Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Joy and Chaos

Christmas is a mere two weeks away. There is much to do, many friends and family to spend time with, and a scary amount of shopping to conquer. Consequently, I'll be taking a blogging break for the rest of the year. I'll pop in occasionally, but not to post.

A big thank you to everyone for supporting me during my chaotic year of personal stuff, renovations, selling up house, buying a new place and moving interstate, all while releasing my debut devotional, Cling to God. Gasp, gasp, gasp.

If you are looking for a present to give someone, please consider, Cling to God, a book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

Amazon Paperback, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Oz Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Goodreads.

What kind of Christmas will you be hoping for this year? 

Edit: I almost forgot to post a pic of my tree again! Well, here it is! What's your tree like?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Interview with a Twist and CassaDawn #IWSG

Today I have Alex J. Cavanaugh here with me. We are doing another interview with a twist. The last one was where I interviewed him on his blog as a way of spreading the news about the release of my book, Cling to God. You can find the interview here. Today it's the other way around, with Alex interviewing me as we share the news about his new exciting story, CassaDawn.

Alex: What is it that draws you to science fiction?
Me: When I first started reading scifi and fantasy, it was all about the escapism. I wanted to visit other worlds and not think about this one. Then, as I matured, the reason evolved. I still wanted to visit other worlds, but I also wanted to think about other possibilities, explore different concepts that can only be explored in these genres, and I love reading about people in extraordinary settings and circumstances.

Alex: What are some of your favorite science fiction movies/shows/books?
Me: My favourite scifi movies: the original Star Wars trilogy, Aliens, Serenity, The Martian. My favourite scifi shows: Firefly, Dr Who, the original Twilight Zone, Stranger Things, Westworld. My favourite scifi books: Eon by Greg Bear, The Martian by Andy Weir, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Chimera by N. J. Tanger, and, of course, I can't forget to mention the Cassa series by Alex J Cavanaugh.

Alex: How has your Christian faith shaped the way you write speculative fiction?
Me:  While I'm nowhere close to perfect, I'd like to think my Christian faith shapes every part of my life. That includes my writing. I felt compelled to write a Christian devotional to offer encouragement to others, and Cling to God was published in October. My fiction, however, is pure scifi, yet it still offers Christian values. Because of my faith, there are some subjects I will never write about, even if that means it may not be as popular or trendy in today's world.

By Alex J. Cavanaugh
eBook ISBN 9781939844354
Science Fiction-Space Opera/Adventure/Military

The prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa series!

A pilot in training...

Fighting the odds, Byron is determined to complete Cosbolt training. Poised at the top of his class, only one situation holds him back–his inability to work with anyone in the cockpit. Byron’s excellent piloting skills won’t be enough without a good navigator…

Release date: December 6, 2016

iTunes, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Amazon UK, Goodreads

IWSG question of the month: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself in five years, and what’s your plan to get there?

I am currently six years into my ten year plan. A lot has changed over that six years. Nothing that I could predict, so the plan needs to be reassessed and modified. At the moment of writing this, I can honestly, and a little worriedly, say that I have no idea where I'll be in five years. Everything feels uncertain right now. How about you?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Brisbane Meet and Greet

Last week I finally got to meet fellow Aussie blogger, Denise Covey. We had lunch together at a delightful place in South Bank, called French Martini. The service was exceptional, the food was yum and the dessert, a creme brulee, was a silky taste of heaven.
It was a rather toasty day, and particularly humid, which did my hair no favours (Yes, I need an updated author pic). Denise took me on a tour of the state library, which was wonderfully air conditioned. I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time there in the near future. Then we headed to the James Squire Brewery, called the Charming Squire, to cool off with a chilled glass of cider. It's a great pub!! My hubby wants me to take him there someday soon. Speaking of whom...

With all the food blogging I've been doing lately, my hubby didn't want to be left out, so below is a pic of the al fresco dining he set up on our balcony, complete with homemade pizza and wine. While we ate, we watched the boats go up and down the river as dusk closed in and evening cooled the air. I'd give this eatery five stars!
Thanks, Denise, for an awesome day out. We will definitely do it again.

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? How about my devotional?

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
by Lynda R Young

Published by Freedom Fox Press

Cling to God in the chaos of life…

A book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Brisbane Review: Viet de Lite and Dumpling Republic

An update on the move and all those boxes. It's been three weeks since I moved to Brisbane from Sydney. The majority of the boxes have been unpacked. Not everything has been put away, however. And where to store all those empty boxes until we can send them back to the moving company? In the guest bathroom, of course!
Being a relative newbie to Brisbane, my diet has taken a hit because of all the delectable places to sample. Last week I had dinner at Viet de Lites, at South Bank. It offers Vietnamese style cooking in a semi al fresco setting. The mixed entree wasn't awesome due to overcooked proteins, but the dau phu xao (tofu stir fry with cashews) was brilliant. Generous and tasty with the vegies perfectly cooked. Would I eat there again? Probably not since there are so many choices in Brisbane.
Then on the weekend we took a ferry across the river and walked into the city for the first time. After much shopping, we found a wonderful restaurant hidden away in the Wintergarden mall: Dumpling Republic. Yum. Service was excellent, the food was amazing, and we walked out totally satisfied. Would I eat there again? Absolutely!
And in case you might've forgotten... Cling to God, a great Christmas gift to give:

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
by Lynda R Young

Published by Freedom Fox Press

Cling to God in the chaos of life…

A book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Brisbane Storms, Food, and Interview

Today I'm over with Juneta Key for an interview. Please pop on over to learn a little more about me and my devotional, Cling to God.

Today is officially two weeks since I moved from Sydney to Brisbane. There are still boxes to trip over but not as many. The place is starting to look like a home. I'm thoroughly enjoying it here. So I thought I'd share some pics.
This is a storm that rolled in. They grow their storms BIG here in the subtropics. Great to watch from a balcony that offers plenty of sky.

This is Medley, a wonderful cafe only a five minute stroll from home. Normally open for breakfast and lunch, they recently opened for dinner as well. I highly recommend their pear and chocolate smoothie. Yum!

To work off all that good food, I enjoyed Zumba in Captain Burke Park under the Story Bridge, Kangaroo Point. No pictures. Too busy missing my steps, flailing my arms about in the cool breeze coming up from the river.

Lastly, I put my Christmas tree up because I had no idea where I was going to store this massive thing. It hadn't seemed so big in my old place. I'm going to buy lights for it tonight so you'll have to wait for a proper pic. Speaking of Christmas... Now is a great time to start buying gifts for your friends and loved ones. And I have the perfect Christmas gift you could give:

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
by Lynda R Young

A book of short devotionals for every day of the year to encourage you in your faith, to help you think about your beliefs and learn more about God. Perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

Published by Freedom Fox Press
Cling to God in the chaos of life…
If you've Zumba'd before, did you feel as gangly as I did? What do you love most about storms? Started your Christmas shopping? 

Don't forget to pop over to Juneta's!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Supernova and Benefits of Journaling

Today I'm over at the Insecure Writer's Support Group talking about the 7 Benefits of Journal Writing. Please pop on over and check it out.

In the meanwhile, I had to share my experience of Supernova, an awesome comic book convention. It was held at the Exhibition Centre at South Brisbane, with wonderful wonderful air conditioning. We checked out the cool merchandise.

I bumped into a blogger friend and awesome MG writer, Charmaine Clancy. Read her books. They are great!

Went to the panel discussing a new indie scifi film in development, Space/Time. Gotta love time travel stories! Unfortunately we are going to have to wait until 2018 to see it! Rawr!

And we checked out the cosplay competitions. So much fun! And the amount of work everyone puts into their costumes is amazing.
So there you have it. My first jaunt out to explore and discover more of Brisbane since my move last week. Wow, has it only been a week? I'm still tripping over boxes, though.

