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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Platform or Soapbox? Part Two

Platform or Soapbox? Part One – in case you missed it! The old-fashioned soapbox had its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage #1) You stood out in the crowd. Literally. The soapbox put you head and shoulders above those who gathered around. That physical advantage meant you were bound to draw attention.

Disadvantage #1) You stood out in the crowd, making you a prime target for rotting produce hurled by those who disagreed with your message.

Advantage #2) You were there, in person, face-to-face with your listeners. You could read their body language, get immediate feedback, and truly interact with them.

Disadvantage #2) You were there, in person, easy for the police to pick up if you crossed the line and incited a riot. And within reach of any dog that might be sicced on you.

Tweet this: Do you have a platform or a soapbox?

The new-fangled social media also has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage #1) You can do this from the comfort of your easy chair. You don’t have to get dressed, shave, or brush your teeth before interacting with the entire world.

Disadvantage #1) You can do this from the comfort of your easy chair. You get no face-to-face feedback. No body language from your “listeners.” And people can take whatever you read with a grain of salt, because they lack the same from you.

Advantage #2) You can reach the whole world. Everyone will know what you think, what you’re working on, and what you had for breakfast.

Disadvantage #2) You can reach the whole world, including readers and publishers and others who may look askance at your opinions on Global Warming or Abortion. In short – you can turn off the whole world in one fell swoop.

How are you taking the advantages of social media while minimizing the disadvantages? I’d love to hear from authors who are being intentional about their social media time.

Look for the final installment, Platform or Soapbox? Part Three on July 13, 2015 ~ Pegg Thomas

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Pegg Thomas, Writing

 

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Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel

If you love to read biblical fiction then you’re going to love Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel.

But beware. This book is not for the faint of heart.

Reign

BOOK RECOMMENDATION:

REIGN: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel

Author: Ginger Garrett

From the moment her marriage to prince Ahab thrusts her into the intrigues of palace life, Jezebel’s exotic beauty opens doors and her will breaks down walls. Torn from her homeland and wed to power in a strange country, Jezebel vows to create a legacy and power all her own. Some might call her a manipulative schemer, bent on having her way. But they don’t know the whole story, and she was much, much worse.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Highly recommended.

 Kara writes supernatural suspense thrillers and is an ACFW Genesis 2013 Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. BlogPhoto Resized

She’ll also keep you updated on upcoming writing contests and some of the best reads in Christian suspense.

To contact Kara, email her at fictionwithfaith@gmail.com or by clicking the below link:

@KaraHunt2015 on Twitter

 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Book Recommendations, Kara Hunt

 

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More Rejection Letters

more rejections

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Humor, Writing

 

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How It’s Made

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Image courtesy of Samarttiw/freedigitalphotos.net

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

And what a beautiful earth, indeed. I love to travel, and I’ve seen some of the most gorgeous places in the United States–the Smokey Mountains, Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Antebellum mansions in the south, the stunning coast of Maine (just to name a few). The colors and diversity of each region amazes me. Each offers something different to explore, and God created it all. I’ve been pondering this thought as we prepare for our upcoming vacation, and it struck me–God created.

I’m a creative person by nature with a love and appreciation for the arts. When it comes to writing and storytelling, there’s something inside of me that has to release those thoughts and characters or bust. At times I’ve wondered, Why is that? Am I a freak?

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26, emphasis mine)

God is the author of creativity. He created us in His image, therefore we’re creative. That’s why I hear voices in my head. Just kidding…sort of.

My husband is a machinist by trade. He designs and creates things out of metal. My neighbor’s son-in-law is an extremely talented artist who’s been very successful. I know women who can sew anything. Men who engineer machines and draw blueprints for houses. I have a critique partner with a lovely voice who can write music. (I won’t embarrass Jericha Kingston by mentioning her name.)

You see? We all hold the desire to create something, and it comes from God.

What’s your creative outlet?

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~Candice Sue Patterson is the author of Bright Copper Kettles and Silver White Winters. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart will release with Pelican Book Group later this year. Visit her website at www.candicesuepatterson.com.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Candice Sue Patterson, devotion

 

Letters to My Fathers

To my Biological Father,

file0001649551585My first flight. The bottle of perfume–to take home to mom. That walking puppet. The clearest water I’ve ever seen. The memories are few, but enduring. I’ll never forget my childhood trip to the Virgin Islands to visit you.

The thing I remember most is that you wanted to spend time with me.

the new babies 527_peThough we’ve only met a few times since then, I think of you often and gaze at your pictures frequently. Pictures of us when I was young, and pictures of you now, with my half-sisters. You know what I’ve noticed about those young ladies? They smile a lot. They’re raising their own children now, and those children are happy, too. That doesn’t just happen. You’ve provided for your daughters and loved them well. They’re beautiful, kind individuals. They’ve even reached out to me on social media. That tells me you did lots right. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

To my Adopted Dad,

There’s something special about you. You adopted three girls and called them your own. Even when you and mom parted ways, you still had room in your heart for me.

I love coming home to the farm. I love spending time with you. You never slow down! You have hay to bale, wood to cut, horses to feed, and garden to plow, but you still stop working and head to the porch rocking chair when I arrive.

