Monthly Archives: September 2009

First Draft progress

I’m up over 14000 words, and still a week to go before the challenge ends. I’m writing over 500 words per day, so I expect to pass the 15000 mark pretty soon. Major, major work to do on the next draft. I even have a tentative title, “Don’t Ask Me Why.” And don’t ask me why I picked that title, either, ’cause I don’t know.

Challenge update — POV

Saturday, by which point I had just over 8000 words, I was struck by the notion that I needed to write this book in the first person. My previous one (recently completed) is third person — so I guess it never really occurred to me to question it.

Anyway, part of the challenge is not to go back and rewrite. I struggled with my inner editor over this — IE really wanted to go back and rewrite, but I finally stomped on IE and just went ahead and started writing in first person. {Whew} —

I’m now up over 8600 words. Yippee! And now back to writing ..


In response to a challenge by Lea Schizas a bunch of us are engaged in writing (or working on an existing) novel to be completed (as per our goal) by October 7.

I signed up. Yikes. So now I’m writing another book — one about a girl whose parents are divorcing and my writing goal is 15000 words. So far I have just over 6200 words. I’m going with chapter titles, as I did in The Angry Little Boy (the one I’m sending out, getting ready to send out, or whatever) but so far book number 2 has not title. 😦

I need a title — more specifically, I need a title that makes sense. I think I’m going to give the !! thing a title and if it doesn’t make sense by the end of the first draft, well, I can always change it…

Interview with author Dianne Sagan

Dianne Sagan is a full-time ghostwriter and author. She’s written over 35 editorials for the Amarillo Globe News, a regional newspaper, in addition to short stories and articles published on the internet. Dianne is hard at work on a series of suspense novels..

How did you start writing, and why?

I’ve been the storyteller in my family from about the age of five, but I didn’t really think about being a writer until I was in high school. We had great English teachers at my school, and they taught us how to plan and write essays. I loved that. Later, when I was a young mother, I started writing stories for my children. The first one was a Christmas story about a tree too fat to get through the door of the house.

You have a B.A. in History with a minor in Geography and also earned an M.A. in Communications. Has this helped your writing career? And if so, in what way?

As well as having a broad background in American and world history, one of the most valuable things I learned was how to research. Also, my degree involved lots of writing, and I was encouraged to write articles by my professors. I have a solid background in Statistics and probability, so I have a pretty good feel for what is “likely” and what isn’t.
The Communications degree I earned also included a lot of behavioral studies, and that gave me important insights into what people really do in real situations.

What is your writing process like?

I do my research before I start writing, and I do a lot of writing in my head before it ever hits the paper. When I start to write I have a pretty good idea of what I want to say, so most of the time it just flows. writing.

I write every day – except Sundays. That’s my day for church and family. My best time for writing is from about 11:00AM to 3:00PM. But I guess I’m a living example of the idea “writers write because they have to.” It seems I always have something going on in my head, either consciously or subconsciously, that demands expression, and sometimes it pops up “paper-ready” at really odd times – like the middle of the night. Fortunately my husband understands!

Do people ever ask you why you have chosen to be a ghostwriter instead of writing your own books?

Yes, I get that question a lot. My goal has been to be a freelance writer and to be able to live well from my work. That isn’t always easy to do when selling my own work. When this opportunity came along, it was a perfect fit. Ghostwriting provides a good income on a steady basis, and although I have less time to work on WIP’s under my own byline, it is well worth it. It also gives me experience and a track record for being able to complete books and make deadlines. It has also helped me prove to myself that, yes, I really can write a first draft of a two hundred page manuscript in four weeks!

Speaking of your own books, you mentioned to me that you have a few works in progress. Is there anything you would like to share with the readers here?

I’ve been shopping a novel of mine with the working title of “Brittany’s Story.” It’s the story of an abused woman who escapes to a shelter with her three children and her experiences trying to stay one step ahead of her violent husband while going through the court system. It is written as a suspense novel and is unlike any other book about spousal abuse. It offers hope and a light at the end of the tunnel even though, throughout the manuscript, the reader is never sure if she will survive. I believe it is unusual, too, because the theme is not so much revenge as redemption, courage and triumph.

You told me that you enjoy going to Writer’s Conferences. Can you tell us about your most memorable experience?

My most memorable experience was pitching my novel to Rodney Morris, who is now at NavPress. At the time, he was the Senior Fiction Acquisitions Editor for Multnomah Publishing in Sisters, Oregon. (Multnomah is one of the big houses for Christian Fiction.) After my fifteen minute pitch he asked me for a book proposal. I sent it to him, and it made it all the way to the Editorial Committee before it was turned down. I got some good feedback and encouragement from them, though, along with the pleasure of seeing my first novel get so far beyond the “slush pile.”

Dianne’s book is available at
Contact the author directly through her website:

Check out this excerpt from Rebekah Redeemed by Dianne Sagan

Here is an excerpt from Dianne Sagan’s new book, Rebekah Redeemed. It’s available
Rebekah Redeemed, by author Dianne G Sagan

It’s published by
Buoy Up Press
An imprint of AWOC.COM Publishing
P.O. Box 2819
Denton, TX 76202

ISBN: 978-0-937660-52-2

Now available online at
Contact the author directly through her website:

Check back Thursday for an interview with Dianne.

Benjamin sized up the little girl. A flicker of recognition in the older man’s eyes quickly turned to ice. Stepping closer he reached down to the child and she pulled away. “Look at me, child,” he commanded with a little less animosity in his voice.
Rebekah lifted her chin and looked into her uncle’s brown, lined face. He pushed the shawl off her stringy brown hair, and for a moment the lines in his face softened and his eyes showed compassion. “You look like your mother,” he mumbled to himself. Then he stood back, cleared his throat and narrowed his eyes once more.
“You want me to take her in, is that it?”
“Yes. We have little and cannot take her as our own.”
“What is in it for my wife and me?”
“She is strong and a good worker. She is good with lambs. She can help with cooking and drawing water. I know she looks small, but she is strong and obedient. She could be a useful addition to your household. A daughter is not like having a son, but they can work.” Caleb tried to sell the idea to the shopkeeper.
“Well,” he sized up the child and scratched his bearded chin. “She could help my wife.” He stood in silence, strolled out into the street, and looked up and down at his friends and neighbors. Then, turning on his heel, he walked back to Caleb and said without emotion, “You asked around the village for me? Others know of the child?”
“We asked people so we could find you.”
With one more glance up and down the street, Benjamin saw the rabbi walking toward them. “The Torah does say that we are to care for orphans and widows. She is my dead sister’s child, no matter what else happened between us. I will take her in, but not as a member of my family.”
“Shalom. May you…”
Benjamin reached for the girl. He interrupted Caleb, “I will not pay you for her. Go back where you came from. I take her because it is my duty under the Law of Moses.”
Caleb turned to go. Benjamin pushed Rebekah toward the back of the shop. She looked over her shoulder at her father’s friend for the last time.
“Come. You must meet your mistress. You have taken up enough time. I have a business to run and customers to serve.” He spoke as if he were an important man.
Rebekah stepped through the door into a small courtyard and into a new life. She prayed silently that it would get no worse.