Sunday, September 22, 2013

In Him?

As a minister of the Word, I am deeply concerned with the current political and spiritual atmosphere of our nation and the world in general. I am grieved by the darkness and deceit that prevails throughout the US.

Of course, there are some, who will scoff at this blog entry. Scoff all you want, the truth will eventually catch up with those who laugh and call Christians and Jews weird, stupid and out of touch. Hopefully the truth will set you free, if not my heart goes out to you. The feel good sermons, without the message of Jesus crucified, will not gain you entrance to Heaven. Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)

Jesus Christ, who died for all of us, deserves our highest praise. Acts 17:28a tells us “for in Him we live and move and have our being.” Who are you? Better yet, where are you? Where are you located spiritually? If you are spiritually born again who or what do you identify with?

The hurting and spiritually lost people of the world are watching true Christians, and we are responsible for how they view us. You are either in or out. If you are in, you are bound for eternal life and joy. If you are out, you are among the walking dead lost forever for rejecting Jesus. Yes, Hell is a real place.

To the Christians’ reading this, trust me; spiritually dead people know a fake when they see one. So it’s important that we show them Jesus. Our power of show and tell hinges on being in Christ; experiencing the full power of His Holy Spirit that we have claim to, as His joint heirs.

If you do not call Jesus Christ your savior, and have never made a commitment to Him, I employ you to give Him consideration. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. I promise if you are sincere in your request, God will make it happen. It does not matter your social or economic status. Jesus Christ died for all. >THINK<

Timeless Truth: John 3:16

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In Loving Memory

In memory of my baby sister Judy Mary Winters Largent who went to be with Jesus April 9 of this year. Judy came into this world the last of many children, full of giggles, fun, and lots of energy. She stayed that way throughout her entire life. Judy had some sad moments in her life, as we all do. However, her greatest joy was her family. She and her husband had two beautiful daughters, and inherited two great sons-in-law. Those children gave her four wonderful and beautiful grandchildren Cole, Bo, London and Libby. She loved each one of them the "bestest" as only a grandmother can do. I do give her the highest honorary title of being the best mamaw hen watching over her little chicks. She was a dedicated and loving participant in their lives and sport activities. We spent many hours long distance phone talking about them and our mutual love for our Savior Jesus Christ. Life circumstance and miles kept us from each other for most of our adult lives. The good news is no one can take the precious memories of our early years before marriage and family and of course the "secrets" that only sisters can have. she rarely called me by name, but by her pet name for me since she was a toddler. "Sister" It always did my heart good that she called me that. To me it meant that I had a special place in her heart. There is an ache and empty spot in my own heart that can only be eased in time by the peace I have of knowing where she is and that someday we will see each other again.
I love you sis---your loving family members are your legacy which is  a beautiful way to be remembered.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Exodus 3:14 Alive tor Me

And God said to Moses. “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “Exodus 3:14 NKJ

One of the most thrilling experiences I had as a ‘baby’ Christian was that of having a passage of scripture become alive to me. I mean jump off the page revelation alive. The bible is the living word of God, and I esteem it as such and it is a mainstay and guide for all true believers. However, sometimes we may need a little help understanding all that we know. I suppose, in one sense, you could say help getting knowledge from our head to our heart; where it becomes life.

God is so awesome; He gives us revelation according to our need to know. These wonderful nuggets are to me monuments. They give a ‘go back to’ point to remind me of how wonderful Holy Spirit can touch us in a tangible way; encouraging us during our daily Christian walk with Jesus.

The “I AM” became life to me one day as I was pondering the mysteries of God and some things that I’m sure we won’t entirely understand until we get to our heavenly school. Why I happened to be in Exodus text on that particular day, I don’t remember. BUT I do remember Exodus 3:14 and the sovereign name “I AM” imprinted on my heart. Since that day I have not questioned God’s ways, just accepted by faith that the GREAT I AM knows what He is doing and that all things work together for our good.

God’s Grace and Mercy are very real to me, and I do believe that He wants His children to enjoy all the biblical benefits and promises. But we have to believe and receive along with seeking and obeying His will for our lives.

Commit to reading God’s word daily and find those nuggets for yourself.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ring in the New Year (revised)

Let's face it. From all reports, things are not going to be any better for us in the USA during the coming year or years ahead. That is the world's point of view. However, if we are born again believers, we should and must look at it through the eyes of faith from God's perspective. Which is according to His word: If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJ)  The bible also tells us: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:5-7 NKJ)

It is amazing to me that in 235 short years we have gone from a free God-fearing nation with principals based on Christian values and the Ten Commandments, to a nation filled with fear, hopelessness, hate, terrorism, anti-Christ principals, paganism, and anything goes mentality.

I believe it is only with a heart of true commitment  in all areas of our Christian walk, that will bring God’s blessings. I'm sure most of you reading this will agree we do need to humble ourselves and seek His face through prayer and heightened  standards of living---our wonderful America, that God so generously blessed for many years, now lies near destruction because we have failed to turn from complacency, doubt, and rebellion. It's time we stop quoting the scripture 2 Chronicles 7:14 every year and start being doers of the word. Our great land  needs healing.

That healing depends not only on raising our standards of living, but on our returning to the basics of God’s word. Those include the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman, the restoration of family values, the sanctity of life, along with FAITH, TRUTH,  and  INTEGRITY in all our ways. We need to live Job 3:5-6.

My prayer for 2012 is that God will pour out His blessing on all spiritual leadership, whether it be pastors, associate pastors, youth pastors and leaders, missionaries, teachers, or those in ministries of help. I pray for a fresh anointing that will embolden all Christians to work for the common good of the gospel to bring hope and life to those who do not know Jesus.

May God grant you  a wonderful and prosperous New Year in every way. And may God also bless America and Israel with peace and protection.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Do We Really Grasp the True Meaning of Christmas and John 3:16

According to some scholars Jesus was probably born sometime during the spring--possibly around March. Also according  to some studies, the early church may have believed that Jesus was crucified the same day of the month as His birth. All very interesting and can most likely be disputed by many. Also,  it's common knowledge among the Christian circle that during the early years, Dec. 25th, was set as a date to celebrate the birth of Jesus to counter a pagan holiday that was widely celebrated. And later President Ulysses S. Grant recognized Christmas as a national holiday in 1870.

John 3:16 says: For  God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and whosoever believes in Him will should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV) 

I like to say that Father God gave and gave and gave and never stopped giving when He sent His prescious Son.  In that tiny bundle that would be both a joy and heartbreak for His mother, was the Word made flesh. He was Genesis to Revelation, the Alpha and the Omega, and He walked among us for 33 years.  He was God incarnate, born of a virgin so that we could have eternal life through a pure redemptive blood sacrifice for the atonement of sin and enable us to  partake of the goodness of Heaven while here on earth.

The name above every name was born a tiny bundle, a gift from God, who contained all the knowledge, power and authority of Heaven, yet He rendered Himself human and became totally dependant as a babe. He would voluntarily endure all to fulfill the prophetic promises of His Father. The true name of Jesus the Messiah, is unique to only Him, in that it is the only name of Jesus that can forgive sin, work miracles and provide a way to God.  I drop of the blood of Jesus has more power than any bomb that can be made by man.

If you are among the those who confess Jesus the Messiah as your Lord, and are spiritually born again, you are destined for greatness. I don't mean greatness as the world knows greatness. It is your daily sacrifice of service to the Lord that counts in Heaven. It's how you use your gifts and talent that the Lord has given you for His service.

If you are a pastor, it's not how big your church building is or how many you shepard, it's how you lead your flock that counts in Heaven. If you are a generous person with tithes and love offerings, it's not how much, it's the motivation of your  heart that counts in Heaven. If you are a person of service in the ministry of helps, it's not the service to be seen of man, but your heart motivation as unto the the Lord that counts in Heaven. If we do obtain great wealth and greatness before men, our heart's desire should be  to give back into ministry to further the gospel. You need to recognize who you are and just how important you are to God. Pursue your Heavenly greatness with a zeal and pure heart--your rewards will be waiting for you.

Yes, you are great in the Kingdom of Heaven no matter what your service as long as it's with a heart that says: I must decrease and you increase Lord.. And frankly I would rather be counted as a good and faithful servant, than have all that the world has to offer.

What is vastly important is that true Christians' persevere  in faith, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. We live in an evil and corrupt society that has turned it's back on all that is proclaimed Christian and it is up to us to keep the flame of hope burning for a lost and dying world.

Jesus came as a small bundle of vast power, walked the earth, died, and rose with all power and authority. And before He ascended to Heaven he left with us the same power through His Name  to defeat Satan, set the captive free, give sight to the blind and heal the sick.  His last commandment to us was to take the Gospel into all the world.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a totally awesome greatness New Year!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Pass that Book Around! Recommend it!

I have a pet peeve or two . . . Let me explain. If you want to help an author succeed . . . especially if you are a friend or family member and you were given a free copy. Please don't pass your copy around. If you enjoy a book, recommend it. That is the highest complement you can pay an author.

I do suggest one exception. I have nothing against sharing with those who can not afford a copy for whatever reason and they can be helpful in building a fan base as well. Purchasing a copy for them would be a nice option too. It would be a kindness to them and an enjoyment they might not otherwise experience. But the other side of the corn is that sharing books cuts into authors' royalties. Most of us are far from being "rich and famous" from book sales. Large or even moderate advances are not available to all authors. Especially first time authors. Yet the joy of being published has its moments via emotional rewards.

Here I will confess, I never gave thoughts to sharing books in regards to authors' returns during my days of avid reading as a youth and young adult raising family, etc. However, I did not easily part with my books. It was difficult for me to finally clear the nooks and crannies of all but my most cherished and favorite collection. The one time I did loan out one of my very favorites after a promise that it would be returned, I have regretted for more than 20 years. I never saw it again. Sure I could replace it, but that's not the point. The point is lesson learned. Don't pass around or share a book for more than the reason stated above.

Did I say I have another pet peeve? Well . . .I'm sure you've heard about or may already have one of the new rage E Readers. Just about everyone I've met recently who knows I am an author will inquire about my books, then immediately follow with "are they available for "...........?" And of course I have to reply yes. I still have a few copies of my books on hand for personal promotion and sales, and further answer their questions with the option of having a "signed copy of a paperback."

The E Readers cut deep into book royalties. After initial purchase of the readers, the book downloads for them are priced far lower than the regular retail or "sale" price online. As a consequence, after the take of second and third parties including publishers, the author is left with little.

With the current economy, closures of book stores and the surge of E Readers, it has become necessary for authors to become even more aggressive and innovative in getting signings and sale events scheduled.

I've never deluded myself that it was going to be an easy ride as an author, but I was totally caught off guard by the rapid and dramatic decline of traditional standards in the publishing industry.

While somewhat disappointed, I am still very grateful for the opportunities to use the gift of writing that God so generously bestowed me.

May I suggest that you go shopping, buy a book to support your local starving author! :o)

Occasional is one thing but . . .

I believe I really do owe an explanation for my long absence. Without going into drama detail I will just briefly say that I was challenged with a major attack on my body. After surgery and follow-up treatments I am pleased and thankful to God to be able to say that I'm well and expect to stay that way. I thank all of my friends, family and my publisher's staff who supported me through prayer during my trial. It has been a difficult climb back from the valley.

Needless to say, the whole process distracted me from my works in progress and set me way back with my blogging. BUT, my love of writing is returning and I have purposed in my heart to get started again and to be more diligent in blogging.

My promotion and sales suffered during the time period mentioned. I did two successful book signings shortly after my surgery, but I quickly found out that was too much too soon. However, I am now feeling more up to the challenge of pursuing and preparation for events.

My next blog returns to the subject of writing and my thoughts about two points that are of interest to writers and readers in general.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Reader Feedback: When bad feedback is actually good.

Hi there -- it's me with my occasional blazon. I am always thrilled when I can share something that is positive and will also be encouraging to fellow authors.

I have been sincerely humbled the past few weeks since I received my pre-release author copies of Detour to Heaven. I am very selective with those I "give away" for feed back and promotional reasons. Hoping that the gesture of generosity on my part will be spiritually rewarded to glorify God. My hope has not been deferred.

Before explaining this entry title, let me share with you that as a Christian fiction author I am well aware when writing that I must reflect the honorable title of Christian (follower of Jesus Christ) at all times in a way as not to bring dishonor or shame to the Lord. So bearing that in mind, I proceeded with caution when I began Detour to Heaven because some content I knew would touch on sensitive areas of humanity. With humanity being the key word, I wanted to write what I sincerely believed was a good book inspired from God.

The first chapter reveals a rather shocking surprise, but I trusted the Lord to give me the eloquence to write without offending and compel the reader to continue reading to find the positive outcome. The novel contains further content that if not written well might leave the readers with a bad taste. However, that has not happened with my pre-release readers. And just this morning I received an email from a reader who humbled me with praise for the book.

Why the blog title: I have to smile when I remember my first encounter with one of the readers, she said: "I thought, I can't read this. But then I knew there had to be a good outcome." And another one of her comments was "At one point I was so angry, I wanted to throw the book through the window." (She was referring to what happened to one of the main characters.) She continued "But I didn't and kept reading." Her last comment is what every writer dreams of and loves to hear. . . "It's hard to put your book down." And when she finished it, "I wanted to call you last night to tell you how much I loved reading it, but I was afraid you would be asleep. I started reading it again." All the quoted material is from a professional who is employed at a place of business I frequent. Her enthusiasm for the book has led to pre-release sales.

Another encounter with a reader revealed a person who had obviously led a very sheltered life and had not encountered much of the world's ugliness. She was not even aware that one thing that took place in the novel actually happened in the world of humanity. She was genuinely surprised.

One reader said: "It is a little spicy." (Keep in mind that 'spicy' to some people may not always mean 'spicy' to others.) I asked her if she was offended, she said, "Oh no!" It's real life. I love it."

Another comment was: "Your first book was good, but you hit the nail on the head with this one."

So there you have it--sometimes negative reader comments are actually good comments.

Common denominator--all readers so far have identified in some way either with the main character or some event in the book. At this point I truly do feel blessed and humbled as an author. I have pending one book signing and one speaking engagement, dates to be announced after the release date of March 23, 2010.

An aside here: An open and personal belated congratulations Cliff Graham on your movie deal. You go! And thanks for keeping us encouraged to be passionately desirious to succeed.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back In The Loop

The occasional blogger is back! tsk! tsk! I gave you fair warning in my earlier posts that I was an occasional poster. :)

There has been so much human drama in my life since my last attempt at being a blogger that I'm not even going to attempt to address them. The good news though, is that I have a release date for my latest novel "Detour to Heaven." The date is March 23, 2010. Paperback or ebook versions are available.You can get information about both my novels at my web site

I will share with you that I have had a major challenge in my life these past few months, but as always the Lord has sustained me each step of the way. The life trial is not over. However, I stand in faith and am confident that I will ultimately come out victorious, because I truly believe what the Word of God says. If God be for us, who or what can be against us? ( In context: Read Romans 8:31)

It's early AM here in California. It's a cool crisp morning. A morning of clean air that follows a good rain. I am amazed that the earth still stands as I wait expectantly with many Christians for Christ's return. Yet I praise God that it is a day He has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Now, having did my duty to fulfill my promise as an occasional blogger, I will close this one out and go catch up with my fellow Tate bloggers and see what's new in their world.

A belated Merry Christmas! May God bless you abundantly during the New Year with all good things through Jesus Chrsit our Lord.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Strangers and Reader Feedback

As a writer of fiction I can't imagine anything more gratifying than positive feedback from readers or fans. Even more so, feedback from total strangers, those who know nothing about you except your style of writing penned between the pages of your book.

Authors, especially fiction authors are very well aware of how important "attraction" to your novel can be. Book covers for instance, can be an attraction or turn-off. Eye appeal is extremely important for book covers to gain interest to a book in the competitive world of publishing. As to non-fiction, personally I look for the title of a subject I might be interested in, rather than enticement of cover. That’s just my personal way of choosing non-fiction books.

Consider those things along with the all important "grab you" first few paragraphs or pages. I know some readers who never get past the first chapter of perfectly good books, simply because the first few paragraphs do not hold their interest. Also, readers can be turned off and put a book aside if there are too many errors, especially in the area of grammar. So as authors, we should pay rapt attention to grammar details, cooperate fully with, and listen to our editors when they make suggestions or changes. While as humans they can also error occasionally, the majority of the time they will be correct.

As a Christian fiction author, I'm also concerned that my novels carry a message that points the readers to the mercy and grace of God. Having said that, I'll share with you the following:

Shortly after my first novel Weapons of Light was published, I received an email through my web site from a total stranger. She shared with me that my book captivated her from the very beginning and was so grateful that she had read it. She ezplained that she had been on the verge of joining a witches' coven and reading my book changed her mind. I was so humbled by her email. There have been others, and I’m very thankful for them, who have given me positive feedback. But that first powerful reader feedback made the months of wondering if the book was good enough, working through production, and subsequent promotional efforts all worth it.

Tate Publishers' Mark Mingle, who is head of marketing, recently stated in an online blog that promotion and success can sometimes take much more time than we at first may realize. (Paraphrased) So when I get a little discouraged because things aren't moving as fast as I think they should, and I think sales should be better, I will remember Mark's words along with the kind stranger's response. And I will remember that my prayer had been if my novel changed just one life for the good, then it would have all been worth it. With that prayer answered, I am thankful for my success as an author, andI am eagerly looking forward to the release of my next novel later this year.

Having mentioned Mark's name, I want to also commend the rest of his staff for their excellent work, along with all of Tate's staff. Without their help and input to achieve my goal as an author, I would not be writing this commentary.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Another Successful Book Signing Event

Today, I was blessed with yet another successful book signing event for my novel Weapons Of Light. Fifteen out of the twenty books available for sale at Vine and Branches Christian Book Store in Lodi, sold during the three hours that I was there to sign. The bulk of which sold within the first two hours. My first event with this store last year was a complete sell out of the ten books the store ordered, with two back orders. This time the new owner asked me to supply twenty books for consignment at a very generous percentage for me. I had ten on hand, so I only had to order another ten for the event. The store events manager kept the five remaining books, confident that those also would sell. Plus, she was agreeable to my suggestion, as the new owner had been when I went in to meet him, that the store be the first event host for my next novel due out later this year. So, connections made with my current novel are working toward the success of novel number two.

Earlier during the week, I was at my local bank conducting business and the manager asked if I was retired, I told him that I was technically retired, but that I was a working author. He was immediately interested and asked what I wrote, I told him my genre, then he said that he would like to purchase a book for his wife. I told him that I had a copy in my car; he said "great, I'll take it!" Now I ask you, how easy was that?

For reasons that I won't go into, it's not always easy for me to get out and about to promote myself, so the help that I receive from my Tate marketing rep, Traci, is very valuable. Together we have co-ordinated my events. I'm not a top selling author at Tate, but I'm certainly consistent with successful book signing events, and I have gotten wonderful "stranger" feed back from my readers. So with humility, I consider myself a successful published author, thanks to Tate publishers and their wonderful staff. The couple of reviews posted on B&N and Amazon, have been favorable too.

Again, I am so thankful to God for His gift and inspiration to write, and to Tate for helping to make my little star shine brighter.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Is Busting Out All Over!

Literally, spring is busting out all over in my neighborhood. I absolutely love this time of the year when the spring flowers bloom and the blossoms spout on the trees that line the streets. It is one of the beautiful reminders in an unsettled and frightened world that God is still in control.

I have an enormous sense of community here in the (what some residents still consider a small) city where I live and I am so pleased that my first book signing event of the year is with an established Christian bookstore, Vine and Branches, that has just recently changed ownership.

In the current unstable economical climate, we are striving here to support our small businesses and keep our community afloat. It hasn't always been easy, because we've lost two of our major auto dealerships that provided a great deal of revenue. However, you won't find an open display of discouragement, because our goal is to survive the economical slow down and do so by backing our communities small businesses with as much support as we can with the means available to us. Since my past book signings created for my past hosts a good deal of foot traffic, I'm hoping that the same will happen at this event. So we are looking forward to the event On April 4th, at Vine and Branches Christian Book Store in Lodi, with faith and expectation for a great turn out!

Happy spring to one and all!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Review of "The Shack"

In between working on my latest novel and waiting for April to start working with my editor and entering production of my second novel with Tate Publishers, I have been reading. I just last night, finished reading "The Shack" by William P. Young.

I gave “The Shack” a 4 star rating because of originality and the fact that it held my interest, AFTER the foreword. My concern is that due to the style of writing it would be easy for some to forget that it is a work of fiction, and should be read as such. I have no doubt that supernatural encounters, dreams, and experiences do happen with God, because I personally believe with God all things are possible. However, usually those experiences line-up with the biblical depiction of how God does things.

I think it is great that the author stresses the need to depart from the religious ideologies and the impossible task of trying to live by the old testament laws. But instead, depend on the Grace of God--after all that is why Jesus came, to free us from religious bondage and the need to feel we must be perfect to please God. However, the author’s fictional way, in my opinion, leans more toward fantasy and new age philosophy, than the basic New Testament Gospel message.

The crust of the story is beautiful and impressive. How to reconcile and improve one's relationship with God, through Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, after some horrible thing has happened to make one angry with, and untrusting of God, by way of the “why do bad things happen to good people syndrome.” If you enjoy reading well written fiction, then by all means, read “The Shack.” But if you are adamant about how God reveals Himself, according to the Bible, then you may be a bit turned off by the “The Shack.”

When writing reviews, my goal is respect for fellow authors and their craft, along with truth in my opinion as a reader. On a personal level, as a Christian, I cannot endorse "The Shack." Even though it is fiction, as I said, it strays too far from the basic gospel message of the Bible. As a Christian fiction author, I always try to remain true to the message of Jesus as I "hear it" from the Word of God.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quiet Concentration

Hear that quiet concentration? That’s Ann going over her manuscript one last time before handing it over to Rachael in production to assign to an editor. I love this! This is such an exciting time. One reason being because I have learned so much since my last go ‘round with editing, and have high expectations for the promotion and sales of this novel.

During this New Year, I will be applying all that I have learned since the release of my first novel, Weapons of Light, in May of ‘08, about promotion and sales, to both novels. I can hardly wait for the results. It’s not only the idea of “making money” but the thrill of seeing your hard work and love of the craft succeed.

I truly do love to write, and have started my third novel, a mystery set in the beautiful state of Alaska. Duh? I would be inspired to do Alaska; I suppose since the Lord gave me the gift of writing, he is using it to have me stretch my brain a bit to learn of the great and mysterious weather pattern state. I am very excited about this project, and each day am eager to get to it, to see what I’m going to write.

Honestly, the surprise is genuine. After wondering what my next story line or project was going to be for some time, (If you check my web sight for "works in progress" you will see that I already thought I had the agenda in control.) Ha! The muse had something else in mind. I woke up one morning about a month ago, with the whole story line start to finish The hard part? Filling in the pages between “Chapter One” and “The End.” It’s also the fulfilling and fun part for me, because I truly do not know what I’m going to write next.

I am thrilled and thankful for the gift of writing. Never a dull moment!

Write on!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Official!

What wonderful news to report! (Don’t you just love good reports?).

It’s now official. My new novel, yet untitled, has been reviewed and passed by my acquisitions editor, and will begin production sometime in the early New Year. How exciting!

To fully understand my excitement you would have to know me personally and the sometime bizarre circumstances of my life course. Since you are not privy to that, let me just say that God is awesome and His mercy endures forever! In all things, I have been victorious and blessed. Plus, now, I am at liberty to use the obvious gift of writing that the Lord so generously bestowed on me.

Since English and writing were not my majors or minors while in school and the little college education I did manage to attain, focused mainly on business economics -- the gift of writing can definitely be attributed wholly to God. That being said let me say this: as I wrote in my profile, I’ve always loved to put pen to paper and come up with prose, but the timing and circumstances just wasn’t manifest until I was of a mature adult age. This proves to me yet again, that God’s timing in our lives cannot be underestimated. If we are patient, He will fulfill his purpose for us.

Timing: God often uses some of His children to help others. If we look at the comment I just made, from a Christina perspective, me being a late blooming author, in a very competitive hard to break into publishing world--Tate, I feel, was used to help me attain the goal and degree of success as an author that the Lord intends for me.

So, I’ll close this blog entry with: Thanks to all of my supporters who happen to read this, and thanks once again to Tate, for making my little star shine brighter.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ann Finally Makes Another Blog Entry!

I have, not a vengeful envy, but an awesome envy of those who are able to make daily, or even weekly contributions to their Blog. Writers write, right? Well, this writer is terribly inconsistence when it comes to blog entries. As I stated in my first entry, I’m an occasional blogger. My entries can vary from one day to months. Boring huh? Thank God, my efforts to write books are better than my efforts to blog.

 My first novel is doing well considering its short life in publication, thanks mostly to my marketing rep. My 2nd novel is pending acquisitions review. Whatever the outcome is, I am and will always be grateful to God for His loving kindness.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Creating A Reader Fan Base

For the newly published, a starter guide to begin the journey.

Readers who think you’re a great author are the best, of course. They browse for your books at Barnes and Noble, Borders, your niche bookstore, and recommend you to all their friends, family and neighbors. (Hey, don’t stop there dear fan, how about your colleagues at work.) These types of fans support you through thick and thin, good and bad times just like a faithful husband or wife. High five to all authors who have a fan base as I just described. However, such is not the case with many of us.

The secret to building a fan base varies, and goes in many different directions. The number one factor is building relationships, and this starts during the production of your book. First by building anticipation of the release date, with local media, reviews, and even setting speaking events at your church, local clubs, whatever avenue may be open to you, to discuss how you became a writer and the road to publication. I have found that the reading audience is very interested in how an author got started in their career. All of this requires thought and a real desire to succeed—plus hard work. Good things rarely come easy. Tate authors have an advantage to building a fan base, because they have the full co-operation of their personal marketing representative. These valuable people are ready to make contacts, and assist you in any way available to them.

Things to consider when building a reader fan base. Will it be a short fling, or a long-term relationship? Just as we do in personal relationships, we must work to keep our fan base intact by continuing to be interesting and from an author’s perspective, marketable. How do we do that? By delivering a superior product—an interesting, or inspiring piece of literature—one that captivates and holds the interest of our readers, should be number one priority. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, so it’s important to give fans something to talk about, long after they have read the book.

In the publishing world, readers are valued commodities, and we must cherish them. Write with your niche fans in mind; go to your audience, with the purpose to please them, rather than to sell to them. If they like the product, they will buy it.
In the business world, we hear of customer relations, to further the growth of a company. In the publishing world, the same principals apply. We must please our readers (customers) by giving them the products they want, to keep them coming back.

Points to remember: Know your readers—their interests—what is hot in your niche market. Exceed their expectations by writing the best book you can, possibly a best seller.

Friday, November 7, 2008

At Times Marketing Can Come Easy

Something interesting and flattering happened to me this past Thursday. Actually, it counts more as a compliment I suppose. I paid a visit to my local Christian book store to pick up the latest copy of one of my favorite author's books. The store had been my second book signing host. I was browsing the fiction section and the owner of the store came over to say hello and assist me. We had interesting conversation about the author since she is a local to us, and he had hosted a signing event for her when he was manager of a Family Christian store.

I told him that the author of the book I was purchasing was a real inspiration to aspiring Christian fiction writers and a very good author. Then I thanked him again for his support. He said that I was most welcome, and also welcomed to come back anytime.

I then remembered he had ordered 10 books for that event and they sold quickly. He then got his copy from behind the desk to use as display for back orders. In a small town such as the one that I live in, a first time author doing that well is a boon to the author's reputation. Also, at that event his manager told me that she had read Weapons of Light and enjoyed it very much. I was humbled and blessed by her comment.

Back to this past Thursday, I mentioned to the owner that I had signings in a neighboring city at Border's the 15th of November and possible one at B&N in Jan--but that I thought a spring signing for his store would be a good repeat time for a Weapons of Light event. He agreed.

After I returned home, I remembered that Weapons of Light has a very compelling Easter sermon near the dramatic ending. I was so blessed, because I can alert my Tate marketing rep to set the date the week or so before Easter, and I can use the Holiday as a great Easter gift idea, promotion tool. And I'm sure that the store will probably follow up on the idea.

Write on!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One More Time

I love to write. Yet, when it comes to blogging, my muse can fail me. However, I'm going to try one more time. This will be my third attempt with google blog. Why, again? Motivation is, well, a strong motivator.

The word occasional in my blog title seemed most appropriate, since I am rarely inspired with subject matter for daily blog entrance. However, I'm sure now, with the new motivation, there will be some need to ccomment more often.

Once upon a time, blogging wasn't that difficult for me. I always had much to say and seemed to be able to find things of interest to blog about and humorous things to comment on, pertaining to my writing or everyday experiences.

I don't know what happened--perhaps my lack of inspiration was due to a recent major change in my lifestyle, or the lack of having a person to be in love with. Who knows? The desire to blog is present, but the topics are lacking. Could it be maybe, that all subjects are covered in the blogging world?

My last attempt at blogging, believe it or not, produced stress. Yes, stress! I felt guilty because I wasn't updating my blog as I see the really interesting (in my opinion) bloggers do, some on a daily basis. Humm . . . not good. Of course not good--because a writer should never compare themselves to other writers, it only leads to disappointment in oneself. Writers should be their own unique selves! And with that uniqueness they will find their audience.

So, having said all that, I'll end this first entry with the promise that occasionally, I will update my blog! Stay tuned.