Hello everyone. I started to say good-evening because it's after five here, but I have no idea when you'll be reading this.
Sorry to say I haven't written my monthly blog in a very long time. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
With each blog I have always kept my readers up on what's happened in my writing life as well as my personal life. It seems I was always sharing good news with everyone. You all know after Scott (my husband of 43 years) passed, I stepped away from writing all together...not just my blog but even my novels. After a year of no writing (2014) but a lot of time spent with God and His Word, He brought me back with a vengeance. The next year (2015) I not only started writing a devotional sharing what God had put in my heart while healing me of my loss, I wrote three fiction novels as well - all 3 mysteries. Two adult fiction - and one young adult. The YA I believe will be book one of a series for Junior to High School kids to enjoy. Cooper Parks' Adventures is the title of the series. I haven't given the first book a permanent title yet. After that I rewrote one of my earlier books that was no longer in print.
Five novels all together. Sorry to say, not all of them have been released, one I'm still writing (the devotional). But the good news is April 2016 All in God's Time - Revised became available. And then June 1, 2016 - Hidden Secrets was released as well.
Against Her Will, Book 4 of the Samantha Cain Series, is still waiting for release, but if I don't hear from my publisher soon, I will cancel the contract and go another way. I will connect with another house for publication. So don't give up on me or my Samantha Cain stories.
I've truly started putting out query letters to find an agent to represent me with my YA fiction, so hopefully by 2017 I'll be connected with the right house--and more Cooper Parks' books will follow. I have ideas on 3 or is it 4 more. It's in my file so don't worry that I have to depend on my memory. LOL
The devotional is still free for your reading via my website - www.author-deborahlynne.com. January through September is available at the present time. I found out after I'd gotten through a few months of reading them from my website, I could pull each month up from my iBook icon (the free reader on iPads and iPhones). All you have to do is pull it up through the website, then click that month. When it comes up it will ask if you want it in your iBook file, click on it and it will put it there. It's like opening your Kindle or Nook and clicking on it. It's pretty cool. Eventually it will be in book form...one book...a yearly devotional. It all comes from words God has opened up to me...from Scripture and then how He blessed me with those words. I've gone on to share them with you in this devotional...hoping to help you through whatever you may be going through and encourage you to keep Him close through it all.
So I'm moving forward in my writing. Keep you eyes open for Deborah Lynne novels. If you live near me you can catch me at up-coming festivals or you can always order any on line or through your favorite book store. Here are my latest two:
This summer I took a trip with my dear friend Emy to Folly Beach SC. It is a beautiful little town. The sand is so white and the water so clear. We had a great time with her sisters and brother and their families. Most of you who know me, know I'm a beach lover. It's really the roar of the waves as they wash ashore that keeps me going back for more. To me it's the best setting to read another new novel. Yes, I have to say, I am an avid reader. I love mysteries and romance. If you're a writer, put a beach scene or a lighthouse on the cover and YES you've got my attention! The food and family time was a joy to share in. Two birthdays were celebrated - a sixty year old and a 30 year old. Perfect celebrations for both. I was blessed to be allowed to share in their summer vacation. Thanks Novaks!
A few days after I returned from SC, I went on another trip. This one took me to Green Bay Wisconsin. It was the Writers Police Academy conference. Not only did I get to hold a gun and shoot it, I took down some criminals (on the screen, simulation not real)...of course sometimes my shot was a little off kilter. Most of the time I fired three times quickly...because I was scared. I COULD NEVER BE A POLICE OFFICER, but it's fun to write as if I am. (because you know every author is their hero, heroine, and even some of the secondary characters...we play all the roles.) One thing I have to say I learned, and had already seen it in action sorry to say, is policemen are guilty until proven innocent, where as we the people are innocent until proven guilty. I know there are some bad policemen out there, but the majority of the officers are putting their lives on the line for us because they believe in what they do...serve and protect. At this conference we got to mingle with a lot of policemen, k-9 patrolmen, SWAT, firemen, and more. We learned about blood spatter, proper investigation procedures, TAZERs (I shot that too, Squealed when I did) and so much more. We got hands on experience at a crime scenes. We watched as Emergency Response stepped in at a head on collision, saw pictures of true crimes (not exactly as what the TV and movies get to portray--thank God), and more. It was a conference I'll never forget. I learned so much and am very grateful to the men and women who took time out of their busy schedule to help us grow as writers. If you write mystery or suspense I suggest you sign up next year, WPA, when it is offered. But you have to be quick. They fill up fast.
