Where in the World Did That Story Come From? with Dena Netherton

With the release of the second in The Hunted Series, we welcome back Dena Netherton to Thyme for Writers as she shares how she gets her ideas for her stories, her characters, and her settings!

When I tell people I’m a writer, many of them ask me, “How do you get your ideas for your stories?”

The first couple of times I was asked this, I had to think about it for a minute or two. Because ideas come from everywhere: shopping excursions, movies, books, the news, people-watching, travel.

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The Hunted Series by Dena Netherton

For example, one of my most awful bad guys, Dade Colton, in the Hunting Haven three-part series, came to my mind as a conglomerate of several villains from real life, and some from horror movies I’ve watched and found particularly scary. Dade’s creepy, toothy grin whenever he is threatening Haven is something I saw a horror movie villain do to his victims. Now, wouldn’t you expect a villain to snarl and frown whenever he’s doing something bad? The smile makes me shudder, because it shows Dade’s lack of conscience, and even enjoyment while terrorizing Haven.

How about book settings? What makes you decide where to place your story?
fear, writing, publishing, Haven’s Flight, conquer fear, trust, Hebrews, Saul, Moses, worry, overwhelmed, healing, trembling, faithfulness
Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered by Dena Netherton, author of Haven’s Flight

The ideas for the settings of my books come mostly from my travels. Some place sparks my imagination, either because of the town itself, its shops and museums and institutions. Sometimes, when I travel, I’ll see or overhear a fascinating person in a Starbucks or restaurant, or see him or her walking down the sidewalk, and it makes my brain begin to generate ideas. Or sometimes the scenery and the weather moves me and makes my brain begin to pop out scenarios.

But how did you come up with the idea for the Misty Mountain Retreat Center where Haven hides from Dade?

That idea came from real life. After I graduated from high school, I worked for a summer as a camp counselor at a Christian camp and retreat center in the California coastal redwood forests outside Santa Cruz. As a young woman, working with other young men and women, there was, inevitably, romantic drama. Those months in the mountains gave me fodder for stories later on.

A couple of years ago—and after I’d already written Haven’s Hope—I spent the week at a lovely Christian retreat in the Pacific Northwest, and found, to my surprise that the real-life place was incredibly similar to my fictional Misty Mountain Retreat.

What about the tall, handsome, and brilliant Dr. Petter Eriksen?

Haven’s romantic hero, Dr. Petter Eriksen, is a blend of several wonderful and godly men I have known in school and in my professional world. Making Petter Norwegian was purely a selfish decision. I’m proud of my Scandinavian heritage and wanted to pay tribute to my ancestors and their plucky resolve to immigrate in the early 20th century to America to build a better life for themselves and their children. Thank you, Oluv and Sigrid, my sweet, heart-working grandparents. I miss you!

Now that you know a bit about my process of writing, I hope you’ll read on to find out more about Haven’s Hope, which released on Feb. 6th, 2018.

Haven’s Hope: Feel the fear—Savor the romance
Dena Netherton, Haven’s Hope, Haven’s Flight, The Hunted Series, ideas, books, writing, writer, Hunting Haven, settings, villains, romantic suspense, Norwegian, Scandinavian, Cascade Mountains, characters, Pacific Northwest, imagination
Haven’s Hope by Dena Netherton

HAVEN’S HOPE gives one woman’s answer to the question…
Does God still love me even when bad things happen?
Is good really more powerful than evil?
How can I be freed from guilt?

Beautiful and talented Haven Ellingsen is about to discover that evil doesn’t take a holiday. Haven has escaped the man who relentlessly hunted her in the Cascade Mountains. But when an old friend form her dangerous past shows up unexpectedly to warn her that Dade Colton is determined to re-capture her, Haven makes the only safe decision: to go into hiding once more. But where? Who can she trust? If only she could tell someone about her tragic secret. But Dade’s threat to kill any one who helps her might put that person’s life in jeopardy, too.

Dr. Petter Eriksen saves lives every day at Mercy Hospital Emergency Department. Driven by guilt after the accidental death of his little sister, he can’t believe in a good God. But when a beautiful and mysterious young woman moves into the cabin on his uncle’s Christian Retreat, Petter wonders if her love and simple faith have the power to shatter the barrier he has erected around his heart. And can he save her from a madman?
Sometimes you hide; sometimes you stand and fight.

