Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mean Mary

One of my clients (I represent the writing of Mary and her mother, not her music) is Mary James whose stage name is "Mean Mary." She is booked into the 806 Coffee House over on Sixth Street here in Amarillo on Saturday night March 29th at 9 pm.

Will Saundra and I be there? You bet! She can make a banjo stand up and dance and has a beautiful singing voice. She can also play anything else with strings on it, so I don't know what she has planned but it will be good.

Radio veteran Chris Lash says "Her personality and energy light up the room and the crowd goes crazy."

The Tennessean says, "Startling talent."

The Amplifier says, "A bewitching voice."

We're going to take her and her mom, Jean James out to lunch that day and feed them some good Texas BBQ. You can find out more about her at and even hear a little of her music as well as see about the books her and Jean write together.

If you live in the Amarillo area we'd love to see you at this performance. We are really looking forward to it. It is a free event. The 806 Coffee House is located at 2812 SW 6th Avenue.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

client profile of Linda Gilden

March 3rd saw the release of Called To Write - the new book by client Linda Gilden and co-written by Edna Ellison,

Called to Write will inspire you to either pick up the art of writing or will affirm your calling to write for the kingdom of God. Written by two award-winning and widely published authors and writing coaches, the book is filled with wisdom about how to keep your writing in line with the heart of God.

Called to Write identifies seven key competencies every author needs to be a writer on mission. Two aspects of each of the seven competencies are included. First, authors will explore the competency through an informational chapter helping them understand the importance of staying grounded in that competency area. The informational chapter is then followed up by an inspiring how-to-implement section making the book extremely practical. Called to Write is ideal for keeping a Christian writer on track with a gospel focus in their writing.

Since signing with me at Hartline published PERSONALity Perspectives (with co-author Tama Westman) and  Mama was the Queen of Christmas under her own name, both titles from Oak/Tara. She also released the ebook version of her recently printed book Love Notes on your Pillow from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas before publishing this title.
Linda is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, and writing coach. Author of the popular Love Notes series, she is also the author of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups and many ghostwritten books. With hundreds of magazine articles to her credit, Linda Gilden is a prolific writer who loves to share a great story. As a freelance editor and writing coach working with publishers and individuals, she encourages others to make their writing the best it can be. As a member of the CLASS Seminar training staff,  She is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Christian Writers Fellowship International, American Society of Journalists and Authors, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Christian Authors Network. Her experience also includes directing the CLASS Christian Writers Conference and the Carolina Christian Writers Conference and is a frequent workshop leader at other national conferences. She is Editor of The Encourager, print and web magazine of First Baptist Spartanburg, SC and a staff member of the Christian Communicator Critique Service. A graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, Linda developed the Get Published Now™ program for new writers. She teaches “Writing to Expand Your Ministry” in the Women’s Ministry Programs of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Award-winning author of 26 books and more than 400 magazine articles, Edna Ellison is a well-known keynote speaker who loves leading prayer retreats and writers conferences across the United States and overseas. Edna is an honors graduate of Presbyterian College with an MA from Converse College, an EdSp from the University of South Carolina, and a PhD from the University of Alabama. Having taught at three Baptist seminaries and two American universities, she now writes Bible study books from her Spartanburg, South Carolina, home. A leader in AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and a certified CLASS speaker, her life has been featured by Focus on the Family, where she has also been published.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Profile of client Teresa Slack

Client Teresa Slack’s new book Runaway Heart is scheduled to release this week:
Kyla Parrish yearns for love and security. But her heart can't be trusted. Can she find what she longs for in the most unlikely place--home? 
Running at the first sign of opposition is nothing new to Kyla Parrish. She’s never held onto a relationship for more than a few months, and she’s quit more jobs than most people apply for. Until Will Lachland. He’s the first man who ever made her think of getting serious about something, about putting down roots. But she can’t forget her mother’s ominous warning. Men are users. They take and take and leave nothing but a shell of who she wants to be.  
Fear of losing her heart to anyone or anything has kept Kyla running all her life. A new man and a new life seem like the answer to her prayers. But things are never as simple as they seem. Can she find the love she longs for even though she can’t forget Will? Or is something else, something greater, calling her heart toward home?

Teresa began creating stories and characters about the time she learned to hold a pencil. Her first novel, Streams of Mercy, won the Bay Area Independent Publishers’ Assn award for Best First Novel. The third book in her Jenna’s Creek Series, Evidence of Grace, debuted nationwide according to Christian Retailing Magazine. Her latest novel, Runaway Heart, is set for official release March 7, 2014.  She grew up in rural southern Ohio, which provides the background for much of her writing. Her down-to-earth characters and writing style have endeared her to readers and reviewers alike. Teresa believes people who think nothing ever happens in a small town just aren’t paying attention. Her favorite genre to read and write is suspense though she also loves writing romance with a touch of humor.

