Posted on December 11, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
It had been a long day. A good one, yes, yes it was, but long nonetheless. The innkeeper yawned as he carried his money purse beyond the curtain where his family lay–his wife and his full quiver of children–their slumber so deep even the rustling coins wouldn’t wake them. He rubbed his belly as another yawn escaped. There was nothing like a full stomach to bring on needed deep sleep.
He hefted his purse onto the table. Judging by its weight, his family’s appetites would be fully sated for many weeks. This census that Caesar Augustus decreed, it was a good thing for the merchants in this normally sleepy town of Bethlehem.
Not so good for the travelers.
Every bed was taken. Every pallet slept on. Each blanket claimed. Even floor space was consumed by the visitors, yet much more was needed. He’d lost count of the number of weary souls he’d turned away, without an idea of where to direct them.
But that wasn’t his problem.
He sat at the table, preparing to dump out the day’s take when a pounding on the door interrupted. Likely another traveler. It was easier to ignore them than to peer into their longing faces. He took care dumping the coins on the table as noiseless as possible, but the knocking persisted, accompanied with a muffled, yet clearly desperate voice.
“Please, my wife is with child, and her labor has begun.”
The innkeeper stared at the thatched roof. “What more do you require of me?”
A feather weight rested on his shoulder. “Answer the door, dear husband.”
He sighed. His wife was not one to be turned down.
Shoulders heavy, he slouched to the door and tugged it open, his wife’s presence directly behind him. “I have no room,” he said gruffly, but then his gaze went to the young woman seated on a donkey led by a man. The woman was a child, yet great with a child of her own. The man held out coins, barely enough for a blanket. They would find hospitality no where else.
The innkeeper rested his hand on the man’s shoulder and softened his voice. “I am sorry, but we have no space available. Not even floor.”
“We do have space.” His wife came beside him, carrying a blanket, the blanket from his children’s bed, the last one in their home. “Wife, we have no room.”
“Yes, but the stable does.”
“The stable! That’s not fit for–”
“We’ll take it.” The young woman spoke up, pain flaring in her eyes.
The innkeeper just nodded as his wife handed him a bundle. “I will show you the way.”
This story always makes me consider the space we have in our home. The warmth. The food. Mary and Joseph merely wanted a roof to stay under, walls to keep out the wind, and they settled for the lowliest of places.
Unfortunately their plight is not that uncommon even today. In my county alone, there are hundreds of homeless families, many are teens on their own. The temperatures in Minnesota this past week have hovered around zero, and those teens have no place to stay.
The innkeeper didn’t know it at the time, but in providing for the “least of these,” he was providing shelter for our Savior. The innkeeper set the example–now it’s up to us to follow it.
Below, I’ve provided the link to one of my favorite organizations, one that helps homeless teens. I’d love it if, in the comments below, readers could provide additional links to organizations that help the homeless.
Help for homeless youth: http://hope4youthmn.org/
Posted on November 27, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
All too often, I speak to people who are disappointed with their careers. They go to work merely to make a living, not because they love what they do. Now, few authors can claim they make a living out of writing, but that isn’t why we write. There’s so much more to writing than putting words on the page. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
- Being there for my kids has been a priority in my life, hence my other career choice: full-time mom. Writing allowed me to be present when they got on and off the bus, to make all their concerts and other important events. My mom was always there for me–I’m grateful I could continue that tradition.
- As someone who contemplates every word before speaking, who thinks up witty comebacks days too late, writing is a complete joy. My characters can be quick thinkers who have stimulating conversations and excel at clever comebacks, and I can take minutes, weeks, months to tweak those conversations into perfection.
- I love being my own boss! I’ve always been an independent worker (or, as my siblings will tell you, I tend to be a little bossy), so working on my own suits me perfectly. I set my own hours, set priorities, make mistakes without judgment. It’s perfect!
- Writing helps me see people–events from a different perspective. I know it’s a bit crazy, but I intentionally choose to write stories about people whom at first glance, I probably wouldn’t like. Story telling encourages me to look beyond my first impressions into the heart of people. It helps me see them as God would, not as the world labels them.
