Posted in Author Interview, Writing, Writing Wednesday

The Wedding Blog Tour- Author Q&A

Hello everyone

I’m so stoked that I was able to interview Livy as she celebrates the release for the third and final(sobs) book of the Tarsurella Trilogy.

This is the last book in the Tales of Tarsurella Trilogy- how did you feel when you were writing it?

The Wedding was actually a really fast writing process for me. The entire story spilled out in just a few short months. I was so excited to get to this chapter of Addison and Vanessa’s story, so I think it all came together very naturally!

What does your writing process usually look like, and do you change it around for each book/series?

Yes, my writing process definitely changes with each new project! For The Coronation, I 100% didn’t know what I was doing! Haha! I hadn’t done any pre-plotting, so I really just went wherever the story took me. It was all fun and games until I reached the dramatic climax – and had no idea where to go next!

After writing The Coronation, I wanted to learn more about plot and structure. I quickly realized there are a lot of “rules”, “do’s and don’ts” and I had already broken so many of them in my debut! I decided that if I was going to be a rebel, I at least needed to be an educated rebel. I once heard someone say, “Learn the rules, so you can break them.” When you take time to study the “why” behind plot and structure, why our brains gravitate toward it, what makes a good story, etc, you can decide what “rules” you’d like to apply to your writing, and what to throw out.  For me, I know my writing will always contain a certain element of “pantsing” (AKA, flying by the seat of your pants!) but I’ve also learned the value of having a moral premise and creating structure before you dive in and write a bunch of words. 

So I plotted both The Rebellion and The Wedding before writing them. Yet, I still left enough wiggle room for characters to lead and hijack a scene, if they so desired. 

What do I mean by that? 

I mean, I never want to force a character to do something that isn’t natural for them. I might have a good, solid plan in mind, but when my character decides to do something off script, because that’s truly the most organic, true-to-self thing they would do in that moment…I have to get them go with it! Personally, I love when this happens, because it keeps writing exciting, and it keeps me, as an author, on my toes! I think I would be bored if I knew every last detail about my story, before it happened.  

You’ve also written nonfiction books- was the process very different, and which genre do you prefer writing in?

Yes, so my first book was When Life Feels Like a Taylor Swift Song: A Girls Guide to Boys, followed by Beauty Boys and Ball Gowns, and Secrets of Royalty. All three of these titles were written when I started my online ministry, Crown of Beauty Magazine. I loved writing encouraging articles and posting on social media, but I felt like there was so much more that I wanted to share: more than what would fit in a blog post! So each of these titles really came from a place of just desiring to minister and encourage that audience of girls who was following Crown of Beauty. 

I never really planned on publishing The Coronation, or becoming fully immersed in this wild world of fiction! But God has a funny way of switching up our plans, and He’s always so faithful to direct our steps, so five YA titles later, here we are! I absolutely love writing what I am right now, but my heart is still very open to returning to non-fiction. I’m sure I’ll publish more non-fiction in the future, but it has to be in God’s perfect timing.   

I know that as a reader, it’s really hard waiting for new books to come out. Do you have any tips for authors on ‘entertaining the reader’ in between books?

Oh, this is a good question! After publishing The Coronation, I asked myself that exact question! “How do I keep my audience engaged and excited, while they wait for the next book in the series?” 

I decided to release small “episodes” on a weekly basis. Every Friday, I shared a new installment of “Regal Hearts”. I thought it would be fun to write and release it in a “TV show format”, and encouraged readers that it would feel a lot like watching a new episode of their favorite show each weekend! 

Well, that snowballed into ten “episodes”, which turned into the Regal Hearts Season 1 Bundle, a book in paperback! Now we’ve published Season 2…and readers are asking for Season 3! Soooo, just a word to the wise, if you decide to do a “side project” to keep your readers engaged, it may become far more consuming than you intended! Haha. 

I think it can be tempting for authors to feel like we “owe” our following more content. We live in such a consuming, driven, binge-watching generation, it can be easy to slip into a mindset of entitlement. I know that after I finish watching my favorite TV show or movie, I always say, “I want more! I NEED more! I can’t wait, give it to me now!” 

And when you think about it, that’s not very healthy. 

So I think as authors, it can actually be a good thing when we ask readers to wait (uh oh, don’t throw your tomatoes at me yet!) because waiting makes the fulfillment of that thing we’ve been waiting for, so much sweeter and more special.     

If you cranked out a new book for your readers every month (which um, that’s amazing if you do, I need to learn your secrets!) I get the feeling that STILL wouldn’t be enough. It’s wonderful that readers always want more, because it means you’re writing something that’s touching them in a really personal way! So if you have this problem, it’s a great problem to have. 

But I think it’s just important to remember that you can totally take breaks, and you don’t need to be cranking out content 24-7. Also, there are other ways to engage with your readers during the “lul” times, especially on social media!   

I for one have a blast chit-chatting with readers on Instagram (@livylynglittergirl) and posting weekly vlogs on my YouTube channel! My content isn’t always writing relating, it more so just giving readers a peek into my real, everyday life. But I feel like it’s still a valid way to connect while they’re eagerly awaiting the next installment. 

What can we do as readers to support you and other authors in any stage of your writing career?

Wow, another awesome question!

So, there are a few things. Number one: leave your reviews! I’m sure readers get tired of hearing this, but reviews are actually really meaningful to authors, for several reasons. First of all, it reminds us that people are actually reading our books. (Sometimes we forget! Hearing from a reader, even if it’s just in an email or via Instagram, absolutely MAKES our days!) Secondly, you don’t have to write a massive school-report including all the pros and cons, when you share on Goodreads and Amazon. I know sometimes, the idea of writing a “Review” can sounds super scary and overwhelming. But just a simple, “I enjoyed this!” totally counts as a review!

Lastly, YOUR reviews help other readers find our book. And this is why we value them so much. It doesn’t matter whether the review is a glowing 5 stars, or a simple, “Eh, it was okay”…your honest review shows both the digital algorithms on Goodreads and Amazon AND people in real life, that our book exists! And that alone is huge.  

The most powerful marketing for an author, is word of mouth. Meaning, we could spend hundreds of dollars on Ads, marketing, doing interviews, running a Blog Tour, etc, etc…but all of those efforts pale in comparison to one hearty fangirl raving over a title to her best friends! (Never underestimate the power of a fangirl!) My favorite thing about word of mouth, is it helps readers discover books offline as well.  

Those who request The Coronation at their local library, pass the book off to a friend at church, or post about the title on Facebook, ARE GROWING THE TARSURELLIAN ARMY! So a huge thank you and ten-billion high-fives to all of you who are out there spreading the word! ❤   

There are a lot of pressures that authors face. Do you have any in particular that you struggle with, and how do you cope with them?

I think every pressure all roots back to one thing: it’s a mental battle. If we’re feeling pressure from anyone, whether it’s the pressure to perform, the pressure to write better, the pressure to publish more, the pressure to sell more books; whatever it may be, we have to remember that it’s our choice whether or not we give into it. 

For me personally, I didn’t start writing so I could win the approval of others. I didn’t set out on a mission of trying to read a certain “level”, or perform in a manner that would cause people to be impressed. 

As a child of God, everything I do is out of relationship with Him. When I write, I want it to be for the right reasons, simply enjoying the process of creativity I have with Him. Of course I want to be excellent at what I do, and I want to grow, and get better, and reach more people, and impact lives: but at the end of the day, that’s not what it’s about. 

My identity doesn’t come from my writing, and I think that’s a HUGE factor that has helped me avoid some of the “pitfalls”, so to speak, that a lot of authors struggle with. 

I’ve seen so many writers get down on themselves, or get discouraged because of bad reviews, lack of sales, rude “fan” interactions, or whatever it may be…but when we slip into a place of discouragement, mentally, it’s because our focus is no longer in the right place.   

Personally, I hold my “writing career” very VERY loosely. When I was younger, I did struggle with feeling the need or pressure to “perform”, to reach a certain pinnacle of success and “prove” that I was worthy of my title. But God has been SO faithful to draw me out of that place, to bring me into the Palace of His Love and say, “No, no, no that’s not who you are, Livy. You’re seated in heavenly places with Me. You have such high calling and destiny, as My Daughter! Your identity is not in what you write or what you accomplish on this earth, it’s in the fact that you’re Mine!”  

Over the years, God has helped me shift my mindset to align more and more with His. And no, I haven’t arrived yet! I’m still growing, everyday! But I feel like a lot of the struggles authors deal with are 100% mental, and if we’re willing to go on this journey with God and let Him deal with our heart issues, He will bring us into a place of such joy, where these things aren’t even an issue anymore. 

Do you have any tips for aspiring fiction and nonfiction authors? 

Absolutely! And just to keep things simple, here are 5 things to keep in mind. 🙂

1. Start Everyday with Jesus! (He is your source, don’t try to write without him.)

2. Turn Off Your Inner Critic! (Don’t self-edit while you’re writing. Reject all negativity and critique, or else it will totally kill your first draft. Editing comes later.)

3. Know Your Characters! (Get to know your characters as deeply as you can. Interviewing them is always fun, as you learn more and more about who they truly are. Let this shift and change your story.)

4. Work With a Team! (Don’t go on this writing journey alone. Get connected with a writing community. Whether you’re doing fiction or non-fiction, connect with friends who can critique your writing, offer feedback, and encourage you!)

5. Have FUN! (Writing, publishing, and marketing, can all feel like a bit of an uphill battle. But if you lose your joy, and are just pressing through and have no idea why you’re so frustrated, it might be a good idea to stop, release the pressure, and return to a place of joy  and simplicity with Jesus! If you need to take a break, work on a different project entierly, and write just purely for FUN, do it!)  

Thank you so much for being here today , Livy.

If you want to know more about The Wedding, and how to connect with Livy, keep reading.

Vanessa Bennett is living in a real-life fairytale. Now that she’s engaged to the man of her dreams, The Palace Staff is consumed with wedding preparation. The upcoming event is no small affair, as Vanessa is bombarded with hundreds of decisions she needs to make before the wedding date arrives. Amidst the endless details concerning dresses, decorations and napkins, a greater question looms: is Vanessa truly ready to become Queen? As tensions rise within Tarsurella, the role of joining her betrothed in governing an ever-shifting nation is no small task. Will she crack under the pressure?Meanwhile, Jane Akerly is hoping to awaken from a nightmare. Her father has been missing for months. Advised to accept the harsh reality that he may never return, Jane isn’t ready to give up. She finds comfort in the one place she’s always run to for escape–her daydreams. Her imagination has the power to carry her across the ocean, stroll the streets of London, and imagine that all is well. In an unexpected turn of events, Jane is given the opportunity to create the future of her dreams–but will her pen be enough to save her? The Wedding is Book #3 in The Tales of Tarsurella Series

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Livy Jarmusch 

YA Christian Fiction Author of The Tales of Tarsurella and Regal Hearts

www.livylynnblog.com

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Posted in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, Writing, Writing Wednesday

100 Days of Sunlight Blog Tour- Author Q&A

Hello everyone!

Ok, I need to scream.

100 Days of Sunlight has released today!!!!

I’m so excited, that as well as interviewing the amazing Abbie Emmons about her book today, I’m doing a book review on 100 Days of Sunlight tomorrow 😍😍😍

So, before I go nuts, let’s get on with the interview.

