“I did not think
To show to all the World my Pen and Ink
In such a mode; I only thought to make
I knew not what: nor did I undertake
Thereby to please my Neighbour; no not I,
I did it mine ownself to gratifie.”
—From John Bunyan’s “Apology” for Pilgrim’s Progress
John Bunyan didn’t set out to be an author. He was a preacher imprisoned for doing right. Nevertheless, he didn’t stagnate—he picked up his pen. He didn’t know what he would write, and he never thought the world would read his words. Little did he know that God would free him after his pen got moving. God would use Bunyan’s writings to free countless millions for the next three hundred years.
If you feel like John Bunyan with your pen and ink, great! That means you’re on a typical writer’s pilgrimage. I like how Bunyan worded his title: The Pilgrim’s Progress. That’s what the writing journey is about: progress. Progress means learning, growing, developing, stretching, and understanding to reach God’s destination for your pen.
I’m honored to be your keynote speaker and a presenter for W2I 2018, and I pray that my little talks will help you on your writing pilgrimage. I look forward to it, knowing you’ll help me on my pilgrimage too. Here’s what I’ll be chatting about.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Allow God to have complete liberty in your life when you speak. Before God’s message can liberate other people, His liberation must first be real in you. Gather your material carefully, and then allow God to ‘set your words on fire’ for His glory.” In my keynote address “Liberty,” I’ll set the stage for exploring the life of writing and deadlines, all for God’s glory. Learn why many authors fail, and learn three keys to liberate your writing journey for success. I’ll share how I became a published author; developed my marketing platform; and created the EPIC brand, which includes books, VBS curriculum, an animated series, a kids’ camp, and more.
Where do you want to go with your writing? In my keynote address “Road,” I’ll discuss my process to develop a book from beginning to end. I’ll use the acrostic ROAD and the metaphor of following a road to a destination. My acrostic stands for Route (mapping out a story, developing an outline); Obstacles (writer’s block, research, distractions, and dead ends); Attractions (fun things along the road for writers and readers); and Destination (editing, illustrating, typesetting, advance readers, publishing, and distributing a new book).
My workshop, “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Another Plot Line!,” covers my research for my seventh novel on Patrick Henry, The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key. You’ll go behind the scenes of Henry’s famous speech that rallied a nation to independence and discover how it all started in ancient Rome. I’ll share how I wove a plot line for this speech across two novels. I’ll also discuss a second plot line spanning seven novels and a third (initially unplanned) plot line that God inspired and affirmed in unbelievable ways.
The Epic Journey
How does one become an author? In my keynote address “The Epic Journey,” I’ll share my amazing journey to become an author and the process required to make writing work as a full-time profession in the crazy publishing world. Mine is an EPIC journey of unexpected encounters, international adventures, and nonstop fun. You’ll glimpse my joy as one who discovered her purpose: to serve as “God’s little dictation girl.” And you’ll hear how I live out my passion by never working a day in my life.
An award-winning author and speaker, Jenny L. Cote developed an early passion for God, history, and young people and beautifully blends these three passions in her two fantasy fiction series, The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz® and Epic Order of the Seven®. Likened to C. S. Lewis by readers and book reviewers alike, she speaks on creative writing at schools, universities, and conferences around the world.
Jenny has a passion for making history fun for kids of all ages, instilling in them a desire to discover their part in HIStory. She’s even appeared on Fox News to discuss why it’s important to teach history. She also partnered with the National Park Service to produce Epic Patriot Camp, a summer writing camp at Revolutionary parks that seeks to excite kids about history, research, and writing.
Her love for research has taken her to most Revolutionary sites in the U.S.; to London (with unprecedented access to Handel House Museum to write in Handel’s composing room); to Oxford (to stay in the home of C. S. Lewis, “the Kilns,” and interview Lewis’s secretary, Walter Hooper, at the Inklings’ famed Eagle and Child Pub); to Paris; to Normandy; to Rome; to Israel; and to Egypt.
Jenny’s books are available online and in stores around the world, as well as in multiple e-book formats. Jenny holds two marketing degrees from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. A Virginia native, Jenny now lives in Roswell, Georgia.