Friday, January 15, 2010
Seekerville welcomes editor Dave Fessenden & BIRTHDAY POEM GIVEAWAY
Hello all! Cheryl Wyatt here.
I'm pleased to introduce you to one of my long-time writing mentors, Dave Fessenden, managing editor of CLC Publications. In addition to being a long-time editor, speaker, theology expert, teacher and author in the publishing industry, Dave was my first Christian Writers Guild instructor and responsible for helping me build a strong foundation in craft.
So, if you don't like my books...it's ALL Dave's fault! LOL! Well, not really but I have to blame SOMEONE. ;-)
Seriously, I learned SO much from Dave. He is a TOUGH editor but that's exactly what I needed. He was also very encouraging. He helped me see the strengths in my writing and to improve my weaknesses. I grew exponentially as a student writer under his masterful instruction. I'm very thankful for him and Jacque, his wife, for their kind words of support over my writing even to this day. Dave is currently working on writing his first fiction book! I LOVE the concept and hope to get to read it in book form soon.
By the way, if you're wondering why we're having virtual sherbert punch, comma-shaped Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings (recipes at end of post) and yummy birthday cupcakes shaped like various punctuation marks on decorative plates embossed with proofreading symbols for breakfast, TODAY IS DAVE's BIRTHDAY!!! What a gift that we're blessed with his presence today. Birthdays need presents too. So in honor of Dave, I'm giving away three prizes.
The gifts will go to the three people who write Dave the FUNNIEST birthday wishes, greetings or poems in the comments.
No more than three entries per person and each person can only win once. U.S. residents only please.
First Place will win an Emergency Editing Survival Kit which includes Band-aids, comfort candy, tissues, a funny inspirational quote, a NICE set of red editing pens (LOL) and "mystery" items in honor of the book Dave is attempting to write.
Second Place winner gets to choose any fiction or non-fiction book valued up to $20.00 from the CLC Publications Web site.
Third Place will win a signed copy of my 6h book, A Soldier's Devotion, IN STORES NOW.
Leave a funny birthday greeting and your e-mail address in the comments section of this blog by tonight, Midnight CST to be entered for a chance to win.
Now to the GOOD stuff!
After thirty years in professional writing and editing, I have stumbled upon an amazing discovery: fiction is really hard work! I’ve been doing nonfiction all my life, and it’s never been easy, but now I'm trying to write my first novel, and it feels like crawling through a drainpipe filled with quick-drying cement.
The first thought that came to mind when I encountered difficulties was to ask the published novelists I know for help. That was when I made my second amazing discovery: novelists have their own language, full of strange terminology. Oh, it sounds like normal English, at first. But then they start asking questions like, “What's your point of view?” And I usually respond, “Well, right now I'm standing at the window, looking through the trees at the train tracks.” And then they give up trying to help me.
It started out innocently enough. I had always enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle, so why not write a pastiche? (This is the fancy term that writers use when they want to hide the fact that they are stealing the characters of another author.)
I have to let you in on a secret, though: I didn’t really like Sherlock as much as his brother Mycroft, who unfortunately appears in far too few of Conan Doyle’s stories. It was decided, then: Mycroft would have to be a central character. I also wanted to set the novel in the 1920s, because I think it’s an interesting era. At first I was going to set the novel in Chicago, so I could bring Al Capone into the story, but I soon switched it to Philadelphia; since I live in the Philly area, the research would be a lot easier!
These decisions, of course, created a whole new set of problems. Mycroft is a fat, lazy, sendentary bureaucrat who rarely goes out in public. How can I legitimately have him out solving crimes, when he’s stuck on the couch? I know! I’ll get him a sidekick like Dr. Watson, to do all the legwork. But if it’s the 1920s, Dr. Watson would be getting up in years. Well, how about his son? Conan Doyle never said Watson had a son, but if you read the details of the stories it appears that Watson got married two or three times, so there must have been a kid produced at some point!
All right then: Watson has a son, Thomas, who is a . . . um . . . yeah, a newspaper reporter. That’s how he uncovers these mysteries. And then he brings them to Mycroft, who solves them. But why wouldn’t he bring them to Sherlock? Sherlock has to be dead by this time, I guess. Probably Dr. Watson is dead, too, so somebody’s got to take care of poor, old Mycroft. I guess Thomas gets stuck with the job. OK, I’ve got these two together — but the original Holmes-and-Watson stories were set in London. How do I get them over the ocean to Philadelphia? Have I written myself into a corner already?
See why I say fiction is so hard? Nonfiction is a lot easier, because it really happened; it doesn’t have to make sense.
Look for my first novel, The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy, to be released . . . someday.
Managing Editor, CLC Publications
Cheryl back to say that I am already intrigued in Dave's story. In searching for clues for Dave's Bio, I've discovered that he has been: a publishing professional with 30 years of experience in writing and editing. He is the author of the following four books, three nonfiction and one fiction:
* /Father to Nobody’s Children, the Life of Thomas Barnardo/ (CLC Publications, 1995)
* /The Waiting Missionary/ (Christian Publications, 1995) — fiction
* /A Light to All Japan/ — children’s version (Christian Publications, 1998)
* /Teaching With All Your Heart/ (Cook Communications, 2002)
He has penned hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, edited numerous books whose titles you would most likely be familiar with. He is a regular columnist for Cross & Quill newsletter, and a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. His teaching and speaking experience includes industrial training programs, college-level continuing education seminars, and professional writing workshops. He is and has been an Independent Professional at Freelance Editorial and Publishing Consultant, Instructor at Christian Writers Guild, Freelance writer at Snapdragon Group, Managing Editor at Christian Publications, Inc., Writer/Trainer at Griffin Technology, Communications Director at Western NY Conference, UMC. His education includes: A B.A in journalism and an M.A. in religion from Evangelical Theological Seminary & State University of New York College at Buffalo. Dave and his wife have two adult sons.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg! He has written award-winning devotions such as this one. titled Unsung Hero. Dave produced study guides for two titles by A.W. Tozer (published in the back of the books) and is even mentioned in Wikipedia with A.W. Tozer here. In other words, this guy's been around the industry block and knows publishing. We at Seekerville wish him the very best in his fiction writing endeavors. Live on, Thomas Mycroft! :-)
Don't forget to leave a funny birthay wish, greeting or poem for Dave in the comments! :-) If you're too shy to try, that's fine too. Feel free to comment anyway, even if it's not a birthday greeting for Dave. You may have questions about CLC Publications writers' guidelines, found here. If so, I'm sure Dave wouldn't mind answering your questions. Same goes if you're simply a reader interested in knowing what upcoming CLC titles Dave is excited about. Ask away!
Thanks for stopping by and meeting one of my best writing mentors.
Check his awesome publishing company's site out too. CLC Publications is the U.S. publishing house for CLC Ministries International (formerly Christian Literature Crusade). There are some FABULOUS books there. I highly recommend you purchase some because they are the kind of soul-satisfying reads that will live on your family's keeper shelves for generations.
Sherbert Punch recipe:
2 liter bottle of Ginger Ale
2 liter bottle of either 7 Up or Sprite
1 container of red Hawaiian Punch
1 block of frozen rainbow sherbert
Mix together in a punchbowl, serve & enjoy!
Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings recipe:
2 apples cored and sliced into 6 to 8 pieces each depending on # of rolls in tube
2 cans croissant rolls
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1 can Mountain Dew soda
Preheat oven to 350 or 375 for crispier dumplings.
Wrap 1 apple slice in each raw croissant triangle and place in 2 rows in 9X13 pan.
Melt and mix sugar, butter & cinnamon together and pour mixture over dumplings.
Pour partial can of Mountain Dew around the perimater only.
Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on whether you like the dumplings crispy or soft.
Serve alone or smothered in vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DAVE, FROM BOO-BOO HOFF