Tuesday, September 22, 2015
50 Ways to Enjoy Fall
1. Road trip to see the changing leaves.
2. Check out a local craft or harvest Festival.
4. Go apple picking.
5. Take a walk in the woods.
6. Have a bonfire.
7. Tell ghost stories.
8. Play in a leaf pile.
9. Get involved in The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.
10. Throw a costume party.
11. Learn to bake a pie from scratch.
12. Watch a scary movie.
13. Make S'mores.
14. Create a fall centerpiece.
15. Go tailgating with friends.
16. Visit a haunted house or corn maze.
17. Build a scarecrow.
18. Plant spring bulbs.
19. Attend an Oktoberfest.
20. Read a good mystery or horror novel.
21. Learn to knit a scarf.
22. Go geocaching in a state park.
23. Learn to build a fire.
24. Rent a cabin in the mountains.
25. Make a festive wreath.
26. Start a journal.
27. Watch the sunset.
28. Take a hot air balloon ride.
29. Go horseback riding.
30. Learn to cook with butternut squash.
32. Tour a winery.
33. Shop for the latest fall fashions.
34. Grab some binoculars and start bird watching.
35. Donate warm clothing to The Salvation Army.
36. Spend a day antiquing.
37. Arrange and pot beautiful fall annuals for the porch.
38. Read by the fire.
39. Hike to a breathtaking overlook.
40. Carve a pumpkin.
41. Start a new hobby.
42. Sketch the season.
43. Learn to preserve food and create your own antique labels.
44. Take a hayride.
45. Go on a ghost tour.
46. Make caramel apples.
47. Explore a historic district on foot.
48. Find a way to volunteer.
49. Visit a zoo.
50. Host a game night.
Deborah Malone has worked as a freelance writer and photographer since 2001, for the historical magazine "Georgia Backroads." Her writing is also featured in "Tales of the Rails," edited by Olin Jackson and the "Christian Communicator." A member of the Georgia Writers Association and of American Christian Fiction Writers, she has an established blog, Butterfly Journey.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Well, the truth is Rome, GA is not a big city but I did help fight crime for a night. In Rome you are able to ride along with a police officer on his shift. I was privileged to ride with Officer Cory of the City of Rome Police Department. This is great for research when writing any genre of mysteries. Come along with me as I tell you about our big night. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you that I did have to stay in the car when on calls. However, I could see the small monitor on their screen and I could hear what he was saying. Let's go on some calls!
3:00 - Time for group briefing before going out on the beat. Sectors and cars were assigned.
3:30 - We got a call to check on someone at one of the local extended stay motels known for drug use and prostitution. A woman had called in to 911 saying she was concerned about her father and thought he might be suicidal. We made the call and officer Cory discovered the man was all right. He called his daughter and relayed the message to her.
3:50 - We no sooner got down the road when we came upon a wreck that had just happened. Officer Cory turns the car around in the middle of the road and proceeds to work the wreck. No one was hurt, but the EMT's were called to check out an elderly lady. She was fine, but I'm afraid the car wasn't as lucky and had to be towed.
4:11 - While I was waiting on Officer Cory to wrap up the wreck scene I heard there was a domestic situation between two unrelated people at the local CVS right across the street. Since he was tied up we didn't go to that one so I don't know the outcome of that situation.
4:26 - We were called to the local senior apartments where a lady said there was a young child being abused in one of the apartments. Officer Cory went to check it out and talked with the man living there. He said the child was his eight year old son, but had not been to the apartment for two weeks. We went to the child's home and followed up on the accusation.
5:23 - While he was talking with the young man I heard a call where a suspect was running on foot. The description was a white male with black facial hair and a pony tail. At the time I did not realize we were in the neighborhood where the suspect was. When Officer Cory returned to the car he zoomed away to the location. We were the second car to arrive at a residence where the suspect ran into. He jumped out running and about 3 or 4 other cars zoomed in on the area. The suspect was apprehended and I saw him being handcuffed, frisked and led to the car. If we'd been a few minutes earlier we'd have arrested the suspect - well I mean Officer Cory. The suspect had fled the scene of a wreck.````
The next few hours were quite and during that time Officer Cory worked on reports and we took a break to eat supper. Then we were back on the beat.
8:30 - A call came in to go to a domestic situation between a wife and husband. This call lasted about 45 minutes with the officers writing a citation banning the husband from coming on the property.
We were headed back to the station to drop me off (Officer Cory was working a 10 hour shift until 1 a.m.) when there was a call to a situation where a man was going from door to door in a neighborhood asking if they had stolen his wallet. The man had gotten into a argument with a couple of the men living in the neighborhood. Officer Cory couldn't get him to leave. When he did start to leave he bumped into one of the men with his car. Officer Cory got him out handcuffed him so he could talk to him. He wrote him a citation and then followed him home to make sure that's where he went.
