Wisdom Wednesday: Julie Arduini

Can you believe that we are cruising through October already? It won’t be long and we will be getting ready for Christmas! I’m determined to start my shopping early this year. I tend to procrastinate and wait to the last minute.

Today, I’m excited to have author Julie Arduini with us, sharing her favorite writing tips and her novel Restoring Christmas, which is part of a Christmas box set. 


Name: Julie Arduini

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Latest Novel: Restoring Christmas, part of the A Christmas to Remember Boxed Set

Writing Tip: 

I have many, but I think as an indie author, the standout is to set deadlines and stick to them. I find when I’m general about when I want a book available, I procrastinate until the date looms and rush. When I set specific word count and chapter deadlines, I force myself to stay on schedule with minimal stress.

I hear you on the procrastination, I tend to do that as well. Setting achievable deadlines is the key to finishing your book on time. I find that when I’m really stressed with my writing, it’s because I’m not setting an achievable deadline.
Writing Tip for New Authors:

I think joining ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and participating in the critique group is wisdom. I started in the large group, and then branched off into two smaller groups. I’ve learned so much from critique groups. They challenge me to be a better writer and one group also shares prayer requests and has brainstorming sessions. It’s an amazing experience.

I totally agree with you on this. The ACFW is a great way to get connected with other authors and get the support that you need. Critique groups are a fabulous way to challenge yourself and to learn more about the craft. Just remember to keep an open mind, wear tough skin, and know that they are only trying to help you grow.

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Laugh, cry, and fall in love as you savor these brand-new Christmas romances from some of your favorite authors. Pair with a peppermint chai, hot chocolate, or your favorite wintry flavors, then snuggle down in front of the fireplace with a quilt over your lap… and maybe a purring cat!

Eight authors have joined together in this Christian romance collection that will leave you celebrating the gift of Christmas.

Restoring Christmas by Julie Arduini
Filled with grief and regret, Holly Christmas returns to Geneseo Valley and the family business, The Christmas Mansion. Can Kevin Holt restore her love for the season and the memories she left behind?


July2018Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past, and ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her latest releases, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, is a book for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER is a boxed set featuring Julie and some of the authors from the Inspy Romance She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.


 

Thank you, Julie, for joining us today and sharing your tips on setting deadlines and finding a critique group.

Make sure you check out Jule’s newest release, Restoring Christmas and connect with her on social media.


 

Don’t forget to join us in the comment section, and leave a question for Julie. Happy Writing!

Wisdom Wednesday Julie

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Wisdom Wednesday: Sara L. Foust

I know a lot of you may be heading to the ACFW Conference, or you’re plugging away at those word counts, but not only is today Wisdom Wednesday, but tomorrow will be as well. Yep, that’s right, you will get two doses of writing wisdom this week! And believe me, I need that extra dose this week to help me push towards that deadline goal this month.

I’m excited to have fellow Mantle Rock author, Sara L. Foust with us for Wisdom Wednesday today.

Welcome, Sara!

 


Name: Sara L. Foust

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Latest Novel: Camp Hope: Journey to Hope, book #2 in the Love, Hope, and Faith Series

Writing Tip: 

Write every day. Though right now I’m having a hard time managing to write every single day, I find that when I do it keeps my story more prominently focused in my mind. I am a writer and if I never write I will not be able to make this into a career. So my goal is to write at least a little something every single day.

Exactly! I agree with you, sometimes there are so many other things that like to pull our attention away. I also struggle some in this area, but it’s a great reminder that we need to become disciplined.  

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers:

Other than write every day, my advice is to never be afraid to be you. It is important to continually learn about the craft of writing and improve upon your skills, but it is also equally important to make sure you are true to your voice, perspective, and heart. Don’t let others try to change your writing style or convince you you’ll never make it. You will. Keep learning and keep writing.

Yes, I agree. Let your voice shine through. Keep learning. Keep writing. Keep going!


Camp Hope coverAMY DAWSON directs a summer camp for foster children near Briceville, Tennessee. A foster mom for the first time, her responsibilities as mother to a traumatized child bring a whole new set of challenges and joys.

But when Amy’s four-year-old foster daughter is dragged into the mountains of Royal Blue by a former employee, parenting challenges are overshadowed by a new nightmare. The Sheriff’s department fails to procure viable leads, and Amy can’t sit idle. Her childhood friend and first love, JACK EVANS, returns to lend his skills as tracker. Problem is, he also stirs up romantic memories Amy would rather leave buried.

