3 Questions Wednesday with Peggy Trotter

Welcome to Wednesday! Today our guest is Peggy Trotter, an author who writes in multiple genres, historical, contemporary, and suspense, but always inspirational. Let’s get to know her better.  Our first question, what do you love most about the writing process? The least?

Peggy: Writing has always sparked a happy breathlessness in my heart. Even as a Children's Book Profits | Udemyyoung child. I was one of three chosen amongst my first grade class as having created the best books, aka, a folded coloring page with three sentences of a lame story. Mine was entitled The Puppy’s Surprize. Yes, error and all, LOL. But—I can remember, with acute clarity, standing outside the attorney’s office window, where it hung in honor, and something magical birthed inside my young soul. Writing…enchanted me.

And even today, I get that same giddy feeling, knee-deep in the plot, feeling the waves of emotion roll off my fingertips, my body leaned forward in anticipation of the sigh-worthy resolution. Yes! This is what I love the most. When time becomes a mythical thing, thrown aside for what awakens in that tight cycle of wooing creativity.

And what could possibly dent this wave-riding thrill of fabricating the perfect story? Rejection. Doubts. Reality. But perhaps rejection trumps the others. Or encourages the others to come along for a ride. Constantly being told by people that my writing, my story is not good enough, long enough, short enough, grabbing enough, clear enough, engaging enough, anchored enough, blah, blah, pick another negative slip from the hat of frustration. Yes, ugh. That is truly the part I like least. But I have learned, with a grit of my teeth, to carry on and let God bless. Stubbornness, in this instance, has served me well.

What passion you have for writing! I’m sure it comes through to your stories. Next question: what was the best money you ever spent as a writer concerning craft? How about marketing?

Peggy: The best money I ever spent was getting involved with a writing community. InACFW announces Carol Award and Genesis winners; Jerry Jenkins ... my instance, ACFW. From the moment I sent in my first membership payment, I began my new education of writing better. The national conference, while feeding my inner love of bumping elbows with other writers and making connections, also fed my need to learn and to come face-to-face with people and pressure of the writing business. And as far as marketing goes, I am wrestling the beast continually. A slippery, resistant character it is.

Getting involved in a solid writing community is a great way to learn, connect and grow! Final question, Were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

Peggy:  As far as when I began writing, I was all three. A young writer, a late bloomer, and somewhere in-between. I wrote as an early teen, though here I only got my toes wet clomping away on an old manual typewriter. Somewhere in-between my feet got accustomed to the water, and I received my first rejection. But when my kids left the house, leaving a huge gaping hole not only in my schedule but my heart. I asked God to fill it with something worthwhile. Enter writing again, and it proved plenty stout enough to fill the gaping crater in my life. Only this time, with experience in my back pocket, I knew I would have to set my nose into the wind and push. And here I am, sailing into the brisk wind, straight line at worst, gentle wafts at best, my hands to the keyboard, trusting God to sort it out. Writing on, with hope in my heart and time thrust aside. And the people’s lives I touch make the journey so worth battling the naysayers. And so encouraging as well.

Sounds wonderful and inspiring! Thanks for stopping by. Connect with Peggy online: 

Click to Tweet: And even today, I get that same giddy feeling, knee-deep in the plot, feeling the waves of emotion roll off my fingertips, my body leaned forward in anticipation of the sigh-worthy resolution. Yes! This is what I love the most. When time becomes a mythical thing, thrown aside for what awakens in that tight cycle of wooing creativity.


Peggy Trotter’s Bio:

When Peggy Trotter’s not crafting or DIY-ing, she’s immersed in a story scene of some sort, always pushing toward that sigh-worthy, happily-ever-after ending. Two kids, 2 step-kids, and 2 grandchildren, the delight her life, as well as her Batman of 35 years whose cape is much worn from rescuing his wife from one scrape or another.

Winner of the prestigious ACFW Genesis Award in 2014, she flip-flops from historical to contemporary to suspense, but always inspirational. But ultimately, it’s always about incredible characters and storylines that reveal God’s guiding providence and unending love.


The Secret Things, the first book in the series, Unchained Souls:

Deep in the Smoky Mountains…Secrets Abound. Jerrica Rankin doesn’t know who she is. But she isn’t the woman in the wedding photo. So who is this stranger on her porch, gripping this incriminating picture? How will Jerrica conquer her panic attacks and prove her identity and get her life back?

Brock Langston buried his wife three years ago. But he finds her, deep in the Smoky Mountains, very much alive and denying who she is. How could she have forgotten their relationship and why didn’t anyone contact him? Is Jerrica really his wife? Or an imposter?

Adieu

Adieu, it’s the only French word I know. As you probably know it means farewell. But to me, it doesn’t sound as final as goodbye or farewell. Many times, closing a chapter gives us a sense of completion. For a time, we did this or that, 7 Most Stunning Sunset Hikes Around Knoxvilleand we did it with excellence, and now it’s done-complete. We are changed by the experience and our lives are enhanced by the people we met. I only personally know a couple of the crew members. The others I’ve met here. Developing our craft began our connection, but over the months, these individuals have become my encouragers and prayer warriors. You see, this isn’t the only farewell I’ve had recently.

Inspired Prompt has been the gathering place for authors to share their successes, suggestions, and sorrows. We have come together as a community committed to one thing-developing our writing craft for God’s glory. And we’ve done that. Each post has shared a piece of our writing journey. From those, our readers have garnered encouragement, wisdom, and skills.

We’ve gotten to know authors who weren’t regular contributors to Inspired Prompt through the 3-Question Wednesdays. Many from outside the “crew” are now our peers in the writing journey.

So, we say adieu for now, but in time and connection, we will meet again. The blog will remain live so feel free to visit and remember those you’ve met here. Many posts have ways to connect, so do it. Reach out to encourage, connect, and continue to learn from one another. We say farewell to this platform, but not good-bye to our found friends made here.

May God bless you and the many steps you take from this moment forward. Please stay in touch.


Let’s Connect

3 Questions Wednesday with Carlton Hughes

Welcome to Wednesday! Today our guest is Carlton Hughes, an author who wears many hats. It’s from his many experiences that his award-winning writing is produced. Let’s get to know him a little better.   Our first question, what do you love most about the writing process? The least?

Carlton:  Like most writers, I love it when the words are flowing, and I am really “feeling” it. I paraphrase the classic quote when I say that, sometimes, I “feel God’s pleasure” when I write like that. The least? I am a hyperactive extrovert, so sitting in a chair in a room by myself to write is a struggle at times.

The discipline of sitting down in a quiet space to let the words flow can be a challenge. Next question: If you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Carlton: Don’t give up, even though you may be getting rejections. Trust God with the process and with the timing. I had to learn that the hard way, as I have been rejected by the BEST in Christian publishing and it took quite a while for me to get acceptances! The publications came in ways I never thought they would. God knows your strengths and will use them, in His way and in His time.

God’s timing is perfect even when we don’t understand it, great advice! Final question, Were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

Carlton: I was a young writer. When I was 12, I had a poem published in the old Grit newspaper. Does anyone remember that publication? My grandmother was a subscriber, and, when I saw a call for youth contributions, I jumped at the chance. Then, when I was 13, I was asked to be the middle school correspondent for the high school newspaper. I became editor of that paper as a sophomore and continued until graduation. I like to say that’s how I got addicted to my byline, and I majored in broadcast and print journalism in college. The ink was in my blood from an early age.

Yes, it is in your blood! Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with Carlton online:


Click to Tweet: Don’t give up, even though you may be getting rejections. Trust God with the process and with the timing. I had to learn that the hard way, as I have been rejected by the BEST in Christian publishing and it took quite a while for me to get acceptances! The publications came in ways I never thought they would.


Carlton Hughes Bio:

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 for the Soul: The Dating Game, The Wonders of Nature, Let the Earth Rejoice, Just Breathe, So God Made a Dog and Everyday Grace for Men. His latest book is Adventures in Fatherhood, co-authored with Holland Webb, and released by the Elle Claire imprint of Worthy/Hachette Publishing.


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.
FEATURES:
  • 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

3 Questions Wednesday with Pat Nichols

It’s Wednesday! Today our guest is Pat Nichols, a novelist, who in her management career met some incredible women who inspired many of her characters. Let’s get to know her a little better.  Our first question, if you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Pat:  Writers who aspire to move beyond the hobby stage need to accept one important fact; writing is a business. Whether pursuing traditional or indie publishing, one must find footing in a highly competitive field. While an author’s first priority is learning the craft and creating a quality manuscript, writing a compelling story isn’t enough. Authors also need to study and understand marketing. How to find and attract readers through social media, newsletters, and advertising. It takes discipline, patience, and determination and is never too early to begin the process. Fortunately, excellent resources exist to educate and guide new writers.

The business side of writing is a challenge for many writers. Next question: were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

Pat: Having written my first manuscript, unleashing a passion, and launching careerBest Watering Practices For The Vegetable Garden number two at age sixty-eight, I am a late bloomer. I am grateful to God for planting the seed in the autumn of my life, then giving me the courage to water it. Now my motto is it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Of course, it’s also never too early. After choosing to pursue traditional publishing, I attended conferences to connect with agents, publishers, and editors. As with any business, contacts are critical. I also studied the craft and learned everything I could about writing and marketing. To become a member of the writing community and learn from other authors, I joined American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. Three years and three manuscripts after first typing Chapter One, I was blessed with a contract from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Following our dreams in any season, great advice! Final question, describe your writing space.

