Friday, January 30, 2009

Louisiana Saturday Night with Neil Connelly

I am so excited about today's interview. Author Neil Connelly lives right here in my town and I've never had the pleasure of meeting him. Years ago he spoke to my writers' group, Bayou Writers, but I was unable to attend. I was invited to hear him speak to a reading club, but I didn't make that either. I'm thrilled to host this interview and that Neil took time to answer my questions.

1) First, tell us about yourself, what you do, or even what you want to do.

I take care of two sons, 2 and 4, with my wife Beth. Beyond that, I am Director of the MFA program at McNeese State. It’s a job I’d do for free, because I get to talk about what I love with people who love it.

2) Tell us about your path to publication, how long you’ve been writing, how long it took you to publish

I joined the program at McNeese as a graduate student in 1993, though I’d been hack writing for maybe 7 years before that. My graduate thesis, a version of which was submitted in 1995, ultimately became my first book. St. Michael’s Scales was published in 2002. It was followed by Buddy Cooper Finds a Way in 2004, which was done by Simon and Schuster. 2010 will see my next novel, currently titled, The Healer Boy’s Sister. I just signed a contract on that one.

3) How much do you know about how your books are going to be structured, who the characters are, and what the plot is going to be, before you start writing, and how much comes to you during the writing process?
My pre-planning is very loose. I believe in following the characters over one’s plan, even one’s intellect. Doubt, to me, seems an essential element of life, and when trying to recreate a sense of life, uncertainty should be there. So, for example, my first book follows a boy as he contemplates suicide in the 14 days up to his birthday. And yes, sure, I had a notion of what he would do, but it changed and my feeling fluctuated as I wrote. While I had a pretty good scene in mind one way, I forced myself to remain open to possibilities. Otherwise, for me at least, manhandling a character toward some pre-determined end is akin to telling my 4 year old he’s going to get married at 18 and be an astronaut. That’s not how it works.

4) What has been your biggest frustration within the publishing industry and how have you dealt with it?
Biggest frustration is rejection, which is dealt with by writing. I had a dear friend tell me that some writers, even if they knew no one would read their work ever, would still be compelled to write. I’m one of those, and I think I’m lucky. (This isn’t to suggest I onely write for myself, or that I don’t think the reader is important. Quite the opposite.)

5) How has your writing grown since the early days of your career?
I trust myself more, I suppose. Fred Astaire, late in his career, couldn’t get a dance step down. He finally told the director that the problem was the choreography. Basically, if his feet couldn’t do it, it couldn’t be done. I’m very open to criticism, but my gut has developed some strong instincts, and I’ll live and die by them.

6) What do you dread the most when you sit down to write?
Maybe this is part of the last question, because I remember dreading, I remember worrying that I’d write stale crap or be boring. And sure, I may do that now. But I know I’ll recognize it and just not save the file again. I know that my career as a writer is decades long, and that today is crucial for today, but insignificant in the long run. That attitude helps with the dread thing.

7) If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were a beginning writer, what advice would you offer?
Listen to more advice. Really, everybody asks for advice, but very few people are really open to it, ready to change how they feel about their work. Maybe it’s part of the learning curve, figuring out all that you don’t know.

8) Do you have a critique group? How would you advise beginning writers about critiquing each other? If you don't have one, who were your early readers and how did they help you? My training was in an MFA workshop, and I oversee one now. I could write a book on this, but when you read someone else’s work, read it first as a reader and secondly as a writer. React, respond, record your emotional experience. Sure, you can add later all kinds of suggestions and techniques for improvement, but first--primarily--be a reader. Begin with this--just write “Interested” or “Bored” next to every paragraph. Really, try it.

9) Many writers describe themselves as "character" or "plot" driven writers. Which are you? Did you strive to be that kind of writer or did it come naturally for you? I’m a character writer, which is not to say I’m divorced from plot or devalue it. But I’d rather a reader think, years later, “That book was about Frank” than “That book was about a bank robbery.”

