3 Questions Wednesday with Lisa Worthey Smith

Happy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author, Lisa Worthey Smith. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Lisa: I like books that challenge me to think and to make a difference in the world. For entertainment, John Grisham is a master story weaver. I enjoy untangling the mysteries and trying to discern who is telling the truth along with the main character. His legal series still ranks high on my “favorites” list.

Joel Rosenberg’s fiction is amazing. His stories that weave in plausible scenarios of how the coming events in prophecy might take place, are very thought provoking. I always spend a good bit of time researching Scripture while reading his books to verify the authenticity of prophetic themes he uses. I find that he is always right on track with the Bible. His ability to mesh those prophecies into current day events always intrigues me.

Relatively new author, Jim Miller, has a great action-packed adventure series—The Cody Musket series. His characters show courage and faith as they fight for causes we see in the headlines today. His action-packed books have relatable characters with flaws that only endear the reader all the more. His books remind me that to be a hero only requires we take action rather than sit on the sideline.

I also like nonfiction books about people who have done extraordinary things such as Same Kind of Different As Me and Kisses from Katie.

Sounds like you read a good variety 🙂

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

Lisa: I like to write about “ordinary” people and events, and find the profound within them. On my wish list, stories from preachers, teachers, and the first family—Adam and Eve. I am fascinated with the Jewish Pseudepigrypha with details about those early biblical figures. Although not canonized Scripture, I am using that information to make notes now about Adam and Eve and how they coped with life outside the garden for a possible biblical fiction book.

That would be an interesting topic…

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?

Lisa: Sprout, the olive tree who grew up in the Garden of Gethsemane from my biblical fiction/allegory The Wisdom Tree. He lived at a pivotal point in time and interacted on such a personal level with Jesus. If I were there with him, I would hope to see Mary—mother of Jesus. I would ask her to tell me about Jesus as a young man growing up and interacting with others. I would love to hear her thoughts, see Him through her eyes, knowing He was the Son of God. I can’t imagine having the words to express the emotions and wonder she felt.

The Wisdom Tree is a lovely book and meeting Mary would be enlightening. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

Click to tweet: Author Lisa Worthey Smith talks about favorite authors, the Bible, and her latest book. #TheGroundKisser #amreading

Lisa has graciously offered a print copy of The Ground Kisser to one reader who leaves a comment below.


The Ground Kisser

An inspiring story of sacrifice, courage, and perseverance, in the face of incredible odds. When you reach your promise land, you kiss the ground.

Saigon had fallen. With Communism breathing down their backs and their wealth and freedom wiped out, Thanh’s parents had to make an agonizing decision. Without enough gold to pay for boat passage for all eight family members, they had to choose whether to stay together and face whatever came in Vietnam, or risk separating the family to give a child a chance to survive. They had only hours to decide.

Under the cover of darkness, two weeks after her twelfth birthday, Thanh left on an overloaded riverboat set for Australia through the pirate-riddled South China Sea. If their boat could survive that, then Thanh would find a way to have her family join her Down Under.
But that would never happen. One after another, obstacles most people can’t even imagine threatened to take her life. 

This is the true story of Thanh Dương Boyer’s strength, courage, and perseverance in the harshest of circumstances to fulfill the dream of living under the banner of freedom. The Ground Kisser is a faith-building, flag-waving story that will inspire you to recognize the important things in life, treasure them, and take action to preserve them—even if it cost your life.


Long time Bible student and teacher, Lisa Worthey Smith is sometimes called “The Parable Teacher.” She often uses ordinary events to explain a biblical truth. In fact, her first book was about an injured hummingbird she rehabbed. Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird was voted into the international list of “50 Indie Books Worth Reading 2016.”

The Wisdom Tree followed in 2017. One of the Vietnamese boat people who now lives in the USA read The Wisdom Tree, and asked Lisa to help her pen her memoir. The Ground Kisser released in 2019, placed in the NGCWC Georgia Peach Awards, and is an Amazon bestseller.

Indie Publishing: My Journey

By Gail Johnson

If you google indie publishing, you’ll find umpteen dozen sites offering advice on how to publish your book. There, you’ll also find an opinion on why, where, and when to do it. Believe me!

Warning: You can spend years obtaining endless trails of information, or you can write a book and publish that puppy. One thing is certain, you’ll have to make your own decision on what is the best technique for you.

TreasuresofHopeFrontFinalIn 2017, I published my memoir, Treasures of Hope: Discovering the Beautiful Truth Beneath My Painful Past. In this article I will share a little of the process and some surprises I encountered through that experience. Note: I am not, nor do I claim to be, an expert, so I’ve added links for you to discover your own path. Let’s get started.

