Why I Write

Whether it is a book fair, author fair, a writers’ conference or any event where there are authors and an audience, there is one question that is always asked is, “Why do you write?” or “What got you started writing?”. Usually, this is asked by people who, deep down, would love to be writers. They just don’t know how to get started.

Some authors say they just always knew they were a writer, from the time they learned how to put pencil to page as a child. Some authors say it began due to one defining experience in their life. As for me, becoming an author has been a journey. Growing up, I was always talented in both reading and writing. But, I knew no creative outlet for it.

After my divorce in 1989, I began journaling for my own peace of mind. After God healed and delivered me about four years later I began studying God’s word, that led to writing essays, then Bible studies, followed by the church newsletter and then newspaper articles.

Over the years, I have written for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Then, I took the very long journey to self-publish my first book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence Victims. Today I continue to write for all these opportunities and I write speeches, teach writing classes and speak at writers’ conferences. But, this is only the how.

The writing talent is a gift from God, my creator. When God created me in my mother’s womb he created within me the gift communicating, the gift of putting words together in a way that expresses information and feelings to all who will read and listen to those words.

After I received God’s healing and deliverance after my divorce I asked God two things. First, I prayed that God would show me what He did in me so that I could help someone else come to healing. Second, I asked God to let me do with words what my artist friends did with paint and canvas. God showed me two amazing visions of what he did in me and I share it whenever I share my testimony of healing and deliverance.

So, why do I write? I write to inform people. I write to encourage people. But, most importantly, I write to give glory to the God who created me, saved me, healed me, delivered me and restored me to him after the most painful period in my life. I write to give glory to the God who provided for me, protected me and helped me care for my family and raise my children to love God and who are now raising my grandchildren to love God.

To God be the Glory for all that I am and may ever become. May His will be done.



Adventures in Creativity

The Bible says that “In the Beginning God created…” Because human beings were created in the image of God we have creative abilities as well. Just look around you at the beautiful creations in art, music, architecture, sculpture and literature. I especially love literature. I have been an avid reader since I first learned to read as a small child. I think I kept Scholastic Books in business in grade school and I’ve probably bought and sold enough books over my life to stock multiple bookstores. For that reason it’s not unusual that I became a writer and a publisher.

This summer I decided it was time to take the next step and open my own bookstore. I call my business Hat Rack Books, LLC and my first act as a new business owner is to host a Christian Author Fair that I call

Adventures in Creativity which is being held Saturday, November 15 from 9 am to 9 pm at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel at the I 270 and Roberts Rd exit in Hilliard, OH. There you will find 9 local Christian authors who will share information about their books, provide books for you to purchase and sign the ones you buy. Check out the Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/753008828071239/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Be sure to like the page and sign up to let us know you’re coming. We look forward to seeing you there.



A Perfect Day to Sell Books

     The Farmers’ Market was already bustling with activity when my fellow author Carolyn Williams and I arrived. Vendors that included Four Sisters Farms, jewelry, fresh fruits and vegetables, and bath soaps gathered to sell their wares.  As we set up our table, our light spring jackets keeping off the morning chill, we prepared ourselves to sell our books to the early morning shoppers. The booth to our left drew a crowd with the owner’s beautiful German Shepard dog and The Four Sisters were really sisters.

      My friend’s husband is her best book promoter. He is from this town and knew a great many people we saw that day. He was constantly greeting someone he knew and bringing them over to hear about our books and hopefully buy a copy. We met so many people in just that one day as they walked up and down the aisle, some coming to hear our sales pitch and others staying in the center to avoid any sales pitch. There were men and women, couples and singles, young and old.

      As the morning passed I pulled out my tan, cotton, ball cap to shade my eyes and cast off my jacket that was so needed in the morning. The cool breeze combined with the rising sun did wonders for my mood. My daughter, who lives in another state, says she knows what the weather is like from the sound of my voice.

      We spent the time talking to customers about our books, sometimes taking turns pitching our own book or each pitching the other’s book. We also talked about future plans with our books and other activities we share. We talked with former acquaintances and made some new ones.

      As the time drew to an end the vendors began to pack up and leave. My friend and I vowed to take turns the next trip and walk around to check out other vendors’ products and meet more people. Between us that day my friend and I sold twenty-five books, not bad for three and half hours in a market designed to sell fresh fruits and vegetables.

      Moral of the story: You never know where you might sell your product, be it animal, mineral or vegetable. Just go where the people congregate to buy and sell and you are bound to sell something.

     For those not able to visit our local book signings in Ohio you can buy my book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence Victims, from my website and Caroline’s book, Mystery in the Pines, which is available in hardback, paperback or Kindle.


Moving from Unpaid to Paid Writing Jobs

Previously I offered you some ways to gather those first published clips. Most of them were unpaid. Although it’s ok to start that way at some point I’m sure you want to get paid for all your hard work. I have to admit I started with many of those ways because I wasn’t sure anyone would pay me. Not only did I struggle with self-esteem issues but I had been taught my entire life up until then that anything artistic was a nice hobby but to earn a living you had to get a “real job”.

My first paid writing assignment came from the depth of my passion. I had been divorced many years previously due to domestic violence and went through several years of pain before I found healing through my faith in God. When you have survived a traumatic life experience and you come out on the other side victorious you find that you can’t wait to tell others how you overcame. Not only do you want them to celebrate with you but you want to help others to overcome too. After writing for a small Christian newspaper I was ready to expand my audience and help more people and hopefully get paid for my writing.

My denomination,Church of God out of  Cleveland, TN, has its own publishing company, Pathway Press. I began by calling them, not the suggested method of first contact with a magazine, but I didn’t know any better back then. Frankly I’ve done a lot of things that weren’t according to the book in my life because following the rule book tended to keep me in a place I knew I didn’t belong.

When I called the offices of Evangel Magazine, the general magazine of Pathway Press, I spoke with the person who answered the phone about the article I wanted to submit. I didn’t even know how to look up writer’s guidelines back then. We had a lengthy conversation; thankfully my employer didn’t mind. They were very interested in the article and advised me to just send the article. Soon after that my first article, “Domestic Violence, The Harsh Realities and Victorious Living” was published in October 2000 for their regular payment for feature articles. I included two sidebars, one with domestic violence statistics and one with a list of additional resources for readers. Since that time I have published several articles on a variety of subjects that includes not only domestic violence but education, parenting, summer camp and world missions.

So, if there is a subject you feel passionately about write about that. Your passion will resound to your readers if you write honestly. If there is a publication where you share a common connection, for me, my church, contact them. I still write for my church’s magazines on occasion. My pastor contacted me for my most recent article. Common connections and personal passion are great ways to break into both a subject matter and specific publications.


Tip of the Day May 26, 2012

Write for online sites like Examiner.com or Studio 101. They operate on a pay-per-click model so you have to build your site and draw advertising so writers here don’t necessarily make any money. It depends on how much effort the writer puts into their site. You have to apply to write about a specific subject and need some type of clips such as you could have gathered from your other writing. You also need to include a letter selling yourself as the best person to write for the subject you chose. I wrote about domestic violence for Examiner in my local area and about education for Suite 101 for a short time.


Tip of the Day May 22, 2012

Write for non-profit newsletters for an organization or charity you support. Since charities operate on limited budgets this will not pay but it is a great way to exercise your writing skills and get published with an organization that has a following, whether in print or online. Plus you get the added benefit of supporting a cause that you champion.


Tip of the Day May 18 2012

Write for your church newsletter. Whether you write opinion pieces, news articles, feature articles, jokes,or comics, all these are opportunities to get your writing published. I first wrote articles for our church newsletter and later became the editor. I developed experience planning each month edition, assigning articles to other writers and gathering photos for each issue. You could also offer to write articles about your local church news for the denomination’s publications. Mine has several and I have had articles in the general magazine, the magazine for leaders and a regional magazine. Write songs for the music department if that is what you write.

If you don’t belong to a church, any club or social group can offer the same experience as long as it is a regular publication.