What is your favorite writing craft book?
Writing with Emotion, Tension, & Conflict by Cheryl St. John
Which do you think is the most underrated writing craft book? Why?
Can I say my favorite book again? I never see it suggested to people, but it truly is one of the best books I’ve read. Mainly because I can read it and use the hands-on practice with the actual story I’m writing. It serves as double duty for my growth as a writer and for the writing process.
What is your favorite (or most anticipated) writers conference?
I love the ACFW National Conference because of all the people I get to connect with. ACFW Virginia’s Royal Conference is an amazing virtual conference. You can’t beat the price, you get access to the recordings, and lots of great opportunities to network.
What’s your favorite other source (YouTube, podcast, etc.) for writing tips/info?
I love Editing Insiders with Janyre and Sarah on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/EditingInsiders). They always provide great information and lots of help. The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (https://www.blueridgeconference.com/blog/) and Steve Laube Agency (https://stevelaube.com/blog/) blog posts come to my inbox every day.
Who is your writing mentor/inspiration?
I look to Michelle Griep and Elizabeth Camden as my inspirations. The intriguing way Michelle describes things, her characters, and her story lines all inspire me to write better. I’ve been known to buy extra copies of her books and analyze the daylights out of them. Elizabeth Camden’s way of weaving in history in such a thorough manner without detracting from the story never ceases to amaze me.
What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever received? Why was it bad?
“This is the only way to write a good story.” I’ve heard it from multiple presenters, and early on in my career, when their methods didn’t work for me, I felt like a failure. I know longer enjoyed writing.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
“Take what works for you and ditch the rest.” After years of being told there was only one way to do things, that statement completely changed my writing life. I realized we all have different methods that fit our personality. It was okay to take a part of an idea and incorporate it into your method and ditch the rest. I wasn’t a failure.
What would you say is the best writing tip for new authors?
Don’t be in a rush. Take your time to learn everything you can. Practice what you learn. Get lots of feedback from those who are farther along in their journey. You are not on a deadline. Consider it “getting your degree” before getting the paying job part of your career.
What is your best self-editing tip or advice?
Have a computer program or someone else read what you have written out loud to you. I can’t tell you how many mistakes I’ve found just by listening as I follow along with the text.
Please share your most encouraging tip for frustrated or discouraged writers.
Go back to your reason why you write and literally write it down. Answer why you are going to do this even on the days you want to quit. Reread it every time you want to quit. And don’t compare your journey to others. God made your journey as unique as He made you.
Tell us about your newest release/upcoming release.
We Three Kings: A Romance Christmas Collection follows three generations of the Weise family. Meet Aldrich Weise on a Gilded Age Christmas-themed sea voyage with a criminal aboard, Lieutenant Charles Weise after WWII as he restores art to its rightful owners and hope to a broken German community, Brendon Wise as he leads a Christmas light festival to help those in, and the women who capture their attentions and their hearts.
Crystal Caudill is the author of “dangerously good historical romance,” with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW. Her debut novel Counterfeit Love was a 2023 Carol Award finalist. She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Crystal can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio. Find out more at crystalcaudill.com.
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