Posted by: C.R. Mooney | October 17, 2014

Publisher Profile: Castle Gate Press

Castle Gate PressCastle Gate Press, looking for manuscripts with a touch of the fantastic

Today our guest writers are Phyllis Wheeler and Suzanne Hartmann of Castle Gate Press.

Thank you for this opportunity to introduce your readers to Castle Gate Press, a new Christian publishing house created by two author/editors, which began accepting submissions in January of 2014. Our desire is to help new authors with well-polished manuscripts that don’t fit well into the standard niches of larger publishing houses. We walk with our authors through the publishing process, from the contract and royalty, through comprehensive editing, to extensive advice and assistance with marketing and publicity.

Castle Gate Press is seeking manuscripts (both agented or unagented) of any genre that have the following:
•       a touch of the unusual and strange  (for example: It’s a Wonderful Life, Back to the Future, Spiderman)
•       a Christian worldview
•       Faith may or may not be overt

Here’s the nitty-gritty you’re probably wondering about:
•       Castle Gate Press is a traditional, royalty-paying press.
•       We offer a 50-50 split of net proceeds, including sale of books to the author.
•       We also provide complete professional editing, covers, print book layout, and e-book creation.
•        We sell print-on-demand books through Ingram, available on request to Amazon and any bookstore or library in the U.S.
•       We sell e-books through a variety of channels, including international.
•       We send advance reader copies to Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and selected prospective endorsers.
•       We provide publicity assistance, seek local bookstore book signings, and set up a pre-sales page at, while promoting the author on our blog and Facebook page.

If you have a manuscript that contains at least a touch of speculative fiction (or maybe much more than a touch), Castle Gate Press is interested! You can find more information, as well as our submission guidelines and great writing advice at

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | January 16, 2014

Publisher Profile: 5 Fold Media

My good friend Andy has been in the Christian publishing industry a long time now and about 5 years ago started this press that is now really taking off. They’ve recently updated their website and are accepting submissions.

Beside publishing they offer author coaching and interior layout design.

Check it out here…

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | April 5, 2013

Why Do I Write?

Why do i writeI’ve spent countless hours of my life adding pages to a book I will complete this year. I hope it will be published, but there is no guarantee. I also spend time writing for my blogs that have a few readers and short stories that I share with friends. It can all add up to feeling like a writing failure — unless I know why I write.

The question, “Why do I write?” is one every author (or aspiring author like me) must answer. Why? Because there will come a time when the countless hours spent in solitude pouring our souls into a manuscript will seem like a waste, and we’ll ask, “Why do I torture myself so?”

When you find the answer, it will be your core motivating factor.

So, why do I write?

I write about what I am going through in life, my challenges, my triumphs, my struggles. I write about how God walks me through making me more like him. It’s therapy for me, the avenue by which God reveals to me the issues I am blind to otherwise. And in writing them, I share them with you, so that maybe if you are going through the same thing it will be a light to you.

That’s why I sit here with my laptop and type this even though it’s 2:37am. Because I know that this can inspire you to be who God made you to be.

I write for change — for souls.

If not one person ever reads my non-fiction There’s Something Deep Inside, my soon to follow novels, this blog, or, I won’t be discouraged because my life has been changed. And when I’m feeling lazy and want nothing more than to do any other thing than write, I remember that there are souls waiting on the other side of my obedience and it gives me the strength to go on.

So what moves you? Why do you write?

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | February 3, 2013

Publisher Proflie: CrossLink Publishing

Once in awhile, I get a request from a publisher to be placed on my List Of Christian Publishers, and I like to ask them a few questions. If you are a publisher (of any size) and would like to be added, please send me an email.

CrossLink PubishingHere is some brief information from Rick Bates of CrossLink Publishing and their submission form:

What makes you unique in the marketplace?

