A reader recently interviewed me for her class project, and asked for tips for beginning writers. I don’t think she’ll mind if I re-share my answers with you. 

C.J. Milbrandt

Slush Pile

Slush Pile: A publishing industry term referring to the "pile" of manuscript submissions an editor has on his or her desk (and inbox) at any given time, typically unsolicited and unagented.

Writing tips 
from Featured Author, Christa Kinde

Read, read, read.​
​Write every day. Set a concrete goal, like 500 words a day. Then meet the goal. Make it a habit.
Keep a personal journal. Practice putting your thoughts and feelings into words.Wherever you are, be all there. Pay attention. Take in everything. Notice details. Use five senses.
Ask yourself, “What if....” and chase down every, “If only....” That’s where many stories begin.
Notebooks are essential. Ideas sneak up at the strangest moments. Be ready for them.
Look closely at your favorite books/movies/TV shows. Why did you connect with the story?
Join a writing group and/or find a critique partner. Take criticism graciously and learn from it.
​Participate in NaNoWriMo every November. Amaze yourself.

Christa Kinde

Be sure to check out the rest of the Threshold Series and Christa Kinde’s other works!

The Blue Door, by Christa Kinde

Zondervan, $14.99 (ebook $7.99)

In the first installment of the Threshold series, Prissie Pomeroy discovers she can see angels around her--some she has known her whole life--as humans! Why the sudden ability to see? Not even the angels guarding her know why, or what plans God has in store for Prissie. But the angels doknow only that others are taking notice in Prissie and her large family. As the spiritual battle around them unfolds, protection around the Pomeroy's continues to increase.      

As editor for the Threshold Series, Christa's manuscript was on my desk when I first arrived at Zondervan. Before we agreed to publish the series, I presented it to our publication board three times, Christa and I and her agent went back and forth for nearly two years before a contract was delivered. 

I have to say the more I read, the more impressed I became with the literary depths of the series. Little by little, the plot unfolds. Bits and pieces of story are revealed, characters are developed over time and revealed as the lives of the characters intersect. As an author, I wondered if Christa had spent years developing the story arc. When I first asked, I was amazed when she told me it took her just under two years. 

Now having worked with Christa, this no longer surprises me. She is an excellent writer who challengers herself and writes quickly. She's innovative, resourceful, and she knows publishing. 

I love the process of perfecting a story, and this is one I really enjoyed reading and working on. The story's suspense builds, especially when we get behind-the-scene glimpses into the heavenly realms, from the angels' points of view. This is a complex, literary read, and one that I highly recommend.

The Threshold Series