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…]

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…]

KP Interviews – Tosca Lee

Last year at a writer’s conference I had the pleasure of hearing this creative woman give a few talks on the subject of writing. Given that she is a New York Time’s best-selling author I had to get an interview with her. I introduced myself after one of the sessions and through times of procrastination and several emails later here is the fruit of said interview. I found her answers quite interesting, very informative, and humorous. toscaleepinterest

I think I’m going to try her crazy stunt she pulled. 😀

Kingdom Pen: If you could only give one piece of advice on how to go about writing a book, what would it be?

Tosca Lee: Read a lot of good books that YOU like, and take notice of what works in it. And then start writing your own. Don’t go back and redo the beginning over and over—that is death. Write through to the end, even if it’s a shorter novel.

KP: Many authors have at least one embarrassing story to share about their first novels, short stories, or attempts at either. What was your first “big” writing adventure? Do you look back on it as something to be proud of, or is it something you tuck away into dusty corners and try not to talk about very often? [Read more…]

Kingdom Pen Interviews Wayne Thomas Batson

Kingdom Pen’s own Sarah Spradlin had the amazing opportunity of interviewing Wayne Thomas Batson, and we are so excited to bring it to you today! We hope you find his words as encouraging as we did!

 

Kingdom Pen: Deciding to follow Christ is one of the biggest moments as Christians. When did you firstWayne_Batson_Interview_Post accept Christ as your Savior and how has that decision influenced you throughout your life?

Wayne Thomas Batson: Which time? LOL Sorry, couldn’t resist. I think the first time I recognized Jesus as Savior was in 7th grade at an all nighter tennis tournament. The teaching pro was a Christian, gave his testimony, and led us in a prayer. BUT, that said, I’m not certain when the old-to-new transformation happened. The nature of saving faith has always been a little elusive for me. I mean, these altar calls, sinner’s prayers, and 100 other practices have only been around for the last 200 years, so how did people get saved prior to that? Probably just what the Bible says: they believed. And even that faith was a gift from God. So, I don’t worry about the day. All I know is that, within me, there is a great desire to know and experience God. I want to please Him. I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

KP: Many authors have at least one embarrassing story to share about their first novels, short stories, or attempts at either. What was your first “big” writing adventure? Do you look back on it as something to be proud of, or is it something you tuck away into dusty corners and try not to talk about very often?

WTB: Well, The Door Within was originally entitled “The Door Without Hinges.” ROFL Whew, glad God gave me a better idea.

KP: Every author has heard the whispered tales of the horrendous behemoth called “Writer’s Block.” How do you deal with this monster when it comes knocking, and what measures can authors take to avoid a confrontation with the beast to begin with?

WTB: Don’t hate me, but I don’t get writer’s block. Ever. Seriously. God floods my mind with so many ideas that I can’t even keep up with them. There are times when I make my own blocks, spending hours laboring over just the right character or place name, that kind of thing. The worst obstacle for me is mindless surfing on the Web. If not for that, I’d likely have three more novels written. For those who have what we traditionally refer to as Writer’s Block, I’d suggest becoming more of an Outliner. Sketch out the whole plot, chapter by chapter. You’ll always know where you’re headed.

KP: Christian allegory is a growing genre in the book store, particularly in the medieval fantasy area. For those aspiring to be authors in this genre themselves and since you have considerable experience with it, what are some tips and tricks to writing convincing, original, and meaningful Christian allegory?

WTB: Number 1: Don’t FORCE IT. If you dress up a Bible Tract in fantasy trappings and try to pass it off as a story, you are going to infuriate readers and dishonor God. Write the story that is on your heart. Work hard at it. Craft it. Make it sing. If Christ is in your heart, He will shine through. If God gives you a story, tell it well.

KP: Each of your series have a repeated phrase, generally a command or motto, that highlight a significant message that is in the book. For example, in The Door Within trilogy, the knights of Alleble encouraged one another by saying, “Never alone!” Would you encourage other authors to do the same thing, and for authors who do want to put something like this in their books, how would you advise they pick out a phrase that is meaningful but not clichéd or awkward?

