3 Questions Wednesday with Lillian Duncan

Hello, friends! Please welcome author Lillian Duncan.

Good morning, Lillian. Tell us, who is your favorite author?

It depends on if you’re talking current authors or classic authors. For current authors, I would have to say Terri Blackstock. I love her suspense books.

A great choice. Now . . .

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

God, specifically God’s Word. There is so much peace, joy, wisdom and power to be found in the Bible but we cheat ourselves by not accessing it.

I agree! Next 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? (PG please)

Oh my! I love all the characters I’ve created through the years. I would hate to hurt any of their feelings but… I’m going to go with Nia from my Puzzle House series. I first met her in Puzzle House and then learned more about her in my latest release, The David Years.

What would I do with her? Just hang with her and have her pray over me since she’s been given the gift of healing.

Nia sounds like an interesting character! Lillian, thank you for joining us today!

Click to Tweet: 3 Questions Wednesday with Lillian Duncan. Learn about her new book, The David Years. #writerslife #amreading @InspiredPrompt

GIVEAWAY: To celebrate the release of The David Years, Lillian is having a giveaway. FIVE lucky winners will receive their choice of one ebook. To be entered, go to www.lillian-duncan.com then leave a comment under one of THE DAVID YEARS posts. EASY-PEASY!


Nia Johnson has spent the past four years developing a closer relationship to God. She wants to believe she’s still anointed to become a healer at Puzzle House, but as each year passes, she has more and more doubts.

Now that she’s graduated from high school and is an adult, she is sure it’s time to take the mantle of healing Rachel passed to her so many years ago. Nia thought her learning years—her David Years—were over, but the harder she tries to move forward, the more her destiny seems to elude her.


Lillian Duncan… turning faith into fiction.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Her goal is to write stories that entertain but also demonstrate God’s love for all of us. To learn more about her, visit www.lillian-duncan.com. I also have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.

What I Do When I’m Not Writing

What an honor to be invited back to Inspired Prompt. Thank you, Gail, for asking me to share how I spend my time while not writing. Though novel writing takes up a large chunk of my time and I’ve had to make sacrifices (like a clean house and flowerbeds with no weeds), there are some things that are too important to sacrifice.

One of those is time with family, namely, my husband (Marvin) of twenty-five years and our two sons. We’re a farm family from central, Illinois who loves the simple things of life, like being outdoors enjoying God’s creation.

Though our sons are fresh out of college and working full time, when we’re able, we enjoy motorcycle rides down country roads, going to St. Louis Cardinals games, visiting tractor shows, grilling out, bowling, and in the winter, watching movies and playing games with friends.

 

When it’s just the two of us, Marvin and I enjoy taking day trips to hike nature trails or ride bikes.

This past spring, we ventured to the Smoky Mountains for our twenty-fifth Anniversary. What a gorgeous place to visit. It was the farthest we’d traveled since our honeymoon, and so worth it!!

Though life can get pretty hectic in spring and fall for farm families, I love being a farmer’s wife. One of the things I love best about fall harvest is riding side-saddle in the combine with Marvin, and, on occasion, driving. Among the crops we grow (wheat, corn, and soybeans), corn is my favorite. Often the stalks are as high as the cab. Watching it feed through the head is amazing. Wheat is harvested in late June or July, so it’s generally hot and sticky in our non-air-conditioned cab. Not quite as ideal for riding, though I love watching the wheat ripen from green to golden brown.

For the past eight years, I’ve worked as a part-time elementary librarian. It’s my duty to shelve books, check books in and out to students, process new books, and assist head librarian, Kathy Phillips. We have a lot of fun together as we navigate through the various classes, reading to students and teaching them the essentials of finding their way around a library.

I’m also a gardener. With, Marvin busy in the field, the garden is pretty much my baby to tend—everything from tilling to planting to hoeing to harvesting. We grow sweet corn (my personal favorite), green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, and watermelon (Marvin’s favorite). I also enjoy having a few flowers around, especially when the Lord grows them so beautifully!

I’m also a bird enthusiast and enjoy identifying new species I haven’t seen or heard before. Each spring, we enjoy watching bluebirds nest out our sunroom window. Since I feed year round, it’s so interesting to see the various summer and winter birds at the feeders.

I’m still struggling to find the balance between writing time and life. The call to write is strong, but the Lord continually reminds me to keep my priorities in line—my relationship with Him first, then family, then writing. I consider writing my ministry, and so enjoy hearing from readers who have been touched by the words God has enabled me to write.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into my world outside of writing. There’s nothing extraordinary about my life or me. But the Lord has blessed me richly with a love for what is simple and satisfying. Hopefully that comes across in my stories. Thanks so much for taking time to get to know the person behind the pen.

ClicktoTweet: “Though life can get pretty hectic in spring and fall for farm families, I love being a farmer’s wife.” What I Do When I’m Not Writing by Cynthia Roemer via Inspired Prompt @cynthiaroemer @InspiredPrompt @GailJohnson87


AUTHOR BIO:  

Cynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational writer with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband and their two college-aged sons. Her Prairie Sky Series consists of Book One: Under This Same Sky (an Amazon Best-Seller) and Book Two: Under Prairie Skies. Book Three in the series, Under Moonlit Skies is due to release September 10, 2019.

Contact Info:  Cynthia Roemer can be contacted at:
Website:  http://cynthiaroemer.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com@cynthiaroemer  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCynthiaRoemer/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16785237.Cynthia_Roemer
Author Newsletter Sign-up: http://cynthiaroemer.com/

Purchase Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cynthia+roemer
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-prairie-skies-cynthia-roemer/1128471176?ean=9781945094446
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cynthia-roemer

A Day in the Life of Author Melissa Henderson

My day begins with joy in my soul. I wake, and before my feet hit the floor, I thank God for His blessings. Next, I open the front door and say, “Good Morning Lord. Thank You for this glorious day.” Then, I walk to the back door and do the same thing.

When I am not sitting at my writing desk working on another story or blog post, there are many other activities happening. Volunteering in church and community is a vital part of showing God’s love to others.

My husband and I volunteer at a shelter in a local community. We help prepare and serve a nutritious lunch. People are filled with unique life stories, and we enjoy sharing a conversation with each person.

We also volunteer with a group called Hands of Christ. This group provides new socks, underwear, pants, shirts and books for children. Each child is given the opportunity to pick out their own items. This gives the child a sense of responsibility and allows them to feel special.

Local vendor events are a fun and great way to promote my writing. I have participated in several events, and more are scheduled.

Walking on the local beach is relaxing and refreshing. Many story ideas come while viewing the wonders of the ocean. Seagulls, the ocean breeze, sand, sea creatures, and dolphins create a beautiful atmosphere. Good exercise, too.

Attending Christian music concerts is great fun. Casting Crowns and For King & Country are two of my favorites.

My very favorite activity when I am not writing is sharing time with family. My husband and I moved from Virginia to South Carolina to be near son, daughter-in-law, and first grandbaby. The grandbaby is now 19 months old and full of love and laughter. Playing with him brings many giggles and tons of joy.

Each one of these experiences creates new ideas for stories. You never know when something that happens to me will show up in a blog post or story. Our family motto is “It’s Always A Story With The Hendersons.”

ClicktoTweet: “My very favorite activity when I am not writing is sharing time with family.” ~ Melissa Henderson via Inspired Prompt @mimionlife @InspiredPrompt @GailJohnson87


Melissa Henderson and her husband Alan live in coastal South Carolina. She was taught the love of reading and writing at an early age by her parents. Melissa continues to write Christian stories and also, enjoys writing her blog.

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The Secret Lives of Writers

Psst! Did you know that writers have secret lives? It’s true! When writers enter their lairs, they arm themselves with writer-ly weapons, don their favorite super writer costumes, and brandish finely honed writer powers. Want to know more? Great! Read on, wordsmiths.

Lairs

Like all superheroes, writers have secret lairs where they invent masterpieces—at least in their own minds. 😊 But I digress. We were talking about lairs. A lair can be a dimly lit coffee shop, a park bench, or a cave in the basement.

Weapons

Writers also have secret weapons that include gel pens, 500-page composition books, favorite energy drinks, and inspiring soundtracks. But in the end, the stealthy scribe depends on the trusty keyboard to finish the task.

Let’s tiptoe to the closet!

