Categories
Memory House Publishing

Family Secrets: To tell or not to tell

My new novel, A Promise to Break, which will be released in June 2016, is based on a true story. Some family secrets will be exposed. Is that good or bad? I’ve talked with living family members involved and assured them I don’t mean any harm, but how do I disclose information without hurting feelings? Where do I draw the line?

IMG_0629

First, I tried to address the disclosures with grace, not in an ugly, malicious or sensationalist way. And there are ways to do that, without hiding the facts, but by revealing deeper motives, hurts and struggles. We all have secrets, some best left unspoken, and some helpful to other people going through the same scrapes in life. Second, I had to choose carefully what and when to expose confidences and when to let those awkward issues lie buried in the past.

Why do we keep secrets anyway? Maybe we don’t want to hurt someone else, we don’t think anyone cares, or we’re flat-out embarrassed. Face it; some things are better left unsaid.

At my niece’s bridal shower last week, I thought about advice one would give a new bride. Do you tell her that relationships are difficult? Nah, probably not the best time to express that. But I really wanted to say that we shouldn’t keep secrets from our spouses. It’s easy to do when we we’re either hurt or have done something foolish again.

For example, this past week, I backed into a van, dropped and destroyed my phone, and failed to get the oil changed in the car when I said I would. All those things I wanted to put off telling my husband. Even more serious, what about the times my feelings are hurt? Maybe it’s just me, but I might pout, nag or turn a cold shoulder. After all, I’m tempted just like anyone else. And we do tend to keep our hurts secret.

What does the Bible teach about secrets? That’s a lengthy study, but many people’s weaknesses are exposed in the Bible. Remember David and his lusty affair? Moses and his disobedience? However, all secrets are not revealed in the Bible. There would be too many to list. So it appears that when a secret is beneficial to us, the reader, then at the appropriate time and place, it’s proper to disclose.

There are no secrets from God, Psalm 44:21, for He knows our hearts. But there are fitting times and places to reveal our vices. The goal is to glorify what God has done through our weaknesses.

I have tried to incorporate Psalm 102:18 into my writing. “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” May anything I write offer praise to God, even the family secrets in A Promise to Break.

You are loved, Kathryn

Categories
Memory House Publishing

Using Pinterest for my business

I love Pinterest, so I’ve found a way to use it with my new company, Memory House Publishing. I can “pin” pictures and ideas all in one place. See my company ideas at https://www.pinterest.com/kspurg1/  or look for my name on Pinterest. I have also used it to help with realistic pictures of the 30’s and 40’s, the time when my historical novel is set.

Instead of saying I’m addicted to Pinterest, I might say, “I’m brainstorming!” For example, when decorating a room or designing our someday cabin, I can put ideas in one place, find them again (which is helpful on the internet), and compare different ideas.

Or when I’m sitting on my back porch planning one of my famous cousins’ camps for my twelve grandkids, I can tag almost anything. Our summer camp theme varies from year to year – last year we had a circus theme. The camp projects get out of hand, as my dear husband says, but hey, I love researching and keeping the pictures and sites all in one place. I might use the ideas and I might not.

So we’re trying to come up with a picture to represent our Memory House website. I put ideas on Pinterest. A rocking chair on a front porch overlooking a field or ocean is one idea. A book. A house. A door. All ideas I’m considering. Let me know what you think.

For encouragement I pin Bible verses like “You fill me with joy!” Psalm 16:7. And a quote I found and pinned is, “We forget facts, we remember stories.” Yes! A quote to motivate the writers among us.

I told you this company stuff was fun. kathryn

Categories
Memory House Publishing

Ask for help when starting a new endeavor!

2015 12 10 (1)1
Kathryn & Bonnie Lanthripe

Starting a business means getting a lot of advice. Although I’ve run companies in the past, I still need to find experts who can help me with planning and implementing. None of us know everything, especially me. In fact, I have little experience in the book publishing business. Maybe I should not admit that! I worked in the oil and gas, medical, and prison industries. Every industry has their own lingo and way to do business. I know how to handle finances, etc. and how to produce a good book, but I know little about selling books, so I have been doing a lot of researching.

What I really want to stress is that none of us should be above asking for help, especially as we undertake new endeavors. Learn. Learn. Learn. Especially in a changing world like ours. Especially in the book business.

Since beginning a new company, I’ve had coffee with many published authors, editors, and writing friends. All have offered helpful advice. Yesterday, Bonnie Lanthripe and I ate lunch at Java Dave’s, and I had my new favorite sandwich, a bacon, avocado, and cream cheese on wheat! Bonnie has a book on Amazon and is working on her second book! Look her up.

I went to SCORE, part of the U.S. Small Business Association. They offer free small business advice and I’m glad I went. Linda Parker, a SCORE mentor, guided me with questions I had not considered before, directed me to pertinent websites, and prodded me to write a long term business plan. I will meet with her again as things progress. Thank you, Linda.

If you are considering delving into some new business, I recommend you talk with SCORE. But don’t stop there, research on the internet, talk to people in your field, and attend webinars or seminars on the subjects you need.

Keep on trucking. And little by little, with God’s help, we can get this!

You are loved, kathryn

Categories
Memory House Publishing

Build an awesome team!

Team picture2When I decided to begin publishing, I knew I needed some expert assistants. I don’t know everything, so I wanted someone to assist me, someone who knew more than I did. For me, but maybe not for all companies, this was one of first things to do. Find help!

I put an ad on craigslist.com for an editorial assistant. Maybe not the best way to find help, as my sweet husband noted, but it worked. I received 45 applicants!  I read every cover letter and resume. Made a list to keep track of them. Started marking through the impossibles, like the no-writing-experience bartender and the over-experienced-in their-field phlebotomist.  Narrowed my search down to 6 people to interview and called them in.

At the interviews, I laid out my mass of material for a start-up company. One question I asked, since all my work is Christian, was if it bothered them if our publishing would be Christian. All expressed that a Christian company was good, even preferable.  I was impressed with them, with their background and especially their excitement to help build something inspiring and viable. So I hired not just one, but four people! Experienced in different areas. One quit the first week. That leaves three contract employees, and a long-time editor friend who has offered to help out.

I would like to introduce my awesome team: Bonnie Lanthripe, Amber Beaman, Gina Dabney and Clay Milford. This well-rounded team has talent/skills and experience in writing, editing, business, marketing and much more! We met just before Thanksgiving and the meeting was fun, fast-paced with ideas and brainstorming and designs and concepts bouncing around. I loved it.

May God do as He wishes with our efforts.Kathryn

Categories
Memory House Publishing

Follow me as I start a publishing company

2015 11 1 (128)

At my home office.

I woke up one morning a few weeks ago and decided to start a company. Yep, it was that quick of a decision. However, I do have some background that is supportive.

I have amassed a monumental amount of writings, most of which sits in my closet unpublished. I have a few books ready to go, among them, a historical novel, a memoir, and a book about the women in jail I counseled and what they taught me. I also have children’s books that need an illustrator. Not to mention 4,901 poems (I kept them all, good and bad ones!). Much more of my work awaits completion and/or revision. So what to do with this mass of writing?

I am a retired CPA and have owned a company before. When I retired, I took college classes in creative writing, read books on writing techniques, and went to writing conferences. Learned a lot.

Over the past twelve years, our Henderson Hills Baptist writing team collected, edited and compiled eight books. The Heart Books series include stories/poems/devotionals of what God has done through people. We published some amazing stories reflecting God’s love.

Putting all this together, it seems reasonable to begin a company. But what about funding? Doesn’t it take money to begin a company? My father passed away last year and left me a decent inheritance. I think he would be proud if he knew I was trying to put it to good use. I want to do my best to obey God each day, and follow wherever this leads.

The next step after deciding to begin a company is to come up with a name. Memory House Publishing already has a Twitter and Facebook account! I hope to show you a website soon! This has been a blast! I plan to share more with you as we go along!

You are loved,
Kathryn