The Kentucky Christian Writers’ Conference

Last year, I did my big conference rounds and attended every single writers’ conference I could possibly attend. I drove thousands of miles, flew across the country a few times, and logged 30 trips when I sat down and prepared my taxes. THIRTY.

One that stood out to me was the Kentucky Christian Writers’ Conference. It was so well put together and the people were just amazing. As a Kentucky Christian writer, it was wonderful to find a place to connect with so many other writers who share my belief. I filled out the information card at the end of the conference and expressed an interest in being a part of the conference.KCW-Logo

Ahallees class few months later, I was invited to be part of the planning committee! I’ve spent several Saturdays this year meeting with this amazing group of people planning this year’s conference. This past weekend, I joined about 60 other Christian writers and just had an AMAZING conference. Jesse Florea from Focus on the Family was the keynote and delivered several inspiring speeches. I taught two classes (one twice) – Seven Steps to Successful Self Publishing and Writing Fiction with a Realistic Christian Worldview. My classes went well, the feedback was super, Gregg met with several authors for Olivia Kimbrell Press, and we networked and visited and prayed with writers from all over the place.

I am so blessed to be part of the planning of this conference. Look forward to hearing more and more about it as next June approaches and the conference gears up again!

 

Categories: About Hallee, Life | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Interview with Author Teresa Pollard

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m so happy to introduce you to Teresa Pollard. I really enjoyed Teresa’s wisdom as I read through this interview. I am also fascinated by the storyline of her upcoming release, Not Ashamed. Read on to see what I’m talking about. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Hi, I’m Teresa Pollard. I’m the author of two books already out, Not Guilty (written with Candi Pullen) and Tokens of Promise, and I have two more due out this year from Hope Springs books called Not Ashamed (also written with Candi Pullen) and Woman of Light. I’m a Mom, a Grandma, and I’ve been a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty some years. Although I’m not from a Christian family, I came to know Christ at an early age. I was married for forty years, but I’m now divorced. I live in Dacula, GA, and I write a blog every Tuesday called Teresa Talks Taboo: Applying God’s Word in an Ungodly World. Join me at http://teresatalkstaboo.wordpress.com. I’d love to have your comments.

not ashamedTell us about your current release. Not Ashamed is due out in July. The sequel to Not Guilty, it’s the story of Charity Wright, a young woman born of the rape of her mother, Carrie Shepherd Wright. Charity comes home from Africa determined to confront her rapist father, but before she can, she’s caught up in a murder mystery. Can she learn to forgive, or will her anger lead her to her own destruction?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. Not Guilty sat on my shelf for thirty years before it was published. But it had been read by a few people in my church and where I worked in the meantime, and I knew it had already impacted them. Yes, my desire is to reach many, because I think there are a lot of hurting people out there it could help, but if it helps even one, it was worth it, especially in God’s eyes, and that’s who I seek to please.

teresa pollardDo you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Not at all. I have a GREAT publisher in HopeSprings. They have the same goals I do: to reach people for Jesus in an entertaining, but meaningful way. They’re a pro-life publishing company that sees publishing as a ministry. Yes, we all want to reach as many people as possible and be successful, but money isn’t the primary goal. Serving our Savior is.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? In a lot of it, Christianity. It’s like we’re so afraid of offending the audience, that we don’t really deliver the message. On the other extreme, there are those who would leave out the fun. We have to engage our reader. Let them see real people they can relate to, with all their flaws and foibles, and see them find the answers they need in Christ.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I’m an old lady, so that’s a lot of headlines. I was in an eighth grade English class at Manchester High School in Richmond, VA when John Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, TX. The principal’s voice came over the intercom to tell us the news, and that all classes were immediately canceled. I still remember the utter silence. I don’t ever remember it being that quiet before or after. It was like we were even walking on tiptoe instead of the usual noise of shuffling feet. Even the bus ride home was the same way. No one said a word. It was so eerie. It was like Death reigned that day. But, praise God, he doesn’t have the final say.

Not GuiltyWhat inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I have to laugh every time I get this question, because I started writing on a dare from a friend. No, I didn’t always want to write. I had a hard time writing a letter or a note on a birthday card. But I am a voracious reader. So my friend gave me a grocery bag of Harlequin romances. After reading most of them, I complained to her that they all had the identical plot. I said, “I can write a better novel than this,” so she dared me to. I’ve been writing ever since. Like I said though, it took thirty years for the first one to get published. My creative writing professor told me I never would. He said my writing was too “righteous” for any secular publisher, and too “sexual” for any Christian publisher. I had to agree. I thank God that He raised up a publisher like HopeSprings that is willing to tackle the real issues that face women today.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Yes, and yes. I generally have a general plotline before I start, and I know where I’m going, so it’s like I know the beginning and the end, but I do allow the characters to develop themselves along the way, and sometimes to surprise me with their own twists. This allows some interesting subplots to develop, and also gives fodder maybe to be developed in a future sequel.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? As Nike says, “Just do it.” Write, write, and write some more. Don’t worry about getting it published. It it is His will, it will happen in His timing. First you must find your voice. What do you want to write about? What thrills your soul? If you’re writing just to please an audience, forget it. It’s not worth it.   Let Him show you the way to express your passion. In the meantime, your writing will show you things about yourself that you didn’t even realize, and if you share your writing with your friends, it can inspire them too.

Find Teresa online on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

 

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Christian Fiction Friday: June 19th

Welcome to this week’s edition of Christian Fiction Friday brought to you by me and my lovely and talented co-host, Alana Terry! This is a chance for Christian authors to post short snippets from their works in progress! Easy and fun!

This week, I’ve been working on the audio book for book 1 in my Jewel Series, Sapphire Ice, so I thought it would be fun to do a snippet from that book.

Sapphire Ice, Book 1 of the Jewel Series

Sapphire Ice, Book 1 of the Jewel Series

ROBIN propped her elbow on the kitchen table and rested her forehead in her hand. She stared at the calendar in front of her, with horror. Somehow, the week snuck up on her and here she sat, the morning of the night of Tony’s mega Viscolli Corporate Christmas party. “What am I supposed to wear to something like that?”

Maxine groaned and stretched, graceful as a jungle cat and with just as much pent up energy. “I wish you’d mentioned this before the actual day of.”

“Honestly, I was hoping that something would happen that would keep me from having to go.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. Flood? Meteor? Locusts? Terrorist attack?”

“Okay. Let me think.” Maxine rubbed her forehead, wishing the sinus headache would quit interfering with her thoughts. “Ugh, my brain is not functioning this morning.”

“I knew that live Christmas tree you bought would mess with your allergies,” Robin said with a touch of humor and a dose of concern.

“You enjoy saying, ‘I told you so?'” She took a delicate sip of her orange juice. “It’s in the back alley. Maybe a cat will use it as a scratching post. Or something more heinous.”

“All I could find is Midol.” Sarah came into the kitchen and set the bottle in front of Maxine, who sighed and popped open the tamper proof lid with one thumb.

“Well, my headache might not go away, but at least I won’t have cramps.”

“It has aspirin in it. Your headache will be taken care of.”

“I was joking, Sarah. Sarcasm. Ever heard of it?”

“Only since I moved in here.”

Robin groaned. “What is wrong with you two? You’ve been snapping at each other since yesterday morning.”

Maxine stared at Sarah. “If you don’t tell her, I will.”

Sarah tore her eyes from Maxine’s and stared at the table in front of her. “It’s just that… um, I mean… well….”

Maxine swallowed two of the pills with her juice and slammed the glass down, wincing at the sharp sound. “What little sis here is trying to get out is that she isn’t going down to Florida with us for Christmas.”

The words cut straight to her heart. Hoping she could keep her expression under control, she glanced at Sarah. “Oh? Did something come up?”

Her sister refused to meet her eyes. “Well, it’s just that mom and dad have never had Christmas without me. I mean, I know I’ve never been with you, either, but –”

Maxine tossed her hair over her shoulder. “Her mommy started crying.”

Sarah gasped and looked up. “You are horrible.”

“No, you are. Robin works so hard, and you’re constantly putting your parents in front of her. That was great when you were fifteen or even seventeen. We were happy you didn’t have to live our lives, then, but you’re an adult now, Sarah, and you need to learn that your mother manipulates you to keep you right there by her side.”

“That’s not true!”

Maxine raised her voice. “You want to bet? The woman cried when her nineteen year old said she had the opportunity to fly down to Florida in a private jet and spend three days in a mansion on the beach.”

“No! She’s just worried about who…” Sarah gasped and jerked her eyes in Robin’s direction.

The pain in her heart twisted like a knife. Oh, yes. What kind of element might the streetwise Robin and Maxine expose their precious Sarah to unchaperoned? The glow of a week of basking in the glory of God, in her newfound salvation, in her relationship with Tony started to dim. Robin put her hands over her ears. “Stop it! Both of you! I don’t want to hear another word.”

Now it’s your turn! Just link your Christian Fiction Friday! Here are the rules:

1. Christian Fiction Friday is a blog hop where authors post short (400-ish words or less) snippets from their current works in progress (not published pieces).

2. Keep it PG-13 or lower. No swearing, no sex scenes. If you have a particularly violent scene or deal with a heavy or controversial subject matter, please include a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.

 

Suggestions:

1. Visit at least some of the other Christian Fiction Friday authors each week and comment on their blogs.

2. Don’t offer critiques unless the author specifically asks for it in his or her post.

3. Please include this blurb at the end of your weekly post:

Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman.

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Categories: 1. Sapphire Ice, Christian Fiction Friday, Novels | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

My Favorite Romance Plot-Line with a Two Book Giveaway!

I’m on Inspy Romance​ today giving away talking about my favorite romance novel plot-line. I’m also giving away an autographed paperback of Topaz Heat and An Aria for Nick! Come say hi. You can get there at this link.

Topaz Heat, Book 3 of the Jewel Series

cover-front_9781939603128_640

 
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Christian Fiction Friday: June 5th

Welcome to this week’s edition of Christian Fiction Friday brought to you by me and my lovely and talented co-host, Alana Terry! This is a chance for Christian authors to post short snippets from their works in progress! Easy and fun!

Today, I’m giving you a snippet of my upcoming book Valor, part 8 of The Virtues and Valor series.

“That’s our cue,” Leo said, slinging his bag over his shoulder. He lifted his pistol and fired, but the distance was too great for any real accuracy. He merely intended to provide Matthew cover fire as he grabbed his rifle. “Let’s go.”

Despite low crawling toward the cover of trees, they continued to receive fire. When Leo felt like it was safe to stand, he moved to a crouch and instanteneosly felt a searing pain rip through his stomach. He fell back to his knees and Matthew shot the uniformed soldier who stepped out of the treeline. As the man fell, Matthew reached toward Leo and grabbed him by his arm.

“I got you, Valor.”

If his arm hadn’t been around him, Leo would have collapsed. The pain took his breath away and caused nausea to swirl in his gut. Inside the treeline, he paused and leaned against a huge pine. Matthew pushed his nose into his face. “No stopping. We have to go.”

Shoring up whatever minuscule strength he had left in his limbs, he gripped his stomach with his hand and leaned into Matthew, who bore his weight and raced them through the woods.

Now it’s your turn! Just link your Christian Fiction Friday! Here are the rules:

1. Christian Fiction Friday is a blog hop where authors post short (400-ish words or less) snippets from their current works in progress (not published pieces).

2. Keep it PG-13 or lower. No swearing, no sex scenes. If you have a particularly violent scene or deal with a heavy or controversial subject matter, please include a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.

Suggestions:

1. Visit at least some of the other Christian Fiction Friday authors each week and comment on their blogs.

2. Don’t offer critiques unless the author specifically asks for it in his or her post.

3. Please include this blurb at the end of your weekly post:

Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman.

Categories: Christian Fiction Friday, Virtues and Valor Series | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Interview with Author Margaret Brownley and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m so pleased to bring you veteran author Margaret Brownley. Margaret has been writing and publishing books in the Christian market for 20 years! I so enjoyed this interview and LOVE the premise of her new book, Undercover Bride. Please enjoy this interview as much as I did. Margaret is also giving away either a paperback or an ebook (winner’s choice) of Undercover Bride! Read on to see all of the different ways you can enter!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

First, thank you for letting me visit today. As for me, I was always a storyteller and constantly in trouble as a child for day dreaming. The writer part was harder to acknowledge, partly because English was my least favorite subject. I wasn’t that good in history either. I’m probably better qualified to be an astronaut than a writer of historical novels. Despite these flaws I’ve published more than thirty books—not bad for someone who flunked English, don’t you agree? Just don’t ask me to diagram a sentence.

undercoversmallTell us about your current release.

Undercover Bride is the second book in my Undercover Lady series (though the books stand alone). Pinkerton operative Maggie Michaels travels to Arizona Territory as an undercover mail-order bride to track down the notorious Whistle-Stop Bandit. If she doesn’t prove the suspect guilty before the wedding—she could end up as his wife!

Have you always wanted to write a book?

I can’t remember a time that I didn’t want to write. I wrote my first “book” in fifth grade (it was something like 30 pages long). All though high school I entered the yearly Seventeen magazine short story contests. My angst-driven stories didn’t even earn honorable mention.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher.

I don’t know that you ever completely push past the fear. When I sent out my first manuscript I was certain the editor would laugh and think it the worse writing she’d ever read. I was probably right on both accounts, but she was kind enough not to say that in her rejection letter. Even today, I’m nervous about sending a manuscript to my editor, and I’m usually biting my nails waiting for those first book reviews. Fortunately, the need to write my stories has always been greater than the fear of rejection or making a fool of myself and that’s what keeps me going.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?

I never really had a choice. I started writing twenty some years ago. Self-publishing was frowned upon back then, so I never considered it.   If I was starting out today I would still go with a traditional publisher. Self-publishing is just too much work and I really cherish an editor’s input.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

I believe that writer’s block is the subconscious saying that something is wrong with the story. So whenever I’m stuck I go back to the beginning to see where I might have made a wrong turn. If the writing bogs down around page 50 I try changing a character’s name. Believe it or not, that often solves the problem. A character is pretty well defined by page 50 and sometimes “outgrows” his or her original name. For example I recently realized that my heroine’s feminine name just didn’t suit her tomboy ways. Once I figured that out, the story took off again.

MargaretBrownleyWhat do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction?

Christian fiction has come a long way in recent years, but we still have a ways to go. I’d like to see more character diversity and more honest emotions. Some characters are too good to be true! I also think labeling our books as Christian fiction turns readers away. God didn’t say to share the gospel with other Christians; He said to share it with the world. It’s a shame we have to label the books at all but since we do I prefer we call it inspirational or hope fiction.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

My advice it so enjoy the journey however long it takes. An aspiring writer has the luxury of giving a book all the love, time and attention it needs. Once you’re published you’ll have deadlines and a bunch of other stuff to think about. Trust me, you’ll long for those pre-published days.

Find Margaret online:
Website, Twitter, Facebook

Find Undercover Bride at the following locations:

 

 

 

Barnes & Noble:

 

 

Enter to win either a paperback or ebook of Undercover Bride!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


Categories: Readers Write to Know | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments