5/07/2015

May Meeting: Linda Goodnight on "Whose Head is This Anyway"


OKC Christian Fiction Writers will host author Linda Goodnight on Saturday, May 16, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Ms. Goodnight will speak on Whose Head is This Anyway: Understanding Point of View in Today's Fiction.. Mastering point of view is crucial to success as a novelist. In this talk, Linda Goodnight will discuss how to choose point of view characters, establish POV, transition from one character’s perspective to another, avoid common errors, and other essential mechanics of point of view.
Linda Goodnight’s latest novel, THE MEMORY HOUSE, published by HQN, was released in April, 2015. New York Times and USA Today bestseller, Ms. Goodnight, writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her stories of hope have won the RITA , the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards.
A small town girl, Linda Goodnight remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and her husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher. Readers may connect with Linda through her website at
www.lindagoodnight.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
OCFW meets the third Saturday of the month at 1:00 at Mardel Christian Store, 3300 South Boulevard in Edmond. For more information, visit http://okcchristianfictionwriters.com or email Susan Crawford at OCFWchapter@gmail.com.
 
 



5/04/2015

Interview with Oklahoma Author Susan Crawford



OCFW's Terri Weldon interviews debut author Susan Crawford.
                                   
                                              * * *

Susan's first novel, Saving Justice released March 24, 2015 from Redbud Press. I had the privilege of reading an advanced reader copy – it’s excellent! Even better, it is the first book in a series. And if you’re anything like me, you love a series.

 


TW: Susan, I was so impressed with Saving Justice. Your writing amazed me! I thought I was reading a veteran author, not a debut. Wow! Do you mind sharing with us how long you’ve been studying the craft of writing?  
SC: You’re so sweet, Terri. Thanks for the kind words. I started studying about five years ago. I’ve always loved reading, but one day a sudden urge to write fiction hit me upside the head and I knew I had to give it a shot. The only problem was that I had no earthly idea how to write a novel, or even how to come up with an idea. So I went to the library and checked out everything on fiction writing I could find, hauled a giant stack of books home (told my family to stop looking at me like I was a weirdo), and began to comb through them. After about six months of studying, I felt like it was time to try my hand at actually writing, and I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). By the end of that month, I had completed my first rough draft, and I was hooked. I’ve been trying to learn how to improve my writing ever since.
 
TW: One of my favorite things about the book is that your characters seem so real. Flawed humans who’ve been forgiven. I loved it! I think it will resonate with readers. What made you decide to give Nash the past you painted for him?  
SC: I started out knowing a lot about Kinley, and I needed a hero whose goal would be in conflict with hers. She wants to give her whole life to the kids of Martindale, so I needed a guy who’d want to stay out of that neighborhood with every fiber of his being. As I started digging into Nash’s character, I asked why he didn’t want to go back and the wounds from his past began to show up. It all made total sense to me, and I loved the idea that our pasts, even when they’re painful, shape us into who we’re meant to be.


TW: The book is set in a neighborhood in Oklahoma City. It gave the city setting a small town feel. Loved that! Is Martindale a real or fictitious area?  
SC: It’s completely fictitious, but it was inspired by a handful of different neighborhoods I’ve experienced. I really wanted to show what an under-resourced area looks like from an inside perspective. And I wanted it to have a small-town feel, so I’m super happy that you felt that when you read it!

 

TW: Are you a plotter or a pantser?  
SC: I think I’m a plotser. I have to know the key plot points before I can begin, but I also discover lots of surprises along the way. Usually, my characters will say or do something that reveals more of who they are or how they tick, and it helps me strengthen their motivations, which makes the plot points come together in a more believable way. So, I guess I’m a little of both.
 

TW: Your heroine is such a loving and compassionate woman. I loved her concern for Justice and the other children in her class. Is there a part of you in Kinley? (For those of you reading this, Susan is a wonderful person, who I could easily see being this type of teacher.)
SC: (Excuse me while I die laughing!) That is such a sweet compliment, but the people closest to me would enjoy telling you that I could never, ever be a teacher like Kinley. I actually patterned her after two of my dearest friends, who I greatly admire. Neither of them would hesitate to jump in with both feet to help one of their students, and I wish I were more like that. There are a couple of my quirks in Kinley, though. I consume warm chocolate chip cookies like they’re going out of style—I bake them when I’m stressed or bored or happy or any other emotion. And I’m not exactly a neat-freak. When Kinley can’t find her laptop because it’s shoved under the couch that’s piled with stuff, that may or may not have been a true snapshot of my living room. (My husband loves this about me. Only not.) We can’t all be good at everything, right? :-)

 

TW: Nash has a hard time believing his brother, Cade, is a changed man. Do you think it is hardest for family to trust the changes in a relative’s life?  
SC: Sadly, I do think that is often the case. Our families are the ones who hope for the absolute best for us, but they’re also the ones who have to deal with us when we’re at our worst. They’re usually the ones who have to pick up the pieces or do damage control when we make terrible decisions, so even if they want to believe the best, they have some painful wounds that make it hard to be hopeful. But it can be done. I think it just takes a lot of grace on both sides to journey through difficult seasons together. For Nash and Cade, it took some time for a foundation of trust to be rebuilt, and they had to be willing to talk about the hard stuff. But in the end, God loves to reconcile our relationships, and it’s a beautiful thing to experience. I wanted that for Nash and Cade.


TW: Kinley and Nash spend a lot of time together, yet you still manage to keep them apart. I’m always fascinated at how authors manage that feat. Can you share your secret?
 
SC: Well, I gotta be honest. My secret is named Lacy Williams, Managing Editor of Redbud Press. I turned in my manuscript and she gave me eleven pages of revision notes (bless her heart!) that said things like, “Increase the conflict here. They’re being too nice to each other.” So, I just tried to do everything she said, and I was SO much happier with the story after I made those changes. Keeping the hero & heroine together-but-apart is one of the hardest things for me, but I’m learning as I go.


TW: Redbud Press is a new publisher with an impressive line-up of books on the horizon. How does it feel to be part of a new publishing venture?
 
SC: I absolutely love it! I’m a bit of a pioneer at heart, so being part of Redbud as it begins is thrilling for me. Plus, the women at the head of the company are insanely talented, as are all the other authors they’ve contracted. It is a huge honor for me to be involved in such a great company.


TW: I fell in love with Cade and can’t wait to read his story. When does it release?
 
SC: Cade captivated me, too! He’s one of my favorite characters so far. I’m working on revisions for his story right now. It will be released this fall.

 

TW: Susan, thanks for taking the time to visit with us today! To find out more about Susan, visit her online at www.susancrawfordbooks.com to sign up for her email newsletter and be the first to hear about her writing news and upcoming releases. You can also connect with her at any of the following links: Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Goodreads.


 
About Susan:

Susan Crawford
Susan Crawford is an author of inspirational contemporary romance, published by Redbud Press. Before publication, her debut novel, Saving Justice, was named a finalist in the 2014 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis writing contest. Susan lives in Oklahoma City, where she happily crams writing in between being a wife, mom, and small business owner.


About Saving Justice:
Click HERE to purchase.

After losing her brother to gang-related violence, elementary schoolteacher Kinley is on a mission to help her at-risk students. When one of them, Justice, is caught in an act of vandalism, she intervenes.

Entrepreneur Nash McGuire has gone to great lengths to overcome the poverty he grew up in. When working on a renovation project in his old neighborhood he collides with a juvenile delinquent and his do-gooder teacher. 


Kinley believes Justice can overcome the influence of his environment; Nash knows the odds and has little patience with Kinley’s naivety. But as the boy’s mandatory community service forces Justice and Kinley into Nash’s life, he can’t help but discover a boy searching for love and purpose–a boy very much like he once was. 


Then Justice is accused of another crime. And Kinley’s stubborn belief in the boy’s innocence is just too much for Nash to accept…
 





4/21/2015

Book Review: The Captive Imposter

OCFW's Terri Weldon reviews The Captive Imposter, Book Three in The Everstone Chronicles, by Dawn Crandall.




First, let me say I’m so delighted to have had the opportunity to read all three books in The Everstone Chronicles. I loved book one, then book two, and now book three. It’s a rare treat to find a series that just keeps getting better.

The Captive Imposter opens with Estella Everstone incognito as Elle Stoneburner, a companion to an elderly lady. Circumstances in book two, which I won’t reveal because it’d spoil the series for you, have driven her to hide her true identity. Instead of her normal high fashion clothing, Elle has a meager wardrobe of drab brown dresses that suit her current role in life.

Elle finds herself in frequent contact with the Everston Hotel Manager, Dexter Blakeley. She soon discovers her new station in life is liberating. It allows her to be herself, not her place in society.

When Elle unexpectedly loses her position as companion to the elderly woman, she is offered a job as companion to Mr. Blakeley’s sister. As she spends more time around Dexter their feelings grow stronger. Just when Elle believes everything will work out she learns Mr. Blakeley isn’t interested in society women. What will happen when he discovers her true identity?

The book is fast paced and written in first person. Ms. Crandall’s writing is flawless and you find yourself immersed in Elle’s world. As she falls in love with Dexter you will find yourself falling right along with her.

There is one special character in book three, Vance, Estella’s brother, that I’ve seen mature greatly during the trilogy. I’m hoping that someday Dawn will pen his story.

This is an amazing series, try all three!

The Hesitant Heiress, Dawn’s debut novel, won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in the Inspy Category!




About Dawn: 


A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit working in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy. The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.

CONNECT WITH DAWN


Blog: www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com


Facebook: www.facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst 


Book Review Blog: www.APassionforPages.blogspot.com 


GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/dawn_crandall


Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/dawnwritesfirst


Email: dawncrandallwritesfirst@gmail.com


Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst


Amazon: www.amazon.com/Dawn-Crandall





4/07/2015

April Meeting

Darlene Shortridge
OKC Christian Fiction Writers will host multi-published author Darlene Shortridge on Saturday, April 18th, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Ms. Shortridge will speak on The Road to Self-Publishing. 

She will be discussing how the road we travel varies depending on where we want to get as authors, the different choices we must make as we travel and, depending on our intended destination, how self-publishing may be the best mode of travel. She will share a bit of her journey and the differences she has experienced as a self-published author.

Darlene Shortridge has co-written a book with her husband, Daniel J. Mawhinney, about self-publishing, titled 40 Day Publishing. She is the best-selling author of five Contemporary Christian Novels. Ms. Shortridge is an accomplished vocalist and a compassionate speaker. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Dan, and their two children. Darlene is overjoyed with the birth of her first grandchild. She, along with her husband, owns 40 Day Publishing, a publishing consulting company.

Darlene is blessed to be able to share the wonders of her faith with women who are yearning to know Him more. Her heart is about pleasing her Savior and bringing Him glory. One of her passions, as well as gifts, is hospitality. She loves to cook and entertain friends and family in her home. When she isn’t speaking or writing, you will most often find her with her nose in a book. Although these days, holding her granddaughter takes precedence.

You can connect with Darlene on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Google Plus. For more information or to contact Darlene about speaking at your next event, visit her website at www.darleneshortridge.com.

OCFW meets the third Saturday of the month at 1:00 at Mardel Christian Store, 3300 South Boulevard in Edmond. For more information, email Susan Crawford at OCFWchapter@gmail.com.


2/21/2015

March Meeting - The OCFW One Day Mini Conference

**Please note: this is a special event. There will be NO regular meeting at Mardel this month.**

OKC Christian Fiction Writers will host speaker Susan May Warren at their fifth annual mini-conference as she presents The Story Equation. Sessions will teach writers how to take their writing to the next level and add rich layers and constant tension that will keep the reader turning pages. Novelists at every stage, whether published, pursuing publication, or navigating the brave new world of independent publishing, will benefit from this workshop. Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of over thirty novels. A five-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award. A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you! 

Ms. Warren is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com , a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. You can find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com

The Mini-Conference will be held on Saturday, March 21st 2015 from 8:30a.m. to 4:00p.m. at the Memorial Road Church of Christ, located at 2221 E Memorial Road in Edmond, Oklahoma. The location is just west of Oklahoma Christian Univeristy an a short jaunt off I-35 or the Kilpatrick Turnpike.

The cost is $60 with pre-registration or $70 at the door. Online registration at:

http://okcchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.com/p/mini-conference.html



2/02/2015

February Meeting

Robin Patchen
OKC Christian Fiction Writers will host published author Robin Patchen on Saturday, February 21st, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Ms. Patchen will speak on. Tension on Every Page. The key to creating riveting, compelling fiction is to imbue your novel with tension, so in this session, she will examine ways to add tension to description, dialog, exposition, and action.

Robin Patchen’s latest novel, Faith House, published by Pelican Ventures Book Group-White Rose Publishing, was released November 10, 2013. Robin is a multi-published contemporary Christian Fiction author. She is also a freelance editor specializing in Christian Fiction. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, but the real work of learning to write and edit fiction has come from years of on-the-job training as she’s worked with novelists at every level of publication, from the greenest beginner to the multi-published, award-winning veteran. Robin has taught writing classes to home schooled students for years and has taught in her local writing group. Her greatest passion is to see Christian authors write excellent fiction that has the power to change lives.

OCFW meets the third Saturday of the month at 1:00 at Mardel Christian Store, 3300 South Boulevard in Edmond. For more information, visit http://okcchristianfictionwriters.com or email Susan Crawford at OCFWchapter@gmail.com.

1/09/2015

January Meeting

J.J. Johnson
OKC Christian Fiction Writers will host author J. J. Johnson on Saturday, January 17th, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Mr. Johnson will speak on Diapers, Snot, and Doctor Who!!! Writing the Strange and Suspenseful. J. J. enjoys strange, suspenseful stories. But what is it about things like X-Files, Dr. Who, Star Trek and other popular hits that create such massive followings? He will discuss the elements of good suspenseful plots, along with unique and strange characters.

J. J. Johnson has two independently published short stories, Compulsion and My Friend Louie. Mr. Johnson grew up in small town America where life was slow, simple, and sometimes boring. Most days passed with him either finding trouble or causing trouble. His parents found grounding him so-o-o pointless because he fell in love with books, and it was in books he lived. J. J. attended Oklahoma Baptist University where he majored in Student Ministry and Sociology. He now works as a Marketing Manager for Globe Life and Accidental Insurance. He lives in Edmond with his wife and two sons.

OCFW meets the third Saturday of the month at Mardel Christian Store, 3300 South Boulevard in Edmond. For more information, email Susan Crawford at OCFWchapter@gmail.com.