Tag Archives: writers

Christian Indie Authors Network Writers’ Conference — Shared from Jen Gentry


I am very excited to talk about the upcoming Christian Indie Authors Conference 2015, July 30 to August 2, 2015 in Davenport, Iowa at the Radisson River Front Inn. This conference is all about the self-published author and it is a groundbreaking event. There are many helpful sessions to choose from ranging from self-publishing 101, taught by keynote speaker bestselling author Darlene Shortridge, owner of 40 Day Publishing, to many selections on formatting, designing book covers, plus the hottest new marketing trends. Also, there are some special guest speakers teaching on how to improve your writing skills and what to look for when editing. The awards banquet promises to be a gala event where the winners of the CIAN Book of the Year awards will be presented. If you are a savvy self-published author or just starting to learn about how to be a self-publishing author I encourage you to check out this upcoming conference. To find out more about the #CIAN2015 Conference go to http://www.christianindieauthors.com/cia-conference.html

Visit Jen Gentry’s Books here:


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Meeting the Author — from The Most Dangerous Game by Sophronia Belle Lyon

most dangerous game chalk 25

“I am Edward S. O’Reilly, but you can call me Tex.”
“Well, Tex,” I [Sluefoot Sue] said, “just what is it you think qualifies you to write about Pecos Bill?”
“Why, I know everything about him.”
“Is that so?” [Pecos] Bill asked.
“Huh,” said Bill. “I thought I heard you mention women?”
“You have touched upon the biggest selling point of my books,” O’Reilly cried. “I will whet your appetite with the story of Sluefoot Sue, the woman Bill loved best of all. You will think me the greatest liar on the planet. Bill saw Sluefoot Sue riding down the Rio Grande on a giant catfish. Their eyes met, and it was love at first sight.”
“Well, at least he’s got that right,” I murmured.
“Sluefoot Sue demanded as a wedding present a chance to ride Bill’s stallion Widowmaker. Right after saying ‘I do’, that plucky cowgirl mounted the great black stallion Indian fashion. She bounced up into the sky. Bill tried to lasso her with Shake the Snake, his longest and best-trained reptile, but she continued to bounce until she landed on the moon.”
“Huh,” Bill said. “Say it ain’t so.”
“Why sir, I say it is so!” exclaimed O’Reilly. “You cannot pass up this chance to own a piece of history.”
“How many books do you have there, my good man?”
“I have forty-three left. Will you take more than one, then?”
“I will take them all,” Bill replied. He dug a twenty-dollar gold piece out of his pocket. The fellow began to fumble for change. I held his book box for him.
“Ready, darlin’?” Bill asked.
“I am, honey-bunch.” Bill let out a whistle. I tossed the box into the air. Widowmaker’s heels connected with the box and it burst open in midair.
Bill and I both unlimbered our weapons. Book after book exploded and nary a one touched the ground.
Bill tipped O’Reilly’s dangling jaw shut. “Keep the change, son, to compensate you for the loss of your box.”
“Who — how — why — ?”
“I am Pecos Bill, and this lovely lady is my wife, Sluefoot Sue. Let me suggest that you quit making up nonsense about respectable people.”
“B-but — ”
Bill lassoed O’Reilly with Shake, his bronze mechanical snake-lasso. “There are no buts.”
O’Reilly nodded like a woodpecker on a grub-filled log. I gave out with a whistle. Out of the river rose the Catfish, our steam-powered sub. Its mouth clanked open. O’Reilly fell on his backside into the Texas dust, his jaw pretty much unhinged this time.


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Decision time Is Here! — Post by Mary C. Findley

decision time is here

We at the Christian Indie Author Network want to help you make a very important decision. We want you to decide to join us at our first ever Indie Author Conference. It will be held July 30-August 2, 2015, at the Radisson Quad City Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 111 East Second Street, Davenport, Iowa, 52801.

We have come up with three reasons why you may still be undecided and we’d like to deal with them one by one to relieve your mind of some of the decision-making responsibility.


I still have questions
Please ask. If we don’t have an answer right now, we’ll get one. Our conference pages do have lots of answers already, though. We hope you’ll stop by the site and take a look around. We’re only an email away if you don’t find what you’re looking for. Check out our sessions or our full conference schedule. Look at the facilities, accommodations, and vendor possibilities. Don’t just keep saying “I don’t know,” or “I’m not sure.”


I don’t think I’ll have the money
Many CIAN members are struggling with finances right now, as are many Christian indie authors. We are believing God for finances, praying for each other, and seeking all the financial help we can get, to find vendors and supporters. We look at this as a need. God’s writer people have to help each other learn, grow, and have an impact in publishing. We declare 2015 to be the Year of the Indie. Come meet us, pray with us, and become inspired and informed.


Not sure what our plans for the summer will be
Make sure. Set aside this date and this place and come join us. If you are concerned about Davenport, Iowa being a boring or pointless place to spend precious down time, family time, or vacation time, please keep in mind that the Quad Cities area is a major cultural center not that far from Chicago and other cities. The host hotel has a major jazz festival at the same time as our conference and the hotel is already fully booked beyond our specially discounted and reserved block of rooms. Check around for yourself and see that we’re not asking you to drop into the middle of a cornfield.

vendors title

This post applies to vendors as well. We need swag and swag bags. We need cover designers, on-demand publishers, small presses, editors, writer software providers, marketing experts – Indie authors make their own choices about what services and products they buy. Help them choose you by being there where they can see you.


We haven’t forgotten readers, either. You are welcome, and more than welcome. We need you! Come and see our costumed story characters. Meet authors you know and authors you’ll be glad you discovered. Find nonfiction, children’s and young reader selections, romance, historicals, YA, scifi, fantasy – yes indeed, we write it all! Learn about the diversity that is the Christian Indie Author Network!

CIAN Website/Conference section

Facebook group

YouTube Video (made by Debby De Quilettes-Alten of Alten Ink)

who or what wait


Filed under Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Author Interviews for Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion

Two bloggers recently conducted e-mail interviews with Mary on the Young Adult Medieval Historical Fiction Novel Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion. Here are the links! Thank you to these readers and writers for their support! 



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Filed under Excerpts from our Fiction Books, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Book Review of The Shallows, What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr

Men’s minds and thinking are getting shallower all the time, but it’s wrong to blame that on the Internet. Many things are just as powerful as the Internet in changing our lives and our thought patterns. Rock music, television, video games and addiction (alcoholism) still play a greater role in “shallowing” the mind than the Internet. The human brain works the same way it has since Adam. The Internet is a minor cultural change compared to the Civil War in the American South, Concentration Camps for Jews, the ten plagues in Egypt and the decimation of Native American culture by Europeans.

(Note that all quotes below are from Carr’s book unless otherwise stated.)

Sabrina’s “workaholic” Linus Larrabee shouts, “My life makes your life possible!” “And I resent that!” playboy younger brother David shouts back. “So do I!” Linus retorts. This popped into my head as I read the repeated descriptions of the deep readers and contemplative thinkers. Nathaniel Hawthorne lay back and experienced nature for hours. Trains and busy working people disturbed him. The “shallow thinkers” Carr brings up are productive people, people with jobs. They have always paid for the lives of these deep thinkers.

Deep thinkers may not be playboys. They still need to be supported to lie in the grass listening to the breeze. Artists and writers from ancient times had patrons or they starved to death. Today their support still comes from those who can handle the world’s distractions. I say this as an artist and writer forced into the distraction of working or helping my husband work to pay bills and buy books like The Shallows.

Carr’s concept of “deep reading” sounds like Eastern Mysticism, opening the mind to everything, rather than reading as the Scriptures teach, “to know wisdom and understanding,” “comparing Scripture with Scripture.” If you can’t lose yourself in a long book you don’t learn properly? Then why does he reduce the Nathaniel Hawthorne tale of his Sleepy Hollow reverie to “snippets?”

Carr quotes wicked men as praiseworthy examples. Emerson, Freud, Nietszche and Marx are just a few of his favorite secularists. Studies are automatically authoritative. In our book Antidisestablishmentarianism we include this: “Dennis Prager, anthropologist and historian, laments the unthinking reliance on pseudo-science in today’s society. ‘In much of the West, the well-educated have been taught to believe they can know nothing and they can draw no independent conclusions about truth, unless they cite a study and “experts” have affirmed it. “Studies show” is to the modern secular college graduate what “Scripture says” is to the religious fundamentalist.'” (Prager quote from “Breastfeeding as a Religion,” World Net Daily, wnd.com, posted November 11, 2003 1:00 am Eastern.)

Carr’s “facts” are lies or skewed into lies. Plato’s Phaedrus strongly supports oral tradition. Theuth and Thamus illustrate oral versus written traditions. “Unlike the orator Socrates, Plato was a writer, and while we can assume that he shared Socrates’ worry that reading might substitute for remembering, leading to a loss of inner depth, it’s also clear that he recognized the advantages that the written word had over the spoken one.” Carr twists it to say Plato is supporting writing over oral tradition.

Plato knew of the honored Spartan tradition that their laws had to be memorized. “Plutarch, in his discourse on the life of Lycurgus and his rule in ancient Greece, expresses the belief that oral tradition is a way of making the law more firmly fixed in the mind.

“None of his laws were put into writing by Lycurgus, indeed, one of the so-called ‘rhetras’ forbids it. For he thought that if the most important and binding principles which conduce to the prosperity and virtue of a city were implanted in the habits and training of its citizens, they would remain unchanged and secure, having a stronger bond than compulsion in the fixed purposes imparted to the young by education, which performs the office of a law-giver for every one of them.”

Carr says Plato’s Republic opposes the oral tradition. “In a famous and revealing passage at the end of the Republic, … Plato has Socrates go out of his way to attack ‘poetry,’ declaring that he would ban poets from his perfect state.” Book Ten of Plato’s Republic starts off by saying that he wanted to banish the type of poetry that did not support his state. His goal was to rewrite the religious and imitative literature. Plato wanted absolute regulation of content, not the banishment of the oral tradition, as stated in Book II. “Then the first thing will be to establish a censorship of the writers of fiction (which includes the Poets) …and we will desire mothers and nurses to tell their children the authorized ones only.”

The book relies on the shallowness of gleaning opinions from others without testing them by researching in the work itself. Carr didn’t seek out the real meaning of the discussions in the Republic and Phaedrus for himself. This would be almost comical if it weren’t for his repeated emphasis on deep thinking and reading.

Carr talks about the cool serenity of library stacks, but we went to a college where the stacks were closed and the frustrations of getting the right books were endless. Open stacks are still time consuming if the book in the card catalog isn’t on the shelf. Leisure reading and research reading are very different. Long novels like War and Peace and Bleak House and technically difficult works like Einstein and Infield’s The Evolution of Physics are worth the time to read cover to cover. But the library is confining and the Internet is liberating when there is time pressure.

Carr loses the struggle to define determinism because he is thoroughly deterministic in his approach to the studies, the experiments, and the use of what he condemns (superficial research and study) to prove his point. He mentions a couple of histories of societies making technology choices, but, “Although individuals and communities may make very different decisions about which tools they use, that doesn’t mean that as a species we’ve had much control over the path or pace of technological progress.”

How dare he say the brains of London cabbies won’t be as interesting if they start using GPS? That thinking isn’t much different from withholding medicine and clothing from jungle tribes. They’ll be “less interesting” for anthropologists to study. “Anthropologists are often faced with situations where members of the tribe they are studying die on a regular basis from easily curable diseases. But administering medicine may be the first step toward the loss of a culture. Many tribes actually express desire to become more technological. Anthropologists usually pressure them not to do so. One Brazilian indigenous tribal chief, after hearing such a recommendation, is quoted saying, ‘Do they think we like not having any clothes? It may be the way of our ancestors, but the bugs bother us…’ Should tribes like these be exposed to the modern world? There are no easy answers.” (Quoted from BBC online, updated April 10, 2002, in our book Antidisestablishmentarianism.)

E-books already outsell paper books on Amazon.com, and have for over a year. The Kindle is easy to read, keeps your place, allows written comments and highlighting. It’s a “real book.” Many small and medium conventional publishers are out of business. Only publishing giants and specialty “boutique” publishers can sustain the costs of producing paper books. The minimal costs of e-books will force this trend to continue.

Carr even quotes Psalm 115:3-8, a description of the deadness and powerlessness of idols, and warps it to fit his thesis about “technology’s numbing effect. It’s an ancient idea, one that was given perhaps its most eloquent and ominous expression by the Old Testament psalmist.” The creation of idols didn’t just “amplify and in turn numb the most intimate, the most human, of our natural capacities — those for reason, perception, memory, and emotion.” This is blasphemy. How can he equate the deadly sin of idolatry with the mere loss of “natural capacities”? He does this because he’s a secularist. (The passage is included here) “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not. They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” ( KJV)

Placing of scientific journals online does not narrow the scope of research and scholarship, which has always built on past scholarship. An article from 2005 need not cite one from 1945. That research was incorporated into, for example, a 1960 article. Further study, experimentation and research would occur by 1960, or more recently.

At one time many libraries had that 1945 issue, interlibrary loan privileges or microfilm. Libraries today rely on online research, which requires membership fees, payment by the article or both. Some of these charges are prohibitive to keep paying and paying for every article an author wishes he could study and reference. Newer articles are more readily available, often free or cheap, and easier to find.

We have been bombarded with distractions and choices and sensory overloads for centuries. It was happening before the Internet, before Gutenberg, before Plato. It’s up to us to filter.

Nicholas Carr pays tribute to the Scriptures by calling Psalm 115:3-8 a “most eloquent and ominous expression.” Hear then, more of the Scriptures and judge whether Carr has any conception of how eloquent the Word of God can be, and how little he understands about how it should shape our thinking. (The following quotes are from the King James Version)

Ecclesiastes 1:8-11: “All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.”

Ecclesiastes 12:11-14: “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

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