Monday, January 31, 2011

James L. Rubart is the bestselling author of ROOMS, and the just released BOOK OF DAYS. He’s a full time marketing professional, water skier, golfer, photographer, guitarist and every now and then he does a little writing. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a chil
d? If not, what did you dream of being?

Always. It’s been a dream since 7th grade, probably earlier. Books slung me into other worlds and I wanted to try to do the same thing for others that had been done for me. But it took me a looooooong time to break through my fear and actually try to write a novel—let alone show it to anyone.

How long did you write before you sold your first book?

I got serious about writing a novel in 2003. Finished ROOMS in late 2005. Went to my first writing conference in spring of ’06 and sold ROOMS in early summer ’08. That sounds fast (and will seem to contradict the answer to your next question) but it isn’t. Yes, I sold the first novel I ever tried to write and hit the bestseller list with it, but my degree is in Broadcast Journalism and I’ve owned an ad agency since ’94 so I’d been writing professionally and working on my craft for fourteen years when I sold ROOMS.

Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can
you share your favorite writing tip with them?

Pretend for a moment you’ve never played guitar. But you decide to learn and two years from now you’re pretty good. You know most of the chords and can sing play five or six songs well enough that your family and friends enjoy hearing you.

But do you think if you recorded a CD people would be ready to plunk down $12 for your album? Probably not. Yet many writers feel after working on a novel for two or three years they’re ready to be published. Maybe this is because we all write from a young age. But being able to put together comprehendible sentences is vastly different from being able to craft a compelling story. That’s a long way of saying, if you’re serious about writing, then be willing to put in the time to become a true artist, just as you would if you were a painter or a sculptor or a singer.

Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in a book, but not so much the authors themselves. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, and love watching my teenage sons step into their glory; their abilities, their destiny, the things they love. My oldest son, Taylor (18) is a songwriter, entertainer, Micah (15) could be the next Ryan Seacrest. He’s got natural speaking ability and is a people magnet. We water ski together, go dirt biking, and backpacking.

Almost twenty five years ago I married my dream girl and without her I would not be wher
e I am today on my writing journey.

Now that you are published, do you still experience rejections? If so, how are these rejections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?

Great question! Huge rejection. An author friend of mine said, “You think getting published means smooth sailing ever after. But the rejections continue, maybe not from editors and/or agents, but from the harshest critics of all, the public.”

I have over 100
five star reviews on Amazon for ROOMS, but I also have over 80 one star reviews. Now most of the one star reviews come from atheists who downloaded a free Kindle version of ROOMS during a short promotional period; atheists who weren’t too keen on finding God in a novel, but still the scathing comments can sting.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

Here are the first few lines from the back cover:

“God’s Book of Days. A record of the past, present, and future of every soul. Some say it’s fable. Others are sure it’s real, hidden somewhere on Earth ... if Cameron Vaux can’t find it, he will lose everything.”

In late 2000 my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I began to live the great sadness of seeing my father slip into the chains of Alzheimer's, and watched his memories fade away. I wondered where they were going. Was God catching them as they escaped his mind? Would they one day be restored to him? When I read Psalm 139:16 I realized God had already written down every moment of my dad's life in His book.

After that I started to wonder—what if that book was on earth? And what if we could find it and see our past, and our future? And what if my protagonist had to find it to keep his own mind from slipping away? Out of those thoughts came BOOK OF DAYS.

If you could only share one line from BOOK OF DAYS, which one would you choose and why?

The last line of the book. I re-read it and even though I wrote it, I get inspired. (Elizabeth here...I did a double-take, read this line twice, and even searched through Jim's interview to make sure I hadn't cut anything and, no, he's not going to tell us what that last line is. LOL!)

Writers often put things in their books that are very personal—like a funny story that happened to them, a spiritual truth they learned through difficulty, or even just a character trait that is uniquely theirs. Is there something in BOOK OF DAYS that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

I do a ton of this! Computer geeks would call these Easter Eggs, little hidden things that only people close to me would know. For example my protagonist’s name is Cameron Vaux. Cameron is the last name of my critique partner who was a huge part of shaping BOOK OF DAYS. Vaux is the last name of one of my closest friends since ’79. The car in BOOK OF DAYS is a friend’s. I use lines that are in-jokes only friends will understand.

Readers often talk a lot about the hero and heroine of a story, but today I’d like to know something about your villain. Does he or she have a redeeming quality? Why or why not?

Passion. I think passion is the juice of life—without it nothing epic is ever created or discovered. So even though my villain is evil and his deep passion is twisted, I can respect his motivation.

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful?

Oh no, the truth is about to be revealed. I did very little research for ROOMS and for BOOK OF DAYS. I’ve vacationed for years in Cannon Beach, Oregon (the setting for ROOMS and I’ve vacationed in Central Oregon (the setting for BOOK OF DAYS) so most of the research was “done” years before I started the novels.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

I’m finishing edits on my third novel, THE CHAIR which is about a young antiques store owner who is forced to confront his greatest fears and greatest failure when he’s given an artifact that might be a legendary healing chair made by Jesus Christ.

I’ve started brainstorming on my fourth novel, BACKSPACE which will release summer 2012.

I’m developing a series of online marketing courses for novelist's who need to be more proficient and effective at marketing their novels.

And I’m working on an ancillary product tied into ROOMS that will release at the same time as THE CHAIR.

As you can probably guess, I’m not sleeping much these days. But I’m loving all the projects.

The most common thing I hear when people learned I’ve published a book is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Faced with this statement, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?

A woman once told world renowned violinist Isaac Stern, “I’d give my life to play like you.” He turned to her and said, “I did.”

It seems insurmountable—climbing the publishing mountain, but most people give up. They’re not willing to work like a maniac and put in exhausting hours learning the craft and the business, they’re not teachable, and they aren’t willing to throw their dreams out for the world to crush. So out of 400 aspiring authors at a conference only ten will still be slogging down the publishing path three or seven or ten years later. The ones that stay on the journey have a much greater chance of being published.

What is the one question you were afraid I would ask…and how would you answer?

