Month: October 2013

The Beloved Daughter an Audiobook!

I am super excited to once again host the very talented Alana Terry, author of The Beloved Daughter!

I really loved this book! The Beloved Daughter is the story of Chung-Cha, a young North Korean girl, imprisoned because of her father’s christian faith. Although gritty and emotionally hard to read at times, the story is told with a light hand and gentleness that highlights Alana’s gift of storytelling. Rather than becoming bogged down in the brutality that is prevalent in the prison environment, the book focuses on the humanity of the characters and the choices they make in order to survive circumstances beyond their control. Even if I did cry big fat tears at the ending, The Beloved Daughter is a satisfying story, that will not only stay with you long after you have read it; but will also entertain, educate and challenge you to look beyond your own life experiences!

The Beloved Daughter, an inspirational suspense novel by award-winning author Alana Terry, is a story of persecution and triumph set in the oppressive North Korean regime. The audiobook version of Alana’s bestselling debut novel is narrated by Kathy Garver, a four-time Audie award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Motion Picture Council. (You might also recognize Kathy as Cissy from the TV show Family Affair.)

Listen to a sample of Kathy reading from The Beloved Daughter.

The Beloved Daughter

Synopsis: In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being. The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian.

Join the giveaway

Acclaim:

*Winner, Women of Faith Writing Contest

*1st Place, Book Club Network Book of the Month

*Amazon Bestseller (#5 Christian Suspense)

Reviews:

“…an engaging plot that reads like a story out of today’s headlines…” ~ Women of Faith Writing Contest

“Alana is a master storyteller, and I can’t imagine anyone failing to be
captivated by this harrowing tale
. What we have here is a compelling
story, but it’s also one of great importance.” ~ Brad Francis, Author of The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living

“The Beloved Daughter is a beautifully written story that is…both personal and representative of the challenges that many North Koreans still face today.” ~ Sarah Palmer, Rescue Team Coordinator at Liberty in North Korea

“The author does a phenomenal job… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – but have tissues handy.” ~ Pauline Creeden, Editor AltWit Press
Order your own copy of The Beloved Daughter.

Awesome Prizes!

You don’t want to miss out on the month-long Beloved Daughter audiobook launch party. RSVP now on Facebook or see the Alana Terry facebook page to get started. Dozens of winners … Hundreds of $$$-worth in prizes!

ENTER THE DRAWING: In addition to the Facebook party, you can enter the grand prize drawing below for a chance to win a $100 gift card to either Target or Amazon (you choose!), or one of the awesome prizes from the prize gallery (think Christian T-shirts, jewelry, books, CDs, lotions, and more)!

SEE THE AUDIOBOOK HERE

SEE THE PAPERBACK HERE

SEE THE EBOOK HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ve also been fortunate to interview Alana earlier this year. Check out our interview here!

The Best Writing Advice Ever

I know I’ve succumbed to hyperbole with this title – but I promise I’m not selling anything. *checks pockets* Nope all out of snake oil. But I would like to offer you a story today. A story – one of many that have been told around the tables of Cafe Novella during the course of the Kapiti Speculative Fiction Writers’ Group. A story that on the face of it doesn’t appear extraordinary, but unexpectedly struck a chord within me. A life-changing, writing-changing chord that has already impacted the way I write, and has inadvertently rekindled my love for storytelling.

Such is the power of a good story. At just the right moment.

Now you probably won’t believe this, (especially if you are new to this blog *coughs*), but I have been known to bemoan my lack of progress trying to write The Fall of the Kings. Admittedly not one of my finest attributes. But every month I turn up at our writing group, and we discuss how our work’s going. And for a little while now I’ve felt like Mike Noonan, the blocked author in Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, relying on older work to cover up a disappointing lack of output.

So, last month, knowing my writing hiatus was at an end, I figured I needed to come up with a solid plan to move Kings forward. I was quite hopeful about it too. Basically I told the group I’d figured out the best way to break out of the rut was to rewrite the start of the novel and follow the story from one character’s perspective only. This would also neatly avoid some of the difficult characters I’ve been struggling with.

It was a perfectly logical response, and something I’d not tried yet, so I was expecting some positive feedback. Or at the very least – insincere platitudes.

What I didn’t expect was Pat, our awesome group leader, to say this: (Bear in mind Pat has read the first 50 pages of Kings and his feedback was very positive).

Pat’s parents both liked to paint. His father painted sporadically. Whenever the urge struck, he’d pick up a brush and paint out whatever it was that was within him. He was a gifted artist and his work had that inexplicable freedom and spark which set him apart from the hobbyiest. Pat’s mother on the other hand worked at her art diligently and painted all the time. Often she would come home with composition sketches that showed she too had a good eye – that hint of something special. But then she’d sit and paint, and paint – until she’d painted the life right out of it. The paintings themselves were fine. But they could have been really great.

