3 Questions Wednesday with Michael Ehret

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday!

This week’s guest, Michael Ehret, is an author and a freelance editor at WritingOnTheFineLine.com. In addition, he’s worked as editor-in-chief of the ACFW Journal magazine for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), was editor-in-chief of the Christian Writers Guild, and pays the bills as a marketing communications writer.

Welcome to the Inspired Prompt blog, Michael. First question—Can you describe yourself in three words?

Michael:  Transformed: Romans 12:2: Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete. (The Voice)

Hospitable: It pleases me to have people around and to cook for them, provide for them, and share life together. I will mostly be in the room and not actively social, but I do like having family and friends nearby.

Funny: Where does an alligator keep its money? (In the river bank.) OK, that’s not really funny, but it is my wife’s favorite joke and that makes me laugh.

Nice answers. I’ll have to share the joke with my granddaughter. 🙂 Now, second question

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Michael: A warm, secluded beach, with a grove of palm trees I could sit under with my laptop. But there can’t be too many distractions, like other people, or nightclubs, or movies, or other entertainment options nearby because I am easily distractible.

Me, my wife, and my dog, on the beach, would be perfect. I could write in the shade and my wife could read. Then, when I felt the need for a break, I could go for a swim or a stroll. That’d be heaven.

Sounds perfect! How about this beach in the Dominican Republic?  That brings us to question number three—

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

Michael: This is tough, because music so infuses my life (and my characters’ lives) that picking one song is always tough. I don’t know about a theme song, but my stories often have an emotional landscape that would fit the old Righteous Brothers hit, “Unchained Melody”:

Oh, my love
My darling
I’ve hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time

And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?

I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me

But, I also strongly resonate with the musical and emotional underpinnings of “Revelation Song” by Kim Walker-Smith and Jesus Culture:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You

Two great songs. Music is major for me also…

Click to Tweet: 3 Questions Wednesday’s guest is Michael Ehret, author, editor, and all-around great guy. Learn more about him and his book about a tiny house and leave a comment for a chance to win an e-book via @InspiredPrompt. #tinyhouse #ACFW

Readers, Michael Ehret released a new novella a couple of months ago and it sounds like an inviting story in a fun collection…

Tiny houses are all the rage these days, but what can you do with something so small? Here are seven stories about people chasing their dreams, making fresh starts, finding love, stumbling upon forgiveness, and embarking upon new adventures in tiny houses. Travel with them around the country in this big novella collection.

Please leave a comment for your chance to win an e-book version of Coming Home.


Coming Home ~ A Tiny House Collection

Tiny houses are all the rage these days, but what can you do with something so small? Here are seven stories about people chasing their dreams, making fresh starts, finding love, stumbling upon forgiveness, and embarking upon new adventures in tiny houses. Travel with them around the country in this big novella collection.

Love is Sweeter in Sugar Hill: She has a tiny house. He lives in a mansion. She vows to charge a doctor with malpractice. His job depends on that doctor’s finances. Will love find a way?

Kayla’s Challenge: She was one “I do” short of marrying the man her pushy parents chose for her. Now, half a country away, she needs a tiny house to finally be free.

If These Walls Could Talk: Both claim to have inherited the same Queen Anne until an unexpected blessing changes everything.

First Love: Betrayed by her husband and desperate for healing, she can only move forward by going back home.

Dash of Pepper: His responsibilities tie him to the small town he loves, but her career plans will lead her to the big city. Will he cut his roots for her or will she clip her wings for him?

Big Love: Homelessness expanded her world and constricted his. Now she needs his help, but he only remembers the pain. Can they find big love in a tiny house?

The Light Holding Her: Friends since childhood. She’s being stalked. He’s in danger. Is their faith big enough to carry them through the trials into a deeper relationship?


Michael Ehret has accepted God’s invitation to write with Him and is also a freelance editor at WritingOnTheFineLine.com. In addition, he’s worked as editor-in-chief of the ACFW Journal magazine for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), was editor-in-chief of the Christian Writers Guild, and pays the bills as a marketing communications writer.

He’s been married for 37 years to Deb and they have three children, one dog (a miniature Schnauzer named Baxter), and a granddog (Wrigley).

Facebook | Website | Twitter (@WritingFineLine)

3 Questions Wednesday with Janie Winsell

HeadshotGood morning! Today, Janie Winsell is answering our three questions. Janie is the author of A Wife’s Devotion. I can’t wait for you to see the cover.

Good morning, Janie. Can you describe yourself in three words?

That’s hard. Boiling myself down to three words for a writer is like asking us not to use any adjectives in our writing. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but you get the picture. Okay, here goes . . . Determined, passionate, and caring.

I like your humor, Janie. I also like your three-word description. Great job. Next question . . .

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

To quote Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”  I have a fascination with Greece. The gorgeous waters and beautiful architecture have captivated my heart and soul. I’ve always wanted to visit Europe to see the different cultures there. I’ve heard that life isn’t quite so rushed across the waters as it is here. I also think that I could get a lot of writing done from my balcony as I watch the serenity of the ocean. I want to write a Romance book set in Greece, but there’s only so much you can do with your computer and imagination. If I could walk the streets and talk to the people, I could really get a feel for this amazing country and do them justice in a story.

