Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Winning Sites - Ted Dekker

As promised - what I'm up to:

In my previous post, I stated that I wanted to promote Christian authors on this blog in some way other than reviews and interviews. The blogosphere (as well as the rest of the world wide web) seems to be brimming with both. My challenge was to come up with something different, something creative, something not overly time-consuming for me or authors.

Well, folks, I believe I've found it.

You've probably not noticed the small addition to the sidebar - yes, that's the one, which matches the title of this post. Winning Sites. How would you like your site to be listed under there? Read on.

Every once in a while (somewhere between weekly and monthly) I'll be posting a short contest on this blog. A few simple (or hard!) questions on an author or one of his/her books. Reply with a comment containing the correct answers, and you'll be entered into a drawing to have your blog, website, or a site of your choice (subject to content screening) listed under "Winning Sites."

Drawings will be held a week after the post, and the winning sites will be limited to 5-7 to keep a fresh, short list. But even with the most frequent posting, that's more than a month of exposure for your website. I hope to offer more prizes as this continues to grow.

Authors, want to get in on this? Contact me at theloneislands@yahoo.com. I'd especially love it if you were able to offer freebies to the winners - bookmarks, autographed bookplates, advance review copies, a signed copy of your book, whatever. Let me know what you're willing to offer.

As you may have guessed, today's contest focuses on Ted Dekker - more specifically his book Blink. One of my favorite books, it tells the story of what happens when a Saudi Arabian princess teams up with an American genius. You can buy the book at Amazon, CBD, or your local Christian bookstore.

Contest questions:

1. What happens to Miriam's friend Sita?
2. What's Seth's IQ? (estimate acceptable)
3. What's the first name of the professor Miriam goes to for help?
4. Why is Omar after Miriam?
5. What special gift does Seth have?

Put your answers in a comment to this post, along with the website you'd want me to list (or your email address so I can contact you if you win). Have fun!

Friday, January 27, 2006

"Missing" Links

Infuze Magazine (yes, I do like that site - in fact it's my homepage) recently posted an opportunity for readers to make their own mini-movie at Dfilm. The flash program is more like a comic strip with music and a limited selection of characters and backgrounds, but it was fun. Infuze posted movies for comment here, and you can also view my movie, "Missing Winter," here. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment either here or at Infuze. And after you view my movie, make one of your own!

On another subject, my little blog here seems to be doing quite well on online searches. Someone in Saudi Arabia did a blogger search for "novels," and Christian Novels was the top find for entire blogs about the subject. Nice discovery.

And speaking of novels, I don't know how many of you scroll down the page to see all the links. A handful of writers' sites. More than 50 reviews I've written. Almost twenty blogs I visit regularly, most of them done by fiction writers (even several editors). And, for dessert, links to more than 70 Christian authors - and I've read at least one book by each of them.

Since this blog is about the Christian novels I love as well as my own adventures writing Christian novels (and other writings I happen to be working on), I'm going to try promoting a Christian author on most of my posts. I already review many of their books (and as part of the Christian Fiction Blogging Alliance, post several of them on here), and other bloggers are already posting author interviews on their sites. So I plan to do something different. Just what, you'll have to find out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bits of Writing News

Well, it's official - my poem "Don't Go" made it into Infuze Magazine's Best of 2005: Short Stories & Poetry. I get not a red cent from the publication, but it's still great to have something published in a book.

I began the two-year novel writing course at Forward Motion this month. I'm using the idea I had for a fantasy novel, rooted in a short story written about three years ago. "The Keeper of The Stone" won second place in a writing conference's fantasy contest, and a judge's comments suggested I could turn it into a book. I've done little with the idea since, but now Karel and Tahir are desperate to get their story told. The course seems to be going awfully slow at this point. Important stuff is discussed, but the assignments are only a paragraph or two.

I also started the final revision of Winter's story, Evergreen Secrets. It's still hard to change more than a few words here and there, but I'm trying.

Reviewing is going well and staying fairly up-to-date. This month I found two of my earlier reviews quoted on the back of later books in the two series. My name wasn't listed - just the magazine's name - so it was a gradual realization (that sounds familiar - wait, I didn't I review that book?). Also, my fantasy round-up was published in Church Libraries.