1. When did you start writing with the hope of becoming an author?

I fell in love with stories when I was growing up. My mom would read tons of books with me and my

sister, and English was my favorite subject in school because of all the reading I had to do. I think that’s

what first inspired me to become a writer – I was amazed by the way stories can transport you to

another world and make you feel. It struck me as being pretty darn magical, and I immediately wanted to

write stories of my own.

However, I didn’t know writing would be my career until about five years ago. I went through a lot of

growing and exploring in my teenage years and finally realized that I kept coming back to writing

because I have an undying passion for it. 

2. What is 100 Days of Sunlight about?

Here’s the story in a nutshell: 

When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson temporarily loses her eyesight in a car accident, the

only person who can help her is Weston: an optimistic boy who, unknown to Tessa, is missing both legs

. Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston helps her by reaching into her darkness and

showing her that there is more than one way to see the beauty in the world. But when Tessa’s sight

returns, will Weston be able to overcome his own fear of being seen?

3. What inspired 100 Days of Sunlight?

100 Days of Sunlight is a story that I feel has always been in my heart, I just didn’t know it until April

2017. It came to me quite literally like a lightbulb turning on. I immediately fell in love with the idea

— two characters experiencing loss, recovery, and hope; two characters connecting to help each

other heal in ways they wouldn’t have been able to alone. I knew it would be a love story, but not

just about romantic love — it would be about the love between brothers, and grandparents, and

friends. The story captured my heart before I even knew how it would end. I knew right from the

start that this novel would be my debut — I love the characters in this story and what they stand for.

4. Who is the book for?

The people who need some sunshine and encouragement. The people who need to feel hopeful, seen,

worthy, loved, priceless. The people who need a reminder that there’s nothing they can’t do – and when

life knocks you down, get up. Always, always get up. 

5. What do you want readers to gain from your book?

I want them to feel hopeful and encouraged. My goal with every story I write is to shine a light in the

dark places, put a smile on someone’s face, and give them a new sense of love and joy for life.

6. Have you written any other books and where can we get them?

I have several books in different stages of doneness, but this is my first and only published novel

(so far!) Definitely stay tuned, because I have a lot more where 100 Days came from. 😉

7. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Sweet contemporary romances with strong family and friendship themes and a meaningful theme!

Which is, predictably, what I also love writing. 

8. I’m aware that you’re a Christian, and while 100 Days of Sunlight is more a mainstream book,

it’s packed with so much truth. How do you incorporate truth and hope into your writing, making

it accessible for anyone?

I believe that a good and beautiful creation should be accessible to everyone, regardless of religious

differences. That’s why it’s so important to me to write stories anyone can read and get something out

of.

I think one of the keys to doing this is letting your characters believe what they believe. In 100 Days of

Sunlight, all the characters have different beliefs and faiths – some have none at all. I try to make my

books true to life and be the observer of my characters instead of editorializing them to push a certain

message. Instead, I weave truths into my characters’ realizations and let them express their own beliefs

and personalities without mine getting in the way. 

9. What books do you recommend for Christian writers, who want to share truth and hope to the

public, but not explicitly, and do you have any tips for them? 

My favorite books on writing are Wired For Story and Story Genius both by Lisa Cron. Although these

books aren’t specifically about theme, they cover a lot of important points about telling a story that will

compel a reader. I think that’s definitely step one to having any sort of impact on your reader – the story

has to engage them. 

My favorite line in Story Genius goes something like this: “The only way to change how someone thinks

about something, is to first change how someone feels about something.” Truer words have never been

written about story. This is the power of storytelling: if we can change the way someone feels about

something, we can introduce them to a wondrous truth about themselves – and maybe even change

their life. 

10. Where can we connect with you?

The best way to connect with me is via my blog and/or YouTube channel. I’m also on Instagram

and Facebook

11. What tips do you have for young aspiring writers?

Story isn’t about what happens. It’s about how what happens affects and transforms the characters

. < If anyone out there follows my YouTube channel, they’ve probably heard me say this a lot. In

my opinion, it is the golden rule of writing. When you make everything in your story matter to your

characters (given their motivations and fears) you can truly engage your reader and leave them

thinking long after they turn the final page of your story. Secondly, you always have to remember

why your story matters to you. Remembering your “why” will keep your passion alive through the

toughest days and lead you to those gloriously satisfying words: the end. 

Thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog today, Medomfo! It was a pleasure to talk

with you about all things writing. 🙂

Thank you so much Abbie! And a huge congratulations for your debut novel’s release.

If you want to get to know more about Abbie, simply read on:

ABBIE EMMONS has been writing stories ever since she could hold a pencil. What started out as an intrinsic love for storytelling has turned into her lifelong passion. There’s nothing Abbie likes better than writing (and reading) stories that are both heartrending and humorous, with a touch of cute romance and a poignant streak of truth running through them. Abbie is also a YouTuber, singer/songwriter, blogger, traveler, filmmaker, big dreamer, and professional waffle-eater. When she’s not writing or dreaming up new stories, you can find her road-tripping to national parks or binge-watching BBC Masterpiece dramas in her cozy Vermont home with a cup of tea and her fluffy white lap dog, Pearl. 

If you want to see Abbie in her element (ranting about stories) just type her name into YouTube and search

Buy 100 Days of Sunlight

Add 100 Days of Sunlight on Goodreads

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Author website

Blog

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Stay tuned tomorrow for my review 😊

Posted in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Writing two povs ‘About the process’ – Guest post by Amanda Tero

Hello everyone! Today, Amanda Tero is going to tell us the writing process she used to write The Secret Slipper.

Writing Two POVs – About the Process for “The Secret Slipper”

 

I’m curious about almost anything. So when it comes to writing snippets for “about the process” of my stories, I always go through a plethora of random ideas before I settle on one. And sometimes, I wonder if the one idea I pick is really that scarce or if I just didn’t really read any articles of anyone else on it (I am the world’s worst at figuring things out on my own instead of reading directions…). 

