Reminder: The Sign Up For My Goodreads Book Giveaway Ends May 16

Golden Heart front - Copy -High Resolution

 

Hi, just a reminder to those who are Goodreads members. My book giveaway will end May 16th at midnight. If you haven’t signed up yet, please follow the link below for a chance to win my middle grade fantasy/adventure, The Secret of the Golden Heart, for ages 9-12.

Goodreads will randomly select the winners.

You may sign up here:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/182960.

Follow me on twitter: @Erickson_D

Website: debbie-erickson.com

Thank you for your support. It is greatly appreciated.

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Book Launch Party! Keep This Date Handy: December 1st–2015

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Celebrating!

I’m so happy to finally make this announcement just in time for Christmas!

I’d like to invite you to my Book Launch Party that will be held in a few short days. I will be releasing of my new middle grade fantasy novel The Secret of the Golden Heart, the first book in my Golden Heart Series. I know it’s a busy this time of year for everyone, but there’s no better time to buy a last-minute gift for a child.

Are you ready for a great children’s story that will transport your children, grandchildren, and children everywhere to a place that’s out of this world? Where adventure and mystery surrounds a boy after discovering he’s been chosen to fulfill his mother’s destiny? Where he discovers he must find the key that unlocks the only object that can save him, his family, and the others? This story is a fun adventure that will transport young readers to a faraway galaxy! 🙂

Here’s a brief excerpt:

The Secret of the Golden Heart

The Secret of the Golden Heart / http://www.debbie-erickson.com

Alon, the ancient oak—the forest’s primeval icon—loomed. Its dark, edgy streaks wound around its bare, twisted trunk, forming black-eyed knots that stared through the shadows with contempt. Its branches sprawled over the forest canopy like mummy fingers, but it was the huge black hole in its trunk that still stirred embers around his nerves, even after all these years.”

I will be giving away a few signed copies of my book. All you have to do is stop by the Book Launch Party on Tuesday, December 1, at your convenience, and sign up for the Contest. (you’ll find details in the Contest box). And while you’re there, please sign my guest book so I know you stopped by! I will be posting a link Tuesday a.m. that will transport you right to the Party site!

I pray that God will touch little hearts and minds in big ways and sprout the seeds of faith that will grow into mighty oaks. God is our refuge. God is our strength. He will not disappoint.

Thank you so much for your support and your encouragement as I begin this exciting chapter of my life. I hope to see you there!

 

 

Traditional or Self Publishing…What I Chose

Courtesy of Pixabay

Courtesy: Pixabay

After a long time researching and contemplating between traditional publishing (finding an agent to represent me; sending queries, synopses, the first 10 or 20 pages to an agent, etc.) and self-publishing, I’ve decided to self-publish my middle grade fantasy novel, Secret of the Golden Heart, and I’m totally excited! Self-publishing comes with the freedom that you don’t have with traditional publishing. You’re in total control and that’s why I think self-publishing has become more popular and has grown tremendously in the past eight years.

I began this blog several years ago to route my journey of writing and publishing my first book as well as follow my main character on his journey. Going with the traditional route, you’re kind of limited to how much you can talk about your story in the public arena before publication. That’s why I’ve been hesitant to talk about my book or some of my characters because I never knew how much information I could give away.

It’s been a long journey, lots of ups and downs, discouragements and roadblocks that I’ve had to work through. Not to mention the pesky questions that made a nice, cozy bed for themselves in the corners of your mind: What are you doing? Do you really think you can pull this off? You’ll never finish this book so why not just give up, save yourself the grief, and go on with your merry life? And, I admit, I fell for it sometimes.

So, I put *threw* my writing life into a plastic bin–hundreds of notes and information–and sadly said, “I’m done. Writing fiction is too hard.” I shoved the bin beneath a desk and stared at it for about half an hour. I could finally see the top of my computer desk, note-free, clean and sparkly. Wasn’t that better? I sat . . . staring at the bin . . . thinking about the past several years and hours of hard work I’d put into the book.

I began my new-found freedom as a non-writer . . .

At least for a day or two. I inched myself back to my office and “piddled” while at the same time thinking, I’m not getting any younger. Time is a-wasting. *Blah, blah, blah.*

Well, forgive the cliché, but you can’t keep a good horse down. I thought about my future without writing. When you’re more unhappy not writing than you are by the discouragements that comes with writing, then it’s almost impossible to quit.

So . . . I didn’t . . . I couldn’t . . . quit.

Courtesy: Pixabay

Courtesy: Pixabay

I decided to take my journey to the next level and self-publish. There’s a lot to learn, I had to hire a professional editor, but I’m half way there, and I hope to pass along what I’ve learned so I can help make the process smoother for others who are thinking about self-publishing. Unfortunately, self-publishing means there is some cost, whereas, when you sign with an agent they take care of that. But being accepted by an agent means being a good fit on their list and whether they want to take a chance on a newbie author. This is time-consuming when searching for an agent. It can take up to two years to get your book published and this is after an agency has accepted you as their client. It’s hard for first-time authors, but surely not impossible. But agents aren’t so quick to take a chance on a new author. With this being said, it is a personal choice, and I know there are a lot of good agents out there waiting for a good story.

I’m relieved that I decided to self-publish. I’m looking forward to it. I’m meeting a lot of awesome people who’ve been there and done that and are willing to help. Now I can spend time doing what I really like to do: WRITE! I am hoping to have the book out soon and planning on it being a series of three.

What is the Secret of the Golden Heart?

What is the Secret of the Golden Heart?

 

Stay tuned to journey out of this world when twelve-year-old Kristian McNeal’s life turns upside down, and he’s swept from danger and taken to a place he never knew existed . . . until now. After arriving at his destination, he discovers that he has been chosen; now he’s bound to fulfill his mother’s destiny after stealing her golden heart heirloom for selfish motives. Now, it’s a race against time to find the key that unlocks the secret of the golden heart and save the dying planet of his heritage. Will he choose to follow that still, small voice, or go down an unknown path?

Passion and Faith

bigstock.com

Courtesy: bigstock.com/Who can comprehend the mysteries of the universe but God alone?

While continuing my agent search for my MG fantasy, I’m in the process of learning how to create digital book covers to ePub some of my children’s stories. I’ve never pursued graphic design because writing became my dominant passion, but I like it.

My other passion other than writing is encouraging people. We’re never too old to accomplish our goals and dreams.

I’ve been thinking lately how passion and faith sort of go hand and hand. Our passion becomes a reality when we have faith to know that we can attain our goals. We cannot allow ourselves to be weighed down by the world’s cares; we must have faith to look beyond the obstacles to the path that lies beyond them.

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Courtesy: Me

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” ~Hebrews 12:1-2.

Since no one is perfect, (ugh) God’s grace helps us recognize our shortcomings in order to help us begin the process of peeling the layers, and eventually eliminating them from our lives. When we finally win the victory and lay them down, then the weight is lifted and we can move forward in freedom without the pesky weight that sometimes envelops us. But faith gives us the strength to keep moving.

How do we get more faith? First and foremost: “So then, faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ~Romans 10:17

Believing in things that we can see isn’t really faith. Believing in things we can’t see is faith. Blind faith. For example, if we’ve never seen our mother or father, we know that they exist. Our sight doesn’t determine their existence. Our existence determines their existence because we are the product and proof of their existence since they are the only vehicle in which we come into the world. So even if we never saw our mother or father, we’d still know they exist/ed. This is faith.

“Jesus said unto him, ‘Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.'”

Is it easy to believe in things we can’t see? No. But faith sprouts and grows through God’s word and eventually makes it into our hearts. This is what keeps passion alive. What do you think about faith?

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Courtesy: Me

May you continue to follow your dreams, your desires, and your passion. I wish you all the very best on your road through life. If there is anything I am able to do for you, let me know. We’re all in this together!

~blessings

What’s More Important . . . Plot or Character Development?

I’ve read many books on fiction writing while trying to develop my writing skills, and I’ve visited and subscribed to some great websites of author’s who have posted great advice. I’ve learned a lot. Each author has his/her own way of developing their stories, but I’ve learned that developing your characters first is easier than jumping right in to your story like I did. But, hey, I didn’t know.

However, character development was my weakest link. I had to take the time to know my character’s personalities. Once I learned who they were, how they’d act and react, my story became a little easier to write.

Characters are the story because they’re human. They have a past, they eat, they breathe, they evolve. They must go through physical and emotional setbacks and changes, ups and downs. But these things give them, and your story, life. Characters grow through trials and hardships just as we do, and they must also learn from their mistakes, and from the mistakes of the other characters. Good or bad, we root for characters, not plot.

It seemed I was spinning my wheels until I took the time to get to know my characters. I was so caught up in the plot and the setting that my characters suffered. They were one-dimensional stick figures, but when I turned them into three-dimensional characters, they and the story began to come to life.

If you’re a beginning writer of fiction, get to know your characters. If you don’t, your story will suffer. Picture your characters in your mind’s eye. How do they act and react?  Do they stomp their feet when they’re  angry? Do they sulk? Pout? How do they act when they’re happy? Angry? Worried? Betrayed?

Character development is harder for some than others. I believe that it is one of the biggest reasons stories get rejected. A great website on character development is Angela Ackerman’s and Becca Puglisi’s,  Writers Helping Writers, formerly The Bookshelf Muse. They’ve done an awesome job on their site, and they’ve written three books on the subject of character development, which are great reference and brainstorming  tools. Angela and Becca also have various sections on their site on descriptions  like settings, weather, colors, textures, shapes, symbolism, and much more. Check them out.

If there is anyone who would like to comment on this topic and help other writers, it would be appreciated.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

“. . . for with God all things are possible.” ~ Mark 10:27