I went on a short book tour back in May. My tourmates were Jonathan Friesen, Lisa T. Bergren, and Lorie Ann Grover. We went to Salt Lake City, Utah and Tempe, Arizona. Here we are in front of the Salt Lake City public library.
We spoke at schools, had our signings, and I even managed to write a little. In Salt Lake signing was at the public library, which was the biggest library I’d ever seen! In Arizona, we signed at the Changing Hands bookstore. I met a lot of new friends. If you haven’t read Jonathan Friesen, Lisa T. Bergren, and Lorie Ann Grover’s books, you should.
I had the pleasure of teaching at the OYAN Summer Workshop for the second year in a row. This is a writing conference of sorts for students who have completed the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum. It’s fantastic stuff. I’ve got my own kids doing the middle school program now, and they are loving it!
I spoke on high concept ideas, creating compelling characters, fight scenes and epic battles, and query/cover letters and book proposals. My friend Jeff Gerke was there, as was my friend and agent Amanda Luedeke. The three of us, along with OYAN creator and author Daniel Schwabauer and his wife Carrol presented a mock publishing board meeting that was quite a laugh and hopefully gave the students a good idea of the process of getting a book published.
Here is a montage of some pictures I took or was tagged in from the workshop. And, yes. I did, indeed, find both a medieval helmet and a TARDIS. Very good times.
Oregon Christian Writers- August 4-7, Portland, OR
Salt Lake Comic Con- September 4-6, Salt Lake City, UT
American Christian Fiction Writers- September 24-28, St. Louis, MO
Rebels is done and ready to release in 41 days! More on the Rebels release party soon.
RoboTales, the children’s book series I wrote with my son is currently in the slush piles of five New York publishing houses. Thankfully, my agent will follow up on the project at some point, but for now, we wait.
Remember that project I started back when I had to take a break from Onyx Eyes? The Evenroot/Land’s End/Kinsman Chronicles project? Well… I’m 99% sure that the publisher is going to buy it. Yay! As soon as the contract is signed, I’ll tell you all about it. In the meantime, I’ve been hard at work on the first book. It’s an epic fantasy series, and it’s planned to release like so: book one- March 2016, book two, March 2017, and book three-March 2018.
Since that is a loooong time to wait, I’m planning some fun stuff to release before then. For years I’ve talked about writing some novellas to go with the Blood of Kings trilogy. But it’s been difficult to know when to squeeze them with non-compete clauses with my various publishers. But I am currently free from all that and can finally proceed!
The first project will be to publish six ebook novellas telling stories that happened before the Blood of Kings trilogy. I’ve got a lot of people to choose from. Here are some options: Peripaso, Shung, Caleb, Inko, Gavin, Jibhal, Nathak, Macoun, Axel, Eagan, Dara, Nitsa, Kurtz, and Kenton. Whichever stories I choose, it’s my goal that they be fresh and avoid spoiling the original trilogy. Once I’ve published all six ebook novellas, I’ll publish a print anthology containing all six stories for people who prefer print over ebooks.
And should the Er’Rets Past novella project do well, I will write two more anthologies of six stories each: Er’Rets Present and Er’Rets Future.
And that should keep me plenty busy until that third book in my new series releases in March of 2018.
For stories of the past, which characters would you like to know more about? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks so much to the bloggers who nominated Captives and to the judges for their time and efforts.
Here is some more info and the full list of winners:
JUNE 28, 2014—The INSPY Advisory Board announced today that the following books have been awarded INSPYs in their categories. Recognizing the need for a new kind of book award, the Inspy Awards — http://inspys.com — was created by bloggers to discover and highlight the very best in literature that grapples with expressions of the Christian faith. The 2014 awards season covers books published from January 1st 2013 and December 31st, 2013.
Click on each cover to learn more about the books on Amazon.com.
Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense
Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter (Thomas Nelson Publishers, May 2013)
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (Thomas Nelson Publishers, November 2013)
Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes (Tyndale House Publishers, March 2013)
A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House, April 2013)
Literature for Young People
Captives by Jill Williamson (Zondervan, February 2013)
Mystery & Thriller
The King by Steven James (Signet Select, July 2013)
Anomaly by Krista McGee (Thomas Nelson Publishers, July 2013)
Ebook sale! Captives and Outcasts are $1.99 each from now until June 16 on Nook, Kindle, and pretty much anywhere ebooks are sold.
Here are the links:
Last year I wrote a series of posts on the Go Teen Writers blog on the topic of creating a storyworld. I’ve decided to compile those posts with some more information and create a new writing book. Since I have no budget for this project, I made my own book cover using a style that is similar to the Go Teen Writers cover, a model from our youth group, and public domain art from Virginia Frances Sterrett. My target audience is teen writers, but this information should be helpful to any beginning or intermediate writer.
I’m hoping the book will be ready soon.
I’m part of this week’s Blink book tour. I’ll be in Salt Lake City on Thursday and in Phoenix on Friday and Saturday. If you live in either area, come and see me! I’m not alone, either. I’ll be there with authors Jonathan Friesen, Lisa T. Bergren, and Lorie Ann Grover.
May 15: SALT LAKE CITY
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
7:00-9:00pm Salt Lake City Public Library
210 East 400 South – Conference Room A
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Reading, Q&A, book sales. Come early to hear us talk about our books and writing and to get books signed.
MAY 17: TEMPE, AZ
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
4:00-6:00pm Store Event
6428 S. McClintock Drive
Tempe, AZ 85283
I’ve been neglecting my blog.
Remember how I announced a while back that I needed to take a hiatus from Onyx Eyes? Well, I thought it might be cool to give you all a sneak peek as to what I’ve been working on.
First, I finished a proposal for a children’s chapter book series called RoboTales. This was a project that my son helped me brainstorm. And he worked so hard, I gave him a writing credit. Click here to watch our pitch video.
This is a series of science fiction fairy tales that center around a robot dog named Robo. In each story, Robo the robot dog helps a child in need. Each child helps Robo gather another clue to who created him and why, which sends Robo to his next destination in the solar system. I had a lot of fun with these books. We shall see what happens with it.
Second, once I finished RoboTales, I started working on an adult epic fantasy project I’m calling the Kinsman Chronicles. This is a big story. I’ve never written a story quite so big. And I’m terrible at trying to tell people what the story is about without completely spoiling the ending. There are several points of view. And one of the stories is about a young prince who is looking for answers to several mysteries, but the more questions he asks, the more he endangers his own life.
I know. That’s really vague. So I’ll post the map I’ve made for the project, because at least that’s something cool to look at. LOL
What do you guys think?
Welcome to the Spring Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! I’m Jill, your hostess for this stop on the hunt. There are 33 stops on this tour! Are you ready?
The hunt begins on April 4 at noon (mountain time) and ends Sunday night, April 6 at midnight (mountain time). You have all weekend to complete the tour, so take your time and enjoy. Collect the clue in red at each stop, and write them down as you go. The hunt begins at Robin Lee Hatcher’s site. If at any time during the hunt, you get lost, visit this site for help.
Meet Vicki Hinze
It’s my pleasure to introduce to you Vicki Hinze, my guest for the scavenger hunt. Vicki writes edge-of-your-seat romantic thrillers with amazing characters. You just can’t book her books down!
Vicki is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author who has written over thirty novels, multiple nonfiction books and hundreds of articles published in as many as 63 countries. She’s a featured columnist at Social-In Global Network. Learn more at vickihinze.com, on Facebook at vicki.hinze.author or on Twitter @vickihinze.
Today we’re taking a close look at Vicki’s latest release, Down & Dead in Dixie.
Here’s what the book, Down & Dead in Dixie, is about:
To live, sometimes ya gotta die! Daisy Grant is in a heap of trouble. She stumbles into a mob turf war and now somebody wants her dead. Daisy may be small-town to the bone, not at all the kind of woman to deal with the Southern Mafia, but she knows how to get creative fast!
Enters the way-too-attractive Mark Jensen… He didn’t mean to rescue anybody, and he certainly didn’t mean to go on the run because of a stubborn, sassy woman. Soon they are up to their ears in so many wacky characters they don’t know who’s on their side. Daisy and Mark decide that to live, sometimes ya gotta die. And sometimes to die right takes . . . practice.
What readers are saying about Vicki’s books:
“Move over Janet Evanovich! Vicki Hinze is romping through Dixie’s criminal underbelly, and she’s bringing the sassiest heroine since Stephanie Plum. Down and Dead in Dixie is a rip-roaring page-turner that delivers laughs, fantastic characters and twists galore. This one is a must read!” –Peggy Webb, USA Today bestselling author
“I know I can always count on Vicki for an absorbing story I’ll remember long after I’ve closed the book.” –Kay Hooper , New York Times bestselling author, (on Not This Time)
A Scavenger Hunt Exclusive from Vicki:
How I Nagged Vicki Hinze into Writing Down and Dead in Dixie
Daisy Grant, Heroine
I’m Daisy Grant, the heroine in Down and Dead in Dixie. I’ve been hanging around, waiting for Vicki to get with the program and write my story since 2008. But because I’m quirky, she didn’t think I’d fit in with the serious stuff she was writing. I had to persuade her.
No way was I going to tell her that my book was the start of a new series. She’d still be balking. I had to have patience and persistence. I learned a lot about patience when I was little and my younger brother Jackson and I got out of our mother’s car at the Piggly Wiggly for her to go park and she never came back. We waited all day. I knew she wasn’t coming back. Still, I waited. And I waited for Vicki, too.
I kept zapping thoughts of me into Vicki’s mind. She’s receptive, and if you spark her interest, you might wait, but she does come back—usually on Sunday afternoons. That’s when she writes books for the sheer love of story. That’s where I wanted my story written. So I perfected my aim and zapped her, and before she knew what hit her, she had a hundred pages of my story written!
Then she got sick, so I zapped her again. I know. I’m awful to hit her when she was already down, but I’d waited a long time—from 2008 to 2013. So I lasered her, and I can’t say I’m sorry. She thinks the story came to her all at once with everything in place. Actually, that was me. I’ve been planting story seeds in her head all along. She finally sat still long enough for them to snag her attention.
When she pulled out the hundred pages, I was so excited, I gathered the entire character cast and everyone began zapping her. We were elated—until she started throwing out pages. Then the grumbling started. The cast was in an uproar. Some thought we’d hit her too hard and fried her gray cells. I knew we hadn’t. She was sluffing the fluff, looking for the heart of the story. Of those hundred pages, about four pages made her cut. She ditched the rest. We were despondent. Mark Jensen, amazing chef and so much more, made us some comfort food to munch on while we waited to see what the woman was going to do with us. Everyone was worried sick we’d get the boot. She has that rule, you know, about refusing to write a story she doesn’t love . . .
Hope frayed and shriveled to a thread, but then her imagination fired up and stepped forward. It took courage after all those years of her shutting us down, but it did it. And the next thing we knew, she picked up the pen. We held our breaths . . . anticipating, hoping, praying.
Every fear and failure I’d ever made flashed before my eyes. (Hey, when it takes practice for you to die right, you know you’re a serious work-in-progress, so I’m not kidding when I tell you, I was terrified. Everyone knew it was make or break time; she’d write us now or never!)
She studied the pen. Sighed. The air crackled with tension, and Mark squeezed my fingers so tight I thought he’d snap my bones. “What is she doing?” he asked.
“Muddling through it,” Lester said. He’s my absent-minded neighbor. Well, sort of.
“She’s not.” His companion Emily told Lester. “Plain as day, the woman is fighting between ought to and needs to.”
“Which one are we?” I asked.
“Don’t matter,” Lester said. “She’s gonna do what she thinks she’s supposed to do.”
“Well, that’s us,” I whispered, wondering if I should zap her again. Just to be sure I had her full attention, you know?
But then she did it. She reached for the neon orange notepad.
We all knew what that meant, and cheered.
Mark hugged me. “You did it, Daisy! You got her!”
“We all did.” I laughed. “I think Lester’s getting arrested for getting his mail out of the mailbox and me bailing him out of jail is what got her.”
“Naw, Daisy girl,” Lester said. “That ain’t what done it. It was what you did to keep me from getting arrested what done it. She laughed. Out loud, I tell ya. I heard it myself.”
And that secret—making her laugh—is how I, Daisy Grant, Character-in-Waiting, nagged Vicki Hinze into writing my story. I didn’t tell her Down and Dead in Dixie was the start of a new series, Down and Dead, Inc., until she was almost at the end. By that time, I knew we all had wiggled our way into her heart and, I have to say, she gave in pretty gracefully even if she did mutter, “We all need a few more laughs to go with our bites of food for thought.”
I—we, all of us characters, I mean—happen to agree…
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling zapped by Daisy to read this book! I like Daisy already and am curious what she’s going to get herself into in Down & Dead in Dixie. Thanks for visiting my blog, Daisy. And Vicki, too!
Make sure you grab a copy of Down & Dead in Dixie where you can spend some more time getting to know these fun characters. You can find a copy:
Scavengers, before you go, write down this STOP #20 clue: novel
Your next stop is Vicki Hinze’s own blog. Have fun!
To celebrate the release of Ambushed (book 2.5 in the Mission League series), ten winners will receive their choice: a set of all four ebooks or a paperback copy of one of the books in this series. Enter on the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win. International winners are welcome, but will have to wait longer for their paperback book to arrive.
Winners will be announced on this blog and via the email address entered in the Rafflecopter form. If I don’t hear back from winners in a week with their mailing address, I will choose a new winner.
Good luck in both the scavenger hunt and in my bonus contest! And as always, look under Contests and Freebies to see what other giveaways you might be able to enter on my site.
There has been lots of talk, but it’s finally happening! A fourth book added to the Blood of Kings trilogy! The book is called After Darkness. In it, Achan, as a new king, must deal with the growing threat in Jaelport. Lady Jaira is still looking to take his throne. Will she succeed?
Sorry about that. Ah, well. It would have been fun, though. Except that I did a terrible job on that mock cover. Good thing I’m not a real cover designer…
Truly, though, today is By Darkness Hid‘s 5th birthday. I can’t believe that it has been five years since the book released! In celebration, I’ve scrounged up a very short cut scene from the book. This has never been edited. And it didn’t really fit with the story. It was better to leave Sir Gavin’s behavior mysterious until later on.
In this scene, Sir Gavin goes to talk to Lord Nathak about his new squire. And Lord Nathak is not happy about who the old Kingsguard knight chose.
*** *** *** *** *** ***
Sir Gavin knocked on Lord Nathak’s door.
The valet answered and let Sir Gavin inside.
“You wanted to see me?” Sir Gavin asked.
Lord Nathak looked up from his desk with a fleeting glance from his one visible eye. “It is my understanding that it was you who wanted to see me.”
“Ah. Yes, I did.”
Nathak’s one visible black eyebrow arched; he did not offer Sir Gavin a chair.
“These past few months I have trained a squire,” Sir Gavin said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had one, and in my old age, I thought it was time to get an assistant.”
“A wonderful idea,” Lord Nathak said. “Why did you not consult me first?”
“I am not subject to you, Lord Nathak. My choice in a squire is my business alone.”
“Not when you choose a squire from my help.”
“You know, then. Good.”
“Not good. I walked upon the lad insulting Lady Jaira of Jaelport. The poor girl was in tears.”
Gavin had heard of Lady Jaira’s quick tongue.
“What was he doing on the tournament field?” Lord Nathak asked. “He belongs with Poril in the kitchens preparing the feast. Poril can hardly manage without the boy.”
“He was competing.”
“You’ve trained him to use a sword?”
“That’s right. I’ve trained him fully and he’s killed his own deer—it was announced just last night that Achan was worthy as a squire.”
“Where was this announcement made?”
“In the outer bailey. I’m sorry, but I did not think a stray squire worth waking you, my lord.”
Nathak’s visible eye narrowed. “Strays are forbidden to become squires. You had no right to do this.”
“Yet I am a stray and was commander of the Kingsguard knights.”
“And the king was murdered on your watch. You are lucky you are not in IceIsland with your friends!”
“You have plenty of servants, Nathak. Why such an interest in this young man?”
Nathak seethed. “Prince Gidon has passed all your tests, Gavin.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.”
Nathak rose to his feet. “This is my manor, and I rule here. I have send word this morning to Lord Levy that your services to the crown prince are no longer required. Lord Levy was most displeased to learn of the time you’ve wasted here training a stray squire and neglecting the prince.”
“The prince refused my training.”
“You shall leave immediately. Your stray squire stays behind. He is my property and Poril cannot part with him in the kitchens.”
“He is wasted in the kitchens,” Sir Gavin said.
“My soldiers have gathered your belongings, Sir Gavin. You will find them at the stables with your horses.”
“You will not get away with this, Nathak.”
“Get away with what, Sir Gavin?”
But Sir Gavin did not say. It was not the time to speak against Nathak, the prince, or the council. He swept from the room without another word.
*** *** *** *** *** ***
That’s the scene! I hope you enjoyed this little birthday present from By Darkness Hid and the April Fool’s Day joke too. Feel free to share this if you want to spread the fun.
Oh yeah. You’re going to want to take part in our Spring scavenger hunt, April 4-6. If you don’t win the Kindle Fire HDX plus $100 in Kindle credit, you could win one of two prize packs including ALL OF THESE BOOKS!
To enter, you’ll start at Robin Lee Hatcher’s site that first weekend of April and follow the links to each of the other sites, gathering the clue on each one, and submitting the answer at the end. Easy peasey. (Don’t fret about the “how to’s” now–it will be obvious. There’s no reason to race through; you have all weekend.) PLUS, there will be additional prizes and mini-contests offered by some of the authors as you scavenge through!
Open internationally. If a reader outside the USA wins the Kindle and $100 credit, they will receive the equivalent in USD$.
So mark your calendars. This is one you won’t want to miss.
Ambushed, Spencer’s latest story, is now available in paperback and ebook formats.
Ambushed starts at the end of the year following Spencer’s trip to Japan. He’s worried about Grace and the dreams he keeps having about her, and he’s trying to navigate the confusing path of a potential NCAA athlete. He also gets to attend a Hollywood movie premiere.
Here is a little more info about the story:
All Spencer wants in life is an NCAA scholarship to play D-I college basketball. He visits universities when he can and works hard at his goal of taking his team to the state basketball championship.
When disaster strikes, Spencer’s desperation sends him to the one person he was determined to ignore: his father.
To find a copy of Ambushed, click on the links below.
And click here to add Ambushed to your Goodreads To-Read list.