Top Ten Publishing Myths by Erin Brown

 

  1. Editors and agents aren’t looking for great writing anymore … it’s all about the almighty dollar.
  1. Self-publishing will make an author a bestseller.
  1. “I don’t need an agent.” 
  1. Publishers take care of all of your marketing and publicity.
  1. Talented authors get huge advances.
  1. Editors will be able to devote most of their time to your book. 
  1. An author should never give up on the submission process, no matter how long it takes.
  1. All published authors should expect to hit a bestseller list or their publishers have failed.
  1. The bigger the agent, the better.
  1. Once your book is sold, you can give up your day job.

Erin Brown worked as an editor in New York City for over eight years. She recently left Manhattan to start her own freelance editorial business. To learn more about Erin, visit her website at www.erinedits.com

Read the full article here:
AuthorMagazine.org – an on-line magazine for writers and readers….

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ReadWave Launch Widget for Author Promotion

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ReadWave has just announced the launch of a new reading widget, that aims to revolutionize the way that stories are shared and authors promote themselves online. The widget allows bloggers and website owners to embed stories online in a compact form.

An example of the ReadWave Widget can be found at

www.readwave.com/widget.

The ReadWave widget is the first reading widget to allow readers to “follow” the writer. When a reader follows a writer they are added to the writer’s fanbase and can receive updates on all of the writer’s future stories. The widget is designed specifically to help writers build up a fanbase and grow their readership online. The widget is also the first to be directly integrated with Facebook, so that content is automatically shared via social media.

Raoul Tawadey, CEO of ReadWave commented, “The ReadWave widget doesn’t simply provide the technology for embedding stories online, it also provides a legal framework for re-posting other people’s content within the bounds of copyright law. Every day, millions of indie writers post up their creative writing for free on their personal websites with the aim of attracting as many readers as possible. Currently other website owners can’t repost those stories due to copyright law. Our widget eliminates this copyright problem, and enables anyone to post your story anywhere without limits, and it does so in a way that ensures the original writer is reaping the rewards.”

Existing widgets use a predefined page size, so when the widget is made smaller the text is made smaller. The ReadWave widget is the first reading widget where the width and height are fully customizable and the text automatically adjusts itself to fit the space available.

“The ReadWave widget is great news for website owners,” says ReadWave’s Chief Technology Officer, Simon Van Blerk. “Rather than linking to someone else’s website, the ReadWave widget allows you to keep traffic on your own website. This means website owners can retain visitors and keep them engaged for longer.”

Contact:

Rob Tucker

submissions@readwave.com

www.readwave.com

www.facebook.com/readwave

www.twitter.com/readwave

About ReadWave

ReadWave is a community of readers and writers who love to discover and share new stories from contemporary writers. Readers can access thousands of stories and read them for free on mobile or desktop. Writers can use ReadWave to build up a fanbase and market their stories online. ReadWave puts writers in touch with the readers who are just right for them.

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Writing Contest: Scintillating Starts

Enter Writer Advice’s New Contest: SCINTILLATING STARTS. Grab and hold us with your opening paragraphs.

Deadline: October 15, 2012.

Details at www.writeradvice.com 

If your opening is shared on Writer Advice, you’ll be able to tell prospective agents, publishers, and book buyers that you were one of the winners of Writer Advice’s First Scintillating Starts Contest.

B. Lyn Goodwin, Writer, Advice Managing Editor
Author of You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers
www.writeradvice.com

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How to Find an Agent

Linton Robinson, an American expatriate who has spun off several different writing careers, is published as a novelist, essayist, poet, journalist, foreign correspondent, and copywriter.

On his blog, Lin gives advice on how to find an agent. Key points include:

  • Find out who represents the writers whose work is most like yours or appeals to your target audience.
  • Search Google intelligently to try to find the agent who represented the book or author.
  • Cruise those books in the bookstore or library — often writers, especially in their first book, will have dedications to their wonderful agents in the front or back of the book.
  • Find the agents online.
  • Follow the guidelines: most agency sites have guidelines for querying them.

Looking for agent databases? Check out Lin’s list:

SEARCHING FOR YOUR AGENT (When he doesn’t want to be found)

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B. Lynn Goodwin

B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of  WriterAdvice, a place that not only promotes authors through its interviews but also publishes both experienced and emerging writers, showcasing fresh ideas and high quality writing.

Shelagh: Please tell us a little about yourself, Lynn.

Lynn: I’m a freelance writer, editor, teacher, former caregiver, and the author of You Want Me To Do What? – Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing). I’m published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; The Oakland Tribune; The Contra Costa Times; The Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You’re Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career, We Care, Caregiving, and Self-Care NCDA Monograph; Families of Loved Ones Magazine; The Sun Magazine (forthcoming) and numerous e-zines. I facilitate journaling workshops, teach for Story Circle Network, and publish Writer Advice

Shelagh: When did you first begin writing?

Lynn: I wrote an article about high school auditions for Dramatics Magazine, and that led to a series of articles called “Dear Diary” that recorded activities in a drama class from the point of view of a student.

Shelagh: When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

Lynn: When I started Writer Advice, long before it was an e-zine at www.writeradvice.com, I needed a place to publish author interviews. I sought those interviews because I wanted to learn the secrets of skilled, published writers. This was before I understood that each of us has our own individual voice and our own unique story to tell. Teaching high school English taught me the formula for the five-paragraph essay. I have never found one formula for effective creative writing but I’ve had a wonderful time sharing the knowledge and experience of others with Writer Advice’s audience.

Shelagh: Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?

Lynn: You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers offers encouragement, instructions, and over 200 sentence-starts to help anyone start putting their thoughts on paper.

Those who have tried it love it, and Sharon Bray, the author of When Words Heal: Writing Your Way Through Cancer has said, “As someone steeped in the therapeutic value of writing during pain and loss, I think B. Lynn Goodwin’s book meets a need that has yet to be addressed.”

The book is stand-alone, and it is how-to meets self-help.

Shelagh: What’s the hook for the book?

Lynn: Everyone has great stories to tell and journaling heals, whether you know you are a writer or not.

Shelagh: What do you say to those who don’t want to write?

Lynn: First of all, you need to know that this is not the kind of writing you did in school. No one cares how you spell or punctuate. There is something about the process of putting pen to paper that helps people process whatever is troubling them. As soon as you begin processing, you’ll hit deeper levels and find your truths. Hope will emerge.

If you still don’t want to write, record your truths. Take any sentence start from YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT? JOURNALING FOR CAREGIVERS and start talking into a tape recorder. You or a trusted friend can transcribe what you like and let the rest go, if you want to.

Shelagh: What do you say to former caregivers who wonder why they couldn’t find the book when they needed it?

Lynn: The relationship continues even when your loved one is gone. You have both stories and perspective, so start writing now. What you have to share is a gift to others. To quote Pat Schneider, the author of WRITING ALONE AND WITH OTHERS: “If you do not record your own story, your tiny bit of the history of the human race is lost. Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare’s vision. Dickinson wrote Dickinson’s. Who will write yours if you do not?”

Shelagh: Why did you direct the book to caregivers instead of everyone?

Lynn: I used to believe the book was for those who cared for a spouse, parent, or special needs child. I knew it was a niche book.

After I signed my contract I began my e-mail workshops I discovered teachers, nurses, social workers, and everyone in the caring professions is a caregiver. Professional caregivers as well as family caregivers need this book.

Then the economy collapsed and all kinds of people became caregivers to themselves. I now realize that everyone is a caregiver for someone. Certainly, if you are a writer you need to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else.

Shelagh: Can’t people just get a blank notebook and write on their own?

