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Saturday, December 15, 2007

One Week Remains in The Isle of Swords Treasure Hunt, and that means: Double Points Week!

reetings, or should I say, Avast! The Treasure Hunt has been a great success. Thanks for all the great Door Within & Isle of Swords promotion. I've really enjoyed reading all the reviews, and am amazed at the networking you've all been doing on behalf of my books.

I'll be updating the Treasure Point totals soon, so that you all can see where you stand in the rankings. Christmas Day is the Official Deadline for Treasure Points to count. That gives you just a little over a week to add up some points.

I'd really like to see a promotional blitz this last week before Christmas, so beginning Sunday and ending on Christmas Day, all Treasure Points will be doubled! So if you're a last minute shopper and decide to go out and buy the whole Door Within Trilogy and Isle of Swords, you'll earn 800 TREASURE POINTS instead of the previous 400 points!

For the remainder of the Treasure Hunt, please post ALL treasure points accomplishments on THIS THREAD.

Please see below for the treasure points key and potential prizes! NOTE the new "Ultimate Treasure of the Century" Opportunity!

To the Winners Go the Spoils:
('s what you can win)

The Top FIVE Adventurers who accumulate the Treasure Points will receive a signed book of their choice. AND for each of the top 5, I will name a character* in my next fantasy series after you. That's correct: I'll use your real name, your username, or a character name you create as a character in my new fantasy series. Of course, if your name is Bob, we might want to go with something a little more fantasy-ish.

For the #1 Treasure Points getter, I will give you one copy of every new book I write...for LIFE. That means, should the Lord allow me to live long enough to write all the stories rattling around in my head, you will get a signed copy of each one sent directly to you. Of course, if you move and don't give me your new address, then…someone else will be getting all those books. Doh!

*No Guarantee that your character won't get killed off in some horribly unpleasant manner.

Your mission, should you choose to--ah, you know the rest--is simply this accumulate the Most Treasure Points possible by Christmas 2007 by completing any and all of the tasks listed below:

Treasure Points Tasks Key

10 Treasure Points:
•Mention ANY of my books in a blog thread--your blog or someone else's--post the link in your comment.
•Recommend ANY of my books to someone you know--say who it was.
•Post a link to my blog anywhere on your blog--then, post the link here.
•Post a review of any of my books on a non-review site like a blog, school page, etc. Post a link here.

20 Treasure Points:
•Write a review of any of my books on Amazon or any online review site. Post the link for the review once it's up.
•Post cover artwork from any of my books on your blog and make it a link to Amazon or CBD. Post the link in your comment on this thread.
•Post a link for my book's Amazon or CBD page on your blog. Then, post the link here.

40 Treasure Points:
•Write a review of any of my books and post it on three different online review sites. Post the link for the review here once it's up.

50 Treasure Points:
•Recommend ANY of my books to someone you know--say who it was. And then, this person chose to buy the book!
•Spot ANY of my books in a bookstore outside of the state in which you live. Post here to let us know where and when.

100 Treasure Points:
•Buy a copy of Isle of Swords and post when and where you bought it.
•Buy any of The Door Within Books and post when and where you bought it.
•Write a review of ALL of my books and post ALL of them on THREE online review sites. Post the links for the reviews once they're up.
•Buy a copy of any book by one of the Fantasy Fiction Tour Authors: Sharon Hinck, Bryan Davis, and Christopher Hopper.
•Create an Amazon Listmania List that includes The Door Within Books and Isle of Swords.
• Write AND present a book report on any Wayne Thomas Batson, Bryan Davis, Christopher Hopper, or Sharon Hinck book at school. 100pts. if you earn an A+ for that assignment.

150 Treasure Points:
•Go to a store that does not carry my books and special order it from that store.
•Go to a store that does not carry my books and persuade them to carry any of my books. Then, post here to tell us what store has now agreed to carry my book(s).
•Buy any of my books and donate them to your church library. Then post here to say where you bought them and what church received them.

200 Treasure Points:
•Buy a copy of ANY of my books for the Youth Group Leader of your church. Post a comment here to tell who, when, and where.
•Buy one copy of EACH of the Fantasy Fiction Tour Authors: Sharon Hinck, Bryan Davis, Wayne Thomas Batson, and Christopher Hopper. (4 Books total) Post here to say where and when.
•Buy both of Christopher Hopper's books: Rise of the Dibor and The Lion Vrie. Post here to say where and when.
•Buy both of Sharon Hinck's Sword of Lyric Books: Restorer and Restorer's Son. Post here to say where and when.

800 Treasure Points:
•Buy The Door Within, Rise of the Wyrm Lord, The Final Storm, and Isle of Swords (ALL FOUR of my books). Post here and tell where you bought them and when.
•Buy all of Bryan Davis's Dragons in Our Midst Books (4) Post here to say where and when.

Ultimate Treasure of the Century: 3000 Treasure Points:
(only for purchases between December 16th and 25th, 2007)

•Buy all three Door Within books, Isle of Swords, BOTH of Christopher Hopper's White Lion Books, the Complete Dragons in Our Midst --OR-- Oracles of Fire set from Bryan Davis, the first two Restorer Books by Sharon Hinck, and one books from any of the following authors: Donita K. Paul, LB Graham, Jonathon Rogers, or Jeffery Overstreet.
**Please Post Where you purchased the books.

Note: Each of the preceding MAY be repeated as many times as you like.

Note #2
: Each of the preceding must be performed from this day (September 18th, 2007) forward. But, upon further review, I have decided to allow contestants to count THREE past book purchases for Treasure Points. So, if you bought The Door Within, Rise of the Wyrm Lord, and The Final Storm last year, you can count those three, but no others.

Note #3: To claim ANY Treasure Points, you must post a comment on THIS thread explaining how you accomplished it.

Note #4
: I may add to the list of Treasure Point Tasks at any time--and likely will because my twisted mind is always churning...

Note #5
: Keep track of your own Treasure Points. I will keep a running tally in my sidebar and try to update it every week or two. But you should keep your total as well.

Note #6
: You cannot kill several birds with one stone. Make sure you indicate in your post how many Treasure Points your accomplishment earned you. In other words, you can't buy one copy of The Door Within, count it for 25 points and then count it AGAIN once you buy the whole series 100 points.

Note #7
: Any and all of the requirements are subject to change as I see how this develops. I want to keep it fair.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Assault on Quiet Time

Through high school and college, one of my summer jobs was working at a "Pick-Your-Own" Strawberry farm. During the picking season, my job was to stand out in the field to direct people to the best help them avoid rows that had been "picked-clean," and, of course, to make sure kids didn't trample the fruit or start impromptu berry fights.

On the weekends, the job stayed very busy. Thousands of people came out, so I got to talk to all sorts of neat folks. I made some of my best friends there at that field. As a matter of fact, working in that strawberry patch eventually led to me meeting my wife. But the most important person I met there was Jesus, though that's a story for another time.

As I said, weekends at the strawberry field were usually very busy. But weekdays…were slow. Watching the paint dry slow. And the boss had a thing for us never sitting down on the job. So, I stood there…in the middle of a field…for hours…on end…with nothing to do…but think.

And boy, did I ever think. I thought about my life, about my future, about relationships, about my dreams…about God. At the time, I grew to hate having so much time to think. I was in the midst of a very troubling break-up, and I just couldn't get away from my thoughts. It was horrible, but it was wonderful.

It was a good thing I couldn't get away from my thoughts. I was forced to confront them. I was forced to weigh myself, to measure my life, to ask questions. All that think time led me straight to Jesus.

This brings me to the subject of my post. We need quiet time. I'm not even talking about time to get away, relax, and recharge. No, we need that too. But I'm talking about having quiet time that troubles us. Quiet time where we have nothing left to do but see ourselves as we our, to see the world as it is, and just maybe…hear from God.

Make space in your calendar for two hours. By yourself. No interruptions. No distractions. I dare you to try it.

I DOUBLE DARE YOU. It won't be easy. Call me a nutjob if you want, but I am CONVINCED that one of our enemy's subtlest, most destructive plots is to obliterate our quiet time. Think of the direction American culture has taken us. Remember when all the houses had great big front porches, where neighbors could "set a spell" and talk?

Yeah, me either. That's how long it's been. Time was when people actually got to know each other…and yes, that was a good thing. Don't get me wrong, technology in and of itself is not evil. TV isn't the great demonic ploy of this age. iPods, video games--nothing innately wrong with any of it. But look at the great sum of it all. What seems to be the goal: portable DvD players, cell phones, iPhones, blackberries, laptops, etc. etc.

I was in a restaurant the other day and visited a restroom. Guess what? There's a TV above the urinal! I was in NYC a few months back and stepped into an elevator. TV there too. I recently heard that gas stations were going to be putting TVs on the pump, so you don't have to stand there for a a full minute with nothing to do.

Seems like the world wants us to be entertained every waking moment. I wonder why that is. I suspect it's because in quiet moments, we might actually think about life...we might actually start asking the big questions of life. Who am I? Why am I here? What have I been doing with my life? Or, maybe, is there anyone out there who cares?

You might say, Wayne, all those things are are attempts to eliminate boredom from our lives. That's not so bad, is it? No, not entirely. But when the pace of life, the routines, the moment to moment living, the entertainment, and the noise constantly bombard us…it becomes easy to lie to ourselves. It becomes easy to beat down those nagging questions. It becomes easy to let life--real life--pass us by.

So what might happen if you allow yourself to NOT be numbed by entertainment or busyness for a while? Maybe in that quiet, you might remember the harsh words you spoke to a loved one. Maybe, you might feel an urge to apologize. Maybe, you'll remember some childhood dream that you swept under the adult rug. Maybe, you'll realize how messed up the world is...or how messed up all of us are.

I suspect what many people call boredom might actually be pain. And pain, when recognized, might lead us to ask for help.

Realizing we need help--for life and eternity--might just be the most important discovery of our lives. There's only One who has all the answers to the hard questions. There's only One who loved you enough to die for you. My prayer is that quiet time might lead you to Him.

If you're the hard person to shop for--the guy who has everything--maybe give yourself a gift this year. Give yourself some quiet time. Go ahead. I dare you.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

About Rejection...


A fan wrote me the other day asking for advice that I might give to give to an aspiring writer who has a burning desire to write, finishes a novel, queries agents and publishers and faces rejection?

For those with an interest, here's my response:

Rejection hurts. No one likes to feel rebuffed. But rejection is a part of this business, and a very necessary part at that. Who wants to plunk down $16.99 for a book only to have it turn out lousy? Publishers have to reject authors because of inferior quality. They have to reject authors because of the needs of their publishing house. And they have to reject authors because of societal trends...the genre du jour, etc.

So rejection is a fact of the industry. But how you respond is what makes the difference. Some authors use rejection as motivation: "I'll show them I can make it." Others use rejection as an opportunity for revision: "Okay, how can I make my manuscript better?" Still others give up. The last option is no option at all. You give up, you have zero chance of being published. If you have a passion to write or even a God-given calling to write, you MUST not give up. If you do, you'll always wonder. If you do, you'll never have peace. You must musT muST mUST MUST keep trying. But try "smart."

1. Look at the trends. What's hot in
Hollywood? What's selling NOW?
2. Get an agent. Most (95%) of publishers will ignore manuscripts NOT sent by an agent.
3. Put together a team: friends, local English teachers--even professional editors. And have them read your work and critique it.

4. Finally, and in my humble opinion, most importantly: work on your HOOK. By that I mean the first sentence, first paragraph, first page, and first chapter of your manuscript. This is the most important part of the book. You must hook your reader immediately. Editors at publishing houses rarely spend more than a few pages with a manuscript unless it hooks them. You've got 2 minutes of an editor's time. How will you get them to read on? Gradual exposition won't cut it. Think suspense. Arouse curiosity. Draw the reader in from the first line. If you do, you're well on your way to a book deal.

There's my .02 about rejection. What are your thoughts? Authors out did you deal with rejection? Any advice for other writers out there?