I’m very excited to introduce Michelle Griep, author of Brentwood’s Ward and her book about writing, Growing in the Writing Craft. She has also published other books you can view on her Amazon page.

Michelle Griep Headshot

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager.

She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle.

Keep up with her adventures at her blog WRITER OFF THE LEASH or visit michellegriep.com

 

 

 

 

— Tell me about your new novel, Brentwood’s Ward. What came to you first, the story or the characters?
The story. I ran across an old newspaper advertisement put out by Magistrate Henry Fielding, dating back to the eighteenth-century. It encouraged the public to send a note to Bow Street as soon as any serious crime occurred so that “a set of brave fellows could immediately be dispatched in pursuit of the villains.” I wondered about those “brave fellows” and what kind of villains they might come up against, and thus was born Nicholas Brentwood.

Brentwood

— Brentwood’s Ward is the first of a series. How many books do you have planned and who are the dishy heroes?
Technically I suppose it’s a trilogy, but each book is standalone in story format. Each novel features a different Bow Street Runner.
BRENTWOOD’S WARD hero is NICHOLAS BRENTWOOD, a hero who’s a little rough around the edges, colorful as a Dicken’s character, and observant enough to be a forerunner of Sherlock.
MOORE’S MAIDEN hero is ALEXANDER MORTON, a man who’s too handsome for his own good, witty to a fault, with a compassionate heart that sometimes gets him into trouble.
LORD ABERLY’S LADY hero is SAMUEL THATCHER, a shadow of the night, roaming the byways hunting down highwaymen, so quick and quiet, one wonders if he’s but a dream.

— What is it about the Regency period that appeals to you? Why do you like to write historic novels?
Of course I’m romanticizing the era, but it seems to me that though poverty was rampant, dignity still held priority. Even the grubbiest street people wore a dress coat, though it might’ve been little better than a rag.
I’ve always had an interest in history. No, really. Even as a preschooler, I sat beneath the dining room table and held conversations with Daniel Boone. My mom thought there was seriously something wrong with me, so she took me to a doctor. He assured he I was just imaginative. Mix creativity with a love of the past and voila . . . historic fiction.

— There’s a fine line in Christian fiction writing between being preachy and inspiring the readers. How do you deal with that?
Story is the best medium to convey Biblical truth through plot and character. I try to show people their desperate need for God rather than whap them upside the head with a Bible or sermon.

— You also have a new non-fiction book about writing. What can you tell us about it?
Are you a writer at heart? How can you tell? And if you are, how do you go about composing and selling the next Great American Novel? WRITER OFF THE LEASH answers these questions and more–all in an easy to understand, tongue-in-cheek style. This is more than a how-to book. It’s a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level. This is my attempt to blow the lid off stodgy old-school rulebooks and make it clear that writing can–and should–be fun.

WriterOffTheLeashCoverFinalEditWhite_resize_coverpage_kindle

— What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book?
First, run over to Target and purchase yourself a pair of big kid undies. You’ll need them. Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. That being said, there’s nothing like the supreme sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you type The End. My best advice is to persevere. Hang in there. Keep at it. JUST DO IT!

Thanks, Michelle, for stopping by!

 

  • Michelle GriepFebruary 10, 2015 - 8:47 AM

    Thanks for hosting me today! Super fun to be here!ReplyCancel

    • LucindaFebruary 10, 2015 - 11:32 AM

      My pleasure, Michelle! Thanks for hanging out on my blog today!ReplyCancel

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

It’s that time of the month again, first Wednesday, which means, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

This will be a very quick post, and it’s like a continuation of last month’s. I’m still grappling with my first chapters for the LDStorymakers First Chapter Contest. The deadline is on February 9th, and I’m trying to get them ready to send before then. I have learned a lot in the past month as I’ve edited my chapters and traded critiques with others also entering the contest. Thank goodness for writing groups and fellow writers willing to help and trade help. My self-editing skills are severely lacking, especially after writing and rewriting, reading and rereading, so many times. That separation you need to view something objectively is just gone, and that’s why it helps so much to get a fresh pair of eyes to review your work.

I also decided to enter the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest:

The rules and submission instructions are not very dissimilar, and since I’ve already worked on half of what I need, I think I can work the rest before the deadline. Of course, there’s a lot more at stake since this contest will have a significant higher number of entries. How does that saying go? “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”?;)

Insecure Writer #136

  • AnnaFebruary 4, 2015 - 4:05 PM
  • Georgina MoralesFebruary 5, 2015 - 3:31 PM

    Good luck in both! I have never participated in a contest, though I have a couple in mind for this year. I can’t imagine how nerve-raking!ReplyCancel

  • Diane BurtonFebruary 5, 2015 - 4:58 PM

    Good luck with the contest. You can learn a lot from the ones that include comments from judges. Of course, sometimes the judges don’t know what they’re talking about. A lot like reviews. Good preparation.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth HeinFebruary 5, 2015 - 6:21 PM

    Good luck with your submission.ReplyCancel

  • dolorahFebruary 6, 2015 - 1:53 AM

    Best of luck to you.ReplyCancel

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Wishing on Baby Dust back cover blurb

genre: LDS Women’s Fiction

Infertility stinks. No one knows that better than Megan. After six years of insanity-inducing hormone drugs and WoBD_cover_finaldesperate prayers, all she has to show for her efforts are enough negative pregnancy tests to fill a bassinet. All around her women are accidentally getting pregnant—like her star piano student—while Megan remains hopelessly barren. Megan’s never felt so alone. But she’s not the only one struggling.

Christina has just entered the world of infertility, made worse by the fact her husband isn’t ready to be a father. Their marriage, already hanging in the balance, is being torn apart.

Then there’s Kyra, the mother of a precocious three-year-old. She’s shocked to be struggling with secondary infertility. A baby is priceless, but sometimes Kyra feels like she’s being forced to choose which commandment to keep: stay out of debt, or multiply and replenish the earth.

When Megan and Christina are assigned as Kyra’s visiting teachers, they all realize that what you see isn’t necessarily what’s beneath the surface. Some secrets aren’t worth the cost of keeping them.

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Author Bio

Lydia Winters decided in first grade that she’d grow up to be three things—a mom, a teacher, and a writer. She’s lindzeee & Neillucky enough to have accomplished all three tasks. Lydia received her bachelor’s in history education from Utah Valley University. Soon after leaving her teaching career behind, she became a mother to adorable twin boys, who guarantee her life is never dull.

Lydia is married to the most supportive man in the world. He regularly takes care of the twins and cooks dinner so she can escape with her laptop to chase her dream of being a writer. When she has time for hobbies, Lydia is a reality TV junkie, loves to cross-stitch, and sometimes even finds time to play the piano. She eats way too much chocolate and wishes she liked things like running or yoga.

website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads Author Page | Amazon Author Page

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InsecureWritersSupportGroup

It’s that time of the month again, first Wednesday, which means, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

 

sylviaplathquote

Last month I registered for the LDStorymakers conference (it will be my third time going) and, in something that can only be described as a moment of temporary insanity, I also signed up for the First Chapter Contest. With not one chapter, but three. Three. Three whole chapters that need to be under 3,000 words and are due on February 9th.

A big What-Was-I-Thinking-? ensued soon after as the fear took over. Like Sylvia Plath said, self-doubt is an enemy and fear is self-doubt. Fear of not being able to go through with it, fear of rejection, fear of finding readers/judges who don’t like my story/characters/writing. Just plain old fear. Because once you start down that path—the path of not believing in yourself—everything snowballs into a perfect list of excuses.

Confession: I’m not as brave as I thought.

Well, I traded chapters for critique with other writers and I’m slowly getting out of my pit of fear. One chapter is almost ready for submission and I’ll be starting edits on the other two, so I might be able to get them all in time.

The results will be posted on May 15th during the first day of conference. I’m sure I’ll come up with new fears by then.;)

Insecure Writer #136

  • AllisonJanuary 7, 2015 - 12:05 PM

    Fear/Self-Doubt are such obstacles…. Especially since they are often embedded in perfectly reasonable sounding logic.
    Good luck on the chapters!!ReplyCancel

  • Diane BurtonJanuary 7, 2015 - 5:51 PM

    I think all writers go through that fear and self-doubt. Getting past it isn’t easy. Good luck.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon LawrenceJanuary 8, 2015 - 1:38 AM

    Exciting! Good luck with the contest. That’s a long time to wait, but hopefully you get good results.ReplyCancel

  • Georgina MoralesJanuary 9, 2015 - 8:03 AM

    You go girl! You’re really brave! It’s normal to feel fear after such a commitment, but what makes you brave is to go forth even though you’re scared. I wish you the best of luck! Can’t wait to hear about the whole experience once the critique is done!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Buie-CollardJanuary 14, 2015 - 1:26 PM

    Sorry I’m so late for the IWSG! Please don’t think you are EVER alone in this one! I too, have let fear put a kibosh on risk. But then I got to thinking… If I don’t do it(whatever “it” is), I have ZERO chance of success. If I do it, even if it’s wrong, I have a 50-50 chance. In my view, frightening as it is to risk in putting myself out there, 50-50 is a whole lot better than zero. Besides, it’s like a friend of mine once told me, “When I walk on the beach I used to cover up with a towel or long shirt while wearing my swimsuit. Then I realized, in fifteen minutes no one will remember, much less think about, my fat-jiggling butt!” So, what have I got to lose?ReplyCancel

Today I’m spotlighting Margot Hovley and her series “The End Begins”, an LDS Young Adult dystopian series that has made me think about a lot of things.

The first book (click on the image for the Amazon link):

Sudden Darkness“Brothers and sisters, may I have your attention,” President Green said into the megaphone. I held my breath. What would he say next? At that moment, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d said the moon was scheduled to turn to blood next Tuesday night. “As you know, alarming events are unfolding. People are scared and confused. Life as we have known it will never be the same, it seems.”
The news has been filled with stories of tragedy and turmoil. But world events like the recent bombings in London seem far removed from eighteen-year-old Amélie Hatch’s quiet life in Zillah, Washington. She’s content with the predictable pattern of her life—school, friends, work. But when Amélie’s father leaves on a mysterious Church assignment, concerns escalate as the family is left with few answers.
Then, in the span of moments, Amélie’s world erupts in chaos. Terrorists have attacked the US power grid. There is no electricity. Vehicles have ceased working. The nuclear facility at nearby Hanford is compromised, and radiation may be flooding the area. Without the guidance of their father, Amélie’s family faces a monumental task at the request of the leaders of the Church: members of their stake have been asked to walk to Utah, where they will find safety in Zion.
Fleeing her home and the life she knows, Amélie sets off on the arduous journey toward the refuge of Utah. There is danger around every corner as the group faces gunfire, kidnapping, and new terrorist threats. And as she finds herself drawn to two very different young men, Amélie recognizes a more personal peril—she’s in danger of losing her heart.

And the second one (click on the image for the Amazon link):

Glimmering Light_COVERIn a world torn apart by an unprecedented terrorist attack, Amélie Hatch’s life has been thrown into chaos. Safety is fleeting, and there is no rest for a group of Saints fighting to survive . . . Despite the looming threat of terrorism, Amélie’s safe arrival in Salt Lake City should have been the triumphant conclusion to her harrowing journey. With the promise of a future with her true love, Zack, she finds a glimmer of light amidst the bleak unrest of the nation. But Amélie and Zack quickly realize that their journey is far from finished. With the nation’s power grid still compromised and enemy forces drawing closer, Utah is no longer a safe haven—it’s time to move on. And this time, they find themselves forced apart as they embark on separate missions that will test their endurance and threaten all they hold dear. Amélie can only wonder: does Missouri truly hold the key to their deliverance, or will they be forced to run forever?

My review:

I‘ve been anxiously awaiting the sequel to Sudden Darkness, and I finally had the chance to read it.
I would classify this as a YA LDS dystopian with romantic elements. I don’t usually read a lot of YA novels and definitely not dystopians, but I love this series. Zack and Amélie are such strong characters. They don’t think they’re worthy of their callings but the way they push themselves for better and help others around them makes me wonder if I’d be able to have that kind of faith and strength in a similar situation.

Like with “Sudden Darkness”, “Glimmering Light” is thought provoking and sobering. At numerous times throughout the story I thought: “What if this really happened?” Its premise brushes close to the possibility of a reality that is not very hard to imagine. It paints a grim picture of an alternate society but at the same time there is with an elemental hope that not all is lost. The parallels to Book of Mormon and pioneer stories brought an emotional response from me that took me by surprise at times.

The ending was sweet and positive despite the hard times the characters face, and I would definitely love to see a conclusion to Zack and Amélie’s story, one that brings everything together and them settled in their new world.

I recommend reading “Sudden Darkness” before reading “Glimmering Light”. It’s a quick series, easy to read, and appropriate for teens.

And now for the best part: Margot is having a giveaway on her blog! She’s giving away her two books in your choice of ebook or paperback. So follow this link and go find out how you can win this terrific series.

 

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