A Visit with My Favorite Novella Author Pegg Thomas

Illinois is having it’s first significant snowfall. This is a great time to cozy up with a good book. If you’ve never read a novella collection this is the perfect time to do it.  Each story can be read in a matter of hours. It’s the ideal companion with a hot beverage and a blanket. Today’s guests is one of my favorite novella writers,Pegg Thomas. I want ot pick her brain a bit about her newest project, The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection. Welcome Pegg.

Pegg and Kathy Rouser 11-3-18 close up

Pegg Thomas and Kathy Rouser at a booksigning. If you’ve been followng me you read Kathy’s story a few weeks ago.

 

Pegg, you’ve been in several Barbour novella collections. I think I’ve read them all by the way. Why write in a novella collection?

I’ve written for four Barbour novellas so far, and have a couple more proposals out to them. I didn’t actually set out to write novellas, I more or less fell into the first one. I prefer to read full-length books myself, so these never crossed my radar until God put one right in my path. He has a way of doing those things. And thank you for being a reader!

How popular are they?

I wish I knew. I know the current release, The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides, has been on Amazon’s top 100 for collections and anthologies off and on for the past few weeks, even before it released. But I don’t get any stats from the publisher as to what’s selling off the shelves in other outlets.

 

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I enjoyed this collection so much. Not being from Michigan I loved visiting the lighthouses through these stories. I discovred some new authors to follow.

 

Tell us about The Great Lakes Lighthouse Bride Collection.

This collection is my “baby.” I wanted to showcase our Great Lakes, and so I came up with the idea, contacted the other authors, and put the proposal together. Many people told me that Barbour would only take prairie romances, but I wanted to try and the rest. . .as they say. . .is now history.

How did you come up with the idea? 

I was born in Michigan and have lived here almost my entire life. I love everything Great Lakes. Our historical lighthouses, many of which are open to the public in the summer months, have always held a special place in my heart. And really, is there a more romantic setting than a lighthouse on some distant shore? I think not.

What was it like to be in charge of the production?

Nerve-wracking. I’ve always been a take-charge, get-er-done kind of person, but suddenly I had six other authors depending on me doing a good job of selling this proposal to Barbour’s publication board. Yeah. That was a bit unnerving.

How did you choose your authors?

As with any collection, you want to put together the best authors you can. I started with authors who had some connection with the Great Lakes. My agent asked me to try to field the authors from our agency, which eliminated a couple I would have liked in the project, but I think we did wind up with a very strong cast of authors. I’m particularly happy that Candice Patterson is onboard with this project. Candice and I have been critique partners for more than six years, and she’s an awesome writer. I just had to convince her to take a stab at writing historical. She did a great job with it.

Other than the lighthouses was there any other connection between the stories?

When I contacted the authors, I left it up to them where they wanted to set their stories. We have five Great Lakes and they touch two countries and eight states. Everyone “claimed” their lighthouse so we didn’t wind up with two stories set at the same place. Our stories include three of the lakes, Michigan, Superior, and Huron, and each one is set in Michigan. That was totally by chance, not design, but of course being my home state, I love it. Since lighthouses were put where they are for a reason—dangerous areas to navigate—of course there are some shipwrecks in the stories too.

As with each of my releases, I’m giving away one of my signature handspun, handknit wool shawls. This shawl is called Beacon on the Bay in honor of our lighthouse stories. The only way to get into the drawing is to subscribe to my newsletter. The drawing will be November 30th.

 

Beacon on the Bay side-front 6-11-18

Here is the shawl she’s giving away. Beacon on the Bay was not only knitted by Pegg, she spun the yarn from her own sheeps. She’s a eral pioneer woman.

 

About Pegg:

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. They raise sheep and chickens, keep a few barn cats, and Murphy the spoiled rotten dog. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” Pegg is published in the Barbour historical romance collections. Pegg also works as Managing Editor of Smitten Historical Romance, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When not working or writing, she 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.

