Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Visit With Missy Tippens

interview by Nancy

Missy Tippens is two-time Maggie winner and 2006 Golden Heart finalist who sold her first full-length novel to Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Her Unlikely Family (Formerly titled Michael’s Surrender in contests) was a February 2008 release. She sold her second book just last week. Welcome, Missy!

We love call stories here in the lair. Would you like to share yours?

I’d love to share it! On January 30, 2007, I came home from the grocery store, put everything away, then made my lunch. As I was walking by the phone with my plate in hand, I decided to check for calls. And I nearly fell over when I saw Harlequin Books on caller ID!

I listened to the message, knowing it could only be good news. They don’t call for rejections! The Steeple Hill senior editor asked me to call her when I got in.

About that time, my husband came home for lunch, so he got to be there when I made the call. (I was so nervous, though, I closed myself in the bedroom!) The editor said she loved the book, told me what she loved about it, and said they wanted to offer me a contract. She told me the terms, and was nice enough to tell me she knew I would probably want to call her back after thinking about it. Since I was in shock, I knew it would be a good idea (even though I wanted to say YES! immediately). I was stunned. My husband was more excited than I was at the time. I called my critique partner, Lindi Peterson, and she just laughed at me because she could tell I was in shock. She said to call her back later to celebrate.

I did call some published friends to get advice on contract negotiating. Then a couple of hours later I called the editor back to accept. Once I had accepted, it finally hit me. I don’t think my feet touched the floor the rest of the day. :)

You do a program on enduring the long road to publication. Are there any tips you'd like to give the AYU banditas and our visitors?

#1 Keep writing! You’ll only get better and better, plus you’ll have something else to immediately offer them once you make that first sale. Also, don’t give up! I stayed on the journey for over 10 years, but never would quit (even though I thought of quitting numerous times). So stubbornness is a good thing! Also, go ahead and build your web presence—website, blogging, etc. And attend conferences, network, and enter contests. You’ll make connections and will get valuable feedback.

Tell us a little about Her Unlikely Family.

Here’s a blurb: Take responsibility for his orphaned niece, yes. Raise her himself, no. A good boarding school was what the girl needed, not an uncle who was never home. But then Michael Throckmorton's niece ran away. And the big-hearted, beautiful diner waitress who'd taken her in wasn't letting her go so easily. Josie Miller had a few conditions for Michael. Oddly enough, he was willing to listen. Yet days later, why wasn't he hauling the teen back to school and himself back to the city? Could it be that an unlikely family was forming?

I loved the quirky bits with the characters--pink and green hair, homemade jewelry, etc. Did anything in particular inspire you to add these things?

Well, I was inspired by Flo on Mel’s Diner (the old show—giving away my age here). In fact, my editor asked me to take the Flo joke out because young readers wouldn’t get it. LOL Still, I pictured this floozy waitress and this very stuffy banker. The other stuff just happened as I was writing—those fun things that come, I believe, as gifts from God as I’m creating the story.

I don't read a lot of inspirational romance. While the religious element in Her Unlikely Family was prominent, as I expected it would be, I didn't find it preachy. Is that a fair description of most inspirationals? Are there any common misconceptions about this subgenre you'd like to correct?

Great question! I think a lot of people are scared of inspirational books. They don’t want to be hit over the head with the Bible. But one of the things the editors will say is that they don’t want preachy. It is a tough balance, because there is supposed to be a plot thread running throughout that involves faith issues. But first and foremost, Steeple Hill Love Inspired wants books that are a good story, are romance and are entertaining.

For me, I write inspirationals because I write what I know, and my faith, going to church, praying, is all part of who I am. So some of my characters are going to be that way. They’re definitely not perfect, though. There’s always going to be some way that my characters will grow closer to God in the story, but so far, that hasn’t involved major plot points. Still, I’m amazed at the reader mail I get that talks about how the story brought them closer to God. It wasn’t necessarily something I intended, but God used it. What a blessing to be part of that!

