Saturday, September 28, 2013

Interview with Donna Clark Goodrich

Today, my Writing with God's Hope blog welcomes author, proofreader, editor, speaker Donna Clark Goodrich. I met Donna online through the Christian Writers Fellowship International. I ordered and read her book about keeping up with a writer's income tax liability. Realizing I knew little about her, I asked her to visit with us today.
1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Jackson, Michigan and moved to Kansas City when I was 20 to take a job as secretary to the book editor at the Nazarene Publishing House. Met my husband, who was a student at Nazarene Theological Seminary, when I typed his term paper. We got engaged 3 weeks after we met and have been married for 53 years. He pastored 1 year in Michigan, then we moved back to Jackson for 3 years, coming to Arizona in 1969 because of his health. We have 1 son and 2 daughters, one is married to a minister and they live in Cushing, Oklahoma, with our 2 granddaughters. My husband has been on disability since his heart attack at the age of 48, and now has 12 different diseases he is dealing with.

  2.  Sounds like God has led you through a lot. Tell us a little about your writing journey.  

 I've always loved to write. Wrote my first 2 poems at the age of 9--one for Mother's Day and one for Veteran's Day (our pastor put it in the church bulletin). Sold my first poem at 14 (for $1.40) and my first short story to our church S.S. paper at 18 (for $12). After I began work at the publishing house and got to know a lot of the editors, I started selling more. Sold my first book in 1971--a puzzle book, 3 devotional books in 1972, then it took off after that. Most have been devotional books, 2 cookbooks, a biography, 2 secular how-to books with John Wiley & Sons, self-help books, and compiled and edited 3 anthologies.
3. You've been writing for a long time. I probably have viewers who, like me, are saying, "I'd like to read the poems, or see the cookbook."  Your writing encompasses varied subjects. Did you ever feel like giving up?  And how did you press through this?

The one depressing time I remember was when I broke my wrist and had a cast on for 4 months. I thought, "Now I have time to write," sent out dozens of things, sat back, and waited for responses. They came; 12 rejections in one day. I threw them on the floor and told my husband, "I quit, I'm not writing anymore." And it seemed God spoke to me, "I just want you to use this time to get close to Me." I have so many things I still want to write, I don't think I'll ever really quit.

 4.  Tell us about your latest book.
I'd like to tell about my two latest ones. For years I wanted something to offer to people who called and said, "I want to be a writer. How do I get started?" So I took all the material I've been teaching in workshops over the years and put it in book form. It came out 2 years ago under the title: A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Book for Christian Writers. I also brought out a second, similar student edition with assignments throughout....The second book The Freedom of Letting Go came about after it took me 11 years to let go of my mother after she died. When I was finally to do that, I realized it wasn't just letting go of her; it was the whole principle of letting go of the past. The book covers such things as: letting go of grief, success, failure, material things, children, your youth, people who have hurt you, etc., and then ends with "The Land Beyond Letting Go." I also speak on this subject at different churches.

5.  How do you feel this book will help readers?
The writing book will help beginning writers get started, and encourage advanced writers to keep going. There are also chapters on income taxes for writers, Microsoft Word hints, collaborating with other writers, etc. ... The Letting Go book will help people "forget those things which are behind and press forward."
.    6. What other writing-related careers will we find on your resume?
 I teach my own one- and two-day workshops across the U.S. (just need a location and a registrar), teach at other conferences, and I also proofread and edit manuscripts for writers and publishers.
7.     If your writing resembled a song, what would that song be?
"For all that You've done I will thank You, for all that You're going to do. For all that You've promised and all that You are is all that has carried me through. Jesus, I thank You."  The songwriter is Dennis Jernigan.
8.     Anything more you'd like to add?
 The following quotation changed my life. Up to that time I had sold 4 books and over 200 manuscripts, but writing was just a hobby for me. Then I heard Harold Ivan Smith say, "We are called to write and I feel we will be held responsible at the Judgment for the people we could have helped but didn't because we didn't write what God laid on our hearts to write." That took writing out of the hobby category for me and made it a calling. I feel I'm as called to write as a preacher is called to preach.