What have you been up to lately? Are you a fan of comic book conventions? Do you write journals? Are you reading my debut devotional, Cling to God?

Don't forget to check out my article about journaling at the IWSG website!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

5 Reasons to Write with... Plus Moving

Today I'm escaping all the moving boxes and heading over to Tyrean Martinson's blog to share my 5 Reasons to Write with Images. Please pop on over and check it out.

An update on my move. As some of you know I moved from Sydney to Brisbane. It's been awesome so far. A little warm, but doable. And the view has been incredible. My little apartment started like this:
And has become this:
Eek! That's a lot of boxes to unpack. Plus the ones you can't see in the other rooms.

Plus my internet provider has decided to make things difficult and not connect me properly yet so my net is at a horrible crawl. It may take me a few days to visit everyone. My apologies for that.

Have you ever moved? If so, what was the hardest part of moving?

Don't forget to visit Tyrean!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Brisbane and Getting to Know the Author

As some of you know, I've been going through the busy time of selling house, downsizing and moving from Sydney to Brisbane. Today, having been offline for a few days, I finally arrived in Brisbane in our new place. The pic is the view as of five minutes ago as dusk takes on its hues. I've literally just arrived and set up the laptop on the kitchen bench because the apartment is completely empty.

In the middle of all that, I am also over at the wonderful blog of Karen Lange. Please pop on over and learn a little more about me and my debut devotional, Cling to God.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What Gives with Character Arcs?

I'm being a little tricky today: I'm in two places at once. Sharing about my move to Brisbane and my next adventure, I'm with Denise Covey. And, sharing a couple of truths about myself and one naughty lie, I'm over at Crystal Collier's blog where you have a chance to win an ebook copy of Cling to God! I'd love it if you could visit both awesome blogs.

IWSG question of the month:  What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? 

Being able to find clarity of thought and creative expression through the written word, and sharing that with others. How about you?

Please welcome Crystal Collier here today sharing her new book and some writing tips!

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

What Gives with Character Arcs? 

Thank you for having me here today, Lynda!

As you become a seasoned writer, you slowly master a whole slew of issues. First is getting actual words on a page. Next is translating the story in your head onto the page. Once you've written a WHOLE BOOK (!!!), you blissfully believe it's the best thing on the planet, until someone kindly tells you it isn't. And that's the moment a writer either gets off the horse, or learns the buiz.

That's when we learn the intricacies of plot, and as we're about to discuss today, character.

One subject I don't see very many people discussing online is character arcs. Every main character should have their own arc. (Including antagonists.) This is just like a plot arc.

  1. The protagonist starts out with status quo.
  2. Plot: Status quo is disrupted. Character: Reacts to status quo changing.
  3. Character tries to get back to status quo, or a new sense of normal.
  4. Conflicts keep the character from reaching their goals.
  5. No matter how hard the character fights, they are completely defeated.
  6. Character find the strength to start again, usually with a reversal of what they first wanted in the story.
  7. Character builds toward achieving their new goal.
  8. Character faces a crisis that forces them to make a key decision leading to the end.
  9. Climax: Big battle brings out the best or worst in the character.
  10. Character has achieved a new sense of normal.
There are the mechanics, so what does this look like when applied to an actual story? Let's try it with Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
  1. Status Quo: Goldilocks is taking a jaunt in the woods.
  2. Status quo interrupted: She sees a house in the middle of the woods. Strange.
  3. Character tries to get back to status quo: She knocks on the door to see if someone is home, to discover what kind of weirdo lives in the middle of the woods.
  4. Conflict keeps the character from reaching their goal: No one answers. 
  5. Character is defeated: She goes inside to have her question answered and sees the porridge.
  6. Character starts again: Now she forgets about her original inquiry and remembers that she's hungry. Goldilocks tries the porridge in her investigation. She's burned, chilled, and then at ease.
  7. Character builds toward achieving their new goal: Sated, she tries each chair. Now she's just looking for comfort and has forgotten her original intent.
  8. On to the beds, and she finds exactly the comfort she's looking for in the last one.
  9. Climax: The bears return home and Goldilocks is terrified. She runs away.
  10. Character has achieved a new sense of normal: She never returns to the home of the three bears.
Character arcs are AS intrinsic or more so than a plot arc. They're like the music portion of a musical. A MUSICAL wouldn't amount to much with just a script. The music is what makes you FEEL the story. If you want satisfied readers, the characters had better make the full journey from start to finish.

Just for fun, I'd like to show you how Status Quo is broken in each of my books:

In the beginning of MOONLESS, Alexia's status quo is disrupted by an unexplainable murder and everyone abruptly forgetting about it, except for her.

In SOULLESS, her status quo is broken when she flees from her home forever to escape the Soulless and a group of Passionate who have come to kidnap her.

In TIMELESS, Alexia has thrown her own world out of whack by stepping into a time where the Knights Templar are trying to wipe out her bloodline.

We all want to see the change in people. It's fascinating. It's what makes our lives worth living.

Do your characters make the full journey?

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)

Don't forget to visit Denise and Crystal!

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Writing Process

Because I'll be leaving Sydney soon, I've been madly running around the garden, taking photos of the spring flowers as they bloom. The above pic shows the flowers from a succulent I planted years ago. This is the first year it bloomed. Probably because I remembered to water it. I had to share.

Do you have a green thumb? (I definitely don't). What are your favourite flowers?

Today I'm over at Rachna's blog, sharing my writing process for Cling to God, my debut daily devotional. Please pop on over and say hi.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Reviews, Interviews, and Ninjas

I wanted to share some quotes from some of the reviews for Cling to God that have trickled in:

"Honest contemplations from a consecrated heart."

"What a wonderful way to start each day with a small, edible bite of God's Word that applies directly to everyday life."

"On good days and bad there is something in these short messages that will lift the reader’s faith, give guidance and direction about the truths of scripture, about God’s unfailing love, power and greatness."

"This will make a good gift for anyone who has a habit of reading devotionals."

The reviews have warmed my heart and confirmed that I did the right thing to share my devotional with the world despite the crazy times I've been going through. This experience has shown me--again--that the only right time is God's time.

Amazon Paperback, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Oz Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Goodreads.

Today, for something a little different, I'm over with the Ninja Captain himself, Alex J Cavanaugh. I'll be interviewing him rather than the other way around. Please pop on over to check it out.

Please also visit, Bish Denham. She is featuring my book on her site. Thanks, Bish!

What great plans do you have for this week? How do you get through the chaos?

Friday, October 21, 2016

On Gratitude and Twitter Warriors

The launch for my debut devotional, Cling to God, was wonderfully successful and a whole lot of fun. If you haven't yet, but would love to buy my book, you can find it here:  Amazon Paperback, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Oz Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Goodreads.

Again, I couldn't have done it without you and I wish to thank more people who are continuing to spread the word:
Please drop in on  
Both are featuring my book on their blogs. 
Thanks guys!!!

I would also love to thank all the Twitter warriors who have tweeted and retweeted my book. In particular, I'd like to thank those who tweeted multiple times. You guys are so awesome! Thank you to Tyrean Martinson, Medeia Sharif, Crystal Collier, Victoria Marie Lees, Carol Kilgore, Gwen Gardner, Julie Flanders, Beverly McClure, Denise Covey, Bish Denham, Alex J Cavanaugh, Rachna Chhabria, Jemi Fraser, Jenni Enzor, Chrys Fey, L.Diane Wolfe, and the irrepressible Lexa Cain.

If you'd like to help spread the word about this devotional, then feel free to copy/paste some of the tweets below, or make up one of your own:

For an uplifting read, Cling to God: A Daily Devotional @LyndaRYoung #Faith

A great Christmas gift: Cling to God: A Daily Devotional @LyndaRYoung #Faith

Something to challenge you everyday? Cling to God: A Daily Devotional @LyndaRYoung #Faith

Pic: My publisher sent me a pick of my print copies. So exciting to see them like that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cling to God Launch Day!

I can't believe this day is here at last. It was both super fast and painfully slow to get here, but here we are: Cling to God, my debut daily devotional with a devotion for every day of the year, has now been released into the world. So exciting!

To find Cling to God: Amazon Paperback, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Oz Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Goodreads.

Below is a glimpse into the current chaos I'm facing in my life:
What do I do when everything gets so overwhelming and chaotic (like having a book launch right in the middle of selling up and moving interstate)? I cling to my God. He brings me a peace the world can't even come close to offering. I find refuge in His love and acceptance.

Also, I couldn't have done this launch without YOUR help. A big thank you to everyone who has offered to help spread the word. I will have a proper roll-call of thanks later, but in the meantime, I wish to thank those who will be posting today on their blogs (Please let me know if I've missed anyone):

Beverly Stowe McClure - I'm there sharing the setbacks
 faced while writing Cling to God. Please visit!

Also please pop in on these generous people:
Alex J Cavanaugh

And tomorrow please visit JQ Rose 

There will more people sharing the happy news in the following days and weeks and I'll spread the word on those days too. Also there will be many tweeting and sharing on Facebook. A huge thanks. If you'd like to help too, then yes please do share this post, and below are a few tweets you can copy paste to make it easy for you, or make up your own tweet:

Launch Day for Cling to God: A Daily Devotional @LyndaRYoung #Faith

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional @LyndaRYoung #Faith #NewReleases

For an inspiring read, Cling to God: A Daily Devotional @LyndaRYoung #Faith

To find some calm in the chaos of life: Cling to God: A Daily Devotional @LyndaRYoung #Faith

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On Being Finished and Needing Help #IWSG

The big question this month for the Insecure Writer's Support Group is, When do you know your story is ready? 

With my daily devotional, Cling to God, coming out later this month, this question has been on my mind a lot lately. It's a question I've struggled with for a while, and will continue to struggle with for each separate piece I write. I may be too much of a perfectionist. Consequently I love deadlines because they keep me focused and there's only so much faffing and doubting and nail-biting and questioning a person can do before the final edits have to be in.

Honestly, I believe a piece of writing is never completely finished. If you had all the time in the world, you could tweak it endlessly. And it gets worse as time passes because as you grow and change, your ideas or the way you express yourself also grow and change. The piece will never be perfect. So don't try for perfection. All you can do is make sure the story has gone through all the stages of critiquing and multiple editing passes, and also make sure you've taken a break to get some eye-clearing distance. After that, if all you are seeing is tweaks, then send that baby out. That's when you'll really know if it was ready or not.

How about you? When do you know your story is ready?
The IWSG Short Story Contest 
Happy news!! Due to a number of inquiries, we've decided to drop the word count limit for our Fantasy 'Hero Lost' short story contest to 3000-6000 words. So get writing! For more info on the contest, go here.

Help! As I mentioned earlier in this post, my book is coming out later this month. October 18th to be precise. I am also in the middle of sorting through my horded collection of junk, which was the result of living in this house for almost thirty years, and trying to either sell, giveaway, or pack it for an interstate move to sunny Queensland. Madness, I say! I need help! No, I won't make anyone rummage through the dust bunnies at the back of closets. Instead, I need help with my book launch.

If you would love to help me spread the word about the daily devotional on or after October 18th, then please send me an email (lynfaw at gmail), or leave your email in the comments section. A quick tweet on the day would be awesome, or a Facebook share, or share the news on your blog, or if you'd like me to guest post on your blog some time just let me know. Whatever you'd like, I would be deeply grateful! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Two Cover Reveals

Happy news: As some might know, I've been trying to sell the house I've lived in for the majority of my life so I can move interstate. Well, on the weekend, the house sold! Now hubby and I need to find a new place to live in Queensland, the sunny (and hot) state. Consequently I'm not around the blogsphere this week, but I will be back next week to do the rounds. However, I would very much like to support my fellow writers and share two covers today. One from Crystal Collier and one from SA Larsen.
Motley Education (Book One: The URD Saga) by S.A. Larsen
Due for release on October 10th

Forget having a lively after school social life, Ebony Charmed is fighting to keep the entire Afterlife alive.

Ebony’s less-than-average spirit tracking abilities are ruining more than sixth grade at Motley Junior High: School for the Psychically and Celestially gifted. Her parents argue so much her dad moved out. And, even though he’s scared of his own shadow and insists on bringing his slimy, legless lizard everywhere they go, Ebony wouldn’t survive without her best friend, Fleishman.

When Ebony’s Deadly Creatures and Relics’ project goes missing, she learns her missing project is one of the keys to saving the spirit world. Now Ebony and Fleishman must battle beasts from Norse Mythology to retrieve her project before spirits are lost, the Well of Urd dries up, and Ebony loses all hope of reuniting her family. But someone lies in wait, and he has other plans...including creating a new world of spirits without them in it.


Motley Education has been aligned with Core Standards for grades 4-7. A guide will be available on the author’s website to download for FREE after the book’s release date.

To find S. A. Larsen: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website, Blog.

Timeless by Crystal Collier
Due for release on November 1

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?


To Find Crystal Collier:   Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Website

How great are these covers? What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG 2016 Writing Contest Announced

I got my first review for Cling to God on Goodreads! Check it out here. I'm so thrilled. Also, if you haven't already, and would like to, then please mark my devotional to-read in preparation for the release on October 18th. Eek! Thanks again to everyone who helped me with my cover reveal. Most recently my two favourite Carols posted the cover on their blogs: Carol Riggs and Carol Kilgore. Thanks so much! Please visit them and say hi from me.
And one more thing re my book and then I'll stop nattering your virtual ears off about it, but I just had to share. It's the freakiest thing in the world to see your book cover on a t-shirt, mug and playing cards, but here it is!! So, if you are in the USA, you can pick them up here.
The IWSG: sign up here
September’s question: How do you find the time to write in your busy day? 
That's a difficult one to answer at the moment. I'm in the middle of selling house and moving interstate, plus doing final checks and edits on my book, plus getting ready for launch day, plus reading an author's book for review, plus... plus... there's so much going on at the moment that I haven't had any time to write. All my other projects are currently on hold. That happens sometimes. It's ok. It's part of life. I guess I'm still gathering ideas, my creativity is still percolating away, so that's a part of writing isn't it?

Announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest!

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free. 

Word count: 5000-6000 

Genre: Fantasy  

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain's redemption, a hero's lack of confidence, a hero's lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence. 

Deadline: November 1st 2016 

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group. 

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges. 

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word! 

Our amazing judges this year:
Richard Harland finished his first novel in 1993 and resigned a university lectureship to become a full-time writer. With seventeen fantasy, SF and horror novels published since, he went international with his steampunk fantasies, Worldshaker, Liberator and Song of the Slums. He has won six Aurealis Awards and the A. Bertram Chandler Award in Australia, the Tam Tam Je Bouquine Award in France. Writing Tips 

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia's longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications. 

Elizabeth S. Craig writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine 

Laura Maisano has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. She’s excited to release her debut YA Urban Fantasy SCHISM, and she’s finishing up the sequel UNITY. 

Russell C. Connor has been writing horror since the age of 5, and has been in the self-publishing industry for a decade. He has published 8 novels and 4 novellas in both paperback and eBook, including the Box Office of Terror Trilogy and "Whitney," an epic horror novel about hurricane survivors fighting a washed-ashore sea monster. He also designs books for clients and assists them with self-publishing endeavors. 

Dawn Frederick is the founder of Red Sofa Literary, previously of Sebastian Literary Agency, and she brings a broad knowledge of the book business to the table—with multiple years of experience as a bookseller in the independent, chain, and specialty stores; sales, marketing, & book development at a YA publisher, a published nonfiction author, and an agent associate literary agent at Sebastian Literary Agency. 

Michelle L. Johnson is a literary agent, the founder of Inklings Literary Agency and has a business administration background in addition to a lifetime of working with books (sales, editing, and writing) and authors (marketing, promoting, event planning), and also has been a script/story consultant for an independent film. 

Lynn Tincher, Author, Public Speaker, and Executive Producer, born just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in the beautiful city of La Grange. She has written four books, with the fifth one currently in the making. Her first book, Afterthoughts was optioned for movie production by Kilted Pictures and Dancing Forward Productions in Los Angeles. It is currently in pre-production with plans to shoot in Louisville, Kentucky very soon.

So, how do you find the time to write? Are you going to enter the contest? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Odyssey of Getting a Novel Published

Today I'd like to welcome the amazing Mark Noce on my blog. His debut, Between Two Fires, is released today! At last! He'll be sharing with us the long journey it took to get to this point.

Thanks for having me here, Lynda! My debut historical novel, Between Two Fires, comes out today (August 23rd) with St. Martin’s Press! It’s set in medieval Wales and chronicles the life of a young woman named Branwen who must marry a man she’s never met in order to save her people.

It’s been a long road getting here, and I thought I’d lay out some of the highlights of my journey into the world of traditional publishing. Needless to say it’s been fruitful, but certainly full of as many twists and turns as a piece of fiction. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to some of you, but lots of people I share my story with are shocked to realize that it’s taken over two years for my novel to actually hit the bookshelves. It didn’t take two years to write it (that part only took a few months), but it took two years after I had already signed with my agent and my publisher!

In fact, I’ve already long since written the sequel and have that in the publisher’s hands as well, but no firm release date as of yet. So it begs the question, why does it take so long to get a book published once you’ve already written the thing and signed a contract?

I’m really lucky that my editor is also the head of the Thomas Dunne Books imprint that is publishing my book (they’re owned by St. Martin’s and Macmillan). My editor is a very cool guy and he doesn’t have to go to higher ups for approval, he’s also the boss! So that eliminates some of the red tape, but on the flip side he’s SUPER busy all the time. Because of how much is on his plate it can often take many months to get edits back for a revision or a firm date on a release, ARCs, quotes, etc. This means more patient waiting between revisions or when waiting on something else from the publisher. Six months here, another nine months there, it starts to add up after a while. So what’s an author to do?

Write, of course! I found that the best way to work through the dry spells was to write the next book or even the one after that. So the funny part is that I’ve got a total backlog of novels written, I just have to wait for the publisher to be ready for them. Not necessarily a bad scenario. I’ve found that the biggest lesson I learn along the way (so far) is to discover new levels of patience within myself, shrug off setbacks and rejections, and just keep on writing. It may sound simple, but that’s what’s gotten me here…to the day I’ve dreamed of, my novel finally landing in bookstores!

Amazon/ Amazon Kindle

Thanks again, Lynda, for having me here! I hope you all enjoy Between Two Fires. It was a long journey, but certainly a labor of love as well.

Mark Noce writes historical fiction with a passion, and eagerly reads everything from fantasy to literature. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s an avid traveler and backpacker, particularly in Europe and North America. He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife. By day, he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook. In addition to writing novels, he also writes short fiction online. When not reading or writing, he’s probably listening to U2, sailing his dad’s boat, or gardening with his family.
Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Monday, August 8, 2016

Green Dragons and Special Thanks

A big thank you to everyone who helped spread the word about my daily devotional, Cling to God, coming out in October, as seen in my previous post. A special thanks in particular to Michael Di Gesu for the beautiful introduction he wrote about my book on his blog. If you haven't already, please check it out here. I was thrilled beyond words to read it. Thank you also to everyone who shared the news on Facebook and on Twitter. There were too many to name here, but Jemi Fraser was a stand-out with multiple tweets. You are a gem, Jemi.

And now I'd like to share C. Lee McKenzie's new book, now available and full of awesome adventure:

Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A quest.

After six months in a new school, Sam’s finally fitting in. He’s the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam’s guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.

When teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure.

With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure. When some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb.

Sign of the Green Dragon gets a high five for fantasy, fun and some fearsome adventure. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you’ll love this story. As one reader says, this book, “has more twists than a dragon’s tail.”

Buy now to jump into the adventure.

Buy it now on Amazon

And don't forget to pop on over to Lee's blog too to thank her for sharing the happy news about my book!

What awesome books have you read lately? Which ones are you looking forward to? Who are you grateful to?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Super Exciting Announcement #IWSG

I don’t know how I’ve managed to keep it quiet until now, but at last I can shout to the world: I have a book coming out!! It will be released on October 18th this year. So exciting!

Cling to God is a book of devotionals for every day of the year. The aim is to encourage Christians in their faith, to help them think about their beliefs and learn more about God. The devotions are short and inspirational so that people with busy lifestyles will still be able to spend time with the Lord each day. It will appeal to a wide Christian audience, to those new in their faith as well as those matured beyond milk and honey.

How awesome is the cover?! I’m thrilled by it. While I did take the photo of the flowers (they grow by the steps leading to my front door), I didn’t design the cover. That was expertly done by my publisher’s designer. I think every author is nervous about seeing the final cover for the first time, myself included, but I literally whooped out loud and ran to my husband to show him. We had cake to celebrate.

I also have a few online friends helping to celebrate today. Please help me show my gratitude by visiting their blogs: Alex J Cavanaugh, Denise Covey, Michael Di Gesu, Susan Gourley, S A Larsen, Anna Simpson, Stephen Tremp, Michelle Wallace, Diane Wolfe.

And also some more friends will be helping out in the coming days: Lexa Cain, Chrys Fey, Carol Kilgore, Joylene Nowell Butler, C Lee McKenzie, and Carol Riggs. Thank you to everyone who has shown friendship and encouragement and support over the years. You guys are awesome!

This month’s question for the IWSG is What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published? You’ll find my answer on the IWSG website along with, hopefully, a little encouragement.

Every first Wednesday of the month the members of the IWSG post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG, then please go HERE to find out more and join up.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Focusing on the Positives #IWSG

The curious thing about being a writer is it’s a whole lot harder than it looks. Part of the job of being a writer is to question every scene, every paragraph, every sentence. Does it express everything I want it to express? Could it be better? Am I using the correct grammar? Have I broken the rules in a way that adds to the text rather than taking away from it? What needs fixing?

The list of questions is endless, but they are questions writers need to ask if they want to push themselves to make the piece the best darn writing they can produce. Of course, the questions can have a negative impact. They can cause the doubts to come knocking. This is natural and normal but doesn’t mean those doubts need to stay. The best way to send them packing is to focus on the positives—which brings me to this month’s IWSG question: What’s the best thing someone has said about your writing?

I must admit I don’t often think about the answer to this question, but perhaps I should. It’s a great reminder that yes, I can touch people through my writing, enough for them to say remarkable and unexpected compliments.

Apart from, “Yes, I will publish this piece,” I think the best compliment I ever received was over a fantasy character I’d created. My reader, rather than simply saying, “He’s good,” said instead that he seemed so real and cool that he could see stuffed toys being made based on him. And it was said with genuine enthusiasm and was followed by a string of true gushing. Wow. When I get feedback like that I’m reminded how much I love writing and that yes, I can get people excited over my characters, which was unfathomable previously (and still is on occasion).

So what’s the best compliment someone has said about your writing? How do you focus on the positives?

Next month’s IWSG question: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

IWSG Anthology Contest - Vote to Select the Genre
The second annual Insecure Writer’s Support Group anthology contest is coming up soon and this year, members get to select the genre!

Edit: The votes are in and FANTASY won!

Photo: I'm in the middle of a stressful time at the moment so my gorgeous husband took me to the National Park for lunch last Sunday to relax. We decided to go for a walk along a random track. The further we went, the more overgrown it became. Then a patch of sunlight came through the brush and I was able to capture the above closeup pic of moss on a log. I had to share.

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE