Notes from the Author Conference at River of Life Church
I am Brenda Scruggs. I write contemporary/ historical fiction. My stories take the reader on travels of conflict and suspense with a flavor of romance. The characters I create are strong and determined while facing oppositions that could alter their way of life.
My newest series, Ladies of Entrepreneurship, The Ladies of this saga are Proverbs Thirty-One women. They are women who are business orientated, strong-willed and determined to live the dream that God has placed inside of them. You can follow these women of free enterprise and see how their story unfolds as God secretly works behind the scenes fashioning love together, healing wounds and bringing dreams to life.
Each novel can be read as a standalone book or as a historical saga.
I believe the written word can transport a person to a different time, places and where dreams can come true. It brings the imagination alive experiencing diverse emotion.
I may be telling my age, but I was coaxed into taking a journalism class in high school by the teacher. She saw something in me that I didn’t see. I say coaxed because I was very shy and to be a journalist you had to speak to people, but the teacher said there was more than just reporting and being in the spotlight. So, I took it the class doing what you would call today graphic design. I took the reports typed them and arranged them on paper using boarders and clipart for the school newspaper. Did I think years later than I would become and author? No, that never crossed my mind. But, God has a way of arranging his own plan in our lives. Now, I am writing books and doing my own book covers- graphic design.
There are different types of publishing.
1. Traditional where a publishing company accepts your books, produces and gets your books noticed. This one is a little harder because publishing houses have thousands of manuscripts to go through.
2. Self-publishing is where you go through a self-publishing company. They accept your book, produce it but you have a dollar amount that you pay for their services.
3. Independent Publishing is where you the Indie author does everything from start to finish. I am an Indie Author. Independent Publishing was the best for me whearas, one of the other may be best for you.
Yes. It can feel overwhelming sometimes when you first start out but with everything in business you have to learn the process. If this is the way you choose, again, say to yourself as I did, you can do this. I hear a lot of people say I don’t have the money or I don’t know what to do. I pull from the movie, Field of Dreams. “Build it and they will come.” I say, “write it and then it will be published.”
My advice for you right now is to pray and ask God what he would have you do. Then write your story. Get it down on paper. Habakkuk 2 Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that reads it. 3For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Hey God, created the first Ipad. Ipads are known as tablets. He gives us witty inventions. Amen. Keep this scripture close and pull from its wisdom.
There are different genres. I will mention three since we have three authors here today.
1. Instructional/Inspirational I believe Mr. Alberts Amara, “The Undefiled Bed,” would fall under this genre.
2. Autobiography, I believe Mr. Dave Bannisters, “Sin for a season,” falls under this one.
3. Fictional Mine, Ladies of Entrepreneurship, falls under this genre. My stories are in a sense like parables where the reader is being told a story to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.
I want to give you 5 key points that you can use in any talent whether it be writing, music, teaching, business and in general, everyday life.
1. Be determined and have faith. Determination is faiths best friend.
Faith without works is dead. Determination pushes you toward your goal. Determination is firmness of purpose and faith is having complete trust or confidence in. Everyone has a story to tell. If your sitting there, you have a story to tell whether it be a testimony of what God has done for you or an actual story to write but you don’t act on it by sharing with others by telling it or writing then you’re not prospering the kingdom of God. And what I mean by that is one of the definitions of prosper is to grow vigorously, to expand. By sharing your story, you are growing God’s kingdom plus it ignite something deep inside of you.
2. Learn. Learn your craft, your talent. Always strive to improve and build what you already know. There are tons of free videos out there to help you. All you have to do is invest in the time to watch and learn. God has given us a brain to use. Have you every heard you can learn whatever you put you mind to. That’s true. Whatever grabs your attention, your intellect will become curious pushing you to investigate deeper.
3. Seek Council Proverbs 15:22 – Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. Always seek Gods face. When I wrote my first book, I told the lord what I wanted to do and bam the next thing I know, he downloaded three names and the plot.
Example: This is me seeking Council. Father, I need your council. I want to do this project, I name the project. What would you have, me to do and how do I do it. Then I wait. Now, with Ladies of Entrepreneurship, I have so many books floating around in my head that I can’t wait to write them. God is good. With a different series, The Seer Series, I was asking God about it. I said, I need a name for the main character. Immediately, I said this name out loud. I thought, hum this is unusual. The name was clet like the sports shoe. I typed it in with a k instead of c and found the name Khalat it means between two different dimensions. Khalit the main character in the series, is a seer, he sees in this dimension, but he also sees like the prophets of old in the invisible realm. There will be four books in this series.
4. Believe in yourself. If you can’t believe in your talent, then how can you expect others to believe in it. If you have an idea research it to the best of your ability and say out loud, “I CAN DO THIS! Why do I say to say it out loud? Because when your ears hear what your lips are saying then you can start to believe, it sets off a change reaction in your body. You start thinking Hum, maybe I can do this, then soon your confidence builds. Words are powerful they ignite. Soon an ember will turn into a full flame when you continually speak something.
5. Never give up. I give this key strongly because it’s easy to give up. Will you make mistakes. Probably but don’t’ give up instead learn from it and go forward. Don’t think of it as a failure, think of it as a learning experience of how not to do something. Thomas Edison tried 2000 times to make a light bulb, but he didn’t think of it as a failure. He said, he found 2000 ways not to make a light bulb.