Love and Cowboys: An Interview with Author Gloria Doty

If you’re into cowboys and romance, you’re going to love Gloria Doty and her new romance novels! What’s not to like about a title and cover like this? Bring a cowboy home? Don’t mind if I do… I fell in love with the book as soon as I saw it. And I pretty much fell in love with Gloria that way, too. She is a jewel. A people person and mother of a live-in adult daughter with autism, Gloria is a fascinating human being. She has a magnetic personality and we clicked immediately. Besides being an all-around great gal, her grit and work ethic are traits I highly admire. Her newest book is a winner, too: Below is an interview I did with Gloria. What a lovely woman and what a great author! You’re going to love her and her books! Tweet this: Bring a Cowboy Home! Why...

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Writer Wednesday with Award-Winning Author, Bob Hostetler

I met Bob Hostetler at a recent ACFW-Indiana meeting. I had no idea how much I admired his work until I saw his book table. And there it was. A book that had a huge influence on my life as a youth minister and teen Sunday School teacher: I raised my kids and a whole passel of other kids on this book. It’s an excellent apologetic in layman’s terms. I think I’ve quoted most of it for the past 20 years over and over again. The title itself is one of my favorite phrases. I was fortunate enough to visit with Bob during our luncheon that day and he was nice enough to agree to an interview! Grab your cuppa (I’ve got my iced tea ready!) and get ready to glean wisdom from an award-winning, best-selling author.  Thanks for agreeing to the interview Bob! I’m really looking forward to your next book! And I don’t care if I am gushing like a giddy schoolgirl. Its delicious purple cover (purple is my FAVE) and delectable content has me salivating already! Click to tweet please! Bob says, “Don’t check your brains at the...

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My Interview on the Wealthy Wednesday Radio Show!

Everything you wanted to know about me but were afraid to ask. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to my interview on the Wealthy Wednesday Show and leave your comments and questions. I love interacting with you! Thank you to Luci McMonagle for inviting me to be on her show. I had a blast. Enjoy! Kindly tweet:  Interview with Karla Akins with tips on starting your writing...

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Don’t hate me because I’m doing NaNoWriMo

I owe my current writing career to NaNoWriMo. I latched onto this November madness like it was a precious diamond in 2003 and I have yet to let go. I am quoted in the founder’s book, No Plot No Problem. As I’ve said before, I blame Chris Baty for the madness I experience now as a struggling writer. Way back then, I even had to borrow a lap top from Chris to participate. That’s when I learned I really could power through 50K words and not die. And once I did, I had the bug. There was no way I could live the rest of my life and not write stories. Up to that point, I thought I could only write non-fiction. I had no idea what an art fiction was. I’m a tough customer. Fiction has to be deep and I have to learn something from it in order to read it. I have many more nonfiction books in my library than I do fiction. I’m an insatiable life-long student. My kids say they can’t remember a time I wasn’t going to school and learning something new. A lot of novelists think that NaNoWriMo is for beginners, but I’m here to tell you that writing 50K words in 30 days is nothing to sneeze at. And to think I did it the first time without a thought as to an outline or destination. I’m impressed with the person I was back then. I just sat down and wrote by the seat of my pants. I think the thing that separates me from a lot of people is that I’m not afraid to try and fail. This year I’m taking some college students with me on this crazy journey. We’re getting together tonight for a pep talk and will get together each week between now and 50K words. I’m excited because I love mentoring young writers. Why don’t you do NaNoWriMo? And if you are doing it, what drives you to participate? Let me know in the comments below! Tweet this: Raise your hand if you’re doing...

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The 10 scariest things about writing

Okay, so I don’t believe I’m driven by demons to write. Hopefully it’s the Holy Spirit Who inspires me. But I must write just as ducks must swim. I’m compelled to torture myself with the literary arts. And while I love this gift, and the places it takes me, there are days when I agree with Dorothy Parker who said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” Here are 10 things I find the most frightening about writing: Fear of being inept and amateurish. What if my writing is really bad? What if I can’t play with the big kids in this writing thing? What if I’m too shallow? Too glib or cliche? Fact is, I probably am, but I’m the only writer who can write like me, and that’s something I have to offer that no one else does. Fear of not being smart enough. This relates to the first fear. I think great writers are geniuses. Seriously. I envy successful writers because they are extremely clever and smart. Will I ever be as smart and knowledgeable? Do I even have the aptitude? The answer is that there are a lot of writers much, much smarter than I am or ever will be. And maybe, just maybe, there are writers I’m smarter than. But if I’m called to write, then there’s a reason. There must be someone who needs to hear what I have to say. And if I can influence or encourage even one life–isn’t that reason enough to obey the call? Fear of making mistakes. Last I checked, Jesus Christ was the only perfect human Who walked the earth. And I certainly don’t have the qualifications to be the Messiah, so this fear is absolutely unreasonable. Then again, I never claimed to be reasonable. Fear of being unoriginal. This fear is based in a lie. God’s Word tells me that “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” Ecclesiastes 1:9. Basically there are only seven major plots: 1) Overcoming the Monster, 2) Rags to Riches, 3) The Quest, 4) Voyage and Return, 5) Comedy, 6) Tragedy, 7) Rebirth. There are no original ideas, just variations. Fear of not selling the story.  What if my idea is so stupid and the writing so bad that even my agent won’t look at it? Yes, this poltergeist taunts me on my dark days when the words won’t flow. Fear of not creating the story that’s in my head. That’s when I freeze and don’t know how to put the words on the page and procrastinate by playing online marbles. The only way to work through this...

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Why do I write?

This past summer someone put my feet to the fire and asked me why I spent so much time writing: “So what if you write. All you have left after spending on all that time are words on a page. Who cares? There are other things to do besides sit and write all day.” When I told some of my writers friends I was being criticized for being a writer, I got some fabulous feedback. Things that I believed but couldn’t think to say at the time. (I tend to freeze up when I’m confronted and only think of answers later.) I’ve kept these answers and pondered them in my heart. Writing is a solitary experience, and when someone is critical, it makes me feel even more alone. Kathy Rouser’s answer was one I absolutely identify with: “I think of Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire, when he said that when he ran he felt God’s pleasure. Writing’s a calling, it’s a release. Words on a page make up a story that could change a life–or save one. Just like brushstrokes of paint on a canvas make a painting, if you don’t keep adding to the story and finishing it, you’ll never know what a difference could make–even just for you. And if you’re being obedient to the Lord, that’s the most important thing of all.” This is so true. I feel alive when I’m writing. If there was one thing I was born to do, it is to put words on a page. Words and letters are as much a part of me as the nose on my face. I can’t imagine a life without them. Author Rick Barry wrote: “To belittle words on a page is to belittle God. The Almighty saw fit to record much history, much revelation, and much emotion and inspiration in the form of written words. Anyone who takes the position that words on a page are pointless… I can’t begin to express the ignorance that suggests. And true, our words are not God’s divine inspired Word, but we are created in God’s image, and I believe it pleases Him when we try to be like Him, to follow His example, and to touch others with words. …Every Sunday pastors step into pulpits the world over. They deliver sermons that are nothing more than words they wrote on a page, either in outline form or in full paragraphs. God uses words to touch human beings for the better! …I can’t count the times that I have been contacted by people who have read my piddly words on a page and told me that those words worked powerfully in them, helping them to overcome...

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