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Featured Writing Addict: Benjamin Phillips

1931365_1084550834666_7953_nBen Phillips is a 35-year-old father of four remarkable and rambunctious children. He has been married to his loving and patient wife, Katie, for 16 years. Ben’s lifelong passion has been writing and creating music to lead people into a better understanding of God’s pursuing love for them. By God’s grace, for the past ten years, he has led people in worship as a full-time career at Calvary Community Church, a non-denominational, 13,000-member church located in Phoenix, Arizona. During Ben’s time leading at Calvary, he has written more than 40 songs, and published two albums. His band, North Element [formerly North Worship], is available through iTunes, cdbaby.com and other major music-based websites.

Ben began his love for reading at the young age of eleven—he enjoyed tackling novels by authors like Stephen Lawhead, Terry Brooks, J.R. R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis. Ben began creating fictional characters in early childhood, and progressed to writing short stories in high school. He found the same love and interest in writing fiction as in music. For years, as God led him to use music for His glory, Ben’s love for writing was focused on songwriting lyrics. In 2010, following a back injury, Ben was forced to lay low from his busy, musical lifestyle. During that time, a desire to communicate God’s beauty, plan of salvation, and love through fictional stories was rekindled.

Ben was becoming aware of the growing divide among American subcultures—and the general lack of interest in hearing the gospel of grace. These two realities, combined with his children’s love of reading, sparked the idea of joining others who have portrayed Christian ideals and spiritual truths through fictional characters. He had a sincere desire for his children to understand the honor, strength, and lifelong wonder found within a relationship with Jesus, and knew it could be communicated through stories and characters in ways other than theological non-fiction—a genre widely unread by the majority of the world’s children and adults. During the past three years, Ben has worked on a fantasy trilogy: The Shadow Champion. His new sci-fi novel, Eonian, will be published and released in the fall of 2014.

Ben’s Genre:

Post-Apocalyptic Sci-fi; Heroic Fantasy

Ben’s Passion for Writing:

“My passion for writing began years before I could read or write. It was a love that stemmed from a vibrant, wide-eyed amazement of all things make-believe: bedtime stories, picture books, theater productions, movies, backyard pretending—it all embodied the possibility of an otherworldly escape to my impressionable, pre-school mind. As a boy, I would get lost in books, privately placing myself as a character within those fictional tales. Before I was ten years old, I had begun dreaming up my own worlds, complete with larger-than-life characters, and deadly archenemies. It wasn’t long before I attempted to write down the adventures from my mind, often in storyboard form. Somewhere along the way, while I grew farther into adulthood, the wonder was lost to me, as I think happens to many of us.

In my early twenties, I came into a saving faith in Jesus. Soon, when reading authors like Lewis and Tolkien, the idea of writing fiction with the intention of incorporating analogous truths that hold an eternal value became romanticized in my mind. As I matured in my faith, the make-believe of my youth—that had once been lost—began to reemerge.

Without necessarily intending to do so, I found myself dreaming up new, elaborate, imaginations that I would share with my sons. I have to confess, the actual act of writing has always been more of a burden—a means to an end. Dreaming of the story, in all its grandeur and beauty, comes easily…typing the words on a page, to convey the depths of those dreams, is daunting to say the least.”

What is Ben’s book about?

Eonian

“Death, blindness, and chaos—this is the reality that the 22-year-old military subcontracted courier, Gavin Marksdon, awakens to discover. It’s been nearly six months since a meteor storm pummeled one of the largest cities in America, causing a mysterious plague to spread throughout the world. The unknown bacterium is saturating every living organism with a contamination level that is bringing all civilization to a halt—technology and organic life are both struggling to survive.

Gavin regains consciousness in total darkness. Recovering from a grievous wound received by a meteor fragment, he learns there is a tangled web of his own government’s knowledge—deceit as well as a war—that has raged for countless eons from beyond Earth. While battling powerful changes to his physical form, Gavin and his handful of allies find themselves on an expedition that holds the balance of their world—a world wavering between a dark evil, and a new light. Journeying their way through a devastated, post-apocalyptic America, to find and save Gavin’s 13-year-old sister, Lenora, they stumble on a deeper conspiracy of a global alien presence…and their own government’s betrayal.”

 

A Book’s Mind |  iTunes: This Dust  | iTunes: North Element | PureVolume.com |
 | Facebook | Twitter | Email |

 

 

Ben’s Published Music:

 

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This Dust
by North Worship; 2008 | Spiritual / Alternative

 

“Slow and peaceful tones collide with driving rock to create a worship project that glorifies Jesus Christ with the honesty of humanity.”

 

A Book’s Mind |  iTunes: This Dust  | iTunes: North Element | PureVolume.com |
 | Facebook | Twitter | Email |

 

 

 

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North Element
by North Element; 2009 | Spiritual / Christian Rock

 

“A seven song EP with music that ranges from songs of wonder and praise to heart-wrenching cries for God to intervene in seemingly hopeless situations.”

 

A Book’s Mind |  iTunes: This Dust  | iTunes: North Element | PureVolume.com |
 | Facebook | Twitter | Email |

 

 

Upcoming Events:

Book Launch:

Eonian is scheduled to be released in fall of 2014 through A Book’s Mind publishing. The official book launch is scheduled for October 2014. Watch for the date!

 

 

Tell Ben you heard about him on editingaddict.com!

 

Webinar: Meet the Editor

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Editing Addict’s Billi Joy Carson is joining A Book’s Mind in a free webinar on June 19, 7pm (AZ time). Come join her as she shares about the editing process, and discusses its value in the publishing industry.

Registration:

When:

    • Thursday, June 19, 2014

    • 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Mountain Time – Arizona)

Where:

How Do I Publish My Book?

Upon request, here is a favorite re-post:

Congratulations! You have your book finished—and now you want to publish it. What do you do? How many options are there?

Firstly, what is your goal? Are you planning on sharing your book with your mom and  your great aunt Molly? Then you want to use Print On Demand. If you have a larger audience in mind, but don’t have the time—nor the patience—to wait for Traditional Publishing, you can always try Self Publishing; it is a road where you are judge, advocate and jury…so be prepared. If none of these fit your style, you can embrace the transformers of the publishing world: Hybrid Publishing. 

What is Print On Demand?

  • POD is an option to upload your manuscript AS IS to a site, and they will convert it to an eBook, as well as print a limited number of books for you.
  • This does not allow for formatting, editing, or reprinting without uploading to the site again.
  • It is an excellent mode for self-publishing comic books, instruction manuals, or family albums
  • Example of a POD site
    • CreateSpace
    • Tell CreateSpace you heard about them from editingaddict.com!

What is Traditional Publishing?

  • Just like an actor trying to land a role, traditional publishing requires authors to work through agents.
  • You have to find the agent that is looking for:
    • Your genre
    • Your concept
    • Your audience
    • Your style
    • Your chapter length
    • Your book
  • Agents reject authors daily, no matter how wonderful the book is—because it is not what THEY were looking for…
    • Rejected authors you may recognize (from literaryrejections.com):
      • Dr. Suess—“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”
      • Zane Grey—”You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
      • Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul—140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell.”
      • The Diary of Anne Frank—“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”
  • To find an agent, you must write a query letter
    • Each agent requires DIFFERENT information per query letter
      • Some want the first five chapters, some want no chapters…
      • Some want every chapter summarized, while others only want the entire book summarized
    • Research which agent requires what, and do not mix up your submissions
    • Never give up on your book, but it’s okay to give up on a certain agent
  • You FIND an agent
    • They talk to the big publishing companies, and know what they are looking for
    • They find you a publisher
      • You sign a contract
      • Your book is published
      • You retain NO rights to your work, or future books in the series
      • Movie rights are transferred to the publisher
      • Your name becomes well-known…or NOT.
      • The publisher has the right not to sell, or even promote your book—however, you have already signed all rights away to it.
      • The publisher does do the dirty work for you, they advertise, they publicize, they edit, they format, they print, they sell…they also keep.
  • A well-known author has more rights with a publisher than a new author. This is an important point to remember when entering the world of publishing. If you already have a following of readers when you reach a traditional publisher, your ability to maintain rights to your work vastly improve—because you have already proven your work is a success, and people want it.
  • Excellent article on traditional publishing: nathanbransford.com
    • “Now, chances are at this point you are going to be in a psychological state where you are ready to sign over a body part just to get an agent, and you will be predisposed to say “Yes, for crap’s sake, yes!!”. But take a step back, take your time, make sure you’re very comfortable with the agent before you enter into one of the most important business relationships you will have in your life. You and your agent are going to have to seriously trust one another, so ask questions, don’t be shy, and make sure you’re ready.” – Nathan Bransford

What is Self-Publishing?

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was rejected so many times she decided to self-publish 250 copies. It has now sold 45 million.
  • With Self-Publishing, no agent is required, but you are responsible for EVERYTHING; you either must be skilled enough to accomplish all the parts necessary, or you are your own contractor, and need to find all the subcontractors to do your work.
    • Your TO DO list expands daily:
      • Editing
      • Formatting
        • Find a graphic design crew to format book to print, as well as create a workable cover design;
        • Pay graphic design group, as well as pay for the cover picture chosen
      • Printing
        • Find a POD service like Xulon Press, (and tell them you found them on editing addict.com)
        • Pay for each copy of your book to print
      • Advertising
        • Build a website
        • Build Social Media
        • Promote book
        • Sell book
        • Reach bookstores to ask to sell in-store
        • Order & reprint books
    • YOU retain all rights to your book, future books, and movie rights

What is Hybrid Publishing?

  • Finally, a merging between Traditional Publishing and Self Publishing has taken place—bringing the best of both worlds into a a format called the Hybrid Publishing option
    • No agent needed
    • Hire a Hybrid Publishing team
      • Team is pre-made—you don’t have to find an editor, a format team, or a PR group…the team is ready, willing, and very able. They will stay by your side through the entire process!
  • What Hybrid Publishing provides:
    • Editing
    • Formatting
    • Book Cover design
    • Team to walk alongside you through the journey
    • Advertising
    • Web Site
    • Social Media platform
    • Book promotion
    • Author promotion
  • You, as the author, maintain your rights:
    • You keep all rights to your book, and future books
    • You keep movie rights
    • You are not limited by an agent’s likes/dislikes
    • If you are picked up by a Traditional Publisher, you already have a base of readership, and you have a voice in your options/choices for future
  • Example of Hybrid Publisher:

If you have any questions, let Editing Addict know!

 

Featured Writing Addict: H. Squires

H. Squires

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Heather Squires’ life calling to be an author began in 1989 in Phoenix, Arizona. As an editorial writer on staff at the Utopian Newspaper, she decided to seek further review and publishing. The first project to be completed outside of the journaling world was To Desecrate Man, an action novel; completed in 2005, it became over shadowed by the second project: Rogue, a young adult fiction-adventure novel.

Upon completion of Rogue in 2009, Squires’ place in the young adult fiction world became clear. The Sphere of Archimedes began to take shape, and was finished in 2011. Currently working on the sequel, The Omphalos of Delphi, she continues to create anticipation for the future of young adult fiction.

What is H. Squires’s Genre?

Fiction: Young Adult, Science Fiction

What is  H. Squires’s Inspiration?

“As an observer, I watch ominous clouds collide in the blue firmament. A black-hooded, male sparrow puffs out his chest, and struts to impress a potential mate. While skating over a broad leaf, a snail’s eyes –perched on tall stalks, nods from the slightest breeze.

The daily creations displayed before our eyes, inspires me to write. I cannot go to my grave without trying to verbally describe God’s handiwork—and, if I can tell a story within the narrative, then [I hope] I do Him justice.”

What is H. Squires’s book about?

The Sphere of Archimedes

book cover

“Professor Donovan Spiegler, and nine-year-old Oliver Abernathy have no warning that their seemingly routine lives will free-fall into danger and adventure in this sci-fi thriller: THE SPHERE OF ARCHIMEDES.

Oliver, a chubby, freckle-faced boy, is surviving a mundane school-life as the helpless victim of a bully, Dylan Parker.

The Professor, and his assistant, Cedrick Wilhelm, are researching a mysterious metallic orb when Cedrick goes missing, and so does the orb.

On a trip to the Grand Canyon with his family, Oliver discovers a metallic sphere that has special powers. His boyish curiosity builds as he tests the abilities and hazards the orb possesses. He learns the alarming side of the orb when Dylan Parker, the bully, opens it, and is vaporized—or so Oliver believes.

 Nsphere

A group of threatening men turn up at Professor Spiegler’s class; at knife point, they demand he relinquish the orb, and show them how to release its powers. In an attempt to flee, the Professor inadvertently leads the mobsters straight to Oliver Abernathy and his family.

In the thrilling adventure that follows, the characters discover the need to work together in order to stay alive. The Professor and the Abernathys encounter other worlds, and meet deadly enemies. Their survival is hinged on solving THE SPHERE OF ARCHIMEDES.”


Featured Writing Addict: Emjay Luby

Emjay Luby

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Since the day Emjay haltingly read See Spot Run, she was hooked on the written word. As a child, she looked forward to bedtime, because bed and reading went together. All the Luby kids slept with their arms wrapped around books — not stuffed animals.

When she first read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at the age of 15, she determined that she wanted to be a word spinner — an author — like Betty Smith. She signed up for the Famous Writers Course when she was an 18-year-old stay-at-home mom. Her first story was painstakingly pounded out on an ancient Underwood typewriter.

Many more courses followed over the years, until she finally learned that if she wanted to become a good writer, she needed to spend less time reading about writing, and more time putting words on paper.

She sent an article to a Sunday School quarterly, and was thrilled when they not only accepted her story but paid her $15 for doing what she loved. A Christian magazine accepted an article about her family’s missionary trip to Mexico a few years later.

Many years have passed since she first came up with the idea for The Courting Dress. The outline, character studies, and a couple of chapters sat in the back of a closet until she shared a few pages of the story at an Abba’s Writers meeting. “The women encouraged, prodded, and coerced me to continue writing, and get the book published. I’m grateful for their patience and perseverance as I limped my way to the finish line.”

What’s Emjay Luby’s Genre?

Fiction: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance

What’s  Emjay Luby’s Inspiration?

“I’m fascinated by old mining towns like Madrid in New Mexico and Jerome in Arizona. One day as I was walking through a mining museum, I thought, It would be so cool to go back in time and meet some of the people who lived and worked in these rough-and-tumble towns. Nathan Pierce, Mandy Steven’s love interest in The Courting Dress, is one of those men.”

What is Emjay Luby’s book about?

The Courting Dress

EMJAY.004“One night in March of 1994, while searching through her grandmother’s hope chest, Mandy Stevens finds a charming dress. She impulsively slips it over her head, and is instantly transported from her bedroom in Phoenix, to the middle of a dusty road, and there’s a car barreling down on her! Frozen in disbelief, she’s tackled and thrown out of the path of danger. Her rescuer, Nathan Pierce, tells the bewildered woman she’s in the mining town of Jerome, and the year is 1934.  Mandy, whose feet have always been firmly planted on the ground, soon finds herself torn between two eras — one holds the familiar people, places, and things of everyday life, but the other holds a chance to be with the only man she’s ever loved. The past or the present…which one will Mandy choose, or does she have a choice at all?”

 

 

To reach Emjay Luby, buy her books, or schedule a book-signing event:

Featured Writing Addict: J.D. Scott

J.D. Scott

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J.D. Scott has been the organizing member of Abba’s Writers in Phoenix, Arizona, for the past three years. She leads, organizes, and teaches both critiquing and story development to its 50+ members. She is also a participating member of West Valley Writers Group in Avondale, Arizona.

In February of 2013, J.D. Scott accepted the invitation to become part of the team at A Book’s Mind as a publishing consultant. She thoroughly enjoys working alongside writers, helping them fulfill their dreams of becoming published authors.

The Disillusionment of Anahera Daniels was released in 2013, and the second book in the Anahera Daniels series will be released in the fall of 2014.

What’s J.D. Scott’s Genre?

Fiction: Young Adult, Science Fiction

What’s  J.D. Scott’s Inspiration?

“I spent nearly twenty years working with children and young adults as a nanny, mentor, camp counselor, daycare worker, and youth group leader. With a heart for today’s youth, I set out to write books that not only entertain, but also inspire today’s youth to rise above the current culture, and see their value.”

What’s J.D. Scott’s book about?

The Disillusionment of Anahera Daniels

“Nothing of significance ever happened on Pleasant Avenue in the sleepy town of Prescott, Arizona. That is, nothing you’ve ever heard about

On Anahera Daniels’ 18th birthday, she wakes from a disturbing nightmare, only to walk into another. After overhearing life-shattering news that her parents aren’t who she thought they were—she questions her place among family, friends, and in the heart of Nathan, her high school crush. Ana’s life splinters into two realities when strange dreams develop into a newfound ability to travel between Earth and the world of Posternis.

A world away, Ana finds herself wounded, and fleeing from a dark-winged creature when she collides into Adrian, an attractive Posternis native. Accepting the help of his outstretched hand, she unknowingly binds their fates together. Ana’s fierce determination drives her search to unravel the mystery of her biological parents, and their connection with the Cozen, the gargoyle-like creatures seemingly bent on her destruction.

Armed with only her sarcastic wit and a pocket knife, Ana must decipher where her loyalties lie, and choose between two worlds and two loves—before the deadly side-effects of traveling ends her life altogether.”

 

How Do I Publish My Book?

Congratulations! You have your book finished—and now you want to publish it. What do you do? How many options are there?

Firstly, what is your goal? Are you planning on sharing your book with your mom and  your great aunt Molly? Then you want to use Print On Demand. If you have a larger audience in mind, but don’t have the time—nor the patience—to wait for Traditional Publishing, you can always try Self Publishing; it is a road where you are judge, advocate and jury…so be prepared. If none of these fit your style, you can embrace the transformers of the publishing world: Hybrid Publishing. 

What is Print On Demand?

  • POD is an option to upload your manuscript AS IS to a site, and they will convert it to an eBook, as well as print a limited number of books for you.
  • This does not allow for formatting, editing, or reprinting without uploading to the site again.
  • It is an excellent mode for self-publishing comic books, instruction manuals, or family albums
  • Example of a POD site
    • CreateSpace
    • Tell CreateSpace you heard about them from editingaddict.com!

What is Traditional Publishing?

  • Just like an actor trying to land a role, traditional publishing requires authors to work through agents.
  • You have to find the agent that is looking for:
    • Your genre
    • Your concept
    • Your audience
    • Your style
    • Your chapter length
    • Your book
  • Agents reject authors daily, no matter how wonderful the book is—because it is not what THEY were looking for…
    • Rejected authors you may recognize (from literaryrejections.com):
      • Dr. Suess—“Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”
      • Zane Grey—”You have no business being a writer and should give up.”
      • Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul—140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell.”
      • The Diary of Anne Frank—“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”
  • To find an agent, you must write a query letter
    • Each agent requires DIFFERENT information per query letter
      • Some want the first five chapters, some want no chapters…
      • Some want every chapter summarized, while others only want the entire book summarized
    • Research which agent requires what, and do not mix up your submissions
    • Never give up on your book, but it’s okay to give up on a certain agent
  • You FIND an agent
    • They talk to the big publishing companies, and know what they are looking for
    • They find you a publisher
      • You sign a contract
      • Your book is published
      • You retain NO rights to your work, or future books in the series
      • Movie rights are transferred to the publisher
      • Your name becomes well-known…or NOT.
      • The publisher has the right not to sell, or even promote your book—however, you have already signed all rights away to it.
      • The publisher does do the dirty work for you, they advertise, they publicize, they edit, they format, they print, they sell…they also keep.
  • A well-known author has more rights with a publisher than a new author. This is an important point to remember when entering the world of publishing. If you already have a following of readers when you reach a traditional publisher, your ability to maintain rights to your work vastly improve—because you have already proven your work is a success, and people want it.
  • Excellent article on traditional publishing: nathanbransford.com
    • “Now, chances are at this point you are going to be in a psychological state where you are ready to sign over a body part just to get an agent, and you will be predisposed to say “Yes, for crap’s sake, yes!!”. But take a step back, take your time, make sure you’re very comfortable with the agent before you enter into one of the most important business relationships you will have in your life. You and your agent are going to have to seriously trust one another, so ask questions, don’t be shy, and make sure you’re ready.” – Nathan Bransford

What is Self-Publishing?

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was rejected so many times she decided to self-publish 250 copies. It has now sold 45 million.
  • With Self-Publishing, no agent is required, but you are responsible for EVERYTHING; you either must be skilled enough to accomplish all the parts necessary, or you are your own contractor, and need to find all the subcontractors to do your work.
    • Your TO DO list expands daily:
      • Editing
      • Formatting
        • Find a graphic design crew to format book to print, as well as create a workable cover design;
        • Pay graphic design group, as well as pay for the cover picture chosen
      • Printing
        • Find a POD service like Xulon Press, (and tell them you found them on editing addict.com)
        • Pay for each copy of your book to print
      • Advertising
        • Build a website
        • Build Social Media
        • Promote book
        • Sell book
        • Reach bookstores to ask to sell in-store
        • Order & reprint books
    • YOU retain all rights to your book, future books, and movie rights

What is Hybrid Publishing?

  • Finally, a merging between Traditional Publishing and Self Publishing has taken place—bringing the best of both worlds into a a format called the Hybrid Publishing option
    • No agent needed
    • Hire a Hybrid Publishing team
      • Team is pre-made—you don’t have to find an editor, a format team, or a PR group…the team is ready, willing, and very able. They will stay by your side through the entire process!
  • What Hybrid Publishing provides:
    • Editing
    • Formatting
    • Book Cover design
    • Team to walk alongside you through the journey
    • Advertising
    • Web Site
    • Social Media platform
    • Book promotion
    • Author promotion
  • You, as the author, maintain your rights:
    • You keep all rights to your book, and future books
    • You keep movie rights
    • You are not limited by an agent’s likes/dislikes
    • If you are picked up by a Traditional Publisher, you already have a base of readership, and you have a voice in your options/choices for future
  • Example of Hybrid Publisher:

If you have any questions, let Editing Addict know!