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.

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | June 6, 2012

My Tribute to the Late Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

A hero of mine, Ray Bradbury, died yesterday (1920-2012).

I remember picking up “Something Wicked This Way Comes” for $0.75 from a used book store in Ottawa, Canada the Spring of 2010. Beth was there for business and I tagged along for the day and had time to burn. I opened to the Prologue and read, “First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say.”

That’s all it took.

I devoured it over the next several hours, and many times since. It’s a restaurant I love to visit when I want something divine that melts in my mouth. And if I don’t have time for the full meal, I stop in and grab a paragraph for dessert knowing that wherever my finger lands on the page, it will be the sweetest.

The world is less bright today with him gone.

If you aren’t familiar with Bradbury, he has written such works as “Fahrenheit 451,” “The Martian Chronicles,” and my favorite book of all time, “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” I have read many books, hundreds, and his writing leaves me speechless every time I read it. The way he creates scenes with his words, meaning from his metaphors, and depth of character leaves me in awe.

And none of it is contrived because Bradbury loved.

He loved books and the words that made them. He loved people, butterflies, and even the things that scared him.

And he wrote these things.

Here is an interview with Ray Bradbury that I love to watch. Maybe in hearing him talk about what he loves, he will inspire you,

“Now, remember this: Love is at the center of your life. The things that you do should be things that you love, and things that you love should be things that you do.”

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | June 5, 2012

The Kindle’s Been “Nookd”

What happens when you auto-replace words and don’t edit after?

Here’s an article from

Nook version of War and Peace contains embarrassing search-and-replace error

Attempts to remove the references to competing e-book manufacturer “Kindle” nooks the flame of customer discontent.

Editors are pretty important people. They keep books, magazines, and even websites error free. But what happens when you take shortcuts and skimp on professional editing? You open yourself up to significant embarrassment, as the publisher of the Nook e-book version of War and Peace is finding out.

While reading a copy he downloaded on his Barnes & Noble Nook for 99 cents, eagle-eyed blogger Philip Howard noticed the odd usage of the word “Nookd.” It was a bizarre inclusion, but since War and Peace is translated from the original Russian, the word didn’t truly stand out.

“Thinking this was simply a glitch in the software,” Howard explains, “I ignored the intrusive word and continued reading. Some pages later I encountered the rogue word again. With my third encounter I decided to retrieve my hard cover book and find the original (well, the translated) text.”

It turns out that every instance of “kindled” had been replaced with “Nookd,” with Kindle, of course, being the name of Nook’s competitor. It’s believed the mistake happened as a result of a lazy application for inclusion in the Nook Book Store. The book’s publisher likely performed a search-and-replace to change all references to Amazon’s competing e-book Kindle, not realizing that Leo Tolstoy had used the word “kindled” no fewer than eight times in the text.

[via dvice]


Posted by: C.R. Mooney | May 23, 2012

Publisher Profile: Kirkdale Press

We live in a digital world, and with that comes the digital publisher. Enter Kirkdale Press.

Here’s a link to submission form and below is their press release. Check them out.

Writers wanted: Kirkdale Press seeking star-bound Christian authors

Rising digital publisher now accepting Christian fiction, non-fiction submissions

BELLINGHAM, Wash., May 22, 2012 — Coming off its recent launch, Kirkdale Press is looking to bolster its all-star lineup by sounding a call for the next best-selling Christian fiction and non-fiction authors. Established and up-and-coming authors alike can submit queries for completed manuscripts, which Kirkdale Press is now accepting and reviewing for ebook publication. Kirkdale builds on Logos Bible Software’s 20 years of experience as the world’s leading publisher of electronic Christian resources and Bible study tools.

“I had no idea how to market my work … but Kirkdale does,” said Naomi Dathan, author of Whither Thou Goest, I Will Go, published by Kirkdale Press. “Now my book is being read all over the place, and I love it.”

Kirkdale Press prides itself on setting the industry standard for strong publisher-author relationships.

“We truly care about our authors,” said Kirkdale Press Manager Ryan Rotz. “And it shows as we guide them through the publishing process and give them the marketing skills necessary to build a following in the digital world.”

Published Kirkdale authors — from National Day of Prayer Task Force Vice Chair John Bornschein, who penned The Front Line, to fiction writer Lucie Ulrich — note walking away with a customized, one-of-a-kind experience.

“From acquisition, to editing, to publicity, every person I worked with was wonderful,” said Ulrich, author of Broken Vessels, a recently published title by Kirkdale Press. “As a new author, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but all of my questions and concerns were addressed, and I was given a great deal of encouragement.”

