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.

How to Survive a Book Release

I’ve carried it in my heart for months, even years. I’ve gone through travail to bring about its birth. And now, it’s time.

Am I really ready for this?

Will I survive the release?

Oh, what fun and excitement surrounds the release of a book. That is, if you call taut nerves, almost overwhelming nausea, and gut-wrenching anxiety fun. It’s all part of the routine. Kind of like strapping yourself into a monster rollercoaster you’ve never ridden before. You have no idea where it’s going to take you, or what twists and turns you’ll endure along the way.

So, are you ready? No?

That’s why we’re here. In order to have a great book release, you need help. This month at Inspired Prompt, we hope to give you ideas and point you in the right direction to get that help.

The Inspired Prompt crew and contributors have been there (and done that), either with our own releases, or helping other authors. We’ve served on numerous teams, written reviews, and held the hands of the releasing authors. We know the drill and have learned some lessons along the way. Lessons we will now share with you, dear readers.

  • Speaking engagements – how important are they? What do you talk about? How do you find them?
  • Setting up a “street team” – your encouragers who come alongside and add their strength to yours in the marketing process.
  • Utilizing Facebook parties and Facebook Live
  • The benefits and importance of Blog Tours
  • Marketing Resources
  • Working with traditional publishers
  • Dealing with sales tax

Our toolbox is fully packed for November. I hope you’ll join us on Mondays and Fridays for our regular posts. Please send us your comments and suggestions.

The crew and I are so thankful for you, our readers. Our prayer is that you will be inspired and encouraged and that your eyes will be opened to new possibilities along the “write road.”


Writing Prompt: Write an opening paragraph for a new story using these three words: birdsong, autumn, concrete. Have fun!

Click-to-Tweet: Are you ready for your book’s release? In #November @InspiredPrompt provides writers with great ideas, suggestions, and how-to’s to help make it a success. #BookRelease

How One Author Inspired Me

by Kate Lloyd

I have been inspired by many authors, both as mentors at writing conferences and in my critique group, and from reading a good book—be it penned 100 years ago or last week. Reading fine literature inspires me to improve my craft and to take new risks.

Book signing in a replica of a one-room schoolhouse in Lancaster County.

I’d better start by saying I have written five Amish novels (two are CBA bestsellers) but still feel inadequate when writing about the Amish. Each church district of about 200 people follows the teachings of the Bible but has slightly different rules called the Ordnung, so what is true of one church district may not be true of another. And Amish are admonished to not become entangled with what they call the English world. I was so nervous about my first Amish novel, that I asked an Amish couple and a Mennonite woman to read it before I sent it in to the publishing house and tell me if I was getting my facts about the people and culture straight. Meeting them was an answer to prayer.

I don’t know about you, but for me as a reader, fiction requires correct facts and information or the whole story loses its validity. Simply plunking characters into an Amish setting or anywhere else does not fly. Writing historical fiction might be easier than writing Amish fiction, as Amish people today read these books. I have asked several and they affirm I understand their culture. Very gratifying. Plus, they enjoyed my stories and characters. My goal is to write about relationships and forgiveness. Stories that will appeal to all lovers of fiction.

To accommodate the large congregation, attending church in a barn is not unusual.

One special author comes to mind when I recall writing my most recent novel, Starting from Scratch. For years, I had wanted to meet Amish author, Linda Byler, a proficient writer who speaks of salvation through Jesus. Knowing that Linda Byler is Old Order Amish and only went to the eighth grade, as is the Amish custom and accepted by the Supreme Court, I was fascinated by her superior writing style and vocabulary. Of all the authors, general market or Christian, I wanted to meet her the most, but knew I never would. She’s private, not on the Internet, and had no phone in her home. The odds were against me! How I came into contact with this Amish woman was more than a coincidence.

An Amish woman in the Midwest gave me Linda’s phone shanty number. I took the plunge, called, and left a message. I was pleasantly surprised when she returned my call. She told me I could contact her anytime and she would do anything to help me. How’s that for generous? Now and then I called her to verify facts. Since I had to leave messages on her phone shanty sometimes I waited a week, but sometimes she would be walking right by the shanty and answer. What a lovely woman, who ended up being a huge inspiration and encouragement to me.

Linda writes her books by hand as she is not allowed to use a computer. (I actually get some of my best ideas when writing longhand.)  I told her I was having a difficult time finishing a manuscript, which I’d promised the publishing house would be 100,000 words. Not out of the realm of possibilities for me, but my manuscript had seemed to end at 85,000 words and I didn’t know what to do. An author can simply go back and add a thousand or so more words to each chapter, thus inflating the word count. But I wanted to keep the pace of this book rolling.

Linda gave me great encouragement and inspired me to press on to my goal. I had no idea what was going to happen, but the story unfolded itself to completion in a way that surprised even me.

Late last fall my husband and I visited Lancaster County, PA, as we often do. Linda Byler invited us to come to dinner at her home a couple hour’s drive from Lancaster County. What did we talk about? Writing and good books we’d read. And family. The time we spent in her home was delightful.

One lesson learned is to pursue a relationship with a writer who inspires you. I did not have the option of sending her emails or becoming Facebook friends, as Amish are not allowed to use the Internet, except for some in business purposes, granted with special permission. But speaking to her on the phone and traveling that great distance was well worth the effort. I’ve found that most authors are generous.

Have you or would you take the chance to reach out and meet an author who inspires you?

