Saturday, January 29, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
- Appointments with Agents and Editors
- Manuscript Submission to Agents & Editors
- 7 Continuing Classes (6 Hours of instruction in a genre) Select One
- Mentoring Tracks limited to 10 participants in each track - take place during Continuing Class time slot
- Fiction Project - Eva Marie Everson, Ken Kuhlken
- Writing Articles - Larry Leech
- Non Fiction Project - Janis Whipple
- Writing for Children - Christine Tangvald, Carol Wedeven
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
My client, Jennifer Hudson Taylor is really hitting her stride.
Her book “Highland Blessings” is out and selling well. Highland Blessings is the story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise he made to his dying father. Bryce MacPhearson, a highland warrior, kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. While Akira s strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment when he forces her to wed him, hoping to end a half-century-old feud between their clans. While Akira begins to forgive, and Bryce learns to trust, a series of murders leaves a trail of unanswered questions, confusion, and a legacy of hate that once again rises between their families. Clearly, a traitor is in their midst. Now the one man Akira loves no longer trusts her, and her own life is in danger. Can Bryce look beyond his pain and seek the truth? Will Akira discover the threat against her before it s too late? How will God turn a simple promise into bountiful Highland blessings? The book may be ordered in print or for the Kindle by clicking here.
The followup to this book from Abingdon is her novel HIGHLAND SANCTUARY. Hired to restore Braigh Castle, a man discovers the hidden Village of Braigh and Serena Boyd, the mysterious, comely lass who captures his heart; the villagers have an intriguing secret and the land a profitable opportunity that leads to bitter betrayal, the sequel to Highland Blessings.
But that isn’t all. She has signed a contract for NEW GARDEN'S HOPE, a novella that is part of a four-novella collection entitled "The Quakers of New Garden," to Barbour Publications for publication in February 2012.
Her Novella HEARTS INHERITANCE has been accepted as part of the four-novella collection titled "Highland Crossings" by Barbour Publications.
Still more? Her novels FORBIDDEN CONQUEST, THE WAR WOMAN, and IMPERFECT PIECES, are set in Scotland then showing the migration to America, Sold to Abingdon Press for publication in 2013 and 2014.
Jennifer Hudson Taylor is one to watch as she bursts onto the scene with strong writing and memorable characters. And she’s just getting started. Learn more about her at http://jenniferswriting.blogspot.com/
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Amidst talk of the 9-11 anniversary, and bad economic news, and the health-care “crisis” in the US, I actually wonder whether Americans know what “hard times” are. I have been through some difficult patches, but I cannot say that I have known Hard Times in the sense that every previous generation in history, virtually everywhere in the world, has experienced.
I have been sad, but not in sorrow. I have been in debt, but never destitute. I have had regrets, but never grief. How many of us can share such relatively comfortable testimony? In my case, to whatever extent I rightly judge my insulation, it is largely due to my standing as a Christian – receiving joy that passes understanding — but we also have to credit modern life, in America, with its technology, medicine, and general prosperity.
Hard Times come in America, but somehow all the wars and crises have the lengths of TV mini-series, and if not, the public grows impatient. The public has a sound-bite mentality. We used to face our challenges; but now we are distracted with the modern equivalents of the Romans’ “bread and circuses” — pop entertainment, push-button gratification.
In many ways this indicates that we are not advancing as a culture. I’m not sure we are “going backwards,” either, because that might actually be beneficial. Giuseppi Verdi (yes, the composer otherwise known as Joe Green) once said, Torniamo all’antico: Sara un progresso — “We turn to the past in order to move forward.”
I got thinking of Hard Times in America when I pulled an elegant old volume off my bookshelf. Folk Songs was published in 1860, before the Civil War. This book is leather-bound, all edges gilt, pages as supple as when it was printed, a joy to hold. The “folk songs” of its title refers not to early-day coffee houses, but to poems and songs of the people, in contradistinction to epic verse or heroic sagas; the way the German word Volk refers to the shared-group spirit of the masses.
Many of the titles are charming: “The Age of Wisdom,” “My Child,” “Baby’s Shoes,” “The Flower of Beauty,” “The First Snow-Fall”… However, such sweet titles mask preoccupations with children dying in snow drifts, lovers deserting, husbands lost at sea, fatal illness, mourning for decades, unfaithful friends. No need to guess the themes other titles from the index:”Tommy’s Dead,” “The Murdered Traveller,” and “Ode To a Dead Body.”
It reminded me that people 150 years ago were not gloomy pessimists: they were not. But Hard Times were a part of life, and therefore part of poetry and song. On the frontier, life could be snuffed out in a moment. In the imminent Civil War, roughly every third household was affected by death, maiming, split families, or hideous disruption; yet anti-war movements never gained traction; life went on. Abraham Lincoln almost lost his mind over an unhappy love affair; his wife likely did lose her mind when her favorite son died in the White House. Theodore Roosevelt’s young wife (in childbirth) and mother (of salmonella) died on the same day in the same house. Hard Times.
Also before the Civil War, a composer named Stephen Foster wrote a song called Hard Times. He is barely recalled today, sometimes as a caricature, but he might be America’s greatest composer. He wrote My Old Kentucky Home; I Dream of Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair; Old Black Joe; Carry Me Back to Ol’ Virginia; Way Down Upon the Swanee River / Old Folks At Home; Oh, Susanna; Camptown Races; Beautiful Dreamer … and Hard Times, Come Again No More. This last song has been resurrected lately to a certain repute, or at least utility. In some circles it has become an anthem for charities and lamentation of poverty. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, even the Squirrel Nut Zippers, have sung it. It has taken on the air of a secular anthem. But in fact, although Stephen Foster did not embed a Gospel message in the lyrics, he had written many hymns in his life, and — if we can turn back our minds to the world of 150 years ago — it is clear that the Hard Times he wrote of were the world’s trials, to be relieved in heaven. It is clear that the “cabin,” and its door, in the song are metaphors.
Here is a memorable video to evoke the reality of life’s Hard Times, the promise heaven holds, and the beauty of Stephen Foster’s music to you. The seven singers are from the amazing project of a few years ago, “The Transatlantic Sessions” — singers and musicians from America (US and Canada), Ireland, and Scotland singing old and new “folkish” songs in a living-room setting.
(By the way, they are, left to right, Rod Paterson, Scotland; Karen Matheson, Scotland — hear her incredible soprano harmony on the left channel; Mary Black, Ireland; Emmylou Harris, US; Rufus Wainwright, his mother Kate McGarrigle, and her sister Anna McGarrigle on the button accordian, all Canadians. The other musicians are fiddler Jay Ungar — he wrote the haunting “Ashokan’s Farewell: tune of the PBS “Civil War” series — and his wife Molly Mason on the bass; and the project’s shepherds Shetland fiddler Aly Bain, and American dobro player Jerry Douglas.)
Listen to the wonderful performance, the amazing music, and the important reminder that we should keep Hard Times in perspective… but also that God provides a joyful relief from life’s disappointments when they come. By and by, they will “come no more.”Rick Marshall is the author of more than 60 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia magazine called him “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture”) to history and criticism; country music, television history, biography, and children’s books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. Request a free weekly mailing of Monday Morning Music Ministry to your inbox! Write the word Subscribe in the subject line to AmericaCiv@aol.com.
Thank you Rick for sharing your blog with us today. I hope many will find encouragement and refreshment at Monday Morning Music Ministry.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
For those that might live close to Amarillo I'd like to invite you to the book launch and signing of my client Caron Guillo for her book "An Uncommon Crusade."
It is set this Saturday, January 22nd from 2-4 pm at the Hastings Book Store at 45th and Western. I'm surely going to be there supporting her, and her publisher, Written World Communications from Colorado Springs is supposed to be there as well. I expect there will be a nice attendance from the Amarillo-based "Panhandle Professional Writer's" group, so there should be writers galore, but hopefully there will be even more readers.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Until two years ago, I had never repeated a theme in 12 years of directing CCWC and 25 years of directing the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference, but as I considered the crises facing our nation and world, I could not think of a more important assignment than to "write His answer."
Sadly, the problems facing us have intensified. The need to "write His answer" is even greater so . . .
I'm praying you will accept His assignment and make plans now to join us on the mountain
Whether you are publishing regularly or not-yet-published, and whether you write fiction or nonfiction for children or adults, CCWC is an investment in your writing ministry that can open doors and change your life.
Presently we have 55 agents, authors, and editors on faculty. The continuing sessions and clinics are in place and posted on this website along with a list of the present faculty and markets. I anticipate adding a few more faculty members.
www.writehisanswer.com/colorado/ Please visit for info on our keynotes.
Wednesday's earlybird workshops, the 42 workshops offered during the conference,
paid critiques, and Teens Write!
Registration opens February 1.
If you did not receive a postcard in the mail, please email your USPS address to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive our 16-page brochure in February.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I write action-adventures & mysteries especially for boys 8 and up. Before I begin writing a story, it’s been percolating in my mind for a couple of weeks at least. Finally the whole thing comes crashing in all at once. It’s at this time that I stop what I’m doing, pick up a recorder, and briefly tell myself the story, just as if I were telling it to a group of kids, or to my own children when they were young. After doing this, I know the beginning, the middle, and the end.
This gets typed and usually runs 8 – 10, single spaced pages. The notes are put into a file and set aside. I don’t look at those notes again until the first draft is finished. I write as I go when it comes to the manuscript. It is only after that first draft is finished that I ever look at it or the original notes. I’m always amazed to see that all of the elements of the original story have found their way into the first draft. That has never failed yet.
Then, to get myself into the mood to write, I make sure to do a few things. Around my computer I place several photographs and any props that will help me think about the story and characters. Once I was writing about the Pacific Northwest, and logging. I went out and caught chipmunk and placed him in a small cage with cedar chips. At the end of the day I let him go but I wasn’t finished with the sequences in the woods. So the next day, I went out and caught another one. The sight of the chipmunk and the scent of the cedar helped set the mood.
The next thing I do is to always burn a candle next to the computer. I ONLY do this while writing. I never do it during brainstorming, editing, research, or reading a draft. The candle helps to take me to a different place.
Finally, I play mood appropriate music for the scene I’m writing. If it’s a funny scene I play comedy. A sad scene requires a single piano or violin. The music brings specific images into my mind as I write.
One more thing.
If I’m writing about a hot place, I like to write in the summer with the air off. If it’s a winter scene, I try to do those when it’s actually winter. I have written hot scenes in the winter, but that’s when I crank the heat way up high. I may have to stop doing that with the economy getting so rotten.
All of these elements, working together, go a long way toward setting the mood, conjuring up the proper images, suggesting dialog, and preparing the way to write. And using them, I have never faced a block of any kind. Not yet anyway.
Max Elliot Anderson grew up as a reluctant reader. After surveying the market, he sense the need for action-adventures and mysteries for readers 8 – 13, especially boys. Using his extensive experience in the production of motion pictures, videos, and television commercials, Mr. Anderson brings the same visual excitement and heart-pounding action to his stories. Each book has completely different characters, setting, and plot. Seven books are published, with an additional twenty-eight manuscripts completed. Young readers have reported that reading one of his books is like being in an exciting or scary movie. Visit Max online at the links below.
Books For Boys Blog http://booksandboys.blogspot.com
Author Web Site http://www.maxbooks.9k.com
Friday, January 7, 2011
Is the game changing?
I'm starting to get a lot of projects pitched to me that have already been published on Kindle. Do publishers look at that any different than they do being presented a book that is already published by any other method? I was pretty sure I knew the answer to that but I decided to survey a number of editors to see for sure. I phrased my question to not lead the answer in any manner.
I simply asked, " May I bother you with a question? I'm starting to get a number of people pitching projects to me that have already been e-published on Kindle. How does that affect you looking at a print project for the same manuscript? I'm surveying a few editors on it looking to frame a response. Hopefully this presents the question in such a way as not to lead the answer in any manner."
I got about the response that I was expecting. I wondered if a Kindle version would be considered the same as any self-published book and the answer appears to be that it is.
For your information the responses are breaking down like this:
7% say it would not matter to them either way.
20% say they would consider a self-pubbed or Kindle but the odds would be against them.
57% said they would not buy one that had been self-pubbed or e-pubbed or would have to have the e-rights in the contract which most agree Amazon are not going to give up in most cases once they have a book on Kindle so for all practical purposes that is a no.
Finally, 17% said they would consider it but only if significant sales numbers could be demonstrated.
Over 100 editors in both the mainstream and Christian market participated in the survey. Many thanked me for raising the question and wanted to see the results which I did send back to them. A few said it was a developing issue and a problem they were wrestling with.
Some individual responses that interested me included: