Well, it took me nearly all week to recuperate from the conference. I am finally feeling like a human being again. I'm rested, focused, and very passionate about writing for God's glory.
A lot happened at this conference. I'll have more pictures to share soon (yeah, I know...I'm ancient because I used an 'old fashioned' camera where you had to actually look through the teensy square box to take the photo, and now I have to actually get the film developed--GASP!), but just had to post this one taken by Ane Mulligan during the Keynote Luncheon in Robin Caroll's Presidential Suite--and yes, it was SWEET! It's me, Dineen Miller, and Camy Tang.
At conference, God supernaturally freed me from the most oppressive spirit I've encountered in my life. I'm not kidding, y'all. I was utterly bereft. Felt totally hopeless and LOST. What shocked me was how many people noticed the difference in me. I mean, sure, I knew I wasn't myself--but HOLY COW, MAN! Even my fabulous, amazing agent STEVE LAUBE said he could see it. Regardless of the past, I'm free now. I'm so determined not to slide back into that pit. I bought the Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a woman's Soul by John & Stasi Eldredge because at the heart of my oppression was my horrible lack of self-worth, born partly out of years of childhood abuse I endured.
It will take several posts to get through all of what God did, but I believe that there are many other women out there going through what I suffered. Because I've experienced this oppression and then freedom--and because it was GOD who freed me--wait till you read about the spiritual warfare--I am determined to be a voice and shoulder for those who are in that desert, too.
I am DELIGHTED to bring you my good friend and crit partner CAMY TANG and her hilarious Asian chick-lit book, Sushi for One?, out now from Zondervan. This photo from last year's ACFW conference shows me with the Loud Asian Chick. The girl is absolutely amazing writer, sweet (she'll love me for that one), and a wonderful friend.
Now, on to Camy's interview:
1.) What inspires you to write?
I love writing, but I also rest in the knowledge that this is trulywhat God wants for me to do. He asked me to lay down my writing oncebefore, and then gave me the green light to pick it up again, so Iknow that this writing is something He approves of and desires for me.
2.) You've talked about how you're very much a left-brained person. Since I'm predominantly right brained, I'd love to know how you overcome the left-brain side to get into your creative streak.
Unlike most women, I actually do not shift between left and rightbrain very easily. I have to get myself into a creative mode and staythere for as long as I need to in order to get the writing done.It's usually just a matter of clearing my plate of left brain work sothat I can be in right brain mode for several days or weeks.Coming up with character personalities is right brain for me, and so I'll set aside any kind of editing or logistical work until that'sdone. The plotting is more left brain, so I'll work on plot and sceneindexes while doing other busy-work like edits from my publisher orwork on the ACFW Genesis contest.Then when it comes to writing the manuscript, I try to give myselfseveral weeks in pure right brain mode to get the story written out. Iwon't take critiquing jobs, I won't do any edits, I won't evencritique for my crit partners. I try to completely clear my scheduleso that all I need to focus on is the writing.
3.) What is an indulgence that helps your creative muse?
POTATO CHIPS!!! I also love taro chips and veggie crisps. I know they're super bad for me, but I can't help myself!
4.) I love the flavor infused in your books. Where did you get the inspiration for Lex and the others?
I like using archetypes turned on their heads. I usually use Victoria Lynn Schmidt's 45 Master Characters. As a psychology major in college, I knew that there are certainpersonality types that are repeated in fiction because they resonatepsychologically with readers. That's why I enjoy using archetypes--anarchetype usually enables me to create a richer, deeper characterthat's both consistent and fully drawn.I try my best to avoid stereotypes, so I'll take an archetype and giveit a different sort of twist--an Amazon who has already been strippedvulnerable, a Maiden who has escaped her torturous relationship with aWarlock. I ask myself, what would they do now? And I go from there tocraft their stories.
5.) Who in the industry has had a profound influence on you and your writing?
Gayle Roper. I took her Fiction Mentoring clinic at an ACFW conference, and it was a turning point in my career. She's aphenomenal teacher and a wonderful writer. If any writer has anopportunity to take her Mentoring class, they should do it.
Thanks, Camy, for this fun interview. Hey, everyone--leave a comment to win a copy of Camy's incredible book. I've read Camy's book and I have to say that the Loud Asian Chick hooks you into the Asian culture in a very cunning and funny way. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the characters are quirky but real, and the laughs are endless! I found it surprisingly how seamlessly Camy stitched in the cultural elements. She's a phenomenal writer. You've got to get this book!!
Here is the official blurb from Camy's website:
Book #1: Sushi for One? (September2007)Sports-crazy Lex Sakai isn’t too worried about “winning” the unofficial family title “Oldest Single Female Cousin” when her cousin Mariko marries in a few months. Her control-freak grandma is easy to ignore, until Grandma issues an ultimatum—if Lex can’t find a date for Mariko’s wedding, her ruthless Grandma will cut off funding to the girls’ volleyball team that Lex coaches.
Lex isn’t about to look desperate by dating every player in the dugout. She comes up with a stringent list of requirements from her Ephesians Bible study in her search for The Perfect Man. She always wins in volleyball—if she ups her game, she’s sure to succeed.
Then her brother introduces her to non-Christian, non-athletic, no-immediate-physical-appeal Aiden.
Aiden’s on the rebound from a girl named Trish, who dumped him because he wasn't Christian. Then he discovers that Lex is 1) not attracted to him at all, 2) Christian, and 3) Trish's cousin. No way is he hooking up with anyone from that crazy family, much less another hypocritical Christian chick. He's certainly not masochistic.
Time is running out for Lex, and no matter what she does, she can’t find the right guy. Especially when she keeps running into Aiden everywhere. If only the list would stop getting longer and longer...
DON'T FORGET to leave a comment to WIN A COPY of Camy's Sushi for One?, out now from Zondervan.
Hello! Thanks fer stoppin' by me blog. Ye`ve come t' th' starboard place today if ye`re lookin' fer a great read. 'Tis me extreme pleasure t' participate in MaryLu Tyndall`s blog tour fer th' lass' third book, Restitution.
Below is the trailer MaryLu put together for her incredible new book out now from Barbour Publishing!
In this third book, th' treacherous voyage o' Captain Kent Carlton continues as he tries t' prove his heart t'ain't as black as one might think. In this perilous journey, Lady Isabel Ashton must team up wi' th' man who raped th' lass' as they battle t' save the'r baby lad from another captain bent on revenge.
Aye...isn't pirate-ing fun?? Ahem. Seriously, now...
I love MaryLu's stories, and I found this story about Lady Isabel and Captain Kent compelling! Her story concepts are amazing and the conflicts only deepen amid dark waters and bad tempers. I've read all three books in the Legacy of the king's Pirates--and I'd recommend them all. The character's journeys kept me up into the wee hours of the morning, unable to sleep until I knew what happened to Lady Isabel (although at times, I wanted to slap her for being so bull-headed, but alas--that's a character for you...never doing what you want them to do. LOL), the rogue Captain whose heart softened, and the plight of their baby boy. If you haven't tasted of the delicacy that is M.L. Tyndall's writing--then quench your thirst and buy this book! :-D
Here is the official blurb from MaryLu's site:
by M. L. Tyndall
Romantic Times 4 stars!
Shunned by her parents and by society, Lady Isabel Ashton lives a secluded life at Port Royal with her seven month old baby, Frederick--the son of the fierce pirate, Kent Carlton. When her baby is suddenly kidnapped, Captain Carlton appears with an offer to help her find him. Can Isabel trust the man who once ravished her? Will Kent win the forgiveness of the woman he loves? Or will the scheme of betrayal and revenge of his enemies keep them apart and from their son forever?
*sigh* A great read to quiet the stormy seas of life. LOL Sorry, couldn't resist.
Loud Asian Chick & friend extraodinaire, Camy Tang, tagged me with this award.
- Sara Mills - a French Canadian friend who has surrendered more times than she'll admit, but who has also talked me off the ledge many times in recent months.
- Cindy Woodsmall - a beautiful woman and writer who has mentored me through rough aspects of this publishing process.
- Lisa Harris - A dozen elephants all in a row. How can I not love the woman who gives me that?? LOL
- Lena Dooley - If you've met Lena, you know why I'm listing her here. In a way, she reminds me of my mother, and there is nothing like a "Mama Dooley" hug. can't wait for conference to get one!!!!!
- Mindy Obenhaus - A woman who gives new and varied meanings to THE FARM. :-D
- Beth Goddard - A wonderful woman who is very encouraging, has an incredible eye for the minute details of suspense elements, and a true encourager.
- Shannon McNear - An amazing person with a very philosophical bent who--at times--puts my mind in knots with her deep thoughts. :-D
LISA: This is a fun collection that centers around the quaint town of Mistletoe, Montana, a town that celebrates Christmas year round. The only problem is the town is beginning to lose its Christmas spirit. Add to that, four girlfriends make a New Year’s pact to find themselves true love by time they turn twenty-eight, and end up discovering that love often comes in very surprising ways. . .and not always with whom you were expecting.
Give us a brief blurb about your story in the collection.
KIM: Kathy Morgan has gotten caught up in the corporate world of writing advertising jingles at a San Francisco advertising company--a far cry from the simple world of Mistletoe. As Christmas approaches, an unexpected bonus gives her the opportunity to return to Mistletoe for a trip down "Memory Lane" where she can consider the marriage proposal of long-time co-worker Chad. But postman Erik Hoffman becomes a distraction that makes her wonder if she needs to evaluate more than Chad's proposal...perhaps more than romantic love, she needs the love of Jesus in her life.
LISA: When Madison Graham leaves the quant town of Mistletoe, Colorado for New York City to buy products for her year-round Christmas store, Under the Mistletoe, she’s positive she’s met her man. Albert Kendall is everything she’s ever dreamed of. Successful, good looking, and well off. But is worldly success really what she’s looking for in a man, or have the bright lights of the city blinded her so that she’s forgotten the real meaning of Christmas?
Is there a character who you relate to and who made an impact on your life?
LENA: I grow spiritually during every book I write. God gives me special insight during the creation process. I haven’t come away from any of the books without a clearer understanding of some aspect of God. In Christmas Confusion, Lori tries to work things out herself, which doesn’t work. I’m the same way, I sometimes try to work things out myself, instead of trusting God to bring about the perfect resolution. So I grew right along with Lori.
What’s it like working with three other authors on one story? Are there any challenges or rewards?
DEBBY: The challenges were small compared to the rewards. The only concerns we had were the timeline and making sure we had all the same settings in our stories. The rewards were phenomenal. I felt that through our characters and the desire to take this book to a level of excellence, the four of us became friends.
Any writer’s resources you could recommend?
LISA: One of the best things you can do is join American Christian Fiction Writers at www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com. The resources are enormous and worth the yearly fee. You will have the opportunity to join critique groups, attend conferences, take online classes, and the list goes on and on.
If you want to learn more about the authors of Montana Mistletoe, check out Lisa Harris’s blog on September 7th at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com
Winners! Winners! Winners!
Want a chance to win a FREE copy of the book and a $30 gift certificate to ChristianBooks.com? For more information, visit our official Montana, Mistletoe blog at http://montanamistletoe.blogspot.com/ before October 1st!