You've recently gotten over another big hurdle and sold your second book. Congratulations on that! It's due out in June of 2009, isn't it? What are you working on now?

I'm beginning work on the second book that I'm hoping will be in a series with the recent sale. I'm in the midst of characters study using the Rasley workbook (see below). I'm also working on the Art Fact Sheet for the new sale and will be receiving a revision letter in the next couple of weeks.

What are your favorite sources of writing tips?

Oh, goodness. I’ve learned so much from so many sources! Books, conference workshops, critiquing. I guess I’ll just share two or three of my favorite how-to books/workbooks.
1. Alicia Rasley’s The Story Within Guidebook.
2. Carolyn Greene’s Prescription for Plotting notebook.
3. Deb Dixon’s GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict.

All three have really helped me learn to plot better so I don’t spend years revising. (No, I’m not exaggerating!) And yes, I’m learning to be a plotter. I spend a lot of time learning my characters first, then come up with plot ideas and possible scene ideas. I generally know my beginning and my ending. I just have to figure out how to get from one to the other!

Thanks for inviting me, Nancy! I’ve enjoyed the interview. Also, I’d love to give away a copy of Her Unlikely Family. Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing!

To learn more about Missy and her books, visit her website: http://www.missytippens.com/.

Was there a person who particularly inspired you? A quirky character you met, in a book or in your life, who stays with you? Do you have a favorite writing handbook?


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, did I get it? Hmmmm...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I did! Hi Missy! We have this funny tradition here in the Lair. The first commenter gets "The Golden Rooster" Looks like he's coming to DC for the day...Grins.

Great to have you with us, Packer Pal! Glad you're here. I'll be back more tomorrow to comment. Right now, I'm off to bed.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, your timing is impeccable. *g* Take good care of that bird.

Anna Campbell said...

Duchesse! I thought I was a shoo-in for the GR today and you beat me! Congratulations!

Missy, great to see you in the lair. What took you so long? Congratulations on selling not one, but TWO books! After all that time unpublished, I bet that felt really surreal.

A lot of people have inspired me in large and small ways. Sometimes it's only a fleeting meeting but you hear something or feel something that you take away with you forever. Sometimes it's a lifetime thing.

Cassondra said...


Missed it by a nose!

I mean...a BEAK!


Hi Missy! (waving madly)

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Missy! Good to see a familiar face in the lair. Must say I've read all of your mentioned writer references plus a few more. I figured the more books on writing I owned, the better the chances the knowledge would seep into me like osmosis *g*

Love your cover! Have you done anything special to celebrate?

Christine Wells said...

Hi Missy, huge congratulations on your new release and selling the next! I think your premise sounds so cute. Nice interview, Nancy.

I think call stories like yours are wonderfully inspiring. When writers believe in themselves enough to keep working and submitting for years and then they finally get the Call, it's the best feeling. I love reliving that moment over and over through others.

I would probably add Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass to your list of resources. I've also found Michael Hauge's workshops invaluable.

Christine Wells said...

Ooh, duchesse got the rooster! Congrats! I hope he doesn't get any grandiose ideas at your estate, Jeanne. We might have to start addressing him as Coq du Snork!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair, Missy!
Great to have a Packer Pal visiting.

Thanx for sharing your "Call" story and for reminding everyone that inspirational romances are first and foremost A GOOD LOVE STORY!

Congrats on the GR, Duchesse and Mme. D-W, I'm ROFLOL at Coq du Snork!

Helen said...

Congrats Jeanne have fun with him

Great post Ladies and big congrats on selling two books Missy I too love hearing everyones call stories.
There have been so many people who have inspired me especially strong females who know what they want and go get it.
Everyone here has inspired me to blog as I have said before I lurked a lot before I got the courage to actually type something

Have Fun

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your success Missy! Your story is a good one that shows how perseverance pays off. With Mother's Day coming up I have to say it's my mother who inspires me.

Gillian Layne said...

Congrats on the GR, Jeanne! It's storming here now, so he knew to get out of Kansas!:)

Missy, I rave about inspirationals to anyone who will listen. I didn't know what to expect before I read one, but they are just so charming and such a comfort read, and the humor is a joy as well. I enjoy both Steeple Hill books and the historicals from Bethany House. And I see Steeple Hill is offering historicals as well!

The biggest thing that impressed me about them is the deft way the author handles physical attraction and longing. They are very romantic stories, even if it is behind closed doors!

Congratulations on your new sale!:)

Buffie said...

Hey Missy!! Congrats on your books! I have to tell you that I absolutely loved Flo! She was a wonderful character. And I happy to know that I can look for a new inspirational author. I love Dee Henderson, and I am always looking for someone new in that genre.

peggy said...

nice interview and love your book cover

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi again, Missy! Wonderful call story. I was quite suprised, as you referred to as well, that most Inspys weren't in any way preachy. I judged some for a contest and was really pleased with the stories and ease with which most of the writers worked faith in, just like in life. :> Great to have a Packer Pal here in the Lair. Oh, and lest I forget, WOOOHOOOOO on both the first and second sales. Go, YOU! Heehee.

I love the Michael Hague stuff, as someone else mentioned. I also like Writing Down the Bones, I forget the author, and On Writing by Stephen King. :> I've read the ones you referenced too and like them a lot.

Okay, the GR and I are off to run boys to school...c ya later!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Good morning everyone! Just crawling in from work and read the blog before bed. Lovely interview Nancy, and welcome to the Lair, Missy.

My taste in books is highly eclectic and I've been reading inspriational romances since I discovered my aunt's Grace Livingston Hill collection as a teenager. Then the Jeanette Oakes Love Comes Softly series. I love the idea of a Flo character for the heroine. (I loved Flo too!) I'll have to pick up a copy of your book.

Do you let the books just happen? Or do you have a message you'd like to get across as you're writing them?

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Missy! Thanks for swinging by the lair today & thanks to Nancy for bringing her by!

I'm not usually an inspirational fan but any book featuring Flo from Mel's Diner as a heroine is going in my TBR pile. :-) (Why do I have the intense urge to yell "Kiss my grits!"?? Is that the right show?)

As for books on writing, I'm a big fan of Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. Oh, & Self-Editing For Fiction Writers. Ooooh, & Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott. Love that motto. Bird by bird. Chapter by chapter. Heck, word by word. Whatever it takes to get past the paralysis & get something down on paper.

Looking forward to checking out your stuff, Missy!


Christie Kelley said...

Missy, welcome to the lair! Congrats on the two books, that's awesome!!!

I love the call story. Nothing like caller-ID to leave you stunned before you even make the call back to the editor.

And you listed my still favorite writer reference book - Deb Dixon's GMC book.

Keira Soleore said...

Missy, welcome to The Lair. Congratulations on the sale of your series. And what a fun interview!

Are you going to be giving a workshop at National this year on tips for the AYU writers?

What a study of contrasts UNLIKELY has. Do you play on the same theme in your series, too? Do tell us more about your series.

It's great you got fan mail with your first book. That's rare, I've heard.

Jeanne: Congrats on nabbing the GR.

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, everyone! I'm glad to finally get here. I've been to school (teaching my class), then went to get a pedicure to perk me up some. I have a broken foot and an awful boot I have to wear. It's a huge pain.

Hey, Jeanne!! Wow. You definitely get the early bird (or early rooster) award. 12:03 am! :)It's great to see you!

Hi, Anna! Yes, it was definitely surreal. Lindi said my voice sounded monotone when I called to tell her. I guess it I was just out-of-body at the time! LOL

Hey, Cassondra!! Waving madely back. :) Goodness, that Golden Rooster must be really nice! Y'all are viscious competitors for it! LOL

Hi, Donna! I loved my cover, too. I thought it gave a really homey feel--which was what the hero really liked about the heroine's house. As for celebrating... My family bought be balloons and a card after I sold. Then we all went out to eat (yay, no cooking!). Then when the book came out, I dragged them all to Walmart for photos! :)

Hi, Christine. Yes! I would definitely add both your references. I especially loved Michael Hauge and Chris Vogler's The Hero's 2 Journeys. I bought the DVD and took notes while watching it. It's been a huge help! Also loved the Maas book. I've been to one of his workshops and it was amazing.

More in a few minutes. :)


Nancy said...

Cassondra and Anna C.--don't feel badly. Jeanne had an edge this time.

Donna, I love your osmosis theory! I also have a honkin' big stack of writing books, but the theory hasn't paid off for me yet.

Christine (and Susan), I also have Writing the Breakout Novel. I heard the program in Chicago and thought it was very useful.

Coq du Snork! LOL!

Helen, I'm glad you plunged into the blog thing. We always enjoy your visits. I, too, have had the good luck to know some strong women. They aren't always in the foreground, either. They just dig in and "get it done."

Duchesse and Rooster Holder of the Day--I also have Writing Down the Bones (told ya I had a honkin' big pile). It's by Natalie Goldberg, for the curious. Also love Bird by Bird.

Gillian, I still have historical romances that belonged to my grandmother (Inglis Fletcher's Carolina series), and I didn't feel deprived by having the serious amour go on behind closed doors. I liked them enough to hunt them down at library sales. I now have only one to find.

Suz, my grandmother also read Grace Livingston Hill, but I couldn't keep EVERYthing.

For the Flo fans--she was my mom's favorite TV character. And a very strong woman.

Missy Tippens said...

Hey there, Aunty Cindy! :) I'm terrible about keeping up with the Packer email loop, so it's good to see you again!

Helen, good for you for getting over the fear and posting! I can remember getting ready to hit publish on a post and having my heart pound. It is scary until you get used to it. Thanks for joining in today!

Maureen, thanks for sharing about your mom being an inspiration. You'll have to be sure to tell her! (I know I forget to tell my mom I appreciate her.)

Thanks so much Gillian! Inspirationals have come a long way from what I tried reading many years ago. And you're right about the attraction. In fact, I reaaalllly had to tone down the physical attraction in my first book while revising it. LOL The editor said I had way too many kisses and they were too cavalier. And truly, once I started working on that, I realized my pacing was too fast. I had to up the tension, drag it out. And I really got a good laugh when I got a reader letter that said she couldn't put the book down--and that she thought they would NEVER kiss! :) I guess I learned my lesson on pacing. LOL YOu know, even with books that do show love scenes, if you think about it, don't you love the ones that make you wait... and wait. It's like you can't quit reading until something happens. :)

Hi, Buffie! I'm glad you know who Flo is. I used to love that show. :) Also, I love Dee's books! You know, Steeple Hill also has Love Inspired Suspense books. I've read really good ones by Debby Giusti and Lynette Eason (and am drawing a blank on others). So if you like suspense, you should check those out.

Peggy, thanks for visiting! And thanks on the cover. Actually, they had me add a cat to the story so they could put it on the cover. They said kids and pets on covers sell well to LI readers. :)

Well, gotta run for a while. I'll catch up with the rest of the messages after lunch with my hubby! :)


Cassondra said...

I'd list Stephen King's On Writing as my fav. I have most of the others too, though I have not read Alicia Rasley's book that you mentioned. I'll have to look for that one.
I recently organized all my books by category and I have three full shelves of fiction writing books. Some I have double copies! I'm culling now, giving some away. There's just no more room!

Trish Milburn said...

Hey, Missy, old buddy, old pal. :) I'm thrilled to hear you recently sold your second book. Was that a huge sense of relief on your part? I think most of us fear that one-book-wonder thing.

I've not been a huge reader of inspirationals either and when I do read them they for some reason tend to be historicals. Have you ever written anything that isn't inspirational?

Trish Milburn said...

You know, I think all the workshops and writing books I've read have all coalesced in my brain into one big blob. I unconsciously use that info when I'm writing.

