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Interview with Author Anneliese Dalaba 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 excited to have Anneliese Dalaba as my guest! As I read through this interview, I found myself wishing I could sit back and listen to her speak about her life and her lifetime of ministry. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Anneliese is giving away an ebook to her novel Reluctant to Wed, so make sure you keep reading to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born in Brazil. We immigrated to the US when I was almost 7.5 years old. I grew up in New Jersey and absolutely love the Jersey Shore. When I was in my 20s, a new pastor came to our church. We fell in love, got married, and moved to Michigan. Later, after we had two children, we moved to Germany for four years, then back to Michigan. We have traveled to many countries together including most of Europe, Dubai, Brazil, etc. My husband has shown me the world and we’ve lived quite an adventurous life. Now my nest is empty, but I have entered the wonderful world of grandparenting. I’m a romantic at heart and love reading Christian historical romance novels. I’m the author of the Arranged Marriage Series, which includes two books so far.

Tell us about your current release: The Marriage Maneuver, which is the second book in the Arranged Marriage Series, takes place in the early 1800s in England. In the first book, the antagonist is Fitz. My new release is Fitz’s story.  In it, we find out why he is so adverse to marriage. He vowed never to give his heart to another woman. He is willing to be shackled into marriage to produce an heir, but not yet. He still has time. Unfortunately, others have a different plan for him.

We also meet Lady Selina Kendall who was given to an aunt to be raised. She never understood why she was forced to leave her parents’ home while her siblings were allowed to stay.  Although her aunt and uncle are good to her, Selina cannot help the longing in her heart for her family. When she is ready to be presented to society, the long-awaited letter from her parents finally arrives. But when Selina returns home, nothing could have prepared her for the news that greets her.

An arranged marriage binds these two together in holy matrimony. How can love grow and faith prevail when outside forces and internal conflicts conspire to tear them apart?

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful?  Yes, I do feel the pressure sometimes, but I refuse to give into it. If I’m going to publish Christian Fiction, I have to write a faith-based novel. I feel a responsibility to give a clear description of a godly life without becoming overly preachy. However, I don’t think mentioning God a few times or one of the characters mentioning that she prays constitutes a Christian fiction. That’s fine if someone wants to write that kind of book but I find it lacking and unrealistic. When a believer faces a major challenge, they call out to God. Not just, “Oh, God!” They actually fall on their knees and pray the thing through seeking answers. They may take a prayer walk or call a friend and ask for additional prayer support, etc. If I don’t show that in my books in some way, I feel I have not given an accurate picture of what the Christian life really looks like. I don’t think I have to present the entire plan of salvation in every book, but the characters who are believers should behave as believers ought. My novels give a clear description of a godly life with all of its ups and downs, defeats and triumphs. But they will always have a happy ending. That’s a must! Otherwise, it’s not a romance.

