Wisdom Wednesday: Brett Armstrong

I’m glad it’s Wednesday because that means it’s Wisdom Wednesday, where I have the honor of hosting guest authors, their books, and favorite writing tips.

Today, we have author Brett Armstrong with us. Thank you for joining us, Brett!


Name: Brett Armstrong

Genre: Historical Fiction

Latest NovelDestitutio Quod Remissio

Writing Tip:

Trying to find novel (pun intended) advice is a bit of a challenge. Recently I’ve been very concerned about world-building, as I’m developing a high fantasy series. Making the world come to life and stand as distinct is critical to the experience of high fantasy, historical fiction, Sci-fi, any story where the world is not precisely the normal world around us (even then you can argue some contemporary contexts still take extensive world-building). My tip for world-building? While writing take on some side projects. I’m working on a prequel novella that expands on the history between a pair of characters. That extra focus has given me the chance to explore not only more of the story world, but of the characters themselves. Moments that before had one layer of significance suddenly became multi-layered. Some of the concepts and details that developed in the novella have made their way into the novel in softer form.

Be careful to not just expand the world you’re building, but to deepen what is essential around the story at hand. To do that take time to explore the world yourself in short stories, flash fiction, novellas, and sequels. I view publishing a book as taking readers on a tour through lands you’ve visited as the author. When you pause while blazing the trail to get a view of what surrounds your story, you’ll find things, things you want to show readers on their trip through the world later. In short, look around your story and look close. In the end, you’ll have a more richly detailed world and the start to a view of a broader world as well.

Worldbuilding is one of my favorite things about being a fantasy writer. I love sitting down with my characters in mind and creating the world as they know it. I think you bring up an excellent tip to help keep our focus on the right path when we are world building. You said, “I view publishing a book as taking readers on a tour through lands you’ve visited as the author.” I love this! We can’t take our reader somewhere that we haven’t been ourselves. So good!

Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers:

Be very aware of why you are writing. If you’re doing it for fame and fortune, there’s a good chance you’ll want to brace yourself for impact. Even “good” writers don’t necessarily make it in that way. People can tell you they love your books and they’re incredible, but it doesn’t instantly translate to sales. I’m not saying that things can’t work out in that way, just brace yourself if that’s what you’re after.

If money and notoriety aren’t what you seek, then still brace yourself. People are mean. Sometimes people are harsh and may not even realize it. Sometimes they’re just indifferent. Particularly if you write something that is different from mainstream, don’t expect to be embraced like mainstream writing. Since that isn’t why you’re writing, know what your why is and hold on to that. If you’re a Christian writer, so much the better, because at some level God’s honor and glory are probably behind your writing. That is noble and worthwhile and yields rewards independent of the things typically used as measures of success.

When reviews (good, bad, and ugly) come in, awards come and go, sales fluctuate, and you have creative differences with agents and publishers, through all of that you can weather it. You’ll have that why to fall back to, and keep writing and loving writing.

I think this is a great point that everyone needs to remember, especially new writers. You have to know why you’re writing and what drives you to keep writing. I have to constantly remind myself that not everyone will read and fall in love with my stories, and guess what? That’s normal and perfectly okay! There will be readers that connect with your type of stories and that’s what you are aiming for. 


DestitutioQuodRemissio

For decades, Roman Senator Marcus Servius labored to become a wealthy and admired patrician man. But now, his world is shattered. After he is exposed as a Christian during a time of intense persecution, his home, wealth, and prestige are stripped from him. The most painful loss of all is that of his beloved wife, Cassandra. Destitute and wary, Marcus prays he will be delivered from his enemies’ hands as he struggles to realize a new path.

In desperate need of help, Marcus disguises himself and embarks on a dangerous journey to find Benjamin Truvias, the leader of a hidden church and the man responsible for Marcus’s conversion. After Benjamin offers aid, Marcus’s life finally finds needed direction. Yet, the more he helps the church through persecutions, the closer he comes to finding who betrayed him. Caught in a maelstrom of intrigue and deception, should Marcus discover the awful truth of who caused his fall, he must choose between vengeance and forgiveness–a decision that will affect the fate of all the believers in Rome.


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Brett Armstrong, author of the award-winning novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio, started writing stories at age nine, penning a tale of revenge and ambition set in the last days of the Aztec Empire.  Twenty years later, he is still telling stories though admittedly his philosophy has deepened with his Christian faith and a master’s degree in creative writing.  His goal with every work is to be like a brush in the Master artist’s hand and his hope is the finished composition always reflects the design God had in mind.  He feels writing should be engaging, immersive, entertaining, and always purposeful.  Continually busy at work with one or more new novels to come, he


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

Twitter:        https://www.twitter.com/BArmstrongWV

Pinterest:      http://www.pinterest.com/ChristianKid044

Website:       https://brettarmstrong.net/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8281587.Brett_Armstrong

YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/embed/n8RdGQ6jQiE?rel=0

Please take a moment and connect with Brett on social media, and check out his novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio.

Thanks for joining us today, Brett! I enjoyed having you on my blog, and your reminders to know our journey and the reason why we write!

*If you are an author and would like to be a guest on Wisdom Wednesday, please contact me. I have openings available this summer.

Wisdom Wednesday

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Behind the Story: The Seer Locations #2

I am home from the Inspire Conference, hosted by my writing group, Ken Ten Writers. This year the retreat was held at Montgomery Bell State Park. I came back armed with information from lots of great workshops and connected with some amazing writers.


Two months before Gabe was diagnosed with cancer, we went to LBL (Land Between the Lakes) to have our fall family pictures taken. Once we were finished taking pictures, Jacob took me to a graveyard tucked behind a camping area. We took a short walk back behind the campground, and I instantly knew that I had to use this location in my story. I took some liberties with the layout of the area because I wanted Thea to be close enough to the water to hear it hit the shore.

I also wanted the setting of the book to be in the fall because it’s my absolute favorite season. The crisp cold air, colorful leaves, hoodies, bonfires, and s’mores are all things that I love about the season.

Instead of showing another picture this week, I want to hear from you and giveaway a Kindle copy of my novel, The Seer.

Have you been to any locations from the books that you’ve read? If so, I would love to hear about them. Please take a moment and add your picture in the comment section and tell us where the location is and what book it is from. You have until next Wednesday to enter, and I will announce the winner next Thursday.

 

Hugs,
Erin

 

Behind the Story: The Seer Locations #1

Lots of guesses were given on the photo that I posted last week. I had fun reading all of them!

I had one person that was the closest! Makenzie, a member of my beta reading group called The Hive, guessed that it was a church.

The picture is actually what’s left a wall that was once the National Headquarters of the Cumberland Presbyterian church located in Memphis TN. When the headquarters moved, Chick-fil-A bought the land and kept the front side of the building. The back side is now a patio for outdoor eating.

Memphis has played a huge role in our lives since 12/29/16, so I knew I had to use some locations from there. We love Chick-fil-A, (my favorite is the nuggets) so once Jacob and I saw the wall we had to find out what it once was. I was so surprised when I read that it was once the location of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church National Headquarters. I grew up attending a Cumberland Presbyterian Church (that my ancestors helped to found in 1870) and I knew instantly I had to use this location.

Most of the locations in The Seer have to do with portal locations. However, I don’t want to spoil what’s at this location in case you haven’t read it yet.

Are you ready for the next picture?

Or how about three?

 

 

 

 

Please comment with your guess and next Thursday I will reveal the location, why it’s important to me, and give you another picture.

If you haven’t had a chance to read The Seer, it’s available on Amazon and Books-A-Million.

Hugs,

Erin

Pick One!

Leading up to the release of The Seer, I shared quotes from the characters and gave you a little inside information about those characters. At the Launch Party, there was postcards of each quote for you to choose from.

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Now that a few weeks have gone by since the release of The Seer, I’m dying to know which character quote is your favorite, now that you’ve had some time to read it. (If you haven’t got your copy yet, what are you waiting for?!)

If you attended the party and got a signed copy, you can probably guess which one is my favorite. 😉

I also wanted to take a moment and thank everyone that has taken the time to send me a message, comment, tagged me in pictures, referred others to read it, and left reviews for The Seer. I can’t tell you enough how much it means to me to see and read your reactions! So, thank you!

Please keep tagging me in pictures and letting me know what you think of The Seer, and if you can, leave an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews are very important for authors. (after a specified amount, Amazon shows it in the recommended section and you can do special advertising with different promotions)

Please take a moment and vote on your favorite quote!

It Finally Got Us

The past week has been rough around the Howard household. Daniel had the flu, (type A) and then gave it to me.  Normally, this would be an annoying but manageable thing, but since our youngest is still in treatment for Leukemia, it became a larger concern. Our doctor told us that if anyone in the house comes down with the flu to call them immediately so they could call in a prescription of tamiflu for Gabe.  So we did, and he’s on that for ten days.  Gabe’s counts dropped to 200 ANC on Monday, so we are now on extra high alert to watch out for sickness this week.  Hopefully his counts will go back up, and he can receive his chemo next week at his weekly appointment. Daniel and I managed to stay mostly to our rooms, trying to keep separated from the rest of the family.  I’m ready to feel better, for spring, and warmer weather.

I’m back at my computer this week, continuing editing for MRP and working on two projects of my own. A completely new story for a contest, and book 2 of The Kalila Chronicles! I can’t wait to share more information about both new works, but the new story has to be secret until after the contest.

Until I can reveal more, have you read The Seer? Which character are you hoping to learn more about in book 2 and why? Leave me a comment below, you never know, your character may just be the one!


seer4

 

You can purchase The Seer on Amazon in both Kindle and print versions. 

Kindle:  bit.ly/kalilachronicles

Print: bit.ly/kalilachroniclesprint

 

Character Quote: Sentinel Cobb

The book characters are quickly becoming one of my favorite things to talk about on my blog with you all!

We have one last character that I would like to highlight today, and then I will open up the blog for discussions of questions you may have about The Seer, and the characters.

Sentinel Cobb is one of the most interesting characters in The Seer. There’s a certain level of mystery about his past and what he’s done, especially when it comes to Matthias’s resentment towards him. It’s hard to think that Matthias would have resentment towards anyone.


 

sentinel cobb postcard jpeg

 

 

Character Quote: Sometimes it’s not really the answer to our questions that we truly need.

Here’s what one of my Beta/ARC Readers had to say about Sentinel Cobb:

“Sentinel Cobb is a mysterious character and I hope to find out more about his past and how that made him the man is today. He carries the balance of the world on his shoulders along with those he trains.”

-Jacob


 

There is so much more to be learned about Sentinel Cobb, and we have only scratched the surface. I hope that you will enjoy his character as much as I do! 

Now that the highlights of the characters are over, I will open the blog up for questions! If you’ve read The Seer and want to ask a question about the story or the characters please message me. Please keep me in mind that if it’s a question that would be a spoiler to those that have not read it yet, I will not be able to answer on the blog. Use the contact form here, or on the contact page. Click here to contact Erin

 

Hugs,

Erin

Selfies with The Seer

Friday night was my Launch Party, and I was overwhelmed by everyone’s support! We had a great time talking to everyone, taking pictures with the backdrop, giving away some awesome prizes, and signing copies of The Seer. I was asked several times why I was signing my books with the phrase, “Don’t sit on the fence!” and it was so much fun to tell them that they have to read the book to find out! Going forward, for each new book in the series, I will sign with its own unique phrase.

One of my favorite things about Friday night was my guest book. Instead of everyone signing a regular guest book, I asked everyone to sign the inside cover of my personal copy of The Seer! Thank you to everyone that took a moment to do so, it really meant a lot to me, and will sit on my desk as a visual reminder of your support.

 


We spent Sunday and Monday at St. Jude with our youngest son, Gabe and while I was there, I saw several readers posting their pictures with their copies of The Seer on social media, and hearing comments that they couldn’t put the book down. WOW! That’s one of the best complements that you can give me. So, thank you!

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If you have purchased a copy of The Seer, please post the picture on social media and tag me. I would love to see pictures of my readers and The Seer.

I’ve used four major settings in The Seer, three of these are portal locations. I do not want to give anything away in case you haven’t read the book yet {what are you waiting for?!} So if you happen to visit these areas, it would be amazing to see you take a selfie with your print copy!

Also, please don’t forget to leave an honest review of The Seer on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews are a huge help to authors, especially new authors.

If you haven’t picked up a print copy yet, I have a few left from the Launch, and you can purchase one on Amazon, just Click here.  The Kindle version is also available for download.

Hugs,

Erin


PS-I’ve also been asked when book two of The Kalila Chronicles will be coming out, and I have an answer! It will be released in February of next year. YAY!

Until then, I will be keeping you all up to date on all the stages of publication for book number two. I have a working title, and I will share it with you soon!