 

Links:

Facebook 

Twitter

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Pinterest

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PeggThomas.com

Amazon

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Stitches Thru Time

Before I go I promised to post the winner of Normandie Fischer’s newest novel  The Sea Prayers  in ebook today. The winner is cydnotter. Cydnotter please contact me at cindyhuff11 (at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize.

If you stumbled across my blog this week and enjoyed it. I’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss fun interviews like this and other writerly stuff.

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A Visit with Naomi Musch

Today I’m featuring author Naomi Musch. Like me she discovered her calling to write novels later in life. Welcome, Naomi, have a seat and let’s get started. Tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

Author Naomi Musch-6

I’ve been writing since I announced to the world at ten years old that it was my intention to become an author. While I pursued that diligently and wrote in various venues over the years, publishing news articles, essays, and blog posts, it wasn’t until I was in my forties that my first novel was published. In the twelve years since, I’ve been blessed to see eleven of my novels find publishing homes.

How exciting for you to see your dream materialize. Sounds like for every year you waited you’ll soon have an equal number of books published. Tell us about your upcoming twelfth project.

I’m SUPER EXCITED to tell you that my current work is just a few days’ shy of release! On October 10th, Mist O’er the Voyageur launches, a true novel of my heart. The story is a romance set during the fur trade era among the voyageurs and fur traders of the Great Lakes, primarily between Quebec and the head of Lake Superior.  (Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter prize drawing at the end of the post!) Here’s the cover blurb:

After her aunt’s death, Métis woman Brigitte Marchal finds herself alone in Montreal. Uninterested in the convent and desperate to flee a loathsome suitor, she disguises herself as a young man to travel west by voyageurs’ brigade in search of her long-absent, fur-trader father. But her inexperience and disguise don’t hide her for long.

René Dufour yields to the unwelcome position of shielding Brigitte, but he cannot hide her identity forever. Keeping her safe while meeting his North West Company obligations and honoring his family promises may prove to be more disquieting to his heart than he imagined.

As Brigitte adjusts to the voyageur life on Lake Superior, she struggles to justify the faith she grew up in with the mysticism around her, but greater still is the conflict her heart must settle over who to trust in this rugged, unfamiliar country. 

Can’t wait to read it. As a history geek and a writer of historicals I want to know how you did research for your book?

I live in the Lake Superior region, and I’ve known some history of the voyageurs and area forts and fur trade history for a long, long time. Years ago, I read a YA novel called Song of the Voyageur written in the 1950s by Wisconsin author Beverly Butler, and I started falling more in love with the period. It was such a beautiful story.  I wish I could get my hands on that book again! Then about twenty years ago, we took our children to visit Fort William near Thunder Bay in Canada, and took part in that “living history” experience. Something spoke to even me then about setting scenes of a story there someday. As someone who loves research, I found more information in library books and online than I could ever use, and I had to figure out what would be important to leave in the story and what wouldn’t. Besides researching the route of the voyageurs from Montreal to the forts at the head of Lake Superior, I also used Google earth (of all things!) to help me map the journey (realizing, of course, that some topography has changed since the early 1800s).

Sounds like you had fun researching. Now, I love to learn what inspires writers. So, Naomi what inspired you to write your book?

I think it was my love of the period combined with having written a different novel that sort of related. My first novel was called The Casket Girl, a tale about the “King’s Girls” who were sent by King Louis of France to encourage population of New France (Canada & Louisiana in the 1700s). I had planned to write a sequel set in Canada, but as I continued my research, the story began to morph into something else entirely. I can’t tell you just where the idea came from, but it was seeded sometime back then. A lot of the plotting took place from a cold deer stand one snowy November.

A deer stand…well, I’ve never heard that before. How interesting. Writers do get their inspiration at odd times and unusual places. When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

As I mentioned before, I was ten years old. I’d already ruled out becoming a ballerina or an architect. Writing stories allowed me to become anything I wanted to be. (And I’m humming “In my own little corner, in my own little room, I can be whatever I want to be” as I write that. –Cinderella, Rogers & Hammerstein) LOL! Love it.

