Inside the Writer’s Mind

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Have you ever wondered what authors were thinking when they wrote a particular story? For us, Greetings from the Flipside is far from conventional storytelling. Rene Gutteridge and I share about our new story in the following video:

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What is your destiny?

Ascend Conference pic

I went to a women’s conference this weekend in Los Angeles, CA called Ascend. This year’s focus: Fearless Joy.

One of the speakers, Deborah Pegues, said: “You were designed for destiny.” She also shared that in reference to how God sees us, “You are perfect for My purpose.” She encouraged everyone to embrace their uniqueness, not criticize themselves for flaws and imperfections. I loved one illustration she specifically had about writing. She said, “Is there anyone out there who feels destined to write a book?” Quite a few women raised their hands. She encouraged them to sit down in that chair in front of the computer and say, “Lord, I’ll be your typist. What’cha got?” Deborah never intended to be a writer, but kept sensing particular messages she was supposed to put out there, and now she has a book and speaking career.

One big difference with me is that I always knew I wanted to write from the time I was 5 years old. (I didn’t just want to: I would do it. I’d write stories and plays and make everyone in the neighborhood suffer through performances. :))

Whenever I teach writing classes I often encourage students to find that “one story only you can tell” merging your unique life experience with your storytelling desires and creativity (whether that is a non-fiction book, a fictional novel, or screenplay).

Have you questioned what you are supposed to be doing with your life? Ryan and Jayne Elliott have a website called CareerSighted that features videos with people from various professions. They recently came to my home and interviewed me about what it’s like to be a screenwriter and a novelist. Check out the video for an inside peek about what this profession is like. Click on the CareerSighted link to check it out:

CareerSighted Video: Screenwriter/Novelist

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Greetings from the Flipside

Greeting Cover

SYNOPSIS

Hope Landon has been rewriting other people’s greeting cards since she was six years old — there’s always a funnier caption. She’s all set to chase those creative dreams with her musician fiance in New York City until he leaves Hope at the altar, deciding he must not really love this girl if he can’t write a song for her. That may give her something to write about.

Hope disappears alone on what was supposed to be the couple’s month-long honeymoon. Upon returning she learns of her funeral — everyone in her life concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it’s not that easy to rent a place when you’ve been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YMCA, Hope soon lands a job at a Christian inspirational greeting card company as an assistant to Jake, a guy who shut down his organization’s humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh again.

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Greetings from the Flipside will stretch your imagination and lead you on a journey with our lead character, Hope Landon, much like It’s a Wonderful Life did many years ago with George Bailey. As you step into Hope’s shoes, perhaps you’ll laugh, cry, and find hope with her to live a full life and chase after your set-aside dreams–and if you’re looking for it, maybe find true love. For anyone who’s read our prior work, Never the Bride, you know we like to think outside-the-box with our romantic comedies. Are you ready to suspend your disbelief and journey with us to the Flipside?

THE THEMES

If I were to sum up what this book means to me, at its heart, it’s about having hope in the midst of trials and to believe that life will get better again. It’s about how God can “Romans 8:28” anything in your life. (Yes–that’s a verb now!) He’s able to take those bad circumstances and turn them around for your good. What I love about Hope Landon’s character is she is a fighter, no matter how many bad things happen to her. But she’s honest about it; she doesn’t sugar coat pain.

Have you ever gone through something emotionally painful and had someone pat you on the knee and say in that empty way, “Things will get better”? They think they are being comforting while your temptation may be to strangle them. Hope Landon likes to keep it real. But the irony is… she’s a little challenged to know what’s real and what isn’t in her world. Sometimes her life feels like a bad dream. Yet even bad dreams have a way of waking us up to what truly matters in life. Sometimes, they’re not actually bad but have a chance to show us that what we wanted wasn’t what was best for us after all. They can even point us in the right direction. I know for me, many times, I’ve had dreams that helped me heal from painful circumstances or helped encourage me toward a better place in life.

If any of these themes resonate with you, we hope you’ll check out our story.

THE BACKSTORY

Rene Gutteridge and I have been so privileged to work together in such a special and unique way. It started after I wrote The Ultimate Gift as a film, when she was hired to write a novelization of my script. After that, we teamed up on Never the Bride, a romantic comedy I had written as a script. We have an amazing working relationship and truly help each other to become better writers.

Our new project, Greetings from the Flipside, started when I was a writing fellow in a program called Art Within. We had to pitch about 50 ideas to the company before they settled on the one I would write into a script for the fellowship. The first germ of this idea started with just four words: “Christian Greeting Card Company.” They asked me to develop a romantic comedy for that setting. That was in 2007. And here we are, six years later, watching the release of the novelized version of that same story. You never know how long it will take to see something from its beginning stages grow to some kind of fruition (whether that is a book or a movie).

I had a lot of fun building a Pinterest board, sharing some of the locations I had in mind when writing the script. If you’d like to know what to picture as you read the novel, feel free to check it out:

Greetings from the Flipside Pinterest Board

One of the most fun days for a writer is when that first official copy shows up on your doorstep. After months or years of labor, you get to see the final product.

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We’d love to hear from you! Rene and I have a joint page on Facebook. Look us up under Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge or scroll down and like us from this page on the right.

Special thanks to B&H Publishing, who believed in us and our story.

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The book is now available from many book retailers:

Greetings from the Flipside B&H Publishing

Greetings from the Flipside Christian Book Distributors

Greetings from the Flipside Amazon

Greetings from the Flipside Books-a-Million

On the link to Barnes & Noble, you will need to type in the title:

Search for Greetings from the Flipside at Barnes & Noble

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