What’s the first major news headline that you remember and what do you remember?  I remember being at my aunt and uncle’s house with my family. We all sat around a black and white TV and watched as a man step out of the lunar module Eagle and onto the moon. I was too young to really understand how amazing that was. I didn’t even realize that was the first time man had set foot on the moon. I only recall how the adults seemed enthralled by what they were watching. I was a month away from turning eight years old.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? The best way for me to avoid writer’s block is to keep writing. As I write, the ideas begin to flow. I think it’s important to read a lot. Many ideas come while I’m reading the works of others. Certainly, not to steal what they wrote, but there are so many stories within a story that trigger the creative juices in a writer. It’s also important to observe life and listen to people. There are stories everywhere that help you get ideas for what to write. For example, when I didn’t know what to write for The Marriage Maneuver, I did some brainstorming and remembered my grandmother telling me about how she had been given away to an aunt to be raised while her siblings were allowed to stay with their parents. She shared how it affected her as a child. That is where I got the idea for Selina’s story in my novel. My character’s story is nothing like my grandmother’s, but it gave me a place to start and my imagination took over from there.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I always wanted to write. I tried writing a book once when I was about twelve and got a couple of pages written before deciding it was too frustrating. My hand couldn’t keep up with my thoughts, so I set it aside. I just made up stories in my head and enjoyed them alone. (I know that sounds strange, but I have always loved creating stories in my head.) Of course, I forgot all of them since I never wrote them down. Years later, when my husband and I were preparing for ministry overseas, we had to read a stack of books and write a report for each one. We also had to write a 15-page autobiography. When the man from the national office came to do our home interview, he told me how much he enjoyed my autobiography. He said I was a gifted writer and encouraged me to keep writing. I have written articles for newsletters, blogposts, and published articles in magazines. After my kids left our home, I decided to finally begin my first book. What was different this time over the first time I tried to write when I was twelve is that now I had a computer. I type much faster than I can write longhand, of course. This made the process less frustrating.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read?  I am an avid reader, especially of Christian romances or clean romances. (The Christian romance market wasn’t plentiful when I was young.) I’ve read since I was about twelve years old, so I know what I like to read. And if I enjoy those books, I imagine a lot of other people enjoy them, too. So I would have to say that I write for my own enjoyment, but I think others will enjoy it also. I write the kind of book I like to read.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? They say there’s a bit of the author in all of her characters. I hope not. LOL!  I hope I’m nothing like Lady Harriet in Reluctant To Wed. The character that is probably the most like me – or so my family tells me – is Emma in the first book in the Arranged Marriage Series.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Let me first say that ignorance is bliss. If I had known all that self-publishing entails, I may never have had the courage to do it. However, I’m so glad I did it. I listened to Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn. She is a successful indie author and has some traditionally published works, too. After listening to her and talking with authors who have self-published, I decided I wanted to embrace the challenge just to see how I would do with it. I’m happy to say I am doing quite well and plan to continue this series as a self-published author. I sometimes play with the thought of seeking to be traditionally published just to gain a greater audience, but I’m not certain about that yet. I’d have to do more research. So far, I’m having too much fun self-publishing.

Find Anneliese online:

Website/Blog: https://www.anneliesedalaba.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anneliesedalaba/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adalaba2017

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/AnneDalaba/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/adalaba2017/

Anneliese is giving away an ebook of her first novel, Reluctant to Wed. Here’s how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Author Christine Dillon 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 excited to have author Christine Dillon as my guest! She is a missionary in the Taiwan- and is Australian. I have a sister-in-law and nephew who are Australian, and had the absolute joy and pleasure of speaking at the Omega Christian Writers Conference in Sydney last year. Australia and the people there have a very special place in my heart. Please enjoy Christine’s interview as much as I did – it is full of wisdom and grace.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m Australian but have spent the majority of my life in Asia. First, as a child because my parents were missionaries in Taiwan. In those days, that meant boarding school in Malaysia and the Philippines. I wouldn’t exchange my background for anything.

I returned to Australia for my final two years of high school so I could get into Australian university. I studied physiotherapy, hence my heroine being a physiotherapist and also setting the book in 1995 when I was still familiar with the hospital scene.

I loved my work and it taught me how to talk to strangers and connect with people. I had many opportunities to be ‘salt and light’. But from the age of 7, I’d wanted to be a missionary. All my choices in life were made in light of that goal. After working 4 years I had the privilege of attending Sydney Missionary & Bible College and then joined OMF and came to Taiwan in 1999. I am a church planter which essentially means introducing people and their families to Jesus. We do it by telling Bible stories. I’m also involved in training others in evangelism, discipleship and storytelling. This gives me the opportunity to travel, which I love.

I started writing non-fiction in 2002 although I wasn’t published until 2009.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? The non-fiction was mostly laziness. It became easier to write a book than to keep training people one on one and answering their questions.

I’m an extremely reluctant novelist and had never considered such a thing. About 10 years ago, while I was having a ministry related prayer day two ideas for novels dropped into my head. I was horrified but I reasoned that if the idea truly was from God then it was His job not only to push me to do it but to give me the ability.

Over the next five years, the sense of urgency to write grew. In 2012, I was staying with a friend in the Philippines and read a Biblical novel. Again, crystal clear the idea came, “That’s how you write a novel. You’re a Bible storyteller, go and write a biblical novel as practice.” So I sat down and did the research for a novel on Samuel. I loved the biblical research and the thinking/planning but the actual writing was hard work.

I wrote two Biblical novels as practice before I dared to go ahead and plan what I regarded as the ‘real thing’. It’s taken over four years of hard work. At each stage, something or someone has come along to show me the next stage and how to improve things.

Tell us about your current release: Grace in Strange Disguise is book one of a contemporary Christian fiction series which now looks like being five books. It is based in Sydney, Australia.

Physiotherapist Esther Macdonald is living the Australian dream, and it doesn’t surprise her. After all, her father has always said, “Follow Jesus and be blessed.” But at twenty-eight, her world shatters. Everyone assures her God will come through for her, but what happens when He doesn’t? Has she offended God? Is her faith too small? So many conflicting explanations. Will finding the truth cost her the people closest to her heart?

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? Enid Blyton for magic and adventure especially the ‘adventure’ series (‘Castle, Island, Circus …). LM Montgomery – Anne and Emily books and especially Blue Castle in my teens. Silver Brumby – Elaine Mitchell (Australian series about wild horses)

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Over the last two years I’ve been devouring Christian fiction. Much of it concerns me because it subtly buys into the idea that God is there to make our lives smooth. I want to see stories in which non-aristocrats feature (for historicals). Stories about single people and widows which don’t end with “and they married and lived happily ever after.”

I only give 5 star reviews now to books I consider ‘impact eternity’ and there are far too few of them. Books that make me weep and inspire me to follow Jesus whatever the cost. Books where people live a Christlike life whether or not it is easy.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? In the end I think God pushed me to self-publish. I had lots of misunderstandings about it – confusing it with vanity publishing. This is quite a common misunderstanding. I’d already had two non-fiction books published by two traditional publishers. That was what I was familiar with. However, most doors to traditional publishers are closed. Instead, you have to find an agent. I made my own list of agents and in the end only had six I was interested in. But I applied too early in the process and so was refused (fair enough as my writing wasn’t nearly as good as I’d thought it was).

With those doors slammed, I began to investigate self-publishing. The more I found out, the more I thought, “I think this is for me.” I’d learned a lot about the publishing industry by then and there were many podcasts online.

It was a huge amount to learn and I’m fairly poor at marketing, technology and business but I’m much better at trawling through information and I learn fairly fast. I’m not relying on sales to eat, so that gives me some freedom.

Three months in, I’m delighted I self-published. It’s much harder at the beginning but I think it will get easier.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

  1. Pray a lot first and make sure the idea is really from God. The process is too hard unless you are have the Lord with you.
  2. Check your motives for writing – if they are self-centred that it is only going to lead to pain. Our motivation must be for God’s glory as there will be many temptations along the way.
  3. Take your time – make sure the timing for publication is God’s timing. I had to delay 15 months after my original deadline. If I had published earlier the book would have been a disaster. I had to learn to write and that took a lot more time than I’d expected.
  4. Pray at every step of the way that God will give you a team. I am so grateful for finding excellent editors at the beginning and for my cover designer. But there are also many others who God has found for me – some excellent proofreaders, some advocates who mention my book to their friends.
  5. Find a community. For me that has been through Facebook groups for Australian authors and Christian Indie Authors. Plus, I’ve found a group of 3 other Australian authors and we encourage each other and share resources.

How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel. What were some of your major roadblocks and how did you overcome them? Once God had pushed me to do so, to me it was a matter of obedience. I planned using something called the ‘Snowflake’ method and I started writing.

