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

    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…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Writing Groups and The Writer

    IdaHope Christian Writers has a writing group that comes together quite often to read, write, and fellowship. Why do established, mainstream authors suggest all writers join a writing group? Stay in a writing group, don’t give up, contribute, and you may be fortunate to find yourself like the man in the following joke: He pulled up to the charred ruins of his home. Smoke still drifted from the possessions they spent years accumulating. She stood out front, a pan of burned biscuits in her hand, a cell phone in the other. She sobbed. “I’m sorry. I put biscuits in the oven. The phone rang. It was your agent. And then…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    The Novelist Entertainer

    Jerry Jenkins once told me the number one rule of the novelist is never to bore the reader. As a novelist, you have one job—to entertain. “Yet,” someone may point out, “I’m a Christian novelist.” Indeed, you are. And to bring forward a good Christian moral is vital, to offer a moral of hope and redemption. However, you can’t bring forward a moral if no one will read your book. “I’m American,” some might add. “My Puritan background means seriousness is a Fruit of the Spirit. How does that jive with entertainment?” Ah, a dilemma. How do we make a morality tale entertaining? Look to the Bible. Literally. You can’t…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Garlic Ice Cream and the Novelist

    Niche means “a specialized market,” and your novel fills a niche. Let’s look at how best to understand your niche. I have a dream. A three-course meal should consist of an appetizer entirely of ice cream, followed by the main course—ice cream, followed by ice cream for dessert. To see if my dream is a viable dietary option, I checked online health sites. On day two or three of the ice cream diet, you’ll probably develop an intolerance to lactose. Day four or five, afib. And after a full week of ice cream, you’re on a straight road toward diabetes. And extreme dehydration and/or constipation. We’re going to need to…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    The Writer / Advocator: Confidence Tips

    Every successful novelist has had to do something very distasteful before they were published. They had to advocate for themselves. If you’re the typical writer, being assertive makes you scream inside. A few years ago, a writer told me he could quickly sell two hundred books at a sale. “Hand the person your book. Then he or she will HAVE to either buy it or hand it back to you.” He handed me his book and I read the back cover. “Looks good.” “And now…” He drew out the last word and crossed his arms. “It’s only fifteen dollars.” I tried to hand back his book, but there was a…

  • Fiction Friday

    CHAPEL OF THE SACRED BRAMBLE

    Like a wary desert leopard, the monastery crouched halfway up Mount Sinai’s rocky slope. Judas eyed the rugged peak and wondered if those who built the hermitage thought they would somehow protect Moses’ sacred encounters with Jehovah. The full moon hovered just above the barren mountain, casting a silver glow against the monastery wall and the noiseless structures contained within.