I agree. There is nothing like walking the streets and talking to the people to get a feel for the land. Final quesiton . . .

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

Seeing that I majored in music for my undergraduate degree, I can think of a hundred different songs from different genres that might capture my past or present, or perhaps my future, but I think there’s only one that really tells my story. “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave.

I adore “Redeemed.” Reader’s click on the link to listen.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’ve had a great time.

Janie, thank you for sharing your time and yourself with us today on Inspired Prompt. It was a pleasure talking with you.

Click to Tweet: “I also think that I could get a lot of writing done from my balcony as I watch the serenity of the ocean.” 3QW with Janie Winsell @InspiredPrompt #interview #giveaway

Readers: Janie is giving away an e-book. Leave a comment for a chance to win A Wife’s Devotion.


A Wife’s Devotion

AWDSergeant Alex Davis wakes up from a coma with another man’s name on his medical chart.

Six years ago, an IED explosion took the lives of his platoon, his leg, and left him a vegetable­­–– or so the doctors thought.  Now fighting to regain his health and what’s left of his life, all Alex can focus on is returning to the wife and daughter he left behind. There’s only one problem.

Real Estate agent Izzy Williams has a new life. She remarried and moved her and her daughter Elizabeth across town.  But just as things are settling down, two officers show up at her door uttering one sentence that turns her world upside down.

“Sergeant Alex Davis is alive.”

Will Alex be able to win his family back?

With her whole world on the line, Izzy must decide if her devotion lies with her new husband or her first love.


HeadshotJanie Winsell is a Christian author who lives in Alabama. She writes Contemporary Women’s fiction, Romance, and Romantic Suspense. She received her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at Full Sail University. She is a member of ACFW and active in the critique main loop. She writes about real Christians who, like the world, are not perfect, but through God’s love and discipline, they learn the lessons needed to grow in their relationship with their Heavenly Father as well as with each other.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Jayna Breigh

headshot-jayna-breighPlease welcome attorney and author, Jayna Breigh, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

Glad you could join us, Jayna. First question:

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Jayna: I have a thing for reading the Introductions to books and the Acknowledgement section. Interestingly, I have been fortified by small nuggets of writing advice found in books having nothing to do with the craft of writing. In the Acknowledgments to The Songs of Jesus by Timothy Keller and his wife Kathy Keller, Kathy says she and her husband were behind schedule with their writing right from the start of the project. Been there! Then she candidly admits that the first draft was, “unfortunately, awful−crammed full of information and ideas on every page that it was a dense as a haiku…” Guilty again. Their editor, “rightly rejected it because the format was too complex and not accessible enough.” Imagine, multi-published nationally renowned authors have their works rejected, make massive rewrites, have to start from scratch? The final product of all of their revisions and hard work is a beautiful and fortifying devotional that I have been loving for the past half a year.

The second nugget came as my children and I were listening to the audio book version of Watership Down by Richard Adams. Adams stated he submitted his manuscript, “to one publisher after another as well as to several literary agents. It was rejected again and again (seven times in all), always on the same ground…” Then Adams said this, “I refused to alter the draft in any way, and went on knocking on doors.” Amazing. He decided to believe in himself and what he wrote. How encouraging. Sometimes people just don’t get what we’ve written. If we’ve done our part−had it edited, critiqued, polished−we should have confidence in our effort. There is more in the Introduction, but there is not space here. In any event, Watership Down went on to win, among other prizes, the 1972 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognizing the year’s best children’s book and the annual Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

I love the novel Watership Down! 🙂 Such a wonderful allegory. Now…

What secret talents do you have?

Jayna: I am an introvert, but I can talk to anyone and I find almost everyone fascinating. As a lawyer I took hundreds of depositions. Meaning, I sat in a room and asked strangers questions for hours on end. Everyone has done something interesting. And, once you find the right question to determine that thing, you can talk to them for hours about it.

That’s such an encouraging talent. Last question:

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Jayna: One of two things would happen if you came to my house for dinner. We would either have takeout, or my husband would bustle me off to the side and commandeer the entire production. I don’t know what you would have. But, either way, I know you would like it.

So glad you dropped by! Jayna has graciously offered to give someone a $10 Amazon gift card just for commenting on her interview.  Comment below and be entered…


headshot-jayna-breighJayna Breigh is a wife, home educator, and an attorney who practiced in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles for more than a decade.  Currently she resides in the Southeast with her husband and two children.  Jayna enjoys online word tile games and British period dramas.

Jayna has spoken at women’s retreats, led women’s Bible studies, and has taught and facilitated women’s and parenting seminars on topics ranging from sharing the faith, life skills management, and mother daughter relationships. She is also a member of the ACFW. Her current work in progress is a Finalist in the Inspirational category of the First Coast Romance Writers 2016, Beacon Contest, and took Second Place in the Central Ohio Fiction Writers 2016, Ignite the Flame Contest. You can connect with Jayna at www.JaynaBreigh.com and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/JaynaBreigh.

