Monday, March 28, 2016

Is Editing Fun?

"So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, 

is making a chore for the reader who reads."

Dr. Seuss

How do you feel about editing? Love it or hate it, it's part of the package. Even if you hire an editor to help polish your work, you can't avoid it on some level.

In last week's interview, author Rachelle Rea said, "Editing is such fun!" Her happy statement made me stop and think, Do I like editing?

Guess what? After tossing it around, I came to the conclusion that yes, I do like editing. Mostly, anyway. There's something about setting things to rights and polishing words that brings great satisfaction.

Editing can have its down side too, like when I'm pushing to meet a deadline, or overwhelmed by the direction to take, or by the enormity of a project. But even then, there's gratification - attaining and savoring the finish line.

What checkpoints are you mindful of when editing? Perhaps they are similar to mine.

  • Check for grammar/spelling errors, consulting sources like Strunk and White's “The Elements of Style” as necessary. 
  •  Check content for excess words/phrases/sections that stray from the point or just don't fit. 
  • Aim for content that makes sense, progresses logically, and provides a satisfying reading experience. This includes a good balance of descriptive words/sentence variety, and a healthy dose of class and common sense. 
  • In addition to reviewing content on screen and paper, read it aloud. The ear is an excellent editor; it helps improve flow by catching rough or confusing spots.

While simple and often done without conscious thought, these points aid the process, polishing words for all to see. After all, writing that shines won't be "a chore for the reader who reads."

Thanks to everyone who stopped by this month to help celebrate my blogoversary. You are a blessing and I appreciate you all! :)

Do you like editing? What helps you better navigate the process? Do you agree with Dr, Seuss?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Free Images

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Visit with Rachelle Rea

In past years, I've given March, my blogoversary month, a theme of "Good Friends Old and New". With that in mind, I'm excited to feature a new friend - Rachelle Rea. This lovely author had two books released in 2015 and is here to share a bit about herself and her Steadfast Love series. 

Please note: Rachelle has offered to give away an ebook to one of my followers, so check out the details below. She's also hosting a Goodreads giveaway starting tomorrow, so that info follows as well.  

Welcome to Write Now, Rachelle!  When and where did you first get the idea for the Steadfast Love Series?

Thank you for having me! A song I was listening to on the radio inspired the title of the first book. So I wrote The Sound of Diamonds, but when I finished it, I realized to my great frustration that the characters weren’t done with their story, even though I had been quite adamant that I would write a stand-alone novel. But the story wasn’t finished, so I kept writing.

I've heard other authors say the very same. It's funny how characters can be so insistent, isn't it? :) Readers often pick out favorite quotes from a novel. Do you have a favorite from any of your books? 

Yes! In fact, my friend Mindy, a calligrapher, even created a beautiful piece of art from one of my favorites from my second book, The Sound of Silver. “Within the pages of books one’s heart can be revealed.”

That is an interesting quote! I can see why it's a favorite. What first drew you to writing Inspirational Historical Romance? 

My first exposure to the genre came when I read Heartsong Presents novels when I was twelve. Those small books introduced me to how much I believe in the power of story, especially love stories set in times gone by. 

I agree. Historicals are my favorite; I love the depth and wonderful timeless stories they tell. Congratulations on having two books debut in 2015! Was there any one special moment during the process that stands out in your mind? 

Holding my book for the first time was a big deal! I remember the boxes coming in, then sitting on the couch with a copy in my lap, just staring and realizing I was beaming a bit… 

That is exciting! In addition to writing fiction, you write reviews, articles, and offer editing services. Do you have a favorite among all these activities?

Editing is such fun! I daresay I enjoy editing a page full of my own (or others’!) words just as much as I enjoy splashing words onto a blank page.

That's interesting; I know some writers who might not classify editing in the fun category! :) What are you working on now? Any upcoming projects or new releases? 

I’m really excited about all that 2016 may hold! The Sound of Emeralds, the last in the Steadfast Love series, releases in April. Beyond that, time will tell ;)  

Thank you for stopping by to see us, Rachelle! Wishing you all the best with your books!

Thank you, Karen! 

The Sound of Diamonds 

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates. With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent. 

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome. 

More About Rachelle

Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she's lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. An Oreo addict, she is also a homeschool graduate and retired gymnast. She wrote The Sound of Diamonds the summer after her sophomore year of college.  

Find Rachelle   
Write Now Giveaway Info 
Rachelle is giving away one ebook, winner's choice of either The Sound of Diamonds or The Sound of Silver.

1) Open to U.S. residents only.  
2) Please leave your email address with your comment. 
3) I'd appreciate you following Write Now by Google Friend Connect or Facebook (see sidebar). 
4) Ends Friday, March 25 at noon EST. Winner will be notified by email and have 36 hours to respond or another name will be chosen.

Rachelle's Goodreads Giveaway - Opens 3/22

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea

The Sound of Silver

by Rachelle Rea

Giveaway ends April 05, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Do you enjoy historical fiction? What is your favorite genre? What are you reading or writing this week?

Happy writing,


Monday, March 14, 2016

Translating Reading into Fine Writing by Susan Reinhardt

The 7th Blogoversary celebration continues! Susan J. Reinhardt lends her insight regarding the connection between reading and writing in the following post. One of my very first blogging friends, Susan cheered me on in the early days (Way back in 2009!) and continues to inspire and encourage to this day.

Susan's throwing in a bonus and giving away an ebook of her first novel, The Moses Conspiracy, so don't forget to check out the giveaway details below.

Translating Reading Into Fine Writing 

by Susan J. Reinhardt 

As writers, we're admonished to read excellent books in our genre. Many post about how they analyze an author's style, plot, characters, and setting. As a Seat-of-the-Pants writer, this comes about as naturally as standing on my head.

So, how do I translate what I'm reading into principles I can integrate into my writing?

1) I read the story for pure enjoyment. If it grabs me and takes me on a breathtaking ride, I go with it.

2) After I finish, I evaluate how the book affected me. Did I keep getting pulled out of the story or was I engaged the entire time? Did the author create characters that were sympathetic or did I want to slap them silly? Was the ending satisfying or did it leave me feeling cheated?

3) When I narrow down the aspects of the book I liked and the ones I found unsatisfactory, I ask myself, "how did she/he do it?" Did the author make all those historical references a natural part of the story or did they pound me over the head with facts? What techniques did the author use to evoke an emotional response in me, the reader?

4) I then compare the methods against my WIP. I'll re-read sections and see if they're effective or need more work.

5) If I were reading my book, would I want to have a sequel or be disappointed at the end?

Writers: How do you translate what you read into tips for your own writing?  

Readers: What makes a book go from so-so to so awesome?

Susan J. Reinhardt is a multi-published author and blogger. Her books include three full-length novels, The Moses Conspiracy, The Scent of Fear, and Out of the Mist, as well as The Christmas Wish, a novella for all seasons. Her passion for faith and freedom are reflected in her characters and stories. 

She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and represented by Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary Agency. A widow, stepmom, daughter, and follower of Jesus Christ, Susan resides in Pennsylvania and is active in her church. Her interests include reading, bargain hunting, and searching for small treasures in antique shops.

Visit Susan on her blog or on Facebook

Giveaway Info 
Susan is giving away one ebook of the first in The Moses Trilogy, The Moses Conspiracy

1) Open to U.S. residents only.  
2) Please leave your email address with your comment. 
3) I'd appreciate you following by Google Friend Connect or Facebook (see sidebar). 
4) Ends Friday, March 18 at noon EDT. Winner will be notified by email and have 36 hours to respond or another name will be chosen. 

What are you reading this week

Happy reading and writing,


 Photo info: Free Images

Monday, March 7, 2016

Meet the Blogger with Hilary Melton-Butcher

March is my Blogoversary month - celebrating 7 years of blogging! What better way to kick off the celebration than with a long time faithful blogging friend -  Hilary Melton-Butcher.

Many of you already know Hilary; she's the smart and creative writer behind Positive Letters...Inspirational Stories. If you don't know her, you need to hop over and see her soon! Her posts are informative and fun, rich with history and details about her residence in Eastbourne, UK and other locales.

Hilary not only shares about history, but about her travels, general musings, and other fabulous and noteworthy topics. She even shares marvelous photos, which in my opinion, are the icing on the cake. I always learn new things when I visit, and feel as though I get to know Hilary a bit more through the sparkling commentary she offers.

Welcome Hilary! When and why did you start blogging? What is your blog about? 

Thanks for having me, Karen! I started this journey on my birthday and we (it and I) are into the 8th year … I started the blog as I wanted to know what was going on in the internet world, but certainly didn’t expect to be writing per se.

From Hilary's archives: in South Africa 
My blog reflects the eclectic nature of my curiosity; I go where I wish to be led – so it covers just about everything, some things more definitively, and some areas where I’m uncertain.

I write on history, geology, food, pubs, places, exhibitions, museums, places I’ve visited, and each post almost always includes a healthy dose of a few subjects – there’s always an interlinking thread.   But you or I will rarely know what I’ll be writing about next – other than I hope you’ll find something interesting and stimulating to read!

When I began, my mother had become terminally ill, as too a while later her brother-in-law, but both could happily talk and discuss aspects of life: so I based my early articles on items they would find interesting and stimulate our conversations.  That hasn’t changed, but I feel more confident now and comfortable with what I’m doing.

It meant my brain was kept occupied with the learning process, and the ‘oh! What am I going to write about next scenario?!’, which I’m sure many of you have experienced. I don’t follow the rules or trends – I do my own thing, but make an effort to provide readers and commenters with the type of posts they expect from me – and thus generate that interaction that really glues bloggers together with the common interest.

I’m exceedingly grateful to be amongst this blogging community – which has been an incredible experience. I don’t mind being a lone wolf, but I do like company!  I do join some blog-hops, but they are always there and people are so creative with the concepts they come up with.

I agree, it is an incredible experience. Not following the rules or trends - I must say, it really works for you. You've carved out your own wonderful niche! What benefits have you gained from blogging? 

Major benefits – are/were the support and understanding of fellow readers; in particular joining in the annual April A-Z Blogging Challenge where I’ve met so many other bloggers from all walks of life and from around different parts of the world. Then the learning curve - that continues via the contacts we have access to through the blogging fraternity.

Fellow readers and bloggers are great indeed. It is such a wonderful community. :) What are you working on now? 

I will be putting my A-Z posts into booklet form and starting that series off, as too extracting other ideas from my blog posts – now 750 plus, that shocks me! As you can imagine toddling across the keyboard has shown that I can write, have a fair degree of knowledge – yet continue to teach myself with each blogpost I write - I do hate not knowing!  

Wow, 750 posts, congratulations! That is quite an accomplishment. What might people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a fairly open book now – but back a few decades I was very shy.   I am definitely a late developer as far as education is concerned. Blogging has helped the puzzles of history, geography, geology, art, English literature and language, different cultures, music, film etc. gel in my brain, so that grey matter has some bright moments in it.

Blogging has a way of teaching us all sorts of things, doesn't it? What advice would you share with a newbie blogger? 

For any newbie blogger – join in with this group, and learn as you go – keep your mind open, make friends by adding to the comments and visiting regularly and often (to get established), settle on some form of theme for your blog – again keep it open-ended, so you can adjust your posting as you settle into blogging.  You will find blogs and people you relate to, that’s the best way of starting, and having that ‘stash’ of blog posts rarin’ to be posted.

I think the main thing is that blogging is a wonderful world to be a part of – and opens up lots of doors, so just enjoy yourselves.

Excellent advice! You have quite a following and get a lot of nice comments. Has any one comment ever stuck out in your mind? 

So many nice ones, but I do get quite a lot of these kinds of comments, "Honestly, I've learned more through your blog than I did in school." 

After following your blog for many years, I have to say that they are right. Your posts are engaging and I always learn something new. Thanks so much for joining us this week! 

Thank you for inviting me and for all your continued support and interest.

More About Hilary

A lover of life – who after London, spent time in South Africa; an administrator, sports lover, who enjoys cooking and entertaining...who through her mother’s illness found a new passion – writing, in particular blogging; which provides an opportunity for future exploration, by the daughter, who has (in her 3rd age years) found a love of historical education. Curiosity didn’t kill this cat – interaction is the key! 

Visit Hilary at her blog, Positive Letters Inspirational Stories 

In other news, I'm discussing Avoiding Blogger Burnout at the HHP blog. Hop over if you have a minute!

Do you have any questions for Hilary? Do you blog about your travels? What are you working on this week?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Free Images hot chocolate