What’s your greatest fear? Seeing my boys grow up. On one hand I’m thrilled to see them growing into amazing young men, but it’s bitter sweet to see them on the cusp of leaving home and losing that time of being under the same roof together. Yet when I think of the years to come and richness they will bring the fear vanishes and I am filled with joy and anticipation.

What a fun interview. Thank you so much for being with us today!

To learn more about James and his work, visit him at:

www.jimrubart.com
On Facebook: James L. Rubart
On Twitter: @jimrubart
.
James is giving away a copy of his book Book of Days. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I got Max a toy chest for his birthday, a little box in the shape of a bone. As of today, he’s got that thing full of toys, bones, and at least three of my socks. Still, the moment he loses his purple monkey, he goes nuts. For example, I noticed him digging at the edge of the couch the other day.

“Max, stop. Go find your toy,” I said, worried that he would end up damaging the material of the sofa.

Max ignored me and kept digging.

“Max, get your chew toy.”

Still, he dug.

Exasperated, I got up and grabbed his squeaky, his bone, and a plush chew toy. “Here, Max. C’mon puppy.”

Max looked at me for all of two seconds before he went back to clawing.

“Maxie! Do you want a treat?” I grabbed a bag of Scooby Snacks and waved it at him. He ran to me, tail wagging. “Finally,” I said, and gave him two treats. The moment they were gone, he ran right back to the couch.

“For heaven’s sake! What is it? What’s in there?”

I pulled out all of the cushions and eventually ended up moving the couch. That’s when I saw it. The purple monkey. Max bounded forward, grabbed it, then sauntered over to his mat, monkey held firmly between his teeth.

And that’s when it hit me. Max wasn’t concerned with the box full of toys sitting in the kitchen. He wanted the purple monkey, the one that was lost. So it is with Jesus when one of His precious ones goes astray. Not only does He look for us, He rejoices when He finds us. Better yet, He puts us on His shoulders and carries us home.

Luke 15:1-7 (New International Version, ©2010)

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”


3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's always so much fun to give away great books!! Congratulations to this week's lucky winner:

Jenni/Jennifer Saake - Passport to Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith

Jenni, please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address so I can forward your information to the authors. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book and thank you, Kimberly L. Smith (via publicist), for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Entering our weekly drawing is easy:

1. Leave a comment on Fridays or...


2. Sign up to follow The Borrowed Book. Followers will automatically be entered for a chance to win that week's drawing!


This week, The Borrowed Book is giving away:


Passport to Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith ~ Passport to Darkness takes readers on Smith's journey to the deserts of Africa and the deserts of her own soul as she tries to live well as an imperfect American mom, crusade for justice for orphans around the world, and embrace God's extraordinary dreams for her. When Kimberly and her husband risk everything to answer God's call, they see God change and restore them--even amid exhaustion, marital struggles, and physical limitations. This heartbreaking, heartlifting book is for anyone who longs to see God's redemptive power heal broken hearts, fill empty bellies, and shelter uncovered heads. It is a call to readers to take one more step on their journey to know God's heart. It is a guide from one ordinary person to another to finding a life that matters.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 01/29/11.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


In June 2010 America was consumed by the story of Abby Sunderland, and now it is being retold in the book Unsinkable that is set to hit bookstores in April. Thomas Nelson has signed a deal with the teenager to tell her story of how she set out at 16 to become the youngest sailor in history to circumvent the globe alone. To help write the memoir, Abby has been partnered with best-selling collaborator Lynn Vincent who has helped on other books, such as Same Kind of Different as Me, Heaven Is for Real, and Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue.

Abby’s story is one that should make for exciting reading. If you remember, she set sail in her boat Wild Eyes on January 23, 2010, from Marina Del Rey, California, in her quest to sail solo around the world, a feat her brother Zac had accomplished at seventeen. He held the title briefly, but others soon triumphed also. Australia’s Jessica Watson completed her journey just days before turning 17 in May 2010.

As Abby pushed off on her exciting journey, her website provided information along the way. As of June 8, she had completed a 2,100 mile distance from South Africa to north of the Kerguelen Islands, but another 2,100 miles lay ahead to the southwest tip of Australia. After she encountered 60 knot winds that broke her mast and ruined satellite phone reception, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority began a search for Abby.

I can only imagine the agony Abby’s family must have endured as they asked for prayer for their daughter. At the time they had no idea if she was in a life raft or aboard the boat, or if the boat was even afloat. Their distress was increased by the fact that she was hundreds of miles from land and the nearest ship was 400 miles away.

As America watched on television, the story became the main topic of conversation. Thankfully, Abby’s story had a happy ending. When rescuers reached her, the boat was taking on water, but she was coping with the situation and was in good health.

In releasing news of the publishing deal, Thomas Nelson senior vice president and publisher Brian Hampton said, “I believe that while she may not have reached her destination, she certainly achieved her destiny. What she accomplished and endured would be remarkable for a person of any age … that she did it as a sixteen-year-old is amazing. Abby is the youngest person (boy or girl) ever to solo around Cape Horn, which is considered the ‘Mt. Everest of sailing.’”

The book is expected to sail to the top of the charts. While it may do so, there are still those who wonder why any parent would allow a sixteen-year-old to attempt such a dangerous mission? As a mother, I wonder if I could have supported my child in an endeavor like that at such a young age. On the other hand, my children weren’t trained for such adventures, and I don’t take a judgmental view of those who feel their children can handle such tasks.

What do you think? Do you think parents should encourage their children to push the envelope at such an early age or not? Will you buy the book to get a first-hand account of Abby’s adventure? I’m interested in your answer.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Life on the Edge...

One Woman’s Extreme Journey to Finding a Life That Matters


Each one of us longs to know we matter. We hunger to know that we have purpose, our life has mean
ing, and God dreams great dreams for us. In Passport Through Darkness: A True Story of Danger and Second Chances, Kimberly Smith invites us into her own struggles as an ordinary woman who feels those aches, asks those questions, and stumbles through a quest to find her place in a broken world.

Smith was an average American woman—a wife, mother, corporate executive, and faithful church member. But she knew something was missing from her life. When a bone-chilling experience awakened her desire to find true purpose, Smith and her family began a lifelong adventure serving those who never knew a greater purpose could exist.