Suz, interesting you mentioned the Jeanette Oke series. I've been watching the movies they made of the Love Comes Softly series. Another author I've enjoyed is RITA winner Tamera Alexander.

Trish Milburn said...

Missy, oh no on the broken foot. Was it too much happy dancing after selling that second book? :)

Missy Tippens said...

Hey, again, Jeanne! So I have to ask, what's the GR that you mentioned going with you to take the boys to school?? Or is that your car? :)

Hi, Suzanne! Thanks for the welcome. As for letting stories happen or planning a message, I've done it both ways. One story (that hasn't sold yet) started as an idea about character conflict (over infertility), but I also had a theme Bible verse that hit me one day as perfect. So I had the verse all along. Most of the time I'm thinking about story all along and see what kind of message I can find once I'm done (or else it comes to me as I'm writing), then I go in and reinforce it as I'm revising. Part of it is charcter discovery and the journey they go on. It ends up revealed as I write. That's what's so fun about it, too!


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, *wince* on the broken foot, Missy! I had foot surgery a couple of years ago and the only thing that kept me sane was a periodic pedicure. :>

WTGo on getting to have lunch w/ the DH too. I love it when I get to do that.

BTW, I did have an unfair advantage on the rooster nabbing, but hey, I'm that kind of girl. Give me an unfair advantage and I'm there. Mwah-ha-ha! The GR's currently enjoying our screened porch and laughing and making rude gestures at the neighbor's cat.

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Susan! Yes, you're so right about word by word. Some days it's a stretch to get any words on paper. I remember taking part in Beth Patillo's The 100 Club. The goal is to write 100 words a day every day for 100 days. If you miss a day, you have to start over. That was a real challenge, believe it or not! When you see 100 words on paper, it's not much. But doing it ever day?? That was hard for me because I'm kind of an all or nothing person. If I can't sit down and write 10 pages, then I won't do it at all.

Obviously, I've had to get over that! LOL


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, that's a cool challenge, Missy. Hmmmm. Wonder if I could manage it. My goal is 30 pages a week. Some days I make it, some I don't.

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Christie! Have you ever attended one of Deb Dixon's workshops? She did one at RWA National one year called Climbing the Slippery Slope. It's still one of my all-time fav workshops. If any of you can get your hands on a tape of that, be sure to listen!

Keira, yes! I'm actually going to be taking part in giving a workshop at National. I didn't pitch it, but am filling in for a woman who had to back out of a group-led workshop. Debby Giusti, Janet Dean and I (all Love Inspired authors) will be talking about The First Year After the Sale along with editor Krista Stroever. I'm so excited about it! (And I'll be horribly nervous that day, too!)

As for the theme of opposites--yes, I do tend to write about opposites a lot. It's just one of those themes that seems to keep popping up! The book I'm planning now has a hero and heroine who are opposites socioeconomically and with their education (although I'm not sure how much that will come into play). The book they just bought is about about a somewhat geeky physicist (although when the story starts, of course, he's now a hunky physicist who still bumbles around on occasion) who returns home to see his granny and runs into his high school crush, who was the popular cheerleader type back then. Of course, they'll fall in love. :)

One of the most exciting (and surprising) things about the first book release has been the reader mail! I've been blown away by it. But from what I've seen, it's pretty common with Love Inspired readers. Some of my friends who've sold their first books have had the same. I've even had quite a few snail mail letters, one with a poem a woman wrote for me. Such sweet thing to do!

And Jeanne, never mind my question on the GR!! LOL I just realized what it is. (Not some new model car!!!!!) :)


Missy Tippens said...

Cassondra, I really cracked up that you have multiple copies of books. I'm sooo glad I'm not the only one!! :) It's hard to keep track when we have so many, isn't it? :)

I loved Stephen King's On Writing! I borrowed it as a book on tape, but had to be very careful not to play it with kids in the car!! He's got quite, uh, colorful language. :)

I really enjoyed his book because it was so encouraging. If even he struggled, then we can stuggle and make it, too.


Missy Tippens said...

Howdy, Trish!! It's good to see you. :)

I love reading historicals (inspy and non-inspy), but I could never write one (too much research!). I actually started out writing contemporary romance with some humor. The first one I ever submitted went to Duets (remember way back then? It got a form rejection.). Then I wrote another targeting Silhouette Romance, but ended up subbing to Love Inspired (got more personal rejection). Oh, and I submitted to NEXT, also (got rejected twice! LOL). All but the very first manuscript had some of an inspirational element in them--which I actually tried to tone down before submitting. But then I just quit fighting it. I decided to just write the manuscripts and then submit wherever they needed to be subbed. After that, I started entering the inpsy category in contests if there was one.


jo robertson said...

Great interview, Nancy. Welcome to the Lair, Missy. I'm so intrigued by your subgenre of writing. Like Nancy, I've been leary of being innundated with religiosity LOL. I like the quiet, reflective kind of faith.

Speaking of which, my husband has been the single most shaper of my beliefs and values. He's been a great life partner.

Missy Tippens said...

30 pages a week is excellent, Jeanne! My ideal would be to go away for two weeks and write the book without sleeping or eating. Well, not without eating. I'd have to have some good junk food nearby. And lots of Diet Dr. Pepper. :)


jo robertson said...

Oooh, Jeanne, congrats. Take the GR to the Smithsonian, my favorite place in D.C.

I agree with you, Christine, on Writing the Breakout Novel. It's an eye-opener.

Helen, I'm so glad we Banditas gave you the courage to blog. We enjoy your regular comments! No Lurking in the Lair should be our new motto LOL.

Gillian, I agree that it takes great skill to make a book sensuous without sexual detail. I, too, like that about the inspirationals. Of course, I also like a little detail once in a while LOL.

jo robertson said...

Missy, now you must tell us how you broke your foot! Anything dramatic?

I confess that I'm old enough to remember Flo's "Kiss my grits," too!

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Jo! Thanks for the welcome. :)

I've been shaped a lot by my husband's beliefs, too. We met when he was in seminary, and we would discuss things he was studying for hours on end. We both did a lot of growing, then.

In Christian fiction, you'll find a lot of variation in how prominent the faith element is. I haven't read any lately that was a turn-off for me, though. I think the writing is getting better and better in that the faith element tends to be oranganic in the story. It can't just be plopped into the story later. And that makes for a better read. :)


terrio said...

Hi there, Missy. I haven't read any Inspirational but I loved Flo. That was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. I guess that means I'm old. No shock there. I'll have to look for this one.

I have several books on writing including the Maas one and Deb Dixon's GMC. Lucky for me, we've nabbed Deb to do the workshop for our chapter conference in November. I'm so excited!

For inspiration I come right to this blog. Everyone here, Pubbed and AYU, gives me motivation to keep going. Congrats on all your success and here's to many more sales in your future!

Gerri Russell said...


Loved your call story! So very happy for you with the release of your first book!

PJ said...

Welcome Missy!

Love the cover of your book! I'll definitely be looking for it. I enjoy inspirational stories where faith is a natural extension of the character and the author doesn't hit me over the head with it. The first inspirational romance I remember reading was back in my teens and it was Catherine Marshall's CHRISTY. It had quite an impact on me. I was in B&N last weekend and saw new copies of it on the Summer Reading table for another new generation to discover.

I love the opposites attract theme and the book you're planning now sounds like its right up my reading alley.

Do you find that your readers are from a specific demographic? I've wondered if certain generations are more drawn to inspirationals than others.

Missy Tippens said...

Well, I just lost a whole long post because our dsl modem is awful. (new one ordered)

So let's see. I was making fun of myself because I just now figured out what AYU means! LOL

Now that I know, my answer to the question about a workshop at National might not make sense. But actually, the workshop could be helpful for the AYU. We talk about things that you can do before being pubbed. Plus, you'll be more prepared for when you do get The Call!!

And for me foot. I wish I could say it was some graceful dance move. (The docs said it's actually called a dancer's break!) But I just stepped off a little 2 inch ledge wrong and my foot folded under. A friend across the room heard the bone pop! (sorry for you squeamish. It still grosses me out to think of it!)

Several people at church have asked if I got mad at my hubby and kicked him too hard. :)


Missy Tippens said...

Terrio, you're going to love the workshop with Deb! She's a great teacher.

Thanks for stopping by! And I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers Flo! :)

Hi, Gerri! How's your foot? Wasn't it you who had foot (or knee or leg??) surgery last year? I believe I remember that from Nancy telling me to hurry and get my first sale news into you quickly! :) Believe me, I can be much more empathtic now that I've had to use crutches and a boot cast!


Missy Tippens said...

PJ asked: Do you find that your readers are from a specific demographic? I've wondered if certain generations are more drawn to inspirationals than others.

From what I've gathered at a workshop where an LI editor spoke, a majority of our readers are married, working women with families. Their time is very limited, and they have mommy guilt, so they want to read books that are easy to read and that aren't really heavy. They read for escapism and try not to feel guilty for taking time for themselves. I don't remember a specific age group. But one of the LI authors just posted on our loop that a big number of her book club sales were large print this time. I think that tells us someting there! Maybe the majority aren't young moms. LOL Or maybe they're older moms who need bifocals? :)

Missy (who could use large print even at age 46!)

Missy Tippens said...

And I just have to say that I'm sorry for any typos. It drives me absolutely nuts not to be able to go back and correct them! LOL


Missy Tippens said...

Yoo hooo, Nancy.....

Don't you have some contest news to share?? :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Grins...yeah, c'mon Nancy. You to KJ if you're online. And Donna? YOu too, right? :>

Caren Crane said...

Missy, it's so great to see you here! I was thrilled when I heard about your sale last year. I knew you had been slogging away for a long time and you SO deserved the big payoff!

I have read quite a few inspirationals and quickly found out which authors I enjoyed and which to give a pass. I think ispys are like any other subgenre: some writing appeals, some doesn't. I can't wait to read your book!

Oh, and I love 'On Writing' and 'Bird By Bird' for the insight into how tough it is to be a writer. Also for the autobiographical bits on two dynamic people. Deb Dixon's GMC is a must-have for all writers! But I have never checked out the Donald Maass book. I know, right? Everyone says it's the best book ever, a crucial tome and all that. I just haven't gotten around to it. Too much life going on!

I'm sorry to hear about your foot. If it's any consolation, my best friend tripped a bit stepping up onto my porch (a distance of about six inches), landed on her elbow, broke it and still has a screw in it four years later. Honestly, it was barely a fall! But it lead to a diagnosis of a previously-undetected liver disease, so it was a God-send! Working in mysterious ways, always. *g* I'm sure you needed to be off that foot for some reason!

Missy Tippens said...

Hey, Caren!! It's great to see you.

Yes, I wondered about that reason for being off my feet. :) It did help me finish polishing my manuscript and get it mailed in, which led to my sale. And I guess it'll help me stay sitting on my rear once the revision letter gets here. :)

You know, I have a ton of other how-to books but never have read very far in any of them. I usually get started, then find some info that sends me off to go experiment. But I never get back to the book. The exceptions are the ones I mentioned as my favs. I pull them out and use them for every book now. :)

Okay, I have to brag on my daughter. She's 11, and we just got back from a city council meeting where they awarded prizes for a poetry contest. She got first place in the youth division (97 entries, and the ages were up to 18!). We thought she was going to just get a certificate, but she also got a check for $100!! She was so excited. And I was so proud of her. When the winners went up to get the certificate and check, they asked them to read their poems. She was mortified! LOL She said her heart about pounded out of her chest--which is exactly how I felt when they were announcing Golden Heart winners! I've never been so relieved to NOT win a contest. LOL


jo robertson said...

Ouch on the break, Missy. I'd freak out if I actually heard something break anywhere in my body!

My husband, too, spent his professional career in relgious education. It's quite enlightening to explore major religions and the varied denominations of Christianity. As you say, the new inspy writers are getting better and better and that's wonderful!

Caren Crane said...

Missy, congratulations to your daughter! Man, at her age $100 is a fortune. I am sure she will have Big Plans as to how to spend it. *g*

Too funny about the heart-pounding-out-the-chest. When I was in fifth and sixth grades, I had this roll of placing in all sorts of contests: spelling bee, citizenship essay, poetry contest, etc. When the day came for the three finalists to read their citizenship essays for the prize, I was "sick" (I actually MADE myself sick). When I was supposed to read my Arbor Day poem at a tree-planting ceremony - rats, I had to go to the orthodontist. I was so relieved!

It's probably a good thing they didn't let them know ahead of time about the reading part. Otherwise, who would have shown up? *g*

Keira Soleore said...

Missy: A broken foot. Huge ouch!! Thank you for your detailed reply. I hope you continue to receive such support from readers.

I'm impressed that you've discovered your core story so early in your career. Most writers say it takes them many books before they find the central theme prevalent in their books.

Caren: I haven't read Donald Maas's book either. I'm off to a bookstore in a few minutes to get it. It's been mentioned so many times, I should definitely check it out.

Nancy, KJ, and Donna: You have nooooozzzz?? Contest news? Do tell.

Nancy said...

My bad! After voting (I always vote so as to maintain complaining rights, if nothing else), doing the school run and the library run, and so on, I got sucked into coverage of the NC primary. On the Democratic side, NC "counts" this year because the contest hasn't been decided. I suddenly realized it was suppertime, and I hadn't been back! So I do beg pardon.

Terrio, I'm glad the blog gives you a lift. We try to be a positive presence. I've never had a Deb Dixon workshop that wasn't amazing. You're in for a treat!

I've heard Missy's talk on keeping going, and it's great. Ditto for Debbi Giusti, and I've known Janet Dean for years though I haven't had the pleasure of hearing her address this subject. That promises to be a wonderful panel. Congratulations on its being chosen!

Okay, Missy and Jeanne, I'll spill it, and thanks for asking. I've finaled in the historical category of the Daphne. It's a contest I've meant to enter for the past couple of years, but life tended to get in the way. I'm really glad to have made it this year and doubly pleased about the result because the book is set in Restoration England, which Joan tells me I must not call a weird period, no matter what the market thinks. So I'm calling it tempestuous instead. *g*

KJ and Donna? Your turn . . . or one of us will out you.

Missy, congratulations on your daughter's win! That's so cool. Your foot story really is a major ick. I'm so sorry, but at least it healed keenly.

PJ, I read Christy in the mountains of North Carolina, which I considered the perfect backdrop for that particular story. I loved that book, and it made the poverty of Appalachia real for me in a way news stories had not.

Nancy said...

Okay, so much for my proofreading skills tonight. Missy, I meant your foot healed CLEANLY! Aack!

Caren Crane said...

Missy, I wanted to say if you being hobbled leads to more sales and more books for us to read, it's got to be a blessing in disguise!

Not that it helps you any, but it's good for us. *eg*

Nancy: keenly, cleanly, what's the difference? *g*

Nancy said...

Caren wrote: Nancy: keenly, cleanly, what's the difference? *g*

I dunno. Pain level? :-)

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Nancy. I thought keenly sounded rather British. :)

Congrats on the Daphne!!!! That's a biggie! :)

Caren, actually, being stuck on the couch with my laptop is a rather nice excuse for spending time writing. I don't have to feel so guilty! (plus, hubby is doing the grocery shopping and helping get the kids' meals--not a bad deal!). :)


Missy Tippens said...

Well, I'm signing off for the night. I had so much fun today!! Thanks so much for inviting me, Nancy. Y'all been great!