The Over 50 Writer

WRITING FOR THE “BRAND” OR WRITING FROM THE HEART? by Patrick E. Craig
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 by Patti Shene

 

 

WRITING FOR THE “BRAND” OR WRITING FROM THE HEART?

 

 

 

IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME AUTHOR PATRICK E. CRAIG TO THE OVER 50 WRITER. PATRICK SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ON WRITING FOR THE BRAND – OR NOT.

 

 

There is a big argument raging on the discussion list at a major Christian Writing organization about whether to write books that diverge from what your reader base expects. That’s called “Breaking Your Brand.” Most of the authors who are responding say, “don’t disappoint your readers” or “use a pen name” or “don’t destroy the reader base you have built.”  I disagree.

 

 

 

As an author, I am most often recognized for my Amish books—six altogether and an anthology of Amish stories coming out in June. But writing Amish fiction was a detour for me. I only started writing in that genre because my friend and editor, Nick Harrison, asked for a one-sheet for an Amish quilting story and I sent him the idea for A Quilt For Jenna. Much to my surprise, Harvest House bought the book and two more after. So there I was in a genre I had no previous knowledge about (thank goodness for Google), on a journey that would take my writing in a whole new direction. I never intended to write Amish books—I wanted to write adventure stories and mysteries.

 

 

 

On the one hand, all of my Amish books “stretch the envelope.” In A Quilt For Jenna, I have a protagonist who left the Amish church to fight in World War II and returned to the church with deep emotional problems. In The Amish Heiress I have a young girl who trades her faith and her virtue for a vast fortune, and in Jenny’s Choice I have a character that becomes a wonderful writer.  I wrote two historical Amish books, one about an Indian Princess who marries an Amish man in the Revolutionary War (The Amish Princess) and another about a Polish princess who runs away with her Anabaptist stable boy (The Mennonite Queen.) I even wrote a story about an Amish man in Germany in 1936 who hides a Jewish girl in his barn titled The Amish Menorah. (My agent said the title was… “provocative.”) But here’s the good news— these “outside the box” Amish books have sold very well and, months and years after their release, still stay in the top 100-500 in different “best-seller” categories on Amazon.

 

 

 

But, on the other hand, stretching the envelope was not enough for me. I have at least sixty story ideas in my “Book Ideas” folder that I want to write so I did a little asking around my reader base and discovered that my readers like my books, not because of the genre, but because they like my writing! Imagine that!

 

 

 

So I took on some “different” genre books and am doing rather well with them. I released a middle-grade mystery in November 2019, The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch, and am about to release book two in that series, The Lost Coast. (Someone asked my publisher, Deb Ogle Haggerty, what the age group for the series was and she answered, “Middle grade, but I enjoyed the story and I’m 71.”) The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch went on Amazon at #1 in Children’s Detective stories, my first #1.

 

 

 

I have collaborated on a World War II action book with Murray Pura, Far On The Ringing Plains, and we will release it in April. I have signed a contract for a medieval romance set in England during the Wars of the Roses, The Roses of Agincourt, and another contract for a thriller book, Scars on Heaven. And I am returning to the character of Jenny Hershberger to write The Porch Swing Mysteries series next year.

 

 

 

And that should be the goal of every writer. Do not be afraid to write ALL the stories on your heart. Do not be so afraid to break from your “Brand” that the real best-seller in your heart never gets written.

 

 

 

Question: Are you writing to become rich and famous or are you writing to tell the stories God puts in your heart? Do you make your book become a best-seller, or does God? I’m not saying that we finish a book and then wait around for God to “send a boat”—we have to work hard, and promote our books, build email lists, get on social media and all that. But, in the end, it is God who does the work. Remember this: A man's (or woman’s) gift maketh room for him and bringeth him before great men. Proverbs 18:16 KJV. 

 

 

 

So let God guide you and write what’s in your heart.

 

 

 

Amazon Best-Selling author Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful music career to become a pastor in 1986. In 2007 he retired to concentrate on writing and publishing fiction books. In 2011, Patrick signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. His latest books, The Amish Heiress, The Amish Princess, and The Mennonite Queen, as well as the reprinted Apple Creek Dreams are published by Patrick’s imprint, P&J Publishing. In 2017, Harlequin Publishing purchased The Amish Heiress for their Walmart Amish series and released it in April 2019. He also recently signed a contract with Elk Lake Publishers to produce his middle grade/YA mystery series, The Adventures of Punkin and Boo. Patrick and his wife Judy live in Idaho. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.

Where can readers find Patrick online?

Webpage

Facebook

Twitter
 

Where can readers purchase his books?

Amazon and any of the other online stores.

