3 Questions Wednesday with Dawn Kinzer

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday! Today Inspired Prompt welcomes author Dawn Kinzer.  Thanks for taking the time to join us.

First question:
Who is your favorite author?
Dawn: That question is almost impossible to answer because I enjoy so many authors and genres. Francine Rivers made a huge impression on me with Redeeming Love. Besides being a beautiful story of redemption, that book made me realize that Christian fiction could make a difference in a person’s life, and just because novels were labeled Christian, they didn’t have to be overly sweet. Instead, they could portray real life and struggles while still offering hope. The Mark of the Lion series by Francine also impacted my life with the eye-opening and riveting storylines.

You are right, so many good authors out there the choose from. Next question…
If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

Dawn: A story has been brewing in my mind for several years pertaining to a real-life incident that occurred at the Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition in 1909. The event was considered Seattle’s first world’s fair—before the Space Needle was built for the fair in 1962. It’s become the story that won’t let go of me, so my hope is to flesh it out in the coming year.

All of my novels have organically or intentionally ended up with common themes woven into them, and I think others will continue with those messages. One theme is forgiveness—the willingness to forgive others, the ability to accept forgiveness, and the strength to forgive ourselves.

Another common theme in my stories is that God is still in control, and although we may not understand why he allows heartbreaks and our lives to fall apart at times, he often has something better ahead for us. Through my stories, I also encourage readers to find purpose, pursue their dreams, and use their God-given gifts at any and all stages of life.

We all need that reminder that we have a loving God who is always with us. 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?

Dawn: I have a favorite from each of my books, but the character I’d choose to spend the day with from By All Appearances would be Liana Tate. We’d join forces in creating an extraordinary Christmas party for homeless children. As a special events planner, Liana has the resources and creativity to make gatherings festive, and when I entertain during the holidays, I enjoy making those occasions special. There is a large ministry to the homeless in Seattle where several friends are on staff. What a gift it would be to provide a fun, colorful celebration where the children would feel welcomed and loved.

Children always steal my heart, especially those who are struggling. Thanks for stopping by.

Click to tweet: Another common theme in my stories is that God is still in control, and although we may not understand why he allows heartbreaks and our lives to fall apart at times, he often has something better ahead for us.


About Dawn Kinzer

Dawn Kinzer is a freelance editor, and her own work has been published in various devotionals and magazines. She co-hosts and writes for the Seriously Write blog. Sarah’s Smile is the first book in her historical romance series The Daughters of Riverton, Hope’s Design is the second, and Rebecca’s Song completes the trilogy. Her first contemporary romance, By All Appearances, released in November 2019.

A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, good wine, strong coffee, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre.

You can connect and learn more by visiting these online sites: Author WebsiteFaithfully Write EditingFacebookPinterestInstagramAmazon Author Page, BookBub, and Goodreads.

 

3 Questions Wednesday with Lynn Watson

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday! Today Inspired Prompt welcomes author Lynn Watson.  Thanks for taking the time to join us.

First question:
Who is your favorite author?
Lynn: Francine Rivers delivers great stories. She had me at Redeeming Love so many years ago. A few years back, The Lady and the Lionheart drew me into Joanne Bishof’s work. Even more recently, I discovered Roseanna M. White’s stories through her Shadows Over England Series. Her delightful characters bring me back over and over again.

Sounds like I’ve just added a few books to my reading list. Next question…You’ve been chosen to write a biography about your favorite historical person. Who would that be?

Lynn: Biblical characters are historical, of course. I’ve written several stories about them in my devotional books. The “interview” I had with Rahab for The Essence of Humility was especially fun to write.

In the third grade, I checked out Amelia Earhart, from the school library. Hers was the first biography I read, and I continue to be intrigued by her story. Recently new clues have been found, and the search reopened to learn what happened that fateful day in 1937. Probably not the best choice for publication options since many stories have been written about her life, but I would enjoy the adventure.

Speaking of adventure, a hot air balloon ride was on my bucket list. The wish came true a couple years ago. I have thought many times of incorporating the billowing magic into a story. Aw, shucks! That would mean lots more “research.” Anyone else like to float away with me?

You are an adventurer! 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?

Lynn: My current work-in-progress is a novel inspired by a true story from my great-grandmother’s life –  a daughter of German nobility, disowned by family, and sent to America alone and seven months pregnant. I would ask her a million and one questions to hear it all (the little I know plus the rest of the story) from her point of view. It would be a joy to fill her in on the lives her story has touched. I hope she would encourage my endeavor to use the stories to make a difference for the unborn today. I’ll always wonder how close my fictionalized version is to reality.

Sounds interesting. Thanks for stopping by.

Click to tweet: Biblical characters are historical, of course. I’ve written several stories about them in my devotional books. The “interview” I had with Rahab for The Essence of Humility was especially fun to write.


