Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Introducing Elaine Littau!

Please allow me to take this opportunity to introduce to you a prolific writer, an incredible lady named Elaine Littau. Author of two different series of books, Elaine hails from the Northern most reaches of the Texas Panhandle. She has been a good friend and mentor for me since I started down the road to becoming a published author and so without further delay. Ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable Author, Elain Littau!

1. How long have you been an author and when did the desire to write (the writing bug) bite

My First book, "Nan's Journey," was published in 2008. I always loved reading and really enjoyed every writing assignment that the English teachers assigned. (Shhh don't tell the others who were in my class.) I figured that I would write the one book and put the legal pad that I wrote in on in a dresser drawer for my kids to find after I died. I imagined that they would say something like, "Poor Mama, she sure was bored."

2. Why did you choose the genre you write in? Do you have plans to write in another genre?

I chose the Christian Western genre because in my childhood I logged in hundreds of hours watching Westerns on television as well as reading many shelves of Western books. My parents were born in 1909 and 1913. They lived in the last days of wagons. Both my parents moved from one state to another via horse and wagon. I grew to love the genre.

My sons want me to write a non-fiction book about the funny things that happened in our lives. I have it partially written and hope to publish it in the coming year. It will have to be volume one because more stuff happens all the time.

There is another book that I want to write for my fellow authors. I have it partially written, also. It would contain some easy marketing steps for beginning authors.

3. How many books have you written and us a little about them!

I have 5 published books and another one to be released in February 2012. The Nan's Heritage Series:

Book I, “Nan's Journey,” is about a fifteen year old girl who runs away from abuse with her five year old brother and hides in the mountains of Colorado.

Book II, “Elk's Resolve,” is about how twin brothers, separated at birth and how they find one another by accident.

Book III, “Luke's Legacy,” is about a brother and sister who want to experience adventure. One joins a wagon train to California and the other finds their adventure in the Texas panhandle.

Book IV, “The Eyes of a Stranger,” is about a mail order bride from Ohio who was rejected by the prospective groom who brought her to Colorado. She must find a way to make her own way or go back home.

Book V, “Timothy's Home,” is about a young boy from Boston who makes his life in Colorado. His longing is to have a home of his own.

Series of Hope” is the second series of books that I am starting now.

Book I, "Some Happy Day" will be released in February 2012. It is about a toddler who is rescued from certain death by a cowboy who finds her wandering on the prairie all alone.

Each book has a dominate message that I think is important for the reader to grasp.

Book I-forgiveness,
Book 2-overcoming depression and prejudice,
Book 3-God has no grandchildren,
Book 4-God will help you find a way,
Book 5-God will never give up on you,

Book I of the new series-No one can take the love of God from you.

4. Do you do speaking engagements? Tell about your subject matter.

I love doing speaking engagements. I let the organizers decide what subject they want focused on. One subject for children is: Never Give Up Your Dreams, Follow the Leader, and others. Adults usually want to know how the publishing process goes. I also do topical studies for Church Women's Groups.

5. What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

I really do love getting sweet emails and letters from readers. That is so nice. Meeting other authors has changed my life.

6. Where can your books be purchased? (for ebooks)
barnes and
Anywhere books are sold online and some bookstores.

7. How can readers reach you through twitter? through facebook? through your blog? through your website?

facebook- author page Elaine Littau and profile page Elaine Littau

8. What was your biggest surprise at being an author?

I was surprised about everything that is involved in the process of publishing. Marketing was a big hurdle for me. I reached out to people I found online to ask for help. Finally, one author, Leon Mentzer, took an interest in me and helped. I bought his book, “Amen, a Book About Marketing.”

I knew he was busy and I decided that there were a lot of people in the same boat with me. I decided to learn all I could and pass the information on to the authors that befriended me on facebook or answered my email to do an interview with me. From that, I made a whole lot of author friends. We learn a lot of the ins and outs together and hold one another up in prayer.

Marketing and writing is a full time job even though, at this time, there isn't enough money in it to replace a paycheck from a regular job. It is an adventure and I am glad I am on it.

9. We all know that writing can be a lonely occupation, what do your family and friends do to lift you up when you are down?

