Monday, June 6, 2011

one sheets and a great catch!

One of the best things about being a writer is celebrating the successes and joys of friends who come to publication. No two journeys are the same! I really believe an author and publisher are tailor-made, at least when the Lord has a hand in the mix. And with that comes new friendships. There are several writers who have blessed me with their expertise and encouragement and Lorna Seilstad is one of them:)

Lorna's second novel, A Great Catch, just released and has been on a blog tour. "Fresh" and "fun" are two words I often hear about Lorna's work and this is, I think, an understatement. I don't think there's anyone in the CBA who writes like Lorna! She combines a real historical setting, Lake Manawa, with romance, humor, and spiritual truths that make for a delightfully refreshing read. If you've read the first book, Making Waves, you probably still remember that wonderful cover, not to mention that original story line;)

One of the best kept secrets about Lorna is how gifted she is at creating those interesting little things writers and editors love called "one sheets." When I was working on my proposal for my current series, she surprised me by making a killer one sheet. It was the very essence of my idea and so lovely (only you see a black and white one here - the final is much nicer!). My publisher loved it. It's also very helpful for editorial and marketing, back cover copy and press releases, etc.

If you're headed for a writing conference and want a professional presentation, I encourage you to visit Lorna's website and click on the writing tab where she shares her savvy about one sheets. She graciously shares samples there or she'll custom design one for you.

Fun facts about Lorna:

*Lorna is her pen name, and her real name, but most people call her Lori
*When she's not writing, she's a wedding planner
*She's 5 foot 4 inches and husband, David, is six foot six!
*She's the only author I know with zero rejections
*She has another series in the works with Revell:)
*She was wildly popular as a fan fiction writer prior to publication
*The black and white dress Emily is wearing on the cover for A Great Catch was designed and sewn for the model based on Lorna's ideas

Have you read any of Lorna's books? Ever been to Lake Manawa? I encourage you to do so, either in person or in print:) Heading to a conference? Working on a one sheet? I'd love to know...

Today Lorna is talking about one sheets and her first pitch to her editor at her blog Inkspirational Messages. I'm sure she'd love to have you visit!


  1. Whooohooo -- look at that, blogger recognizes me again. It's been hit and miss for a few weeks so excuse my excitement!

    I have read both Lorna's books and I would agree with fresh and fun. And I do think she has a unique voice as well. I'm going to have to check out her blog for her info on one sheets -- they sound like pure torture to me! But I bet she'll make them fun.

  2. Kav,
    I am so mad at Blogger lately! What gives with us not being able to access our own blogs, etc.?! I've had to switch over to Google Chrome which does let me in...

    Anyway, so happy to see you here! I am with you on the torturous aspect of one sheets - I think it's easier to write a whole book than condense it onto a single page. Well, stand back and behold Lorna's fine work! I tell her she's the reason I got my new series this last time;) I'm sure she'll make a killer one for you, dear writing friend!

  3. Laura, "fresh" and "fun" describe Lorna's books very well, don't they?

    You're absolutely right about Lorna's one-sheets. She designed fabulous ones for me and I would recommend her to anyone.

  4. Alright, you've sold me! I'm headed over to Lorna's sight, because I need a one sheet for the conference. I didn't know that Lorna had 0 rejections, I think I need to learn her secret. ;-) Love the little fun facts! :)

    And yes, I've read both of Lorna's books and loved them, you are so right that she has such a fresh and fun voice! I'm super excited to learn there will be more from her!! :)

  5. I signed up to review A Great Catch in tribute to my 81-yr-old mother who is a baseball fanatic. (I posted pics of my mom with my review.) What a charming story! I enjoyed the setting and humor--especially those maiden aunts. And good for her that she's never had a rejection. Like most ACFW writers I've been introduced to, she sounds like a multi-talented lady!

    Thanks for the head's up about her One-sheet advice. I'm just concentrating on grading exams for the next few days. Then I need to get serious about preparing for the Conference. I'm both excited and apprehensive about it!

  6. Lorna IS the queen of one-sheets! She created mine, too, and one of the comments I got from both agent and editor last fall was how nice my one-sheet was!

    I'm about 1/3 through "A Great Catch," and the only reason I haven't finished it is that I want to be able to savor it, just like I am with yours, Laura!

  7. Regina, So well said! She IS the queen! I'm not at all surprised at that postive feedback you received. I think Lorna would be a great marketer as well as writer. Oh, and thanks so much for the "savor" word:) One of my personal favorites! Sometimes I only eek out a chapter a day of a best loved book to delay that final page. Bless you so much!

  8. Renee Ann, I've been wondering when school ends for you and know you must be so busy right now especially. I think we spent this past weekend at school! So happy you'll have the summer off to focus on your writing and prep for conference. We should start an official countdown here:) I am behind on my blog visiting so will have to stop by and see your post on AGC. You write the best reviews. Bless you!

  9. Casey,
    I thought this post would get your attention;) You're conference bound for sure!! I don't think it's a stretch to say Lorna's one sheets helped her with the zero rejections. They're the best I've ever seen, no kidding, and I've looked at plenty. I think she was so wise to whip those out when face to face with her editor and to just let the one sheets speak for themselves. Silence is golden - in this case, it proved contractual:) Praying the Lord's best blessings on you and your first conference. It's such a delightful experience!

  10. Brenda,
    So good to see you here:) In fact, when I was perusing the one sheets at Lorna's site, I tried to copy the one of yours to highlight here but it wouldn't work! So had to use up my own. She really did a beautiful job with yours and I like the way she included your pic and bio, etc. That really helps editors and others in the long run. Hoping you're having a good writing week there.

  11. Happy Monday, everyone! And thank you, Laura for sharing my secrets. :) At least you kept a few to yourself.

    Kav, one sheets are fun to me. It's my time working with journalism and layouts for yearbooks. I can understand, though, why some people don't like them.

    Hi Brenda,your one sheets were easy to do because the stories were so rich. Finding the right pictures is always the hardest part.

    Casey!I can't wait to see you at conference and give you a big hug!

    And I have zero rejections from editors. I have an agent rejection from my current agent, Wendy Lawton. When I queried her before the Revell offer, she couldn't accept me. Later, we hooked up and I feel doubly blessed. I did send something to another editor that year, I just never heard back from them.

  12. Hi Renee, I loved the picture of your mom with the "Boys of Summer." If anyone wantes to see it, here's the link And I completely understand that double edged feeling about going to ACFW's writing conference.

    Regina, I don't know if I'd call myself the queen of anything. LOL But I am glad they liked your one sheets. Can't wait to hear how your "savoring" went.

  13. What a talented lady Lorna is! So nice getting to know more about her. She did a great job on your one sheet (I read every word!). It is so cool that she got to design that wonderful dress for her book cover! I haven't yet read one of her books, but will make a point to now - they sound terrific!

  14. On the writing journey, you are blessed with a few jewels you never expected. Laura's friendship is one of those treasures. She actually went to my website and looked for me at the ACFW conference because we were going to Revell buddies. I'm so thankful she did that!

  15. Oh, yeah!!! Lorna is here:) I'll never forget tapping on your shoulder at conference when you were sitting with dear Dawn. I'm sure you thought, "Who is this strange blonde wanna be author?!" But I'm SO thankful I did. I was desperate for writing friends and the Lord honored that. Thank you for reaching out right back! And also for being so generous with your time and talents here. Readers love you and it's so obvious why that is!

  16. Carla,
    Thanks so much for stopping and joining our cyber-party:) I hope you get to meet Lorna one day - and I hope I get to meet you!

    I should mention that the one sheet shown here changed quite a bit in process. My editor had me tweak several things like the family name as it had been used previously for a series with Bethany (I hadn't read it). And now that I've just finished the first book in the series, my characters have taken my places I never planned to go, deviating a bit from that blurb;) But that's one of the joys of writing, I think! I'm sure you'll agree;)

  17. I haven't read any of her books yet, however both Making Waves, and A Great Catch are on my list to read this summer.

  18. Hi Carissa, So happy both books are on your to-read list:) Are you out of college yet for the summer? Or are you taking classes for summer school? Either way, I'm thinking of you and wishing I could share some of your KY sun!

  19. Great post about Lorna. What a talented woman! I'm feeling very un-gifted.

    It was a pleasure to get to know her at last year's ACFW conference.

    (I, too, am excited to have Blogger recognize me. The last couple of weeks have been maddening.)

  20. Hi Carla! I can't wait to meet you someday.I actually didn't get to design the dress. I found a picture of it on a museum site. I sent it to Revell and they had one made for the cover model to wear. Isn't that so cool?

    Carissa, I'm so glad the books are on your list. If you're like me, you're probably always thinking, "So many books, so little time."

  21. I have not read one thing by Lorna! I will definitely check her out. That is amazing she has not had one rejection!! Another great thing about you is that you herald others work!

    I was wondering if you were going to post again. I wasn't sure if you were taking a Summer Hiatus after your last post.
    I meant to say how much I liked your photo of your boys. I think showing family pics brings you closer to us :-). I showed my daughter the picture of your fabulous looking cake and told her she must bake it. Anna loves to bake!!

