March 28, 2008

Today's Work

I am the kind of writer who writes everything in a notebook.  It's funny, not too long ago I wrote everything on the computer.  I rarely had anything on paper unless I didn't have access to a computer, then I always had a notebook with me.  Just before I started writing A Captain's Heart, I started feeling like I could concentrate much better writing by hand.  Pretty much everything I ever wrote for A Captain's Heart is in a couple different notebooks.  I like doing that, but then I have to copy it all onto the computer.  So my work for today is to try to get the rest of the book onto the computer.  I have at least five chapters to do . . . a daunting task.  It's always one thing I dread, but the good thing is I can edit and change things at the same time.

March 27, 2008


I did it.  I finished my third book last night.  Now my trilogy is complete.  It's always so satisfying to finish a book.  I've finally decided on a title, A Captain's Heart.  It fits the story and I think it sounds interesting.  So now the trilogy altogether is The Pirate Daughter's Promise, Every Tear, and A Captain's Heart.


ist2_3001780_cowgirl_and_her_horseI'm already making plans for a new book.  I'm pretty sure it will be a western like I was thinking.  I do have a tiny little idea already for some characters, now I just have to build on it to get a whole book.  I even found a very inspirational picture on iStockphoto that makes me want to write that kind of book.  Perhaps, someday, it will end up being the cover photo.

March 26, 2008

Stories of My Books

Since I don't have much information on this blog about how I started writing my books, I thought I should write down the stories behind them. 


I actually first started writing The Pirate Daughter's Promise in 2003.  Before that I had never written a book with a Christian message.  I was really into the fantasy writing because I loved The Lord of the Rings.  TPDP also became my very first "romantic story."  Being the tomboy I was at the time, it took me a while to want to write a story like that.


I can't remember now how I decided to make TPDP a Christian story because it just started out as the usual pirate adventure story.  I remember feeling a lot of opposition when I changed it to be a Christian book, that might be why I quit.  I got to about chapter five and then I just stopped writing it for some reason and returned to my fantasy writing.  I hardly thought about it until May 2006 when I started writing it again.  Unfortunately, I can't even remember what made me start again, but once I started I couldn't stop.  At one point I managed to write a whole chapter everyday for a week!  Now I can usually only manage a half a chapter on a really good day!  In all it took about two and a half to three weeks to completely finish all seventeen chapters.


It was during early spring last year that I started thinking of publishing it and in March I found the WinePress website and looked into self-publishing with Pleasant Word.  After that came the work of getting the book ready (which meant hours of editing for me and Mom) and finding a way to pay for it.  Almost as soon as I began praying for God to provide the money I got hired for my first job and after a few months had what I needed.


After I finished writing TPDP I immediately began trying to think of a sequel.  I'm the kind of writer who loves writing sequels.  I can never seem to give up my characters that I've come to love so much after just one book.  :)  Trying to come up with a story for a sequel was not an easy task.  Finally, almost a month later, I had the beginning of an idea, but it was only a very vague idea that I would have to really build on so I continued planning. 


A couple weeks later I started the prologue and first chapter.  I still didn't have a complete plan, but I thought I could figure it out once I got far enough.  That was also around the same time I came up with the book's title, Every Tear.  The story of how I came up with that is one of my favorite memories of writing the book.  We were driving home from shopping one afternoon and I was specifically trying to think of a title because I like to have the title as soon as possible.  I had one or two ideas written down, but nothing I really liked.  As I was doing this a certain song just happened to be playing on the radio.  Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns.  I'd heard the song so many times, my brother even had the CD, but I was very NOT into music at that time and hadn't listened to the lyrics before.  However, that afternoon I heard the lyrics, ". . . every tear I've cried, You hold in Your hand."  They fit my story perfectly and immediately I wrote "Every Tear" in my notebook.  The title stuck.  It reminded me of a verse that became the main one for my book.


You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in Your bottle! You have recorded every one in Your book. - Psalms 56:8


It was only after that that I listened to all of Praise You in This Storm and realized how the whole song reminded me of my book.  It was a huge inspiration as I got further into the story.  To me it was such a wonderful and amazing sign that God was guiding me in writing it.


Still, it wasn't easy.  For the longest time I couldn't think of a good ending for the book and I couldn't really get into it without knowing where my characters were going to end up.  Finally, in August 2006 I figured out my ending and really started writing.  I had more difficulty along the way, but eventually I got it finished in May 2007 the very day before I started my job to pay for publishing The Pirate Daughter's Promise.  It was another small sign of God's help because after I started my job I lost much of my writing time and it would have probably been another couple of months until I could have finished.


When Every Tear was finished I already had some thoughts for another sequel, this one about the grandchildren of my original characters, but I just could never get into it and work out the story plan.  For months I wasn't writing much because of work and because I didn't have a good idea for a story.  It was sad for me because for as long as I can remember I've had a story I was working on.  Finally, in December 2007, after I switched jobs and had more time, I was working on my laptop thinking about what to write about and the image of a young sea captain came into my mind and I thought about how fun it would be to write about a character like that.  In just a couple hours I had the whole skeleton of the book planned out.  I started the first chapter the next day and I've been working on it steadily ever since then.  I am now only a half a chapter away from finishing.  Sadly, I still don't have a title for it . . . it's really irritating me.  lol  That's one of my things.  I want to have titles as soon as possible. 


My first two books were focused on trusting in God even when everything is going wrong around you and you're put through things you never thought you could handle.  This book I'd say is focused a lot on patience and watching God gradually work on things in your life that you want changed.  I'd also say this one is more a romance than an action/adventure book like the first two.  Oh, there's still action and adventure just not as much.


The interesting thing about this book is it takes place about a year after Every Tear and is about completely different characters, but some of my old characters still show up here and there.  Getting to show their lives after the struggles they went through and how they effect these new characters has been very fun to write.


So what's next for me?  I haven't quite decided yet.  I think I might write a western.  I have always loved the 1850s to 1860s.  I'm very surprised I've never written that kind of book yet.  I also really want to write a medieval book.  I love castles, knights, ladies with beautiful medieval dresses . . . all that great stuff.  I'm actually slowly working on a book like that along with my others.  It's called Andrian.  I can't really call it a fantasy book, but all of the places and names are made up.  It's a storyline that I've played around with for years and I'm quite pleased so far so we'll have to see what happens with it.