Moving My Author Site: Please Come With Me!

We have moved!!

Don’t miss a thing by bookmarking

http://www.thewriteengle.com

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BOOK DETAILS

The only way to guarantee that you won’t miss a thing is to sign up for the Engle Ambassador Club here.

Questions? Comments? Advice? Email at thewriteengle@gmail.com or by filling out the form below:

Moving My Author Site: Please Come With Me!

Independent Authors, Please Read & Share

i need your help!

I have been nominated for BEST INDEPENDENT NOVELIST in the Spacie Awards. This is a HUGE honor, as anyone who has gone this route understands the need for recognition in order to rise to the top of the sea of unedited, unprofessional books. In a way, a win for one is a win for all self-published authors. Currently, first place is in the favor of someone who is not from the Space Coast, so I’m especially looking for help to support Brevard County and Florida on a whole.

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why you?

great question.

As a follower, you are a committed fan and dedicated to help me spread my anti-bullying message to kids in classrooms, writing & marketing tips to authors in workshops, and provide cutting-edge storytelling with a supernatural slant to readers. You are my core…my lifeline to accomplishing this goal.

why me?

Another great question

As an award-winning author of independently published books, I pride myself on creating professional products with illustrators, graphic designers, and formatters who make my stories look good. I work tirelessly to promote myself and share what I’ve learned with other authors. Finally, I spend a great deal of time perfecting my craft and never settle for anything less than perfection. It is my hope that my books bring happiness, imagination, and adventure to every reader.

can i count on you?

If you enjoy my books and can help support an independent author, please click HERE to vote on the poll pinned to the top of my page.

Thank you for being the greatest fans in the world and for your continued support.

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Independent Authors, Please Read & Share

Let the Migration Begin!

Hello followers, fans, and friends.

I have been building and adjusting my platform extensively over the past few months. I’m having a new website built (and it’s GORGEOUS!), which means migrating my accounts into one platform. Basically, I am moving to Tumblr in order to streamline from the new site.

Why am I telling you?

I don’t want to lose you as a follower. That would suck. I’ve built this WordPress blog for over four years, and I’d love it if you would join me on Tumblr so we can stay in touch. You can also join my quarterly newsletter to keep up with what’s new in my writing world, and join my subscriber only fan club where you get access to me, my books, and other cool things I’m into, like podcasting opportunities and cosplay glossy photos.

If you’re not already, follow me on social media @thewriteengle.

And if you decide to come over to Tumblr with me: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

This will probably be my last regular post on this site, excluding the official move and close.

Happy Writing and thanks for following me for so many years.

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Let the Migration Begin!

Watch This Video to Learn How to Sell Books Before Your Next Visit Even Happens!

When I first started doing school visits, I ran into one problem. No sales. Why? The kids didn’t know who I was or anything about my books before I arrived. Once they met me and learned about my stories, although they wanted to buy my book, they didn’t have money. I decided the way to fix the problem was to produce a introductory video that teacher’s could share along with order forms a month before my arrival. Now, I have orders to fill before I even show up and the kids are so excited to meet me in person! Try it out and let me know if a pre-visit video brings you the same success! (filmed and produced by Chris Kridler of Sky Diary Productions) More great videos HERE.

Watch This Video to Learn How to Sell Books Before Your Next Visit Even Happens!

Come Out with the Kids & Get Some Exercise

Author gives back to kids for Bluewater Foundation charity event

Melbourne, FL, January 7th, 2017: “Exercising with an ebook is the best way to do both!”—Jaimie Engle, http://www.jaimiengle.com.

Author, Cosplayer, & Podcaster Jaime Engle will work with youth at the Color Me Healthy 5K Run/Walk to raise money for YMCA scholarship funds through the Bluewater Foundation, hosted by Viera Voice. Engle will work with kids at her booth sharing storytelling techniques alongside Kitt Kane, retired Horizons teacher from Suntree Elementary School, and Engle’s books will be available for purchase with personalized autographs provided.

Engle pens cutting-edge storytelling for fans of the supernatural and has published 6 novels under her brand JME Books. Her anti-bullying children’s book Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light was awarded a BRAG Medallion in 2015 and listed as a Top 10 Book in 2014 by Kid Lit Reviews. The Dredge won honorable mentions in the Writers of the Future Award and Dreadlands: Wolf Moon is up for a Nebula, Tiptree, and Florida Sunshine State Award for 2016. She is an active speaker in schools across the state.

“I love storytelling. It’s part of my books, my cosplay, my podcasts, and everything I do,” shares Engle. “Having the chance to work with kids and give them tips on telling their story is an unbelievable gift that I feel blessed to receive.

The book signing event will be open to the public from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the Grand Foyer of the Osprey Lodge Assisted Living and Memory Care facility, which is opening their doors to the public for this special event. There will be a raffle drawing of multiple gift baskets. Guests will receive one entry with every $10 they spend with any participating author.

Event Details:

Spyglass Hill Road at Jack Hahon Park in Melbourne, Florida. Saturday, January 7th, 7:00 AM to 10:30 AM. Timed race with custom awards in each category, chance to win a helicopter tour, ability to purchase autographed copies of Engle’s books, and best-dressed contest. Register at vieravoice.com or call 321.242.1235. For Engle, contact awriterforlifecoach@gmail.com.

 

Come Out with the Kids & Get Some Exercise

Writing Your Novel: The Nemesis

Sarah has singlehandedly created a huge mess. Sure, Abraham went along with it and created a son with Sarah’s maidservant, but I seriously doubt he would have come to that decision on his own. (Sounds a bit like Eve and Adam, doesn’t it?) Now we throw Isaac in the mix and things go from bad to nemesis.

In Genesis 21:9, it says, “And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.” If you remember back to the chapter when Sarah beat Hagar and sent her into the wilderness to die, she returned with Ishmael, a broken woman. I doubt she would be mocking Sarah here. Have you ever thought someone was talking about you when they weren’t? Or misinterpreted what they said or their motives? I’m thinking that’s more than likely what happened here.

Those are great idiosyncrasies to build into your characters. According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, 93% of all communication is non-verbal (www.nonverbalgroup.com). That means 7% of communication comes from the actual dialogue. Your characters should be filled with gestures, facial expressions, sarcasm, vocal tones, posture, etc. Do your characters convey exactly what they feel at all time? Do they lie, stretch the truth, soften the blow, or constrict around certain characters and relax around others. These are real life physiological responses and choices. Whether on purpose or reactionary that must be in your books if you want your characters to move from two-dimensional to three-dimensional. The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisis is an excellent resource of mental and physical responses to emotions.

This is what I think is happening to Sarah at this moment. Her own impatience and distrust of God caused this whole ordeal to begin with. Now that the prophetic son has been born, (a foreshadow to many more to come, leading ultimately to the birth of Jesus) she tells Abraham to “Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.” (verse 10)

Sarah has basically become the evil stepmother because, like it or not, Ishmael is technically her step-son. And what a horrible burden to place on Abraham: kick out your bastard kid and his mother or I’m taking Isaac and moving in with my mother.

This is a great, often used plot line. Cinderella is the most obvious example, but variations of this plot can be seen even in the relationship between Harry Potter and the Dursleys or The Man in the Iron Mask.

Luckily, God intervenes and comforts Abraham by telling him not to grieve, but to listen to his wife “for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (verse 12) But that’s not all. Verse 13 continues: “And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation because he is thy seed.”

God keeps his promises, and both boys eventually grew into men who fathered great nations, and twelve tribes. Isaac fathered the Israelites, the Hebrew’s, today’s Jewish nation. Ishmael fathered his nations through an Egyptian wife, which today inhabit the nations of Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab-Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, and the pseudo-nation Palestine. (www.bibletools.org) These nations consist mainly of people who do not wish for Israel to exist.

I wonder if the root of Ishmael’s heart toward Isaac still feeds this hatred through his descendants toward God’s chosen people, according to the Scriptures. I wonder also if Sarah had only been patient and faithful, not intervening in God’s plans, would there be turmoil today in the Middle East. We will never know.

These are great tools to apply to your writing. Having deep, common bonds between the hero and the nemesis make their conflict that much greater. Using an outside force or character to force the separation makes the problem grow and the emotions deepen between the hero and the villain. Superman and Zod; Harry Potter and Voldemort; Thomas and WICKED. These relationships both attract and repel simultaneously because of the bonds between and similarities of the two characters, helping to highlight their differences and shape them into those figures we can’t forget, long after we’ve read “The End.”