- I’m blessed with abundant, lifelong friendships. Between my critique partners and Inkspirational Messages and ACFW MN NICE and more, I have more teachers and cheerleaders and prayer warriors than I ever imagined possible.
- Writing is my vocation–my calling. I love what I do. It brings me joy when I write a moving scene or type “The End” or even when I think up a particularly catchy phrase. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
- Writing is a form of worship – Olympic runner, Eric Liddell (of Chariots of Fire fame), is quoted as saying, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.” The same can be applied to writing: When I write I feel God’s pleasure!
How has your career choice blessed you?
When she traded small-town life for the bright lights of Chicago, Jennifer Edwards yearned to discover a world beyond Faith, South Dakota. So when her father’s illness calls her home to run their cattle ranch, she tells herself it’s temporary. Then why is she even thinking about a future with archaeology professor Brett Lange-the boy she left behind-whose life’s work is digging up the past?
Twelve years ago, Brett had a crush on Jennifer the size of the T-rex that put his hometown on the map. Now she’s a citified magazine editor who prefers designer duds to dungarees. Except that’s not the real Jennifer. Brett needs to make her see how a little faith can go a long way in uniting two perfectly-in-sync hearts.
Posted on November 13, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
College has been heavy on my mind lately. You see, we have one child about to graduate–how did four years go by so quickly? We have one child in his freshman year, and our third child just applied to his favorite school. These are such important years for our kids. It’s a time when they first go off on their own, and parents are forced to clip those apron strings–some succeed more than others. It’s a time when our kids come into their own and discover who they really are as they mature into adulthood.
For me, those first two years of college greatly impacted the rest of my life, and those are days I will always remember with fondness.
When I first went off to Golden Valley Lutheran College (aka GVLC aka Goldenvaluthren, as our esteemed president always pronounced it.), I was painfully insecure. My high school experience had convinced me I was invisible, even though I graduated as one of the top 10 students (academically). In high school, I didn’t make it into plays or the pop choir and never ranked in music contests. The school had student-run faith based groups, but I was never invited, and I certainly didn’t have the confidence to invite myself. I was even mocked for praying. None of that would have mattered if I’d had a close friend to share those disappointments with.
That all changed when I attended GVLC, a college where God was alive and welcomed and praised. GVLC was a cozy, junior college nestled in the middle of a first-ring Minneapolis suburb. The campus had one classroom building and four dorms that surrounded a bucolic pond–as long as you ignored the goose droppings. The shores of that pond were the stage for many impromptu mini-concerts and deep discussions–and some that weren’t so deep.
God blessed me with outgoing roommates–on the first day on campus, Pam practically dragged me to the freshman mixer. Pam, Annie, and Kay helped me get over that shyness by forcing me out into the world.
And in our neighboring dorm room was the most crazy-for-Jesus person I’d ever met, Kelly Jo–and at times, she was just plain crazy. (You all met Kelly Jo awhile back in this blog post: http://inkspirationalmessages.com/2012/06/lunch-on-the-deck/.) She taught me that the only opinion that mattered was God’s. I could and should be exactly who God created me to be.
For those two years, God gave me a gift: confidence. And I believe that newborn confidence showed through. My faith didn’t have to remain hidden. I couldn’t count the number of friends I made–my best friends then are still my best friends today. Professors respected me and expected much from me. I hope I didn’t disappoint them.
In those two years, I made the concert choir (which took me completely by surprise) and then the Madrigals (a select ensemble that included members of music group River.) I had soloes and duets. I tutored math and English. I was selected to be the Student Activities Commissioner and learned I could be a leader. And so much more.
I also learned to have fun, like stealing all the clothes from Kelly Jo’s dorm room (Remember, KJ, how you stormed the campus yelling, “Where’s my underwear?”?) There was the time a group of us did a Chinese fire drill with our RD driving. And then another time we helped ourselves to a large tray of donuts from the cafeteria–with the help of a very respected RA.
There were midnight walks to Super Valu where we’d pick up a gallon of ice cream and eat it all that night. And midnight walks to Winchells for a dozen donuts or to Perkins where Dan and Glenn would have pancake eating contests. And how can I forget Sharon and Lynn doing their Fame leap on Sunday night when our favorite show came on! (See, it wasn’t all about food.) Let’s see, we had all-campus devos with amazing testimonies and worship. Choir tours took us around the country. We rented videocassette movies (yes, this was well before DVDs and Blu-rays) for movie nights in the student union. Oh my, I could go on forever! That’s just a snippet of the highlights!
It was all so contrary to my high school experience.
I know I’m not the only one who grew at GVLC. In my opinion, college is so much more than getting an academic education, it’s about growing emotionally and spiritually as well. I’ve seen that happen with my daughter, and praying I’ll witness that in my sons.
No, this college wasn’t perfect. I know others had the complete opposite experience, but I do believe they were in the minority.
Unfortunately, our beloved school closed two years after I graduated. The campus is now occupied by a high school arts school, Perpich Center for Arts Education. I drove past it just the other day. The crosses have been removed. The girl’s freshmen dorms are no longer standing, and the main building has a large addition. But that doesn’t erase the memories that school created. It reminded me to be thankful for that gift God gave me and others.
What college memories do you have?
Until she starts receiving threatening letters from a stalker. The good news is, the Texas Ranger assigned to her case is none other than her former sweetheart Mitch Warren—the man who chose his career over love.
Mitch vows to focus on protecting the woman he’s never forgotten. But Caitlyn stirs up memories best left in the past. When Mitch insists on hiding Caitlyn away on his family’s San Antonio ranch, will he keep things professional or seek out a second chance?
Posted on October 30, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
Being an author is so much more than selling a zillion books or having an enormous fan base. Most authors I know get that concept, although there are always those who demonstrate otherwise. In my 8+ years of heavy-duty writing, I’ve encountered many published authors who go beyond their basic job description of writing books, but two authors stand out as people I wish to emulate.
Shortly after I started writing, I discovered a local Christian writing group, the Minnesota Christian Writers Guild. Among them was a newly published author who exuded friendliness, humility, and approachability: Sharon Hinck. As a new writer, I had an abundance of questions but didn’t really know who to ask until I was introduced to Sharon.
I didn’t approach her in person, but emailed a question, not expecting an answer back. After all, she was a Published Author and I was just a nobody! She replied that very day. After that, I emailed her once in a while with other questions, and always received a prompt and very helpful response. Then, one night at the Guild meeting, Sharon announced that she was going to be opening up her home periodically for writing retreat days. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up–many others felt the same way. These day-long retreats also involved some critique time, where all attendees were critiqued by smaller groups. Sharon treated everyone as equals–and she was just as nervous about being critiqued as the rest of us. Not only was she willing to educate, she was wide open to learning.
Over the years I’ve learned so much from Sharon, beyond the elements of writing. She’s become far more than an author, she’s become a friend. I only hope that I can be as open and approachable and giving as she has been. That’s far more important than landing on the bestseller lists!
Speaking of bestseller lists …
It’s easy to believe that bestselling authors are above us. How many of you have attended a booksigning by a famous author who doesn’t acknowledge you? They just sign their books then hurry to the next person. You can’t blame them, really, not when they’re tired, and their hand is cramping, and there’s a line with a few hundred readers still waiting. How would you keep smiling and treating each of those readers as important?
The late Vince Flynn is an author who did just that. My husband Marv and I attended his booksignings for many years. Each year, the Barnes and Noble would be packed with readers, many of them carting handfuls of books. At the beginning of the signing, Flynn would always talk about the book, then have a question/answer session. Then it was time to sign books. There were so many Flynn fans there that the store would give out numbers–it wasn’t uncommon to see numbers in the 2-300′s. We were usually toward the back of the line, so by the time we’d get to him, he was likely exhausted.
It never showed. He always talked to us, smiled, answered questions, signed 2 – 3 books … He was a big name author who never acted it. He was always friendly, humble, funny, honest. He was a regular guy, just one of us.
Should that day come when I’m the one sitting at that table, tired, writing with a cramped hand, I’m hoping I can be just like Vince Flynn.
Posted on October 16, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
I forgive you.
Three simple words.
An extraordinarily difficult act.
Chances are you can think of that person whom you’ve found it difficult to forgive.
That bully from high school …
The boyfriend who jilted you …
That person who hurt your child …
And honestly, who can blame you for withholding forgiveness? What that person did was unconscionable! They don’t deserve forgiveness, right?
Well, that’s probably true, because none of us *deserves* forgiveness. None of us. Not for gossiping about your neighbor. Not for yelling at your kids. Not for hiding that new shoe purchase in your closet. We don’t deserve yet, yet it’s given to us out of His amazing love. He set “But Go demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
Forgiveness isn’t about the offending person. It’s not even about us. It’s about Jesus. It’s about giving everything back to Him. Our our struggles, our hurt, our anger. It’s about laying all of that at the cross and leaving it there.
Picture, throwing a stone into the water. That stone doesn’t make a single splash, then leave nothing else. No, a ripple goes out from their, growing wider, affecting a large area.
And that’s how it is with forgiveness. When we’re able to release the grudge we hold against someone, that forgiveness ripples out, it’s a “…good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over …” A harvest of blessing will be our return.
Singer/songwriter Matthew West wrote a song entitled “Forgiveness” based upon a woman who forgave the drunk driver who killed her daughter. The blessings “…poured into their lap…” are innumerable. I encourage you to watch this video (with tissues) to see a living example of forgiveness’s harvest.
Posted on October 5, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
We’ve spent the past couple weeks talking about the benefits–and some of the downsides–of social media, and we figured our readers would love to know where to find each of us. We’d love for you to Follow … Like … Friend us, and we’ll even return the favor if you leave your links in the comment section.
- Website: http://lornaseilstad.com/
- Every Good Gift blog: http://lornaseilstad.com/blog/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lorna-Seilstads-Fan-Page/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LornaSeilstad
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lornaseilstad/
- Website: http://shannonvannatter.com/
- Inkslinger blog: http://shannonvannatter.com/blog/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shannontaylorvannatter
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/@stvauthor
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stvannatter/
- Google+: Click <here>
Rose Ross Zediker
- Don’t Quit the Day Job blog: http://www.roserosszediker.blogspot.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rose.zediker
- Google+: Click <here>
- Website: http://www.sharibarr.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shari.h.barr
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sharilisa123/
- Google+: Click <here>
- Website: http://stacymonson.com/
- Land of 10,000 Words blog: http://landof10000words.wordpress.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StacyMMonson
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/StacyMonson
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stacymonson/
- Google+: Click <here>
- Website: http://brendaandersonbooks.com/
- Blog: http://brendaandersonbooks.com/blog/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaSAndersonAuthor
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/brendabanderson/
- Google+: Click <here>
- Best Reads blog: http://bestreads-kav.blogspot.com/
Posted on October 2, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
It almost makes my head ache thinking of the ways we can waste our time networking, chatting, procrastinating. How do we manage it all?!
To be honest, if I weren’t a writer, if I didn’t need to build a platform, I’d probably chuck it all. But, since that’s not an option, there are steps I take to managing it.
- You can’t do it all. No one is Super Social-Media Man (or Woman), unless that’s their full-time job.
- Pick the most effective outlets for you. Once you realize you can’t do it all, it’s time to pick and choose which media outlets will best suit you. Which ones are you most comfortable with? Which let you network with readers, not just writers? Are any just for fun? My choices:
- Facebook - this site lets me interact with readers and writers
- Goodreads - mostly I use this site to track the books I’m reading or have read. So far I’ve avoided joining groups because they can be big time suckers. But I like the potential for this site as it is about the reader.
- Blogging – I blog consistently on my personal site twice a week, then on Inkspirational Messages every other week.
- Blog reading – Using Blogger, I keep a list of blogs I follow (which I keep to a minimum). I’ll typically skim through the posts unless something really catches my eye. I periodically comment, but rarely just to comment. I want to say something of value–not that I always succeed!
- Pinterest - I have a Pinterest site, but haven’t decided how to best use it yet. So far, thankfully, it hasn’t become a black hole for me.