 

For instance, writing in two POVs (Point of View). I have stumbled across articles on plotlines, on character development, word usage, research tips, etc. But when it came to reaching beyond my comfort zone of one POV, it was a full-blown experimental process for me.

 

I didn’t have a problem with that. But it definitely was one of the new “about the processes” of writing that I hadn’t experienced before. Because writing two POVs is drastically different than one. I don’t know how everyone else does it, but here’s kind of what I did (and why I did it)

 

I had a reason

I began writing from Lia’s POV only, but the more I thought on the story, I realized how much richer it would be if the reader saw Lord Kiralyn’s search for her rather than have her father conveniently show up when she most needed him. It also pulled the story along—because, as a reader, there is nothing more fun than to know what is happening on one side while this other character is clueless.

 

In addition to sharing both Lia’s and Lord Kiralyn’s POVs, the prologue is from Bioti’s POV—the only time you hear her side of the story. This portion of the story could have only been told by Bioti, so it fit. There was a reason.

 

I had structure

Different stories call for different POV structures. For example, in “The Secret Slipper,” I did even distribution: one chapter Liathen one chapter Lord Kiralyn, for the entire book. In “Protecting the Poor,” the story is more Dumphey-heavy where I have two or three of his chapters before featuring one of Noel’s. There were a couple of times in “The Secret Slipper” when I considered changing my structure, but in the end, it worked out to have the flow go evenly (and am I the only one who can’t break from a pattern one I establish it??).

 

I wrote what I was intrigued with

I’m not saying that I’m a “write only when the idea’s hot” type of gal—there have been many thousands of words I’ve written because they needed to be written but I didn’t feel like writing—but, if I lost interest in one story or wasn’t sure where to go, writing two POVs enabled me to jump to the other storyline. This worked out really well for me. A brick wall in one storylinedidn’t mean my progress stopped.

 

I played some

I’ll admit, one of my favorite scenes to write was when the two met without knowing in chapters six and seven (oops, spoiler alert…). Ah, all the author-thrills here of knowing some readers will scream at the characters for their ignorance. But it truly is fun to write the same situation and catch more than one person’s reaction to it.

 

I edited one POV at a time

When it got to editing, I realized that I needed to approach things slightly differently than normal. To make sure each storyline flowed smoothly, I read only Lia’s storyline then onlyLord Kiralyn’s storyline. It helped me with character consistency as well as fluidity in story.

 

I decided I liked it

Yeah… so much so that when it came to “Protecting the Poor” there was no question about it: Noel needed a story to go alongside Dumphey’s. And I’ll probably do it again. And again.Not every story calls for multiple POVs, but when it does, I’ll be a happy camper, because I enjoy this process of writing.

 

 

Do you like reading books with more than one POV? Have you ever written with more than one POV? Which do you like to write better?

 

Thank you so much Amanda! If you want to learn more about her book, The Secret Slipper, read on to get an overview on the blurb :

Posted in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Tales of Faith- Befriending the Beast Q&A

Hello everyone!

This summer, I’m happy to have Amanda Tero over 3 times in celebration of 3 books from her Tales of Faith series.

Today, I’m interviewing her about Befriending the Beast.

When did you start writing with the hope of becoming an author? 

I have loved writing since I was at least eight years old. As a preteen, I definitely had those daydreams about becoming a published author. I didn’t do much writing in my upper teens, and in my early twenties, it was almost like I “accidentally” fell into publishing (God totally dropped it in my lap). I had written a few short stories for my sisters for Christmas (“Letters from a Scatter-Brained Sister,” “Maggie’s Hope Chest” and “Noelle’s Gift”). I was actually setting up for my music at a homeschoolconvention and Mom suggested I print off some copies to try to sell there. From then, I looked in Amazon Kindle publishing, and “the rest is history.”

 

What is Befriending the Beast about? 

“Befriending the Beast” is about a girl whose father turned bitter and harsh after his wife passed away. She has recently come to know Jesus Christ as her Savior and God has been working in her heart to feel compassion and love toward her estranged father. The book starts when she has decided to return to her father without his knowledge. Here is the official blurb:

 

 

What inspired Befriending the Beast? 

It was actually just a simple question: “What if the Beast was Belle’s father?” I wrote a full post about it on my blog.

 

Who is the book for? 

The book is suitable for all readers, but especially appeals to preteen and tween girls.

 

. What do you want readers to gain from your book? 

The message of the book is follow God despite the circumstances and to be patient for Him to work. I definitely want readers to come away with renewed trust in God and His timing.

 

Have you written any other books and where can we get them? 

I have written several short stories and three novellas. They are all available on Amazon.

 

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? 

I enjoy reading nonfictional inspirational and historical books and fictional inspirational books (my preference is historical fiction, but I have been enjoying some contemporary fiction works lately).

 

What Christian contemporary books would you recommend to new contemporary writers? 

As for books on writing, I like books by K.M. Weiland and then The Art and Craft of Christian Fiction Writing by Jeff Gerke.

As for contemporary authors I like and recommend for pleasure reading, Roseanna White is one of my favorites. I have also been enjoying books by Dee Henderson and Carrie Turanskyrecently. It is really, really difficult for me to pick just a few. You can see more of what I like on Goodreads.

 

Where can we connect with you? 

I am on several social media platforms, or you can just email me!

Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com

Website: http://amandatero.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandateroauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandateroauthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amandaruthtero/

Blog: www.withajoyfulnoise.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmandaTero

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/amandatero

 

What tips you have for young aspiring writers

Keep Christ first. You have to be sure that He’s leading you to write and that this is the message He wants you to write. If you know you’re following God, then when things get tough (because they do in writing!), it will help you press forward. Apart from that, be sure to read—read with the intent of learning how other authors work out their plots and characters, how they include real historical elements, etc. And don’t shy away from reading nonfiction. You want to be well-balanced. Never stop learning. Take criticism with humility and see everyone’s pointers as something that will make you a better writer.  

 

Thank you so much for having me on your blog!

Thank you so much for being here, Amanda, and I can’t wait to celebrate the rest of the blog tour this summer!

If you want to know about the blog tour and about Amanda, keep reading 😊

In anticipation of the release of “Protecting the Poor” (book three in the Tales of Faith series), Amanda is guest posting or being featured on over a dozen blogs each month. Each post is unique to the blog—an inspirational post, an article on the writing craft, an excerpt from one of the Tales of Faith books… you’ll just have to visit each blog to see what comes up. 😉 Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!

 

About Amanda:

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Posted in Writing, Writing Wednesday

The Art of Editor Matchmaking: Guest post by Michaela Bush

(Note: This was supposed be published on June 5th, but for various reasons, I wasn’t able to post🤭)

Hello everyone!

Today, I’m really excited because Michaela Bush has launched a new business that helps authors whether they’re a beginner or experienced. And as part of celebrating the biz launch, Michaela is giving us some of her tips on finding a good editor.

The day has come: your draft is written, you have a sweet cover, and the finish line is almost in view — but now you have to make a pretty big choice.  Finding the perfect editor for your book is crucial, but it doesn’t have to be a hard or drawn-out process. Here are some tips to make sure you find the best editor for your book!

  1. Search for editors that edit in your genre.  

Check out Twitter, Facebook groups, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goodreads, or even your friend’s favorite blog for editors who offer their services.  You might notice that some editors look for specific things or have a set of requirements for manuscripts that are sent in, so take note if they have preferences concerning genres or book styles.  I have even noticed editors who prefer certain character archetypes or storylines, so make sure that your book is the right fit for the editor’s requirements before you contact the editor. The editor, of course, may or may not accept your request to work on the book – but you can cut down the time spent emailing editors by double-checking their requirements first! If an editor doesn’t have any specific genres listed on their website, all you can do is send them an email and see if they’re interested in editing your work.

  1. Join writing groups on Facebook to see if you can connect with a trustworthy editor.

If you’re involved in groups that are filled with authors who write in your genre, it’s likely that you can ask for recommendations for good editors.  You might even connect with editors in the group who will gladly offer their services when the time comes. Some groups may also have specific days where editors and other author-services businesses can advertise their services!  Besides, you’ll find a lot of great writing pals this way — win-win!

  1. See if the editor offers a free sample edit.

Give special notice of editors who offer sample edits!  With an offer like that, you’ll be able to take a look at how the editor will improve your work.  Sample edits usually don’t cost anything, but they’re extremely valuable because you’ll see how well the editor works with you, as well as how well you work with the editor.  This is a very important relationship, as you’ll be working closely with this individual as they polish your manuscript.  It’simportant that you are able to get along well with the editor, and vice-versa. Not to mention, if the editor doesn’t seem to put a lot of effort into the sample edit or doesn’t work on areas that you’re concerned about, it ought to be apparent in the sample edit.  While you will ultimately have the final say concerning how your final manuscript will be changed before publication, you want to make sure that the time spent with the editor is time well spent!  If you take advantage of the sample edit and have any concerns whatsoever about working with the editor, make sure to voice your concerns before you sign a contract.  You aren’t obligated to use their services just because you utilized their sample edit – and actually, that’s why samples are offered: so the editor and author can essentially do a “test drive.”  

  1. See if the editor has any testimonials.

This allows you to see who has been satisfied with their work – which in turn may allow you to see what kind of books the editor works best with!  If they don’t have testimonials listed on their website, you may consider asking the editor what books they have worked on or if they have any testimonials that just aren’t posted on their website.  This helps you weed out anyone who may be scammy – scammers won’t have legitimate glowing reviews!

If you’re still unable to find a good editor, you can resort to the good ole Google search.  You can especially find editors if you search for ones within your genre, or perhaps editors who work with independent authors.  You’ll still want to follow the above tips, though, to ensure that you’re hiring an editor that will work well with your manuscript. However, this may bring up a lot of scammy businesses: if they charge a consulting fee or request the entire manuscript up front just to ask them about their services before the project is accepted and contracted…flee immediately.  Or close the tab on your computer – you know what I mean.  Basically, you shouldn’t have to pay submission fees or send your entire manuscript when you are sending an initial email to an editor or company.  

You always want to make sure that the editor you’re hiring will be a good fit for your book.  If they refuse your book for any reason, don’t get upset. Maybe the editor realized that their talents weren’t a good match with your talents.  

Before hiring an editor, you’ll also want to double-check their contractual requirements: what is their turnaround time?  Do they have any content limitations or require a percentage of the fee up-front? Once you have that information, you’ll be good to go!   

Essentially, it’s good to follow common sense when you’re hiring anyone, especially an editor.  Making sure that you’ll be able to work well with the editor, that the editor works well with your manuscript, and that the editor is legitimate and trustworthy.  If you find that perfect editor, you’ll be likely to have a great professional contact for future manuscripts as well!

Thank you so much Michaela for sharing with us some of your wisdom!

If you want to learn more about Tangled Up in Writing services and about Michaela herself, simply keep reading 💖

Professional author services now available for an affordable price!  

Michaela Bush is now offering affordable and professional author services!  She has a brand-new B.A. in English, as well as a passion for helping current and aspiring authors achieve their publishing goals.  She offers editing, proofreading, consultations, and more

Michaela Bush is a Christian author, freelance editor, and entrepreneur.  She graduated in 2019 from Clarion University in Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Psychology.  When she’s not spinning together her next story or working, she enjoys spending time with her family or horseback riding.  She is also a crazy cat lady.

