Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blogger Spotlight: Casey @ Writing for Christ and Operation Encourage an Author

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming a friend and fellow blogger into the Spotlight, to help spread the word about her new blog, Operation Encourage An Author. Not only is Casey a snappy blogger, but an aspiring writer, committed to writing for Him. I hope Y'all get to know Casey better and stop by her incredible blogs. I wanted y'all to get to know Casey, not just as a blogger, but rising author.

A~ Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?

C~ I am lover of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I live in a small town in the "west" where there are more cattle than people and the nearest shopping plaza is 130 miles away - I like it that way. :) Writing became my passion in early homeschool high school and I now spend my time learning the writing craft. I would love to live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, but God just hasn't provided that yet. Maybe someday.... I LOVE to read and could spend all day doing it, if other responsibilities didn't crowd in. :)

A~LOL. I definitely would be reading all day, if I didn't have school.
What made you want to start writing?
C~ It really wasn't any one decision of mine. I didn't just wake up one morning and decide I wanted to write. My dad was my teacher through school and about the time I hit 8th/ 9th grade, I was struggling. So being homeschooled, he decided to do fun things with me and see where I would branch out. My first short stories were 2-3 pages long (double spaced :) and filled with glorious happy endings that would not be feasible in today's world, but I found I loved creating characters and giving them things to do- creating a story world. After about 2-3 short stories, my dad turned me loose to create my own make believe world and I started my first novel.
A~ What are some of the manuscripts you've written (published or un-published)?

C~ LOL! I wish I could say I have been published, but not even close! Okay, maybe a teensy bit when I won a contest through our local newspaper when I was 7! I am primarily working on one novel right now and plan to enter it in the ACFW Genesis contest this next month. It is still in the hard editing stages and I have hired a wonderful lady, Tiffany Colter of http://www.writingcareercoach.com/ to help me. I am trying to pound out another story, but have kind of put it on the back burner, to work on the more pressing issue of my first novel.

A~ That's fantastic Casey! I'm a bit of writer myself (more of less) but I know I wouldn't have the guts to actually let someone read it, let alone enter if in to a contest.LOL I pray that you get your novel edited in time for the ACFW contest.
So besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing?

C~ Besides reading?? LOL! I love to knit, cook, spend time with my family, horseback riding when I get the opportunity and of course maintain my blogs. :)
A~ Wow.You know, we could have been twins.LOL. And can pony rides at the fair be considered horseback riding?:~D
And speaking of blogs, can you tell us a little about your blogs? When they were started, how many you have, etc....

C~ I think I have become addicted to the blogging world. I spend a bit too much time working on them and enjoying others', but I love it! I have two blogs. My more personal one is Writing for Christ (http://www.enjoyingthewritingcraft.blogspot.com/) and is filled with my general writing thoughts, a few tips I have found on my journey and book reviews. I also do 2+ giveaways every month with author interviews. So fun!

My second blog was born out my desire to encourage authors. I am a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and on the email loop one day, a lady was struggling because of a bad review she got. I jumped on Amazon and was appalled at the nasty things people say condemning not just the book, but the author. After prayer and a willing group of people to participate, I started Operation Encourage an Author (http://www.encourageanauthor.blogspot.com/). On this site, only encouraging comments can be made uplifting the featured author and their work. One author is spotlighted for an entire week with notes of encouragement, excerpts from their books and occasionally a giveaway!

A~ I think I was your first follower on your first blog Writing For Christ.LOL
And I love your idea of encouraging authors. It's so much fun to let a favorite author know, just how much you love them and their books;)
As a bookaholic, I just love finding new authors and books. Who, would you say, is your favorite author, and why?

C~ That is NOT an easy question, there are SO many! But here are a few....

Julie Lessman: Her book are so passionate while showing the purity of staying within Biblical boundaries. Not to mention her books are just plain FUN!
MaryLu Tyndall: Those stories grip me every time. I am reading her second one right now while exercising and they just get better everytime. She is one author that makes pirates fun!
Siri Mitchell: She is a new fav for me. I simply adored A Constant Heart, call me strange, but I love, love stories that progress through a marriage. I can't wait to read A Cubicle Next Door. :P
Deborah Raney: Wow, what a storyteller. If you never read her fiction you are missing out on a tremendous treat.
Tamera Alexander: Her historical fiction is so rich and deep, really bringing the reader into the novel.
Kathryn Cusman: Another new fav. Her stories are rich with conflict, but her characters are deep in their ability to resonate with the reader.

After that, it would take all day long to list all the authors I love!

A~ What a great list of authors, Casey . Some of them I've never heard of well others are definite favorites of mine. I LOVE Julie Lessman and not just as an author. She has been a great friend as well as writing some fantastic books.
M.L Tyndall is really good. I'm kind of a sucker for a good pirate romance.LOL
I can't wait for Siri Mitchell's new historical romance She Walks In Beauty!
Do you think there is a particularly author that has influenced your writing ( in your book or on your blog)? And how?

C~ That is kind of hard to answer. I read a wide variety of genres, so while I don't think one particular author has influenced me, I think all of them put together are helping shape the writer that I am. I can't pick out any one work of fiction, but when it comes to teaching the craft of writing, I would definitely say one of the best I have read, would be Writing and Selling the Christian Novel by Penolope J. Stokes.

