3 Questions with Hope Bolinger

It’s 3-Questions with Hope Bolinger, a literary agent at C.Y.L.E., and a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. Let’s get to know her, the first question, what was the best money you ever spent as a writer concerning craft? How about marketing?

Hope: I would say any Serious Writer conference, class, or online simulcast has been incredible. I believed this long before I worked for them, but they really do offer incredible prices and great materials for marketing, publishing, and craft.

Great recommendation for our readers. Next question, if you could give a novice writer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Hope: Know that writing is a long process. When I first started at 16, I began querying agents at 17 and wondered why I never heard back. It comes with a steep learning curve and will take a lot longer than you expect. Keep going and keep writing!

Wonderful advice, thank you. Our final question, were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

Hope: Definitely a young writer, but I truly believe that age doesn’t matter in writing. If you have an important story to tell, tell it, no matter if you’re 16 or 60.

We all have a story in us. Thanks for sharing! Connect with Hope on the following platforms:

Click to tweet: Know that writing is a long process. When I first started at 16, I began querying agents at 17 and wondered why I never heard back. It comes with a steep learning curve and will take a lot longer than you expect. Keep going and keep writing!

BIO Hope Bolinger

Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 600 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids to Crosswalk.com. She writes about 250-300 articles a year. Her modern-day Daniel, “Blaze,” (Illuminate YA) released in 2019, and they contracted the sequel “Den” for July 2020. Her superhero romance she co-wrote with Alyssa Roat releases from INtense Publications in September 2020. She has also contributed to books published by Broadstreet, Taylor University Press, and New Hope. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to connect with readers at her website: hopebolinger.com

Book Blurb: Den

Danny Belte barely survived his sophomore year at King’s Academy, having to deal with horrible initiation practices, stomach-churning cafeteria food, and the constant threat of arson.

His junior year doesn’t start off much better. Facing a series of mysterious suicide attempts that begin on day one–and a disturbing pattern that appears to connect them–Danny has a feeling something far more sinister is at play. He tries to narrow down a list of suspects as those closest to him disappear, one by one.

Can he protect his friends from a possible murderer on the loose? Or will he find himself trapped in a fate worse than a lions’ den?

Available on Amazon, Hope Bolinger author page.

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.

Welcome to April!

horse-218872_1280Yes, I know it’s April Fool’s Day, but I’m going to resist the temptation to do something silly. Instead, I’m going to jump right in to this month’s topic:

What’s your favorite historical time period?

Lately, I’ve been hanging out in the 1950’s, while writing the follow-up book to Annabelle’s Ruth. One of the first things I do when I start writing a historical piece, is pull a timeline. My go-to for historical timelines is usually History.com.

The fifties – an interesting era, because the world was in recovery. The United States–along with most of the world–had just gone through a devastating war, the Great Depression, the “dust bowl.” Now we were in for a bounce-back period of recovery. But there were troubles, both in the midst, and on the horizon.

flower-165822_1920The Baby Boom actually began in 1946, but was in full swing throughout the fifties. The suburbs became the new mecca for families. This meant a housing boom and a whole lot of “cookie-cutter” houses. But they were affordable and made “the good life” accessible to a lot of working-class families.

Civil Rights was a hot topic during the fifties, and a subject I touch on in my work-in-progress. It was December of 1955 when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person. Today, she’s remembered as a heroine, and fifty years after her arrest, became the first woman to lie in honor in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

CivilRightsBut back in the fifties, turmoil. The push for desegregation of our public schools began. It was a hot-button topic all over, but never more than in the South. I started school in southern California, where the schools were fully integrated. We moved to West Tennessee when I was in the third grade. The scene there was quite different. My classes were all-white until I entered seventh grade.

The Cold War troubled the thoughts of many who still remembered the horrors of World War II. All anyone really wanted was peace. Peace was what I remember most about the fifties, though I was very young. I do remember the fear, whispered about by my parents, the occasional snippet of news on that black-and-white TV set.

vintage-1950s-887272_1280Speaking of TV, my little world was populated by Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans, and The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night. Our television’s screen was small, but our imaginations were very big. It was my favorite night of the week.

And then, of course, I can’t forget to mention the phenomenon that hit in the fifties. Rock-and-Roll. How appropriate that a style of music with African roots became so popular during this era of Civil Rights upheaval? Elvis Presley was big news in my area of the country. He was the hometown boy. I was too young to be overly affected by his reign, but my older cousin swooned at the mention of his name.

Music was a big part of my fifties world, since my parents enjoyed listening to the radio and frequently watched variety shows that featured their favorites.

These are just a few tidbits from my favorite historical era. I’m excited about this month’s topic and can’t wait to see what the other members of the Writing Prompts Crew come up with. I hope you’ll pop back in throughout the month and see what’s happening.

We are in the final two months before our big blog-a-versary celebration in June! You can enter our contest to win a $100 gift card simply by finishing one or all of our writing prompts offered on our regular Monday and Friday posts. If you haven’t already, you may want to follow this blog to receive an email each time we have a new blog post. The “follow” link can be found to the right of this post. Or, you can also “like” our Facebook page to stay up with the news.

spaghetti-110226_1920You might think I forgot it was April Fool’s Day, but I didn’t. I was saving that till last. One of the most famous April Fool’s jokes of all time occurred in 1957 when (according to History.com) “the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled.” —Funny! What a great idea for an April Fool’s hoax.

Remember to enter our Blogaversary Celebration by leaving an answer to the writing prompt. You’ll be eligible to win a $100 gift card!

Writing Prompt: After getting ready for school, and standing at the bus stop for nearly twenty minutes, Daisy realized why she was all alone and there was no traffic on this first morning of April. It was Saturday. Her brother had played an April Fool’s joke on her. She stomped back home and let herself into the quiet house. Boy, was he in for it. But whatever she came up with would have to be really good…

betty owensBetty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers (this one!).

Her writing credits include Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015), a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series (2014), both through Write Integrity Press. Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2, Legacy Series is due out in Spring 2016. She writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger, (2015). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.