Kirkdale offers unique state-of-the-art features, such as tagged Bible references that allow users to click them and instantly read Scripture passages within their ebooks. When read via the dynamic Vyrso ereader app, Kirkdale titles can be integrated with the powerful and expansive Bible study tools and resources of Logos 4, which gives readers the ability to search through thousands of ebooks in seconds. Kirkdale books are also available through Kindle, Nook and other ereaders.

Kirkdale Press is a new digital publishing imprint from Logos Bible Software. Publishing new voices in Christian living and fiction, Kirkdale Press builds on Logos’ 20 years of leadership in electronic Christian resources. Kirkdale ebooks are available through Vyrso, the Christian ereader app from Logos, as well as through Kindle, Nook and other ereaders.

Logos is the leading provider of multilingual tools and resources for Bible study on Macs, PCs and mobile devices. Logos has served pastors, scholars and everyone who wants to study the Bible since 1992, partnering with 150 publishers to offer more than 23,000 Christian ebooks to users in 210 countries. | |

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | May 23, 2012

Publish Your Short Story

2012 Novel & Short Story Writer's MarketHave a short story you’d like to publish? Don’t know where to find a short story publisher?

You need a copy of the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market to help you publish your short story.

This version of the Writer’s Market Guide by Adria Haley is tailored to novel and short story authors. It contains over 1,500 listings of editors and agents, as well as many articles on topics like submission guidelines, style, voice, and dialogue.

Here’s a preview that I found so you can see how the entries are listed (Click the pic for a higher resolution image). Enjoy!

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | May 21, 2012

Advice to First-Time Authors by Michael Hyatt

Since I am yet to be published, I would consider myself in this category, and definitely needing some advice.  Who better to get it from than Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing.

Here is an excerpt from a post on his blog (which I strongly recommend you follow) There is a link at the end for the remainder of the article.

Advice to First-Time Authors

As you might imagine, I receive a lot of email from would-be authors who are trying to get published. Because I make my email address public, it’s pretty easy to get to me.

An old-fashioned typewriter

However, by the time I hear from people, they are usually frustrated. They can’t get anyone in the book publishing world to respond, and they are convinced that they have a killer-idea. “If only someone would just read my manuscript,” they plead.

The problem is that most publishers will not review unsolicited proposals or manuscripts. I personally receive hundreds every year; our staff receives thousands. We simply don’t have the resources to review these. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

So as an author, what do you do? Here’s what I recommend:…

You can also follow Michael Hyatt on Twitter as: MichaelHyatt

Posted by: C.R. Mooney | April 21, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

Man with writer's blockI stood on the dock and cast my line for at least the three hundredth time. Hours had past since my last bite and I’d almost lost interest in catching anything. It wasn’t bad to clean my limit of small mouth bass, but to clean just one sounded like work. My mind drifted to the novel I’d been working on for several years but could never quite find the time to write.

As I reeled in the line for the last time, I worked the bait with a slight jig. I felt a tug on the line. It wasn’t the staccato twitch of a nibble, but the slow easy pull of thick weeds. That’s where the monsters are. I saw my “weed fish” slowly surface and creep toward me like a stalking sea dinosaur. Something in it glimmered as the high sun reflected off it. I removed the inanimate beast from my line and extracted a small lamp from its belly. I wiped it clean of sea slime to see if it had any worth, and out came a genie!

“I will grant you one wish!” he proclaimed.

Not one to be without speech or opinion, I answered without hesitation, “I have a book I’ve been working on for years. I wish I could write like the pros!”

“Your wish is my command.” Smoke poured from his hands until it engulfed the entire dock. A hurricane force wind blew me backward. When the smoke cleared I found myself sitting at the desk in my office.

“That’s it? I’m a pro now?” I dried my wet hands on my jeans then placed them on the keyboard of my laptop and began to type. “The sun scorched Ernest through his sweat drenched shirt.” I paused, surprised at how freely the line came to me, then placed my fingers back on the keys.


I glared at the genie. “What’s the problem? I thought you were powerful. Where are the words? Why are they not coming to me?” I stood in disgust and headed for the door but was stopped short by a tug on my leg. I looked down. My leg was shackled to the desk.

“What’s this about? Am I a prisoner in my own home?”

“You wished to write like a pro, and you will. However, there is no magic that can accomplish this. You are bound to this desk every day until you have written for two hours. Only then will your shackles be loosed. Any time you stop writing, the will the clock will stop until all of the required time has been spent writing. And so it will be until you are, as you say, a “pro.”

“Wow. It sounds more like a prison sentence.”

“It was your wish. The good news is that once you are a pro, you will write four to six hours a day with no shackles. If I were you, I’d start writing.”

And with that, he vanished.


I am writing a novel, which is more work than anything I have ever done before. This short story was written when I realized what it would take to be a successful author. I hope you enjoyed it, and know that anything worth doing takes work. There is no easy way, even when you love it.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »


%d bloggers like this: