Category Archives: My Books

My Writing Process

A couple days ago I was invited by my friend Ralene Burke to blog about my writing process and what I’m working on. So I said sure, why not? I’m always curious about what my favorite authors are up to and I thought you might be the same. So here we go!

1) What am I working on?

If you don’t follow my Facebook page or my twitter, then you haven’t heard the news yet: I finally finished the rough draft for Heir of Hope, the final book in the Follower of the Word series. Wahoo! Yippee! *cue music and dancing*

I’ve been working on this book for almost a year and let me tell you, this is going to be one big book. It finished at 48 chapters (not including the epilogue) and at least 150,000 words (your average book is usually 80,000).

So what am I working on now? My rough drafts are usually the bulk of the story. In other words, I don’t do a lot of rewrites. The story is here, it just needs a bit of clean up. So that’s what I’m working on right now: I’m checking the pacing and continuity, adding description if it needs it, and anything else I find. I should be done in a month and then off it goes to my beta readers, then to my editor. Whew!

I don’t  have a release date yet, but as soon as I do, all of you will be the first to know 😉

 

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I write fantasy, but my fantasy lacks the usual creatures and races that other fantasies contain: like elves, dragons, orcs, etc… Instead, in my world I focus on people who are born with special gifts and abilities. I ask myself why would people possess such gifts, like the ability to see inside the soul (Daughter of Light), and how would they use this power? What choices would they make?

My books are not YA (young adult) which also sets them apart from others in my genre. I write about deep, dark stuff, but not with all the graphic details. And my characters are adults, with adult issues, ideas, and desires.

My work has been compared to Terry Brooks’ Shannara series and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series.

 

3) Why do I write what I do?

A lot of authors answer this question differently. Some absolutely love writing and can’t imagine doing anything else. Some write to tell a story, others write to explore issues.

I originally wrote because I had this story inside me. But as the years passed and the rejections came, I needed more of a reason. I didn’t know if I would ever publish this series, but I still wanted to write it. I wanted to leave this series as a legacy to my children. The Follower of the Word series is a reflection of my own faith: my fears, my doubts, and my exploration of what does it mean to really follow God?

I know any story I write will have bits of me inside it. And will probably have some element of the fantastic, too. That is who I am: a mixture of questions, faith, and imagination. That is what I write. That is probably what I will always write.

 

4) How does my writing process work?

I’ve went into deeper detail about my writing process (How I write a novel), but in a nutshell, here it is:

~I plot months to years in advance before writing a novel.

~Storyboard my book a couple days before I start writing (this is the outline I follow).

~Write rough draft (this takes the longest amount of time). I try to write 500+ words a day. Recently I was able to move that number up to 3,000 words a day, but that is hard to sustain with a family that wants dinner, laundry done, and mommy around 🙂

~Rewrite and edit (I’m fast at this).

~I have beta readers read the manuscript and give me their feedback.

~Work in any feedback.

~Turn manuscript in to my editor.

Of course, that’s only the beginning. Then there are all the edits from my editor, proofs, etc… before I finally hold the book in my hands. But as far as my own process, this is how I write my books.

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 Thanks, Ralene, for inviting me to be a part of this blog hop. If you are looking for a freelance editor or advice on marketing, look her up (www.raleneburke.com).

And in celebration of finishing Heir of Hope, here is the blurb I worked up for the back cover:

The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the country of Kerre. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were. And now they want to claim her as their own.

Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince of Temanin, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the Great Desert in search of his mother’s past. Along with him are Captain Lore Palancar and Nierne, Thyrian scribe.

These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost…

And the human race will be no more.

To find out more about the Follower of the Word series, check out Daughter of Light, followed by Son of Truth.

How Do You Say That?

Part of writing fantasy is finding or coming up with fantasy words and names. You want something that looks out of this world, yet won’t make the reader stumble. I am more of the camp that believes less is better. I don’t want my readers pausing every couple paragraphs trying to figure out what that word is, or remember who that was because the name is so different, or needing a glossary at the end of the book for every creature, species, or person. I want it simple.

That being said, I still have creative or ancient words in my books. Recently I had someone ask me how to pronounce some of them. I told this person part of the magic of reading is you get to pronounce it the way you want to. However, I know some people like to know how the author pronounces it (even I am curious sometimes as to how the author would say that word).

So here is a short guide to some of the places, people, and races in the Follower of the Word series. Enjoy!

Nierne- Scribe from Thyra. Near Nee

Avonai- Capital city of the coastal country.  A Von Aa (long “a” at end)

Azar- Capital city of Temanin Empire.  A Zar

Tala- Ruling family of the Temanin Empire.  Tal La

Palancar- Guard family for the rulers of the White City.   Palan Car

Thyra- Capital of Kerre.  Thy Ra

Kerre- Country to the far west.  Cur

Eldarans- Race of people descended from the ancients ones who accompanied the Word to the Lands.  El Dare Ans

Shadonae- Race of people of which there is little known, other than they are powerful and violent.  Shad Don Aa (long “a”)

Mordra- Beings from the Unseen World. Also known as shadows or shadow wraiths.   More Dra

That about covers the main cast of people and places. If there is a person or word I missed and you are curious, feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll comment back on how I pronounce it 🙂

Ebook Sale!

Hi everyone! Tomorrow I will be participating in an author blog scavenger hunt. What is that? It’s where you follow links through a list of blogs, read the interviews or special features and find part of a clue. Once you have collected all the clues, you turn them in at the end of the scavenger hunt for a chance to win the grand prize (an iPad mini and a paperback book from every author on the scavenger hunt).

What does this have to do with an ebook sale? During the week long scavenger hunt, both of my ebooks will be on sale for $0.99 everywhere: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Marcher Lord Press. That’s right, Daughter of Light (Christy and Carol award finalist) and Son of Truth (the second book in the Follower of the Word series) are $0.99.

Daughter of Light is the story of Rowen Mar, a woman who can see the soul of a person with just a touch of her hand. Son of Truth continues Rowen’s story along with Caleb Tala, an assassin and prince introduced in Daughter of Light.

If you are looking for a gripping fantasy series to read this winter, then download these books. Already read Daughter of Light? Now is the time to pick up Son of Truth. Read both of them? Then consider gifting these books to your friends and family 🙂

Here are the links:

Daughter of LightDaughter of Light: Amazon

Daughter of Light: Nook

Daughter of Light: Marcher Lord Press

 

 

Son of TruthSon of Truth: Amazon

Son of Truth: Nook

Son of Truth: Marcher Lord Press

 

Birthdays and Giveaway Winner

BirthdayI love birthdays, which is kind of funny because I’m not a big celebrations kind of person. But there is something about a birthday: it is one day that is all yours and everyone rejoices with you.

I am now a year older, and I don’t mind. Really. I don’t mind getting older. Every year I have more and more things to be thankful for, to celebrate. I am blessed, even with everything that has happened in my life. And with each year that passes, I draw closer and closer to the day when I finally get to meet Jesus face to face, the one that I love.

So here is to birthdays!

I’m also excited because I just clicked on the winner button for my rafflecopter giveaway. Congratulations, Karen Kahne Shoemaker! You are the winner for the Daughter of Light and Son of Truth giveaway! Whoot!

I will be contacting you today and getting those books sent off into cyberspace!

It’s just wonderful to giveaway gifts on my birthday 🙂

For the rest of you, my publisher is running a great deal right now: 25% off almost every Marcher Lord book (including my series). I have personally read almost 1/3 of the titles and slowly making my way through the rest and I can tell you that these are good books. And I’m not saying that because I’m published with MLP. I was reading these books before I was published!

If you are interested, here is the link to get the code.

Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful birthday wishes and for entering my book giveaway 🙂

 

Daughter of Light and Son of Truth Book Giveaway

AutumnOnce again October is upon us, my most favorite month of the year! To celebrate October, every year I feature anything and everything speculative on my blog: books, movies, sites to visit, etc…

To kick off my celebration of October, I am giving away an ebook bundle of my own books: Daughter of Light and Son of Truth, the first two books in the Follower of the Word series. This series follows the life of Rowen, a woman who discovers a mark on her hand, a mark that–when she touches someone–allows her to see inside that person’s soul. If you enjoy Terry Brooks or Terry Goodkind and are looking for a fantasy series that is not YA, then enter and try this one out.

There are many ways to enter: tweet about the giveaway, like my facebook page, leave a comment, etc… Just click on the link to go to the giveaway and start entering. I will randomly choose the winner on October 8th, my birthday to be exact. I thought this would be a great way to celebrate, by giving away books 🙂

So what are you waiting for? Click on the link! Rafflecopter Giveaway

And, if that giveaway isn’t enough, you have another chance to win my books, along with every other book my publisher (Marcher Lord Press) has ever published, in celebration of its 5th year anniversary: www.marcherlordpress.com

Writing Book Three

When I published Son of Truth, I jokingly told my husband that I would probably receive death threats due to the way I ended the story. I never realized how real those words would turn out to be.

No, I haven’t received any death threats. But I had one reader very, very angry with me. So I went back and looked again at my story. Could I have ended it any other way? Was there a better place to conclude Son of Truth and begin book three? Honestly, no. Son of Truth ended right where it needed to before everything starts in book three.

So I write this post to assure you there will be a book three. All the story threads that have been woven into Daughter of Light and Son of Truth since the prologue (yes, that is a hint that the prologue is important) will end in book three.

Rowen will finally meet the Shadonae. She will discover who she really is and what happened to the Eldarans. Nierne will arrive back in her homeland to find it changed. Caleb will be forging a new identity as a Guardian and an outcast of Temanin. And Lore will find Rowen, but it will be a bittersweet reunion.

It is a relief to finally be writing book three. For six years I’ve known how this series would end. These characters have lived a long time in my head and I am both ready and sad for them to leave.

Thank you, readers, for joining me on this journey. I want to give you the best, most satisfying ending that I can. I have a tentative title for book three, but am not ready to release the name. Book three will hopefully release 2014. Until then, I will continue writing.

 

Daughter of Light a Carol Award Finalist

More news to share. I found yesterday that my novel, Daughter of Light, is a finalist for the Carol Awards in the speculative category. As my son said, “That’s pretty cool, mom!” And I told him, “Yeah, it is. But God had a big part in it.”

I can’t tell you how many times I would lay my head down next to the computer and pray. I wanted to give up. I didn’t know what to write next. And after Daughter of Light was published, I was so discouraged I wanted to walk away from writing and never come back. But God didn’t let me. He brought encouragement via friends and emails. He brought ideas. He brought people who have helped me walk this path. And so I kept writing.

Yes, it is really cool to be a finalist for the Carol Awards. I never thought it would happen to me. But I didn’t do it alone. So thank you, God, for another blessing in my writing.Carol Award

Daughter of Light a Christy Award Finalist

The Christy AwardI sat at the gas station, waiting for my husband to gas up our van. While I waited, I checked my emails. I thumbed down and saw a forward from my editor. I opened the message. My heart stopped. I read the message again. There was a disconnect between my eyes and my brain. Dan climbed back into the van and started the motor. I turned toward him and in a calm voice announced that Daughter of Light was a finalist for the Christy Awards.

Dan went nuts while I stared ahead again in absolute shock.

It took two more days for the news to finally sink in.

I never expected to final in the Christy Awards. In fact, I almost didn’t enter. The day I had to make the decision, God provided everything I needed in order to enter. On November 15th, I wrote this on my Facebook author page: “Had a God moment this week. I had a writing opportunity come up that I could not afford. I told God jokingly that He would have to drop the money in my lap (my exact words). Well, He did, in a way that I would have never thought. And it was the exact amount too. I’m still walking around dazed lol.” And so I entered the Christy Awards.

And once again I am walking around dazed.

Last week, Daughter of Light hit #1 bestseller in 3 categories on Amazon and #134 overall on Nook. It felt good. But I realized something during that time. Here is what I wrote on facebook: Something I have learned about blessings: enjoy them, don’t horde them. They come and go, so enjoy the moment. Like all things, they will eventually slip away. But if you try to cling to them, you will miss the moment.

So right now I am going to enjoy this moment God has given me 🙂

To find out more about the Christy Awards and other 2013 nominees, click here: www.christyawards.com

 

Daughter of Light is on Sale

Daughter of LightHey everyone! Daughter of Light, the first novel in my Follower of the Word series, is on sale for $0.99 now until Monday. So if you are looking for a new series to read, check this one out 🙂 Click on the preferred ebook link below:

Marcher Lord Press

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

 

 

Daughter of Light on Sale

As the release date approaches for Son of Truth, my publisher and I decided to lower the price on Daughter of Light. If you are looking for a deep fantasy story along the lines of Terry Brooks’ or Terry Goodkind’s style, then check out the first book in the Follower of the Word series.

daugher_of_light_lgWhat if with one touch you could see inside the soul?

Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banished from her village as a witch. She covers the mark with a leather glove and seeks sanctuary in the White City. She lives in fear that if she touches another person, the power inside her will trigger again, a terrifying power that allows her to see the darkness inside the human heart . . .

But the mark is a summons, and those called cannot hide forever. For the salvation of her people lies within her hand.