Wisdom Wednesday: Bethany Baker

I’m really enjoying Wisdom Wednesday! Everyone needs encouragement, and if you’re an author or a writer, you need it too. Writing can be different things to different people. For me, I’ve always dreamed of having my name on a print book, and to hold that book in my hands. When my books arrive in the mail soon, I will be able to see that dream come true. Next Tuesday, my dream of being published is coming true. (release day!)

Sometimes, writing can be a product of someone’s dreams, or something that they have to do. Writing can also be healing, when spoken words and actions are hard to say or do, the written word can soothe and help us say exactly what we are feeling.

Writing can also be hard. It’s difficult to put yourself out there, to have others read your words and critique them. It’s hard to be vulnerable, to be transparent. Sometimes that’s why we need encouragement, and tips from others who’s been there.

Let’s see what we can learn from Bethany Baker today.


Name: Bethany Baker

Genre: Historical Romance

Latest NovelA Light in Bailey’s Harbor 

Writing Tip: 

Less is more.

My mother would faint dead away if she knew I was giving advice like this. I’ve always been one to spill my guts in any and every situation. Don’t tell me a secret. I’ll just warn you up front. It’s not that I don’t try, and it’s not that I want to be disloyal. It’s just that words are not meant to be bottled up. They must be free! Well, at least this is the motto I lived by up until a couple of years ago when I went through the editing process for A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. I quickly realized that all of the extra “blab” we use in fun conversations just doesn’t transfer over into good writing.

The best advice I could give would be to simplify your story line. Even though all writers has a different writing/planning style, they need to narrow down their characters and cut any extraneous events/story lines. This was the hardest thing I’d ever done. I felt like I was abandoning my own children when I cut these extra characters from my novel. But in the end, it made my story line much stronger and more focused. If you’re unsure of what to cut, ask your trusted friends. It’s hard to be objective with your own writing. Of course everything you write is wonderful, because you wrote it, right? But if your friends are confused about the flow of your story or the significance of a character, there’s a good chance some creative cutting is needed. Just pull out the box of tissues, say your goodbyes to your “babies,” and move on. If it makes you feel better, do what I did. Make a file for all of your “cast offs.” I promise you’ll go back and read those edited characters and deleted scenes and realize they are better off in a cozy little file all by themselves. They’ll never even know what they’re missing, and believe me, neither will your readers!

This is such good advice! As a Developmental Editor, I also tell my authors to cut the unnecessary backstory. If it’s not driving the story forward, it’s not needed. If it drags down the story, your reader will get bored, and we have to keep them in the bubble of reading. As an author, I also know how hard it is to do that to your “babies”. 

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers: 

I would encourage them by saying, “Don’t give up!” If you feel that the Lord has given you a gift and given you a message to share, then write. It won’t be easy, especially the editing process, but if you stick with it, you can do it. I started the first manuscript to A Light in Bailey’s Harbor when I was 16. With all of the hurdles life placed in my way, I never dreamed I would ever publish my novel. But 19 years later, my dream did become a reality. Through it all, I truly believe God had a message He wanted to deliver through the publishing of A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, so He worked out the details in His own time and for His own glory. He can do the exact same for others.

This speaks directly to my heart, because The Seer was a long process for me. I remember praying that if I was supposed to be a writer, (I knew I was but struggled with such doubt) that he would give me a burning desire for this story that I couldn’t get rid of. That story stayed in my mind 24/7. When I wasn’t writing, I would be reminded, “You need to write this!” When The Seer was finished, I remember just sitting back and crying. It was done. I did it. Such a great feeling!


51rJ5OqkKnL._SY346_Katy Kippling has an abundance of personality, or so she was told by a recent male acquaintance. Trying to conform to the etiquette of an 1880’s lady is difficult enough, without adding the challenges of having an abundance of personality.

Katy loves the Cana Island Lighthouse, serving her small lakeside town in Bailey’s Harbor, Wisconsin. In the summer of 1880, the new lighthouse keeper arrives. While Katy imagines his stately captain’s beard and noble brow, Blake Strawberry, the new keeper, is quite the opposite. Blake is a young man searching for something to heal the pain and heartaches of his past. By moving west and accepting this new position, he plans to forget all of his painful memories and disappointments. What he hasn’t counted on is that the Lord’s voice can be heard just as clearly in Wisconsin as in Massachusetts.

Throughout the story, another character, Horatio Spafford and his beloved hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul,” play integral roles in the characters’ lives. Will Blake surrender to the message of this song and allow it to change his life as it has changed the lives of those he loves? Will Katy move beyond her tangible child-like faith and trust that her Heavenly Father can truly make her soul well even when she doesn’t understand His ways? And will Blake and Katy relinquish the control they have on their own lives allowing the Lord to work in His time and in His perfect way, understanding that His ways are not always our ways.


717x4AXFLuL._UX250_Bethany Baker is the wife of a wonderful husband, whose voice of reason keeps her imaginative ideas needfully tethered…well, most of the time. She is also the mom of two ornery little boys who keep her busy with their sweet, dirty, silly, and wonderful antics.
During the day, Bethany is a Language Arts teacher for grades four through six at Burge Terrace Christian School, and in her free time, she loves to spend time out doors with her family taking walks, riding bikes, and hiking.


Connect with Bethany:

Blog: www.whenthewritedooropens.com

Facebook author: https://www.facebook.com/bethany.a.baker.author/

Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/dcQOEn

Twitter: @Bethany77751133

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

Wisdom Wednesday (1)

Thanks for joining us this week, Bethany! Next week, we will have author, Laura Hilton.

 

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Wisdom Wednesday: Hope Toler Dougherty

Joining us today on Wisdom Wednesday is Hope Toler Dougherty.

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Latest NovelRescued Hearts

Writing Tip: 

Freewriting is a tool I use when I’m beginning a new story or when I’m stuck. I also used it when I taught to show my students that they could get words on paper.

In freewriting, you allow yourself to write without editing, write without thinking about commas or misspelled words. You write for about ten minutes or so without stopping for anything. If you get stuck, write, “I’m stuck. I’m stuck,” until another idea comes to mind. Keep the pen or your fingers moving.

I use this technique to interview my characters sometimes, too. I pretend to be my character and type whatever he or she wants me to know.

When you’re not concerned about the mechanics, your mind is free to explore ideas, and you get words on paper. They might be awful words, but once they’re on paper (or in a laptop document), you can fix them. You can’t fix an empty screen. (Find more information and an example of freewriting on the Resources page of my website.)

This is the way that I have to write my stories. I sit at the computer or wherever I’m writing and just write. I don’t edit at all.  If I do start editing, I will never finish the story, I will just try to get it perfect and not go anywhere.  I have to make myself wait till the story is finished before I edit a single word. 

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers: 

Read, read, read. Read in your genre and read craft books to hone your writing skills. I have a list of good writing books on my website. Write every day. Join writing groups and attend writing conferences.

The is great advice, and one that I tell others as well! 


51d9nZF2icL._SY346_Children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar-   entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Beaten, bound, and gagged by the two thugs inside, Mary Wade loses hope for escape when a third villain returns with supplies.

Discovering the kidnapped, innocent woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Weighing the difference of ruining his three months’ investigation against the woman’s safety, Brett forsakes his mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind.

When Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more, Brett rescues her again. This time, her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy. Her heart is endangered as well.
Find Rescued Hearts on Amazon


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Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes for Serious Write. Before writing novels, she published non-fiction articles on topics ranging from gardening with children to writing apprehension. She cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, ACC basketball, and Army West Point Football. Hope and her husband, Kevin, live in North Carolina and look forward to visits with their two daughters and twin sons. She has three published novels.


Thanks for joining me today, Hope! I’ve enjoyed having you on the blog this week, and Rescued Hearts is on my reading list!

Please take a moment to check out Hope’s

Hope’s website: Click here

Facebook: Click here

Twitter: Click here

Instagram: Click here

Pinterest: Click here

Goodreads: Click here


 

 

Stay tuned, Bethany Baker will be joining us next week for Wisdom Wednesday!
Wisdom Wednesday

Character Quote: Sam

Sometimes characters have a way of sneaking up and surprising you. Some characters take the lead and some are written as minor characters, to help the hero or heroine in their story. This character is no exception to that rule; except two of my Beta/ARC readers voiced that he’s their favorite character in The Seer!

Sam is a great character, and I really enjoyed writing him. However, I expected them to say Thea, Matthias, or Viktor. This prompted me to take a deeper look at Sam, and he surprised me. I wish I could explain more of what I found, but I can’t give everything away before you read it! 😉

We are counting down the days until The Seer is released and we have the Launch Party. Just two more weeks! {insert happy dance here} I can’t wait for you to read it. Don’t forget that The Seer is on pre-order right now for Kindle. Be the first to have it on release day!


 

Sam Postcard Quote

Character quote: “Don’t worry about them. They will forget this and tomrrow it will be somone else running into me.”

Now, here’s what one of my Beta/ARC readers said about Sam:

Sam is my favorite character so far. He tends to work behind the scenes as a protector, always ready to help Thea. His gifts and knowledge have me curious to learn more about his story.

-Tessa


I have one more character to show you this week, so stay tuned!

Character Quote: Matthias

Sometimes you start a story because you see a certain character in your mind and it prompts you to figure out everything about them. Sometimes when you’re writing, a character comes to your mind and completely surprises you. For The Seer, I knew I would have two opposing sides: an angel and a demon. Good versus evil. I already had Viktor in my mind and had a good solid grasp on his personality and what he stood for. But what would his opposing character look like?

Kind. Patient. Warrior. Good. Protector.

All of these things prompted me to create Matthias, but as the story unfolded, I found there’s so much more to him than meets the eye. I won’t give away all of my secrets, {you’ll have to read the story to find out!} but Matthias is not only a warrior and protector, but someone that you need by your side.


Matthias Postcard Quote

Matthias’s Quote:  “You said the same thing fifty years ago. You’re an old man now, and if I have to wait another fifty years, you’ll be a dead man.”

Here’s what one of my Beta/ARC readers said about Matthias:

Matthias is well known by both angels and demons as a skilled warrior, and devoted protector that will do whatever it takes to keep his charges safe.  He carries the memory of every human he has been responsible for, the ones he’s saved, and the ones he’s lost.

-Teddie

You can find The Seer, on pre-order on Amazon for Kindle.  Be the first to receive it once it releases on February 27th.  Click here to find it on Amazon! 

 

 

 

Wisdom Wednesday: Heather Greer

Joining us today on Wisdom Wednesday is Heather Greer.

Genre:  Contemporary Christian Romance

Latest Novel: Faith’s Journey, releases on February 13, 2018.

Writing Tip:

I think one of the things that has meant the most to me in my writing came from a writers’ conference I attended. Kristen Heitzmann was speaking, and she mentioned she is not a plotter. This meant a lot to me because every other conference I attended preached the necessity of planning out every detail before writing, knowing the characters and their backstories from the start, and things like that. I felt like this was the first time I was not only given permission but encouraged to write the way I write instead of trying to write like everyone else.

 

That’s great! You have to write in a way that works for you.  I’ve heard other authors say they are either a panster {“flies by the seat of their pants”} or plotter, but I feel like I’m both! I like to plot, but once I get my basic ideas and such, I like to let the characters take over. 

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers: 

Always keep learning. There is always some area of your writing that can improve.

So true! Learn new ways to do things, and improve your writing by reading other authors and books written about the craft.


61WEqlQdiAL._SY346_

Katie McGowan left her parents and their faith behind years ago. However, when faced with a devastating betrayal, Katie is ready to go back to Carbondale, Illinois to help her elderly parents despite their tempestuous relationship. Drained by the constant friction, Katie finds emotional support and encouragement in Austin. His practical, simple faith speaks to Katie, and she finds herself yearning for a new connection to God. As their friendship grows, so does the attraction between Katie and Austin.

Before her fledgling faith and thoughts of romance have a chance to take root, Katie’s cheating fiancé returns, remorseful and promising change. Can her tentative faith strengthen their past love? And if her heart breaks again, will Katie’s journey to faith end before it has really begun?


thumbnailAs a preacher’s kid from Southern Illinois, Heather was well acquainted with ministry life in a small town before her husband became a pastor fifteen years ago. She started serving in youth and children’s ministries when her daughter was still a child. Now, those ministries and wrangling the schedules of her three teenage boys takes a lot of her time and energy, but Heather still tries to carve out a little time for herself to read a good book, bake, or occasionally binge watch her favorite television shows.

Heather has a heart to see women of faith encouraged and growing in their relationships with God. As believers grow closer to God and begin living out His truths in everyday life, others will see their need for the Savior and long for relationship with Him. It is Heather’s prayer that God will use her love of writing to foster this encouragement and growth in the lives of Christian women.


Thanks for joining me today, Heather! I’ve enjoyed having you on the blog this week, and I can’t read your new release!

Everyone take a moment and pre-order her book, Faith’s Journey, and make sure to check out Heather’s blog and social media pages. 

Heather’s Blog: Click here

Facebook: Click here

Twitter: Click here

Instagram: Click here


 

Author, Hope Dougherty will be joining us next week for Wisdom Wednesday!
Wisdom Wednesday

Character Quote: Thea

I love characters that are real, and ones that you can find a little bit of yourselves in as you read.

Thea is a teenage girl that is dealing with things that we all face at one point or another in our lives. She’s unsure of herself, has problems with trusting others, and is trying to reason out the circumstances going on in her life.  She is thrown into a situation that she never saw coming−one that leaves her questioning everything.

I think readers, {teenagers and adults both} will see glimpses of themselves in Thea, and enjoy getting lost in her story. Perhaps they will learn something new about themselves as they take this journey with her.


Thea Postcard QuoteThea’s quote from The Seer:

“I don’t want to go to sleep because I’m scared. What if I don’t wake up?”

 

Here’s what one of my Beta/ARC readers said about Thea:

Although Thea is very capable and quick witted, she struggles to feel sure of herself as she learns to use her gift, get answers to questions about her past, and ultimately, to get to Bethesda. Throughout The Seer you can’t help but feel like you’re part of her unlikely group of allies-from Heaven, Hell, and a few places in-between!

Get ready to get sucked into the world of the unknown that lies right before your eyes.

−Jackee

Tomorrow, is Wisdom Wednesday, so please join me and guest author, Heather Greer.  Heather has a new novel releasing this month!

Thursday, I will show you a glimpse of Matthias {an angel assigned to Thea, and also Viktor’s brother}.

For more information about The Seer, my upcoming Launch Party, and links to pre-order, please visit my website: erinrhoward.com

 

 

 

Character Quote: Viktor

As promised, I’m pulling the curtain back a little and showing you all a glimpse into the characters for The Seer!


I’m starting with Viktor.

He is perhaps my favorite character, which may surprise you. After you read the book, you will really understand why, but The Seer started because of an assignment my professor gave in a writing workshop. I had to write a short story about an unlikely hero. I knew that I wanted to switch my genre. I was almost finished with a chick lit book, but I had this longing to write a series about spiritual gifts. I put it off and put it off until I got this assignment. I started asking questions.

What if I wrote it from a villain’s POV? {point of view}

However, instead of strictly a villain, what if he’s got this desire to change but doesn’t know how?

What if he couldn’t fully be redeemed?

I mean, he is a demon after all.

From these questions, I jumped straight into this short story about two brothers: one who was a demon, and one that was an angel, and how they were fighting over this girl who could see into the spiritual realm. From there this story grew into a screenplay, and now, a series centered on Viktor, Matthias, and Thea.

I love characters that give you a reason to root for them. I like characters that are messy, {because life IS MESSY} have problems, and obstacles. I love characters that are real. I have a feeling that Viktor will not be the only main character that I write that’s a villain, or an unlikely hero. I think he will be just the beginning.


Viktor Postcard QuoteViktor’s quote:

There was something to be said about people who sat on the fence between one side and another: They were too easily swayed to both sides. Jumping from one side to another? Now that was harder.

Here is what one of my ARC/Beta readers said about Viktor:

Viktor was my favorite character. He is a character that you can really relate to as a human. The inner struggle of good versus evil, right versus wrong, really comes out through him. You can’t help but root for him throughout the whole book, even though he is on the wrong side of it all. He was the character throughout the book that I just had to know (and couldn’t put it down until I knew) what battle or side was going to win him!

Also, his quote really hits home in my heart, to make sure I’m not on the fence, where I can be easily swayed to the side that I would never knowingly choose!

-Candace

Tomorrow, I’m going to share a quote with you from Matthias, so stay tuned!