 

SUBSCRIBE TO PATTI’S BLOGS HERE

 


Comments

Bonnie Engstrom From AZ At 3/5/2020 5:24:46 PM

Wow, Patrick, you really are a diverse writer. Congratulations on your success and courage to step out of the box. Bonnie

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hello Bonnie. So glad you stopped by to share. Yes, Patrick is truly varied in his writing endeavors.

Kathy From Colorado At 2/29/2020 6:08:52 PM

Thank you for your bibical insights on this timely and often contentious topic! I agree that we should be writing the stories God puts on our hearts. But I also appreciated that you encouraged writers to do the hard work of marketing!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Kathy . Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this topic.

Cleo Lampos From Illinois At 2/28/2020 1:56:05 PM

Thank you. I needed to know this. It has been hard for me to"brand" myself, and yet there is a strain that goes through my writing.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Cleo. Thank you for stopping by and sharing with us. May God bless you in your writing endeavors.

Dave From ""Heaven,"" Mom said. At 2/27/2020 10:08:33 AM

Rich & Famous? Yup, that's for me. Problem is... Oh, you know all about that. Hey, thanks for this good spin, Patrick! I enjoyed hearing from another old guy like me. Hang in there!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Dave. Thank you for stopping by and reaching out to Patrick.

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8/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
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8/5/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA POLLARD
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7/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL SATTLER
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7/9/2015

WEIGHT LOSS DEVOTIONAL FREE ON KNDLE
Patti Shene
6/20/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR YVONNE ADERSON
Patti Shene
6/5/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SHERRI STONE
Patti Shene
5/21/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MARIANNE JONES
Patti Shene
5/6/2015

REVIEW OF INDEBTED BY BRAXTON DeGARMO
Patti Shene
4/29/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DEANNA K. KLINGEL
Patti Shene
4/17/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA IVES LILLY
Patti Shene
4/2/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
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3/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DARLENE FRANKLIN
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3/4/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MICHELLE GRIEP
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2/20/2015

NEGOTIATING THE LEARNING CURVE
Patti Shene
2/6/2015

WHEN ENCOURAGEMENT COMES YOUR WAY
Patti Shene
1/30/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SANDY NADEAU
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1/14/2015

I AM A WRITER--OR AM I REALLY?
Patti Shene
1/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GEORGE DUNCAN
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12/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR MARTHA ROGERS
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11/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR EDITH EDWARDS
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11/6/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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10/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
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10/2/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR FRANCES SUSANNE BROWN
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9/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
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9/4/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR LILLIAN DUNCAN
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8/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CYNTHIA TONEY
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8/6/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CARRIE STUART PARKS
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7/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR & PUBLISHER TRACY RUCKMAN
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7/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET SKETCHLEY
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6/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
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6/4/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA CAREY LYLES
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5/15/2014

DARK BIOLOGY BY BONNIE DORAN
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5/1/2014

BY THE WATERS OF KADESH BY CAROLE TOWRISS
P
4/17/2014

WHERE HOPE STARTS BY ANGELA D. MEYER
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4/3/2014

THE CHARM BRACELET BY SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
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3/20/2014

Love Redeemed by Kelly Irvin
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3/5/2014

Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley
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2/20/2014

WELCOME WRITER DELORES LIESNER
Patti Shene
2/5/2014

The Heartbeat of the Novel by James R. Callan
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1/15/2014

Don't Let Bible Contradictions Rob Your Faith
Patti Shene
1/2/2014

Welcome Author Lilliann Duncan
Patti Shene
5/30/2013

Confessions of a Reluctant Reader
Patti Shene
5/9/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR LENA NELSON DOOLEY
Patti Shene
5/2/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR KATHI MACIAS
Patti Shene
4/24/2013

Review of Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle
Patti Shene
4/18/2013

I'm back
Patti Shene
4/11/2013

Welcome Author JoAnn Durgin
Patti Shene
2/14/2013

Welcome Award-Winning Author Susan Page Davis
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2/7/2013

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
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1/30/2013

Introducing Jeanette Windle and Congo Dawn
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1/23/2013

Author Carole Johnson on Perseverance
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1/17/2013

The Value of Social Media
Patti Shene
1/9/2013

A Glimpse Into the Future
Patti Shene
1/2/2013

Welcome Author Jo Huddleston
Patti Shene
12/20/2012

Give Some Holiday Hope for Just $3.99
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12/14/2012

Great Christmas books from Lena Nelson Dooley
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12/7/2012

Welcome to Author Jude Urbanski
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

A Writers Journey Part IV
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Interview with Author Kelly Irvin
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Whose prophecy do you believe?
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Michal J. Webb
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Meet Author Sharon Shrock and the Women of Valley
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Lillian Duncan
Patti Shene
11/13/2012