MaryAnn Ball is the published author of several books. Her first book, a parenting book, Preparing the Millennial Child, allowed her to utilize her experience as a parenting coach to share her knowledge with a wider audience. It was published in 2010 and revised in 2012 for the e-publishing world. Her latest passion is writing fiction and as a result, has been working on four novels. Her latest series, The Eden Covenant. As a fiction writer, she has used life faith-based lessons to create stories with colorful threads creatively woven to craft a world that cleverly draws the reader into its realm.
The Eden Covenant is a series of books that focus on the need and scope of preparing for a difficult future. Through the story-telling process, it teaches, informs and inspires readers to look to the future with faith and hope.
Mrs. Ball lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Gaylon and surrounded by her many children and grandchildren.
A life completely derailed, an old cabin in the mountains and an awesome, yet terrifying gift that he has no idea what to do with. Lehi Columbus has arrived at a crossroad and must choose —his addictions or his children, he cannot have both. The unknown path is perilous in either direction, but perhaps one way also includes love if he’s courageous enough to pursue it...
Where should your story start? With the characters? The plot? Well we have made this guide to help new and experienced authors begin the writing process.
1. Brainstorming Authors have tendencies to be constantly mulling over ideas for new novels. When brainstorming a new idea it’s important to jump right into writing a summary and then let your ideas settle. Come back and reread and then think on it for a few days. Sometimes our really good ideas are great and then other times not so much.
2. Make a Schedule Obviously writing is mostly made of creativity however, it’s important to remember the logistics such as editing and formatting. Creating a schedule will help ensure you will reach your goals.
3. Character Outlining Characters are developed throughout the entire process of writing. Usually characters won’t be complete after the first draft. As you go onto more drafts add more characterization into each character. Make sure each character can stand on its own and will be interesting for the reader.
4. Point of View Who will your audience be and what characters are most important? Is the story going to be in present tense or past? It’s a lot of work to change your mind so make a decision before going all in.
5. Conflict Conflicts should be developed along with the characters. This will help define the plot and each character strengths and weaknesses.
6. Start Writing After you have the basics down and the idea has been mulling over start writing. Focus on where you would like the story to begin. This doesn’t have to be the first chapter per say but make sure every chapter has a point and by the end it accomplishes something. If it isn’t relevant to the story as a whole, leave it out.
7. Developing the Scenes Do this in several phases. We suggest starting without the fluff. After the initial scene you can add more descriptions and characters. This will help nail down exactly what you are trying to get out of each scene.
Every writer has what works for them. If you are new to writing these are good suggestions or if you’re looking for a changed this is a great place to start.
Exclusive Author Interview- Larry Green's Newest Release The Root Cellar Chronicles
The Root Cellar Chronicles- Exclusive Interview
We've been excited to share this one-on-one interview with you. Comment anymore questions you have for Larry. If you haven't had the chance yet to purchase his amazing novel, click here for pre ordering! Book is released November 15th, 2018
Explain how you came up with the title? I had originally called the book, which I thought would be a single volume book for my grandkids to read, Willie and the Root Cellar. None of my family seemed to like that title and I was encouraged to make a series out of it so naturally, it became a “chronicles.” It also seemed natural that since the series would take place largely in a root cellar, that the series should be called The Root Cellar Chronicles.
What category or genre did you intend this to be? I’m a Sci-Fi junky so I would like to think that I have created something in that genre. I wanted to write something that expressed what my reserved, inner self dwells on but my grown-up public self has learned to keep to myself.
What was your purpose in writing this novel? There were several purposes in my writing this book. First and foremost was my desire to give my grandkids a fun story to read. They were all young readers (pre high school) when I started and I wanted to share some story telling with them. Secondly, When I read something that is written well, I marvel at how much can be conveyed so beautifully by the skillful crafting of words. I want to someday be able to do that and I believe that happens by writing, writing, and writing. Lastly, I enjoy writing.
Something you liked about it I liked the idea of finding something so completely mind boggling; a complete game changer, tucked away in something as overlooked and marginalized as an old fashioned root cellar. It’s the epitome of an oxymoron.
