Amazon Best-selling Historical Romance

Amazon Best-selling Historical Romance
Escape to a romantic period where love endured, grew, and flourished despite a Civil War.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Interview with Michelle Sutton, Acquisitions Editor

Interview with Michelle Sutton, acquisitions editor, Christian Fiction Online Magazine,

1) As an editor of an online magazine, do you prefer a more informal set of guidelines rather than a written code explaining how you expect journalists to make ethical decisions?

Michelle said, “My policy is to give the columnists freedom to write what they want to write, and if it doesn’t fit the mission or intention of the magazine, then we discuss this, and I ask them to make revisions.” According to Michelle, this has happened a few times, but the columnists usually understand and follow informal guidelines discussed before the actual writing of the column.

2) Do you have a written code of ethics for the magazine you edit? If so, what are they?

Michelle explained that she’s actually the acquisitions editor. She says, “I edit content in the sense that I make the bottom line decision about what is admitted for publication and what will be revised or not included.” Open communication between columnists alleviates the need for a written code of ethics, according to Michelle. “They know they can ask me anything.”

3) Describe in no more than 250 words ways in which fiction writers should apply ethical guidelines to their work.

“Columnists, for the most part, seem to inherently understand that their work must be wholly theirs and not plagiarized work of another author. This goes without saying. The way the magazine is set up, it’s pretty straightforward that each column is authored by the person who has volunteered to write the column,” Michelle says. She explained that it goes without saying that acceptable language is expected and rudeness is not allowed. However, sarcasm and wit are encouraged, since humor is a large plus. She says, “But the punch lines must be tastefully done. If they aren’t, then the story will not be published.

4) Do you have a personal code of ethics? If so, please share.

Michelle said, “My ethical code is pretty simple. I don’t write anything that is not uniquely my own work and expect the same from my columnists. It’s a given that I will only write content that comes from my own experience, and nothing more.”

5) What advice would you give writers about code of ethics?

Michelle advises, “Only submit work that is uniquely your content, ideas, and your original work.”

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Larger-than-Life Lesson to Learn

In the July/August 2008 edition of Today’s Christian Woman, “Work the Wait: How I Make the Most of God’s Delays,” by Stephanie Voiland provides a real-life example of someone searching and waiting to find a job. She uses the statement, “God meets us through the waiting journey in ways beyond those originally asked or imagined. And he lovingly reminds us he can redeem any situation.” The article is full of transitional statements that move the reader between scripture and life, revealing how scripture applies to our lives. Presently, God is meeting me through my waiting journey of writing. Reading God’s Word and reflecting allows me to feel Him in my life. I now understand how I needed molding and shaping and wasn’t ready for publication or success when I made my first writing attempts. I had a larger-than-life lesson to learn that was more important than becoming published. I pray God allows me to successfully write and touch others by learning to effectively tie scripture to life and write articles and books to reach out to others, as I, myself, have been reached through other Christian authors.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Believing in God by Beth Moore

Believing in God by Beth Moore

Beth Moore’s book effectively integrates scripture and life because it does not merely dump scripture and quotes from the Bible. Instead, it relates real-life experiences tied to scripture. For example, she explains how God enjoys seeing perseverance and proven faithfulness of daily devotion. She writes of how God directs us to keep walking around our own Jericho, repeating the same steps even when nothing seems to happen. We must keep walking and keep the faith. This scripture ties right into my writing life in that I must not give up, must keep walking through the writing journey, keep repeating those steps, and keep the faith, even when it seems like nothing is happening. Moore’s book was so effective I read through it while on a road trip to Tennessee, after I lost my youngest sister. I woke from a dream early the next morning, a dream of my sister phoning me from heaven. I feel the dream came from God, after I drew closer to Him, through the reading of the book, and He let me know my sister was well and happy, and He was taking care of her. The dream was so real and so vivid. I could hear my sister's voice saying, "I want to talk to Jane." My husband shook me and woke me up. I must have been talking in my sleep. I didn't get to finish the dream, since he woke me and wanted to go to Denny's for breakfast. It was going to be our first visit to Dollywood, and he couldn't sleep, or so he said, because he was excited. We went to breakfast and on to Dollywood, while I replayed the dream and the voice I'd heard over and over in my mind, like a tape recorder, answering machine, or voice mail message. I think my sister wanted me to know that I had to go on with my earthly life and she was living her heavenly life. She wanted me to remain a Christian.This dream happened four years ago, and I've grown closer to God and developed the relationship I already had with Him to a much closer walk. My prayer is that my children will learn to walk a closer walk with God.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Journey on, Journal On

As we journey on with the new year, I reflect upon personal journaling of years past and how I've grown as a writer and a Christian. When I look back at writing from a decade ago, I wonder how I once thought it was such great writing. My voice comes through, and I see the messages loud and clear, but mistakes jump out at me like a I'm proofing someone else's writing. Sometimes, I ask myself, "Did I really write that?" A roller coaster emotional ride tilted my world topsy turvy until I began a closer walk with Jesus. I see how far I've come with writing, but more importantly, I see how far I've come in my walk with Jesus. He's lifted and carried me so many times through this journey we call life. I have a personal relationship with my best friend, Jesus, and I pray my children and grandchildren will develop such a relationship and discover who their true best friend really is.

It's back to work. The holidays are over. On we go with life, work, and being busy, but I'm never too busy to remember God and pray. My prayer for today is that my children and grandchildren will be blessed and learn the power of prayer early in life, that they come to develop a loving, personal relationship with their Savior, and learn to trust Him as the best friend in life that He truly is. Don't walk this hard road of life alone. Let Him support you, uplift you, and carry you through trials on earth. When you hit a roadblock, call on God. He's always listening. He's always there. In Jesus Christ's name, I pray. AMEN.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Blessed New Year--Discover True Hdden Treasures This Year!

Happy Blessed New Year to all. I pray you'll discover true hidden treasures this year and be inspired and blessed to make it a better year by improving yourself personally. There's always room for improvement in writing and in life. Our New Year's consisted of grilled chicken, burgers, and fireworks, and I was able to discuss God, a bit, with a young couple just starting out. I thank God for the opportunity. I made sure they knew I believed in God and put my faith and trust in Him. I also had the opportunity to discuss certain Bible scripture as they happened to bring things up that lead to it. I hope God used me to talk to them, and I hope the poiints got through to them. I pray they'll reflect upon our discussion. I did my part, and I know God will do the rest. I realize I can only lead by example, and I'm striving to show my faith and trust in the good Lord, hoping and praying all my children, grandchildren, and the young couple I spoke with will follow the example I'm striving to set. Invite Jesus into your heart and hurt, the pains and problems you have in your life. He wants to be part of it all. Let Him. You'll discover a true hidden treasure in God's Word and in His Son, the Son who can be your best friend. He's mine. When the young man said he didn't know for sure if there was a God, I firmly said, "I do. I've felt His Holy Spirit and Comforter." I went on to explain to him that I know there is because He's always been there for me when I needed Him and that's how I know there's a God.

God bless you all. Blessings and prayers in the New Year!