About Tabitha Caplinger:
Tabitha Caplinger has been in student ministry for close to 15 years, and currently pastors at Faith Community Church in House Springs, Missouri with her husband Brian. They have two sassy daughters, Lila and Rory. Student Ministry is core to who Tabitha is; she loves discipling others and helping them see themselves through Jesus’ eyes. Her goal is for every young woman to be confident that, “she is loved more than she will ever know by someone who died to know her.”
When not working, Tabitha and her family like taking in a good movie or walking through the park. She also admits to being a little obsessed with TV.
What inspires you to write?
While I have always loved the idea of writing and felt it could be part of my ministry it is only within the last few years I actually put pen to page. A couple of years ago I self published a collection of essays written to other young women in ministry titled, Pulpits and Pink Lipstick. I have had the pleasure of seeing that book bless and encourage other young women I have mentored and met at conferences and retreats.
At present my heart is set on fiction. I love the drama of storytelling and getting lost in imagination. I also love creating characters who’s lives have a message. I believe that stories can bring to life the Gospel in a way no sermon can. My desire is to craft a story that would minister to and motivate young adults in their faith.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’d call myself a flexible planner. What do I mean by that? Before starting a book I sit down and come up with a general outline. For my current trilogy I had a basic outline of what would happen in each book. As i get to each specific work in the trilogy I write out a more detailed outline of each chapter. I know where I’m starting, where I’m going and basically how I am going to get there. However I have found that in the middle of a chapter a scene or character surprises me. Ideas pop up that I hadn’t yet thought about and it might take things in a slightly different direction or on a small tangent. So I have a plan but I allow myself the space to flow with where the story may go that I hadn’t accounted for initially.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters. Well not really. Maybe I sort of do. When I write I find that I put myself in one characters shoes for a scene and work out the dialogue and action scenes like I was living them out myself.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t give up and be intentional. Writing is hard, it takes a lot of work and can come with a lot of rejection. If you have it in you to write though, don’t give up, keep writing. And if this is really something you want then the dream has to become a goal and that requires some intentionality. Make time to write, set goals on how much you want to get done by when. And make those goals realistic. I read somewhere that Ted Dekker likes to write something like 2000 words a day. As a youth pastor and mom of two that isn’t realistic for me, but 2000 words a week was. I didn’t always meet that goal because life happens but having it kept me motivated.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wrote a non-fiction collection of essays titled Pulpits and Pink Lipstick that I self-published. Publishing in general is hard, doing it by yourself when you don’t really know what you’re doing is infinitely harder. So when I started on The Chronicle of the Three I knew I wanted to get a publisher, not that that is particularly easy. But I felt like if I had a publisher behind me that also believed in the book than that would boost my confidence in putting it out there more. It also provided the support to put the best work forward. I think if you are brand new to publishing getting help from a publisher is a good idea. I don’t think there is anything wrong with self-publishing but if you go that route make sure you do your research on marketing. Books don’t just sell themselves.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I have read a lot of articles that discuss the future of publishing written by people with much more knowledge and experience then me. I don’t know what the future is but I think that there just needs to be flexibility. One minute its all about digital and the next everyone wants to go back to paperback. So as an author I just want to be flexible about what my readers are wanting and give them that.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: christian, young adult, urban fantasy, action adventure, supernatural
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.