Declare Your Independence!

Posted by: Bridgett.

Have you declared your independence lately?

flagIn 1776, America’s founding fathers did just that. They took a bold, scary, irrevocable step that led to total freedom from British authority.

If you live in America, can you imagine some guy from England showing up at your doorstep today, demanding you pay a fine for violating some law established by the British parliament? You’d laugh in his face.

Last weekend, our church hosted guest minister Russell Kalenberg. His message gave me an entirely new perspective on what it means to declare independence. As I listened, ideas not only for this blog post, but for my life as a writer and believer, started brewing.

So, what does it mean to declare independence? In this land of liberty I and many others are blessed to call home, from what do we still need to break free?  Continue reading

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Interview with author Kerry Nietz

Posted by: Rebecca.

Today’s Fantasy Friday post is a Q & A with author Kerry Nietz.  I had the privilege to meet Kerry at the 2014 Realm Makers writer’s conference, Continue reading

Villains: Why are we drawn to them?

Posted by: Bridgett.

Villains, those characters who make a novel, movie, or story more exciting. The monsters, madmen, marauders, and even mischief-makers who cause trouble for our heroes and send chills down our spines.

Power of the Dark Side coverAs film and literature fans, why do we love to hate them so much?

If you are a writer, do you ever wonder why their scenes are the most exciting to craft?

As humans, how often have we asked the question, “Why does God even allow evil to exist?”

At the 2014 Realm Makers writers’ conference, author L. B. Graham touched on these questions as well as other aspects of villainy, including how to address the realities of evil while still honoring God.  Continue reading

Realm Makers Conference 2014 – encouragement and take-aways

Posted by: Rebecca.

Over the weekend, Bridgett and I had the privilege to attend the 2014 Realm Makers conference. Where do I even begin to share the highlights and my take-aways? Continue reading

Scribe’s Playlist — Tribute to Realm Makers Attendees

Posted by Bridgett.

Scribe's PlaylistRebecca and I will be boarding a plane this morning, venturing on to a strange realm filled with wonderful (and even stranger) creatures…Er, I mean, writers.

To honor those amazing, creative inventors of speculative fiction, we decided to depart from our usual playlist fare. So, to the attendees of Realm Makers 2014, this one’s for you!

To everyone else, I dare you to share my headphones for a moment and enjoy…

Continue reading

Pitching a Book? Only those who prepare shall prevail

Posted by: Bridgett.

I checked the time again. Eight minutes until my first pitch appointment at the 2013 Realm Makers writers’ conference. My first pitch ever.

Time to go. I set down my pen, tuned out the workshop presenter’s voice as he expounded on another fascination aspect of writing speculative fiction, and gathered my proposal materials. This was it. My friends and fellow writers, Rebecca and Drew, gave me encouraging glances as I pushed back my chair and tried to remember how to breathe.

I shuffled from the workshop toward my apointment (with the conference’s keynote speaker, no less), the echoing click of my footsteps a fitting accompanyment to my thoughts.

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of book death, I shall fear no rejection…

Up ahead stood another doomed soul–er, conference attendee. Good, I wouldn’t have to wait outside the dreaded Pitch Room alone. I attempted to flash her a smile, but the corners of my mouth were as shaky as my insides.

My heart was pounding so hard it must be giving the people in the next room an awesome background beat. Maybe they’d all start moving to the rhythm, and the publisher I was meeting wouldn’t care if I forgot all those words I’d so carefully crafted into a one-paragraph summary of my 700 page novel. Continue reading

High-heels, Mt. Everest, and a writer’s conference

Posted by: Rebecca.

shoes1You know you’re a writer when…you can write a 70,000 word book, but writing a short bio about yourself for your one-sheet for a writer’s conference is like climbing Mt Everest in a mini-skirt with high heels on. (The ultimate experience, complete with tests in endurance and how to face challenges.) It may not be a very becoming sight, but I’ve slipped off my shoes…  Continue reading

6 Books I Can’t Wait to Read

a.k.a. Treasures from Realm Makers

Tip to self: when packing for the next Realm Makers conference, bring an extra suitcase.

IMG_0129One of the most exciting items in the 2013 Realm Makers schedule of events was the joint book signing. Attendees had the opportunity to purchase books by their fellow participants or workshop presenters, then interact with these authors and have their books signed.

For some of us, this presented quite the fan moment. (I even have pictures with several literary stars.)

For a peak inside my literary treasure chest, a little insight into some of the topics covered at the conference, and a book review preview…  Continue reading

Live From Realm Makers Part 1 — the Beginning

The adventure has begun!

My travel companions (two members of my local writers’ group) and I arrived safely in St. Louis at 5 pm Thursday evening. Here is a peek into our first morning.

Continue reading