Lynn: Of course they can, but most people won’t. Who wants to face the blank page when you are already stressed, angry, and filled with frustration? It’s so much easier to finish someone else’s sentences, and that’s what these sentence-starts let you do.

Shelagh: How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Lynn: I cared for my mother for six years while she struggled with undiagnosed Alzheimer’s. During this time my outlet was my journal. Whether I wrote three sentences or three pages, journaling eased my frustrations and fears.

Sometimes my journaling includes lists. I use lists to brainstorm, imagine, and even start reviews for Writer Advice. My “To Do” lists are classic examples of so-much-work-so-little-time. When I put any of my truths on paper, I start seeing myself differently.

Shelagh: Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

Lynn: I don’t know which review is best, but this is excerpted from the most recent one. It originally appeared at www.storycirclebookreviews.org:

What sets Goodwin’s book apart is that it functions as a journal. Each of the core chapters contains approximately twenty-five pages of sentence prompts: “The truth is…”; “Today, I don’t want…”; “I usually don’t talk about…” Each prompt is followed by space for the caregiver to finish the sentence and continue the journal entry….

“Prompts are carefully sequenced. In line with Goodwin’s advice to “start where you are,” the caregiver begins with “Thoughts About Me,” and then moves outward to “Thoughts About Caregiving,” and “Thoughts About the One I Care For.” Prompts allow the writer to describe challenges (“I feel burned out when…” ) as well as joys and rewards (“Today my best moments are…” )…

“You Want Me to Do What? is a small but powerful book. Telling the truth is hard. People in conflict, those on the edge of burn-out, may read about the healing power of writing but fail to follow through. Goodwin, by using a “workbook” format, provides an automatic transition from theory to practice, from reading to writing. It is exactly the right book for its target audience.”

Shelagh: What are your current projects?

Lynn: In addition to promoting the book, I am running Writer Advice’s Fifth Annual Flash Prose Contest (details at http://www.writeradvice.com–deadline April 15, 20100, preparing the spring issue of Writer Advice, teaching for Story Circle Network, teaching an independent class called Journaling: Gateway to Self- Discovery, and writing a column on Senior Living and news articles for DanvillePatch.com which will launch at the end of February.

Shelagh: Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Lynn: Visit www.writeradvice.com to read my e-zine. Click on “Journaling for Caregivers” to learn more about the book. The best way to find out about current events and classes is to join my mailing list. Send an e-mail to Lgood67334 AT comcast DOT net. I’d be delighted to hear from any of you.

Shelagh: Thank you for joining us today, Lynn.

Lynn: Thanks for the opportunity.

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Valle Pintado Writing Contest Winners

Valle Pintado Writing Contest is a Tie

The First Visual Arts Junction Writing Contest is a Tie.

Contgratulations
Ed Leonard & Jacki Donnelly

Valle Pintado by Aggie Villanueva

Valle Pintado by Aggie Villanueva
See Aggie’s Limited Edition Photo Art

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, and that was the assignment. Well, more accurately, 500 – 600 words, and writing about the photo art, Valle Pintado by Aggie Villanueva, was the subject.

The  six judges returned a split decision, so without further ado, Visual Arts Junction, and the many contest sponsors, take pride in introducing you to the two winners, and their winning entries. Click on the links below to see the entries on sponsors’ sites.

.Life in the Valle Pintado

by Ed Leonard (Papa Ed)

Ankles tucked and breathing slowed, I feel the tree dance, my wood platform sways and rocks in the hot southern trade winds. My sad, burnt, drought-stunted valley stretches before me. My humble ranch home swelters in a dry, coarse bunchweed field surrounded by stunted agreste woods that threaten to become caatinga.

Death menaces life like a Samhain specter. Gnarled stick trees grasp each other for desperate support. Their life juices drawn deep to survive the uncommon warm, dry winter. Earth spirits have driven the Numida fowl and the high plains antelope down the Tocantins to richer lands. The loss of precious water and the increased heat are taking a horrendous toll on animal and plant habitats in the Valle Pintado.

I have barely survived another winter. Spring has arrived with little promise, and my energy and will are suffering. I call out to the spirits of the jaguar and of the ocelot who once roamed here. But, they do not hear me.

I close my eyes, intent on escape. I release my saddened spirit. Hawk spirit enfolds me and I soar to a better time. I stroke the heavens and relish a gentle wind with a smooth glide. I alight to proudly perch atop a tall post and search the autumn grass for my choice of scampering breakfast.

The Valle Pintado proudly displays a dappled Autumn abstract quilt with primary colors blended and fused like fresh oils on nature’s canvas. My well-tended red adobe brick home blends quietly and comfortably before a large sugary wave of Palo Verde, Box Elder, and Hop Trees in full glory. My harvested corn patch glows golden yellow and my second growth wheat field rusty red.

A warm wind whispers, flicks leaves loose to float and flip their way to rich soil, and bathes my feathers in ripples. A hazy gray cooking fire screen rises among the trees with the rich smell of mesquite fired meat.

Two distant sandstone buttes, glimmer and flash with life, shrouded in milky early morning light. My world is balanced, healthy, and harmonious. I know now that the natural cycle of seasons will return my ranch to glorious life.

I spot a striped field mouse and launch, flapping lightly, then diving fast to my target. I dive and dive, but my prey remains distant. I linger, but the inevitable change reaches me. My spirit snaps back to my earth-bound body. Hawk has brought me hope and reminded me of the potential of my life in the Valle Pintado.

I resolve to exercise patience, to go back and seal my roof against the rain that must come again, to mend my fence against the predators that will return, to plant my corn and wheat knowing they will be nourished and watered. I resolve to hike to the top of the distant butte blessing all earth along the way. I resolve to come often to my tree platform and to meditate with the spirit of my totem animal, the hawk.

My sadness is gone.

Ed Leonard: My online name is papaed. I’ve been a compulsive reader and writer for nearly 50 years. I prefer poetry and have over 100 poems posted online. I’ve never tried to publish a book or articles in a magazine although I’ve done journalistic reporting freelance for several newspapers. I chose to place the Valle Pintado in the Tocantins watershed of Brazil and researched the habitat, geography, watershed, language, and native animals so that my 500 word piece reflects a possible mystical scenario there. I advocate meditation and peace issues in many of my writings and found your picture inspirational along those lines.

http://www.writerscafe.org/writers/edleonard/
http://papaed.multiply.com/
http://www.ipeace.me/profile/papaed
http://coldcoffee.ning.com/profile/papaed
http://nolan-ruizbooks.ning.com/profile/papaed

Judges Comments for Ed’s Entry

What I liked: You made the what and why of your transformations clear without actually saying it. I liked that you didn’t insult our intelligence as readers. That’s good storytelling. I empathized with your transformations; physical, spiritual and emotional, that produced a trust in, and ultimately a submission to, the Great Spirit through nature – a trust that transforms despair into hope restored, and then finally seeing things as they really are.

What could be improved: I know you had a word limit, but I’d like to see it more developed.

What I liked: What an intriguing story of hope. Beautifully painted images; excellent use of the first person POV. Thank you for your contribution to the contest and good luck with your writing career.

What could be improved: My only criticism pertains to the structure of one sentence: Two distant sandstone buttes, glimmer and flash with life, shrouded in milky early morning light. I don’t understand the comma after buttes or the switch from present to past tense (glimmer, flash, shrouded). I wish my own writing problems were so small.

What I liked: The imagery of the story is good and the writer’s effort to paint a story with apt descriptions works well.
What could be improved: The story reads like a synopsis for a much longer story. The grammar needs a little attention — split infinitives and occasional change of verb tense.

A Painted Mountain Life

by Jacki Donnelly

It was almost a month since I resigned as Editor in Chief of New York’s most popular fashion magazine “Moda”, but my mental alarm clock was still sounding off promptly at 6 a.m. For the past 29 days this annoyed me, but today was different. Today I started my new life- I left my upscale life and the chaos in NYC. I traded it all in for what I hoped would be a more peaceful and meaningful life.

***

My dearest friend lost a life long battle with cancer. During her last few months I didn’t spend as much time with her as I should have. I didn’t have the time, you know, with being successful and all. Luckily I made it to her before she died. She reminded me to enjoy the life’s little things, and not always focus on money and work. “You are only what you let yourself become.” she gently whispered. And with that I gently embraced her frail hand for the last time.

I finally understood the meaning behind her unsolicited suggestions. She always wanted me to take time off work, to go on a date or read a book, which I refused. I always justified my disregard by her not having or wanting the lavish lifestyle I was accustomed to. I was wrong. Now I sat humbled and dissatisfied.

At that moment I decided to change. I resigned from my job, sold my apartment and packed only the necessities, which included a book I had been working on for over twenty years. I searched the internet for a cabin to retreat to in the mountains. Finally I found a quaint cabin rental nestled in the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest. After a short telephone call with the owner I packed up my car and headed west.

***

I slowly got out of bed letting my feet touch the cold wooden floor. The sunrise was creeping over the mountains and into the cabins’ windows. The fall air had a slight chill with a sweet smell to it. I managed a fire in the ancient woodstove, the only heat source for the small cabin. I walked to the kitchen and poured me a cup of coffee in my only mug. I grabbed a sweater from the pile of clothes on the floor and wrote a few items on a box lid I needed from the market. My chores today were to unpack, set up a space to begin writing again, and groceries.

That would have to wait I wanted to enjoy my first cup of coffee of my new life. I walked out onto the porch and sat down in a rickety, wooden rocking chair. The warmth of my coffee felt good as it trickled down my throat to the pit of my stomach. The scenery took my breath away.

I was overwhelmed with a feeling of awe and tranquility, foreign feelings to me. Such beauty greeted me with open arms on that porch. I listened to the sweet melody of the Mountain Chickadees’ and the Western Meadowlarks’ coming from the forest that surrounded me. The wind was swooshing gently through the Locoweed and Indian Paintbrush wildflowers that outlined the small wooden cabins land. The trees adorning the mountains were reflecting shades of crimson, wheat and amber down to me.

I sat captivated. At that moment, with that warm cup of coffee in my hands, I knew I had made the right choice. Today would mark the day I started to “live” life. A Painted Mountain Life – one I could only dream.

Jacki Donnelly: I currently live in the tropical state of Florida. I am new to writing and am currently discovering my talents. Any commentary on the attached piece would be greatly appreciated. This will be my first piece entered for review! I am very excited and look forward to continuing my path of writing. I am 30 years old, married to a wonderful husband and have a wonderful Boxer puppy named Baxter.

This picture reminded me of a trip we took recently to the Appalachian mountains – Life is so much different in a quiet country setting. I have recently returned to college in pursuit of a degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis, and so far I am loving every minute of it. I hope to one day become an editor for a small press!

Judges Comments for Jacki’s Entry

What I liked: I thought the story was well written and had a great story line. If the Author wished she could make this into a novel.

What could be improved: The one thing I would change would be to describe the picture more in depth.

What I liked: BROUGHT TEARS to my eyes. She obviously was drawn into the picture and let the emotions of it be real in her story.

What could be improved:

What I liked: I chose Jacki’s story because of the creativeness of her story and how well it went with the picture. It showed a lot of imagination. That’s a good thing! Keep up the good work!

What could be improved: The one thing I would’ve changed in the story, was that it was told in the first person, a pet peeve of mine. First person should be left for non-fiction stories, in my opinion, such as the author’s biography in his/her own words or a memoir. Otherwise, it was great!

The Fine Print: Entries are judged on storytelling quality only. We do not judge on editing, manuscript prep, etc. Congratulations winners.

Sponsors

The winning entries will also appear at each of the sites below

Aggie Villanueva Visual Arts Junction: http://www.visualartsjunction.com
Rightfully Mine http://www.aggiev.org/rightfullymine/

Carol Langstroth The Frontpage http://www.carollangstroth.com
Author Meeting Place http://www.authormeetingplace.com/mindfogreviews.html

Linda Yezak 777 Peppermint Place http://lindayezak.wordpress.com/
AuthorCulture http://authorculture.blogspot.com/

Cindy Bauer Cindy Bauer Bookshttp://www.cindybauerbooks.com/
Reviews by Cindy http://reviewsbycindy.blogspot.com/

Nanci Arvizu Page Readers http://pagereaders.com/
Nanci’s Thoughts www.nanciarvizu.com

Shelagh Watkins http://shelaghs.blogspot.com

Kim McDougall Blazing Trailers Blazing Trailers http://www.blazingtrailers.com/

Melinda Elmore Melinda’s Blog Spot: Pen to Paper www.melinda.essentialwriters.com

Fran Lewis Fran’s Website www.gabina.49.webs.com
Fran’s Blog www.gabina49@wordpress.com
bookmarketing.ning.com/profile/FranLewis
www.myspace.com/hotauntiebertha
http://www.franifashionista.blogspot.com
http://writing4all.ning.com/profile/FranLewis
http://thewritespot.ning.com/profile/FranLewis

Amber Rigby Grosjean Amber Rigby Grosjean blog http://amberrigbygrosjean.blogspot.com/

D.K. Christi D.K. Christi , Consultant and Author www.dkchristi.com

Jhonny Thermidor Unexplored Oceans of Wisdom www.JhonnyT.wordpress.com
Johnny Thermidor www.JhonnyThermidor.webs.com

Robert Appleton Mercurial Times http://robertbappleton.blogspot.com/

Chelle Cordero Chelle Cordero’s Promo Page http://cce613.xanga.com/

Abe F. March Abe F. March http://www.abemarch.com/apps/blog/

Paidra Delayno Paidra’s Pen http://paidraspen.blogspot.com/

Sandra Kay Sandra Kay’s Musings http://www.sandrakayauthor.blogspot.com/

Jo Fulkerson Writer’s Life http://www.freewebs.com/thedesertwriter/

Elena Dorothy Bowman Elena Dorothy Bowman’s Book Blog http://elenadorothybowmansbooks.blogspot.com/

Hank Quense Blog, the writing blog of Hank Quense http://hankquense.com/blog/

Mark Stephen Levy Overland http://authormarklevy.blogspot.com/

Jay Heinlein Publishing Professional http://heinleinpubservices.blogspot.com

J. Michael Orenduff author of the Pot Thief series www.ThePotThief.blogspot.com

Yolanthaiti Harrison-Pace YOLANTHAITI yolanthaiti.blogspot.com

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Dianne G. Sagan

Dianne Sagan was raised in Texas and is now a full-time ghostwriter and author.

Shelagh: Please tell us a bit more about yourself, Dianne.

Dianne: I have been a story teller in my family since childhood. I’ve always loved reading and books. My background includes degrees in History and Communications. I’ve been writing professionally since 2002, beginning with a regular editorial in the regional newspaper where I live. I’m an internationally successful ghostwriter with one of my books hitting the Best Seller list on Amazon.com.ca (Canada). 2009 has been a busy year with three books released – Rebekah Redeemed, Shelter from the Storm, and an anthology Flash Tales. I am also a consultant, group facilitator, and inspirational speaker.

Shelagh: When did the writing bug bite?

Dianne: I got the bug for writing in high school. The English program included a regimen that taught us how to write essays. I fell in love with it. Years later when I had children I wrote stories for them and used their names and antics. I really think that I always wanted to be a writer.

Shelagh: When you started writing, did your books have an underlying theme?

Dianne: When I first started writing, I felt the need to write down what was spinning in my head. At first, I just enjoyed the process and began working on the craft of writing. Even though I put off really focusing on becoming a writer until my kids grew up, I knew that someday I wanted to be a full-time writer.

When I write a book or a short story, I try to entertain the reader but usually have an underlying theme. To date, my books have a theme of hope, strength, and overcoming your conditions for a better life. It is a reflection of some of my own experiences.

Shelagh: Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it a series or stand-alone?

Dianne: Shelter from the Storm is a contemporary novel that focuses on the turning point and personal growth through violent circumstances of the main character, Brittany Camp. It is set in Seattle during the worst snow storm in fifty years. It can be a stand alone, but I am working on the beginnings of a sequel with ideas for a couple more books with the same main characters sharing different circumstances.

What’s already being said about the book as it is released:

In Shelter from the Storm, award winning author Dianne G. Sagan tells a story that is all too real and all too prevalent in our society, but Sagan will have you on the edge of your seat, in tears, as you open your heart to Brittany and her children.

“Poignant and positively captivating, Sagan’s latest, Shelter From the Storm, will have you reading far into the night. A must read!”

—Deborah LeBlanc, Best-Selling Author of Water Witch

Shelagh: What’s the hook for the book?

Dianne: Chapter 1

Brittany peered out the window. Abel could return home at any moment. She knew that if he caught her and the children they might never escape. With trembling hands, Brittany dialed the number.

Shelagh: How do you develop characters and settings?

Dianne: I develop my characters using several sources. I’m a people watcher and see interesting faces or over hear conversations in restaurants that spark my imagination. The Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan developed a model for understanding the interaction between situational response and influence. I use these styles as part of the process. I also like to find pictures in magazines that look like my character. I then put the picture on an index card and write down basic information about them. I usually do this for all the major characters. As I begin writing, I also allow my characters to develop along with the story.

As far as settings, I use places that I’m familiar with in most cases. If I’m writing about an area I haven’t been before, then I research in depth everything from maps, pictures, and talk to people who have been there. I also read other books about the area or that are set in that area. I do use internet sources, but spend hours at the library.

Shelagh: Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?

Dianne: In many ways, I am an organic writer. A lot is developed in my head before I ever start writing. If I think of some ideas, then I will jot them down and keep them in a folder. When writing fiction, an outline forms as I write as I see where the story is going, that way I don’t get too far off track. However, when I am writing I give myself permission to change directions if it is better than where I thought I was going with the plot in the first place. Most of the time I know where I want things to end so I work on making the elements of the story and the situations end up in the same place even if they come from different directions.

Shelagh: Do you have a specific writing style and preferred POV?

My style has been described as lean, sensitive, honest, and emotionally compelling. My preferred POV is third person. However, even though it is not as popular as it once was, I also like to use the omniscient point of view so that you can have different chapters that focus on different characters view points. You just have to be careful when using it so that you don’t confuse your reader.

Shelagh: What are your current projects?

Dianne: I actually have a second book coming out December 2009 as well, it is an anthology Flash Tales: An Adventure in Words. I am one of five contributors. The stories are flash fiction, each no more than 100 words using a series of required words. It’s quick and fun. We even give the reader space at the end of each series of stories to try their hand at a 100 word story using the same words.

I am currently working on the second book in the series, Touched by the Savior. Its working title is The Fisherman’s Wife. The first book came out earlier this year, Rebekah Redeemed. In addition, I have notes started for a sequel to Shelter from the Storm.

Shelagh: Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Dianne: People can learn more about my books at my website: http://dgsagan.tripod.com or on my blog where I have guest bloggers, discuss writing, ghostwriting, and life as a writer http://diannesagan.wordpress.com.

Shelagh: Thank you for joining us today, Dianne.

Dianne: Thanks for the opportunity.