Costumes

One of the greatest things about being a superhero is the costume. Don’t you agree?

Like all modern crusaders, writers have their own costumes. Some are pilled spandex, holey jeans, and ratty pajamas. To complete their ensemble, they may add x-ray vision glasses with bifocals or colored contacts to hide their identity.

Powers

Finally, the best kept secret is their powers. Yes, writers have secret powers! You may find hints of those powers covertly embedded between the lines of their current manuscripts. So grab a book and start reading!

But before you go, I have another secret.

More Secrets

Do you know what writers do when they’re not writing? Well, that’s a secret our writers will share in this month’s posts. Be sure to join us to uncover the best kept secrets of writers everywhere.

Finally, here’s to all those who grind out thousands of words a year, obliterate pesky grammar mistakes, and create adventures for readers everywhere. You are awesome! Write on!

In the comments, share what is your must-have secret weapon, your hideaway, and your costume.

* Thanks to Kristy Horine for the writer-ly sentence. 🙂

ClicktoTweet: The Secret Lives of Writers @InspiredPrompt @GailJohnson87 #amwriting #authorlife

Why Do I Need an Editor?

By Gail Johnson

Good morning, dear reader. I’m excited to have Dawn Kinzer with me this morning explaining why we need editors. Be sure to leave any question you have in the comments. Take it away, Dawn!

Gail: Why do I need an editor?

editingIf you’re a writer who has a great critique group, you may feel that you’ve already been given helpful feedback on your book. If you’ve been traditionally published, or hope to be, you’re aware that the publishing house will provide some editing for you.

Both are tremendous and very helpful. But, what if you’re a new author trying to impress an agent or a traditional publisher? With the rise of self-publishing and the competition it’s brought for sales, traditional publishers are more likely to choose “known” authors over unknowns—unless your book is pretty amazing. Even if you have a great story or concept, not all traditional publishers are willing or able to spend time and money cleaning up numerous errors. It’s much more efficient to select a book close to being publishable.

Traditionally published authors wanting more control on covers and content are turning to self-publishing. Even though they have experience, they may also need another pair of eyes on their manuscripts to make sure they’re putting out the best product feasible.

A freelance editor can point out holes in your story, suggest ways to improve the character arcs, clean up technical errors, fine-tune sentences, remove redundancies, bring clarity to information shared, and much more.

Why not give yourself the best chance you can to gain attention from the professionals—and even more importantly—readers? After all, don’t we want to give them the best experience possible?

Gail: What type of editing do I need?

checklist-2077019_1920The type of editing needed will depend on how rough the manuscript is at the time. Is it only in the developmental stage? Or is the book close to being polished and ready for a final proofreading? Your editor will be able assist you in that decision. Sometimes writers—especially those new to publishing—think all they need is a proofread when the book might require a complete overhaul.

Gail: Please share the different levels of editing.

Descriptions of editing services may vary slightly between people, so it’s important that you get clarification from any editors you’re considering hiring.

My definitions:

Developmental Editing

This type of editing is more “big-picture” focused. A developmental editor works closely with the author on a specific project from the initial concept, outline, or draft (or some combination of the three) through any number of subsequent drafts.

Critique

A critique will provide an assessment/review of your manuscript, noting its strengths and weaknesses. I point out specific problem areas and give general suggestions for improvement. A critique doesn’t include detailed advice on grammatical and technical issues.

Substantive (Content)

A substantive edit focuses on the content being presented in a logical, engaging, and professional fashion. I check for flow, structure, clarity of subject, and readability. In fiction, this edit also focuses on character development, dialogue, tags, beats, plot, subplot(s), theme, pacing, tension, voice, point of view, setting, the five senses, passive writing, showing vs. telling, and a satisfying story resolution.

Copyedit (line by line)

A copyedit includes the elements of a proofread, but it also focuses on style, continuity, word choice, clarity, redundancies, and clichés. I don’t change the meaning, but I look for ways to improve the writing. In nonfiction, I check to see if sources are cited for statistics and quotations. In fiction, I look for inconsistencies in point of view and tense.

Proofreading

A proofread will catch errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, basic grammar, inconsistent format, typos, and word usage (such as further vs. farther).

Gail: How can I find a reputable editor?