 

fear, writing, publishing, Haven’s Flight, conquer fear, trust, Hebrews, Saul, Moses, worry, overwhelmed, healing, trembling, faithfulness
Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered by Dena Netherton

About the author:
Dena Netherton has always loved the thrill of suspense-filled movies and books. One day it dawned on her, she could actually put down on paper her own action-packed stories and life-threatened characters that had been knocking around inside her head for decades.

When she’s not writing, Dena loves to play piano and guitar, read good books, spend time with people, and hike the Cascade Mountains.
Dena is active in her church as a worship leader, leader in Women’s Ministries, and director of a women’s prayer ministry. She also volunteers at a Crisis Pregnancy Clinic. Dena and her husband live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Find out more about Dena’s books through her website and newsletter: denanetherton.me.

Buy links:

Amazon.com:
Haven’s Hope

Social media links:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/dena.netherton

Twitter: @denanetherton1

Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/dena_netherton

Save Thyme with Writers’ Conferences

So many potential mistakes that costs time… . These first three articles discuss the importance of attending writers’ conferences and how to best utilize them and save time. This third article reveals two other very common mistakes to avoid in order to save even more time. Of course, I made these mistakes as well… .

writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero, Jeff Gerke, Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Save Thyme with Writers’ Conferences
Karen with Susan Elizabeth Phillips and          Jayne Ann Krentz
Learning the Craft of Fiction Writing
writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero, Jeff Gerke
Save Thyme with Writers’ Conferences

I studied and worked hard at learning my new craft of fiction writing. How-to books filled my shelves, and yes, I not only read them, but I studied them. There were books on

  • character development,
  • plots,
  • showing not telling,

to name just a few, along with workbooks where you can practice — and practice I did. Finally, I finished the first draft and applied for one of the few select spots in a fiction clinic with a great publisher and editor, Jeff Gerke.

The Fiction Clinic
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The Journalist

This book was my baby. I spent countless hours creating a strong heroine in a field that fascinated me – journalism. That’s right, I was fascinated with journalists who covered exciting, dangerous events so I made my heroine a journalist.

Jeff asked me a simple question that changed the course of my book, Hidden Bloodlines, (and my series — The J.C. Classified Series). “Why isn’t your heroine a lawyer?” He sagely pointed out that it’s better to write what you know. As a lawyer myself, I’ve lived the life, and if my character lived what I know, she would feel “real” to the reader and have a greater impact. You want your readers to fall in love with your characters.

writing, publishing, story, fiction, novel, mistakes, writing mistakes, Thyme for Writers, journey, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, agents, editors, craft, skills, writers conference, tools, titles, story, how-to books, heroine, hero, Jeff Gerke
Scales of Justice

Jeff then asked me to tell him the entire story in a nutshell. Most writers like to tell their story and I held nothing back. My story was too complicated — there were actually two books within one and they needed to be separated. I was back to the drawing board with a heroine who was now a lawyer and a plot that needed to be simplified.

The Plotter vs. Pantser

If I were a “plotter,” a writer who creates detailed outlines prior to starting, at least the overly complicated story may have been identified prior to writing the entire manuscript. However, I am a “seat of the pants” writer where this risk is higher. I’ve attended conferences where the recommendation is to blend the two. That may work with some, but not all, and certainly not me. That’s part of the excitement for me to write — the developing story and the twists and turns of events.

How about you? Are you a “plotter,” “pantser,” or a blend of both?

Save Thyme & Avoid Common Mistakes — The Beginning

In my first article, Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes, I discussed the importance of attending writers’ conferences and a common newbie mistake — pitching a book that was not written. This next article will focus on the beginning — the beginning of your book, your writing career, and essential tools of the trade.

Save Thyme & Avoid Common Mistakes — The Beginning

If you don’t take into consideration the two years my story brewed in my mind, this first writers conference was my beginning. If you can get into a clinic at a writers’ conference, I highly recommend it. It’s intense, and you get one-on-one assistance with an experienced writer, agent, editor… . This input is invaluable.

Because your application for a clinic typically includes the first 15 pages, you want to make sure those 15 pages are the absolute best they can be. Write, rewrite, and write again. Have others read it and see if you have a writer friend who can also give you input (more on writers’ groups and critique groups later). When you think it’s there, set it aside for as long as possible (I prefer a week) so that you see it with fresh eyes, and read it out loud. It’s amazing what your ears catch that your eyes miss.