Traveling around the world and deep into the darkness of her own heart, Smith’s worst fe
ars collided with her faith as she and her family discovered the atrocities of human trafficking. But in that broken place a self-centered life was transformed into an international effort to save thousands from modern-day slavery, persecution, disease, and genocide.

As Smith and her husband risk everything for orphans in Eastern Europe and Africa, they see God work again and again in impossible situations, especially in their own lives and marriage. They see God change them—even in their exhaustion, marital struggles, and physical limitations. They see the beauty of living out God’s dreams.

This is a book of hope for anyone who longs to see God’s redemptive power heal broken hearts, fill empty bellies, and shelter uncovered heads. It is a call to take one more step on your own journey to know God’s heart and purpose for your life. It is a guide from one ordinary person to another to find a life that matters.

Smith
writes, “My prayer is that God will use my wounds and my transgressions to encourage you to risk losing everything to discover the life God dreams for you. It’s life on the edge, where so much is uncertain, maybe even scary, certainly out of our control. But it’s also where true freedom lives.”

Your story may be different from hers, but God’s hopes for you are just as big. “Your destination,” Smith writes, “is the same as mine—an intimate encounter between you and your Creator. But your route will be filled with adventures, both mild and wild, made just for you. It will lead you to where God’s pleasure and your purpose meet.”

Let Kimberly’s remarkable story show you the grit, the pain, and the beauty of letting go of it a
ll to find the dream God dreamed when He shaped you in His Hands.

About the Author:

Kimberly L. Smith is the president and cofounder of Make Way Partners, a mission organization committed to ending human trafficking. She is currently leading Make Way Partners to build the only private and indigenously based anti-trafficking network in Africa and Eastern Europe. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Smith lives with her husband, Milton, in Sylacauga, Alabama.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Ane Mulligan (anemulligan.com), contributor to Novel Journey (www.noveljourney.blogspot.com) and fellow writer is guest blogging about our first experience brainstorming with a very 21st century technology.

I'm working on my newest manuscript's outline, when my brainstorming buddy, Sandra, emails Penwrights, a critique group we belong to. She proceeds to tell us Mac-ites there's a new app for Macs and iPhones called Face Time. It's just what we need for brainstorming face-to-face, instead of on the telephone.

That should have been my first clue. Sandra's a known jokester. I have the photo to prove it.

Sandra (S. Dionne) Moore, Ane Mulligan, Gina Holmes

Now, I love technology--although I'm a techno-doofus—Istill like to try it all. I know the tech support dudes at Apple are rubbing their hands together, gleefully awaiting my next call for help. They need new fodder for the lunchroom comparison game. You know the one. It's similar to Name That Tune, only it’s Name That Dolt.

However, I navigated Skype, so I figured I could handle Face Time. I downloaded it with ease and congratulated myself. I should have known to stop there. But I thought how hard could this be? I mastered the download.

Sandra was waiting for me, so I clicked the icon. The window opened up and I was on camera. Did I mention that I don't put makeup on when I'm working? I barely run a brush through my hair.

I'm sure she heard my scream all the way up in Pennsylvania and was chuckling. The only author I know who dares show a "Writer Cam" photo of herself is Tosca Lee, and I'm no beauty queen.

In that little window I looked like my mother-in-law. She's 92. Every pore, every wrinkle, every blemish vied for attention in the camera's eye. YIKES! Nobody should be subjected to that, including me. Sandra could just wait while I went to put some make-up on. And fix my hair.

Twenty minutes later, I swallowed my fear and tried again. Okay, I still wasn't Tosca, but at least the camera didn't tremble. I called Sandra. We connected and she held her cute little dog, around which she peeked. Was she hiding something? Like no makeup? Hmmm?

I have to insert another warning here. Not only is the camera intrusive, so is the microphone.

My son sat at the breakfast bar, eating, while the hubs plunked away on his banjo, practicing. She heard it all: the clink of a spoon against a bowl, the slurp of the milk, the tinkle-plink of the banjo strings. She even questioned the hub's speed when he slowed down the tune. But when my son belched, albeit politely, Sandra burst out laughing.

Heaven knows my family entices laughter, what with our moose-dog and his antics, but Face Time had crossed the line. It revealed way too much.

So writer beware. You must have your hair done, your makeup on, and your family locked away prior to opening Face Time or suffer the consequences.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I was sitting at home the other day, typing away on my laptop when I heard it, a low whine. I paused to listen, but the sound did not repeat, so I went back to work. A few minutes later, there it was again.

“Did you hear that?” I asked my husband.

“Hear what?”

“That sound. Like a whine.”

“Nope,” he said.

I got up and started walking through the house. “Max? Where is he?”

My husband shrugged. “I thought he was upstairs with the kids.”

I called to my kids, but neither of them knew where Max was. By now, the whining had gotten louder, and it sounded like it was coming from the living room.

“All right,” I yelled, “everybody come downstairs and help me find Max.”

The kids groaned, but they obeyed. After a few moments of searching, I turned to look at my husband. “The noise sounds like it’s coming from the sofa.”

“What?” My husband got up to help me listen. “Holy smokes! Do you think he’s in the couch?”

I pulled the recliner lever and out popped Max. So relieved was he to be free, he jumped into my arms and licked my face.

“Okay, Max, okay,” I said, laughing.

And that’s when it occurred to me. God, too, listens for my faintest cry. Even when all I can do is whisper His name, He hears and comes for me. How grateful I am to be a child of such a loving and faithful Father.

Psalm 55:16-17 (New International Version, ©2010)

16 As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me. 17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's always so much fun to give away great books!! Congratulations to this week's lucky winners:

lorenabeth - The Promises She Keeps by Erin Healy

kim thorne - Living With Purpose in a Worn-Out Body by Missy Buchanan

Winners of this week's books, please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address so I can forward your information to the author. Then, sit back and wait for your books to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book and thank you, Erin Healy and Missy Buchanan (via publicists), for your generosity in providing a books!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Entering our weekly drawing is easy:

1. Leave a comment on Fridays or...


2. Sign up to follow The Borrowed Book. Followers will automatically be entered for a chance to win that week's drawing!


This week, The Borrowed Book is giving away:


The Promises She Keeps by Erin Healy ~ It's her destiny to die young. The man who loves her can't live with that.

Promise, a talented young vocalist with a terminal illness, is counting on fame to keep her memory alive after she dies. Porta is an aging witch and art collector in search of the goddess who will grant her immortality.

When Promise inexplicably survives a series of freak accidents, Porta believes that Promise is the one she seeks. But Chase, an autistic artist who falls in love with Promise and opposes Porta, comes between the women with his mysterious visions and drawings, and plunges everyone into a flesh-and-blood confrontation over the true meaning of eternal life.

Living With Purpose in a Worn-Out Body by Missy Buchanan ~ "Why am I still here? Why does God require such prolonged suffering?" Frailty, dependence and constant pain can lead to a spiritual hopelessness in this increasingly "gray" society. While we're inspired by occasional news about an extraordinary centenarian who swims every day, it's more common to grieve and wonder as loved ones grow feeble. With compassion and honesty, Buchanan gives voice to the those living an assisted life. Through the painful-to-consider feelings of loss, self pity, resignation and loneliness, she leads caregivers and those in their care to see that living with purpose in old age is an extension of the challenges lived all along: learning to offer one's will to God's, trusting God's grace and continuing to respond with the joy and fortitude of faith. Buchanan fosters empathy for and expresses the deepest concerns of the frail elderly without tap-dancing around the tough issues. Forty-two short, comforting devotionals offer much-needed spiritual encouragement to the once-vibrant who now cope with daily limitations and failing health. The devotions are written in the first person, allowing readers to speak directly to God about the pills they take, the walkers they need to be mobile, the ambulances that take away their friends. Supporting scriptures from the New Testament and Psalms are included with each meditation. Buchanan writes to the experiences of lifelong Christians as well as elderly non-believers who are thinking anew about God. "Though we may experience fear and discouragement, this book invites us to remember that God's energies are at work silently but powerfully throughout all of life," writes one reviewer. LIVING WITH PURPOSE IN A WORN-OUT BODY is elder-friendly: large-print text and wide margins for easier handling by arthritic hands. Help someone you love find a reason and way to live out God's purpose in spite of their limitations.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 01/22/11.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Two years ago my children gave me a Kindle for Christmas, and I was thrilled to be able to download a book and be reading it in minutes. But as we all know, technology doesn’t stand still When I bought a new cell phone some months ago, much to my surprise I had a Kindle App on it that allows me to sync my phone to my Kindle. This has been great for me because I can pull out my cell phone anytime and have all my downloaded books at my fingertips.

Of course for us who are struggling to make our mark in the publishing world, new technologies may have a downside. With the emergence of more e-books, publishers are experiencing a decline in sales of traditional books, and that leaves many in the industry wondering what the future holds.

The Association of American Publishers recently announced that after five months of dropping sales, November reported that religious book sales rose 5.1% to $852 million, up from 3.5% for the year. The Adult Hardcover category posted an end-of-the-year sales down by 1.4% from the previous year, while the Children’s /Youth category posted sales down by 6.6% for the year and Physical audiobooks down by 11.7%. However, the brightest spot in the report was that e-book sales continued to rise as it had all year, posting an increase of 129.7% to $46.6 million for the month and 165.6% for the year.

So, to me, the report appears to be mixed blessings. Religious books are up, others are down, but e-books have skyrocketed. With sales of traditional books down, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that all is not well in the industry. The news this week from Borders adds confirmation to the notion. With the announcement that Borders is having problems paying publishers, laying off workers, and possibly moving toward filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the publishing industry is being hit with more problems.

Last week executives from printers, publishers, and retailers gathered in New York to discuss the future of publishing. One of the things they acknowledged was that the retail market is hard to gauge. E-books that account for 10-15% of annual sales are recognized as an essential part of the future, but at the present the small revenues they generate have had an impact on downward revenues.

Even in the face of these reports and the fact that 80-90% of consumers still buy physical books, the industry is gearing up for the digital future as they invest in technology that will convert books, find means of guarding against piracy, and explore nontraditional ways of getting books into people’s hands.

The panel in New York concluded that over the next three years, there would be an increase in the number of e-books sold, but because of the lower price there would not be a rise in revenues. As writers, we have to ask ourselves what the future holds for us. Lower revenues will impact authors, and the gradual demise of the traditional book will be difficult for many readers.

How do you plan to face a digital future with books? As an author or as a reader, what do you think we need to do to face the changes that appear to be on their way? I’m really interested in your opinions.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Even when age creeps up on the body and mind, and life changes from what it once was, is it still possible to have a purpose in life? When it is no longer possible to venture out and do the things you once loved, can you still find a reason to look forward to each day? Missy Buchanan, a leading expert and advocate for senior adults, believes that you can. Buchanan wants to encourage older adults to find their purpose, share their stories, and make an impact on those around them.

What made you decide to start ministering to and writing books for older adults?

Well, as a middle-aged adult, I never had any intention of becoming an author of books for older adults. But because of the journey that my own aging parents were on, I realized how they had become disconnected from their church as their lives changed. They started off as active older adults and then that circle got smaller as they had more needs and physical limitations. As I would visit them at their retirement community, I would also see so many others that were just like them. They needed spiritual encouragement. And so that’s why I got started. The first book began as a project just for my own parents. I wrote devotions and kept them in a loose-leaf notebook. But others started asking for them and things just spiraled from there.

What do you think children need to know about their aging parents?

What I realized personally was that I had been so caught up in my parents’ physical needs that I had neglected their spiritual needs. They were no longer connected to their church, at least in regular worship attendance, and that had been such a huge part of their lives. I almost made that mistake of just totally missing that, and that was the point where I began to write. I looked and there were other books written about older adults but not very many that were written to them and for them. So the first thing I would tell their children is to pay attention not only to their physical needs but also to their spiritual needs.

What is your opinion about role reversal with children and their aging parents?