CrossLink is a professional, traditional publishing company. We go out of our way to make ourselves available to both new and experienced authors. Every detail of our publishing process is completely transparent before and during publishing. We pay royalties of 10% of retail price, regardless of the actual sales price, including sales to the author. Authors purchase books at a 55% discount off of retail. Books are published in print format as well as the 7 major eBook formats. CrossLink was honored to produce the 2011 Christian Small Publishers Book of the Year in the Bible Study category.

What type of manuscripts are you looking for?

We seek out material that will benefit Christians looking to grow in their spiritual walk. We accept Christian themed books in the bible study, devotional, inspirational, meditations, and spiritual growth areas.

Do you accept unsolicited manuscripts or queries or are agents required?

We accept quality manuscripts from any source and do not require authors work through an agent. Many of our authors come from The Writers Edge service, but we accept independent submissions via our website ( as well.

What type of promotion will you employ, or will the author be responsible for promotion?

CrossLink advertises books on its website and partners with Ingram, Spring Arbor, Books and More, and other distributors and databases to insure our books are available to over 30,000 wholesalers, retailers, and booksellers. We encourage authors to pursue other promotional avenues to augment our efforts. Our free, proprietary 8-week marketing plan will provide specific guidance and help in jump starting marketing efforts.

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | October 30, 2012

4 Tips for Writing Faster

Little gets under my skin more than sitting at the laptop to write for a couple of hours and only having only a few paragraphs to show for it. Nights like that almost end with my laptop being chucked through the window.

After one such night I was determined to write faster. They have courses on speed reading, so I figured writing faster is a skill that could be learned too.

So I sat down and wrote out what I thought were my biggest obstacles: not having time to write and distractions (short yet accurate). Through a concerted effort in a few areas , I’ve grown to writing a few pages a night instead of just those few paragraphs.

  1. Plan when you will write. You’ll never find the time to write, you must make it. When I wake up, I take a few minutes and plan my day. Part of that is determining when I will write. Whether it’s during my breaks at work, or an hour in the evening, the time is set. This is a huge step as it gives me time to think about what I want to write that day and when the prescribed time comes its easy to keep the appointment.
  2. Set a time limit. This is related to number one. I only set aside an hour tops for writing. If I get in a groove and write beyond that, great. But often my attention span is only about that long so if I need a break or want to be done, there’s no guilt after that. Also if the words aren’t flowing I have a predetermined quitting time which frees me from staring at the monitor for another hour and getting even more frustrated.
  3. Manually disconnect the internet. I’m obsessed with finding the “right word” or doing fact checking as I go. While I think those tasks will only take a moment, they end up wasting an hour sometimes. By disconnecting the internet at the modem, I have to get up from the desk in order to check my email or search for when to use effect or affect.
  4. Just write, don’t edit. It sounds easy enough, but my internal editor is a 24-hour operation. For my predetermined writing time, I sit down and just write. If something needs editing I leave and XYZ after the word or sentence I want to go back to and I’ll check on those after my first draft is done.

Being intentional about my writing time, and limiting interruptions has more than doubled my writing output. I hope these simple steps will not only increase the amount of words on the page, but the quality of them as well.

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | October 3, 2012

Looking For Time? I Found It.

I keep notebooks; it’s an OCD thing for me. I like to write things down, what can I say. In January, I was looking through a notebook from 2008 and the entry went something like this:

It’s almost December, and I really wanted to have TSDI (a book I was writing) done before the end of the year. I’m only half way. I just can’t seem to find the time.”

Looks like I never did find the time, because four years later it sits unfinished at page 108.

Spending more time with Beth and the kids and exercising are other things that I have not done much about for the past few years. And why not? Again, I could not “find the time.” It was as though some mythological time keeper had stolen the extra hours I needed to write a novel, run a few miles, take my wife out to dinner, or get a couple of credit hours in. If I could but locate them I would be able to do these things.

It’s a lie. A farce. Those extra hours don’t exist, so stop looking. You will NEVER find them. Depressing huh?

A tad, but what is more depressing is the amount of hours I wasted every day. Whether it was TV, just chilling, checking facebook, or fantasy football/baseball, I let these pointless activities rule my life. It’s not that I didn’t want to get up and accomplish something of meaning, it’s just that writing a novel is hard. It takes time and mental focus. It’s, dare I say, w**k.

If you follow me at all, you know that I am spending quality time with Beth, writing, and exercising regularly. Did I find the time gremlin and beat him senseless until he gave me more time? No.

I made time.

I have the same twenty-four hours per day as always, but now I am intentional. My life is measurably better than before. Where I could find no time before for the things of meaning, I now make time for Beth, spend 3-4 hours a week to exercise, and 5-8 hours a week to write. That’s over a twelve hours a week I am more intentional about. Even now, as I write this, the TV is off. The old me reacted to life, the new me takes action and gets things done.

You can do it too! Here are a few tips on making time for the important things YOU want to do. (Please leave any tips you have in the comments!)

1: Turn the dish/cable off. This was huge for me. It used to always be on in the background and before I knew it, I was watching absolutely nothing of merit. We have Netflix now so we can watch movies now and then, and a few TV series, but it no longer has the control it used to.

2: Be productive on your breaks at work. I get get two fifteen minute breaks at work in an eight hour day. Before I used to surf the internet or walk to the post office, but now I used that time for non-novel writing. Monday and Wednesday I work on posts for this blog. Tuesday and Friday I work on short stories. Thursday I write posts or add new publishers to my writing blog (

3: Make time for things that matter ten years from now. For me, it’s exercise. I must exercise 3-4 days a week. Why? Because when my kids are teenagers, I want to be able to run around a basketball court or soccer field with them without going into cardiac arrest.

4. Motivate yourself. Find what motivates you and put it in front of your face every day. My motivation is that I want to end the cycle of of being a dreamer in my life so I don’t pass it on to my kids. I want to encourage them to dream huge dreams, but not to stop there. They need to do the work. I don’t want them years for now to start things and not finish because I never did. I want to show them that it doesn’t matter how smart you are, or how much potential people think you have, if you don’t work hard and finish you won’t get anywhere in life.

5. Do it now. This used to kill me. Beth would tell me something needed to be fixed, and I never found time to do it. My kids wanted to play ball, but something else was going on, so I would put it off until later. Now, if at all possible, I stop, and get it done. I may not have an hour to throw the ball with Jaivin, but he’s never complained about me saying, “Get the gloves, but I only have a few minutes.”

Remember, you’ll never find time for anything. If you want to get it done, you will have to make time.

What are some of the ways you make time for the important things in your life?


I wanted to leave you not only with a question, but with some quotes that I hope will motivate you the way they have me:

In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.

~ Sir John Lubbock

Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.

~ Denis Waitley

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

~ Steve Jobs

Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away.

~ Charles Caleb Colton

He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out the plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.

~ Victor Hugo

For disappearing acts, it’s hard to beat what happens to the eight hours supposedly left after eight of sleep and eight of work.

~ Doug Larson

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.

~ Napoleon Hill

Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

~ M. Scott Peck

Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely.

~ Kay Lyons

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.

~ H. Jackson Brown

If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.

~ Lee Iacocca

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | September 17, 2012

Why I Write – Lucie Ulrich

This guest post is by Lucie Ulrich. She’s an avid reader who spent years sharing her passion for writing and storytelling with her middle and high school drama students. She is also author of the newly released book, Broken Vessels with Kirkdale Press. You can follow Lucie on Twitter.

The life of a writer is one most people don’t understand. Sometimes I don’t understand it myself, yet I’m willing to sit at my computer for hours at a time, inflicting emotional pain and anguish on characters I’ve come to feel are real. When I find myself tearing up, I know I’m on the right track.

Not all of my characters are filled with angst, of course. Some are funny, some stern, while others are filled with great wisdom. I take no credit for the wisdom. God always brings the right words at the right time; the right circumstance for one character to reach another. It’s very humbling to know the words I put to paper will be read by people I don’t know—people whose lives may very well be touched by those words. This is why I write.

Determining to seek out a Christian publisher was a no-brainer for me. That’s not to say I have anything against secular publishers. I read and enjoy many secular books as well as Christian ones. It comes down to this: things like love, hate, forgiveness, hope and joy can all be found in secular books. God’s grace and gift of salvation, however, are almost always left out. Though I strive not to preach to my readers, I refuse to ignore those elemental truths.

As a first-time author, I was thrilled when the acquisitions editor for Kirkdale Press requested a full manuscript, then offered me a contract. The fact that they were a new press pleased me even more. I would get to be on the ground floor of a new venture. At my age, new ventures don’t come around all that often, so I grab them whenever I can.

My experiences to date have been primarily positive. Oh, I had my struggles adjusting to the fact that I was to be so hands-on when it came to marketing. Things like creating websites, blogging, tweeting, and contacting other bloggers was foreign to me. Fortunately, I work with people who are supportive, encouraging and knowledgeable. I never feel as though I’m imposing by asking questions, and the responses are quick and helpful.

Writing is my passion, and I’m thankful for a publisher who is allowing me to share that passion with others.

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | August 13, 2012

Tips on Writing a Book Proposal From a Former Publishing CEO

Are you looking for some great tips on how to find and agent or get your book published? Here’s a great ebook I got by Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing. Yeah, he knows what he’s talking about.

It’s available in several ereader formats and pdf in case you don’t have one.

The Fastest Way To Get A Book Contract


About eight years ago Google started Google Books determined to make every book in print available to the public. So under the guise of “fair use” they have been going to libraries and scanning millions of books and making them available for free online.

The Authors Guild took offense to their work being distributed without compensation and have sued Google for $750 a book.

So I ask you, does this, as Google believes, fall under “Fair use” and the betterment of mankind? Or is this another case of Google overstepping its bounds by violating copyright regulations?

Here’s Bloomberg the article that brought this to bear:

Google Should Pay $750 a Book, Authors Say in E-Book Suit

Authors suing Google Inc. (GOOG) over the digitizing of books asked a judge to order the company to pay $750 a book for illegal copying and distribution of their works, according to a court filing today.

Google is being sued over its plan, announced in 2004, to scan millions of books from public and university libraries to provide snippets of text to people who use its Internet search engine. A Manhattan federal judge in May rejected Google’s argument that lawsuits by the Authors Guild and the American Society of Media Photographers should be dismissed because the groups lacked standing to sue for copyright infringement.

The Authors Guild today asked the judge for a ruling in its favor on three legal issues, one of which is a claim for damages of $750 a book. The guild also says it wants a ruling that copying books isn’t a “fair use” under copyright law, as Google has said it will argue.

Last month, Mountain View, California-based Google sought dismissal of the Authors Guild’s suit, arguing that authors benefit from the project because their books can be more readily found, bought and read, while the public gains “increased knowledge.”

University Libraries

Google said in a February filing that it has scanned more than 20 million books, and that Web users can see excerpts in English from more than 4 million of them. The project began with the digitizing of books from the libraries of the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University and the New York Public Library.

The Authors Guild, individual authors and publishing companies sued in 2005, claiming Google hadn’t sought authorization from the owners of the digitized works.

Besides the guild, the plaintiffs include authors Joseph Goulden, Betty Miles and Jim Bouton, the former New York Yankee who wrote “Ball Four.”

The authors’ case is Authors Guild v. Google, 05-08136, and the visual artists’ case is American Society of Media Photographers v. Google, 10-cv-02977, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporters on this story: David Glovin in New York federal court at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | June 28, 2012

Storytelling Tips from Pixar!

Pixar has given us some of the best stories of the past decade, so when one of their insiders leaks some tips on storytelling, everyone should listen.

Emma Coats (@lawnrocket), a storyboarder at Pixar, tweeted 22 tips she picked up while rubbing shoulders with the writers at Pixar. The Pixar Touch blog compiled them into one post, Pixar story rules (one version).

Here are a few of my favorites:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

I hope some of these help you in your storytelling. And you should read the rest of the post here.

Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 285 other followers

%d bloggers like this: