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Meet the Author: Dave Fessenden

Dave.Profile

 

It’s April Fool’s Day, But This is No Joke!

When I asked Dave Fessenden if he minded being my featured guest on April Fool’s Day, he said, “That’ll be a hoot!”  But Dave’s no fool when it comes to the writing and publishing world.

I’m not sure exactly where Dave Fessenden and I crossed paths, but it’s been a while back. I think it might have been at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference, where we’ve both been on faculty numerous times over the last 12 years or so. He’s taught workshops from not only an author’s P.O.V., but from an editor’s and publisher’s P.O.V. as well.

Dave is an independent publishing consultant with 20 years experience in editorial management for Christian publishers with a B.A. in journalism, an M.A. in religion, and over 30 years of experience in writing and editing. In previous positions Dave served on the communications staff of Elim Bible Institute and was an editor of a regional edition of the largest Protestant weekly newspaper in the country.
His Writing Career

Dave humbly tells me, “I’ve published five books, produced study guides for two titles by A.W. Tozer (published in the back of the books), written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and edited numerous books. I’ve recently completed a 10-year stint as a regular columnist for Cross & Quill, a Christian writers’ newsletter, and I’m a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences.” Dave also conducts Sunday school teaching workshops based on his book, Teaching with All Your Heart. His latest book, Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract, was published by SonFire Media in 2011.

Dave’s quite excited about his latest project, his first novel, The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy. “In this book” he says, “Sherlock Holmes’ smarter brother, Mycroft, teams up with Dr. Watson’s son, Thomas, to solve the murder of a bootlegger and his card-playing cronies in 1920s Philadelphia. It’s scheduled to be published in 2013.”

Dave plays guitar and has written dozens of songs. When he proposed to his wife, Jacque, he did the logical thing: he wrote a song! “It must have worked,” he says, “because we’ve been married now for 34 years.” (Dave and Jacque live in Central Pennsylvania and have two adult sons.)

What About Dave’s New Book?

“There are three rules for writing a book,” a famous author once said. “Unfortunately, no one knows what they are!”

“It’s true—to some extent,” Dave says. “The process of writing a book is shrouded in mystery, and is probably the main reason why so many potential authors are simply treading water. Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract helps take the confusion out of the process. Concept to Contract merges practical advice with spiritual counsel so the approach emphasizes the inspirational impact of the author’s material.”

Dave is adamant about writers striving to publish a work of which they can be proud. “To produce a complete, publishable manuscript that will have a real ministry, you need to do a lot of praying, a lot of thinking, a lot of study, a lot of research—and very little actual writing at first—until the creative pressure, the spiritual burden, builds to a critical mass. At that point the book practically writes itself! Well, not really,” he adds. “But if you follow the methods I teach, writing a book should be a bit easier, a bit less mysterious. Concept to Contract can show you how.

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A Few of Dave’s Endorsements:

Many would-be authors are passionate about their nonfiction topic, yet challenged to navigate the world of publishing. Dave Fessenden provides a focused plan for success. Read this book. No, do much more than read it; you need to study it carefully.

W. Terry Whalin, author of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (www.jumpstartdreams.com)

 I’ve compiled an anthology, Writers on Writing, and composed two of my own books for writers. Plus I’ve taught writing at hundreds of conferences and colleges during the past thirty years. But I have to admit I’m just a bit jealous of David’s Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract. He’s managed to collect and communicate—in his warm and witty style—all the basics from “concept to contract.” A great resource! I just wish I had written it.

                                                                                                                                James N. Watkins, author of Communicate to Change Lives and Writing with Banana Peels

Helpful, humorous, and honest, Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract is more like a comprehensive conversation on conceiving and crafting a quality book rather than a stiff, starchy how-to-write-a-book book. Laced with great quotations and personal anecdotes, it’s easy to follow and fun to read. Don’t be misled, however: Although this book eschews pedantic pedagogy, it delivers on its promise to clarify the process of crafting a concept so that it lands a contract. Thanks, Dave, for sharing these insider secrets!

