Monthly Archives: March 2015

Inspiration for Rafael Wulffson

 

 

Rafael Wulffson- Magpie's Masque

Rafael Wulffson- Magpie’s Masque

My newest Medieval, Magpie’s Masque, is getting into the homestretch of publishing. I do love the ChristKeepers series and especially all the interesting characters. And I especially love getting to spend some time in Medieval England and Scotland during the writing of them. The other night I was saying my bedtime prayers, in my mind, and I realized I was using that specific Medieval cadence I write in for this series! I’m sure the Lord understood me! But it did feel strangely King Jamesy… if you know what I mean.

I loved both Titus [Mercy’s Heart] and Ian [Faith’s Keys], they make strong romantic heroes who are also real guys. And Rafael Wulffson [uncle to Titus- and one of the characters of Magpie’s Masque] is another hero I’ve fallen in love with.

Of course, he’s handsome. But he’s also flawed and complicated. He’s got a compelling backstory. He’s the ultimate black sheep who is redeemed over the course of the story.

If you’ve read any of my other novels, you know I’m a sucker for a cynical, tough guy whose life is completely regenerated by God by the time the book is over. Rafe is my darkest, most damaged hero yet. And that makes him yummy on so many levels 🙂 !!

Anyhoo, I thought I’d post an image of him so you can sort of see who he is. The release date on Magpie’s Masque is June 1st. The book trailer will be up on my youtube channel by the middle of May. Hope you roll by there and take a peek.

LNF, Grace

 

Change in The Wind for Grace Walton

Dawn This Morning at Sea Glass Cottage

Dawn This Morning at Sea Glass Cottage

The other day, as my dear hubby and I were taking our constitutional, he happened to mention that he felt that spiritually, and in our life in general, there were some changes coming . Taking his words to heart, I began using my Blessings Book [where I write all the things I’m thankful for] as a Prayer Journal.

My sweet grandma once told me that prayers are like chicken eggs- the barnyard variety. After about 30 days they hatch. Now I don’t know where she got such a saying, but over the course of my life I’ve seen that it’s true.

If I write my prayers out, go back in a month, I’ll see that God has always answered them. Sometimes they aren’t answered in the way I would choose. But there’re always been a resolution.

So when Hubby said he felt change was coming for us, I started keeping a Prayer Journal again. And sure enough there are some exciting new opportunities coming our way. I can’t say much about them yet. But just knowing they’re coming is pretty neat!

Please keep my family in your prayers as we take this next journey together. I sure would appreciate being included on your prayer list. And please know you are on mine. I pray every day for the folks who read my books.

I pray God uses my writing in the lives of others, just like He’s used authors in my own life. Most of all, I lift you up  to Him with petitions for His grace and  peace.

Maybe your life is one of change too. If it is, I pray you’ll follow the Lord’s leading- just like I’m trying to do 🙂 !

LNF, Grace

Magpie’s Masque

Magpie

Magpie

Some of you may have read the first two books in my Medieval Inspirational Romance series The ChristKeepers. Magpie’s Masque is the third in that series and features the love story of Rafael Wulfsson and Magpie.

In the earliest book, Mercy’s Heart, Magpie is a child. In the next book, Faith’s Keys, she is a young woman. She is a very resourceful and independent character who continually gets into and out of scrapes. She is cheeky and quirky, but she’s also possessed of a very strong faith.

She has met her match in Rafe.

He is also featured prominently in the first two books. He’s a rake and a scoundrel who has no qualms with doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Needless to say he is not a man of faith. At least not in the beginning of the story.

The novel opens as Magpie’s trying to break Rafe out of the Tower of London. He’s there because he’s offended the king, again.

Magpie makes some sacrificial choices and those lead to lots of yummy plot twists and angst. Along the way there are a Jewish eunuch, healed scars -both emotional and physical, and a very intriguing grand masked ball.

This book is about the futility of revenge, the healing of forgiveness, unselfish sacrifice, and of course, it has a heartbreaking love story. It’s set for a June 1st release.

Here’s an image of Magpie.

LNF, Grace

My Novel Notebooks… or How I Get the Story on the Page

One of my Book Notebooks

One of my Book Notebooks

I’ve had some folks asking me lately about how I get the novels plotted, scheduled, and finally finished. So it though maybe I’d post about that today. If you’re a writer or even if you’ve just been kicking the idea of writing around for a while. I really want to encourage you to not be afraid to start.

Yes there is a learning curve, not only in writing, but in all the behind the scenes stuff. The first manuscript I sent to a publisher broke every rule! And I didn’t even know what a query letter was 🙂 . But that editor was so kind to me. She actually read that train wreck of a manuscript and sent me a very encouraging personal letter. I know now how rare that is. At the time I just took it as rejection.

The first time I had a editor actually call me and offer to publish one of my efforts, I almost had a heart attack! I tried to act like I knew what I was doing as I spoke to her, but I was truly clueless. After I hung up the phone, I ran out into the backyard, skipped down to our creek, and sat on a rock just trying to catch my breath. I must of stayed down there forever because my husband came looking for me.

God’s been so good to me over the years as I’ve tried to learn to write and make my way through the publishing jungle. Please take these little tips in the spirit I offer them. I don’t know it all. Most days I’m still as clueless as I was when I spoke to that first editor. And what works for me may not work for you. But I’m glad to share what little I know.

My books always start out with a scene in my mind. Since I started out as a screen writer, that’s what works for me. The scene may come as a dream. Or it might be an offshoot from a conversation. One of my novels, Birdie Saves the World, came just from the heroine’s name and location, Savannah. One Nation Under gods came from a church billboard.

Next I start plotting the story in one of my little white binders. I’ve written about these handy little binders before. They have sections for character backstory, setting, Biblical themes, and most of all the dreaded outline.

My novels all begin with a twenty chapter outline. They include the cute meet, the end, the twist, and an epilogue that is a teaser for the next book in that particular series. I try to run my chapters to ten pages each. But of course, they vary especially after editing. And my outline is by no means set in stone.

I love it when the characters take off and the storyline changes. I used to be afraid of that kind of deviation, now it’s my favorite part of the writing process!

When I started writing, I promised myself I’d let myself have a learning curve. Every new skill requires one. And writing is not different from learning to bake a cake or sew a dress. it takes practice to get it right. If you’re just beginning your journey as a writer, use an online editor to help you get started. I like WhiteSmoke and Ginger. Using either will make for a faster cleanup when you’re finished with your rough draft. You want your manuscript as clean as possible before the real editing begins.

Once you’re done with that rough draft, celebrate. Let that story rest, go on to the next book you’re itching to write. After a few weeks you can go back to the 1st manuscript and do the first read through. I do at least three reads. And I catch errors every time. The cool thing about the Ginger editor is that it will read your book back to you. That helps catch some of the most subtle mistakes. And if your dialogue is clunky, hearing it will help you fine tune. You can read it out loud yourself too. I always do one or the other of these methods.

And I always write in ebook format for the rough draft. It makes it easier. The print books are formatted differently and writing in that format is awkward for me. I spent some time learning about formatting, and though it’s not the most fun topic, it is part of publishing. There’s loads of great templates, tricks, & goodies on the internet. You just have to google them. Take a few days to learn the shortcuts, and you’ll save yourself a ton of effort later.

Some folks are fast and furious writers. Some are goal setters. And some have hard and fast deadlines that are set for them by others. I’ve been all those writers at one time or another. Now I write 5 pages a day, or 10 if I’m on a really strict deadline. Five is my most comfy speed. But I know folks who only write one page a day. And others who write a whole novel in less than a month. You’ll find what works best for you.

If your genre is historical, do yourself a favor, research before you plot the book. There’s nothing worse than needing to scour the internet in the middle of the night to discover if folks used XYZ during your book’s time period- trust me on this. I have been there and done that. It is no fun.

My father-in-law, who was also an author, was so very encouraging to me when I began writing. He used to say, “Everybody’s got a book in them.” So, if you feel like you’ve got a book in you, please don’t be afraid. Just sit down and write. If it’s really awful, you can delete and begin again. Every author does that a lot! I’ve written here about how many times I rewrote TLRP. A couple of those times I got so weary, I just wanted to throw it out! But I’m so glad I didn’t. Because now it’s one of my favorites.

I hope this answers some of your questions and is helpful. LNF, Grace

Magpie’s Masque Book Trailer Coming Soon!

Dawn Over Our Bay

Dawn Over Our Bay

The trailer for my upcoming Medieval ‘Magpie’s Masque’ is in the works! I’m really excited about this one. I love book trailers because they are a part of the advertising campaign for each book that helps me visualize the actual story.

I hate to say it, but I’m just not a visual person. Movies are ok. And I love art, from a viewing standpoint, but seeing a novel like a movie in my mind just doesn’t happen for me. So it’s always pretty thrilling for me to see  one of my novels come to life in a trailer.

Now, since I just said I’m not a visual person, let me explain the image with this post. My dear husband of over 38 years is extremely visual. And he’s a great photographer. This picture is a photo he took this morning from one of our decks here at Sea Glass Cottage. It is dawn breaking over our little bay. I think it’s spectacular!

Hope the start to your day was just as beautiful! LNF, Grace

Inspiration for the Hero of My New Medieval

 

Inspiration for Rafe Wulfsson

 

As you may  remember, I’m deep into the writing process for another Medieval Inspirational Romance. This will be the third installment of my ChristKeepers series. I’m happy to say I’m making great process on this book and expect to easily make my deadline.

It always takes me a day or two of writing to get back into the rhythm of Medieval dialogue. Life was  very different back in those times. Slower, simpler, and maybe just a wee bit more spiritually focused. I think maybe, or mayhap  as Rafe would say, there was a certain sweetness and innocence.  And the way I imagine folks speaking to each other is lyrical. I need to account for those differences as I write the story.

There is also a great deal of research to be done when I begin a new historical. My novels are fiction, so they don’t adhere to a strict textbook retelling of historical events. But I do like to make sure the story has the strong flavor for what life might have been like for the characters.

And speaking of characters… here’s my inspiration image for the hero of this book- Rafe. You may remember him. He’s been featured in all the other books – Mercy’s Heart & Faith’s Keys .

I’m not like some writers who make elaborate story boards. I guess cause I’m just not that visual. But I spend time collecting images of people and places every so often. And I use these photos to help me when I’m writing descriptive scenes.

So,  now you know what Rafe looks like. He’s strong, damaged, fiercely loyal, but he’s also a rogue of the first order. It’s going to be fun seeing how he changes over the course of novel!

LNF, Grace