A peek at my messy binder
Well here it’s been a little over a year since I published my first book. So ta-da! I’ve actually been working on this (not consistently unfortunately) for quite some time now. This is the first draft of my second book, The Summer of Our Lives. It will be the first in a short (by that I mean roughly 100 pgs) adventure series of a group of young kids (ages 9-15). The series will be seen through the main character’s eyes, Mary Ellen, as she and her brother and friends rollick the countryside, get into scraps, and learn important life lessons.
Sneak Peak below!
My side smacked the handle of that iron frying pan when we hit the bottom of the hill. Did it hurt! I stuck my free hand in the gunny sack to pull out that bad pan, and I felt something else metal; the handle of a pistol. And then I realized how much danger I was actually in.
Excerpt from The Summer of Our Lives, Book 1 in The All For Jesus Gang
Join the All For Jesus Gang in the first of many adventures as they romp in the beautiful Big Sky country!
Growing Up Wilder, my first completed and published book, was written in diary style. It wasn’t my favorite style, I think I prefer third person the most, but I had heard that it was best to start out writing in first person to help with character development. Being fond of diary styled books, I decided to go that way, plus I figured it would be pretty simple, almost like writing in my own journal except I get to make everything up (How cool is that?!). A lot of what went into the book I actually did experience, though. And, for the most part, the writing was easy.
Except….when it came to dates and the historical aspect. Because it was a diary, every date had to be correct. Sometimes I would accidentally miss a day or put the wrong date on the entry. That wasn’t most of the trouble though. It seems like I should be able to go back and just change the numbers, no problem. But no, changing the date meant changing the day of the week, meant changing what they did because of the different day of the week. And then you have birthdays, and holidays, and baby due dates! Yeah! I had to go back and fix things when I realized one of the babies was several months overdue and the other extremely premature. (Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, and even though I vowed not to do another diary book it is actually coming into a good light in my mind again.)
The historical part…every month, day, hour had to be accurate. Ahh! So yeah, researching followed.
For the writing part, what I missed with writing a diary book was putting in dialogue. I tried adding all I could. My favorite part was that it was pretty easy – like writing your own diary. I felt it was a pretty good choice for my first book.
Here’s a form you can fill to learn more about your characters. Choose Word or PDF format.
Character Interview Form-Word
Character Interview Form-PDF
Check out this quiz to find out which character you are most like from the book!
Growing Up Wilder Character Personality Quiz
I don’t fully consider myself an author yet. One published work doesn’t seem enough. It might take three or even four published books in my hand before I feel I’m actually living my writing dream. But to start out, this wasn’t actually my dream.
I had originally wanted to go into the movie career, but since that door wasn’t very open at the time I decided to pick up writing because it seemed like the next closest thing. Now? I love it. My mind doesn’t stop informing me about all those unexplored places, new people, mysterious plots…
I write because I have a story to tell. It comes to me and I pen it down because I can think of nothing else. I write because I like to make up my own endings. Nothing was more heartbreaking than a horrible ending to a great story. I write because I have imaginary friends…or am I insane? They seem real. Sometimes I tell them what to do, sometimes they tell me.
I write because I’m always daydreaming. Focused? Nope,
my mind’s wandering. I write- because it’s a way to tell the world something.
Well, you should be working on your next book, but….
There are things you can do after writing your novel to keep your readers interested and looking for more of your work. I would suggest to get your author name online, so when they research your book they can find out more about you and if you have any other works out there.
Some sites you can set up an author profile on are:
Also, why not start a Facebook page? I’ve found that as the easiest way to go, and the easiest to keep your readers interested. Make sure you like a lot of writing sites so if you don’t have anything to post you can always share theirs. Then don’t forget, there’s always the blog. On my blog, I give my readers more information about my book, recipes from the book, etc. Depending on how professional you want to be, these can be free, too. There are several blog hosts so before you begin I would suggest looking them up so you can find the one that works best for you. Some hosts are WordPress, Altervista, and Blogger. You can also set up a Gravatar.
Then there’s what I’ve just started looking into, which is making activities that go with the book. I used Playbuzz to make quizzes and am looking into other things.
For lots of these options you will want to upload photos that go with your post/quiz/etc. If you don’t want to take these yourself, there are some great free stock photo websites out there. For ex. Pixabay and Stockvault.
Hope that was helpful. Get to work putting your name out there!
I recently decided to make some fun online games to go with my book, one of them being a character personality quiz. I thought that would be easy, but boy was it a lot of work! I didn’t know as much about my characters as I thought I did. It ended up with me taking an online personality test as each of my characters just so I could learn more about them. Not a bad idea! I learned so much about my characters that totally made sense, but I never realized before. This said, I plan on taking that quiz for my characters before writing my books now, and I would encourage others to try it. Such a help for character development.
Here’s the link to the personality quiz I took to learn about my characters:
Free Personality Test / 16 Personalities
Check out this cool quiz I made to test your knowledge on the book! Click on the link below and don’t forget to comment your score.
Take the Growing Up Wilder Trivia Quiz
Road trips are the best. We went on this one so my brother and I could compete at the National Poultry and Egg Conference in the avian bowl competition. (Did I forget to mention I’m very active in 4-H?) The competition was held in Louisville, Kentucky. We got on a tour bus and visited Churchill Downs
Kentucky Derby Museum
and the Louisville Slugger museum and factory.
Louisville Slugger Factory
At the competition we got second place. Here’s a few pictures of my team and me.
After the competition we got to visit friends in Virginia and North Carolina. That was awesome. Virginia is super beautiful (here’s a pretty picture from a walk we took, the cover picture is also from VA)
and in North Carolina I slid headfirst down the stairs on an air mattress and made a hole in the wall with my head (here’s a pretty picture of the hole).
We also visited relatives all along the way and stopped in Mount Rushmore
and the badlands, South Dakota.
Badlands, South Dakota
I was excited to drive through Montana, the setting of my next book.
Beautiful, isn’t it? Well, time for the writing to commence now.
Character Interview: Jesse
How old are you? 9
What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to run around with the gang, hunt bullfrogs and worms, play boardgames, help my mom and dad, and lie in the woods and think about God and His creation.
Any pet peeves? It makes me sad to see people get hurt or doing naughty things.
Give me one interesting thing about yourself. I really want a little sister or brother.
Favorite color? Orange
Tell me about your family life. I live with my mom and dad just outside of Twin Pines. We raise chickens and have a milk cow, Brown Eyes, and I have a dog and some cats. We also grow corn.
Any future career plans? I’m not too sure but maybe a missionary.