Grit for the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers

Rate this post

grit-for-the-oysterJoin Joanna Bloss, Debora Coty, Faith Tibbetts and Suzanne Woods Fisher, authors of the anthology for aspiring writers, Grit for the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers (Vintage Spirit, Aug. ’08), as they virtually tour the blogosphere in November on their first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!


A powerful motivator for aspiring writers, Grit for the Oyster offers wit, wisdom, and inspiration to take that first step and persevere through the writing journey. More than a how-to, this confidence-building book is designed to draw readers to a closer relationship with God, to affirm their calling to write, and to offer pithy practical guidance from successful writers like Terri Blackstock, Martha Bolton, James Scott Bell, Liz Curtis Higgs, Dr. Gary Chapman, and Kavid Kopp.


Joanna Bloss is the author of God’s Gifts for the Grad (Barbour, 2009) and has written for a variety of publications including Today’s Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. She is a certified personal trainer, graphic artist, and currently working towards her master’s degree in clinical psychology. She lives in the Midwest with her four children. Keep up with her busy life at

Debora M. Coty is a seasoned raconteur (storyteller), a raqueteer (tennis player) and a racketician (loud laughter). Also a freelance writer and newspaper columnist, she’s had over eighty works published in international magazines, newspapers, trade journals and anthologies. You can visit her webwsite at

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a wife, mother, writer, lifelong student of the Bible, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener and a cook…the latter two with sporadic results. A former contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today magazine, Suzanne’s work has appeared in many magazines. Her first novel, Copper Star, a World War II love story, received three literary awards. Since then, she has published two more books and has five books under contract. Suzanne is a popular retreat speaker and teaches Precepts at her church. Find Suzanne on-line at:

Faith Tibbetts McDonald, a former contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today magazine, a newspaper columnist, freelance writer, professional speaker, and lecturer at Pennsylvania State University, received the Reader’s Pick award for an article published in Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Faith has contributed to numerous books including Women Ask, Women Answer: Questions Women Long to Ask, Answers They Need to Know (Thomas Nelson, 2008). Faith lives with her husband and three children in Pennsylvania. Visit Faith on Facebook.


Hi Suzanne, Deb, Faith and Joanna.

Welcome to Paperback Writer.

Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book?

We became acquainted through a writer’s conference in 2006. Around this time Suzanne birthed the idea of writing a powerful motivator for aspiring and experienced writers, offering wit, wisdom and inspiration to take that first step and persevere through the writing journey.

There are many books that address the mechanics of writing and getting published, but not about the heart of writing. The other three of us eagerly jumped on board and Grit was soon underway. Each of us is on different legs of our writing journeys but we were united by the desire to create a motivational book for writers that affirms, builds confidence, inspires, and offers practical guidance.

Was it a light bulb moment or something that you thought about for a very long time?

We found ourselves reaching for this type of book when we were getting started on our writing journey—but it didn’t exist! So you could say the concept had been percolating for a long time and the book itself was a light bulb moment.

How did you come up with the title?

Again, the credit goes to Suzanne, but it rings true for all of us. Life experiences can be amazingly wonderful, but also pretty rough sometimes. When you begin to step back and look at them through a wide-angle lens you discover that whether they are good or bad, each has the potential to become “grit for the oyster.”

How did you find an agent and publisher?

We were not represented by an agent for this project. However, Suzanne and Deb had contracted previously with our publisher for their individual work. When the publisher learned about our collaborative project they were very happy to pursue it.

Who reads your work in progress?

Well, if you don’t count our family dogs (of which there are many!) that would be our spouses, each other, and some amazing writerly friends.

Who made a difference in the book’s quality?

This was a collaborative effort. As each piece was complete we sent it out to the other three to read. We tracked changes and edited and polished each piece until it shone.

It would be great to have four authors working on every book we write from here on out—it’s amazing what another pair of eyes, let alone three other pairs of eyes—can add to a project.

How long did it take you to complete the first draft?

About a year.

How long did it take from start to publication?

One year and eight months.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

So glad you asked! We offer loads of it in our book: Grit for the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers!

Thank you, Suzanne, Deb, Faith and Joanna, for stopping by Paperback Writer on your virtual book tour. I wish you continued success through the rest of you tour.

GRIT FOR THE OYSTER VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08 officially began on November 3 and end on November 26. You can visit the authors’ blog stops at in November to find out more about their latest book!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced on November 30!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

3 thoughts on “Grit for the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers”

  1. Thank you for hosting us – it was a lovely interview. Your site is a must for rabid readers. May you find lustrous pearl-producing grit for your oyster!

    -Debora M. Coty,
    author of The Distant Shore,
    Billowing Sails, and
    Mom Needs Chocolate (3/09, Regal)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *