Peter Leavell, a graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and a MA in English Literature, was the 2011 winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest and 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best award for First-Time Author, along with multiple other awards. An author, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband, and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter’s books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Show and Tell in Your Novel

    In our novels, we share forbidden secrets and mists of the heart. How? My best friend from high school, Brandon, lived five miles from my house. He was considered a bit of a loose cannon, and his exploits are legendary in my family. His car, The Blue Beast, was as famous as he is. When he opened his car door (the lock didn’t need a key) and turned the ignition (which also didn’t need a key), we could hear the engine roar from our house. One night, I hosted a sleepover, and as young men are wont to do, we craved food at 2:00 AM. Brandon and my brother decided…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Grammar Police: You are Under a Rest

    What if there were grammar police? Imagine having a bench warrant for your arrest based on the syntax you murdered in your Facebook post. Perhaps you robbed the preposition store because you couldn’t afford a direct object? Or worse, you played Hallmark cards and cheated using a split infinitive. The rules are in place for a reason. There is a minimum expectation that you will understand what I write. The entire enterprise is pounded into our brains, starting with some must-watch viewing: Sesame Street. This blog is brought to you by the letter W and the number 6. When we follow the rules, our idea or story is clear. Stephen…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Historical Novels: You Can Write One!

    Epic historical fiction comes in many shapes and is usually the same size—long. They are challenging to write, and many readers find the genre an acquired taste. But what sets aside these tomes of sagacity from other categories? And can you find them in the Christian market? Let’s take a moment and define epic historical fiction. The novel is about crises. Society cannot tolerate disorder, so we give power to specific groups of people so that order can be reached and maintained. In other words, in the United States, we vote for a president and give the person the power to send off our armies or write a check to…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    The Well-Read Writer Becomes an Author

    What tools are vital for an author? Mine are a laptop, headphones, caffeine, a canvas grey jacket with a white T-shirt, faded jeans, Olukai Hawaiian shoes, and two-day stubble I’ll shave soon. I can’t write without them. However, no tool is more essential than my writer’s library.  Every great writer has curated a personal library. Their library is so valuable that when they die, people take down the titles and publish the list so we can read what the author studied. So, as a famous writer, you must collect books and be the curator of your library. Need better justification? Ten Reasons Why You Should Have An Extensive Home Library 1…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Diary of a Novelist

    Day 1: Fingertips brush against the keys and heart throbs as every thought shivers through the future. Imaginings thunder as the story beckons the muses of old. Chocolate never tasted so good. Day 2: Someone hacked the computer and turned poetry into gibberish. A toddler, indeed, yes. Tomorrow, perhaps it can be salvaged. Day 3: Salvaged, but after a second glance, the toddler’s ideas weren’t so bad. Maybe it’ll be published someday. Day 7: Three thousand words! Done? Blah. Books are around 75,000 words. I’ve consumed the first pound of chocolate. Semisweet, Semiconscious. Day 18: Took the day off writing and feel like *********. Won’t take a day off again.…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Clarity and New Years Resolutions

    My New Year’s resolution is to write clearly. Emails, social media posts, and novels need clarity. After some research, I’ve pulled together the top ways to keep readers from second-guessing meaning and working too hard on deciphering content. Before you sit down to write: When you begin: When you are finished writing: After you hit send to the editor or your audience, you do your best editing. This is because you’re able to see your text through their eyes. Before hitting send, consider having one or two people review your Facebook posts, blogs, and novels. One last thought. Monitor reactions to your writing and file their responses to mull over…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    The Writer’s Christmas Spirit

    Christmas is a time to reflect on the holiday spirit and what it means to be a writer. And no one can speak on the subject quite like Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol is a tale about a grumpy man named Ebenezer Scrooge who loves business and money, not in that particular order. He likes them so much he’s a detriment to society. To fix the problem, the Cosmic powers send three well-meaning ghosts who show him the true spirit of Christmas. They look at the lives of others in the past, present, and future. The intervention works. He changes to incorporate love and tenderness into his manner and business.…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Learn How to Write Good/Well

    There’s no perfect approach when you decide to learn how to write a novel. When baseball and softball players train to bat, they ask for various pitches to expand their hitting ability. If all they prepared for was a fastball down the middle, the batter could only hit when pitches were strikes over the plate. The same is true when learning to write a book. You’ll fully develop your skillset if you learn how to write from various sources. I’ve included a few ways to learn your craft and stay relevant to your writing. Change how you educate yourself to fit your needs in response to your life circumstances. The…