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One of the things people are the most surprised about when they ask me about traditional publishing is that the author doesn’t select the title. The author can SUGGEST a title, and is usually asked to suggest more than one, but ultimately–with most publishers, that is–the title is a marketing decision.
When it was time to pick a name for my first novel, they picked the title for the sequel at the same time. Like this:
The End Begins: Sudden Darkness
The End Begins: Glimmer of Light
Apparently they can also change their minds. They’ve named the sequel The End Begins: Glimmering Light. I don’t like it as well but it’s okay. Best part of all is that the book is turned in and it’s out of my hands. Whew!
I had a little book signing for the Christmas anthology (With Wondering Awe) that I’m a part of. Krista Jensen was there with me and it was way fun. One of the favorite parts was meeting an internet friend in real life…Annette Jensen, who drove all the way down from Tremonton to meet me. I was so touched.
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I’m excited to share my friend Tonya’s beautiful new book.
Tonya and I were once part of an Author’s Way study group and I loved her instantly. So talented..yet kind, honest, and real.
Tell us a little about yourself. Family, education, hometown, etc.
I’m originally from Minnesota but I grew up in Oklahoma, so technically I’m a midwestern girl. I grew up in a small town in western Oklahoma called Weatherford. After graduating high school, I attended St. Cloud State University and earned a degree in Public Relations. Eventually I moved to Utah (for a job) and met my husband, Jeff. I went back to school at Utah State University and earned a Master’s degree in Interior Design. We have three wild and crazy boys, Spencer (23), Zach (14) and Aiden (13). I also own an interior design/furniture showroom in Bountiful called LIV Showroom and I am the lead designer for Rainey Homes.
How long have you worked with interior design?
I have always, always enjoyed interior design. On my blog, myroomrecipes.com, I talk about my first design project, my bedroom, when I was 8. My parents always let me decorate my bedroom and eventually relied on my direction for decorating the whole house. I had second thoughts about interior design when I was in college because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make a living at it. So, I got my undergraduate degree in public relations and got a “safe” 9-5 office job with a steady paycheck, benefits and a 401K. I was miserable! After getting married, I was able to go back to school and get my Master’s degree in Interior Design, and I have never looked back. It’s interesting how life works out because my degree in public relations, which requires a large amount of writing, came to benefit me when I was approached by my publisher, Cedar Fort, to write a book.
How long did it take you to create your new book Room Recipes?
It took me approximately three months from start to finish! This was during Christmas, New Year’s and two bouts of the flu!
What was the biggest challenge in writing the book?
The biggest challenge was finding projects for the book that were complete. I originally only wanted to include projects I’d done, but most of them were only partially finished. I even attempted an entire home renovation with a client during the time I was writing the book, hoping it would be ready and meet the deadline, but it didn’t get finished in time. I also had another designer lined up for the book, but the project she worked on was a nightmare! She’d designed a gorgeous bathroom for one of my clients but it seems that everything from the paint, to the tile, to the plumbing, to the electrical had issues so her project didn’t make it in the book either.
Do you have any other writing projects in the works?
I have two or three ideas that I will be proposing to Cedar Fort for my next project, but I’m so busy with my store, Rainey Homes and the book launch that it may be a few weeks (or months?) before I can officially put something together.
What’s your favorite thing to do besides your interior design work?
Wow. That’s a good question! Hmmmm… I love to hang out with my family, read, shop and sleep!
How does the look and feel of an interior space affect the people who use it?
Interior design affects every space whether we know it or not. We intuitively know when a space “feels” right or wrong. It comes down to the basics elements of design including balance, proportion, color, etc. Interiors, especially in our homes, is vital to our overall comfort, happiness and peace of mind. That doesn’t mean our homes have to be filled with expensive, worldy items. In fact, it’s the opposite. Our homes should reflect who we are, what we represent and our personal character.
In your opinion, how have the popularity of TV shows like “Trading Spaces” changed the interior design world?
There’s certainly a renewed interest in interior design! But similar to how Photoshop and Instagram have affected graphic design and photography, HGTV and similar networks and shows have influenced interior design – everyone thinks they can do it themselves! Which they can, which is why I wrote my book, but it’s still good to be aware when a job requires the assistance of a professional interior designer.
In your experience, what is the most common error people make in decorating their homes?
I’m not sure if there’s one common error, but I do see a lot of people try really hard to match everything with the intent of making their home feel and look like a model home. Homes should be personal and eclectic. The items in a home should reflect the people who live there. Homes should include a collection of items with history, personality and uniqueness. Stuffy, matching, boring homes lack character!
Buy Room Recipes here: Amazon. It’s also available on Kindle.
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Here’s an interview with my dear friend and author Christy Monson, whose new book Love, Hugs and Hope is just released. Lori Nawyn is the illustrator.
How did you meet Lori? How did your collaboration work?
Lori Nawyn did the art and I wrote the script for this picture book, Love Hugs and Hope, and we are both very happy about it. However, we didn’t start out to work together. Lori and I knew each other from a couple of SCBWI Conferences. We had formed a picture book critique group that met each month so we were friends. But it was the publisher that teamed us up. Lori is a darling, and I love her art. We never collaborated on the book at all. I turned in the manuscript and Lori and the publishers did the rest.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing about 7 years and loving every minute of it.
Did you draw on your own experience as a mother in writing this book?
My experience as a mom has really helped me in writing this book. Children just need to talk things out a lot of times. They want love and reassurance.
You’re a retired family counselor. How did your training and/or years of practice help you with this book?
I kind of had a sense about how to process with kids from being a mom, but my training as a therapist really gave me the knowledge I needed to help children heal. In my practice I saw a lot of kids that were dealing with tragedy of some kind or another. Talk therapy is good for kids, but art is a wonderful way for them to release feelings.
How long did this book take to create?
It took me about a week to write the first draft of this manuscript. I felt so sad for those who had experienced loss in the school shooting at Sandy Hook. Shortly after that a gunman shot up the Clackamas Towne Center in Oregon. Our daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters live about three miles from the center. The parents monitored the events carefully, but turned off all media to protect the kids from knowing about it. However, the next day at school the children were all talking about it, so you can’t protect children from knowing about tragedies like this.
As I thought about these two catastrophes, I felt something needed to be written to help parents and children look at disasters like these, be able to share their feelings, and find hope in the world around them.
Do you have other book ideas along the lines of children’s self-help/picture books?
I love writing picture books. I have many other book ideas I’m thinking about, but right now I’m focused on a series about children’s feelings.
How did you find a publisher for the book?
I am so fortunate to have found my publisher, Christopher Robbins, and Familius. At LDS Storymakers Boot Camp, Rick Walton was conducting out picture book section. He began talking about Familius and what a great new company it was. When he found out I was a retired therapist, he suggested I contact Familius, and I’m so happy I did.
Buy Love, Hugs, and Hope on Amazon
I see you have another book coming out for electronic book format. How is writing for ebook different from a regular “paper” book?
Writing an ebook is the same as writing a paper book. In fact, I didn’t know that Becoming Free would be an ebook at first. But I’m excited for the new experience. I’m looking forward to promoting it.
What gave you the idea for this women’s self-help book?
My clients were the ones who inspired me to write Becoming Free. I learned so much from them and was so impressed by their hard work in therapy, I wanted to share their stories and their healing process with everyone.
How do you envision women use this book?
Understanding the concepts in this book can benefit all of us. The discussion on motivation and work ethic (First Section) is something I think we all need to review often. The chapters on understanding of self and communication (Second and Third Sections) are skills everyone uses daily. I love the last part (Fourth Section) on healing techniques. It a compilation of the most effective concepts and procedures I have gathered together over the years–methods that will lead us all to live a life full of peace and positive energy.
You can read the book straight through, but it’s really designed to create change by being used slowly over time to alter your habits and establish positive thinking skills. Enjoy! Happy Reading!.
Here are the links to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Becoming Free on Amazon
Becoming Free on Barnes and Noble
There is a giveaway for each book below…enter both!
Enter for a free $25 Amazon gift card: Love, Hugs, and Hope
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Enter for a free $25 Amazon gift card: Becoming Free
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Today on Inklings, I’m excited to interview author pal Jenny Proctor. We met a few years ago when we were both writing for Mormon Mommy Blogs, and I’m super happy to have her as a sister author at Covenant.
Here’s Jenny. Isn’t she pretty?
Here’s her book:
How did you come up with the idea for your book? The House at Rose Creek is about a woman named Kate who reconnects with her family history. I actually wrote a short story about Kate’s ancestors first, and then her story evolved from there. The short story, in many ways was based on my own family history and has a few parallels to things that actually happened to my ancestors. For example, I have a great, great, great grandfather that sailed to America from Scotland, where he lived for six years before he could afford to bring his wife and children across. Nine months after his wive arrived in America, another son, my great, great grandfather was born. He was named after George Washington, in honor, I expect of him having been the first born in the United States. The idea of families separating for long periods of time all to try and make a better life for themselves is what originally inspired my writing.
How long did it take to write? The first draft took three months. After that, I edited and tweaked for six more before I was ready to look for a publisher.
How do you find time to write with little ones? Many days, I don’t! I have to be forgiving. I read a lot about authors who commit to write a certain number of words everyday. I’ve tried it, but I generally end up feeling very frustrated with myself when it doesn’t happen. I have six kids… from age 1 all the way up to age 12. I write when I can, but I try really hard not to stress when it doesn’t happen. For the most part, if writing does happen, it’s either really late night, or super early in the morning.
Did you pitch your book in person at a conference or did you cold-query? I knew so little about the LDS Publishing world when I first started writing. I’d never been to a writing conference and had no idea what querying even involved. I did a little bit of research, then sent the book to Covenant through their online submission process, and they said yes. Not a very dramatic story, huh?
How did you feel when you saw your book cover? Okay, so a little bit of back story . . . the novel is about a house. A BIG old, white farmhouse. Because the title of the book is The House at Rose Creek, I just assumed that the cover would include a picture of a house! When I saw the cover, I loved it right away, but I was totally surprised because it wasn’t at all what I expected. In retrospect, I’m glad it doesn’t include the house. Because I know in my mind what Kate’s farmhouse looks like, and had the lovely graphics team at Covenant gotten it wrong, I would have been disappointed.
Are you working on a follow up book? Is it a sequel? The second book is written and submitted to Covenant. I’m just waiting to hear back on whether or not they want to publish it. It’s not a sequel, but it is set in the same small town and has a few characters in common. If you didn’t read the first one, you could still read the second book and not miss anything, but if you DID read the first one, you’ll recognize a few things, and (I hope) will be pleased to get a little update on what Kate is up to.
Here are some purchase links:
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Words. The tools I build with.
Once in a while I hear words that sink to the bottom of my heart. They won’t leave me.
Today it is the lyrics from “Pilgrim’s Song” as sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (I admit it! I’m partial to this version since my husband is a member.)
My brethren, I have found
a land that doth abound
with fruit as sweet as honey;
The more I eat, I find,
The more I am inclined
To shout and sing hosanna.
My soul doth long to go where I may fully know
The glory of my Savior;
And as I pass along I’ll sing the Christian song,
I’m going to live forever.
Perhaps you think me wild,
or simple as a child;
I am a child of glory;
I am born from above,
my soul is filled with love;
I love to tell the story.
My soul now sits and sings
and practices its wings,
and contemplates the hour
When the messenger shall say,
‘Come quit this house of clay,
and with bright angels tower.’
And as I pass along
I’ll sing the Christian song,
I’m going to live forever.
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My dear friend Christy Monson has done it again with a wonderful new installment in her Texting Through Time series.
Micah and Alicia are back with their amazing time-traveling smartphone. In the first book, they visited Brigham Young. Next up is John Taylor. The kids time-travel back to various points in his life and get to know him, while at the same time solve a fun, intriguing puzzle.
Christy has a knack for getting historical details correct while keeping the story fresh and fun for kids. The book is packed with fascinating details about John Taylor’s life that I never knew before. I don’t know of a more engaging way for young people to learn about the prophets, and can only hope that the series will continue.
And I just have to say with a proud nod of the head: the illustrations are great! My daughter, Rosalie Ledezma, drew them.
Have you heard of a book blast? If many people plan their purchase of a book for the same day, it helps that book’s Amazon ranking tremendously. The John Taylor Texting Through Time book is set for a book blast on November 13, and Christy is sweetening the pot by holding a drawing for a free Amazon gift card. To participate, buy the book on Amazon on November 13, and then leave a comment on her blog here. You will be automatically entered in the drawing.
This book is a wonderful Christmas gift idea for the young people on your list.
Thank you so much to all my fantastic family and friends for making my first book launch so fun!
The support meant so much to me and I gotta say, today just made it onto my list called
“Best Days Ever.”
The fact that the bookstore manager told me I sold way more books than she’d ever seen in her eight years of employment was extra awesome.
**big cheesy grin**
Tristi Pinkston has a new book for women on how to become proactive and strong with your money. Check out this way cute video:
(My blogging juju failed to embed the video directly, but please do click over.)
I enjoyed this book. Written in conversations between Tristi and her financial gurus, women can find plenty to relate to. I applaud her gutsy honesty–the numbers used are her actual financials. Fans will be able to continue to track her progress toward her financial goals by going to the above website.
Most things in the book sound like good old common sense. I’m a HUGE Dave Ramsey fan, so I immediately recognized the debt reduction plan in the book as his “Debt Snowball.” Many other money counselors have recommended the same plan. Hey, it works. It’s the best.
Tristi is offering this book FREE until June 15–all you have to do is cover the shipping and handling.