Solitary Man by Eric Landfried

ERIC LANDFRIEDGood morning! It is my pleasure to welcome author Eric Landfried to the Inspired Prompt.

Hi, Eric So glad you could join us. First question:

Tell us a little about yourself?

Eric:  I was born in Charleston, WV where I spent the first 23 years of my life. My parents split when I was just a baby, but I have younger siblings (3 sisters and a brother) from blended family situations. I don’t pay attention to adjectives like “step” or “half” when it comes to my siblings. They’re my siblings, and I love them.

Thanks to visiting my dad on the weekends, I was in church every Sunday and grew up learning the Bible. I also started going to a Christian school in the fourth grade. But while I professed Christ at 9 years old, I pulled away from my faith in my teens and early twenties and made a few bad decisions. Once I hit what I considered bottom, my best buddy Chris invited me to come live with him in New Hampshire and get back on my feet. It ended up being a great decision as God used the experience to draw me back to him and I rediscovered the faith I’d discarded. I’d been writing all along, and now my faith influenced the things that came out in my work.

New Hampshire has certainly had its ups and downs for me, but the one constant has been God, and He has been absolutely faithful through it all. I’m thankful for a God I can completely surrender to, and I’m thankful for the gracious blessings He grants me in this life. He just keeps giving, though I never could deserve it, and I’m now a published author.

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What do you love most about the writing process?

Eric:  I think the moment when I type the last word of the first draft is my favorite. I call my first drafts “brain vomit” because it’s basically getting the story out of my head and onto the page where I can sort through the mess and see what works and what doesn’t. After that is when I really do my best writing. But that emotional high in between the end of the first draft and the beginning of editing is easily my favorite moment as a writer. It also gets the nagging idea I turned into a story out of my head (only to be replaced by another nagging idea, of course).

 How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Eric:  I wrote a novel, a thriller about a private investigator, when I was 16 years old. It’s absolute garbage, so I’ll never publish it. I might consider revisiting the idea once I’m done with all the other ideas in front of me, though that will probably be a while.

I started working on Solitary Man’s sequel before it was released, because I figured there would be some readers wanting to know what happens next. Sure enough, every positive review ends with “can’t wait for the sequel!” I’m currently about 30,000 words into it, so I figure I’m about a third of the way through. Of course that’s my “brain vomit” first draft, so there’s still all the editing to do once it’s done. I guess God is using me to teach everyone patience. ☺

I also have a couple of mostly completed screenplays, but since Solitary Man is what helped me finally get my foot in the door, I’m focused on writing books right now, rather than movies. I’m sure I’ll try to do something with them in the future.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Eric:  “Get off your butt and write!” Procrastination has always been an issue for me, and it’s why I’m published now at the age of 44 rather than twenty years earlier. I suppose that in my mid-life crisis, instead of buying a Porsche, I published a book. Regardless, I’m just happy to be here, and happy to have written something that so many people are enjoying. But it does pain me a little bit that if I hadn’t been a lazy jerk earlier on, I could have had this experience a lot sooner.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Eric:  As I mentioned above, procrastination is a writer’s worst enemy. It’s a career killer. If you aspire to be published, push yourself and be disciplined. I get up early every  morning to give myself 90 minutes of uninterrupted writing time because it’s the only time of day I can get that (I still have a day job, a family, and a very busy church life). Setting word count goals isn’t a bad idea, but I’m cautious of that as it can also backfire and discourage you when you don’t hit the goal. Always remember, just a little progress is still progress, and that’s a good thing.

I’d also recommend a thick skin and an attitude of perseverance. Solitary Man was rejected around 20 times by various agents and publishers before Ambassador International finally offered me a contract. It would have been easy to give up and assume I was just a talentless hack, and there were moments when I was tempted to do just that. I’m certainly glad I pushed through those thoughts and finally achieved a lifelong dream.

What does literary success look like to you?

Eric:  While being on the New York Times bestseller list would be a great achievement, I’m a realist, so to me, success means being able to quit my day job (as a traveling technician for an arcade company) and write full time. Making a living doing this thing I love to do? Well, I would absolutely love that, and I hope and pray for that moment. I guess I should also pray for patience as I wait and see if God makes that a possibility.

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Eric:  I already mentioned the sequel to Solitary Man I’m working on, and I’ll add that this is probably going to be the most ambitious project I’ve ever done. I’m doing lots of research, looking at satellite photos of real places and checking maps as I plot out Doyle’s continuing journey. I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty epic.

I’m also talking with my best friend Chris about collaborating on a picture book with me writing and him illustrating. He’s a tremendously talented and creative artist (check out his work on Instagram and we’ve been good friends for nearly 30 years, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what we come up with.

Thanks so much for joining us!

Click to tweet: Eric Landfried talks about the writing journey and his newly released book, Solitary Man #amreading


ERIC LANDFRIED

Eric Landfried

I was thirteen years old when I realized I was a writer. Once I had this realization, I grabbed a spiral notebook and began filling it with all the stories bumping around in my head. I was young and inexperienced, and therefore terrible, but the ideas kept coming and I kept improving as a writer. As a shy and withdrawn kid living in West Virginia, writing became the best outlet to express myself, and I exploited it as much as I could.

As an adult, I wrote less frequently, usually due to my procrastinating nature, but the ideas never went away. Many of them are still with me, waiting for me to introduce them to the world. And now, someone has looked at my writing and deemed it worthy of investing time, money and effort in order to share it with the masses.

I now live in New Hampshire with my wife Kristen and my son Nathan. I’m excited to begin a new chapter in my life that involves doing something I’ve always loved. There’s never been a moment that I felt like I wasn’t a writer, but the journey of a writer is often discouraging more than it is encouraging. This means I’m eternally grateful for this opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas with you. Thank you for your interest and support.

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Solitary Man

Solitary Man hi-res

Ten years after a brutal war, cannibals and humans fight over the pieces of a hardscrabble existence. Former Navy SEAL Doyle has been prowling the broken remnants of a devastated America for years. Alone in an armored bus loaded with weapons and supplies, he’s grateful for his solitude. Being alone makes it easier to survive, as others can become liabilities. But when a vicious cannibal attack leaves Doyle in need of fuel and repairs, he has no choice but to venture into the nearest settlement.

Jonathan has been pastoring a small church in that same settlement, and when he meets Doyle, he sees an opportunity to expand his ministry. Cannibals have kept everyone from traveling, but Doyle’s armored transport brings hope to Jonathan and his church. The two men strike a mutually beneficial bargain, but neither of them realizes this journey will change them both in ways they could never have imagined as Doyle’s unbelief collides with Jonathan’s faith.

As they look to establish churches in other settlements, they battle cannibals, militant atheists, and a mysterious super soldier with dark secrets. Solitary Man is a gritty, action-packed post-apocalyptic story with a solid, Biblical worldview.

3 Questions Wednesday with Jarm Del Boccio

image2Happy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author, Jarm Del Boccio. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Jarm:  That is such a difficult question, because I have present and past authors I adore! Since I love classical literature, though, I’d have to say Charlotte Brontë, because her novel, Jane Eyre is my absolute favorite.

I love Jane’s strength in the face of tragedy and persecution, and her vow to do what is right in God’s sight, even though it means leaving behind who she loves most on this earth. In the end, her devotion is rewarded.

I agree, She is a great strong feminine character.  Next question…

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

Jarm: Hmmmmm. I’ve always admired (and love to read) novels set in WW2. There are so many heroes, especially in the resistance. The mystery and espionage woven in never ceases to awe me. How do authors plan a story with twists and turns, without giving away the ending? To think someone could write such a circuitous plot makes me a bit jealous. So, in answer to your question, I’d love to write a spy novel set in the 1940’s.

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Go for it! 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?

Jarm:  Wow! What a conundrum. In my yet unpublished MG historical fiction, Fair Investigations! the sibling pair, Henry and Alice spend their week soaking up mysteries and adventure at the 1893 World Colombian Exposition. Since I’ve always wanted to travel back in time to visit that awesome fair, I’d like to accompany Alice. She is actually much like me, and enjoys life in general, as long as there are new things to explore!

Sounds like it would be an adventurous day. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: Author Jarm Del Boccio talks about writing and a giveaway. #Writer #amwriting #JarmDelBoccio

Jarm is giving away an e-book, in either e-pub or mobi format, whichever the winner would  prefer!.  Leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing!


The Heart Changer

How to start writing, published, new writer, tips for writers, author, how to get published, how to write a book, inspiration, writer's block,

Can an Israelite captive, wrenched from all she loves, serve the very man who destroyed her village?

Miriam is asked to do the impossible: serve the wife of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Clinging to treasured memories of home and faith, Miriam faces captivity with worry and bitterness. Little does she know the Heart Changer is wooing and preparing her for a greater mission—far beyond what she could imagine.

This middle-grade historical novel reflects the heartache and angst of a young refugee in a foreign land where all hope seems lost.


How to start writing, published, new writer, tips for writers, author, how to get published, how to write a book, inspiration, writer's block,

Jarm (’J’ pronounced as a ‘Y’) Del Boccio finds her inspiration in everyday life, but in particular, when she travels the globe, observing the quirky things that happen along the way, as she slowly checks off destinations on her bucket list. Her latest wish is to be caught up in a flash mob singing a song from a favorite musical!

A former teacher and librarian, Jarm’s passion is to breathe new life into the pages of history. She believes with inspiration from the past, children can be the heroes of their own stories. You can find more about Jarm on her author’s website/blog at https://www.jarmdelboccio.com/

As a member of SCBWI, American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers, Jarm desires to polish her manuscripts until they shine.

Content with the journey God has placed her on, Jarm lives with her husband, adult daughter and son (when he lands at home) in a tree-lined suburb of Chicago. The Heart Changer is her debut novel.

If you’d like to to receive her informative and inspirational newsletters relating to her author’s journey, sign up here: http://bit.ly/jarmsnews

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The Heart Changer can be purchased at major online stores including Amazon: Amazon

3 Questions Wednesday with Allen Steadham

Allen-Steadham-author-2018Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday!

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

First question—Who is your favorite author?

Allen:  David Mack (Star Trek author)

He does write great fantasy books.  Now, second question

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

Allen:  I think I would enjoy researching and writing about one of my ancestors (on my mother’s side), Benjamin Franklin.Benjamin Franklin, 1767, Writer, Natural Scientists

How interesting… 🙂 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?

Allen:  I think it would be interesting to spend time with Steve and Sue Hamilton from Mindfire (the main protagonist’s father and step-mother who raised her). They’re both Christians who used to be superheroes. I think just spending a day hanging out and hearing about both their adventures as superheroes and their testimonies would be fascinating.

Sounds like a very adventurous day!  Thank you so much for stopping by!

Click to Tweet: 3 Questions Wednesday’s guest is Christian fiction author, Allen Steadham.  Learn more about him and his book, Mindfire, and leave a comment for a chance to win a ebook via @InspiredPrompt.  #amreading

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a ebook version of Mindfire.


 Mindfire

Mindfire hi-res cover_sm

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

Leia Hamilton can move things and set them on fire with her mind.

Leia’s father and step-mother tried to hide their past: a time when they were part of a team of superheroes. But despite being disbanded for over twenty years following a series of tragedies, their problems were passed to their children and Leia finds that her future collides with their past.

In the diverse world of human and superhuman, heroes and villains, friends and enemies, some of Leia’s choices have terrible consequences. For Leia, this leads to a personal crossroads and a search for redemption.

Not your normal superhero novel, Mindfire isn’t about secret identities, costumes, or evil plots endangering the world. Instead, self-discovery and adaptation is at the forefront as the reader follows the lives of the characters who are unafraid to show love and explore spirituality.

Can redemption and renewed grace weather the flames of absolute power and superhuman strength?

 


Allen-Steadham-author-2018Allen Steadham

Allen Steadham created comic books and webcomics before he started writing novels. He has been married to his wife, Angel, since 1995 and they have two sons and a daughter. When not writing stories or drawing comics, Allen and his wife are singers, songwriters and musicians. They have been in a Christian band together since 1997. They live in Central Texas.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Fay Lamb

fayHappy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes editor and author, Fay Lamb. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Fay:  I know that I have answered this question before, and I have answered it differently each time, and those authors were someone everyone knows. This time, I want to share the author whose books I will always pick up because I know that I’m in store for an adventure. Elizabeth “Betty” Noyes is someone that I met before she was published. She blew me away with her ability to make me hold my breath and then to sigh with relief or to gush in the sweet romantic moments. Betty is an author of thriller romance, and she’s written a series about the Cameron family. I fell in love with them from the start, and I recommend her books wholeheartedly.

Great suggestion…  Here is a link for our readers to find more about her. 

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

Fay:  If the Lord is willing, I will be writing a novel that takes the readers into the professional world of surfing. This is an unreached  people group, and we’re not going to reach them with an overtly Christian novel. This book is in its third draft for me, and with each draft, I felt the Lord wanted me to get closer into the surfing aspect. He has opened doors for me, even allowing me to meet a cousin whose husband is the president of a local Christian surfers’ group and who also knows a few well-known surfers we believe can take my limited knowledge of surfing and make me sound like an expert. I would appreciate the prayers for this story, which basically introduces five best friends tens years after the tragic loss of another friend and is based on the novel The Drifters by James A. Michener.

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It sounds like a great read is in the works! 

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?

Fay:  I didn’t have to think long about this one. The character I’d love to spend a day with is Delilah James from my The Ties that Bind series and the book titled after her. Her story was the last one, and I never imagined where she would take me. Her life was so unlike what I had imagined, and well, we’d take an airboat ride on the St. John’s river tributaries, which I learned she knows very well.

You hooked me… I want to know more about her now!  Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: Fay Lamb talks about writing and a giveaway.  #amreading #romance

Make sure to leave a message in the comments below. Winning commenter will receive a copy of Delilah.


Delilah

Newly elected judge, John M. Turner, tries his best to call an end to his war with former Circuit Judge Delilah James, the woman he bested in the election by only a narrow margin. Delilah refuses to accept his flag of surrender. Worse yet, a vengeful assistant state attorney, the other candidate whose entry in the race actually handed the win to John, is seeking to have them both removed from the Florida Bar, and the game Delilah has forced upon him has given their enemy ammunition for his disbarment. 

Delilah likes the give and take she shares with John. What fun is there in surrender? She wants to make amends but makes a mess of every attempt. Added to her foibles, life has become complicated: John’s teenage sister hates her, and Libby Carter has been arrested for battery on a police officer and has embroiled Delilah in the plight of the homeless. Her past has returned to haunt her, and if that’s not enough, she’s deep into the one experience in life she never thought would happen to her. She’s fallen in love. 


fayFay Lamb is an editor, writing coach, and author, whose emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on three romance novellas: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt,A Ruby Christmas, A Dozen Apologies, and the newest adventure The Love Boat Bachelor. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

 Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind.

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Hidden in a List by Marlene Houk

writing picture Marlene HoukGood morning, dear reader! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. We have Marlene Houk with us this morning. Marlene is talking about the writing process and her new book, Hidden in a List

Marlene, tell us a little about yourself.

Marlene: I’m a woman of faith, wife, mother, grandmother and many other roles. My career was in accounting and I’m now semi-retired with writing and consulting vying for my time. Sid, my husband, and I have enjoyed and stumbled through bringing up two grown and flown children, but my daughter is close and serves as my personal guru of technology, encouragement, and critique in this writing journey. 😊 I enjoy snowtubing, soapmaking and visiting Ireland.

What do you love most about the writing process?

Marlene: I heard someone say at a writers’ conference, “I dance with words.” God gifted us with the ability to waltz to the rhythm of words and gave us language. He even called his beloved Son, the Word. The Bible fascinates me with its structure, patterns, and implications. And God, the Master Storyteller’s methods work because he created us to respond to Jesus. I love to copy those same methods in my writing.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Marlene:  Too many. One unpublished book and about eight half-finished books wait patiently for me.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Marlene:  Two pieces of advice rise to the top.

  1. Learn from the Master Writer: the Lord. His ways are best, and he created us to have the same emotions, needs, and pleasures as the rest of humanity. These ways help us to understand the Bible. Capitalize on that and learn his methods which are stories, questions, the senses, word pictures, figures of speech, patterns, etc.
  2. Write. Because I’m a backslidden perfectionist, training myself to write rather than waiting for the perfect moment and inspiration is difficult.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Marlene:  In the big picture sense, the traps are the same as elsewhere in life. Our strengths (For example, I strive for excellence but drift into perfectionism.) are our weaknesses. When the Bible says, “the wisdom of the prudent is to know his way,” (Proverbs 14:8), it means writing too. If we know our strengths, then we know our weaknesses. When we see our personalities mirrored in many others’ reactions to us, then we know our way. And to excel at our careers supports our writing.

We have the same foibles everyone falls in to. For example:

  • I somehow think that writing is a luxury, and, like a nap, put it off until I deserve it. But writing is an accountability for the gifts and the truths that we discover. They should be a light set on a hill rather than under a bushel. (Matthew 5:15)
  • The craft of writing takes time, and I want to purchase the book and consider it done.
  • And, like most people, my creations are my babies, not to be critiqued.

The traps are the same as experienced writers.

What does literary success look like to you?

Marlene: Literary success would fulfill my desires when people receive my work and grow spiritually from it.

Future projects or WIP you can talk about?

Marlene:  My current WIP is a Bible study whose working title is Divine Drama: transforming patterns in the lives of Bible women. It won first place for Bible study at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (BRMCWC). Based on easily-observed patterns in their stories, we can absorb divine truth that changes how we view life.

When this one is published, there are about 7 others in various stages of completion that follow this pattern. And there’s an infinite number of other possibilities when studying women of the Bible.

Thank you for joining us today, Marlene!


writing picture Marlene Houk

Marlene Houk writes a series of Bible studies that connect ancient women to us, conveying messages of hope, faith, and warning. She has recently published a short-read on Amazon Kindle called, Hidden in a List: secrets from Bible women

Marlene is passionate about finding the Master Director’s heart prints in the women he has positioned in his Word. And she loves to ask unusual questions such as, “What one word did Eve omit in her conversation with the devil?”

She writes for the Blue Ridge Christian News and contributes to the Short & Sweet Series published by Grace Publishing, compiled by Susan King. She also encourages women through her teaching and speaking ministry. Her Bible study, Backstage Pass to Emotion Commotion, won first place at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

  Marlene is a graduate of Covington Theological Seminary with a degree in Ministry and Gardner-Webb University with a degree in Business Administration. Learn more about the fascinating world of Bible women at www.MarleneHouk.com.

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Maglenes_Hidden in a ListDo you have a plan when life kicks you to the curb in its daily grind and when disaster strikes? Imagine relying on simple, doable, Scripture-based steps to realign your emotions with God’s Word. In this short read, you can:

  • Unlock proven secrets to control reactions and instead act from a God-given perspective.
  • Triumph in the knowledge of Jesus Christ as he overcomes fears and failures.
  • Delight for a lifetime in using these secrets and sharing them with others.
  • Conquer insecurities by following the women of the Bible.
  • Boldly increase your faith and hope as a daily part of life.