guest, Candee Fick
Hello Seekerville! I'm so glad to be back with you today, and even though it's Halloween, I promise no tricks. Only treats. (Including an advance reader copy of my upcoming release!)
One of my delights as an author is hearing from readers. Especially when a storyline or character's journey has directly inspired or encouraged them through a difficult time.
Whether it's direct to my inbox, online through social media, or shared inside reviews, I'm searching for those golden nuggets to know what resonated the most with my readers...and what fell short. That way I know what to repeat...and what to improve upon.
While stories are dear to my heart and come to life in my imagination first, this authoring adventure is all about giving readers what they want—an emotionally satisfying journey.
The best stories include a journey that actually goes somewhere and has a logical point to the twists and turns along the way. A journey that tugs on a variety of emotions with an ebb and flow to the underlying tension. And a journey that leaves readers smiling in satisfaction at the end to know it ended perfectly without feeling rushed or drawn out.
However, after publishing FocusOn Love back in February, for the first time I got mixed signals from readers. Some were glad I didn't nicely wrap up all the loose ends with my heroine's family because life sometimes stays messy and instead of easy answers, we can discover God's strength to forge a new future. Other readers clearly stated they couldn't wait for my next book to find out what happened.
The problem? That next official book in the series (featuring a secondary character) was already written and submitted to my publisher without any hint of a resolution for the previous heroine. And I had no logical reason to include an update during the editing process without making it feel forced and artificial.
But readers wanted to know! And since this business is truly driven by those who buy books, I decided to give my readers what they wanted. That true happily-ever-after ending without an unbearable wait until long after the next official book releases in May.
(Cue drum roll and shameless plug that Audra said I was allowed to include...)
A Picture PerfectChristmas is the continuation of Liz and Ryan's story and is available for pre-order now before officially releasing on November 12th. Here’s the blurb:
From disowned to daughter to “I do?"
Freelance photographers Liz Foster and Ryan Callahan are finally making plans for their future. And what better time to get married than during the festive holiday season that brought them together?
If only Liz’s parents weren’t standing in the way of a picture-perfect wedding.
Spurred on by the ghosts of Christmases past, Dan Foster has already written Liz out of his will, so even attending the wedding—let alone walking his daughter down the aisle—is out of the question. However, this is the season for miracles and Ryan will do anything to make his bride smile.
What will it take to bring this family back together in time for the wedding?
If you like Christmas weddings, family reunions, and happily-ever-afters, then you’ll love this next chapter in The Wardrobe series.
But that's not all that's new in my life when it comes to storytelling and giving readers what they want...
(Psst. If you're a Christian writer looking for a publisher, pay attention. And if you love reading middle grade, young adult, romance, suspense, cozy mysteries, and/or seasonal stories with Christian messages...there are some amazing stories on the way.)
As of this writing, I've been a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for a month. In that time, I've had the privilege to evaluate incoming queries and submissions looking for that next emotionally satisfying story to recommend to our Acquisitions Board. I've also been elbow-deep in several contracted books helping other authors to hone, shape, and polish their ideas into a product readers will want to read.
So, if you'd like the specifics of what I'm looking for as an editor, check out my official introduction and wish list post. Or, if you'd rather, browse our upcoming releases to see if there's anything you'd want to read next.
Let's discuss: As a reader, what do you want in a story? And what do you do if it's lacking? Is it hard to articulate what's missing from a storyline?
As for those promised treats, I'm offering an advance reader copy of A Picture Perfect Christmas to a randomly drawn commenter. The rest of you can sample our virtual buffet of spiced apple cider, cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread…and candy corn while we chat.
Candee Fick is a romance editor for a small Christian press and a multi-published award-winning author. She is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy editing or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.
Where can you find Candee?
Where can you find Candee?