10) What would you like to say to writers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?
I’ll quote my teacher, Robert Olen Butler, on some advice on cutting or throwing away stories: “You must trust that your imagination is inexhaustible.”

11) What is the best writing advice you've been given, and what is the worst?
It’s the same statement, interpreted differently. “Write what you know” is the worst advice when you take it to mean “Write the truths you’ve already discovered.” If you write from a theme-based perspective, I worry that you end up with a sermon. “Write what you know” is good advice (the best? I don’t know) when it means “Write about the things you have unique knowledge of--jobs, places, etc.”

12) What’s your greatest publicity/marketing tip and does promotion come naturally to you? I’m terrible at promoting. Terrible.

13) What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I love playing with my boys, who like stories and are very imaginative. That’s good for the batteries.

14) What kind of research, if any, went into the writing of your book? I draw almost entirely on my own imagination for the bulk of my content. Now and then I may call a doctor or a mechanic to make sure I’m not screwing something up. I’m not opposed to research; just never found myself really writing a book that demanded it.

15) Where and when can we buy it, and tell us what's next for you? (and anything else you want us to know). Oh, Amazon’s got St. Michael’s Scales and Buddy Cooper Finds a Way. Probably for a penny each, though they stick you a couple bucks for shipping.

Thanks for the interview, Neil. Okay, everyone! The Healer Boy's Sister will be available in 2010. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Christian Writers' Market Guide 2009

Every year I purchase the Christian Writers' Market Guide, and I'm never disappointed. I refer to it over and over again. This year in one updated and revised volume, I get the latest information on:
416 book publishers (32 new)
654 periodicals (52 new)
96 literary agents
100 new listings in Resources for Writers
226 poetry markets
316 photography markets
25 African-American markets
166 contests (29 new)

Invest in your future by purchasing the Christian Writer's Market Guide. Study it, use it, familiarize yourself with magazines, publishers, contests, and I promise you will see a difference in your growth as a writer. This essential reference tool can be purchased online from the following retailers:
From the publisher:
For 24 years running, the Christian Writers’ Market Guide has remained the most comprehensive, complete, essential, and highly-recommended resource for Christian writers, agents, editors, publishers, publicists, and those teaching writing classes. And it’s the tool for both for beginners and industry veterans. This perennial guide contains a variety of indexes–listed by topic, alphabetical listing of publishing houses and agents, and more–to more than 1,200 markets. Those markets include greeting cards and specialty writing, e-book and traditional book publishing (32 new listings), and periodicals (52 new). Also listed are 96 literary agents, more than 100 new writing resource listings, and 166 contests (29 new).

As with the guide for the last couple years, a CD-Rom is included and contains the text of the book for simple, electronic searches. But the 2009 Guide is handier–a more reader-friendly page count with 100 pages or so of traditional content (like indexes and contest listings) now exclusively on the CD-Rom. Readers will get the same trusted content, though, as in years past. In fact, the latest information on more than 100 editors and publishers, conferences, writers’ groups, and more are not only listed and indexed in the book, but this year, readers will get a code in the book and on the CD-Rom for accessing more updates through the year on author Sally Stuart’s web site,

Sally E. Stuart is the author of thirty-six books and has sold more than one thousand articles and columns. Her long-term involvement with the Christian Writers’ Market Guide as well as her marketing columns for the Christian Communicator, Oregon Christian Writers, and The Advanced Christian Writer, make her a sought-after speaker and a leading authority on Christian markets and the business of writing. Stuart is the mother of three and grandmother of eight and lives near Portland, Oregon.
She also has a great blog!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Louisiana Saturday Night with Florence Case

It's such a pleasure for me to introduce Louisiana author Florence Case. Flo has been a wonderful encourager to me. We're both members of RWA's Faith, Hope and Love chapter, and when I share my frustrations and hurts with my online writing family, Flo has wonderful words of wisdom and encouragement. In my mind, Flo is proof that God uses the Internet too. He sent Flo to be my friend.

Flo has great answers to my interview questions. I hope you'll read to the end and leave a message because I'll be giving away two copies of her book, DEADLY REUNION as soon as it hits the stands.

1.First, pitch your book to us the way you would to an editor at a conference. We need to learn how to do it.

The thing is, I don't really do pitches well, so please don't think of this as an example, but rather a description DEADLY REUNION.

Police Officer Angie Delitano finds out her estranged sister is engaged to be married to a man Angie believes, with all her heart, is guilty of murdering his former wife, but was declared innocent, thanks to his expert lawyer—Angie's ex-fiance, Boone Walker. She gets a lead on some buried evidence which could overturn the "not guilty" verdict, but halfway to the place she plans to try digging it up, her life is threatened. So she goes for help to the only person she really trusts--Boone.

Even if the two get past whoever is threatening her life, Angie still has a huge dilemma. She walked away from Boone when he chose helping his client instead of her, giving up the chance at family she desperately wants. Reconciling with her sister and mother would give her that family again. But if she succeeds in stopping her sister's wedding, they'll never speak to her again because, hey, she's done the same exact thing before to her sister. And if she doesn't succeed, her sister could be marrying a time bomb.

2) Tell us about your path to publication and how long you’ve been writing.
I began wanting to write fiction in third grade as soon as I got my first library
card and started devouring the Dana Girls mysteries, Nancy Drew and basically any other book they would let me take home. At around ten, I wrote my first suspense short short. As I got a little bit older, I started watching the handsome heroes on westerns in the mid to late 60's. Wanting to give them all someone to fall in love with, I began writing romances with lots of suspense, giving all those handsome cowboys lovely ladies to save for their happily ever afters. From there, I graduated to making up my own heroes and heroines, and finally sold in my early thirties.
Since then, I've had three historical romances published as Florence Moyer, and five category romances for Silhouette lines published as Hayley Gardner.
DEADLY REUNION is my ninth book, but my first for Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, and I'm contracted for MISTLETOE AND MURDER, which will be out in November, 2009. Although I am now writing Christian romances, I thank the Lord for every sale He allowed, for I was able to work at home and be available for the many times my son, who was born with severe mental delays and autism, needed me.

3) How much do you know about how your books are going to be structured, who the characters are, and what the plot is going to be, before you start writing, and how much comes to you during the writing process?

Here is how I wrote my last book, and it worked well: I like to plan a book around some part of life I find fascinating. For instance, the initial seed that started DEADLY REUNION was the question—what would happen if a murderer was declared not guilty, but only on a technicality, and then he showed up wanting to join your church and sit among you because he had repented of the very murder he'd been found not guilty of? The very idea even now causes emotional reactions in me. From it, I got the idea of a heroine who might be confronted with a man she was certain was guilty of murder trying to worm his way into her family. Or was he? Then I thought of the best kind of hero for her, who would be "against" her, too, for very good reasons of his own. I made their conflict as emotional as I could. I kept working with those elements until everything was as unique as I can make it. Once I had the heroine's goal, I created the synopsis. It wasn't as detailed as I normally wrote though. So as I wrote the book, I had to start explaining certain factors, and it all fell into place through imagination. One character took flight and became an important part of the book. So I like things planned, but I also like to allow space for creativity, too.

4) Who are some of the writers who influenced you?I'm not sure I was influenced by writers. My own inquisitive character means that I love asking questions about puzzling situations and trying to figure out answers or solutions to them.. I love suspense and trying to figure out "who done it," while being scared somewhat. Okay, I like being scared in fiction a lot. If someone disappears or something bad happens, I come up with a hundred scenarios around it. I really like romance. And I LOVE funny, witty people who are not afraid of being unique. But that's all ME, and not an influence of writers. I write what I love and what is almost instinctive, which is all of the above.
But I admit to being drawn to the writers who have elements of the above in their stories. For instance, Lisa Scottoline, who writes really neat characters and situations that keep me guessing and lots of danger—and all so well. Janet Evanovich's Plum series because she does the NJ wit and it's fun to read about places where I was born and raised. Misty Simon's Ivy series because her characterization and series set up is so memorable.
Wait, I just thought of one exception. Nora Roberts influences me in that she works so hard. I strive to do that.

