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Write what you know. 

 

It’s conventional fiction-writing advice. As a result, readers have asked me about the events that motivated the storyline in After the Snow Falls. I’ve been asked if I’ve gone through the experience that Celia faces: a child suffering from a serious illness. One reviewer said, “Carey handled the writing of this book as if she had gone through the trauma of a terminally sick child…[she] made the harrowing scenes so real that your heart ached for the characters.” 

 

I’m thankful that I’ve never had to go through such a difficult experience personally, but when I was young, I lost a family friend to leukemia. The feelings of loss I experienced at that time were the inspiration for the subplot involving Caleb’s friend Michaela. 

 

More than anything, however, After the Snow Falls is a story of the healing power of forgiveness–a hard-won lesson that definitely arises out of my own personal experience. 

 

But what about the things a writer doesn’t know? How can she write about those? The answer, of course, is research. 

 

Writing After the Snow Falls led me into a lot of unfamiliar territory: 

 

  • what kinds of medical interventions are taken when a patient has difficulty breathing?
  • how late in the building season could one realistically expect to work in Southern Ontario, Canada?
  • does alternative medicine offer a cure for cancer?
  • what are some famous tourist stops on Route 66?
  • what kinds of sights and sounds is a visitor exposed to in Tijuana, Mexico?
  • how does an artist paint prophetically?

 

 I found some of my answers on the Internet, some in books. Occasionally, I made a phone call–always a nerve-wracking experience because it’s hard to imagine the impression you’re making on the person on the other end of the line: “Hi. I’m writing a novel, and I wondered if you’d have a little time to talk to me about what someone would be looking for if he bought a used transport truck?” One of my favorite experiences in researching this novel was meeting with the director of Toronto’s Ronald McDonald House and taking a tour of the common areas.

 

With each new research challenge, I had the opportunity to explore something I never knew about before. Aside from making words sing on the page, it’s my favorite thing about writing fiction.

 

 Carey Jane Clark is a homeschooling mother of three and author of After the Snow Falls. She and her family are expatriates living in China, where her husband is opening a business. She is currently researching two other novels and blogging at www.careyjaneclark.com

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Today I’m hosting my friend, suspense writer Pola Muzyka. Pola is an actress, model, producer, and novelist, who also shares great advice for aspiring writers. She writes edgy stuff, fearlessly broaching subjects most Christian novelists fear to touch, but her message is always inspired and uplifting.

Here’s Pola:

Hi there fiction suspense lovers. My name is Pola Muzyka and I’ve been writing on-the-edge novels for quite some time now. Two of these novels are set to release this year in four volumes. Find them at Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble and ebook stores throughout the world.

The release began with Abducted to Kill, Volume I, The Terror Regime. Purchase at Amazon: http://amzn.to/OAh1My or Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/NY7HDq or other fine ebook stores.

See what AssistNews press has to say about me and my work: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12080129.htm

Be on the lookout for three more books planned to release before fall “falls.” They are: Abducted to Kill, Volume II, Sleeper Cells; The Freedom Inside, Volume I, Delicate Cargo, and The Freedom Inside, Volume II, Sober Vigilance.
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Today, I write about strongholds. But my life wasn’t always this intense–it used to be worse. As an actress, model, and producer I was on the edge most of the time, so naturally my writing follows suit–it keeps you moving forward. My books, Stronghold Smasher Suspense, where faith and hope shine a light on evil, unravel some of the basic laws of spiritual defense. Hope you’ll delve into them and discover how others overcome evil and how you, too, can be prepared for the unnatural disasters of this world while you learn about the world that lies beyond.

Okay, now onto the good stuff: I’m going to share something with you that I have been mulling over all week. We can only do so many things in life and when God guides us and we’re in the right place at the right time, everything seems to fall together–maybe not in our time, but certainly in His.

On the other hand, when we feel good about something, it might not be good, particularly if it goes against God’s word. Eventually whatever feels good that is against God will fail until or unless we get in line with His will. So here are five suggestions for you to be sure you’re writing/doing what he wants you to be writing/doing and not writing/doing just what feels good.

1. God tugs at our heart strings. He knocks and knocks. What has he been knocking you out over lately? Believe me, if you are irritated or emotionally disturbed over something, he is knocking on your door to open up your heart to correct whatever it is.

2.  God prepares us in advance. What is he preparing you for? Have you noticed the same patterns in your life? Then it’s time to write about it or tell about it somehow, somewhere.

3. God gives us the desires of our hearts if we are in Christ Jesus. What is your desire that lines up with His will? Move forward in doing it or writing about it.

4. What obstacles have you overcome? Books about victory are very popular. If you have suffered by the hands of someone or something, and have pushed through, then God wants you to share your formula for success in that area.

5. Do you consult with him? Believe me, when we submit to God and give it over to him–whatever it is–he does push, pull, and tweak us into victory in the area we might have avoided all our lives.

In conclusion, do submit to God, don’t go against his will, and do give him thanks and praise whenever you see that tiny spark of victory. If you praise God in the small things, he will bring more and more good things into your life.

Don’t forget to see my blog http://strongholdsmashers.com for more biblical advice on every aspect of life. Thanks for reading my work. God bless all y’all–that’s Georgian for all of you. –Pola Muzyka

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A Way in the Wilderness

August 22, 2012

I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Is 43:18, 19)

The Children of Israel left Egypt’s lush NileValley to traverse one of the most inhospitable environments known to humankind. The Wilderness of Sinai is a desert rivaling the hostility of the Sahara, the Kalahari, or the Peruvian Sechura.
They entered this sandy oven with no food, water, or shelter from the elements. The Children of Israel believed so deeply in God’s Promised Land they stepped out into barren nothingness on His word alone.
And He did not disappoint. He brought water from a rock. He rained down food from the sky. He shaded them with a cloud, and kept them healthy and in abundance until they arrived at their dreamt-of Promised Home.
God can take care of you in a hostile climate too, be it literal or merely financial. He’s promised to provide all we need, in good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over.
So no matter how things look now, trust God the way the Israelites did. You can count on Him to make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

David

 

I’m totally pumped that my new novel Hummingbird has finally been released! It’s the sometimes exciting, sometimes sweet, sometimes scary story of Lexa Morales.

The back-cover blurb goes like this:
“She feels like a misfit. Who is she? Where does she belong? Is she Lexa, Alexandra, or someone else?
Forced to commit a crime, she flees south of the Border–and a vindictive bounty hunter follows her.
Will she escape? Find redemption? Learn who she really is and where she belongs?
The answer lies hidden in a tiny seaside village where wandering hummingbirds rest their wings.”

Lexa is Mexican by ethnicity and American at heart, but feels more like the dash between the words that compose the term Mexican-American than anything else. In her struggle to arise from the ghetto of her youth, Lexa commits a crime and flees south of the Border. While hiding from bounty hunters in a small fishing village, she encounters spiritual forces powerful enough to transform her perspective, identity and life.

It’s a fun and uplifting read I think you will enjoy. You can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks etc. Thanks for checking it out!