Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween for Suspense

What better night for a novel about suspense
than one that surrounds Halloween?
Who’s hiding behind that mask? Is it really a teen
at the door in a vampire costume expecting candy or
someone more sinister?
Do you use holidays, special circumstances, and
times of year to make your suspense novels
that much more flavorful?

Mwahahahahaha!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Christmas is Just Around the Corner


With Christmas just around the corner, we should be thinking of books as a way to reach our middle schoolers. What better book to take our boys(and girls)into the land of mystery, than
LOST ISLAND SMUGGLERS by Max Anderson.

Sam Cooper, eleven years old and full of curiosity has moved a lot in his short life. Now, living in Florida, he quickly makes friends and their adventures begin with a diving trip they don’t happen to mention to their parents. It can only mean disaster.

What happens when the boys are stranded on a deserted island by a tropical storm? You guessed it; they encounter mysterious characters on the island obviously harboring secrets. LOST ISLAND SMUGGLERS will keep your boy or girl reading well into the night.

PARENTS BEWARE! LOOK FOR TELL-TALE SIGNS OF READING ADDICTION!—a flashlight under the covers.

Never fear, there’s nothing better than nurturing the love of books in your child. Take this opportunity with Christmas just around the corner to buy
LOST ISLAND SMUGGLERS for your son or daughter, niece or nephew, or even the paper boy.

Max Anderson’s ability to capture the reader’s interest and keep him or her guessing well into the night whodunit, will thrill any child on this year’s Christmas list.

OH YEAH, DON’T FORGET TO BUY ‘EM FLASHLIGHTS, TOO!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bobby's New Book

Bobby's book below is a great thought to ponder this Sunday.
Are we the Christians we want to be?
Do we at least try?
IF IT WEREN'T FOR US CHRISTIANS, THERE'D
BE A LOT MORE CHRISTIANS
forces us to ask ourselves if we're living the life we should.
God bless you all,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

IF IT WEREN’T FOR US CHRISTIANS, THERE'D BE A LOT MORE CHRISTIANS



Guest today, Bobby Weaver, is the author of:
IF IT WEREN’T FOR US CHRISTIANS, THERE’D BE A LOT MORE CHRISTIANS.
Before we dig into that title, Bobby, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well Linda, I am a relatively new Christian (thanks to an on-air national fight with Howard Stern…yeah, THAT Howard Stern). I was pretty much a human disaster for the first 50 years of my life….then Jesus showed up and he is in the process of revolutionizing my life. You can see the press release that explains a lot by going to: www.prlog.org/10942484

Very impressive, Bobby. I encourage you all to check out the press release; it’s thought-provoking to say the least.
Okay, so this is quite an explosive title. Certainly puts the responsibility in our hands for how we represent ourselves to the world. What made you pick this topic?

I chose the topic by observing one particular person that kept figuring out ways to alienate seekers and new believers from the Christian faith. This person was a hypocrite and a world-class judge…he could and would judge anyone at the drop of a hat. By the way, that person was me.

How did you muster the courage, no, let’s be honest, the guts to write on this?

That’s an interesting question. I don’t think it took courage or guts. I think maybe “obedience” is the better word. It just became so obvious to me that I could write a book about “us Christians” that did a poor job of representing our faith because I was one of them.

What gave you the idea? Any special event that triggered your thought process?

I suppose my “road rage” had a little something to do with the original idea for the book. Thanks to my dad’s OCD concerning driving skills, I was brought up being overly observant of the behavior of other drivers on the road. And I recall on several occasions’ Christian drivers either cutting me off, running a red light or whatever. And why did I assume they were Christians? Because they advertised it! Yep, right on the rear of their vehicles with bumper stickers “fish” emblems and so forth. And that is when it occurred to me that many of us might be inadvertently driving people away from our faith by our actions. And not just by our driving habits, but other habits such as our language, our attitude, our “judging others” and many more

More than one of us can identify with that, I’m sure. At least, I know I can. I’m one of those drivers-OUCH.
What kind of response have you had?

