January 23, 2013 by Lillie
Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING blog hop! This is a fantastic new way for readers to discover authors they may not find in their local bookstore. Welcome to my blog, especially those of you who have discovered it for the first time by following the blog hop.
I am the author of the romantic mystery novel Dream or Destiny and the contemporary romances, Fern’s Fancies and Stroke of Luck. I also have written several how-to ebooks. Click on the Books tab above to learn more.
I spend more time editing and formatting other authors’ books than I do writing my own. Authors who choose to publish independently can find lots of help here. If you’re an author who would like to know what is available, click on the Services tab above to learn some of what I do. Feel free to email me with questions, as my list of services isn’t complete. My assistant, Jan McClintock, is working on a new website for me. Come back soon to see it.
In this BIG BLOG HOP, I’ll answer ten questions about my current work in progress. You can learn a little more about my writing. Then check out the links below this post to my fellow authors at their blogs to find out more about their works in progress.
Thanks to Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson for inviting me to participate in the Blog Hop. Vickie and Loretta are sisters and writing partners. They have co-authored 40 novels and twice that many short stories, in the mystery and Western genres. I recently read The Curse of Senmut; you can read my review on Goodreads. One of the things I appreciate about their books is that in addition to enjoying a good story you won’t be embarrassed to give them to your grandmother or your teenaged daughter. Visit their website at Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson Website.
Here is my Next Big Thing!
1: What is the working title of your book?
Like someone who is “between jobs,” I’m between books right now. I just finished Jack Stories: Favorite Memories of Jack Jordan Ammann Jr, a different kind of biography. After my husband died in September, so many people told me stories about Jack, who was a colorful, unforgettable character, that I wanted to preserve the memories. I compiled the book in four sections. The first section includes Jack’s favorite stories that he told—often!—about his own life. The second section is a collection of more than 50 stories from friends and family members. My memories—some of which originally appeared on my blog and some of which I wrote for the book—came next. The book ends with his obituary (which Jack’s brother said had obviously been written by someone used to writing long books) and the story of his final goodbye to me. The book just came out and we had a booksigning and a celebration of his life on the occasion of his 80th birthday. This certainly isn’t a book that will be a best-seller, but it is available on Amazon.com. The stories are fun, entertaining, humorous, and heartwarming.
Now I intend to get back to the book I quit working on when I became a full-time caregiver for Jack after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, along a number of physical ailments. The working title is Act of Faith.
2: Where did the idea come from for the WIP?
I actually combined ideas from several sources. I’ve had a story I’ve wanted to write for 36 years. At that time, my sister was pregnant with her fourth child. Her third child was severely handicapped as a result of spina bifada. She was paralyzed from the waist down and was severely mentally retarded. The doctors didn’t know why Becky had those serious birth defects, and they were concerned that this next pregnancy (which occurred in spite of my sister being on birth control pills) would end up with the same problems. Several doctors encouraged my sister to have an abortion. She was under intense pressure—the doctors strongly pushed her to abort, and she knew caring for two severely handicapped children would be extremely difficult. However, because of her faith, she believed abortion was murder and would not agree. Thank God, the fourth baby was perfectly normal.
But after seeing how much the doctors pressed my sister to have an abortion, I wanted to write a story about a woman who defied medical advice and popular opinion to refuse an abortion because of her religious beliefs.
I decided to have my heroine become pregnant as a result of a violent rape. Rather than worrying about the possibility of a mentally and physically handicapped child as my sister did, the woman in my story would worry about seeing the face of her rapist in the face of her baby.
Then after Dream or Destiny was published, readers encouraged me to write a sequel that would feature one of the secondary characters from Dream or Destiny. I chose Bonita Hernandez as my heroine; she was trying to rebuild her life after her affair with a married man ended.
So my goal is to pull all these ideas into a great story in Act of Faith.
3: What genre does your book come under?
It will certainly be a contemporary romance. I’m still considering whether there is a mystery as well, as there was in Dream or Destiny. Once I get back into the manuscript and start writing seriously again, I won’t be surprised if the characters lead me in directions I can’t anticipate. That’s what happened with Dream or Destiny. There will be a Christian/inspirational aspect to the story as Bonita turns her life around.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I know I’m a freak of nature, but I don’t watch movies and have no clue about Hollywood actors.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Bonita Hernandez was changing her life after an affair with a married man, but his revenge led to a whole new host of problems.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
I’m not sure how I will publish Act of Faith. Dream or Destiny is published by a small independent publisher, GASLight Publishing. I have also self-published a novel and several how-to ebooks, as well as Jack Stories. I will probably submit to GASLight first since I think it would be a good idea to keep both titles in the series with the same publisher.
As anyone who reads by blog regularly knows by now, I’m a big fan of self-publishing and independent publishing. In fact as a freelance editor, I work with authors who are self-publishing to help them create a book they can be proud of.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft is far from finished, so I can’t begin to say.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m not far enough along to feel confident about comparing the story with any other books. I expect my characters will lead me off the path I’m envisioning.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Seeing the stress my sister went through made me want to deal with the issue of a woman pressured to have an abortion who chooses life. That was the initial inspiration for the story.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think most of us like to read redemption stories. Bonita thinks she is a terrible person because she had been the mistress of a married man. She has to repent, accept God’s love and forgiveness, and forgive herself before she can be born again as a new woman.
Here is a list of the authors who will post their Q&A on their own blogs January 30. Be sure to bookmark them or check back next Wednesday and click through to their blogs and find out about their NEXT BIG THING!
Margaret Blincoe is a Christian devotional writer with a unique twist. All her devotions are based on one word written in an acrostic. She even wrote an acrostic for the title of her first book, Message in a Word: Message in a Word means exploring specific subject and getting enlightenment in nutshell as written oracle revealed deity. The book has 52 devotions—one per week to give you time to study each one. As her editor, I’m delighted that she is almost ready to send me her next book, Message in a Word 2.
David Bowles is my client and the author of the Westward Sagas. Although fiction, the novels are based on real people and real historical events. The stories are true to history and everything that he writes about could have happened. However, he has added his imagination to create characters, dialogue, and scenes to make the stories exciting. The series follows the Mitchell Family as they move westward from Pennsylvania. Currently three books are available: Spring House, Adam’s Daughters, and Children of the Revolution.
Edith Eveon Brown and I worked togetherat Your Information Center, and I’m editing a novel for her that will be available soon. On her website, Edith has for sale a number of how-to ebooks on a range of subjects, including home maintenance, travel, starting and running a business, and religion. She is extremely knowledgeable about business start-ups and also offers writing and consulting services to businesses.
Dawn Colclasure is a blogger, book reviewer, and prolific writer. She has written poetry, advice for writers, children’s books, and books about haunted houses. Her latest book is On the Wings of Pink Angels, a book about breast cancer. Dawn is donating her royalties from this book to Courageous Kids.
Wanda Thomas Littles is a Christian poet and author. I worked with Wanda on her poetry book, Like a Thief in the Night. She has published three other books of poetry and the novel Preacha! Everything Wanda writes reflects her Christian faith.
October 20, 2010 by Lillie
Booksigning at the All Saints Anglican Church Fall Festival
Saturday, October 30, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
11122 Link Drive in Castle Hills, San Antonio
For more information about the festival and a map to the church: www.allsaintsanglican.net
I’m excited to be signing books along with five of my clients:
- David Bowles
- Margaret Blincoe
- James Doughty
- Patricia Eytcheson Taylor and Rev. Dr. James C. Taylor
- Richard Turner
Check out the websites of participating authors. I was honored to work with each of them editing their books and preparing them for publication. I’m confident you’ll be happy with any book you buy at the signing, including Dream or Destiny.
August 2, 2010 by Lillie
My guest today is Margaret Blincoe, a client and a dear friend. We met less than four months ago, but we bonded immediately, and I was excited about her book from the first moment she told me about it. I wrote about Message in a Word in a previous post, but now you can learn more about it from the author.
Lillie: Thank you for visiting A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye today, Margaret. I know all about how Message in a Word came into being, but my readers don’t. Just about all the authors I know call their books their babies, but Message in a Word is a baby in a unique way. Please tell us about it.
Margaret: For many years, I had dreams of having a baby. Sometimes I was pregnant; sometimes the baby was being born; sometimes I was breast-feeding a new baby. I was even told what to eat. I always thought the baby was some kind of ministry, but I didn’t know what kind. I never thought it would be writing a book. Now I understand. What I was to eat for the baby to be healthy signified what I was to put into my mind so I didn’t contaminate the message. I go into a lot of detail about this in the introduction to the book, and it is on the Web site as The Issue.
Lillie: You have an amazing talent for capturing the meaning of words in acrostics. When did you start writing acrostics and how do you come up with them?
Margaret: The first acrostic that I ever die was REST—Releasing Every Situation Totally. I wrote it in my journal on April 1, 2001. Words are dropped into my spirit, and I’ll begin to think and meditate on the meaning. First of all, I really get to the nitty-gritty meaning of that word. Then with the help of the Lord through meditation and prayer, the acrostic comes. Sometimes I don’t get it all at once—it comes over time.
Lillie: Who would benefit from reading this book?
Margaret: Like every author, I want to say everyone. I’m waiting for my grandchildren to read and understand this book, as it applies to all ages. It is primarily aimed at Christians and seekers. It can be used for individual devotions, in small group studies, or outlines for sermons. Although it’s geared to be a 52-week devotional, sometimes it’s helpful to read about one specific word that may be bothering someone.
Lillie: The book includes 52 devotionals. Why 52? How do you recommend people read the book?
Margaret: There is one devotional for each week of a year so you have a full week to meditate on the word. I recommend people read a devotional each week, then think about it, ponder it, pray about it, do their own study, and write out their own thoughts on the notes of reflections page.
Lillie: Tell us about some of the events and people God has used to encourage you and help you bring this book into being.
Margaret: A pastor’s wife I met through one of my brothers told me at our first meeting, “Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that read it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come. It will not tarry.” She also said to write it in boxcar letters and store it on the computer. I didn’t understand at the time and pondered this in my heart, but I knew it was an important word for me. My husband, my siblings, my children, and my friends have been a tremendous help in encouraging me. If nothing else they listened to me! Sanford Williams, Associate Pastor and Family Counselor at Trinity Church, took me seriously when I told him about the baby. My neighbor Carrie helped me with the computer. I acknowledge a long list of people in the book because the Lord provided many encouragers along the way.
Lillie: Of course, I’m biased, but one of the most awesome things God has done in this process was to bring me into the project. How did that happen?
Margaret: I had written the book but didn’t know what to do next. I was cleaning out office and ran across a packet of information writing consultant Jan Kilby had given me in 1995 when I was a buyer for a Christian bookstore. I’m not a packrat, so it was amazing that I had kept the packet for 15 years! I called the number on the business card, not knowing if Jan was still in business or even if she was still alive. I got an answering machine and left a message. When she returned my call, I told her about the book. She said, “I have the perfect person for you—Lillie Ammann.” When we met, it was just the neural connections in Avatar—we immediately connected, and I knew this was the person to help deliver the baby.
Lillie: We did make an immediate and strong connection, Margaret, and I’m blessed to be the midwife on this delivery. Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Margaret: They can visit my Web site, MessageInAWord.com. We will be adding a lot more to the site, including regular blog posts. They can also find the book, both paperback and Kindle, at Amazon.com.
Lillie: Some of the things we’ll be adding to the Web site will be additional products. What are some of the items you’ll be producing?
Margaret: We have The Message in the Cross. It’s a symbolic representation that the cross is our wills opposing the will of God and will come with a devotional. We will have prints, framed and unframed, of some of the acrostics as well as T-shirts, mugs, and other items to remind people of the messages in the words.
Lillie: Of course, you’ll be writing more books. In fact, I happen to know you have something in the works already. Can you give us a hint, a little sneak preview, of what’s coming up?
Margaret: The next one is going to be Message in a Word, Too. The first word is going to be GOD—Glory on Display. Then there will be Message in a Word for Marriage and Don’t Sit on the Baby.
Lillie: There’s a story behind that title, and readers will enjoy the story as well as learn valuable spiritual insights. To promote Message in a Word and future books, I know you’ll be speaking in churches, probably starting with some of those pastored by members of your family. If someone would like to invite you to make a presentation in their church or group, what should they do?
Margaret: They can fill out the contact form or contact me by e-mail, phone, or mail. All the contact information is on the Web site.
Lillie: Is there anything else you’d like to share that I haven’t asked?
Margaret: I’m having a party to introduce the baby on Saturday, August 7, 1-5 PM. Anyone in the San Antonio area is welcome to come. E-mail me, and I will send you an invitation.
Lillie: Thank you for visiting. I’m sure I didn’t ask everything my readers want to know so I hope you’ll check in during the day to answer questions.
Margaret: I’ll be happy to answer questions and respond to your readers’ comments.
Margaret A. Blincoe is a dearly beloved child of God who basks in the knowledge of God’s love. She has reciprocated with passion that love for His Word and His people. Margaret was birthed into a ministerial family of pastors. At an early age, she married an Air Force Sergeant who made the military his career. They traveled extensively stateside and abroad. Her travels greatly broadened her view on people and the world. Margaret resides in San Antonio, Texas, with Thomas, her husband of 46 years. They have four grown children and eleven grandchildren. Her devotional book, Message in a Word, is available at MessageInAWord.com.
Disclosure: I received compensation from the publisher for editing and laying out the book, creating the electronic editions, and designing the Web site and promotional materials. I have received no compensation for writing about the book on my blog. I’m sharing with my readers because I love the book and think they will too. The links to Amazon.com are affiliate links.