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Month: November 2018

Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 11/26/18 – Improving Writing Skills

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

I really appreciate all of the questions that I get from my readers. Today I’m answering the question, “Did you take courses to improve your writing skills? If not, what happened to develop your writing skills?”

I hope you learn more about me through my response:

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Massive Cyber Monday Sale! 50% Off eBooks and 25% Off Paperbacks!

It’s Time for My Annual Cyber Monday Sale!
I have put every single ebook on sale for 50% off, and every paperback on sale for 25% off!

Also, on my paperback store, the paperbacks with the old covers of The Jewel Series are still FREE. That’s right! You pay the $8 flat rate for priority shipping (5 books at a time limit), and the books are yours.

This is buying directly from me — not from any retailers. If you click the retailer link, you’ll see the full price. To buy ebooks from me and get the 50% off, click “Buy Now” on each book page, then click the “Paypal” button.

This sale is on right now and will end Tuesday morning the 27th. Happy Cyber Monday Shopping! Click this link to go to the home page and see all the books.

Click this picture to go straight to the Jewel Series:

Click this picture to go straight to the Song of Suspense Series:

Click this picture to go straight to the Virtues and Valor Series:

Click this picture to go straight to the Parody Cookbook Series:

Sale will end Tuesday morning, so get the deals while you can!

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Interview with Author Chad Pettit and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! I love how small this world is and how often I find myself connecting with the writers who are guests on my blog. As the daughter of an infantryman who grew up in Oregon, I’m thrilled to bring you Chad Pettit this week!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a pretty regular guy with big dreams. I became a follower of Jesus Christ in 2007. Before that I was an infantry soldier with a couple of combat tours under my belt. I grew up in Oregon, but I live in Central Texas with my wife and kids. I teach English at an early college high school, and I have a goal of inspiring people to live their best lives through the message God has given me. I’m not big on hobbies, but I love a good book or a good movie. I’m definitely the kind of guy who can usually be found at home with family.

Tell us about your current release. Fate of the Watchman is a fantasy novella that tells the story of Lester Sharp, a man obsessed with his work and his own world. He doesn’t even know the rest of the world exists, but when time freezes, and he’s met by a very unlikely stranger, all of that changes. He soon finds himself witnessing tragedies he never could have imagined while trapped in a single moment of time.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Without question. I’ve had to tell myself this all the time. When I sit down to write, I pray first. I ask the Lord to help me write something that will help someone to be inspired, grow in their faith, or have their life changed through the story.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? A willingness for writers to tackle heavy issues and be bold. I think there’s a need for safe, predictable stories, but some truths are uncomfortable. How can a writer present a harsh reality to readers without representing that reality in a realistic way? I’m not talking about compromising or being profane. I am talking about being unafraid of breaking conventions and maybe even being controversial.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent or audience if you self-publish)? I trust that this is what God gave me to write, and I believe that the talents and abilities I use to write come directly from Him. It would be wrong for me to hold these talents in, and it would be disobedient to keep these stories to myself. The fear will always be there. Doubt will always be present. But, so will the Spirit of God, and that is more powerful than all fear and doubt.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I honestly cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve always loved reading, and every time I finish a book I look up the writer. This stuff comes to me; it’s always been a part of who I am. It’s difficult to describe how passionate about writing I actually am. Since I came to know the Lord and realized His desire for me to write, it has become a calling.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Don’t rush. Your stories are wrapped up in your experiences. The more life you live, the more believable your characters will be and the stronger your message will feel. The best thing you can do is to dedicate time to learning the craft of writing and honing your skills. Everyone wants to tackle a novel right out of the gate, but there’s a lot of value in writing short stories to develop as a writer.

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? I went through some real spiritual battles that shaped who I am. Most of them are difficult for me to talk about, but I learned how to overcome guilt, shame, heartbreak, and even betrayal through those experiences. That is the key to everything I write. The stories I create are just mediums of expression for those truths. From that root, an idea will sprout, and it grows and blossoms through a combination of brainstorming and prayer. The initial idea usually springs up when I’m doing nothing related to writing, like when I’m sitting in a church service.

Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? I really don’t. I talk to myself, and I like to think I’m a fairly reasonable guy. It goes around in my head for a long time, and then I start fleshing it out in a Word document or notes on my phone.

Where can readers find you? I send out a weekly devotion to email subscribers, along with excerpts from my books, a free book, and other exclusive content. People can subscribe through my website or by following this link: Subscribe.
www.chadpettit.net
www.facebook.com/ChadPettit.Writer
Twitter: @pettit_chad
Instagram: @chad_pettit

Find Chad’s latest release online:

Chad is giving away an ebook version of his latest release Fate of the Watchman. Here’s how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 11/19/18 – Be The 10%

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

I really appreciate all of the questions that I get from my readers. Today I’m answering the question, “How did you know when your writing was up-to-par?”

