Monday, January 22, 2018

Managing Your Expectations

Erica Vetsch here, writing my first post as an “Official” Seeker. I am both honored and humbled! And a little geeked out. And giddy. As Carrie likes to say, I did a bit of ‘muppet flailing’ when I got Mary’s email asking if I would be interested in joining the team. (Then tried to play it cool, and waited like a  twelve whole seconds after reading the invite to answer her with a resounding YES!) Thank you to the Seekers, and to the SeekerVillagers who have been so gracious to all us newcomers!

I wanted to talk today about Managing Your Expectations, AKA, How To be a Writer Without Whining (Too Much)  which means I need to start by telling you a story. Yay! It’s my preferred method of communication, after all!

A few years ago, my pastor was out of town, and we had a professor from a local Christian college come in to do pulpit supply. For the life of me, I can’t remember what text he preached on, or even what his name was, but I do remember the illustration with which he started his sermon. 


Photo from Flickr Creative Commons User Born1945 http://bit.ly/2DErrZM
The photo has not been altered from the original.


He said (and I’m paraphrasing here) Once upon a time…(Not really, but that’s how all good stories should start…) I was at a local park taking in the sunshine and green leafy-ness of the all-too-brief Minnesota summer, when I spied a little girl of about five sitting on a park bench nearby.

She had one knee tucked up, arms wrapped around it, head bent. Vulnerable, small, and, as I walked a few step closer, I could hear her sobbing softly.

As a father, my antennae went on alert. Was she lost? Injured? Yet, as a grown man, I know better than to just walk up and start talking to a little girl alone in the park. I looked around for someone who might be able to help.

That’s when I spied the girl’s dad, a few paces away with the rest of his family, keeping an eye on his daughter while throwing a ball with his sons. He gave a “It’s all good” wave, and I relaxed. The child continued to fuss, checking occasionally to see if her daddy was paying any attention, but finally, she let her leg slip down and stopped crying.

A few moments later, the dad came over to sit beside his daughter, who was still hiccupping and snuffling, kicking her heel against the park bench leg. The dad asked, “Megan, why were you fussing?”

She pushed her mop of curly hair back with both her hands, fingers splayed like little starfish, and herked in a jerking breath. “Because my expectations are not being fulfilled.”

Clearly she wasn’t so precocious as to have thought that up herself. It was something her father must have talked with her about before. He put his arm around her, gathered her close into his side, and said, “That’s right. You are fussing because your expectations are not being fulfilled.”


The preacher went on to draw correlations between this little girl’s actions and our lives, and it really struck home with me. I’ve remembered that story and that lesson for…it must be more than a decade now.

When I fuss and fume, it’s because my expectations are not being fulfilled. My expectations of myself, of other people, of life in general. If I didn’t expect things to turn out a certain way, I wouldn’t fuss when they didn’t, right?

So, should I stop caring?

No, not at all! But I need to manage my expectations. And that truth can and must be applied to my writing as well as the rest of my life.

I will admit, I had unrealistic expectations when I first dove into writing. Obviously, my first work was going to be contracted right out of the box, getting an agent would be a breeze, once I was contracted, the publishers would continue to ask me ‘what’s next?’ I could retire to an island with my first royalty check and just write things I wanted to while sipping lemonade and contemplating the lap and scrape of the waves against the sandy shore…


Photo from Flickr Creative Commons user Sean McEntee
http://bit.ly/2mCDuyI The photo has not been altered
from the original.


Okay, stop laughing. (Looking at you, Ruthy!)

None of those things happened. Instead, it was rejection letters, bad contest scores, countless queries, editors leaving, lines closing, contracts evaporating, and bitter Minnesota winters with nary a beach in sight.

Fussing seemed like a great option.

But it’s so unproductive. And a little fussing quickly becomes a lot of fussing.

So what is a writer to do? Walk around like Eeyore, expecting nothing but bad things to come her way? No, of course not. But we need to be realistic in our expectations and be willing to modify them when reality proves them to be unrealistic.

Here are some things I have found to be helpful for me in managing both my expectations and my fussing:

1) Educate yourself before setting expectations – I didn’t know that most authors never quit their day job to write full time. I had no idea what an average score on a contest entry was. I didn’t know that agents aren’t waiting breathlessly, refreshing their emails, praying that more queries come in. Once I took the time to educate myself on the realities of royalties, contests, and agents, I was better able to set my expectations in those regards.