Patti Souder, director of the Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference

 

 

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MEET THE AUTHOR/EDITOR: BARBARA SCOTT

 Barbara Scott - Agent (2)

I first met Barbara Scott at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July of 2001. She was then the acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz (the children’s division of Zondervan) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I was a struggling writer who had gone to that writers conference to try to sell a series of Bible study guides to a company interested in Christian non-fiction. I had no idea who Barbara was nor did I think I’d be interested in writing juvenile fiction at that time in my writing career.

However, in one of the editor/conferee private appointments, on a whim, I met with Barbara and showed her a short story I had written about a girl in a wheelchair who learned to ride a horse. Unbeknown to me, Barbara was looking for someone to write a juvenile girl/horse series for Zonderkidz. We talked for a while on the front porch of Dreyer Hall at the Montrose conference, she liked my writing style and twenty-plus years’ experience with children and horses, and she shared her idea with me. Without going into much more detail, let’s just say the best-selling eight-book KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES was conceived, and the rest is history.

Barbara’s that kind of gal whom you want to be your best friend as soon as you meet her. She’s warm, friendly, and often laughs at your stupid jokes that aren’t funny at all. But on top of that sparkling personality, Barbara is “street-wise” and is a walking dictionary when it comes to writing, editing, and publishing.

Barbara Scott Has More Than 30 Years of Publishing Experience, ranging from newspapers and magazines to Christian books for all ages. As a senior acquisitions editor, she is credited for kicking off a well-rounded series of bestselling YA novels at Zondervan and quality, highly reviewed novels at Abingdon Press.

Barbara also says, “I’ve worked with both fiction and nonfiction authors and sold their work to numerous publishers while a literary agent for WordServe Literary Group. I’m also a published author, and currently I’m writing and editing under the banner of my own company, Heartland Editorial Management”  (http://www.heartlandeditorial.com ).

Barbara’s Credentials:

Barbara has a long list of credits that are quite impressive. “I’ve partnered with best-selling authors such as Brandilyn Collins and Melody Carlson for the YA fiction line at Zondervan, and many of the authors in my fiction launch at Abingdon Press received rave reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal.” Two of her authors at Abingdon Press, Cynthia Ruchti and Richard Mabry, were nominated for Carol Awards by ACFW in 2011, and Nancy Rue, one of her authors at Zonderkidz has sold more than one million copies of her various children’s and YA series there. The fiction line at Abingdon Press exceeded all sales expectations.

Her Background:

Barbara’s educational background includes a M.A. in English from National University, a B.A. in English from Missouri Southern College, a Certificate in Film from the Mass Media Institute at Stanford University, a graduate-level course in child development from Calvin College, training in screen development with the Robert McKee Story Seminar in Los Angeles, and numerous sales, management, and customer service training courses.

I would say this woman is highly qualified to write and edit, wouldn’t you say?

Barbara’s “Secret” Life:

Asking this amazing gal to share something really interesting that most folks don’t know about her, I found that she’s definitely has had an exciting life.

 “As a teenager, I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol (an auxiliary to the Air Force) and went through ground flight school, two weeks of boot camp on an Air Force base, and learned how to rappel down cliffs, shoot a rifle, and hunt for downed civilian planes. I was a lot braver then and in much better shape! Also, by the time I finished college back in the Stone Age, I had attended twenty-seven schools, and I received my Master’s Degree in English at the age of sixty.”

What else can be said about a gal who’s “been around”?

All I can say is Barbara knows her stuff when it comes to the publishing world, and I’m eternally grateful to her and God for giving me the opportunity to write from my heart and to write about what I love: horses, kids, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Visit Barbara’s daily tips, inspirational quotes, and encouragement for writers on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Barbara.Scott01 and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BarbaraScott01.

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A HORSE TO LOVE

Volume One in THE KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES

Keystone Stables Book 1

 Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/A-Horse-Love-Keystone-Stables/dp/0310717922/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363616301&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Horse+to+Love+by+Marsha+Hubler

 

 

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