Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Caitie's Corner

Meet Addy
An American Girl book

Back in the Civil War there was a mom, dad and their children: Sam, addy and Ester. She was the baby and was only one. They lived in North Carolina. They’ve been slaves their whole lives. One night Addy woke up, she heard her mom talking about running away. The mom thought Addy was sleeping but she was playing possum when her dad checked on her.

The next day Sam and Dad got sold. Addy was whipped because she was holding on to daddy so tight. She almost got whipped again but mom caught her in her arms. That made me sad that they did that.

They ran away but left Ester behind with Aunt Lula and Uncle Solomon.

Will Addy and her mom ever make it? Will they ever be a family again? Find out when you read more American girl books. Bye for now. Caitie.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Guaranteeing success

How would you define success?

Would you define it as getting everything you want? Would you define it as publication? Would you define it as a certain amount of money? A certain readership?

Think about it for a moment.

Once you have that definition I want you to really think about what you're doing to ensure that success.

Notice my word choice: Ensure!

I'll tell you the way to ensure your own someone else accomplish what you yourself want to accomplish.

Christians call it sowing and reaping. Society calls it the golden rule. Others call it Karma. But whatever you call it, the meaning is the same.

That is why on my writing career development course I offer a spot for people to scholarship other writers. I encourage people to buy books that will help other writers. I personally mentor writers [for free] to help them move further down the path.

It may seems simplistic to some, even stupid to others, but it is completely true.

Randy Ingermanson became the number one internet teacher of fiction [google fiction writing and you'll see that] by offering FREE content that is more than an infomercial. By reading his blogs, websites, or his e-zines you will learn how to improve.

That is the model I follow. For pepole who don't have the money to purchase my development course I offer free meaningful content to develop their business.

So what are YOU doing to help other writers? What are you doing for up and coming writers? How are you building the dreams of others?

That is the key to success, no matter how you define it.

Because when you put others before yourself word does get out. And soon you find a sphere of influence that you can lead to the next level. And that is success by ANY definition.

So even if you don't comment [I know there are GOBS of you out there from now TEN countries] think about this question and answer it for yourself.

But if you'd like to comment, I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Making a living as a writer and a CONTEST

So you like to write?

Most people who think of making money as a writer think of best selling novelists making six, or even seven, figures on best-selling books.

In reality there are many ways to make money as a writer. In fact, for many people writing a full-length book pays far less per hour than most other forms of writing. This is double true when you factor in the portion of the cash advance an author spends to buy marketing materials, travel to promotional appearances, etc.

So today we are going to look at other ways to earn money as a writer. The best part of this is that you can do these things to earn steady income as you work your way up to published novelist. [And if you are a published novelist, you can do this to supplement your income.]

I couldn't possibly list every way to earn money writing but I'd like to point you to two books that do just that. The Well-Fed Writer and Back for Seconds. I have both of these books on my shelf and they are highlighted, dog-eared, and worn.

Not only do they give great ideas of ways to earn a steady income writing, but many of the lessons can be applied to your novel marketing!!

Writing is about marketing, pitching, submitting, getting rejected, improving, and doing it some more. This book helps you do this. The best part is doing this in one area will help you in others.

So I urge you to buy these books. I've put the links to the right of the blog.

Go do it!

Here is the contest. Buy the books and email me to tell me you bought them. Then use some of the principles and email me results. The most "Successful" candidate will receive a gift pack from me including: One hour phone consultation with me, help with creating a platform, and a book to help you build your writing business even more.

You have until November 10th to register [you register by emailing me at and telling me you bought one or both of the books]

Then you have until January 31st to get results to me [you'll get instructions when you register]

So are you serious about building your writing. It all starts with the decision you make now, today. You can choose to move forward...or stagnate.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Freelance Editor speaks Part 2

For our special Friday edition of the Writing Career Coach we continue with our interview of Kathy Ide, learn what PUGS are and how they can help your writing.

You’ve written some great resources for writers. Tell us about those.

Over the years I’ve been editing, I noticed that writers all tend to struggle with the same mechanical issues. I didn’t want to rely on what seemed right to me, or what I remembered from high school English. And different books had different answers. So when I was working with the commercial publishers, I learned which style guides and dictionaries the publishers use, and I started making a list of the rules and spellings I was looking up on a regular basis. After a while, that list grew to book length!

So I wrote a book highlighting the most common mistakes writers make. Polishing the PUGS: Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling Tips for Writers (UpWrite Books, 2007) contains definitive answers based on the publishing industry’s standard references, including punctuation from The Chicago Manual of Style (for books) and The Associated Press Stylebook (for articles), plus spelling and usage from the dictionaries recommended by both style guides. There are also rules from The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style.

In this book, I point out ten reasons writers need to polish their “PUGS.” One is that simple mechanical errors can change the meaning of a sentence. For example, if you wrote, “My husband Derek and I went camping last week,” without commas around Derek, you’d be implying that the man you vacationed with was only one of your husbands! If you had in your contract “The royalties will be divided equally between Mary, Ruth and Geraldine,” you might figure that each of you would receive a third of the money. But the absence of a comma before and, along with the use of the word between, would indicate that Mary gets one half while Ruth and Geraldine each receive a quarter of the money.

Many of the writers who’ve bought this book have told me that 95% of the questions they have are covered in Polishing the PUGS. Because it’s a small paperback (as opposed to The Chicago Manual of Style, which is a thousand-page hardback), it’s a lot easier to find what you’re looking for. And since it’s written by an average person rather than by a team of university professors, it’s easier to understand the explanations and examples. And, as one person told me, it hurts a lot less when you drop it on your toe!

I’ve also written two other books for authors: Christian Drama Publishing and Typing without Pain: How to Avoid (or Recover from) Computer-Related Injuries.

You teach and speak at writers’ conferences, too, right?

About eight a year. I’ve taught at the ACFW conference, Glorieta, Inspirational Writers Alive in Houston, Christian Writers Fellowship in Kansas, and several local conferences. I’m on the manuscript critique team at Mount Hermon, and last spring I taught a fiction mentoring clinic there. Last summer I taught at the North Texas Christian writers’ conference and have already been invited back for next year. One of my favorite conferences is in Montrose, Pennsylvania, just two miles down the road from my sister-in-law’s house. My husband goes there with me every other year, and he hangs out with his family while I teach. And we always make time to go sight-seeing the weekend before and after.

You sure sound like a busy woman!

I am. And I love it. I can hardly believe I get to make a living doing something I enjoy so much.

But a couple of years ago, I realized I was so busy helping other writers get published, I wasn’t spending much time working on the novel manuscript God had called me to write. When one of my clients saw me passing out business cards at Mount Hermon, she said, “Kathy, if you get more editing work, you’re not going to have time for me!” She asked me if I knew other editors I could pass some of these new jobs off to. I told her I didn’t, but I should.

On the five-hour drive home from Mount Hermon, God poured ideas into my head for a Christian editors’ network. The next day, I asked some of the editors I knew if they were aware of such an organization. They all said, “No, but what a great idea. You should start one.” A few months later, I founded The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network ( That was two years ago, and we now have 250 members, a Web site with great tips and articles and tools for editorial freelancers, an e-mail loop (and a prayer subloop), online courses, and a quarterly e-newsletter. I pass jobs on to the network on a regular basis. When authors come to me looking for editing, if I’m too busy or too expensive for their budget or if I don’t specialize in the kind of writing they do, I can match them up with the right editor for them. New editors get job leads they wouldn’t have known about otherwise. And established editorial freelancers can pass jobs on to the network if they get too busy too.

About six months ago I started a second organization called the Christian Editor Network ( It’s a “matchmaking service” for putting authors together with screened, professional, qualified editorial freelancers. Publishers and agents can refer authors to this Web site when they get manuscripts that have potential but need polishing.

So in addition to my own editing and speaking, I’ve become an “editor services coordinator.” And I love that too!

Where do you sense God leading you next?

A couple of years ago, my dear friend and prolifically published author Cecil Murphey mentored me, and he suggested I get into ghostwriting. Though I’d collaborated with clients on about a dozen books, I hadn’t thought of focusing on that. However, since then, I’ve had numerous requests for ghostwriting and coauthoring. So, between Cec and God, I’m getting the feeling that this is the next step for me. I have several collaboration projects in various stages right now, and I’m very excited about this venture.

