Category : Uncategorized

  • October 22, 2010

    They say I'll be dancing again very soon …


    Calvin and Hobbes Happy Dance Seriously.

    So many people have written to ask about me; wondering how my back is, specifically. Thanks. It makes me want to do the happy dance, knowing that people have been concerned, and especially to know that people have been praying for me while I've been recovering from what we are now referring to as the "sweater incident."

    I spent the first week essentially horizontal, drugged up, and wiped out. 

    Last week I was working on getting vertical again, but still on meds. I had some pretty good stretches of time when I felt capable of getting back to work, but I'll admit, I had a hard time finding the drive. That's when my mother reminded me that the brain is a muscle, too. I tried to take that as permission to not engage in too many projects requiring mental heavy lifting.

    I think it was Tuesday of this week  that I began to realize just  how far behind I'd gotten on promised submissions, returned phone calls, mail, email, and bookkeeping. And that injuring oneself not long after being out of the office for a week-long conference is havoc on the follow up.

    But now I'm feeling much better, playing a pretty solid round of catch up, and happy to say that I think I'm done whining. 

    Pretty sure my family and clients are happy about that too.

    Just thought you'd like to know…



    Continue Reading "They say I'll be dancing again very soon …"
  • October 12, 2010



    Secret Cove, Maui BIG NEWS … Sandra is sitting upright again!

    Chip says it's age which caused my back to go out for no good reason last week. I say it's the onset of cold weather since I was reaching into my closet for a sweater. And it wasn't even a heavy sweater! Anyway, just more motivation for me to move to Maui. 

    Until then …



    Lacy Williams is writing MARRYING MISS MARSHAL, her first book for Steeple Hill.

    Jay Patleitner has signed with Harvest House to write three more books following his recent title, 52 THINGS KIDS NEED FROM A DAD.

    CATCH A FALLING STAR by Lynette Sowell was recently sold to Barbour.



    Sandra is teaching at the upcoming Nov 6-7 Indiana Christian Writers conference sponsored by Wesleyan Publishing.

    On November 6th, Chip is teaching a proposal seminar in Richmond, Virginia. Spaces are available…

    Well-known writer Alton Gansky has put together a strong faculty for his intimate, new-style writing conference, coming up October 18-22 in New Mexico. If you’d like to meet people in the industry, but are a bit intimidated by one of those 500-attendee gatherings, check out what he’s doing at the Southwest Christian Writers Studio:

    Sandra has been invited to join faculty at the San Diego State University conference January 28-30, 2011; Florida Christian Writers conference March 2-6, 2011; and  Mt. Hermon, April 14-19, 2011.


    Anita Higman and Irene Brand's Summerside Press title LOVE FINDS YOU UNDER THE MISTLETOE, is going into its second printing after only one month. 

    Theresa Flores has teamed with actress Abigal Mason and producer Dan Paulson to produce a movie of the week based on her teen sex-trafficking memoir THE SLAVE ACROSS THE STREET. It is currently being pitched to networks.

    Poppy Smith will be the main speaker at Oregon Christian Writer's Fall conference this weekend.




    Susan Meissner's LADY IN WAITING
    Continue Reading "NEWSDAY TUESDAY …"
  • August 18, 2010


    If you think of it, please pray for Claire, the infant daughter of authors Chris Coppernoll and Christa Parish. She's in Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, and needs heart surgery asap. Thanks.

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  • July 7, 2010

    Waiting. Waiting. And Waiting some more …


    Winter 2010 headshot News around here is that publishing is operating at a s-l-o-w-e-r than its usual s-l-o-w pace now for a few weeks. I'm trying to take advantage of this by catching up on submission reading. And I'm getting there, though still working every day to move projects along as well. And I'm also breaking into sudden fits of cleaning out closets, drawers, bookshelves, cupboards. 

    I was thinking today how hard it is to wait on others to make decisions that will impact your immediate, and possibly long-term future. When I worked as a freelancer I constantly queried editors, sent articles out on spec, responded to editing suggestions, and then waited on others to tell me what my next step might be regarding an assignment. While I liked having multiple projects going because it represented income and productivity, truth be told, I preferred the finished project – and not just for the paycheck, but because I simply like having things settled. Put away.

    I'm a very organized person by nature. Not as in all-my-pencils-lined-up-in-a-row and all-my-spices- alphabetized organized, but I like to know where my stuff is. Don't like an excess of it to distract me or waste my time, and I LOATHE looking for things. I like things in their places. Like my Monopoly pieces lined up straight and my money tucked in a neat stack, ready for quick access in case an opportunity arises to buy St. James, another Railroad, or YES!, Boardwalk!

    In my role as an agent, I have finally come to a sort of tacit understanding with the reality that I will now always have open loops hanging over my head; I will always have projects in indifferent stages, sometimes out at multiple places, and often completely out of my hands in regard to the final decision.

    And I have had to make peace with knowing that I'll constantly in a state of waiting to hear back

    Continue Reading "Waiting. Waiting. And Waiting some more …"
  • June 29, 2010



    Winter 2010 headshot

    With a lot of general market editors at the  Library Convention and CBA editors (and Chip) off at ICRS, it's been quiet around here. Or as quiet as it can be when you work from home, have decided to finally prepare your office for re-flooring, and kids are around begging for food, rides, friends, screen time, food, chores (yes, they beg for chores – when the word "bored" leaves their lips that's what I hear) and food. 

    We're pulling together a kids book swap in the neighborhood next week – it's encouraging that though we're in a neighborhood rich with pre-teen boys, they are all avid readers. I'm looking forward to hearing the discussions these guys have about their favorite authors — they get SO passionate about everything at this age. Personally, I've just started reading LITTLE BEE by Chris Cleave. Just into it, but I think it's going to be a gripper. 

    I'm also working hard to get through submissions – some I've held on for way too long, admittedly. It's hard for me to admit I simply can't take on everything, but I'm coming around. It is nice that we now have Amanda on board to take a look at projects as well, though she's received over 500 submissions since we announced adding her to our staff. Obviously she's going to be slow in getting back to folks, so y'all be patient, k?

    At this point I'm reading submissions from about three months back. If you've not heard from me and I'd offered to take a look (spare me, please, if you sent me a query beginning "Dear Agent," or some other randomness and are wondering why I haven't bothered to answer you ) please feel free to write me and check in. It could be that I've decided to decline your work but didn't have the common decency to let you know about my decision (sorry, it happens

    Continue Reading "NEWSDAY TUESDAY …"
  • June 22, 2010



    Winter 2010 headshot  

    The sun came out today! (Exclamation point intended.) Seriously. Around here, lately, that's very big news.
    But I know YOU didn't come here to talk about the weather. You're wondering if we have any news. 

    WHY YES, WE DO ...
    -Irene Hannon is again on the CBA bestseller list.
    -Susan Meissner's SHAPE OF MERCY is on the top ten list of Kindle bestsellers. 
    - Carla Stewart's CHASING LILACS (just out from FaithWords on June 17th) is enjoying front table exposure at Barnes and Noble bookstores across the country this month. Also, Kathy Patrick, the creator of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club has invited Stewart to participate in the Books Alive weekend held in Jefferson, TX in November as an inspirational author. And, CHASING LILACS is a November selection for Pulpwood's Splinters Book Club – books Kathy recommends for readers from Young Adult and up. We are as excited about the exposure for Carla's book as she is humbled by the opportunities it is opening up for her. Way to go, Carla.

    Melanie Dobson will be doing another book with the Love Finds You line of Summerside Press.
    Jeremy Kingsley is doing a non-fiction title with Bethany House, GETTING BACK UP WHEN LIFE KNOCKS YOU DOWN.
    Harvest House is releasing Poppy Smith's new non-fiction title, tentatively titled WHY CAN'T HE BE MORE LIKE ME.

