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"Seekerville" - 5 new articles

  1. Keep Your Story Moving Forward by Guest Cheryl St.John
  2. How to Cozy Up A Cozy Mystery! by Guest Larissa Reinhart
  3. Speculating on Speculative Writing
  4. Backstory: Where to Draw the Line -- Missy Tippens
  5. The Weekend Edition
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search Seekerville
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Keep Your Story Moving Forward by Guest Cheryl St.John

 
Cheryl St.John
A lot of writers have had trouble reading Dwight Swain’s book. I did for a while, too. It kept putting me to sleep. But as a new writer, I was hungry for the principles it held, hungry for the education, and so I persevered. Finally, after many tries, a light bulb went off over my head and I understood what his teaching was telling me. I got it! I saw the techniques in every book I had ever loved. And my writing changed forever.
 
Everything that happens in your story, every piece of information learned, every obstacle faced, every conversation, should propel the story toward the conclusion—something I learned and took to heart from Techniques of the Selling Writer. Keep your character's goal in mind. Everything should impact the main character and his goal. Make things worse for him. Make sure that all the changes that happen complicate things. Box him in. Impede his goal. Each obstacle should change things for the character
 
> Change forces your character to adjust. Change won’t let him stand still. Your character must react to what is happening. Your character needs a reason why he can’t simply quit. At each disaster ask, "Why doesn't the character quit?" and you should have a powerful reason why. The reader will lose interest in a character that is fighting without good cause. Your hero is only as strong as the villain or the force opposing his goals.
 
> Make the stakes high enough to fight for. Each person in the story should have something at stake that makes him willing to fight. Increase intensity. Drag your character further and further from his goal.
 
> Make sure the conflicts are important—life threatening or life changing to your character. Remember anything can be important. We’ve all seen entire movies based on saving a single tree or a coffee shop or an animal. Your job is to use the focal character to show the reader why he should care and make him believe. If it’s important to your story person and the reader cares about that person, then the outcome is important to the reader. Show the reader why he should care. Never forget for a minute that your story is about feelings.
 
> Box in your character. Keep whittling away until you take away his choices. Take away the heroine's options, run down the clock, increase the degree of the threat, make each action result in a dead end. This forces your story person to make a choice between two specific courses of action. Keep the reader guessing. Turn an assumption on its head. Slam the hero with a disastrous surprise. Kill off someone. Crush a dream. Do anything to keep the reader turning pages and wondering what will happen next.
 
> Balance peaks of action with valleys of introspection or humor. Hook the reader with action, but allow him to catch his breath before you drag him back into the dilemma. You want a peak and valley pace that will keep the tension from exhausting your reader. At the same time, never end a scene or a chapter without a hook or a dilemma so that your header is forced to keep going.
 
> In action scenes use short sentences and vivid words. Use longer sentences and a gentler story rhythm to slow the pace. Choose your words carefully, and contrast them with the tension of the peak that happened just before. Give the character something to ponder. After the action of the previous scene, make the character figure out what to do next. This is a good time to show who your story person really is because of his thinking process and his courageous or wise or heart-felt decisions. Change of viewpoint dissolves tension, so explore another person’s reactions.
 
> Don't use trivial scenes or conversations just to impart information. Too often I see new writers having their character tell another character something that they both already know, just to get the info into the story. Fill your scenes with true conflict and action, and end them with a disaster or dilemma.
Click to Buy on Amazon
 
> Don’t rehash. And I know we hear repetition in classes and we often repeat things in real conversation, but don’t repeat yourself. Remember readers aren’t dummies. They got it the first time. You’ll insult your reader, or at the very least, irritate him with repetition. If there’s a television show you’re invested in, take note of how quickly events happen and how you can miss something important if you miss an episode or a scene. Yes, some things are repeated for effect, but that is mostly for the sake of characterization. For example, I think Meredith Gray and Christina Yang, started the whole “Seriously? Seriously,” thing when the show premiered ten seasons ago. And several times Meredith herself says she’s all “dark and twisty.” But for the most part, don’t have your character thinking the same thing in chapter six that she thought in chapter three. If it’s something important that characterizes and makes a point, showthe dilemma or personality trait in a different way to emphasize.
 
Seriously, if you don’t have a copy of Techniques of the Selling Writer, do yourself a favor and order one now. It’s a training manual for writers.
 
And guess who is speaking at the Writers Digest Conference in NYC this August? I am still incredulous over the invitation and will appreciate your prayers for the trip. Sherri Shackelford is joining me, and I am so thankful and excited. Neither of us have been to NYC, so we’re going to enjoy every minute. Thank you, friends, for helping to make Writing With Emotion Tension & Conflict a popular book among writers! So many of you have recommended it. It has an average 5 star rating on amazon. I am completely humbled and grateful.
Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a Kindle copy of any book of your choice of Cheryl's.
xoxo
    


How to Cozy Up A Cozy Mystery! by Guest Larissa Reinhart

Mystery writer and Seekerville guest blogger,
Larissa Reinhart
Debby Giusti here! 

I'm excited to introduce today's guest blogger, talented author and dear friend, Larissa Reinhart. Many of you will recognize her name from frequent visits to Seekerville. Larissa sold her first book, Portrait of a Dead Guy, soon after hearing about our blog. Of course, we can't take credit for her sale, but we can celebrate her success and the release of her fourth humorous mystery, Death in Perspective, this June. Larissa's books feature Cherry Tucker, a struggling artist turned amateur sleuth, and a crazy cast of characters who hail from a small town in Georgia where zany is normal and dead bodies pop up as sure as dandelions. Her stories contain adult content, but lean more to PG-13 rather than R-rated. Join me in welcoming today's guest blogger, award-winning mystery author, Larissa Reinhart.


Hello, Seekerville. *waves* Long time fan, first time poster! I’ve got my coffee, since I know y’all start early! I’m very happy to be here!

Like romance, the mystery genre is fast growing and contains a lot of sub-genres. Many readers like a light dollop of humor, romance, and suspense in their books, which has meant an explosion of cozy mysteries in the market. In the most basic sense, a cozy has an amateur sleuth solving a mystery that’s more puzzler than thriller. Generally, the setting is small town, the characters are quirky, and the violence is off-page. Think Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, who made the genre famous. Or Jessica Fletcher of Murder She Wrote.

There’s a blending of genres in mystery just like you see in other genre fiction, and because bookstores and libraries need categories, many mysteries are called cozy by publishers. This was the case for me and many of my mystery writing friends. I thought I was writing a humorous, romantic mystery series. Well, I did and am. But it’s a bit long of a title for a sub-genre category! In today’s market, it falls into the cozy category. Cozy mysteries themselves have broadened in their scope. On the shelves today, you can find mysteries with paranormal, humorous, chick-lit, treasure hunters, urban, culinary, crafter, animal (there’s a whole section in Amazon dedicated to cat mysteries), and more as subjects.

So how do you know if you’re writing a cozy? Its easier to define what is NOT a cozy. It’s not hard-boiled or noir (gritty and dark, like The Maltese Falcon). It’s not a suspense or thriller (where the protagonist is pursued, like in The DaVinci Code). Or even romantic suspense because romance is a subplot at best in a cozy, not evenly balanced with the suspense (like Debby Giusti’s The Colonel’s Daughter). It’s not a detective (Sherlock Holmes), because the sleuth is generally amateur, although the amateur can be paired with a detective. It’s definitely not a police procedural (like Tony Hillerman's or Ed McBain’s cop books). And not a courtroom drama (like John Grisham’s) or medical mystery (Patricia Cornwell’s Dr. Scarpetta).

Where you didn’t find rough language or sex in a cozy, those are creeping in as well. However, Malice Domestic, the annual traditional mystery fan convention, defines “traditional” mystery as one that doesn’t have any explicit sex or excessive gore or violence. If you are a mystery writer, I highly recommend attending Malice Domestic (always the first weekend in May in the Washington DC area) to get a sense of all the different types of traditional mysteries out there, which are generally called cozies now, much to the chagrin of some of the authors.
Larissa (far right) took part in a panel at Malice Domestic, entitled,
The Art of Death: When Music and Painting Lead to Murder, with
authors (L to R) C. Ellet Logan, Kave George, Peter Lovesey,
and Karen Mcinerney.
Are you ready to write your cozy? Generally, these are the hallmarks that an agent or editor will look for in a cozy. And I say generally, because as you see above a lot of rules are being broken!

