Tag Archives: The Lion Is In

5 authors give writing advice to hopefuls

As you know, I sometimes take the opportunity to interview an author. You can find those interviews by scrolling through my Book Reviews & Author Interviews page. One of the questions I asked specifically is if he or she had any advice for hopefuls? They all generously complied with some great tips from their own experience.

This seems a good time to refresh your memory and give you a little encouragement. I have excerpted from our interviews and included the name of the book being promoted at the time. Here is what those authors had to say:

1. Laura Best – author of Bitter, Sweet

“The best advice I can give to hopefuls is to write as much and as often as you can. Pay close attention to any comments that editors send your way. Forget the notion that your work can not stand to be improved upon. Everything can be improved. You’ll start to know when you’re getting closer to publication. Those comments will be laced with a sweet touch of sugar as your writing gets stronger. Lastly, don’t give up. If you believe in your talent keep working at it, perfect it to the place where someone will want to publish it.”

Check out Laura’s blog here. Reread our interview here.

2. Billy Coffey – author of Snow Day

“The best advice I can give? I’m a firm believer in the power of perseverance, so my advice is to always try once more. If you write a story you decide is awful, try once more. If you get a rejection, try once more. In the end, it doesn’t matter who gives up on you. All that matters is that you don’t.”

Check out Billy’s blog here. Reread our interview here.

3. Penny Zeller – author of Kaydie (of the Montana Skies series)

“When I meet a reader or fan face to face, I love to chat with her about what she envisions herself doing for God’s Kingdom and how can I pray and encourage her in that pursuit. If she is pursuing her dream as a writer, I tell her that one of the most important things to remember in being a writer is that if God has called you to do it, He will guide you every step of the way.

I would advise her to give her writing to the Lord and to not give up! I speak from experience when I say that when He closes one door, He opens another (much better) one.”

Check out Penny’s website here. Reread our interview here.

4. Jan L. Coates – author of A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk

“My best advice would be to read everything you can in the genre in which you’re interested in writing – I’m constantly amazed by how much I can learn from studying how great authors put words and stories together. And, of course, write – every day, if you can. Also, read your work out loud – it’s surprising how easy it is to pick up weaknesses that way. If it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t.”

Check out Jan’s website here. Reread our interview here.

5. Delia Ephron – author of The Lion Is In

“The important thing for all aspiring writers is believe in yourself, be driven and never give up.”

Check out Delia’s website here. Reread our interview here.

When you enjoy again the above-mentioned interviews, you will glean many more tips and advice you can apply to your own writing. What I have included here is only what was in direct answer to my question.

Have you found any of these authors’ advice to be useful to you? What other things do you do to keep on track?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


We have a winner of The Lion Is In!

We have confirmation of our winner of a copy of The Lion Is In by Delia Ephron! 

One name was pulled out of the basket by my dad, and that winner is CAROL WHITE!  Here you can see her response when she got the word.

Congratulations, Carol!  Your book will be in the mail, sent by the publisher, Blue Rider Press.

Thank you everyone for visiting and commenting. Delia left a comment for all of you here.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Reminder: Book Giveaway on August 12!

This is just a reminder in case you planned to add your name into the draw and haven’t done so yet.

Tomorrow, Sunday, August 12, the names of those who left comments on my last post will be put into a little basket, and at 6:00 PM EST one name will be drawn out. That person will be notified via email that he or she has won a copy of The Lion Is In, written by Delia Ephron. Once I receive a reply with your mailing address, I will contact Blue Rider Press who will mail a book to you.

At the time of my writing this post, you have less than 21 hours to enter the draw. If you want a chance to win a book, then get your name in by leaving a comment after reading my interview with Delia EphronThat’s all there is to it.  Oh, and you must live in either Canada or the USA to win. (Sorry, that’s the stipulation this time.)

You can also read my review of The Lion Is In.

I hope you win! I wish you all could.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Interview with Delia Ephron and book giveaway

It is with great pleasure – and more than a little excitement – that I bring to you my interview with renowned author, Delia Ephron. As you know, Ms. Ephron has applied her talent to journalism, essays, movies, novels, screenplays – to name some venues. I was thrilled to discover the author of The Lion Is In also co-wrote one of my all-time favourite movies, You’ve Got Mail.

If you haven’t already read my review of The Lion Is In, you can do so here.

Now to our interview —

Delia, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to my blog. Having just read and reviewed your new book, The Lion Is In, it is an honour to interview you. Thank you for graciously agreeing to this.

To begin, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you? 

My parents were screenwriters.  My mother wanted all four of her daughters to be writers and she got her wish.

What an accomplishment! Who were/are your favourite authors or books?

My favorites are from childhood.  Anne of Green Gables, the Betsy-Tacey books.  I read them again and again and again while eating chocolate chip cookies.

Books and chocolate chip cookies sound like a delicious combination to me! Regarding writing, have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in yourself so you can say “I am a writer”?

Well, it’s a process.  You have to develop writer muscles.  This just means really good work habits.  And then it’s exciting when you start to really have technique.  But there are always moments where you want to quit.  Being driven and brave is very important.

Good work habits, driven and brave, excellent advice. What do you remember about your very first time to be published, how did that happen? 

I think my first piece was about basketball.  I was living in Rhode Island and I wrote about Providence college basketball.  They had a great team.  Or maybe it was my crocheting book.  My first book was called The Adventurous Crocheter.  So either basketball or crocheting.

You have an impressive list of successes. Of all you have had published thus far, what means the most to you? What do or did you most enjoy writing? 

I love novels the most.  I love story telling and just being able to write things exactly the way I want.  Movies are collaborations, so that is much more complicated. No control.  I love control.

Freedom to write, control to write the way you want. Sounds good to me. 🙂 How did you get into writing for the movies?

I married a screenwriter and he taught me how to do it.  Also I had written a funny book called Teenage Romance, and there was interest in it for a television movie, and the network let me write it.

That must have been exciting. What method do you use to keep track of your writing ideas?

Idea files in the computer.

What process do you go through when writing and perfecting your work?

Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.  And print it out and then rewrite it, retyping the whole thing.  Don’t just edit on the computer.

That is a lot of work! It’s certainly a commitment and I can see that by doing it that way you’d get to thoroughly know your story and characters and what needs fine-tuning. This method obviously has had great results for you. 

What inspired you to write The Lion Is In?

I had a dream about three women and a lion.  I knew all about the women, their names, their relationship.  I knew they were all on the run and they were in a bar on a highway in North Carolina.  I knew the lion would change their lives, and when I woke up, I also knew it was my next novel.

Wow! I’m sure every writer would love to have worthwhile dreams like that! How long did it take you to write The Lion Is In? And how did you come up with that title? 

Two years.  When I woke up from the dream, I knew the title.

Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters? Do you have a favourite?

I don’t have a favorite but I am in every character.  I don’t think it’s possible to write a character that isn’t in some way personal. 

Why did you decide to include some crude language and, shall I say, ‘delicate’ scenes? Was it simply a natural fit with the characters? 

Yes.  I don’t worry about that.  The important thing is, are the relationships real, do I care about these characters, do I want to know what happens.  Is it emotional? 

Good tips there for writers, especially when dealing with dialogue. I can vouch for it being emotional as the reader gets to know your characters. What other interests do you have for a change from writing? 

Cooking.  Baking especially.

Yummy chocolate chip cookies, perhaps? 🙂  Do you have another writing project in the works?

Yes, but it’s way too soon to talk about it.

I can certainly respect that. We now have something more to watch for from you. Finally, is being a writer/author all you had hoped or thought it would be? Do you have any advice for hopefuls? 

Being able to earn a living from your imagination is a great gift.   The important thing for all aspiring writers is believe in yourself, be driven and never give up.

“Be driven and never give up.” Thank you for this excellent advice, Delia, and thank you again for sharing with us a little about yourself and your creative gift. I wish you much continued success.

Now, my readers, I hope you enjoyed this interview. 🙂  I’m sure there are things you can take away from it that will benefit you. Would you like a chance to receive from Delia Ephron’s publisher, Blue Rider Press, a copy of The Lion Is In? If so, please leave a comment and on Sunday, August 12 at 6:00 PM EST one name will be drawn out of the basket. This time there is one stipulation: you must live in Canada or the US to receive the book. But, if you live in another country I still want to read your comment. (Please tell me from what country you are writing if outside Canada and USA.)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

A little misery, a little excitement!, and something for you

 A little misery

Remember in my July 31 post I mentioned sore throat issues? yes, well … I went to the clinic the next day and it’s a good thing I did. Fever, laryngitis caused by inflammation, sore throat caused by infection — I needed medical help. The young doctor (aren’t most of them young these days – as in the age of my children? what’s up with that!) gave me prescriptions to start the healing process.

Two prescriptions, one was only one tablet. One. But it was powerful. The idea was to make me feel better by evening, which it did. The catch? The pharmacist warned me to not take it at bedtime or I wouldn’t sleep, so I took it after a necessarily late dinner (early afternoon). And did I sleep? Nope! Not much. I didn’t drop off until somewhere around 2:30 AM followed by howling, barking neighbourhood dogs rudely waking me at 3:00! I was NOT happy.

And I had a difficult time getting back to sleep. I didn’t do much more than restless tossing and turning between short naps after that, until I heard Dad get up all-too-soon. There ended my chance to wrestle illusive sleep into submission, until my respite arrived mid-morning for the one full day I have scheduled. Misery and I took advantage of that time.

It’s been a less than delightful week for me, health-wise, but it could have been worse. Maybe a week of rest at home and the round of penicillin will do the trick.

It’s also been hot and humid this week, but today we were blessed with refreshing, much-needed rain – a downpour with a glorious crashing thunderstorm. I really enjoy that particular drama of nature. At one point the sun broke through in the midst of the rain – so beautiful! It’s been too dry here this summer, not at all good for the crops, so today’s soaking was welcome.

Thank you for the whine time; I appreciate it.  🙂  Now for  …

A little excitement!

For those of you who enjoy the writing and creative successes of Delia Ephron – and hopefully you read my review of her new book The Lion Is In – guess what? Ms. Ephron has graciously agreed to an interview here on my blog! Yay! I’m a little excited. Well, okay, more than a little. I am squeal-in-excitement excited! She is a renowned, very talented writer and seems like such a nice lady – I am looking forward to the interview. Watch for that coming up soon. 🙂

and something for you

Yes, dear readers, there is something for you. Well, one of you. After you all get to read my interview with Delia Ephron, leave a comment and then ONE of you will win a copy of The Lion Is In from the publisher, Blue Rider Press. How great is that! The only drawback is that the publisher has stipulated the winner must not live outside Canada or the US. Please comment anyway, though, because I always want to know your thoughts and opinions. My blog has no boundary limitations. 🙂

What has your summer been like so far? Any miseries? Excitement? Surprises?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Book Review: The Lion Is In – by Delia Ephron

The Lion Is InBook: The Lion Is In
Author: Delia Ephron
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Date: March 29, 2012  hardcover;
January 29, 2013  paperback
Genre: adult fiction
Pages: 304
Price: $24.95 hardcover; $14.99 paperback
My Rating: an enjoyable easy read that will inspire you, make you laugh, and leave you wanting more


I had the good fortune to win this book and decided to review it.

The story begins on a warm June day when two runaway women – Lana in a t-shirt and ripped jeans, Tracee in a wedding dress – suffer the inconvenience of a flat tire in rural North Carolina. Rita comes casually walking along in her Sunday best with no plan of where she is going, just somewhere, and after changing the flat Lana offers her a ride. What they don’t know is they have rescued Rita. The truth is, each of the women has her secrets and fears and issues. Each is trying to get away from everything. Each is searching for … something.

Renowned author, Delia Ephron, has created a scenario that, with humour, brings us into the lives of three women very different from one another, and the unique people they meet when they are unwillingly stuck in a dying town. And then there is Marcel, Marcel the lion, caged in a nearly down-and-out nightclub. It’s Marcel that eventually plays a key role in this whole situation.

Lana, Tracee, and Rita certainly have their calamities and their clashes, but their determination to work things out in their lives and help each other in the process keeps them from having complete individual meltdowns. They each have to find a way to deal with their problems and fears and to let themselves trust again. In the process of self-realization they have a profound effect on certain others in the town. Trouble doesn’t stay away, though, but you’ll have to read for yourselves to find out what happens.

The Lion Is In is a story of change, challenge, and facing the lions in one’s life. It is an easy, enjoyable read written in a casual style that keeps the reader wanting to know what’s coming next.

Now for the negatives –The ‘f’ word was used several times, but as the reader gets to know the characters, the outbursts of the one occasionally swearing works with the anger and frustration. It is not frequent and does not taint the story. Also, if you are uncomfortable with mild erotica then I would suggest you just skip over those few paragraphs – do NOT skip this book because of that.

FYI: In case you didn’t know, The Lion Is In author Delia Ephron also wrote You’ve Got Mail, which was made into the movie of the same name. One of my few all-time favourite movies, I might add! I watch my copy of it every once in a while.

By now it seems unnecessary to say I enjoyed this book, but I’ll say it: I enjoyed this book! The Lion Is In was amusing with realistic characters and laugh-out-loud situations. I just wish there were more of it. Perhaps this too will become a movie.

You can find The Lion Is In listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