Obviously, you love music, do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

Oh… so many! Psalm 40:1-3 sums up my life’s testimony — and I think it has subconsciously summed up the lives of some of my characters as well:

“I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.”

Let’s take another turn in this interview. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

There are probably many things I wish I’d known about writing and doing the work of a writer when I was younger, but most importantly, I would tell myself, “Do not procrastinate! Submit, submit, and submit again!” I think there were too many times I stopped too soon.

I can so relate.

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

My best support system is my family. My husband Jeff allows me as much room as I want to pursue my love for writing. He knows that no matter what becomes of it, it’s what God gave me to do. I believe God is pleased when I practice the gift He’s given. My five adult kids, too, are very supportive. They don’t even like to ask for babysitting if they know I’m in the throes of a work-in-progress. They’re all very sweet and encouraging. I also belong to a fantastic writers group called the Upper St. Croix Writers.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

My heart beats strongest for historical fiction with a strong romantic thread. The more realistic and rugged the story, the better I like it.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I write from an easy chair in my living room. I gave up working at a desk in 2007 when I hurt my back. However, when the weather holds, my very favorite place to write is in my vintage camper. The atmosphere is cozy and quaint, and though it still needs some work, I find it a very peaceful place to hole up and let my imagination fly while a story takes focus. While I’m in there, I manage to stay free of the distractions of housework that always beckon.

Sounds wonderful. Thanks so much for stopping by. Tell us what coool gift we get fro signing up for your newsletter and your drawing and how my readers can sign up for a chance to win.

Those who sign up for Naomi’s newsletter will receive her award-winning short story Ellie Hollis Gets Her Man in the November issue.

OFFICIAL Mist Cover (2)

DRAWING!

Naomi will give away THREE eCopies of Mist O’er the Voyageur in October, one each on the 10th, 17th, and 24th of the month. On the 31st she’ll give away a Grand Prize Package which includes: a Signed Paperback Copy of Mist O’er the Voyageur, 8×10 watercolor print “Estuary” by northland artist Viola LaBounty, Philippians 4:13 Blue Soul Scrips Flex-Cover Journal, Flowered Note Card Set, and Miscellaneous Swag.

Use the Rafflecopter to enter, and follow her blog hop for repeat chances to enter: Click on blog names to read more about Naomi and enter again.

Oct. 5: Colonial Quills

Oct. 10: More Reason to Write

Oct. 16: Stitches Thru Time

Oct. 17: Linda Brooks Davis

Oct. 27: The Over 50 Writer

Oct. 29: Linda Yezak

Oct. 30: Winner announced at naomimusch.com

Here is your first chance to enter click the link below.

[Rafflecopter]

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NDIzMGJhZDAyZDExN2NlM2UzZmZmMDgzNDFkYzcwOjI=/?

 

More about Naomi Musch

Naomi is an award-winning author who crafts her stories from the pristine north woods of Wisconsin, where she and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows near the families of their five adult children. She enjoys roaming around on the farm, snacking out of the garden, relaxing in her vintage camper, and loving on her passel of thirteen grandchildren. Naomi is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Wisconsin Writers’ Association, and the Lake Superior Writers. She is a new contributor to the Colonial Quills blog. Though she has written in a variety of venues, her great love is historical fiction. Her new novel, Mist O’er the Voyageur, releases from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in October 2018 and is available for pre-order. Naomi would love to connect with you around the web. Visit her at naomimusch.com

FB: Naomi Musch – Author

Twitter: @NMusch

Instagram: Naomi Musch

Goodreads: Naomi Dawn Musch

Pinterest: Naomi Musch

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/naomimusch

 

 

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Catherine Brakefield shares her writing journey

 

Cathy holding Destiny's Whirlwind Never, never give up! I am living my dream-come-true in my Destiny saga! Swept into Destiny was published in May 2017, and this is Destiny’s Whirlwind debut! Destiny of Heart is scheduled for late 2018, with Waltz with Destiny for spring of 2019.