    <---[endif]-->Around 80,000 words, give or take five to ten thousand.

    <---[endif]-->Usually first person, whereas traditional suspense is third. It’s important for the reader to solve the mystery along with your sleuth. Cozies are a puzzle more than a suspense.

    <---[endif]-->Tone is light. Murder is heavy, but because the violence is off-stage, you have room for humor both in your character’s voice, side characters, and situations. Light humor balances the darker subject of the crime.

    <---[endif]-->An amateur sleuth with some kind of profession or hobby that lends them to crime solving.

    <---[endif]-->Setting traditionally is small, however it doesn’t have to be a small town. I like to think “tight” rather than “small.” Murder on the Orient Express was on a train. In order to expand from killing off everyone in Halo, Georgia, where my character lives, I’ve had her solve mysteries at a private school, a festival, and now at a hunting lodge.

    <---[endif]-->Side characters tend to be quirky.

    <---[endif]-->Crime solving is generally done by gathering clues, listening to gossip, and deductive reasoning. Forensics aren't a part of your sleuth’s job, although your protagonist might have a friend on the force who provides that information.

    <---[endif]-->Red herrings are a must. However, they can’t be so outlandish that the reader has no way to solve the crime.

    <---[endif]-->Publishers prefer series, which means your protagonist doesn't have a big character arc like you see in a stand-alone romance or suspense. You can have series arcs, though.

    <---[endif]-->Romance is a subplot. You don’t have to have any romance, although many do. And because cozies are generally a series, you can have a longer series arc with the romance, building it book by book (which readers love, including me!).

These are only the basics to get your cozy writing on track. I recommend joining groups like Sisters in Crime(SinC) and Mystery Writers of America (MWA), that also have local chapters. I’m in Kiss of Death, the online mystery and suspense group for Romance Writers of America. Other popular conferences and conventions, besides Malice Domestic (www.malicedomestic.org), are Sleuthfest, sponsored by MWA’s Florida chapter (http://www.mwaflorida.org/sleuthfest.htm); Bourchercon (http://bouchercon2014.com/); Killer Nashville (http://www.killernashville.com/); and Left Coast Crime (http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/2014/). There’s a host of other ones, look in your area.

The best thing you can do to write a cozy is read the genre. Any of you writing a mystery? I gave you the basics, but would be happy to answer any questions. What mysteries do you enjoy reading? For some lucky person who comments, I’ll send an e-book of any in my Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The fourth in the series, Death in Perspective, releases June 24th! 

After teaching in the US and Japan, Larissa loves writing sassy female characters with a penchant for trouble. The first in the Cherry Tucker Mystery series (Henery Press), PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist. STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW, HIJACK IN ABSTRACT, and DEATH IN PERSPECTIVE (June 2014) follow, with the prequel novella, QUICK SKETCH, in the 2013 anthology, HEARTACHE MOTEL.  Larissa lives near Atlantawith her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Find her on her website (http://larissareinhart.com/) or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RisWrites), Twitter (@RisWrites), Goodreads, and Pinterest (LarissaReinhart).

Debby again...

Head to the breakfast bar for Southern delights, including made-to-order eggs, Virginia baked ham, biscuits and gravy, fresh Georgia peaches and grits. The coffee's hot. Grab a cup and take time to chat with Larissa. 

Leave a comment to be included in a drawing for one of her books, digital format. I'm adding a second drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card. Now join me in making Larissa feel right at home!


    

Speculating on Speculative Writing


By Dawn Ford
Steampunk Dawn Ford
What do dragons, time machines, and God have in common? You might be surprised to discover they fall in the category of Speculative Fiction. When people ask me what I write and I tell them Speculative Fiction, they scrunch their brows and say, “What?” So, I’m here to try and take the speculation out of Speculative Fiction.

What are we really talking about when someone says Speculative Fiction? Fantastical in nature, this term encompasses genres such as Fantasy, Horror, Spiritual Warfare, and Utopian/Dystopian fiction. Simplified, Spec Fic is a sibling to Sci-Fi wherein a story, whether modern day, furturistic or historical, gets thrown together with some elements of an alternative nature. This speculation of time/world/nature turns the ordinary into extraordinary and thus becomes Speculative Fiction.  

Because of this, a story that is Spec Fic needs certain elements to be placed under this large umbrella of vastly different genres. Magic, time travel, alternative realities, non-human species or entities, a non-earthly world, or elements bent and stretched beyond the norm can be used to set your story apart from a “regular” fiction or even Sci Fi work.

Spec Fic claims hybrid genres such as Steampunk. Steampunk is a genre taken from a historical period of time (mid-eighteenth century) to magnify a certain aspect of that time (the use of steam over industrial technology) and uses it to tell a story. Think the movie Sherlock Holmes which stars Robert Downey Jr., whose exceptional ability to think ahead in the action helps him fight brilliant and resourceful villains. This in itself is a bit of a stretch in human ability even for a genius such as Sherlock. Mix that together with the use of weaponry and/or inventions dripping with a 19th Century retro-futuristic flair. That’s Steampunk.

Utopian/Dystopian stories have been on an upswing in the past few years as well, especially in Young Adult novels. Utopian: a perfect society vs. Dystopian: a partially or completely devastated society. These societies would have their own share of pros and cons, allowing a creative landscape for an author to bring about a new society, brimming with problems that would naturally arise in such an extreme world. Think The Hunger Games for dystopian and Divergent for Utopian.

Thanks to publishers such as Marcher Lord Press, Oak Tara, Port Yonder Press, and Splashdown Books, and the rise of Splickety and Havok magazines, the Speculative genre has gone from speculation to reality. At least a fictional kind of reality.

The Faith and Fantasy Alliance with the support of SpeculativeFaith.com have even spurred their own conference, aptly named Realm Makers. The 2013 conference had an overwhelming response, even though it was their first year. The 2014 conference, RM’s second, promises to be bigger and better with Tosca Lee as the keynote speaker. It also features the Clive Staples Award, given to the best published Speculative novel of the year. All of this shows how Speculative Fiction is becoming recognized by the publishing industry and seeing a growth in popularity.

Because of the diversity in genres, I could go on for days about the nuances that frame Spec Fic, but I’m sure you’ll be glad to know I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to strap on my goggles and go
tune up my time machine while you decide if I’ve taken some of the speculation out of Speculative Fiction for you.

For more information on Faith and Fantasy Alliance go here
or Realm Maker’s 2014 Conference, go here.  


~~~~~
Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a $25 Amazon eGift Card
~~~~~
Dawn Ford lives nestled among the Loess Hills in Western Iowa. Her passion is in fantasy but she also loves small town drama. Dawn is a member of ACFW, SCWBI, and blogs with nine other Christian women on www.inkspirationalmessages.com.
Follow her on Pinterest : http://www.pinterest.com/sweatheart68/
    


Backstory: Where to Draw the Line -- Missy Tippens


Backstory: Where to Draw the Line
Missy Tippens

I was recently talking with a new writer about backstory, and it reminded me of my first online writing class that I took way back in about 1995. Anyone remember the AOL romance writing boards and the online classes that were offered there years ago? I took my first class from Brenda Hiatt. She jumped in talking about backstory, and I immediately waved my virtual hand for the teacher’s attention, and had to ask what that was.

For any new writers who are raising your hands like I did, take a quick jaunt over to read a nice list of writing terms Janet Dean put together in a previous post. Click here to visit. Then please come back!

Now, back to backstory...

Backstory is a character's history, anything that happened to the character before the story started, anything that helped shape who he/she is. This is information that will affect how we write our characters, so we as the author need to know it.

What was his childhood like? What was his birth order? Was his childhood happy, or did a parent die or abandon him? 
What was high school like? Was she popular? Or did she not fit in? 
Did she date the football jock or the bad boy? Or did she prefer to stay home and read? 
Did he go to college? Or did he go into the military or go straight to work for his dad? 
Did she love her hometown, or was she dying to escape to somewhere else? 
Has she ever been in love? Did she fall hard for someone who cheated on her or dumped her for her best friend? Did she love her best friend, but he didn’t feel the same? 
Did he date a social butterfly who dumped him because he would never be able to provide her with what she was accustomed to? 
Is she happy with her current job? Or is she miserable and wanting to get away to somewhere new? 
Is he coming off a recent breakup? Or did he give up on love years ago? Or has he dated every single woman in town, only to realize no one can replace the one true love who died years ago? 
Has she just found out she has a new boss? Or has her friend just fixed her up on a date with a real hunk? 
Has he just run into his old best buddy from middle school—and she’s now gorgeous? Or maybe he’s run into his nemesis, the woman who got him fired from his last job.


SO MUCH TO CONSIDER! SO MUCH FUN TO BE HAD!

The problem with all this really cool backstory information, though, is that we have to eventually choose where the story is going to start—thus how much is going to be designated as backstory, and how much is going to be part of what we include in our story.

Of course, this all depends on the form you want your story to take. Some stories switch nicely from present to past, or start in the present with one scene and then jump to the past to show how they got there. But in this post, I’m talking about stories that are basically linear, starting in one place and then moving forward.

Generally, I look at the big moment of change for my protagonist, the inciting incident, and start the story right before that moment. I try to make sure the inciting incident happens in the first few pages (often, on the first page).

Once you decide where to start the story, then everything before that is backstory.

Now, the question becomes... WHAT DO I DO WITH THE BACKSTORY???



One thing you don’t want to do is a backstory dump. Sure, you need to know this past information to write real characters, characters who have flaws and wounds. But you don’t want to start out giving that information in one long chunk or you’ll lose your reader.

Thinking about how I try to handle this, I’ve come up with some tips.

Tip #1
Show just the right amount of the character’s past in the opening scene so that the reader understands what’s at stake, and so the reader can bond with a character.

I’ve been guilty of not showing enough of this. My editor has had to ask for more. But on my most recent book (turned in last month) I needed to remove some of the past thoughts from my opening because my editor felt the heroine already looked half in love with the hero (not good for the level of romantic conflict if she’s already in love).

Let’s make up a scenario to play with in this post... If your heroine was once in love with the hero, and he suddenly appears in town as her new boss (the inciting incident), don’t dump in a page of backstory that summarizes all that happened between them. Instead, quickly (and briefly) show in her thoughts or through dialogue how he hurt her in the past. This will clue in the reader that it’s not just another day at the office. And it’ll also make the reader feel sympathy for the heroine. So a few thoughts or lines of dialogue can do double duty.

And don’t dump everything else in there about her childhood or family angst or other loves. Which leads to...

Tip #2
Only show what is necessary for the reader to know WHEN it’s necessary for the reader to know.

Maybe later in the story, the reader needs to know that the reason the hero rejected the heroine was because her father threatened him (maybe she was rich and he was the poor kid across the tracks). Once the reader needs to know this information, thenyou can weave it through with their dialogue and thoughts. Or maybe introduce a new character—her father.

Tip #3
Avoid flashbacks when possible.

I know, I know. We could debate this topic for a week. But my suggestion for new writers is that often, you don’t really need the flashback. It can be much more effective to keep the story active in the present and have the characters talk about what happened in the past. If you show their conversation, you’ve got even more conflict from the present to add to the scene.

Using my made up heroine and her new boss, the hero who broke her heart... Instead of using a flashback to high school where the hero is telling the heroine he’s not interested, that she must have imagined his feelings for her, use an active scene where they discuss it in the present. Maybe she’s angry about something that happened at work, and she tells him she must have imagined that she put the file on his desk. And he can immediately remember that moment years ago when he broke her heart, can feel regret for the pain he caused. Or if you’re in her point of view, she can see the recognition on his face, and feel good that he knows he hurt her. This way, it’s more fun for readers, because they get to stay in the current story yet see a little more of the hurtful past revealed.

Photo credit: iStock_0000015839


Tip #4
Start a story where it really needs to be started, and don’t be tempted to write a prologue unless you have a REALLY good reason to. (You can look back at this recent post on whether to use prologues from WinnieGriggs.) 

Personally, I like to read prologues. But I still feel I need to warn against using one without a good reason—and it’s for the same reason I gave in tip #3. You want the reader to stay in an active, present story. Why? Because the outcome of the current problem is what’s important to readers. They want to see the characters facing trials, overcoming, growing, changing and winning. Events that already happened in the past...well, they’ve already happened and can’t be changed (unless you’re writing time travel!). :)

If you’ve written a prologue already, consider whether there are places in your story where you could feed in that information in bits of dialogue or thoughts. Could keeping that prologue a mystery even help your story? Maybe you could open your story hinting at an event in the past so the reader will want to keep reading to find out what happened.

Tip #5
Not everything that happened in the past is relevant.

Don’t feel like you have to include everything you dream up about your characters in your story. Use only what is going to reveal character, enhance conflict, reveal motivation, or drive character actions.

Don’t include that when the hero was five he ate Cheerios every morning for breakfast...unless it’s important. If he ate them because he likes the taste and still eats them every day, that’s probably not useful (unless it shows he never likes to vary his routine, which drives the heroine crazy). Or did he develop that habit because his mom deserted him and that’s all he could prepare for himself? That might be important in the present when he’s scared to love the heroine, afraid she’ll leave him.

Pick and choose. Use details from the past only if they’re important to the current story.

But the reverse it true as well. Go digging into these details and find some you can add to your story! Use them to enhance the conflict or characterization. Use them to add emotional depth. Use those past fears to cause bad decisions with consequences, which will show character growth.

And HAVE FUN WITH IT!

Today, I’d love to hear what details from your characters’ backstory that you’ve used to enhance the present story. Do you use flashbacks? Do you like to read them? Please share!

GIVEAWAY! If you’d like to win a critique of your first 5 pages for how well you’ve used backstory, please let me know in the comments that you’d like to be entered!

******
Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mom of three from near Atlanta, Georgia, made her first sale to Harlequin Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been nominated for the Booksellers Best, ACFW Carol Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Maggie Award, Beacon Contest and a 2013 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A House Full of Hope was a Romance Writers of America 2013 RITA® Nominee. Her next from Love Inspired, coming in October, is The Guy Next Door. Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com.


    

The Weekend Edition

April is a busy month as Perfect Pitch entrants polish their manuscripts for literary agent Susan Brower, and Killer Voice entrants polish their suspense manuscripts! Let us know what writing you're doing in April and we'll put your name into the hat for a surprise box of books to read when you finish your endeavors. If you're a reader, tell us what you're currently reading. Winner announced in the next Weekend Edition!


We Have Winners

Please send us an email to claim your prize. (seekers@seekerville.net) See our legal page for any questions. 


 Erica Vetsch visited Seekerville  on Monday talking about "Writing in the Weeds: What to do When Your Next Contract Doesn't Come." Winner of  Sagebrush Knights is Connie Queen.

Tuesday, Abingdon Press and Heartsong Presents author Myra Johnson reminded us of the importance of celebrating small victories in her post "Celebrate every writing milestone!" The winner of her latest release, Whisper Goodbye (Till We Meet Again, book 2) is Anna Weaver (who just got married! Congratulations!).


You can’t judge a book by its cover … or can you? We joined Julie Lessman on Wednesday as she took a fun trip down her own cover memory lane, giving you a glimpse into the process of creating the perfect cover for a notorious CDQ (caffeinated drama queen) with her post, "You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover..or Can You?" Winner of giveaway of your choice of Julie’s books is Lori (A Scrap Mom's Musings).


Ruth Logan Herne talked about "Real Life Research: Staying Open to Possibilities," on Thursday,and how every annoying aspect of life can be turned into a tax deductible learning experience! Winners of her newest 4-Star Love Inspired (soon to be released!!!) book Loving the Lawman are Helen, Suzy, Jackie, LeAnne Bristow, Heidi Robbins, Vicki Marney, Paula Mowery, Jeri Hoag, Becky, and Jackie Smith.
 


"A Trekkie's Take on the Trek to Publication," by author and Star Trek fan Sharon Srock was shared on Friday, with a cosmic perspective on writing principals that just might help you “go boldly” into a writing career. Winner of The Women of Valley View: Pam, is Jeanne T.



Next Week In Seekerville

Monday: Love Inspired author Missy Tippens brings you "Backstory: Where to Draw the Line." Ever wonder what backstory is? Trying to figure out how much to include? Join us on Monday! Missy will be giving away a critique of one winner's first five pages with backstory in mind.


Tuesday: What do dragons, time machines, and God have in common? You might be surprised. Dawn Ford will be in Seekerville on Wednesday talking about Speculative Fiction. Commenters will get their name in a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card.


Wednesday: Love Inspired Suspense author Debby Giusti hosts humorous mystery writer Larissa Reinhart who will blog about cozy mysteries and give away one of her award-winning books. Stop by to learn more about the cozy genre.


Thursday: Cheryl St.John will be here today to talk about how to keep your story moving forward--Everything that happens in your story, every piece of information learned, every obstacle faced, every conversation, should propel the story toward the conclusion. Cheryl will give away one Kindle copy of any book of her books the winner selects.


Friday: Love Inspired author Tina Radcliffe is your heroine today, with her post "Five Things I Learned About Writing From Jack Reacher." Of course there's an amazing giveaway. 


 Seeker Sightings

Be sure to share your own sightings and news in the comments and on our Facebook page.  


Mary Connealy is on the February ECPA Bestseller list TWICE with A Match Made in Texas and Alaska Brides. It is not lost on Mary that these books are listed under other author's names. Still, YAY!


AND Mary Connealy fulfills her life long dream of being on Wikipedia!  Mary also confirms her life long dreams are modest.






You heard it here first! According to Tyndale's April Fiction First e-Newsletter, Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman is a BEST SELLER!  Also, don't forget to enter Pam's Kindle giveaway at www.pamhillman.com Lots of chances to win, including liking Seekerville on Facebook and following Seekerville on Twitter!



Monday, April 14, visit Shannon Vannatter's blog and meet Mary McClarney, the heroine of Whisper Goodbye, Myra Johnson's latest release from Abingdon Press. In this character interview, you'll get a peek into Mary's romantic dreams and find out just what she sees in the mercurial but oh-so-handsome Gilbert Ballard.






Then on Tuesday and Wednesday, Myra will share more about her recent books, including Whisper Goodbye and Pearl of Great Price, and the writing life in general on the Novel PASTimes blog.



 





 
Be sure and look for Sandra Leesmith's blog tour for Love's Promises, starting April 21 at  Seasons of Humility.  Check the Season's of Humility site for the tour schedule. 


  Sandra Leesmith enjoyed Desert Dreams conference at Tempe Mission Palms. The best part was connecting with other authors. 

Sandra Leesmith & Pam Tracy

Seeker friend, Barbara White Dialle  with Alison Delaine

Marion Ekhom & Connie Flynn

Roz Denny Fox signs her Heartwarming books.


 Random News & Information


Luncheon Details here





















Dear Soon To Be Published Author (Writer Unboxed)


The Complete Guide to Query Letters That Get Manuscript Requests (Jane Friedman)


The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now (Mashable)


London Book Fair 2014: Howey Champions DIY Publishing (Publishers Weekly)


Synopsis Writing (Writers Digest)


 The 5 Qualities You Need To Successfully Self-Publish Your Book (The Future of Ink)


Amazon Pays Its Staff Up To $5,000 If They Quit — No Strings Attached (Passive Voice)


15 Ways To Improve KDP – Progress Report (Let's Get Visible)


At Harlequin UK, Joanne Grant has been promoted to senior executive editor. In addition, Pippa Roscoe moves up to associate editor and Laurie Johnson has been promoted to assistant editor.-Publisher's Lunch


Pelican Book Group is launching a new line of Christian New Adult romances. The line, to be called Pelican Pure Amore, is open for a limited time to unagented authors, who may submit their work via an online submission form. Editors are looking for sweet romances featuring characters ages 21 and 33. Characters must never have been married before, and at least one of them must be a virgin.”The hero and heroine will exhibit traditional Christian values but also should be three-dimensional and therefore exhibit flaws as well as virtues.” Manuscripts should be 40,000 to 45,000 words. Find their detailed writer’s guidelines here.-Cindi Myers Market News.


 Seekerville is JAZZED about our Night Classes:

 May is Jill Elizabeth Nelson & June is Cheryl St. John! Sign up before they fill up. Our April class if full and overflowing. 



That's it! Have a great weekend.
 
    


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