Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Did you know there are perils in posting online? Yes, take it from me – when you put something out there (before you’ve thought it through thoroughly), this maneuver can and will come back and haunt you.

In my case, the above paragraph refers to my blog post on September 26. The post told my adoring fans (yes, I do dream) about the appointment I had with an agent at a writer’s conference - and how he wanted to see my proposal for my book.

After I sent off the media blitz to tell everyone my ‘news’ I sit down and perfected my proposal and emailed it to the agent. No need to worry - the fine print stated it could take up to three months to hear back from them.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email five days later. Before I opened it, I sent some prayers heavenward, hoping they had answered with a resounding YES.

Instead, the email read: “While this is a good offering, I've been checking our contacts and right at this point in time we’re not working in a market where it competitively fits…”

Not exactly the news I’d hoped and prayed for – but I knew I’d live through this rejection, as I had many other times. 

So, in closing, the next time you want to share earth shattering news with the masses - think before you send out the proclamation. The reason: it might come back and haunt you when you have to tell them your not-so-good news.

Love ya,

PS: Please tell me I’m not the only one who has done this!!!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Queen of the Waves

Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you an interview I did with my dear friend and accomplish author, Janice Thompson. Along with being a gifted writer, Janice is also an award winning author of nearly 80 books.   

Before we get started, please click on the picture below. Janice will tell you all about her latest book, Queen of the Waves. After that, she'll answer a few questions about her writing and so much more.

Let's set back and enjoy the journey...

Janice, you are one of the first two authors to release a book in the American Tapestries series. How did you become involved in the project?

My agent asked me to put together a story idea focused on the Titanic. I’m usually a comedic writer, (and he happened to catch me on my way home from the theater, where I direct musicals), so I quipped: “Only if I can throw in a song and dance number involving an iceberg!” He laughed and responded with, “No, we have to play this one straight.” At first I wasn’t sure if I could come up with a serious plotline, but 24-hours later I had the story idea and the first chapter. My editors at Summerside (Rachel Meisel and Susan Downs) read the idea and loved it. When they saw me at the ACFW conference I got the news: “We’re going to publish your novel!” I was especially thrilled to hear that my book would be among the first to release in the new line. What a privilege!

Writing historically accurate novels take a lot of research. How much time and effort went into researching for this book?

Oh my goodness! Talk about a lot of work. Not only did I spend months researching Titanic’s story (reading every available book and watching every conceivable documentary), I also drove from Houston to Branson Missouri to the Titanic museum. Talk about an eye-opener! The exhibit covers everything you could imagine, and includes all sorts of artifacts from the ship. When you write about an event such as this, particularly one that has been so well documented in movies and books, you need to get your facts right. Even the “little” things (like, how long did it take to load everyone onto the ship) can bog the writer down. Dozens and dozens of times I would stop writing just to look something up. And don’t even get me started on the clothing and hats! I created a board on Pinterest to study 1910 fashion!

Talk about your reenactment of the night the ship went down.

Our QUEEN OF THE WAVES journey coincided with the actual dates that the ship set sail. I knew that we would eventually have to “sink” our proverbial ship. So, on the night of the 100th anniversary, we all met in the group at a designated time and (literally) reenacted the entire event. It took a couple of hours to accomplish (with lots of weeping and wailing, as you might imagine) but we got the deed done. The various “characters” (many of whom were named for real-life passengers) re-lived the event in real time. I will tell you that I was completely worn out (emotionally and otherwise) when the night ended. I don’t recall every feeling so drained! (It takes a lot out of a person to drown that many people!)

Is there a spiritual thread through the story/a message that you hope readers come away with?

Absolutely. Several of my characters (primarily Tessa) face their own destiny. They come to grips with the brevity (and value) of life. They see first-hand what’s truly important and what isn’t.  In my story, Tessa learns that her picture of God has been skewed (since childhood). She discovers a relationship with Him while onboard the ship, but that relationship is tested the night the ship goes down.

What’s next for you, Janice? Will you be writing another release in the American Tapestries line? Where will you be taking readers next time?

I’m currently writing historicals for the “Belles and Whistles” line (for Summerside). The first book (Wedding Belles) just released. The second (Sleigh Belles) will release in a couple of months. These stories are more light-hearted in nature and deal with comedic women from the West.
We often think of the opulence of the Titanic and how some of the world’s richest people were aboard the ship. There were also very poor passengers as well, hoping to start a new life in America. Do you know how much it would cost for a ticket?

Cost of a ticket (one way)
First Class (parlor suite) $4,350 ($83,200 today)
First Class (berth) $150 ($2975 today)
Second Class $60 ($1200 today)
Third Class $40 ($298 to $793 today)

Where can readers buy Queen of the Waves?
The book is available through amazon, and
Thank you, Janice, for sharing your time with us today. Hope you can come and visit us again!!! 
Love ya,
PS: Friends and family, please go out and pick up one (or more) of Janice Thompson's books. I know you'll enjoy them as much as I do.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


For those who’ve spent any time around me know I LOVE to talk. I can almost hear the “Amens” echoing all around me. And, trust me, I’m okay with that tag. The one thing I’m not happy with is that I talk too much about what I’m going to do. Never about what I’ve gotten done.

I’m happy to report, thanks to American Christian Fictions Writers (ACFW), that all changed this past weekend. Now I need to kick my writing into high gear and get something accomplished (i.e. proposal sent to an agent ASAP).

Before any of you get excited and want to send me cards of congratulations – don’t. Submitting the proposal doesn’t mean I’m a shoe in for an agent. What it does mean is I have an opportunity to show the man I spoke with that my first three chapters (plus a whole lot more) is a project he’d like to pitch to a publisher.

Now I need to quit talking (or writing, in this case) so I can make my manuscript sing. The only way to accomplish this goal is sitting down and doing the task set in front of me.

Love ya,

PS: Next time I’ll talk about my meeting with a publisher.
PSS: Check out to learn more about this great organization.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Maggie (the almost perfect pooch)

Thought today was a good day to introduce Maggie Mae Messmer to our family and friends. Ms. M (as we like to call her) wrapped us around her little black and white paw the minute we saw her at the shelter. We had to bring her home.

But before we could do that, we had to go to PetsMart and spend large sums of money for all the accessories we needed to bring our new dog home. Crate, leash, dogfood, toys, chewies, a poop bag dispenser (which hangs on her leach – oh how I wish I had invented that), and all the poop bags your tiny canine will ever need.

Now we were ready for pet ownership. But R. and I learned within the first week that 13 years without a four-legged friend dulls your senses and puts you right back into the new pet owner category again.

In the style of David Letterman I’ll list the Top 5 Reasons You Know You are a New Pet Owner.

#5: You know you are a new pet owner when:
You can sit in a wine bar and talk about your pooches poop.

#4: You know you are a new pet owner when:
You’ve had the dog for two weeks and you’ve already spent $500 (check written to shelter, two crates (the first one she broke and escaped from), three beds (the first two she ate), one plush toy, which said “I Love You” and she chewed up. All this done by the most adorable dog named Maggie.

#3: You know you are a new pet owner when:
You’ve set your computer’s webcam to see what her behavior is like when she’s inside her crate while you’re at work.

#2: You know you are a new pet owner when:
You do research on the Internet AFTER you’ve purchased a dog treat and find out it is a part of a bull you never thought of as consumable.


#1: You know you are a new pet owner when:
You set your alarm at an ungodly hour and actually get up and take your dog for a walk. This is because hubby read on the Internet that you should wear your dog out before crating them. Refer back to #2 – this did not work. She is still trying to destroy her second crate.

Yes, you might call us crazy for putting up with Maggie’s shenanigans, but stop and look at her picture again. Could you resist a face as cute as hers? I don’t think so.

Love ya,

PS: More to come. I’m certain Ms. M. has more up her paw.