Interview with Patricia Bradley and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m thrilled to bring you Patricia Bradley. I love Patricia. Every time our paths cross, I enjoy talking to her and getting to know her just a little bit more. I also LOVE the fact that she wrote what had to be a hard book to write – with a protagonist who escaped the imprisonment of human sex trafficking. Wow! And the title Justice Delivered, knowing the content, gives me chills! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy for yourself!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I live in Northeast Mississippi with my two rescue kitties, Suzy and Tux who are very jealous of each other. Tux is a Johnny-Come-Lately and Suzy wants him to leave. I never thought about being a writer until I turned thirty-five and these people came to live in my head and wouldn’t leave until I wrote their stories. Woman’s World published the very first short story I wrote and I thought I was on the fast track to publishing success. And I was if you count thirty plus years before my first novel released the fast track. But I persevered and learned the craft and when God opened the publishing door, I walked through it. I’m working on books eleven and twelve.

Tell us about your current release. Justice Delivered is a book I had to write after a volunteer from Advocates From Freedom came to our church and told us about human trafficking. Here’s the back cover copy:

Carly Smith came by her trust issues honestly. A victim of sex trafficking, she’s been at the mercy of merciless men, ignored by law enforcement officers who should have helped her, and seemingly rejected by her family. She can’t even trust herself to do the right thing. Though she escaped her captors and is working hard on building a new life, the past continues to haunt her when she discovers that the man she couldn’t bring herself to report to police for fear of reliving her captivity is still out there, luring vulnerable girls under the guise of being a modeling agent.

When her own niece is kidnapped, Carly must overcome her fears and come forward with the information she has before it’s too late. When that proves to be not enough, she’ll have to go after the perpetrators herself.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes. I decided long ago that I was writing for an audience of One – God. It would be up to Him what He did with my stories. So far it’s worked out pretty well.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? First of all I pray, asking God to reveal why I’ve hit the wall. Then I go back and look at my POV characters. What have they not told me? What did I miss about their wound and lie? When I figure that out, I get back on track.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I was always a reader and hadn’t thought anything about being a writer. Then one night when I couldn’t sleep, this man appeared in my vision. He stood at a window looking out at the smokestacks billowing in the background, and then he turned around and looked straight at me and said, “This isn’t how my life was supposed to turn out.”

For the next week, I told myself stories about what went wrong in his life, and pretty soon I was putting those stores on paper.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? When I first started writing, I loosely plotted my books out. Then on the third Memphis Cold Case novel, I hit that writer’s block wall before I ever started writing. My deadline was getting closer so I just started writing, going wherever my characters took me. It happened again on this book. It took writing about my characters before I could get to know them.

Now there are three things I have to have before I start writing: who is murdered and why now; what lie do my POV characters believe about themselves that make them who they are when they walk onto the page; what can they do at the end of the book that they couldn’t do at the beginning.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Never give up. From the time I first started writing it took thirty-one years before my first novel was released. What if I’d quit at year 30?

What is your preferred method of writing? I wrote my first short story by pen then on a manual Hermes portable typewriter. If I had to do that with my books, there would be no books. So my preferred method is COMPUTER!!

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started. Did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? My ideas pop into my head at the most bizarre times. This last book was conceived in church. My very first book, Shadows of the Past, came to me after God had called me to lay aside my writing in order to work in the abstinence program for seven years. Then one day as I sat on my sofa doing my daily Bible study, a woman popped into my head and told me her name was Taylor and someone was trying to kill her. I pumped my fist and yelled out loud, “Yes!” For God had given my precious murder stories back. lol

Here is where you can find Patricia online:

https://ptbradley.com/

https://twitter.com/PTBradley1

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Patricia-Bradley-Author/310231559090148

Patricia is giving away a signed copy (US only) or ebook copy of her book to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 7/8 – How Emotional Is Writing for You?

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat! Today I’m answering the question: How emotional is writing for you?

I appreciate the question and hope you learn more about me as a writer through my answer!

The books mentioned in the video are:

Sapphire Ice

A Melody for James

Temperance’s Trial

A Carol for Kent

A Harmony for Steve


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Interview with Dianne Marie Andre and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am pleased to bring you Dianne Marie Andre. I LOVE meeting authors like me, who had no intention, understanding, desire, or spark to write until well into adulthood. It makes me feel a little more “normal” among us writers. Please read on and enjoy Dianne Marie’s interview as much as I did. She is giving away a copy of her latest release, so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Before I became a writer, I held various occupations. These included private piano instructor, craft designer, receptionist, administrative assistant, and barista even though I don’t drink coffee. My favorite occupations are what I do now, writing and photography, but my most significant endeavor is Mom of two sons currently raising their own families.

I live on twenty acres with my husband, Joe, and our adorable rescue dog, Ralphie, hens, cattle, and a bazillion trees. Family, chocolate, fresh flowers, lush gardens, and Mexican food always make me happy.

Tell us about your current release. I have a two-book series. Book one, Ashley’s Gift, A Story of Loss and Self-Forgiveness, is about a grieving mother who learns the healing power of self-forgiveness. Book two, Lily’s Gift, A Story of Sacrifice, is about an abused woman who discovers her greatest gift is the power of love. Both e-books give readers a glimpse of God’s grace and hope in life’s difficult circumstances and joyous moments.

My current work in process (WIP) is a sweet romance. The story is written by an aging man who recalls his life at twenty-three when he returned home in 1954 to wrap up the past, unaware it would revitalize an old fantasy.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent or audience if you self-publish)? When I allow fear to control my emotions, it takes prayer and an encouraging word from the Bible to get past the pity party. The support of my husband, a critique group or partner also snaps me out of the wasted energy spent on fear. Often, I repeat Joyce Meyer’s words, “Do it afraid,” before I click send to publish or market my books.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I didn’t always want to be a writer. In fact, the possibility never occurred to me until I was a young mother of two teen boys. At that time, I fell in love with the essays published in Victoria and Country Living magazines. After learning I had cancer, I wanted to write my own essays, so I enrolled in a creative writing course. It was so much fun I decided I wanted to be a writer. Over time, I left my job and enrolled in college full-time. After graduation, I wrote and designed hardcover family biographies, and created a gardening newsletter which I later converted into a blog. Then, a friend invited me to a fiction workshop. I agreed to go even though I didn’t believe I had enough imagination or skills to write fiction. Due to health issues, I attended only two of the one-year workshop sessions. I also gave up blogging because of poor dial-up, the only internet connection available in my area back then. It didn’t take long before writing withdraws settled in so I looked at the first fiction workshop assignment and decided I could do it. A year later, Wi-Fi was available in my area, and the assignment became my first published novella.

Have you always wanted to write a book? I didn’t always want to write, let alone create a book. After recovering from cancer in my early forties, preserving memories was important to me. I could do that by writing essays. Family members and friends loved reading about themselves. It was a beautiful experience that led me from one writing path to another until books became my focus.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? I don’t incorporate my personal traits consciously, but thinking on your question and based on the characters in book one, I admit I can be selfish like Jenna, a good neighbor like Miss Sullivan, loyal like Robert, and I have Ashley’s faith.

In book two, I’m determined like Lily. I’m not sure I possess any of Max’s or Liam’s traits but I’d like to. The mysterious Tobias is special, so I’ll just leave that for speculation.

How hard is it to come up with names for your characters? What are some of the sources you use? It’s not too difficult. I use websites that list names popular at different time periods and with the meaning behind each. I search book covers, magazines, and a book I purchased years ago when I was expecting my first child, Baby Names from Around the World by Maxine Fields.

Clema (in book two) was a character’s name in a western movie my husband and I were watching one evening. I immediately liked it because it was different and it contained my maiden name (Clem). In my current WIP, some characters don’t have last names. It just wasn’t necessary. But that could change as I go through the editing process.

Do you have a particular character that you fell in love with and keep them alive in your mind? I love Sonny in the sweet romance I’m working on. He’s the man all women desire: kind, thoughtful, encouraging, wants the best for the woman he loves, and he has culinary skills. Since I don’t like to cook, that’s a big plus in my mind.

Here is where you can find Dianne Marie online:

https://diannemarieandre.com/

https://diannemarieandre.com/blog/

https://amzn.to/2FiHn6W

http://www.facebook.com/diannemarieandre

http://www.pinterest.com/andre0926

Dianne Marie is giving away her newest release! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 7/1/19 – Demonstrating the Jump Card!

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat! Today I’m demonstrating the Jump Card!


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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 6/24/19 – Conference Chat and A Melody for James

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

Monday Morning Coffee and Chat – today I’m talking about decompressing after the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference and a phone call I received about A Melody for James.