- Set your clock. Even when you choose just a few outlets, they can still be time drainers. Establish a set amount of time you’ll spend on each site, and stick to it. My schedule:
- Write my blog posts on Monday.
- My first hour every weekday morning: read blog posts and check Facebook and Pinterest.
- If I can’t read through all my sites in that hour, that means something needs to be cut.
- No blogs on weekends. Periodically check Facebook and Pinterest for fun.
- Be a God Pleaser. This is probably the toughest point to follow, for me anyway. A big reason many of us–especially writers–are on social media is to add numbers to our platform. To do that we need to be people pleasers, we need write what our (potential) audience is interested in, and our posts need to reflect that as well. In so much of social media we’re asked to *like* or *follow* posts, authors, businesses, boards, etc. Agents and publishers want/need to see big numbers beside our name. And let’s face it, we all want to be liked and followed. So, how do we balance pleasing God while attempting to extend our outreach?
- Before posting, ask yourself what the purpose of the post is? Are you writing it merely to garner attention, or do you have information that will be useful to others? Who are you trying to reach–to please–with the post? And be honest with yourself–that’s the hardest part.
- Pray – I know this goes without saying, but it’s also easy to forget, especially for the mundane tasks of social media. Does God really want to be bothered with all the minutiae of our lives? Of course he does! So before you post, take some time and ask, “What is Your will?”
Which Social Media outlets do you use? How do you effectively manage your time when using them?
Posted on September 18, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
What evidence you ask? Well, let’s see …
First there are the Marvel Avenger movies–I blame this obsession on my husband. He won the four free tickets to Thor in 2011. Thor? Really? Why on earth would I want to watch that? So, wrinkling my nose, I went to the movie … and fell in love. Seriously, ladies, Chris Hemsworth looks very nice up on that big screen. Not to mention, I loved the movie, the story line, the supporting cast, everything about it. Yes, I was hooked, and now I’m a full-fledged Avengers fan. Captain America? Oh yeah. Iron Man? All three movies. The Avengers? Saw it seven times in the theater. Yes, I said seven. That included an Avengers movie marathon that showed six Marvel Avenger movies in one day, including two Iron Man movies, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, ending with a midnight showing of The Avengers. I won’t tell you how many times we’ve watched The Avengers at home–I probably can’t count that high.
Thor: The Dark World comes out in November 2013. Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases in April of 2014. I have to wait until May of 2015 for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Thanks to my husband, I just can’t get enough!
So, is that it for evidence against me?
Well, not exactly. You see, when we attend movies, it’s a requirement to eat popcorn soaked in butter and sprinkled generously with salt. (You do realize that popcorn is merely a tool to eat butter and salt, don’t you?) Our family even has movie-theater popcorn-eating down to a science. We purchase one refillable bucket and bring four large bowls with us. No reaching across for that next handful, no sirree. (Actually we use large Country Crock containers. With the cover on, it’s easy to shake it, spreading the butter and salt evenly–as I said, we have it down to a science!)
But, naturally, healthy doses of buttery, salty popcorn shouldn’t be relegated to theaters only, it’s also the perfect snack to enjoy during your favorite TV shows like Blue Bloods (the family actually prays together on the show!!!) and Once Upon A Time and Falling Skies. Then there are the new shows coming out this fall that I can’t wait to see that will perfectly satisfy my popcorn cravings: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — Yep, those Agents of Shield are Avengers. And, no, I’m not obsessed. Seriously!
You say their’s more evidence that I indulge in guilty pleasures? Hmmph! You’re going for the jugular, aren’t you?
Believe it or not, this has absolutely nothing to do with Avengers, but it is certainly a pleasure. Ever tried Fannie May Chocolates? The Trinidad with its rich, creamy chocolate center, coated in white chocolate mixed with toasted coconut. Then there’s the vanilla buttercream covered with dark chocolate, and the Carmarsh — caramel and marshmallow topped with chocolate. Your mouth watering yet? See, you’d be hooked too!
Then there are good books, quiet time, day trips up the North Shore … Ahh yes, I partake in it all!