Write

The first step is obvious. Write your story.

Editing

The second step should be obvious. We are not perfect. We will make mistakes. The more eyes you have on your story the better to catch those mistakes. Hire an editor. Apply those edits. I hired a developmental editor and a copy editor. It was one of the best decisions I made during my journey.

Formatting

Some writers hire formatters while others do their own formatting. I did a little of both. For the print book, I used a template by Book Design Templates. For my e-book, I hired a formatter. The reason for that was I ran into problems on the e-book that neither the template techs nor Amazon techs could figure out. As weeks turned into months, I chose to hire someone to do the e-book. (I would like to add, a friend used Book Design Templates for her historical novel and had no problems.) I still recommend the templates.

Covers

You can order e-book covers any time during the writing process. But a print book cover must have several elements in place before ordering. Formatting your book will give you the needed page number to determine the width of your spine. No guessing. The page number must be exact.

By now, you should have the title and an idea what you’d like the front of your book to look like. To choose your photo you can visit the following sites. You can either choose a free photo or you can buy one. The main thing is to make sure you get the rights to the photograph. The following sites were suggested to me.

Bigstockphoto.com
Depositphotos.com
Unsplash.com
Shutterstock.com
Fotolia.com
Istockphoto.com
Dreamstime.com
Peopleimages.com

Another thing you will need for your cover is a blurb. A blurb is a description of your story printed on the back of your book. Psst. I had someone to help me write mine. You will also need an author picture and bio.

The last thing to think about for your print cover is the ISBN number. Some authors buy their own while others use a free CreateSpace ISBN. Read more here.

Now you are ready to order your cover or make your own if you so choose. I’m not that creative. I hired a cover designer.

Categories and Keywords

While you wait on the cover, think about your categories and keywords you’ll use once you’ve uploaded your manuscript. Categories describe the genre while keywords are the words you think people will use when searching for your book.

For instance, my book is a memoir, but it can be, and has been, used as a devotional and a study guide. So, three out of the seven keywords were memoir, devotional, and study guide.

Publishing

This part of the journey was a surprise to me. When my covers arrived in my inbox, the e-book was a jpeg, and the print copy was a pdf. Who knew? Next, I visited my friendly neighborhood publisher, such as KDP, CreateSpace, BN, IngramSpark. Again everyone has their opinions.

As with every new project, we may feel apprehension in the doing. I did! So, let me encourage you. It isn’t as hard as you think. Once you create your account, you’ll be taken to a dashboard that will lead you through the entire process. Just follow the direction and you’ll do fine. And if you run into any problems, contact the publisher. I had no problems getting my questions answered.

After uploading a pdf of your cover and manuscript to CreateSpace, they will review, print, and snail mail you a copy of your book. You will need to proof it. If you find a problem, correct it, and reorder. They will send you another proof. When you are satisfied with the result, you are ready to share your story with the world.

So there you have some of the interesting things I learned while publishing my book. If you’re an indie, what things would you add? If you published your book, what were the surprises in your journey to publication?

Click to Tweet: “So there you have some of the interesting things I learned on my publishing journey.” @GailJohnson87 for @InspiredPrompt #indie #author

Writing Prompt: Today, make a plan and add a date to publish your book.

Nonfiction: Inspired from Conception to Publication

Covering the nonfiction genre in one post is impossible. Instead, I chose to encourage and inspire you to seriously think about nonfiction. So let me ask you…

books, NarniaAre you a fiction writer or a nonfiction writer? Regardless, did you know that you can use fiction techniques to create a gripping story? For instance, nonfiction writers begin with voice, use compelling dialogue, and include a beginning, middle, and ending to ensure their readers an unforgettable experience.

Now, that I have your attention, here are different ways you can distribute your writing.

Magazine Articles
Do you know how to plant a perfect garden, repair a broken household sink, or cook mouth-watering apple pies? Well then, why not turn all your hard-earned wisdom into an article.

Newspaper columns
Are you a news junkie? Traveler? Foodie? Photographer? Newspapers are always looking for local talent. Share school activities, church socials,  neighborhood street parties, your destinations and experiences.

Anthology
If you’re not ready to tackle your own book, why not collaborate with other writers. Chicken Soup for the Soul is a perfect example of collaboration. Submit your story, and if chosen it’s published as part of a collection. Be sure to check their guidelines before submitting.

Books
This includes memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, self-help, travel guides, cookbooks, photography, and devotionals, just to name a few.