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

By Tammy Trail

This month’s topic is Everything you ever wanted to know about writing conferences. While I don’t have a vast amount of knowledge, I can share my experiences about the conferences I have attended.

I didn’t really catch the writing bug until 2009, but as a child, I devoured books. My favorite pass time was to curl up on a couch with a good book. I would get so lost in a story that many times someone had to take the book out of my hands to get my attention. I loved the written work so much that I wondered …  could I do it myself?

I began at square one by looking online for a writer’s conference close to home, and I found one in Pittsburg, Kansas. In 2010, I attended that conference, not really knowing anyone nor having  ever been to that particular town.  Along the way, I met another aspiring writer from Topeka who planned to attend the same conference, and we ended up being roommates and close friends. It was her first writing conference, too.

I also brought the beginnings of a story with me, critiqued by a published author. I made every mistake a newbie writer could make within those few pages. To say the least, it was eye-opening … oh, I had so much to learn!

Stepping out of my comfort zone by Tammy Trail

Flash forward to 2013 when my husband received a nice inheritance, making it possible for me to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. I carpooled with a few ladies from my local ACFW chapter, and I shared a room there with two writers from Canada. In the past, my introverted self would NOT share a room with two women I had never met, but I really wanted the experience of stepping out of the box without having inner meltdowns about the unknown.

ACFW Conference 2013

With ACFW Kansas City West members at the 2013 conference in Indianapolis

I would like to say that I was offered a contract for my book and that a well- known agent in the writing industry pitched his/her acquisition accomplishments to represent me. But that didn’t happen. Instead, it turned out to be an education in learning what I had to do to reach my goals.

Shod with my comfortable shoes–I can never function well if my feet hurt–I had several proposals ready for my appointments with editors– or anyone else who might ask. I sat at a table with my mother’s favorite author and asked her if I could take a picture with her to send to my mom, and she was very accommodating. There was also an empty seat next to me where a woman sat after the rest of us had begun our meal. After she was settled, she politely asked me about my writing, and I eagerly shared. Turned out she was an editor from Revell! She asked me for my proposal, which I enthusiastically offered to her because I had extra copies with me. You just never know with whom you might strike up a conversation!

ACFW Conference 2013 2

A view of Indianapolis from the hotel window. ACFW Conference 2013

I wish I could tell you that she begged me to let her publish my book. That didn’t happen, but I did learn that she basically liked my story and felt I was on the right track; however, it still needed a lot of work.

I’m hopeful that one day I will get a contract for my stories. It does require hard work and dedication, but I’m willing to learn to do whatever it takes to succeed. One of these days I will attend another ACFW conference and be the veteran instead of the newbie.

 

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And the Award Goes To…

What better way to end our month-long pursuit of modern literature, than to talk about one of the greatest among the band of Christian writers. In a few days, Francine Rivers will receive ACFW’s Lifetime Achievement Award. You can read Rivers’ comments on the upcoming award here.

RL 20th_1Rivers first gained my attention (along with most everyone’s) with Redeeming Love. That book took my breath away. I’d never been so annoyed with a character, or loved a character so well. And by the end of the book, I wanted to repent all over again. So I read the book a second time. It’s one of those you might as well buy and store on your shelf, because you’ll want to read it more than once. And I know it’s not always about the numbers, but she’s sold over a million copies of that book.

Throughout August, we’ve talked about several categories of modern literature–poetry, mystery, fiction, dystopian, Indy-published, small publishers, and mega hits. We’ve tried to put our finger on the pulse of the future of modern literature. Who will survive the tsunami of novels, books, and stories being published? Thousands per day! Who will rise to the top? Will those who’ve held on so long keep their place? Agatha Christie, Dickens, Austen, Bronte? Tolkien, Lewis, Carroll, Baum?

Or how about Dumas, who penned one of my favorite lines–

“Often we pass beside happiness without seeing it, without looking at it, or even if we have seen and looked at it, without recognizing it.”
Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

And so, we leave the month of August and the subject of Modern Literature–some gladly–others with remorse. Though this month contained a full thirty-one days, it was not enough to scratch the surface of the subject. What else can we do but move on…to football.

31aRWoij1WL._BO1,204,203,200_Yes, September is prime football season. I hope you’ll join us throughout the month. It’s okay if you’re not a football fan–we’ll also share some yummy recipes for Superbowl parties or tailgating. And maybe inspire you or tickle your funny bone. I’ll leave you with this quote from probably the only football movie I ever really liked–

“And so it went in football. The game attracted the very people most likely to get in trouble outside”
Michael Lewis, The Blind Side (Movie Tie-in Edition)

Writing Prompt – complete the prompt in the comments section below for a double entry in our quarterly drawings.

I live on a small houseboat anchored along the shore of a tiny island in the Puget Sound. I chose this spot in order to watch the incredible sunrises and sunsets. And in the dark of night, with a blanket of stars overhead…