Thursday, October 29, 2009

Update on publishing

Got a rejection from Harvest House. They didn't want a story that took place in Bible times (even though my story isn't a Bible story, doesn't have Bible characters in it, nor do I use miracles to fix difficult plot issues). And didn't they know it took place in this era when they asked for a full? I'm confused.

Also, Moody Press rejected it because it doesn't fit their "current publishing plans." *sigh* To be honest, I had no idea Moody was looking at it! LOL

Anyway, it's disappointing, but such is life.

I'm still waiting to hear from Karen at B&H. She's the one I really, really, really want. And Zondervan has it as well.

We'll see what God has in mind.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dare to Dream

Does this picture look real to you? It seems like a picture taken from a children's book. But it is real. And I've been there. (I also added the text to the picture with my new found knowledge of picnik, thank-you-very-much.)

I first saw a picture of this castle in High School. It was on a calendar in my history class. I begged the teacher for it, and he gave it to me. It didn't say anywhere on the calendar where the picture came from (the page had been torn out), so I had no idea where to find this castle.

Despite that, I knew, one day I'd see it.

And I did.

I later discovered that this castle is the replica Walt Disney used for his Disney castle. It is called Neuschwanstein and is located in southern Bavaria, Germany.

I decided to put one of these pictures up as my header for this blog and title it "Dare to Dream."

I want to inspire all of you to dare to dream. To reach for the stars. If you set your sights on the stars, you might just land on the moon, and that wouldn't be a bad spot to land, now would it?

I came from a broken home, my father was abusive, and I wanted to die when I was five. Now I belong to Christ. My heavenly Father pulled me out of all that muck and mire. And now I'm dancing with the bright Morning Star. He is my Savior and He holds me in His hand. He made my dreams come true.

I dreamed of seeing this castle, knowing nothing about it or where to find it. I believed I would see it. Now, I've stood in its bailey, walked through its halls, and touched its stone walls.

Faith is a powerful thing. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the castle in my Father's Kingdom. Not because I've done anything deserving of it, but because He promised to let me in.

What are your dreams?

Adding text to a picture and other things

I needed a change! I hope you all like it. Personally, I'd rather have a castle or some such historical monument with dramatic font in the text, but this will have to do for now.

Some wanted to know how to add text to a picture. Go to: There you can download a picture for free, crop it, color it or put it in black and white, or add a text inside it! There you can choose the font and color of the text as well. Isn't that awesome?

I learned all of this from my oldest daughter, Whitney. What would we do without our kids to teach us these things, huh?


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I did it!

Okay, well I figured out how to put the text inside the picture. The red might be a bit much, though. I wonder how blue would look? As for centering the picture . . . that's another story. And if you're wondering what I'm talking about, see previous post. I'll be changing the template and cleaning things up a bit, but right now, it's late.

Time for bed.

Wooden Shoe Picture

Like my new picture? You're looking at my kids. Yes, I have four. Allow me to introduce them to you, starting at the left: Aaron (9, and yes, the only boy, poor thing), Whitney (16), Kirsten (12), and little Chelsea (2). Aren't they cute?

Anyway, I'm having quite a time trying to move the text and center the picture. For some reason, blogger doesn't like their pictures centered. Ugh. If anyone of you has any tips, please let me know. I'm also interested in learning how to put text inside of a picture. As you can see, the text that blogger wishes to use insists on being where it is. Another, ugh.

All I know is, I've seen some pretty amazing pictures with great texts in/on the pictures on other blogger blogs and in the appropriate spots. Now, why can't I do that?

I'm just not computer savvy. I guess I'll stick to writing. (Got three chapters done in the last week, by the way. Oh, and I'm still waiting to hear from all those lovely editors. Life in publishing is slow. I'm not going to pray for patience, in case that's what you're wondering. No way!)

P.S. I'm also attempting to change the subtitle, but it won't let me back on. How rude!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Are you suffering from "Networking Fatigue?"

We were discussing "networking" on one of my writing loops, and someone mentioned that folks are bombarded by emails, spam, ads (whatever you wish to call it) to the point that this sort of marketing is causing "networking fatigue" for readers. Others suggested that writers need to find other creative outlets in order to capture readers' interest.

Hmm. How can I become more "creative" in marketing my book? Hmm? *thinking, thinking, thinking*

How about taking a look at it from the networker's perspective? Not only are the receivers overwhelmed with looking at the same things all the time and becoming desensitized, maybe the networkers are exhausted and not getting any cotton pickin' writing done?

Ding! Ding! Ding! "Yes! That's me! That's me, folks!"

I'm exhausted trying to run two blogs, twitter, Facebook, a gazillion writing loops, etc. It's also very addicting to where I find myself spending so much time checking emails and "networking" (it's hard not to like these people and develop relationships) that I've lost my focus on craft and "why" and for "Whom" I'm writing.

Yes, I know I need to develop a "tribe" so when I do get that book published I can market it to all these folks. But whatever happened to the most valuable marketing plan? You know. The one between the pages?

As for me, I can build this great platform, but if my book is just average or even stinks, readers aren't going to read it anyway. So, what's the point? And if you're one of those folks who can do both, more power to you.

How can I be more "creative" about how I'm going to market my book? I've decided here and now: become a GREAT storyteller.Yes, if you haven't noticed, I'm suffering from networking fatigue.

Can anyone else relate, or am I all alone?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


You're the lucky winner of The Swiss Courier.

My husband drew your name out of our daughter's wooden shoe. For those that don't know, my husband is Dutch and we lived in Holland for thirteen years. The shoe is a bit scuffed from being worn, but it's one of the pretty ones.

Edwina, please contact me via email at sandirog7 at aol dot com. I'm going to need your snail mail address so you can receive a signed copy of The Swiss Courier.

(If you click on the picture, you can see the name better.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I'm excited to interview Mike Yorkey, co-author of The Swiss Courier. Even more exciting, if you leave a comment, I'll enter your name in a drawing to win a signed copy of this intriguing suspense that will not only touch the romantic at heart, but keep you on the edge of your seat!


She’s risking her life to save a man she doesn’t know. But who can she trust along the way?

It is August 1944, and the Gestapo is mercilessly rounding up suspected enemies of the Third Reich following the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life. Gabi Mueller is a young woman working for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) in Basel, Switzerland. When she is asked to put herself in harm’s way to safely “courier” a German scientist working on the atomic bomb project into Allied hands, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

This fast-paced, suspenseful novel will whisk you along the treacherous twists and turns of a fascinating—and deadly—time in history.

A gripping, fast-paced tale of love, loyalty, and derring-do set in the waning days of the Second World War. I enjoyed everything about The Swiss Courier . . . the wonderful characters, the rich atmosphere, and the truly exciting story. A winner!”—Christopher Reich, New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Vengeance

Mike Yorkey is author or co-author of more than seventy books, including the Every Man’s Battle series and By the Sword, a thriller set in the Mideast. He lives in Encinitas, California, with his wife, Nicole, and they spend part of the year in her native Switzerland. They are the parents of two adult children.

You've mainly written non-fiction in the past. What made you decide to write fiction?

Mike: I’ve done something like 70 non-fiction books, including the Every Man’s Battle series, but The Swiss Courier is my second novel. Why try my hand at fiction? Because of the difficulty. The Swiss Courier wasn’t something banged out while I was on a retreat in the Swiss Alps. The manuscript took its fair share of rewriting and editing, which is where Tricia came in, and the complicated plot had to come together like a Swiss watch.

What made you choose the suspense/thriller genre?

: Because that’s my interest and my writing strength. Let’s put it this way: I could never write a romance novel. But I’ve always loved the big international thriller set in exotic locales with a big plot. I tried to write a novel that I wanted to read.

How long have you been writing? How did you get your start?

: I’ve been writing full-time, for a living, since 1982, when I was 28 years old. I started at a weekly newspaper, moved to Focus on the Family magazine as their editor in 1986, and then left Focus in 1997 and started my full-time book-writing career. But it all began in high school at La Jolla High (San Diego), when I tried my hand at writing features and sports stories for the student newspaper. I really thought I was going to be a sportswriter growing up, which is why I was a Journalism major at the University of Oregon.

You co-authored this book with Tricia Goyer, who has four World War II-era novels to her credit. How did that partnership happen?

: Five or six years ago, Tricia and I met online through the Writer’s View, a place where Christian writers, editors, and agents can gather online to bat around ideas and what’s happening out there. I had just finished writing my first novel, By the Sword, which is a Mideast thriller set in modern times about how Islamic elements in Iran want to take Islam back to its roots, which is conversion by the sword.

I was getting rejection after rejection for By the Sword, and Tricia helped point out why. I wrote and rewrote, and I eventually got By the Sword sold and published with Broadman and Holman in 2006. After that experience, Tricia and I started kicking around some ideas about a World War II novel, which was up my alley since I’ve always thought of myself as a Second World War buff.

Much of The Swiss Courier takes place in Switzerland in August 1944. Why Switzerland?

: My interest in Switzerland stems from being married to a Swiss native, Nicole, for 30 years, and our more than two dozen trips to her home country. Back in the early 1980s, before our two children arrived, we lived one year in Geneva and six months in Zurich so that I could experience Swiss culture. I did a variety of things, from working in a sporting goods shop to teaching tennis at a large indoor club.

One of the aspects about World War II that I’ve always been fascinated about is how Switzerland figured into the global conflict. I read several books about Switzerland’s role during World War II. Although Switzerland declared its neutrality after the invasion of Poland, the landlocked country had to be military prepared to defend her neutrality since Nazi Germany had already invaded several other “neutral” countries, including Belgium and Denmark. I learned that the U.S. set up an espionage network in Switzerland, headed by Allen Dulles, starting in 1943. In fact, all the Allied and Axis powers had spy networks operating in Switzerland during the war, and there was a “war of wits” that made for a lot of intrigue.

So there are a lot of spies in The Swiss Courier.

: You could say that. And a lot of double-crossing. As Tricia and I discussed plots, we came up with the idea of having someone with the OSS—the name for Dulles’ network—having to safely “courier” someone to safety from wartime Germany. That “someone” turned out to be a character named Gabi Mueller, the 24-year-old daughter of an American pastor and a Swiss mother who had grown up in Switzerland.

We also wanted to involve the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany, which were the group of Christians—underground, naturally—who didn’t go along with the Nazi’s efforts to exterminate the Jewish people, among other things. Members of the Confessing Church worked with the OSS.

Is The Swiss Courier more for women or men?

: All along, Tricia and I wanted to write a good thriller . . . an action page-turner that women and men would enjoy reading, and we think we walked that tightrope well. There’s a hint of romance to involve women readers but more than enough action to keep guys engaged.

So who did what in the writing process for The Swiss Courier?

: Tricia and I did the plotting together, then I took the first swipe at writing each chapter, which Tricia would read, comment on, edit, and give me direction. Although it was a total team effort, we did not take turns writing chapters, which I think would have been unwieldy. You really need one hand on the plow, someone cranking out the book and having the freedom to do so. Tricia reacted to the content and played the role of general editor, but believe me, her fingerprints are all over this novel, especially in the “relationship” scenes between Gabi Mueller, our heroine, and her Swiss boyfriend, Eric Hofstadler.

Were their any disagreements?

: Surprisingly few. Tricia certainly had her point of view, but there was a nice spirit of cooperation. I will tell you that we had a major disagreement on how to end the book, which we got ironed out in the end. I can’t tell you more about the disagreement since it would spoil the ending of the book, but we butted heads. In the end, my point of view prevailed.

Where do you spend your time writing? Do you have a favorite place? A favorite time of day?

: I write from home. Sure, it would be nice to have an office, but I can’t afford to be paying rent. For many years, I worked in a cubby-hole off a family room, out in the open, with a room divider. The last year or so, I’ve been writing in Patrick’s old bedroom, which is the best. I have more privacy, plus I’m not invading Nicole’s “space.” It would be nice to have a bigger house, but with Southern California real estate being as it is, we have to make do with cramped quarters.

Mike, thank you for being willing to come for an interview.

So, there you have it folks! Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing to win a signed copy of Mike's book The Swiss Courier. For the drawing, be sure to leave your email address as follows: sandirog at aol dot com.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm almost afraid to share this

But if I don't, whose shoulder will I cry on if things don't go the way I want? So, I'm sharing!

I heard back from Julie from B&H. She said she liked what she read of both the first and second books, and told us to tell Karen Ball (yes, THEE Karen Ball) that she recommends my work! So, Karen now has my proposal and said she'll get back to us (me and my lovely agent Joyce Hart) next week.

For some reason, I'm a bit numb. I've known this since Monday and it's taken this long to say anything about it. Some say I'm in "protective mode." I think they're right. After all, it would be a dream come true to have Karen as an editor. And if she doesn't want my stories, I'll be heart broken. So, I'm gonna need you all to pray for me when I get the news, whether it's positive or negative.

In the meantime, please also pray that I'll trust in God's will for all this. You see, I know what I want, but is it what God wants?

We'll see!

Tired of all that blue

Yes, you're in the right place. I'm just tired of looking at all the blue! I needed a change. So, here it is. Now if I could just figure out how to get blogger to put my name in either all caps or at least capitalize the first letter!

Wish me luck.

Hope you like the new look!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm reading another great book!

One of my favorite books is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I'd say that's my favorite story above all stories. Didn't I already say that? Anyway, it's very romantic and really the best. Did I say it's my favorite? It's so awesome, I've read it more than once and watched the movie a gazillion times (the long mini-series version with Colin Firth). My kids have it memorized. E-hem. Not to their joy, either.

I take it by now you all know how much I love P&P. :-)

Well, I'm reading The Apothecary's Daughter by a fairly new author, Julie Klassen. Her work reminds me a little of P&P in that it's Regency romance. I'm only on Chapter Six, but I must say, I'm thoroughly enjoying it! I find myself thinking of the characters, anxious to get back to them, hoping and wondering what's going to happen. It's nice to look forward to reading a book!

When I'm finished, I'll let you all know what I think.

Anyone here read any good books lately?