Blog Tour – Reclaiming Nick

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
RECLAIMING NICK
( Tyndale Fiction, 2007)
by
Susan May Warren
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Award winning author SUSAN MAY WARREN recently returned home to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota’s north woods. Visit her Web site at www.susanmaywarren.com.
ABOUT THE BOOK: RECLAIMING NICK is the first of The Noble Legacy series. Book Two, Taming Rafe, will be available January 2008.
A Modern Day Prodigal Comes Home…
NICK NOBLE HADN’T PLANNED ON BEING THE PRODIGAL SON.
But when his father dies and leaves half of Silver Buckle–the Noble family ranch–to Nick’s former best friend, he must return home to face his mistakes, and guarantee that the Silver Buckle stays in the Noble family.
Award-winning journalist Piper Sullivan believes Nick framed her brother for murder, and she’s determined to find justice. But following Nick to the Silver Buckle and posing as a ranch cook proves more challenging than she thinks. So does resisting his charming smile.
As Nick seeks to overturn his father’s will–and Piper digs for answers–family secrets surface that send Nick’s life into a tailspin. But there’s someone who’s out to take the Silver Buckle from the Noble family, and he’ll stop at nothing–even murder–to make it happen.

If you would like to hear more about Nick, he has his own blog. Also, the first chapter is there…

Blog Tour – Reclaiming Nick

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
RECLAIMING NICK
( Tyndale Fiction, 2007)
by
Susan May Warren
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Award winning author SUSAN MAY WARREN recently returned home to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota’s north woods. Visit her Web site at www.susanmaywarren.com.
ABOUT THE BOOK: RECLAIMING NICK is the first of The Noble Legacy series. Book Two, Taming Rafe, will be available January 2008.
A Modern Day Prodigal Comes Home…
NICK NOBLE HADN’T PLANNED ON BEING THE PRODIGAL SON.
But when his father dies and leaves half of Silver Buckle–the Noble family ranch–to Nick’s former best friend, he must return home to face his mistakes, and guarantee that the Silver Buckle stays in the Noble family.
Award-winning journalist Piper Sullivan believes Nick framed her brother for murder, and she’s determined to find justice. But following Nick to the Silver Buckle and posing as a ranch cook proves more challenging than she thinks. So does resisting his charming smile.
As Nick seeks to overturn his father’s will–and Piper digs for answers–family secrets surface that send Nick’s life into a tailspin. But there’s someone who’s out to take the Silver Buckle from the Noble family, and he’ll stop at nothing–even murder–to make it happen.

If you would like to hear more about Nick, he has his own blog. Also, the first chapter is there…

Writing Resources – Day 6

(For anybody keeping track, day 4 of this discussion is called “Double Duty“)

As I’ve been talked about writing resources, I’ve been focusing on books on writing. Of course there are numerous other helps available, and I’d like to point out some free resources on the web today. Many of these are listed in my right sidebar, but I’ll discuss them today.

1. Forensics and Faith. Brandilyn Collins is Christian fiction’s suspense specialist. She is also a wonderful woman who really gives of herself. Her blog has gone through many discussions of fiction techniques. She’s covered action sequences, POV, voice. One special feature was when a reader submitted an action scene where BC walked us through an edit of it. Check out the left sidebar for links to the particular subjects.

2. Faith*in*Fiction. Dave Long is a fiction acquistion editor at Bethany House. He started the blog to draw in people who might have work that fit the company, but he also put out some helpful discussions on the craft of fiction, as well as discussions on the business of publishing. He hasn’t been too active lately (shame Mr. Long…), but check out the right sidebar for links. Also see the f*i*f discussion board, with many helpful writers who discuss topics.

3. Novel Journey. This wonderful site interviews numerous authors, discussing writing highs and lows. Lately the ladies of NJ have had some intrepid readers submit chapters to be critiqued for all to see. Helpful to see a constructive critique, which to me keys me in to blind spots I may have.

4. Notes on Craft. This is a work of J. Mark Bertrand, a writer and thinker. This blog discusses aspects of the craft of fiction. He always posts thoughtful insights into the process.

5. The Writing Life. Terry Whalin is an agent who has worked as an editor and writer as well. His site is part marketing, but he has a lot of helpful advice, and I check here regularly. His companion site is Right Writing.

6. A Christian Worldview of Fiction. Becky Miller is behind this site, and she has been a big encouragement to me. She writes about the craft of fiction, but also challenges Christian writers about the HEART of what Christian fiction should be about. There are always thoughtful discussions here. She is also the head cheerleader for the sub-genre of Christian science fiction and fantasy, organizer of the CSFF blog tour, and all around busy person. She also contributes to Speculative Faith, a blog dedicated to CSFF.

7. Charis Connection. This is a blog of a group of Christian fiction writers, who share insight from their own experience in the publishing world. There is great encouragement here, as well as challenges in the craft.

This is a VERY small sample of the resources out there for writers. I wanted to highlight some that I enjoy and use. If you know of other links that would go well here, please share them in the comments. I have a little more to share on writing resources in the next day or two, then I’ll have to come up with another idea for posts! Aieee!

Writing Resources – Day 6

(For anybody keeping track, day 4 of this discussion is called “Double Duty“)

As I’ve been talked about writing resources, I’ve been focusing on books on writing. Of course there are numerous other helps available, and I’d like to point out some free resources on the web today. Many of these are listed in my right sidebar, but I’ll discuss them today.

1. Forensics and Faith. Brandilyn Collins is Christian fiction’s suspense specialist. She is also a wonderful woman who really gives of herself. Her blog has gone through many discussions of fiction techniques. She’s covered action sequences, POV, voice. One special feature was when a reader submitted an action scene where BC walked us through an edit of it. Check out the left sidebar for links to the particular subjects.

2. Faith*in*Fiction. Dave Long is a fiction acquistion editor at Bethany House. He started the blog to draw in people who might have work that fit the company, but he also put out some helpful discussions on the craft of fiction, as well as discussions on the business of publishing. He hasn’t been too active lately (shame Mr. Long…), but check out the right sidebar for links. Also see the f*i*f discussion board, with many helpful writers who discuss topics.

3. Novel Journey. This wonderful site interviews numerous authors, discussing writing highs and lows. Lately the ladies of NJ have had some intrepid readers submit chapters to be critiqued for all to see. Helpful to see a constructive critique, which to me keys me in to blind spots I may have.

4. Notes on Craft. This is a work of J. Mark Bertrand, a writer and thinker. This blog discusses aspects of the craft of fiction. He always posts thoughtful insights into the process.

5. The Writing Life. Terry Whalin is an agent who has worked as an editor and writer as well. His site is part marketing, but he has a lot of helpful advice, and I check here regularly. His companion site is Right Writing.

6. A Christian Worldview of Fiction. Becky Miller is behind this site, and she has been a big encouragement to me. She writes about the craft of fiction, but also challenges Christian writers about the HEART of what Christian fiction should be about. There are always thoughtful discussions here. She is also the head cheerleader for the sub-genre of Christian science fiction and fantasy, organizer of the CSFF blog tour, and all around busy person. She also contributes to Speculative Faith, a blog dedicated to CSFF.

7. Charis Connection. This is a blog of a group of Christian fiction writers, who share insight from their own experience in the publishing world. There is great encouragement here, as well as challenges in the craft.

This is a VERY small sample of the resources out there for writers. I wanted to highlight some that I enjoy and use. If you know of other links that would go well here, please share them in the comments. I have a little more to share on writing resources in the next day or two, then I’ll have to come up with another idea for posts! Aieee!

Books on Writing – Day 5

There are a few authors who always seem to be at the top of lists for books related to the “how-to” of fiction. One of those is usually James N. Frey. If nothing else, he has a catchy name for his series of books!

First came “How to Write a Damn Good Novel“. Of course it was followed by “How to Write a Damn Good Novel II: Advanced Techniques for Dramatic Storytelling“. Somewhere in there he wrote about how to write a damn good mystery (seeing any pattern yet?).

I read the first two listed, but the best Frey book in my opinion is “The Key: How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth.” This book is basically a discussion of the concept of the “hero’s journey,” popularized by Joseph Cambell. My friend Athena referred me to Frey’s take on it as she felt it was more accessible as a book.

The idea of the hero’s journey suggests that there are archtypes that we are almost hard-wired to enjoy, and by consciously weaving these elements into our fiction, we can tie into something that gives our works a resonance or power that enhances everything we’ve done. Frey gives plenty of examples from literature and movies (as the Star Wars saga is famously based off the hero’s journey). It exists in Homer, classic novels, and numerous modern examples.

Frey goes on to discuss the various aspects of the mythic novel: the hero that is powerful yet has a flaw or need to grow, a powerful evil one to oppose the hero, a journey of transformation, sidekicks, femme fatales, threshold guardians. Even better, he begins to craft a novel within this book that follows all the guidelines he is discussing. This is one of the best practical examples of writing that I have seen in a “how-to” book.

This is one book that I have read again to glean more from it. One of the draws was the fact that my work in process matched so much of what Frey was teaching – unintentionally! Unknowingly, I had used many of these elements in my very basic attempt at putting together a compelling story. Wow.

This is one book I would highly recommend. The ideas do seem to be timeless. Obviously one would not want to be transparent in using this method as a framework for a novel, but the principles work well as a foundation when used skillfully.

I have a little more to share on writing resources still. Stay tuned.

Books on Writing – Day 5

There are a few authors who always seem to be at the top of lists for books related to the “how-to” of fiction. One of those is usually James N. Frey. If nothing else, he has a catchy name for his series of books!

First came “How to Write a Damn Good Novel“. Of course it was followed by “How to Write a Damn Good Novel II: Advanced Techniques for Dramatic Storytelling“. Somewhere in there he wrote about how to write a damn good mystery (seeing any pattern yet?).

I read the first two listed, but the best Frey book in my opinion is “The Key: How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth.” This book is basically a discussion of the concept of the “hero’s journey,” popularized by Joseph Cambell. My friend Athena referred me to Frey’s take on it as she felt it was more accessible as a book.

The idea of the hero’s journey suggests that there are archtypes that we are almost hard-wired to enjoy, and by consciously weaving these elements into our fiction, we can tie into something that gives our works a resonance or power that enhances everything we’ve done. Frey gives plenty of examples from literature and movies (as the Star Wars saga is famously based off the hero’s journey). It exists in Homer, classic novels, and numerous modern examples.

Frey goes on to discuss the various aspects of the mythic novel: the hero that is powerful yet has a flaw or need to grow, a powerful evil one to oppose the hero, a journey of transformation, sidekicks, femme fatales, threshold guardians. Even better, he begins to craft a novel within this book that follows all the guidelines he is discussing. This is one of the best practical examples of writing that I have seen in a “how-to” book.

This is one book that I have read again to glean more from it. One of the draws was the fact that my work in process matched so much of what Frey was teaching – unintentionally! Unknowingly, I had used many of these elements in my very basic attempt at putting together a compelling story. Wow.

This is one book I would highly recommend. The ideas do seem to be timeless. Obviously one would not want to be transparent in using this method as a framework for a novel, but the principles work well as a foundation when used skillfully.

I have a little more to share on writing resources still. Stay tuned.