Looking back, I can see the hand of God orchestrating the events leading up to this Destiny saga, and the people who helped make my dream come true.

 

I grew up with free technical apparatuses: black and white television set, no computers, no internet, and, would you believe—no cell phones. If I wanted three dimensional characters, I read a book. The rhyming sonnet of words and flowing musical notes of the written language captivated me, but I never dreamt I’d become a writer!

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I entered the job force after high school and went to night-school for college, focusing on business. I acquired a secretarial position and worked my way up the corporate ladder to purchasing director. Meanwhile, I wrote stories. I was an avid Jesus follower. I never missed Billy Graham on television.

I married a wonderful man. Then three years later, became pregnant. While reading Decision Magazine one day, I noted a writing competition. I entered and won a trip to the Billy Graham headquarters, which was then in Minneapolis, MN., for the Billy Graham School for Christian Writers. My daughter was born four months later. I left my job to be a stay-at-home mom, planning to write the great American novel!

Then my grandmother came to live with us. Gran had severe rheumatoid arthritis. Later, she had a stroke, shingles, an amputation, and another stroke. My writing took a detour into the inner recesses of my file cabinet. Baby bottles, diapers, special care for Gran, and doctor visits took over.

Little did I know I was now enrolled in God’s School of Christian Learning. From those twelve years Gran lived with my family, the inspiration of this Destiny saga evolved, and the idea of writing a faith-based epic historical romance formed.

Destiny's Whirlwind Final (1)

Beginning in the Antebellum Era this four book saga transports readers into the Civil War, Gibson Era, Spanish-American War, World War I, Great Depression, the Big Band Era, and through World War II.

My books did not arrive without conflict. I would often pray, arguing with God! I wanted my characters to be the perfect individuals like I wanted in myself, my husband, and my children. God let me know—that was not His plan.

Take courage! We serve an awesome God who carries my imperfect characters through their mishaps into a heart-wrenching climax!

What has been the outcome so far for Destiny’s Whirlwind?

Some of my readers have bought more than one book. One reader, when purchasing Destiny’s Whirlwind told me that her teenage son is reading Swept into Destiny for his history and literature class. She asked me if my publisher would consider making two different covers. Her teenager wanted to take it with him to class,but didn’t want to carry around a book that had a girl on the cover.

My readers are as diverse as my characters. And come back each time for my next book, like my Amish friend.

I am blessed by my publisher, Tamara Clymer; editor, Debra L. Butterfield; and agent, Cyle Young who have stood by me in this adventure to do God’s will. Yes, my characters are flawed, some more than others. I obeyed God and by writing of my characters’ constant failures, I witnessed—the love of an unfailing God!

  Destiny’s Whirlwind, Book 2: Bound by her words… Collina McConnell promises her dying father to uphold the legacy of their Kentucky estate. Rough Rider Franklin Long offers his help. War is declared and he leaves for Cuba. He holds the key to her heart, but will he return? As Collina fights to keep her promise to her father, the words of Esther 8:6 ring in her thoughts. “How can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people?” https://www.amazon.com/Destinys-Whirlwind-Destiny-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07C6NSCSZ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1524488271&sr=8-2&keywords=catherine+ulrich+brakefield

Swept into Destiny Book 1: One brave decision leads to serious consequences. Maggie Gatlan is secretly educating the slaves at Spirit Wind Manor when she meets Ben McConnell, an Irish immigrant. Civil War erupts and Maggie must choose. Does she care more for Ben or for her beloved South? https://www.amazon.com/Swept-Destiny-Catherine-Ulrich-Brakefield-ebook/dp/B0719RRHXG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524488327&sr=8-1&keywords=catherine+ulrich+brakefield