Christmas Collection

I’m delighted to have two stories included in Remembering Christmas, compiled and edited by Yvonne Lehman. The latest “Divine Moments Book” from Grace Publishing released in October.  Royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to Samaritan’s Purse.  Available from Amazon.

Nostalgia. It’s our link to our personal history and identity. It’s that feeling that allows us to reconnect with our childhood, recall the joys of a simpler time, feel closer to those we have lost, experience once again the delight of a cherished moment, even strengthen our faith. Join these 43 authors as they share their personal stories of Christmases past. Perhaps they will bring to mind your own treasured memories.

Connect with Lynn


About Lynn Watson

Lynn fell in love with essential oils a dozen years ago, and fell in love with Jesus decades earlier. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Memphis, is a nationally board certified reflexologist, a certified aromatherapist, and has been a contributor to Natural Awakenings Memphis and the Reflexology Association of America Newsletter. A leader in women’s ministry for many years, Lynn has led numerous Bible studies and written a couple, too. She shares spicy essences of Scripture to encourage you to diligently cultivate your heart, growing your roots deep in an intimate relationship with Jesus. Follow her writing journey when you subscribe to our newsletter. She and Steve have been married since 1973 and call Bartlett, Tennessee home. Their lives are blessed with two adult children, their spouses, and five beautiful (of course) grandchildren.

Readers, Thank you for stopping by 3-Question Wednesday. I had a great time answering the questions. Your feedback would be a treat. Here’s a treat for you.


Book Giveaway

Leave comments below to be entered in Lynn’s book giveaway. “I wish everyone could win. We know that can’t happen, but you will find the book available in ebook and paperback on Amazon and most other booksellers.”

The Essence of Joy: Filling Your Heart with the Aromas of Jesus’ Nativity The scents of Christmas invite our imaginations into the holiday season. What emotions flood your heart when the holiday aromas waft your way?

Book Release and YOU

By Jennifer Hallmark

Have you enjoyed our month of discussing all things book release? Here’s a quick overview in case you missed any of our posts:

To me, what’s most important about a book release is that you enjoy yourself. Yes, be serious and do the work but don’t get so busy and stressed, that you miss the fun. For it is filled with fun.  And kind words. And sales. And meeting and talking to people.

So enjoy yourself. And make sure to stop by in December as we share cool memes and writing quotes. No articles?

Not in December. But those informative posts on writing will be back in January. Until then, have a blessed holiday season…

3 Questions Wednesday with PJ Roga

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday! Today Inspired Prompt welcomes author PJ Roga.  Thanks for taking the time to join us.

First question:
Who is your favorite author?
PJ: C. S. Lewis. I discovered Narnia as a college freshman. I think we read Screwtape Letters in high school. But Narnia is what got me hooked. I loved the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from the first reading. (I wasn’t expecting to and was not aware of their popularity at that point. 1969-ish). So my favorite book would be all of the Narnia books (all of them!), and perhaps the space trilogy (go figure).

C.S. Lewis (Jack) was particularly insightful and had a way of communicating truths through story, even in non-fiction. His humor and gentle way of correction (ala Aslan) is far different from the experiences of many of us.

I want to convey truths in my writing in that same way without being “preachy”.

I love the layers of messaging the Narnia series offers readers. Next question…
If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

PJ: Probably what I am currently writing — a sci-fi adventure where a planned colonization goes slightly awry and the planners are cut off from their planned utopia.

Sounds interesting, and like a story that could take many twists and turns. 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?

PJ: Aslan. Who knows what might happen during a day with Him, if he isn’t called away? He’s not a tame lion, after all. But I suspect it will be good! “He’ll be coming and going” he had said. “One day you’ll see him and another you won’t. He doesn’t like being tied down–and of course he has other countries to attend to. It’s quite all right. He’ll often drop in. Only you mustn’t press him. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.” Mr. Tumnus

“Gone! And you and I quite crestfallen. It’s always like that, you can’t keep him; it’s not as if he were a tame lion.”

No doubt a day with Aslan would be an adventure. Thanks for stopping by.

Click to tweet: I discovered Narnia as a college freshman. I think we read Screwtape Letters in high school. But Narnia is what got me hooked.


About PJ Roga

PJ Roga is a  life-long reader of all kinds of stories. Her favorites are the Bible (so many great stories — and they are all true!), The Chronicles of Narnia as well as stories in mystery, science fiction, and fantasy.

In her “real life”, she teaches middle and high school math online. Her hobbies include creating stuff in SketchUp – basic animation and instructional videos on science/technology and history.

Widowed since the early 2000’s, she has five grown children, six adult grandchildren and three non-adult grandchildren. PJ currently lives in west Michigan with her youngest son, her very patient daughter-in-law and a handsome, talented and seemingly normal ten-year-old grandson.

The Most Important Book Release Marketing Secret

by Karen Sargent

When I signed my first publishing contract, I was elated…and petrified. My forever dream of seeing my name on a book cover was coming true!

