Wednesday, December 26, 2012

From us and ours to you and yours ;)

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! We'll be back after the holidays :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas to me!

I got my cover art yesterday for my April 2013 release with Love Inspired! What do y'all think? I totally love it! This might be my favorite cover ever.

Can't wait 'til the spring :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gotta give a little...

Sometimes, we just gotta give a little.

And what better time of year than Christmas?

We talk about writer's block here on Scribble Chicks a lot, and I've found a new solution that we haven't discussed. This works for me, anyway, so I highly recommend trying it.

You know how we say sometimes the best cure is to get up, change scenery, get a new drink or snack, take a walk, exercise, write on something different, etc. ? Well those are great solutions and tend to work, too. However...(especially right now during the Advent season) why not take it a step forward and get your mind off YOU and YOUR STORY and YOUR WIP in an even better way?

Give to someone else. Focus on someone else. Pray for someone else.

Yep. It's that simple.

If you're sitting there stuck, and you think that blinking cursor on the Word document might actually come to life and beat you up, it's time to move forward. ;)  So in that moment, just STOP. And GIVE. Send an email to a writer buddy and ask how THEIR story is going - without mentioning yours. Facebook message someone you know going through a tough time an encouraging word. Email a gift card to a family member or friend who could use a smile or even just because. Ask a critique partner how you can pray for them in their writing journey.

All of those things make God smile. God tells us to give, and God blesses obedience. So whatever that giving looks like to you in that moment, give. Give freely and without expectation. And just see if God doesn't bless you back.

Now remember - it might not come in the form of 4500 words during the next hour. (but it might!)  :)  The return blessing might be something related to a completely different category in your life. But we can't out-give God.

And doing good for others at Christmas and beyond might just shift your perspective, free up your mind and heart, and let your soul breathe. And how could that NOT be good for your own story?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


In case you're looking for the perfect gift for the writer in your life, you might find it here.

(No, this isn't a hint for my husband--I already have the book.)

Seriously one of the best compilations ever. And the quotes from the most amazing writers in the world... pushes it over the top of incredible.

Merry Christmas! (I'll give you a break from reading the blog next Tuesday ;).)

Monday, December 17, 2012


This last Friday, we all witnessed a horribly tragedy. I cannot even begin to comprehend the grief these parents are feeling - my heart has been just breaking for them. It's Christmastime. This is the time of year when joy is supposed to be in full.

This is a blog about writing. Writing, though, is not just putting words on a paper. Writing is putting feelings on paper - sadness, excitement, joy and sorrow.

In light of this, I would ask you to take a few minutes and read this blog that I read this morning. It is not about writing. But the way she writes is full of emotion.

Praying for joy and peace for you and your family this Christmastime.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Calling vs Hobby...

I never wanted to try to tackle this question before, because it's SO subjective. But it plagues so many writers of Christian fiction that I can't ignore it anymore, especially not when I feel God has given me an answer.

I'll share it with you, but remember, this is "my" answer. If it doesn't ring true in your heart, then move on and don't stress. All I can do is share my experience and see if it relates to you or not. Don't let this post hinder you if it's not what's in your heart.

How's that for a lighthearted blog post introduction? haha!

Okay, seriously. You've heard authors say they are called to write Christian fiction. And you might passionately agree.

Or you might be one of those who sit there and think "Well... huh. Am I, too? How do they know they are? Where is my writing on the wall? How can I tell?"

Or you might just stand there and say "You're called? That's cool. I just like to write."

Calling vs. Hobby.

Seems so tough to determine, but its pretty much what you make it.

For me - I'm called to write. I know this for several reasons, one being that writing has been a part of me since I was a little girl. I really don't remember ever NOT being in love with written words and journals and books and notebooks and pens. I started writing short stories on our first home computer when I was seven years old. The passion only grew. It was like God had put that in my DNA.

But there was a distinct moment when I was about 12 years old, when I found a Robin Jones Gunn novel under a pile of laundry in my older sister's room, that stands out to me even today at 28. It was WHISPERS from her Glenbrooke series, and after reading that first venture into Christian fiction, I was done. I knew. I was supposed to write romance like that. Clean, quality novels that inspired women toward romance, that inspired them to not only wait for the right guy but to wait for the Lord. The true lover of our souls. To inspire in readers what that book inspired in me.

There are moments since then, as I pursue that calling, that cement the calling for me. When I get busy and stressed over the details of life, when I get caught up in the endless to-do list and wonder if I'm supposed to be writing now at all, I only have to look at one thing. When I'm closest to God, I want to write. When I'm in a church service, I'm eager to work on my story. When I'm having a quiet time and feel the Spirit, I'm inspired for my novels. The burden is lifted and the path is made clear. When my heart is still before my Creator, He reminds me what I'm supposed to be doing.

That's what I hold to when I doubt the calling on rough days.

Maybe it looks different for you, but that's my story.  :)

Here's another truth - just because you aren't sure you are CALLED to write, or even if you know you're not CALLED to it in a ministry form, doesn't mean you won't be successful and doesn't mean that God won't bless your socks off through your writing and open doors. If writing for you is a hobby or a business or both or neither...who cares?

So what? Does it change anything? Does it make you want to stop writing? NO :)

Don't get caught up in the semantics. Don't get legalistic on your soul. Calling, hobby, ministry, business, whatever - God can use all of that when our hearts are right. How awesome is that???

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why I Want to be a Bald Baby

The Tiny Human
Recently this bald baby turned one.

The applause, the balloons, the ruckus...

She was oblivious.

She had no idea that it was all about her.

Sometimes I want to go back to that place for myself.

It's easy, when you hear people say, "Wow--you got a book contract in a recession..."


"Wow--you really stuck with it through the rejection..."


"Wow--your writing really touched me..."

to think,

The ruckus... it's all about me.

But then the wake-up comes; the moment where you weep in the church pew. And you realize that your creator--He is your salvation, and the story is about Him.


Have you been called to serve where others tried and failed,
And with God’s help and strength your efforts have prevailed?
Touch not the glory
Have you some special gift, some riches you can share,
Or are you called of God to intercessory prayer?
Touch not the glory
Has God appointed you to some great noble cause,
Or put you where you hear the sound of man’s applause?
Touch not the glory
A watching world still waits to see what can be done
Through one who touches not that which is God’s alone.
Touch not the glory, touch not the glory, touch not the glory
It belongs to God.

(Words by Erma Davison)

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to Find the Elusive Agent

There is something of a Catch-22 when it comes to writing and it's all tied up in one word:


I remember hating that word a few years ago. Few publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts and yet I couldn't get an agent to represent me if I wasn't already published. This is very frustrating for an unpublished, unknown author.

So how do you break this little circle and get an agent interested in your work?

I know we here at Scribble Chicks harp on this ALL the time, but...


Writing conferences are the KEY to finding an agent who is willing to represent you, finding a publisher who is willing to look at your material, and finding out that you know nothing about the industry or what shoes qualify as "comfortable" while running from meeting to class to Q&A sessions. I learned SO much from these conferences. (I still don't know what shoes to recommend to you, though. Only that you should definitely plan in time for caffeine.)

An agent is so much more willing to look at your work if you are sitting across from them, obviously serious about your writing because you are at a writing conference. You become more than just a name on a piece of paper - you become a person with a story to tell. And if you are nice, that's just even more bonus points for you. ;)

So, here's a list of a few things you can do to make a good impression on a potential agent when you get the chance to meet them at a conference:

1. Be on time to your appointment.

This is huge. Be early if you possibly can. Show them that their time is important to you. If you are meeting them in more of a group setting, say around a table at dinner, then be polite. Don't hog the conversation and don't interrupt someone else. Politeness and punctuality carry a lot of weight in publishing!

2. Be friendly.

This seems obvious, but I have definitely witnessed meetings where the author sits down, doesn't even bother with a "hello" or a "how are you", but just launches into tell the agent why he or she should be represented by them. The standard length of appointments with agents is typically fifteen minutes. You can spare a few to be friendly.

3. Remember that you are not their only appointment.

The agent you are meeting with has likely already had DOZENS of meetings that day or that weekend. I had an agent ask me one time after our meeting if I could stay a few minutes extra and watch her table for her while she ran to the bathroom. Remember that friendliness is the best way to make an impression. Be courteous of the fact that they are likely worn out and are most likely not going to be hauling dozens and dozens of full-length novels home to read. Bring your business card and your proposal, but leave your book in the hotel room. If they want it, they'll ask for it.

4. Slow down and breathe.

Typically, after exchanging greetings and such, the agent will look at you and ask you what your book is about. This is where that "elevator pitch" comes in. Give him or her a two minute, quick synopsis of your book but leave them hanging as to what the end is. Take your time - don't rush. In the beginning of my meetings with agents and publishers, I could barely inhale after telling my story because I was so panicked. Take a deep breath and try to calm down. An agent isn't necessarily evaluating your book - they are checking out your ability to write and what kind of client you would be.

5. Ask lots of questions.

After telling the agent your pitch, ask them if they wouldn't mind glancing through your proposal. What do they think of your idea? Do they think it has a place in the current market? What do they think of your writing style? What do they think of the layout of your proposal? Be prepared to have a thick-skin here, guys. They might not tell you what you want to hear, but they will tell you the truth and that's what you came to the conference for.

6. Be prepared to change.

When I was first coming to these conferences, I was trying to shop a mystery novel. I was in one of these meetings when the person I was talking to set my book down, looked at me and said, "Honestly, Erynn? You are twenty-one years old. I have a huge market right now for books about twentysomethings and I can find no one who has a voice that sounds authentic." That's when I showed them Miss Match, my little for-fun writing I was doing on the side and they were ecstatic. Maybe you won't end up writing suspense or historical fiction or sci-fi or whatever you think you will. Be prepared to stretch a little. If an agent says, "I don't see a market for this, but have you ever thought of writing this instead?", don't just shut them down. Think about it. Pray about it. Practice. You might change your mind.

7. Sometimes it's not your writing.

Not every agent is going to be a good agent for you. And not every author is going to be a good fit for one particular agent. 95% of the time, you may not be talking to your agent, but for that 5% of the time, you want it to be an enjoyable experience and so do they. You can have amazing writing but a horrendous personality and that is going to be a big drawback for whatever poor agent has to work with you.

7. Do your research.

On the flip side of this, you also need to be researching these agents you are meeting with as well. Just like they are going to be mentally evaluating you, you need to be evaluating them. Are they personable? Do they have a good reputation? Do they represent authors who have similar styles to you (this can be a big plus - they know better then what publishing houses are accepting your style of books)? Do they seem hardworking? What is their strategy for selling a book? If you get an offer from an agent who wants to represent you, take a week or so and ask some of their current clients what their thoughts are about this person. If you have contacts in publishing houses, ask them as well to get the other side of that equation. A good agent won't mind in the least.

Above all else, remember that God has a plan for your writing that far exceeds the one you have for it. Maybe nothing will ever happen and He'll use you in ways that you can't even imagine right now. Maybe you'll become the next big bestseller. Maybe you'll never be a bestseller, but you'll still have a small, faithful following. Whatever the case, know that we here at Scribble Chicks are rooting for you - in whatever great adventure God's got for you!

Please let me know if you have any more questions regarding agents! I will do my best to answer them.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Where the Magic Happens

I was so inspired by B.J.'s post about her writing space that I decided to also give you a glimpse of where the magic happens. Or where I want the magic to happen anyway when I'm not at Starbucks. Or Barnes & Noble. Or some random waiting room.

C'mon in...

Here's my desk and trusty laptop. Just ordered a bigger desk and can't wait for a little more room to groove...

I like to be surrounded by things that inspire me. Like Audrey Hepburn, the globe, the ampersand, books!!!!!!

In my line of sight in our reading den (yep, we wanted to bring the Barnes & Noble experience home with us), I have lots more books in my line of vision.

Now how about you? What makes your writing space the perfect place to crank out the copy?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let me out of the box!

Have you ever heard your characters ask that before?


Guess its more of a demand than a question...

Seriously though, sometimes we put our characters into such stilted, boring, formal conflict that we forget to let them breathe. Let them tell us where to go and what to write. We get so busy complaining about our characters not doing what we want them to, not flowing easily into the plot we stuffed them into, that we don't consider the fact they might be trying to tell us they have a better way.

Can't help but see the spiritual analogy in that (in reverse). We try to force our own plans and our will, always forgetting that God's will and plans are so much better, higher, and greater than our own. Maybe it's time to stop forcing it and let God move us.

And in your writing, if your plot is stuck, maybe it's time to try a different route. Think outside the box. If Plan A is obvious and the best answer logically, think about what Plan B would look like and give it a whirl. You might find an amazing twist that is just what your story needs. Don't be afraid to keep asking what if.

Remember, plans are just plans. Not guarantees.

For us, and for our characters ;)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Take the dare! Post your "office" pics.

I wanted the perfect space to write, so I spent some birthday money putting this nook together.

Every decision was sentimental--my mom's old writing desk (painted black and roughed-up), flowers from loving folks at church, a photo of me with my agent and... and also, my initials... because I'm an egomaniac (actually, my mom bought them for me).

But in reality I have a toddler. When she collapses, so do I. So this is where I write most days:

Do you dare? Post a pic online of your favorite writing space, and leave the link here!


Bekah Hamrick Martin writes about What You Missed in Sex Ed on her blog, The Bare Naked Truth. She also writes about how Waiting Is Sexy in her book, The Bare Naked Truth: Dating, Waiting & God's Purity Plan.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Motivation

I saw this today and SO NEEDED to be reminded of this in regard to my writing:

Sometimes I forget that while writing CAN and IS fun most of the time, it is still work and my job. Let's work hard this week, friends! My writing goal this week is for 8,000 words by the end of Friday night.

Who is ready to climb that word mountain with me? I hear there are cookies on the other side... ;)