(This is an excerpt from Writing Your Novel, Using the Bible as Your Guide, published by A Writer For Life, LLC, which you can purchase from Amazon as a paperback or ebook.)

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Writing Your Novel: The Nemesis

Writing Your Novel: The Prophecy Fulfilled

Many stories center around the prophesied one, the great prophecy, in which usually unexplainable and unbelievable circumstances produce a savior, no matter how awkward or un-heroic he or she appears. Harry Potter. Luke Skywalker. Gregor the Overlander. Percy Jackson. Clark Kent. The list goes on.

In Genesis chapter 21, we are introduced to this amazing experience through the long awaited (fifteen years!) pregnancy of Sarah by Abraham and the birth of their promised son, Isaac: the prophecy fulfilled.

At one-hundred years old, Abraham becomes a father for the second time, and at ninety, beautiful Sarah births and nurses her miracle son. This child is destined to be the first of many, the first seed to grow and produce a great nation.

Do you think he popped out of the womb with all the grace and wisdom to handle the task set out before him? Did he enter the world fully grasping his place and purpose? Imagine Sarah kneading bread with young Isaac in the kitchen, reminding him that some day he would father a great nation. Or Abraham with teenage Isaac resting in the shade of a tree for lunch, talking about the great responsibility God had entrusted to him as his birthright.

I can picture other days, too, when Isaac disobeyed or reacted through puberty or did stupid things that kids do. Abraham and Sarah must have whispered their fears and disbelief over their pillows on those nights wondering if Isaac would ever become the man God intended, doubting they were equipped for the great task God had charged them with.

I think of Peter Parker and Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.” But Peter doesn’t want the gift. He wants a normal life with Mary Jane, one that is not possible for Spiderman. And Harry Potter, who has spent his entire life in the dark about the world of magic, but is suddenly thrust into an environment where he is expected to be the greatest wizard of all time.

The greatest part of the prophecy fulfilled story is the hero’s journey. Her growth as she doubts herself, denies her gifts, refuses her task, and ignores the needs of the people that only she can fulfill. It’s an awesome and powerful experience that brings the reader alongside the hero to feel their own self-doubt and inabilities and fears as they, too, discover inner strength, perseverance, and sacrifice for the prophecy’s fulfillment.

Whether or not you’re writing a story with a prophecy, take some time to study books or movies that are based around this element. What emotions were stirred up in you? How did the author accomplish this? Can you diagram the hero’s ups and downs? What inner and outer forces contributed to their growth and fall-backs?

As a prophecy is fulfilled and a hero is born, so the same exact environment and circumstances work to create a nemesis, an idea which will be explored in the next chapter.

(This is an excerpt from Writing Your Novel, Using the Bible as Your Guide, published by A Writer For Life, LLC, which you can purchase from Amazon as a paperback or ebook.)

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Writing Your Novel: The Prophecy Fulfilled

Real Life Ain’t Fair

Abraham and Sarah are traveling to a new country. They arrive, and Abraham tells the king that Sarah is his sister (Genesis 20:2), a truth because they share the same father (déjà vu?). He fears they will kill him because of her beauty. Seriously? It was bad enough when Abraham pulled this stunt back in Genesis 2 when Sarah was in her sixties. Here she is in her nineties, and it’s happening again? Nonetheless, the king does take her in and Abraham’s life is spared.

“But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou are but a dead man, for the woman which though hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.” Genesis 20:3 This king is in big trouble. He was lied to, yet his head is on the line. When God says, “You’re a dead man,” that’s a case closed in my book. King Abimelech pleads his case anyway: “We’re a righteous nation,” “the husband and wife lied,” and “It was an accident.”

Of course, God allows him a pardon if he restores Sarah to Abraham, which Abimelech does. But he speaks his mind in verse 9. “Then Abimelech called Abraham and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? And what have I offended thee that though hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? Though hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.”

We know the answer: Abraham was afraid for his life, and this tactic had worked for him just fine in the past. He defends that he hadn’t really lied, since they were technically brother and sister, but the wrong had already happened. The king showers him with sheep and oxen and servants and 1,000 pieces of silver. He hadn’t done anything wrong, really…he was the victim of circumstance. But he still had to pay.

Real life ain’t fair.

Let’s look at this from another angle. Let’s compare Abraham’s plight to Lot’s. Both entered foreign kingdoms with their families to make a new home, although Lot selfishly chose the better portion leaving Abraham the rest. Both faced confrontation for their choices, although Abraham was found blameless for lying and Lot was found blameless for trying. Both lost their wives, except Sarah was returned. Technically, Lot was trying to do the right thing and lost everything, while Abraham was looking out for himself and received an abundance in return. Why?

Real life ain’t fair.

Your story is a reflection of real life. Why is everything working out so easily? How come your main character just knows that important piece of information? Why is it that every plan is perfectly executed with everything she needs in her grasp. It’s not real life.

When Rue dies in the Hunger Games, my inner self screams, “That’s not fair!” Yet I knew she was dead the first time she was introduced in the story. The same happens when Ender Wiggins learns that he wasn’t playing a game, but that he had actually exterminated an entire species. These stories are so powerful because they take into account the fact that real life ain’t fair, and bad things happen to people with good intentions.

Let’s take a look at one more example. At the end of Genesis 19:30-38, after Lot has left Sodom, lost everything—including his wife—he is living in a cave with his two daughters. He’s drunk on wine all the time, drowning in his misery and loss. His young daughters (whom he had offered to the mob for them to gang rape in lieu of sodomizing the two angels) are alone with him. I can’t imagine how they felt. They’d lost everything too, including the care and protection of their father.

So dad’s drunk, and the girls take turns having intercourse with him so they can both become pregnant. Hey, you can take the girl out of Sodom, but you can’t take Sodom out of the girl! Needless to say, two boys are born, simultaneously brothers and cousins. Talk about dysfunction.

What’s the point? Real life ain’t fair, and our choices have consequences that ripple and grow and take on lives of their own, sometimes even after we try doing the right thing. My mind instantly goes to Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Obi Wan is desperate to teach Anakin the way of the Jedi, knowing he will restore order to the Force. But in the end, Anakin joins Lord Sidious on the Dark Side. Obi Wan did everything right, yet it wasn’t enough. Broken-hearted, he loses not just his padawan, but a friend he found to be more like a brother. Why? Say it with me: real life ain’t fair. So, your story shouldn’t be fair either.

In what areas of your manuscript can you adjust the balance and create more realism? How can you make it harder for your characters to succeed? Where can you bring in the powerlessness that your characters have done what’s right, yet still failed? In what way can you make your story world reflect the real world? Want a good study example? Read the entire Maze Runner series. Talk about unfair!

Real life ain’t fair, so let’s shake things up in our stories’ reality.

(This is an excerpt from Writing Your Novel, Using the Bible as Your Guide, published by A Writer For Life, LLC, which you can purchase from Amazon as a paperback or ebook.)

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Real Life Ain’t Fair

Choices Have Consequences

Remember Lot, Abraham’s nephew? A few posts back, he and his uncle had split off their herds and men to part ways. Abraham let Lot choose where he would like to live first. Ringing some bells? Good. Here’s the kicker: Instead of being gracious and humble by allowing his great uncle the best of the best, Lot’s eyes beheld the beauty of the city Sodom, the glistening pools of water, and the greenest desert grass. His lust sent him into a place that looked good on the outside. But the grass isn’t always greener….

In Genesis chapter 18, we are back with Lot to see how life’s been treating him over the last few decades. “And there came two angels to Sodom at even;” (verse 1) That’s awesome! Two angels have entered the city. How does Lot respond? “Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways.” (verse 2)

What? Lot is fervently pleading with these men to lay lo, hide, and get out before dawn. There is a huge element of fear that has entered Lot’s utopian world, morphing it into a dystopian one. Sodom, the place he had imagined to be perfect, was holding a dark secret, one that caused him to fear for the safety of these angels.