  1. Choose an editor who is knowledgeable about your genre and industry guidelines.

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Just as different techniques are used in writing each genre, different skills are needed for editing each one. In some ways, nonfiction is very different from working on fiction. If you’ve written a novel, please don’t hire an editor who strictly reads and edits nonfiction.

  1. Make sure the editor uses professional style guides.

The industry uses the following books as guidelines/rules when it comes to grammar, spelling, capitalization, hyphenating, punctuation, formatting, and almost anything else associated with publishing.

The Chicago Manual of Style

The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style

AP Stylebook (used in journalism)

The Merriam Webster Dictionary

  1. Visit the editor’s website.

You’ll get a feel for the editor’s personality, background, affiliations, and be able to read any endorsements from clients.

  1. Ask for referrals.

You may ask other authors for referrals, and you may also ask the editor if you can contact the editor’s clients.

  1. Contact professional organizations for writers.

If you belong to local groups for writers, ask other members if they’ve hired a freelance editor or if they know of someone who edits professionally.

I’m a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Both organizations include a list of freelance editors on their websites.

  1. Contact the Christian Editor Connection (CEC)

A great way to find an editor is to contact the Christian Editor Connection (CEC). I’m a member of this national organization of freelance editors and proofreaders. In order to be accepted into this group, editors must pass a series of proficiency tests.

By visiting this organization online (https://christianeditor.com/), you have the opportunity to connect with qualified editors.

You fill out a form and provide information on your project, your contact information, your preferred timeline, and how many editors you’d like to hear from (2-5 seems to be the average). That information is sent out to editors interested in working on that type of genre in fiction or nonfiction. They contact you through e-mail, and if you decide to hire someone, you and that editor work directly with each other. There’s no fee for submitting a request, and there’s no obligation to hire anyone.

Gail: What is the going rate for an editor?

Fees vary depending on the type of work requested and the editor’s experience.

Some editors charge by the word, some by the page, and others by the hour. Some also charge for time spent answering e-mails and phone calls.

But, the average rate can be anywhere from $25-$45 per hour.

However you’re charged, prepare to possibly spend $1,000 to over $2,000 to have a book edited (depending on the type of service and manuscript length).

You can check out the national average wages charged for various services by visiting the website for the National Freelancer’s Association (https://www.the-efa.org/rates/).

Gail: Dawn, thank you for joining us and answering our questions!

Click to Tweet: A freelance editor can point out holes in your story, suggest ways to improve the character arcs, clean up technical errors, fine-tune sentences, remove redundancies, bring clarity to information shared, and much more. #amwriting @InspiredPrompt

Meet author and editor, Dawn Kinzer

Dawn Kinzer is a freelance editor, and she launched Faithfully Write Editing in 2010. Experienced in fiction and nonfiction, she edits books, articles, devotions, and short stories—and her own work has been published in various devotionals and magazines. With a desire to encourage other Christian writers, she co-hosts and writes for the blog, Seriously Write. Sarah’s Smile is the first book in her historical romance series The Daughters of Riverton, Hope’s Design is the second, and Rebecca’s Song completes the trilogy.

A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, good wine, strong coffee, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre. You can connect and learn more about Dawn and her work by visiting: Author WebsiteDawn’s BlogGoodreadsFacebookPinterest, and Instagram.

Rebecca’s Song

The Daughters of Riverton Series, Book 3

A small-town school teacher who lost hope of having her own family.

A big-city railroad detective driven to capture his sister’s killer.

And three young orphans who need them both.

Rebecca Hoyt’s one constant was her dedication to her beloved students. Now, a rebellious child could cost her the job she loves. Without her teaching position, what would she do?

Detective Jesse Rand prides himself in protecting the people who ride the railroads. But, when his own sister and brother-in-law are killed by train robbers, the detective blames himself. Yet, another duty calls—he must venture to Riverton where his niece and nephews were left in the care of their beautiful and stubborn teacher, Rebecca Hoyt. They need to mourn and heal, but Jesse is determined to find his sister’s killers. Rebecca is willing to help care for the children, but she also fears getting too close to them—or their handsome uncle—knowing the day will come when he’ll take them back to Chicago.

Will Jesse and Rebecca find a way to open their hearts and work together? Or will they, along with the children, lose out on love?