Knowing the Author

Really getting to know someone is vital in any relationship. This includes our relationship with God. When we read His Word, we get to know Him and learn about His character, His love for us, and what He hates. His Word may be made up of many different accounts of different people, but it shows us just Who God is, that He’s real. Leeann Betts shares with us how this knowledge helped shape her online presence and writing. Read on…

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Knowing the Author
by Leeann Betts

I’ve recently been revamping my social media, mainly because now I have to do it myself. But this is a good thing, because I’d created a monster that got out of control.

When I sat down and looked at my social media plan, which really was “if it’s not working, do more,” I realized something very important: I’d completely left God out of my plan. (Thank you, wise husband, for pointing this out to me).

As I prayed about this, a scripture verse came to mind: “The right word spoken at the right time is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl” (Proverbs 25:11, NCV).

bible-839093_640I thought about that for a while, and the Lord spoke to my heart: “When you think of Me as Author, what do you want to know about Me?”

The answer was easy: I wanted to know God had written the Bible for me. That if nobody else read it, it was still worth writing. I wanted to know that I could learn about God through His book. And that when I meet Him in person, He will be exactly how I pictured Him from His book.

I saw where God was going with this: readers want to know that the author of the book they’re reading is real, that the author cares about them as an individual, not just as a cash cow. They want to believe they can get to know me through my books, and that if they meet me at a party and talk to me, they’ll say, “You are exactly how I thought you’d be.”

When we write authentically, our readers know more about who we are because we are in some of our characters through their worldviews, beliefs, and actions.

When we write authentically, we are writing with one single reader in mind. Our books should point the reader to God first, and then hopefully our stories solve a problem, fill a need, or encourage and entertain. And a really great book, like the one God wrote for you, will do all of these things.

So when readers read my books, I hope they learn that I love numbers almost to theread-515531_640 exclusion of everything else; that I trust numbers more than people because numbers never change; that I don’t much like to exercise; and that I strive to be a submissive wife to my husband but I still struggle with that.

And maybe they’ll also see that I wish I were more like Carly: quicker to jump in to help; quick on the comebacks; and not take myself so seriously.

Because really, in some way, even if it’s below the surface, the stories we write should contain some of ourselves.

God’s book did.

***

aaaUnbalanced Final with Custom GreenJoin Carly Turnquist, forensic accountant, who is in the midst of planning her son’s wedding when she sees a bank robbery nobody else admits seeing. When the news hits the national stations, her credibility is called into question. Then her husband’s long-lost brother shows up, but disappears soon after, leaving behind his young son. Carly is set to testify in a huge trial, but if she cannot be believed, she cannot give evidence. Can she salvage her tattered career—and her reputation—before someone tries to silence her forever?

***

IMG_6534 Juggling the books - smallerLeeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. No Accounting for Murder and There Was a Crooked Man, books 1 and 2 in her By the Numbers series, released in the fall of 2015 and Book 3, Unbalanced, released in January. Book 4, Five and Twenty Blackbirds, is due in April, with more planned for later dates. If you like accountants or are an accountant, check out Counting the Days: a 21-day devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk. Leeann and Donna have penned a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, and Donna has published a book of short stories, Second Chances and Second Cups. You can follow Leeann at www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com and Donna at www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com . All books are available at Amazon.com in digital and print, and at Smashwords.com in digital.

***

Let’s talk about it: Even if you’re not a writer, Leeann has some very wise words here. When you’re writing or on social media, are you allowing others to meet and know the real you? How does the example God gave us in His Word guide you into being more authentic?Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Before you go, if you’re local, I’d love to invite you to join me at the Oakview Barnes &
Noble
 today from 1-4pm where I’ll be signing books. Pop by to say hi and grab a mocha at the store cafe!

If you live in Lincoln, I’ll be in your area next Saturday at the SouthPointe Barnes & Noble, signing books from 2-3pm. I’d love to see you there!

And if you’re within driving distance, I do hope you’ll join me at the Wordsowers Conference where I’ll be teaching how one can craft characters that grab hold of readers on a deeply emotional level.

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Who Says Accountants Can’t Write?

 

ID-100222653Have you ever wished you could hide under your office desk, indefinitely? Maybe that niggling of frustration could be the start of something good. Like a daydream that never ends until, well… Read Leann Betts post below.

Numbers Don’t Change by Leeann Betts

“I prefer numbers to people, because numbers don’t change.”

I’d made this statement after a particularly hard day at work. I didn’t really mean it—at least, not in the global sense of not liking people. I simply didn’t much like people that day.

I was trained as an accountant, completing a business degree in college, but my love for numbers started as a child. I counted everything. And if on the second count wasn’t the same as the first, I counted again. And if it was the same, I counted again just to confirm once more.

Neurotic, perhaps.

I counted ceiling tiles, floor tiles, cracks in the sidewalk, squares on someone’s shirt or tie. I counted people in restaurants, cars in parking lots, birds in flocks.

But if there was one thing I liked more than numbers, it was mysteries. Nancy Drew, Hardydetective-788592_1920 Boys Bobbsey Twins. And then as I got older, Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. I liked the old-fashioned mysteries where the good guy always wins and the bad guy always get caught.

So about ten years ago, I heard about National Novel Writing Month, and I wondered if I had just one book in me. One, that’s all I wanted to write.

And since I figured I should write what I know, I decided on a mystery that included an accountant.

Talk about autobiographical.

So I started writing. On November 11th. Already behind. I wrote like a fiend trying to catch up and then to keep up, because I am very competitive, very badge-oriented, and there was a badge to be won when I completed this challenge. Notice I said ‘when’ and not ‘if’.

I had no idea about plotting or character arc. I just wrote a story that had been tumbling around my head for a few years. I got to the last three chapters and had no idea whodunit. So I had to decide that, then go back and put in hints and red herrings, develop some characters a little more to make them suspects, and finish.

There are still days when I prefer numbers over people.

But thankfully, not so many as before.

***

IMG_6534  Juggling the books -midsizeLeeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. No Accounting for Murder and There Was a Crooked Man, books 1 and 2 in her By the Numbers series, recently released. Book 3, Unbalanced, releases in January, with plans for Book 4, Five and Twenty Blackbirds, due in April, with more planned for later dates. Leeann and Donna have penned a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, and Donna has published a book of short stories, Second Chances and Second Cups. You can follow Leeann at www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com and Donna at www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com . All books are available at Amazon.com in digital and print, and at Smashwords.com in digital.

No Accounting For Murder:imgres

Most people think accountants are boring. Carly Turnquist is about to prove them wrong. Join Carly, a forensic accountant, as she gets involved with a mystery business that threatens her quiet East Coast town, embezzled money, a missing mayor, and several attempts on her life. Will she live long enough to reveal who the killer is?

Purchase this book and receive a free reader incentive–the prequel to the series. Follow the link at: http://www.leeannbetts.com/2.html to read the story, Roasted Bean Counters.