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Archive for December 2010

A Piggly Wiggly Christmas


Author Robert Dalby has written a series of Piggly Wiggly books; the most recent is A Piggly Wiggly Christmas.  I heard him speak at a book signing at Spring Hill Library, Spring Hill, TN and gleaned words of wisdom about developing characters. Dalby says characters need a real story; the writer should know ten times more about their characters than they reveal. Back stories should pace the revealed information about characters.  Don’t give away their entire story when they are introduced. “Reveal your characters as a spool of thread unwinds.” 

 Settings in his stories are of places he has known or wants to know. His Piggly Wiggly series is set in a southern town much like where he grew up. He likes to write about strong southern women. 

Robert Dalby signs A Piggly Wiggly Christmas for Mary Ann Weakley.


Thomas Nelson Publisher.


I attended a Barnes and Noble Writers Night in October. The speaker was Matt Braugher, Senior Vice President of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville.  Some of the notes I took: Publishers are looking for emotional experiences, a deep story in memoirs. Have something unique to say and it must be written well. Agents and editors can size up a book proposal in ten minutes or less.

It is best to work with an agent. It is the best way to go to reach a major publisher. If you have your manuscript edited professionally before submitting it to an agent, look for an editor who has worked with publishers, not just someone who knows English and can proofread.

When writing fiction, don’t follow trends, e.g. vampires. By the time your book is ready for publishing, the trend is often long gone.

Have a personal platform, know how you will promote yourself. A publisher will not invest in you if you will not invest your time and energy in promoting yourself.

Thomas Nelson Publishers has recently added a self publishing arm–Westbow Press.  Occasionally a self published book through Westbow will be picked up by Thomas Nelson.

Baugher suggests following the blog of Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson. He shares many tips on writing. His blog incudes agents that Thomas Nelson works with.