I have probably mentioned the title of this book: “If It Weren’t For Us Christians, There’d Be A Lot More Christians” at least 350 times to fellow Christians. Almost to a person, the response has been a big smile or laugh and a comment like “Isn’t that the truth!?” My publisher even said originally that the title was too long but by the time I agreed to change it, they had mentioned it to a lot of people and had the same positive response. So we stuck with the original title…and I’m thrilled we did. People relate big-time!

Was your family behind you or did they try to persuade you not to tackle this hot button subject matter?

The family was fine with it…I mean, this is a real tame venture compared to my

LBJ…Life Before Jesus.

Where does your passion come from?

It comes from trying to imagine someone dying and going to hell because one of “us Christians” scared them away from the faith.

Do you have any other books “under construction” at the moment?

Yes, I have a book to be out next year. It is called “Kids Pray The Darndest Things.” It is a collection of short prayers that kids say to God. Here’s a couple of samples:

Dear God,
Last year Timmy Johnson tole me that hell was 3 times hotter than Tabasco Sauce. I haven’t missed Sunday School since.
Love,
Alan M. Age 6

Dear God,
I know you are perfect and all, but what’s up with naps and spinach?
Susie Y. Age 7

Dear God,
We had a popularity contest at our skule today and you won! You beat Santa Claus by 2 votes and hammered the tooth fairy by 24.
Billy S. Age 8

There’s not a mom out there who doesn’t hear “the darndest” things. Thanks for sharing your new book idea with us. And thanks for:

IF IT WEREN’T FOR US CHRISTIANS, THERE’D BE A LOT MORE CHRISTIANS.
Bobby, all I could think of during this interview is the scripture that tells us we are the salt of the earth. Better to flavor like salt than sting like pepper. Thanks for reminding us and best of luck and blessings with this book.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

THE BEGINNING OR THE END?

So, your crit group tells you the story rocks! Now what?
You attend a conference and meet an interested agent. Now what?
You send a proposal to the agent, wait a couple months.
He/she wants you for a client. Now what?
Numerous publishers say no, a couple “might” be interested.
One finally asks for a full read. Now what?

They like it! A contract is signed.
Now what?


Are you facing the end of a long journey or are you merely at the beginning?
If you think you’ve arrived—you’re crazy. This is just the start.

Now, you have to sell yourself, your story, a reason for someone to lay out a lot of money to read all that work you’ve devoted the last 2, 3, 10 or 15 years to.

We so often think, “if only” this happens or that happens,
THEN I’ll be happy. THEN I’ll have what I want.

Don’t look now, but your happiness doesn’t rest in being published or validated in any other way. Your happiness is there every day of your life to have for the grabbing. BE content with the life you have and view the extras as just that. Or like my mom used to say, the frosting on the cake. But don’t miss out on the yummy cake while you’re waiting for the frosting.

Life is too precious to overlook any one day.

Are you enjoying your writing journey even if no publisher has signed you?
Do you write because you have to?

If you write because you have to as surely as you have to breathe, then you are writer, published or not!

Have a happy one!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ONE DAY I’LL PAPER THIS ROOM

At some point, we’ve all said it.
I mean to do it. The day I receive a contract to publish one of my novels, I am going to paper my office with the rejections. And since I have such a large stockpile of “paper”, I can be discriminating.

:( I’ve kept the rejections in binders. :(

That way, I can go back and (torture myself), no, read the encouraging notes, which helped me, as well as the form letters which did little to "form" me on my path to publication. They came in an array of sizes, shapes, and colors.

Now, years later, working as an editorial assistant to Terry Burns, my agent, I begin to understand why and how the rejections are given out. Many writers, just like myself, are so close for so long. Just a bit more work and the novel would be accepted, but in our haste to “get the next bestseller out there” we cut corners, don’t study the craft sufficiently, don’t wait for the right moment to approach an agent or editor. And, unfortunately, burn a lot of bridges in the process.

Just like sadness is the only way to understand joy, rejection is the only way to appreciate acceptance. If it were handed to us on the proverbial silver platter, would we be grateful for the gift or merely nurse a feeling of entitlement?

Ahem, I know myself. Had I been published years ago, I would never have honed my craft and been able to help others do the same. Plus, I would have put 400 pages of garbage into a book which would no doubt have eventually found itself on the shelves of some dollar or .99 store.

