3 Tools for Creating Attention Grabbing Graphics

All the gurus say it: “Include a quality image with your blog post.”

And with the rapidly growing popularity of Pinterest, many authors have created a Pinterest business account. They pin attention grabbing, irresistible graphics that drive traffic to their blogs, market their books, and build their platform.

I agree, but I am neither artistic nor versed in Photoshop. What’s a person to do?

Keep reading because I’ve found an answer. [Read more…]

Is a Literary Agent the Pot of Gold for Writers?


Rainbow Literary Agent

In the words of author RJ Thesman, finding a literary agent is “harder than finding the perfect purse.”

Be that as it may, many authors seek an agent and for good reason.

Agents [Read more…]

The Making of a Book Series: an Interview with Author RJ Thesman

I’m delighted to have RJ Thesman with me today for this month’s Friday Feature author interview. RJ’s publishing credits include 500+ articles, four books, and 13 anthologies. And like me, she’s a writing coach. Grab your brew of choice and sit back for a great read. RJ imparts some terrific tips for writers to add to their publishing toolbox. [Read more…]

Friday Feature: Interview with Author Marie Wells Coutu

It’s the third Friday of the month, time for our Friday Feature author interview.

This month’s debut author landed a publisher via a contest. Today I visit with Marie Wells Coutu, author of For Such a Moment, released earlier this year from Write Integrity Press.

Author Marie Wells Coutu

Marie Wells Coutu

Welcome, Marie. Thank you for joining us today. How exciting to win a contest that includes publication of your book. How long did it take to write your book?

Marie: I worked on this book for five or six years, off and on. Once I felt it was as polished as I could make it, and I still had not had any interest from publishers, I put it aside and began to work on a historical novel. But after I heard about the Books of Hope Contest, sponsored by Write Integrity Publishers, I dusted off the manuscript and polished it some more before submitting to the contest.

Debra: Obviously your hard work paid off. You won the contest and now book one of your Mended Vessels series, For Such a Moment, has been published. Congratulations.

Initially, at what point in writing your book did you begin to look for publishers?

Marie: Too soon, probably! [Read more…]

Book Tour: Generations by Sharon Garlock Spiegel

One of my favorite parts of being a blogger is interviewing authors. Today Sharon Garlock Spiegel joins us to discuss her new book Generations.

Debra: Welcome to the blog, Sharon. Thank you for joining us. First of all, tell us a little about how you became interested in writing.

Author Sharon Garlock Spiegel

Sharon Garlock Spiegel

Sharon: The writing just seems to have happened without much forethought. First putting together little plays and dramas for fun—then for special holidays at church. Poetry has been part of my life for almost as far back as when I learned to read and write. I believe I inherited this from my grandmother. I attempted a novel when I was in the sixth grade. I don’t know what ever happened to all those handwritten pages.

Debra: What led you to write Generations?

Sharon: I wanted to give to my children and grandchildren the story of their heritage. I had no grand illusions it would ever be published. I printed paper copies and gave to family members. Somehow one of these copies got into the hands of a woman I don’t know. She contacted CrossRiver Media, a Christian publisher, and stated: “This book needs to be published, it changed my life.” Thus the journey began.

Debra: I know many writers want to make a difference in the lives of their readers, so that is high praise—the kind of word of mouth advertising that helps make a book a best seller. What is Generations about?

Sharon: It is a true story of redemption, my grandparents’ story. Generations chronicles my grandfather’s life of addiction and horrific abuse. It shows the miraculous changes that take place through his life-changing experience that brings about far-reaching results in the lives of thousands. It’s about Divine Intervention in the life of a reprobate.

Debra: What was your initial reaction when you heard from CrossRiver?

Sharon: I was humbled when contacted by CrossRiver. After thinking about it, I felt it was an answer to a psalm I had prayed: Psalm 71:18. “Even when I am old and gray , forsake me not, O God, until I have shown your strength and power to this generation.”

Debra: You said thousands have been impacted by the redemption of your grandfather. How so?

Sharon: My grandparents had 12 children and 27 grandchildren. Seven of their children attended Bible College, becoming missionaries, evangelists, pastors, and active in children’s ministry. Likewise a large percentage of their grandchildren entered full-time ministry. Today over 100 of their progeny are in full time ministry. I’m amazed how one life can have such a far-reaching effect.

Debra: How do you feel the book will show God’s power?

Sharon: When my grandfather was delivered from his hellish existence he was dying. His liver was destroyed, his kidneys were failing, he had to take strychnine to keep his heart beating. He was suffering from spinal meningitis resulting from an attack by two men that crushed his skull. Because of that he was taking morphine. The doctor told him he’d be dead in less than a year. When God delivered him, saved him, and healed him in one fell swoop, the result was a faith in which my grandfather believed God for anything. The miracles that followed border on the unbelievable but are documented and undeniable. I want this generation to be aware of the power of our God.

Debra: What was the hardest thing about writing this book?

Sharon: Recording the tortuous abuse suffered by my grandfather’s family because of his alcoholism and fierce temper. Keeping true to the facts was important, and I was fortunate to have eye-witness accounts from those who observed and suffered at his hand.

I wasn’t able to glean a lot of the horror from my grandparents even though they lived in our home when I was a teenager. My grandmother never spoke of those days, nor did my grandfather. He had laid it all at the foot of the cross. I hated dredging up his past sins, but felt it necessary to show the power of the cross.

Debra: Now that Generations is done, do you have other projects you’re working on?

Sharon: I have three books in the works. One is another biography showing the power of God. I’m also working to put together a book I’ve called “The Right of Redemption.” It’s a walk through the Bible, pulling out those Scriptures that deal with promises regarding our family. I hope to finish it soon. I also began a mystery novel a few years ago. I’ve re-written it a couple of times and want to re-do it again.

Debra: Anything you would like to add?

Sharon: My grandfather gave his own testimony that he lived for “self, flesh, and the devil” for 44 years. Then God in His great mercy gave him another 44 years to serve Him and preach the Gospel. I just found papers the other day with an account of his last days on earth. At age 88 he told my father “God may raise me up to live awhile longer.” Then he quoted the exact Scripture I have clung to, Psalm 71:18, “And even when I am old and greyheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I have shown your strength to this generation and your power to all who are to come.” God’s timing is always right. He’s honoring his Word in this generation and I’m believing, with all glory going to Christ, that Generations will show His power to this generation and to those who are even yet to come.

Debra: Thank you again for joining us today, Sharon. I have no doubt God will reach many thousands through Generations. It is the most powerful story of redemption I’ve ever read.

Readers, you can find Generations at www.crossrivermedia.com. The book releases October 19. For those in the St. Joseph, MO area, Sharon is having a launch event at the East Hills Public Library this Saturday, Oct. 19, from 1-5. Come join her.Generations Cover 3D

ABOUT SHARON: Born in East Providence, Rhode Island, Sharon grew up on the East Coast. The daughter of a pastor, the family moved several times. Her formative years were spent in New York and New Jersey. Sharon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology a Masters Degree in Christian Counseling. She and her husband, Roger, now married 46 years, have three children, fourteen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. She is an Assemblies of God pastor and school administrator of South Park Christian Academy in St. Joseph, Mo.

She marks the path of her life, with its twists and turns by the prayers and guidance of her godly parents and grandparents, with an emphasis on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

You can find Sharon at these locations: Sharonoragarlockspiegel.com; Facebook Sharon Ora Garlock Spiegel. You can email her at revsos@stjoelive.com


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