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.

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 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…]