Connection links:

Website: https://www.tangledupinwriting.com/?m=1

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/tangledupinwriting/

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/michaelabush19

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tangledupinwriting/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/VerifiedDisnerd/

Newsletter: https://tangledupinwriting.us19.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=2037db9c579b1256fa787a648&id=5376fbb5b8

Posted in Author Interview, Dreams, Writing, Writing Wednesday

My journey as an indie author – Guest post by Kellyn Roth

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to have Kellyn Roth guest posting about indie publishing as part of her blog tour for Souls Astray. So without further ado, here’s Kellyn:

Hey readers!

Kellyn Roth here. I’m the author of Souls Astray as well as the rest of the Kees & Colliers series (and some other books, but they’re not the ones we’re talking about). I independently publish these books—which basically means I’m the publisher.

I’m in charge of writing and revising the book like every author … but I’m also in charge of hiring editors and cover designers, formatting it, deciding on the pricing, picking publication dates, and all the media stuff that comes along with it.

Being an indie author is far from simple—nor is it easy or immediately lucrative. But it’s also a very real form of publication that’s becoming more and more popular.

So today I’d like to share a bit about my journey to becoming an independent (or indie) author! It’s not much of a story, I’m afraid, but it might be helpful if you’re considering traveling down this path yourself.

Well, I started writing when I was six or seven, but I only got into it when I was twelve and finished my first longer project. Since then, I’ve been writing like a maniac.

Then I decided to publish my first novel, The Dressmaker’s Secret through Createspace (now Kindle Direct Publishing for both paperback and ebook). Now, I did this in a highly unrecommended way—with no professional cover designer and no editor and no preparation. I put the book out on January 10th … and realized that I’d missed a lot.

The first thing that hit me was marketing. Putting my book out there. Getting on social media. Sharing about my book. If you don’t build a platform, you won’t sell books—that’s the simple truth of it.

I was pretty stressed. There was a lot for me to go over! But perhaps, thought I, it’s doable. So I dove in and got started.

I primarily had my blog, Reveries, to start with, and that was a good start to my marketing. Writing for Reveries gave me a good idea of what I wanted to say, what my writing voice was like, and how I could talk to people (both through the posts and comments).

This first social media I got was Goodreads, a site for readers which allows you to rate, review, and otherwise keep track of the books you read. I got signed up for an author profile, and I primarily used it to connect with other readers—no book marketing involved. Just to share my love of reading with the world. That’s the only way to go about it. You can find my profile here.

After that I got Facebook. Now, remember this for Facebook: always create a professional author page and use that for marketing instead of your personal profile. Mine can be found here. It took some convincing, but my parents eventually came to understand how vital it was for my chosen career.

Next came Twitter followed by Instagram. Both are very useful platforms, though I’m still figuring out how to use them, I’ll admit. I love Instagram but will never be very professional on there. I’m still playing with Twitter. Honestly, it might not be for me.

Another important form of marketing is … email marketing! I use MailChimp to put together an email list/newsletter (you can subscribe to mine here) and offer some free ebooks to subscribe. Then I get to send info about my books straight to their inboxes!

Then there are street teams. A “street team” is a group of people who agree to help you share about your novels (usually in exchange for free ebooks or along those lines). My street team is called Readers of Reveries.

So those are some of the things I did to launch my career as an indie author. But a lot of it is just hard work, being a good citizen of the writer community and trusting people to help you out in return, and sticking to it.

A couple other things you can do is find a group of indie authors who write in your genre and get to know them and learn from the pros as well. But of course perseverance is the most important thing. Stick with it, keep learning, and you’ll succeed!

Thank you so much Kellyn for your awesome tips!

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour here and read her books😊

Here’s a quick teaser of her book, Souls Astray:

Posted in Book Reviews, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Sex, Purity and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart

Hello everyone!

This spring, I’ve been so honoured this month to be part of the launch team for Girl Defined’s third book, Sex, Purity and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart.

And, oh my goodness, it’s a book that every woman, young and old, should read.

So without further do, here is the blurb of the book.

About the book:

For the modern Christian woman living in today’s sexually charged society, embracing God’s design for sex and purity can often feel like an impossible pursuit. As the culture seeks to normalize things such as pornography, erotica, and casual sex, both single and married women of all ages feel immense pressure to conform. With alluring temptations constantly inviting them to join in, they might even begin to question whether God’s design is truly good. They wrestle with questions like

– What is the purpose of my sexuality?
– What does it mean to pursue purity?
– Are my sexual longings good or bad?

In this encouraging book, Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal share honestly about their own struggles and victories, and invite women on a personal journey to discover and reclaim a biblical vision for their sexuality. Kristen and Bethany help women understand why God’s design for sexuality is good, relevant, and leads to true hope and lasting freedom

My review:

Oh. My. Goodness! There were so many questions I had about where to learn about sex and purity in the Bible, but I never knew where to begin. Kristen and Bethany not only showed where to read about those topics, but also EXPLAINED what it means.

Talking about sex and purity on church can be awkward at times because you don’t know people’s past stories, and people can be very frightening about the whole thing . Kristen and Bethany clearly knew this because they made their book a very comfortable space to ask questions and get them answered.

Having them open up about their own past sexual struggles was really inspiring and comforting, because knowing that they, who are now huge inspirational figures for Christian women, had dealt with sexual struggles meant that I along with others will never be alone with overcoming issues.

And finally, how can I talk about this book without mentioning the amazing message of grace and redemption. Even as a Christian girl, when I mess up, sometimes it takes a while for me to realise that God has truly forgiven me, and I don’t have to live with my head down because I’ve repented. This encouraging message is talked about so well, and I know that other girls will be blessed by this too.

So who is this book for? It’s for any Christian girl and woman 12/13 +( with parental permission if you’re under 14 simply because of the topics that are covered, e.g. lust, sex etc.) who want to go deeper into God’s Word, and also get their questions about sex and purity answered from other Christian women who’ve been there. And most importantly, it’s for Christian girls and women who need a reminder of God’s amazing grace and forgiveness.

So go and order the book! You’ll be very blessed by it. And check out Kristen and Bethany’s website Girl Defined for more articles on what God’s design for women is, and how we should deal with issues in the 21st century.

Note: I received this boom free in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Author Interview, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Faith Alone Blog Tour- Author Q&A

Hello everyone!

Today, I’m interviewing Ruth Meyer on her latest release, Faith Alone.

1. When did you start writing with the hope of becoming an author?
It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I even considered becoming an author. I majored in music in college and didn’t have to take a single English class the entire time! About six years ago, a class project for my son inspired my first book, Our Faith From A to Z. That was a perfect place for me to start, because it’s an alphabet book, and I had very specific guidelines to follow: one term for each letter of the alphabet, written in the form of a poem with a specific meter and cadence, and a brief explanation of each term at the bottom of the page. Fiction is a whole new ball game, but once I started writing it, I couldn’t stop. One might say it’s more of an addiction for me.


2. What is Faith Alone about?
Faith Alone continues the story begun in my first novel, Grace Alone. It follows the lives of the Neunaber family as they’re adjusting to a new member of the household after their mother gets remarried. Of course there are tensions as everyone adjusts, but these tensions pale in comparison to the decision the oldest daughter, Faith, is forced to make.


3. What inspired Faith Alone?
After I finished writing Grace Alone I was sad—almost depressed—to be done with their story. I moped around for about a week, complaining to my family about it until my oldest son said, “Why not just write a sequel?” A day or two later, the idea for the central conflict of the book came to me while I was on a walk, and I stopped right there in the road as I considered it. Then I raced back home to start writing.


4. Who is the book for?
I like to say it’s for anyone who’s ever been faced with a seemingly impossible decision. Let’s face it—life is messy, and the lives of my characters are messy as well. I strive to paint as realistic a picture as possible so people can relate to the characters. Yes, most of my characters are Christian, but Christians make mistakes too, and my characters are no exception. Because of the subject matter, however, I wouldn’t recommend it for readers under the age of 12. As my blog tour host says, “This squeaky-clean novel deals with a few tough themes in an honest but godly and undetailed way.” I don’t write anything I wouldn’t want my teenage kids to read.


5. What do you want readers to gain from your book?
Above all, I hope readers hear the message of forgiveness and hope through Jesus. I once had a lady tell me she identified with my character Grace so much that she felt like she was reading her own life story in Grace Alone, and that she was reassured of God’s love for her. That’s the reason I write. If God can use my writing to reach even one person with that message, it’s completely worth it.


6. Have you written any other books and where can we get them?
Both my children’s book, Our Faith From A to Z, and the first novel of this series, Grace Alone, are published by Concordia Publishing House and are available on their website, cph.org. They are also available on Amazon. There are more books to follow in this series—eight total—so readers can follow my author page on Amazon, follow my blog, or sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date on that information.


7. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Just about anything except hard-core romance. I especially love mysteries, a genre I have no interest in venturing into for my own writing. I also like historical fiction, Christian fiction, young adult novels, real-life stories, autobiographies, and the occasional dystopian novel.


8. What Christian contemporary books would you recommend to new contemporary writers?
I’m a big fan of Terri Blackstock’s writing, especially her Restoration series, which delves into the scenario of a worldwide blackout, and also her Intervention series, which deals with addiction.


9. Where can we connect with you?
My website is ruthmeyerbooks.com, and I blog at TruthNotes.net. I’m also on Facebook under Ruth E. Meyer, Author, and I have author pages on Amazon, Goodreads, and BookBub. There are links on my website to each of those, plus a link to sign up for my monthly newsletter.


10. What tips you have for young aspiring writers?

First, read, read, read! I’ve heard it said that you can learn something from every book, even if it’s how not to write a book! Readers tend to make the best writers, because they know what makes a compelling story and what doesn’t. They also naturally pick up on grammatical rules like punctuation because they see it so often.


Next, practice, practice, practice! As with anything, you have to spend time working at it in order to get better. My first attempts at playing hymns in public were pretty slow and laborious, but I improved over time and with practice. So it is with writing. My first drafts of fiction were pretty painful, but I’ve improved with practice and experience.


Lastly, welcome constructive criticism. It can be painful, yes, but this is a crucial step. Many other areas of life require a teacher or coach, so why should writing be any different? I couldn’t have learned to play the organ well without taking lessons for years. Young writers should find a writing coach—an English teacher, a more experienced writer, peer writing groups, and eventually an editor. It was only through the help of a very kind and patient editor that I was able to publish a decent novel in the first place. I’m still learning things, and I would encourage aspiring writers to keep an open mind about constructive criticism. Editing is not meant to discourage, but to offer suggestions on how to improve your writing; an editor is your own personal teacher. It’s easy to get defensive about their suggestions, but the vast majority of those suggestions really will help you improve your writing skills.

 

Thank you so much Ruth! If you want to learn more about the book and Ruth, then read on 😊

Grace Neunaber has finally found happiness. After struggling for years as a single mother of four, she’s thrilled about her newfound faith and her marriage to a strong Christian man. But as David is added to their family of five, her enthusiasm is quickly dampened by her older children’s open hostility and resentment toward their new father.

For Grace’s daughter, Faith, having a principal for a step-dad is only one of the downsides. Her parents are nosy, restrictive, and most of all embarrassing. But Faith’s issues with her parents are quickly shoved aside when she’s faced with a decision that will change the course of her future.

Each member of the Neunaber family will have to rely on their faith in God if their strained relationships are going to knit them closer together instead of tear their family apart.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

Ruth Meyer graduated from Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a degree in church music and no plans whatsoever to become an author. But a student of the week project for her son inspired Our Faith from A to Z, a children’s picture book. After that, it was only a matter of time before she tried her hand at fiction. As both the daughter of and the wife of a pastor, Ruth has moved around a lot, and her experiences provide many ideas for her writing. Currently, she resides in rural Texas with her husband, their five children, and two dogs. It is her hope that through her writing, readers are assured of God’s grace through His Son, Jesus.

AUTHOR WEBSITE

I hope you guys check out the rest of the blog tour!

https://wp.me/p9ULWc-8m7

Posted in Book Reviews, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Sand Castle Dreams-Review

Hello everyone!

I’m so sorry for being absent this month, but I think I’ll have to only post around 2 posts per month until June due to life’s craziness.

Today, I’m so excited to share with you a book that I’ve been part of the launch team of!

Introducing Sand Castle Dreams, the sequel to Porch Swing Girl.

Sometimes we have to face our greatest fears in order to become whole again.

Returning to Maui after one of the most challenging summers of her life, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is ready for things to return to normal—or, at least, a new normal. But even though she and her sister are back on the island they love, nothing is the same since they left for Boston a few months ago. Olive’s friend Jazz is hiding a secret—possibly something even worse than the cancer diagnosis she received earlier in the year. Can Olive ever stop running from memories of all they’ve lost?

When their friend Brander suggests Jazz attends the church’s teen support group, Olive thinks it’s a great idea—until Jazz insists that Olive join her. While the group is the perfect place for Olive to share her struggles, she wants nothing to do with it. Instead, grief threatens to roll over her like the ocean waves, and tiny fibs turn into looming secrets. When a scruffy puppy and one viral video send another storm rolling into Olive’s life, she ends up face-to-face with her biggest fear. And the only way to make it out of the tempest is to go straight through.

Age: 12/13 +, only because it does mention about alcohol addiction and abuse, in a clean way of course.

What I liked:

Wow. Just wow. Taylor has just blown me away again with her stories. They’re so powerful, and so uplifting, and I really hope that you can read her books soon 💕

Olive is definitely more likeable and more caring in this book, which was great especially how she took the lead in helping Jazz and a few others with their problems.

I loved the fact that there were so many situations being tackled with, and seeing how Olive and her friends’ faith helped them through each one: from bullying at school to sorting out addictions, homelessness, and fear in general. I think there is something for everyone to take away from this book.

One thing that I’ve absolutely loved about this series so far is the idea of dealing with situations with faith and community.

Book links:

Amazon( UK Kindle link):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sand-Castle-Dreams-Tradewind-Book-ebook/dp/B07NXMQQ54/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=taylor+bennett&qid=1553719811&s=books&sr=1-2

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44023835-sand-castle-dreams

Note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review

Posted in Author Interview, Writing, Writing Wednesday

Live Without You Author Interview

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to be interviewing Sarah Grace Grzy on her debut novella Live Without You, which I will review tomorrow!

1. When did you start writing with the hope of becoming an author?

I started writing during the summer of 2017. But to be honest, I didn’t actually start writing with the hope of becoming an author. I just started writing . . . for me. And then that turned into publishing, which has been a wild, crazy awesome journey.


2. What is Live Without You about?

Put simply, Live Without You at its core is about real people dealing with real issues. But here’s the official synopsis:

Piper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can’t help but blame herself for her brother’s tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her—not even the God who promised to be there for her but wasn’t.

For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He’s had enough of it, and only by God’s grace is he able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic event brings Piper’s greatest fear and Ezra’s failures to light, can they use that event to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt?

3. What inspired Live Without You?

There was no specific event or thought that I can think of that inspired the story. One day out of the blue the idea for the first scene flashed into my head, and the story just sort of flowed from there

4. Who is the book for?

Humans, mostly, but surprisingly I’ve also gotten feedback from a few penguins that enjoyed it as well. 😉 In all seriousness though, my target audience is fans of clean Christian fiction, age 16 and up, although there is nothing inappropriate that would make it unsuitable for younger readers.

5. What do you want readers to gain from your book?

My greatest hope is that readers will come away with a greater knowledge of their heavenly Father’s unfailing, unending, unfathomable love for them.

6. Have you written any other books and where can we get them?

I have not. Live Without You is my debut novel.

7. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

All kinds! I truly do love a smorgasbord of all different genres. Contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and suspense would be at the top. I’m not really a fan of speculative fiction, but there are a few I love, and I’ll give almost anything a try. 🙂

8. What is your favourite romance novel?

Oh, good question. I just discovered the Walker Family series by Melissa Tagg, and it has quickly become a favorite! I can’t decide whether I like All This Time or Like Never Before better! Life After by Katie Ganshert would be another favorite, although I don’t think that’s technically in the romance genre.

9. Where can we connect with you?

I am on many of the social medias: Instagram at @sarahgracegrzy, Twitter at @esteticodesigns, and Goodreads at http://goodreads.com/sarahgraceg. My author profile is separate from my personal Goodreads account, and you can find that at http://goodreads.com/sarahgracegrzy , also have a web and graphic design business which you can find at a http://www.esteticodesigns.com/

10. What tips you have for young aspiring writers?

Find your people! Whether they be family, friends, other writers\authors, or some combination thereof, create for yourself a “support team” who know you and know your goals. People who will encourage you to push through, but also remind you not to push yourself too hard. People who will pray for you. People who can give you writerly advice and critiques. Having people there to support me throughout writing and publishing has been crucial, and I truly don’t think I could have done it without them. Don’t feel like you have to go it alone

Thank you so much for interviewing me! It was a pleasure! 🙂

Thank you so much Sarah for letting me interview you! Be sure to read Sarah’s novella because it is amazing, and it is packed with so much truth. If you want to know more about Sarah, just read her bio below:

Sarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called ‘Life,’ she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other. 

A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. She inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.