WIN ONLY UNI by Camy Tang!

Okay, so I admit--with red-hot cheeks--that a MONTH ago when I thought I was LATE doing Camy's blog...well, I was actually a MONTH early. So anyway, here's the REAL DEAL with Camy--and the interview, along with that same promise to WIN A FREE COPY of ONLY UNI by the amazing CAMY TANG!!!

1. You now have two books available for the public, with your third coming out in August 2008. Is there anything you've learned in the process since you signed that contract that you want to share?

Not all publishing houses are the same, and certain editors/marketing directors/art departments have a better fit with certain author personalities. I know for a fact God completely guided my publishing house to me, and I'm very grateful. The intricacies of how people work together and are compatible are too complicated for my brain, but God knows and He knew Zondervan was the right fit for my debut novels. For any other aspiring writers out there--be patient and wait for that right fit. It will make ALL the difference as you go through the editorial and marketing process.

2. I know you have to be tight-lipped about what you're working on now (otherwise you'd have to kill us...oh, wait, that's my character), but can you share a bit about the direction you're now heading in?

I have a young adult proposal out there, and also a contemporary
romance proposal that hasn't been accepted yet (but hopefully will

3. You've mentioned before how much Gayle Roper has helped you. Would you encourage new/beginning writers to work with a mentor (we all know you can't just "go out and find one")?

Gayle Roper's fiction mentoring clinic at the ACFW conference (she
does them at other conferences, too, like Mount Hermon) was one of the turning points of my career. She's a fabulous teacher as well as being a terrific writer, and she can give guidance in terms of writing craft and writing business, because she's been a writer for so long. If anyone can get into one of her clinics, it's well worth the time and money. I learned as much from what she said about my fellow students' manuscripts as what she said about my own writing.

However, before someone shells out the money for that or any other
mentoring clinic, I really want to encourage people to find other less expensive ways of leaning the basics. Gayle's class is for
intermediate to advanced writers, and wouldn't be as helpful if a
writer is just beginning. My suggestion for beginning writers--actually, ALL writers, no matter what their level, should be doing this--is to read lots of writing craft books, get the MP3 recordings of conference workshops, read lots of writing articles on
the web.

4. You have a dog named after a candy bar. Does that say something about you? *grin*

That I love sweets? You betcha!

Actually, Snickers was the only name my husband and I both liked when we were trying to come up with a name for our newly adopted dog. She had previously been named Chocolate, but we reasoned that yelling "Chocolate!" at a runaway dog isn't as effective as other consonant and vowel combinations. "Snickers!" was much easier to scream down the street.

5. What do you believe is the single most important aspect of a story (Yeah, I know...that's a tough one, but you're a writer, so be creative!)?

STRUCTURE. People who know me are probably sick of me talking about
this, but I fully believe that good story structure is one of the most important things that make an editor decide to buy a manuscript. How many times have writers heard, "The middle sags" or "The book fizzles near the end" or "The pacing isn't quite even"? It's because their structure is flawed, and good, solid story structure (like the skeleton of a body) will combine with great writing and unique characters to bump the story up a level to where a publishing house will buy it.

Thanks for having me here, Ronie!

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Strong Arm of the Lord

Well, it's been an interesting few weeks for me. My husband is now working away from home, living in another city during the week, while I remain at home with the kids. It's a challenge I've never faced before, and one that has brought me to my knees more than once already. But in the middle of all this, we're beginning the journey toward restoration in our lives.

Five years ago our family endured the brutal loss of our first home to foreclosure. Since then, Brian has been laid off five times in four years. Our financial situation has been strained, at best, and null at worst. But now, God has placed our feet on a new path. Brian's new job is one that he's actually set to earn more money than he has ever earned before! And we're starting the process to buy a home. All good things, yes? Yet, it seems at every curve and bump in the road, I find myself saying, "See? I knew it wouldn't work. Good things don't happen to us."

I'm very ashamed and broken over this. This horrible lack of faith on my part was first shown to me earlier this week when I was reading about the Israelites in the desert. They were divinely provided with manna. Now, we don't know exactly what this stuff looked like, but the Word says that when the Israelites ground it up and made flat cakes, it tasted like PASTRIES!!!!!!!!!! Okay, I'm digging that. LOL then again--I can certainly understand getting tired of manna after a while. I mean, how many times am I willing to eat tira misu, or biscuits with melted butter and drizzled with local honey??? LOL However, the Lord did not tolerate their complaints. As a matter of fact, He became angry with them. Asked, "Has my arm lost its strength?" Then he vowed to give them so much meat over the next thirty days, that they'd gag on it!! Oopsie.

Well. Sigh. I already know I'm more closely related to the grumbling Israelites, despite my working NOT to. LOL But I certainly don't want to be gagging!

I readily admit it's hard for me to believe that this will get better. Five years of praying and hoping for the "tide to turn," and things just got worse every time. And now, I'm challenged to have faith that we can get into a home again. Despite the foreclosure. Despite the bad work record for Brian. Despite the not-so-great credit history. Despite my wounds.

But God is great. His name is great. When the Word was being transcribed, those who were taskedwith copying the texts, would not even write out His full name. And when they did write his name, they would use a pen that had not been used before, then threw it away after writing his partial name.

God is powerful. His name is powerful. If we'll only let Him work...