    The Christy Awards are this Saturday, and we have three authors up for awards:
    - Kaye Dacus in Contemporary Romance for STAND IN GROOM
    - Lisa Samson in Contemporary Stand-Alone Novels for THE PASSION OF MARY MARGARET
    - Mark Mynheir in Suspense for THE NIGHT WATCHMAN
    Also, the International Christian Retailer's Show (ICRS) takes place next week in St. Louis. MacGregor Literary authors Arloa Sutter, Jay Payleitner, Carla Stewart, will be signing books.
    Speaking of ICRS, something we can all be looking forward to next week is Chip's choice of the 
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  • June 12, 2010


    In this discussion about the writing life, I think there are a number of factors for an author consider. One is the notion of CONCEPT — for all their talent, is the book idea big enough? Is it salable? Is there a market for it? Is it significant?

    Another is the notion of CRAFT — even if an author has a million-dollar concept, does he or she have the talent to turn it into a good book? Can they learn to do so? Do they have the voice and tone and ability to make it work?

    A third is the notion of CREATION, or "art," if you will — that quality that sets apart the good from the great. Even if they take classes and attend conferences and practice, will they ever really be good enough? The best authors have a spark, a unique creative voice that rises above other writers. Some people are just born with that, perhaps others learn it, but there are definitely authors who stand out.

    Look at it this way: I love baseball, and when I practice I'm better than when I don't practice, but no matter how many years I played and practiced, I was never going to be good enough to really be a professional baseball player. I'd love to be great ballplayer — I have the passion and the desire, and some basic skills, but I'm never going to reach that level because, in the end, I don't have the talent. That's a hard truth, and one some writers may have to face.

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  • June 1, 2010



    Winter 2010 headshot LOTS O' NEWS, so I'll get right to it:  



    Carla Stewart’s long awaited novel CHASING LILACS (FaithWords, a division of Hachette) is coning soon. With this book having received what her publicist calls the publicity Triple Crown: a starred Review in Publisher's Weekly; Library Journal Review; and 4 1/2 Stars in Romantic Times, plus a very nice review in Christian Retailing, we’re very happy for Carla, of course.  CHASING LILACS is available now at B&N or Amazon and due in stores June 17th.


    The 30th annual RWA National Convention takes place this July in Orlando, Florida where authors will receive awards in writing contests. Several MacGregor Literary authors are in the running …

    Nominees for For Faith, Hope and Love’s chapter award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award:

    -Linore Rose Burkhard’s THE HOUSE IN GROSVENOR SQUARE (Harvest House), Long Historical.

    -Jenny B. Jones’ JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME (Thomas Nelson), Long Contemporary.

    -Mindy Starns Clark, SHADOWS OF LANCASTER COUNTY (Harvest House), Romantic Suspense.

    Bookseller’s Best Award, sponsored by the Greater Detroit chapter of RWA, has nominated


    -Irene Hannon’s AN EYE FOR AN EYE (Revell, a division of Baker Publishishing Group), Mystery/Suspense.

    The winners will be announced at receptions during the RWA conference in Orlando.

    – Also, the 2010 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence has announced Irene Hannon as finalist in Inspirational Romantic Mystery/Suspense for both AGAINST ALL ODDS AND an EYE FOR AN EYE (Revell).


    Melanie Dobson wrote a feature article, WRITE WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW about the merits of solid research for current edition of CFOM (Christian Fiction Online Magazine.)


    Best selling author Susan May Warren and Chip MacGregor are scheduled to teach a seminar entitled WRITING BESTSELLING FICTION in Denver on June 18-19. Spaces are still available. For more information about this event, and a list of reasons why you hard working fiction authors can't

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  • May 11, 2010

    Newsday Tuesday … But Not Yet …


    Winter 2010 headshot

    The big news today is that the close of this year's BAD POETRY CONTEST is imminent.

    In honor of all the wretched rhyming, the overworn words, the meandering metaphors, I'm suspending posting any other news until next week because I can barely stand the thought of it coming to an end.

    Somehow moving on with regular business just doesn't seem right until we learn who this year's winner is. How will we ever sleep?

    Oh the uproarious nonsense that has been spewed upon the page in the name of bad art. The offenses are too numerous to count. You've all contributed in a profound way to the madness. And you've contributed to my sanity. It's been a crazy week for me, and I personally want to thank you all for keeping me sane.

    Who, oh who, will it be?

    Continue Reading "Newsday Tuesday … But Not Yet …"