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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Welcome Lisa Wingate and Dandelion Summer

Please interact with our guest authors by answering the question they provide.


LISA WINGATE is a magazine columnist, inspirational speaker, and the author of fourteen mainstream fiction novels, including the national bestseller, Tending Roses, currently in its thirteenth reprint. Her books have been featured selections for Doubleday and Literary Guild book clubs, selected for The Reader's Club of America, have garnered LORIES Best Fiction and Reader's Choice Awards, and been nominated for the ACFW Book of the Year Award. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Her most recent books include Dandelion Summer (Penguin) and Larkspur Cove (Bethany House).

by Lisa Wingate
Published by NAL Penguin Putnam


The latest in the inspirational and heartwarming Blue Sky Hill series from Lisa Wingate.

All her life, Epiphany Salerno has been tossed like a dandelion seed on the wind. Now, at sixteen, she must move to the low-rent side of Blue Sky Hill and work where she's not wanted: in an upscale home on The Hill.

J. Norman Alvord's daughter has hired a teenager to stay with him in the afternoons. Widowed and suffering from heart trouble, Norman wants to be left alone. But in Epie's presence, Norman discovers a mystery- memories of another life and a woman who saved him. As he and Epie take an unexpected road trip through sleepy Southern towns, they form a life-changing friendship-and uncover long-held family secrets.

Readers, buy your copy of Dandelion Summer (Blue Sky Hill Series) today!


What I Wish I Would Have Known...

As I'm celebrating my 'sweet sixteenth' novel launch for Dandelion Summer, I'm a little nostalgic and thinking back on the rocky path I've traveled as a fiction writer. I could have saved copious amounts of nail biting and agonizing if I'd known some things when I started out. Don't we all say that after life whips us around in the storm? Usually I put my life lessons in story, but today I'm just saying it straight out.

Write because you love it. I know everyone says that, but it’s true. If you really want to work toward publication, set a manageable daily page quota, or daily writing hours, and hold yourself to it. One of the hardest things about writing is holding yourself accountable for finishing a project.

Finish your novel. It’s almost impossible to sell a partial if you’re unpublished. Polish it and send it out, because as much as we’d like them to, editors won’t come looking in your desk drawer. While you’re waiting for news, write another book. If the first one sells, you’ll be set for a two-book deal. If the first one doesn’t sell, you will have eggs in another basket. Be tenacious, be a thick-skinned as possible, keep writing while you wait for news.

Rejection will happen. It isn’t anything personal; it’s just part of the business, and it’s to be expected. Your project isn’t bad just because it gets rejected. It may not be that editor’s (or agent’s) cup of tea, the house might not be buying right then, they may have another author under contract whose work is similar to yours, and so on. There are so many reasons a book can be rejected, and the real trick is to look at the rejections as a tool and then move on. Don’t make sweeping changes based on one opinion, unless there’s a imminent sale involved. Conversely, if you hear the same criticism from several editors (or agents), consider pulling out the red pen and getting to work

Writing as a career is an odd paradox, in that it is a solitary profession in which you spend your time trying to communicate thought, feeling, emotion, or experience to other people. What you find, after talking to enough people (real and imaginary), is that the human condition changes very little from life to life, from generation to generation. We all want happiness, contentment, a sense of belonging, to love and be loved. We all feel the spiritual pull to understand why we’re here, in this place, at this time. We’re all seeking life’s purpose. On any given road, you’re never the only traveler. God puts people ahead, and people behind. They walk in shoes like your own, and shoes that are different. We’re not meant to just pass each other blindly, but to learn and to teach along the way.

While you’re walking the road, be aware, be in the moment, don’t close your eyes even for an instant. You never know when you’re going to turn a corner and find, right in the middle of an ordinary day, the idea for a story. Several years ago, I received a nice letter from a reader, Ed Stevens, and that letter led to my newest novel, Dandelion Summer. Ed's history with NASA and the Camelot area of the American space program inspired the history of Norman in Dandelion Summer an aging widower who just wants to be left alone, but finds himself saddled in the afternoons with a smart-mouthed teenage girl. The memories that Norman shares with his young friend were shared with my by my special reader-friend, Ed.

Wherever you go in life, there are always nuggets of story along the trail. Sometimes you see them coming; sometimes you stumble over them. One of the tricks in writing is pausing long enough to pick them up and examine them. A writer's mind can take it from there, and a nugget can become an entire goldmine. That's where the joy is, that's when the magic happens, and there is no magic like the magic of story!

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Thank you, Lisa, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: What is one thing you "wish you had known" at the time you were embarking on a new adventure in your life?

Please answer it and interact with our guest author for this week. Thank you!

1 comment:

Megan said...

The first thing that comes to mind is about going to college. Being in my 30s and looking back, I wish I had known how easy it is to conform to the world around you. I wish I had known the importance of Christian fellowship to keep me grounded in the Word and in the Lord. Like any relationship, one with Jesus needs regular communication in prayer and the Word...if you let yourself drift the world and your own flesh can start to rule.

It took 20 years after receiving Jesus as my Savior to realize that I needed him as my Lord. The Lord of every day and every decision :) He is still working on this with me!!