic. In my opinion, you could add “comedian” to the above list.

What else is new with Carlton? He recently released a new devotional, co-authored by Holland Webb.

Adventures in Fatherhood

Adventure along with two dads in a devotional journey full of wisdom and warning.

Being a great father is not for the weak of heart! It’s an adventure every step of the way. Whether you’re fixing boo-boos and changing diapers, or coaching soccer and carpooling teenagers, you’ll find spiritual insight and practical advice in this devotional by Carlton Hughes and Holland Webb. The authors blend personal experiences with humor and spiritual application to encourage you, dad, to do your best for God and for your family.

Ellie Claire’s devotionals offer short inspirational readings, paired with inspiring quotes and Scripture verses to encourage your heart.
  • Devotions written specifically for dads
  • Rugged, durable package
  • Perfect size for coat pocket or briefcase
  • Presentation page for personalization
  • Ribbon marker
  • A great gift for Father’s Day, dad’s birthday, or Christmas

Carlton Hughes

Carlton Hughes, represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary, wears many hats. By day, he is a professor of communication. On Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings, he serves as a children’s pastor. In his “spare time,” he is a freelance writer. Carlton is an empty-nesting dad and devoted husband who likes long walks on the beach, old sitcoms, and chocolate–all the chocolate. His work has been featured in Chicken Soup