Thursday, November 12, 2009

Douce Writes About His Dreams

Robert Douce of St. John’s Florida visited with First Coast Christian Writers to discuss his novel, Cosmic Light and his inspiration dreams about the book. He shared with us how God inspired him to write through six different dreams. All six of the dreams were in sequential order. He knew that this was something that God had called him to do. This is how Douce and his co-author Fernando Amandi wrote Cosmic Light!

Douce is a Customized and Technical Writer for academic and career portfolios; you can view his book at . He began to tell us why he wrote the book and turned to the book of Matthew and read about Jesus walking on the water. He was looking for strength and faith and focused on Peter to provide his inspiration. Douce stated he read that scripture thirty nights in row! On the thirty-first night a light bulb went off in his head! He understood that if God does the asking, he could not fail. Douce battled cancer in 2003, and wanted to find that same strength, faith and courage from Peter. He prayed for God during his 30 days of radiation treatments to ask him to be of service and serve for a purpose. It wasn’t until 2005, he received his first dream and the sixth and final dream came in 2008. He would awake after these dreams every morning at 2:30 AM. He felt compelled to write these spiritual intense dreams of hope for the future of mankind that he was given.

These dreams were all in sequel order and he knew this was unusual and felt the need to write about these dreams. He began immediately writing what he had dreamed. He went through two co-authors before he found Fernando Amandi who is also a cancer survivor and a neighbor.
They define their book as a “Christian Fiction” as it is an uplifting story. Their sequel may be A New Age Begins On Earth and involves the world. He then read a few excerpts from his Cosmic Light book! He began to share about the dreams he had in detail. His dreams involved advanced technologies in “energy and the elimination of fossil fuels.” “ He never saw technical names in his dreams, but the authors researched and found all the advanced technologies were in progress in scientific labs all over the world. The dreams include solutions for: “Energy, education, medical, crime, capital punishment to name a few. In the near future, criminals fleeing from the law in vehicles will be over with “A flip of the switch!” Douce stated. We will use space elevators and no need for gas and oil. These are only a fraction of the visions in the dreams.

The speaker’s 3 points in his speech were: Inspiration, Message and Outreach. “The Dreams served as his Inspiration to write, The Message is what God gave him in content to help others to find hope and a better world, and finally, Outreach is what each writer needs to accomplish after writing a book!” He went on to explain how he was the messenger. Douce shared that it is important for writers to have a marketing plan for their book. This is the Outreach. He is writing letters and speaking about his book. Letters have been sent to Oprah, Vatican, talk shows, etc. about solutions in the book that deal with crime to children in kidnapping, sexual predators, abuse. He has written to many other places in hopes to get their message out and to help market their book.

“Outreach is getting your message out and a need for a marketing plan!” He went on to discuss. His publisher’s website is: for the book, Cosmic Light. They interviewed around 10 publishers and this one was last on their list to check out. They loved how they did the large print, which they wanted to make it easier for the reader to read. They have been asked to print their book in Spanish and have over 35 foreign countries request on their website.

Their book has only been out on the market less than seven weeks. The publisher has advertised on facebook last week and they received over one hundred and eighty hits from the ad. This is part of their marketing plan and outreach goal.

The profits they make will go to cancer research, specific cancer patients, education and to churches they belong to. We enjoyed the inspirational story that Douce shared with First Coast Christian Writers. We hope that his book Cosmic Light continues to have much success.

Christine M Ramey, FCCW Secretary

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hanks Gives 10 Points of Good Writing Skills

When you’ve said what you want to say – stop!” explained Jerry Hanks as he conveyed to FCCW members the last of 10 tips for writing well. He and his wife, Bobbi de Cordova-Hanks, did just that on November 5 as they shared practical advice and endearing anecdotes to help writers improve their skills. With an astounding 80 years of professional writing and editing experience between them, Jerry and Bobbi know what it takes to write well.

Jerry, who holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, is a writer, editor and public relations specialist with extensive newspaper experience. He is co-founder of the local PR and writing firm, Hanks-Livingston, Inc.
Bobbi, who spent 25 years as a professional musician, has served as editor of number of trade publications in addition to serving as news bureau manager at what was formerly Florida Community College at Jacksonville.

Together they co-authored the book, Tears of Joy, which tells the story of their life together as a cancer survivor (Bobbi) and a cancer caregiver (Jerry).
In a similar “tag team” approach, the couple collaborated to impart valuable wisdom to both seasoned and emerging writers in the group. Some of the tips included:

“Know your readers. Know who your writing is intended to reach.” Bobbi explained this fundamental principle to the group while Jerry encouraged them to get a mental picture of their audience so as to write in a way that is personal and appealing.

“Know what you’re writing about and what you want to say.” Sharing a story from his college years, Jerry illustrated how important it is to know your subject matter and not to overlook obvious details and basic questions. In the example, the class was given a writing prompt regarding a church steeple collapse. Every student, while thoroughly covering the details of the accident, neglected to mention the height of the steeple!

“Write it the way you would say it.” Bobbi discussed how she translates complicated medical terminology into everyday language as editor of a trade publication for the Intercultural Cancer Council at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She admonished the group to make their writing interesting and real.

“If you’re having trouble getting started, try starting with a question.” A useful pointer, Jerry described how he gets a piece moving when the words won’t come. Asking “What does the typical reader want to know?” is a great way to get the ink flowing.

“Edit. Edit. Edit.” This advice is taken for granted by writers with potentially embarrassing results. Bobbi strongly encouraged writers to hire a professional editor to catch mistakes before they are in print. The value to the reputation of the writer and the quality of the piece far exceed the cost.

By the end of the presentation, each writer departed with easy-to-apply principles to elevate their craft and memorable stories to warm their hearts.

By Tina Givens, FCCW member