    <3, Stacie

  22. Oh, I just LOVED Making Waves and can't wait to read A Great Catch!! Lorna truly deserves all the praise she gets because she is one talented lady! Loved all the fun facts you shared about her, too! She's not only an incredible writer but it appears designer also! Wedding planner AND she designed the cover model's dress?? Talented with a capital T!

    And I LOVE what she wrote for your new series!! I blew it up and read it and WOW, I CANNOT WAIT for the book(s) to come out!!! It sounds so romantic, and tragic, but I trust you and look forward to getting to know them and experience their story!

    Thank you for the smile today, my friend, in more ways that one ;)


  23. Laura, I do hope to meet Lorna someday, and you, too, my friend!

    It amazes me how we strive to get our first presentations of a project correct and then so often factors change. Whatever the outcome I KNOW we are all going to love your new series!

  24. Ann, So glad you're here!! I must admit to agreeing with you - I feel absolutely bankrupt beside Lorna - and I didn't even mention her camp work or the Vacation Bible school curriculum she writes:)

    One of my best memories from the last conference was skipping class and talking with you, Lorna, and Ann G. I think Jim Rubart wandered in there for a while (such a great guy) and maybe a couple of others. Let's do it again when we can! I can't remember who is going to conference and who isn't but so hope you'll be there!

  25. Yay, Stacie! Oh, hope you and Anna enjoy that cake when she bakes it. My boys just came in from school and polished off the last 2 pieces. Poor Randy! Then I remembered I packed a piece in his lunch today...

    Thanks so much for enjoying it when we spotlight other authors here. It really is a joy:) Revell authors seem to be a particularly close bunch. I'm not sure if other houses are that way.

    You're very perceptive about that last post with my boys. I was going to call it my "summer sabbatical" and take June and July off on the blog but decided that was unwise when a book was on the way. And I'd really miss my readers, including you. So guess you're stuck with me for the summer! As long as you show up, I'll show up;)

  26. Amanda, Happy you perused that one sheet and give it a thumbs up;) I certainly enjoyed writing it and have spent much of the day on the deck editing and polishing. Am up to chapter 24 now. Only 20 more to go and then I start editing all over again...

    Love what you said about trusting me as author. So very important! I always guarantee a happy ending though it may be a bumpy ride to get there.

    I thought of you while writing this as I remembered how much you (and Casey and others) enjoyed Making Waves. Those reviews of yours always make me smile:)

  27. Ann, you are anything but un-gifted. I so enjoyed our "skipping" time together. I hope we can do it again this year. And don't let Laura kid you. I'm just someone who has a hard time saying no.

    Stacie, you're right about Laura being a great supporter of the work of others. She's amazing!

    Amanda,I can't wait to read Laura's new series either! I'm so glad you liked MW and I hope you enjoy AGC, too.

  28. Laura, I'd love to hear how you use a one-sheet. I've always thought of it as something you use to pitch a novel to an editor/agent, but it sounds like you created it for your publisher. Was that before they'd offered a contract on it? Hope that's not too nosy. :)

  29. A huge, heartfelt thanks to Lorna for taking time to visit here today and bless us with her comments:) I didn't expect that and it made it even more fun! Can't wait to hear more about her next series and where it's set... But no spoilers here so I'd best hush!

  30. Sally, So good to see you here - and your question is very savvy, not nosy:) I'm glad you asked as it's an important point.

    At my stage of the game, having already been contracted, a one sheet isn't necessary nor expected. One sheets are usually used by those who are pitching to editors/houses for the first time.

    For those of us already in-house and submitting proposals for another book or series, requirements vary. In my case, Revell simply asked for a synopsis of each book. Some require chapter outlines or a more detailed proposal, etc. I have author friends who do far more than is required (such as sample chapters and chapter outlines) as it helps flesh out their ideas and gives pub board a more expansive view or vision.

    Since the one sheet captured the essence of my book/series so well and looked so professional, I went the extra mile and Lorna created the one I submitted. Editorial and marketing often love this info as who better than the author knows the gist of their book? And a good one sheet conveys that inside info in a glance, so to speak. I hope this helps clarify what one sheets offer and how they can be used. Thanks so much for asking! Hope your editing and writing are going wonderfully well!

