October 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo, Goals & Giveaway

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It's a lofty goal. 50,000 words in 30 days, or 1,667 words a day. The good news is I've got a head start on the story and am already on Chapter 3 of the novel that drove me out of bed at 3 a.m. one night a few weeks ago demanding to be written. Tuesday Nov. 1 is when I'll begin tracking my word count at zero, even though I've already got nearly 10K written on this story, so it will be a true NaNoWriMo. UNSEEN LOVE is a historical romance geared to Love Inspired, and in honor of that, here on the blog we'll have a Love Inspired Giveaway every week during NaNoWriMo starting today.


This week's drawing will be for a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift-Certificate, which you on your honor promise to spend on a Love Inspired Historical of your choice. Just leave me a comment with an e-mail address telling me about one of your goals for November, even if its not NaNoWriMo.
A bonus entry to the first person to correctly post what my NaNoWriMo project was last year. 

*If blogger gets in a sword fight with you and won't let you leave your comment, which I still can't figure out why that's happening, just send it to me to copy and paste at nancykimball at hotmail dot com.


October 23, 2011

How I Almost Got In Trouble With Jesus

I love kids, I really do. I prefer them in small quantities, and if in great quantities, then in small doses. Being a natural born leader, I also love to problem solve, and find the most efficient way to handle any task or project (which is why they love me at the 'day job'.)

Well the two collided earlier today while volunteering at church. Our church family collected boxes of food for those who lost their homes in the extreme wild fires in Texas last month. Lots of boxes of food, praise the Lord! Well it came time to load them onto the truck and I climbed on in there with one or two other adults to "help".

Now I'm a writer, a history buff, and a natural born leader... which made for a bad battle of the mind because clearly, the "best" way to do this is Henry Ford style, assembly line, make a chain and hand off then slide the boxes, right? Of course. Here's the problem though... a big moving truck is like some sort of kid magnet and all these kids were in the truck too. Most too small to be able to scoot these boxes of canned goods and staples even a few inches without Herculean effort and mostly 'in the way'. So I'm exhausting myself working around these little kids getting quite the wrong attitude about this entire situation and finding out I've been spending WAY too much time in front of the computers, at the day job and the novels in progress. But the last box finally came, and I'm feeling like Jonathan at the end of a rough round of gladiator sparring and ready to drop. I wave my goodbyes, huff and puff over to my truck, pull out, then go back and get my purse (LOL, I know, I know, at least the Holy Spirit reminded me before I got all the way out of the church parking lot.)

Then, because God is awesome like that, he reminded me of something else. I had to look the address up for this post, but I knew the verse and God shot it home, right into my heart still recovering from my weekend warrior moment. "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" (Matthew 19:14) So needless to say I was so grateful I'd kept my big mouth closed, kept the annoyance off my face, and in a turn of the heart, thought about those kids in a different way.

First off, someone brought them to church. A parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, whatever, they sure didn't drive there (Unless they're Ricky Bobby maybe.) They're learning the Word of God, through the volunteers in the Children's Ministry who get a huge high five from me, since that's not an area I can serve =) But even more a blessing, those kids were healthy enough to climb in a truck, push a box or two or even just put they're hands on it while me or some 'grown-up' made sure not to smash their fingers or knock them down while sliding it to the next grown-up. They're learning to serve. They're already learning to serve, the best way to learn anything is hands-on. And the best way to teach, to lead, to share Christ, to follow Christ, is by example. I'm just so grateful for the workout today, the lessons, both from Pastor and from the Holy Spirit. And I'm grateful for those kids. Every single last one of them. I'm most grateful to the Lord for doing a good critique of my attitude and then through the Word doing a rewrite of this memory for me today. I'm going to remember that when I'm sore as all get out tomorrow. ;-)

October 15, 2011

Another Contest Win!

A night I will NEVER forget!!!


 
And this video tells why, LOL 
(Also our drawing winners are in here.) 
If the video acts up, its also on youtube HERE.

Ronie Kendig, who writes Rapid Fire Fiction (Military Thrillers) and I know many readers out there are anxiously awaiting Firethorn, Book 4 of the Discarded Heroes Series releasing January 2012. 
(It's her fault I forgot the drawing, LOL, because every time I see her I just get so excited!)

DiAnn Mills. I finally met her, the author of Leather and Lace, the first Christian novel I ever read. While I was gushing like a little school girl, hehe, and telling her it was my favorite of her novels, it turns out its still hers too! That was cool. If you've never read Leather and Lace, you're missing out and it needs to go in your to be read pile immediately. I'm holding her newer release Under A Desert Sky and it will be one of the books I'll be giving away soon.

