Posts Tagged ‘ Author ’

We are Thankful…And so are our Authors!

Hello Fiction Fans!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we here at River North were just thinking about all the things we are thankful for. We thought it would be fun to ask a few of our authors what they are thankful for and this is what they said:

Captive Trail author Susan page Davis:

I’m very thankful for my family. Jim and I hope to spend this Thanksgiving with four of our six children and five of our eight grandchildren. Maybe in a future year we can get all of them together! Time spent with loved ones is perhaps the blessing I cherish most. 

Long Trail Home author Vickie McDonough:

I’m thankful for a happy, healthy family and that my husband is working full-time again. Over the past three years, he has been laid off four times, including right before Christmas last year. Also, our #3 son just returned from a year’s deployment in Egypt and will get to share the holidays with us this year. 

Pearl in the Sand author Tessa Afshar:

After losing power for a week due to twelve inches of unprecedented snow in October, I have been thanking God more than ever for the small things – for a hug from a friend, for sharing laughter with family, for my quiet times with God, for my hot water bottle. And definitely for my hair dryer!

Lone Star Trail author Darlene Franklin:

I am thankful for a faithful God who never changes, for friends and family, for the opportunity to do what I love most in the world–write.

Faith Deployed…Again author Jocelyn Green:

Other than my precious family, which goes without saying, I’m thankful for the sacrifices military families make for the rest of us, and for the freedom we still have in this country to boldly proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I was just on the Gary Chapman radio program for Veteran’s Day and I don’t take for granted the blessing it is to be able to speak truth through mass media without fear of repercussions.

What are you thankful for this year? We would love to hear about it! 

 ~Brittany

 

Interview with Christy award winning author—Chris Fabry

Interview with Christy award-winning author—Chris Fabry

Chris Fabry is the winner of multiple Christy awards, has his own daily radio show, and is the author of adult and children’s titles alike. And now he has teamed up with Gary Chapman, the New York Times Bestselling Author, to write A Marriage Carol. Sure to become a Christmas favorite, this Dickensian tale will take you on a journey of discovery where snow has the power to illuminate choices and it’s never too late to get a second chance.

Chris shares his writing life journey including what has led him to write this story so check it out!

 

Buy this perfect Christmas gift at your local Christian bookstore or one of our participating vendors:

Amazon, CBD (Christian Book Distributors), and Family Bookstores.

For more information on the Author’s radio shows and other titles go to Chris Fabry’s or Gary Chapman’s websites.

The radio broadcast of A Marriage Carol was just completed last week and is still in production. It should be airing on Moody Radio around the holidays. Stay tuned for dates and times!

Scary Story Contest: Get Published Here!

Hello Fiction Fans and Writers!

We are smack dab in the middle of time of year where the leaves are changing and falling, the weather is getting crisper, and we are all looking for where we stored our fall jackets. When I think of fall I think of a great warm drink, candy corn, and scary stories being told around a warm fire. River North is looking for the best scary short story you have. Keep in mind that the audience is Christian women and we are looking for about 2500 words.

Submit your story* to rivernorthfiction@moody.edu before noon on October 25th and we will announce the winner on the 27th. The winner will have their story published on the blog and we will promote it on our social media sites. If you are not already following us on twitter or facebook check out our Connect Tab and get started. The winner will also receive a very valuable Dunkin Donuts gift card so they can grab some cider donuts and a pumpkin spiced beverage. Good luck, we look forward to reading your stories!

*in submitting your story you are agreeing to let River North Fiction use your story and publish it in any capacity we deem appropriate.

Stay warm,

Brittany

5 Terrific Things for Tuesday (yes, we know it is Wednesday…) ACFW Conference

Final thoughts on ACFW Conference (That stands for the American Christian Fiction Writers) 

By Deb Keiser

 

Okay, it is not Tuesday. . . again. Unfortunately I’ve spent a few days clutching a box of tissues with my head propped up in bed. So, my schedule is shot at this point, but I wanted to make sure that I shared the highlights of my trip to St. Louis for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. 

1. The best part of the whole conference is the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with fantastic authors at every stage of their writing life from aspiring to seasoned. 

2. Agents were excited to hear about our vision for River North fiction by Moody Publishers and shared with me information about authors who would be a good fit for our line. Publishing is a dance often orchestrated at the onset by a knowledgeable agent.  

3. Everyone doesn’t get it—the love of created characters making merry in one’s mind. But it is a wonder to me when I can be in a crowd of hundreds of people who do. It is God’s mercy that I get to share life with likeminded folks. 

