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Posts Tagged ‘Janice L. Dick’

I have exciting news for my Indie Blog this week: a new book!

In a Foreign Land_cover_5.25x8

 

 

Other Side of the River cover

 

 

In a Foreign Land is the second book in the In Search of Freedom series. The first book is titled Other Side of the River.

In a Foreign Land was released at the end of January through CreateSpace (print) and KDP (digital). I have to say this book release was easier on my nerves than any others to date. Firstly, it is independently published, so I set my own timeline and it happens when I’m ready for it. Secondly, I learned which parts of the publishing process I need to hire out.

I was able to come to a very mutually beneficial agreement for editing with my friend and colleague, Marcia Laycock of Small Pond Press. Marcia read through my manuscript with eagle eyes and gave me feedback in a short time-turnaround.

Then I sent the document to Rik Hall of Wild Seas Formatting for the…wait for it…formatting! In record time, he sent me the PDF for CreateSpace and the MOBI for Kindle Direct Publishing. Rik works quickly and is always willing to make corrections that I’ve overlooked or changed my mind on.

The cover, which I love, was created by Fred Koop of Fred Koop Design. He designed all three covers for this series at the outset, so they are ready for the ISBN, barcode and back cover copy when each book is completed.

Knowing I have these professionals to step up to the plate for me is very freeing. Yes, it costs me some cash, but it’s worth every penny, and I know the result will be professional too.

Now for the difficult part: starting the next book. I have the characters, the backstories, the probable ending, but there is so much to research and consider and build. I’m working through C.S. Lakin’s The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction in an effort to create more effectively and efficiently. I’ll let you know how this works out.

You can read the first chapter of In a Foreign Land on my blog, and purchase it at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

If you read In a Foreign Land, I’d be forever grateful if you’d leave a brief review. That’s one of the most valuable things you can do for an author.

Thanks,

Jan

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I began my writing career intent on assuring that my Christianity showed up clearly in my writing. In devotionals and inspirational articles, this worked well. In my first published short story about a young boy who gave his cloak to Baby Jesus at His birth, faith fit bfile000153464900eautifully.

But as I ventured into book-length historical fiction, the intentional insertion of faith sometimes came across as contrived. As a beginning writer, I did my best and my first books were relatively well accepted, but I had much to learn (we always have much to learn).

F A I T H. . .

As time passed, I learned more about creative writing and the unacceptability of forced theme, so in my next project, a cozy mystery, I endeavored to include no outward signs of faith. To my surprise, I realized that no matter what I write (or say or do), my faith will show up on its own, most often through the characters themselves. This, I learned, is called my worldview. I admit to being a slow learner, but this was truly a revelation for me. Everything I write filters through my belief system and life experience in specific ways.

Although we, as writers, need to take care how our worldview comes through in our work, we should not fight against ourselves. In fact, I have discovered much about myself through my characters and how they react to particular situations. This discovery has given me hope that I too could respond positively to challenges and tests, as some of my characters have done.

Whatever our level of faith, it needs to be allowed to dwell in our stories in order to make them real, authentic. We can’t write anyone else’s story, but we can write ours best if we give ourselves honestly to the creative process.

H O P E . . . 

I have been very blessed in my life, so writing fiction has given me the opportunity to give back in hope and encouragement, no matter what genre I choose. It’s a constant learning process, not just of writing technique but also of self-discovery and personal growth.

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What part does theme play in fiction writing and how does it come about? Do we manipulate our characters and their actions around a chosen theme or do we allow it to develop organically?

Firstly, let’s settle a question that may make this easier to understand: Are theme and premise the same thing?

For an answer, let’s look at a couple of examples from Rob Parnell’s article “Theme and Premise — What’s the Difference?

romeo and juliet* Take Romeo and Juliet. The premise is two young people from warring families fall in love. The theme is star-crossed love leads to tragedy.

           

 

 

pride and prejudice* Pride and Prejudice: the premise is that a feisty young woman needs to find a husband. The theme? Love conquers all.

 

 

 

LOTR* And my own example from Lord of the Rings: the premise is that a young hobbit finds himself in possession of a ring that can destroy the world. The theme, in my opinion, is courage and self-sacrifice for the greater good.

So our answer is that theme and premise are not the same. Premise is the situation that starts the story, what it’s all about; theme is the subject of the work, the heart of the story.

It’s a chicken and egg question. file271314537113What comes first, the story or the theme? My definitive answer is, it depends. There are relatively few original story themes, but as writers, we may not recognize at the outset that we have a particular theme in mind.

file0001269143133

 

 

Let me ask you a question: what’s the theme of your life? Unless you’ve recently done this exercise, you might not be able to pick it out. You’ll need to go back and consider who you are and what you’ve accomplished, how you’ve lived. In other words, you’ll need to review your story.

I think writing is similar. We need story before we can pick out a theme. The theme may be in the back of our minds, mulling around as we develop characters and motivation and conflict. It may be may be an age-old concept but it only comes through once we’ve brought it to life through the story itself.

For more on this “theme,” check out

Theme to Story http://learnedaboutwriting.blogspot.ca/2008/06/revising-novel-theme-to-story.html (by whoever used to write My Writing Life).

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The Other Side of The River

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

Western Siberia, 1926. Daniel Martens and Luise Letkemann, with their fellow Mennonites, struggle to maintain faith and biblical values within the tightening grip of the Stalinist regime. Luise has great hopes for her future—including marriage to Daniel—but as the political situation in the Soviet Union deteriorates and the Mennonites become targets for persecution, she sees her dreams slipping away. In light of the changes happening around her,Luise is forced to re-evaluate her plans and make some life-altering decisions.

Want to connect on social media with me?
My website/bloghttps://janicedick.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @JaniceDick54
Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Janice-L.-Dick/e/B001KIAKLK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1 

author photoAbout Me: Janice Dick began writing intentionally in 1989. Her historical trilogy was released in 2002, 2003 and 2004, the first two books winning First Place in the Canadian Christian Writing Awards, and the third being shortlisted for the same. Besides writing historical fiction, she has also crafted devotionals, inspirational pieces and book reviews, and put in many hours of editing, mentoring, and speaking (workshops, presentations, readings). Her first contemporary fiction manuscript awaits either publication or extensive revision, and a new historical fiction series was just released (October 2013).

Janice was born and raised in southern Alberta, Canada into an ethnic Mennonite farm family. She was blessed with a loving and stable childhood, and lots of relatives who told stories of Russia, emigration and early life in Canada. After graduating from high school, Janice attended Bible college in Saskatchewan, where she met her future husband. They moved to a farm in central Saskatchewan after their marriage and raised three children there. They are now grandparents to ten amazing kids. 

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It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you my latest historical novel, Other Side of the River. It has been releasing in installments for several months, and now that the installments are all out, it has been released as a complete e-book by Helping Hands Press.

The Complete E-book

The Complete E-book

WHEN ALL HER PLANS FOR THE FUTURE FALL APART,

WHERE WILL SHE GO FOR HOPE? FOR PEACE?

Western Siberia, 1926. As the Mennonite people struggle to maintain their faith and values, the Stalinist regime spreads its jaws to consume even its most remote citizens. 

In the midst of threat and uncertainty, Luise Letkemann and Daniel Martens plan their future. When Daniel realizes the consequences of unrestrained temper, Luise is forced to make life-changing decisions. Will they ever see each other again in the land of the living? Is there peace on the other side of the river?

The print copy is currently being compiled—I just okayed the format and full jacket—so it should be available shortly. I will be in touch.

If you prefer the digital format, please click on the title:  Other Side of the River.

  • File Size: 1091 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Helping Hands Press (June 18, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L4L9SPM

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