5) What has been your biggest frustration within the publishing industry and how have you dealt with it?
Honest, my biggest frustration is and was with myself, not the industry. I always wished I could write more proposals during those years when I was caretaking my special needs son while my dear husband worked long hours, including two and three weeks straight sometimes while on military duty. The only other frustration is that the historical romance market with books centered in the US—especially the old West—died down in the last ten or so years. I LOVED writing and reading those both. If the publishers stopped buying them because of lack of sales, it wasn't lack of sales to me.

6) How has your writing grown since the early days of your career?
I think I'm funnier. Hopefully. Maybe. Otherwise, I'm not sure. My readers could probably tell me better. Unfortunately, I'm not at all funny this evening for some reason.

7) What do you dread the most when you sit down to write?

Nothing. I LOVE what I do. Okay, maybe my hands getting sore. But beyond that, I'm very happy.

8) If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were a beginning writer, what advice would you offer?
I probably would have just offered to babysit for her, because she was doing the best she could, and was doing everything right, but it all just had to come together for her. Babysitting would have been the best help.

9) Do you have a critique group? How would you advise beginning writers about critiquing each other? If you don't have one, who were your early readers and how did they help you? My best advice to beginning writers is to first READ. When I was trying to break into category romance after publishing in historical, I read over fifty category romances in a row. Took three months. I logged what worked in them for me, and what didn't. I learned a lot. It had to have helped me most, because I sold the very first category romance I submitted--HOLIDAY HUSBAND.

10) Many writers describe themselves as "character" or "plot" driven writers. Which are you? What do you find to be the hardest part of writing? I used to be plot driven, now I try to be both. The character determining the plot, in other words—with lots of fun twists and turns in both the plotting and the characterization. (I hope.) Hardest part of writing—making sure I stay off the internet.

11) What would you like to say to writers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?
Ask yourself if you're meant to be a writer. Signs? You try to quit, but you keep going back to writing. You keep envisioning scenarios about people and stories. Anything else you do for pleasure or work makes you feel incomplete. And/or you have a background involving any or all of the following: You always had a book in your hands; you'll stay up really late to read a good story; English was one of your easiest subjects; you like to spin unique tall tales or embellish on things when you tell what you've been up to. You have opinions on lots of stuff and find people fascinating. If you see yourself anywhere in the above, and you have strong skills, you'll need perseverance. Don't worry about if the market is out there. Just keep writing.

12) What is the best writing advice you've been given, and what is the worst?
If a book doesn't sell, write another one is the best. I don't worry so much about this "book of your heart" thing, because if that doesn't sell, you have too much emotionally invested in it, or maybe you'll think you do. Instead, make a subject you're passionate about the heart of your novel. (Um, that's not advice I read, that's from experience.)

13) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I like to write in the evenings and at night best.

14) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Knitting and crocheting items to give away to others. Reading, reading and more reading. And once a week, taking my son bowling. He doesn't use gutter bumpers and has gone from a 40 average a few years back to getting a lot of scores in the 130's, and even a 174 and a 186. He also sings with a group called Attitude of Gratitude for people in nursing and assisted living homes, keeping up with them because he listens to the songs and memorizes the words. My son is a young man now, and he's very, very cool.

15) What kind of research, if any, went into the writing of your book?
Actually, a lot. I researched handling of evidence, double jeopardy as it pertains to both civil and federal law, the area the book is set in, police uniforms, the color of the lights on patrol vehicles in the applicable state, etc. I am meticulous about research, as I don't want a reader falling out of the story if they know something is wrong.

16) Where and when can we buy it, and tell us what's next for Florence Case? (and anything else you want us to know)

DEADLY REUNION is available now online at (Click on Steeple Hill in the menu, and then click on the second Love Inspired in that list, and then find the February release link on the page that comes up.) In February, it will be available at any WalMart, Books a Million, etc--any store that sells Harlequin series books.

My next release, God willing, will be MISTLETOE AND MURDER, a November 2009 release, also from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. (Also w/a Florence Case.)

The only other things I wanted to say is that I hope everyone enjoys this book. And thank you, Jess, for inviting me to be interviewed.

My pleasure, Flo, and I have no doubt readers will devour DEADLY REUNION and grumble because they can't get their hands on MISTLETOE AND MURDER. :)

Please visit Florence at but for right now, leave us a message for a chance to win a copy of DEADLY REUNION.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good-bye Waldenbooks

We're having sad days here in Lake Charles, LA. After 23 years, we're losing our Waldenbooks. This is where I had my first book signing, sitting right there where the pink All Bargains 50% Off sign is.
The salespeople in Waldenbooks knew their business. They knew their inventory. They didn't scratch and look puzzled when I asked for a title. They actually recognized the title--no matter what it was. I can spot a reader and a book lover. Do you think it was mandatory that anyone who worked for Waldenbooks had to be book lovers?

With Waldenbooks gone, we'll be left with BAM, an over sized gift store that carries books. Nope, not a fan, but I will go there. After all, they're the only 'show' in town now. No town should have only one bookstore.

Especially MY town.

Monday, January 19, 2009

CFBA Presents Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus

I'm probably the world's worst when it comes to hanging with a book if it doesn't grab me immediately. My daughter gets disgusted with me. She reads about 40 books a year, HUGE, THICK classics and best-sellers, while I read about 140 first pages a year. I'm searching for . . . for what? That perfect first page? No, I'm trying to find a book that will make me forget I'm reading fiction. A book that will suck me right into the story as if I'm there, living, breathing, laughing, hurting with the characters. I expect those characters to mean something to me, become my friends. Am I asking too much? I don't think so.

I'm happy to introduce Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus. I started reading the first page and before I knew it, I was on the second chapter, and then the third and then . . . What really thrilled me about this book is that I don't only like the heroine Anne Hawthorne, I admire her. She's real. She's not a cliche. She's a lady I'd like to know in real life. In fact, she the kind of lady I might like to be. I'm not finished with Stand-In Groom but I can assure you I'm enjoying every well-constructed sentence. If this debut novel is a hint of things to come from new author Kaye Dacus, then we readers are in for a real treat. She's a perfect example of a writer who has learned the craft of writing; she's an expert at characterization. For certain, she's an author to watch.
This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Stand-In Groom Barbour Publishing, Inc (January 2009) by Kaye Dacus


Kaye Dacus is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there.

She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. But her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through her website and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.


When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman?

George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancee when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Stand-In Groom, go HERE

What they're saying about it:

“Dacus pulls off a delightful story that places readers in the heart of the South with the debut of the Brides of Bonneterre series. Readers will enjoy this look at how lives are transformed through devastating events and how forgiveness is the key to a promising future. Nothing is as it seems in this heartwarming story.”
Romantic Times, 4-Star Review

“Absolutely delightful! I enjoyed Stand-In Groom from cover to cover! Ms. Dacus’s clever story and wonderful prose will draw you away to a place deep in the heart of Louisiana, surrounding you with the scents, sounds, and sights of the deep south. A story filled with romance and intrigue, betrayal and forgiveness, I found myself laughing, crying and rejoicing right along with the characters.”

M.L. Tyndall, author of The Falcon and the Sparrow and the award-winning Legacy of the King’s Pirates series

“Stand-In Groom is as sweet, beautiful, and chaotic as a perfectly planned wedding. Anne is a bright and wounded heroine you’re going to care about for a long time. George is a hero to capture your heart. Kaye Dacus will take you along for a fun, poignent ride in Stand-In Groom.”
Mary Connealy, author of the Lassoed in Texas series and Of Mice...and Murder

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thank you, Jesus!