Any time you can apply this to your world building and plot, the better! Creating a world that appears wonderful on the surface yet harbors something sinister or dangerous or opposing is a beautiful thing. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The Time Machine. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. By giving away small bits of information, you can create a bread trail of curiosity that your reader can’t help but follow, page after page. Thomas Brown’s debut novel Lynnwood does an excellent job of weaving the sinister throughout a sleepy town where there’s always the hint that something’s just not right.

In Lot’s case, the men oblige, and return with him to his home for the evening. He bakes bread and makes them a feast. (verse 3) I’m sure on the outside, this reads like a normal gesture in any book, with the reader beginning to question if maybe there is something wrong with Lot; a level of paranoia rooted in his own unsubstantiated fears. Until, there comes a knock at the door. “The men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter.” Now, it’s for real. That thing Lot was trying to prevent from happening is coming to pass. The scene has elevated slightly with this new information: there really is something wrong in Sodom.

Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe are the masters of suspense-horror. They both show relatively normal people in relatively normal places who are overtaken by either an outside force or, more frequently, by their own dark heart’s choices. They show the “what if’s” when a person receives exactly what they think they want or need. Thinner. The Tell-Tale Heart. The Monkey’s Paw, another great example by author W.W. Jacobs.

Lot is in the midst of the consequences from his own dark heart’s choices. He is harboring two angels, messengers of God, who the men of Sodom want brought out of Lot’s home so that they might gang rape them. Seriously. Hey, it’s right there in verse 5 if you don’t believe me. Nothing new under the sun, remember? The Old Testament isn’t some collection of wishy-washy bedtime stories about old men with long grey beards who manage floating zoos, or beat up giants with pebbles and then write poetry about it. It is filled with every joy and treacherous act mankind is capable of, and if it were written today, it would most likely be on the banned book list.

Lot refuses to release the angels to the crowd, offering instead his two virgin daughters to take their place. (verse 8) This is a desperate man who is deep in the refuse of his own poor judgment and lustful choices. Can you imagine? But this action, this offering, is actually a sign that he is trying to do the right thing. Lot knows these men are on God’s mission, and while I’m sure he loves his daughters, his decision to substitute them in the angels stead shows he is reprioritizing and refocusing. No longer driven by his own selfish desires, Lot is genuinely trying to do what is pleasing in God’s sight.

But is it too late?

God honors his willingness, an attribute God repeats constantly throughout the Bible. Genesis 19:11, “And they (the angels) smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.”

Now the race is on. With the men of the city blinded, Lot is told to gather his wife and daughters and to leave Sodom before God destroys it. “And when the morning arose, then the Angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.” (verse 15) But Lot lingers. Why? Have you ever made a mistake? Have you ever lost everything because of it? Have you ever had to return to someone you truly wronged to ask for forgiveness? That’s why. Those are hard consequences to face. But they make terrific plot points!

If you can position your characters to where their choices lead them to make fatal mistakes that cost them everything, and force them to repent to those they’ve wronged, you’ve got a base for great tension and an opportunity to show the dark heart choices of humanity that your readers can relate to. We don’t like to admit it, but we would all agree that sin is in us. As the clock ticks and time runs out, Lot is dragged out of Sodom along with his wife and two of his daughters (the others stayed behind with their unbelieving husbands) by the angels. They are instructed to “Escape for they life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain (where Abraham lives); escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” (verse 17)

So here’s a broken man. He entered Sodom, the best of the best, with so many servants, flocks, and herds that he had to separate them from his uncle’s. He leaves Sodom with two of his daughters and his wife, who ends up turning into a pillar of salt when she disobeys and looks back at Sodom’s destruction.

In the end, “the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven.” (verse 24) But God remembered his promise to Abraham and kept Lot safe (see Genesis 18:20-33)

In your story, have you allowed your characters to make decisions that appear good, but carry weighty consequences? How can you expand those to ripple out even further in their lives? Into the lives of those around them? By allowing your characters to give into their own dark heart desires, you can create a natural set of consequences that will shake their world and bring it all crashing to the ground. Then, with the now humble character, you can help rebuild their life and their world into something great, like Ebenezer Scrooge from Dicken’s A Christmas Carol or Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games.

(This is an excerpt from Writing Your Novel, Using the Bible as Your Guide, published by A Writer For Life, LLC, which you can purchase from Amazon as a paperback or ebook.)

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Choices Have Consequences