Category Archives: authors

A Shout Out To Our Authors

We’ve said this before, but it always bears repeating. We wouldn’t be here without our authors.

Vinspire Header for Facebook

We’ve been in business for over fifteen years now, and we’ve been fortunate to work with some amazingly talented authors. We helped launch careers, have watched as authors have moved on to astounding success, and the awards have been plentiful.

Our books have been approved by the Catholic Writers Guild, have been finalists in major contests like the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romantic Times, have won awards from Readers Favorite, RWA chapters, Moonbeam Children’s Awards, Literary Classics, and more, and have been reviewed by School Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, Midwest Book Reviews, and more.

We have authors impacting today’s youth by speaking at schools and teaching at camps, authors that have now sold over 1,000,000 copies and 500,000 copies of their combined books ( not all of them were published by Vinspire), and authors who continue to amaze us with their perseverance, their drive to succeed, and their graciousness.

So, once again, we celebrate our authors! We’re so thankful for each and every one of them and applaud each achievement!

Looking Back—Tybee Island, GA by J.K. Bovi

DeadMansFingers 500x750 (2)Looking back at this wonderful blog post about Tybee Island, GA by J.K. Bovi, author of Dead Man’s Fingers! Once you read it, you’ll want to visit!  http://ow.ly/oQ2x30frZzZ

Get to Know Our Authors On H. Schussman’s Blog

ElTiburon 500x750Author H. Schussman, who penned El Tiburon, invites our authors to her blog so she can ask some of the best questions! In case you haven’t stopped by for a visit, here are April and May’s recent posts with intriguing questions and responses from our authors!

Karina Bartow, author of Forgetting My Way Back to You
http://hschussman.blogspot.com/2019/05/guest-post-k-bartow_9.html?m=1

K.S. Mitchell, author of Pen & Quin, International Agents of Intrigue
http://hschussman.blogspot.com/2019/04/guest-post-ks-mitchell.html?m=1

 

A Rainbow’s Journey by J.J. Johnston

GUEST POST BY J.J. JOHNSTON, AUTHOR OF THE RAINBOW WITH DULL COLORS.

Cover Art Redone

The 1992-1993 school year had just begun. My 80’s perm was growing out, and I felt confident in my purple and teal silk shirt. It was my first year of Jr. High, and my chance at a fresh start. No one at my new school knew me as Dog-face Davis, and I hoped they never would.

It was mandatory for all 7th graders to attend a Life Skills class. It focused on helping us develop healthy self-esteem.  After three years of being bullied, I desperately needed it.

Our Life Skills project, that year, was to write a self-esteem book for children. As our teacher showed us an example, a dull little rainbow crossed my mind. He felt unvalued and insecure. Very much like Dog-face Davis.

We were given blank books and set loose. I wrote and illustrated the story in no time. Archie, the rainbow, was small and dull, but after he believed in himself, he became the biggest and brightest rainbow of all.

Fast forward to the summer of 2017, married with ten children, I no longer cared what others thought of me. I only cared how God saw me. But I had to watch my own children struggle to fit in, and great self-esteem wasn’t going to change their reality like it had for Archie in my original story.

My one son is bullied for being short. He won’t grow taller with a positive attitude, but he can still make a difference.  Another one of my sons is autistic, and he’ll never not be autistic, but he still has great purpose.

Inspired by my children, I decided to rewrite my little rainbow story. I wanted kids to know that God uses us as we are. He did create us, after all.

THE RAINBOW WITH DULL COLORS RELEASES NOVEMBER 30, 2018!

The Inner-Workings of a Writer’s Mind by Leslea Wahl

GUEST POST BY LESLEA WAHL, AUTHOR OF WHERE YOU LEAD

Where 3D

Because I am a writer who doesn’t use an outline and usually just lets the story go where it may, I often have trouble remembering exactly how each story is formed. I truly believe the Holy Spirit guides my work and I love seeing the twists and turns a story makes along the way. I always have a starting idea and some rough thoughts of where the story should go and maybe even a scene or two that I want to include but getting to those points is often a fun and unexpected journey.

The idea of my YA novel, Where You Lead, started as a momentary incident that happened years ago when my husband and I were first married. We had recently moved to Washington DC from Colorado and one afternoon we were eating at a Pizza Hut restaurant. I was returning to our table from the restroom and saw my husband sitting at our table. His back was to me so I only saw his dark hair. For some reason I thought about other Pizza Hut’s I had been in throughout my life and how they all looked the same. And I thought, wouldn’t it be crazy if I sat down and instead of looking up and seeing my husband’s face it was actually someone from my past, and all the amazing memories I had of us dating, getting married, and moving to DC, had never happened.

This, I thought, was the beginning of a great novel. I pictured it more as a novel for adults – the leading character abandoning her life and searching for this mysterious stranger that she was sure existed. But since I wasn’t a writer back then, I just stored this thought away.

Fast-forward many years to after my first novel, The Perfect Blindside, was published. This story idea was still rattling around in my head, but I couldn’t figure out how it could possibly be made into a YA novel because there was no way a teenager could drop everything and search the country or world for a mysterious stranger. I again put the idea on the back burner and began writing my second novel, An Unexpected Role. But that little spark wouldn’t leave me alone.

Finally, a few ideas on how to change it up and make it work for YA began percolating in my mind. I decided to set the story in Washington DC, since that is where I first had this idea. I began jotting things down in one of my daughter’s old notebooks. (I’ve kept this notebook and it has been fun to look back on my notes and thoughts.)

The notebook includes lists of places that I had loved when we lived in DC. As I began thinking about those years when we lived inside the beltway, so many memories came flooding back. I still could remember those feelings as young newlyweds when living on the east coast, and especially DC, felt like a different world from out west. But we loved our time there. The history, the old buildings, the civil war battlefields, it was all so fascinating. In this book I’ve not only included our favorite places but also some of the quirky things and incidents that we encountered.

This story has been a labor of love but also required quite a bit more research than any of my other books. In a way, Where You Lead, is part history lesson, city tour, and mystery all combined with a message of listening for God’s call in your life. I hope readers enjoy this fun adventure.

Irish Keys by Claire Fullerton

GUEST POST BY CLAIRE FULLERTON, AUTHOR OF DANCING TO AN IRISH REEL

Claire with Key

I’ve had many people ask about a certain picture on my website, where I’m standing against a gray stone wall on a windswept day, in the middle of an Irish field, with what are obviously the ruins of a monastery behind me. Observant people said to themselves, “Wait, there’s a ruined monastery behind her, why is her back turned as she looks into the camera, holding a set of keys in her hand as if it were the bigger focal point?” I’m so glad for the opportunity to explain.

We kind of knew where we were heading, my friend Tama and I, and by this I mean we had a loose plan with regard to how we were going to spend the afternoon in Gort, Ireland. We’d been freewheeling across the countryside in a rented car the size of a match box, with its steering wheel on the right side, while we drove on the left of the two-lane road as if trying to best a test for dyslexia.

Tama is a devout Catholic, who has a thing about historic churches, which is why we couldn’t have adhered to a plan had we had one. “Stop,” Tama would shout every time we spied one of the dim, ominous structures off in the distance. We’d scratch the gravel driveway and wander inside, our solitary footsteps crossing the marble floor in a tread- ye- lightly and humble yourself echo off the cavernous vaulted ceiling. We did this so many times that after yet another sweep inside a church, I’d take to wandering the halcyon graveyards to read the Irish tombstone inscriptions, while Tama would light a red votive candle and fall to her pious knees.

I thought I was alone in the yard when a voice came sailing from behind me. “Have you found your way to Kilmacduagh monastery?” it queried. I turned to find a young woman taking in my outlander attire of three quarter down jacket and rubber soled shoes. “It’s just up the road there,” she continued, pointing. “Just knock on the door of the middle house across the road and ask Lily for the keys.”

I was standing behind Tama when she knocked on the front door of a low slung house on a sparsely populated lane. Across the lane, placid fields of damp clover shimmered in the afternoon mist as far as the eye could see. On one verdant field, a series of interspersed ruins jutted in damp metal-gray; some without roofs, some with wrought-iron gates, and one in particular beside an impressively tall stone spire, which had  two windows cut in vertical slashes above a narrow door raised high from the ground. Immediately the front door opened, and a pair of blue water eyes gave us the once over with an inquisitive, “Yes?”

“Are you Lily? We’re here for the keys,” Tama said.

“The keys, is it? Just a moment there,” the woman said, and after closing the door, she opened it seconds later and handed us a set of long metal keys. “Just slip them through the door slot when you’re through,” she said, closing the door with a quick nod.

I can’t say there was any indication of which key went to what, among the cluster of gates and doors throughout the 7th century monastery called Kilmacduagh, but we figured it out. I was so tickled over the keys that I couldn’t get over it. “Is this weird?” I said to Tama. “We could be anybody. It’s not that there’s anything anybody could steal, but that’s not the point.” I could wax rhapsody over the hours we spent unlocking gates and pushing through doors in the eerie, hallowed grounds, but that’s not my point either. My point is that’s Ireland for you: a stranger offering directions without being asked, Lily handing over the keys like an afterthought, and Tama and I trolling the grounds of sacred space when nobody else was around. But suddenly a German couple appeared as we were on our way back up the lane. They looked at us wide eyed and queried, “What is this place?”

“It’s a 7th century monastery,” I said, “here, take the keys and slip them through Lily’s door when you’re through.”

Irish Keys

I’ve had many people ask about a certain picture on my website, where I’m standing against a gray stone wall on a windswept day, in the middle of an Irish field, with what are obviously the ruins of a monastery behind me. Observant people said to themselves, “Wait, there’s a ruined monastery behind her, why is her back turned as she looks into the camera, holding a set of keys in her hand as if it were the bigger focal point?” I’m so glad for the opportunity to explain.

We kind of knew where we were heading, my friend Tama and I, and by this I mean we had a loose plan with regard to how we were going to spend the afternoon in Gort, Ireland. We’d been freewheeling across the countryside in a rented car the size of a match box, with its steering wheel on the right side, while we drove on the left of the two-lane road as if trying to best a test for dyslexia.

Tama is a devout Catholic, who has a thing about historic churches, which is why we couldn’t have adhered to a plan had we had one. “Stop,” Tama would shout every time we spied one of the dim, ominous structures off in the distance. We’d scratch the gravel driveway and wander inside, our solitary footsteps crossing the marble floor in a tread- ye- lightly and humble yourself echo off the cavernous vaulted ceiling. We did this so many times that after yet another sweep inside a church, I’d take to wandering the halcyon graveyards to read the Irish tombstone inscriptions, while Tama would light a red votive candle and fall to her pious knees.

I thought I was alone in the yard when a voice came sailing from behind me. “Have you found your way to Kilmacduagh monastery?” it queried. I turned to find a young woman taking in my outlander attire of three quarter down jacket and rubber soled shoes. “It’s just up the road there,” she continued, pointing. “Just knock on the door of the middle house across the road and ask Lily for the keys.”

I was standing behind Tama when she knocked on the front door of a low slung house on a sparsely populated lane. Across the lane, placid fields of damp clover shimmered in the afternoon mist as far as the eye could see. On one verdant field, a series of interspersed ruins jutted in damp metal-gray; some without roofs, some with wrought-iron gates, and one in particular beside an impressively tall stone spire, which had  two windows cut in vertical slashes above a narrow door raised high from the ground. Immediately the front door opened, and a pair of blue water eyes gave us the once over with an inquisitive, “Yes?”

“Are you Lily? We’re here for the keys,” Tama said.

Dancing Review

We Could Be Sweeping The CALA Awards

For the first time ever, we have three books up for CALA Awards in the only two categories. In case you aren’t familiar with them, the CALA Awards are the Catholic Arts and Letters Awards presented by the Catholic Writers Guild. The winners will be announced on August 1st, and we’re so proud of our authors who are finalists!

CALA 7 RiddlesCALA PBHCala TIC