As you can see, there are many aspects to consider. Let’s take a moment and talk about the writing process.

Getting Started

journaling.jpg

Ideas– Everything begins with an idea. The problem is we may lose the inspiration if we don’t capture the moment. Always carry something to catch the unexpected. When I don’t have pen and paper, I use my phone (Samsung Note 5). It has a pen (And you know how much I love pen and paper). Or if I can’t write, I can record my thoughts using the recorder app.

Research-How will you gather your info? Consider using interviews, online articles, library visits, or an experiment in your own kitchen. No matter where your investigation leads, record and date your facts. This will save you hours of time and frustration when you begin writing.

Write-Look over your notes. Decide what you will say and in what order you will say it. Write the article without editing. Read it. Edit. Revise. Rewrite. Repeat until it’s the best it can be.

Submissions-Finding a place for your story can be harder than writing your story. But there are a few books that can help you find a home for your idea. The 2018 editions of The Christian Writers Market Guide and  Writers Market Guide are treasure troves of potential publishers.

In today’s world, we have so many options in publishing. Why not take a chance? Spread your wings and ride the wind. Who knows where the gusts will take you!

Writing Prompt: Take one of your ideas and think it through from conception to publication. Make a to-do list and check off each one as you finish it. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

Click to Tweet: Why not take a chance? @InspiredPrompt @GailJohnson87 #writetip #nonfiction

Dishonor: One Soldier’s Journey from Desertion to Redemption by David Mike

FullSizeRender (1)Today, we welcome David Mike to our blog. His debut book, Dishonor, releases  on August 30th…

Hello, David! How long have you been writing?

David: I’m a storyteller and have been since I was a child. We moved around a lot because my father was in the military. Every new place we landed, I found myself talking about where I came from and all the things I did. As far as actually writing, only three years. I mentioned in a Facebook group that I had a crazy story to tell about my life and that I wanted to write a book. The advice I was given was to start a blog and develop a following. So, I wrote my entire rough draft through blogging at www.dilemmamike.com/the-fort-leavenworth-story.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

David: My book is a memoir. From time to time, I would mention bits and pieces of the past to people in my life. Every single time, the response was, “You need to write a book.” Having never written anything in my life before, I constantly dismissed it. My story is about redemption through grace and forgiveness. I knew that if I could share it, there were people that would be helped if they heard it. Broken, messed up people like me, needed to hear that God forgave us 2000 years ago, no matter what…

What are some of the references you used while researching your book?

David: Once I began the actual writing process from memory, my mother handed me a bag and said, “You might want these.” Inside was a stack of letters that I wrote to my parents after leaving home for the Army in 1987 through my second year in prison in 1991. This gave me a chronological list of events as well as names, dates, and places of things I never would have remembered. I also found my entire court-martial transcript which included, testimonies and police records. There were some internet articles that I looked up to confirm some of the military events that occurred during the time period. Most importantly, the book Classic Christianity by Bob George was instrumental in defining what God’s grace and forgiveness actually meant.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

David: Because so many people followed my weekly blog posts as I wrote the story, I received so much support and encouragement. The best part is that several people reached out to me letting me know that my story provided hope for family members that were in the same situation. That there was light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I can’t take credit for any of this though because I know that God places people in our lives for a reason.

What do your plans for future projects include?

David: My goal is to get copies of my book into prisons. That is where God chose to reveal his message of grace and forgiveness to me and so I would love to reciprocate. I also enjoy writing humorous tales from my youth which I might turn into a book or the cute and hilarious things my almost six-year-old daughter says which I have coined #Anikaisms.

Sounds like your book can really make a difference in people’s lives, David. Thanks for stopping by!

David has graciously consented to give away an autographed paperback of Dishonor to one blessed reader. (U.S. only) Please leave a comment below to be entered…


Cover_ebook-01Dishonor: One Soldier’s Journey from Desertion to Redemption 

In his memoir, Dishonor, David shares his personal story of how God used his time in an army prison to teach him grace and forgiveness. His hope is that readers will be freed from guilt and shame, no longer defined by their past, redeemed by Christ’s love.

 

 


FullSizeRender (1)David Mike is a Christ follower, husband, father, author, blogger, and cosmetology instructor in Omaha, Nebraska. David is passionate about sharing the message that we do not have to be defined by our past and that God can use our kind of mess for good. Dishonor is his first book which releases August 30th 2016.

Blog: http://dilemmamike.com

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/dilemmamikeblog

Book Launch Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DavidMikeBookLaunch

Twitter: @dilemmamike

Instagram: @dilemmamike

Pinterest: @dilemmamike