2) Be flexible and realistic – When things don’t go according to my plan, I have learned to be flexible. I adjust my plan and therefore my expectations. So often, our expectations rely on things outside our control. Getting a contract, procuring an agent’s services, selling 100,000 copies. Those things aren’t really in our purview. So set your expectations around goals that are under your control. Finish and submit a novel. Learn to write a proposal. Query X number of agents per month. Try different marketing ideas. And re-evaluate often to see if you’re making strides toward your goals.

3) Mourn for a little while – it’s okay to be sad and ask questions when things don’t go according to plan, but give yourself a time limit. Get a bad contest score? You get 24 hrs to kick the trash can and clench your fists against the injustice of it all. Then move on. A bad review? A rejection? Poor sales numbers? Feel the pain. Grieve for the thing you wanted, then, as John Piper says, wipe your face, and start being grateful for the gifts you have been given, the life you have now. People busy being grateful don’t have time to whine.

4) Embrace Change – Just like the Seeker gals over the past couple of months, embrace changes and see them as challenges. Reality tells me that editors leave their positions sometimes, and lines I write for might close down. When Heartsong Presents closed its doors, I was shaken. But a new door opened and I began to write for Love Inspired Historicals. Now LIH has closed, but I have chosen not to despair. Instead, I’m embracing this change, looking for what the Lord has next. Because embracing change is a lot about trusting God. Look for the next thing He has for you instead of wallowing in pity for the thing you wanted but can’t have.

Have you spent a little time fussing over unfulfilled expectations in your writing life (or any other part of your life)? Can you apply these four principles to get you back on track?

Also, because we’re talking change and expectations, I would love to hear from YOU, SeekerVillagers, what you would expect from Seekerville 2.0. What topics would you like to read about? What sort of prizes appeal to you? (Critiques? Books? Chocolate? Swag?) What advice to you have for those of us who are new Seekerville Bloggers?

Comment and tell me your expectations here at Seekerville, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of my latest Love Inspired Historical, A Child’s Christmas Wish!


About the book:

A Baby for Christmas

The only Christmas gift Oscar Rabb's four-year-old daughter prays for is one the widower can't provide: a baby sibling. And when his neighbor's house burns down, he's willing to open his home to pregnant and widowed Kate Amaker and her in-laws—but not his heart. Even if his little girl's convinced Kate's unborn child is the answer to her wish.

Kate quickly sees the generous but aloof Oscar has little interest in growing closer to his houseguests. Still, she intends to make the coming Christmas a season to remember for his daughter. And as Oscar starts to open up to her, Kate can't help picturing just how wonderful the holidays—and a future together—might be.




About EricaBest-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Weekend Edition

 
   If you are not familiar with our giveaway rules, take a minute to read them here. It keeps us all happy! All winners should send their name, address, and phone number to claim prizes.  Note our new email address and please send your emails to Seekerville2@gmail.com
Monday: Jan Drexler shared her journey to publication and shared her research process that includes ancestors! Mary Preston is the winner of a copy of "The Amish Nanny's Sweetheart." And Jackie Layton is the winner of a 5 page critique!  

Wednesday: Debby Giusti invited Southern mystery writer and friend of Seekerville, Larissa Reinhartto guest blog with usLarissa talked about "Mysteries and Thrillers: Making It Personal." The winner of an  ebook of her newly released Cherry Tucker/Maizie Albright Christmas Mystery novella, A VIEW TO A CHILL, is Jackie!

Friday: Winnie Griggs made us think back and remember the basics of writing. Lessons we must never forget if we want to write unforgettable stories. The winner of their choice of any of Winnie's backlist books is Phyllis Wheeler.


On Monday, join Erica Vetsch as she writes about Managing your Expectations OR How to be a Writer Without Whining (Too Much) 
How can we navigate the ups and downs and sideways-es of the writer life without losing our minds? Some tips on managing your expectations and keeping yourself grounded.

Wednesday: Melanie Dickerson joins us for her very first post as a Seekerville regular! Today she discusses Conflict and Tension, Part 1, the main elements of any novel! Conflict and Tension are essential elements to any story. But how do you create enough?
  
Guest Carla Laureano joins us on Friday with a fun (and funny) look at The Care and Feeding of Authors.


Seekerville News! Seekerville was placed at #78 on the top 100 Writing Blogs! Thank you so much "Feedspot" for this wonderful honor! We'll gladly accept! 



Pam Hillman finished her 4 part series of the Culinary Arts in the South covering the 17th-20th centuries on the Heroes, Heroines, and History blog this week. The link provided takes you to Part IV, the Civil Rights Era. (But to get the most of out the series of blog posts, start with the Muskogean Era, and work your way through the posts. Links to each part are included in the Part IV.)




