Writing Tip — Guest Blogger, Ronnell Kay Gibson

GIBSONTo wrap up the month, I have author Ronnell Kay Gibson visiting for the first time. Although she has published many devotionals and short stories, “Those Who Stay” is her first story to appear in an anthology. Glad to have you here, Ronnell!

What inspired you to write “Those Who Stayed”, a drama set during a hostage crisis in a store?

“Those Who Stayed” was based on a dream I about just that, a gunman who walked into my local Christian bookstore and posed the same ultimatum, deny Jesus and you can live, but those who stay will be shot. In the dream, I was the 17-year-old boy frozen in place watching the events unfold. All the other details and characters were created as I wrote the story.

 Why did you choose a teenage boy as your main character?

I write a lot of young adult fiction and as I was writing, it just felt the most natural.

 Did you find any special challenges when you wrote your story?

The biggest challenge was trying to keep it real and not preachy. What would a person do if this were a real situation? Would a mother really let her young son stay behind? Most moms wouldn’t, so why does this one? I didn’t want to have trite or pat answers.

 What excited you the most about this story?

Each of the character’s unique voices came easily, and that almost never happens when I’m writing.

Since we’re in a holiday mood, what’s your favorite Christmas tradition? And/Or what’s your favorite Christmas story?

One of my favorite Christmas stories is the children’s book, Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect. Just a sweet story about compassion and selfless giving.

My favorite Christmas tradition is our “Tree Trimming Night.” A night where our family gets together to put up and decorate our tree. Afterward we have pizza and everyone gets to open one present (wrapped in wrapping paper with Christmas trees on it, of course). As my kids have gotten older, we haven’t always been able to have our special night, but this year I’m hoping to bribe my daughter and her friends to come help.

I love trimming our tree, too, with my kids. Thanks for stopping by!

*****

From Christmas fiction off the beaten path:

“Those Who Stayed” by Ronnell Kay Gibson. Years ago, a gunman and a store full of hostages learned some important lessons about faith and pain and what really matters in life — and the echoes from that day continue to the present. 

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, 24Symbols, Kobo

*****

Ronnell surrounds herself with words and teenagers. She specializes in young adult contemporary with a sprinkling of the mysterious. She also writes youth and adult devotions and is one of the editors for HAVOK Publishing. Self-proclaimed coffee snob and Marvel movie addict, Ronnell has also titled herself a macaroon padawan and a cupcake Jedi. High on her bucket list is to attend San Diego Comic Con. Ronnell lives in central Wisconsin, with her husband, two teenagers, and two Pomeranian puppies. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and on her website, ronnellkeygibson.com.

 

 

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: Nature’s Small Wonders

naturew-3142272_1280This month I am focusing on using nature to inspire our writing. This prompt encourages you to slow down and study nature.

Pick one of nature’s small wonders, such as flower or insect. Watch it for five minutes. Then take notes on it. Be sure to observe it through as many of the senses, if you can.  (I do not recommend tasting the flower or insect.)

From your notes, write a paragraph or poem or something else. Please share below!

Writing Tip — Guest Blogger, Carole Brown

33782005_10216631991940246_8994067546852294656_nToday my guest is Carole Brown, another writer I met through ACFW. Carole writes in multiple genres — cozy and romantic mysteries. But today I am interviewing her about her series set during WWII.

MeWhy did you select World War II as the time period for your novels?

Carole: Mostly because my interest was piqued after listening to my mother’s tales of living through that era, the pictures I saw, and the small book that was loved in our family and written by an elderly gentleman with whom we were friends. It was said he was the civilian spy in the book, but he never confirmed or denied it. 

Nevertheless, I fell in love with the era. The fashions and hats, the music, the courage and sacrifice so many gave. All of it is such a drawing to me.

 Me: Which comes first – research or storyline?

Carole: Probably the story line then research. I have to know a basic plot structure before I can fill in the blanks with my research. I love research—such a world of interesting material out there to be learned and used for my writing purposes. It’s second only to the writing itself. But if I don’t know the storyline, for me, it’s hard to know what to research.

Me: What resources do you rely on for research?

Carole: Lots of internet study, books I buy or use from the library, some personal information from others, information I’ve learned through our own travels and any other way I can find what I need to be as correct as I can be.

 Me: What is the most unusual resource you have used?

Carole: Hmm. Not sure. Maybe learning that my husband has a tad bit of Blackfoot Native American in him. That sparked my interest in including a BNA in the first, full-length book I wrote. It’s not published yet, but I hope it will be someday.

Me:What advice would you give to someone interested in writing historical fiction?

Carole: The first thing that comes to mind with historical writing is getting the facts right. Historical readers—many of them—are picker readers. They want to read a good book that is historically accurate and interesting. Play it safe and do the research.

Example: One man I know wrote a western book. The thing that stuck out for my husband was the season—things happening in the spring that just didn’t vibe. A little thing like that completely turned off the reader.

 Thank you so much for inviting me to visit your site. Always a pleasure.

33532238_10216625140648968_4893989344005586944_nBoth rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other’s love…and keep the German enemy at bay.

She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?

Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life…especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.

These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their own selves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

To learn more, check out A Flute on the Willows on Amazon.

*****

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carole-brown

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/carole-brown-79b6951a/

Google+:    https://plus.google.com/u/0/113068871986311965415/posts

Stitches in Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

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