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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Steampunk Hat Phase 2

It’s finished! I wish I had time to model it for you, but I’m way behind packing for the ACFW Conference, so I’ll have to take pictures at the genre dinner and post them for you then. In the meantime, here’s a very short video of Spook checking it out. Of course, anytime I start to video my pets they immediately decide not to cooperate. The lighting was awful when my son took pics of the hat, so I had to enhance them a bit. They don’t at all capture its essence. Yes, it has an essence. I promise.     Here’s a video. Still doesn’t have the same pizzazz as in person, but you get the idea! Remember, my character is a steampunk biologist (naturalist, but it’s Christian steampunk so I say biologist; it’s complicated). What do you think? Did I overdo it? Do you like your steampunk more streamlined? Let me know in the comments below! Tweet this: Check out this amazing steampunk...

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Steampunk Hat Phase 1

I need a steampunk hat to go with my genre costume at the ACFW National Writer’s Conference in Dallas, Texas. As I explain in the video below, I decided that making a steampunk hat would be less expensive than buying one ready-made from an Etsy store. I was wrong. The hat I really wanted was one like this (I adore ships): But it was $65.00. So, I thought to myself, I can make one for less. I love all the hats in the ChikiBird shop, so I sort of used them as inspiration. But guess what? I was so wrong about the price. Not only are feathers and other materials expensive, I don’t know what I’m doing! I probably should have just bought my hat. But since when do I do things the easy way? Below is a video of phase 1: the materials. And below the video are some first pics. I’ll post the finished product and my entire costume later, so stay tuned!     More pics to come! What do you think of it so far? Tweet this: Is it less expensive to make it yourself? Not...

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Live Blogging Realm Makers Conference: Keynote Speaker Tosca Lee

What an amazing day I’ve had at Realm Maker’s conference today! This morning’s Keynote Speaker was best-selling author, Tosca Lee. If you’ve never read any of her books, I highly recommend you do. Her style and voice are unique and powerful. As I wrote before, she has a voice akin to liquid velvet. I can’t get enough of her. Did you know that she cut her eyeteeth in the writing realm with online gaming? Who’d have thunk it? But it makes sense to me now. She spent hours and hours creating a character and a world playing a role playing game. In fact, the character she developed and eventually “killed” has a fandom! People to this day write poems and tributes to this character. Now, I’m not into role playing games. I’ve never “got” that lifestyle. In fact, I’ve protected myself from that sort of fantasy life because I didn’t understand it, feared it, and was concerned that with my personality I’d become addicted to it. But as it turns out, lovely Tosca was once the Overlord of a gaming community that still holds tournaments in her character’s honor. Talk about creating a powerful character! This character was so real to those playing this game that they mourned her and continue to this day to honor her. Wow. Can I create characters like that? Can you? Following Tosca’s keynote address, I attended a workshop entitled “Touching Evil: Reflections on Writing Villains and their Villainy.” The take-away for me was when he said that the villain is the measuring stick for the hero. Excellent stuff! This afternoon Steve Laube spoke about the ins and outs of being represented by an agent. Jeff Gerke presented a workshop on “The So-Called Rules of So-Called Fiction and what to So-Called do with Them.” As always Jeff was engaging and funny. Lisa Walker England taught on Steampunk, which is the reason I’m here as I have several steampunk novels running through my head. Doesn’t she look great in her costume? (She’s pictured below with Ben Wolf.)  The last presenter before the evening awards banquet was Kat Heckenbach who spoke on writing YA. The banquet tonight was attended by various unique and special guests:       The Clive Staples Award for the best in Christian Speculative Fiction this past year went to Patrick W. Carr for A Cast of Stones! The Parable Award for best-designed cover on a speculative fiction book directed to the Christian or family-friendly market went to Numb by John W. Otte. The food was delicious and my brain is just as full as my stomach. I’ve learned a lot today and can hardly wait until tomorrow morning to start all...

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