Jan Drexler is excited to share her latest release with the world. Her March release, The Amish Nanny's Sweetheart (Amish Country Brides) is available for preorder. Looking forward to March! 
Click here to be among the first to reserve your copy.













4 (Possible) Reasons Why We Write - K.M. Weiland

A Year of Email List Growth: 2017 in Review - The Ambitious Author

Putting Wow on the Page! - Writers On The Storm

It Only Takes A Spark...Or Does It? - NovelRocket

Can 'so don't I' mean "so do I'? - Grammarphobia



Thanks for the link love!

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Short Introduction & Writing Emotion

Hi everyone, Winnie Griggs here. First let me say how absolutely thrilled I am to be joining the Seekerville line-up! This has always been one of my favorite blogs to visit so I was incredibly honored to receive an invitation come on board as an official Seeker.

I gave a lot of thought into what I should write about for this, my first post, and I suppose I should start by telling you a little about myself. I’ll keep this part brief.

I grew up in SE Louisiana, right across the river from New Orleans in a decidedly rural area.  I’m the oldest of five siblings, though we are spread out in age – my youngest sister is 20 years younger than me (Imagine getting the news that your parents are expecting when you’re in college!).

I met the man who would become my husband while I was in college and we celebrated our 42nd anniversary just before Thanksgiving. We have four children, the youngest two are twins. I always thought three was the ideal number but I like to say that the Good Lord knew better and gave me two that last time around and they have been a joy to us ever since.

Professionally, I worked for an Electric Utility Company for 35 years as an IT professional and a Project Manager and I am now very happily retired. 

On the writing front, I made my first sale to Dorchester Publishing’s Leisure Books line in 2000 and published four additional titles with them before moving on to Love Inspired where I sold sixteen titles. I've also made several sales to small presses in the interim. And, with the closing of the Love Inspired Historical line, I’m facing yet another change in my career. I can’t see what the future holds for me and my writing at this point, but I have faith that it will all work out as it should.


So that’s me in a nutshell. On to the more important part of this post.


I’m developing a new workshop I’ve titled Delivering Emotion. Below is a short excerpt from my WIP that I’d like to get some feedback on. So here goes.

When depicting character emotion, the cardinal rule is - Don’t tell me what your character is feeling, SHOW ME.  Here are a few ways to do that:


Use the five senses
The senses, and how they influence and trigger thoughts, can be a powerful emotion indicator. Look at the two passages below. 


As he tended to her cut finger, she felt a deeper connection between them.
    vs.
Reggie stared down at her hand in his.  A tiny rivulet of blood seeped out from the shallow slice, curling around her finger and onto his, like a narrow ribbon binding them together. Amazing that such large, work-callused hands could feel so warm and gentle without losing their sense of strength… she stared down at his bent head, so close she could smell the scent of soap and cigar smoke and night air.  So close her breath stirred his hair.  So close she could press her lips to his temple without moving much at all.


Use Internalization
What a character is thinking communicates emotion to the reader even if the other characters in the story don't see it.

His words made her happy
    vs.


She could hardly believe it—he’d supported her over Ava. That had never happened before. What a wonderful way to begin their vacation.




Use body language

Body language is another powerful indicator of a character's emotional state. It's a tool that can convey a whole lot, both to the reader and to the other story characters without one bit of dialogue being exchanged.




He was angry
   vs.
He slammed his mug down, pushed away from the counter and stormed out of the room.

Use Subconscious ‘tells’

This is one of my favorite ways to convey emotion - using little tics and unconscious habits to betray what a character is feeling. But be careful, a little goes a long way when using this method.

Alice could tell he was lying.
  vs.
Uh-oh, he was twisting that signet ring on his finger. He always did that when he was lying.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So that's as far as I've gotten.  The examples obviously need a little more work, but hopefully they convey what I'm going for. The other topics I intend to cover in the workshop are:


Showing emotional growth

* Discuss key steps along the character’s emotional arc that should be highlighted for greatest impact


Layering it in

* How to weave it in without hitting the reader over the head


Knowing when to punch it home

* Discuss a structure for those big emotional pay off moments


Being aware of the emotions you want to elicit in your reader

* These may or may not be the same emotions you are putting your character through.

* Viewing it with a reader’s eye

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Now it's your turn. What do you think? Am I hitting the right points? Is there some aspect of this topic I'm missing?

Anyone leaving feedback for me today will be entered into a drawing for their choice of any book from my backlist.






Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mysteries and Thrillers: Making It Personal with Guest Author Larissa Reinhart

Hey Seekerville! Larissa Reinhart here with giant mugfuls of steaming coffee and a tray of fresh cinnamon rolls oozing with cream cheese icing (because if we’re virtual I’m going for the extra calories.) I’m Debby Guisti’s friend and a humorous mystery writer. I’m also a Seekerville stalker (I read them in my inbox) and occasional poster.

Today we’re talking mystery and suspense. And we’re getting personal. Very personal.

Relax, not TMI personal.

Nor blood and gore personal. Because we don’t need any of that to make a good mystery. What we need is a very personal reason for our heroine/hero to solve this mystery.

But, you may say, if my character is a detective/agent/law enforcement/soldier/superhero/nosy neighbor, isn’t their job or personality enough for solving a crime?


Just because you have a mystery plotted, it’s not enough to keep the reader interested. As in all other kinds of genre fiction, when you write a mystery or thriller, your main character will have their external goal (solve the mystery), but they also need the external motivation (why solve this mystery), and the external conflict.

The personal reason to solve this case is the motivation. And if it’s just their job—snore. Nearly every detective and amateur sleuth faces threat to their life in a story. After all, the killer will want to stop them from solving the murder. That’s the conflict, not the motivation.

How many of you would move to Cabot Cove where Jessica Fletcher lives? Not me.  Fictional Cabot Cove is said to have the worst murder rate in the country. And although we may joke about “Cabot Cove Syndrome,” the reason that series is so popular is not that a small Maine town has countless deaths that need to be solved. Jessica always had a personal reason to act as an amateur sleuth. Her friends are unjustly accused of crimes. Or her friends’ friends are murdered. Or disappears. It’s a small town. She knows a lot of people. You get the picture.


She cares about her friend. Therefore, we care. After all, Jessica’s a writer. She has no business getting involved in murder. And really, with all the crime in Cabot Cove, if Jessica had any sense, she’d lock herself in her house and never leave. But for a friend, she’ll face the killer to solve the crime.

But isn’t the job of law enforcement to solve a crime? Bruce Willis was a New York cop in Die Hard, just visiting his wife in California during the holidays. We don’t know much about his work with the New York police, except that he’s the cowboy type, which helps when his wife’s company building is taken over by German terrorists during their Christmas party. And yeehaw, Bruce Willis has a reason to save the day. As estranged as the married couple’s been, it’s his wife’s building. He must save her. I don’t think he’d walk barefoot over glass to save a Japanese CEO (not in the Eighties, anyway).

So it’s more than a job. What pushes your character to straddle the line of vigilantism? Sure, their backstory is full of motivation to have the personality-type to solve this crime, like Bruce Willis’s cowboy attitude in Die Hard. Something in their childhood has caused them to want to right wrongs. They have a personal sense of justice. That’s why they have this job or are a town busybody in the first place.



That’s not enough for your reader. They need to care about the victim not just your character’s internal motivation. Lethal Weapon begins with Murtagh and Riggs investigating the apparent suicide of the daughter of Murtagh’s friend who might have gotten involved in drugs. A reason for Murtagh to take the case more personally, and therefore for the viewer to do the same.

If your character is a detective/law enforcement/agent/soldier/superhero and the motivation begins with their job, then they need an immediate, real, dire threat to losing their job or better yet, their life, to motivate them.

We don’t read about the cases that private eye Sam Spade takes to pay his electric bill. In The Maltese Falcon, his partner had been killed while on a case. Sam Spade’s been accused of killing his partner’s killer. And then there’s the dame. Sam knows he shouldn’t help her, she could very well be the killer. But he can’t help the attraction. We know Sam shouldn’t help her, yet we want Sam to help her. We’re sucked in.

How can you make your sleuth personally motivated to solve a crime? Even if it’s not an old friend who needs help, you need to make them personally attached to someone involved. Sam Spade had his partner’s death, but he also had his attraction to Miss Wonderly/Brigid O’Shaughnessy.


My Cherry Tucker series has a bit of Cabot Cove Syndrome in Cherry’s small-town of Halo. In my newest series, Maizie Albright Star Detective, Maizie’s just moved back to her hometown. Unlike Cherry Tucker in Halo, Maizie’s an outsider, an ex-teen star who’s been kicked out of Hollywood. Maizie loved playing the role of Julia Pinkerton: Teen Detective and found the family she needed while playing that role. That’s the internal motivation for her to become a private investigator. But that’s not enough to make the reader care about the case. How can I make these cases personal when she doesn’t know anybody but her father?


In 15 Minutes, Maizie faces losing a career opportunity, thereby breaking her probation which would send her back to a California jail. That’s not reason enough to face off with a killer. She loses the client’s wife while on her first stakeout. That’s bad, but she could turn the case over to the police. She lost the client’s wife because of her mother, who’s trying to get her back into show business. Personal and humiliating, but not enough to face a killer. The client accuses Maizie’s private eye (and hunky) boss, Wyatt Nash, for his wife’s disappearance. Wyatt Nash didn’t want to mentor an actress in the first place. He’ll lose his business to his ex-wife. Who hates Maizie. Because she can tell Maizie is attracted to Wyatt Nash, and the ex-wife fears it might be reciprocal. Those reasons makes it personal for Maizie and for us. Her screw-up affected others. And not just the client, but someone she’s grown to care about. So we care, too. (I hope.)


Leave a comment to win an ebook of my newly released Cherry Tucker/Maizie Albright Christmas Mystery novella, A VIEW TO A CHILL. Just say hey but if anyone’s interested in writing mysteries/suspense/thrillers, do let me know! How have you created a personal reason for your protagonist to get involved in a case? How many of you are mystery fans? Do your favorite books have the personal motivation for the sleuth to solve the case?

Thanks so much Seekerville for having me on today!


Larissa writes humorous mysteries and romantic comedies including the critically acclaimed Cherry Tucker Mystery and Maizie Albright Star Detective series. Larissa’s a The Wall Street Journal bestselling author, a contributor to the 2017 Silver Falchion Reader’s Choice winner, was the 2015 Georgia Author of the Year finalist, 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. Larissa’s family and dog, Biscuit, had been living in Japan, but once again call Georgia home. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, LarissaReinhart.com, and join her newsletter for a free short story.
Debby here! Larissa writes mysteries that delight! She's delightful too! I'm so glad she can be with us on Seekerville today. If you would like to be entered in the drawing for Larissa's latest, View to a Chill, mention the drawing in your comment. For those who haven't read Larissa before, her stories are PG-13 and contain some adult topics.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Getting to Know You! My Journey to Publication

             
Jan here, and I’m so excited to be one of the new kids on the block at Seekerville!

Since this is my first “official” post, I thought I’d take you on a journey with me: my journey to publication. I hope you’re like me and can’t get enough of these inspiring stories!
My writing career is fairly new. I started writing for publication in 2011, almost exactly seven years ago. I had always wanted to write fiction, but for years God gave me the message, “not yet.” He had other things for me to do.

So, I homeschooled our four children through high school and I was a leader in Bible Study Fellowship for ten years. I’ve taught Sunday School, worked in a library, and we’ve moved eight times since my husband and I were married more than thirty-five years ago, living all over the Midwest.
When God finally said, “now,” I knew exactly what stories I wanted to write: the family histories I had grown up with.


Grandpa Eugene with Orville
and Guy, 1908.

I turned to genealogy for my information, and as I researched, stories formed in my mind, filling in the details that genealogy leaves out. Those stories have become my novels.
You can order these books HERE!

That all sounds pretty cut-and-dried, doesn't it? Like I just sat down at my computer and started spinning out novels, fully formed and ready to publish! We all know better!

*insert the sound of a tape rewinding*

Let’s start again, at the beginning.
In January of 2011, my husband had been away for three months, working at a new job. I stayed behind with our high-school aged boys to sell our house in Kansas. No one was looking for a house to buy in January, and we had no idea when we would be able to move to join my husband in South Dakota. Loneliness engulfed me.

This was when God said, “NOW.”
I knew the stories I wanted to write…needed to write…but I had no idea where to start. We also needed money (paying for two places to live isn’t cheap, even if one of them is a pay-by-the-week off-season motel room!) A friend had heard about writing for Woman’s World magazine, so I started searching the internet for information on how to break into that competitive market…and I stumbled upon a post written by someone named Tina Radcliffe on this blog called Seekerville.
I’d like to say, “the rest is history,” but you are all too smart for that. You know that learning how to write a story takes a LOT of hard work. You all know the time, the dedication, the dead ends, and the mini-victories that are involved.
My favorite "mini-victory" celebration - one
chocolate chip for every 100 words added
to my WIP!

After several unsuccessful tries, I finally sold a story to Woman’s World! By then we had sold our house and most of the family was together again in South Dakota.
Meanwhile, I had been working on the story of my heart…an Amish story, loosely based on my grandmother’s experience of becoming a widow while she still had children living at home. And through my daily visits to Seekerville, I learned the ins and outs of the publishing world. I learned about grammarly details, how to write a query, why you should enter contests, and how to remain focused on your goals.



In 2012, publishing doors started opening. My Woman’s World story was published, I signed with an agent, and Love Inspired Historical offered me a contract for my first book. When God said “now” the year before, He meant it!
My first book!

None of this would have been possible without the ladies of Seekerville.
I’m serious.
These lovely ladies who had gone ahead of me and my fellow residents on Unpubbed Island had the vision of helping aspiring authors cross the span of waters between the island and the mainland of the publishing world. A hand up, not a hand out. Unending encouragement. An offer of friendship that is always genuine. And the gentle “this is how you do things” tone to the blog posts.
When Ruthy contacted me a few weeks ago asking if I wanted to be part of the new Seekerville team, how could I refuse? My passion is to give to others what has been so freely given to me.
Now is your opportunity to brag on Seekerville! What difference has this blog made in your life? What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received on the blog? Or what is your favorite part of coming to visit Seekerville?
I’m offering a five-page critique to one commenter today. If you’re an aspiring writer, mention in your comment that you’d like your name thrown in the doggy dish.
My writing buddy, Thatcher!
aka Thatchmo McScooterpants

Another commenter will receive a copy of my newest release, “The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart,” coming out from Love Inspired Historical in March 2018. Or, you can pre-order your own copy here!

As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp’s finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors’ Englischer farmworker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn’t part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith’s own.

Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers’ community—even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith’s steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach…if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes—and hearts.

Connect with Jan:
Twitter: @JanDrexler
           


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Weekend Edition

 
   If you are not familiar with our giveaway rules, take a minute to read them here. It keeps us all happy! All winners should send their name, address, and phone number to claim prizes.  Note our new email address and please send your emails to Seekerville2@gmail.com
Monday: Missy Tippens talked about writing as a vocation and decided to give away two five-page critiques! The winners are Terri Weldon and first-time-visitor Tracy!

Wednesday: Ruth Logan Herne chatted about plotting mysteries, turning them inside out and figuring out the "end" first... and then planning the story backwards from there, saving authors a lot of time re-writing lost threads! Winner of her beautiful new Love Inspired novel "Her Secret Daughter" is Linda Sammaritan! 

Friday: Carrie Schmidt shared a very encouraging post assuring everyone Your Story Matters. Becky Smith shared her favorite encouraging Bible verse and will be receiving a cute mug!
Monday: Jan Drexler wants to  get to know you as she takes you along on her journey to publication and we want to welcome Jan in her new position as a full-time Seekerville blogger! Welcome aboard, Jan!


Wednesday: Debby Giusti invited Southern mystery writer and friend of Seekerville, Larissa Reinhart, to guest blog with us. Larissa will talk about "Mysteries and Thrillers: Making It Personal." Stop by to chat with Larissa and leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for an ebook of her newly released Cherry Tucker/Maizie Albright Christmas Mystery novella, A VIEW TO A CHILL.

Friday: Winnie Griggs takes control of the blog on Friday. Join us as we welcome Winnie aboard as a full-time blogger in Seekerville! Happy dancing!





Pam Hillman is still stuck (happily so) in the 18th century, but will be getting whiplash as she time travels back to the 21st century for the ACFW Board meeting in Nashville.

Audra Harders is off to a quaint mountain town for a very long weekend of WRITER'S RETREAT! She's working on a new series and is determined to return with LOTS of words written.

Ruth Logan Herne is trapped in her farmhouse in Western New York as approximately two feet of snow fall around her... perfect for making soup and writing books!

Debby Giusti will be chatting about her Publishers Weekly Bestseller, UNDERCOVER AMISH, on Keeping Up With the Amish FB site, this WED, from 8PM - 9PM. Join the group to join in the fun...with giveaways. 



Melanie Dickerson is happy dancing - and we should be, too!! Check out the CBA Bestseller List December 2017 - #2 Fiction Books - Fantasy/Sci-Fi!!!!!


Click Here











4 Reasons Readers Stopped Caring About Your Story by Janice Hardy at Fiction University.

First Lines by Sophie Masson at Writer Unboxed


The 5 Secrets of Good Storytelling (That Writers Forget All the Time) by K.M. Weiland check it out at Helping Writers Become Authors



Thanks for the link love!