So, with all that evidence stacked against me, how was I exonerated, you ask? Let’s just say the jury couldn’t turn down my my 2 Pound Box of Fannie May candy bribe. Hey, no pointing fingers. You wouldn’t have turned down the bribe either!
(It’s just a good thing the prosecuting attorney never discovered my Lays Sour Cream & Onion potato chip obsession–that might have put it over the top …)
What pleasures are you *not* guilty of?
Since we know most of our Inksper friends have reading on their list of guilty pleasures, we’re giving away a (gently used) copy of Sarah Sundin’s On Distant Shores to one lucky reader, and a copy of Laura Frantz’s Love’s Awakening to another reader. Every time you leave a comment on posts dated September 9, 2013 through September 20, 2013, your name will be entered.
The two winners will be chosen after midnight on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 and posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013!
Posted on September 6, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
These past two weeks we’ve been touting beautiful, eye-catching book covers, and talking about why they grab our attention.
Today, I thought it would be interesting to look at book covers from a different angle: the making of the cover.
Here’s an interesting video from Random House Books, talking with book cover designers about their designs:
And another link to Lori Benton‘s blog post on the making of the cover for her debut release, Burning Sky (another terrific read!) -http://loribenton.blogspot.com/2013/08/burning-sky-making-of-cover.html.
I’d love to know your thoughts about the making of these covers.
Posted on September 4, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
Admittedly, I’m rarely swayed by a cover. While it may initially draw my attention, it’s the story description that will be the deciding factor of whether I’ll read it or not.
That said, I did a little experiment to see what initially drew my eye and then kept it there. I headed over to FamilyFiction.com, searched by date for 2013, and then visually wandered through the pages of covers. These are the books that leaped out at me, encouraging me to take a look at the description, and why.
BURNING SKY by Lori Benton – This is an historical romance like many of the books around it, but it’s design is decidedly different. The face is slightly faded (denoting mystery), and I like how the face and hair blend with the land and the sky. The one thing I don’t care for so much is the loop rug in the middle. To me, it doesn’t fit the tone conveyed by the rest of the cover.
A HEART DECEIVED by Michelle Griep – I didn’t find this one on Family Fiction–for some reason it’s not listed there–but it’s one of my favorite covers of the year so I had to show it. Just looking at the cover gives me goosebumps. The dark colors, the leafless tree, the dormered house, no people. And, the author’s name also grabbed me. Love Michelle’s writing!
RULES OF MURDER by Julianna Deering – Again, this cover tells the world that this book is different. The colors, the lettering, the man. It all hints at Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. I’m definitely taking a second look.
RENEGADE by Mel Odom – I really enjoy a military novel, so the soldier on the cover immediately caught my attention. Here, the author’s name also piques my interest as I’ve enjoyed most of Mel Odom’s military novels.
THE LIVING ROOM by Robert Whitlow – Again, the green on black nabbed my attention, then the body seemingly floating adds interest. Having read may of Robert Whitlow’s works in the past also compels me to take a second look.
SLEEPING IN EDEN by Nicole Baart – I immediately thought about Snow White when I saw this, my eye drawn to the apple. Combine that with the title, and you’ve got instant intrigue. Also, I’ve read a number of Nicole Baart’s works before, and greatly respect her talent as an author.
FEARLESS by Mike Dellosso – Can you say creepy? This cover gives me the chills! And screams “Pick me up!” Naturally, I did. As a reader of Mike Dellosso’s works, I know the story will live up to the cover.
So, what drew me to the above covers?
- Color. That’s the first thing I noticed on each cover, and often it’s a blue or green on black that draws me.
- It’s different. Does the cover tell the reader that this story is different? I’m constantly on the lookout for stories that stray from the norm.
- Mystery. Do the covers convey mystery? If so, I’m likely to take a second glance.
- Familiar Author. If I’ve enjoyed novels by the author in the past, the author’s name will definitely catch my eye.
- No person. Not having any person on the cover is very curious. It tells me that the cover may be literary, and my favorite reads are often literary.
When you’re looking at covers, what initially draws your attention? What will keep it there?