3 Questions Wednesday with Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Thomason Owens

Well, this is it, our final 3 Questions Wednesday interview. What better way to end our “inspired” run than to interview one of the blog’s founders? That would be me, of course.

What do you love most about the writing process? The least?

I love writing the first word and then the first sentence of a fresh, new story. It can be a little like digging up space and preparing the garden soil for precious seeds that will sprout and grow. Each part of the gardening process, from that first sprout to bloom buds and full-blown blooms gives me pleasure. Even the winter prep, which reminds me of what I like least about writing: finding and deleting unnecessary scenes. It is difficult for me to cut and prune what I’ve written. Like the shrubs and plants we trim, the final product will be stronger for those sacrifices.

Good analogy. I enjoy gardening, too. Next question—

Give a shout out to a writer friend and your favorite book they’ve written.

I could get into real trouble with my friends if I pick the wrong one here. So, I’m looking back for this one, to a few years ago when I had just signed on with Write Integrity Press. You know when you find a book so good, you want to go see if the author has more so you can read all of them? That’s exactly how I felt when I read Imperfect Promises by Elizabeth Noyes. Intrigue, suspense, romance—it was all there. I loved the characters, so I was thrilled to find she had more. There are five in all, and I have loved all of them.

Ooo! I love Betty Noyes’ books. Last question—

Were you a young writer, late-bloomer, or somewhere in-between?

I guess you would call me a mid-bloomer. I was in my thirties when I developed a desire to write. That was only the beginning. If I’d known then how much work it would require, I might have gone another direction. But I’m glad I stuck with it. I’m still blooming, by the way, each time a new book releases.

Thanks for not mentioning bloomers. I was holding my breath. We both know your humor.

Dear readers, thanks so much for being such an integral part of 3 Questions Wednesday and the Inspired Prompt blog. By reading and sharing our posts and adding your comments, you have supported us.

Most of all, we’d like to thank the many, many authors who agreed to let us interview you on 3 Questions Wednesday. YOU helped us reach a far wider audience.


This is 3 Questions Wednesday…signing off.

Farewells Aren’t Always a Bad Thing

By Christina Rich

When we first began Inspired Prompt back in 2012, it was an exciting and new adventure for us. We loved the simplicity of 3 Questions Wednesday and the short excerpts that developed from our Friday writing prompts. We had the vision to encourage, inspire, teach, and learn the craft.

It was shortly after we began the blog that I sold my first book to Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line. And let me tell you, for those of you who are still chasing the dream of publishing, I was told by multiple editors, agents, and other writers that particular story would never sell. Fortunately, I had Jennifer and Betty along with a wealth of other supporters pushing me and encouraging me.

Change came with the dream of seeing my name on the front cover of a book I wrote. To protect that dream my focus had to change. My priorities had to change because I had a contractual obligation to fulfill.  A difficult decision had to be made, and I was torn. As much as I loved working with Jennifer and Betty, I had to say farewell.

I know it was a difficult decision for Jennifer and Betty also about the blog. They’ve put a lot of time and effort to make Inspired Prompt a viable place for writers to network and learn, and although they are saying farewell to the blog, they are not saying farewell to you.

As they move forward and focus more on their writing and their dreams, I encourage you to follow each of the contributors on their social media, cheer them on in their successes, purchase their books, and write reviews. This is a great way to say thank you to them for all they’ve done.

Jennifer, Betty…. Thank you for the years and hard work you’ve spent giving us writing tips, encouraging us to keep writing and challenging us to become better writers. Thank you for being a part of my disappointments and my celebrations. Thank you for the hours of critiquing on my stories, but most of all, thank you for your friendship.


Christina Rich is an author of five full-length historical books and fourteen novellas. She recently signed another contract with Harlequin for another historical set in Kansas, her home state.

You can find her on Facebook, www.threefoldstrand.com, Twitter, and Instagram

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 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?

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