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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Welcome Maureen Lang and Springtime of the Spirit

Please interact with our guest authors by answering the question they provide. IF there is a book giveaway, your response will also enter you in the drawing for a free book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


MAUREEN LANG is the bestselling author of eleven books, many of which have earned various writing distinctions including RWAs Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, A Holt Award of Merit and finaling in the Christies. She is also a four-time finalist in ACFWs Carol Awards. Her titles The Oak Leaves, On Sparrow Hill, My Sister Dilly and most recently her three-book Great War Series, all published by Tyndale House, have consistently received positive reviews from such places as Publisher's Weekly and Romantic Times. Her website is www.maureenlang.com and her Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/maureen.lang

SPRINGTIME OF THE SPIRIT
by Maureen Lang
Published by Tyndale House

ABOUT THE BOOK

The winter of an unjust war is over. A springtime of the spirit awaits.

Germany, 1918

Four years of fighting have finally come to an end, and though there is little to celebrate in Germany, an undercurrent of hope swells in the bustling streets of Munich. Hope for peace, fairness-the possibility of a new and better tomorrow.

It's a dream come true for Annaliese Düray. Young and idealistic, she's fighting on the front lines of Munich's political scene to give women and working-class citizens a voice in the new government. But she's caught off guard by the arrival of Christophe Brecht-a family friend, recently returned from the war, who's been sent to bring her home.

It's the last place she wants to go.

Christophe admires Annaliese's passion, unable to remember the last time he believed in something so deeply. Though he knows some things are worth fighting for, he questions the cost to Annaliese and to the faith she once cherished. Especially when her party begins to take its agenda to new extremes.

As the political upheaval ignites in Munich, so does the attraction between Annaliese and Christophe. When an army from Berlin threatens everything Annaliese has worked for, both she and Christophe face choices that may jeopardize their love, their loyalty, and their very lives.

Readers, buy your copy of Springtime of the Spirit (The Great War) today!

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR FEATURE AUTHOR

Five Writing Myths Exploded

Facing 5 writing myths and staying realistic about getting published.

Since I’ve wanted to be a writer nearly my entire life, I’ve heard a lot of myths about the writing industry along the way. Thanks to Tiff’s invitation, I can share my thoughts here with you. Thanks for having me, Tiff!

(My pleasure, Maureen. And I LOVE the first myth...especially since I sold my first novel before I was 30 years old! I've since sold 11 novels and 1 novella, and I won't be 35 until August. Been receiving a lot of flack and scorn for it, though.)

Writing Myth #1 - You must be “mature” (i.e. old) to write a book.

While I do believe age enhances our experience level and can give us a broader perspective, I heartily disagree that one has to be over 35 to write a book and to do it well. What a writer needs is a perception radar system, one that picks up on what’s going on around them. Someone who can separate the chaff from the wheat of everyday life. An observant writer is one who is curious to know the reasons behind real-life activity, so they can add authenticity to their stories by understanding motivations and actions on a personal, universal level. If someone has this power of observation, this curiosity to understand the underlying reasons and can transfer this knowledge to create believable, interesting plots and characters, this kind of perspective can make up for years of experience.

Writing Myth #2 - Write What You Know.

When I was a young, aspiring writer this myth depressed me every time I heard it. I just wanted to tell an entertaining story, I didn’t have anything to say or an underlying agenda. Little did I know that in creating my entertaining stories, I was saying something anyway. I didn’t need to travel to ancient history to write about it, to feel first hand what it was like—but I did have to research my subjects, and learn to research thoroughly. As alluded to in Myth #1, the power of observation is vital to writers, so if we’re in tune to why people behave the way they do, or why certain things happen, coupled with a willingness to investigate everything that pertains to your novel, all of that equals writing what you know.

Writing Myth #3 - Writers can’t get published without an agent, and can’t find an agent without being published.

It seems like a catch-22, doesn’t it? But the truth is first-time authors break in somehow. A few gain writing credentials through writing articles, some create their own following by working to establish a popular blog or build a network around them that will allow them to get their work on an editor’s desk. All of that can work, but there are other ways of attracting agents and editors. Entering contests is relatively inexpensive, if you keep in mind the results are so subjective it may take as much persistence to gain notoriety through this route as it’ll take to get published. Going to conferences is another way to connect face-to-face with agents and editors, although it’ll take time out of your schedule and often cost more than a bit, particularly if there are travel and hotel fees added to the cost of the conference. I’ve heard of some success through The Writer’s Edge or online services like that, as well as the tried-and-true, old-fashioned way of a completely unpublished aspiring writer contacting agent after agent until finding a good fit. It can happen, just not overnight.

Writing Myth #4 - Writers make a lot of money.

There are just enough successful books out there to make everyone think all writers make a lot of money. The truth is, some polls suggest less than 10% of writers can even make a living at writing and as few as 1% make what is considered “a lot” of money. So don’t go into publishing for the love of money, but do go into it for the love of storytelling.

Writing Myth #5 - Being published will make you happy.

While having a dream come true does seem as though it should be fodder for happiness, happiness is a temporary feeling even when connected to long-held dreams. It’s true there are few more thrilling things than to hold your own book in your hands, but it’s also true that the publishing world is just unpredictable enough to bring challenges of its own. Between bad reviews, competition in the market place and worries over burnout, a wandering muse and sustaining or increasing sales there is still a hefty dose of reality connected even to this dream. But then, if this were the answer to happiness we really wouldn’t need God, would we?

So those are just a few of the writing myths I’ve come across. Have you heard any other myths associated with the publishing world you’d like to share? Or have you had experience with any of these you’d like to add?

* * * * *

Thank you, Maureen, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Have you heard any other myths associated with the publishing world you’d like to share? Or have you had experience with any of these you’d like to add?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question(s) for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

8 comments:

squiresj said...

I am not a writer so I have no myths - but I do write reviews of every book I write. I refuse to write a negative review because I am doing my service to get the author know and help promote a book that has blessed me.
I am friends with Maureen Lang on fb.
I will write the writer and give them my opinion in private but not write it for everyone to see. I believe reviews help promote the book for the author.
God Bless
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Maureen Lang said...

I know authors are grateful for positive reviews! Thanks for sharing your review philosophy - I totally agree that reviews do help sell books.

Kym McNabney said...

Can't wait to read this one as well as the other two. Love Maureen's writing.

Anne Payne said...

I'm not a writer so I'm pretty sure I can't answer the question adequately. But, I have been a voracious reader since I was a very little girl. I imagine getting published isn't an easy thing to do, and I admire authors for their tenacity. Thank you for the giveaway. Looking forward to finding some of Maureen's books and discovering her gift of storytelling!

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Ann Lee Miller said...

You could really fill in any desire in place of publishing in the myth "Being published will make you happy." No matter what hope or dream is fulfilled, there is always one more thing we still want.

Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

by Pegg Thomas said...

I haven't been published (yet!) so I can't really answer your question, but some day... I hope. :)

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Carolynn said...

Sorry, I don't know any myths about the publishing world but I would love to read Maureen's book.
Thanks for the chance to win!
carolynnwald [at]hotmail [dot]com

Linore Rose Burkard said...

You certainly hit upon the top myths, it seems to me, Maureen. And I think I've seen soooo many new writers who believe most if not all of them--and this, despite what you tell them! Some myths (read: dreams) are hard to get over. : )
Thanks for sharing these.