I was a daydreamer as a child. Actually, I haven’t changed that much–I’m still a daydreamer. My childhood wasn’t always easy, so I tended to find a happier place and hang out there. The place I found was usually in my head and possibly connected to the latest book I’d read, or something I’d watched on television.
As a stay-at-home mom raising three young boys, I found another reason to retreat to the happy place. I began to write stories. At first, it was a hobby. Then, as I wrote more and more, it began to be something else. A calling. And I knew, even if no one ever read anything I wrote, I’d still write.
But others did read my stories. I entertained family and friends. They were impressed and encouraged me to pursue my interest. I took a writing class at the local college, and the professor encouraged me to keep writing.
This past week, I attended a writer’s conference. I sat in classrooms with accomplished writers and writers on the way. Men and women who’d found their calling, their niche, shared what they had learned along that way. I soaked it in and used my pen for the first time in a long time, taking copious notes. Because what they’d found, I wanted.
Many professionals must continue to educate themselves in order to compete in their field. Writers are no different and conferences–good conferences–provide those opportunities.
Possibly even greater than the knowledge we receive at writers’ conferences, are the connections we make. There’s nothing like face-to-face discussions with friends we’ve made on Facebook and Twitter, or sitting down with someone who looks familiar, only to find they’re a multi-published, award-winning author. Gee, she seemed so normal.
I’d like to finish with this thought, shared with me by a new friend:
What I think is so great about these conferences is–how giving these authors are–they all want you to succeed, as they have.
And here’s why they’re so ready to share their hard-earned secrets — at some point, someone did the same for them.
I am a…I am many things: Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Writer. But my favorite and most defining title is Christian, by the grace of God.
You would like me when I’m…You would like me when I’m at Disney World, the happiest place on earth. You would also like me on my back porch, my at-home happy place.
You wouldn’t like me when I’m…I would hope you would always like me, but realistically, you probably wouldn’t like me when I’m stressed, focused, and trying to get things done.
What qualities I like to see in others: I love to be around people who seem comfortable in their own skin, so I guess that could be called self-confidence. I especially like people who have a great sense of humor and don’t take themselves too seriously.
Favorite way to spend an evening: My favorite way to spend an evening is to sit next to my husband and watch something good on television. We go through phases. Right now, we’re really into Columbo re-runs. (It’s even better if my husband rubs my feet)
Who I love to spend an evening with: Oh. I just answered that one. I love spending time with my husband. I like to say he is like still waters that run deep. He is quiet and doesn’t talk my ears off. But when he does say something, it’s usually something good that needs to be said.
Am reading (or want to read): My only reading right now is in the Bible. I’m currently reading through the book of Acts.
If I had a hammer…I’d give it to my husband. LOL But if this is a symbolic reference to what I would hammer out of society, it would be this:
Because I am a teacher, I see the dangers and pitfalls our young people have to face. I would strongly encourage parents to be more aware of the demonic influences attacking our children’s minds through media, movies, and books. Protecting and guarding our children’s minds and hearts should be a priority.
My favorite genre is: For fiction, it would probably be historical fiction. For non-fiction, it would be biographies of great people who inspire me.
My work-in-progress: I am currently working on Freeing Ellie, a contemporary fiction. It is Book 2 of the Redeemed Side of Broken Series, published through Write Integrity Press.
My favorite food is: I’m a southern girl. Really good fried chicken is always my “go-to” favorite.
I’m a collector of: Anything with a yellow butterfly on it. 🙂
My favorite happily-ever-after: My own life. Not only do I get to be “heirs together of the grace of life” with the man I love, but I also get to spend eternity in heaven, paid for by the blood of Christ. “ The Path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” It just gets better and better. And the best part??? It’s true and not a fairy tale. Talk about a happy ending!
Joan Deneve teaches English in a Christian school and has a passion to help young people fall in love with Jesus and equip them to become all God wants them to be. Joan began her walk as a Christian when she accepted Christ as her savior two weeks before her sixteenth birthday. She graduated from Tennessee Temple Bible College in 1975.
Joan and Rene’, her husband of forty-plus years, reside in Prattville, Alabama, a charming city with Southern hospitality. They count their son, daughter, son-in-law, and seven phenomenal grandchildren to be their greatest blessings on earth.