  31. Whoops, Sally, just reread your question and forgot to answer the last one.

    Yes, the one sheet I/Lorna created for my series was the first page of my proposal followed by the 4 book synopses I only used one one sheet for the entire series. However, Lorna used 3 one sheets when pitching her first series and one of them is available to look at on her website. Love those one sheets:)

  32. I am out of college for the summer. I'm not taking any summer classes this summer, because the college was not offering the class I need this summer. I am enjoying the Ky sun, I keep forgetting we almost go from winter to summer here. I am excited about checking out a midwife school in my state this summer.

  33. I'm nowhere near ready to one sheet. However, I decided to set aside a half hour a day rather than chunks throughout the week and I'm amazed at how much writing I can get done!!

    I loved Lorna's first book and can't wait to get a chance to read A Great Catch! She has such a great sense of humor! Wow, 0 rejections...I guess she and Julie are on opposite sides of the spectrum and both are fabulous writers :) I guess its just all part of the shaping process one way or the other.

    Thinking of you this week as Liz and I are reading YWAM's George Mueller for HS. I had read his diaries but I think those were all after his conversion. We never realized he was a swindler before his conversion and that his father disowned him for wanting to be a missionary.

    We had a nice night away. Yes, very much needed with littles and everything going on.

    Just handed in my letter for Elizabeth so I will be homeschooling next year and we have 7 days of school left though we are finished with most subjects.

  34. Carissa, I know you must be nearly melting there! Can you believe I miss that kind of heat? I know I'm crazy but I dearly love humidity and open windows and all the rest:) I'm so glad you have the summer off to recuperate from what I know is a strenuous nursing program. I am thrilled you've found a midwife school! Looking forward to keeping up with you this summer and hearing more about your future plans:)

  35. Julia,
    So happy to hear that getaway was just what you needed! I've been thinking of you both - and those littles - and am glad you checked in here.

    That's so fascinating about George M. I had not idea he was a bit of a rogue at the start:) I'm beginning to fall in love with the name George! I'll just add him to my list of heart-stopping Georges - George Washington, George Rogers Clark, GEORGE WHITEFIELD!!!!!!!! Best not get into that subject again. I am just wild about Whitefield now and am reading anything I can get my hands on about him. Am thinking the Lord has a plan because when this sort of thing happens it means a book is brewing - or a hero, in this case.

    If you get to the one sheet stage and need help, Lorna is right there:) And congrats on another year of homeschooling!!! My boys are out this Friday...

  36. I was just talking about one-sheets with a friend today. How neat that you have a personal guru at creating them, Laura. I'm going to bookmark her site for future reference on this.

    Thanks for sharing!

  37. I know you don't have comments available for the devotions but I just had to tell you that the devotion you posted today spoke right to my heart!

    Thank you for not only delighting us with your fiction but inspiring us in our Faith! Love to you Laura!!

  38. Dear Stacie,
    Oh, you are welcome to leave comments on these devotionals any time you like as you are here. Love that! So happy it spoke to your heart. It surely spoke to mine. I'm just effervescing lately with all that the Lord is doing in my heart and can't wait to blog more about it. So thankful you're along for the JOY ride!!

  39. Eileen,
    So glad it dovetailed with your own thoughts/talk lately:) I find one sheets pretty fascinating if you couldn't tell;) Love how they are the very gist of a book. Thx for leaving such a thoughtful comment. Lorna would be happy to give tips in future to anyone who needs a guru like her!

  40. Oh, I'm so glad I stopped by to hear you share about Mr. Mueller!

    Heading to the doctor but wanted to let you know thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. I'm headed in Tues for my procedure. Chris' levels are still decreasing but he's headed to a specialist at the end of the month.

    I hope you are enjoying the June time with your boys. I always thought it was cliche about it going so fast but it is amazing how quick it does go by! Does Paul fiddle at any festivals in the summer?

  41. Julia,
    I smiled when you commented about Mueller that first time and then I ran into him right after:) He was a truly remarkable man who gives us lots of food for thought. So glad to have you check in and let me know about your schedule, etc. I've been praying for you and C especially and will continue with those dates in mind. You're so thoughtful to keep me updated so I can keep on.

    Oh, yes, the fiddling never ends! Tomorrow he has a gig an hour away and then a radio show with some others coming up, then a summer show at the beach. I'll be blogging some about that as I've had a major change in plans. So stay tuned;)

  42. Before I read this today we were reading about when George first got married. His wife was trying to keep house with the family dishes etc. He came home the first night and told her we have to get rid of all of this. And then you posted this. :)

    Wow, on the radio! That's really exciting that God is setting up all these opportunities for him and at such a young age. It will be so neat to watch God at work as He develops the gift He has entrusted to your son.

    Thank you for your prayers :)

  43. Julia, LOL but I'm onto Mueller next after I graduate from Whitefield:) And I have you to thank!