I hear the whole idea of role reversal where the older parent becomes a child and the grown children become the parent, and I understand what they are talking about because my own parents became more dependent on me. But I think that when we refer to it as a role reversal, and we begin to think of our aging parents as children, we strip away their dignity. We rob them of respect and we overlook the fact that they are not children. They have had a lifetime of experiences that a child has not had. And I think that is an important difference that grown children need to think about and pay attention to. It’s more of a role shift in responsibilities and not a role reversal. I know how much it hurts an aging parent to feel like they are being treated like a baby or like a child.

Other than aging adults, who else has benefited from your writing?

A friend of mine in an assisted living facility asked me to bring some books for one of her tablemates. Her tablemate explained that these books were for her adult children. “They don’t understand what it feels like to grow old, and I can’t seem to make them understand, but your books say it better than I ever could.” My books are all written in the first person as if an older adult is speaking directly to God. There are a lot of adult children that are buying them for themselves and older adults buying them for their grown children.

And I’ve heard of different youth groups that have been reading my books in order to better understand what it’s like to grow old. Instead of just mocking their older peers, they are learning that they share a lot of the same feelings—feelings of insecurity, feelings of fear. As a result of reading the books, one youth group in Tennessee has even adopted the residents of the senior living center across from their church.

How can faith change our idea of growing older?

So many see aging as a punishment, and they dread it so much. But even though it is difficult to be limited by an aging body, they need to look at it as a gift that God has given them. They still have so much to give. They have great wisdom to share and stories to share. I always tell my older friends that their story is not yet over.


Click here to watch Missy Buchanan’s recent interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Roberts’ 86-year-old mother.
Visit Missy Buchanan’s website, http://www.missybuchanan.com/, and blog, http://missybu.wordpress.com/. Become a friend on Facebook (Aging and Faith) and follow on Twitter (MissyBuchanan).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Have I ever mentioned the insecurities that go along with being a writer? In the first stages of writing a manuscript you believe that your every word is your legacy to the world. Beautiful. Perfect. Witty. Insightful.


And then you wake up.


The problem with writing for a living is that you have to get used to something we don't usually seek out. Criticism. When others critique your work you become defensive and insecurities are stirred. Getting to the point where they don’t destroy you takes time. But with time you come to realize too that the insights and tips from other writers are growing your writing, making it stronger and smoother, more appealing.


Other things stir our insecurities. Last week, for example, when I exchanged crits with someone else who also works here at Borrowed Book and is the creative genius behind this site—I won't mention her name--I experienced about three minutes of panic. You see, we’re both working on a compilation project, which made it much too easy to compare my work to hers. For that three minutes I traveled the road of mine-stinks-this-is-really-good-why-can't-I-write-like-this. In other words, a total freak-out. And then I began critiquing the story and got lost in the rhythm and flow of the words and stopped playing the comparison game. My insecurity passed.


At some point we all have to face our insecurities, whether on a personal level or professionally. Tough crits don’t bother me anymore because I recognize their value. Comparing myself with other authors is not something I allow myself to dabble in for long, understanding that we each have different styles and approaches and that’s what makes our writing unique. The worst thing you can do is coddle your insecurities. They will derail the train of your career before it ever has a chance to puff away from the station.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Author of Never Let You Go, Healy offers her take on the quest for everlasting life with her new supernatural suspense novel, The Promises She Keeps (Thomas Nelson, February 2011, 978-1595547514, $14.99). An award-winning fiction editor-turned-novelist, her latest work combines the edginess from her previous collaborations with Ted Dekker with a distinctly feminine perspective.

The Promises She Keeps follows two very different women in search of immortality. Promise, a terminally ill young singer, believes stardom will keep her memory alive after she dies. Porta is an aging witch and art dealer on a quest to discover the secret to eternal life through magical means. After Promise survives a series of accidents, Porta believes she holds the key to immortality and will stop at nothing to secure it.

Chase, a talented artist with autism who is mysteriously tapped into the spiritual realm, falls in love with Promise and makes it his mission to save her from Porta’s designs. The Promises She Keeps ultimately reveals the real promise of immortality is not in living forever, but in embracing eternal love.

Erin Healy is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, where she has specialized in fiction book development for the past eight years. She is an award-winning editor of numerous bestselling novels, and has worked with popular authors such as such as Frank Peretti, James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, L.B. Graham, Brandilyn Collins, Rene Gutteridge, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Robin Lee Hatcher, Denise Hildreth, Denise Hunter, Jane Kirkpatrick, Gilbert Morris, Lisa Samson, Randy Singer and Robert Whitlow.

Healy earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in communication studies from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and began her career as an editor for Christian Parenting Today during the mid-1990s. After advancing from assistant editor, to associate editor, to editor while working for the magazine, she moved on to serve as a book editor for WaterBrook Press. She founded WordWright Editorial Services in 2002.

Healy began working for Dekker the same year, editing 12 of his well-known, heart-pounding stories, before collaborating with him as a co-author on Kiss. Her first novel, Kiss is the story of Shauna, who wakes from a coma to find she is responsible for a terrible accident that left her brother permanently disabled and her recent memories erased. She discovers she has a paranormal ability to steal memories from others, a capability that she uses to clear her name and find out what really caused the car accident.

With Burn, Healy continues to bring her feminine voice to Dekker’s popular brand of supernatural thriller. The story of one woman’s ultimate betrayal of friends and family and the far-reaching consequences of her actions, Burn features overarching themes of good vs. evil, guilt and regret, and the grace of second chances. In May 2010, Healy will release her first stand-alone title as an author with Never Let You Go (Thomas Nelson), which melds elements of the supernatural and suspense with relational drama.

Healy currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colo., with her husband, Tim, and two children. She is the director of the Academy of Christian Editors, as well as a member of International Thriller Writers and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit http://www.erinhealy.com/ for more information.


The Promises She Keeps by Erin Healy
352 pages/Thomas Nelson (February 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1595547517

Sunday, January 16, 2011


“Is his name Max Ludwig?”

I glanced down at the little girl tugging on my hand. “Excuse me?”

“Your dog. Is his name Ludwig, too?”

I had to think about that for a minute. This child whom I was babysitting had actually stumped me. “Well, I guess you could say that, since he’s our dog.”

“But you’re not his mommy?”

“Not really,” I laughed.

“You told him to ‘come to Momma.’”

“I know, but I didn’t really mean it. I just pretend I’m his momma. His momma lives with another family.”

“Oh. I get it. You mean he’s adopted.”

“Well. . .” My friend’s daughter didn’t wait for an explanation. She skipped off, content with her flawless reasoning.

I watched her go, shaking my head at the simplicity of her thinking.

And that’s when it hit me.

Sometimes we try and complicate God’s plan of salvation. We add phrases and clauses, when all along God said we become His sons and daughters when we accept Him, adopted into the family of God through a simple prayer. What an amazing concept. I’m heir to Christ’s kingdom. I guess if He’d made it more difficult, none of us would ever have known what it means to have the Father claim us as His own.

How about that? I’m adopted. Are you?

Ephesians 1:3-14 (New International Version)

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[c] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[d] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's always so much fun to give away great books!! Congratulations to this week's lucky winners:

Jess Ferguson - A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck

Jess, please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address so I can forward your information to the author. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book and thank you, Kristin Billerbeck (via publicist), for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Entering our weekly drawing is easy:

1. Leave a comment on Fridays or...


2. Sign up to follow The Borrowed Book. Followers will automatically be entered for a chance to win that week's drawing!


This week, The Borrowed Book is giving away:



A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck ~ There are a billion reasons Kate should marry her current boyfriend.

Will she trade them all to be madly in love?

Katie McKenna leads a perfect life. Or so she thinks. She has a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiance, Dexter.

She can think of a billion reasons why she should marry Dexter…but nowhere on that list is love.

And then in walks Luc DeForges, her bold, breathtaking ex-boyfriend. Only now he's a millionaire. And he wants her to go home to New Orleans to sing for her childhood friend's wedding. As his date.

But Katie made up her mind about Luc eight years ago, when she fled their hometown after a very public breakup. Yet there's a magnetism between them she can't deny.

Katie thought her predictable relationship with Dexter would be the bedrock of a lasting, Christian marriage. But what if there's more? What if God's desire for her is a heart full of life? And what if that's what Luc has offered all along?

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 01/15/11.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Mark Twain once described a classic as “a book which people praise and don't read.” That has been true for years of Twain’s classics about the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. That may be about to change.

By now I’m sure that most people have heard that NewSouth Books plans a February release of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in one volume, as Twain had intended. What you also may have heard is that NewSouth engaged the services of Twain scholar Allan Gribben to replace two “hurtful epithets” (the “n” word and Injun) that appear hundreds of times in the two works. As with any bold move, there are arguments to support opposing views on the subject.

Throughout his years in education, Dr. Gribben says he was approached by many teachers who lamented how they couldn’t use Huckleberry Finn in their classrooms because it wasn’t acceptable any more. He became determined to find a solution that would allow school children as well as other readers to enjoy all that the novel had to offer. His solution was to substitute the word “slave” for the “n” word. "This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind," he said. “Race matters in these books. It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century."


“I'm hoping that people will welcome this new option, but I suspect that textual purists will be horrified," Gribben said, and he was right. Many who find the books racially offensive welcome the work that Dr. Gribben and NewSouth have produced. Others disagree.


A New York Times editorial on January, 5, 2011, stated, “We are horrified, and we think most readers, textual purists or not, will be horrified, too. The trouble isn’t merely adulterating Twain’s text. It’s also adulterating social, economic and linguistic history. Substituting the word “slave” makes it sound as though all the offense lies in the “n-word” and has nothing to do with the institution of slavery. Worse, it suggests that understanding the truth of the past corrupts modern readers, when, in fact, this new edition is busy corrupting the past.”

James Duban, a professor of English at the University of North Texas, disagrees. He thinks the most important thing is to get children reading. He says, "In today's wasteland of 'gaming' and other electronic distractions, I applaud any effort to perpetuate the reading and enjoyment of great fiction."

A Los Angeles Times editorial argues that Twain’s novel is a moving work of the pre-Civil War South and that the language is very much a part of the story and the history. It goes on to say, “Trying to protect students from the full ugliness of racism by softening that language does a disservice to them, and it's all too easy to imagine the crimes against literature that would result if this kind of thing caught on."

As the debate escalates, NewSouth announced last week that they were increasing their first print run from 7,500 to 10,000 books. NewSouth publisher Suzanne La Rosa was quoted in Publishers Weekly as saying that they had anticipated the controversy but not the volume of it. “I hope this is good for Twain, and it probably isn’t bad for NewSouth,” she said.

What is your opinion of this controversy? Do you approve of the changes in Mark Twain’s works and think this new book will be more appropriate for readers in the 21st century? Do you agree with those who say that there’s no need to change words that can be explained to young readers? Or do you think that no matter how the words are changed in the two novels, they will forever be a reminder of a past that is still painful for many Americans? Leave a comment. I’m eager to see what you think.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Can God’s best include passion and security?

Katie McKenna had resolved to live a quiet life, marry a practical Christian man, and leave all her “worldly” desires behind. Since moving to California, she’d made it her goal to live life logically and for the Lord. She has the perfect life—a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiancĂ©, Dexter.

But then in walks Luc DeForges, the handsome ex-boyfriend who’d broken her heart. After graduating college and rejecting Katie, Luc cornered the organic food market and became one of the most eligible multi-millionaire bachelors. But now he’s back and asking her to go home to New Orleans to sing at his brother’s wedding. She hasn’t fallen victim to her emotions since leaving New Orleans, and she’s invested too much to give into them now.

When Luc was in his element, there was nothing like it. His excitement was contagious and spread like a classroom virus, infecting those around him with a false sense of security. Katie inhales deeply and reminds herself that the man sold inspiration by the pound. His power over her was universal. It did not make her special.

Katie’s boyfriend, Dexter, is a practical man. As Katie’s roommate Eileen offers, “Katie, no matter how many entries you put in that book, Dexter is not going to be a romantic. I mean, fine, you’re going to marry him. He’s a good man. I just don’t want you to be disappointed. No matter how many junior high school hearts you draw next to his name, Dexter is going to order you what the Internet says is the proper gift for each anniversary. He’ll probably have a program created that does it for him.” But Dexter is safe. He’ll be a good dad. He’s very intellectual. He’s punctual. He’s everything she needs in a husband.

And Dexter will propose as soon as she gets her grandmother’s ring from her mom. And Luc will provide her with a free trip home for just that purpose. Plus, she needs to go home to New Orleans. It’s her last chance to find out why Luc tossed her from his life like a banana peel off the back of her father’s pickup. Love is a decision. A choice. All the leading experts said so, and she’d decided she would love Dexter in a way that honored and respected him. The way she’d loved Luc left her worn out and depleted, like an empty air mattress. Then what use was she? She’d get her ring and closure as well. Then nothing would stand in the way of her life with Dexter.

But what if God has more in store for her? What if God’s desire for her is a heart full of life? Can the passions she had as a young woman, which led to many of her past mistakes, still have a place in her life?

Kristin Billerbeck is a successful novelist from northern California. She has authored more than 30 novels, including the Ashley Stockingdale series and the Spa Girls series. She is a leader in the Chick Lit movement, a Christy Award finalist, and a two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award. She has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times.

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck
Thomas Nelson/February 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59554-791-0
320 pages/softcover/$14.99
www.thomasnelson.com ~ www.kristinbillerbeck.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Believe it or not there are some writers who have the luxury of writing full time. From home. Which means there are days when they might not feel like getting dressed. Or brushing their teeth. Or flossing. Most writers who work a job outside the home, in addition to writing, are green with envy at the idea of staying home all day and pecking at their keyboards.

But let’s not be fooled. A full time writer at home has their share of hurdles to overcome.

Let’s take, for instance, those who would drop by unannounced. “Well, I knew you were here so I thought I’d come for a visit.” Okay, but when I’m trying to pound out five thousand words I don’t have time to chat.

Solution: Set boundaries for yourself (and others!) by establishing office hours.

Then there are the household chores that beckon to SAHW (stay-at-home-writer). It’s much too easy to fall prey to guilt so that writing time becomes cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, babysitting, child-rearing, laundry, bill-paying, cooking time. Can you say the words “No. Word. Count?”

Solution: Again, you have to establish business hours and treat the job of writing as if you were truly doing a 9-to-5.

And let’s not forget the pajama trap. To stay in your pajamas while working can result in too lax an attitude toward your writing. You’ll find yourself becoming unfocused and unproductive.

Solution: To motivate yourself, it would probably be better for you to get dressed as if you were going to work.

What about phone calls? Would you answer the phone and talk for hours on company time? Your writing time is just as important.

Solution: Treat calls as you would if you were an employee outside of the home. Turn off the ringer or let the answering machine pickup. Make use of caller ID.

You see, no one will have respect for your ability to work from home if you don’t lay guidelines for yourself. Set your work hours and stick with the schedule. When you treat the business of writing full-time from home *as* a business, friends and family will follow your lead.


What is your most difficult writing-from-home challenge?


Monday, January 10, 2011

I am so excited to introduce the newest member of our team here at The Borrowed Book.

Sandra Robbins, and her husband live in the small college town where she grew up. Until a few years ago she was working as an elementary school principal, but God opened the door for her to become a full-time writer. Her first book Pedigreed Bloodlines, published by Barbour, was a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Contest for excellence in mystery. She has three books released by Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense—Final Warning, Mountain Peril, and Yuletide Defender. Final Warning was a finalist for the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, a merit award recipient of the Holt Medallion, and a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award. Her historical romance trilogy Alabama Brides from Barbour includes The Columns of Cottonwood, Dinner at the St. JamesBlues and Along the River which releases later in 2011. Her romantic suspense Dangerous Reunion releases from Love Inspired Suspense in July 2011 as the first in a three book series set on Ocracoke Island.

Sandra writes romantic suspense and historical romance, but her knowledge of the industry extends far beyond these genres. Beginning next Thursday, she will post articles dealing specifically with industry news. In addition to writing about things that are happening in the publishing world, she will interview authors, agents, or editors from time to time and get their insight into what’s going on in the world of publishing.

Sandra enjoys hearing from her readers. To find out more about Sandra and her books go to http://sandrarobbins.net or send her an email at sandra@sandrarobbins.net.


Please help me welcome her to The Borrowed Book. We look forward to working with her for many years to come.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A stranger appeared on our doorstep the other day. It had been raining for several days and our driveway was a mess. This guy had taken a wrong turn and ended up getting stuck.

“Excuse me, ma’am, is your husband home?”

How did I answer that? Nowadays, admitting that a woman is home alone is not exactly a bright idea. “Um, he’s at work, but my son is here. Can I help you with something?”

The guy pointed down the driveway. “I’m stuck, and wondered if you could pull me out.”

I tossed a nervous glance at my husband’s four wheel drive pickup parked next to the house. “Uh, yeah, I guess so. Can you hold on a second? I’ll get my son.”

At that moment, Max came tearing around the corner, barking and growling.

“Whoa,” the guy said, backing up a step. “Does he bite?”

“Yes,” I said. “Don’t reach down to him. Max, come here.”

Max obeyed, but he kept his gaze firmly fixed on the stranger, the hair on his back standing on end.

The guy took a step forward. “Do you have a tow strap--?”

That was as far as he got. Max jumped between him and me and started growling and barking like crazy.

“You’d better wait right there,” I said, picking Max up. “I’ll get my son.”

“Okay.” The guy smiled. “That’s a good dog, right there. He’s pretty protective, huh?”

I laughed. “You could say that.”

Well, we got the guy unstuck and he went on his way without incident, but the whole time I thought about how Max had protected me. Out of sheer love, he was willing to sacrifice himself in order to keep me safe. I guess that’s what God meant when He said love never fails. And I guess that’s what He meant when He commanded us to love one another.

1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version)

1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's always so much fun to give away great books!! Congratulations to this week's lucky winner:

Edna - Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog by Deanna Klingel

Winners of this week's books, please use the button in the upper right side of this page to email me with your mailing address so I can forward your information to the authors. Then, sit back and wait for your book to arrive.

Thank you all so much for stopping by The Borrowed Book and thank you, Deanna Klingel, for your generosity in providing a book!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Entering our weekly drawing is easy:

1. Leave a comment on Fridays or...


2. Sign up to follow The Borrowed Book. Followers will automatically be entered for a chance to win that week's drawing!


This week, The Borrowed Book is giving away:


Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog by Deanna Klingel is a poignant, yet sweetly humorous spiritual journey into the therapy dog ministry of Lily and Jessie, two Golden Retrievers who visit health care facilities. Learn how ordinary pets become therapy dogs, and how they weave their small miracles every day. The dogs show us that uncomfortable moments in awkward situations exist only for humans. In a unique compilation of vignettes, in places where frustration and loneliness reside, the therapy dogs show us that the greatest gift is to listen quietly, and spend just a moment, paying quiet attention. A soft nuzzle, a head in the lap, a friendly look into the eyes may be all that was needed in that moment, and is often not remembered beyond that moment. This is a book for every family member and friend, dog lovers of all ages, people in search of a ministry, or anyone who enjoys a pleasant read.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, 01/08/11.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Deanna Klingel lives in Sapphire Valley, NC with her husband (49 years!). Their seven children all live in the southeast and are parents to the Klingels' ten grandchildren. They are retired from their first jobs, Dave with IBM, and Deanna as homemaker and mom, and now work as a real estate broker( Dave), and Deanna as an author. She works with her two golden retrievers visiting hospitals, nursing homes, schools, day care, anywhere they are asked. The dogs are certified therapy dogs and are featured in Deanna's book. Deanna enjoys taking college classes at Brevard College, playing golf on perfect-weather days, and of course, writes every single day.

Welcome, Deanna! Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?

As a child, I was a writer. I wrote letters to relatives, made greeting cards with rhymes, wrote short stories and bound them together, illustrated in crayon and by Norman Rockwell. A a teen I wrote the high school column in the town newspaper, wrote school
newspaper articles and edited the literary magazine. I worked on the yearbook staff and loved English class. I never thought about becoming writer when I grew up. I've always written.

How long did you write before you sold your first book?

I didn't sell my first book until 2010, at age 66. But, until then, I hadn't really thought about selling anything.

Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?

I don't have many writing tips to share, but I think my initial response to this question is...write. read. write and read. read and write. Immerse yourself in books and write everything.

Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in a book, but not so much the authors themselves. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as thoug
h they know you a little better.

My day-to-day life would probably sound rather boring. I've raised my family and my husband and I live in the mountains with our two golden retrievers. When you read my book, you will probably get to know me quite well. It's not a memoir, but I'm there.

Now that you are published, do you still experience rejections? If so, how are these rejections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?

Rejections are interesting, aren't they. Some are affirming, some not so much. Some give hope, some destroy it. I've had an easy time of it actually, and I can't answer your question as it's posed, because since the two books were published online by Storyrealm.com, and Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog was published, I really haven't experienced any rejections...yet.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, a long title for a small book that is making a big splash. The design of the book defies several "rules", it doesn't fit neatly into any genre, and doesn't have a "target" audience. It doesn't have a protagonist and it doesn't have a story arc or a plot. The book appeals to dog lovers and lovers of dog stories, but it isn't about the dogs. Teens seem to like it, though I'm not sure they really "get it"...yet. Senior citizens like it, it's all about them. Care givers, health care providers, hospice volunteers all enjoy it and laugh. They do "get it." It's an odd little book, really. But, everyday I hear from folks all over the country who are reading it, savoring it, sharing it, gifting it. I'm delighted.

If you co
uld only share one line from Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, which one would you choose and why?

The line I'd like to share from Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog isn't actually written on a page. But it's the entire point of the book. "Every moment in every life, matters."

Writers often put things in their books that are very personal—like a funny story that happened to them, a spiritual truth they learned through difficulty, or even just a character trait that is uniquely theirs. Is there something in Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog that only people close to you know is about you or someone you know?

This
particular book is very personal. Something funny, a spiritual truth, a character trait is on every single page. Those close to me would already recognize me, of course, but those who don't know me, will. To use the cliche, my life is an open book.

Readers often talk a lot about the hero and heroine of a story, but today I’d like to know something about your villain. Does he or she have a redeeming quality? Why or why not?

I hadn't thought about my dogs as heroines, but I guess they are. Humble and happy in their work, they don't immediately bring "heroine" to mind. But, yeah, they are. If there is a villain in this book, it must be Time. Time steals our precious moments; Time robs us of memories. But, a redeeeming quality? Sure. Time heals. And eventually, Time runs out.

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful?

Very little research went into this book. That's unusual for me since I usually write history stories that requires months, no years, of research. This was more like compiling journal entries and polishing the writing. It covers eight years, but I actually developed the book in about two years.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

New projects. I always have a lot of irons in the fire, juggling lots of balls, or whatever. At the moment I have a YA fiction, Cracks in the Ice, under review with a publisher, and a middle grade nonfiction, Bread Upon the Water, as well. A children's book, Beth's Backyard Friends, and a middle grade novel, Rebecca & Heart, are both on Storyrealm.com. That's something new and interesting that surprised me. I've written a few children's books that haven't been adopted yet. In the spring Avery's Battlefield will be releaed by Journey Forth. It's the first of a series of two Civil War stories about Avery and his dog Gunner, for the teen audience. This is close to five years of work, so I'm really excited. I saw the cover last week and I got a bit teary. It feels like giving birth!

The most common thing I hear when people learned I’ve published a book is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Faced with this statement, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?

My advice to anyone starting out in this business would be: Research thoroughly. This job might not be what you think it is. Understand all of it before jumping in. And then? Grow a thick skin, forget you were ever shy, and write. All the time. Go to conferences. Read books on the craft of writing. Take classes. Join a critique group. Read. And Write. You can't be a writer if you don't write. And after you've written the first chapter, rewrite it. Revise it. And go to the 2nd chapter. Believe in yourself, but always believe that there are a lot of different ways to write something. Write it in different ways. You don't always have to like what you wrote. But, in the end, it must be the best way you could write it. And know that it takes a long time to get it there. Don't give up. Write.
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Deanna is giving away a copy of her book. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!

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