It’s the difference between joy and toil. And with any piece of art, you can tell the difference.

And, yes he effectively told me to stop killing my writing. But he was right.

I have a head full of stories. Amazing stories. Interesting characters. And a vision of what they will look like, fleshed out – writ large. But sometimes I get insecure about telling them just right – getting the details just right that I squash the playfulness, the natural flow or whatever that indescribable thing is that makes my writing special.

So how do I change those ingrained bad writing habits? For me it’s realising that I don’t want to write my stories to death. I don’t want to follow all the writing rules at the expense of the joy I feel when a story comes alive on paper. I know the basic outline of Kings and I love it. It has a killer ending which I can’t wait to write once I’ve built the bridge over this rocky middle. But until I get this internal editor under control I’ve had to park Kings for the time being – because every time I look at the middle section I want to scream. It’s toil and right now you can tell.

Fortunately, I’ve taken my new, enlightened attitude into The Moon is Made of Glass, and I’m letting this new story emerge organically. I’m enjoying the research (such a hardship reading the old celtic fairytales again…), enjoying this new world that is unfolding, and celebrating each unexpected character or development as it’s presenting itself. I haven’t started writing the story yet, (apart from the prologue) – but am looking forward to NaNo as the vehicle to knuckle down and do it.

Do I really believe this is going to sort the problem?

Well I’m practising already. I’ve started an ugly story. One that will never see the light of day. A story that’s been floating around in my mind for ages and I’m writing it as it comes out. Bad grammar, poorly structured, and boring at times. But as I’m letting go, I’m also starting to see those lots of little gems starting to emerge. The ones that got me excited about the story in the first place. The joy has already turned up.

Don’t get me wrong, as the good book says, there is a time for everything; including editing, grammar, and cleaning up the story structure. But now isn’t that time. Now’s the time for rediscovering my love for my stories.

Have you ever felt like you’ve lost some of the joy of writing? What keeps you on track? What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

Getting Caught Up

It’s good to be back! I enjoyed the hiatus and learned so many good, writerly things, it would be impossible to share it all in one post. (Or at least one you’d all read…). So I figured I’d just take the opportunity to give you the highlights, and a heads-up on what I’ll be discussing in the coming weeks.

Progress:

Some of you were asking – so yes I did do some writing, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped. I didn’t finish the first draft of The Fall of the Kings, and if I’m honest it feels a bit like a Herculean task right now. I’m hopeful I’ll get there eventually, but I’ve actually been working on The Moon is Made of Glass and have to say I’m loving it. The fact that it’s not epic, nor a trilogy probably helps.

I’m also gearing up to do NaNoWriMo next month. Never have I been so prepared for NaNo. I’ve even been researching this novel!

The Best Writing Advice Ever!

Well, for me anyway. A chance conversation at a writing group really opened my eyes to how I approach writing and my creative process. If I gave you a hint it would spoil it, so lets just say this conversation deserves a post of its own!

Two Great Fantasy Writers:

Two! Over the break I read the first two books of Hugh Howey’s very awesome Wool series (just waiting to get my hands on Dust). Not only could I not put down the books (post-apocalyptic, what-on-earth-happened-here at its best), but I was fascinated by how these stories were told. So many possibilities…

I also stumbled across David Gemmell’s Troy series at the library. How on earth I had missed David Gemmell for all these years is completely beyond me, because the series was amazing. I was both awed, inspired, and terrified (that’s the epic fantasy writer part of me) while reading these books.  Sometimes you just have to sit at the feet of a master…

Three of my Writing Buddies Published Books:

WIPpeteer Elaine Jeremiah released The Inheritance a story about two sisters and the very different life-choices they’ve made. Richard Parry, fellow spec-fic writer released Night’s Favour a gritty werewolf novel. And my good pal Aimee L. Salter, is about to release Breakable on 4th November. Breakable is a YA fantasy that gets right to the heart of surviving teenage bullying. You should totally check all of them out.

On There and Draft Again:

So although I wasn’t posting here. I was still posting with the Fellowship over at There and Draft Again.

  • Killer New Fantasy Series? The Kingkiller Chronicles are being made into a TV series – I’m hoping this is a good thing.
  • Epic Eras. Looking back to a period of history rife with inspiration.

I Won A Liebster!

This is my second Liebster award, but the great thing is that the questions change with each nomination. So many thanks to the lovely Jubilare. I will post my well thought out, and cultured, *coughs* response very soon.

So that’s me, all caught up. Stop by and let me know what’s been going on with you since July!