Wednesday, September 9, 2009
"The Premier Christian Fiction Conference"
STANDING FIRM...MOVING FORWARD
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)
DENVER, COLORADO SEPTEMBER 17 - 20, 2009
Bestselling authors, publishing industry representatives, and newcomers to Christian fiction writing will gather in Denver at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s annual conference September 17-20 to compare notes, learn from each other, and encourage one another in the pursuit of publishing goals.
This year’s conference theme , Standing Firm…Moving Forward, will especially inspire the full range of talent and dreams in the ever-changing publishing world today.
This amazing conference will feature representatives from major publishing houses like B & H, Guideposts, Zondervan, Harvest House, Barbour, Steeple Hill, Summerside Press, Bethany House, Waterbrook Multnomah, Marcher Lord Press, Tyndale House, and Thomas Nelson, and top literary agents who will meet with writers and identify promising proposals from both new and veteran novelists. Conferees will have access to publishing panels, professional critiques, and customized workshops based on skills and interests.
The keynote speaker is New York Times bestselling author, Debbie Macomber, who has more than 100 million copies of her books in print worldwide.
Learn more about the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference by visiting www.acfw.com. Click on the left sidebar on Annual Conference.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thanks for sharing with us, Anita!
Here's the rest of the interview:
When did you realize that you were going to be a writer?
At a young age I tried writing a novel. It was truly terrible, but I know those were the first little signs of what I would someday be. I should have taken the signs more seriously. But I didn’t. I walked away from my desires and dreams for a very long time. I had an appalling lack of confidence. And so when I was about thirty, I was reading a novel, and I thought, “Okay, I can do this.” I think it was God gently nudging me again. This time I listened. And I kept going, and have been writing ever since. I wish I could tell you the name of the novel I was reading when I had that epiphany, but the name of the book is lost from my memory. But I will never forget the way I felt when I made that decision to write—to finally allow myself to follow my dream.
What does an average workday look like for you?
I get up around 5:30, eat oatmeal and grapefruit, and then take a mug of coffee upstairs to my office. I catch up on my email, and then I start writing. I break for an early lunch, and then I either run a few errands, or I go back to my writing. After dinner, I’m usually back in my office working again or I’ll spend the evening reading a good book. I don’t watch TV, but on the weekends I do love to rent new movies. Watching someone else’s story unfold is my treat after working hard all week, trying to tell my own story.
Where do you get the ideas for your novels?
Everywhere I go, ideas come to me—whether it’s a book concept or a new character or a twist in the plot or a unique phrase. Sometimes I’ll be grocery shopping or picking up the dry-cleaning, and I’ll think of something to add to my work. That happens so often that I’ve come to accept errands as a blessing in disguise.
What are some of your favorite books?
I enjoy reading the classics. I loved Oliver Twist, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romance of the Forest, Pride and Prejudice, and The Woman in White.
Do you have any tips for writers?
1. Read. I have discovered that the more I read the better I write.
2. Follow all leads from networking opportunities, writer's conferences, and tips from writer friends.
3. Look for "holes" in the marketplace. One way of finding holes is to talk to booksellers and librarians. You might discover that there is a real need for a certain kind of book. Perhaps a number of patrons have asked repeatedly for a particular subject and there are few or no books written on it.
4. Try brainstorming when you are out of ideas. Then when the ideas do flow, start a file for later use. For example, you could have a file with character profiles, bits of dialogue, fresh book titles, or other elements that you could eventually use in a new piece of writing.
5. Read all your work out loud. It sounds a bit simplistic, but it’s a valuable tool.
6. Titles are important. Make sure that your title is the very best it can be for your work. If you don't like it, brainstorm until you find a new one, or use a dazzling phrase from your manuscript.
7. If you feel a burnout approaching, and you're actually thinking about throwing in the towel, put your work aside, read a book for fun, start a journal, go on a writer's retreat, or take a break by writing something outside your genre.
8. Try making a habit of writing, even when you don't think you're in an inspired mood.
9. Pray that God will guide you and help you be the best writer you can be.
10 Many popular authors have known rejection, so you’re not alone if you have a drawer full of rejection slips. (Years ago I collected enough to paper a small room!) The bottom line is—if you feel called to write, don't give up.)
Where can readers find you online?
I’d love for you to drop by my web site. I’m at www.anitahigman.com.
Thanks for inviting me, Julie!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Anita Higman's latest release, Love Finds You in Humble, Texas found and hooked me from the get-go. Today, we get a chance to ask Anita a few questions...
Tell us about your most recent novel.
I hired the amazing Circle of Seven Productions to do a book trailer for me, so I’ll let the narrator tell you a bit about the book.
Click here: http://video.yahoo.com/watch/4269149/11475177
Do you have a favorite character in Love Finds You in Humble Texas?
Actually, I was very interested in one of the smaller characters. I love Wiley Flat. He was such a surprise the way he showed up and revealed himself to me. Almost as if he really did exist. There are so many times I’ve thought it would be fun to attend a party and have all my characters show up. I could watch them interact with each other, and see what happens. Reminds me of the movie Stranger Than Fiction.
How did you come up with the idea for this novel?
I started with a simple concept—two sisters who were very different. One would be an image coach and the other would be in desperate need of an image coach. Then I thought, “What if both sisters fall in love with the same man?” Now that seemed like an interesting concept since it would have a lot of natural built-in conflict, especially if the sisters were close. I wrote an opening scene, and then my fingers began to fly. Even though I generally know where the novel is going, many times the story reveals itself as I go along.
Are you anything like the heroine of your novel?
I’m like Trudie Abernathy in certain ways. She has the heart of an artist, and she is introspective and has a passion for life. I am those things too. But Trudie is a compilation of many personality traits beyond me. Some pieces are from acquaintances, friends, family members, and from just watching people and taking mental notes. Then in the process of writing, the imagination takes over to add its own magic to the mix.
What do you hope readers will feel when they finish your book?
Here is a tiny excerpt. “Life can be a collage of pretty pictures as well as a thousand shattered moments, but God can bring marvel to it all as He takes those broken pieces and, with the light of His grace shining through them, makes something beautiful, something treasured.” I hope readers feel that kind of encouragement when they close the book.
When did you realize that you were going to be a writer?
We'll get the answer tomorrow, and a few more, when we finish the interview with Anita. Be sure to check back for her writing tips. Oh, and bring a latte!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
In her new book, Love Finds You in Humble, Texas, we bump into two sisters with a passion for the same man.
Enter Trudie Abernathy, the older, more sensible, less-fashionable sister. Who, despite being grounded most of the time, stumbles out of the car and into the arms of Mr. Right. Did I mention Mr. Right happens to be her sister's ex-boyfriend?
Lane, the younger, more attractive, organized and well-intentioned sister, sets the two up on a blind date. Considering she's a professional, making her living at bringing out the best in people, you'd think she would have planned her feelings out in advance. She realizes she still loves Mr. Right, or in this case, Mason Wimberley.
I had a tough time putting the book down. Higman has a way with words, keeping the pages flipping, one right after another, until...well, you know, the end. The one place I wanted to avoid. It was too good to put aside, and I wanted more! I knew the end had to come, I just wanted it to be after 300 more pages and a lot more time spent with Trudie, Lane and Mason.
Higman made it easy to make me, the reader, feel like I was there in Humble, watching the events unfold. I didn't want to say goodbye to Trudie and her rediscovery of herself as an artist, and finding out who she really is on the inside. Through the course of her new found love, and her existing friendship with her sister, Trudie evolves from a hurting young girl, into a woman with a passion and ability to finally forgive herself for her past.
Through trials and a penchant for honesty, the sisters find out more about each other than they've ever known before. The two begin to find out who's more suited for Mason, and what life is like when you love your sister and the same man. But, we do find out who's humble in the little town with a Texas-sized heart.
Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-four books published (several coauthored) for adults and children, and she has been honored as a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for
Check back tomorrow for Part 2 - The Interview with Author Anita Higman
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
As I read the book to my two young boys, we followed a little koala singing his way though many countries. He climbed trees, hid among the houses and fields, and just enjoyed his stay in each place.
My boys loved searching for the friendly koala in each drawing. Sometimes just a shadow, but always there, the koala takes us on a unique journey across many lands.
Singing the words to my boys, I listened as they began to hum the tune along with me.
The illustrations, by Linda Bleck, are filled with comfort and colorful images, and a beautiful moon that reminded me of our Savior's continuous presence in our lives.
Throughout the countries, Bleck created a scene that made me want to jump into the page and discover each new place.
Brown, known for Good Night Moon and Runaway Bunny, passed away in 1952. Her words are cherished to this day. Adding to the verses, Laura Minchew grabbed onto Brown's voice and helped complete the book.
Published by Thomas Nelson