And here's the real reason my best laid plan fell COMPLETELY apart, LOL.
This is me, after winning the ACFW Writers on the Storm Category 5 Contest with CHASING THE LION. From left to right are Janice Hanna Thompson, Linda Kozar, me, and Martha Rogers. I've known these ladies a few months now so the 'oh my gosh this is <insert any one of their names> and they're actually talking to me, know my name, etc.' has started to wear off. They're just such amazing writers and women of faith, and so encouraging for those starting out like me I can't help but start to feel at home around them.

So the first time I get to put that beautiful award-winning in front of my name. Okay, here goes... deep breath...

Award-Winning Author Nancy Kimball

Oh, its just SO pretty, hehe. Thanks for letting me celebrate. I hope this is another step closer to seeing Jonathan's story and CHASING THE LION published one day, and I'm so grateful to Janice and the authors of Writers on the Storm for organizing such a great contest. 

I said to my boss at the day job this summer, when his little league baseball team won the championships, "You know, you should be proud just to have made it to the finals." He said "Of course, but it feels good to win too." Well, I have to say... yeah, it does. ;-) Thank you God, for this story, amazing men and women who have gone before me on this long and winding writer journey, and for my friends and family who encourage me so much. Write on!

October 9, 2011

Noelle Marchand stops by, with a gift!

          Today I have the privilege to welcome fellow author Noelle Marchand as my guest. Noelle is a native Houstonian and Houston Baptist University Husky (just like me!), and her debut novel, Love Inspired Historical's UNLAWFULLY WEDDED BRIDE released this month. I've already read this novel, and its everything you'd ever want in an inspirational historical romance. And Noelle is donating an autographed copy to one commenter this week, so be sure to leave a comment and welcome Noelle to the blog, or ask her anything I didn't think to in the interview.  =)

Here's a brief excerpt from UNLAWFULLY WEDDED BRIDE:


She lifted her chin. “Who are you and why are you here?”
He frowned and released her hand. “What do you mean, who am I?”
“While we’re at it, how do you know my name?”
“Why shouldn't I know your name? I am Nathan Rutledge and you are Kate-”
“O’Brien,” she finished. “Yes, I know that-”
“Rutledge,” he reminded.
“What?”
“Rutledge.”
“Why do you keep saying that?”
“Because your name used to be-” He paused and looked at her for a second. “You mean to tell me that you, Kathleen 'O'Brien', have never even heard my name before today?”
“That is exactly what I mean.”
He began to speak then shook his head and strode over to where his saddlebag rested near Delilah’s stall. “I suppose you’d better have a look at this.”
She walked toward him to take the piece of paper he extended to her. She glanced up as she unfolded it. “What is this?”
“It’s our marriage certificate,” he replied quietly.
"What?" Her gaze held his before she stared down at the certificate. “You don’t mean-”
“I mean,” he interrupted with quiet authority, “That you, Kate O’Brien Rutledge, are my wife.”

          Congratulations on your debut novel Noelle, Love Inspired Historical's UNLAWFULLY WEDDED BRIDE. The idea for this story came to you at the age of sixteen. Can you share with our readers how that came about?
          Thank you, Nancy! It’s sort of hard to pinpoint where the idea came from. I just remember that this scene popped into my head (the one near the beginning where Nathan tells Kate that she is his wife). From there the story just seemed to take off on its own and all I could do was write it down.

          I completely relate to that. The best stories are the ones we have to write. So how did you react when you got "THE CALL" that your book had sold?
          I actually missed the call so my editor, Elizabeth Mazer, left a message on my answering machine. I knew there was only one reason she’d ask me to call her back. My emotions progressed from dazed to disbelief to cautious excitement. My talk to with Elizabeth confirmed that they wanted the story. Then there was dancing and quite a few excited calls and text to friends and family.

          Nathan Rutledge is a hero in every sense of the word. I was amazed as I read how he embodied all the elements typical of a hero and yet seemed such a fresh character. My absolute favorite line of his came in their scene when heroine Katie O'Brien tells him in response to their marriage by proxy she had no idea has taken place, "We all make mistakes. I've certainly made my share. Thankfully, this shouldn't be too hard to fix."
          Nathan's answer: "I never said I was mistaken."
          Nancy's reader response: Pause, and "Um... can you say wow?"
          Sorry Noelle, back to the interview now. =)
          I'm curious if Nathan ever challenged you in places and seemed to do or say something you didn't expect or see coming while writing the book? Did any of your characters take over at points and surprise you?
           Haha! I’m so glad you liked that line. It emerged in the revision process so I hadn’t originally planned on him saying that at all. I worked with these characters from the time I was sixteen so they definitely developed their own personalities. Toward the end of the revision process, my characters really began to take over. The entire ending including the scene in the field was a culmination of all the main characters creating a moment that could only happen because I let them take over. It’s one of my favorite parts of the book. 

