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Sheila dreams of becoming a professional writer, but her conservative farmer dad sees no reason for her to attend college. Then it seems as though fate has smiled on her when Dan Gray proposes marriage and promises to help her earn a college degree. But Dan’s personal agenda subverts her chances of fulfilling her ambition. The longing never dies, however, and when destiny intervenes to give Sheila a chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity to take a shot at getting published, she risks everything and dives in…only to encounter some stunning twists and turns she never anticipated, never prepared for, and never even imagined she’d have to confront.
-Back Cover of PSEUDONYM
For a long while now, I’ve known and admired Diana Savage as a fellow member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association. She’s worked with Dennis (or as we all know him, Doc) Hensley for years and our organization has been blessed to have him as our guest speaker at one of our conferences. I was so excited to hear that they were collaborating on a novel together, and I’m pleased to announce that it’s completed.
Now, let’s get to know a little about Diana and Doc:
Why did you choose to collaborate on this book?
Doc: I’ve written with several female coauthors before writing with Diana Savage. Holly G. Miller, former editor of The Saturday Evening Post, and I wrote a three-part mystery-romance series and one sci-fi novel for Harvest House in the mid-1980s, and Holly and I also coauthored two writing textbooks, Write on Target (The Writer, Inc.) and The Freelance Writer’s Handbook (Harper-Collins). I also coauthored Writing for Religious and Other Specialty Markets (Broadman-Holman) with Rose A. Adkins, former associate editor of Writer’s Digest. I coauthored a textbook with Pamela Rice Hahn titled Alpha Teach Yourself Grammar and Style in 24 Hours (Macmillan).
Do you write fiction, nonfiction, or both?
Diana: Each of us writes both fiction and nonfiction.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Diana: We’re both traditionally published.
What did your process look like for writing together?
Doc: Diana Savage brings marvelous skills to our writing partnership. She is organized, tech-savvy, solid on mechanical writing elements, gifted at brainstorming plot ideas, and blessed with a great sense of humor. She has been my webmaster for several years. I always turn over my columns and articles and features to her. She comes up with editing suggestions, format concepts, and content additions. Last summer I turned over the entire website material to her and asked her to form it into a textbook, which she did a phenomenal job of. That book is titled, Finding Success with Your Dream Writing Projects, and it will be published this August by Bold Vision Books, carrying our bylines as coauthors.
Pseudonym was a different matter entirely, however. I had already written the original complete draft of the novel more than 20 years ago, but Christian publishers felt it was too edgy for their readers at the time. The book is direct in facing such issues as addictive gambling, insurance fraud, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and the psychological abuse of women. I filed the book away and “rediscovered it” a couple of years ago. I read it with fresh eyes and, again, felt it was a powerful story. I gave it to Diana to read, both as a topnotch proofreader and copyeditor and as a person who had faced personal elements of psychological abuse earlier in her life. She thought the story was wonderful, but we both realized that some of the elements of the plot were now 20 years out of date.
Diana offered to work with me in doing a new version of the book, and I could immediately see the value of her input. We became coauthors. Diana has credentials in counseling, so I heeded her insights on the needs and hopes of depressed women. Diana also used her research skills to modernize parts of the plot that involved airport security.
We seldom see each other face to face, but we use e-mail and attached files a lot. In writing the novel, we were both at a West Coast writers’ conference for three days, so we virtually took over the hotel’s business center and wrote and edited and revised and transcribed sections of our manuscript every minute we were not teaching. Diana has also been a visiting professor during the January term where I work at Taylor University, so we have had those opportunities to sit and puzzle out aspects of character motivation, narrative momentum, and plot resolution.
How do you market your books?
Diana: Via his wide network of friends and contacts, Dr. Hensley promotes his books on radio, TV, and newspaper/magazine interviews, as well as in his personal appearances. I use our websites and social media, along with my own personal appearances, to let people know about our writing.
Would you choose to co-author with another writer again on a future project?
Doc: In writing the sequel to Pseudonym, Diana and I have been able to work together to create an entirely new plot, not just an updating of something I had previously written. Her skills at outlining a book help me stay on target in creating specific scenes, and her input on elements of dialogue and setting is spot-on. She wrote the lead to the new book, and I loved it. We’re well on our way in writing what has the working title of Exposure.
Where can readers find your books?
Diana: On a wide variety of online sites, including Amazon, and in bookstores across the country.
Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, chair of the professional writing department at Taylor University in Upland, IN, is the author of more than 60 books and 3,500 newspaper and magazine articles, as well as stage plays, musicals, and film scripts. A recognized authority on 20th-century author Jack London and a columnist for Christian Communicator Dr. Hensley is popular speaker at writers conferences worldwide. He also serves as judge for all three of the major Christian writing competitions: ECPA Christian Book Awards, Christy Fiction Awards, and Evangelical Press Association Awards.
Diana Savage has written or contributed to 11 books and has published more than 100 articles, short stories, and poems. The principal at Savage Creative Services, LLC, Diana speaks at a variety of venues and directs the annual Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference. She earned her BA degree from Northwest University and her Master’s degree from Bakke Graduate University. She has served on the board of directors of four nonprofits, as director of women’s ministries at a large West Coast church, and as development officer for a ministry to homeless children and their families.
Where to find PSEUDONYM: