Meet Author John Theo Jr.

Today I welcome prolific  writer, John Theo  Jr. to Jubilee Writer. He’s going to talk about his latest release and the writing life. First, John tell us briefly about your writing journey.1

I started writing for fun in high school but did not take it seriously until after college. I worked on my own craft for a few years before entering graduate school where I received an MFA in creative writing. Since then I’ve published in non-fiction (magazines), taught writing at the college level, and had six fiction books published. My books vary as much as my interests. From young adult fantasy, murder mystery, government conspiracy, to dystopian sci fi.

Sounds like you have many genres you love and a vivid imagination. What’s your latest published project.

My latest release is Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus. It is a sequel to 2016’s Mission Trip. To accompany the launch I’ve published a prequel novella, Clarke. Both are available online or at WWW.JOHNTHEO.COM

I’m always curious how authors do their research for their stories. How do you do yours

Writers have always been told to “write about what you know”. I know sci fi quite well as I spent many years of my childhood reading comics and watching sci fi movies. I utilized every “nerd molecule” of my being on this tale. Even though the book is set in the distant future I utilized a lot of current events. Science fiction is notorious for taking current events and placing them into a futuristic setting. One of the first (and arguably most famous) interracial kisses on TV was done in 1968 on an episode of Star Trek. At the time the culture barely noticed as it was technically “500 years” in the future.

Every story starts as a germ of inspiration. What inspired you to write your book?

Over the past decade Christians have become the most persecuted class of people on the planet (according to PEW research). US Christians are starting to see this persecution trickle in. For example, legal persecution of believers in the US has evolved into numerous church shootings. This got me thinking about the Pilgrims and their reason for leaving Europe in the 1600s to flee to the new world. Mission Trip is a “what if” story. What level of persecution would it take for Christians to flee the US, and where would they go? At its core, Mission Trip is a futuristic retelling of the Pilgrims story.

513s4GI3h8L._AC_US218_

Fascinating. I love the premise. A bold challenge to people of faith.  Now let’s move away from your book and ask when did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

I always had a creative side, but didn’t realized I wanted to tell stories until I was leaving high school and came to the conclusion I wasn’t passionate about much else.

Passion is a wonderful motivator for a writer. I always like to ask those who visit my blog what scripture resonates with them. What is yours?

A favorite life verse for me over the past few years has been Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

I have been through a lot of life changes over the past few years (mostly bad), which God has used for good in miraculous ways.

The verse in my novel that resonates with me the most is line at the end when the protagonist (Landon) realizes God performed miracles to save Landon’s son, but did not spare His own son. At this point Landon’s “arc” is complete and he has healed from his past trauma.

He had not spared His only son, but made a point to spare Landon’s. It was as if Landon fully understood the cross of Christ for the first time.”

Love the insight. John, if you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

There is a lot I would tell a younger version of myself about life, but as far as the craft of writing it would be one simple thing….find a mentor. This is so important, and could shave years off someone’s learning curve.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

Ironically, no one in my life is a writer so no one really understands what it’s like to be a writer. Long story short, I am very self-motivated.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

As of today, I would say non-fiction. I never thought I’d migrate from action, and sci fi books into non- fiction but I’ve become a huge fan of US History, especially old historical books for young adults.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I’d love to say at my desk at home sipping a cup of tea as the snow falls outside the window, but I have three energetic kids under the age of eight, so that romantic notion doesn’t exist. They are my “lovable efficiency killers”. I would say at work. My wife and I moved out of the hectic northeast to buy a small business down south allowing us to be together as a family more. The burst of small time I have in between customers forces me to by hyper focused. Some writers need three hour long windows to write in. Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus was literally written in twenty minute increments.

 You are certainly driven to get words on paper. Bravo for you.

Tell us about your screenplays and other writing projects.

I’ve written multiple screenplays, but currently I’m marketing only two of them with my agent Pierre Rumpf.

Nicky and the Saint, A Christmas Story is a screenplay about the historic Saint Nicholas and a modern-day boy named Nicky, and how their symbiotic “hero’s journey’s” overlap. The trailer (or sizzle reel) is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMePOl_KK_Q&list=PLSogEOVpzTJHtXpPlfUJCNiO2Rs7a0Bnv&index=32

Christmas by The Sea is a straight up Hallmark Channel-esque romance set in a quaint New England seaside town. Unlike other made-for-television Christmas movies I instilled some comedy, and even a little action to broaden the audience base. The sizzle reel is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUtYScVghpI&list=PLSogEOVpzTJHtXpPlfUJCNiO2Rs7a0Bnv&index=2

Christmas seems to be a theme in a lot of my writing. I guess it’s the kid in me.

SERIES: This is the sequel to “Mission Trip”, Clean Reads Press 2016.

PURCHASE: https://www.amazon.com/Mission-Trip-John-Theo-Jr-ebook/dp/B078TCD3T8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515422663&sr=8-1&keywords=mission+trip%2C+Genesis+and+exodus

BOOK TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1LBjsWLBbY

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_tXTp-mEENYHe2Ex3LJeXg

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/search?q=john%20theo&src=typd

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579062130

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John Theo, Jr. has published numerous articles in New England based newspapers and magazines, and has taught screenwriting at the college level. Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus is his fifth fiction novel and the sequel to 2016’s Mission Trip (Clean Reads Press). John holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. For more information on John check out http://www.johntheo.com.

More About John’s novel Mission Trip, Gensis And Exodus

TAG LINE:

Can an imprisoned son and a redeemed technocrat rescue humanity.

BACK COVER BLURB:

Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus is the sequel to Mission Trip. In 2077 doctor Kyle Faison remains trapped on the west coast of New America with a group of villagers he came to help. His father, Landon, races from their hidden underwater city to rescue his son. When Kyle goes missing Landon tracks him to the city of New Sacramento, where a charismatic leader holds him captive. Landon must find a way past an army of soldiers to reach Kyle before the onset of another nuclear war.

The origin of the underwater city known as the Atoll is revealed in a prequel flashback woven throughout the story.  In 2040, technocrat Josiah Saunders has wealth and power and invests much of his resources into life extension technology. He ruins countless lives trying to reach this goal. The combination of a hostile takeover by his competitor, and a failed assassination attempt, send Josiah fleeing into the subway system of New York where he is attacked and left for dead. The narcissistic man soon realizes God has other plans for him, but first he must be broken and rebuilt as a new creature.

 

BOOK EXCERPT:

The next morning, an explosion woke Josiah from his light sleep. The building moved slightly.

“Open daylight,” he said, throwing aside the silk sheets.

The tinted windows in the penthouse bedroom cleared, revealing the gray early morning skyline of New York. Nothing looked different. Had he dreamed of the explosion? A moment later, flaming debris flittered down outside the windows. Josiah’s stomach dropped, as if following the debris toward the street below.

The speaker on his data pad chirped. “Coming up to get you.” It was Ross. “We’re under attack. This isn’t a drill.”

Josiah panicked for a moment before he remembered all the reinforcements and safety measures the building had. It would withstand multiple attacks from a varied assortment of artillery and biological warfare. But why hadn’t the alarms kicked in? He threw on a pair of dress pants, shoes, and a sweater, and grabbed his tablet. He wasn’t going to wait for Ross. Before Josiah left the apartment, he glanced one last time out the living room window. There were two sparks of light a few miles in the distance. Trails of smoke followed the flashes through the early morning skyline.

The tablet in his hand spoke in a calm male voice. “Warning. Incoming rockets.

Wow! You’ve got my attention. Thanks for being my guest today, John. Those who love dystopic novels are going to love this one.

Reader, if this is your first time visiting Jubilee Writer and you’d like to read more interviews and writerly things, please subscribe before you leave and it will be delivered to your email as new posts appear.

 

 

Advertisements

History Trivia: Moving A Community

During my research for my historical novels, I find some interesting if not odd stuff. In my next few blogs, I’ll share some of my findings. Today, I’ll share the surprising information I found about home moving. When I think of moving, I visualize packing everything up and moving to a new home. I stumbled across a few interesting facts about home moving. I mean picking up the home and moving it, not relocating.  Not only did an occasional resident decide to move their home across town, but also during the 19th century whole communities packed up everything, including their houses and relocated the town to a better spot. Possibly to be further away from a flooding river or closer to the railroad.

house moving 2

These were not mobile homes, or the tent cities often erected for miners, but cabins and framed homes. Some were taken apart log by log. The disassembled parts hauled in by wagon, train or boat and reassembled in the new location. Some homes, and here is the fascinating part, were placed on flat bed wagons and a team of mules hauled the house to its new location. Others were pushed along a log conveyor. As the house passed over one log it was picked up and a runner took it to the front of the long line of logs. The logs turned under the motion of the home being pulled by a team of horses. This continued for miles until the house was at its new location.  This was no small undertaking.

 

Moving a house in San Francisco, 1908

Thisisa home being moved in 1901.

 

My mind envisions small cabins. But as you can see by the pictures, some buildings were quite large. The one advantage over modern day house moving, there was no electricity or plumbing to disconnect. Even so I can’t imagine how moving your house was more economical than selling and rebuilding.

This whole revelation made me wonder what kind of story could revolve around moving an entire town.

Readers, give me some ideas of what kind of story could be set amid a town’s relocation.

 

Accurate Details Keep Genre Readers Engaged

Recently, I walked through my family room to see an old western playing on the TV. I joined the western fan to watch the story play out. This old western starred because Stewart Granger.  The plot was ridiculous. I always find it strange when an Englishman plays a cowboy. All that perfect diction.  Westerns of that time were often fraught with inaccuracies.Product Details

The basic storyline was three tribes agreed to sell their land to poor immigrant farmers in exchange for food and the natives also promised to protect the settlers. I can’t imagine any tribe agreeing to sell their land for food and agree to protect the settlers. One of the tribes, the Navajo, was an agricultural community so why would they want the white man’s crops?  The other two tribes by this point in history had already been shoved out of their own land by whites. Back when this movie was made the plight of the Native American wasn’t even accurately portrayed in history books. So, I suppose a story about everyone getting along would fly in theaters. Oh yes, there was a villain in a black suit, who wore white dress gloves all the time. He was trying to turn the groups against each other, so he could buy the oil rich land. Of course, the bad guy is found out and turned over to the natives for punishment. Another thing that would never have happened.

We’ve all seen movies where the details are wrong. Some so much so that we no longer care about the story.  My dad spent 21 years in the Air Force, and he always pointed out the wrong planes in war movies.  My son’s an army vet, and he tends to point out many irregularities in movies and TV shows that depict the military.

Movie makers can generally get away with it because the audience is there to be entertain. They might be on a date or watching the movie with a group of friends. But when one reads a novel in their favorite genre they expect more than just entertainment.  Except for fantasies, the storyline needs a connection with reality. Do your research so the bones of the story ring true.

In the movie example above, the natives would never be allowed to kill the villain and all his evil henchmen as restitution for the death of the chief’s son.  As a lover of historical fiction, I prefer accuracy. Granted, literary license can add to a storyline, but let’s not go overboard.

orphan train1

Some years ago I read a time-travel western. A modern man chose to live in the 1800s. The heroine learned to speak the local Nez Perce language. She and the time traveler marry. Because she can’t have children they decide to adopt. The orphan train was coming to a nearby town, and this would give them a great opportunity to find some children to love. Then it got ridiculous. The three siblings they adopted were. Nez Perce.  I stopped reading.  My history trivia mind went into overdrive. Why would native children be on the orphan train? The children on the train hailed from New York, Chicago and other major cities east of the setting of the novel.  The author had already established the Nez Perce lived in the area. No native would willingly put their child in the care of white strangers. No, they take care of their own. If the couple had found the children alone on the road or their mother was a friend who died and asked them to care for her children, I could accept the adoption. But the orphan train. Really!

Other examples

I’ve read similar blatant inaccuracies in career based fiction. Rarely do you hear “Stat!” shouted in a hospital ER. Do you know what happens behind-the-scenes in an ER? Before writing about it, be sure to find out.  Military heroes follow the rules. Know those rules. Put enough accurate details in your story to keep the reader engaged.

Accurate story bones

Do your very best when writing fiction to keep the bones of accurate historical facts, police procedure, medical jargon, military protocol and other background information accurate. Fans of career specific genres are going to be disappointed and may not finish your book and most likely not pick up another one if it’s not.

How factual do you like your fiction?

 

 

Introducing Jennifer A. David and A Give-a-way

Today I welcome Jennifer Cvalbar AKA Jennifer A. Davids.  She is a fellow-author with the Smitten Imprint for LPC historical romance writers. I am delighted she is visiting. This is my first author with a pen name. Welcome Jennifer. I’m curious to learn a little about your writing journey. Jennifer A Davids_photo

A ninth-grade creative writing assignment. That’s how it all started. I wasn’t expecting the story I turned in to be anything special. Honestly, I was just hoping for a good grade. So when my teacher stood in front of the class and said my story had gotten an A++ I couldn’t believe it. Especially since I had stayed up late the night before I turned it in finishing it. I’ve been putting words to paper ever since. Fast forward to February 2010 when my writing journey took a new turn and I was offered my very first contract with Heartsong Presents, the then book club imprint of Barbour Books. I published three books with them before the imprint was sold to Harlequin. You can find all of them in one book titled Brides of Ohio.

Since that last Heartsong book, a busy season of life happened. My two children went from being fifteen and eleven to being twenty and sixteen. But I did write another book, my first stab something longer than a Heartsong. It was quite a challenge but I’m so excited that A Perfect Weakness will be released by Smitten, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, on July 25, 2018.

Jennifer A Davids_Brides of Ohio _cover

 

Interesting.  How did A Perfect Weakness evolve?

The inspiration for A Perfect Weakness came from one of my Heartsong books. At the time, Heartsong Presents was still in business through Harlequin and I wanted to write another book for them. One of my secondary characters in Wounded Heart had great hero potential and I often wondered what he did after the events in that book ended. So I decided to find out. But as I started working out the story it grew and grew and became way too long to be a Heartsong length novel. So I erased any connection the story had to Wounded Heart and made it a full-length novel—well, almost. I may have left a small ‘Easter egg’ for a reader of Brides of Ohio to find. A very small one. I’ll have to see who catches it. J

Makes me want to read Brides of Ohio in preparation for this books release. Let’s talk about you. Here’s one of my favorite questions to ask authors. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

“Sketch out the whole plot before you start to write.” I used to get so excited about an idea that I would start writing and then just stop when I got to a point where I had no idea what happened next. All the enthusiasm would leach away and there I would sit with just a beginning that headed nowhere. So I do a rough outline/draft of the whole book in Scrivener now. But I don’t act as if every plot point is written in stone. I let it move around and I’ll change something or go a different direction if need be. But it does give me enough of an idea of where the story is going so that I don’t abandon it.

 

Great advice. Do you have a favorite genre you love to read for fun?

OK that’s like asking which kid is my favorite. I write historical romance and while I do read a lot of that genre I don’t always read there for fun. It depends so much on my mood. If I want to read fantasy, I’ll default to The Lord of the Rings or the Narnia series. If I want a classic, Jane Eyre or The Count of Monte Cristo. I also enjoy reading Erik Larson who writes wonderful historical non-fiction.

Thanks for much for sharing. Now if any of you are curious about the Brides of Ohio series make a comment to be placed in a drawing for an e-book copy. I’ll draw a name on Friday and contact the winner. If you are new to my blog, please leave an email address written with the word at and dot in place of the symbols. I’ll forward your address to Jennifer.

More about Jennifer

Jennifer A. Davids is a self-professed book nerd. The shelves of her office are overflowing with books and there are stacks of them by her bedside. When she’s not reading, she’s dreaming up a new story to tell her readers. She is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in English Education. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband, two children, and two cats.

Connect wiht Jennifer A. Davids on Social Media

www.facebook.com/jenniferadavids/

www.instagram.com/jennifera.davids/

www.twitter.com/JenniferADavids

Web Page

www.jenniferadavids.com

Blog

www.jenniferadavids.wordpress.com/

Order Links for Brides of Ohio

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/y8xp3zwh

Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/y9uxobn6

Christianbook.com: https://tinyurl.com/ydgw2s57

If you’ve enjoyed this interview and would like to hear about other authors and various writerly information please subscribe to Jubilee Writer before you leave this page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon Immortal Descent By Carolyn Walker

I love sharing with my readers  the stories behind the authors who are either debuting their first novel or  they’re experienced pros. Throughout 2018 I plan to interview several authors so we can all be inspired. Today’s inspiration is Author Carolyn Walker. Thanks for stopping by. We’ll start by asking you to share your writing journey.Carolyn Walker

 

Writing has always been a key part of my life. From the moment I learned how to hold a crayon and scribble lines (that later became words), I felt at home. I wrote my first short story around age 6 and by 12, I won my first state-wide young writer’s award. In my teens, I published several poems, prose and short stories—one which won a literary magazine summer contest. In my early 20’s I first considered writing a novel, and began penning the premise for what would later inspire my debut novel Immortal Descent. After shelving the idea, starting a family, going to school to study Literature, and launching a career as a copywriter and professional editor, creative writing took a back seat. But my love for storytelling never died. So in 2015, I picked it back up again and haven’t put it down since. Within a year, I’d finished my debut novel and just months later, I landed a publishing deal. Now I’m actively writing book two of an amazing series and I cannot wait to share my tales with my beloved readers! Immortal Descent, comes out Spring 2018! (Book two in the Immortal Series is underway and looking great!)

How do you research for your books?

I read A LOT! I have spent long hours reading and checking out books from my local library on various topics for my novel. It is a supernatural thriller with many historical elements, mythological references, and psychological themes. I dual majored in Psychology, alongside English in college, so that helped me with having better insight into the complex psyches of my characters. Additional research has included collecting libraries of information from sources online and even hounding the night librarian to view the “rare historical” volumes section of the library to check out age old documents pertaining to past civilizations, biblical lore, art history, and more. Many scenes in my book take place in other countries—some of which I had never been to, so I interviewed friends and colleagues who could provide me with real world knowledge of the settings, areas, and lifestyles. One of my friends grew up in Switzerland where a portion of the book takes place and her help really served to make that entire scene come to life! The research process was nearly as enjoyable as the writing process.

I loved the idea of interviewing friends who’ve visited placed you mention in your novel. Sometimes their descriptions have a much more real feel than those in books. So, tell us Carolyn, what  inspired you to write your book?

My fascination with the unknown, and history’s mysteries was one of my greatest motivators to write Immortal Descent.  The idea originally came to me years ago, as a short story premise about a glimpse into the life of an immortal being, witnessed by an ordinary man. Beyond that, I had no idea where the story would go, but one thing lingered in my mind—the unanswered questions of immortality.  I’d read plenty of stories about immortality, and there were plenty of books that discussed its mysterious place in history and religion. Even so, I found that few truly addressed the origin of it and why. That’s when I thought this would make a great story, so I began researching deeper into it. Add to that my love for science fiction, fantasy and it wasn’t long before I sought to write a fiction that would perhaps explain the unexplained. This was how the world of Immortal Descent was born.

Explain the unexplained. What a fascinating idea.

Beyond you draw to writing as a child when did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world

It was that moment when I felt that first swell of giddy anticipation in my chest, followed by the realization I could reach others and bring them joy through my work…that was the moment I knew I was meant to be an artist of words.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Don’t doubt yourself. There were times when I didn’t know where I was going with my story or even thought I couldn’t finish it. Writing a book is a great feat and I’d shelved the idea for many years to get on with other areas of my life. I also did it because I didn’t know if I had it in me. Eventually I came around and regained confirmation in myself, but a lot of time was lost during those years. If I could go back, I never would have let myself believe that. I would have kept keeping on realized that perseverance is what allows us to grow strong and achieve—it’s what brings results. Don’t doubt yourself and you are far less likely to give up.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

I enjoy a good psychological thriller. I love stories that may have a hint of supernatural elements or pull from lore or history.

Where is your favorite place to write?

In my home office, where my imagination becomes the atmosphere!

carolyn m walker_cover reveal coming soon

Immortal Descent is a supernatural thriller about one man’s journey into a dark world of buried mythology, secret societies, and the true origin of immortality. Ethan West hopes for a fresh start in college, after a lifetime of pain and loss. But instead he gets a curse—a rebirth that closely resembles a death sentence. Now wielding a mysterious new ability, Ethan is hunted by a ruthless faction of ancient creatures known as Lorns.

On the run, Ethan quickly learns he possesses a gift that is more powerful than anything the world has seen in over a thousand years. Unfortunately, a power this great always comes with an unspeakable price… Based on the ancient lore of the Nephilim, the principles of order & chaos, and history’s mysteries, Immortal Descent goes where few tales have gone before.

What if one man’s beginning meant everyone else’s end?

Excerpt: “Ethan didn’t realize he was screaming until he felt Rue shaking him. His eyes flew open and he stared up at her face and into those bright silver eyes. For the briefest instant, all his fear melted away when he looked up at her. He remembered the shadowed eyes of the woman from the alleyway. These eyes were so different. Never had he seen eyes as hers before, so intense—so bright, so capturing. He held her gaze, almost afraid to look away. If he looked away, what would he see?”

Praise for Immortal Descent:

Readers have called Immortal Descent “amazing storytelling” and “completely original” and have said it’s a read that is “absolutely impossible to put down!”

About the Author:

Carolyn M. Walker grew up surrounded by books and has a particular soft spot for fantasy stories and psychological thrillers. With a Bachelors degree in both English Literature and Psychology from Florida State University, Carolyn loves exploring the many sides of the human psyche and building worlds that address some of life’s greatest “what-if” questions. In addition to being a creative writer, Carolyn is also a certified Copywriter, Copy Editor, and Marketing Consultant.

Carolyn, thanks for joining me today.  I wish you much success with Immortal Descent.

I’m adding Carolyn’s links for my readers to follow her:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/carolynmwalkerwrites/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MissWriteWise

Author Website:

https://carolynmwalker.wordpress.com/

Goodreads Author Profile

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17271041.Carolyn_M_Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Author Pegg Thomas and a Warm Giveaway

Today I welcome Pegg Thomas, author, editor and knitter to Jubilee Writer. I love reading her novellas and am happy to have her share her writing journey with my readers.  Take it away, Pegg.

PeggThomasHeadshot2017-resized

My writing journey was the product of a long-held idea and the dreaded empty nest. With time heavy on my hands I finally picked up a pen and started to write. It was dreadful. Really dreadful. Poke-your-eye-out-with-a-fork dreadful. Then I heard about something called a writers conference. I attended one and realized how much I didn’t know. Seven years later—after a lot of learning and writing—I signed my first contract.

Your latest novella is a “write what know” story.  Full of sheep, weaving and your love of history.

My latest project is near and dear to my heart. In Sheep’s Clothing is part of A Bouquet of Brides Collection. My heroine, Yarrow Fenn, is a spinner and a weaver. I learned to spin at the age of 16 which was *mumble* years ago. While I’m primarily a knitter, I have done some weaving too. I also raise sheep. One of the characters in In Sheep’s Clothing is a little lamb named Meadowsweet. So I guess you could say that a whole lot of “me” wound up in this story.

What inspired you to write In Sheep’s Clothing?

It started when I read about the Wool Act signed in 1699 by King William III while history-geeking on the internet one day. The idea germinated for a couple of months. When I was asked to write for this collection, I pulled it from the back burner of my brain and fleshed it out.

Cvr_BouquetofBrides.indd

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

As a shepherd, John 10:27-29 is my favorite passage:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

That would be the Quid Pro Quills, my awesome and invaluable critique group; Robin Patchen, Jericha Kingston, Kara Hunt, Marge Wiebe, and Candice Sue Patterson. These ladies are a force of nature. They have dragged me—often kicking and screaming—to be a better writer. They aren’t cheerleaders, they are slave drivers, and I owe any success I have to them.

An exciting giveaway

To celebrate the release of A Bouquet of Brides Collection, I’m giving away The Meadowsweet Shawl to one subscriber to my newsletter. If you don’t already subscribe, click here to sign up. I promise not to fill your inbox. Drawing will be January 31st.

PeggThomasShawl(1)

More about Pegg

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.

Pegg, thanks so much for coming by for a visit. The shawl is beautiful and I’m sure whoever wins it will be the envy of all her friends.  And I know your newsletter is really cool. 

Learn more about Pegg Thomas  and her books at the links below.

Facebook 

Twitter

Goodreads

Google+

PeggThomas.com

Amazon

ColonialQuills

NovelPASTimes

 

Skit Writing- a Great Practice Writing Tight

theater-seats-1033969_640I spent sometime last week doing something I haven’t done in a few years. I wrote a skit. My church is having a women’s retreat and a few skits were needed. I volunteered to put some words on paper and will probably perform in one or two as well.

I’ve been a skit writer for decades. Skits are a wonderful way to get a point across. It gives a visual representation of theme that often sticks with people for a long time.

While amid writing novels and blog posts I don’t always have time to write skits just for fun and then try to pitch them to various publishers that produce skit books. But writing for my friends is different. Writing for an event gives an opportunity to see it performed and get out any bugs before pitching it for publication.  Working up a skit around a theme is another opportunity to hone the skill that is a key element to novel writing. Without a theme a novel is just words on paper and a skit is just a bunch of one-liners with no point.

dialogue

Skits are often dialogue driven. Great practice. Monologues or visual presentations (i.e. mimes) are great practice for writing internal thought and descriptions.

Skit writing can be compared to short stories or flash fiction. In the same way flash fiction helps you write tighter novels, skit writing is good practice for writing tight in preparation to write a screenplay.

I’ve sent off my completed project to the pastor’s wife and if it goes well I may just be submitting it for publication.

And just so you know. If you have ever written even one skit you can call yourself a writer.