          I'm so grateful for all the readers out there, but I don't think someone can ever understand what writers mean when we say characters come to life, or take over, without ever experiencing it. It does sound kind of funny, hehe. Speaking of characters, I found Kate O'Brien to be such a relate-able character for ladies today. She's self-reliant, determined to support her family on her own, sometimes to her detriment. Do you think that for Kate and many people today that's driven by pride?
           I generally don’t use many of my own personality traits in my character but that overly self-reliant trait is definitely something that I’ve had to work on in myself. I think it can definitely come from pride in some but I think for Kate it really stemmed from fear. She was afraid of not measuring up to the standard she’d set for herself, afraid that others were right about her being unsuitable for taking care of her siblings, and afraid that if she leaned on others she’d be hurt or mistreated. It was definitely a protective veneer.

           You know, I can see that completely with Kate. Fear can be a powerful motivator for sure, even when we know God tells us throughout His Word not to fear. I have to say, since I know some of my friends are really afraid of horses, that one of my favorite characters turned out to be Nathan's horse Delilah. Can you share with the readers how you chose her name and a little about how she fits into the story? 
          I needed a name for a half-wild, intensely loyal black mare and “Delilah” came to mind. Perhaps Nathan named her that because she’s beautiful and reliable but just dangerous enough to make things interesting. Delilah was Nathan’s best girl before he met Kate (at least that’s how she sees it). When Nathan starts working on the farm Delilah realizes she’s lost his attention and doesn’t like it one bit. That jealousy plays out in Kate and Delilah’s relationship in some amusing ways but in the end Delilah is able to put that aside to help Kate when it matters the most.
 
           What is it you hope readers take away from UNLAWFULLY WEDDED BRIDE?
           On a spiritual level its that everyone contends with something in the faith but we cannot let our fears, failures, or foibles blind us to God’s plan for our lives. Instead, we must hope persistently, love courageously, and live joyously.
         
          Amen to that! Can we have a sneak peak into the next book, Sean's story, as the O'Brien marriage mayhem continues?
          I’m working on revisions for that one now so I don’t want to give much away because I’m not sure what might change.  I will say this, remember Lorelei Wilkins the little girl who said she was going to marry Sean? Well, she’s the heroine in The Runaway Bride. His reaction to her in Unlawfully Wedded Bride is a good foreshadowing of the sparks that will fly almost ten years later.

          Oh I love it when sparks fly! Of course in my stories, its usually from clashing swords, LOL. Is there anything you'd like to share with us, besides the autographed copy of your debut novel?
          I hope that everyone will read Unlawfully Wedded Bride and let me know what they think about it. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and my website.


Thank you, Noelle. Write on!

          She's wonderful in person too, just FYI, and Noelle has gifted us an autographed copy of UNLAWFULLY WEDDED BRIDE. So if like me, you're already saving for ACFW Conference in Dallas next year and need to win more books than you buy, here's your chance. But if also, like me, LOL, you keep buying books anyway, here's a link to Noelle's book on Amazon, or you can pick it up at your local bookstore where they probably know you by name too. 

http://www.amazon.com/Unlawfully-Wedded-Bride-Inspired-Historical/dp/037382890X 

          You can also peruse Noelle's website and see more of her fantastic photos and keep up with her author news, find her links to facebook, twitter, and goodreads. So say hi to Noelle and welcome her the blog, and if you're not a regular here, please be sure you leave me an e-mail addy or a way to contact you if you win the drawing. That way if your name is drawn, you can be surprised just like Kate, hehe ;-)

October 2, 2011

Courageous

Go See It. Then go see it again, and take friends. And buy it when it comes out on DVD.

Courageous the movie

And for those in the Houston, Texas area, AFTER you go see Courageous get ready to attend the Meet The Christian Authors event October 15th. In addition to the wonderful lineup of writers, winners of the Category 5 Contest will be announced. So I'll be there... telling everyone I entered for the feedback but secretly hoping CHASING THE LION was at least a finalist in its second contest. Hope to see as many of you there as possible!

Meet The Christian Authors 10/15/2011
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