3 Questions Wednesday with Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Thomason Owens

It is my pleasure to be back on 3 Questions Wednesday for three very good reasons.

  1. I’m celebrating the release of another book.
  2. I’m a co-founder of the Inspired Prompt blog.
  3. I helped come up with the three questions.

Okay, maybe those are more like confessions. Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to this day for several months, mainly because I wanted to answer the questions. So, here goes.

First question: Who is your favorite author?

I’m going to veer away from my usual answer of one of the classic authors. When I read historical fiction, my absolute favorite is fellow Kentucky author,  Ann Gabhart. Her stories are rich with history and heart. You can’t help getting all wrapped up them.

Yes, I am also a fan of Ann Gabhart. Mom has a bookshelf full of her books as well, and no, I am not trying to win brownie points with Mrs. Gabhart. 🙂

Let’s move on to the next question–

You’ve been chosen to write a biography about your favorite historical person. Who would that be?

It may surprise you to know that at one time, Amelia Earhart was my favorite historical person. I read everything I could get my hands on about her life. I watched the movies, and used to fantasize that she had somehow survived her flight into the Bermuda Triangle, and was still alive somewhere. Possibly on a deserted isle, happily hidden from the newshounds.

I’m not surprised by your answer. I remember all those biographies gleaned from the school libraries over the years. I believe we wrote a report once and made an A+ on it. So, next question: If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Oh, I would definitely spend a sunny day with Annabelle, working in her garden, listening to her sing as we work. She’d bake my favorite cookies and tell wonderful stories about her growing up years in Trenton, Tennessee. I fashioned her character after my grandma and her sister-in-law, Lona Wade, so I know her rather well. Sometimes, I long to hear their voices again. They echo in my mind and bring me great joy that I knew them and was loved by them.

I love Annabelle. She’s my favorite character in the Kinsman Redeemer series. Thanks for the interview, Betty. Anything else you’d like to say?

Yes! Join me tonight (6 – 8 pm EDT) for a Facebook Launch Party! If you don’t have time or you’re busy tonight, you can pop in at any time over the next week. There are prizes to win (no purchase necessary). Just click on “Going” to let me know you were there. Thanks so much! Here’s the link to the Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2872476632767489/ If you’re not on Facebook, you can still enter to win prizes via the “Contact Me” tab on my website. You’ll find it here: https://bettythomasonowens.com/contact/


A 1950’s Clean & Wholesome Romance! – Annabelle’s Joy

She’s waited too long.

When Tom proposed last year, Annabelle wasn’t ready to open her heart to another man. Pain still held a thin crust around it. Time has healed her heart, but with a new woman in town, one who clearly has her sights set on Tom, does it matter if Annabelle’s heart is ready to love again?

Folks in town are keeping a close eye on their pharmacist, hoping to be the first to hear the good news. He’s been courting the widow Cross for nigh on two years now. Annabelle Cross better wake up and put her dancing shoes on. Mr. Tom is prime real estate.

Drift back into the simple, country life of Tennessee in 1957 with this sequel to award-winning ANNABELLE’S RUTH.


Betty Thomason Owens loves being outdoors. Her favorite season is spring, when she can work in the yard or take long walks while thinking through a troublesome scene in one of her stories. She considers herself a word-weaver, writing stories that touch the heart. She leads the Louisville Area ACFW group, serves on the board of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and is a co-founder of the multi-author Inspired Prompt blog. Married forty-four years, she’s a mother of three, and a grandmother of eight. A part-time bookkeeper at her day-job, she writes for Write Integrity Press, and has eight novels in publication. You can learn more about her at BettyThomasonOwens.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at Inspired Prompt.

In Conclusion, All Things Told

Other Ways to Break into Publication

July has been such an exciting month! We’ve hosted several authors on 3 Questions Wednesday and on our Saturday interviews.

In order to best address this month’s topic, we’ve welcomed a couple of guests to our regular Monday & Friday posts, as well as our own crew, who work so hard to bring you relevant, timely information. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading our content and will return on a regular basis to find out what’s happening here at Inspired Prompt.

If you’re a writer, learning the craft can be daunting, especially if you’re uncertain of your specialty and/or preferred genre. You must decide what and where you want to write. Then, you’ll need to learn how to write what you want to write. It’s not easy, but there’s help to be found, for whatever you’re interested in.

This month, we’ve talked about ghostwriting, collaborative writing, travel writing, journalism, technical writing, and screenwriting. We’ve shared our ideas and talked to the experts so they can share theirs. As you may already know, writers are amazingly helpful to other writers. We’re so thankful to our crew and guests for giving their time and knowledge to help others.

Reaping the Benefits

This is for you. That’s why we do what we do. It’s a lot of work to keep this blog up and running, but we’re happy to do it. It’s a ministry for us and a safe place for our readers. A place where you can come and learn, comment, and ask questions. We’ll do our best to help you. If you need answers, just ask. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll check with the experts. That’s why we’re here.

August is Coming

Next month’s topic will help answer a “who” question. “Who do you want to write for?” So, stop back by during the month of August for more valuable information to help you find the “Write Road” to publication.

A prompt for you: After witnessing the aftermath of an earthquake, you’re inspired to write an article for your neighborhood paper. Compose an opening line that will hook your readers.

On the Inspired Prompt blog, we hope to create a safe place where you can come and learn, comment, and ask questions. – Click to Tweet – Thanks!

How to Start Screenwriting

By Tracy Ruckman

I’ve been a professional writer since the 1980s when I received my first paycheck for a magazine article, but it wasn’t until about five years ago that I discovered a love of the screenwriting format. Once I learned the basics, I was hooked because screenwriting seems to come naturally to me. Making that statement sets me up for all sorts of comments, so I’ll clarify: just because screenwriting (or any other kind of writing) seems to come naturally doesn’t mean I can write them perfectly. I had to learn the craft, so I sought an MFA in screenwriting. (Not a path I necessarily recommend, but I loved all that I absorbed.)

Screenwriting comes naturally for me because I tend to think out scenes in the same format as a screenplay – letting the images carry the load, rather than bogging myself down with minute details.

But if you’re new to screenwriting, where should you start?

First, pick up the latest version of Dave Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible. It’s now available in Kindle, but my print copy is so dog-eared, I’d recommend getting the paperback. It’s easy to use and as you write, you’ll need to grab something quick to find out how to format something from one scene to the next. The author not only provides instructions, but also the “why” behind the instructions, so you’ll understand the purpose. I’ve used this one book more than any other during all my screenwriting classes and all my script writing. (At this date, I’ve completed four scripts, and have five others in various stages of completion.) It is considered the industry-standard.

Second, you’ll need some screenwriting software. (Formatting becomes a breeze, so save yourself a few headaches and get the software instead of trying to format it yourself.) At one time, Celtx offered a free version but when I checked on it for this article, I learned they now charge. If you’re not sure if screenwriting is for you, but want to try it out, they offer a monthly subscription so you can try it for $20 a month.

But if you decide you like screenwriting and want to continue, I recommend purchasing one of two programs: Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter 6. I’ve had Movie Magic for years, and have loved it the entire time, but I loved it even more after I took a production class, because the software used in production works seamlessly with MMS6 – because it’s created by the same folks. (Final Draft gets a lot of mention, but as far as I can tell, MMS6 is the most user-friendly.)

[TIP: If you are a student or a teacher, or have a student or teacher in your household, you can usually get enormous discounts on software. You’ll just need to provide a student e-mail address, and sometimes (but not always, so ask rather than assume), also a student ID. I saved hundreds on all sorts of software while I was a student.]

Third, create an idea box. Thanks to a professor, my idea box is called the Baker’s Dozen after his assignment. This idea box should be big enough to hold index cards (you can use 3x5s or 4x6s). I use 3×5 color-coded cards, with each color representing a different genre, because I write different kinds of stories.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/bomei615-2623913/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1751883">Bo Mei</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1751883">Pixabay</a>The first time I was introduced to the Baker’s Dozen, the professor instructed us to come up with 12 feasible script ideas and one that was “way out there.” He told us the “way out there” could be an idea so crazy no one would listen to it, or a budget so big no one would consider it. The purpose of that 13th idea was to stretch our thinking, and it worked.

Once you have the Baker’s Dozen written on individual cards, let those ideas speak to you. Which character or story is calling you most? Pick the top three, and on the back of the cards, write a log line for that story.

A log line is short and sweet, but power packed – like those descriptions in TV Guide.

After you’ve written the log lines, one of those three should be screaming to write that story first.

Start writing.

By the time you’ve finished that story, others are calling your name.


Writing Prompt: Create your own Baker’s Dozen.

To help generate ideas:

  • What is your happiest/saddest memory? Put a character in that memory and create her own story from it.
  • Hunt down a short story in the public domain, and write your own story based on that short story.
  • What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but have never had the opportunity? Give a character that opportunity!
  • What’s your favorite Bible verse? Create a story using that Bible verse as the theme.

Tracy Ruckman owns TMP Books, a subsidy book publishing company. She is also a consultant and freelance writer and author. She and her husband are currently on a roadtrip of indefinite length, exploring this vast country. You can follow their #LeapFrogs adventures on her blog at www.TracyRuckman.com and look for her latest book Go West, His Momma Said releasing summer 2019.

Click to Tweet: Screenwriting comes naturally for me because I tend to think out scenes in the same format as a screenplay – letting the images carry the load, rather than bogging myself down with minute details.

3 Questions Wednesday with Jessie Mattis

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, Jessie Mattis. Jessie is an award-winning writer from Indiana. We’re excited to have her as our guest.

Who is your favorite author?

Jessie:  There are many great authors to choose from, of course, but I would have to say my favorite author is Francine Rivers. Her writing always keeps me coming back for more, whether it’s to snag a new release or reread an old favorite. Rivers has a way of unfolding bits and pieces of the story in an unexpected way as she goes, keeping you on your toes to the very end.

You’ve been chosen to write a biography about your favorite historical person. Who would that be?

Jessie:  This may sound a bit too churchy, but if I were to choose a historical person to write a biography about, it would be the Apostle Paul. While there are many inspiring individuals in our rich history, I always come back to Paul when I need a dose of inspiration. Often Christians think once they follow Jesus, their lives will turn easy. Paul shows us quite the opposite, but also demonstrates how to have unwavering faith in God’s provision and goodness, even when life is hard.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Jessie:  If I had the option to spend the day with one of my characters, I would have to choose Miss Kate. Though in the book you only see her in the role of Kids’ Church teacher, she also runs her own bakery and has a sense of humor. I think we would get along well, spending the day making up new bakery creations, laughing, and discussing life together!

Good answers, Jessie. Thanks for giving our readers the opportunity to meet you. Readers, if you’d like a chance to win a copy of her book,  Power Up, leave her a comment below. Keep reading for information about the book. Don’t forget to leave a comment or ask Jessie a question!


Power Up

Eleven-year-old Lexi has learned all there is to know about God … or so she thinks until Miss Kate arrives and shakes up Kids’ Church with her new ideas. As if it’s not enough that Lexi has to get her history grade up or miss out on the class trip with her friends, her new relationship with the Holy Spirit is suddenly put to the test when a family crisis strikes. Can Lexi trust that God is good in the middle of all this pressure?

Available at Amazon or Barnes and Noble


Jessie Mattis is a Jesus-loving wife, homeschooling mom, and award-winning writer. She currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband and fellow author, Chip Mattis, and their three amazing kids.

Connect with Jessie at www.jessiemattis.com, on Instagram, or Twitter (@JessieMattis)

Click-to-tweet: Award-winning author, Jessie Mattis, is our guest today at 3 Questions Wednesday via @inspiredprompt #children #interview

Wandering Around Wondering

My secret life? Hmm…what do I do when I’m not churning out chapters?

If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about it. Plotting my next scene, wondering what my heroine will do next. Occasionally, though, I love to shut down. Close the computer and go away. Find something to do that does not involve electricity or the internet.

A scene like this slows my heart rate.

Those things are best found outdoors. I’m not picky. I love to wander along the seashore, through mountains, woods, pastoral fields, whatever, whenever. I even love to wander through my neighborhood on a quiet morning. According to a younger cousin of mine, our houses are way too close together. But this is my reality and I’m content. We have wildlife in abundance, towering trees and beautiful flowers. Sections of our suburban setting are scenic and park-like.

I can’t always get outside. Sometimes, I spend my down time organizing my life. Not an easy task, believe me. I’m a closet hoarder. That means my closets tend to overflow from time to time. The best way to keep that from happening is to give them a periodic cleaning. I must be brutal and not only grab stuff but release it into the “to-go” bag. Then, before I can come up with ten excuses why not, I force myself to drive it to the nearest donation station where the kind attendant peels back my gripping fingers and accepts the bag, laughing all the while.

And then there are those times when the closet is clean, and I’ve had my walk. Now what? Well, I come from a long line of figure-it-outers. If something doesn’t work, I figure out why and fix it, or find someone who can.

I isolated this trait to the Thomason bloodline, but I suppose it could also have trickled in from the Wade side of the family. My dad and his cousin Neal could fix anything. My younger brother could disassemble and reassemble most any kitchen appliance and end up with almost all the parts back in. He nearly always had at least one leftover something which he figured must be nonessential, since the appliance worked when he finished.

So, when my ancient but beloved dishwasher sprung a leak in the arm-like do-hickey that sprays water into the upper rack, I was forced to take action. After endless reminders to hubby, I gave up and googled the thing. I found the part for $24.95 and ordered it. When it arrived, I removed the old one and installed the new one, no leftover parts involved. It works like a new washer.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to put any repairmen out of work. If it gets too technical, I’m going to call somebody. Then I wander around and wonder how much it’s  going to cost.

If you’re a writer, you know the angst of having so little time to write, yet when you do have time, your brain is fried from your day job and you have no desire to press it into action in front of an empty screen. Sometimes you want to chill and maybe experience a bit of real life in the form of…who am I kidding? I have to confess, there are times when I just sit in a chair and read a good book or watch a favorite movie.

Last, but definitely not least, I love spending time with the kids and grands or my elderly mom. I enjoy time away with my husband. Those are the real things that bind me to life and inspire me to write.

I mentioned a number of time fillers here. So, tell me, what activities do you choose when you have a few moments of down time?


Writing Prompt: You have a day completely to yourself. Alone. At home. Journal your “fantasy” solitary day.

Click to Tweet: I have to confess, there are times when I just sit in a chair and read a good book or watch a favorite movie. #downtime #FridayThoughts