But you’re convinced your baby is ready to walk. “Mom said it was the best story she’d ever read!” Of course she did. She’s mom. But an agent or editor doesn’t give a flying rat’s patoot what mom, or Aunt Jenny, or Uncle Jebb, or even the crotchety neighbor next door thinks. They KNOW what the public is reading, and what the public expects. They don’t tell you these things to hurt your feelings (okay, I know a couple who might) but rather, to lift you up to a point where you will work harder at your craft to be able to bring it into the public arena one day.

The hardest lesson God has been trying to teach me for 60 years (yes, I said sixty!) is to have patience. I know you don't want to hear this, but God’s timing isn’t always our timing. Even when we’re in panic mode, He’s looking at the Big Picture, not the grain of sand we call life.

Well, I’m preaching to the choir, folks, as I pick out which of the lovely shades of recycled gray, green, or blue to use on the north wall, just behind the computer. After all, that’s the one I’ll be looking at the most often when I sit down to write, rewrite, and rewrite some more.

Good luck, may God’s blessings pour over your work, but ‘til they do, remember, in your patience, you’re learning something wonderful.

And isn’t that what life is all about?
LEARNING!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My review of DECEIT by Brandilyn Collins Suspense at its absolute best!

When I finally got my hands on a copy of DECEIT, I figured I’d start reading, do a little of the work piling up on my desk, and then read a bit more when I got the chance.

Riii-iiightt!

After devouring her book EXPOSURE last year, I should have known better.
So in my world of imagination, I waited for Brandilyn to drive up in that little sports car called Suspense that gets your blood pumping from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds.

She looked at me with eyes that said, “You’d better buckle your seatbelt.”

How could I forget?

“Oh, yeah,” my imaginary friend murmured, “and pull it tight.”

I gulped, snugged it across me, and turned the first page.

Years after the death of her best friend, Linda Jackson, skip tracer—Joanne Weeks is still doing her best to see Linda’s husband, Baxter, brought to justice. No easy task since he’s close friends with the chief of police, is an elder at his church, and pillar of the small community.
Pages shot through my fingers as I glanced over at Brandilyn.

“Why? What did he do?”

She shifted gears and raised a brow. “I’ll let Joanne tell you.”

Here was this middle-aged woman filled with despair, years of despair over the loss of her friend. Joanne turned tired eyes in my direction. “Because he killed my best friend, Linda.”

The chapters had my heart pumping full throttle (all thoughts of the work which awaited me were sent away with the pit crew).
Suddenly, Brandilyn careened to the left, leaving me grasping the handle of the car and praying we’d make the curve. I fanned through some more pages, but just as the car stabilized, she lurched to the right. The belt tightened across my chest so hard, I was sure I could feel the bruises the change in direction had caused, but I didn’t care. I had to find out what was going to happen.

Finally, I leaned back in the seat, content. I was sure, as I have been with so many other suspense authors, I knew what awaited me on the next page.
But Brandilyn hit the brakes.

Whoosh!

The airbag slammed me in the face, stopped me cold. Told me I wasn’t so smart after all. “What happened? Man, I didn’t see that ending coming!”

Brandilyn just smiled, opened the door, and offered a short salute.
“See you next time.”
***
I’m not sure who nicknamed Mary Higgins Clark the queen of suspense. Obviously, they hadn’t read anything by Brandilyn Collins. She takes you on a wild ride that leaves you flipping pages faster than a Whirling Dervish. Without preaching, she forces you to evaluate yourself and your belief system in such a way, you’ll never view the world the same again. What is in the heart of man and what lies merely on the surface? Who knows for sure. She digs, analyzes, and digs some more, leaving the reader questioning who’s lying, who’s telling the truth?

For me, DECEIT is Brandilyn’ best novel yet. I wondered after EXPOSURE how she could possibly top that.
Well, she did.
When you buy DECEIT, and you should, be sure and fasten that seatbelt!
And if you hear a faint voice say, “Really tight.” Don’t hesitate.
This is Seatbelt Suspense at its finest.