Kathleen Freeman Writes Her Dreams

By Diana Savage, director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal

It’s not an unusual night when Kathleen Freeman has a vivid dream that sparks an idea for a story.

Then she faces a mystery to solve: Who is the person in the dream? What are the circumstances surrounding the action? What will happen next?

“I start writing and keep writing until all those questions are fleshed out,” she says. This pursuit involves countless hours of research. “Good thing I adore learning,” she adds.

KathleenFreemanPinableOne story that began with just such a dream is her young-adult novel The Broken Feather, which won the 2012 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Genesis contest in the YA category.

Other stories she’s written have been Genesis Contest semi-finalists in 2013 and 2014, semi-finalists in the 2013 and 2015 Promising Beginnings contests, and one was a finalist in ACFW’s Category 5 contest in 2013.

Her nonfiction articles have been published in Vista Journal for Holy Living, Northwest Christian Author, and Raising Small Souls. Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Magazine regularly publishes her Maddie Science stories, which she calls “quirky interviews in science that point to a great God.”

A universal theme flows through everything she writes. “All my work involves finding hope in hard times,” she says. In fact, she has titled her website, Finding Hope in Hard Times.

At heart, Kathleen is a teacher with a passion for science, history, and people. She believes God wants us to live with abundance, to look for miracles, to lift others up, and to shine light into dark corners. “Talent and potential also thrill me,” she says, “so I very much enjoy helping writers grow through editing and encouragement.”

One way Kathleen encourages writers is by serving as NCWA’s Critique Group Coordinator. In that capacity, Kathleen will lead an interactive WriteCoach Lab at the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal.

Start Your Own Critique GroupStart Your Own Critique Group (WriteCoach Lab, Friday, May 15) – Move through the steps of forming and running a critique group. You’ll begin a sample group on site and learn how to critique the work of others with precision and encouragement. You’ll walk away with the tools you need to form your own group anywhere—or online—or you can choose to continue the sample group after the conference.

To benefit from Kathleen’s knowledge and skilled direction in this special WriteCoach Lab, sign up today for the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal!

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DianaSavageDiana Savage, a graduate of Northwest University and Bakke Graduate University, sold her first article when she was still in college, and she’s been writing ever since. Now the principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, she is also director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference. Her latest book is 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.

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Kim Vandel Thrives on Plan B

Kim Vandel knows first-hand that writing isn’t for the faint of heart.

Growing up on a steady diet of Saturday morning Justice League cartoons and Sunday morning Bible stories, she later merged the two into the concept of Guardians—men and women with God-given “superpowers.” She also drew on her work experience in the field of environmental science to breathe life into her fiction’s speculative element.

As she honed her craft, she followed advice from publishing experts, built an online presence, and made great connections with editorial reps. Her efforts in pursuing publication began to pay off.

KimVandelPinableAgents and editors asked to see her manuscript. She won the 2013 Cascade Award in the Unpublished Young Adult category and was finalist in the 2012 and 2013 Mile High Scribes One-Sheet Contests. Her goal seemed within reach.

Then, without warning, she felt the call to indie publish.

“I was dismayed, to say the least,” she says. “Why would God have me pursue traditional publishing for so long if that wasn’t the goal? What was the point of dedicating myself to Plan A, if I was just going to end up settling for Plan B?”

But as she obeyed God and changed direction, she experienced tremendous freedom. The vision she had for her YA (Young Adult) series began to unfold.

Now she understands that Plan B doesn’t always mean Backup or Better than Nothing. Sometimes it means Best. All the time she’d spent in pursuit of traditional publishing hadn’t been a waste. Plan A had prepared her for Plan B.

Kim moved forward with confidence and published a novel she knew would be “a quality product, not a humiliating tribute to my ignorance that I’d end up wishing didn’t exist a few years down the road.” She is confident she can effectively market her novel instead of being angry with Amazon for not selling more than a dozen copies.

Into the Fire released on April 14, and Kim coordinated a carefully crafted social-media campaign for the book’s launch.

At the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal, Kim—who is also Publicity Coordinator for NCWA—will lead a WriteCoach Lab so that you, too, can learn how to use social media to your advantage.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): Social Media Basics (WriteCoach Lab, Friday, May 15) – Wish you knew the basics about the plethora of social media available these days? Expert Kim Vandel can help you find solutions to your challenges concerning

  • Facebook
  • Goodreads
  • Google +
  • Instagram,
  • Tumblr, &
  • Twitter.

She can also answer basic questions about Pinterest and WordPress if you’re unable to attend the BYOD sessions dedicated solely to those platforms. Bring your own laptop, netbook, tablet, or smartphone to gain the most from these sessions. (Kim can help you with Android or PC. For Apple, see BYOD expert Dennis Brooke.)

Whether you’re on Plan A, Plan B, or much farther down the alphabet, you can benefit from Kim’s expertise concerning how to harness social media to build your platform and promote your writing. Sign up today for the 2015 Northwest Christian Writers Renewal!

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DianaSavageDiana Savage, a graduate of Northwest University and Bakke Graduate University, sold her first article when she was still in college, and she’s been writing ever since. Now the principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, she is also director of the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference. Her latest book is 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.