4. Now my whiteboard is full of ideas that were planted at the conference. I have more proposals than I can keep up with and a fresh way of looking at some things. Best of all, there are a few ideas that really have some traction and the potential to end in a really good finished piece of fiction publishing.  

5. My anxiety was relieved when I got to the hotel and spied the Starbucks in the lobby. The reports that there were no coffee makers in the hotel rooms turned out to be true. But the hotel staff graciously supplied my needs when I called. My wonderful husband asked me a very silly question, “Why don’t you just throw on your sweats and go down to the Starbucks? Coffee in the room is usually not very good anyway.” Can you believe that? Go to the lobby with foggy eyes and bed-head. No way. Very glad I didn’t have to.

5 Terrific Things for Tuesday: Fun Facts about Author Jocelyn Green

Hello Fiction Friends,

I had the pleasure of meeting one of our great authors this weekend. When I first started working here at Moody Publishers, I was corresponding with Jocelyn Green and noticed on her email signature that she lives on the same street that I did when I attended the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. It was a fun little coincidence to me. Well, my husband and I took a little trip back to that area this past weekend for a get together with some of his college buddies and their wives and I was able to pop in on Jocelyn and finally meet her face to face. This was my first sit down with an author and it was really neat to hear about her process and see firsthand the different ways in which she organizes herself and her thoughts. Here are 5 fun little facts that I learned about Jocelyn and her writing process:

1) The 4 Civil War fiction novels that Jocelyn is writing for us are her first fiction novels. She has done so much research. In order to keep her ideas organized, she tapes colored index cards to the wall with one line running east to west with actual historical events and then cards running north and south that are fiction lines she is adding in.

 

 

 

 

2) She also keeps bulletin boards that are packed with pictures of real people from the specific time and place she is writing about, samples of clothes, and pictures of the actual places.

 

 

 

3) She has her own writing room where she keeps all of her materials and said her necessary items include a cup of coffee, her coffee cup warmer, a candle, and writing pants.

 

 

 

 

4) Jocelyn is a wife and mother of 2 children on top of being a busy author. She keeps her house rolling smoothly by preparing dinners in bulk and freezing them so that her family can still sit down together for dinner at night even though she is working hard at writing.

 

 

 

 

 

5) My favorite thing that Jocelyn told me is that at one point in time it was relaxing to have her cat pounce around while she was writing but now she has to keep an eye on the cat because not too long ago he caught his tail on fire while playing too close to Jocelyn’s candle. That would be a little stressful I would say! He looks so sweet and innocent here!

 

 

 

 

It was so great meeting Jocelyn and getting a chance to learn firsthand what a writer does in preparation for a novel. Thanks again for your time and hospitality! Go Panthers!

~Brittany

 

5 Terrific Things for Tuesday: Favorite Places to Read

Good morning,

We asked 5 of our authors to tell us where their favorite spot is to read. Here is what we heard from them:

1) Susan Page Davis-Author of Captive Trail

I’ll read anywhere, but I love to sit outside on our back deck with a book. In good weather, the breeze and the birdsong add to the experience. I usually have a cup of tea handy, too.

2) Vickie McDonough-Author of Long Trail Home

I read everywhere, but my favorite place is in my recliner with my feet up and the lamp turned up high. I take a book with me almost all the time and read whenever I get a chance. I got stopped at a light today that I knew was especially long, snatched up my book, and read a page before it turned green. My husband isn’t much of a talker, so whenever he’s driving, I’m reading. I still prefer a good, old-fashioned paperback to reading digitally, but I’ve read some of those too. 

3) Darlene Franklin-Author of Lone Star Trail

I don’t have a place where I don’t like to read; if I run out reading material while I am out, I will buy another book, even if I have ten unread at home. But I would guess that the two places where I do the most reading are my bedroom and with meals. I often sit down to read a few pages and find myself still there an hour later and 100 pages further into the book . . . and then I have to finish, because I’m so close. Since I’m single and self-employed, I can do that.

4) Tessa Afshar-Author of Pearl in the Sand and the upcoming Harvest of Rubies Series

Some people can sleep anywhere: on the plane, in the car, sitting in front of the television. One of my friends actually fell asleep standing up, once. I don’t have that talent. But I can read anywhere. As I eat, while the radio is blaring, in the gym, when people are trying to talk to me on the phone (I try to avoid doing this last. But if you call me when I’m in the middle of a particularly good part, I might not be answerable for my actions). So I don’t really have a favorite place for reading. I’m not that picky. Any place can become my favorite if the book is engaging.

