We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

It Takes a Team . . . (Behind the Scenes # 4)

Do you ever scan through the Acknowledgments of a book? I do. Maybe because it tells a little bit more about the story. 

Today, I want to give you a glimpse of the team behind Penned Without Ink. This book would never have been born without my writing critique group. I'm indebted to these writers who sit at my dining room table every other Monday. This is how it works. We each bring copies of a piece/chapter we've written and read our work aloud. The others, pen in hand, give input and offer suggestions. What works? What's unclear? What would make it better? It didn't take long for me to realize that accepting criticism with a teachable spirit is part of the writing process.

With time, our group has grown closer. We laugh together, cry together, brainstorm together, pray together, cheer each other on, and shoot emails back and forth for feedback on our latest projects. What a gift these dear writer friends are. May I introduce you to them?

Barbara writes wonderful stories for children. Cindy gives history a heartbeat with her middle grade Underground Railroad novel, Dark Enough to See the Stars. Sherry, speaker, author, and creator of But-Kickers: Growing Your Faith Bigger Than your "But!" combines humor with deep truths from Scripture. Becky, who brings a three-inch thick synonym finder to our meetings, wordsmiths science fun for children and offers her Martha's Vineyard books to vacationers each summer. Jo Ann writes with flair as she shares devotionals and stories about her time in China and living on Layton Road. Over the years Vi, Shari, Leslee, Gail, and Cheryl have also made significant contributions to my writing journey.

The team at Lighthouse  Publishing of the Carolinas, with Eddie Jones as Founder and CEO, patiently worked with me over several years. Cindy, the acquisitions editor who handed me a contract last summer, is overseeing my book, making sure it goes through the process smoothly. Andrea has worked with me through two edits and more. She smoothed out the wrinkles and graciously asked, "What do you think?" The Design Team is presently working on the book layout and has put together a marvelous cover. I can't wait to show it to you! Soon the Marketing Team will step in with guidance and direction.

I solicited permission from every person named in our story. Ten people graciously read the manuscript and wrote an endorsement. Then there are the "beta readers," friends with laser-sharp eyes who look for mistakes, reading with expertise. Last but not least are the "influencers" who believe in our story and its power to offer hope in the hard times. They act as the front runners to get the word out and share the book with others.  

Authors don't write their books alone. We gratefully depend on many others to help us. No wonder we want to include a page to say "Thank You."

Life's a little like writing a book, wouldn't you say? We need community, a team of cheerleaders, critiquers, and come-along-siders . . . the give and take of faithful interaction . . . all to push us toward our potential and bring out the best in each other's life stories. 

Photos from bing.com/images 


  1. Wonderful article. I'd like to repost it on my FB page.

    1. Thank you, Gloria. So nice to connect with you again. You were a significant part of this journey. PENNED has become "inspirational nonfiction," more focused on our story yet has kept the elements of God's Story and Your Story. Blessings to you. Thanks for reposting.