Chatting about “Dear Author” with Laura A. Grace

K.A.:
Laura A. Grace is here today talking about her new release, Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl!

Welcome, Laura! Tell us about Dear Author.

Laura:
Eeepp! I would love to! I am SO excited to be here today!

My book is called Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl, and it is fifteen letters with six illustrations (yes, six because I’m a big fan of books needing more illustrations these days) that are specifically written to indie authors. I wrote about all the emotions a fangirl like myself feels while reading their books and what I would love to say to authors personally as they labor over their works-in-progress.

Laura:
Here is the official blurb for my nonfiction motivational read. :)

Think your words might not matter? Think again. Words have the power to change lives, especially when they are used to create meaningful stories. In this collection of letters, bookish fangirl Laura A. Grace addresses topics related to every writer’s journey. From “character conversations,” to embracing one’s unique writing style, to celebrating a release day—there is a letter for every author no matter where they may be in sharing their story with others. “Dear Author” includes six illustrations by Hannah S.J. Williams.

A Hannah S.J. Williams illustration from Dear Author.

K.A.:
Where did the idea for Dear Author come from?

Laura:
Earlier this year, it became blatantly apparent I was struggling deeply with postpartum depression after my third child was born due to a lot of stress. In order to focus on my mental health, I felt like I needed to stop book blogging as well as pull back from a few other commitments I had.

To say it broke my heart is an understatement. I am extremely passionate about supporting authors and was scared I would be unable to blog for a time. Because of that, I decided to write a letter to my author friends, pouring out my heart of why I cared so much for them and their stories (and wanted them to keep writing). It was sort of a moment of me asking, “If I could say only one thing, what would it be?”

However, after that first letter, I didn’t stop. I was deeply moved by what I had written and continued sharing all of what was in my heart. It helped me handle the days when I felt lonely and missed being active online.

K.A.:
That’s tough to step away from something you love, especially when you’re already hurting. But it’s important to take care of yourself. And it’s such a brave step to honestly face a situation like that, take action, and then share those emotions with others—reaching out to them from a deeply personal place. Wow. *hugs*

K.A.: So, how did these personal letters transition into a motivational book? What was the thought process behind it?

Laura:
“Hey, what if we actually shared this with more then one author? That would be so cool, especially if it could encourage more than one author!”

That was totally my initial idea to really consider publishing these letters and not just letting them sit on my computer. LOL! The idea made me excited because not only could I continue to encourage authors (just in a different way), but I could also share a book that encompassed my whole fangirl heart. It was like me, but on paper!

K.A.:
Did you make any discoveries about yourself writing this book?

Laura:
I LOVE writing by hand!

Seriously, it birthed me actually loving writing and has transformed my view of writing by A LOT. I was not one of those writers who has written stories since they could hold a pencil or daydreamed about being a published author in high school. I started writing because I felt called to write and most likely wouldn’t otherwise because I LOVE reading. *hides bashfully*

When my friend suggested I physically write these letters and not just type them, I never imagined how much I would deeply love the process. It’s relaxing and somehow refreshing. There is no stress for me to “pound out” a certain amount of words or even perfect words. Just me, paper and pencil, and a willingness to discover. :)

A Hannah S.J. Williams illustration from Dear Author.

K.A.:
Writing by hand can certainly be a good way to quiet the inner critic! Has writing this story changed you?

Laura:
That’s a tough question! Maybe that I can write and publish future stories? For so long I felt my own fears of writing would make me incapable of actually penning a story.

However, concerning this book, these letters only reaffirmed that I am indeed extremely passionate about supporting authors. I already knew this beforehand, but now, it’s something I am really acknowledging and embracing. I make plans in my weekly schedule to make sure I’m sharing all the indie book love instead of trying to push it away because “there are more important things to do.” (Ha! Soooo not true! *winks*)

K.A.:
What do you hope readers gain from your story?

Laura:
When I was brainstorming messages I wanted or could include in the front of Dear Author with my signature (which is still SUPER surreal by the way), I knew I wanted to convey something that could sum up my book in one sentence.

It turned out to be two (LOL), but it was this: “Keep dreaming! Keep writing!”

I would definitely say that is what I hope readers will come away with when finishing Dear Author. I want them to be encouraged to keep dreaming about their stories and writing them down because there are readers waiting for a story only they can share.

K.A.:
Do you have a favorite line or moment in the book?

Laura:
Ooo another tough question! I have a few, but I think this might be my favorite:

I want to be someone like your hero is. Someone who is brave, bold, and shows others through their actions and words that people are worth fighting for. I want to step out of my “bookish” worlds and enter our “real world” to make a difference in someone’s life. I feel I only need to look at the friends, family, and strangers around me to leap into action.

It captures a bit of the power I feel books have on readers and how I have personally gotten inspired time-and-time again from the books I read. <3

Laura:
Thank you SO much for letting me share! I had a blast and am so blessed by your support!

K.A.:
Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl is available on Amazon and at other book retailers.

And if you want to learn more, check out the other Dear Author blog tour stops here.

K.A.:
It was so good to have you here, Laura. Thanks for sharing your heart and reaching out to encourage others through your book, Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl.

About Laura A. Grace

Laura A. Grace had a lifelong dream of getting to know authors behind the covers of her favorite reads. Little did she know that one day she would become an author too! Now an avid book blogger at Unicorn Quester and writer of clean, Christian manga, Laura creatively balances her passions of supporting indie authors and feeding her readers new stories. In between, she wields plastic lightsabers with her children and binge-watches anime with her husband. Join her quest to find wandering unicorns for your favorite authors at unicornquester.com!

You can also connect with Laura on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Or sign up for her newsletter.

*** View past features here. ***

 


Wyatte Baptist Christmas Craft Fair

Packing up for Wyatte Baptist Church’s Christmas Craft Fair this week!

There’s going to be over thirty vendors and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus! It’ll be a great opportunity to Christmas shop. And I’ll be bringing some special book boxes and bundles that, due to shipping costs, are only available at live events.

Our family attended Wyatte when we lived in Northern Mississippi several years ago. We love the people there. They make you feel like family. So I’m doubly excited to return and be a part of their craft fair.

If you’re in the area, stop by and say hi. I’d love to see you.

Wyatte Baptist Family Life Center
257 Wyatte Tyro Road
Wyatte, Mississippi 38668


Saturday, December 7th from 9 am to 1 pm

Bookmark and share the event on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/371630366824637/


A Video Review of “The Prince Warriors”

The Prince Warriors is available from Amazon and other book retailers.

Content Guide

Romance (low)
None.

Violence (low)
Mostly intense moments of danger where characters are injured.

Language (low)
A few usages of the word stupid.

Sensitive Topics (low)
Some bullying between characters.

About The Prince Warriors

The battle is real.

As brothers, Xavier and Evan are used to battling each other. But now they’re discovering that there is a much bigger battle going on all around them. And it’s their turn to fight. The Prince Warriors is the first book in Priscilla Shirer’s epic new series that brings to life the invisible struggle ensuing in the spiritual realm. Xavier, Evan, and their friends have typical lives until they enter a mysterious land called Ahoratos. There they meet their guide, Ruwach, who offers wisdom and direction as the kids’ initial adventure begins—an adventure filled with armor and danger and a very real enemy.

Written by New York Times Best-Selling author Priscilla Shirer, The Prince Warriors series was created for middle-grade readers and will include the fiction trilogy as well as Unseen: The 365 Prince Warriors Devotional and the Unseen app.

Visit Amazon or Goodreads for more reviews.

About the Authors

Priscilla Shirer is a homemade cinnamon-roll baker, Bible teacher, and bestselling author who didn’t know her books (The Resolution For Women and Fervent) were on The New York Times Best Seller list until somebody else told her. Because who has time to check such things while raising three rapidly growing sons? When she and Jerry, her husband of sixteen years, are not busy leading Going Beyond Ministries, they spend most of their time cleaning up after and trying to satisfy the appetites of these guys. And that is what first drove Priscilla to dream up this fictional story about the very un-fictional topic of spiritual warfare—to help raise up a new generation of Prince Warriors under her roof. And under yours.

Connect with Pricilla Shirer through her website (goingbeyond.com).

Gina Detwiler was planning to be a teacher but switched to writing so she wouldn’t have to get up so early in the morning. She’s written a couple of books in various genres (Avalon and Hammer of God, under the name Gina Miani) and dramas published by Lillenas and DramaMinistry, but she prefers writing (and reading) books for young people. She lives in Buffalo, New York, where it snows a lot, with her husband and three beautiful daughters. She is honored and grateful to be able to work with Priscilla on The Prince Warriors.

Connect with Gina Detwiler through her website (ginadetwiler.com).