Welcome

Matthew 17:20, my favorite verse. "... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Preparing for an Interview

What do you do when you finally get an interview?


Prepare yourself! What do you want the paper to say? Really, it's up to you. You have the power to guide the editor's direction. They want to interview someone they don't have to pry answers from. So prepare what questions you'd like to cover. Such as, do you have another book coming out? How about book signings? Do you have family ties in the area that might bring about more interest or some other link to that paper's community? Are you covering a particular topic and can you weave that into something current? Do you want to encourage other writers?

Here are some other topics to consider preparing answers for. Type them into a word document and print them out so they're handy. The more prepared you are, the less likely you'll have any regrets.

Family life

Education

Organizations you've joined

Where you see yourself five years from now

Why you chose a traditional publisher or self-pubbed

How readers can contact you, via blog, website, etc

Your next project

Did you always want to write

How past careers led you to where you are now



If I've missed any questions that would be helpful, please share them through the comments section and I'll be sure to add them to the list.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Interview with Jamie Adams

Let's welcome Jamie Adams to Faith of a Mustard Seed. Jamie is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and I'm blessed enough to have her in my critique group.



Jamie is an aspiring author who has experience freelancing for articles online but is now pursuing publication for her novels. I know from critiquing her work she'll get there and soon-- she's very gifted. How long have you been writing, Jamie?

Thanks Regina. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I ‘published’ my first book in 6th grade when my teacher gave the class an assignment to write and illustrate a story as well as design the cover. They were even put in the school library.

Clever teacher, what a way to inspire children!

In high school, my English teacher suggested if I wanted to be a writer I should keep a daily journal. It was great advice because now I can look back over the years and relive memories that I would have otherwise forgotten.

After college I took a correspondence course with the Institute of Children’s literature. I worked one on one with a published writer. It was a very rewarding experience and I value the time she spent helping me improve my writing skills. After the course I wrote a children’s book and promptly sent it off, eagerly waiting for my first sell. A few weeks later I received a form rejection letter.

At that time I didn’t have the support of a writing community that I do now. I was very naive to the publishing world. Crushed, I put my manuscript away and stopped writing. Newly married I concentrated on building our home and family. During the next five years I lost both my parents and two sisters to cancer. I also had a difficult twin pregnancy that ended with preemies in NICU and I suffered a mild stroke.

How very sad. What kept you going?

It was a hard time but the Lord was my strength. My need to write returned and would not be ignored. I enjoy reading all types of books but am particularly drawn to historical. I love cowboy stories, western, wagon trains, anything around the last half of the 19th century.

Ten years ago, I was doing an online search and came across a fan fiction sight dedicated to one of my favorite shows from the 60’s – The Big Valley. At the time I’d never heard of fan fiction. I read stories written by other fans of the show and was hooked. The members of The Writing Desk are so friendly and encouraging that I eventually started writing short stories to share with them.

It was through the encouragement and support I received from this group that I regained the confidence to write again. If it weren’t for the lifelong friendships I’ve made there I doubt that I would be writing today.

The more I wrote, the more I felt the need to use my writing to honor my savior. One of the friends I made at the Writing Desk went on to become a multi-published inspirational author. When I asked her advice on seeking publication she directed me to American Christian Fiction Writers. I’ve been a member since last December.

We are self-employed and our kids schooling is done online so there’s a lot going on around our house. I do most of my writing in the evening but write any time I can catch a few moments.

So where do you see your writing going?

I want to use my writing for God’s glory. I pray that the stories I write will in some way be an encouragement to Christians and a help to those searching for answers. One running theme I see in my writing is the peace that comes from yielding to God’s will. Some of the concepts may not be popular or politically correct but being in the center of God’s will is the best place to be.

What fuels it the most, is it the messages you want to get out, or is it more for a healing tool?

I’m shy and as a child internalized everything. I’m the type that is most alone when in a crowd. Writing has been a form of expression and a definitely a healing tool in my life.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Write what you would like to read in a book. Being part of a critique group has helped me grow as a writer and I’ve found a wealth of information by joining American Christian Fiction Writers.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Jamie. I wish you many blessings toward publication!


If you have any questions or comments, leave them here and Jamie will stop by to answer them.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Marketing/Church Contact Letter

Check in later this week. We'll have a guest blogger tell us about herself and her writing. Jamie is one of my superb crit partners and a wonderful person. She'll be happy to answer any questions you may have so don't be afraid to ask!

Now to the business side of this post. My husband and I are creating a study packet to accompany my book, Abandoned Hearts, along with a purity ring. We're approaching church youth groups to get a feel for how much interest there would be in using fiction as a means to convey the subject of abstinence. Following is a trial letter I typed up. Following that, is the 'good' one my husband typed and the one we used!!

Dear Pastor,


I'm a local author from Patton and have recently published a book dealing with the subject of abstinence under the guise of inspirational fiction. In Abandoned Hearts, I take the reader to a place of physical temptation that most any dating teenager can relate to and show them how to step back and why they should. I've always been passionate about the support of abstinence and wanted to provide a new approach to conveying this timely message.

We are currently taking a survey to gather interest in a packet that would include the book, an accompanying study guide and a purity ring while keeping costs as low as possible.

Please look for an email from me that will include a free eversion of Abandoned Hearts, a copy of reviews it has received and other related material.
I'll follow up with a call or you may contact me at reginatittel@gmail.com or by calling (#).

Thank you for your time.

(Here's the good one)

Hawse Pipe Ministries August 20, 2011


Regina L. Tittel

address



Dear Pastor,

You may be familiar with "True love waits" or a similar purity ceremony for teens and young adults. As an advocate for abstinence, I support training the next generation in the importance of purity in an increasingly immoral culture.

I am a local author from Patton and have recently published an inspirational novel which conveys practical methods to overcome the temptations faced by the hero and heroine who have fallen in love. In Abandoned Hearts, I take the reader to a place of physical temptation that dating teenagers and young adults can relate to. The reader is shown how to recognize temptation, how to step back and why they should through the realistic situations of the characters presented in this book. I have always been passionate about the support of abstinence before marriage and wanted to provide a new approach to conveying this timely message.

My husband and I are developing a packet containing a copy of Abandoned Hearts, a study guide and a purity ring as a small group study kit appropriate for teen to college age young ladies or single adults. We are currently making inquiries to local churches to see if there is an interest in this approach. Please understand that our intent is not to solicit business, but rather to bring another useful tool into the body of Christ for the teaching, correction and training of His people so that Christ may be glorified through pure, lasting, and meaningful relationships.

Please look for an email from me that will include a free eversion of Abandoned Hearts, a copy of reviews it has received and other related material.

If you, or others within your church family, have led small group studies on this subject, or have participated in purity ceremonies, this material may be a great resource for you. If you have questions or comments, you may contact me at any time.

Sincerely,



Regina L. Tittel

address and ph. #

E-mail: reginatittel@gmail.com

Some of you expressed interest in seeing what we would use to reach out to potential buyers. I hope this is helpful to you!



Friday, August 19, 2011

The Rewards of Marketing

Do any of you need encouragement? Are some of you lacking the self-confidence to promote yourselves?

Let me address the second issue first. (And yes, I will get around to the 'reward' part of this.) I'm the type of person who gets nervous around other people. I'm like a nervous little hummingbird inside. After scheduling my first three book signing, you can imaging the mess I was. Then I heard a Christian comedian on a dvd make this statement, "I realized, it's not about me . . . "

I remember commenting out loud, "Duhh." Then I realized I needed to learn that, too. If I was truly doing this for God, then I shouldn't be so nervous---because it's not about me. Simply put, I don't have to prove myself to anyone, I don't need to worry with what they think. God has paved the way for me. From that moment on, I've attended my other marketing ventures with the confidence of a seasoned author.

Now for the encouragement part. You remember all those press releases and available for interview forms I encouraged you to send out? Well, for me, it's starting to pay off. Today, I was asked for an interview from a neighboring newspaper editor! Whew hoo!

Also, two stores have agreed to carry my books on consignment and schedule book signings; Gospeland in Cape Girardeau and The Oasis Bookstore in Farmington.

I've distributed posters to all the areas I'm scheduled for signings and am also posting smaller versions with an invitation for everyone to share in my celebration and list each book signings' location and time.

Let me know when these steps pay off for you. I'd love to celebrate with you!!


My Blog Has Received An Award!
The Liebster award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers in order to give opportunity for the readers to find new and wonderful sites.

The rules are as follows:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
2. Give the Liebster Blog Award to five bloggers and let them know in a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. Have blogging fun!

Now I get to share. However, I work with dial-up, so my time for blogging is limited and I don't know that I can come up with five. So if you have an interesting blog, submit your reason why I should check it out. You never know, you could be one of the next recipients to receive this award!


(Leave a comment with your blog information and I'll stop by and comment on yours too!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Diamond Press Publishing

Jennette, at Diamond Press helps authors and publishers prepare files for publication with Createspace or Lightning Source. Services she provides includes, book formatting in Word 2003, converting images to meet industry standards, and creating the press quality PDF files required for publication by both LSI and Createspace. For more information, please visit her website at : http://www.diamondpresspublishing.com/publisherservices/index.html

I used Jennette's serivces for formatting my book for CreateSpace. She did a great job with the interior and the cover. Plus, she's a joy to work with. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them here as she'll be checking in to leave answers.

Available for Interview Form ex.


Available for Interview

Regina Tittel: author

Abandoned Hearts

Abstinence gets overlooked by supporters of 'use protection', yet, fifteen-million people contract STD's every single year. Romance author, Regina Tittel, shows her readers how to step back from tempting situations before they're allowed to go too far, through her exciting novel, Abandoned Hearts.

How do you step away from a sensual situation that your body doesn't want to flee but your mind is telling you is wrong? Through Ann and Jacob, the author of Abandoned Hearts shows you how. Backed with powerful Bible verses and vivid depictions of time and place, the hero and heroine's plot will continue to occupy your thoughts long after you've finished the book.

Society needs to get back to the importance of abstinence. This topic was approached from the pulpit of Mrs. Tittel's church then easily made its way into her book.

"What do you do when you find yourself in a situation that your body doesn't want to leave, but your heart tells you is wrong? Honestly, we've all been there and your daughters are going to be if they haven't already. Have you provided enough training for them to fall back on?"

About the Author:  Regina Tittel is a home-schooling mother of two and has written two other books for The Ozark Durham Series, due to be released Fall of 2011 and Spring of 2012.

   This savvy entrepreneur has done everything from home mechanics to holding a title of director in Mary Kay sales. 

Regina Tittel can be reached at reginatittel@gmail.com or by calling (phone number)


(I also made this one)



Give Your Listeners a Bonus Reason for Reading Inspirational Fiction



WHO:  Regina Tittel, inspirational romance author

WHAT:  Abandoned Hearts, The Ozark Durham Series

WHEN:  Anytime by appointment.

WHERE:  National interviews by phone; personal appearances anywhere inside the cont. U.S.

WHY:  To provide your audience with a stimulating guest who has written an edge of your seat suspense based on local mountain lion suspicion and interweaved it with an inspirational romance.



To make your job easier, here are some sample questions.



Is it true we have a current population of mountain lions in our area?

In Abandoned Hearts, you created a mountain lion that feeds on the hero's calves. Since you've stated that some of the ideas for your story came about from local gossip of mountain lions, does this particular part of the story stem from this area?

You didn't just write an entertaining story, you also informed the reader. Tell us a little about mountain lions, how to identify them and their habits.

Your book is also being marketed for a study guide in youth groups because of the message of abstinence. Tell us why you thought it was important to include.

What is it you hope your readers will gain from this novel?

In a personal light, you've mentioned you're a homeschooling mom, how long have you been writing and how do you fit it into your day?

How can our listeners get access to your book, Abandoned Hearts?

Contact:

 Regina Tittel, (and info)


I can't decide which to use or if I should combine them. But today, I'm sendind them out to all my media contacts. Afterall, my first book signing is only 8 days away!!




Friday, August 12, 2011

Discount Info Sheet Example

I blended my catalog sheet with my discount sheet adding the below information the bottom of the catalog sheet. The prices are based off of my $11.95 priced book.
Quantity                                                  Discount                                 Price Each

10 units                                                           40%                                          $7.17

28 units (1 case)                                            50%                                          $5.97

56 units (2 cases)                                          52%                                           $5.74

84 units or more (3 cases and up)             55%                                           $5.38




Sample product available on request (no charge).

(post your contact info here)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Ozark Durham Series, vol.s 2 and 3

Check out the first three chapters of Unexpected Kiss and Coveted Bride via the new pages I've posted. Then vote on which one you like the best!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Marketing Through Libraries-Step Four


Libraries can be the start of your fan club. Most librarians get excited when a local author turns up and are more than happy to help hold a book signing for you.  I scheduled three signings yesterday with three very excited librarians. They're so good for our confidence!

Some of them offered to put the word out on the local paid television channel, slot in the local newspaper, and online. However, don't leave the marketing there. You also have a job. For instance, there are still a number of newspapers to contact, several radio programs and perhaps even the local news channel that everyone watches in the evenings.

I have my press release, available for interview form and a copy of reviews grouped together ready to push send to the addresses I already researched. Once that is done, I still won't just sit back and wait. I've had posters printed off at my local print shop, the libraries love to hang these up with the 'meet the author' date and time. I can also hang some smaller posters in the tack boards at grocery stores, the windows of area businesses that allow paper advertising and gas stations. You might even want to print off card size advertisements to put under the windshield wipers of cars in parking lots. The ideas are endless, now you just have to match your energy to your ideas!

Keep an eye out for the first three chapters of the next two books in The Ozark Durham Series. I'll post them on here later this week and everyone can judge which one they like the most!

Friday, August 5, 2011

We Have a Winner for Lesson of the Poinsetta

Thank all of you who left comments for Mildred Colvin. Congratulations goes to Jamie Adams for being the winner of a free ecopy of Mildred's Lessons of the Poinsetta. I know you'll enjoy this, Jamie. Mildred does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of her characters.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome, Mildred Colvin!

Today, I’m welcoming Mildred Colvin, author of A New Life, to "a mustard seed of faith." Mildrd is a multi-published author of both contemporary and historical romances. Her first book was published in May of 2001 with Heartsong Presents, the romance line for Barbour Publishing. Sadly, Heartsong Presents will cease to exist after this year. Although Mildred has enjoyed eleven published romances, two collections, and an audiobook with Heartsong Presents, she is looking forward to a new venture in e-book publishing. Her hope is to reach many new readers who may not have seen her previously published works as well as retain as many of her former fans as possible. 
Here’s the back cover copy for A New Life:

            She’s city. He’s Country. She just found out they have something in common. Her son!

Kimberly allowed her family to pull her from Travis seven years ago before she knew she was pregnant. Now widowed, she takes the job of housekeeper on Travis’s ranch with one goal in mind. To tell Travis he’s the father of her six-year-old son.

Travis fears for Kim’s city-bred son on his ranch. So he tells Kim her boy had better stay out of the way, or they’ll have to leave.

Kimberly has to decide what’s best—keeping her secret from Travis and her son or taking the chance that Travis will become the father their son desperately needs. 

And a short teaser from the book:

“Kim, are you all right? I was only playing around. I didn’t mean to drop you.”

She brushed her wet hair from her face and laughed. “It would’ve been hard to hold on when you were flying through the air yourself. I’m fine. Just blue and wet.”

He laughed, glancing down at his shirt. “That seems to be going around.”

Then his eyes centered on hers, and she couldn’t look away. She searched his face before touching his cheek with her hand. Although most of it was gone, blue paint still colored his cheek. She wiped it off.

“You didn’t get hurt when you caught me, did you? I mean, I’m not exactly a light weight and I landed on your chest.” Her hand slipped down to touch the second button on his shirt.

He shook his head. “You aren’t heavy. Not at all.”

His gaze dropped to her lips, and she watched his eyes grow even darker than usual. She lifted her face to his and their lips touched.

“Momma, what are you and Travis doing in the pond?”

Kimberly sucked in air. Jamie.

She heard Gran’s snicker before she opened her eyes. She pulled away from Travis and considered sinking into the water, but figured with her luck their audience wouldn’t leave, and she’d still have to come up for air.


First, tell us a little about yourself.

Regina, thank you for inviting me here today. You mentioned that I’ve been writing for Heartsong Presents. I am saddened by that line closing, but am so thankful that Barbour Publishing is still going strong with their other, longer romantic fiction lines. I’m looking forward to this new adventure of e-book publishing and already have three books on Kindle at Amazon.com as well as on Pubit! at Barnes & Noble.com. Learning to Lean was my first e-book and it continually grows in sales. Each sale is a potential new reader and that’s exciting! I look for A New Life to do the same. I hope to reach many ebook readers with the stories I am now working on. In fact, as my backlist from Barbour becomes available, my goal is to rewrite some of those and publish them as ebooks. Currently, I’m working on four books in my Brides of Cedar Creek Series, which were formerly published under different titles. I will be expanding those to make a more fulfilling read with new scenes added.

As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?

I think I did, but I had such an elevated view of authors that I never expected to become one. I loved writing assignments in school when other students groaned at the very thought. My English classes helped bring my grade-point average to an acceptable level. I’ve always loved pencils, pens, and paper and can spend hours just jotting ideas down. Crazy, I know, but true.

Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader feel as though they know you a little better.

I am the mother of three adult children. Yep, they’ll always be kids to me. I also have three grandchildren who are growing up even faster than their parents did. My husband is retired, so I use him as a second opinion for my stories. He’s helped me work through more than one tangle. My oldest son is a fantastic brainstormer/plotter. He comes up with such great stuff. And my daughter is wonderful for helping with publicity. Couldn’t do it without her! All three kids and the grandkids, too, are my most enthusiastic supporters. They are all great!

 When did you first begin writing, and why do you write still?

When my children were small, they wanted me to tell them stories. That started the Marvin, the Bear stories just for them. Marvin didn’t always do what he should, but he always learned from his mistakes. I enjoyed that so much I took a brief course in writing, still thinking I might write for children. Then my dad made a comment in Sunday school class that stuck with me. He mentioned a woman who went to Alaska in the late 1890s to nurse her husband who had been searching for gold and had become ill. So I wrote In Search of Gold, which became a very long book. And it’s never been published. Maybe someday after extensive rewriting!

Why do I still write? Because I don’t see a place to stop. My first published book, Circle of Vengeance, was written with my older sister, Jean Norval. About a week before she died she made me promise to continue writing. That was about seven published books ago, so I’ve kept that promise. As long as God gives me the words, I’ll write them. 

How many books do you have published and where can they be found?

My Heartsongs can be found on the publisher’s website at http://barbourbooks.com or at http://heartsongpresents.com. Some can still be found on Amazon.com. I have eleven Heartsong Presents paperbacks, two 3-in-one collections, and one audio book on CD. In addition to those, I have three e-books available on Kindle at http://amazon.com or on Nook at http://barnes&noble.com. I hope to eventually publish my e-books on Smashwords as well. Also, they will eventually be available in print, hopefully by this fall. My e-book titles are, Learning to Lean, A New Life, and Lesson of the Poinsettia.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

A New Life and Learning to Lean were brought to life by other stories I had read. Let me assure you, neither are anything like the other author’s stories. When that happens, a spark is lit and a new idea begins to form. Questions such as, What if this happened instead? or Why couldn’t the characters be like this? take form in my mind and before long, I’ve got a new story going off in another directions and often in a different century. Another source I draw from is my ancestry. I’m working on the first book in a series of four that draws heavily from the old stories of my past. Those are fun to work with.

How do you choose names for your characters?

As my characters take shape, I play with various names until one fits. After that the name becomes part of that person.

How do you get to know your characters?

I create a chart on each of my stories. In it, I’m able to become well acquainted with my characters, but they truly become real as the story progresses.

What themes do you write about?

I seem to do a lot of writing on forgiveness. I’m not sure why? Maybe because I feel to forgive or to be forgiven is so important. Trust is another favorite of mine. I try to write whatever God has laid on my heart as it fits the story.

Does your faith affect your writing? How?

Yes, definitely. At my last book signing, I was talking to a lady about my writing. She asked if all my books are Christian. My answer was yes. Some may not carry as strong a message as another, but every book is written to glorify God and portray some area of need each of us may find in our lives. I love it when a reader tells me she identified with one of my characters as she has gone through a similar trial.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

My advice for aspiring writers is to give up if you can. If you find that you can’t stop writing, then don’t let anything discourage you. Learn everything you can about the craft of writing. Study the how-to books or find helpful articles on-line. And above all, write. Every day if you can. Pray over your work and for God’s will to be accomplished in what you write even if you only have a readership of one or two. Join a critique group and listen to what your partners tell you, but make your own judgments. You know your book and your writing better than anyone else.

Mildred can also be found at Romantic Reflections by going to http://mildredcolvin.blogspot.com. I’m also a regular contributor to Infinite Characters with five other authors. You can find me there at http://infinitecharacters.com.

Mildred will be giving away a copy of her ebook, A New Life on a PDF file. Leave a comment below to be included in the drawing.