Friday, May 14, 2010

New Authors for a Rainy Day

Imagine the pluck in my younger years when I was reading James Michener books. It was the day of snail mail or telephones only, and I wrote the author with an idea for a book and an offer to help him research it. No, I never got an answer back, but that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm. After all nothing ventured, nothing gained. I also wrote Feenie Ziner about her moving book Within This Wilderness, a memoir of a mother’s love for a son unwilling to accept the draft during the Vietnam years. I read the book twice and was deeply moved by the author’s writing. Ms. Ziner did answer me with a handwritten note that I still have.

With today’s social networking, it is easier to stay in touch with activities of favorite authors. The one good thing about the new connections is that readers can meet even more ideas, books, and authors than they thought possible. However, it presents a time problem reading all the genres, much less all the books! I have not read much Christian fiction, but recently I am bumping into titles and authors repeatedly so I guess I need to take time to check it out.

Last night’s Writer’s Guild hosted Christian writer Cindy Dagnan, a new name for me. Cindy was vivacious and talked a mile a minute. Her laugh was infectious; you had to feel more alive just being in the same room with her. One of her latest books is Hot Chocolate for Couples which is a how-to book with practical suggestions on how to sweeten up your marriage. Cindy shared with the group some of her experiences with writing and submitting.

Although published many times, Cindy was quick to announce that she had just received her 18th rejection from Woman’s World. Like many of us, she wants to break into that market, put a mark on her belt for having a piece of fiction in this weekly magazine. Some of us share her goal and her disappointment at rejection as well.

One of the most interesting things Cindy told about herself last night was her tendency to try anything. She told of asking well known authors and artists for book blurbs or drawings for her books. When told she couldn’t approach famous people, that they would never respond, she asked herself, “Why Not?” Then Cindy proceeded to ask people like Bill Keane of the Family Circus cartoon to loan her drawings for her books. He said yes! She also admitted to writing blurbs on the outside of her own submission envelopes, things like Double Dare You as in dare you to read this. I loved her verve!

You can visit Cindy’s website at:

Imagine my shock when the Country magazine arrived and I opened it up to an article about author Deborah Vogts from my hometown! I do not know Ms. Vogts, and in fact, I had never even heard of her until two weeks earlier when I ran across her first book title. She has a new book series called the Seasons of the Tallgrass and Snow Melts in Spring is the first title. Her second Seeds of Summer is to be out this month. Vogts’s books are Christian fiction novels set in the Flint Hills. It was the location of the Flint Hills that captured me right from the beginning. If you have never visited the Kansas Flint Hills, you are missing a beautiful sweeping vista of this Earth. Her story is well told and the Kansas scenery is a perk to the novel. I had to smile when I read about Coover’s bridge, a fictional structure, but with names and imagery of “home”.

Vogts has included a book video trailer on her web site that is worth your time for beauty of the land alone. You can visit the author’s Country at Heart page at Also, if you would like a chance to win a copy of one of Vogts’s books, go to

This morning soft thunder rumbles in the distance like a purring cat, content with rain that continues to fall after days and nights of rain. As I listen to the steady stream of rainwater racing through the gutters and watch my spring flowers drowning on the deck, I think there is no choice of activities for this day. I will pour another cup of hot tea, curl up with Snow Melts in Spring and return to the Flint Hills today with Deborah Vogts. It is a reading day!


irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,
Reading is one of my favorite rainy day past times. And I love the advice from Cindy to take chances.

Deborah Vogts said...

Hi Claudia, Thanks for posting about my debut release. I hope you will enjoy Seeds of Summer as much! Blessings to you!

BECKY said...

Claudia, what fabulous information! I've gotten pretty gutsy in my old age! When I first started writing for my hometown Journal, I not only wrote to author Philip Gulley, but I also included 2 or 3 of my columns, and asked for his advice!! I have his "hand written" answer, framed and hanging over my desk!!! :D

Bookie said...

Great, Becky. That reminds me of a fund raiser auction where I treid to buy a signed poem by Maya Angelou and another lady was determind to bury me with price.I wrote Ms. Angelou and told her aobut using her poems in teaching, that I made her name a spelling word so kids wouldn't forget her, and about the auction. She sent me a letter and a signed poem on parchment paper by return mail. You can bet that one is framed and on my wall!!!!

BECKY said...

Oh Claudia!! That is wonderful! I just got goose-bumps! You just never know about people, and it never hurts to ask!!