I’m sorry to all of those who visited earlier and didn’t get to see this. If I had been on top of it I would have posted my clue before I had the official post.
As an apology gift to you, click here for some printable bookmarks.
Here’s the guest post by Tricia Mingerink .
Sorry to everyone who has been trying to follow this scavenger hunt and was missing this post. For some reason I had it in my head the scavenger hunt was next week. Smart me tried to tell Over Achiever me that signing up to participate in a scavenger hunt a week before my latest book release wasn’t going to end well, but Over Achiever me convinced Smart me that I could handle it and it would be good marketing. Nope. I couldn’t handle it.
When I was two years old, I started drawing stories in notebooks with my crayons. By the time I was six, I decided I was going to be a published author someday. All through grade school and high school, I wrote. Short stories. Novels. Half-finished novels that will never see the light of day. I wanted to be just like my writing heroes, Laura Ingalls Wilder and C.S. Lewis (though I preferred to be published a little sooner than they were). I even went to college for writing.
Then I graduated, and reality hit. For some reason, I’d got it stuck in my head that I would be able to work a part time job, write, and somehow support myself that way.
Instead, I ended up with a full time job and—what I thought—was no time to write. After a year and a half of moping that life didn’t turn out the way I wanted, I gave myself a good mental shake, realized that God had placed me exactly where He wanted me to be, and stopped wasting time.
Right about then, I picked up The Blood of Kings trilogy by Jill Williamson and read them in a matter of days. Up until that point, I’d always written secular style fantasy. Besides C.S. Lewis, I didn’t realize there was such a thing as Christian fantasy until I read Jill Williamson’s books. I tracked down her publisher, Marcher Lord Press, which was transforming into Enclave Publishing. Their website introduced me to the whole world of Christian fantasy that was out there.
That same month, I sat down and started writing Dare, the first book in The Blades of Acktar series, a Christian Kingdom Adventure novel (a subgenre of Christian fantasy). By this point, I’d written enough and gained enough knowledge through my classes in college to know this book was different. It was something that could become something more than all the books I’d written up until that point.
On the Enclave Publishing website, I read a blog post by Nadine Brandes, began following her blog, and learned she was also an editor (she has since retired to concentrate on her writing her amazing books). When I finished the first draft of Dare, I sent it to her for my first professional edit and wrote book two while I waited for her verdict.
By the time I received her edit and encouragement, I was finished with book three and had researched publishing to the point I decided to indie publish. Dare released on June 2, 2015.
My process has refined somewhat since that first, messy draft, though I still tend to lean more towards writing a fast first draft with a minimal outline. When I get ideas for books, I usually know the beginning and ending of the book right away. Since I know most of the plot and the ending, I can get away with “pantsing” through the draft instead of writing an extensive outline.
I’ve also discovered that all the character sheets and outlining and brainstorming in the world can’t help me get into my characters’ heads unless I write their story. Once I know the plot and what decisions they make, I then backtrack in revision to discover why they are making those decisions. A bit backwards from the way most writing teachers will tell you to do it, but it works for me and that’s all that matters.
Not quite three years after my first book released, I’m the author of six published books, with my newest book Dagger’s Sleep releasing next Monday. My third book Defy was a finalist for the Alliance Award last year, while the fourth book Deliver is a semi-finalist this year. Here’s the link to vote in the Alliance Award. Hint: there are several indie authors on this list, including at least one other Indie-Con participant besides me.
I’m so very thankful for the community of indie authors I’ve discovered along the way. Many answered my questions and gave me a hand when I was the newbie author and needed that initial helping hand. Others have become good friends, including many of the indie authors who are participating in Indie-Con. I would list them all by name, but the list is long because the indie author community, and the Christian fantasy author community at large, is a tight-knit and welcoming group.
Along the way, my goals and dreams also matured and grew. When I was six, I wanted to be a published writer. Actually, I wanted to be a famous published writer, but I was six. The only authors I knew about where the famous ones. Then, in high school, I merely wanted to be published. Now my goal is to glorify God in my writing however He plans to use it. When I write, I pray that He shape my words and use them to touch hearts and lives wherever He brings them.
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