I’ve also been getting numerous indications that the time has come for me to get serious about my novel manuscript, which has been sitting on a back burner, mostly, for the past several years while I’ve been establishing and maintaining my editorial services and networks. I’m nearly finished with the manuscript (although, being a rather perfectionistic editor, I’m not sure I will ever feel that it’s truly “done”), and I have serious interest from some of the top Christian publishers and agents. So, Lord willing, I will soon be a published novelist!

What do you do when you’re not writing, editing, or speaking?

I love spending time with my wonderful husband, Richard, who is an avid reader and movie-goer (like me). We enjoy taking road trips together and going house-boating and Jet Ski riding on Lake Powell.

I have two grown sons. The older one, Tom, and his wife, Ronit, live in Austin, so I try to visit them when I can. The younger one, Mike, lives with me . . . technically. He’s so busy with school (automotive college) and work (as a mechanic), he’s not home much. But when he is, I like hanging out with him.

I worship at Richfield Community Church (previously the Evangelical Free Church of Yorba Linda).

Since I live in Southern California, close friends and relatives love to come visit me! When folks stay at the “Ide Hotel,” I sometimes take a day or two off to play “tour guide” at Disneyland, Sea World, the beach, the mountains, San Diego, San Francisco, etc.

How can people order your books or find out more about your services?

They can visit my Web site at Or e-mail me at

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Freelance Editor speaks Part 1

I’ve known Kathy for years through the American Christian Fiction Writers, and we’ve met in person at ACFW’s annual conferences. After chatting with her at the conference in Dallas last month, I asked her to share a little bit about herself and all the things she does in the Christian publishing industry.

Thanks for joining my blog, Kathy!

My pleasure, Tiff. Thanks for inviting me.

Tell us how you got started as a writer.

I’ve been making up stories my whole life. (Just ask my mom, who caught me in plenty of “fabrications,” bless her heart.) But it never occurred to me that this could be a good thing! (On the contrary, it usually got me in trouble.)

In 1988, a friend of mine told me she was putting together a Christian writers’ conference at Biola University, near where I lived, and she needed some administrative help (stuffing envelopes and binders and such). So I helped her out. She asked if I’d like to attend the conference. I didn’t have anything better to do at the time, so I said, “Sure, why not?”

That conference opened up a whole new world to me. I learned that the names on the covers of the books I loved to read represented real people, normal folks who weren’t all that different from me. They sat on the grass and ate hot dogs and potato chips, just like the rest of us! And they hadn’t all majored in creative writing or journalism in college and went on to work for a publisher 9 to 5, seven days a week. They fit writing into their “free time.” Well, I thought, I could do that.

What was your first published writing?

After that Biola conference, I wrote an article and mailed it to a magazine I’d found on the freebie table. It got accepted by the first publisher I sent it to (little realizing at the time how unusual that was). The next year, I sent out some play scripts I’d written for my church drama teams, and almost every one of them got accepted. I was on a roll! I wrote more, got more acceptances . . . and plenty of rejections, of course.

In addition to play scripts, I wrote magazine articles, devotionals, short stories, and Sunday school curriculum (before work, during lunch, after work, and occasional weekends) and getting them published. I even wrote a screenplay that was optioned by a Hollywood director. I’m now working on a near-future speculative novel and a couple of compilations.

In addition to writing, you’re also a freelance editor. How did that happen?

About ten years ago, I got tendonitis in both thumbs, both wrists, both forefingers, and my right shoulder. My boss decided I couldn’t do my job anymore, so he let me go. My physical therapist told me I had to find work that didn’t require using a computer keyboard or any other type of repetitive motion. Yeah, right!

My workers’ compensation coordinator got me a professional-edition voice-recognition software program. But I couldn’t find an office job that would allow me to sit around and talk to my computer all day.

After a few months of wondering what God had in mind for me, my husband asked me what I would do for a living if I could do anything in the world. I answered without a moment’s hesitation, “Writing!” But we’d just bought our first house, based on my income in a career I’d been pursuing for thirty years. And I knew I couldn’t make that kind of money writing, at least not right away. So he asked what my second choice would be. Well, I’d been in a writers’ critique group for a while, and my crit partners really liked my suggestions. And I’d done a few jobs for a friend’s manuscript critique service and really enjoyed that. So I told my husband that I liked helping other people improve their writing. He encouraged me to see if I could build that into a full-time career.

I told my workers’ comp coordinator the idea, and she asked if I had a degree in writing or editing. When I told her I didn’t, she told me my plan was “impossible.” When I heard her say that word, I heard God say, “Impossible is My specialty!”

So I pursued it. I started working at home, editing and critiquing and proofreading manuscripts, and I loved it! My clients consistently told me they liked my suggestions and appreciated my corrections. And with a little research on my own, I figured out how to type without exacerbating my tendon injuries.

Over the past ten years, I’ve worked for new writers, established authors, commercial book publishers (including Moody, Thomas Nelson, and Barbour), subsidy publishers (including WinePress and VMI), magazines, and organizations such as CLASServices. I edit both fiction and nonfiction book-length manuscripts, short stories, articles, devotionals, and play scripts. I mentor aspiring writers, taking them from “I’ve never had anything published, so I don’t even know if I have what it takes” to winning literary awards, landing agents, getting book contracts, seeing their work in print, and becoming best-selling authors. What a treat! (And I’m actually making a better income with my editing business than I ever made at my full-time day job. So much for “impossible”!)

Writing is my passion, and helping others improve their writing is my delight.

Thanks Kathy, and come back tomorrow for a special Friday edition of Writing Career Coach to learn about resources for writer’s Kathy has created to help us all write better!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Caitie's Corner

Walking in Jesse’s Shoes

By Beverly Lewis

Illustrated by Laura Nikiel

ISBN 978-0-7642-0313-8

Help your child understand those with special needs

What parent hasn’t urged son or daughter not to stare at or tease a child who is “different” or disabled in some way?

In this sensitive yet realistic story, Jesse’s sister struggles to understand her brother—and the kids who make fun of him. This endearing book will encourage families everywhere to appreciate and befriend children with special needs.

There was a little girl named Allie. Every time her and her brother go to school he wanders around so they always miss the school bus. One day when Allie came home she says “I’ll never understand you.” and her father says “Of course you don’t because you’ve never walked in Jesse’s shoes.”

The next day Jesse took off his shoes and Allie put them on. But you’ll have to read the book to know what happens next.

I liked this book because it taught me that when you learn about somebody you get to know them really well. Then you’ll understand why they do weird stuff.

The pictures are very great. [Tiff's note: We are a family with a special needs child. I loved this book and think it is a great way to help parents of special needs kids talk with their non-special needs kids]

Bye for now, Caitie.

Books for kids, reviewed by a kid every Wednesday

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Writing that first full manuscript

As I said yesterday the only way to write a book is to start writing.

My first full length book was born when I was in the 8th grade. At that time it was 22 typed pages [quite a feat for someone in Jr. high] and had a cast of characters who still talk to me. It would be 14 years later when I'd pick that story back up and expand it to an over 55k manuscript. It took me just over 7 weeks to finish the first draft and a full year to get it to the full 55k. I entered it in a contest and was in the top 20 of a national, full-length novel writing contest.

My second book was written in 21 days, my third-which was much longer at 76,500 words, took two months to write and three weeks to edit. The second was requested by two publishing houses [although it is yet, unpublished] and the third won the Daphne du Maurier Award in the inspy unpubbed division. It is also being read by two agents right now.

Now I'm gearing up with NaNoWriMo to start work on my fourth. It is by far the most intense story I've written to date. To call the plot twisty is an understatement. And I can tell you five years ago I would never have attempted this book. Too much depth, too many balls to keep in the air, too many red herrings, to fast-paced.

But writing is a process and the only way you're going to get on your way is by starting. The only way you get there is by moving. The only way you'll ever get closer to your dreams is by doing.

So go out, start with the first chapter, write the first draft, get the words on paper.

Then keep coming back here. In November I will post every day. Friday-Sunday will be committed to helping you develop your writing as I move through NaNo.

So if you're NaNoing add me to your friends list. My screen name in NaNo is WritingCareerCoach you can watch my progress and I can watch yours. Together we'll do something most people dream of but few do...write a novel.

Monday, October 22, 2007

If not now, when?

Many of you would like to write a book. In fact, most people who say they'd like to write, even if they study journalism, say they'd like to eventually write a book.

So where do you start?

Of course you need an idea, but then what? I suggest jumping in to NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month] in November. Once a year people try to write a 50,000 word novel during NaNo.

It may seem like a huge undertaking, and it is, but anytime you set out to write a book it is huge. The thing that makes NaNoWriMo so special is you have the support and comradery to help push you forward. You have accountability to others and you have a date certain.

This is my second year of NaNo. I'm going to be accountable to all of you by posting my progress up on my blog. I'll update it a couple of times a week starting on November 1st.

You can sign up for NaNo at

And if you are either going to try it this month or have before leave a comment. Let us know how you are doing and stop back on Fridays-Sundays for my ALL NANO blog starting November 1st.

This will be a time for all of you to brag, build community, and talk about what you're writing. I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Caitie's Corner

Today I am going to talk about Fiona finds the Son by Andrea Beyers.

Fiona is a little girl that’s a flower and is only two inches tall. She has a nice bedroom and has a teacher. One day she climbed up a stem with her ballet shoes which she’s not supposed to do and she goes in the dew pool by accident.

On the way to find a new home she meets some very nice friends. A cricket, flower and a tigerlily. And someone with purple hair and pink hair. They tell her God will forgive your sins.

I liked this book. I thought the pictures were pretty cool. I think my little sisters would like to read this book too.

Tomorrow the author, Andrea Beyers, is going to be on the blog. I asked her some questions. I hope you’ll come read the interview.

That’s all for now. Bye, Caitie.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Important Warning before you build your website

Agent Steve Laube shared some important advice
with members of ACFW last week.
With his permission I have copied it below to help
all of you. Think about this before you
build your website.

NEVER let someone else control the details of your domain name.
Today. Right now. Immediately. Make sure you have access to your domain
This has nothing to do with who hosts your site. That is something else
Get the account ID and password for whatever company controls your domain.
It could be Network Solutions, it could be virtually anyone. But as soon as
you get that info...change the contact info (e-mail address) to an e-mail
address you control (gmail, hotmail, yahoo, if you must).
I once bought a domain name at a bargain and set up a small business around
that name. I didn't know that the company was in Australia and that they
sold their business. When I wanted to switch hosts (to someone cheaper and
better) it took nearly a month of wrangling and research to find out who
controlled my domain registration. A nightmare.
I switched everything to and I now control the whole thing.
Another example. Big publisher creates web site for author, secured domain
and hosted the site. Very switches publishers. Old
publisher will no longer do site updates. So author gets the site hosted
elsewhere where he can make changes himself. BUT he forgets that the domain
name was registered and controlled by his former publisher. So when it came
time to renew the subscription to his domain name, the publisher let it
expire. Because the e-mail address for the domain registration renewal was
sent to the old publisher, the author did not know that his domain name
expired. Guess what happened?
A porn site grabbed his domain name and linked it to their "date older
women" web site. Overnight his entire ministry was linked to something less
than ideal. (an understatement if there ever was one) He had to get a
different domain name and start over. Unfortunately his first six books and
all search engines were linked to his old domain name.
A year later he now has regained control of his domain name by using a
service called that grabs abandoned domain names. Fortunately
the porn site did not renew the subscription.
Bottom line? Control everything about your own web site. Hire someone to
help if you must, but never let control of your Internet presence out of
your hands.
Hope that helps,
The Steve Laube Agency

Thanks for the advice Steve, and thank you for your willingness
to share it with all of us. You can visit
Steve's website and find out about helpful resources for writers

Monday, October 15, 2007

Using the internet to build a platform

Happy Monday!!

Yes, I can say that because I love what I do. I look forward to Monday morning when I can jump back in to the work week. And one thing I really enjoy is talking to all of you.

I am thrilled with the number of people who come here each week to learn about growing their writing business.

We have readers from six different countries and 27 different states within the US. I know how many of you are regular visitors and I know where are regulars come from.

Do you know these stats on your readers or visitors to your website? Would you like to? It is free with google analytics.

Go to and sign up. It will give you code that you can copy and paste on your website or blog. It will not be visible to readers but it will allow you to see if you get a bounce on blog tours, marketing you do, or with certain days or posts.

By using google analytics you can find out who your readers are and where they are coming from to maximize your marketing.

So let's chat. Have you used this or similar tracking code to find out your demographic? How have you used it to target your marketing?

And tomorrow we will have Agent Steve Laube's warning for those of you developing a website. For anyone who would like to build a website on writing or anything else, I urge you to come read tomorrow's post for important warnings from someone who knows.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Guest Blogger Dan Case: Writing, Speaking, and Crocuses

I’ve witnessed a lot of email discussion lately on the topic of writers speaking. It’s fascinating to watch these threads and see the diversity among my fellow word-wranglers. Some approach the idea of public speaking with the fear and trembling; others approach it with the wriggling enthusiasm of a loving family dog greeting his too-long-gone master. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the reality comes through clearly: if you’re going to write, sooner or later you’ll speak in front of a group. Love it or hate it, it’s a fact of the writing life.

I don't suppose that it comes as a surprise to anyone who's met me that I’m in the “wriggling, enthusiastic dog” category. I love to speak and teach. Believe it or not, I’m actually a bit on the shy, withdrawn side by nature. But put me on a stage in front of an audience, and even if I don’t have anything prepared, I’m raring to go. Who needs notes or scripts? I’ll improvise. I know a few writers who are just like me in that regard, and I know others who are wonderfully gifted writers but would pass out if pushed onto a stage without warning, so scared they’d forget to breathe. And that’s okay. We’re all different, with different gifts and different styles. It’s good to know how you’re wired so you can prepare in the way that works for you.

Like many things in life, speaking has been a seasonal activity for me. A few years ago, I worked for a couple of Christian radio stations in St. Louis and had a bulging calendar of speaking engagements. I changed jobs and moved to Little Rock, and for whatever reason the Lord blocked every attempt I made to rebuild a speaking platform. I can see now that it was a season of being taught rather than teaching, listening rather than speaking. I think that for those of us who love to speak, these dormant seasons of growth can be the toughest seasons of all. I’ve learned the hard way that the only thing worse than not speaking when God gives you the opportunity is trying to speak when He’s called you to a season of silence.

The dormancy of winter is a critical part of the life cycle of a tree. While the tree may appear to be inactive, important things are happening in places we can’t see, things that are necessary, things that prepare the tree to sprout fresh leaves and new growth come springtime. Likewise, periods of dormancy in our writing and speaking lives are normal and necessary. They may seem cold and bleak and endless at times, but without those days and the inner growth that God is accomplishing in us, when the next opportunity appears we’ll have nothing to say. When I’m out of sync with God’s plans for me, it’s amazing how many words I can write or speak without saying anything.

There have been times when I thought that the bleak winter of my writing and speaking life would never end. But on the dreariest days of our dormant seasons, you and I can take comfort in one of the constants of the universe.

Seasons do change.

I’ve seen the signs. Longer, warmer days. Bleak trees once seemingly devoid of life, reaching toward the sun, their dormant buds swelling with hope. I’ve seen my first crocus pop its head through the crusty snow, defying the icy blanket, refusing to be held back another day.

And my first instinct is to jump in and help God get those seasons changed as soon as possible. Yet, the change of season will neither be hurried nor delayed. The seasons will follow no agenda but God’s divine timetable. I think there have been times when He was ready for me to move forward, but I was not. I left him waiting patiently while I did what I wanted to do, too busy with my own vision to catch His. Had I been paying attention, I would have heard Him say “Hey, are you ready? Let’s go!” But I didn’t, and I missed an opportunity.

And so I wait expectantly, watching the God of second, third, and millionth chances sprout fresh leaves on my old, weathered branches. One leaf at a time. And I don’t mind that it’s not happening all at once. I’m learning to enjoy every new leaf in all its intricate and unique detail as I watch His plan unfold before me. His plan for me as a communicator. Not just a speaker or just a writer, but a communicator, melding the two forms. And in that plan are some remarkable surprises.

I've found a deep passion inside my heart for teaching and mentoring other writers, something that surprised me because in a real sense I don't feel qualified. But one thing the Lord taught me at this year’s ACFW conference is that I don't have to be Jim Bell or Deb Raney to reach behind me and help others move ahead. All I have to do is—check out this bit of deep revelation—reach behind me and help others move ahead. Duh!

I don't know exactly what this new season will mean for me, what shape it will take or where its focus will lie. The leaves are still emerging, and I’m finally willing to let them emerge as He sees fit, even if it takes a while. What I know for certain is that the same Lord who made me the way I am will give me everything I need to fulfill his calling. Legendary missionary Hudson Taylor said it best: “God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply.”

My biggest problem has always been that “done God’s way” thing. I’ve had times when I felt it necessary to counsel Him on his calendar management, ridiculous though it sounds. But, I think (and hope) that I’ve finally learned to get out of His way and let Him work, to listen and prepare and be ready when He says "Go." His schedule, not mine.

If your writing life is in the midst of winter, take heart. Sit by the fire, next to the Master of your seasons, and let him prepare you for your next steps. Learn. Listen. Look to Him for your source and strength. Pray. Prepare. Pay attention and be ready.

Watch for the first crocus. It’s almost Spring.

Dan Case is a seasoned radio broadcasting professional, published author, and speaker who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with his wife Sharon and the three cats who employ them. His publishing credits include Marriage Partnership, Christian Single, and several local/regional newspapers and magazines around the country.

When asked if he was an “outside the box” thinker, Dan adamantly refused to acknowledge the existence of the box, much less get inside. You’ll find him online at and

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Caitie's Corner


By Susan Hart Lindquist

Today I'm going to talk about Wander. It's a great book. It's about a little boy named James and he is 11. And his little sister Sary who is almost 7.

A year ago their mom died in a car accident. After the funeral the dad, James, and Sary went to live with the dad's sister, Laurie. After a year they discovered a dog. The next day they named him Wander but they keep him as a secret.

If you want to know more you have to read the book yourself. I've read it four times this summer because I love it.

I have some really great books to tell you about. See you next week.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What is a Writing Career Coach?

What is a Writing Career Coach?

Since this question has come up so often I'd like to answer it today on this blog. I can only speak for myself and what I do as a writing career coach. For me, it is helping writers look at their writing as part of a business.

There are a number of different ways I do that. We look at marketing, development, some branding, and creating a business plan. What it all comes down to though is a Writing Career Coach is someone who will help you build upon your strengths and improve areas where you're weak. Through strategic career planning you can grow your writing business in ways you'd never thought of before.

Great question. Email me your questions at

And if you'd like to know more about my mentorship program or suggested readings visit my website at

Monday, October 8, 2007

Is Fear Blocking you?


As an author of suspense/thrillers I love to work with fear in my stories. People enjoy being scared to a certain extent. But Fear can also cause you to miss out on incredible opportunities.

Last Monday I discussed the book Failing Forward and this blog ties in to that quite a bit. Fear of Failure will prevent you from trying a new marketing technique, or sometimes submitting a proposal in the first place.

I've never been one who was afraid to send my work off. There was nervous anticipation, even a bit of excitement at the new adventure, but never fear. What keeps me awake at night and makes me become a shivering ball of nerves...the phone.

Yep, I have phone fear.

I knew that from previous sales positions I've held but not until I started working for an Executive Recruiter did I realize how terrified I was of a complete stranger on the other side of the country. I have literally dialed the phone wiping tears from my eyes and hand trembling.

But I learned Fear is good.

It pushes you to become more than you could be. It gives you an enemy to conquer. I've learned a great deal of empathy for people who are afraid of rejection [in their writing] and as I've continued to learn from my boss [who btw is a wonderful example of integrity in business and a great mentor] I've applied it to my writer's life.

I've learned that I can do more than I thought I could. As I push past my fear I'm learning to overcome. As I make phone calls all day I'm becoming more comfortable with it [though my heart is still beating like a hummingbird's wings thinking of the list of calls I have to make after lunch]. The skills I'm using now also help me market my work and my writing career course. You have to be willing to meet people and face rejection as an author. I'm blessed to do it dozens of times a week.

Fear is bad when it causes you to miss the mark and give up on your dreams. There are many times where I've wanted to throw in the towel on writing projects when they got too hard. There are times when I wanted to give up on my full-time job because I've felt like a failure. [Notice: I said FELT LIKE a failure, that doesn't mean I WAS a failure]. But by pushing through that, getting up and doing it one more time, I'm determining my level of success...not fear or its cousin frustration.

So think about it, are you allowing fear to push you forward or hold you back?

Share with us when you've conquered something that scared you. How did it help you grow?

And if you'd like to learn more about how to build your writing Business sign up for my Writing Career Mentorship Course. Details are at my website

Thursday, October 4, 2007

My Life Unscripted, a must read

This week rather than hosting an author I’ll be telling you about an author I’ve come to really respect, Tricia Goyer.

Tricia is the author of numerous books. Her most recent, My Life, unscripted helps girls in a very unique way. She doesn’t preach at girls and tell them what they should and shouldn’t do. No, she demonstrates mistakes [some her own] in the form of a movie script. She allows teens to EXPERIENCE the mistakes for themselves.

This is an incredible book and I suggest the parent or grandparent of any girl, teen or preteen, pick up this book [I’ve even posted a link below to Amazon. Yes, I’m that serious].

I got to meet and really get to know Tricia at ACFWs conference in Dallas, TX last month and now I repect her as a person, as well as an author. She doesn’t have an inflated ego but is a outgoing, funny person. I sat down one evening a few feet from her while she was chatting with an editor. When she realized I was there she stopped the conversation to take the time to introduce me to him. This kind of inclusive attitude and her willingness to “reach behind” and help other authors makes Tricia Goyer the type of person I’d want to mentor my 4 daughters.

Thanks, Tricia, for being willing to pull off the mask and show the reality.

My Life Unscripted: Who's Writing Your Life?

Visit these blogs to find out what others are saying!!























Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Caitie's Corner

It's me again, Caitie, and this week we have The Palomino by Katy Pistole.

I LOVED this story. It's about a girl named Jenny Thomas and her dad loses his job because his boss lost his money when someone stole it from the company. Jenny wants to go to horse camp but it was $200. That much money surprised her.

This book was mostly happy but kind of sad. I won't tell you the end but I really liked it. I think people should read it.

This is the first of four books and I'll be talking about Stollen Gold early next month.

Katy Pistole has offered an autographed copy of The Palomino. So leave a comment or a question for Katy Pistole under my blog and I'll announce the winner when I review Stollen Gold November 7. You also get a second entry if you sign to get the blog emailed to you or if you tell a friend about our blog and they leave a comment.

Watch for my interview with Katy Pistole in a couple of weeks. If you have a question you'd like me to ask her, leave that in my comments too!!

Bye for now-Caitie
I'd love to hear your questions.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What is a Business Plan?

As a writing career coach one of the first things I try to teach is the importance of a business plan and how to make one.

A business plan is a plan for your business. It includes things like mission statements, short term/long term goals, financing, budget, projections, and business team. In the business world you must have a business plan to apply for SBA loans or other types of financing.

Unfortunately most people don't take the time to craft a solid business plan that outlines what their business is and where it is going. As a result their marketing efforts are not focused. To help illustrate I'll give you a snap shot of my business plan [I go in to much more detail in my Writing Career Coach Course which you can purchase at].

As a writer I will need a platform. No one really knows or cares who Tiffany Colter is, except my family and that is even questionable some days :-)

So how is someone going to find out about my books? What is going to make me attractive to publishing houses? How will I sell myself?

Part of it is what you're reading now. I have another gift beyond writing Inspirational Thrillers. I love to coach people, help them, grow as writers. So I take the time to find people to come on my blog and teach people who'd like to write. I network with other writers. I study and learn and then share what I've learned. Randy Ingermanson calls it "Meaningful Content". So I share with people how they can reach their dream of being a published author.

This helps me gain credibility and a readership. I truly care about you and your writing career. So it is not drudgery. BUT it is also part of my marketing plan because all of you [even those of you who don't leave comments] are influenced by what I say. So when one of my books release and I tell you, you are more likely to tell others.

This is my platform.

Now spinning off of that is my public speaking, article writing, and other activities. I have a clear focused goal that I work towards. Every activity I do must have some purpose in the overall plan of my writing business or I must seriously rethink that activity.

So, what is your goal? What is your plan to accomplish your goal? What measured steps are you taking to reach that goal? I'd love to hear from you! Post a comment or email me directly.

And post or email your questions for an upcoming Tuesday question day.

Tomorrow we will have Caitie reviewing a new book, this one about horses!