When I have a question, you give wise advice. You care about the things that concern me. There’s no topic I couldn’t speak with you about. Except, maybe, all the times I failed you as a daughter. But if I had the courage to mention that, you’d listen wholeheartedly, and love me just the same.

For all the years of love, discipline, and care, thank you. I love you so much. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

~ Jericha Kingston

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2015 in Jericha Kingston, Parenting

 

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Become a Patron of the Arts: Support your Favorite Author

Will Write for FoodWhat’s the best book you’ve ever read? Was it a bestseller—the kind of book you find facing the aisle at the airport bookstore? Or was it a sleeper novel—one not so many folks have discovered?

What about your second favorite? Your third? Your fifth and tenth and twentieth? Unless you only read wildly popular and enormously successful authors, chances are at least one of the authors you just thought about is struggling these days.

If you’re a writer, you probably already know this. Even novice, pre-published authors are aware of the headlines—declining sales, dipping royalties, closing bookstores, shrinking advances. But if you’re one of those intelligent, sane people who spends his evenings grilling burgers and playing catch with his kids instead of tapping your dreams into a laptop one gut-wrenching word at a time, then you might not understand what we, the terminally insane novelists, are going through.

Suffice it to say, it’s a treacherous road. Since none of us is writing against our will, I’ll spare you the details. We could all choose to do something else. Theoretically.

So think back to those favorite authors. If you want them to keep writing, you might need to be proactive about supporting them. No, I’m not asking you to send money—not directly, anyway. Here’s a quick list of what you can do to support your favorite authors.

  1. Buy their books. Seems fairly obvious, but if you love an author and you want him to keep writing, then you ought to plop down the cash to support him. You don’t have to buy the hardcover or even the paperback—the e-book version will work just fine. And most e-books are priced at $10 or below. In other words, most e-books cost less than a super-sized meal at McDonald’s. If you can fork over $8 for a Big Mac, large fry, and Coke, you can spend as much or more on the culmination of a year or two of your favorite author’s time and talent.
  2. Leave a review. If you love a book, take the time to leave a quick review. Start with Amazon, since it has been estimated that 40% of all new book purchases come through Amazon, and more than 60% of new online book sales flow through Amazon. Find the book you love, scroll down to the reviews, and click on “Write a Review.” It doesn’t have to be fancy—a simple, “I loved this book. I highly recommend it,” along with your 4- or 5-star rating helps the author so much. If you really love the author, also leave reviews at Goodreads and other online retailers.
  3. Tell a friend—or two. For all the marketing that publishers and authors do, most people learn about books through their friends. So if you like a book, tell a friend. Better yet, tell everyone you know.
  4. Request it at a bookstore. If your local bookstore doesn’t carry the book, call them and request they carry it.
  5. Request it at the library. If your local library doesn’t have the book, request they buy it.
  6. Post about the book on your favorite social media site. Again, this doesn’t have to be fancy. A simple post that says, “I just finished reading [title] by [author], and it was fantastic.” If you’re really excited about the book and you have a blog, write a post about it. In both cases, you could even copy and paste the purchase link to make it easy for people to buy.
  7. Suggest the book to your book club.
  8. Buy a copy for a friend.
  9. “Like” and “Share” the author’s Amazon author page. Did you know that when you like an Amazon author page, you’ll automatically be updated when that author releases a new book? It helps the author, and it helps you, too.
  10. Let the author know how much you liked his book. Writing can be a very lonely business. Knowing somebody’s reading and appreciating an author’s work can make all the difference in his life.

You might not have a wing named after you at your local art museum, but by supporting your favorite author, you are a patron of the arts. And the metaphorical (and sometimes literal) starving artists who write books thank you.

So tell us–what’s your favorite book?

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, released in April. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.

Finding Amanda cover

You can purchase Finding Amanda at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Platform or Soapbox?

Every writer needs a platform. Trust me. You can’t spend 10 minutes at a gathering of people from the writing world without hearing that. And hearing that. And hearing that. Ad nauseam.

Who’s saying it? Agents. Editors. Publishers. The people who make contracts happen.

But it’s not just traditionally published authors who need a solid platform. It’s also every self-published author who wants to sell at least one book to someone they don’t share DNA with.

Tweet This: So what on earth is a “platform?”

In the old days – hey, I’ve been around the sun a few times – we called it a soapbox. Before there was the Internet, before there was TV, before there was radio, people with something to say had to seek out people willing to listen. They took a soapbox to a street corner, jumped on top, and started talking to draw a crowd.

Today, in our technical age of social media, people with something to say pick up a device and tap fingers against a smooth screen to send their thoughts to the world. No hike to a street corner. No hauling a heavy wooden box. No shouting to be heard over a gathering crowd. Able to reach people around the globe. Easy, right?

Well.

Back in the day, someone shouting from atop a soapbox drew attention. After all, it wasn’t like there were dozens on each street. Most people were too busy eking out a living.

Fast forward to today. Everybody under the age of 80 – and plenty over it – are plugged into social media. How on earth is a writer supposed to stand out?

How are you doing it? I’d love to hear from writers who are working it and seeing results … however humble they may be.

Stop back for Platform or Soapbox? Part Two on June 29, 2015.

~ Pegg Thomas

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Pegg Thomas, Writing

 

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