What could be more exciting for a wanna-be author? The answer is easy. Nothing!

And what could be more terrifying? That answer is easy, too. What if no one buys my book? After all, why would they? I’m an invisible, no-name, insignificant author.

Then, two weeks after I signed my contract, I accidentally discovered the most important book marketing secret. I’m going to share it with you, but before I do, I must ask a few questions.

Let’s pretend your new book releases tomorrow. Who will buy it? Think of five people who will—without a doubt—pay money to read your book. Write down their names, or at least say their names aloud. This is important, so take a few seconds. I’ll wait…

(Don’t read on until you have your list!)

Now that you’ve identified your five people, let’s see who they are.

Is your mom on the list? How about your dad? Cross them off.

Did Grandma and Grandpa make the list? An aunt or an uncle? Cross them off, too.

How about your brother or sister or son or daughter or cousin? Yep. They have to go. In fact, let’s remove anyone related to you.

Mark off your best friend, your neighbor, and your co-worker. Delete anyone in your church or your writing group or your community.

Is anyone left? Do they know you by your first name? Then take them off the list, too.

And now your list is blank. But don’t worry. We’re getting to the good stuff.

Why are you certain those five people will purchase your new release? What is the common denominator?

Those people care about you. They have a connection with you, and they’d be happy to buy your book—even if it’s a bad book.

So here’s the important secret. Book marketing is not about selling books. It’s about building a relationship. Remember the famous line from the movie Field of Dreams? “If you build it, they will come.” If you build a relationship with readers, book sales will come. It’s a 100% guaranteed book marketing strategy. Here’s how I know.

When it was time to query agents, my online presence was lacking. I felt unqualified to start an author website or a writing blog. But, I had two decades of mom experience, and the target audience for my book included moms, so I started a mom blog instead.

By the time I signed my book contract, I’d been blogging for three months and had about 100 followers (who had no idea I had written a book). I couldn’t wait to share my news, so I made a video and posted it to my blog.

My blog followers went CRAZY! By the next day, the video had 1,500 views, my blog followers tripled, and I couldn’t keep up with Facebook friend requests.

What if I hadn’t started that mom blog three months before my contract offer? Who would have cared that a publisher wanted my book? (My mom, my husband, my best friend…) Instead, my publishing journey was crowded with friends who couldn’t wait for Waiting for Butterflies.

There’s more. I revealed my book cover the same day my book was available for pre-order on Amazon, and guess what? More CRAZY. That day is still my second highest book sale day. Once the book released, Facebook friends posted pictures with their copy of Butterflies, along with their reactions once they finished reading, and I hadn’t even asked them to! With each post, I watched Amazon sales increase.

Relationship. If you build it, sales will come. So how do you build it?

Obviously, my Mom blog was a serendipitous beginning (thanks to my severe case of imposter syndrome) that turned out to be a smart accident. If you’re thinking about starting a writing blog or a book review blog, is there a different approach that would target your audience more directly?

Blogging isn’t the only way to build relationships. I cherish the friends I’ve made by interacting on others’ websites, in Facebook groups, and on book launch teams. So if you’re in the habit of stalking those communities, introduce yourself. We’ve been waiting for you!

If building relationships is the most important secret about book marketing, here’s the most important secret about how to do it. You must be genuine. If you have an ulterior motive, it will show.

A rewarding relationship with readers is built just like every other meaningful relationship you have: Give more than is expected. Give without expecting anything in return. When the relationship comes first, book sales follow.

Click to Tweet: “Give without expecting anything in return. When relationship comes first, book sales follow.” ~ Karen Sargent @Inspired Prompt #writetip #marketing

Writing Prompt: Bree didn’t hear him walk up behind her, but she knew he was there.


Karen Sargent is an award-winning author whose debut novel, WAITING FOR BUTTERFLIES, was the 2017 IAN Book of the Year. She writes “stories that stir the soul” with characters whose imperfect faith collides with real-life conflicts. She also blogs at The MOM Journey, where moms aren’t perfect and that’s perfectly okay. Her writing has been featured in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine and Chicken Soup for the Soul, as well as online at Writer’s Digest. A newly retired English teacher, Karen gets her “teaching fix” by coaching and encouraging new writers and presenting workshops at writer’s guilds and conferences. She is a member of ACFW, WFWA, the Missouri Writers’ Guild, and the SEMO Writers’ Guild. Visit her at KarenSargentBooks.com.


Waiting for Butterflies

Longing for her family after her sudden death, Maggie becomes a lingering spirit and returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family’s downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing. Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she caused her mother’s death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence. Although limited by their grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and save her family before her second chance runs out. A tender portrait of a mother whose love reaches beyond possible, Waiting for Butterflies will embrace your heart and not let go.

LINKS:
Website: http://www.karensargentbooks.com
Blog: http://www.karensargentbooks.com/blog/
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/KarenSargentAuthor
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KarenSargentBks