3 Questions Wednesday with Katie Clark

Katie Clark Author PhotoHappy Wednesday! It’s my pleasure to welcome the author of Whispering Tower, Katie Clark, to the Inspired Prompt. Good morning, Katie.

Now Katie, here’s your first question:

Who is your favorite author? 

Katie:  My favorite author is probably Lisa T. Bergren. I look forward to her books, and I always love them. They’re a great blend of romance, action, and adventure!

These are my favorite type of books to take to the beach with me:) Next question,

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

Katie:  I would love to be a travel writer—as in, travel around the world and get paid to write about my journeys. Wouldn’t that be a cool job?!

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Yes it would!!  #dreamjob  and on to question #3…..

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?

Katie:  Thinking about my new book, Whispering Tower, I wouldn’t mind hanging out with my main characters Skye and Philip—particularly while they’re stuck in the past. Of course, I’d only want to hang out with them there if I had the assurance I’d get to come back to the present!

That does sound like a fun day!   Thank you, Katie, for taking time to answer our three questions.

Click to Tweet: Multi-published author, Katie Clark is our 3 Questions Wednesday guest via @InspiredPrompt.

Katie is graciously offering a giveaway of a PDF of her newest book, Whispering Tower Make sure to leave a comment to be entered to win…


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Whispering Tower

Stuck in London for one of her mom’s work trips, Skye Humphries can’t help holding a grudge when she ends up roped into a summer tour group with Philip-who-crushed-her-heart. But when Skye and Philip find themselves barreling through time after unsuspectingly opening the veil between the past and present, they’re thrust into a world where Skye’s very life is in danger. If she’d known her choices were between summering with Philip or being sacrificed to the god of the skies, Skye might have changed her attitude. Now she must figure out what’s most important to her—getting even for the past or having a future.


 

Katie Clark Author PhotoKATIE CLARK started reading fantastical stories in grade school and her love for books never died. Today she reads in all genres; her only requirement is an awesome story! She writes young adult speculative fiction, including her romantic fantasy novel, The Rejected Princess, a supernatural survival series including Shadowed Eden and Whispering Tower, AVAILABLE NOW, and her dystopian Enslaved Series. You can connect with her at her website, as well as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

 

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.

Website

Amazon


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.

The Importance of Return on Investment (ROI) for Writers

‎By Fay Lamb

I’m about to give you some cold, hard truth. Rick Castle is a fictional character. The number of authors who support themselves on royalties, let alone live in a condo in the middle of New York City or any other high-priced locale, are few and far between.

Oh, they do exist. I can name three of them without giving much thought to it.

However, in today’s world where, let’s face it, the market is saturated with people who believe they can write and readers who have been taken too many times, it is so much harder to support oneself on writing alone.

This is why every dollar invested in a writer’s career should be scrutinized. This careful examination of a writer’s budget should begin before the first word is written. For example, as a new author, how valuable is coaching to your career? When the first draft is written or the second or the third, what would be the reasonable cost of an edit? Then, glory hallelujah, a contract is written or a writer is skilled enough in the elements of their craft to publish a book. That’s when the cost of marketing must be considered. Make no mistake about it: even traditionally published authors must shell out payment for marketing. Facebook and Twitter are definitely not going to get the job done.

The mistake that most writers make is paying heavy fees on the front end without considering the return on investment they are likely to receive. They seek an editor or a coach, and they may find good ones, or they might find predators—individuals who have no idea what must go into a novel or a book of non-fiction to make it publishable. As an acquisition editor, a freelance editor, and an occasional writing coach, I have read many submissions in which I’ve commented that a freelance edit would benefit a writer only to learn that the work has already been edited, and I use that term loosely. Then I shudder at the price the person has paid for the edit or the coaching, knowing that the writer is likely never to recoup the money spent.

A key to hiring an editor is to ask for and review their resume. Ask them for author references and for titles that they’ve edited. Follow up on these references and ask the authors if they feel as if they received a good return for their investment. Then read what the editor has edited. Is it the type of editing you require?

Also, spell out for the editor what you require. A good fiction editor understands the elements that go into each genre of fiction. They’ll look for plot holes, for areas of inconsistency, and places where the elements are not strong. An editor of non-fiction understands the framework that publishers desire and will work to put the manuscript into that format.

Oh, and anyone who knows the industry is aware of the importance of return on investment. They will not charge you the same going rate they would charge a J.K. Rowling, or a James Patterson or a John Grisham. See, I told you I could name three authors who can live the Rick Castle lifestyle.

While those three authors have names that sell, you and I most likely do not. So, our only remedy is to get out there into the marketplace and make our names familiar. I’ve already said that Facebook and Twitter are not going to get the job done. We’re marketing to our own people group—mostly authors, and Facebook and Twitter are saturated. The return on investment is good, if you want nothing for nothing or a little for something. There are ways to make them work, but a savvy author needs to reach outside his or her comfort zone, to find traditional ads and marketing that costs them something. In the same way that they carefully examine the cost of an editor or a coach, they should ask questions of other authors who have tried different types of marketing. Authors are usually very kind to tell each other what works and doesn’t work. Authors should price various size ads on websites or in magazines or any venue they plan to work in and research the traffic for those venues.

Click to tweet: Return on Investment or ROI. A savvy author need to reach outside his or her comfort zone. Why? #amediting #IndieAuthors

Another suggestion to lower the individual cost for advertisement is to work in groups, either with authors who write the same genre for a publisher or who self-publish in the same genre. A caution, though: be sure that that the authors promoting with you write to the same standard whether it be social, morals, or in talent.

Start slow. You’ll have to pull from your own pocket at first. Always reinvest your earnings, seeking for a return on investment and eventually striving to put the money you invested back into your own pocket.

Writing Prompt: Jane stared at the returned manuscript proposal in front of her. The story is good. But have you thought about having it edited? The problem was…

 

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.

Inspired Prompts

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

Publishing in 2019: What Do We Know?

By Jennifer Hallmark

The publishing world has changed much in the last five years and left even the experts baffled. For established writers and those just starting, the world of writing is confusing at best, impossible at times. With so much fake news and opinionated articles out there, what do we know for sure?

AMAZON is not going anywhere soon. Online shopping is growing. The writing industry has many opportunities via Amazon. From Audible to Amazon ads to Amazon’s Author Central, writers need to study and take advantage of the many opportunities offered by the largest Internet retail company in the world.

Good EDITING is crucial. Whether you are aiming to be traditionally publishing or going Indie, the competition is fiercer than ever. A well-edited article, story, or novel stands out. But Writer Beware: many who claim to be editors are either ill-equipped for their job or scammers searching for the uninformed. Check out our Monday and Friday posts on editing during the month of April for more information.

Any author, whether traditional or Indie, needs to know how to MARKET The good old days of writing books while others do the marketing for you is gone, unless you are willing to pay for it. Marketing is primarily discovering your readers and giving them a reason to buy what you’re selling. Authors need to examine social media, word of mouth, and ads, then decide how each will aid in finding an audience for their book. All three are vital for successful marketing.

The AUDIOBOOK industry is growing. More and more people listen to podcasts and audiobooks while they drive. Should your book be an audiobook and how hard is it to produce one? We’ll share the answer in a two-part in-depth article and interview about this topic at the end of the month.

WHO YOU KNOW And I don’t necessarily mean your cousin’s aunt who cleans Big Publisher X’s office. I mean, how social have you been in your pursuit of writing stardom? Each person you meet, whether a newbie, editor, reader, publisher, or the director of a writing event is a vital connection. Some will help you reach your writing goals while others will cheer you on. Or maybe you’ll cheer them on. We all need each other on this difficult journey. How you regard others makes all the difference in the world.

CHANGE is the word that most describes this year’s publishing market. Major bookstores are closing. Online stores and companies open and either succeed quickly or close. Scams and fake news abound. You can no longer believe one source. You need to research it all.

Staying in tune with the writing world is the key. No, you don’t have to know all the ins and outs of publishing. But study enough to have an overall picture in your head of what’s to come. Pick your road carefully and stay true. It makes the trip much longer if you backtrack.

Study.

Write.

Engage.

Write.

Submit.

If you persevere and grow, you’ll eventually find success. Even in this fluctuating world of print, audio, and digital…

Click to tweet: Publishing in 2019: What Do We Know? The overall picture is something you need to understand. #amwriting #publishing

Please read all of our Monday and Friday articles this month to learn more about publishing in 2019.

Writing Prompt: Kiel sat drumming his fingers on the desk. The writing course he just finished left him with more questions than answers. Where should he turn now?