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Writing and Publishing

2012 Festival of Faith and Writing Conference

Last weekend I attended the Festival of Faith and Writing conference. It was in Grand Rapids at Calvin College. With 2,000 in attendance, it is by far the largest writing conference I’ve attended. At three days in length, it is also the longest.

There were sixty presenters and since I am currently working on two memoir-style books, I attended many sessions covering memoirs. As a special treat,I attended an offsite reading, courtesy of my critique group, featuring River Jordan and Amy Julia Becker.

Overall, I heard ten authors read their work. They were most mesmerizing. I wanted to buy a book from each one. And though I didn’t, I did break my “one-book-per-conference” rule, purchasing a book by both River and Amy Julia. I also won a book from one of the exhibitors, so I ended up with three.

The Festival of Faith and Writing conference is a biannual event, and I recommend you plan on it for 2014.

After the conference, I posted a press release on PRlog about my attendance.

This is the first of two writing conferences I will attend this year, with the other one being Breathe.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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Writing and Publishing

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Yesterday, March 2, was Dr. Seuss’s birthday. His full name was Theodor Seuss Geisel. He was born in 1904. Dr. was part of his pen name and not an actual credential. But when you’re writing children’s books, is a Ph.D. really needed?

Dr. Seuss’s work is timeless, capturing the hearts and imagination of each successive generation. With his clever turn of a phrase and a penchant for rhyme and rhythm, Seuss’s words are hard to forget. I suspect that most adults can quote a line or two, maybe more.

He wrotedozens of books, many of which are well-known, being adapted for both television and big screen. Other works are less common, but still worthy of consideration.

As a salute to Seuss, why not make a trip to your local library or bookstore and get a Seuss title, one that you haven’t read (or have forgotten you’ve read). Then go share it to the next generation of Seuss enthusiasts.

Or check out his 1971 book, The Lorax, in preparation of watching the movie, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, which opened on his birthday.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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Writing and Publishing

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born February 7, 1812. This month marks his 200th birthday.

One of his most popular books—and my favorite—is A Christmas Carol. It has been loved by generations and made into many a movie.

I recently heard a radio segment about Dickens. NPR reported that in 1843 he wrote A Christmas Carol in a mere six weeks. (He was working to meet a deadline). Even more notable is that his first draft was also his final draft.

Although there were edits and deleted sections in this first and final version, what he wrote on his first pass was essentially what was published. In just six weeks, Dickens wrote a book that lived on longer than he, becoming a classic and delighting reader for 169 years—and most assuredly for many more.

While not every one of his efforts came into being so quickly or flowed with such relative ease, this one did. Such is what can happen when an experienced writer is inspired—and under a deadline.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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Writing and Publishing

Tips on Writing Book Reviews

Last week I shared my foray into writing movie reviews. It wasn’t long before I began penning book reviews as well. However, unlike my short-lived tenure writing movie reviews, book reviewing is a practice that has continued. So far I’ve written 53 (it takes longer to read a book, so the numbers accumulate slower.)

The best time to write a review is within a day of finishing the book or watching the movie, allowing for some time to process it, but not enough to forget important details.

For example, after watching “The Life Before Her Eyes” it was several hours before I actually “got” the ending—and some reviewers hadn’t—so had I written immediately, I would have been one of them.

However, waiting too long is never good. I have six books sitting in my “to be reviewed” pile that were read in the midst of working on a big project (my dissertation) and set aside for a later review. I hope to get to them, but fear that I have already waited too long.

I just finished reading “The Reluctant Prophet” by Nancy Rue, which I hope to review today.

Like my movie reviews, about half of my book reviews have also been posted on my A Bible A Day website; the other half are patiently sitting in my computer, awaiting their eventual liberation. I plan to also add them to my soon-to-be-relaunched PeterDeHaan.name website.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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Writing and Publishing

Let’s Watch a Movie…to Improve Our Writing

I don’t recall who recommended Kristen Lamb’s book to me about blogging, Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer, but I am most appreciative. It’s packed full of practical information that is actually feasible for writers to implement.

Through her advice, I picked up some useful blogging tips and learned what I’m doing right.

In her opening remarks, she shares some general writing insights. As I’ve noted before, she affirms the need for writers to be avid readers, but caught me off guard with the admonition to also “watch a lot of movies.” I think I’ve got that one covered. In fact, I sometimes think I watch too many movies.

The purpose of watching movies is to learn from the dialogue, the story’s pacing, the plot development, the stakes, and so forth. And the best part about learning from movies is we can actually “work” as we watch them with our family and friends!

After the encouragement to read and watch movies, Kristen then says that we writers need to blog and be involved in social media, hence the impetus for this book, as well as her prior one, We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media.

Kristen offers much advice, and I have much to learn.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s new book: The Successful Author: Discover the Art of Writing and Business of Publishing. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.