     9. I will remember that quote. So inspirational How can readers find you?
My web site is:  and I write a blog for writers every Monday morning at  I'll send it automatically via email to anyone who requests it. Email me at: It includes a personal update, a Thought for the Day, a Laugh for the Day, and Writer's Hints (including answering questions sent in).
Wow, Donna, I've learned so much. I never knew you worked for the Nazarene Publishing House. I was raised in a Nazarene church and have published short stories in Standard, so that publisher is close to my heart.  Thanks for stopping by and answering my questions.
After talking with Donna, I ordered both of these books. Since I teach a weight loss class, I know I'll use the principles of The Freedom of Letting Go there. I'm more than halfway through reading A Step in the Write Direction. Watch for my review on that book on October 6 on  Three other writers and I take turns reviewing books, especially books on the craft of writing. We also view websites, newsletters, conferences, and some fiction books, anything that helps writers.
Thank you, Donna, for visiting with us today. I'm eager to delve into the other book. Reader, if you have further questions or comments for Donna, or for me, leave a comment. Also notice on the side of this page where you can sign up as a follower for Writing with God's Hope blog. Every Saturday, I post. I write devotions, author interviews, weight loss tips, and sometimes, plain fun stuff.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sneak Peek at my Sequel

This week, 4RV Publishing and I signed a contract for a sequel to my inspirational YA, Victoria and the Ghost. We're looking at a release date in May or June, 2014.

For those who have read the first book, you'll remember mean girl, Shelley, who's country born and bred. The sequel tells her story.

                                       A Ghost for Shelley

A guilt-ridden country girl, forced to move to Dallas, confronts betrayal, arrest, and a loss of faith but meets a jet-set jock with a heart for God, and a ghost with a message just for her.

Guilt lassoes country girl, SHELLEY HALVERSON, reminding her of the snide remarks, gossip, and deceit from her past. If she could hurt herself, she might forget.

The only one who seems to care is COLSON CONNELLY, but who can trust him? He’s popular, rich, handsome, and everything she's not.

Thank you, 4RV. Looking forward to getting out this story for teens and adults.

Watch next year for the release date.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Recovering Food Addict

Twenty years ago I entered the room at 250 lbs to join a group the leader called Christian Weight Controllers. For the previous thirty years, I'd been on more diets and indulged in more binges than the many mosquitos that stormed me during a Texas summer.

My hope faltered.

My faith drooped.

The words I heard during that meeting filled me with guilt and drove me to the nearest convenience store for a package of Reese's candy treats. I decided to quit, but God nagged my conscience and nudged me with a glimmer of trust.

I attended the second meeting. A sweet, older lady named Sister Stack sat beside me. "I'm so glad you're here. I prayed for you this week," she said.

At that point, I knew that I must give up, quit fighting, and ask God to do it for me.

He did.

One of the things I did in the beginning was write three goals, three reasons I'd like to lose weight.

Top of Lower Falls (our goal)
Here was my three:
     1. Good health
     2. Increased self esteem
     3. Be able to climb mountains

Now, that last one might make you laugh, but here's my story. My husband and I love the mountains and go there nearly every year. When my mother was alive, we took her with our family. One trip was one of humiliation--mine.

My husband, three daughters, and 78-year-old mother, and I climbed a mountain. I took twice as long as anyone else and arrived with a racing heart, heavy breathing, and red face. My mother had no problems. I broke into tears and never wanted to try to climb a mountain again. Only, I really wanted to climb one. I longed to be that fit. I never lost that dream.

Today, I live my dream.  
Lower Falls at a distance

 I maintain a weight of 155 lbs and keep up activity every day. On our summer trip to Yellowstone National Park, my husband and I hiked to the lower falls of  the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  The trail, steep and rocky, led us 3/4 mile down to the top of the falls to outstanding scenery. Then, we climbed back up the 3/4 mile. Most of the climbers were much younger than us, but it felt good to stretch our abilities. Yes, I had to stop to catch my breath several times, but I made it and I was proud.

My motivation to make that hike showed up my true identity; that of a recovering food addict. I wanted to make the climb so I could eat more and not gain weight. We laughed about that, but, hey, it worked.

Do you have any experiences with recovering from food addiction or compulsive overeating?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1/2 Price on Divine Dining

My book Divine Dining is featured today on Peg Phifer's blog. Read the devotion for today, Sept. 11 and note the opportunity to purchase the book for half price.

Check out:

Don't miss this chance. It's only through the month of Sept.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Tycoon and the Texan by Phylliss Miranda

Today, I'm excited to welcome to Writing with God's Hope blog my good friend and excellent writer, Phyliss Miranda. Her new e-book released just two days ago. Today, Phyliss lets us in on a secret or two and introduces us to our new best hero. Thanks for visiting with us, Phyliss.

I’m honored to introduce you to Nicodemus Dartmouth, my hero, in my September 5th eKensington release The Tycoon and the Texan.
Before we begin with the interview, I’d like to give you the background on both how I selected the plot and Nick’s last name. I truly believe it was a gift from above.
My husband and I have friends who we’ve known for over forty years and vacationed with since their boys and our girls were young. 
In 2002, my DH and I were on our way to meet them in Florida when we received a call, thank goodness for cell phones, that Harry had emergency heart surgery. He was in a coma, and the future was uncertain.  We immediately turned our car north and headed for Dartmouth Medical Center where he laid critically ill for weeks.  We were determined not to leave until he and Pat were safely home under their own roof.  And, that we did. 
One day while sitting in the waiting room, my attention was drawn to a show on TV, you know the ones up in the corner of the room where you have to crane your neck to see and can barely hear. The show pertained to a foundation’s auction of bachelors for charity.  That seeded the idea for a story about a strong, multi-millionaire who ends up buying an ugly duckling at his own foundation’s charity ball. Of course, she had to be from Texas and his name had to be as strong and willful as my character, so Nicodemus Dartmouth was born.
Now nearly ten years and many vacations together later, my story The Tycoon and the Texan came out recently and needless to say I dedicated it to our dearest friends.  
Let’s get on with learning more about Nicodemus Dartmouth. I’m gonna let him tell you about himself first, and then he’ll answer some questions.
I don’t really like being referred to as a tycoon because I see myself as just another hardworking man in his 30’s. I have to admit being a product of a wealthy, widowed mother, who I don’t always see eye-to-eye with, did have its benefits. I worked my fingers to the bone to establish one of the largest construction firms on the west coast, while being CEO of  Mother’s charity ... the Elliott-Dartmouth foundation.  I own a Double A baseball farm team and love to workout with my players.  Mother is pretty well appalled when I show up at the office with bloody road rash showing through a tear in my baseball pants.  By the way, Josie, the Foundation Director and mother hen, thinks I belong in the dog pound. I have one supporter in the organization, well most of the time, and that’s McCall Johnson, who used to be my secretary at the construction company until I transferred her over to the foundation when I found myself crawling up twenty stories of red iron thinking about her.
Now back to the charity auction that Phyliss mentioned. Mother thought it was a grand idea to auction off bachelorettes, while I told her from the start is was a bad, really bad idea.  She called me into the office to go over the final arrangements, including the table decorations.  I need to be out at the construction company offices arranging for a shipment of material we don’t need to be shipped to Habitat for Humanity, but no I’m standing here looking at a bunch of flowers stuffed in a vase. I won’t even tell you what I think about them because Mother sure didn’t approve of my description.
The auction was a nightmare, just as I had predicted, although it raised a lot of money for the foundation ... a good bit coming from me.
The jinx I apparently put on the event began when one of the bachelorettes called in sick and our resident Texan McCall Johnson was forced to step in.  In an unexpected turn of events, and I have to admit a bit of jealousy on my part to boot, I ended up paying what McCall called “a vulgar” amount for a week long date with her.
That began our adventures ... seven days to Texas.
I wanted so badly to show her that our lives weren’t that much different, but at every turn, I hit a roadblock.  From nearly cutting my finger off trying to prepare dinner for her on my private boat to seeing a ghost of Harris Grade coming out of Lompoc, California, something got in my way of showing her that I don’t get everything I want, although she thinks I do.
It took me the full seven days, plus some, while visiting her Granny’s ranch in Texas, but I finally succeeded at showing the independent, spirited, uprooted Texan that our lives aren’t as different as it might seem, only to find that we are more alike than I ever dreamed ... including our secrets.
I hope you’ll go buy The Tycoon and the Texan by native Texan, Phyliss Miranda, so you can learn more about me and Miss McCall Johnson.  By the way, if I have my way, she won’t be a Miss much longer.

 Thank you, Phyliss, for visiting with us today. I urge others to grab that book soon.  I've read several of Phyliss' yarns. Her writing is strong, and her characters believable. I loved the background on how the story came to be.
Leave a comment if you have a question or comment about Phyliss or her story.