Thursday, March 09, 2006

Various Things

Nine days from deadling for Coral Moon and counting.

We’ve been on the topic of character arcs within series for a while. Feel like I'm running out of things to say. Do any of you have specific questions about series you’re working on? Or anything I’ve missed? Please post them if you do, and we’ll take a look at them tomorrow.

I had a good day yesterday. Writing, of course. But also had a conference call with my agent and the marketing and publicity gals at Zondervan regarding Violet Dawn. They are giving that book a good launching, I’ll tell you. With what they’re doing and what I’ll be doing (and what you can be involved in, if you choose), if should be a fun launch. More on that to come.

Other various pieces of good news, in no particular order:

Received a new copy of Dead of Night today—third printing.

Web of Lies is selling the best of any of my books so far. Yippe-yay. And the sales figures don’t yet reflect the flyers campaigns in stores such as Lifeway and Family and Parable, etc, which are just getting underway.

Eyes of Elisha and Dread Champion are both getting spitzy new covers and will be reissued this spring. That is terrific news.

Wait, is spitzy a word? Somebody do tell. It just sounds so right.

Brink of Death will be in Zondervan’s summer sale around June. That means you can pick it up in bookstores for a cool $4.97. Hey, I can’t even get it that cheap at my author discount. Methinks I should buy a few copies meself. (This is an example of what I was mentioning a few days ago—market, market, market the first in a backlisted series.)

I heard numerous other cool things but can’t tell it all here. In short, I’m feeling very humbled at God’s mercy after so much good news in one day. He knows us poor humans so well! He knows when we’re struggling and really need a pick-me-up. As I’m working the countdown for this deadling, these myriad pieces of good news have gone a long way to help keep me going.

I’ve also received some very nice letters of late. Here are two that meant a lot to me. Again, as I struggle to finish another book, they are wonderful encouragement.

What a wonderful ministry you sentence from Web of Lies made such an impact to me: 'God's power is released through prayer, whether I feel anything or not.' I've already told two of my closest friends about this sentence. My friend just found out that her 10-year-old daughter [has an incurable illness], and I told her to tell her church to pray. Every Christian she knows should be praying for her precious little girl.

I live in a suburb of New Orleans. My family was very fortunate to not receive much damage from Hurricane Katrina, but we have many dear friends who lost everything. One friend called me in tears, the day I finished reading Dread Champion. She'd just found out that not only her original filing with FEMA had been rejected, her appeal had too. She was at the end of her rope and begged me to pray because she didn't know how to deal with it. I remembered the "Dread Champion" verse and pulled out the book. We looked up the reference and we (along with a few other people) are now claiming Jeremiah 20:11-13 for this situation. My friend says she's signing every letter she sends to FEMA with these verses! Thank you so much for this blessing from God that we received from your writing.

What’s most impressive about these letters is how the themes of the book were passed from reader to friends in difficult situations. Two readers, and yet—who knows?—6 or 8 or maybe more people have now been heartened by God’s message as they face struggles in their own lives. That's the efficiency of our God.

I pretty much let it all hang out here, BGs. You know writing’s hard for me. You know I struggle with it and always angst that the books are horrible when I write. God always pulls me through. No wonder I get on my knees every time when I finish a book. I just couldn't do it without Him. And He sends good pieces of news just when I need them. Thank You, God, for the positives of this day.


Sally Bradley said...

Brandilyn, I'm still catching up on your blog (I have yet to read November and December posts), but a question I have is about good, affordable ways to market your very first book. I just sent my book to my agent and we're getting ready to submit it. (Thought I had my own NES going when my manuscript got lost in the mail and a month passed before we realized what had happened!) I read your post about mailing lists and web sites, but how effective are things like creating postcards and bookmarks? I've heard of offering free books to people who will mail your postcard to readers they know. Are things like that effective? Basically, how do I, the brand-new and unknown author with possibly no marketing money from the publisher, build my own readership?

D. Gudger said...

The fact that you, an accomplished author still struggle to put out books is an encouragement and a reality that un-pubs like me need to acknowledge. Thankyou for being so honest.

About Character arcs - do you create an outline/profile of each character? I'm finding in my manuscript, that I'm getting character traits confused. For example, one girl mixes cliches and doesn't quite listen carefully which is evident when she retells events overheard. I'm discovering I've injected this trait into another character as well...ooops. gotta fix that.

Gotta spend some time w/ the ms today and struggle with it. I often ask if I'm crazy for wanting to write a novel series b/c it's so stinkin' hard! But that's the way it is. :)

Gina Holmes said...

Brandilyn, that is such wonderful news. Wow. I've read Dead of Night so I can definitely see why that's in another reprint. Excellent, excellent book.

Congratulations. It's nice to have days like this one every now and again. God bless.

C.J. Darlington said...

I can't wait to see the new covers for Eyes of Elisha and Dread Champion!

Becky said...

Great news, Brandilyn. I'm looking forward to what awaits us with Violet Dawn,

Question: how large is a print run? Is there a standard within each house or does that change from book to book?


Lynetta said...

I can personally testify to being touched by a message from your book. Web of Lies taught me something that I couldn't have learned listening to a hundred sermons. Now I pray the Psalms every time I hear the accuser's lies. I'm humbled by what God is doing in my life.

As for spitzy, I didn't find it in the dictionary. However, it should be because it's delightful.
Here's my recommended definition:

spitzy (adj.) combination of spiffy and spritz (as in spritzed up); a bright, attractive object.

Bless you as you get down to the wire on your deadling! :-)

Anonymous said...

You go, girl. ; ) May your work keep reaching others and your blessings keep right on.

posted by donna, your fellow Z novelist who also happens to be under a dastardly deadling

Lynette Sowell said...

I understand your angst, although I am nowhere near where you are in the writing world. My deadline is 23 days away and I'm deadling as well, wondering WHAT in the world I'm doing here.

I got my VERY first set of galleys today and already corrected a date error I found (mine). June 13th is NOT a Saturday this year. I don't know why I didn't think of that when submiting my completed manuscript last fall. But hey, fall was a long time ago and I'm already two projects into the future past this one. Thanks to your blog chat, I fixed the date. Ugh. And realized other things need fixing. It never ends, does it? I don't know what's worse, writing to BECOME published or writing AFTER being published. :)

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

After. No question.

johnny dangerous said...

Congrats on all your good news. And thanks for the insights regarding series characters. I'm plugging away at the second book in my series while awaiting word from my agent regarding the first book. He's had it almost a year, now, and the discouraging lack of news about the first book makes it hard to work on the second. Even so, I'm beginning to think of the third book as I approach the end of the second. That's a good sign, I suppose.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I pray that God blesses you in all that you do or think of doing...Cudos on the re-releases! You go, girl!

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