Write Stuff Wednesday with Gail Sattler

Today’s guest is Gail Sattler who shares a quote that I doubt would be heard on television these days. But there’s a lot of truth in it, and I thank her for sharing it with us today.

I have a quote today from one my favorite comedians from my childhood, Red Skelton (1913-1977). He ended every show with the same words – “Good night, and may God bless.”

If you are not old enough or don’t know who he is, here is a link – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0804026/

My favorite quote is one from Red Skelton.

“If you have a talent, that’s God’s gift to you. If you use that talent, that’s your gift to God.”

We all have different talents, and I like to think mine is writing. Red’s words imply that we all have talents, but many do not use them, as he says “if” you use that talent.

How sad it would be to have a talent and not use it. However, as we all know, life gets in the way of doing what we like, versus what we need, and in order to live, and to live with others, what we need must come first.

I have a friend who is the most talented singer I have ever heard in my life. How big? Think big, like Susan Boyle (famous from Britain’s Got Talent). She was overweight, not pretty, frumpy, and older. She walked out on that stage for the first time at 47 years old, and showed the world her talent. At first all the judges rolled their eyes, but were stunned by what they saw  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D5DgQi2oqA

Believe it or not, Susan Boyle did not win Britain’s Got Talent that year. But by her using her talent and trusting her faith, her life and career were launched.

Is my talent going to launch me into stardom like Susan Boyle? Well, I think not. But that’s okay. God has given me a talent, and wherever it takes me, even if it’s nowhere, I want to give my gift back to God.

Here’s a little more about Gail.

Tim and Gail Sattler - fun photoGail Sattler lives in Vancouver BC Canada, where you don’t have to shovel rain. When she’s not madly writing (Gail Sattler has over 40 published novels and novellas, plus a few works of non-fiction) she plays bass for an Elton John tribute band as well as a community jazz band, plus she plays piano for a smaller private jazz band. When she’s not writing or making music (or at her day job) Gail likes to sit back and read a book written by someone else, along with a good cup of hot coffee.

Visit Gail Sattler’s website at http://www.gailsattler.com

Gail Sattler’s blog – What Goes On In The Mind Of A Writer – http://www.gailsattler.com/category/new/

Facebook  – https://www.facebook.com/gail.sattler.3

Gail Sattler’s Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/Gail-Sattler-author-568988573496833/?modal=admin_todo_tour

More about Gail’s Books:

The Other Neighbor coverThe Other Neighbor – Cheryl Richardson doesn’t know that her landlord who owns the other half of the duplex where she lives is plotting to build a bomb—but the FBI does. In order to discover what her landlord is planning to blow up, agent Steve Gableman moves next door to get closer to Cheryl to learn what she knows, namely the target and motive, so they can stop it. But when Steve involves himself in every area of her life, including her dog, will Cheryl be the one to explode?

Mercury Rising CoverMercury Rising – Michael wants to save his daughter, but first he’s got to save the world.

Michael and Charlotte meet when Michael is trying to find Ashley, his missing daughter who has fallen into drug abuse, and Charlotte is searching for her son Jon, a brilliant and aspiring young scientist who has also gone missing.
Ashley and Jon should have nothing in common, but after the murder of Jon’s favorite professor, they become ensnared in a tangled web that becomes worse with every new discovery.
When Michael and Charlotte join together to figure what their children have become involved with, they, too, are sucked into a sinkhole for which there are no answers, only more questions.
When all seems lost, will they all recognize the source of strength offered to them, and… will they take it?

What I’m Reading – Carolina Grace

book signingLast weekend I had the pleasure of attending a book signing celebrating the release of Regina Rudd Merrick’s newest book, Carolina Grace. Carolina Grace is the third, and sort-of final, installment in her Southern Breeze Series. It also happens to be what I’m reading, or more specifically what I read, this week.

If you’ve followed her series from book one, you will be delighted to find all the familiar characters return in this new book. If you haven’t, you’ll want to start with Carolina Dream and Carolina Mercy. It will make understanding what’s going on in Carolina Grace much easier and the story becomes richer when you can see all the loose ends coming together.

Set a few years in the future from the events of her second book, readers get to see how “happily ever after” is playing out for the previous main characters. And due to the added years, Carolina Grace is able to focus on a secondary character who was too young to be more than a supporting player in the previous stories.

Charly Livingston is all grown up in Carolina Grace. While the previous books’ events would have given her an up close view of faith and love lived out through the lives of her brother and family friends, this book is about her own journey.

Raised to embrace faith, Charly struggles to reconcile what she’s always believed about God with difficult circumstances in her life. Her family’s faith isn’t enough to keep her from growing resentful and her resentment puts distance between her and God.

Though she still believes, it’s when Charly is in this place of doubt that she meets Rance. He’s a man that’s got it all together. The only thing missing for him is faith, but does he really need it? When family secrets come out into the open, it challenges everything he’s believed.

God’s grace is the answer for both Charly and Rance. Charly has to learn to embrace grace as her strength for the hard times and move forward in a faith that is her own. Rance needs to experience God’s saving grace and allow God to work in his life.

As someone raised in a believing family, I could relate to Charly’s experience. I believe at some point, God brings every believer who embraced faith at an early age to a point where their faith must become their own. A lot of times that means a trial of the faith they have.

Like Charly, they may never completely walk away from their faith. Instead, they may feel like they’re going through the motions or like God is no longer close to them. They let the circumstances or sinful choices put space between them and God and then wonder why they don’t hear Him as they once did.

Carolina Grace serves as a great reminder that those who are struggling to keep the faith or find it for the first time are not alone. There is hope. There is an answer. And it is found in God’s grace.

carolina grace

 

Saying Goodbye

I love quotes. I guess that’s why I came up with Write Stuff Wednesday. Usually, I share a writing related quote, but really I’m a fan of any type of quote. I especially love quotes from children’s books. Today’s quote falls into this category.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh

I’ve had friends come and go in my life. Some have been incredibly hard to say goodbye to and even now, years later, I still find myself thinking about them. Their friendship was that special kind of relationship that shapes who you are. They are beside you in the bad times and laughing with you in the good times. You grow together and support each other. You can trust them just as they can trust you. Their absence doesn’t go unnoticed.

Some books are like that too. Some end and you go about life as usual. You enjoyed them while reading them, but as you turn that last page you’re satisfied with the end. Their story is over, and you are ready to move on.

Other books are harder to place back on that shelf. Whether it’s the characters or the message or both, you connect with the book in a deeper way. You empathize with the characters’ pains and relate to their struggles. Maybe they’re dealing with the same doubts you face. Maybe you’ve experienced a similar loss. Whatever the reason, reading these books is like holding up a mirror and seeing yourself. You connect with people dreamed up in the imagination of someone else. Reaching the end of these books isn’t as easy. The resolution of their problems may be satisfying, but their story has not left you unchanged. You’ve been encouraged or challenged as you’ve read each page. These are hard books to leave behind. These are the books you visit again and again.

These are the books I want to write. I would love nothing more than for people to come away from my stories changed for the better. I would count myself successful to know that others have connected with the characters I created and come away encouraged or challenged in their faith. As I strive to learn and grow as a writer, it is my hope that those who read my books will find “something that makes saying goodbye so hard”.

 

What Can You Do?

Saturday I drove two hours to a book signing. It wasn’t my book signing. Fellow Mantle Rock Publishing author Regina Rudd Merrick was celebrating the release of the third book in her Carolina series. We’d only met once prior to this event, but we’ve “spoken” several times via email. Besides, I wanted to support her.

I held my first book launch event last year. Faith’s Journey was my first book, and I wanted to celebrate with friends, family, and anyone else who might be interested. I planned the party for months. I wanted it to be special. And the night before I was scared to death. What if I put all this time, energy, and money into the party and no one showed up? I was, after all, a first time author, a nobody in the publishing world.

I worried over nothing. It was a great day, and I will always remember those who came out to support me. I’d like to tell you I’ve learned my lesson, but as I’m preparing for Grasping Hope’s launch party I still fight those feelings. I know those of us who do show up will have a great time. I plan on celebrating even if no one but my husband and kids show up! But I’d like to share that day with as many of our friends and family as I can and maybe make some new friends too.

I share these stories with you because I don’t think I’m that different from other authors. We write because we have stories to tell. We hope readers enjoy what we’ve created. We hope they come away from our work encouraged or challenged or maybe even both. We hope they connect to the characters and find a little of themselves in the pages.

We hope, but often we don’t know. God gave us a passion for writing and the ability to do it. We are blessed to find God’s plan for us includes this thing we love so much. In our hearts this is enough. But like anyone who creates, whether it’s a novel, a painting, or even a beautiful dessert, there is a desire to know what we do means something to someone.

This is where you, the reader, comes in.

When I was a teenager, I wrote letters to my favorite authors. I told them how much I enjoyed their stories. I was thrilled when they wrote me back. I still have their letters tucked away somewhere. Back then, contacting an author meant hand writing your thoughts, finding an envelope and a stamp, and addressing it to the publisher in hopes that it didn’t end up in a garbage can before reaching the author. Today, there are much simpler ways to encourage an author who has encouraged you.

  1. Review their books. Amazon reviews are like gold to authors. They not only let them hear from readers, reviews help them from a sales standpoint. You can also review on sites like Goodreads. In addition to being an encouragement, your reviews help others find the same books you enjoyed. It doesn’t have to be complex. Just tell everyone what you liked about the book.
  2. Follow the author. Not literally, of course. That’s stalking and it’s illegal. But most authors have social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Amazon author pages, and Goodreads author pages each allow readers to stay connected with what authors are doing. They allow interaction with the author.
  3. Go to events. Launch parties and book signings not only give you the chance to speak face to face with your favorite authors, they are also a great encouragement to the authors. Even the introverts enjoy hearing from those who enjoy their work.
  4. Sign up for their newsletters. Authors tend to get a little more personal in these email newsletters. Readers get to know them better and have sneak peeks into what’s coming for the author. Giveaways and behind the scenes looks into favorite books are a couple of other perks subscribers may receive.

Readers: What are your favorite ways to encourage and connect with the authors you enjoy?

Authors: What are your favorite ways to hear from readers?

Here are some photos from the Faith’s Journey book launch last year. Stay tuned for new ones after the Grasping Hope Launch Party in March!

Write Stuff Wednesday – Cynthia Roemer

Newspaper photo Book 2 - Copy (2)Cynthia Roemer, today’s guest on Write Stuff Wednesday, shares a quote from one of my favorite children’s book series. Of course, I really don’t think this series is only for children! Thank you for sharing Cynthia.

It comes from C. S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew.
“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”
~ Why I like this: As a writer, perspective is everything. I hope to make readers experience what my characters are experiencing, hopefully in an intriguing sort of way. As a person, it’s my prayer that I will look for the good and not the bad in situations and others.
Here’s a little more about Cynthia:

Book cover - finalBook Cover _ Under Prairie Skies (Final)

 

AUTHOR BIO: 

Cynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational writer with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband and their two college-aged sons. Her Prairie Sky Series consists of Book One: Under This Same Sky and Book Two: Under Prairie Skies. She is currently writing Book Three in the series, Under Moonlit Skies due to release in September, 2019.

 Contact Info:

Website:  http://cynthiaroemer.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com@cynthiaroemer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCynthiaRoemer/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16785237.Cynthia_Roemer

Author Newsletter Sign-up: http://cynthiaroemer.com/

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=cynthia+roemer

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-prairie-skies-cynthia-roemer/1128471176?ean=9781945094446

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cynthia-roemer

 

It’s Coming!

In just one month, Grasping Hope will be released. Currently, I’m working hard to finish the final read-through for the publisher. It’s slow going, since it has to be read out loud. But the end is in sight, and the practice will leave me with a book that’s as error free as possible.

I’ve also received the first cover mock-ups. There are a few finishing touches, but I hope in the next week to have the cover to reveal to everyone! I can’t wait for you to see it! What I’ve seen is beautiful.

I’m also working hard planning my book launch party. With a quirky fifties vibe, it should be a lot of fun. Plus, I’m going to serve mini root beer floats. How could it be anything less than fun with root beer floats and cupcakes made to look like soda fountain milkshakes?

I’ll be back on Wednesday with a guest Write Stuff Wednesday blog. Until then, it’s back to work doing the last read through of my manuscript.

What I’m Reading

middle-ages-1434434__480Though I usually focus on fiction, I do enjoy the occasional Christian non-fiction book. Today’s review falls into that category. A quick disclaimer. I haven’t finished the book. I’m about half-way through it. I was going to rush through, but I want to be able to take to heart the message of the book. So, instead, you’re getting a “what I’m reading” review instead of “what I read”. I hope you’re okay with that. It won’t happen often.

What is this book that has me wanting to take my time to internalize its message? Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants by Louie Giglio. I picked it up from a local bookstore because I’ve always enjoyed watching his messages, but I’ve never read anything he’s written. I’m about half-way through the book, and I’m finding I enjoy his writing style as much as his speaking style.

Giglio uses the story of David and Goliath as the base for his message, but he starts with an unique twist to one’s understanding of the take-away of the familiar Biblical story. It doesn’t negate the way we tend to look at it, but it offers an enhancement to it that I had never considered.

Building from this new perspective, Giglio tackles the giants we face in our lives. Fear, anger, rejection, comfort, and addiction are all given time as giants in our lives keeping us immobilized like the Israelites before Goliath.

Giglio gives insight into how each giant can manifest itself in our lives, where the giant comes from, and the weapons we have in our arsenal to defeat it. Of course, the giant is, according to Giglio already defeated through no effort of our own. But a defeated giant can still be a deadly giant. And that is what we fight against.

With real life examples, scriptural examples, and down-to-earth language, Louie Giglio presents readers with the reality of spiritual battles in our physical lives and an understanding of the tools we can use in the fight. Giglio writes in a way that leaves the reader encouraged to join in the battle and finally see their giants fall.

 

Making Changes

I think it’s time to make some changes. Change can be difficult. It can be scary as your results are not a guarantee. Change can also bring a freshness to what you do. Change can usher in new passion for a project and increase your drive to accomplish whatever you’re setting out to do.

In the last year, though I have at times been less than consistent, my blogging pattern has been fairly stable. Mondays are for Main Character and Full of Character Author Interviews. Wednesdays are Write Stuff entries focusing on writing and reading quotes I find inspiring or challenging. Saturdays have been reserved for devotional book reviews of whatever I’ve read that week.

My layout for the coming year will be similar, but I think some change would be good too. Mondays will still be Main Character and Full of Character Author Interviews. On the days I don’t have entries for those, I’ll post about some aspect of writing. Wednesdays will be the current Write Stuff Wednesdays every other week. On alternate weeks I’ll post Right Stuff Wednesdays. On these weeks, I will post a devotion relating to a scripture that has meant something to me. Saturdays will still be book reviews. However, instead of my typical devotional review format, I’m going to try more traditional book reviews.

I think these changes could be good. But I’m not the reader. What do you think of these changes? While you’re thinking about that, feel free to share about a time you made a change and it ended up being exactly what you needed.

Reading Out Loud

Did you know reading out loud is a great way to catch mistakes in your writing? It is. The last step in the editing process with my publisher is to read the book out loud. It’s amazing what you can miss simply reading the book silently. I guess the mind reads what you wanted to write rather than what is actually on the page.

Yes, it takes more time to read the manuscript out loud, but if the result is a book with less errors, isn’t it worth it? I think so. That’s why this post is going to be a short one. I’ve gotten the manuscript for Grasping Hope back from the publisher for the last read through, and I need to get started. My son may think I’ve lost my mind as he hears me talking to myself in the office across the hall from his room, but I want Grasping Hope to be the best book it can be for the readers.

Just for fun: What is something that you take extra time doing so the results are the best they can be?