Jack struggles to let go of his past failures and prove his reliability by bringing Mattie home, but fears when he left camp nineteen years ago and failed to keep a promise to Amy he permanently lost her confidence.

As Amy plunges into the wilderness on horseback to search for Mattie, she must decide who she trusts, let go of her childhood traumas, and learn to rely on hope in God. Facing dehydration, starvation, and a convoluted kidnapper, will she succeed in recovering her precious foster daughter or get lost in the vast wilderness forever?


Headshot Sara L Foust

Sara is a multi-published, award-winning author who writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her debut novel Callum’s Compass won second place in Deep River Books’ 2017 Writer’s Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit www.saralfoust.com


Thank you for visiting with us today, Sara, and reminding us that we need to become more disciplined in our writing by committing to writing something every day! Don’t forget to join us tomorrow for Wisdom Wednesday Part Two, with author June Foster.

Make sure you check out Sara’s newest release, Camp Hope and connect with her on social media and her blog. 

Wisdom Wednesday Sara

Wisdom Wednesday: Michelle Griep

I’ve always heard that for every two or so fiction books you read, you should read a writing craft book. Writing is a craft, it’s not something that you can master and then never revisit again. You need to be continually writing, reading, and learning the craft of writing. 

That’s why I’m excited to be able to show you all a new Writing How-To book from Michelle Griep and nine other authors. 

Welcome, Michelle!


Name: Michelle Griep

Genre: Writing How-To

Latest Novel: Writing From the Trenches: Tips & Techniques From Ten Award-Winning Authors

Writing Tip: 

Good artists copy, but great artists steal. Hey, don’t blame me for that one. That’s Picasso’s idea, but doggone if it doesn’t work! My favorite writing tip is to read, and while you’re reading, highlight sentences that really stand out to you. Jot them down in a notebook. Then next time you’re writing and the ol’ well is a bit dry, flip open that notebook and rework one of those awesome sentences into your own words.

Great idea to get those creative juices flowing! We all take in what we read and use in our writings to some degree, especially those that have connected with us on some deeper level. 

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers:

Finish what you start. Really. Don’t get bogged down in editing or polishing your first few chapters. By the time you actually get to the end of the book, you’re more than likely going to want to change them anyway. Hunker down and plow through that entire first rough draft. That’s what makes the difference between a wannabe and a real writer.

Yes! If I had a “love” button right here, I would click it. This is what I struggled with years ago, resulting in several unfinished manuscripts. I wanted to make it perfect right then, so I’ve learned this tip the hard way. Turn off your internal editor and finish the story. Then you can go back and make it shine. 


WritingfromtheTrenchesFrontFinalTEN-HUT! Gear up for your writing with tried-and-true tips from the trenches. Ten award-winning authors share invaluable tips and secrets they’ve gleaned the hard way, offering a broad range of insights and opinions on the best way to tackle subjects such as the following:

Plotting Techniques
Research
Characterization
Villains We Love to Hate
Dynamic Dialogue
Sigh-Worthy Heroes
The Right Heroine for the Job
Hooking Your Reader in the First Chapter
Scene Endings to Lead Your Readers On
Creating a Movie Set
Making your Readers Cry
Deep POV
Copyediting your Manuscript
Indie Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

At last … a writer’s tool that provides the experience and expertise of ten authors who’ve been on the front lines of publishing and lived to teach about it: Connie Almony, Lynnette Bonner, Hallee Bridgeman, Louise Gouge, Michelle Griep, Julie Lessman, Elizabeth Ludwig, Ane Mulligan, MaryLu Tyndall, and Erica Vetsch.


Headshot Michelle GRIEP copyMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

 


Take a moment to check out not only Michele’s other books but also her writing book, Writing From the Trenches: Tips & Techniques From Ten Award-Winning Authors

Thank you so much, Michele with visiting with us today! 

Wisdom Wednesday Michelle

 

Wisdom Wednesday: Gail Sattler

How’s your writing week going? Are you meeting those word count goals?

I’m in my pj’s, hair in a messy bun, and I still have sleep in my eye. However, my house is quiet. Two of my kiddos are still asleep, so now’s the time to get some words on the screen. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because I can edit later.

If you’re limping through the week like me, here’s some Wisdom Wednesday to help you make it through. Today I have fellow Mantle Rock author, Gail Sattler.

Welcome, Gail!


Name: Gail Sattler

Genre: Supernatural adventure

Latest Novel: Mercury Rising

Writing Tip: 

My favorite writing tip is to write what you know, and know what you write. This is my favorite tip because nothing ruins reading a book more for me than when I read something stated as a passing fact, and I know it’s wrong. This is as simple as naming an animal, and knowing that kind of animal doesn’t live in that part of the world, or it’s the wrong season for that animal to be there. To be wrong casts doubt on the rest of the book in a subtle way, but when doubt is cast, it’s there. As a writer, the reader must trust what you are saying is correct, so don’t cast doubt.

Very true. If the reader doesn’t trust you, they are not going to finish reading. Perhaps this is why (even though I like to read them) I do not have the desire to write a historical book. The amount of research that is required makes me take a couple of steps back. LOL! However, in any genre, you should always make it believable to the reader, even in the fantasy genre, where we can have that “suspension of disbelief.” You still need for the characters and plot to be believable. 

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers:

Some advice for new writers – join a critique group not only to be critiqued but to do them. You will know from reading that something isn’t working for you. It’s a learning experience to study that part and find out why it’s not working, then even better, to be able to suggest to the writer why it’s not working and what they can do to make it work.

This is one of my favorite tips to see come through here on the blog. Critique groups/writing groups are so important. You have to develop a thick skin and try to remember that the ones critiquing it are only trying to help you, just as you are saying things to only help them become better writers.


 

Mercury Rising - final coverMichael wants to save his daughter, but first he’s got to save the world.

Michael and Charlotte meet when Michael is trying to find Ashley, his missing daughter who has fallen into drug abuse, and Charlotte is searching for her son Jon, a brilliant and aspiring young scientist who has also gone missing.
Ashley and Jon should have nothing in common, but after the murder of Jon’s favorite professor, they become ensnared in a tangled web that becomes worse with every new discovery.
When Michael and Charlotte join together to figure what their children have become involved with, they, too, are sucked into a sinkhole for which there are no answers, only more questions.
When all seems lost, will they all recognize the source of strength offered to them, and… will they take it?


Tim and Gail Sattler photo Tim and Gail Sattler have been (happily) married for 40 years. In that time Gail has published 43 novels/novellas, and 6 works of non-fiction. Tim and Gail enjoy having recently become empty nesters, and this is their first co-written book.

 


Thanks for joining us today Gail and reminding us to make sure that our information is correct and we establish that believability with our readers.

Take a moment to check out her newest release, Mercury Rising. Also, connect with Gail on her Facebook page, and website.

www.gailsattler.com

Facebok – https://www.facebook.com/gail.sattler.3


 

*If you are an author and would like to be a guest on Wisdom Wednesday, please email me at erin@mantlerockpublishingllc.com. I have openings available this fall and would love to highlight you and your books! 

Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday: Dyane Forde

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

How’s your writing goals going this week? To help push you through the rest of your week, author Dyane Forde is here this week to talk the journey you take as you write and using emotion.

Thanks for joining us today, Dyane!


Name: Dyane Forde

Genre: General adult fantasy, speculative fiction

Latest NovelBerserker, book 3 of the Rise of the Papilion Trilogy.

Writing Tip: 

Whether you write for pleasure, to minister, or as a career, what we produce has the power to change or affect someone’s life. Oftentimes, we use our life experiences (questions, answers, traumas, joys, etc.) and interests as points of reference, which means we are essentially packaging and presenting aspects of ourselves to readers via our written works. Those personal elements are often what succeeds in connecting with our readers.

So, embrace your unique point of view when it comes to your writing! Be inspired by others, but remember that God made you as you are and has led you through experiences—both good and bad—so you can affect positive change in the world in a way only you can. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

I think this is important because writing is difficult. We struggle to find motivation and the mental and emotional strength to continue when our works are rejected, or to simply complete a challenging project. And, sometimes it’s difficult to believe anyone cares about what we have to say! I think knowing our writing has the potential to touch a life gives us hope and the ability to endure, while giving purpose to the life challenges we face.

You’ve packed a lot of wisdom in this tip. This is one thing that I strive to do in my writing, and I’ve said it before in other interviews. You can’t expect the reader to take a journey that you haven’t taken first. In other books that I’ve edited, I always tell my authors not to neglect emotion and the emotional connection they need to establish to the reader. It’s so important! 

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers:

I think we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of balancing the stories burning in our hearts and learning (mastering) the tools needed to write them well. Writing is creative and a form of expression, but it is also a skill–a craft–that takes time and effort to do effectively. The better we write, the better we communicate the message/story that motivated us to create in the first place.

I believe that God can use anything in any condition for His purposes and glory. It’s His Spirit, not us, who does the transformational work in a Reader’s heart. However, doing our work with excellence and skill is important, as what we produce reflects on Him. We are His ambassadors, after all. Depending on our resources and availability, we can take advantage of the many local and online services available (writing groups, classes, editors, mentors, etc.) to hone our craft.

Yes, I agree! Writing groups and classes/workshops are great places to not only be encouraged but to also learn the craft. I love the writing group that I’m in. We meet monthly, and we have different members teach different subjects on the craft. 

I am in the planning stages with an author friend of mine to have writing workshops to help other writers in their writing journey. Our first workshop will be in October!


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“Love…can destroy, it can build, or it can do both at once…”

With the Papilion’s whereabouts unknown, the Shadow pursues its plan for Marathana’s destruction. In control of the Northern tribes and strengthened by allies in the Deep Southernlands, the Shadow prepares to unleash its ultimate weapon, the berserker.

Jeru’s sudden reappearance reveals the presence of a powerful, new will at work. Blessed by the Lightbearer and supported by a ragtag group of survivors and unexpected allies, Jeru prepares to lead the small army into enemy territory.

As war breaks, Kelen and Jeru clash one last time. One seeks to destroy, the other to save. The strongest will prevail, sealing Marathana’s ultimate fate.

 


FB image2Delia Talent is a pseudonym for Dyane Forde and fronts Forde’s ministry-related work. Talent hosts the Christian Creative Nexus’ blog and social media sites, is a writer, author, blogger, mentor, and small group leader with a passion for exhorting Christian Creatives to actively pursue their creative calling. For more on Talent and the Christian Creative Nexus, visit https://deliatalent.wordpress.com/. For more on Forde’s body of work, writing tips, and the ups and downs of her writing journey, visit her blog, Dropped Pebbles, at https://droppedpebbles.wordpress.com/.


Thanks for joining us today Dyane! I have enjoyed learning more about you and your series, Rise of the Papilion Trilogy. 

Take a moment to check out her latest release, Berserker. Also, connect with Dyane on her social media and blog.

Blog: https://deliatalent.wordpress.com/

Amazon: Dyane Forde

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeliaTalent

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DeliaTalent/

Facebook Prayer and Support Group: (upon request)

Google: https://plus.google.com/112556496070469058409


 

*If you are an author and would like to be a guest on Wisdom Wednesday, please contact me. I have openings available this fall and would love to highlight you and your books! 

Wisdom Wednesday

Confession Friday: Word Count Burnout

It’s back to school time and my social media feeds are bombarded with back to school pictures. My oldest son started high school yesterday, and it was much harder than I thought to watch him leave and wait for him to come back.

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Of course, I cried when I dropped him off for preschool, and again in Kindergarten. Mainly because he jumped out of the car and didn’t even give me a glance back or an “I love you” as he ran into the school. My daughter has been through this process too, except she cried when we took her for Kindergarten. My youngest is starting preschool at home this year, so as a mother of three, I shouldn’t be this teary-eyed, right? I should be used to watching them run off to school. I just had a group text conversation with my mom and sisters, and they were talking about getting weepy at back to school things, and well, perhaps it just runs in the family.

😉

 

All joking aside, I designated yesterday to be a big writing day, and I did fairly well. I managed to finally reign in my sentimental tears and focus on the task ahead of me.

Word counts.

This pesky little phrase has the tendency to stress out any writer, at any stage in their writing career. You can be a multi-published author or a beginning writer, and all have this in common. This phrase is so ingrained in my life, that even my kids ask me, “How did your word count go today?”

My response to this question seems to go two ways. I can either say, “It was awesome, I even wrote more than I needed to today!” or I mumble under my breath, “It was good.” This is code for, “I so did not meet my goal, but thanks for bringing it up!”

As a wife, mother of three, and an editor, sometimes I don’t meet my daily word count goals. If I miss my target, and other things have pulled me away from my computer, then it stresses me out to where I can’t write when I sit down the next time.

Surely, I’m not alone.

Here are my top 3 tips for overcoming word count stress:

3 tips

  • Set reasonable goals: I know this may seem like the obvious answer, but how many times have you decided that you will write 5000 words a day, no matter what, and then get disappointed when that doesn’t happen? Find a number that fits your life, writing style, and easily doable. So what if it’s 1000 words and you feel like that’s too small? Start somewhere. If you go over, then YAY! But if you hit it and hit the next day and the next day, before long, you will have a completed book.

 

  • Find a word tracker that you like: Find something that makes you accountable, but also one that you like and motivates you to continue. I’m a list and calendar maker, so this is essential for me. I finally found one that I love. WriteTrack. Based off of the NaNoWriMo tracker, it lets you set priority days and days off, tracks your progress, daily word count, and is in a calendar format! Here’s the link: WriteTrack.

 

  • Never stop on an empty page: This wonderful tip was given to me at writing retreat this year by Diane Tyner Ashley & Virginia Vaughn, and it’s helped me so much. Blank pages taunt me, and I like to write whole chapters during my writing sessions. Well, as a result, I was getting writer’s block because I was stopping my session at the end of a chapter. So I took their suggestion, and now I go past that chapter and start the next one, even if it’s only a paragraph. Now that I’m not opening up to an empty page, I don’t have as much writer’s block.

Do you have a great tip to overcome word count stress? Please leave it in the comment section!

Hugs,

Erin

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Confession Friday: Motivation, where are you?

It’s Friday, and while I’m looking forward to the weekend, I can’t help but stare at my computer screen and my “to-do” list with a blank, unmotivated stare. Do you ever have those days?

Confession time: this happens to me a lot.

I know, I know, I’m cringing just typing this.

But seriously, I have my motivated days where I’m editing like crazy, and I’m typing my own book so fast my fingers can’t keep up. Then there’s days like today, when I’m struggling to keep my eyelids open.

I wish I could say that being a writer comes with unlimited amounts of gumption and creativity, but that’s not the case. It definitely seems to come with a caffeine addiction, but that’s another confession for another Friday.

So what do you do when your motivation and creativity can’t be found? How do you pound out that word count anyway? Here’s five ways that help me get to typing and kicking my motivation into high gear.

  1. CHANGE OF SCENERY. Get up and get moving. Yep. Leave the computer. Take a walk, play with your kiddos outside, wash your dishes, or change out of those yoga pants and fix your hair. Do something that changes your current state and gets your mind on something positive. The key here is doing something that won’t take up hours of your day, but around thirty minutes or less. That way you can get back to the computer and get that word count finished.

  2. DO SOMETHING ELSE THAT’S CREATIVE. Find a different creative outlet and have fun. I love to do anything crafty, and have lots of hobbies that I enjoy: crochet, string art, cake decorating, and I just got a wood burning kit for my birthday. Doing other creative things energizes me and gets my creative juices flowing.

  3. SET CLEAR, MANAGEABLE GOALS. The key here is to set goals that are clear and achievable. Be honest about your goals. If you haven’t been able to finish writing a novel, break it down into smaller goals that are reachable and that you can see yourself achieving. If you have a problem with follow through, set goals that you can build off of. Don’t sabotage yourself with goals that you don’t have any intention of reaching.

  4. READ/WATCH YOUR FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE. For me, reading a chapter or so from one of my favorite authors that inspire me or watching an all time favorite movie inspires me to get back to my writing and completing my goals. The key here is watch or read something that inspire you, and not to bring you down. That silly Nicholas Sparks movie is probably not the best choice here. Spoiler alert—something horrible and sad always happens.

  5. WRITE ANYWAY. One thing that a writer must learn is discipline and that you need to write something every day, regardless of how you feel. If you’re drawing a blank on your story, write a blog instead or maybe a journal entry about your day. Even if you feel like it’s the most boring page you’ve ever written, that’s okay. The idea is to become disciplined to write every day, even when the inspiration isn’t there. This is the key to being a writer.

Do you have a tip to kick that motivation into gear? Share it with us, leave your comment below!

Hugs,

Erin

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