Friday, February 10, 2006


Today, we conclude our three-part conversation with suspense novelist Brandilyn Collins, author of Web of Lies (Zondervan). (If you missed them, feel free to go back and read Part One and Part Two. We can wait.)

Ready? OK, without further ado, here is part three, wherein Brandilyn shares advice to aspiring writers ...

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What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
First, put your talent firmly in God's hands. He gave it to you in the first place. No doubt He's got a pretty good idea of what you should be doing with it. Second, if you're a novelist, work like crazy on the craft. The journey toward publication can be long and hard and full of cabinet-kicking. (Don't you just love mixed metaphor?) You have to stick with it.

What aspect of God do you most hope readers will take away after reading one of your books?
The extent of His power, released through prayer. David wrote: "In God I have put my trust. I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?" Even if "mere man" does something mighty awful, God can get us
through it.

What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers would understand?
There are two kinds of people in this world -- Normals and Novelists. Novelists are rather ... strange. If we talk to our characters, pretend not to notice. If we look at absolutely everything that happens around us as a possible story
idea ... yeah.

What one thing about writing do you wish other writers would understand?
That no one of us has a corner on the market as to what fiction is good and what isn't. I have my tastes, others have theirs. I know enough about craft to judge quality of writing, but in my judgment are mixed my own predispositions. We all need to remember that even though we don't care for certain genres, plenty of others do. In this difficult business, we need to support each other, not berate each others' talents, or even secretly think our genre is harder to write in than someone else's. Each genre has its own challenges. Each can be done well or done poorly.

For the writer promoting his or her book, what do you consider the BEST thing he or she could do to promote it?
Well, no surprise -- These days having a Web site is essential. It's particularly helpful to post an excerpt of each book to give folks a flavor of your writing. And keep the Web site up to date! Feature your latest release. As time approaches for the next one, tease readers with information about what's to come. Also, offer free stuff like bookmarks and signed bookplates. Make sure the Web site URL is on the back cover of your book. Besides this, I do an e-mail newsletter, interviews, mailings, and make good use of an influencer list with each book.

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There you have it! Many thanks to Brandilyn for her time. Find her online at or at her daily blog, Forensics And Faith. She has also launched an Amazon Blog and is a regular contributor to the multi-novelist blog Charis Connection.

Find Web of Lies at Amazon or ask for it at any fine bookseller.

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