I love promoting my clients! Each month I’ll showcase one of my authors. Please support them and their books! Here’s a look at some of the books my clients have written in the last few years.
Featured Client of the Month ~ October
This month I’m featuring author Randy Kay, who writes incredible stories set in the end-times. His novel Will’s Purpose encouraged and inspired me tremendously and helped me envision the future in a way that gave me an infusion of greater hope and joy. He recently completed another novel The Last Earth, which continues the story of Will. Here is what he has to say about his writing journey:
My career started as an agnostic writer in Chicago wishing to pen a religious column for the Tribune. I didn’t particularly like the fundamentalist devotees whose espousals typically contradicted their practices; otherwise known as hypocrites. So exposing religiosity’s fallacies through a series of articles proved satisfying. After work one evening, I entered my bedroom, and in a moment of vulnerability I earnestly shouted out to God, “If you are real, show yourself to me.” Less than a year later he answered this agnostic’s prayer in a profound way beyond what any words could remotely explain. I met God, and became a believer in Jesus Christ.
Over twenty years later I decided to author a novel, then as a believer wishing to again challenge some religious paradigms. By this time I had also extensively studied end-times prophecies. Combining these two passions, I wrote a novel entitled Will’s Purpose. It’s a story part true, part fiction, as are most novels. The beginning starts with a demonic vision by a young man (true), followed by an apparent murder (also true), followed by a murder-mystery (fiction), and an end-times plot (part fiction, part possibly true–time will tell).
There is a section in the novel that proved so emotional for me that it took several months to write because much of it is true. That section represents my encounter with Jesus during a near-death experience in the hospital. My eyes often teared in remembrance of the most dramatic encounter in my life–my time spent within the tender care of the one I used to adamantly doubt.
The first drafts of Will’s Purpose were not artful. My editor, Susanne Lakin, turned a lemon into lemonade by sweetening my final manuscript with her professionalism. This novel comes with a warning, however: May Be Hazardous for Religionists. I still do not think highly of religion or religious institutions that impede relationship with God.
My second novel, The Last Earth, continues the Will’s Purpose saga as an adventure-laden apocalyptic story with a twist. This novel will release during the 2012 Christmas season. Writing The Last Earth proved cathartic as I tried to answer the age-old question: ‘Why does God allow bad things to happen?’ Most of us appreciate the New Testament grace displayed by Jesus. Few understand the side of God’s judgment often displayed in the Old Testament. While telling the story I believe God answered that question for me, and I hope my newest novel conveys this answer in an entertaining manner.
I have two other works in progress, my first nonfiction book, Truth Beckons, and a fictional story about a woman whose chooses death as the ultimate penance for committing the unforgivable sin. I feel that my purpose is to relate the unwavering grace of Jesus Christ from the trained perspective of a former agnostic who is in constant need of forgiveness.
Featured Client of the Month ~ September
This month I’m featuring emerging author Valarie Richardson, who writes under the name Valarie Lovelight. Valarie’s beautiful insights into life and faith are inspired by her many rich and challenging life experiences, which are evident in her compelling novel Seeing through the Eyes of Love–a story with themes of judging and mercy and compassion. Here is what she has to say about her writing journey:
My name is Valarie Lovelight. As an administrative professional, I deal with people who are sick, dying or have lost family members. Often, these beset and bereaved people need a ministerial visit for prayer, comfort and other services.
Over the years, I have interacted with thousands of people who have touched my life in their struggles and tragedies. This is where the heart strings of my writing stems from. Being able to draw on their emotions, oftentimes, I’ve become “one” with that person in what I’ve seen and heard.
In 2010, on Thanksgiving Day, I remember driving around the city and handing out plates of food. Having stopped at a light, there was a man holding a sign—but looking straight ahead to avoid eye contact. As we offered him a plate, he immediately dropped his sign, reached into the bag and began to eat the first thing he pulled out. He ate so fast, I had to turn my head to hide the tears.
Seeing through the Eyes of Love is my first published work and my fifth written work dated back to 2009 when I first entertained the thought of having this story published. This story was written to illustrate a series of teachings I call The Importance of Love. What started out as a short story, thanks to Susanne’s mentoring, has turned into a novel. The subject matter came from my actual interactions with people during street ministry; and my working in the past with people who were on public assistance. There are life stories all around us! I am compelled to tell these hurting people’s stories—for others to see and experience what they live day-to-day!
But on a lighter note, I love to write poetry as well as light-hearted stories that make you smile.
Featured Client of the Month ~ August
This month I’m featuring author Lilian Gafni, who has written a spectacular book set during The Inquisition in Spain. Her research is impressive, and her characters come to life in this revealing story that will touch your heart. Here is an interview with Lilian. Be sure to buy her new release Flower from Castile!
I was born in Cairo, Egypt and schooled in a non-denominational, French Catholic School of St. Vincent de Paul. The school accepted Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish girls. I loved the nuns, and they were good to me. In Egypt all spoke Arabic besides the international languages found there. My father came from a Greek background so he spoke Greek in addition to Italian. He spoke seven languages. I never picked up the Greek language, because my paternal grandmother died young. We spoke French at home, but when my maternal grandmother visited we spoke to her in Ladino, a mixture of Castilian Spanish and Hebrew words. The word Spain in Hebrew is Sepharad, and my family is of Sephardic background. My ancestors were exiled from Spain in 1492, but Ladino was kept as a spoken language throughout the centuries. When the state of Israel was born in 1948 we became the target of mobs in Egypt. My parents then immigrated to Israel where I had to learn Hebrew. Later on I served two years in the Israel Defense Forces and transferred to the Negev Desert where I met my American-born husband Joel. Afterwards we came to California to raise our two children. Since I spoke Romance languages the transition to English was easy. I was able to finish high school, then college, university and graduate work.
Tell us about the genre of your work.
I write both fiction and nonfiction, although I did discovered later on that fiction is where I want to be.
Why did you choose this genre?
I feel comfortable in fiction, which helps me create without bounds. I still adhere to portray accurate historical events within the parameters of creative fiction. In fiction I find that characters speak to me as live persons. They take a life of their own and dictate which way they will evolve. I believe that we draw these characteristics from real live characters from the past. These can be an amalgamation of several characters into one.
What are some of your books, stories that have been published?
In addition to my three books, Living a Blissful Marriage, Hello, Exile and Flower from Castile, I also published a short story called “Rust”y in the anthology L.A. My Way. Rusty is the story of a vagabond using many stratagems to trick his unsuspecting victims to help him survive. I had fun writing it and it falls into a satirical category.
Tell us about your second book.
For my second book I switched to fiction where I wanted to explore. My second book Hello, Exile is historical fiction based on a true-life story. In the 70s I worked in the US for the commission on Soviet Jewry, where our efforts centered on helping Soviet Jews leave an oppressive regime in the Soviet Union. I corresponded with prisoners of conscience in exile, and with Ida Nudel, the main character in my book on which this book is based. At the time, I used the fictitious name of Klara Abramovna Abramovitch for my main character to disguise her real identity and not endanger her life. I then classified Hello, Exile as historical fiction even though it was biographical. I wrote Hello, Exile back in 1987 then put it away in a drawer, not knowing what to do with it. I published it in 2004, which makes my first written book to become my second book to be published. I guess it’s never too late to reactivate a dormant book. Hello, Exile is the story of human strength in the face of everything meant to destroy it.
In my newest book, Flower from Castile Trilogy I used my Sephardic background for insight into the exodus of Jews from Spain in 1492. My main character is the sixteen-year-old Catholic girl, Isabella Obrigon, who discovers a secret to her birth. She becomes caught between two faiths and two people. She must decide on whether to stay in Spain or join her brethren in exile. When her path crosses with Miguel Costa, an eighteen-year-old Converso (a convert to Catholicism) her fate becomes sealed with his. Flower from Castile Trilogy is a story about redemption, love and forgiveness. Two unlikely individuals who hate each other fall in love despite harrowing events pulling them apart. This period in history can be learned through the lenses of real characters that lived at one time in an uncertain world. I also tried to recreate in Flower from Castile a lost world where a peaceful way of life ended and religion ruled with an iron fist. The book is geared to adult fiction, but can also be a YA book.
How do you come up with the names of places and characters in your books?
The places I selected for the narrative in Spain had to be the seat of power in Seville for the monarchs and the place from which a whole exodus of exiled Jews will sail from its largest port. The character’s names were easy to cull from history, but the main character’s name had to be the same as Queen Isabella. Isabella Obrigon shared the same name as the queen as her godmother, and shh . . . there’s a spoiler here, and the answer is in the book.
What is your favorite thing about your book?
My favorite thing about writing historical fiction in particular is opening a door into the past to see how people lived. How they survived danger? What made them choose one decision over another? How they sacrificed their lives to save others? And how the human spirit wins in the end over tyranny and oppression?
Are there other comments, advice, or tips that you would give to beginning writers?
There’s always a beginning, a middle and end to everything. I was a beginning writer and wrote by fits and spurts. Another way to motivate us to write is to be inspired by using a banner, a photo or a motto of a famous or prolific writer on the wall above your computer that quotes in his or her own words why they write. Mine is framed on the wall above my computer and it says: “Writers help summon people to a vision of human betterment. It is not unnatural for writers to be concerned about the human estate or to deal with those universals of human experience. Their primary goal is to their consciences. They create an awareness no just to things as they are, but as they ought to be.” — Norman Cousins
Featured Client of the Month ~ July
This month I’m featuring Betsy Cheung, who is a writer in Hong Kong. Besty’s written one of the most intriguing futuristic novels I’ve read in a long time. Reminds me a lot of Snowcrash, and is a merge of politics, philosophy, computer tech, and a search for heritage. I hope you take a moment to read about her and her writing journey:
Posting on someone’s else’s website is a real honor. It is like cooking in someone else’s restaurant, or painting on someone’s canvas and I will bear in mind to drop the horsing I usually do when writing on my own website. Every website has its own perks, and I guess the readers of mine like the horsing which I alternate with giving away secret insights just to make sure they’ll put up with it.
I met Susanne for the first time when I was looking for an editor for my dystopian novel which has been three years in the making. A friend recommended me to look at her website, and I love it, not the least because she made everything sound easy. She has this aura of reliability and trustworthiness that was soothing. That was three months ago, and everything my guts told me about Susanne came true. My book Presage is now finished and available at Amazon. Not only that, but she has invited me to for this guest post.
There is a story to this novel which I had to write and get off my chest. One day, a friend sent me J.G. Ballard’s book Kingdom Come in a brown paper bag. To send an anti-consumerism novel to a retail space architect –which was my day job at the time– was very ‘him’. “Consume with Gusto,” he wrote. I did more than that. The effect of hedonism and materialism of a mindless consumption-led society was not new to me, but in the novel, Ballard turned it into a silent evil that lurked under the surface and consumed our souls reducing us to hypnotized animalistic creatures without identities who moved and acted violently in mobs. It changed my perspective on my job, but I also felt that Ballard’s message was not complete. It was like a locomotive: once rolling, more and more cars tagged on. I needed to bring order to my numerous thoughts about this subject or justify the reason I was part of the whole machinery and I started to write to free myself from the grip of circumstances. The paradox of the free market’s current growth model is that it’s depleting the earth’s resources, fouling up our air and waters and putting more money in the pocket of the 1percent rather the people who need it and whose consumer power will keep the economy going. Come 2018, in the world I describe in Presage, things will have aggravated, tension would have run up higher as the apocalypse will loom larger causing severe reforms to be put in place like the scores and mindroids which will reignite our compassion and reinstate the civility that we once had before free market advocates told everyone ‘greed is good.’ The question is whether it is too late.
That was nearly four years ago. I am no longer working as a retail mall designer. Instead, I teach architectural design and write in my spare time. Self-publishing is now so easy that Amazon is accused of driving the little publishers out of business, but the paradox is that the easier it is to learn, the more difficult it is master and stand-out for both amateurs and professionals. It’s like singing, all you have to do is open your mouth, but whether you have a happy audience is a different matter. And unlike blogging, which is inexpensive, publishing a book can be an expensive learning curve especially if you have the full range of things done professionally, the cover, the trailer, the marketing, the list goes on and on. There’s three ways to go about it, learn to do it all yourself is number one. Number two is to have lots of friends so you can exchange favors for each other and the third option would be to learn promote it so your sales can cover it all . . . I’m going for the last one as you may have noticed and Susanne is a godsend whose help I cannot do without. Thank you Susanne!
Featured Client of the Month ~ June
Ann Lee Miller
This month I’m featuring contemporary-fiction author Ann Lee Miller, who’s written numerous novels over the last ten years that showcase her unique voice and penchant for complex characters. Ann delves into the human heart and reveals much good in the midst of ugliness. Her tagline for her writing is “Flawed People, Flawless God.” Ann is just now launching two of her novels as eBooks and has put together a gorgeous website. I hope you’ll take the time to visit her! Here’s Ann’s guest post:
Three months ago I would have been the last writer on the planet to indie publish. Now, after hearing the voice of God and choking down a hairball of pride, I’m a lot like Paul who persecuted Christians, then became one.
I was the 2011 president of the Phoenix chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. My BA in creative writing swung discretely from my belt beside the inscription of my highly respected literary agent. I’d notched a long list of writers’ conferences into my belt and worn out copies of Donald Maass’s books, Jack M. Bickham’s Scene and Structure, and Renni Browne and Dave King’s Self-editing for Fiction Writers. Self publishing was fine for people who were impatient or not quite ready for “real” publishing. If anyone could land a traditional publisher, I could.
The ten year anniversary of when God called me to write loomed in January. The popularity of eBooks and e-readers had started the book industry down the same road the music world had plummeted when people started downloading songs from the internet. Publishers were feeling the pinch from e-books selling cheaper and being published by authors without the aid of publishing houses. As publishers’ revenues shrunk, they laid off workers, published fewer books, stuck with well-established authors, and took risks on fewer new novelists. Even literary agents struggled to stay in the business. My agent of two and a half years let go all her unpublished clients, including me, to pursue more lucrative business ventures.
On February 17, at the lowest point of my despair, my son, who followed the decline of the music industry, suggested I indie e-publish my four completed novels. At that moment, God infused me with hope and directed me to do something I never would have considered without His prompting. Since then, I feel like He is jostling me forward, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”
First, C.S. Lakin snagged me a slot in a month-long book-marketing course for free because the teacher needed a test class for her first run. A family friend and graphic designer offered to produce my book covers with no money down and allow me to pay him as funds came in from the sales of my books. Another friend hired an MBA who is a high school classmate to consult with her as she e-publishes her books. She is sharing much of his expertise with me. Jeff Bennington’s Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe crossed my desk at just the right time, and I stumbled onto Twitter Power, by Joel Comm, at a garage sale.
The day after my husband and I prayed for the capital I would need to pay for professional editing and promotion, a part-time job appeared. In March, a string of checks arrived from odd sources. My two proofreaders refused payment and said they wanted to invest in my career. In April my alma mater slated me for four speaking engagements next spring. Many more of my far-flung friends and relatives than I could have hoped agreed to read and pass on my debut, Kicking Eternity.
I don’t know where this path will lead, but I feel joy in cooperating with God.
My inspirational romance, Kicking Eternity, launches June 1; The Art of My Life, September 1; Avra’s God, December 1; Tattered Innocence, March 1, 2013.
Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.
Featured Client of the Month ~ May
This month I’m featuring fantasy author Blake Collins, who’s written a very evocative fantasy series full of wonder and excitement. Blake talks about his writing journey below:
My love affair with writing did not begin until late November 2009, just after I and my wife had relocated to Singapore on a lengthy expat assignment. While work was good and travel exciting, the need for a creative project outside of work constantly beckoned. Though I had been told many times before that my work with the pen was worthwhile, I still ignored the calling in favor of other pursuits. Such wild adventures included the creation of a fantasy board game, video animation, playing guitar, and the list goes on.
Entertaining as each project was, I still found something lacking from each. So it was that I finally came to write and cater to those voices in my head that demanded to be put on paper. Starting with a few trial paragraphs just to see how far I could go on one random night, the ideas and excitement continued to snowball. So it was, after spending many a night and weekend pouring over The Secret of Troika with an intermingling of short stories, I finally finished my novel in late 2011. Much of my development can be attributed to my editor and guide C.S. Lakin for helping me reach the finish line.
Continuing to work as an electrical engineer and still located in Singapore – the nights and weekends too remain unchanged while I toy with new-found ideas on paper. With my first novel from the Silver Series now out on Smashwords, I wasted no time moving on to another challenging adventure. Having found a writing partner with similar interests, I and a fellow fantasy fanatic have already hatched an idea for a trilogy meant for the big screen. Still in the beginning stages, it is safe to say this epic fantasy will be thought-provoking with it’s never-before-seen concept.