Pat: At this moment I am sitting in my writing space, a comfy recliner in our living room, with my laptop poised on my lap desk. The room is two stories tall with one wall of windows facing a wooded area providing a view of sunrises, trees fluttering in the wind, squirrels scampering across our deck, birds dropping by for a visit, changing weather and seasons, and the occasional Georgia snowfall. On the wall opposite my chair hangs the Tree of Life tapestry, which reminds me of God’s blessings. Other than the sounds of nature, I prefer to write in quiet.

Sounds wonderful and inspiring! Thanks for stopping by. Connect with Pat online: 

Click to Tweet: Having written my first manuscript, unleashing a passion, and launching career number two at age sixty-eight, I am a late bloomer. I am grateful to God for planting the seed in the autumn of my life, then giving me the courage to water it. Now my motto is it’s never too late to follow your dreams.


Pat Nichols Bio:

Retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career, Pat Nichols draws on her experience in seven different management positions working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life to create stories about women facing tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs in the pursuit of their dreams. Her debut novel, The Secret of Willow Inn, Willow Falls, series book one, which is a 2020 Selah Award finalist, debut novel category, released January 2019. Book two in the series, The Trouble in Willow Fallsreleased November 2019 and book three will release late in 2020. Pat received a 2018 NGCWC Georgia Peach Awards for her short story, The Vet and Valentine’s Day, and a 2019 NGCWC Georgia Peach Award for Willow Falls series book three. She has been featured on WATC Television Atlanta Alive and in Voyager Magazine.

Pat resides in Duluth, Georgia with her husband of fifty-plus years. She is the mother of two and grandmother of four—one who lives with the angels.

3 Questions Wednesday with Darlene Franklin

Welcome to Wednesday! Today our guest is Darlene Franklin, a novelist, magazine article writer, and poet. Let’s get to know her. Our first question, what do you love most about the writing process? The least?

Darlene: I love brainstorming! I love the fun of starting with a premise and finding the right setting, conflicts, and characters to match. It’s just plain fun for me and relatively easy. I also love having a manuscript finally written. There’s nothing more satisfying than having a finished copy of my books, the joy of seeing my story come to life. To read it and think, “You know, this is pretty good! I didn’t realize I had done such a good job.” (That’s not always the case, but when it is…)

The rest-writing, editing, marketing, is all time-consuming work. I have the hardest time with marketing.

Marketing seems to be tricky for all of us. Next question: If you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Darlene: Beyond the basics of all basics, a writer must read, read, read and write, write, write. I would tell them not to compare themselves to other writers. Learn from them. Study writing you admire. Incorporate good writing techniques in your writing. But know this: no one else can write your stories. You can give two different authors the exact same premise. I promise you, their stories will be radically different.

The other side to that is that the writers you work with have a huge impact on your writing. When I look at lists of comparable writers, I’m often paired with writers that I worked with extensively toward the beginning of my career.: Susan Page Davis, Lynette Sowell, Lena Nelson Dooley, Mary Conneally.

Great advice! Final question, were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

Darlene: All of them. I wrote as a child and young adult, then began writing seriously in my thirties but didn’t have my first book published until I was 50. Now I’m 65 and expect to see 75 books in print this year.

Wow, you have had an inspiring journey! Thanks for stopping by. Connect with Darlene online, www.darlenefranklin.com, or on her Amazon author page.

Click to Tweet: Beyond the basics of all basics, a writer must read, read, read and write, write, write. I would tell them not to compare themselves to other writers. Learn from them. Study writing you admire. Incorporate good writing techniques in your writing. But know this: no one else can write your stories.


Darlene Franklin Bio:

Darlene Franklin is a warrior woman who happens to live in a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma City near her son’s family. Ms. Franklin is a prolific novelist, magazine writer, and poet. She expects to publish book #75 this year. Her most recent books include Coffee Club Mysteries, Drummer’s Angel, and the newly released, In God’s Hands


In God’s Hands

God wants a relationship with us. He describes himself as having eyes, ears—hands. His hands flung the universe in place and crafted our bodies. They protect us and shelter us—they also discipline us. The thirty-nine poems in In God’s Hands celebrate those hands from many different angles, in poems such as:

  • God as Judge
  • Healing Hands
  • Written on the Palms of God’s Hands
  • How Big is God?
  • Hands of Promise