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WTB: Two answers here: 1) It allows readers to rally around the story world. After all, you can text someone “Never Alone,” and that will bring to another reader’s mind the whole story experience. Endurance and Victory! Hold Fast!—these are things that allow readers to more easily remember the heart of the series. 2) Reason number two: having a “catch phrase” makes it easy to write something during book signings! LOL

KP: Even if we’re always told not to judge a book by its cover, a lot of times that’s the only reason that a potential reader picks up a book. Since you’ve written quite a few novels and even self-published, what are some things that an author should consider when either creating their own cover or picking out of a publisher’s provided selection?

WTB: The Cover is HUGELY important, especially now. My biggest advice here is: be professional. Use a pro artist (Like Caleb Havertape!) and don’t skimp. Also, make sure that the composition of your cover looks good at small scale too. Think: thumbnail pic. In today’s ebook market, that little pic may be the only thing the reader sees. If it looks cool small, readers will click to see it big. If it looks cool big, reader may just buy it.

KP: Tell us a little bit about your new book series, Dreamtreaders. Can we expect to see some more of your familiar medieval fantasy flair, or will this series take a new direction like your new GHOST series?

WTB: Dreamtreaders is a modern dream fantasy, so it’s not medieval per se. The central thought is: what if dreams were more than they seem, that we could travel into them and have control over certain elements? And what if there was something sinister in our dreams, the dark force behind nightmares? What if that force wanted into the waking world, what then? Who would defend us? Seriously, the Dreamtreaders series will blow your mind with imagination. Book 3 in the series, War for the Waking World, will release this October. Get all three at the same time so that you won’t have to wait!

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KP: Late last year you wrote The Black Wood for your readers for Christmas that included an epilogue to the final book of The Door Within and also a short story about Nock and Mallik. What was it like getting back into that universe after writing so many other stories since The Door Within trilogy had been completed?

WTB: Very nostalgic. I love those old characters. It’s fun to roll with them once more and, honestly, they have so many more adventures. There are always more adventures…

KP: How has your career as a teacher influenced your writing? Is there any insight that you have gained especially from being around kids and working with them daily that has helped you with writing?

WTB: 25 years of teaching middle school has given me immeasurable insight about the way kids think, their motives, hopes, fears, dreams, etc. One thing I’ve learned is that kids are MUCH MORE perceptive than most adults give them credit for being. I won’t ever dumb down a novel. Kids are smart. Kids are deep. So I need to write that way.

KP: Authors have been known to do some crazy things, not limited to staying up all night to meet deadlines and dressing up as characters and reading to kids. What is one of the craziest things you’ve ever done in the name of writing, and what is one of your most fond memories related to writing?

WTB: I would need to write a novel to answer this question. But I will share this anecdote. When Christopher Hopper and I were writing the Berinfell Prophecies series, we often met for what we termed “Writer’s Bootcamp Weekend.” We book a hotel and just write all weekend long. That can get a little silly at times. At one point, we were both BURNT TOAST mentally. I was flummoxed over a character name, and I think Christopher had revised the same paragraph about 90 times. I began searching “fantasy name generators” online. These are sites that take 1000s of random name or traits and shuffle them randomly. Occasionally, you’ll get something cool, but most of the time, you get hilarious nonsense. I kept clicking the “shuffle” buttons to get new combinations, and it seemed like the more I clicked, the more ridiculously funny the combinations became. Christopher and I were quite literally rolling around clutching our stomachs with the pain-of-laughter. But the crescendo came when once I clicked and the generator gave me: Flatulent barrister gnome! That just killed us. We kept imagining these garden gnomes cutting the cheese and flying around in circles. I know, I know: real mature, right? But you have to understand: 1) we are guys 2) we were completely exhausted and 3) that stuff is funny!

Check out Wayne Thomas Batson’s books on audible.com!

wayne-thomas-batson-300Wayne Thomas Batson has spent the last fifteen years teaching Reading and English to middle schools students. He pioneered the active instruction of Strategic Reading in Anne Arundel County and has written Reading and English Curricula for Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, and Howard County Public Schools. Most recently, he helped develop the Challenge Reading Curriculum for advanced readers in Howard County, Maryland.
Wayne Thomas Batson lives in Eldersburg with his beautiful wife of eleven years and his four wonderful young children. Besides dividing his time between family, teaching, and writing, he likes to read, golf, play PS2, travel to the beach, play electric guitar, and create 3D artwork.

Wayne Thomas Batson is the Bestselling author of five adventure novels including the fantasy epic Door Within Trilogy and the pirate duo Isle of Swords and Isle of Fire.