 

Wilted Dandelions The story begins in 1837. Rachael Rothburn is a high-spirited woman who feels she doesn’t need a husband. She wants to become a missionary and travel out west to share the salvation message with Native Americans. Jonathan Wheaton desires the same. They agree on a marriage of convenience and in the process of co-existing, they discover God doesn’t create coincidences—He designs possibilities. https://www.amazon.com/Wilted-Dandelions-Catherine-Ulrich-Brakefield-ebook/dp/B01349SZKA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1524488327&sr=8-4&keywords=catherine+ulrich+brakefield

Bio:

Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing!”

Catherine is an award-winning author of faith-based historical romance Wilted Dandelions. Her new Destiny series begins with Swept into Destiny. The second of her four-book Destiny series Destiny’s Whirlwind has just been released.

She has written two pictorial history books: Images of America: The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County.

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books True Stories of Extraordinary Answers to Prayer,  Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door, Horse of my Heart, and Dogs/Rescue scheduled for October, 2018 publication; CrossRiver Media Publishers, The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise; Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to me Today.

Catherine Brakefield

She is a longtime Michigan resident; she enjoys horseback riding, swimming, traveling the byroads across America, and spoiling her two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters! She lives with her husband of 45 years and their Arabian horses in the picturesque hills of Addison Township.  Visit her at CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com; Facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield; and her blog; Hopes, Hearts and Hoofbeats.

www.CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com

Download a free bonus chapter from my publisher, CrossRiver Media.

Blog:  www.Hopes,HeartsandHoofbeats

Author Facebook:  www.Facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield

Twitter: www.cubrakefield.com

Linkedln:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherine-brakefield-4710b315/

I very much enjoy Catherine’s books and look forward to the next installment. 

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Why I’m Excited about my Audio Book

audio-1867121_640This week I’ve been listening to the audio version of my novel Secrets & Charades. I’m excited about the prospect of a new audience for my novel. My reader, Meghan Kelly, is doing a wonderful job of bringing to life the story of Evangeline and Jake.

Several friends and at least one family member prefer audio books. Therefore, marketing to listeners is a good idea. Who are these listeners? There are commuters, those driving to work or taking the train. And sales persons who listen between calls. My husband’s cousin listened to a lot of books on her assembly line job. A friend of mine listens while she cleans house. Those who are blind or have brain injury also love audio books.

Some may ask why I didn’t record the book myself.

Three simple reasons

  • Publisher offered it
  • Although I love reading out loud—even doing voices, turn on a recorder and I stumble a lot. I get frustrated doing over my voice mail message.
  • I lack the proper equipment.secret-charades-front-cover

Advantages of using a professional narrator

  • They have “the voice” for the job
  • They have the professional equipment, eliminating unnecessary background noises.
  • They have a following of readers who love their narration
  • Together, we double our marketing stream.

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After auditioning five narrators, Meghan Kelly had the voice that best captured my story. The combination of a wonderful story read by a woman who understands my characters adds so much to the readers experience. In my mind it’s a win-win. I’ll post the link  to my audiobook when it is available.

Meghan Kelly hs

Here’s some info on my narrtor. I’ll be posting and interview with Meghan once the audiobook is available.

PLEASE!  Like my Facebook Page!!
e-mail: mustsing71@hotmail.com
Direct hire link: https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A2FDC5ZS8UJAMN

Share your experiences with Audio books. I’d love to hear them.

 

Tips for Writing a Stellar Novella Part 2

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Peg Thomas is back today to continue her tips for novella writing. Last week she talked about word count and having a complete story. There is a link at the bottom for part one if you missed it.

Timeline

Another simplification is the timeline. Where a novel may span a year or more, a novella needs to be shorter. This creates some issues with romance, since the characters won’t know each other very long. This is where the writer gets creative. In Her Redcoat, Laurette and Henry meet several times in the forest and that’s enough for them to fall in love. How is that possible? They are lonely people on the frontier. I used the time and place make it feasible.

