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Archive for January, 2013

Meet Author Crystal Linn

Crystal Linn-photo 

Author Crystal Linn says, “I have written all my life. I wrote my first poem when I was eight and my first story when I was ten. The story was about my best friend and me traveling to Saturn. I have kept a journal and written poetry all of my life.”

Until the year 2000, Crystal never took her writing seriously, even though by then she had written many short stories and articles. She joined a writers’ group, attended writers’ conferences, and read everything she could find on how to be the best writer possible. Now, she’s blessed to teach, mentor, and encourage others on their path to becoming good writers.

Her first book was a small gift book of Renga poems, co-authored with a friend. (Renga is an ancient Japanese poetry form older than the Haiku, in which more than one person writes a poem.) Her second book is entitled, From the Heart, Volume One, and is an anthology on nurturing the inner child.

Crystal is pleased to tell us more about even more books she’s had published! “My third and fourth books were written together, sort of. While author Roger Rheinheimer and I were writing our Amazon top-selling series, Amish Forever, I wrote God’s Counterpoint for Mark Miller’s series ONE. God’s Counterpoint is the story of all of the miracles that happened during my husband’s cancer treatment. It has been over five years since he’s been in remission, the magic number for cancer survivors, and he’s still cancer free!”

Concerning the recent release, Amish Forever published by Trestle Press, Crystal tells us, “The publisher Giovanni Gelati read Roger’s first book, Amish Snow, and asked Roger if he would consider writing an Amish romance. Roger discussed Giovanni’s offer with his wife and then decided to write the book, but with a co-author. He placed an ad, and out of all of the many people who replied, he chose me. It’s been a perfect writing partnership, of which I’m continually grateful.”

Crystal and Roger will write more Ava and Zeke (the main characters in Amish Forever) stories together. Roger plans to write more novels on his own while Crystal will focus on writing parenting books and mystery stories set in the Pacific Northwest.

“I have more than twenty years of experience working with children and the adults in their lives,” she says. “I’ve worked from management positions in childcare centers to being a nanny and a tutor to being a foster parent. One thing that makes my parenting books different is I discuss how children think and how they view the world.”

An interesting fact about Crystal is that she and her hubby lived on a sailboat for a week in the Canadian Gulf Islands and learned how to sail. Often bald eagles escorted them, and once an orcaCrystal'sDog swam next to their boat and gave them a full breach. She even wrote a devotional about that experience. She also has a rescued pooch named Rosa, whom she simply adores.

A very special time in Crystal’s life occurred the weekend after 9/11 when her husband kept reservations to celebrate her birthday at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (She and hubby live in the state of Washington.) Crystal was very moved by the happenings of 9/11. She says, “I still weep when I recall how concerned and passionate our friend and neighbor, British Columbia, was and still is for us Americans. Churches and businesses collected donations to help those devastated by the 9/11 attacks.” 

Another close-and-personal tidbit about Crystal involves a family member. “My great-great grandfather was a missionary doctor to the Oregon Territory,” she says, “and I still have some of his herbal recipes, studied herbs, and alternative medicine. I make my own herbal tinctures and look forward to starting an herb garden once again when I have the time.”

But for now, Crystal is too busy writing!

Linn.book.cover

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The Importance of Keeping Detailed Notes

Writing both fiction and nonfiction has taught me how important it is to keep detailed notes while writing the book manuscripts. Now after having both genres published, I’m able to say, “I’m glad I did,” not “I wish I had.”

When I wrote my Bible study guide, DRAW ME CLOSER, LORD, I had pages of notes for each of ten lessons, including websites for references, information about other authors’ names, addresses, and contact information whom I cited, Bible verses used, and so on. I listed in a separate file all the details I needed to go back and research or get additional information on any of the above entities of the written work.

Only after I submitted the manuscript to my publisher did I find out how valuable all that information was. The editor needed additional references for the bibliography at the end of the book AND she needed permission from all poets whose work I cited in the book. Now that was a task to complete! One poet had passed away, but I received a nicely written permission slip from the poet’s husband. Some poems had publishing rights’ fees attached to them (such as poems written by Helen Steiner Rice), which forced me to delete those poems and insert others that had no fees. But with all this additional work, I can’t imagine how much harder it would have been had I not recorded where I found all the poems and quotes that I had used.

When writing my two fiction series, THE KEYSTONE STABLES and THE LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY, I made detailed notes of all the characters, primary, secondary, and even the “insignificant” ones. I recorded lesser characters, whether they had a name or not, such as the man selling Scottie puppies at the farmers’ market who had his vending spot next to my main character’s table in LOVE SONG FOR LOUELLEN. For the more important characters, I described their physical appearance and often their demeanor, personality, or likes and dislikes. I also listed the names or details of all places, including towns, counties, farms, homes of main characters, route numbers of roads, and descriptions of many of the places or scenes.

Why is this important?

If you’re writing a 150-to-400-page book, you need to know if you used the name “Joe” for any character, even if he’s just the guy fixing a flat tire at a garage. If you’re writing a series, which can take months or years, how are you going to remember whether Joe’s name was ever used for any character? Go back and read all your work? Uh huh.

In my LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY SERIES, a three-volume set, I kept detailed notes, and I’m ever glad I did. Now that my publisher wants me to write an additional twelve short stories (5000-8000 words each) based on the characters in the three novels, I can go back to my pages of notes and see who’s related to whom, which farmers’ market is in Ohio, who the parents and siblings are of the main character in each story, which character in the book series likes sewing, which one loves horses, which one is a young widow, and so on. The initial work it took to open new files and start listing persons, places, and things has been well worth the effort. Believe me!

So, my advice to you is, if you’re writing a book or a series, keep detailed notes on everything you write. Yes, it’s extra work, but in the long run, you’ll be saying, “I’m glad I did,” not “I wish I had.”

Check out my LOVES OF SNYDER COUNTY SERIES, now as e-books. BACHELOR’S CHOICE is in paper and TEACHER’S PET and LOVE SONG FOR LOUELLEN will be released in hard copy no later than April.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Love+Song+for+Louellen

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The Hublers’ New Year’s Day 2013

Great way to start the day and the new year

Great way to start the day and the new year

On our way to look for bargains

On our way to look for bargains

Mocha Frappe

Mocha Frappe

Wal-Mart.1.1 (1)

Chicken and sauerkraut on for supper!

Chicken and sauerkraut on for supper!

Gimme food!

Gimme food!

A little work to start the new year

A little work to start the new year

I said, "Gimme food!"

I said, “Gimme food!”

Rose.Parade.Sign.1.1.13

I'm too tired to get up. Please bring my dish here.

I’m too tired to get up. Please bring my dish here.

A wild turkey visiting in our yard

A wild turkey visiting in our yard

The Marine Band in the Rose Parade

The Marine Band in the Rose Parade

I will NOT look at that stupid camera again. I hate that flashing light!

I will NOT look at that stupid camera again. I hate that flashing light!

Yes, a little more work to start the new year clean

Yes, a little more work to start the new year clean

Beautiful horses ridden by Marines. Hubby was a Marine, and I'm still nuts over horses.

Beautiful horses ridden by Marines. Hubby was a Marine, and I’m still nuts over horses.

And if you don't soon feed me, I'm going to sue. Happy New Year everyone! ( I think.)

And if you don’t soon feed me, I’m going to sue. Happy New Year everyone! ( I think.)

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