3 Questions Wednesday with Erin R. Howard

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday!

This week’s guest is developmental editor and fantasy author, Erin R. Howard.  Welcome to the Inspired Prompt blog!

First question—Who is your favorite author?

Erin: This is a hard question! I love to read, so there are many authors that I enjoy. Since I am a fantasy author, I will say that my favorite is Ted Dekker. I love the way that he creates his story worlds. You feel as though you are right there experiencing it with the character.

He does write fascinating stories.  Now, second question

If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

Erin:  I write urban fantasy, which has fantasy elements but is set in our current world and I love blending these two worlds together. Right now, I have another series in the planning stages that will be related to my current series. After that, I would love to write a dystopian book or a fairy tale retelling.

All of those genres are popular. 🙂 That brings us to question number three—

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

Erin:  I’ve always been fascinated with angels, and when I was creating my character Matthias, I not only wanted to show him as a warrior, but also show him as kind, patient, and a fierce protector. But as the story unfolded, I found there’s so much more to him than meets the eye. I won’t give away all of my secrets, {you’ll have to read the story to find out!}, but Matthias is not only a warrior and protector but someone that you need by your side.

Sounds like someone we all would like to know. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Click to Tweet: 3 Questions Wednesday’s guest is urban fantasy author, Erin R. Howard.  Learn more about her and her book, The Soul Searcher, and leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle book via @InspiredPrompt. #Fantasy #amreading

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a Kindle version of The Soul Searcher.


 The Soul Searcher

Elnora’s parents gave her one rule:

Stay hidden away at all costs.

Elnora Scott is used to her survival depending on the decisions of others. Locked away in her safe house, it is easy to follow her parents’ dying wishes until an angel, demon, and seer show up on her doorstep. Now, waking up in a dirty cell, she wishes she would have gone with them when she had the chance, because the very ones who unknowingly ushered the kidnapper to her location may be the only ones who can save her.

When Thea learns that Elnora may be in danger, she doesn’t hesitate to go find her. Thea thought stepping through the portal would be her greatest obstacle, but it only reveals a more sinister threat.

Buy your copy here.


 

Erin R. Howard is a developmental editor, fantasy author of The Kalila Chronicles, and has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing, Erin enjoys spending time with her family, fueling her craft addictions, and teaching writing workshops. Erin is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the KenTen Writers Group. She resides in Western Kentucky with her husband and three children.

You can find Erin at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. She also has a blog and newsletter.

Winter Winners

Brrr! Has it been cold outside where you live? In the South, we’re swinging from below freezing to seventy degrees and back again. So I’ll pour a nice cup of tea and talk to you about our latest winners…

Cynthia Herron will give away a Starbucks gift card to LelandandbeckyCongrats!

Alexis A. Goring would love to give an e-book of Love in Pictures to Lisa W. Smith. Yay!

Clarice G. James is gifting a copy of one of her books: Double Header, Party of Oneor Manhattan Grace to Linda Matchett. Woo hoo!

Carol McClain is offering a a Kindle or Nook copy of Yesterday’s Poison to Caryl Kane. Hooray!

Sandra Ardoin is sending an e-book version of A Love Most Worthy to Anne Clare. High Five!

Our faithful readers mean so much to us. We appreciate each and every one of you. THANK YOU!

The Basics of Fiction Writing

By Jennifer Hallmark

Hello, friends and fellow writers! February will be the month we dive into the basics. The basics are what makes writing short stories, novellas, or novels truly something unique and special. Each Monday and Friday, we’ll discuss a different aspect of this topic and you’ll either learn something new or brush up on an old favorite.

Most stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. I like what Stephen James says in his book, Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules, “…stories have an origination, an escalation of conflict, and a resolution.”

I like that way of thinking. Something sparks and begins the story, life gets worse, and then the story reaches a resolution, either positive or negative. Think of any action movie. There’s a major something that happens and the hero or heroine needs to save the day. Then things swing back and forth from better to worse ending with the day being saved or lost.

I’ve read lots of books on writing. (If you’d like to see a list of the Inspired Prompt Crew’s favorite writing books, go here) I found two different thoughts when it comes to the basics of fiction writing:

  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Plot
  • Conflict
  • Resolution

And:

  • Plot
  • Setting
  • Characters
  • POV
  • Theme
  • Symbolism
  • Conflict

I think each of these points is important to a great read. I’m going to look at one aspect and the rest of the Crew will share their thoughts on future posts.

(From literary devices.net) Symbolism-the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense…To develop symbolism in his work, a writer utilizes other figures of speech, like metaphors, similes, and allegory, as tools.

In The Lord of the Rings, the One Ring symbolizes power. In my upcoming debut novel, Jessie’s Hope, the porch swing is a symbol of freedom for Jessie. Why? You’ll have to order my book in June to find out. 😊

So, stick around and enjoy the month here at Inspired Prompt. We’ll learn a lot and have fun doing it…

Click to tweet: The basics of fiction writing. Some say there are five basics and others seven. What do you say? #amwriting #WritersLife

Writing Prompt: Pull out your favorite book and take a moment to think about the basics: Characters, setting, plot, theme, etc. Do they all work? What could be done better? Share your thoughts below (without naming book or author, please)…

Time to Write with Karen Sargent

Are You Trapped in Your Writing World?

By Karen Sargent

Writing had consumed every aspect of my life. When I wasn’t teaching English during the day or sleeping at night, I was sitting at my desk, logged into my laptop—and logged out of my life. But what choice did I have? I was a new author chasing the dream, and the dream takes hustle. I love the dream. I love to write. But I hated what it was doing to me.

I had many masters, and I tried to serve them all: Facebook groups, writing blogs, reading blogs, my own blog, Twitter, book launch teams, agents to beg, a publisher to please, a platform to build, a book to market, ARCs to read, reviews to post, endorsements to write, contests to judge, writing friends to promote, reading friends to meet, workshops to present, new writers to mentor, a work-in-progress…

And the list of so many good things goes on. But, oh the craziness!

I had what my youngest daughter diagnosed as FOMO—fear of missing out. I was afraid to miss the next Tweet or the next article or the next professional connection that would move me one step farther down “the write road.” I feared missing out on the one magic thing I should be doing—whatever it was—and was in constant search of it.  

The pressures of being a debut author had skewed my perspective. For most of 2016 and 2017, I was so busy trying to write, publish, and promote a story, I missed out on too much of my own story. If a friend asked to meet at the coffee shop, I’d calculate how much writing time it would cost me. If I watched a movie with my family, the plot I was most interested in was the one I was writing in my head.

Living my life was like reading a book by skimming the chapters, or sometimes just the opening and closing paragraphs, or maybe skipping a chapter entirely. You get the gist of the story, but you don’t fully experience it. That was me.

Until life pounded at my door.  Correction: It busted through like a SWAT team and refused to be neglected anymore.  

I was in the midst of my debut’s first year, still deep into building relationships, trying to find my place in the writing community and my way into readers’ hands. And then my mom’s health started a rapid decline. The doctor recommended hospice, and she wished to spend her last days at home, so I wrote sub plans, cashed in my sick days, and moved in for a few months.

From a writing standpoint, the first two weeks were the hardest. I had little time to engage on social media or to read and comment on blogs. I missed my writing friends, and I truly think I suffered withdrawal symptoms. I had to break promises to promote book releases and cancel workshops I had committed to teach. I struggled to fulfill my volunteer role in a writing organization, and I couldn’t post on my blog. Nothing was more important than the privilege of caring for my mom, but I feared how quickly I would lose the relationships I cherished and the connections I had worked so hard to make.

But soon, my real life came back into focus.

I rediscovered the person I once was who had become lost in the writer I wanted to be. Becoming reacquainted with myself allowed me to fully engage in the joy and grief of caring for my mom until she passed in June. In that time, my oldest daughter graduated from college, moved out, and started her career. The rest of summer passed, a new school year began, and I was busy preparing for my daughter’s November wedding. The holiday season followed, and now here I am, looking back at 2018. I can’t say I was much of a writer last year, but I’m proud to say I was a devoted daughter and an involved wife, mother, and friend.

And here’s the amazing part. My writing community didn’t forget me. Before the end of 2018, I was invited to participate in author events, teach workshops, and guest post. My book sales had a little boost in time for Christmas, and occasionally a reader will ask when my next book will be out. I’m on faculty for the 2019 Missouri Writers Guild Conference, and I’ve booked my first out-of-state speaking engagement at a fundraiser for a children’s hospital. The astounding thing is I solicited none of these invitations. In spite of my fear of missing out, my writing community opened their arms wide and said, “Welcome back.” My heart is so full!

The past ten months replaced my FOMO with JOMO—the joy of missing out. I remembered how to enjoy life away from my laptop. Now, as I turn my daughter’s old bedroom into my new office, I better understand how to balance the two worlds that are so important to me. I’ve evaluated how I spend my time in the writing world. I’ve identified where I find authentic relationships, important information, valuable partnerships, and personal progress. That’s where you’ll find me. Everything else is clutter. I’ve set writing goals—and writing limits. When it’s time for me to be a writer, I’ll fully be a writer…guilt free. And when it’s time for me to be a wife, a mom, or a friend, I’ll fully be that as well…frustration free.

In 2019, I’m going to spend less time writing more, and more time living well.

[Click to Tweet] I rediscovered the person I once was who had become lost in the writer I wanted to be. Time to Write with Karen Sargent via @InspiredPrompt #amwriting #writerslife

Writing Prompt: FOMO produces clutter. Clutter steals precious writing time, family time, and energy. Make a list of clutter in your writing life. What can be eliminated to make room for more productivity and joy in both of your worlds?


Karen Sargent is a recovering writing-aholic who does not miss the burning shoulder, lower backache, and 15 pounds that disappeared in 2018 when she ended a long-term relationship with her laptop. Armed with a new 2019 planner, she has scheduled joy back into her life, sprinkled with a moderate dose of writing her WIP, a little bit of blogging, and an occasional workshop presentation. Karen’s debut novel, Waiting for Butterflies, was named the 2017 IAN Book of the Year and received the Foreword Reviews Gold for Christian fiction. Visit her at KarenSargentBooks.com.

3 Questions Wednesday with Alexis A. Goring

Welcome to another edition of 3 Questions Wednesday, and welcome Alexis A. GoringAlexis loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ. Lets get started!

First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Alexis:  Ooh, that’s a hard question because I have many favorite authors! But if I had to choose just one for now, I’d say Becky Wade. I love her Porter Family book series.

Sounds good. I haven’t read this series. Yet. Now here’s a fun question—

 If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about? 

Alexis: I’d love to write a (nonfiction) biography about Kamala Harris. She’s an American attorney and politician who is currently serving as a senator of California. Kamala is awesome! I’d love to work with her on writing an authentic, detailed biography that’s just as inspirational as her personality, career, and life story!

Intriguing to say the least. Last question—

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

Alexis:   If I could spend time with a character from my book, it would be Michelle from Love in Pictures! I’d love to join her as a second shooter of one of her weddings where she is the main photographer! I’d like to learn the ropes of wedding photography from Michelle and find out by serving as her second shooter, if this would be a good fit for me as a side career (writing is first).

Photography would be a great side career.  Thanks, Alexis, for visiting us at 3 Questions Wednesday, and allowing our readers to know you better.

Click to Tweet: Author Alexis A. Goring answers our 3 Questions and you could win a copy of her latest release, Love in Pictures. @InspiredPrompt   #Interview #giveaway

Readers, Alexis will give away one e-book copy (for Kindle) of her book Love in Pictures, via Amazon.com. Please leave a comment below to be entered.


Love in Pictures

Wedding photographer Michelle Hadley has a passion for diversity and believes that love comes in all colors. So, she’s working hard to convince editors to feature her clients’ images on the covers of the mainstream bridal and wedding magazines.

Despite having a career that focuses on celebrating forever love, Michelle has never actually been in a romantic relationship, and she’s not looking for love, until she meets the one man she cannot forget. 

Since his fiancée broke his heart, Logan Emerson’s focus has been on his career. He’s won awards for his work as a print journalist and dreams of greater success on television as a broadcast journalist. But his personal struggle presents many challenges that might prevent his dreams from coming true.

Michelle doesn’t date often, and since his heartbreak, Logan has shied away from the dating scene. But something about Michelle awakens Logan’s desire to love again.

 ~*~

Purchase Love in Pictures here:

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble


 Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.
You can find out more about Alexis and her books at Amazon.