I have been told you don’t need to be an Amish lover to enjoy reading my books. 🙂

Click to Tweet: From @KateLloydAuthor – One writer gave me great encouragement and inspired me to press on to my goal – via @InspiredPrompt #fictionwriter #amwriting


Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her bestselling novels Leaving Lancaster and its sequel, Pennsylvania Patchwork, and Forever Amish, the third book in the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy. Her novel A Letter from Lancaster County released July, 2017. Kate’s most recent novel Starting from Scratch released April, 2018.
Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, the setting for Kate’s first novel, A Portrait of Marguerite. Kate has worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur. For relaxation and fun, Kate enjoys walking with her camera in hand, beach-combing, and playing with her two young grandchildren.


Find out more about Kate Lloyd at KateLloyd.com where you can sign up for her Newsletter.

Kate Lloyd’s Blog
Facebook Page – Kate Lloyd Books
Instagram @KateLloydAuthor
Twitter: @KateLloydAuthor 
Pinterest: @KateLloydAuthor

Kate loves hearing from readers!

3 Questions Wednesday ~ Sarah Van Diest

Good morning! It is my pleasure to welcome Sarah Van Diest to Inspired Prompt. Sarah’s new book is God In the Dark: 31 Devotions to Let the Light Back In. She wrote this book as letters to a dear friend whose life was turning upside down. Letters can be an amazing gift when you are hurting. I’m eager to learn more about Sarah. How about you?

Sarah back cover pic

Good morning, Sarah.

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Creative, compassionate and philosophical.

Someone who takes the time to write letters to hurting friends is definitely compassionate. 🙂

Philosophical: having a calm attitude toward a difficult or unpleasant situation. Next question . . .

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

A trip to Ireland would fill me. One of my favorite authors lived, worked and wrote there: John O’Donahue. I would love to see the places he wrote about in books like Conamara Blues and Beauty.

eilean-donan-castle-1650071_1920

Ireland is a beautiful place. Now for your last question.

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

“You Are My Hiding Place”

I fell in love with this song back in the 90s. It is still a great worship song. Readers, to hear “You Are My Hiding Place” click on the song title above.

Click to Tweet: Sarah Van Diest is with us today on Inspired Prompt @InspiredPrompt #interview #giveaway

Readers, Sarah is offering a print copy of God In The Dark to one commenter.

U. S. addresses only.


God In The Dark: 31 Devotions to Let the Light Back In

GITD cover-1

When you are in the dark places of your life, Sarah Van Diest offers a companion for the path you are walking. You will find a voice of comfort and truth to call you back to the light, to help you see that you are never alone, never too far gone, and never unloved. This collection of 31 devotions doesn’t minimize the reality of your struggles, but rather points you to where God is—walking right alongside you. Receive this hope in the pain, God in the Dark.

To find out more about the book visit God In The Dark


Sarah back cover pic

Sarah Van Diest is a writer and editor. She’s the mother of two boys, stepmother to three more, and wife to David. Sarah wrote this book as letters to a dear friend whose life was turning upside down. She’s done this for years for numerous friends and will continue to, Lord willing. It’s her gift to them. It’s hope written down.

 

3 Questions Wednesday with Eva Marie Everson

Happy Wednesday! I’m excited to introduce Eva Marie Everson, bestselling, multiple-award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction.  Good morning, Eva.

Eva Marie by Mary Denman Photography 2

 

Can you describe yourself in three words? 

Hard-working, Loyal, Seeking.

Sounds like an author to me. Next question…

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

Ireland (to trace my Irish roots) … with a side trip to Scotland (to trace my Scottish roots and to see the places I wrote about in The Final Race).

Ireland and Scotland, a trip of a lifetime! Here’s your last question, Eva. I can’t wait to hear your answer. 🙂

eilean-donan-castle-1650071_1920

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

That’s Life, by Frank Sinatra 🙂

A perfect description of life! Love it. Eva, thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to join us on Inspired Prompt.

 

Readers, Eva is offering a print copy of The Final Race to one commenter. U.S. addresses only

 

Click to Tweet: Bestselling, multiple-award-winning author Eva Marie Everson is with us today. @InspiredPrompt #interview #giveaway


978-1-4964-1994-1On July 19, 1924, Eric Liddell was on top of the world.
He was the most famous Briton at the time, having just won the gold in the Olympic 400-meter race. The story of that race—and the one he didn’t run—was told in the popular movie classic Chariots of Fire.

But what most of us don’t know is what became of Eric Liddell in the years after the credits rolled. As the storm clouds of World War II rolled in, Eric had already made decisions in his life that gave him the resilience to stand tall while others fell into despair. His strength of character led him to choose an uncertain future in China during World War II in order to continue helping the Chinese. He lived purposefully even as his world crumbled and he experienced the horror and deprivations of a Japanese internment camp.

Eric’s story is a story of hope in the face of uncertainty, resilience in the face of unspeakable odds, and inspiring vision of what life means, even when the final hour comes.

The first race you run isn’t your most important one. It’s the final race that matters most.

You won’t want to miss this story of an Olympian who chose the better way.


Eva Marie Everson

Eva Marie Everson is the bestselling, multiple-award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. She served as the contributing author for The Final Race: The Story of Eric Liddell, her most recent work. Eva Marie is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the managing editor of Firefly Southern Fiction. She is a popular speaker at conferences and churches and, in her rare spare moments, enjoys walking, hiking, reading, and knitting. A wife, a mother, and a grandmother, she is owned by one very spoiled dog. FMI: EvaMarieEversonAUTHOR.com