Posts Tagged ‘White Roses’
Posted on October 25, 2011 - by Shannon Vannatter
GMC. The first time I heard of it, I’d signed with an agent. Back in 2002 with my original version of White Roses. She told me I should read GMC. I thought car. She patiently explained that it’s a book—GMC: Goals, Motivation, & Conflict by Debra Dixon. It was out of print, but I found a copy for $19.95. I was a stay at home mom and it wasn’t in our budget to pay that much for a used book.
Shortly afterward, the agent downsized her list and I was one of her clients that got cut. Looking back, I don’t know why she signed me. She’s a good agent, still in the business, and has sold a lot of books. All I can figure is that she saw promise, but soon realized she didn’t have enough time to polish a diamond in the rough. And I don’t blame her. I know now that my writing wasn’t anywhere near publishable then.
Fast forward to 2008. I went to the ACFW conference in Minneapolis, where I had a paid critique for Rodeo Dust with Margaret Daley. In my original version, my heroine is at the State Fair of Texas, touring livestock barns with a co-worker/date. Even though, she hates farm animals and she has a rule about not dating co-workers.
Margaret: “Why would the heroine go to place she doesn’t enjoy with a co-worker on a date when she has a rule not to date co-workers?”
Me: “So she can meet the hero there.”
Margaret: “You need to read GMC.”
Okay. I gave in. You don’t have to beat me over the head with it. When I got home, I ordered the book. By then, Debra Dixon had gotten the rights back and I got a new copy for $19.95.
I read it from cover to cover and discovered a whole new world. A world that makes everything your characters do—make sense. I changed it to where my Rodeo Dust heroine went with her brother to the fair because she wanted him to date her best friend. So she accompanied them, so it wouldn’t seem like a date and they could realize how much in common they had. See how much better that is?
I also worked out the GMC for White Roses and every other book I’d been reworking for years. Now, I carefully chart out my GMC before I start a book.
Most of the time anyway. I jumped into a story not too long ago, just because it had been bugging me for a long time. I wrote the first three chapters in a hurry, then had an editor express interest when I showed her the One Sheet. I sent it to my critters, Brenda, Lorna, and Jerri.
Brenda: “I don’t understand her goal.”
Me: “Oops. I just dashed it off and forgot to do the GMC.”
I worked out the GMC and made changes. Brenda liked it. And so did I
So for a short lesson:
G – Goal: This is what your character wants.
M – Motivation: This is why your character wants the goal.
C – Conflict: This is why your character can’t reach their goal.
My heroine wanted her brother to date her best friend because she wants them both to be happy, but they wouldn’t agree to go out on a date.
Thus my Rodeo Dust heroine tours the livestock barns, hating every minute of it. But her brother and best friend love it, proving that they should live happily ever after, just like she knew they should. It makes perfect sense for her to be there. And while she’s there, she meets the hero.
This is only the GMC for the first scene. Your GMC for the entire plot needs to have much more at stake. Something like, if the heroine doesn’t get her brother and best friend together, her brother will accept that job offer in China.
I could get into a lot more detail, but I believe that’s called plagiarism. In short, your story should have an over-arcing internal and external GMC. But each scene should have GMC also. If you work out the GMC for every scene, everything your character does will make perfect sense.
Maybe if I’d have gotten the book back in 2002, I’d have sold White Roses in 2003 instead of 2009.
To get into all the intricacies of internal and external GMC, I highly recommend the book. This is one of the few craft books that doesn’t make my brain glaze over. It’s all laid out in a simple, easy to understand format. Debra Dixon is now an acquisitions editor at a publishing house. And since 2008, I’ve had editors actually ask me about my characters’ GMC during pitch sessions.
Posted on May 31, 2011 - by Brenda Anderson
We interrupt our daily blog category of News You CAN’T Use, to bring you News To Celebrate.
Yes sirree, this is news that’ll bring a teeth-gleaming smile to your lips–news that’ll leave you cheering and turning somersaults, so break out the balloons, the noise makers, and, of course, the chocolate.
And just what is this news, you ask? Well, let me tell you. It has to do with three of our own at Inkspirational Messages. Yes, you heard me right. Three of our very own Inkspers have given us reason to party.
And that reason is …?
<drum roll, please>
Three Inkspirational Messages writers have New Releases!!!
And now, without further adieu, let me tell you all about those wonderful new books.
Shannon Taylor Vannatter, the queen of writing love stories that make your pulse thump faster than a Lamborghini on a straightaway, has two stories to accelerate your heart rate. Yes, you heard me right. That’s TWO books so swoon-worthy you’ll forget Fabio ever existed.
Laken Kroft left home eight years ago and never looked back. Who knew when she applied for the promotion to postmaster that she’d end up in Romance, Arkansas, and much too close to her parents: the town drunk and the local gossip maven?
Hayden Winters has his hands full raising his paraplegic nephew, Brady, and wrestling with his guilt over having caused the child’s injury. When the boy’s father, Laken’s brother, turn up and start talking custody, Laken’s influence is Hayden’s only hope. But whose side is she really on?
Will their mutual bond with their seven-year-old nephew draw them closer or rip them asunder? Will Laken accept Hayden “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” or be forced to turn her back on him and “Return to Sender?”
I’ll bet you can’t wait for the answer.
Once you’ve sniffled your way through Laken’s and Hayden’s romance, you won’t be able to resist moving on to White Pearls, released by Heartsong Presents in January, available at Amazon and in stores come July. You’ll want to keep your tissues handy when you read Shell’s and Ryler’s story.
Shell doesn’t have a good reputation, but no matter what everyone in Rose Bud, Arkansas, thinks of her, Shell Evans is back in town with a job to do. She’ll just have to stick it out and make the best of things. But why does Ryler have to be the landscaper on this project? She was just getting her heart back under control.
Ryler Grant has his own reasons for being in Rose Bud, and they certainly don’t include Shell. Spying on his birth family was going to be hard enough. He doesn’t have time to worry about a woman who dumped him … even if his heart says otherwise.
But God’s love can change the hardest heart. In the light of His presence, even the darkest past can be overcome. They may not know it, but the people of Rose Bud are about to change!
Ahhh. Warms you to your toes, doesn’t it? Just wait till you read the entire story.
Now, if you need a little break from all that heart-palpitating romance, how about a little travel and a whole bunch of mystery?
That’s precisely what Shari Barr brings you in her Camp Club Girls books as she follows inquisitive McKenzie from Montana to Oregon and now to Branson, Missouri. Need a story for that preteen or teenage (or even adult) girl in your life? Looking for an author who “gets” young girls? Well, then don’t look any further than our own Shari Barr.
In May, Shari’s third McKenzie story was released, McKenzie’s Branson Brainteaser. After reading this back cover copy, I know you’ll want to rush right down to your store and pick this one up:
Someone’s missing in Missouri!
McKenzie and Sydney meet in Branson, Missouri, where McKenzie has been recruited to help at the Dixie Stampede. While the girls take in the sights and sounds of Silver Dollar City, they become involved in a search for a teen girl’s long-lost uncle.
A thirteen-year old family feud…
A necklace carved with “SS”…
A familiar fairy statue…
The “Shara Smiles” Man…
With no other clue than a whittled necklace, how will the Camp Club Girls ever reunite this family?
I’ll bet your heart’s a-beatin’ for whole new reasons now, isn’t it? You just can’t wait to solve their mystery, can you?
Just like I’ll bet you can’t wait to get a hold of Lorna Seilstad’s new release, A Great Catch. But, just to warn you, remember that heart-tangoing romance I talked about above? The kind Shannon writes? Well, that heart’ll be getting a whole lot more exercise when your read A Great Catch.
It’s the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.
Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.
When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?
I forgot to warn you about needing tissues again (sorry), but when reading books by Lorna, also be prepared to chuckle, giggle, and laugh right out loud.
Now, don’t throw those noisemakers away quite yet. You see, we have a few more reasons to celebrate.
First, if you go to Lorna Seilstad’s website today (May 31, 2011) and sign up for her newsletter, you’ll be entered into a drawing for the A Great Catch Baseball Basket Giveaway that includes a $20 Amazon certificate (so you can buy more of Lorna’s and Shannon’s and Shari’s books). So, hurry on over to her website.
Go ahead, do it now, but come right back. We’ll wait.
<waiting … waiting … waiting>
You’re back? And you’re all signed up? Wonderful! Just in time for some more fun news.
Prepare yourself for more heart waltzing love stories from Romance Queen Shannon Vannatter. Yes, you heard me right. Shannon’s been contracted by Heartsong Presents for another three book series.
This time with cowboys and rodeos.
<Be still my heart>
And let me whet that whistle just a little bit more with a blurb from Rodeo Dust, due to release to Heartsong Presents book club members in October, and on Amazon in April of 2012:
Ad exec, Rayna Landers meets bull rider, Clay Warren at the State Fair of Texas. While Rayna thinks she’s content solo, Clay longs for marriage and family. Though poised to win his third world championship, his ranch is in a slump. Clay convinces his publicist to hire her advertising firm in a last-ditch effort to keep his employees and lasso her heart.
Soon the city girl is on the ride of her life, until the rodeo unearths buried memories from her past. Clay sees her through the trauma, but an injury and his stubborn determination to get back in the hypothetical saddle threatens their budding relationship. Can they rely on God to find their common ground or will they draw a line in the rodeo dust that neither will cross?
All partied out? Well, you can set those noise makers down for now, but keep them close. Something tells me many more celebrations are not too far behind.
Posted on February 15, 2011 - by Shannon Vannatter
“Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
Last spring, I had my book launch party for White Roses at the Romance Waterfalls. It was too hot to actually have it at the falls, so owners, Buck & Brenda Weatherly graciously opened their home. My husband went with me, kept the coffee flowing, corralled our eight year old, and visited with our church members who came. It was an awesome day. I sold out within ten minutes and our church members ended up giving me their books back, so I could sell them to other people, and replace their copies later.
As the day came to a close and only a handful of friends and family milled about, I thought about how important the Romance Waterfalls is to my books. In the series, a proposal and a wedding takes place there, and a couple draws closer together at the falls. All of my characters have had romantic or important moments there. I decided that my husband and I should have a romantic moment at the falls too. I grabbed my friend, Linda and her camera, and then my hubby.
“Let’s go down to the falls and let Linda take our picture while we kiss.”
Hubby jumped up. “Sure.”
Wow he’s excited, I thought.
We took the long, humid walk to the falls. Me, in my white skirt and satin shoes, him in shorts and tennis shoes. We stopped on the balcony where couples get married. I snuggled up.
He wouldn’t even put his arms around me.
“Come on.” I snuggled closer.
Linda cleared her throat. “Okay, guys. Let’s not get carried away.”
We moved down to another balcony overlooking the falls, kissed again and got a few more shots. We trekked back to the Weatherly’s house, visited a bit longer, loaded the car and left.
Later, when I got the pictures from Linda, I asked, “What was with the no hands thing?”
“I was so uncomfortable.”
“I’m not used to getting my picture taken while I kiss my wife. It wasn’t very spontaneous.”
“But you didn’t hesitate when I asked.”
“I didn’t want to make you feel bad.”
So, my PDA shy husband/pastor posed for the camera, even though it made him uncomfortable. Now, that’s true love.
God has given me the desires of my heart in a wonderful Godly husband, a phenomenal son, and my books in the hands of readers. I thank him for my blessings too numerous to count on a daily basis.
Just for fun, tell me what you remember about your first kiss with your spouse.
Posted on June 22, 2010 - by Shannon Vannatter
For eight books straight, I pantsed my way to completion. Oh the puzzles that unexpectedly piece themselves together when on a pantsing expedition. Oh the editing and revisions that follow. It was fun, not knowing exactly what would happen. With each book, I knew the beginning, the black moment, and the end. As I wrote, the scenes wove themselves together in surprising ways. After the final draft, I wrote the synopsis and wondered why it was so dreaded. It was just a condensed version of the book.
Then I got an offer from Heartsong Presents! And they wanted two more books! But first, they wanted a short synopsis on books 2 and 3 before I could sign the contract. Write a synopsis before writing the book????? I pantsed my way through it and signed the first contract. But before I could sign contract 2 and 3, they wanted a chapter by chapter synopsis on each book. I tossed and turned, gnashing my teeth.
In the vague recesses of my brain I remembered something about a snowflake. I looked up Randy Ingermanson’s method. The more I read over it, the more it fried my creativity. I stopped reading and started writing. I followed Randy’s method, but pantsed my way through without reading it step by step. A few weeks later, I had a chapter by chapter and another signed contract.
Then it came time to write the book. For the first time in my life, I experienced what I had thought was a myth: writers’ block. Instead of seeing where my imagination led me, I had to write a book about these characters, where this had to happen and this had to happen and we had to end up here. I tried writing anyway and turned out senseless drivel.
In the meantime, I attended a life-changing writers’ workshop taught by Kaye Dacus. I knew Kaye wrote for Barbour, so she had to have written a few pre-book chapter by chapters. I asked if she was a pantser or plotter. She said both and explained that she had been a pantser until she had to write her first chapter by chapter. She shared that she wrote them, then put the project away until her mind cleared, then she started writing the book. If she got stuck, she’d read the synopsis.
I tried it and it worked. The words started flowing, thank goodness, since I had a deadline looming. Book 2 was still the hardest I’ve written and most edited so far. For book 3, I did the synopsis 3 months in advance. By the time I started writing the book, it flowed. I think I’ve hit my stride now. And like Kaye, I’m half pantser/half plotter. It’s a happy medium for me. My creativity doesn’t get fried, but I know where I’m going if I get stuck. My books don’t align completely with the synopsis. As I write, sometimes things change.
Lately, I’ve started working out each characters’ Goals, Motivations, and Conflict before I start the story. This helps me know my characters better and keep their reactions in character. Unexpected developments still pop up and I let them. My characters tell me things I didn’t know about them and I run with it. Pieces of the puzzle I didn’t see emerge and I let them fit into place. And writing is fun again.
In life, I’m a full-fledged pantser. I don’t plan too far ahead, don’t follow a strict schedule, and am totally unorganized. I’m unstressed, easy-going, and wear rose-colored glasses. It works me. Life is fun.
If you’re a plotter, are you organized and follow a strict schedule in life? If you’re a pantser, do you fly by the seat of your pants in life?
Posted on May 14, 2010 - by Lorna Seilstad
Exciting times are here for one of the Inkspirational Messagers own! Shannon Taylor Vannatter White Roses has just been released by Heartsong Presents. It is being shipped to book club members this week and will available to purchase online at Heartsong next week.
We couldn’t be more thrilled for Shannon and want our Inksper family to learn a little more about her and her publishing journey. Shannon is a dear friend, a wonderful critique partner, and now a super published author.
Join us as we celebrate her debut novel!
Which amusement park ride is your favorite and why?
The roller coaster. I grew up near Six Flags over Georgia and at that time, the Great American Scream Machine was the largest roller coaster in the world. I had older cousins, so we spent our summers at Six Flags. Roller coasters are just pure fun. And I married a man who hates them. Our son likes them though. So when he gets tall enough to get on the major ones, we’ll have a blast.
What do you think is the greatest invention of all time?
The computer. If I had to write a book on a typewriter with no correction tape, I probably never would have written a book. I know I wouldn’t have. I had the first book I ever wrote in my head forever, but I didn’t start writing it until I got a computer.
My dad. He’s so proud, he’s about to bust. He took me to a writing conference when I won my first national writing award. He swam with my son in the hotel pool all day while I went to the conference and got my award. On the way home, he told every hotel clerk, gas station attendant, and restaurant server that I was a writer. That was before I was published, so he’s cheering even louder now.
What or who makes you giggle and why?
My husband. He looks at life differently than most people and has a very humorous take on everything. He also has wrong word dysfunction. He doesn’t quite say the right word, but something close that means something totally different than what he meant to say. And it’s usually in church, so I’m sitting in my second pew, trying to be supportive and preacher’s wifely, while I stifle giggles.
If you could have free unlimited service for one year from a cook, chauffer, personal secretary, housekeeper, or masseuse, which would you choose and why?
Housekeeper definitely. I absolutely hate cleaning house. It’s an endless cycle that never stays done. It reminds me of the Incredibles movie, where Mr. Incredible is talking about taking out the bad guys and making the world a safer place. He says, “I just cleaned up this mess, can’t you just keep it clean for five minutes?” We have an eight year old, so I can quote lots of kid movies.
And here is a little about White Roses.
Pastor Grayson Sterling loves his wife. The problem is, Sara was killed by a hit-and-run
driver two years ago. Grayson knows he needs to move on, that the continuing depth
of his grief is not healthy for him or his young son. Desperate, he convinces his church
to hire Mark Welch as associate pastor to relieve him of some of his load. When Adrea
Welch arrives at his church with her brother, Grayson cannot deny his attraction to her.
For years, florist Adrea Welch has been artfully arranging white roses for Sara Sterling.
Now those flowers are carried to the cemetery by a faithful, grieving husband. How can
Adrea be so attracted to a man still devoted to his dead wife?
When secrets from Adrea’s past collide with their budding relationship, both she and
Grayson must learn to lean on God’s abiding wisdom.