What was the greatest hurtle for you in getting your writing career successfully underway?
Finding time to write. I have a full time job, a part time business, and a whole lot of other stuff that keeps me from writing or doing writing related stuff. But it's all about discipline and dedication. If I really want to become a writer and not just someone who writes, I must figure out how to prioritize and get stuff done during those little windows of time. We're all busy. We all wish we could pause time like we do with the DVR on our TV. But we can't. Each of us have the same 24 hours every day. It's what we do with them that matters.

What about your writing has brought you the most satisfaction?
At a family gathering two summers ago, someone asked me what I was up to, and for the first time in forever, she didn't ask about my writing. It hit me that she didn't consider me a writer anymore. What was worse, neither did I. My life had become so clogged with everything else, WRITER was no longer part of my identity. Talk about depressing. After child of God, wife & mom, I want to be a writer most of all. But I wasn't. Life had gotten in the way of a major part of my identity. I knew something had to change. And praise God, it has. My greatest satisfaction came from reawakening the passion God put inside me for writing in the first place. He created me to be a storyteller. That's when I'm most fulfilled. It's how I know he placed this calling in my life. It's so exciting to do what you were put on earth to do. To walk in obedience. Not in fear of rejection or discouragement. But in knowing you're doing what you were designed to do.

What one piece of advice would you offer to new writers?
Be sure of what you're meant to do, and then do it. Don't write for the markets. Don't write what you think someone else wants to read. Write the story on your heart. It's there for a reason. God could've given your story to someone more dedicated or prolific or--let's face it--more talented. But he didn't. It's your story. Now sit down and write it. You won't have any peace until you do.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Client Frank Roderus profile

My client Frank Roderus just signed contracts with Thorndike Press (imprint of Centgage) to put two of his previously published titles into large print. The first two titles are “Hell Creek Cabin” and “The Keystone Kid.” We anticipate that they are going to do this with a number of his other books as well. We are working with the Five Star imprint of the same company with a brand new title.

Frank wrote his first story, a Western, at age five and says he quite literally has never wanted to do anything else. He is the author of over 300 books and is perhaps best known for his “Carl Heller” series. He has been writing fiction full-time since 1980 and was a newspaper reporter before that. As a journalist, the Colorado Press Association gave him its highest award, the Sweepstakes Award, for the Best News Story of 1980. The Western Writers of America has twice named him recipient of their prestigious Spur Award, for a western writer the equivalent of a movie star winning an Oscar. A lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association, he is married and currently resides in Florida. Roderus and his wife Magdalena expect to divide their time between Florida and Palawan Island in the Sulu Sea.

I asked Frank what the greatest hurtle that he had to clear in order to get a writing career off the ground?

The greatest hurdle, I think, was that of doing it wrong often enough to teach myself to do it right. There was no internet then and I belonged to no writing groups so it was solitary. Of course part of that was my own bull-headedness. At the time I went to the public library and read just about every book they had on how to write. Made no sense at all. After I had sold five books I went back to the same library, checked out some of those same books and read them again after which I kept shaking my head and saying yes, of course, how perfectly obvious...the same books that baffled me until I learned the craft.

I also asked what about your writing has brought you the most satisfaction?

The most satisfaction? That is a toss-up. Without question the most joy was when I got that first acceptance. Or was it when I held the first copy of that first book finally in my hand. Or was it years later when I finished writing POTTER'S FIELDS, which became a Spur Award winner, and knew that I finally had gotten my vision for that book down exactly the way I wanted it. Even if it never sold I would have been satisfied; it said what I was trying to say, not always a given.

What one piece of advice would you offer to new writers?

And advice? Oh, that is easy. Persevere. Never give up. When I was trying to break in I sent a ms to a New York agent. And New York agents know everything, right? I certainly believed that. She returned my ms with a note suggesting, more or less politely, that I should forget about writing, that I was not good enough to become a writer. That letter was devastating. I quit trying for the next three years before circumstance sent me back to the typewriter. I sent that same ms out to a small publishing house. They bought it. Paid a whopping $500 for it. That little book, a YA, was a Spur finalist that year and has been in print almost continuously ever since. And that was almost forty years ago. By this time and roughly 300 books later I've decided that that agent was wrong. I'm going to make it after all.