I hope you learn more about me through my response:

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Rejoicing Always, Praying Without Ceasing, Being Thankful in Everything

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my office in my home. My children are home from school because we had an ice storm last night and school was closed. It is dry and warm in our house and I have bread rising in the kitchen. My husband has a good job.

It’s easy to read that verse today. Rejoice ALWAYS. Pray WITHOUT CEASING. IN EVERYTHING give thanks.

But the fact is, there are times in life when this verse is impossible to comprehend. Some of you are reading this now thinking, “No way.”

I understand. I’ve been there.

My dear friend’s parents lost their entire town to a terrible fire this week. Flooding has killed dozens and destroyed communities in Italy. School shootings, house of worship shootings, bar shootings are becoming normal words. We’ve been at war for 17 years.

I don’t think this passage is intended to admonish those who don’t always rejoice, who don’t always pray, and who aren’t thankful in everything. In fact, Solomon, the man whom 1 Kings tells us that God gave him “wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore”, who was “wiser than all men”, (1 Kings 4:29-30) tells us in Ecclesiastes 3 that there’s a time to hate, a time to mourn, a time to weep, a time to break down — that there is a time for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

I think this passage of verses in the letter to the church in Thessalonica is intended to encourage us, to give us the smallest glimpse into what life will be like in our perfected bodies. It’s something to which we’re to strive to achieve and to know that one day we won’t even have to try.

When things are dim and scary, when life is hard and feels impossible, I say these verses out loud. The Bible tells us that the word of God is our weapon – our sword – to use to battle the enemies of God (Ephesians 6:7). Speaking the words out loud even in the midst of grief, pain, and fear, reminds me of the fruit of the Spirit that dwells inside of me. That no weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:7), and that I am not alone (Deuteronomy 31:6).

It gives my heart and mind peace to know that I have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me to draw upon and then find that I can start rejoicing, despite the circumstances. That I can pray through good times and bad, and keep a constant line of communication open. That I can be thankful in all circumstances because I know the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

Be encouraged during this time of Thanksgiving. As you ponder that which you can easily give thanks, remember that even if your time is to weep, or your time is to mourn, you can draw upon that same power.

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Interview with Author Kari Trumbo and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m so excited to introduce you to Kari Trumbo! Kari and I cross paths regularly inside the Christian writer community, and I’m thrilled that she agreed to be a guest on my blog. She’s giving away a signed paperback of her latest release, so make sure you read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Hello everyone! I am Kari Trumbo, a writer of sweet Christian stories, with swoony heroes and heartfelt romance. I’ve mostly written historical westerns, but I’ve been writing a few contemporary stories lately.

Tell us about your current release: My newest release is for Christmas, Better Than First, Olympic Hopefuls book 1. Better Than First is like Hallmark Christmas Movie meets Touched By an Angel. Isla Flores has been a paraplegic her whole life and she needs to earn her place in the Paralympic games. When her best friend and coach, Duncan Schmitz challenges her to make a twelve item bucket list to complete before Christmas, she’s not only forced to see life off the track differently, but her coach, too.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. In fact, I’ve got many friends who write to market and sell a lot more books than I do. I write the stories the Lord has placed on my heart. I figure there is a reason for that. Each story much touch someone.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? For the last two years, I’ve released almost one book a month. While I’m proud of the accomplishment, I’m tired. I still have daily writing goals, and a schedule, but sometimes it’s hard to ignore a story that wants to be written out of schedule order.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.): I love the computer, because I tend to write very quickly in first draft. I write it like it “looks” in my head. On my second pass, I add in emotion and senses, deepen everything.

Sometimes, when I’m distracted by pain or I’m outside I’ll just grab a notebook and start writing, but I have neuropathy in my fingers from twelve years of spinal issues, so I can’t write more than a couple pages at a time, whereas I can write most of a chapter in one hour if I’m typing.

How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel. What were some of your major roadblocks and how did you overcome them? I didn’t tell anyone when I first started. I had an idea (and that book has never and probably will never be published) and I wrote it in the span of one month. It was awful, but that didn’t matter, I’d done it. I told my closest writing friend and she challenged me to write another one for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) the following month. I took up the challenge and wrote my first published book the following month. That was probably what got me started writing fast. Two books in two months to start is a big task and pretty much broke any notions I’d had about what speed I “should” write.

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? I’ll be honest. I don’t. I know the two characters and I might know a little of their history (if it’s a series and the character has been introduced before). But I have started a book literally with two names and nothing else. Now, I write romance so *spoiler alert* I do have some idea of the ending when I start, but I usually have no clue what is going to transpire in the story to get them there.

My absolute bestselling book, with over 11,000 copies sold, was written in just over two weeks. I knew the names of the two characters, but only that. The group I was writing with decided we’d release a book every three weeks, and I was up first. I had no choice. Sometimes it just comes.

Find Kari online:

Find Kari’s latest release online:

Kari is giving away an autographed paperback of Better Than First! Here’s how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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