A Pinch of historic flavor

Simplify the history and the setting. They should be a flavoring like a pinch of salt and not an all-you-can-eat buffet. If you’re writing historical you must have some history, but you’ve room for just a touch. It’s easy in a novel to let history overtake the story, and that’s a bigger danger in a novella. Your setting should be minimal, not portrayed with long, drawn out paragraphs of the sunrise or someone’s ancestral home. In some novels, the setting is almost another character, but you can’t do that in a novella.

Which scenes to cut

In any story, you should cut scenes that don’t move the story forward, but that’s critical in a novella. Even if it’s a great scene with stellar writing. Even if it’s your favorite scene. Even if your mother loves it. If it doesn’t move the story forward, it’s got to go.

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Click her to order this collect that contains Her Redcoat

Pegg has a few more tips to share so tune in for Part 3 next Tuesday and if you missed part one check it out.

 

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.

Visit Pegg Thomas on social media

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The Many Marketing Categories of Your Novel

genre1

Imagine we are in the hallway at a writer’s conference with a group of fellow-writers. We’ve been discussing highlights of the event and throwing out snippets of knowledge. Small incomplete bits that need further information. My post today is a snippet. One I need to understand more fully but thought you might find interesting. Or better yet you might have thorough knowledge and could share in the comments.

Marketing snippet

Here is my factoid about marketing. I’ve noticed it as I complete my second author kit for my upcoming Contemporary Romance. I’ve heard it mention by many publishers. I’m still a bit confused.

Authors define the genre their book falls in before they begin writing. We use that tag to focus our words toward those readers. This is the general category our book would be marketed in. Secrets & Charades is a Romance. More specifically a Historical Romance.

For marketing purposes, it can be placed in a variety of other categories. Because of its faith theme.

  • Christian Fiction
  • Christian Historical Fiction
  • Christian Romance
  • Clean Romance
  • Christian
  • Inspirational
  • Religious

Because of the cowboys:

  • Western Romance
  • American Western Romance

Amazon allows you to list your book under three categories. My understanding (this is where I remind you this is my hearsay in the hall) if you change the listing you could increase your sales. If a historical novel were a secular romance it might be categorized under some additional categories steamy romance, erotic romance, sexy romance.

Some of the categories cross over as far as audience appeal. If a prospective reader loves Historical Romance with lots of heat my novel might not be their cup of tea. But then again, they might love it because the storyline engages them.

My upcoming contemporary romance can be listed under Romance.

And because of its faith theme:

Christian Romance

Inspirational

My hero has a prosthetic leg so we can add Wounded Warrior Romance (yes, it is a thing).

It might even be classified under categories that appeal to dog lovers. My hero has a service dog.

Don’t choose wrong categories

Although we narrow our genre focus while we write our story we want to be sure we are marketing it to as broad a market as possible without missing the mark. My novels are not children’s books or sci fi. Neither contain gratuitous sex. Listing them as erotica will irritate perspective readers. (No need for angry reviews.)

Another example

A YA Sci Fi would be classified under YA fiction

Sci Fi

Fantasy

Dystopian

Again, if it has a Christian theme it might also be listed under Christian Fantasy

Christian Dystopian

Christian Sci Fi

Inspirational and Religious.

If there is a strong romance element it might be listed under YA Romance or Sci Fi Romance.

book genre cloud

Variety of categories draws more readers

Adults could find a YA book in the Sci Fi categories. Adults read YA, by the way. Men might find Secrets & Charades in the Western and my upcoming release in Wounded Warrior.

I’m too new to this publishing biz to have any idea what is the winning category. And some of the categories I mention may not be one anymore. Even so I need to have some alternative genre categories in mind to add in future marketing. And for me I leave the final decision to my publisher and my marketing gal. If your self-pub you might want to ask your successful Indie friends what they would recommend.

Okay readers, any of you have more snippets of information to share about this topic. Curious minds are desperate to know.

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Secrets & Charades book trailer:

A Visit with Novelist Janet Grunst

Today, I welcome Janet Grunst, another Jubilee Writer whose journey to publication was as long and full of life’s unexpected twists as my own. It’s a delight to have her join me today.

Janet S. Grunst 2

Share your journey with us.

In the early 80’s I wrote human interest columns for two local newspapers which got me interested in the vocation of writing. But I had a story that was germinating in my head and wondered if I could try my hand at writing stories.

I began reading books, writing fiction and asked God if that was the call I sensed He was giving me. With two very active preschool sons at home I needed to know it was His will and that He would make a way.

The Lord’s confirmation came through loud and strong and over the next year He provided the time for me to study the craft and research the historical era of the story.  I’m certain He helped me weave the tale. Then I studied how to market a manuscript to Christian publishers in an era when one didn’t need an agent. I submitted it unsuccessfully for several years.

I had to put the writing and searching for a publisher pursuit aside when life necessitated my getting full time employment to raise my sons on my own.

Many years passed, my children were grown, and my circumstances changed, including re-marriage. My husband read the story I’d written so many years before and encouraged me to once again try to get it published and continue to write.

So much had changed in the writing and publishing world in the intervening years. Lots of studying and editing ensued. I needed and found an agent who saw promise in the story and wanted to represent me. The advent of e-books, the need to have a platform, an online presence via blogging, websites, and social media required a lot of research, studying and developing a multitude of new skills.

Tell my readers, about your latest published project.

That original story, written so many years ago, was my debut novel published in December of 2016 ~ A Heart Set Free. I’m humbled and thrilled that it just won the Selah Award for Historical Romance in May.Other Cover A H S F - Copy(1)

Congratulations, Janet.

What kind of research did you do for A Heart Set Free?

When I started the story, it was in the era before the internet so I did a lot of research through libraries and reading everything I could get my hands on. I also visited an actual 18th century farm that was still operational not too many miles from my home. Since then, most of my research is via the internet or books.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

There are so many I love. Probably John 1:12 holds the most meaning.  “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” This verse truly spoke to me when my faith in Christ changed from believing in Him to also receiving Him and allowing Him to be Lord of my life. My faith traveled those critical 18 inches from my head to my heart.

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

I would tell myself to not fear writing because I couldn’t make a living at it. Do it as an avocation and see where it takes you.

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

My husband, Ken, is such an encourager and will read anything I write. He is a luthier (builds guitars) so he understands that pursuing one’s vocation often means many hours of isolation on a regular basis.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Historical fiction. 😊But I also enjoy biographies, devotionals, and other fiction as well as non-fiction.

Where is your favorite place to write? 

My desksigning my first book contract(1)

 

Here’s the back-cover blurb for A Heart Set Free

In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.

Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blonde standing on the Alexandria quay doesn’t look like much after her harrowing sea voyage, but there’s a refinement about her that her filthy clothing cannot hide. Could God be leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife?

When Matthew purchases Heather’s indenture, marries her, and takes her to his farm, she is faced with new and constant challenges. And Matthew wonders if they can ever bridge their differences and make a life together.

It is in the Virginia countryside that Heather begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and of maturing faith. Here, she discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture . . .

and love will finally set her heart free.

Author Bio

Janet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight. She lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that can communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, and bring inspiration, healing, and hope to the reader.  She is represented by Linda S. Glaz, Hartline Literary Agency

Connect with Janet Grunst:

http://JanetGrunst.com                                                                                               http://colonialquills.blogspot.com/                                                                                       https://www.facebook.com/Janet-Grunst-Author-385405948228216/

Order A Heart Set Free at the link below

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Set-Free-Janet-Grunst-ebook/dp/B01MQK0SXR/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480454877&sr=1-2&keywords=A+Heart+Set+Free

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