10:00 - Finally arrived at the station and I thanked Officer Cory for letting me tag along for the night and wished him a safe night. I so appreciate what these Officers have to deal with day after day protecting us.
The great thing about the time we spent together I was able to pick his brain about the duties of police and the protocols. I had many questions and he was so gracious to answer all of them. If you're thinking of writing a mystery or just want a night of excitement then call your local police station and inquire if they have something like this for citizens. Some areas even offer a citizens academy.
Death in Dahlonega is being offered on Kindle for a special price of .99.
Deborah Malone has worked as a freelance writer and photographer since 2001, for the historical magazine, "Georgia Backroads." Her writing is also featured in "Tales of the Rails," edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of Georgia Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
With the new year upon us I thought it would be appropriate to post some helpful hints to getting that book published this year. Let 2015 be the year you decide to finish your book and submit it to publishers.
The Road to Publishing
1. Finish That Novel: Finish the book. Publishers are not really interested in ideas. They want to see that a would-be author has the skill, the stamina and the discipline to finish the job. After finishing your book set it aside for a couple of weeks then go back to it and start editing. Hire an editor if necessary. Two books I’ve found invaluable for my writing:
“Write in Style” by Bobbie Christmas and “Goal, Motivation and Conflict” by Debra Dixon.
2. Researching Publishers And Agents: Study books that are the same genre as your book and see who their agent/publisher is. It is usually listed in the front of their book. Look for publishers on-line and study their guidelines for submissions. Find out what they are looking for. There are also books that are helpful to find publishers such as: “Christian Writer’s Market Guide” by Sally Stuart and “2012 Writer’s Market” by Robert Lee Brewer. Note: It is necessary to have an agent for big name publishers. If you do not want to go this route please do not forget the small presses. Please do your homework and check out small publishers or self-publishing companies. If you go this route a book you will want to read is: “Stress-Free Marketing” by Renea Winchester.
3. Write A Synopsis And Query Letter: According to Kaye Dacus at www.kayedacus.com you should first and foremost familiarize yourself with the kind of synopsis your targeted publishing house requests. Most will want a “normal” synopsis (about one doubled-spaced synopsis per 10,000 words of your novel.) - Your query letter is your introduction to an editor/agent. You do not want to immediately label yourself as a “newbie” or an amateur when they open the envelope. Spend time learning the correct way to write a query.
4. Prepare Your Proposal: The proposal is where you really brand yourself as a writer. It’s where you show the agent/editor that you’re so much more than just 100,000 words of a story written down on paper. It’s where you show them you understand the industry, you understand what they’re looking for, you know who your competitors are, and you realize that 80% + of the marketing for a published author is done by the author.
5. Send Out Queries: Be sure and follow the guidelines of the publishers you’ve researched. Send only what they’ve ask for – do not add anything unless they’ve requested it. It is important to not send any photographs or illustrations. Do not use fancy paper or elaborate fonts. These are the marks of an amateur, and will only hurt your chances. (www.mythicscribes.com)
6. Be Prepared For Rejections: You will receive them. Most of the rejection letters will be in form letter style. Do not let this get you down. Keep sending out the queries. Every author has a story to tell about the rejections letters they accumulated before being published. Consider a rejection letter as a sign you are writing. How many people can say they've even received a rejection letter? Keep writing and persevere. The writers who persevered are the ones who are now published.
7. Continue Writing: Don’t stop writing. The more you write the more you improve in the craft of writing. It will help you find out if you are able to write more than the “one hit wonder.” It might be that it will be your second or third book that gets published so don’t sit idle while waiting to hear from those publishers.
THINGS YOU CAN DO WHILE WAITING FOR PUBLICATION
1. Establish A Website: Once your book is contracted and by the time it shows up in online bookstores, you should have a website – preferably one with your author name as the URL,(www.deborah-malone.com) so that readers can easily find you. Use Google blogspot for free and pay only for the URL.
2. Start A Blog: I’ve discovered blogging and reviewing books is a great way to get your name out in the world of writing. You can build a following before you have your book published. If possible use your author name as your URL. Interviews and book giveaways are a great way to draw traffic to your blog. You can use Google or Wordpress for free
3. Start An Author Facebook Page: If you start an author page as opposed to a personal page it allows followers to connect with you without having to wait for a friend approval. You can post book news, awards, and book signings.
4. Get An Updated Author Photo: This doesn’t have to be a high-priced photograph, but make sure it is updated and of good quality. It won’t hurt to have a couple of different shots.
5. Set Up Accounts On Reader Sites: There is a great opportunity in this area. You can sign up at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Shelfari. Then when your book is published you can set up author pages and list your book and your information.
6. Get Business Cards, Postcards and Bookmarks: Vista Print offers great prices on these items. You can get your business cards before your book comes out – be sure and put your picture on your card. Someone might not remember your name, but they will remember your face. If you place a small order with Vista Print they will send you discount cards with that order then you can place future orders at a greatly reduced price.
I made my own bookmarks out of heavy duty paper and saved a lot of money. Don’t forget the book I mentioned earlier “Stress Fee Marketing” by Renea Winchester, it includes a lot of detailed information on these marketing strategies.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Tell us a little about yourself.I enjoy spinning heart-stirring stories of God's life-changing grace. So far, all my books are set in the fictional town of Miller's Creek, Texas, where the folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth's front porch beckons. When I'm not writing, you'll find me rummaging through thrift stores or up to my elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin I share with my minister husband of over thirty years.
- Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.A Bridge Unbroken, the fifth stand-alone book in the Miller's Creek novels, tells the story of a frightened runaway who wants her painful past to disappear. Her plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But he isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Chance and Dakota must learn to lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and to build a bridge of forgiveness. If you'd like to read a sample chapter, click HERE. To watch the book trailer, click HERE.)The book's blog tour runs from May 1-22, with book giveaways at almost every stop. You can see all the tour stops HERE, or visit the blog tour/launch party Facebook group for details. If you'd like to attend the Launch Party on May 22, from 7-8 p.m. CST, RSVP here. I'll be giving away a $100 Visa Card; an Amazon gift card; a t-shirt, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks; as well as ebook copies of the Miller's Creek novels and print copies of A Bridge Unbroken. You can enter the drawing for the $100 Visa Card at my website or my Facebook author page (click the blue giveaway tab).
- Why did you choose this particular genre?I've always been a big fan of Jan Karon's Mitford series and Lillian Jackson Braun's Cat Who... books. Both of these have a home-town feel, with a cast of quirky, but lovable characters. I wanted to create that same feel in the Miller's Creek novels. Readers have commented that Miller's Creek reminds them of Mayberry, but with Texas style. In addition, I enjoy love stories and suspense. Texas Roads and A Path Less Traveled, the first two stand-alone books in the series, are romance. The Way of Grace (book 3) and the new book, A Bridge Unbroken, are both romantic suspense. Pilgrimage of Promise (a 2013 Grace Award nominee) is the odd duck. One reviewer said it reminded her of "...Karen Kingsbury meets Nicholas Sparks." It's really a love story with historical elements, since it spans from the 1960s to contemporary times. So as you can see, I haven't done too well about sticking to just one genre, though romance and/or love is a common theme in my stories.
- What was your journey to publication like?My first completed novel, Texas Roads, had just been recognized as a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist, when I felt led down the path of indie publishing. While that route has presented several challenges, I feel confident that it was what I was supposed to do. That's not to say that I have anything against traditional publishing. If the Lord so leads, I hope to someday have a few books published traditionally.
- What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?First, of course, is the Bible. What other book gives you romance, intrigue, action, drama, and the best love story of all time in one book? My next favorite would be Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love. The story was a huge influence in my life as a writer. This will probably sound boring to most readers, but the book I'm currently reading is on learning HTML code for building websites. Yeah, I know...major yawn! :)
- What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it?I actually have a couple of writing projects in the worse. The first is non-fiction, a first for me in the book publishing arena. It's a companion Bible study on the topic of forgiveness, the spiritual theme of A Bridge Unbroken. It will hopefully be part of a series of Bible studies, and is entitled: All That Is Ours: Forgiveness. I've also started harvesting ideas for the next Miller's Creek novel, Crossroads. Here's the book blurb as it stands right now: A bitter prodigal denies God's existence until faced with her own mortality. Can a struggling veteran, with his own demons to overcome, help her find the road back home?
- What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?First of all, pray hard. Writing and publishing (and the marketing that comes with it) is by far the most difficult work I've ever done, with the exception of motherhood. I work from early in the morning to late at night, and many other things get put on the back burner. That being said, I enjoy my job.
- Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?My favorite book on writing is Brandilyn Collins' Getting Into Character. I highly recommend it!
- Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered?I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to join you and your readers here today in this interview. I'd be happy to answer questions in the comments.
- Please let us know where we can find you on the web.My website, where I share devotional posts, book-related posts, and interviews with everyday heroes I meet, is www.CatBryant.com. You can also find me at the following spots in cyberspace:
Reader friends on Facebook may want to visit the following groups, the first for book bargains and the second to discuss all things Miller’s Creek.