Before I returned from this trip, I got emails, texts and phone calls about the beginning of flooding in the Baton Rouge area. When I landed in New Orleans, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I kept believing my home would be fine. God answered my prayers. My kids were blessed as well. Unfortunately a lot of people lost their homes and its entirety. The massive clean-up has been going on for over a week now. The flooding extended well out and around the BR area, including several small towns around us. It even touched areas several miles east and west of us. Massive water is a very dangerous thing. Keep the victims of the destruction in your prayers. Thanks!
There won't be a little section in this blog helping you new authors today. Sorry. But know if you live near Baton Rouge I will be teaching a class at the Jones Creek Library to help beginners get their first book ready for publication, even if you are just thinking about writing a novel. I'll have a lot of handouts with helpful tips on the do's and don'ts of writing. I speak on each as well. So join us. It's a class you won't want to miss if you are thinking about writing or have already begun. I promise it will be a helpful class. Saturday September 24th from 2-4 at The Jones Creek Library on Jones Creek. I hope to see you there.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Hello everyone. I hope everybody had a blessed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year celebration.
I’ve heard before, that these holidays are when you feel the loss of your loved ones the most. I can now attest to that, and I apologize for staying silent during these times. I have, however, done a lot of writing since my brother passed on into eternity in heaven with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We lost him on October 20th. Our loss, God's gain. Richard was the best brother anyone could ask for.
My heart lay heavy on the absence of Scott and Richard both during these times.
I was extremely blessed on November 21st with the birth of my first granddaughter…Miss Hartley Madison Craft. (Chris and Rosie's little one) She’s a beauty! And look at those dainty little fingers.
Isn't she? The first two pictures, she's only a couple of days old. The last one, she's a month old. Little Hartley is growing taller and more beautiful each day. We all love her so much!!
I promise, I do try to write my blog monthly, even though I've missed a few. I write my blogs to encourage writer’s to follow their passion and for readers to encourage them to keep enjoying the entertainment that reading bring into their lives. I’m blessed to have all of you who enjoy reading my novels and for those who take things I’ve learned along the way in my writing, using these tips to help you in yours. Thank you for letting my books entertain you and my learned wisdom of writing to enhance your growth as a writer. I pray I never let you down.
We all have life that tries to slow us down (delays in finishing our novel, delays in being picked up by a publishing house, delays in finding an agent or editor who believes in you…and there is always our personal lives). It’s sad, it’s trying, but I tell you, don’t give up! Don’t give in. Keep going. Keep moving forward. Writers, write what you’ve been called to write. Those who aren’t called to write but read my blog because you read my books—keep following your vision for your life. Your passion. Your purpose. Each day we have different trials or situations to face. I’m not saying ignore them or act like they don’t exist. I’m saying walk through them knowing you have a purpose and that you will get through whatever has come your way if you keep moving, pushing forward. God gave you that passion for a reason. What He gives us, He makes sure we can complete it. It's up us to do our part.
Keep the hope burning in your heart for that purpose you have in you, that all-consuming passion on the inside of you. Know that as long as you keep your focus on the calling God has put on you, He will see you through.
I’m still waiting to hear back from my publisher as to when my next two books will be released. In the meantime, I want you to know I have started on a young adult fiction story about Cooper Parks, a reporter for his high school newspaper. It’s been fun gathering facts about high school. I have to admit it has been a very long time ago for me. Times have changed. I hope teenagers find my stories interesting. I believe there is more than one story here in Cooper’s life, three have already sparked an idea in my imagination. I believe this first book will turn into a series. We’ll see.
Also, as most of you know I’m working on a devotional. At any time you can pull up my website and go to the Devotional page. Five months are available now. Start at your convenience reading one day at a time. God has blessed me through this and I know He’ll bless you while you’re reading His Scriptures. The words I share about those Scriptures are what I felt He touched my heart with, and I’m sharing them with you.
Since my last blog in September I've been at a few festivals. I was scheduled for a 2 day festival…Poche’ Plantation. Due to Hurricane Patricia stirring the gulf waters and the air, the second day was cancelled. But I must tell you the one-day that I was there, there were so many people passing through. The music was great too. And food, they had so much to choose from. The owner of the plantation does this to raise money for charities. He came around and checked to see how we were doing. What a wonderful man to do all of this for others. If you live close enough to Convent, you should make it a point to be there this year. I’m sure it will be toward the end of the year like it was in 2015. I started my Christmas shopping at this fair. They had so many great venders and so many wonderful things to choose from. I had a wonderful time. In fact I was sorry we only had one day of the experience to enjoy. Can’t wait for 2016’s event. The people who stopped by my booth were so nice. I hope they all become avid readers of Deborah Lynne novels. And I hope to see them again...and you later this year.
On October 3rd I attended the Fall Antique Festival in Denham Springs. The spring one will be in April this year. I’ve already scheduled to be there. I hope my new books are available by then as well. The festival was an exciting time. The venders were lined up and down the center of the streets in the antique area. We had a great spot. It was amazing how many people were there. Many stopped at our booth, some already readers of Deborah Lynne novels and/or readers of Allyn Stotz children’s books. I love how people take time to talk to me when they stop by and look at my books. I look forward to speaking to you all again.
November 7th was the Livingston Book Festival. Even though the skies dropped scattered showers, the Livingston Library was prepared. They had moved everything inside this year and it was wonderful. A school bus shuttle was constantly dropping off new people under the covered crosswalk at the library. They still had food, activities for the kids, and many booths of authors. It was a busy day for me and I loved it and the people. I hope to see you all again at the end of this year for the next annual celebration. They also had a “first page” contest for three different age brackets. I’m not sure of all the winners’ names, but I know Miss Sidney Storey won in the teenage bracket. Congratulations girl. She’s in our writer’s group that meet at the DS Library. Livingston’s Library will have another contest this year, so join in if you love to write.
I try to end my blogs with a tip or two for you writers who read my blog. Today I thought I’d talk about scene structure. I mean, what is a book but a collection of scenes. However, we need to understand each scene must have a purpose.
Each scene must move the plot of your novel forward. It should reveal some new information that’s important to the story…that moves it forward. If the scene you want to put in your story doesn’t move it forward, you don’t need that scene. Cut it. If you feel you really need this scene, then figure out what purpose it serves (or find a purpose for it.)
The first scene in your novel should be setting up your hero/heroine’s life, with something dropped in on him/her that causes a change in their life. That’s called the hook. You need that early on, or the reader will just put your book down and find another one that interests them. This change or occurrence that happens in the protagonist’s life shifts their direction of focus. It interrupts that normal world they live in. Your hero/heroine will have to change their goal. From then on the scenes will center around this one purpose in their life. It will be a scene that will hinder or help the protagonist to move closer to achieving their latest goal, until their ultimate goal has been achieved.
Every scene should have a key moment that captures the point of your scene. It can be obvious or very subtle, but it should be a clue, or a bit of new information in your story, or it should reveal something about a character that’s important to the story. It should be significant to your POV character for that scene...as it moves the story forward.
Make sure you know whose point of view you need to be in for each scene…and stay in it for the entire scene. Show only what that person can see, hear, think, and feel. Sometimes you can have two or more different scenes in a chapter, depending on how you like to write. If you do, make sure the reader knows whose head (POV) you are in, and make sure the break in the scenes are obvious.
Your scenes should have established the setting. Sometimes I feel I don’t do as good as job as I should on this. BUT I’m working on it. Remember; don’t just dump all the details of date, time, weather, location etc. You want it threaded into your scene the way the POV character feels it or sees it, so the reader is submerged in the story feeling or envisioning it right along with that character.
In a story you have inner conflict – what the character’s struggle is that he/she is forced to grow and learn through and change because...by the end of the story. Show the changing. You also have outer conflict. These are the interferences and obstacles that the hero/heroine are facing throughout the story. These obstacles should grow as the story grows, getting bigger and harder as the story progresses, keeping your reader turning those pages. Like your story, each scene should have conflict, or it too will fall flat and you’ll lose the readers interest. You must have conflict.
So when you write a scene in your latest work, make sure it
1. moves the story forward
2. sets a hook (the first scene for the overall novel, the others for each scene)
3. the point/purpose of your scene
4. the correct POV, with the reader seeing, feeling, tasting, touching along with character
5. the scene setting
Keep this in mind when you’re writing your next scene. NOW get back to writing and have a blessed day.