Rank #1: 106 - Susan Vandepol tackles the hard topic of grief after the death of a loved one.
Susan Vandepol tackles the hard topic of grief after the death of a loved one. Here's the link to the Show Notes page for highlights, quotes, and links to Susan's website and social media contacts.
Susan was married to a firefighter who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease after a 911 call on duty. She founded Families of the Fallen and wrote protocols for firefighters and churches to help them assist widows and their families with their needs after the death of a firefighter. This important resource has provided guidance in the undefined area of supporting these widows. Out of that came her book Life After Breath: After Her Husband Takes His Last Breath, and After She Tries to Catch Hers. Susan wrote out of her life experiences in order to help others. She discovered that she loved speaking and now does that regularly. Writing and talking about death and grief is a hard subject, but Susan has mastered it. Her book, protocols, blog, speaking, and website all reflect her desire to help and bless others. She blesses people in their hard and dark moments.
Rank #2: 108 - Major Mitchell has written 10 western novels and two children’s chapter books books.
Major Mitchell has written 10 western novels and two children’s chapter books books. Here's the link to Major's Show Notes page with interview highlights and quotes, and links to his books, website, and social media connections.
His first western book, Manhunter, was written as a gift to his wife. As a youth he read Zane Grey, which peaked his interest in eventually writing westerns. Major loves writing and has 10 western novels published, along with two children’s chapter books. He started Shalako Press, which has published close to 20 other authors. Many of his books are part of a series built around a character. Major takes us through building characters, doing research for 1850 to 1890, and then we talk about his books for children. He share a lot of valuable information on writing westerns and on writing in general.
Rank #3: 104 - Melissa Keir is a full-time writer of contemporary, western, and suspense romance.
Melissa Keir is a fiction author who never wanted to be a writer - but now it’s one of her passions. Here's the link to Melissa's Show Note page with highlights, quotes, and links to her websites and social media.
Melissa is a teacher who now guests teaches and writes movie reviews for a local radio station. She’s an avid reader and after writing book reviews for two years, she tried writing her own book. In 2012 her first book was published and now she has 19 original stories in 25 books including boxed sets. In 2016 she was able to become a full time writer. In this interview, Melissa shares about boxed sets, writing series, her writing process for a new book, developing characters, adding the plot to develop the full story, and much more. She rereads and rewrites as she goes to deepen the story. Then focus is on good editing and a quality cover. Melissa owns InkSpell Publishing.
Rank #4: 103 - Episodes 76 - 100 Highlights Recapped
In this special episode we recap episodes 76 – 100 of Writers & Authors on Fire. We’ll go from episode 076 to episode 100 with a short description of the show and then share a short clip from the interview. You will learn about authors, what they shared, and in their words, a bit of wisdom culled from their interview. This fourth batch of 25 episodes are entertaining, but more important, informative as they share what they have learned about writing, their tips and advice, and the exciting direction their writing journey has taken them. It is our hope that the short clips might entice you to listen to the full shows.
Rank #5: 107 - Alan Fadling is the author of two nonfiction books about Unhurried Living.
Alan Fadling is the founder, with his wife, of Unhurried Living, which grew out of his two books on that theme. Here's the link to Alan's Show Notes page with quotes, highlights, and links to his websites and social media.
Alan is a pastor and spiritual director, mainly to other pastors. The unhurried life is about an intentional deepening of one’s relationship with God. Alan has journaled for most of his life, with over 9000 journal pages. The Unhurried Living books came out a 20-year journey of using spiritual practices as a Christian leader and finding mentors in the practices to slow him down. Their focus is on personal leadership. The first book is The Unhurried Life and the second, just released, is An Unhurried Leader. An Unhurried Leader is for people who want to be persons of influence exactly where God has placed them. Alan describes grace-paced leadership and overflow leadership. He shares principles on how we can become unhurried people. We talk about the writing process of both books, the unhurried life podcast, and their online school where people can take courses.
Rank #6: 135 - Craig von Buseck is an author, speaker, teacher, and encourager.
Craig von Buseck is the senior editor for digital content for Inspiration.org, an arm of Inspiration Ministries. He also worked for Christian Broadcast network for 15 years. Craig has authored five books. He’s a natural encourager and in this interview he encourages writers. We talk abut several of Craig’s books. Craig gives a great example of how authors need a strategy to be successful in publishing. Craig talks about beta readers, time as a challenge including time wasters, creating content for online magazines, and turning books into screenplays. Then finally, we spend time talking about ways to build an effective author platform.
