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

    Fuel the Writer: Confidence from a Conference

    I know someone who finished a manuscript and shared the premise with me. “Isn’t that the best book you’ve ever heard about?” I read the Optimist’s first chapter and, well…not so much. I know someone who finished a manuscript and shared the premise with me. “I know it’s not very good, but I wrote it and decided it would be a shame if no one read it, so could you maybe take a peek at the first chapter? You will probably loathe it, though. Detest it. Abhor it.” I read the walking Thesaurus’s entire manuscript and couldn’t put it down. Both kinds of people were looking for feedback, and both…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Build the Heart of a Writer

    On my property is a miniature barn. In the darkest corner, an old chest sits. If someone found the chest, the hinges would creak as they opened the lid. Inside are stacks of papers. Each document is covered in secret codes. Except they’re not codes. That’s my handwriting.  Those pages record the secret paths to publication and writing success, all the information I gathered from writing conferences. In hindsight, the research wasn’t a hidden path, and the information didn’t give me writing success. I needed the information for context and scope. Through the conferences, I learned the language of the publishers. So, what is the secret to publication? What is your journey…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    The Truth About Authors’ Characters

    We’re writers, so, characters are important. In fact, our characters are so real that our spouses are jealous, parents are confused, children are impatient, and siblings avoid us in the hallway. Characters hold immense significance. However, it’s crucial not to overlook the absurdity of our situation. Our imaginary friends, while captivating, should not overshadow our real relationships, which are equally, if not more, important.  Here are a few practical tips for managing the coexistence of the real and imaginary worlds within your mind. Stay calm, especially when you’ve had a eureka moment for your character. Jumping up in a church missions meeting and yelling, “So that’s why your promiscuous behavior…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Envy: Destroyer of Worlds

    The writer’s journey is an individual path. Comparing your career to other writers is dangerous because envy creeps into your heart and threatens to hold you back. Here are three warnings and three points of encouragement as you travel your writing path. Don’t:1.  Compare careers. Writing journeys vary. Your unique experience is yours alone, and your trials and circumstances show in your work, creating a work of passion that only one person could write—you. Comparisons are entirely fruitless, for if the experience is different, then the outcomes must be distinct. Of course, you will have different characters and stories, a unique book cover that doesn’t look like theirs, and various fans.…

  • 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.…