T. M Gaouette featured in Summer 2019 Today’s Catholic Teacher article “Bring an Author to School.”

Hey, Catholic teachers! This one is for you!

Have you considered inviting an author to speak to your students?

One of the highlights of what I do is speak directly to young readers of my novels. As some of you know, I’ve written about these visits and how it’s such a wonderful experience. And I’ve also heard directly from the students who have expressed their appreciation at the opportunity to discuss the stories, as well as the characters that they’ve come to know.

Author visits are extremely valuable to the author and the students, and this month, you can read more about this amazing opportunity, including my own personal experience and advice—and that of some other amazing authors—in the summer edition of Today’s Catholic Teacher. The article, “Bring an Author to School,” profiles the benefits of inviting authors to schools to speak directly to the students. Whether via in-person visits or virtual, teachers can add a valuable dimension to a their language arts curriculum. Check out the article and see which other authors are available for school visits!

Read more about my school visits.

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“Where You Lead” by Leslea Wahl: A Great Addition to Your Home-School History Curriculum

Sixteen-year-old Eve Donahue’s lonely existence changes in an instant when visions of a mysterious stranger haunt her. Certain God is calling her for a mission, she bravely says yes and begins her quest to meet this young man.

Thousands of miles away, Nick Hammond has been dealing with his own unusual experience, an unwavering certainness to convince his father to run for political office.

When these two unlikely teens finally meet, their belief that God has called them to work together sets them on a journey of faith to untangle a web of deception involving international trade agreements, lost confederate gold, and a blossoming romance. As they follow century old clues, they realize God can call us all in big and small ways. We just need to listen and say “Yes Lord, I will go where You lead.”

MY REVIEW:

Leslea Wahl’s newest release Where You Lead is a fun adventure that takes the reader on an exciting journey through American history. With colorful characters, witty dialogue, and a search for lost treasure, Wahl knows how to keep the reader on the edge of his seat. My favorite character was the grumpy elderly neighbor, and the interaction between her and the main character Eve was very entertaining.

A suspenseful mystery with tons of twists and turns and a dollop of romance, Where You Lead is a wonderful reminder that God has a plan, and if you follow His will, He will lead you to where you are needed most. What a great addition this book would be to a home-school history curriculum.

WHERE YOU LEAD for HOME-SCHOOL HISTORY

Where You Lead is a fun, adventurous YA novel filled with mystery, Christian values, and could be a great book to add to lesson plans about American history. The story is set in Washington DC and is full of ideas for students to explore. Here are a few to consider.

1 – In the book, the main characters set out on a treasure hunt for lost confederate gold. Students could investigate the different aspects of the civil war.

2 – Eve and Nick become involved with someone who lives in one of the embassies along Embassy Row. Students could explore the rich history of these grand manors in Washington DC and how they became embassies. They could even choose a country to research.

3 – One of the prominent buildings in the story is the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Students could study President Kennedy and even why this theater was dedicated to his memory.

4 – There are many locations that Nick and Eve visit that are named after famous people from our past. Students could choose one to research: The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, The Francis Scott Key Bridge, Roosevelt Island, Jefferson Memorial, and the Smithsonian Museum.

Giveaway

Where You Lead treasure hunt
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About the Author

Leslea Wahl
I’m Leslea Wahl. For as long as I can remember I have been a creator of stories with ideas swirling through my head. I am thrilled now to be able to share some of them with others. For many years I have been driven by a belief that our purpose in life is to use our gifts to glorify God and lead others to Him. I am blessed to have found a way to intertwine my two passions by creating adventurous stories with positive Christian messages for today’s youth. Not only do I hope to entertain with my writing, but also to inspire others to find their gifts as well.

Twitter: LesleaWahl

Containing the Rebellious Character in Fiction Writing

I find the task of creating fictional characters a fun experience, for the most part. I determine their physical aspects, personality traits, background information, aspirations, fears, joys, and so on. No-one can tell me how to design a fictional character, because each one is created by me.

But what if the character takes a life of his own…I mean, that’s great, right? It drives the story along, creates a more natural piece of fiction. But what if the character becomes uncontrollable?

It doesn’t happen with all of my characters, but every now and then the odd boy (or girl) seems to take it upon himself to reveal an idiosyncrasy or personality flaw that bends and twists my story-line in a fashion that redefines it. It’s not always a negative awareness. Sometimes it’s a good revelation, but one that ultimately affects the story in some way.

Still, I allow him to let loose, because I give it all to the Lord and my God may have a plan that I’m yet to comprehend, and all I can do is follow His lead, hoping that the character behaves as best he can. Should the revelation be a negative one, -one that is simply rebellious and obviously not a gift from the Lord, I find myself in a bind. In order to maintain the integrity of the story, I am forced to lay down the law.

I have to remind my character of what’s expected of him, to a certain extent, of course.

I’m like a controlling mother, with more children than the ones I gave birth to physically. These are the babies I gave birth to creatively, and they had better behave, or they’ll be put in a time-out…which, of course, means I’ll save them for when another story, more fitting their rebellious nature, is conjured up.

Have you ever had a rebellious character take control of your fictional story?

Visit me on social media for more news and reviews on my Catholic fiction or just to say hi:
Facebook: facebook.com/TMGaouette
Twitter: @TMGaouette

Image: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Control Your Fiction Novel With a “Moral Premise”

MPCover

I’ve read many books in my journey to become a better novelist. Some have been awesome, in my opinion, and others…not so much! One resource that I’ve found to be very helpful is The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue and Vice for Box Office Success. Stanley D Williams is the author, and his insight on novel writing is definitely inspiring.

The Moral Premise describes how successful motion pictures are always structured around a psychological (or spiritual) premise based on true moral values, and how screenwriters can appropriate the structural elements of the moral premise to write successful movies. (moralpremise.com)

Before reading this book, I found my writing would easily drift off into irrelevant directions. Williams helped me bring everything back to the “moral premise.” I read the whole thing years ago, but I continue to refer to it often. I highly recommend this book.

Do you find yourself getting lost in your own story line? Have you read The Moral Premise? Share your thoughts!

If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

I Want to Write a Novel, But Where Do I Start?

 Why People-Watching Enhances Characterization in Fiction Writing

My Cures for Defeating Writers Block

Introducing My Upcoming Novel, “Freeing Tanner Rose” -The First in Kung-Fu Faith Series

Please excuse my lack of attention here on the site. I’ve been working on finishing up my next novel, Freeing Tanner Rose. It’s actually the beginning of a four-part Kung-Fu Faith series.

  • Fun fact- Freeing Tanner Rose was not originally written as the first in the series. I actually began writing one of the other books eight years ago and intended that to be the first. I began writing Tanner Rose three years ago, and decided that this story would be a better intro to the series.

With Freeing Tanner Rose, I’m at the point in the process where I’m trying to tie up loose ends, but keep finding reasons to move things around. Such last minute decisions are not always smart –although common in my writing style- but I’m confident that the final draft will likely benefit from it. The big problem is that changes mean more thorough readings and constant editing, and this process often drains the love I feel for any story. Once love is gone, it’s not completely lost, but I usually have to set the project aside and allow some space to grow between us. Just enough room to feel the loss.

I hope such space is not necessary during this revision. In order to ensure that and to avoid falling out of love, I’ve been splitting my novel writing time with cover design and novel description. I’ll post these as soon as I have them completed. Then once the final draft is complete, I’ll share the first chapter.

Freeing Tanner Rose is scheduled to release late fall of this year, God willing. I plan on keeping this schedule, but it’s more important that the finished product is perfect –or as perfect as I’ll allow it to be before forcing myself to let it go. To let go! Ugh. Another step I have a difficult time with.

Lord, bless my words so that I glorify You in everything that I write.

T.M. Gaouette – Author Profile Featured on Book Reviews and More and CatholicDadsOnline.org

Following is an author profile just published on Book Reviews and More. There are 20 questions. Check it out!

T.M. Gaouette is a writer, a mother and a wife. Born in Africa educated in London and now she resides with her family in New England. Her first novel is out and she is new on the Christian fiction market. Her first book The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch was an amazing read. So I wanted to find out more about this author and her writing. She agreed to be interviewed for Book Reviews and More and for CatholicDadsOnline.org so here is Tm in her own words.

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you nurture that dream?

I began writing as a child. I always had a diary so I’d write my personal joys and sorrows in that. I also loved to write poetry, songs, short stories, and scripts, and I read constantly. In college, I majored in English Literature and that’s where I really found a passion for writing and marveled at the power of words. I’m constantly learning from other authors, and striving to perfect my own style.

2. If you had not become a writer what do you think you would be doing for a living?

I don’t think I could have been anything else. I’ve kept on writing throughout my life, and I’ve had various jobs, from waitressing to sales to marketing. But at home, on my own time, I wrote. I can’t imagine not writing, even with its ups and downs. I’ve taken breaks from it, even considered quitting, but I’ve found that I need to write. I’m confident now too that writing is God’s gift to me. And I have so many stories to tell.”

Read more.

This profile is also posted on CatholicDadsOnline.org

My Cures for Defeating Writers Block

It’s a writer’s nightmare!

Writer’s block can be devastating for a fiction writer who doesn’t know how to fill the void.

But there are ways in which you can take advantage of writer’s block, at least until you’re ready to resume your manuscript.

  • Writer’s write, and even when the dreaded writer’s block sets in, you need to write. There doesn’t have to be a reason behind the words and you don’t have to stick to writing fiction. In fact, you can just write about how you’re feeling. Write about writer’s block. Why? This exercise will give you a reason to write. It also provides you with an outlet to communicate your emotions. Lastly, it’ll give you material for future projects.
  • Are you in the midst of a fiction novel and you just can’t move forward? Then jump to the good part. You know the part. It’s the scene that you play over and over in your head. It’s the reason why you’re writing the story. By jumping to the good part, you’re stimulating your outlook, and you’re making the story exciting again.
  • If you just can’t write, and no scene inspires you, then read. Reading is the next best thing to writing. Read back on your own work. Oftentimes, when you read your own work, you become inspired to write more. Or better still, you can use the opportunity to proofread and revise chapters.
  • In the event that reading your own work of fiction only depresses you, then read the work of your favorite author. This is often a great motivator because it reminds you of why you became a writer in the first place. It’s also a lesson in writing. When you read the work of your favorite authors, you’re often inspired by their writing and your desire to write like them -or in some cases, better than them- grows.
  • Do you have another fictional story in mind? Start writing it. The idea of having two manuscripts in the works may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually less stressful. It allows you to chop and change from one story to another when the mood strikes you. Your writer’s block is on one story, so just take a break from it. And rather than do nothing, work on the other story. Go back and forth as it suits you. Returning to a story after a period away often provides a fresh perspective.Read motivational stories from writers, such as Stephen King’s, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. This memoir recalls King’s successes and failures, in addition to tips and advice on writing. Reading inspirational stories by successful writers motivates you to keep writing, because you’re reminded that even the most successful authors were lost for words.

Writer’s block doesn’t have to feel like a moment of failure. But you shouldn’t waste it on non-writing projects. Doing so will only cause guilt. Whatever method you choose to defeat your writer’s block, stay focused and disciplined. Think of writer’s block as an opportunity to take a break from your current project and work on another story or maybe catch up on some reading. Whatever you decide, take advantage of writer’s block, use it wisely, and it could be just what you need to make your story of fiction a success.

Best and blessings to you all.

Image Credit http://www.freedigitalphotos.net