Rank #7: 133 - Linda Fisler is the author of the Blind series of fiction books
Linda Fisler is an author, painter, mentor, instructor, podcaster with a lot of life to balance. She’s a creative. She’s written several art books including two compiled from her podcasts. She has her “Blind” series with three books and more coming. Because Linda is an artist, she designs her own covers. We talk about writing in general, the finer points of boxed sets, her writing process, working through the “awful,” and much more.
Rank #8: 131 - Episodes 101 - 125 Highlights Recapped
Click here to go to the Show Notes page for this recap episode of shows 101 to 125.
In this special episode we recap episodes 101 – 125 of Writers & Authors on Fire. We’ll go from episode 101 to episode 125 with a short description of the show and then share a short clip from the interview. You will learn about authors, what they shared, and in their words, a bit of wisdom culled from their interview. This fifth batch of 25 episodes are entertaining, but more important, informative as they share what they have learned about writing, their tips and advice, and the exciting direction their writing journey has taken them. It is our hope that the short clips might entice you to listen to the full shows. The 25 include authors of general fiction, novels of all types and for all ages, humor, romance fiction, historical fiction, mystery and suspense, zombie and paranormal, women’s contemporary fiction; and lots of nonfiction – writing for children and girls, devotionals, personal stories of struggles of grief, weight loss struggles, marriage, mentoring, and more. Each interview is unique and each will provide you with tips, advice, and learnings you can apply to your writing.
Rank #9: 130 - Former acquisitions editor Rick Steele provides editorial services.
Rick Steele has a valuable background in publishing for more then 24 years as an acquisitions editor, developmental editor, and copy editor. In the interview he shares from his experience and wisdom. He has loads of tips about writing queries, proposals, manuscripts, building your platform, and more. Listen as he shares what he look for in a compelling query or proposal and which chapters should be included with your proposal. Excellent advice for fiction and nonfiction writers and authors.
Rank #10: 129 - A.K. Preston writes in the Christian speculative fiction niche.
Alexander Preston Klopfenstein writes under the pen name of A.K. Preston. He writes in the science fiction genre with a little bit of thriller thrown in, mainly in the Christian speculative fiction niche. He has spent the past four year working on his project and learning about the world of publishing. He initially had written Harvest of Prey first and decided to relaunch it as The Gevaudan Project. He tightened up the text, changed the cover, developed a marketing launch plan, and started a blog. Preston’s writing time is pretty structured. He has learned a lot about connecting with other like-minded writers, using minimalistic language and letting dialogue stand-alone and keeping the pacing going. This is an excellent interview with an author who wrote a book and learned he how to make it better to increase his chances of success
Rank #11: 127 - Alene Nitzky wrote Navigating the C: A Nurse Charts the Course for Cancer Survivorship Care.
Alene Nitzky is an oncology nurse and an ultra runner. In this interview we talk about her role as an oncology nurse, health coach, and American Cancer Society Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer—and her new book. Alene wrote Navigating the C: A Nurse Charts the Course for Cancer Survivorship Care to help those with cancer, the newly diagnosed, their families and caregivers, and those in the health care profession. We talk about health, exercise, the quality of life with cancer, advocacy, understanding cancer, writing her book, her book’s audience, and much more.
Rank #12: 125 - Wayne Kurtz writes about the sport of ultra triathlons
Wayne Kurtz is an ultra endurance triathlete who has written several books on the topic. His new book is It’s All About the DECA: Fearless Exploration Through 1,406 miles. A DECA is 10 ironman length races, swimming, cycling, and running, typically done in 10 days. Wayne loves goals and journals daily. In the interview we talk about goals, fitness, the question of ‘why do these’, identifying your audience, and the writing process. It’s a great example of how having passion for life can lead to multiple and successful books on a topic.
Rank #13: 122 - Jay Nixon wrote The Overweight Mind to help as many people as possible.
Jay Nixon wants “… more than anything else to help as many people as possible become the best version of themselves.” Jay Nixon is a certified nutrition specialist, a certified nutrition coach, and certified personal trainer, which are all good to validate him in his line of work. He loves everything to do with fitness and is very active. His new book The Overweight Mind looks at the relationship of the mechanics and psychological (mindset) components of weight loss. He says mechanics is 20% and psychological (mindset) is 80% of achieving success. We talk about the book, his writing process, where the idea came from, and a lot about effective and long term weight loss.
Rank #14: 121 - T.E. Watson is known for his children’s books but writes murder mysteries too.
T.E. Watson has been writing for more than 43 years with 142 books to his credit. He writes to entertain and to help those who want to write. His genres include a variety from children’s books to chapter books, travel stories, going west stories, poems, fairy tales, murder mysteries, and more. He believes that writer’s block does not exist. He has a vivid imagination and lots of ideas and shares the story that gave him the idea for The Monster in the Mailbox. We talk about his writing process, getting and recording ideas, and much more. TE shares how he makes audio books out of his picture books and uses sound effects to enhance the listening experience. His love of children shines as he talks about doing school visits where he gets kids to love reading.
Rank #15: 120 - Dave Jaworski wrote Microsoft Secrets about an insider’s view of the computer giant.
Dave Jaworski worked for Microsoft for eight years as a marketing representative and then two years in product development. He values his ability to translate tech to normal human speak so he can help people understand technology. In this excite interview we learn about Microsoft as it grew from worst to first in software applications. Dave shares the interesting process he used to write Microsoft Secrets, the challenges of writing a book about secrets, confidentiality, his motivation and much more.
Rank #16: 118 - Janet Thompson, author of 19 books with a focus on mentoring
Janet Thompson didn’t start writing until she was 50. After attending seminary she was trying to find out what she should be doing. She soon found herself in charge of creating a Women to Woman mentoring program at Saddleback Church in southern California. After that she write a kit on forming a mentoring program to women, which they self-published. It was picked up by Lifeway. Her books since then have all included some aspect of mentoring. In this interview we talk about her writing process, her motivation to write, how she gets her stories, and where her ideas come from and how she tracks them. She talks about all her books and how they came about. She’s always collecting stories.
Rank #17: 117 - Tony and Alisa launched ONE Extraordinary Marriage to fill a need in their marriage.
Tony and Alisa launched ONE Extraordinary Marriage to fill a need in their marriage when they could not find the resources they needed. They started a blog but discovered they didn’t like writing that much. Soon they discovered podcasts and the rest is history. They launched in January 2010 and recently recorded episode 400! Their main product is the podcast but they offer lots of other products: coaching, print and ebooks, audio and video courses, sharable quotes, and more. Their goal is to impact one marriage. They ask themselves everyday, “Where’s the one marriage that we're going to impact today.” It’s simple and effective.
Rank #18: 114 - Jodi Weiss writes fiction, nonfiction and short stories.
Jodi Weiss was an English major in college with a Masters degree in English and an MFA in creative writing. She’s worked as an literary agent, has worked in the publishing industry, and is a professor. Her work in publishing has mainly been in the field of careers. She has a passion to teach full-time. Jodi runs ultra marathons, with more than 30 100 miler races completed. She does yoga and is a yogi. The first draft of her novel was over 1000 pages and she cut 300 of those by the time it was published. She’s an organized and disciplined writer and had binders of dialog, timelines, notes, month by month breakdowns, and more. Careers are important to her having worked in academia for many years. Jodi is a prolific writer who can write five articles at a time.
Rank #19: 113 - Tim Beals transitioned from being an author to partner with authors as an agent.
Tim Beals transitioned from being an author to partner with authors as an agent. Here's the link to Tim's show notes page with quotes, highlights, and links to his websites and social media connections.
After college he worked for Zondervan in a variety of roles from proofreader editor, to acquisitions to publisher. He spent the first 25 years of his career in publishing. Twelve years ago he founded Credo Communications and Credo House Publishers. In this interview we talk about agents, what they do, what they cost authors, how they specialize, the benefits of having an agent, when to approach an agent, what to submit to them, concerns when looking for an agent, how writing across different genres affects an agent representing me, and much more.
Rank #20: 112 - Tracy Levinson writes about relationships for young women and girls.
Tracy wrote Unashamed: Candid Conversations About Dating, Love, Nakedness, and Faith for young women and girls. Here's the link to the Show Notes page for highlights and quotes, and links to her website and social media connections.
Tracy Levinson grew up with dyslexia and a learning disability but became a high school teacher. Her book Unashamed came out of a late night feeling that God was telling her to write. Young girls and women reached out to her with their questions about dating and sex. So she wrote Unashamed: Candid Conversations About Dating, Love, Nakedness, and Faith to give them a safe place to wrestle with these topics. In this interview we talk about how being dyslexic affected her writing, the processes she used to write the book and do a survey to collect content, how she got into five categories in Amazon - resulting in being number 1 in all five categories, and much more. She took a planned aggressive role in asking for endorsements.