Interview on Dystopian and YA Literature with Author Nadine Brandes (+Giveaway!)

Back in April of this year, I was privileged to attend a Christian writers’ conference where Nadine Brandes led a workshop (one of the main reasons I registered for the conference).

Nadine_Brandes_InterviewI’d been following Nadine for a while before the conference. I noticed how she was personal and sincere with her readers, wrote fun blog posts, and was becoming well known for her Out of Time series (which I didn’t read until after the conference, and now I’m a fan). She seemed to hold some secret to being an author that I wanted to know.

Thus, I went to the conference with eyes and ears wide open. My expectations were not only met, but blown out of this galaxy.

I was amazed by her workshop, which gave me a vision for where I should take my writing, and I was flabbergasted by her enthusiasm to talk with me one-on-one. Somewhere in that conversation, I asked if she’d be interested in doing an author interview for Kingdom Pen, and she readily agreed. I was doing a happy dance on the inside!

So, without further ado, I hope you catch a glimpse of who Nadine is and are encouraged by her words of wisdom to aspiring authors.

Being an Author

KP: What led you to become an author?

Nadine: The imaginary voices in my head! [wink] Actually, I’m not sure I can narrow it down to just one thing. It’s a mixture of God’s prompting, my dad’s storytelling, my mom’s reading, my big sister’s playacting, and my love of reading. I’d always loved the concept of story and being able to affect someone’s life with it.

Only once I attended my first writers’ conference did I realize I wanted to pursue publication.

KP: At the writers’ conference, you said in your workshop that “being an author is more than just about writing, but about the ministry.” Can you explain what makes writing a ministry? [Read more…]

Profile photo of Rolena Hatfield
Rolena is a country loving girl who wears cowgirl boots and has dreamed of being Cinderella since she was four. She has an explosive imagination that leads her on crazy adventures in other worlds, yet she somehow always ends up back at her desk with a pencil and cup of coffee in hand. Beside writing at late night hours and devouring books, she has a tremendous love of music and musical theater. She blames them both for not being able to stay off a stage since age eleven, becoming a vocal teacher and now directing dramas. Her favorite places to be are up in her library (yes, she has a special room in her house just for books), outside for a romp or any place with people. On her shelf of favorite books you’ll find The False Prince, Once on This Island, Princess Academy and Bella at Midnight. Her favorite thing to do is laugh. Though she has tried to stop writing, she’s never been able too and has no intentions of doing so in the near future. Or ever for that matter.

Interview with Rachel Starr Thomson on Writing, Editing, and Indie Publishing (Plus Giveaway!)

For the past ten years, Rachel Starr Thomson has been an inspiration to me on numerous levels. I first encountered her when she was a columnist for the Amie Newsletter, a publication dedicated to encouraging teenage girls. Her articles on the Christian walk impacted me deeply during a season in my life when my steps were unsure.

Rachel_Starr_Thomson_Interview_&_GiveawayAfter the Amie Newsletter was discontinued, I stalked Rachel on her blog—always reading but never uttering a peep. She posted writing tips back then, which fueled my aspirations to sling words onto paper and into people’s hearts. I admired—and almost envied—her fluid, artistic voice, and her courage in building a platform for herself through self-publishing quality books.

I bumped into her again years later when I submitted an article about storytelling to Homeschool Enrichment Magazine, where she served as copy editor. Shortly after my article was published, I began receiving requests from authors for help with refining their work, and I discovered that polishing sentences gave me a sense of satisfaction I’d never felt before. I realized I was suited to editing and wanted to pursue it seriously, but I had no idea how to get started. I sought advice from Rachel because I had no one else to ask, and she kindly imparted counsel that has proven invaluable. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I’m at now (editing for KP and a small Christian publisher) without that short e-mail she sent in response to mine.

Thus, it gave me great pleasure to approach Rachel on behalf of Kingdom Pen and ask her about her experiences as an author of more than twenty books, blogger of Kingdom truths, and a freelance editor for twelve years. I found myself empathizing with and learning from her comments, and I know all of you will benefit from hearing her wisdom as well. Read on, KeePers, and be sure to check out the book giveaway at the bottom of the post!

KP: You’re considered a pioneer of self-publishing. What caused you to choose indie over traditional publishing?

Rachel: I started experimenting with indie publishing back in 2006 or 2007, while simultaneously looking for an agent and a traditional book contract. I’d done so much writing over the years that I wasn’t even thinking about pursuing publication for all of it, so self-publishing was just a fun way to learn how to produce a book and put something into print myself. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial bent, but mostly I was just playing around. I realized it might be a real, viable publication path slowly, especially after I checked on an e-book I’d put up for free on Smashwords and forgotten about and realized it had been downloaded over 25,000 times while I wasn’t looking. Eventually “playing around” gave way to thinking more seriously about writing as a business. I much prefer the control of self-publishing, which applies to many aspects of the publishing journey, from timelines to content to career trajectory. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Brianna Storm Hilvety
Brianna was born with a rumble in her veins. She finds the tap of a keyboard to be soothing like the pitter-patter of rain. She has been a writer for a decade, a freelance editor for a few years, and a bibliophile from the moment she pronounced her first syllable. Proudly a Silver Member of The Christian PEN, she serves on their team as Graphics Coordinator. She exudes her passion for speculative fiction and helping young writers by being an Associate Editor at Castle Gate Press and the Copy Editor/Director of Graphics for Kingdom Pen. When she isn’t poring over words, she may be spotted shooting her Canon, riding The Breeze (an all-terrain vehicle), or romping with her dog, Zookie. Purple is her signature color, and she refuses to recognize all other claims to it.

How Do You Get Published as a Young Writer? Interview and Giveaway with Author Amanda Davis

amandadavisinterviewToday we have the privilege of interviewing Amanda Davis, author of the award-winning Cantral Chronicles. If you haven’t heard of her before, you may have heard of her father, Bryan Davis, author of the best-selling Dragons in our Midst series. I (Josiah) read Amanda’s first two books while in high school and loved their character depth and suspenseful plotting, so I was thrilled to get the chance to talk with her now about her experiences as a writer.

Amanda published her first book when she was only nineteen years old, so today we talk about her road to publication as a teenage writer and the challenges she’s had in editing her books. Keep reading onto the end of the interview to get the chance to enter a giveaway for Precisely Terminated, the first book in her Cantral Chronicles series.

Journey to Publication

KP: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Amanda: I believe I was fifteen when I decided I wanted to be a writer. When I was about twelve, I started touring with my dad, helping with the book tables and listening to him speak. After meeting people from so many places and seeing their reactions to his books, I wanted people to hear my stories as well.

KP: When you were still in your teens, what helped you the most as an aspiring author?

Amanda: My father’s writing lessons probably helped me the most in my writing journey. I took his classes a hundred times over, thanks to traveling with him. I often had to hear a new concept a dozen times before it would stick.

KP: What’s something you wish you knew as a younger writer? [Read more…]

KP Spotlight: Charis Etter

We are delighted to be presenting our fourth KP spotlight! In this installment we are featuring the lovely Charis Etter. Enjoy!kpspotlight

Kingdom Pen: What do you like the most about Kingdom Pen?

Charis Etter: The community and ideas from different writers like me. Also the picture prompts.

KP: How did you find out about Kingdom Pen?

CE: A friend told me about it.

KP: What is one thing you’d like to see added or expanded at Kingdom Pen?

CE: More picture prompts…

KP: Can you share three interesting facts about yourself?

CE: One, I am an American, but I grew up in northeast Asia. Two, I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, but only started writing them down about five years ago. Three, one of my hobbies is horseback riding. [Read more…]

Interview with Steve Laube on Publishing Part Three

In this last part of our interview with publisher and literary agent Steve Laube, we discuss what advice he has to give to younger writers, what his essential writing resources are, and more! If you haven’t seen the first two parts of the interview yet, check out Part One and Part Two before watching the final clip!

Interview on Publishing with Steve Laube Part Two

In this second part of our interview with publisher and literary agent Steve Laube, we discuss what the publishing process looks like, what book deals and book negotiations look like, and what crazy stories he has to tell as a literary agent! If you haven’t already seen the first part of our interview, check it out here, then watch the next part below!

 

Interview on Publishing with Steve Laube Part One

Today we’ve got a special treat for you! Our very own Haley Long managed to run into Steve Laube at the One Year Adventure Novel conference earlier this year and get a video interview with him.

If you don’t know the name Steve Laube, you probably should. Laube has been a literary agent representing Christian books for several decades now, was named the AWSA Golden Scroll Editor of the Year in 2002, and also runs Enclave Publishing, which lists itself as “the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction.” If you’re interested in getting traditionally published in the Christian market in the future, especially if you’re interested in getting published in Christian sci-fi or fantasy, Laube is a must-know in the industry. I (Josiah) have been following his blog (stevelaube.com) for close to eight years now and have found it to be tremendously helpful in understanding the publishing industry.

Because we had to do this on the spot at the conference, the video footage isn’t fantastic, but the content is superb. So check out our video interview with him below and let us know in the comments what you think! We’ll be releasing Part Two of the footage on September 22nd and Part Three on September 27th.

 

Interview on Novellas and Marketing with Hope Ann

Today we have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Hope Ann, whose name you might just recognize as she’s been part of our writing team for a while now! She’s the author of two novellas, the second of which released about a month ago, and is talking with us today about her experience with writing novellas and marketing them. Her first novella, Rose of Prophecy, is available for free in digital formats, and we’re doing a giveaway for her second novella, Song of the Sword, at the end of the interview. So read on to learn what advice Hope has to give on novellas and marketing!

KP: What led you to become an author?hopeanngiveaway

Hope Ann: I’ve dozens of stories inside my head and I simply have to write them down because they’re too exciting not to share with others. I’ve loved stories and written for as long as I can remember, though it’s only in the past four or five years that I’ve become systematic and steady about it, with firm goals about how I want to inspire others with my writing.

KP: Who has influenced you most as a writer?

Hope Ann: Everything I read, watch, listen to, and see in the world around me influences and inspires my writing, but the greatest personal influence comes from my father. He’s always encouraged me in my writing, even if, at the same time, he sometimes points out things that sound too much like an unrealistic scene in a movie. He reads all my writing (at least everything that I deem written well enough for others to see). He lets me talk about writing even though there are times my ramblings are confusing even to myself. And, while expecting me to help around the house, he also understands that writing is my self-imposed job and makes sure I have time to do it. [Read more…]

Interview on Characters and Writer’s Conferences with Author Kim Vandel (plus Giveaway!)

So, about two months ago, I (Josiah) picked up this random indie book by a Christian author and absolutely loved it.  (You can check out my review of the book here!) After finishing it, I just knew I had to hear more from this author about how she wrote the book and what made her characters as vibrant and complex they were.  And after hearing her thoughts, I thought you all might benefit from hearing from her as well! So, below you’ll see the kimvandelinterviewresults of my interview with her, and if you read all the way to the end, you’ll be able to enter a giveaway for her book, Into the Fire (plus, she’s throwing in a bookmark and temporary tattoo as well because she’s just an awesome person.) So read on to hear her thoughts on writing characters and attending writer’s conferences!

KP: When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

Kim Vandel: I was in seventh grade when I first had the “I want to be a writer” thought.

KP: In brief, what did your journey look like from knowing you wanted to be a writer to actually writing and publishing Into the Fire? [Read more…]

Kingdom Pen Interviews – Philip Yancey

His books had been in our house for years. But it was only a couple of months ago when I really took a closer look at them. After reading What’s So Amazing About Grace?, I was thoroughly convicted, challenged, and more determined to live a grace-filled life. And was also thoroughly captivated with Philip Yancey’s work.  phillipyanceypinterest

I had to read more. But first I wanted to tell him thank you. After contacting him through his website I wrote him a note in the comments section and then had the marvelous idea to get an interview with him!

After gracious months of emailing back and forth here is the wonderful result of the interview!

There is much wisdom to be gained from this seasoned, non-fiction author as his answers are chock full of writing advice!

Kingdom Pen: What is your personal testimony?

Philip Yancey: I’m in the process of writing a memoir, so you’ll get the full story one of these days (or years).  Unlike many testimonies, mine tells of a conversion from the church—from an angry, uptight, racist, legalistic church in the South.  As a Christian and as a writer, I’ve spent my life and career picking over the words and concepts I learned from that church, understanding them anew in the light of grace, and discovering the hidden treasures that were layered over.  I’ve found, sadly, that the church is as likely to turn someone away from God as toward God.  It’s amazing that God would turn over the mission of spreading the Good News to ordinary people like us, as we so often get it wrong. [Read more…]