Some of you have asked about our friend Alvaro Garcia. There was a time we didn't think Alvaro would make it, but God has chosen our friend to be a miracle. Alvaro has regained consciousness. He was 'out' for a month. All his ribs are broken, his lungs are punctured, he has a broken hip, he had to have a tracheotomy for the breathing tube, he can't speak, but today, he can write, he responds, and he's been moved to rehabilitation and is in physical therapy.

We met Alvaro Garcia a couple of years ago when we rented an apartment in Houston. It all started with a nod. I walked to the dumpster and this wonderful, smiling Hispanic man nodded at me. I spoke. From then on, we always had a smile or a wave for each other.

When we were transferred to Beaumont in 2008 our paths crossed again. Alvaro was there too. I remembered his sweet face and he remembered us. We did more than nod and wave--this time we talked, like old friends who hadn't seen each other in awhile. We seemed to have a lot of catching up to do. Alvaro zoomed around the apartment complex in a golf cart, answering calls and needs when things broke down. He was a conscientious worker who took great pride in what he did. Every time we passed in the parking lot, he on his little white cart and me in my CRV, we'd wave like teens passing in the halls at school. Over and over and over again, waves and smiles. Several times I'd come in from the grocery store and Alvaro would zoom up beside me.

"Can I help you carry the bags inside?" he'd ask.

I'd always say no--he didn't need to be waiting on me--but then we'd stand and talk for ten, fifteen or twenty minutes. I struggled to understand -- his accent was thick, and I'm sure he had trouble with my southern diction. Didn't matter. We enjoyed visiting and getting to know each other.

Ever meet someone who seems happy to the very core of his soul? That's the way I saw Alvaro Garcia. His smile was genuine and contagious. His joy was authentic. He worked hard, and he actually seemed to like working hard. So when he became dissatisfied with his job, it seemed only natural that we would help him find work elsewhere...and that elsewhere was with us at a refinery in Beaumont.

I still remember how my stomach knotted when he motioned toward his little white car and told me he planned to commute to work every day. Premonition? No, probably just my own fear of traveling that treacherous I-10 on a daily basis. Those of you who have been praying for Alvaro know the rest of the story; he was hit by an 18-wheeler.

I just wanted to share how special this man is to me. For no other reason than he brought joy into my life when he breezed by in his little white golf cart, smiled and waved. For no other reason than he stopped to chat and offer to carry my groceries. For no other reason than he asked how I was doing every day. I can't think of him without crying. I can't help but feel a little responsible that he was traveling to Beaumont from Houston that day with snow and ice on the highways. You see, that's how dedicated he was to his work. He wouldn't be late or play hookey for any reason. Which is the very reason my husband hired him. Alvaro Garcia could be trusted to do his job and do it well. How many people do you know with such dedication? I only know two: Alvaro Garcia and my husband. :)

God has answered our prayers. He's saved our friend. But please don't quit praying. I have no idea if Alvaro will be able to work again, but I'm asking God for a complete healing inside and out. I want to see this man smile again, laugh aloud, and recapture his joy. And when he does, I want to take a picture of him so you can see it too. I want to show you his kind face, not an empty golf cart.

Salmos 62:8 (Reina-Valera 1960)

Esperad en él en todo tiempo, oh pueblos; Derramad delante de él vuestro corazón; Dios es nuestro refugio. Selah

Psalm 62:8 (The Message)

My help and glory are in
God—granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—
So trust him absolutely, people;
lay your lives on the line for him.
God is a safe place to be.

Psalm 62:8 (King James Version)

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

No matter how we say it (or not) it's true.

Monday, January 12, 2009

CFBA presents KISS by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Thomas Nelson (January 6, 2009)
Ted Dekker
Erin Healy


Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.

After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.

Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. Dekker's body of work encompassing seven mysteries, three thrillers and ten fantasies includes Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven, Blessed Child, A Man Called Blessed, Blink, Thr3e, The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, White), Obsessed, Renegade, and Chaos.


Erin Healy is an award-winning fiction editor who has worked with talented novelists such as James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, L. B. Graham, Rene Gutteridge, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Robin Lee Hatcher, Denise Hildreth, Denise Hunter, Randy Ingermanson, Jane Kirkpatrick, Gilbert Morris, Frank Peretti, Lisa Samson, Randy Singer, Robert Whitlow, and many others.

She began working with Ted Dekker in 2002 and edited twelve of his heart-pounding storiesbefore their collaboration on Kiss, the first novel to seat her on "the other side of the desk."

Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a Colorado-based consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She and her husband, Tim, are the proud parents of two children


Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name. Shauna.
I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. In the room was my loving boyfriend-how could I have forgotten him?-my uncle and my abusive stepmother. Everyone blames me for the tragic car accident that left me near death and my dear brother brain damaged. But what they say can't be true-can it?

I believe the medicine is doing strange things to my memory. I'm unsure who I can trust and who I should run from. And I'm starting to remember things I've never known. Things not about me. I think I'm going crazy.

And even worse, I think they want to kill me.

But who? And for what? Is dying for the truth really better than living with a lie?

Sometimes dying with the truth is better than living with a lie.

After a car accident puts Shauna McAllister in a coma and wipes out six months of her memory, she returns to her childhood home to recover, but her arrival is fraught with confusion.

Her estranged father, a senator bidding on the White House, and her abusive stepmother blame Shauna for the tragedy, which has left her beloved brother severely brain damaged. Leaning on Wayne Spade, a forgotten but hopeful lover who stays by her side, Shauna tries to sort out what happened that night by jarring her memory to life. Instead, she acquires a mysterious mental ability that will either lead her to truth or get her killed by the people trying to hide it.

In this blind game of cat and mouse that stares even the darkest memories in the face, Shauna is sure of only one thing: if she remembers, she dies.

If you would like to read the first chapter of KISS, go HERE

Watch the Video Trailer

What people are saying about KISS:
“The human brain could actually be the real final frontier—we know so little about it and yet it drives the world as we know it. So when authors like Erin and Ted bravely explore these mysterious regions, going into complex places like memory and soul and relationships, I become hooked. The creativity of this suspenseful story is sure to hook other readers as well. Very memorable!”
~Melody Carlson, author of Finding Alice and The Other Side of Darkness

“Dekker and Healy prove a winning team in this intriguing, imaginative thriller.”
~James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Try Darkness

“Kiss by Erin Healy and Ted Dekker is a superb thriller that hooked me from the first sentence. The original plot kept me guessing, and I may never look at a kiss the same way again. I’ll be watching for the next book!”
~Colleen Coble, author of Cry in the Night

“The writing team of Erin Healy and Ted Dekker has taken me through a page-turner with Kiss. It’s one of those books that you think about when you’re not reading it. I highly recommend it, especially if you don’t mind staying up late because you can’t put the book down!”
~Rene Gutteridge, author of Skid and My Life As a Doormat

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

Here we are several days into 2009. I suspect this year will race by as quickly as 2008. My head is still spinning.

I haven't made any resolutions. Decided not to this year. I'm just going to roll with the flow and let the chips fall where they may. (I might want to kick the cliches, huh? They can't be good for my writing.)

I have a feeling I've already gulped much more than I can chew for this year. I have way too many lofty ideas--for other people. Maybe I should make some New Year's resolutions. Okay, here's one: this year I resolve to write more--especially short pieces. I think I've fallen in love with essays. Go figure!
Here's another: this year I resolve to aggressively pursue publication--especially my short pieces. And another? Oh no no no, this one's secret. :)

Hope your holiday was special and that 2009 will be everything you want it to be.