Amy Clipston author event tonight!

If you live in the Harrisburg/Concord area, come out tonight for an Amy Clipston speaking engagement hosted by Rocky River Readers Book Club at Rocky River Presbyterian Church, 7940 Rocky River Road, Concord, NC at 7:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Amy is a Christian fiction writer who specializes in writing Amish fiction. Even if you haven’t read any of Amy’s books, come out tonight to hear her speak. She will also have her books for sale.

Back to my novel manuscript

I must stop letting life interfere with my writing! I’ve been so busy this summer making things to try to sell on Etsy in my online shop, Hickory Ridge Crafts, that I have neglected my writing. Dr. Kyle Hite’s sermon this morning at Rocky River Presbyterian prompted me to return to my Spanish Coin manuscript this afternoon. It was fun getting back to it and getting the synopsis polished.

I started writing The Spanish Coin in 2004. The manuscript has evolved from historical fiction into Christian historical fiction. This was a slow process as I tried to discern God’s will.

What’s next? Writing the dreaded query letter and seeking a literary agent.

I’m back!

When I wrote on Christmas Day that I was ending a chapter in my writing life, I didn’t realize that I would completely drift away from my writing blog. I must be the worst blogger in history. I have good intentions of doing better in the future, but I think I’ve said that before.

Author A.J. Mayhew (The Dry Grass of August) gave me some excellent constructive criticism in January. As a result, I am reviewing my Spanish Coin manuscript with a more critical and educated eye. I’m slowly tightening up the dialog and look for word repetition. At the same time, I’m looking at the landscape and physical space in the manuscript and striving to describe the setting so that my future readers can better visualize Nancy Richardson’s home and the lay of the land in the Waxhaws. It’s tedious work, but I do enjoy it when I can set aside a block of uninterrupted time.

I’m also working on a magazine article proposal about the effect the Civil War had on the Rocky River Presbyterian Church congregation. It’s hard to break in as a freelance writer, so wish me luck!

In February, the Rocky River Readers Book Club read Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton. I’d read the book in 2010 but enjoyed reading it again. It’s a compelling story that makes the reader have serious thoughts about our justice system.

Other books I’ve read this year are The Midwife of Venice, by Roberta Rich; Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin; The Shunning, by Beverly Lewis; The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, by Wendy Welch; Fireflies in December, by Jennifer Erin Valent; and My Name is Mary Sutter, by Robin Oliveira. I recommend all of them to you. If you like historical fiction, My Name is Mary Sutter definitely needs to be on your reading list.

I just finished reading Fireflies in December on my Kindle and look forward to reading the sequels.

There are so many things I want to write about and read about, while sewing, quilting, and crocheting to put new items on Etsy to sell. HickoryRidgeCrafts is taking more of my time than writing lately. I’m struggling to strike a balance.

Hearing published authors inspires me

A few weeks ago the Rocky River Readers Book Club had the privilege of having Amy Clipston as our guest speaker. Amy writes Christian Fiction and has found a niche in writing about the Amish. If you get a chance, check out her books.

Sunday night the Rocky River Readers’ guest speaker was Anna Jean Mayhew. The Dry Grass of August, her first novel, was published in 2011 to rave reviews. It follows a 14-year-old white girl in Charlotte in 1954 as she learns first-hand how blacks are treated as second-class citizens. Anna Jean (who writes¬†under the pen name A.J. Mayhew), is working on her second novel. I can’t wait to read it!

Who would have thought a little community book club meeting at a church in a semi-rural area would attract two published authors in one year?