CCWC: Estes Rock Banner 2016

Although my manuscript was not written, I did write the first 15 pages to apply to a beginners fiction clinic that was team taught by two well-known authors. The beginning is always critical to capture your audience, whether it’s an agent, publisher or your reader. I realized during this particular clinic that I was chosen not because of my story (the first 15 pages did not reveal much), but because of the mistakes I made in the beginning. Nothing I had grabbed my reader — not the title nor the first sentence, first paragraph, or first page. Nada.

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The Supernatural – Fact or Fiction? Night Fog …

This first clinic got my act together. At the start of this clinic, we went around the room reading our first sentences. The rule — NEVER begin a book with the weather. Most of us did. Think about how you choose a book, whether it’s your next library choice or book to buy.

Most people:
  • Check the title. Does it sound interesting?
  • Read the back cover copy. Still interested?
  • Open the book to the first page and read the first sentence. Still interested?
  • Read the first paragraph, and maybe even the first page. Getting it?
Writers’ Tools
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The Author Toolbox

 

This first conference also gave me a glimpse into what type of tools of the trade would make my life easier. Instead of sharing what I learned here, I recommend a more comprehensive source that’s tried and true — The Author Toolbox by Candee Fick.

 

 

The Title
Hidden Bloodlines, romantic suspense, Colorado Rockies, Karen Van Den Heuvel
Hidden Bloodlines

 

I needed a catchy and unique title. First, I brainstormed a list of 10 titles. Next, I did the research necessary to assure none of those titles were already taken in previously published works. I created survey sheets and waited outside each service at my church one weekend and asked people to choose and rank their top 3 titles. An overwhelming majority chose Hidden Bloodlines as their top choice.

 

I threw out my first chapter and started over. My first sentence went from the weather to:  “Victoria prosecuted the wrong man.”

What captures your interest?

Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes

So many mistakes … so much time wasted. Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes is the first in the Common Mistakes Series geared to help you save precious time getting that book published. I have first hand experience on making most if not all of them. With this new year upon us, my goal is to share my journey to make yours smoother and easier with quicker positive results.

The Story
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Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes

As I mentioned in my article, Never Give Up!, I am a writer by profession. Although I have more than 100 published articles (most of which were ghost written), my heart’s desire was in the story. I yearned to write that novel and see it published. Even though I was an experienced writer, I quickly learned that fiction writing was a totally different “animal” and I set out to garner the necessary skills.

Hidden Bloodlines, romantic suspense, Colorado Rockies, Karen Van Den Heuvel
Hidden Bloodlines

Hidden Bloodlines started as a story triggered by a stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. After this story brewed in my mind for two years, I decided that the time was now and I attended my first writers conference.

A Conference Mistake

I successfully pitched my story to agents and publishers during that first conference, but made my first mistake as an conference newbie — I pitched a story that wasn’t written. It was in my head, but not on paper. Every single one of the editors and agents I pitched to, wanted to see a manuscript that did not exist. By the time I wrote it, revised it (I can’t remember how many times) and had it ready, 5 years had passed. Oops — a little late for that group of agents and editors who were either with different publishing houses or made career changes.

Colorado Christian Writers Conference

During those 5 years I worked on learning the craft and developing my skills as a fiction writer — essential if you want to be taken seriously and get published. I highly recommend attending writers conferences even if that story is not written. There are workshops and sessions geared toward honing your skills. Appointments are usually available with not just editors and agents, but writers, and other writing professionals. If you want to pitch a story idea, let the agents and editors know that it’s not written yet, then get on the horn and write it. They may be interested now, but not a year from now.

Do you have a story brewing?

If Writing Is Your Passion – Never Give Up!

If writing is your passion, never give up! So many things may get in the way — time or the lack of it, discouragement, the need to earn a living, life …. The list goes on and on, especially if your goal is to be published by a traditional publisher.

Resources
The Author Toolbox

Candee Fick talked about the time issue in her article, So Little Time to Conquer this Mountain where she shares her tips and strategies in her busy life and offers a very helpful tool, The Author Toolbox. This article is about perseverance —  keeping that goal in sight so that we never give up.

 

 

The Journey

As writers, we all deal with discouragement whether we are trying to get published, or are already successfully published. Our journeys may be different, but the difficulties are similar if not the same. In today’s publishing industry, the age of the ebook and ease at which someone can get published independently has changed the course of the industry.

Hidden Bloodlines, romantic suspense, Colorado Rockies, Karen Van Den Heuvel
Hidden Bloodlines

Why do we write? For me, it’s a passion for story. There is a story I can’t get out of my mind until I put it on paper. That’s how Hidden Bloodlines started — it was a story that perpetuated itself for two years before I attended my first writers conference in Estes Park, Colorado.

As an attorney and dietitian with multiple articles and one published nonfiction book, writing was my life, but my passion was fiction — a story to share. However, I quickly learned that writing fiction is a totally different “animal” than nonfiction. It is a different art and it was important that I learn the craft. Future articles will talk about this craft and how to achieve the necessary skills for success.

writing, perseverance, journey, publishing, author, mistakes, writers conferences, fiction, nonfiction, craft of writing, traditional publisher, indy publishing
Thyme for Writers
The Journey

For those interested in becoming published by a traditional publishing house, the road may be long and bumpy with uncertain forks. If you are not interested in the years usually involved with a traditional publisher, you may want to go the Indy way. Regardless of which avenue you choose, when you reach that publication goal , it doesn’t end. There are millions of books out there and you may ask:

  • “How will anyone find me?”
  • “Can I make a living writing?”
  • “How successful can I be?”
  • “Is it even worth it?”

Thyme for Writers will help you discern the path that’s right for you. It will hopefully answer your many questions and help you avoid time consuming mistakes. I for one made mistakes that cost me years. Keep your eyes open for future posts that will steer you clear of these mistakes and make your road smoother.

Chasing Genesis with Sheri Carmon Miller

So many events in life inspire us as writers. I would like to welcome Sheri Carmon Miller to Thyme for Writers. Chasing Genesis is how the eclipse touched this writer’s life… .

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ECLIPSE August 21, 2017 
Observation location: Bar Nunn, Wyoming (Rural northern edge of Casper, Wyoming)
watching the eclipse from the site of an officially deactivated WWII Military airfield
Eclipse reaches totality: 11:43 am

ECLIPSE August 21, 2017 
Observation location: Bar Nunn, Wyoming (Rural northern edge of Casper, Wyoming)
watching the eclipse from the site of an officially deactivated WWII Military airfield
Eclipse reaches totality: 11:43 am

Chasing Genesis
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Thyme for Writers
Chasing Genesis by Sheri Carmon Miller

Chasing Genesis, we drive across Montana and Wyoming to experience what our LORD created, in the beginning, (Genesis 1:1) when he set the sun and the moon in the sky. “God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.” (Genesis 1:16) We travel to see the two fantastic lights, the greater and the lesser, together, in time and space and to feel the movement of the moon, on its steady orbit, placed with precision since the birth of the universe, at the command of the LORD–for us, for our benefit. We come to be touched by the cool chill sliding around our bare ankles, that deepens into cold, as the sun’s radiance slowly diminishes.

The Eclipse

Bite by bite the moon blocks the sun, air temperature quickly dropping, as the sun’s life-giving heat no longer reaches the earth. The bright day slowly dimming… until swallowed entirely. The scene, suddenly in silhouette…surreal…a different darkness. Totality! The moon fully eclipsing the commanding, fiery, life of the sun.

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Chasing Genesis by Sheri Carmon Miller
Eclipse

The sun becomes a charcoal ball surrounded with a burning crown of thorns that recedes into a glowing rim. In the darkness, a 365-degree thread of luminous pink glimmers on the horizon. For an instant, total quiet– the world stilled. In total awe, humanity stands– heads tilted back, mouths slightly open. The human race, united for one perfect moment. All are focused on the heavenlies, like a motionless sea of periscopes breaking the surface of the ocean. Then the unified shouts of joy and astonishment. The wonder! I hold my arms open wide, and turn slowly, in a full circle, drawing it in. The stars come out in the black, noonday heavens. I run and hug a stranger.

I gaze into Genesis. “The heavens declare the glory of God the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)

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The Eclipse

Suddenly, 2 ½ minutes later a fierce, piercing-white light, like shards of glass, shatters the darkness, stinging the blackness. “Let there be light…” (Genesis 1:3) Spectacular and jaw dropping. Instantly the light overcomes the darkness, pushing it back with a power I’ve never experienced. The dark was so big, but it was no match for the POWER of the light.

I stand in amazement, reliving the scriptures—like Doubting Thomas, who put his hand into the Lord’s wounds, to more fully understand and believe that Jesus was alive and had risen—so I stand in reverence and wonder– and believe as I experience the scriptures—alive.

For a few brief minutes—gazing so intimately into the heavenlies, I more clearly understand my life on this spinning planet. I feel one with the scriptures and the peoples of this earth, and with all that the LORD has created. The eclipse opened my eyes to just how big the LORD is and how long range his plans are, how powerful he is and how massively he loves us. He created this astounding planet specifically for us and protected the Holy Scriptures across the centuries so that we could clearly know the way to Jesus, our salvation, and our path home to heaven. The 2017 Great American Eclipse—The people poured out of the cities into the wilderness and saw the hand of God. We chased Genesis and remain in total awe from the experience.

eclipse, Genesis, writing, publishing, Wyoming, Bar Nunn, Casper, World War II, military airfield, light, darkness, heavenly, skies, Scriptures
Chasing Genesis
by Sheri Carmon Miller

Sheri is published with Boulder, CO based publisher, Blue Mountain Arts (BMA), in their inspirational collection Always Follow Your Dreams, Wherever They Lead You, and has also been published in BMA’s individual greeting card line. The Group Publishing in Loveland, CO published Sheri’s writings in the compilation of their 2012 devotional book, If I Can Do All Things Through Christ…Why Can’t I find My Car Keys? She recently completed a children’s manuscript, Kate and the Ladybug, An Allegory about God’s Generous Provision. Her work in progress is Cookies from God: 52 Yummy Devotional Stories for Kids. Sheri’s life verse is John 21:15-18 “…Feed my lambs…Take care of my sheep…” Sheri is passionate about promoting daily Bible reading, as the vehicle of getting to know the LORD on a ‘heart’ level, and for many years has partnered with Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, a non-denominational evangelical Christian ministry headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.  She and her husband Brad, have helped facilitate whole church Bible-reading programs in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. www.BibleJourney.net Sheri and her husband, live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 

 

A Writer’s Journey with Tracy Krauss

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Tracy Krauss to Thyme for Writers. Tracy is a multi-published and award winning author and playwright with several books and plays in print. She lives in Tumbler Ridge, BC with her husband of 35 years and teaches secondary school Art, Drama and English.

Tracy Krauss, British Columbia, novels, marketing, Conspiracy of Bones, books, writing, publishing, writer’s life, journey
Tracy Krauss, Author or Conspiracy of Bones

When I first started writing over thirty years ago, I was just happy to clack away at my typewriter (yes – typewriter), dreaming of the day I’d see one of my books on a library shelf somewhere. I was in no hurry. Good thing, since it took me sixteen years to finish my first novel and another seven to finally find a publisher! Those were the days of researching at the library with a pen and paper, and filling actual (as opposed to virtual) wastebaskets with crumpled paper.

By the time I’d finally signed that first contract, this writer’s life had changed. Drastically. And in the past nine years, it hasn’t stopped changing. Although the traditional ‘agent-publisher’ route is still an option, it is no longer the only scenario. I’ve pretty much done the entire gamut – agent, traditional deals, royalties, fee for services (vanity press), and self-publishing using Create Space and Lightning Source. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, but gone are the days of ‘just writing’. Modern authors have to be savvy business people, too.

Tracy Krauss, British Columbia, novels, marketing, Conspiracy of Bones, books, writing, publishing, writer’s life, journey
Thyme to Write

The biggest wake-up call for me after my first book came out was learning I was expected to do 90% of my own marketing. Beyond a word document, I hardly knew my way around a computer, let alone the internet! And social media? Phth! What’s that? But… necessity is a mighty teacher, let me tell you! The learning curve is still steep at times, but it feels more like a mildly paced yet enjoyable roller–coaster than one of those horrid spin-you-around-until-you-puke rides that nobody actually likes.

What’s my point? If the call is there, you’ll stick with it no matter what. Even after 20 plus books and plays in print, I feel excited about sitting down to write. I can’t imagine a day when I will say, “That’s it. I have no more stories to tell!” It just ain’t gonna happen.

Tracy Krauss, British Columbia, novels, marketing, Conspiracy of Bones, books, writing, publishing, writer’s life, journey
Conspiracy of Bones by Tracy Krauss

Speaking of that first book, I got the rights back to it after seven years and decided to revamp and re-publish it, and I’m giving it away on amazon absolutely free – no strings. (My way of thanking my readers.) CONSPIRACY OF BONES (formerly AND THE BEAT GOES ON) is available on amazon as an ebook for free. (Sorry – the paperback still costs money, but totally worth it!) If you’re interested, here’s the blurb:

Canadian born archaeologist Mark Graham unearths a remarkable discovery while at a dig in the mountains of Zimbabwe – pterodactyl remains and giant human bones buried together. Speculation leads to the possible existence of a mythical race known as ‘Nephilim’, a pre-flood people alleged to have descended from both gods and men.
But scepticism and sabotage delay Mark and his team as the dig site is compromised, putting their discovery – as well as Mark’s very life – in grave danger. Deceived and framed by trusted friends and colleagues, Mark struggles to safeguard his findings and protect his reputation in order to unearth the mystery behind the bones.

I’d love for you to check out any of my other novels as well. My work strikes a chord with readers looking for thought provoking, faith based, romantic suspense that is authentic and sometimes ‘edgy’. (Although not overtly, in my opinion.) All my books can be found by going to my website’s ‘Books’ page.

Thanks to Karen for having me here on Thyme for Writers.

Visit with Tracy or purchase her book at:

http://www.tracykrauss.com -fiction on the edge without crossing the line-
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon Author page

Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered with Dena Netherton

Dena Netherton is our guest today on Thyme for Writers. She writes Christian suspense designed to keep readers “up all night.” Dena loves the Cascade Mountains and loves to set her characters in small towns nearby. She and her husband live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her article addresses what can paralyze all of us … fear.

Fear is a powerful foe. It can distract you from your day’s work, make you irritable, steal your joy, and rob you of peace-filled slumber.
Sometimes fear in the form of worry, can be so pervasive it can lead to illness.

fear, writing, publishing, Haven’s Flight, conquer fear, trust, Hebrews, Saul, Moses, worry, overwhelmed, healing, trembling, faithfulness
Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered by Dena Netherton

Like many of you, I’ve been there. I remember feeling so crushed by worry, I had to stop performing in public for awhile. For a professional singer and pianist with a busy teaching and performing schedule, I felt like a complete failure.

“How could I let fear overwhelm me?” I asked myself daily. “Where is my faith? I’ve asked God to help me, but why, then, doesn’t He give me immediate relief? I thought I was strong; now I feel horribly weak. I’m such a coward.”

For a couple of weeks I sat around, doing nothing, berating myself, feeling helpless, waiting for God’s miraculous healing. Then one day it dawned on me as I read scripture that God expects me to act on my faith.

Biblical Encounters
fear, writing, publishing, Haven’s Flight, conquer fear, trust, Hebrews, Saul, Moses, worry, overwhelmed, healing, trembling, faithfulness
Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered, by Dena Netherton

I thought about Moses, (Exodus 3 and 4) hiding from the Egyptian Pharaoh. God told him, go back to Egypt. And Moses went.

Gideon (Judges 6) was threshing wheat while hiding in a wine press, afraid of the dreaded Midianites. God told him, go, be a warrior. And Gideon went.

In the book of Acts, we read about the godly Ananias, praying in the morning. God said to him, go. And Ananias, though he resisted at first, went to visit the arch-enemy of all Christians, Saul.

And of course, there are tons of verses in the Bible where angels, or God, Himself, tells us, “Don’t be afraid.” That admonition comes with a promise: “I will be with you.” (Hebrews. 13: 5)

I have that same promise, as does anyone else who trusts in the Lord.
I am so grateful for all the biblical accounts of fearful people whom God strengthened. When I went through my period of fear, those accounts—and other stories about both real-life and fictional characters— helped me immeasurably.

I returned to performing—literally with fear and trembling—and discovered God’s faithfulness.

As a Christian writer I have a sacred opportunity to encourage readers through my stories about men and women who face fear in their unconquerable circumstances, yet emerge victorious. I hope you read a little bit of yourself in my novels, and find hope that you, too, can conquer your own fear.

fear, writing, publishing, Haven’s Flight, conquer fear, trust, Hebrews, Saul, Moses, worry, overwhelmed, healing, trembling, faithfulness
Haven’s Flight by Dena Netherton

For a limited time, Haven’s Flight, the first in my three-part suspenseful series is available for a discounted price. This is the story of Haven, a talented and beautiful pianist who witnesses her mother’s murder and now struggles with PTSD. While attending a wilderness therapy camp, designed to help her conquer her emotional struggles, she becomes the object of a dangerous man’s delusional attention. Alone and injured, Haven must find her way in the wilderness and elude the man who has promised to never stop hunting her. During Haven’s flight, she re-discovers God’s faithfulness and power.

Find out more about Dena on her website and social media:

Dena’s website: https://denanetherton.me
Dena’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denanetherton
Goodreads: Haven’s Flight
Amazon: Haven’s Flight

 

 

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs with Donna Wichelman

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Donna Wichelman
Light Out of Darkness

Donna Wichelman is our guest today on Thyme for Writers. Donna holds a master’s degree in Mass Communication/Journalism and worked in community and employee relations for ten years. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications. She now writes novels and screenplays. She and her husband live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs

By Donna Wichelman

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orgs
by Donna Wichelman

Before LASIK surgery at age forty, severe nearsightedness distorted my vision without corrective lenses. At Christmas, I saw an advantage to this condition when the tree went up with its strings of colorful bulbs. Without vision aids at night, the lights on the tree appeared as hazy orbs, blending together in a dazzling display of color. I could sit for long stretches of time mesmerized by the beauty.

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs
by Donna Wichelman

Yet my distorted vision kept me from viewing more extraordinary things on and around the tree. With my glasses, I could see the ornaments friends and family had given us, reminding me of dear ones who’d touched my life. Some ornaments had been collected from travels my husband and I had done over the years, invoking sweet memories. The Christ child in the manager under the tree centered my focus on the truth of Christmas and the purpose for which we gathered around the tree. Letting go of my distorted vision and putting on my lenses showed me the beauty, wonder, and joy beyond the fuzzy orbs.

The first time an editor solicited a manuscript I had pitched, my heart soared. When the manuscript went to committee, I knew it would be accepted and become a best seller. Months later, I received a rejection letter in the mail with constructive notes and the acquisitions editor’s good wishes. I felt crushed. My mother fell ill with cancer soon after, and I never implemented the changes.

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Light Out of Darkness
by Donna Wichelman

The first rejection letter was not my last. Over twenty years of writing, I’ve sold several personal essays, a couple of short stories and a handful of devotionals. Two years ago, I self-published my Christian romantic suspense, Light Out of Darkness, and I will have the sequel out next spring. In spite of modest success, I’ve also experienced much rejection and have even thought about giving up this seemingly hopeless cause.

Yet a writer’s journey is a little like finding the wonder and joy beyond the distorted vision of my hazy orbs. It took a while, but eventually I was grateful for that first rejection. I realized the onus was on me to keep honing my craft, never to be complacent about my work, to accept constructive criticism and throw out the chaff.

I also learned that rejection doesn’t mean I’m unworthy. My value as a person isn’t dependent upon whether my work gets accepted. I am much more than my writing. As a person of faith, my worth comes from my position as a child of God.

Ultimately, I’ve grown to understand that my purpose for writing isn’t about the glory, notoriety or money. I write, because God has laid it on my heart to bring people along with me on this journey of joy, wonder and discovery. If I’ve touched one heart, if one morsel of truth gets passed along, if one person was encouraged, then I’ve done my job. My hope is that you, also, will find the beauty beyond the fuzzy orbs.

You may contact Donna or purchase her books with the links that follow:

Website: www.donnawichelman.com
Buy Link: Amazon
Social Media Links:
www.facebook.com/DonnaWichelmanAuthor
www.twitter.com/DonnaWichelman
www.donnawichelman.blogspot.com
www.linkedin.com/in/donna-wichelman

 

On Writing Full Time with Jill Haymaker

I would like to welcome Jill Haymaker as our guest today on Thyme for Writers. Jill was born and raised in Indiana and Ohio. After high school, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado. Ms. Haymaker made her home in Fort Collins until her recent move to East Texas. She practiced family law in Fort Collins for the past 20 years. She has three grown children, a son and two daughters. She also has three granddaughters.

Jill Haymaker, writing, full time, author, Peakview, Colorado Series, marketing, writing schedule
Jill Haymaker

Jill has always had a passion for writing. Colorado Sunset was her first full length romance novel in her Peakview, Colorado series. Her latest book, Colorado Summer Stars is the seventh book in the series. If you love small town romance, you will love the characters in this series. She also has had several short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul, the most recent in the book Random Acts of Kindness.

When not practicing law or writing, Jill enjoys The Colorado mountains, horseback riding, gardening, long walks with her Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoys their numerous sporting events. She is also an avid football fan and can be found on autumn weekends cheering on her favorite teams. She has a passion for working with high school youth- she is a youth group leader at her church, coaches a high school mock trial team and is a volunteer at cross country and track meets.

On Writing Full Time

by Jill Haymaker

Jill Haymaker, writing, full time, author, Peakview, Colorado Series, marketing, writing schedule
Time
On Writing Full Time
Jill Haymaker

I recently quit my day job and moved to a new town and home, so that I could write full time. I was so excited. This would be great, nothing to do but write—all day, every day. But then the reality set in. I now had to figure out how to make a living writing. And how to manage my time.
Until now, my writing schedule had consisted of an hour or two here, an hour or two there. I soon learned, that if this was my full-time job, I needed to be more structured. I set up eight hour work days. Every morning I write for three or four hours, stopping every hour or two to stand up, stretch and take a short walk around my neighborhood, then I’m back at it until noon or after.

Most afternoons, I spend more time on marketing than actual writing. Back to paragraph one, where I said I need to make a living. I can’t say I’ve figured marketing out yet, but I’m getting closer. I keep trying new things, learning new techniques, and exploring social media for ideas. I now have time to read all those articles about marketing that I’ve saved over the years.

For the most part, I’m glad I made the leap. The solitariness of what I’m doing is hard sometimes. I need more interaction with the real world. On days when I feel isolated, I allow myself to take a day off. Last week I volunteered at a low income preschool one morning, and the next afternoon I helped cook and serve a meal at a homeless shelter. Both of these activities refreshed me and got me back to writing.

Jill Haymaker, writing, full time, author, Peakview, Colorado Series, marketing, writing schedule
Thyme to Write

Sometimes I worry that my writing is not making a difference in the world, but then I read an email or review from a reader who says my books give them hope, help them to never give up on finding love or happiness. I hope they do that. It’s definitely the message I try to convey. Meanwhile, I now have a job that’s flexible enough to work in many volunteer hours. I feel truly blessed by this opportunity that God has given me and I intend to make the most of it each and every day for as long as I can continue to write. I truly love what I do.

You can contact Jill or purchase her Peakview Series with the following links:

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075TF1WZQ

Social Media links:

Email: jillhaymaker@aol.com

Website/blog: http://jillhaymaker.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JillLHaymaker

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jillhaymaker.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjillhaymaker

Goodreads: https://www/goodreads.com/author/13636693.Jill_Haymaker

Jill Haymaker, writing, full time, author, Peakview, Colorado Series, marketing, writing schedule
Colorado Summer Stars by Jill Haymaker

Colorado Summer Stars by Jill Haymaker

How did her relationship go so wrong? When NICOLE PHILLIPS flees San Francisco after her boyfriend’s jealousy turns violent, she doesn’t know where to go next. Out of a job and a place to live, she heads to the only place she feels safe—her childhood home in the tiny town of Peakview, nestled high in the Colorado Rockies. The one place she’d sworn to never live again.

RICK BRADY was a skinny, nerdy kid, earning him the not-so-flattering nickname of Scarecrow in high school. He’d been glad to escape his reputation and leave Peakview behind. When his parents’ health begins to fail, he returns to Peakview and opens his own veterinarian practice on their ranch. He’s never really been in love, unless you count that crush he had on the most popular girl in school from kindergarten through senior year.

Now fifteen years after they both left town, they are back home and searching for answers to questions they can’t define. Beneath the beauty of the Colorado summer stars, they reconnect. They soon discover that it’s not easy to leave the past behind. To move forward and find true love, they must overcome their insecurities and doubts and learn to trust again.
Come home to Peakview, Colorado where everyone has a chance at love.