A~ The Christian market is tough, in the fact that, there are a lot more rules on what is allowed and what isn't. And when trying to write a book that's convicting and real, it becomes increasingly hard to stick by those rules:~)
What would you say, was the best thing (or things), to happen to you?

C~ You're absolutely right, the CBA is tough to get into, but what is good about that is you don't have a lot to fear from the fiction they produce.

The best thing to happen to me? The day I accepted Christ Jesus as my Savior. :) And really that isn't the best day, because my walk with Christ has really strenghtened over the last few years. Probably the best thing for my writing is calling about a fiction workshop and having Tiffany Colter offer to read a few of my pages. That started our mentor/mentee relationship. Aside from that would be the relationship with my best friend and pen pal, Charity. She is such a support to me and I just love her to death!

A~ Your right about CBA. When I pick up a Christian book, I'm kind of reassured, I'm not filling my head with filth the world considers "okay". I know that when I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I wasn't "on fire" for him. It didn't come until much later, when I finally and fully committed myself to Him.
That's great your best friends with you pen pal. I'm sure that can be a lot of fun;)LOL
What is the quirkiest thing you've ever done? Now be honest.LOL

C~ Oh, I was afraid of this question. :D Okay, quirky? I would say playing "rock, paper, scissors" with my sister to see who dries the breakfast dishes. There was one other thing, but it escapes me at the moment.... ;-)

A~ Hmmm....maybe I should coerce my sister into doing that with me.LOL

Okay last question.....
I thought we could do something fun and kind of get a sense of your writing style with this question. Okay, I'm going to give you a scene and I want you to finish it

"Where could he be? Melony thought, as she walked up and down the rows of carnival attractions. A man to her left was using a microphone to entice the fellow carnival-goers in a game of ring toss. " I'd like to see them try to win. That games rigged from start to finish. " Melony said to no one in particularly. She finally came to the fun house, the only place at the carnival, she swore she would never go in......again. Just as Melony was about to walk away, she....."

C~ "...... froze, whipping her gaze to focus on the apparition in front of the tent. No it couldn't be! He promised he would never come here again- just like she had. She hung her head. How could she expect him to keep his promise when she hadn't even kept hers? It seemed neither one of them could be trusted."
Thanks so much Ashley for inviting me to interview on your blog! And for those reading, thank you for taking the time to spend with me! If I may, ( a bit of shameless promoting :). My guest on Operation Encourage an Author this week is Ann Shorey and she will be giving away her latest book, A Promise for Morning.

On Writing for Christ, I am doing TWO giveaway right now. Sunset Beach by Trish Perry and Cowboy Protector by Margaret Daley. Hope to see you there!
Thanks again, Ashley, it's been great!!
I hope y'all got to know Casey a little better and will stop by her blogs: Writing For Christ & Operation Encourage An Author
Hope to see you there!
Love Y'all,


  1. Hey Ashley! The interview looks great! There is just something about seeing your words somewhere else... :) It's great, for sure. :)

    Off to post about it on my blog...


  2. Ooo what fun! Casey I hope your books gets published! I'm sure it's terrific!!!!

    XOXO~ Renee

  3. Thanks Renee! I hope too, someday. I am leaving that in God's hands and just letting Him control my future. I am going to keep plugging away and learning all I can. :)

    THANKS for coming!!

  4. WOW, how cool was this??? Two of my favorite people doing an interview together -- I LOVED it!! It' so much fun to get a glimpse into both of you, Casey and Ashley, and I think this was a terrific idea!

    To be honest, Casey, I don't think I realized you were working on a novel, girl -- good for you!! And YEAH on entering the Genesis! I cannot recommend contests highly enough. As you know, I'm part of the Seekers, a group blog of 15 contest divas who kept butting heads. We finally decided to join forces on a group blog about writing and the road to publication. When we started, only one of us was contracted; now 13 of us are published/contracted, so GO CONTESTS and good luck, Casey!

    And MEGA thanks to both of you for mentioning me among your favorites -- that blesses the socks off of me!


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  6. @Casey~ I know what you mean. I had a wonderful time doing the interview with you. When you get you book published we will definitely have to do it again;)LOL Good Luck girly on the contest!

    @Renee~ Thanks so much for stopping by Renee! You know your going to be the next.LOL :~)
    And we definitely need to be prayin' for Casey, and the up coming ACFW contest! :~D

    @Mrs. Lessman~ I think OEA is just a fantastic idea, and when Casey hosted you on OEA, I knew I just had to get the word out about her new blog.LOL Casey was such a sweetheart to interview I really hope we get to do this again. And you know, I never can pass up a chance to

    Love Y'all,

  7. Oh, you guys are going to me me cry!

    @Tiffany- thank you SO MUCH for stopping by, it means so much that you came by to read this!

    @Julie- so sweet! I would be SHOCKED if I win the contest, but I hope to get some great feedback. One never knows when the Lord is in charge. :)

    @Ashley- I will ALWAYS take the prayers! Thank you so much, this interview was a blessing and I praise God you emailed me to ask. :)

    Thanks for coming by everyone!

  8. Uh oh...thanks for the warning! ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  9. No, seriously we should! I think it would be a lot of fun to interview you! LOL ;)

  10. I'll stop by and read it! ;)


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