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…]

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…]

Win a FREE Book Cover Design!

Hello Kingdom Pen!ElisabethPerryGiveawayPinterest

 

We’re so excited to bring you this wonderful opportunity, courtesy of Perry Elizabeth Design! They have agreed to give away their Basic eBook cover design package! Find out below how to enter the giveaway.

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Perry Elizabeth Design is made-up of a young husband and wife team, Tyler and Perry, who began their business in 2012. If you haven’t checked out their website, you need to right now. They make incredible and affordable designs for writers and novelists just like you!

Not only do they offer book cover designs, but they also offer to format your book for you, while also offering a host of other design services, from web-design to T-shirts. This is the place to go if you want affordable designs.

When it comes to self-publishing, you have to do everything. You have to be your own editor, proof-reader, and designer while also handling promotion and sales on your own as well. Make things a little easier on yourself and have your design and formatting needs taken care of by Tyler and Perry, who are also both Indie authors themselves.

 

To enter the give away to potentially win the Basic ebook cover design from Perry Elizabeth Design, do at least one of the several entry options listed in the below giveaway. The more you do, the better your odds of winning!

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