Something you disliked about it. In the first volume, I dislike having to lay the foundation for what is happening and for developing the characters, how did they come to be there, etc. Once the story gets going, it gains traction and becomes much more entertaining.
Why did you choose this setting? I had originally thought I would have Willis discover a discrete cave in the side of the mountain located behind the home his family moved into out in the country. However, the root cellar was closer to the house and wouldn’t require so much time to access plus the logistics of utilities, etc.
Who is your favorite character? Willis, of course, is my favorite character. He is a cerebral, nerdy, gutsy, cool type of kid that will grow up to someday rule the world. He is quite possibly a young version of Mr. Pugmire; a real deep thinker.
Who is your least favorite character My least favorite character is Luke. We’ll just leave it at that.
Describe the most significant episode in your book. (most meaningful to you) The most significant episode in the book for me was when Willis is pushed to his limits as he tries to understand what has happened to him and then tries even harder to explain it to his father. An almost subconscious action turns out to be his only link to sanity which grounds him to the reality of the events that have happened to him.
How did writing it change you, or your views? Writing has changed me in that it has made me start to think again. I began writing because, of all things, filling out insurance information. Each year, I would have to break down all of my flying hours into categories for the insurance company; type of air craft, multi engine, single engine, day, night, cross country, the number of landings, etc. One year as I was going through my log book to complete this task, I began reading the comments for each flight and remembering all the fun times and people that were part of each flight. I decided to write these stories down so my children and grandchildren could enjoy them as well and maybe even understand me a little bit better. The result was What a Rush, a book that I gave to my children and some of the key players in it. That book made me realize that I enjoyed writing. It also caused my brain to wake up and start working again by remembering the chronology of events and names of people and other details of the flights. Writing continues to change me as I become more aware of others writing and learn the difference between just writing and really good writing.
Have you thought about a Sequel or Prequel? Originally, I thought this book would just be a single volume project. However, with some encouragement it has turned into a series with several volumes. I think a sequel (or at least additional volumes) would be would be fun to develop since I have already exposed the prequel in the second volume.
Think back to the last time you read a book. Like a real book. One with chapters, characters, a story-line and possibly a happy ending. Most people get their daily reading through the news, Facebook, tweets, and directions on the back of their frozen dinners. Reading novels have significant benefits and by skipping daily reading, you could be missing out. Here are the top 8 benefits to reading daily…
1. Brain Upgrade People who read have higher GPA’s, higher intelligence, and general knowledge than those that don’t. In Anne E. Cunningham’s paper What Reading Does for the Mind (pdf version), she found that reading, in general, makes you smarter, and it keeps your mind sharp.
2. Stress Reducer Books are a great way to forget about your everyday stressors and get away. It can be like taking a trip without actually ever leaving!
3. Meditation Reading everyday is important for a clear mind. Reading forces you to sit down after or before a busy day. With instant text, messages, videos, our minds and bodies can use a quiet space to revitalize ourselves.
4. Problem Solving Cunningham’s studies have found that analytical thinking is boosted by reading. People can improve their general knowledge by picking up a book and reading. More importantly they are able to spot patterns quicker and solve problems easier.
5. Expanded Vocabulary Reading improves vocabulary more than talking or teaching. Reading forces people to look at words that they might not have seen or heard recently in daily conversations.
6. Retention Reading helps retaining information. Simple as that.
7. Enhanced Memory By reading daily you can increase your memory. The brain-stimulating activities from reading have shown to slow down cognitive decline in old age.
8. Deeper Sympathy The study, conducted by Rose Turner from Kingston University in London, found that individuals who enjoy reading are more friendly and understanding.
Of course everyone has a different taste in reading. However, I promise there is a genre for everyone. Whether you are into romance, sci-fi, biographies, there is something out there that can push your imagination and get you turning pages. Find what gets you excited and start reading for a better you. Next time you have some spare time, put the phone down and pick up a book.
If you haven’t looked through our selection today, click the button below!
Social media is a great way reach potential readers. Authors of all kinds need to learn how to use it effectively in order to do so.
“Effectively” has different meanings for every writer. With new technology and new social media platforms forming everyday, this task can seem unreachable to some. There is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and the list really does go on… Don’t get so carried away in the networking you forget about writing. Decided what you can handle and make that work. It is better to have a strong online presence on a couple platforms then a weak presence on all of them.
We strongly suggest prioritizing these platforms, Facebook, Personal Blog/Website, Twitter and Instagram. Decide which of these platform you can handle on a day to day basis and then go from there.
If you are new to the social media world here are a few guidelines to follow.
Content Is Key Keep your post interesting and full of emotion. Share links to articles or other online content that you find interesting. This includes posting links or tweets from people YOU follow. Doing so creates a good relationship with the person whose work you're sharing, and it gives your followers interesting content.
Be Real and Be You Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Your followers will catch on and they WILL unfollow you. Try not to blast new followers with links on where they can buy your book. You wouldn’t walk up to someone you’ve never met and try that so don’t do it online either.
Social Social Social Be social on social media. You would think this one is easy, however, several people don’t do it right. Make meaningful comments on other people's posts, engage in sophisticated conversations and share information your followers will read.
Try hard to stay away from constantly promoting your book but please refrain from doing so. The occasional promotion is fine. Updates on releasing new books so on and so forth should be kept to a minimum. Make social media about creating and building relationships and sales will follow after.
7 Things You Need Before Submitting to a Publisher
We often get submissions from authors that we regretfully decline. Not because the writing is bad or we think it won’t sell, but because authors often submit work before it’s “publisher” ready. How do we know if our work is up to par? Here’s a list of 7 things you should consider before clicking that send button!
Research The Publishing Industry: This often overlooked task is vastly important. Understanding the industry is important for a good publishing experience. By staying current on what’s happening within the industry you will save a lot of time and money. Your expectations will be set accordingly to the reality of the process.
Again… Research Your Market and Genre: When are we going to understand just HOW important research is. It is important to know what’s trending in your market. Know what is selling and what isn’t. Reading others work is a great way to not only network with others but help you understand how other people address the same topic you will be writing on.
No Hope of Fame: Focus more on the work and let the publisher decide that. Sure it would be great. And behind every author’s dream is a best selling novel. No best selling novel came by only hoping. Best sellers come from dedication and hard work so let’s start there.
Understand It Is Not All About Sales: Yes we need people to buy our books. However, book sales are never guaranteed and if a marketing firm does guarantee a certain number of sales, run for the hills. Create other goals that will help sell your books such as an increase in social media followers or more content on your blog. People will buy your book at some point but not until you work for it.
Market Your Book Prior to Submission: Over 500,000 books are published each year. This means even if you haven't been published yet, marketing yourself as an author and your novel is crucial. This will show publishers that your committed to getting your name out there and sticking in it for the long haul.
Be Patient: Publishing takes times. Sometimes it can take up to two year to show any returns on a book you’ve been working on. Step back, breathe, and understand that again, with hard work, a good publisher, and the determination to see it through. It can happen.
Have a Marketing Plan: This plan doesn’t need to be elaborate but it needs to exist. Work with the best tool an author has, the internet. Make sure you have some presence on social media and a blog never hurt anyone. By having a marketing plan you are taking the initiative to get your work out there.
Lastly, I want to touch on editing. Sure, the publisher will have an editor for your manuscript. That’s if your manuscript makes it that far. Have someone edit your work before you submit it to a publisher. This editor needs to be more than a “typo expert.” Have someone streamline your books flaws into strengths. Having a polished manuscript will not only cut publishing time but they are the ones that get published.
There are several times we have received manuscripts that aren’t good enough. Sometimes we wish they would be! They aren’t bad because the story line doesn’t make sense or because we don’t like the character development, but because the manuscript was filled with bad vocabulary, typos and poor grammar. These “bad” manuscripts we receive have so much potential, however, the author simple doesn’t understand the fundamentals of good writing. If these authors would read more their writing would be better. Now, we aren’t saying that simple writing is bad. We love simple writing. When it is done right. We think writers get confused between simple writing and fluff writing. Your readers are going to know when they are reading fluff. It is easily recognizable.
Writers should also be readers.
Writers should be reading… A lot. Articles. Novels. Magazines. And anything else. Reading is a helpful way to understand the art of language and value the articulation of words. As you read, you should remember ideas and thoughts and implement them into your own writing. Reading someone else’s work will inspire you.
Without reading, as a writer, you will often find yourself at roadblocks. Running out of words and ideas. Being a writer who reads is an important step to becoming the best writer. How to start reading is easier than you think. Since you will be reading for career experience it is not necessary to read like those who read for pleasure. You don’t always have to finish a book or article. Pick the piece apart and learn new ideas and words. Learn to love reading again to become the writer you know you are.
Exclusive Author Interview with Richard Green and Anita Johnson on novel The New World
The New World: Friends Elias, Shroba and Ribiab experienced the war in heaven as the Defiant One lead one third of God’s children in a rebellion against God’s plan for the New World. Ultimately, the Defiant Ones were cast out of heaven and sent to earth where the battle between good and bad would finish playing out. Elias struggles during his time of trial in the New World, as he walks a fine line between the two forces campaigning for his soul. As Elias searches for a lasting relationship, he is confused by a snapshot that is pulled from his memories that were locked away as he left his pre-earth life. Help from both sides of the veil try to aid him in his search for eternal love and answers to life’s greatest questions, as the defiant ones try to derail his every advancement.
We've been excited to share this one-on-one interview with you. Comment anymore questions you have for Richard and Anita. If you haven't had the chance yet to purchase their amazing novel, click here for ordering! Book was released May 20th, 2019.
Explain how you came up with the title? Many people picture the winding up scene of life as standing before God and being judged. Do any of us really dare to think beyond that point? Therefore, that often stands as the end of time in each of our minds. But as I thought about that being the last scene of my existence, it occurred to me that our time on this earth and ultimately our judgment before God, is really the Threshold to Eternity.
What category or genre did you intend this to be? It is a little hard to assume it could land anywhere, other than religious fiction.
What was your purpose in writing this novel? Richard: We felt the complete story, often obscure within the scriptures, is so wonderful that we wanted to make it more tangible than just words. Our goal was to use as many of our real life situations and experiences to tell the story; so whether the scenes depict the past, present, or future, they would seem relatable to the reader. We tried to share our sincere appreciation and love for our Savior, Jesus Christ and what we believe to be the purpose of this great creation we call Earth.
Anita: We have had experiences that have left no doubt there is another realm out there. Life-long involvement in family history research has also made us keenly aware that families who have completed their time on this earth are still involved and care about the lives of their extended family members. It was our desire to make life on the other side of the veil as real as life on this side of the veil.
Something you liked about it? We were able to relive cherished experiences and often found greater understanding as we pondered them in a completed view, some spanning many years. We also dug deeper into history and scriptures in an attempt to create an accurate telling of the great story of mankind.
Something you disliked about it? We originally created over 100 pages to try and frame the story for the reader at the beginning of the book; however, it felt like it took a long time for the story to take off. A few readers confirmed our fears. There are a number of books or movies that start well into the story, letting individuals figure it out as it unfolds. It became clear why writers do that. We cut most of those pages and pulled small sections back in as the story built up steam.
Why did you choose this setting? The concept of people living as children of God before coming to earth, and striving to help each other while on the earth (even though they are here during different eras) created the setting for the story – Pre-existence, mortality on earth, and final judgment to determine one’s eternal status are all part of our path. However, so many people only focus on life on this earth. We wanted to give readers fuel that would cause them to begin thinking of the larger picture, while creating hope of reaching a glorious end.
Who is your favorite character? That would have to be Elias/Mark. He is the person we spent the most time with. The greater part of our experiences and creativity were saddled to Mark. He largely embodies who we strive to be, however he seems to do a much better job with the challenges and experiences of life. The words, “hind-sight is 20/20” often came to mind while writing about Mark. It was a slight taste of what we perceive it may be like during those moments just before standing in front of the judgment bar of God.
Who is your least favorite character? It would probably have to be Tony. He had such strength and promise before he came to earth; however, once on earth he let the defiant ones pull all of that future from his grasp. Looking within ourselves, his weakness and waffling was a little too easy to create. Much of Tony’s character was also created using flaws of several people we grew up with. Those people had good traits as well, but Tony would not be Tony if we included those. One friend in particular added a lot of color to my early life as you will detect, he created scenes that dwarf fiction.
Describe the most significant episode in your book. (most meaningful to you) Richard: For me it would be the nearly disastrous trip as Mark had taken his son on a trip to Wyoming. After brushing off a warning of pending danger, Mark continued until he received a vivid flash of a dreadful conclusion if he continued ahead. After avoiding the danger, he stopped to thank God for the valuable warnings and made covenants to listen and heed future guidance without requiring a second warning. It stood as the catalyst for a new level of communications with God How did writing it change you, or your views? Richard: At a very young age, I had an experience that left no doubt within me, that we live along side another realm. Through pondering and prayer I later received understanding; which, was then placed above logic or intellect. In my twenties, when we were expecting our first child, a religious awakening took place within me. That awakening redirected my life toward a search for even greater answers and knowledge.
Have you thought about a Sequel or Prequel? Yes, the groundwork for a sequel(s) is well underway. The race is to complete it before the events of our future actually play out before our eyes.
In my thirties I began doing a great deal of religious study and research. I began creating a list of things I wanted to remember. The list grew from scripture study, historical research, gained inspiration by visiting historical sites, and acknowledging the lives of predecessors that struggled through life, providing advantages that benefit us even now. After several years the list of bullet points filled a large number of pages. I felt I needed to develop a way to organize all of the information in a manner that would maintain relevance and chronological order. A colorful and nearly fictional life had caused me to previously record a large amount of material of the events of my life and much more remained in the form of memories. So I decided to create a fictional story, merging my life and the bullet point list. Unfortunately it created a third person narrative that my wife couldn’t even complete. My sister asked me if I would read through a story she had written and provide some feedback. I considered that to be a huge act of compassion, as romance novels were not on my reading list. However, I was immediately blessed for that act of kindness, as I then knew what my own writing attempt was missing. My sister agreed to join me in rewriting my feeble narrative, bringing the characters to life through the addition of dialogue between them. We spent over two years, adding hundreds of pages to the original story. A male/female perspective provided important dimension a solo author may be incapable of delivering to readers. That became apparent as Anita was not able to provide any input while writing a fight scene between two young men. And her depiction of Mark spinning his legs around the end of a bench before standing was impossible for me to visualize. However, thanks and credit from readers for the softening and romantic elements within the finished pages of this novel should only be credited toward Anita.
The New World is available for ordering click here for purchase! Book was released May 20th, 2019. Published by Books You Can Trust Publishing.
Younger generations (and even some older) are turning to Instagram for its feed of gorgeous images. It’s been this way for some time now, but for the book industry, it's been the last year that Instagram is the platform to be present on. Why? How? Are people really selling their books through Instagram? YES! Yes, they are and it’s easier than it sounds.
Another social media platform might seem taunting or excessive, however, Instagram is known to be one of the easiest social media platforms to engage with your targeted audience! Here are some easy tips to help engage with your targeted audience on Instagram.
1. Post Often Posting often is a must to keeping a profile fresh. Don’t go weeks or months without posting and try to post everyday if you can. By being an active user, more readers will see you post. Use trial and error to see what times of the day you have the most engagement. If your targeted audience are adults posting at 9 am might not be the best idea because they are likely on their way to work. You need to think as if you were your targeted audience and post accordingly. Another option is to see when authors like you are posting and follow their engagements. This will help you gain a better understanding on what works and doesn’t.
2. Strategically Use Hashtags Hashtags play a major role in the Instagram world. These “keywords” are what help people who do not follow you see your post. There are millions of hashtags you can add to your post, however, adding more than 30 Instagram will automatically delete your caption so keep it below 30. To find good hashtags you can again, look up authors similar to you and see what they are using or start with the most popular hashtag in the industry, #bookstagram. We recommend adding these at the end of your post and even coming up with your own hashtag as apart of brand building.
3. Remember the 80/20 Rule The good old marketing rule that says you should only promote your own work 20% of the time and the other 80% should be other good content. This stays the same on Instagram. DO NOT make every post about how someone should by your book. Create good content as far as blog post, release dates of new work, and other things besides a sales post. It is also a great idea to share content from other people you admire that also correlates with your brand.
4. Host Giveaways Giveaways are a great way to help gain followers while marketing your book all at the same time. Easy giveaway prizes could include a signed copy of book or a combine deal with another author. It is always a good idea to add a more well-known author’s novel into the giveaway as people will know more about their book but will also be exposed to yours. The best way to host a giveaway is to set it up so the entrants have to tag a certain number of friends in the comments section. You can add “bonus” entries by having people share in their Instagram stories or posting a photo by using a special give away hashtag.
5. Engage! Engage! Engage! We can’t stress this enough! Have conversations with fan/followers about shared interests. Engage with their post and become a friend among your Instagram “community.”
6. Turn Opportunities Into Post Turn those day to day events into an Instagram opportunity. If you pick up a new book or get new marketing materials in for your own book SHARE IT!
7. Ask Questions Asking question in your post is a great way to give your followers an easy way to comment. The more comments and likes you get on a single post, the more likely the Instagram algorithm will push your content into more people’s feeds. Ask what people are currently reading or what they have planned to read? Maybe post a picture of your favorite book and ask for followers to share there’s?
8. Don’t Buy Followers No matter how tempting it is, don’t do it. Fake accounts won’t be engaging in your content and engagement is more important than the number of followers you have. It takes more time to build an account organically but in the long run it will be worth your time.
9. Sponsor a Post You can create sponsored ads on Facebook to run on Instagram. Boosting post every once in a while, can be a great way to target your readers.
10. Worthy Pictures People will keep scrolling if your pictures are blurry, uninteresting or hard to read. Research what other authors are posting and other people are engaging and go from there. Remember… practice makes perfect so if you feel like it’s hard and first do the research and keep practicing.
When did your love affair with good stories begin?
The first time a child picks up her first chapter book to challenge her newly acquired reading skills, and she's caught up in a world she fully understands, the world of IMAGINATION, she falls in love with reading! Within the pages of books, she identifies with characters who are different, gifted, challenged, royalty, or merely undeniably human. She visits exotic far-away places, (some of them real), experiences foreign cultures, is introduced to new ideas and escapes into worlds where problems are solved successfully and magically. A good story can transport you out of your mundane or drama-filled life into improbable, impossible, yet totally believable stories. And yet, finding new books to read can be frustrating. It is discouraging to download or buy a highly recommended book only to be slapped in the face with obscene language, suggestive scenes or violence. And while you love to read, you also desire to nourish your mind with uplifting, inspirational material, but where can you go to find fresh, new books that you can trust?
Thus the 3 Reasons to Read Clean Books from BYCT Bookshop:
1. BYCT Bookshop is filled with books that reflect your standards of decency and your love of good literature.
We will only sell books that have been cleared according to our high standards, so you can rest assured that every book can be trusted to never shock your discerning sense of morality.
2. BYCT Bookshop is fresh and new, but our goal is to fill the bookstore with books by accomplished, known and unknown authors who write edifying stories, or inspirational non-fiction.
Finding new books to read can be frustrating. And while you love to read, you also desire to nourish your mind with uplifting, inspirational material. We can help you find fresh, new books that you can trust.
3. BYCT Bookshop knows when you love to read, your life is filled with good friends, with stay-cation adventures and lasting imaginary memories.
We use good books as escape hatches from our own realities, or as your preferred coping mechanisms for chaotic filled lives. We understand books make you feel smarter, more connected, and more alive. Good, clean literature means good, clean fun. That's that we offer at BYCT Bookshop!
If you haven't read our newest Young Reader novel you can now! Click here or the image below for more information.