Posted on April 23, 2010 - by Kav
As usual it’s the eleventh hour and I’m trying to make up for lost time, though it would take a month of Sundays to wax poetic on the subject of time the way my sister inksters have. When I find myself with time on my hands, I usually fill both with a book. It’s thrilling when I find one that will stand the test of time and when I do I hunt down every book that author has written. And that’s often a race against time since some books have a short shelf life, like those wily Love Inspired ones! That means we’re working against the clock from the very second they are put on the shelves and if we’re not careful the ship will sail without us! So I worked into the small hours to come up with a plan that would help me remember important book release dates even when I’m pressed for time.
It’s called a Release Calendar! And I created it just in the nick of time since the near future holds a multitude of incredible new inspirational book releases. Believe me, you’ll have the time of your life reading them! But this list comes with a warning…these books are guaranteed time-stealers!
Kav Disclaimer: This is by no means a comprehensive list. So many books – so little time! Books are listed in chronological order.
White Roses by Shannon Vannatter May 2010 (if you belong to Heartsongs Present Book Club) or in stores November 2010
A grieving widower and single parent, Pastor Grayson struggles with letting go and moving on. Adrea Welch doesn’t understand how she can be so attracted to a man still devoted to his dead wife. But can their developing relationship survive the secrets from Adrea’s past?
Our very own Shannon’s debut novel! She’ll have to tell us what it’s like to have to wait for an accepted manuscript to finally transform itself into a book!
Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James June 2010
Lilly Westbrook writes dime novels and does everything she can to conceal that fact from friends and family because of the stigma attached to her career. But then, former suitor, Jackson Grail becomes Lilly’s new publisher – only he doesn’t know it. What he does know is that ‘Fannie Cole’s’ dime novels are good for business and they’d be even better if he can track his star writer down and convince her to go public!
Isn’t that an ingenuous plot? I’m really excited about this one. I think the premise is very clever. I can’t wait!!!!!
Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz July 2010
We’re back in 18th century Kentucky for Laura’s second historical novel. Morrow Little is haunted by the memory of a Shawnee raid that tore her family apart. Now that she is grown, she faces difficult choices about marriage. There is no shortage of men vying for her attention, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to a forbidden love.
Laura’s rich, lyrical text is inspiring and this will definitely be one for your keeper shelf – right along side The Frontiersman’s Daughter.
Waiting Out the Storm by Ruth Logan Herne July 2010
The author has dubbed this a “Hatfield/McCoy” type romance. It’s the second in her North Country series and features Craig and Sarah who we met in Winter’s End. I don’t know much more than that – except I’ll love it! Ruthy’s writing style flows and her voice is strong. I’m prepared for a few laughs, some tears and a big satisfied sigh at the end. It’s going to be good…I just know it.
Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad September 2010s
Marguerite Westing is thrilled to spend the summer at Lake Manawa with her family. What better way to put some distance between herself and a boring suitor? And what would summer be like without romance? One that doesn’t involve the young gentleman from back home! But Marguerite’s idyllic summer is ruined when her father’s gambling problems threaten to ruin her family and she is faced with an agonizing dilemma. Does she marry to secure her family’s fortune or will she follow her heart?
A debut novel by our very own Lorna! I’ve read some of her work so I know that this will be a captivating read and I’m a tad shy of giddy at actually seeing it in my local Christian bookstore!
A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman September 2010
Set in the late 1920’s, little Katie O’Connor is all grown up and looking toward an exciting future which includes a career in law and a husband. Of course Julie Lessman wouldn’t let it be that uncomplicated! So while future husband, Jack, is left waiting in the wings, Katie’s childhood nemesis, Cluny McGee resurfaces to throw her world – and plans – into chaos.
If you’ve read her Daughters of Boston series, you’ll be well acquainted with Katie O’Connor. Readers have watched her grow up and I think we all feel motherly towards her. It will be interesting to see what Julie has thrown at the youngest O’Connor girl — how Katie handles it!
The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson October 2010
A new YA medieval romance is about to hit the market in the form of a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I love this genre and am beyond excited to see this book release in the fall. Isn’t the book cover gorgeous? And it’s Melanie’s debut novel!
Rose, the woodcutter’s daughter, apprentices to the town healer and loses her heart to a forbidden love.
And just to wet your appetite even more, take a look at her book trailer:
Really looking ahead:
Made To Order Family by Ruth Logan Herne September 2010
Wrangler in Petticoats by Mary Connealy October 2010
Fatal Judgement by Irene Hannon – January 2011
What about you – are there any titles you just can’t wait to get your hands on?