CAFE: A gathering place. A place of refreshment.

Thirsty for the latest releases in Christian fiction? Ready for a peek into the world of publishing and writing conferences? Hungry for spiritual and real-life nourishment? Pull up a seat; you're in the right place, and I'm so glad you've stopped by.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Today I am pleased to have Cheryl Wyatt as a guest blogger. She is going to share about the importance of having the support of other writers. Without further ado, here's Cheryl . . .

Though it took me more years to get published than I'd ever dreamed it would, I wouldn't trade that journey for anything. For in it, I have met women who have become some of my closest friends today. Only another writer can truly understand a writer and the process to publication. I think most people think it's much easier to get published than it is. I thought that too at first. LOL! Rejection alerted me that I had no clue what I was doing however, so I started visiting the eHarlequin site. I spent most of my time on because that was (and still is!) my dream publisher.

The support and friendships I garnered there as well as knowlege about crafting fiction and the publishing industry were absolutely crucial in helping me get to a point of being publishable. Both in the development of my fictional characters and in the betterment of my craft. The forums there are free to join and there are readers and writers alike. It's a great place for both readers and aspiring writers to interact with their favorite authors.

Another helpful community is (American Christian Fiction Writers) and Romance Writers of America. The dues are well worth it and the conferences are invaluable. Networking in this industry is a must in my opinion. That can happen online, sure, but there's nothing that beats a face to face meeting with editors, agents and fellow authors. I am a part of the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter as well as a military writer's group called Romancing the Military Soul. All of these as well as my local writers' group.

I encourage every aspiring author out there to get support from somewhere. It is so important to have people (other than family members) review your work so they can give you an honest, unbiased "cold read." Meaning your friends and family may love you too much to see errors in your writing. Plus, we are all blind to our own trouble spots.

Another great support group is a blog I contribute to called The Seekers

With that, I'd also like to take a moment to talk about digital marketing.

This group was birthed out of several unpublished authors who, for years, finalled against each other in contest after contest. One of us started contacting the rest of us. We decided to band together and start praying each other into publication. SInce that time, half of us have contracted! So, even if you don't have time to maintain a blog of your own, you might consider banding together with a few other writers so you each can begin to develope a Web presence, even before you are published. Digital marketing (I believe) is a wave of the future, and it's important to start getting your name out there and creating buzz. Having a group blog takes the pressure off each individual person to have to come up with three to five blogs a week. One thing you don't want to do is let that overtake your writing time. I use blogger but there are many other free blog hosting sites.

Publication is HARD! But not impossible. And especially not if you decide early on that you're not gonna give up for anything. Praying for all you aspiring writers out there. I'm proof that it CAN happen.

Carla here: Cheryl's second book in her Wings of Refuge series is making a big splash. You can win a copy here by leaving a comment with your contact information. NOTE: Cheryl has graciously agreed that international entrants are welcome!! Woo-hoo! All you readers from Canada, New Zealand, and Timbuktu may now join in the fray! Before you do, I'd like to share a little more about Cheryl and her book, A Soldier's Family.
Cheryl Wyatt's closest friends would never dream the mayhem she plots during announcements at church. An RN-turned-SAHM, joyful chaos rules her home, and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She's convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentine's Day destined her to write military romance. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. Both of her debut novels (Books 1 and 2 in her Wings of Refuge Series from Steeple Hill) have received Romantic Times Top Picks. Visit Cheryl Wyatt on the Web
Or her blog
FROM THE BACK COVER OF A SOLDIER'S FAMILY: On A Crash Course With Love, she was the woman of pararescue jumper Manny Péna's dreams. But he'd stuck his foot in his mouth the last time he met Celia Munez. Now, grounded after a parachuting accident, he was desperate to make amends with the beautiful widow. But Celia wasn't having it. The last thing she needed was another man with a dangerous job—even if he had given his life to God. Yet Manny's growing commitment to her and her troubled son began to convince her that perhaps she should take her own leap of faith.
ISBN: 037387474XPublisher: Steeple HillOrdering Link:
Order now!

Cheryl's book is more than a great romance. You get a peek at what a military pararescue jumper does and will love the characterizations of not only the hero and heroine, but also Celia's son who takes them all on a thought-provoking journey. It's a great read, and I'm excited that you can enter to win a copy of the book here. Cheryl will be stopping by sometime, so if you have a question for her, please leave a comment. I'll be drawing for a winner this Friday, March 28, at 9 PM.
Thank you, Cheryl, for being my guest, and your generous offer of the book giveway. God's best to you as you continue writing.


Myra Johnson said...

Hi, Carla & Cheryl! I've heard nothing but great things about Cheryl's books. Congratulations and prayers for your continued success!

Denice Stewart said...

Congratulations on your book, Cheryl. I have heard how funny and heart-warming it is.

izitjo said...

Hello again Carla

I'm dropping by to ask fellow CFBAer's to pray for Kristy who's just lost her husband of 10 weeks in tragic circumstances.

Haven't visited your blog in ages so it was nice to be reminded by seeing you on the list. Thanks heaps and God bless you and your family!

izitjo said...

Kite Runner is excellent by the way!


carla stewart said...

Thanks, gals, for dropping by. Jo, I'm praying for your friend. My heart breaks for her.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

Great advice. My writing has grown since I found a local writer's group, ICWF (, and I've enjoyed all the online writer friends I've found since starting to blog. Hearing how others have had to work and wait to get published is an encouragement to keep going... :) Thanks!

Patti Shene said...

Hi Carla & Cheryl. I'd love to read Cheryl's second book, having read the first, so please enter me in the drawing! Thanks! Great interview and great advice from Cheryl

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Myra..thank you for stopping by!

Denise, thank you for the congrats. Much appreciated! :-)

izitjo, I'm praying for Kristy. My heart goes out to her.

Koala, thanks so much for offering your thoughts on writers' groups. :-)

Patti, hey Pard! U writing? (U knew I was gonna ask, huh?) If so GOOD FOR YOU! If comes the spur... :-) Thanks so much for dropping by.

Carla..sorry so late in commenting. Would you believe I got the day mixed up. LOL! THANK YOU SO MUCH for hosting me. I really appreciate you. Love your blog! I counted it an honor to be here.


Cheryl Wyatt