I want to write a novel or have one written already. What now?

Congratulations! Writing a novel is a big accomplishment. Sometime the hardest part of the writing process is getting the book published. It can be a discouraging, drawn-out part of the process. I give some tips here on how to get your books published. Another route you might want to consider is self-publishing.

If you’re looking to write a novel, the biggest hurdle is overcoming the blank page. Once I get past that part, my favorite part of the writing process is research! I also wrote a blog post on 10 easy writing tips, which you might find helpful.

Last but not least, one of the most important parts of writing is promoting your own work. The easiest and least expensive way to do this is through social media!


How do you balance work and family?

Between being a wife, a mom to six, a friend, a mentor and a writer, life can get a little crazy sometimes. In no way do I have it completely figured out yet, but I do have a few tips and tricks. I wrote a blog series about time management 101. Read parts one, two and three!

I’ll admit that it’s hard to stay sane while maintaining a busy schedule, but it is possible! I’m a mom by day and a writer by night.


God’s calling me to mentor teens in my area. How should I start? What is Teen MOPS?

I think it’s amazing that you feel God’s call to mentor to teens. It is not an easy calling, but it is very rewarding. The first step in mentoring teens is to be their friend.

Teen MOPS is a program that reaches out to teen mothers or soon-to-be mothers. You can find out more at their website or read this blog post I wrote about helping teen moms.

I also felt called by God to begin a center for pregnant women in my area. It was a challenging process, but God taught me a lot through it. Here are my tips for starting a crisis pregnancy center in your area.


God’s calling me to write a book. Will you be my mentor?

One of the things I love to do is encourage new writers. I remember the help and encouragement I received as a young writer. Unfortunately because of my schedule I’m unable to mentor anyone else personally. Instead, I offer help in a few other ways:

1. Every Wednesday I like to provide some type of writing help or inspiration on my blog.

2. I have tips for writers on my website here.

3. I also speak once a year at at the ACFW (American Christian Writer’s Conference). This year (2012) I’ll be speaking on The Writing and Editing Toolkit: Going From Unpublished to Best-Seller. Even if you don’t attend, you can order the CDs online at ACFW.com (after September).

4. I also regularly interview authors on my radio show Living Inspired. On my show you’ll hear the “story behind the story” of these authors and often some great writing advice! You can download all my shows free on iTunes or find links to download the shows here.


Will you endorse my manuscript?

Because of my personal writing schedule and family commitments I’m unable to endorse any additional manuscripts at this time. Thank you for considering me!


How did you choose your agent? Do you have any advice for me?

I was blessed to have met my agent Janet Grant through a mutual friend, Robin Jones Gunn. In looking for an agent I suggest:

1. Attending a writer’s conference such as Mt. Herman Christian Writer’s Conference or American Christian Fiction Writers. At these conferences you can attend an agent panel and get to know the agents better.

2. Pick up a copy of The Christian Writer’s Market Guide and find information about the agents. Or visit agents’ websites. By looking at their website and blog, you’ll get to know them better. Interacting on their blog through comments is a great way to connect.

3. If you are part of a writers’ group or have author friends, ask about their agents. But know that unless an author offers, you should not ask an author to recommend you to their agent. This puts the author in an awkward place.

4. Finally know that agents get hundreds of submissions a week. Present your best foot forward the first time. This means that you shouldn’t approach an agent until you already have your book complete and a book proposal ready. You might even want to work with a freelance editor to get it in tip-top shape. Provide a manuscript that will make the agent want to jump at the chance to work with you.