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Interview with Heather Greer and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m bringing you Heather Greer. I met Heather at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and LOVED every conversation I had with her. She and I connected, and reading her interview I now know we connected on a fundamental, geeky level as fellow Doctor Who and Sherlock fans. (heh) But more, I love her heart for Jesus and her family, and I am thrilled that she is here with us today. Read on to see how you can enter to win her latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a writer who is passionate about helping believers grow in their faith walks. I’m a pastor’s wife (which I honestly never thought I’d be after growing up as a preacher’s kid) and mother to four wonderful children. Two of my children are married, and the other two are still at home. I have the most amazing five year old grandson who I try to keep supplied with all the best chidren’s books. I love to read, bake, and binge watch my favorite television shows. I tend to geek out about things like Doctor Who, Sherlock, and the Lord of the Rings. And I can’t forget my all-time favorite movie, The Princess Bride.

Tell us about your current release. Grasping Hope is the sequel to my first book, Faith’s Journey. Katie McGowan is planning her wedding to Austin, but that doesn’t mean everything is going smoothly. Katie is struggling with emotional baggage from her first engagement that ended after her fiance was unfaithful. Grasping Hope takes us through Katie’s struggles to learn what hope is and where it comes from. Even after she thinks she has it all figured out, Katie learns circumstances can change in an instant testing the lessons we thought we’d learned.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Definitely. I like to remember that while “God so loved the world”, He would have gone through everything He went through even if I was the only one who would accept His gift. If God is that way, I think we should be too.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I think it would have to be the Challenger explosion. I was ten, and with a teacher aboard, it was a big deal in school. It was the first time I felt like the news was connected to me in some way.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? I actually remember two different t.v. crushes from about the same time. It’s embarassing, but I wasn only around six years old. The first was Greg Evigan from B.J. and the Bear. My two older brothers liked watching the show, and I decided I didn’t mind watching it with them. The second I shouldn’t have known about at six years old! My great-granny would babysit me, and she always had to watch her story at lunch. Her story just happened to be The Young and the Restless. Michael Damian played an older teen or young adult named Danny Romalotti, and I remember thinking he was really cute.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? The first books I loved were the Berestain Bears books. I loved library day at school, because I could always get a new one. As I got a little older I remember loving Janette Oke’s Animal Friends story series. In middle school and junior high, I loved the Cedar River Daydreams series by Judy Baer and the Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn. In high school, anything by Lori Wick or Linda Chaikin became favorites. Now, I blog reviews regularly. So, I find new authors to love all the time. My husband isn’t thrilled about that, but I tell him buying new books is now part of my job! However, my favorite writer is Kristen Heitzmann.

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? I’ve wanted to write since I was a child. But I had a love-hate relationship with creative writing assignments in school. I loved to get them. But I had teachers who were less than encouraging at times. I didn’t write what they wanted, and they didn’t hesitate to mark down my grade because of it. I never won the contests our work was submitted to. These don’t sound like much, but to a girl who struggled with self-confidence, they were pretty big blows. But I couldn’t shake the stories in my head. The books I’d read meant so much to me that I wanted to give the same experience to others. So, I couldn’t give up. My ideas come from a variety of places. I’ve written about things I love, things my children’s interests have inspired, lessons that I’ve learned, and situations that sparked an idea. Sometimes a person, place, or Bible verse starts the story for me. It changes with each story I write.

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? For me, that assumption would be wrong, at least most of the time. Whatever starts the idea in my mind usually brings me to the opening scene. From there, I don’t necessarily know where the characters are headed. My first book, Faith’s Journey was born out of the idea of what someone deals with when they’ve been betrayed and how it would affect them if they didn’t have faith to help them through. The book begins with the betrayal. Several chapters into the book the end made itself clear. In fact, I actually wrote the first third and then the last third of the book before finishing the middle! But it wasn’t until I was into the story that I figured out where it was heading. I had to let Katie develop and decide where she would go. With so much of the story already written and the characters developed, I had a better idea of the plot details for the sequel, Grasping Hope, but even then there were some surprises as I wrote. With the third book, I know what I want to show and where I want Katie’s story to end up, but the details of how to get there are still working themselves out.

I often wondered….when you sit down to write that first line/paragraph in a new book/novella, is it difficult to get that started or do the words flow easily? Usually, I find it easy to get started. I either come to it with an idea, scene, or person that’s really grabbed my attention. I’m excited by it, and like a child with a new toy, I don’t want to put it down. It’s further into the story that I usually have more trouble. I’ve made it through the beginning, and I know where I want to end up. But there are times when the events in the middle leave me anxious to get where I’m going. When that happens, I struggle to push through.

Here is where you can find Heather online:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHeatherGreer/

https://heathergreer.com/

 

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