When I get down in the dumps, I post ideas to the other authors about how to sell books. I recollect the love and trust of my sweet husband of 36 years. I realize that I am blessed.

10. What was your favorite toy as a child?

When I was three my mama and daddy bought me a walking doll. It wasn't automated, but I could make it take steps if I held onto it. It was exactly my size and I was afraid of her. I named her Mary. The manufacturer name was Patty Playpal. To me she was just Mary. I still have her after all these years.

Elaine Littau

Book I, Nan's Journey -Named Best Christian Historical Fiction 2008 by
Book II, Elk's Resolve - 2009
Book III, Luke's Legacy - Honorable mention Christian Historical Fiction 2010 by Christian Story
Book IV, The Eyes of a Stranger - May 2011
Book V, Timothy's Home - Oct 2011
Book I, Rescue Series, "Some Happy Day" To Be Released in February 2012

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Drink Water, Face Out!

Mr. Newman,

My dad recently sent your book "The Night Eagles Soared" to me while I'm stationed in Japan. First of all I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your book. I've lost a couple hours of sleep staying up past my bed time unable to stop reading. Not only was it an excellent read but in my case provided much motivation in my training.

I'm currently training every day, very hard to become a Para-rescuemen in the USAF ( I'm sure your familiar with them having worked with Tac-P and CCT. Sometimes during long days rucking or drowning in the pool you find yourself questioning why your putting yourself through such punishment. Besides my own determination I found your book to be very motivating and a reminder of why we must train so hard.

Your ending was excellent! It left me in suspense wondering what those first steps in Afghanistan were like as well as missions conducted. Thank you for the gift!! It means more then I can say to have you send this to me. I have shared the book with two of my fellow airmen in hopes of spreading the word about your writing and the great things the GBF are doing. We have all enjoyed the book and agree it's a page turner. We can't wait to read "Burnt Yellow and Red"
Once again thank you so much for the book and your service.

Dear Reader,

I am glad you liked the book. And I appreciate you letting your friends read the book. As I wrote the book, I never imagined that it would be such a source of inspiration for young troops. Your comments are very much appreciated!

Since the book was released, I've received emails and letters from troops all over the world telling me how the stories helped them in someway to overcome a challenge, to make a decision in life, or simply pass the time entertained with memories of home. Also, know that no matter how tough a man is, or may seem, inside we all feel the same sense of doubt, especially when it comes to overcoming a challenge like becoming a rescue swimmer, or a PJ, a Green Beret, or a writer, you name it.

When I was a young troop, I went through SF training and I will never forget this one Sergeant I knew. He was a Ranger, hard as woodpecker lips, great big dude. One day during the land navigation test, I saw him walking down the road, crying. I stopped and from the wood line asked him if he was ok. He sobbed that he had fallen into a hole and hurt his leg and now he was out of the course.

It was his mind set, you see he walked the ten kilometers back to the base camp so he could turn in his card and quit. He was fine physically, not limping much. No more than the rest of us. The problem was that he had talked himself into quitting when he knew he could go on, and that is why he was so devastated emotionally.

The moral of the story is that our bodies can handle a lot more than we believe, so there comes a point when mindset over rides the situation. Have you heard the phrase? "Get your mind right!” When I would get really tired, I would to say to myself, "Feet don't fail me now!" And I had a Team Sergeant who summed it up real nice..."If you don't don’t matter!” Do not allow failure to become an option. You see, attitude will carry the day. Never quit and drive on!

Joel Osteen says, "At that moment when you feel like you can't go another step, just remember, you are a lot closer than you think!" So what I am saying is set your mind free from preconceived notions of what is possible and give yourself permission to succeed. You will be surprised to find out just how much can be accomplished at that point. If you feel like you just can't go on, say to yourself, "Feet don't fail me now!" and drive on...It applies to everything you will ever try to accomplish for the rest of your life, believe me!

No need to thank me for my service, you are the hero in my book because I know what it took for you to join the military during a time of war, knowing full well the dangers that may bring. God bless you and your friends. And thank you all for your service!


P.S. And like my friend Jimmy would say… “Drink water, face out!” :) He had no sympathy for soldiers or airmen, only high expectations!