Joan enjoys time well-spent with family and friends, but finds equal joy in quiet moments of solitude on her back porch. There, surrounded by bluebirds and yellow butterflies, she began writing her debut novel, Saving Eric.
An active member of her church, Joan enjoys singing in the choir. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is currently working on the second book in the Redeemed Side of Broken Series. She enjoys chatting with fellow writers and readers. Check out her web page: http://cjdeneve.wix.com/joandeneve
Eric Templeton’s well-ordered life as a top CIA agent is shattered when a traitor within the agency plots to have him eliminated. Sent on a bogus mission to Africa, Eric is ambushed and critically wounded. A helicopter pilot flies him to a remote mission hospital where Dr. Brock Whitfield and his daughter, Ellie, work to save his life.
If Eric survives, his life may never be the same, and he still has to deal with the traitor who wants him dead. Eric wants justice, but Brock and Ellie know that Eric’s survival is the least of his worries. What he needs most is mercy and truth.
This week’s Authorview guest, Elizabeth Noyes, has been here before. You may recognize her from an earlier post. Her debut novel, Imperfect Wings, is a recent release from Write Integrity Press. She has a wonderful, humorous style, and I hope you enjoy her interview.
Nickname or “wannabe” name:I grew up being called “Betty Ann” by my family and friends (that’s a strong southern emphasis on Ann, two syllables, pronounced “Ayyy’-yun”). My brother dubbed me with my nickname – “Boop” (as in Betty Boop, not that I looked anything like her). Today, people call me Betty.
I am (what you do): For several years, I’ve told people I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up—retired! Last month I did it. Now, I plan to refocus my 40-hour work week on my writing.
My best trait: Perseverance
My bad habit: Self-doubt
Qualities I admire: Confidence, outgoing natures, positive outlooks
What I like to read: Reading is my addiction. I love all genres – suspense, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, biographies, even some horror (if it’s not grisly). No war stuff, though.
What I write: Action/suspense with a dash of romance
What I watch: On television, I watch old movies, baseball, football, and bullriding! But I also like to people-watch at the park, at church or while shopping. You get some crazy ideas for stories that way.
My family: I have a husband (been married for 41 years this Christmas), one son married with a son of his own, and one daughter also married with a daughter and son. There are also assorted grand-dogs at any given time.
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: Ice cream – Chunky Monkey, Pistachio, Butter Pecan – haven’t found a flavor I’d turn down yet.
What I love to do: Read, crochet, read, yoga, read, write, read, bridge, and … did I say read?
What I admire: People who can put themselves out there without fear of rejection.
What makes me happy: Sunshine, blue skies, oceans, cruises, other people’s smiles, children playing, dogs napping, flowers, clean toilets, and that all important first cup of coffee in the morning.
What makes me sad: A friend’s tears, movies that make me cry, the end of a good book series, a wasted day.
I believe: There is a Creator who put order in the universe, one who lets us make mistakes and learn from them, one who created us for a purpose and will gently guide us to the right path if we allow Him.
Elizabeth Noyes–professional writer, aspiring author, dedicated dreamer–lives in Atlanta with her husband and best friend, Paul, who listens tirelessly while she regales him with all the tales in her head of damaged, but very human character clamoring to be heard. Imperfect Wings is the first novel in her romantic suspense Imperfect Series.
Evil stalks TJ McKendrick. Three years after burying her father, TJ visits Honduras where he died. While there, she witnesses a murder and is forced to flee. Don Castillo dreams of power. Funnel the drugs into the States and it’s his. First though, he must kill the woman who dared spy on him. The last thing Garrett Cameron needs is another woman interrupting his life, but when the feisty vixen that put a monkey wrench in his mission two years ago shows up at his ranch running for her life — what’s a man to do? The attraction between TJ and Garrett bursts into flame in the midst of danger, a fierce desire that neither is prepared for. Her past is filled with betrayal. He’s lived a life of violence, and love isn’t for someone like him. Do they dare let go of past hurts and embrace a future together?
Only faith in God and trust in each other can overcome the deadly odds they face.
I met Jennifer Hallmark on the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Scribes loop. After working together for a while, she invited me to become a co-writer on a blog she’d started with another member of the Scribes loop, Writing Prompts &Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My! She wanted to inspire writers with her blog. She’s done that and more.
I hope you enjoy her answers to my “Authorview” questions…
Nickname or “wannabe” nameIf you don’t have a nickname, you can choose one you’d like, that tells us a little bit about who you are: Never really had a nickname, but how about Eowyn? I loved her in Lord of the Rings…
I am: Too serious.
My best trait:Persistence.
My bad habit: Overplanning.
Qualities I admire:Honesty, being real.
What I like to read:Fantasy, 1920’s mysteries.
What I write: Southern fiction, fantasy.
What I watch: Sports, competitive reality television, shows about geniuses like Elementary, Scorpion, and Numbers.
My family: loves me for who I am.
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: hot tea, pretzels, dark chocolate Milky Ways.
What I love to do:Read, enjoy time with family and friends.
What I admire: People who are real.
What makes me happy:God, family, music.
What makes me sad:Sickness, death.
I believe: That God has a plan and purpose for everyone, a hope and a future.
Writer by nature, artist at heart, and daughter of God by His grace. Jennifer loves to read detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like LOTR, and play with her two precious granddaughters. At times, she writes.With over 160 articles on the internet, her attention has moved to southern fiction.
Her first book was published in early 2014, a multi-authored Romantic Comedy novella, for Valentine’s Day called A Dozen Apologies. She is currently shopping her YA series, “Journey of Grace”, and a contemporary southern fiction novel, “When Wedding and Weather Collide.”
For some, the fourth of July is a celebration of freedom; for others it is a reminder of bondage. Of pain. Of fear. Of hopelessness. But there is a hope that is deeper, a love that is truer, and a freedom that no one can ever snatch away. How can one take a step toward that freedom when the road appears shrouded with insecurities and doubts? These pages contain numerous stories: a woman longing to start again but bound by the failures of her past; a young man who, upon reaching adulthood, must face his fears of death; a woman offered a chance of true love but held back by crippling insecurities. Is God even there? Does He care…enough to reach down and pull these men and women from the messes they’ve landed in, some of them by their own hand? Freedom. Peace-saturated, joy-infusing freedom. We pray our stories demonstrate what it looks like in the day-to-day…and provide a little insight into how one grabs hold of that treasured state of heart and mind.
I am: Deanna but you could call me Jan Karon if you’d like.
My best trait:I’m totally transparent.
My bad habit: I’m totally transparent.
Qualities I admire:Integrity
What I like to read:Good literature, especially historical fiction well-written
What I write:Everything; short stories, picture books, middle grade historical fiction, YA nonfiction biography and fiction
What I watch:You mean on TV? Uh, sometimes I watch the listings scrolling. The first of the year I’ll watch Downton Abbey.
My family: My husband Dave (married 52 years), our seven children and their spouses and our eleven grandchildren and one great grand, and my mom, 92 years.
My favorite food, snack, or beverage: I like eggs. I love Coke.
What I love to do:be with my dog, write, read, walk
What I admire:Selfless acts and kindness
What makes me happy:Getting up each day, going to bed every night and everything in between.
What makes me sad:Some of what happens in between
I believe: the words I profess in the Nicene Creed
Betty: Thanks, Deanna. Some of your answers left me giggling.
For more information, keep reading!
Deanna K. Klingel was raised in a small town in Michigan. She left for college, married, and spent the next twenty years moving every two years with her IBM husband Dave. Their family grew with each move. They eventually settled in Atlanta with their seven children where they put down roots for nineteen years. The children grew up, left home, and Dave retired. They moved to the quiet mountains of western North Carolina. It was here, in the quiet remote setting that Deanna returned to her love of writing, and began the life of a writer.Her books include Beth’s Backyard Friends, and Rebecca & Heart, both eBooks on Storyrealm.com, and published award-winning short stories that can be read on her website. Other published books are Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, (Dog Ear Publishing, Oct 2010); Avery’s Battlefield, (Journey Forth BJU Press, March 2011); Avery’s Crossroad, (Journey Forth BJU Press, Sept 2011; Bread Upon the Water, (Rafka Press, spring 2011.) Cracks in the Ice, (Write Integrity, Oct. 2012.) Deanna writes primarily for young adults.