Thursday, August 17, 2017

#Authorlife


Every so often I want to give you a little "peek behind the curtain" of my #authorlife. 

Here are just a few things that are going on right now. 

  • Last Saturday I taught an all-day class on Scrivener - a writing software that I love. But wow - all day. It's a lot of talking, even for someone who talks as much as I do! I've made a mental note to be sure to plan to eat out after teaching this class in the future! And maybe to plan to sleep in the next day, too!


  • Even though Beneath the Surface - Book 1 of the Dive Team Investigations series - doesn't release until March 2018, this week started with some emails about promotional materials for the book  - things like postcards, bookmarks, and social media images. I'm super excited to see what sorts of things the team at Revell comes up with! 



  • Then the edits for Beneath the Surface hit my inbox (Yes, the Darth Vader theme music is appropriate here - you're humming it now, aren't you? Excellent). The edits are due back to the editor on the 29th. Yikes!


  • At the end of the edits there's this lovely little spot for me to provide the "teaser" for Book 2 in the Dive Team Investigations series.  This would be the same Book 2 I am currently writing and that is due to my editor in early December. :) 


  • Now, my brain can't decide if it wants to work on the revisions for Beneath the Surface, or rework the first chapter of Book 2, or just ignore all that and work on a proposal for a completely different book that is half-written and just needs to be finished and turned in! (Yes, for those of you wondering, this is Max and Sara's story).


  • This week I also got invitations to attend two different publisher dinners - at the same time - while at the ACFW conference in September and I had to choose which one I would go to (because sadly - no clone). And yes, getting invited to a dinner with a publisher makes me want to pinch myself!


  • I also had the privilege of sitting down with a White Collar Crimes investigator who is going to help me bring my hero for Book 2 to life (the fictional hero's name is Adam Campbell and he looks like Ryan Reynolds). He answered a ton of questions, showed me a real credit card skimmer they'd taken out of a gas pump, and was super patient. This kind of research is one of my very favorite things about being an author. 

  • I'm in the process of developing a new website so I'm making decisions on that stuff, too. And by developing, I mean I've hired an A.MAZ.ING website developer and she sends me ideas and I try to make decisions without hurting her feelings and she tells me not to worry about her feelings because she is awesome (but I still worry).


  • If you've been following along on social media (and if you haven't - why not?) you already know that this week was also the big "Lynn gets an office" week around here. So instead of writing, I've been painting and sanding sheetrock and cutting boards and loving the fact that my kids get to work with my Dad (who can build anything - really). More pictures and a big "reveal" will happen eventually. For now, I'm still dusting. Everything. It's everywhere. Dust is evil. (And before anyone comments - No, I did not have on safety goggles. No, my hands were not actually anywhere near that blade despite what the picture might look like. Yes, I was being careful. For the cut I needed to make, that actually was the safest way to do it. I try to take good care of my fingers. They are rather important for writers! And yes, I do like power tools.) 



  • Oh, and did I mention we've already started back to school with my homeschoolers and my precious Emma is d-y-i-n-g for school to start which won't happen until next week? 


Whew! I'm tired just reading all that. And believe it or not, I left stuff off the list. All sorts of things that are part of life and don't have anything even remotely to do with writing, but are still super important. 

If you're so inclined, I would appreciate your prayers. Especially over the next few weeks as I juggle multiple projects and a lot of life craziness. 

And if you have any burning questions about writing and publication, share them in the comments and I'll try to answer them soon. 

Grace & peace,
Lynn

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Budget War

Hi Everyone!

I have a treat for you today. Andrea Merrell is an incredibly talented author and editor. Her new book, Marriage: Make It or Break It released this summer.
Andrea Merrell

Some say marriage is a dying institution. Others say, “Stop the bus and let me get off.” But Andrea Merrell—after forty-plus years of marriage—believes this God-ordained institution is one of His greatest gifts to men and women. Marriage: Make It or Break It is a result of keen observation, years of studying God's Word, and a lifetime of trial and error. With her signature dash of humor, she takes a candid look at attitudes and behavior that can make or break a relationship, the difference in how men and women think and approach life, and the importance of honest communication. You’ll find danger signs, roadblocks to bypass, and Scriptures to personalize and pray on a daily basis. 

This journey won’t be perfect, and the road is guaranteed to be full of potholes. But if you’re ready to learn a few truths that will make marriage strong—and a lot of things that will destroy it—buckle your seat belt and let’s get this bus moving.


I'm thrilled to welcome Andrea to Out of the Boat today!


***************************



Who then is that faithful and wise steward?
Luke 12:42 NKJV


“You want us to do what? You’ve got to be kidding!”

That was my response when my husband first suggested we live on a budget. We were barely getting by, our paychecks spent before we ever saw them. The thought of taking our meager income and slicing and dicing it into categories seemed ridiculous.

After many discussions about this new financial strategy, I finally relented. I was willing to give it a try, if only to prove it wouldn’t work. When I sat down with my checkbook, calculator, and notebook—stretching a few dollars into categories such as tithe, housing, utilities, food, insurance, car, and miscellaneous—the numbers were comical.

“This is crazy,” I said. “We’re in worse shape than ever.”

My husband just smiled that knowing smile of his. “Be patient. It may take a few weeks to get us on track, but we’ll be better off.”

Better off? Right. Be patient? Easy for him to say. How was I supposed to pad those pages and pay our bills at the same time? I balked. I complained. I wrung my hands. Then I did what I should have done in the first place—I prayed. Lord, if this is the right thing for us, please show me what to do.

It’s amazing what God will do when we invite Him to get involved in our stuff. In less than a month, the balance in our checkbook went from less than $100 to over $1,000. Our bills were all paid on time, our other needs met, and there was even money left over toward the next month’s expenses. We could also see exactly where our money was going, eliminating a lot of waste.
 
What appeared to be financial bondage actually turned out to be financial freedom. For the first time in our lives, we didn’t have to wonder where the money would come from. In a very short time, my categories were full, and I even added savings and vacation. My years of worry over having enough money to survive had come to an end—thanks to God and my wise husband.

It’s been over thirty years since I created that notebook, and I still use it to this day. In fact, I can’t imagine not being on a budget, especially in this crazy economy.  It has provided tremendous peace of mind.

If you’re in a hard place financially, living paycheck to paycheck, give budgeting a try. It might be difficult in the beginning, but the benefits will be well worth the effort.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Unglamorous Life of a Writer

If you’ve hung around the writing world for long, you’ve heard it before . . . 
  • Being a published author does not magically fix all your problems.
  • Being a published author does not mean you’ll spend your days fending off random fans when you’re buying groceries.
  • Being a published author does not mean you’ll spend your days in a lovely office overlooking a serene pastoral setting as you churn out novel after novel. 

But . . . come on. It has to help. Right? It has to be more good than bad. At least when you get “The Call” or reach new writing milestones, there will be parties and well-wishes and celebratory balloons falling from the ceiling. Right?

Well . . .

I did hear one story where an author went to check in for a flight and the ticket clerk looked at her license, and then looked at her, and then promptly bumped her to First Class after telling her that she reads everything she writes. 

So, it happens! But my highly (un)scientific research has revealed that these kinds of events happen about as often as a total solar eclipse traverses the entire country

In the interest of bringing you the true side of the publishing life, here are a few representative samples of the real, (un)glamorous lives of published authors.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The First Blank Page

I'm starting a new book today. 

Oh, I've been working on it for weeks, but today is the first time I'm taking the ideas and brainstorming and plots and characters and putting them on the page.

Today, I'm turning these characters loose and letting them come alive - and hanging on for the ride they will take me on. 

Everyone approaches their writing a little bit differently. No writer has exactly the same method as another. For me, staring at the very first blank page is humbling. And terrifying. 

So before I put a word on the screen, I offered all of it up to the One I write for. I recommitted myself, my words, my stories, and my characters to Him. I asked Him to use all of it - every word - for His Glory and to fulfill His purposes. 

I prayed for my readers, my publisher, my editors, my brainstorming buddies, and my sources. I prayed for endurance and focus and I asked for an outpouring of creativity from the Creator. 

And now, I ask you, to join me. Every stage of a book has it's own issues, but for a recovering perfectionist like me, the beginning is fraught with challenges. Would you pray specifically over the next couple of weeks that a solid foundation will be laid for this story? 

In addition, there is a very difficult topic at the heart of this book. The research I've done and continue to do is hard. I covet your prayers as I dig deep into a very real and present evil in our communities. There are things you can't "un-know" and whether this story changes anyone else, writing it absolutely will change me. I pray it does. 

This book is due in early December which means I want to finish it by the end of September so I have a couple of months to do the revisions before it goes to my editor. So when I'm not running kids to camps and swimming pools and football fields, I'll be working on this story. What are your plans for this summer? How can I pray for you? I'd love to hear about it in the comments. 

Grace & peace,
Lynn

Monday, June 5, 2017

Hidden Legacy Fun!

There's a lot going on in the Hidden Legacy world this week! Paperback copies have been flying off the shelf in my local Walmart. If you spot it in a store, I'd LOVE for you to take a picture and send it to me! 

Tuesday (paperback release day!) I'll be participating in a Facebook party with fifteen Love Inspired authors. 





I'll be chatting from 5:30-5:45 p.m. and we'll be talking about my hometown, the wonder that is Hot Dog World (yes, it is a real place and it's fabulous!) and what it was like to bring the secondary characters from Covert Justice to life in Hidden Legacy

If you've never participated in one of these parties, you've really should stop by! It's a great way to meet authors and have a chance to win free books! 

Over on Goodreads I'm having a giveaway! I'd love for you to enter to win one of two copies of Hidden Legacy!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hidden Legacy by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

Hidden Legacy

by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

Giveaway ends June 12, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
I've been overwhelmed by the positive response to Hidden Legacy! Thank you all!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hidden Legacy is here!


The e-book versions of Hidden Legacy released today! The paperback version doesn't officially release until June 6th, but it has been spotted in my local Walmart. Maybe it's in a store near you! 

If you haven't read Covert Justice, then I can't wait for you to meet Caroline Harrison and Detective Jason Drake.

If you *have* read Covert Justice, then you'll enjoy getting to know Caroline better :) . . . and yes, you'll get to spend a little bit more time with Heidi, Blake, Max, and Sara. 

If you spot Hidden Legacy in the store, I'd love for you to share a photo with me on social media and be sure to tag me!

And did you know the best way to show an author some love is to leave a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com, Goodreads, or anywhere books are reviewed? Well, it is. :) 


First-Timer to Faculty

When I started writing for The Write Conversation in 2010, I had just attended my very first conference—the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. 

In the years since, I’ve gone from conference newbie to conference regular to published author to . . . conference faculty. This year I’ll be serving on the faculty of three different conferences ranging from small and intimate to huge.

I consider myself to be a faculty newbie so I thought it might be fun to pull back the curtain on the faculty experience.

Here are a few things you should know about the faculty of many of the conferences you’re attending . . .

As always, I'm guest posting over at The Write Conversation today. Click on over to read the rest of the post!