Please join me in my fundraiser to send our Beloved Pastor George McVey to the IRC conference this coming September. Click the link to find out how.
At a recent writers conference I attended I heard for the first time a title I had never heard before. Hybrid Author. I had an inkling of what a Hybrid Author would be, but I never really understood what all that would entail. I like others wondered how such a thing would be possible. A Hybrid Author is one that is published traditionally and self-published simultaneously. But as I heard the rumblings of how this was the wave of the future and how some authors were really finding success as Hybrid Authors I still had some reservations. I wondered as others do if there were legal issues that could inhibit an author from having a foot in both worlds. So I did what any good author would. I got online and began to research the subject. In my search I kept coming across one name. Cynthia Hickey. I was a little taken aback because, you see, I knew Cynthia already. I met Cynthia on facebook about two years ago as a fledging author just gaining my sea legs so to speak with my first published novel. I was new to facebook and Cynthia was one of the very first authors to friend me and help introduce me to the world of social media. Cynthia remains one of the most personabale and helpful authors I know and I feel so blessed to be able to do this interview with her. Here are some questions Cynthia generously answered from other Christian Authors in my circle of friends. Thank you so much again Cynthia for taking the time out of your busy schedule to help answer some of our burning questions regarding Hybrid Authors.
Mary asked; Did the self-publishing come before or after traditional contract and success?
Cynthia: My first book, Fudge-Laced Felonies was published in 2007, followed by the other two in the series. Then, nothing. My career was stagnant. I let my agent go and saw an article on Amazon’s self-publishing. I figured, why not. I had nothing to lose, so I published two stories that didn’t have homes. Then, the mystery line my three published works were through closed. Another agent contacted me about putting the books in a line he was opening. I said yes, even though his line is through the agency, and thus still a self-publishing venture. My cozies have done extremely well as indie books. I have since had more traditional contracts, but still work on indie books inbetween contract deadlines.
Debbie asked; How much of the marketing does the publisher do for you?
Cynthia: Very little, actually. There just isn’t the time or the money anymore. Whether traditional or indie, the author is responsible for the bulk of the marketing.
Robin asked; Why did you go from one to the other? Why did you switch?
Cynthia: I really haven’t switched. I do both. See the answer to Mary’s question.
Elizabeth asked; What do you look for when signing on with a publisher? Do you have a particular publisher: why is that the best for you? And what makes you decide with ms to trad or self pub?
Cynthia: I let my agent decided the best publisher for a particular piece of work. It’s a huge relief to me not to have to worry about that. If he can’t find a home for something, and we’ve exhausted all avenues, I usually make he decision to self-pub. Otherwise, I self-pub in genres I’m not published in. I’ll continue to self-pub my cozies because I’m making more money there than my contracted friends.
Annie asked; I am curious to know why you choose to continue with both instead of going solely with one or the other.
Cynthia: Who knows what the future holds? What if indie pubbing becomes a thing of the past or Amazon makes too many demands or a self-pubbed author to make a living? Anything could happen. That’s why I like leaving my options open.
Alana asked; Do you need special "permission" from your publisher regarding what you self-publish? Do you have to offer them first rights?
Cynthia: Since my agent was my biggest supporter in going indie, he’ll make sure any publisher I sign with does not have a clause prohibiting me from self-pubbing. I’m afraid I would have to turn down a contract that prohibited it.
Christine asked; Which method has brought the greatest revenue and what are your best successes in marketing the self-published ones?
Cyntihia: I’m making a bit more at indie publishing, but so far I’ve been lucky enough to have them pretty even. My best marketing tools are Facebook and twitter. I also participate in blog interviews whenever possible.
Heather asked; What benefits do you have trade published that you don't get indie?
Cynthia: The benefits to trade publishing are: someone else doing the cover, a professional editor, and an advance up front with the other half spread out over the course of the publishing process. At least with the advance, I know how much money is coming in.
And finally Jen asked; What can you tell us about your agent and how your relationship with an agent works? How does the agent work between you and the publisher?
Cynthia: I have the best agent in the world! He encourages his authors to be hybrid authors, wanting his authors to make as much money as possible as knows this can only be done with multiple avenues of revenue coming in. He gives his one hundred percent at finding a home for the work I send him, but encourages me to self-pub if the interest isn’t there. Sometimes, we agree to shelve the work, other times we decide to self-pub.
BIO: Multi-published and Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013 and 2014 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 160,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at www.cynthiahickey.com
New Release from Pastor Goerge McVey, a man I consider to be an expert on Spiritual Warfare, and whom I count myself lucky to have as a brother in arms. His teachings WILL open your eyes and change your life.~Jen Gentry, Bestselling Author of The Gifts Series.
WARNING: This booklet will change your life. It is not for the casual Christian who wants to escape hell and nothing more. Don’t read this booklet or any of the others in this series if you want a one or two times a week, go to church and forget about God kind of faith experience. Reading this booklet will place you on the front lines of advancing the Kingdom of God.
In this booklet we will look at the weapons God has given us to fight the enemy. We will see that there are two classifications of weapons. We will look at how to use each weapon for maximum effect and what clasification of weapons to use at what times. We will learn what enemy strongholds are and what they’re made of. We will learn how destroy them in our own lives, as well as those lives of others that God leads us to.
George McVey always wanted to be a Superhero, sadly no radioactive storms or animals have been a part of his life. Instead he figured he could help people by becoming a pastor and sharing his faith journey with others.
With twenty years of ministry experience Pastor George has taught and preached on a lot of subjects. Often he would hear people request copies of his notes, or even on occasion suggest he put his rambling sermon series into book form. He never took them seriously.
One day while spinning a tall tale for his family, some suggested once again that with all his experiences in ministry, and his imagination he should be writing books. This time it was like lightning struck him and he decided why not.
Pastor George set down and began to write on his non-fiction work Prayer Walking for Spiritual Breakthrough. This was his most successful teaching series ever and he filled it with information and personal stories. Then showed it to a few hundred people who said publish it so he did.
Since then George has been hard at work on more of his sermon and teachings from his years of ministries. He also decided to take his family up on using his creative imagination and write a couple of novels.
George lives in the wonderful state of Almost Heaven West Virginia. he lives in a house with running water and everything. He lives with his wife of twenty-five years, three children, one grand child and one on the way, two lazy dogs and a cat.
If you ever come to visit you will probably find him setting in his lazy boy recliner working on some writing project. If not a teaching book,then a novel. If he isn't working on a novel either then he will be working on a short story or blog post. If he isn't doing either of those then he is either asleep or eating his other two favorite past times.
So I just finished watching the movie Osage County. What a bummer. I never thought I would hear Meryl Streep drop so many F bombs. Julia Roberts yes, she swore up a blue streak, no surprise there.
This movie is a very sad commentary on the reality of today's American Family. The real message behind this movie, I think, is that, as an adult, you don't have to take abuse from your family unless you choose to. Meh.... more or less anyway.
Being an Okie myself and not living to far away from Osage County I found the characters in this film to be more like Hollywood types and less like a dysfunctional family in Oklahoma might act.
Still, I empathized with the pain and legacy of abuse this family suffered. An unfaithful, alcoholic father and a mentally disturbed, prescription pill addicted mother who both came from poverty stricken and abusive families pass on a legacy of abuse to their three distant but equally disturbed daughters. The three daughters are all in dysfunctional relationships. One is an incestuous one. Ick... and I'll leave it at that.
There is a lot of hype around the "profound" message behind this movie, which is as I mentioned earlier, you only have to stay in an abusive and dysfunctional relationship if you choose to. What I took from this movie is that I really don't like depressing movies.If you like sad reality type movies then have at this one just don't say I didn't warn you. It is a real downer this one is.
Whew! I just got home from a fun and information crammed weekend at the Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc. (OWFI) annual conference. I met so many wonderful writers and supporters of writers. Published or wanting to be published or even just starting to think about writing. You name it, if it had anything to do with writing it was there.
So I thought I would share just a few of the things I learned from this awesome event filled weekend.
1. You can use tags to find readers on google. (Somebody please tell me why I never figured that one out before) Thanks Amanda Luedeke.
2. Famous people are really just people like the rest of us, and they can be really fun to be around too. Thanks Eloisa James.
3. Writers are HIGHLY entertaining and when you get several of them around a table the laughter never stops. Thanks to all of you. You know who you are.
4. Some people can stay up all night at slumber parties and still look great in the morning. (Unfortunately I am not one of those people LOL)
5. Some people think there is no market for Christian Fiction. (I can only draw a blank here)
6. Traditionally Published or Self Published does not matter. What matters is that you believe in your work enough to market and promote it yourself. (A wise woman told me to choose my own path)
7. It takes a lot of extremely hard working and dedicated people to put on an event like this. I only got to meet a few of you but I wanted to shout out to Natasha, Latreace, Christine, Jennifer M, Jenn Nipps, Tony, Jim, Doug and so many others that I did not get to know your names, Thanks for your hard work.
And finally I learned that sometimes just sitting and talking with an old friend can bring a clarity and encouragement you forgot you needed. Thanks Darlene Shortridge for making this conference so much more than just a writers conference. And to everyone I met, or didn't get to meet, thank you for making this conference so much fun. I look forward to seeing everyone again next year. So tell me what were the highlights for you this year~Jen
Jewel Bell is determined to get herself off the streets of New York. Homeless and left alone to deal with a strange phenomenon, every time she comes into contact with other people she experiences inexplicable pain. Except with Jake. Something about Jake lulls her, but is it dark and evil? Will Old Sam, her guardian angel, be able to save Jewel? At the same time Emily Bell, using her own unique spiritual gifts seeks out a sister who doesn’t know her. But even Emily and the Host of Angels at Perry House cannot keep Jewel from her destiny. Is that destiny tied to the demons that want her for their own? How far will they go to get Jewel? Will they kill her to keep her for themselves? Will having the gift of empathy save her or is her destiny to die?
Today we are talking to fictional character Jewel Bell from the newly released Christian fantasy novel ‘The Gift of Empathy’ by Jen Gentry. As you may or may not know Jewel Bell has a unique gift and she is with us now to tell us more about that gift and how she plans to use it to help others.
Good Morning, Jewel, How are you today?
I’m great. Today is a good day for me.
Really, and why is that?
Because this is a day that the Lord has made, but more for me it is a day that I can be around other people and not experience their pain. I am learning to control my gift so that I can use it for good and not evil.
That’s right you have the Gift of Empathy, but we’ll get more into that in a bit. I want our readers to learn a little bit more about you as Jewel Bell the girl before we get into Jewel Bell the gifted one. So tell us a little about you, Jewel.
Well, I am seventeen. I have dark brown eyes with dark brown hair that most people think is black. I spent most of my life living homeless on the streets of New York. My mother and I moved from shelter to shelter constantly. Since my mother believed that bad people were looking for her we were always on the run. I lived like that until my mother died. I never knew what it was like to have a place to call home until my sister, Emily, found me.
Wow… Jewel, that’s a lot to handle for one girl. So tell me how did you survive living on the streets?
After my mother died I thought my life was over. I didn’t think I would ever make it off the streets alive. My one hope was that if I could get good grades and learn as much as I could, I might be able to get into a good college on a scholarship. But I knew I would have to try and make it on my own before that could happen. It’s a good thing the Lord sent me Old Sam. I would have died just like my mother if Old Sam hadn’t found me. He helped me move on without Mom and kept me going so I could go to the school for homeless kids. We survived on the streets together until Emily found me and took me to Perry House to live.
And that brings me to my next question. Your sister, Emily Bell, you say she found you. Tell us how that happened?
Well as it happened I’d gotten into a bit of trouble with a boy I thought I could trust, Jake. Emily and her fiancé Ethan had been looking for me. Thank God they found me when they did otherwise I would’ve been kidnapped by a gang of human traffickers.
Uh.. How scary! But it turned out well, and then you went to live with your sister. So did your story end happily there?
I guess it could’ve ended happily at that point, but the Lord and the demons had other plans.
Because Jake got kidnapped by the gang he was working for and the demons came after me all the way to Hook Pond and Perry House. But that is a whole other story.
OK, I get it. So let’s wrap this up by talking a little more about your special gift. “The Gift of Empathy” it’s because of this gift the demons wanted you so badly, right?
Yes, the demons tried to get me to use my gift to help them control humans. But thanks to Emily and Aunt Gemma I learned about using my gift to help others and bring them to the Lord, just the way Emily helped me find Jesus.
That will bring us to a close. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us, Jewel. And if you’re wanting to learn more about Jewel Bell and her special gift be sure to pick up your copy of “The Gift of Empathy” available in ebook and paperback on amazon.com.
Power in the Name
Sometimes in the still of the night when my house is quiet I lie on my bed and ponder on: How Great is my God? In 1 Samuel 3:9 9 And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord is speaking to Samuel and when Samuel runs to Eli thinking that Eli is calling him, Eli discerns that the Lord is calling Samuel. Eli then advises Samuel to lie down (be still and quiet) and listen for the Lord. Great advice for when Samuel got into his quiet place and just listened the Lord revealed great things to him.
Early this morning as I lay in my quiet place I thought on how noisy my life is. I grew up in a very large family and I live in my own very large family. So there is really no such thing as quiet or peace until I purposely make it so. That is not always an easy task. With my day job, writing, the kids and grand kids, and all things social media going full steam all day every day I have learned to treasure my quiet time alone in my “quiet place” with the Lord.
On this Saturday morning my thoughts turned to how I would spend my day. I had been thinking I would like to go see Noah at the theater. I know, I know there are a lot of negative things floating around out there about this movie. I still want to see it and judge for myself. However, one little thing has been bothering me and that is there is no mention of God as we know him. God is referred to in this movie only as the Creator.
“God, how do you feel about being referred to as the Creator? I mean is that a good thing or a bad thing?” I ask out loud as I am still swaddled in my blankets lying in my quiet place in the early morning hours.
Since the Lord is faithful it was not long before I had an answer in the peaceful voice that speaks on the inside of me. The Holy Spirit. In this way the Lord reveals to me two things.
One, in an effort to not offend the people of the world and their many diverse religions the makers of this movie went with a generic term “The Creator” to encompass all. Insert my own thought here: My God is all and he is “The Creator” of all things. This movie does not change the great “I AM” in any way shape or form nor does it change his word. No matter how people perceive God or his word, He never changes.
Two, and this is the real point of this article, no matter what you call our God, be it Jehova, Yaweh, “I AM”, or just plain Lord he answers to his name being called. In just the way you turn to a person who calls out your name the Lord turns to you when you call his name. Psalm 18:6 In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.
This is powerful stuff. By just calling out his name the Lord in his temple hears you. This is why there is power in his name. I want to add to this that no man may come to the father except through the son, Jesus. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
To me this makes perfect sense. When you don’t know what to say, just say Jesus. There is power in the name to gain the ear of the Lord. Amen.
I have traded in my old site for a new and improved one. I hope you will join me for some upcoming events as I interview many of our favorite Christian authors from all different genres. Also I will be posting articles with some thoughts from myself and others on Christian Living in today's world. If you have a favorite author or a topic you would like to suggest for posting please send me a message using the contact me page.