Well, there is not much more to say about my writing journey. Two years, one novel, a screenplay trilogy in the works, and a dozen short stories later – it is safe to say that I’ve finally found my calling.
Blake A. Collins currently lives and works in Singapore with his wonderful wife of six years and their thirteen-month-old daughter. When not traveling the world or spending time with family or friends, Blake can usually be found tending to his writing projects or finding some fun way to burn the calories. A native of Texas, Blake hopes to return home at the end of 2012 after three long years away.
Times are bleak for the race of wizards. Evil seems to prevail with the warlocks holding the reins and the mages spurning their aid to anyone. Yet, good magic still exists within the world and its seeming epicenter of Cadence, NY. And at the heart of this positive force, is Wyatt Silver, a twenty-two-year-old wizard who knows that he is a wizard—just not how to be one.
Featured Client of the Month ~ April
THE HIDDEN HERITAGE JOURNEY
My writing journey began in a most unexpected way, what some might call a chance encounter. On a family vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota one summer we happened upon a Native American band playing in the tourist town of Deadwood. The music from Brulé, a small, upcoming band of three, was as captivating as the surrounding landscape. Their distinct sound initially caught my attention—the hauntingly beautiful mix of flute, keyboard, and traditional drum they are now famous for. Listening one could immediately sense something deeper at the heart of it. Sure enough, in reading about Paul LaRoche, the band’s founder, I found his life story equally captivating.
All the way back to Minneapolis I heard a voice, You should write a book about this man…
But before I reached home a flurry of doubts drowned out the voice, telling me I had no connection to Paul LaRoche, a complete stranger. I wasn’t Native American or adopted, and furthermore I didn’t have any writing credentials. The loudest doubt pushed through time and time again: You’re not a real writer; you’ve never even been published! Yet each time I listed to Paul’s unique music, the voice returned.
Three years passed before I dispelled the doubts and found the courage to respond…and as soon as I did, an amazing journey began. First came an article about Paul, published in a regional magazine. Next came the book, a project that took three years to complete. Hidden Heritage: The Story of Paul LaRoche was released in 2006. That summer Paul invited me to join him at several Brulé events. None was more moving than at Mount Rushmore National Monument. I stood on the park’s plaza, the majestic granite monument in the backdrop, the beautiful Brulé music playing in the mountain air, signing books alongside Paul. It was a moment I never could have imagined seven years earlier on Main Street Deadwood. I had only a few moments to listen as Paul played. We didn’t even speak. Yet God intertwined our otherwise separate lives and gave us a connected purpose, a purpose that didn’t end there.
While writing Hidden Heritage I discovered Paul’s great-great-great grandfather, a Yankton chief named Strikes the Ree (1804-1888), was an important figure in American history. In 1804 Lewis and Clark were camped at Calumet Bluff when word came that a baby had just been born. The famed explorers wrapped the infant in a flag and declared that he would someday be a great American citizen. Their prophecy indeed came true. Strikes the Ree was a great leader among his people and played a significant role as a peacemaker during the Great Sioux Uprising. During his life he traveled to Washington DC and received peace medals from three US presidents. Worthy of an epic tale, I’ve since learned the great burdens the chief bore during the years of cession and settlement on the Northern Plains have largely been overlooked by historians.
Long after I finished Paul’s book, Strike the Ree’s story called out to me time and time again. A few weeks ago I read a post from author/speaker Page Lambert titled “Write Brave, Write Epic”. Her words challenged me: Be brave. Write the BIG story. Be fearless in your belief that yes, we can set aside our smallness and our frailties and reach for that deeper part of ourselves that knows there are GREAT TRUTHS in this world, and it is these truths about which we must write.
I believe the Hidden Heritage journey has led to this important, historical book. God has equipped me—through all that’s happened since I stood on that crowded sidewalk in Deadwood thirteen years ago—to write this epic novel and I can move forward with confidence. Chance encounter? Hardly. Every step declares it is God’s divine plan, a journey that is far over.
Barbara Marshak is the author of two nonfiction books, Michigan and Rookie: Guardians of the Night, the remarkable story of a cop and his K9 partner, and Hidden Heritage: The Story of Paul LaRoche, the inspiring biography of the Native American recording artist, Brulé. Hidden Heritage earned Finalist in the Biography category of the National Indie Excellence Awards (2007), and the USA Best Book Awards (2006). Barbara also cowrites for Hidden Heritage, a documentary-style television series based on the book. In 2010 two of her short stories were selected for publication: “Prairie Promises” (first place) in a regional literary journal, and “Lost Letters” (finalist) in a Wwestern anthology. Barbara’s writing portfolio includes over 150 published stories and articles. She is a regular presenter at writers’ events and is currently seeking agent representation for her first novel, Seeds of Salton.
You can learn more about Barbara and contact her at these sites below:
Featured Client of the Month ~ March
This month I’m featuring author Nick Giannaras. Here is a short post in which you can get to know Nick a little bit. His fantasy series on Nanthara is entertaining, humorous, and rich! The first book in the series is called Secrets Revealed and here’s a little bit about it:
“Come along and follow Courtar, a young adolescent cleric, who begins this adventure by befriending a rugged Dwergen named Boren. Drawing unwanted interest from all who see Courtar and the once thought extinct race, the two friends hire a jailed Alkanien, Azin Sildanel, as a guide. Not realizing what they are getting themselves into by gaining the services of this wanted assassin, they are soon joined by E’Umae Brin’ala–a female mage, Vindicar–an Alkanien paladin of Temple Sovereign, Sir Angelo–a human Temple Sovereign knight, and his two assistants, Dreg–a massive Galenmyr barbarian, and Eldren–a Nivvick thief.
Be prepared to be taken through a myriad of emotions, constant danger, unforeseen intrigue, and unexpected outcomes as these brave warriors take on the darkest enemy the world has ever seen. Be prepared to enter…Nanthara.”
I love God and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am proud of my Greek heritage, and I am the first practicing chiropractic physician of my family. I reside in North Carolina, where I stay active in my church, Deliverance Christian Center, enjoy my awesome family, and mess with my numerous hobbies. Among other things, I am an avid tabletop war gamer of various periods, I’m a Civil War reenactor, and I love to hunt, fish, paint, and dabble in creating Christian music via my computer. I never thought of writing as a form of ministry until I began this endeavor in 2005, and now I pursue it vigorously. I view my books as entertaining with a message, and I pray they reach the world with a positive impact for those who jump into my words. Some people may not have an opportunity to speak encouragement to others one-on-one. In my office, or when I’m out and about, I can. But the books can reach farther and in places I cannot go.
You can read about Nick’s Relics of Nanthara series here.
You can purchase his books here
You can read Nick’s blog here.
Featured Client of the Month ~ February
This month I’m featuring author Pola Muzyka. Here is her guest blog post in which you can read about her amazing past and what led her to where she is today.
Making the jump from writing corporate scripts to writing novels was confusing–like driving when I moved from Rome to England and then back to the US. I thought I knew how to drive. I did good when I first moved to England cause I prepared myself for the switch to left side driving. But after I got familiar with driving on the left, I was shocked to find I could no longer drive on the right.
Writing was pretty much the same. I knew how to write drama when I was younger–studied theater and drama for over ten years, and taught creative writing. I wrote parts for plays and even a multi-million dollar film.
Then I switched. I worked for decades as a corporate script writer, thinking of how to best represent my clients and their products or services. This thinking included what the consumer needed to know verses what the client wanted to sell and how to best represent both. I took a professional’s writing course and aced every script I wrote afterward.
The creating boiled down to what the shots would look like, camera angles, lighting, cost, graphics, shot lengths, and timing weighed with dialogue and visuals. My clients benefited by increases in sales and recognition.
I figured it would be easy to switch back to creative dramatic writing when I decided that my love for the Lord, and passion for His kingdom, were greater than my desire to just earn a living. For over twenty five years I studied Bible and people, taking courses in both counseling and theology. My passion for creativity never waned. I painted, wrote poems, acted, directed and put together many dramatic presentations. My desire to express myself as an author of novels began to merge with my desire for creativity and my desire for the Lord.
First I wrote Christian Children’s books while I was still writing corporate video. Then I took the plunge and in 2008 after gathering much information about Islamic culture and the hardships Christians experienced during the gulf war, I set down to write Escape the Hezbollah. I wrote and rewrote.
The frustration loomed high because my head was still in corporate script writing. I wanted to weave details in, but at the same time, I anguished to depict the human, real life drama of what was going on inside from a personal point of view. I knew I needed more studies. Corporate work had confused me and caused me to lose sight of the dramatic human element.
After about the tenth rewrite and third class in fiction novel writing the book was ready and so was I. My goal was to make my characters so vivid that readers feel they actually know them and I think I accomplished that with Escape the Hezbollah. My characters went through the experience of a full and extreme range of emotions.
“It is one of these novels that one regrets coming to the end; the feeling of losing a friend.” –Mel Fabrikant, Paramus Post
Today I write novels weaving fiction with fact as I develop characters from my past, my imagination, and my observations of the dramatic side of the life conflict Christians face. I call them Stronghold Smashers. They are fiction stories of true spiritual warfare in our lives and how to deal with the strongholds involved.
Read more about Pola at her website: http://polamuzyka.com
Pola Muzyka is an accomplished award-winning TV, commercial, and corporate writer. She has always had a flair for dramatic writing. In the 1980s she wrote part of a script for film director Federico Fellini. She researched and translated work for four-time Academy Award-winner Danilo Donati, who deemed her work “the most extensive research ever done on a film.” Escape the Hezbollah is her debut as a novelist and combines her talent as researcher and dramatic writer in this powerful and gripping story.
Pola is a multi-disciplinarian who began her career as a dramatic actress, having done both starring and feature roles in Hollywood-based motion pictures. She has showcased her visual art in many galleries and hosted several TV shows, including a television series for baby boomers.
Although she has traveled and lived all over the world, Pola was raised on a sheep farm and continues to enjoy country living. Her passion lies in her relationship with Jesus Christ and her ministry connecting Christians in media. She is the founder of the Internet-based Christian Media Alliance. Subsequently, she has toured India as a media missionary and produced documentary films helping pastors in various countries.
Today she writes Christian fiction novels depicting true spiritual warfare in our lives and how to deal with the strongholds involved. Her first novel, Escape the Hezbollah, won the CSP Book of the Year Award for fiction.
Featured Client of the Month ~ January
I’m Rita Schulte—a licensed therapist in the no. VA/DC area—and I’m passionate about matters of the heart, so whether I’m writing, counseling, or doing my radio shows, the idea is simple: I want to take a look at some of the cutting edge issues that are affecting you and the people around you and have you consider: how in the world is all this mess called life affecting your heart?
On Heartline we talk to some of the leading professionals in the Christian counseling and literary industry, as well as hosting discussions with real people who are struggling with real life issues. My one-minute spots, consider this, are designed to do just that—have you consider some life issue or biblical truth and chew on it a bit.
If you want to know a little bit about me, check me out at www.siftedaswheat.com, where you can ask questions, find out about my book, listen to other podcasts, or request to be a guest on the show.
Remember, it’s your heart, keep it alive, by checking the pulse!
When I’m not writing or doing the shows, I love spending time with my kids and grandkids and traveling to Florida where we are blessed to have a second home. My past hobbies included painting (which I hope to do again someday in my spare time!).
Rita Schulte received her bachelor of science degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She is a licensed professional counselor and board certified in the state of Virginia. Rita has a private practice at Harbor Counseling and Consultation in Fairfax, Virginia, where she specializes in the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and bereavement. Rita has written a book titled Sifted As Wheat: finding hope and healing through the losses of life. In April, 2011 she launched Heartline Podcast, where she talks with top leaders in the Christian counseling and literary world about cutting edge issues affecting the hearts and lives of people today. Beginning in January of 2012 Heartline will be heard on 90.5 FM in North Carolina. Rita also does a 1 minute devotional spot called Consider This, airing on 90.5 FM Life radio in North Carolina, and 90.9 FM The Light in Lynchburg, Va. In 2012, Heartline will present notable guests Dr. Tim Clinton, president of American Association of Christian Counselors, Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs, June Hunt, Dr. Linda Mintle, and Dr. Larry Crabb. Stay tuned!
You can connect with Rita at her website Sifted as Wheat
On Twitter @Heartlinepod
Post on “The Necessity of Brokeness”
Rita A. Schulte, LPC
Counselor, Author, Host of Heartline Podcast
Client News for January:
Barbara Majchrzak–Appearance and book signing on Saturday, January 21, 2012 – Dakota County Author Fair, 1-4 pm, Dakota County Library, Apple Valley, MN.