5) Jocelyn Green-Author of Faith Deployed, Faith Deployed…Again, and the upcoming Civil War Fiction Series

If the weather is at all decent, my favorite place to read is on the chaise lounge on our backyard patio, preferably with a mango pineapple smoothie sitting on the table next to it. With a flowering crab tree and hydrangeas behind me, and hostas, geraniums, and lilies in front, it’s my perfect little retreat spot. Of course, my three-year-old son and five-year-old daughter think so too, so usually when I read out there I’m listening to their training wheels rolling over the paving stones, along with the birds and the bees. Pure bliss. (Assuming no sibling rivalry breaks out.)  During the colder months here in Iowa, my favorite reading spot is my chair-and-a-half recliner in the living room, with a cinnamon, pumpkin, or evergreen candle lit nearby and a steaming mug of hazelnut coffee within reach. Our cat Chloe will usually join me here too. If I’m lucky, she’ll behave herself instead of trying to sit on my open book. Those are my favorite places to read, but I will read wherever I can, even if it’s just a few pages at a time. Thank goodness books are portable. 

Where do you like to read??

5 Terrific Things for Tuesday: 5 Ideas for Better Stories

5 Ideas for Better Stories

Today I would like to share the wisdom of others, from some of my favorite books on the craft and life of writing. Unfortunately in my dash to leave home this morning I forgot some of my resources on the granite countertop next to my fridge—a happy accident in hindsight. I will have more to share with you next time.

 From Bird by Bird – by Anne Lamott

1) The ABDCE of Writing

I heard Alice Adams give a lecture . . . . She uses a formula when writing a short story, which goes ABDCE, for Action, Background, Development, Climax, and Ending. You begin with action that is compelling enough to draw us in, make us want to know more. Background is where you let us see and know who these people are, how they’ve come to be together, what was going on before the opening of the story. Then you develop these people, so that we learn what they care most about. The plot—the drama, the actions, the tension—will grow out of that. You move them along until everything comes together in the climax, after which things are different for the main character, different in some real way. And then there is the ending: what is our sense of who these people are now, what are they left with, what happened, and what did it mean?

2) Know Your Characters

Find out what each character cares most about in the world because then you will have discovered what’s at stake. Find a way to express this discovery in action, then let your people set about finding or holding onto or defending whatever it is. They you can take them from good to bad and back again, or from bad to good or from lost to found. But something must be at stake or you will not have tension and your readers will not turn the pages. Think of a hockey player—there had better be a puck out there on the ice, or he is going to look pretty ridiculous.

From Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins

3) Point of View is a Party

Imagine your story as a party with you as host. You’ve invited old friends, new friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. Your job is to choreograph the events so people feel comfortable and never wonder what’s going on.

You greet guests at the door and introduce them to each other, get conversations started. Without being intrusive, your aim is to make sure everyone has a good time.

We’ve all been to parties where the host has not covered the basics. Although we don’t expect our host to be the center of attention, we expect her to manage the details. When this is done right, we hardly notice. We simply know we’ve had a good time. When details are neglected, everyone leaves with a bad taste.

Picture yourself as the host of a fiction party. Invite readers to a treat. Don’t take center stage, but manage the basics in such a way that the reader barely notices. Nothing should jar her as she engages with your characters and plot.

No one should notice that you followed the rules of perspective, that you limited your point of view to one character per scene. But they’ll notice if you don’t.

4) Internal Dialogue

Getting inside a person’s head is fun. Imagine a character thinking, I hate that guy and always have. He ripped me off, stole my wife, and crashed my car.

Now put him in a scene with his nemesis and have him say, “Good to see you again, Phil. I’m looking forward to working together.” When Phil responds positively, the reader knows someone’s lying. Probably both of them. Continue that way throughout your story, and the reader will wonder to the end who is being real and who is not.

From Writing Down the Bones – by Natalie Goldberg

5) Be Specific

Be specific. Don’t say “fruit.” Tell what kind of fruit. Give things the dignity of their names. Just as with human beings, it is rude to say, “Hey girl, get in line.” That “girl” has a name. (As a matter of fact, if she’s at least twenty yours old, she’s a woman, not a “girl” at all.) Things too, have names. It is much better to say, “the geranium in the window” than “the flower in the window.” “Geranium”—that one word gives us a much more specific picture. It penetrates more deeply into the beingness of that flower. It immediately gives us the scene by the window—red petals, green circular leaves, all straining toward sunlight.

By Deb Keiser