Major obstacles:

My attitude – I prayed about it and submitted believing that joy would come from obedience. It’s taken 3 years but this last year I’ve started to enjoy this new direction.

Inability to write fiction – again I prayed every step of the way. If this was God’s idea then he had the responsibility to give me the ability to write and link me with the right resources. I found some Facebook writer’s groups and they recommended many good books…to improve my writing.

Being weak in business, marketing – It just has to be learned and there are many free podcasts and resources there to help you. I am grateful that my journey before this first novel was a long one. It needed to be because there was so much to learn.

Being weak on the technology like designing websites, learning to use MailerLite ….again I’ve prayed and asked people for help. God has provided every step of the way.

Pride – an author has to be humble to do a good job because our work must be submitted to critique and some of it is harsh. We have to have our eyes focused on what Jesus thinks and not allow people’s opinions to make us go up and down emotionally. Writing for anyone other than Jesus will be painful.

The length of time it takes to learn. I delayed publication a few times and am glad I did. Marketing-wise it makes sense to have 2-3 books ready to publish relatively close together.

Who do you envision your typical reader to be? Most likely a woman (or mature teen) between 15-80 who loves a story which tackles serious issues. Someone who wants to grow in Christ. I have been encouraged how many middle-aged and older men have also been enthusiastic about the book.

Find Christine online:

Website, Facebook, Pinterest

Find Christine’s book online:

Enter to win an ebook of Christine’s latest release:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Author Mary Ellis 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 pleased to bring you multi-award winning author Mary Ellis. Mary writes southern mysteries, and is giving away an autographed copy of her latest release! Read on to see how you can enter to win.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  Mary Ellis has written twenty-one novels. Her debut book, A Widow’s Hope, was nominated for a 2010 Carol Award. Living in Harmony, won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction while Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award. She is currently writing Secrets of the South Mysteries. Book one, Midnight on the Mississippi, was a finalist for the RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award, and finalist for Daphne Du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Her current book is Sunset in Old Savannah.

Tell us about your current release: Sunset in Old Savannah. In Savannah, everyone has something to hide. Investigative partners and best friends Michael Preston and Elizabeth Kirby are hired by a wealthy socialite to do surveillance on her wayward husband. When the husband turns up dead, the socialite becomes the police’s chief suspect. Mike and Beth must follow the clues through the historic town with more secrets than branches of moss-draped oaks. The duo uncovers a hodgepodge of potential murderers, including a scheming business partner, a resentful mistress, and a ne’er-do-well brother. As praise of their agency gets around, Mike and Beth must hire investigator Kaitlyn Webb to ease the workload. But will ghosts of Kate’s past threaten everyone’s safety before a killer can be put behind bars?

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No, I have never been overly concerned with reaching a larger audience. Of course, I want to touch as many people as I can with my stories, but I have never felt pressured to compromise my standards either by financial needs or by the great publishers I have worked with.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I often jot down scenes that demand to be written out of sequence, write into my laptop or on my yellow legal tablet if I’m traveling. Inspiration knocks on my door once, and I have kicked myself for not “getting it down” when my muse hit. I place the scenes at the end of my manuscript-in-progress and then edit and insert into the proper place.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I’m not sure what you mean by “writer’s block.” When I can’t continue in a scene or start a new chapter, it’s always because I don’t know enough background information. Although I always go to the area I’m setting a story before I start to outline, and several times thereafter, there’s always something I forget to check into. Just last Friday, I had to stop writing and call the warden of a Florida Correctional Institution about some particulars in prison life. My “writer’s block” amounts to insufficient details. If I have my ducks-in-a-row, I have enough words in me to sink the Titanic, as my husband loves to say!

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? When I started writing, the choice was easy: traditional publishers. Self-publishing didn’t exist. I wrote a couple of books which I submitted and received a boat-load of rejection letters. Finally I got an agent who suggested some changes and landed by first publishing contract. She was also the one who suggested a change in genres. I will be forever indebted to the late Mary Sue Seymour of the Seymour Agency. I went on to publish twenty-two books traditionally. But who knows what the future will bring?

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Yes, I start with a premise; then I create my characters, and then I create a skeletal outline of chapters based on the anticipated word count. That being said, as I write each scene in each chapter I often veer far off-course from what I had planned in my outline. I love it when the characters take over—it makes my job easier.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) For the book I’m working on now, I’m laptop computer all the time. But for my first two romantic suspense, and then my next dozen Amish romances, I wrote the scenes first on a yellow legal tablet. I would often drive out to Amish country to write the scenes. Then I would type them into my laptop and edit as I went along. I loved doing it like that! But when I moved away from Amish stories, I also went strictly laptop. Believe it or not…it still takes the same amount of time to finish a book (around 6 months for a 100,000 word book).

What is your inspiration for writing? Travel! Throughout our marriage, my husband and I have traveled around the country. I have found story inspiration everywhere we have visited. Right now, we’ve been checking out places in the South to retire to. (I love Ohio, but I can no longer deal with our cold winters with two types of arthritis) So as we visit Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, I’m finding wonderful settings for my Secrets of the South Mysteries!

Find Mary online: www.maryellis.net or www.facebook.com/Mary-Ellis/Author

Find Mary’s latest release:



At Kobo:

At Barnes and Noble:
Sunset in Old Savannah

Mary is giving away an autographed copy of Sunset in Old Savannah!

 

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Interview with Author Susan Page Davis 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 so pleased to bring you author Susan Page Davis. I love that Susan writes mysteries with her daughter. Reading that made me smile. Enjoy her interview, and make sure you get all the way to the end where you can enter to win a paperback of her latest release, My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I have been writing fiction seriously for nearly twenty years. Before that, I as a newspaper correspondent. I write mostly historical romance and mystery/suspense. I’m a Maine native, but my husband and I moved in 2010 to western Kentucky. We like our new home a lot. We have six grown children and ten grandchildren.

Tell us about your current release. Here is the blurb for My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains:  

A Chance for Escape Takes Two Unlikely Allies on a Romantic Adventure through the Desert

Since she was orphaned at age twelve, Carmela Wade has lived a lie orchestrated by her uncle, pretending to be a survivor of an Indian kidnapping and profiting from telling her made-up story on the speaker circuit. But as she matures into adulthood, Carmela hates the lies and longs to be free. On a stagecoach in Arizona Territory, Carmela and her uncle are fellow passengers with US Marshal Freeland McKay and his handcuffed prisoner.

The stage is attacked. Suddenly a chance to make a new life may be within Carmela’s reach. . .if she can survive the harsh terrain and being handcuffed to an unconscious man.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, I think that’s worth it, and I am always blessed by what I learn on the journey, too.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? I think Christian fiction is limitless these days, if you look for it. There are so many authors out there writing from a Christian world view that anyone could find the type of stories they love most.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? Sometimes I can’t. Right now, I’ve got a multi-book series to get out, and I can’t produce/edit/publish fast enough.

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)? It took me a while to be ready to “do bad things” to my characters, but really, the more intense the conflict, the better the story. I don’t really go for the outrageous, but I do like to write plots that are a little “out of the box.” Now I have no qualms about putting my characters in danger or ethically sticky situations.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Little Joe Cartwright.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I was traditionally published first. I turned to self-publishing after I started having rights returned on backlist books. Finally I began self-publishing original books that hadn’t fit into my traditional publishers’ parameters.

What made you take the plunge and finally do it? I think it was when my daughter’s and my mystery series was reverted to us before the last book was printed. We wanted people to be able to find that book.

Find Susan online:
Website: www.susanpagedavis.com
Twitter: @SusanPageDavis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor
Newsletter: https://madmimi.com/signups/118177/join



On Barnes and Noble:
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary

Enter to win a  paperback of Susan’s latest release!

.
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Interview with Author Barbara Britton 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 so pleased to bring you Barbara Britton. Barbara is a pastor’s wife, cancer survivor, and an amazing author of Biblical fiction. And I am in awe of her – she writes her books long hand! Amazing! Barbara is giving away a paperback copy of her latest release — so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little about yourself. Thank you for hosting me for the e-release day of Building Benjamin: Naomi’s Journey. If your readers are like me and print books are their thing, April 1st is when Naomi’s story releases in print. I’m a native Californian who lives in Wisconsin and likes the snow and the Green Bay Packers. I’m married and we have two sons. My husband is an ordained minister and our oldest son is in seminary. Our youngest son is finishing up his studies at UW-Madison. Go Badgers!

I enjoy teaching, especially the Bible. I feel blessed to have two Biblical fiction novels to share with readers. I finished my galley for my first book and sold Building Benjamin while battling breast cancer. Praise God that I am a breast cancer survivor.

Tell us about your current release. My stories are about people and events in the Bible that we don’t know much about, or they aren’t in sermons or VBS curriculum very often. Naomi’s story is inspired by Judges 19-21 when the tribe of Benjamin is almost wiped out by the other tribes of Israel due to some Sodom and Gomorrah like events. I had no idea this account was in the Bible. I had heard of Deborah, Gideon, and Samson, but nothing of this! In order for the tribe of Benjamin to survive, the remaining men need to find wives. A few hide in a vineyard and snatch girls when they come out to dance. Naomi is one of the girls kidnapped.

Love Grows Where God Grafts the Tender Shoot.

Naomi desires to dance well enough to catch the eye of a wealthy landowner. Her father needs a substantial bride price due to the deaths of her brothers at the hands of the tribe of Benjamin. But when Benjamites raid the Ephraimite feast and capture young girls, Naomi is bound and carried from her home by Eliab, a troubled shepherd who needs a wife.

As Naomi awaits rescue, she finds Eliab has a strong faith in God and a just reason for abducting her. A reason that affects all the tribes of Israel. The future of the tribe of Benjamin hangs in the balance, but if Naomi follows her heart and stays with Eliab to rebuild his lineage, she must forfeit her family and become a traitor to her tribe.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes. I write the characters and stories that God places in my heart and in my head. I pray before I start to write so the Holy Spirit will inspire me. Even as I ponder my next book, I’ve had several Bible stories battling in my brain, and finally one shines through. If I don’t know what to write, I ask God for creativity. He always brings something to mind.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or to be more successful? “No,” she says laughing. If I was chasing money or fame, I wouldn’t be writing Biblical fiction. I don’t know how many agents and editors told me that Biblical fiction was a hard sell and I should think about writing contemporary stories. I didn’t waiver from my path. I love writing about the Bible and theology. In Biblical fiction, God can show up in so many ways.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher? Wow! This is a constant fear of so many writers including me. The practical side of this question is that I am constantly learning about the craft of writing by attending conferences and workshops. I also have an amazing critique partner who hasn’t steered me wrong after four books together (Thank you, Betsy Norman). I also have beta-readers who read voraciously in Christian fiction. All of this happens before my editor sees the manuscript.

On the psychological side of this question, I pray that I can write to the best of my ability and I tell myself that I am writing this story for me—and only me. If it sells, great! If not, I have enjoyed the process and my characters.

Have you always wanted to write a book? When I was in school, all those many years ago, no one ever mentioned writing as a career path. I heard about nursing, teaching, and secretarial work, but not writing. I am the first one to say that I am surprised, humbled, shocked, and blessed to be a writer. I can’t type and I’m terrible at grammar, but God has given me a passion to create stories.

I was burned out after teaching elementary chapel one year, and I needed to write curriculum for the next school year. I prayed, “Lord, hit me with some creativity.” And He did! I came up with my chapel lessons and I had a prompting to write. Nine years later, Providence: Hannah’s Journey was released by Pelican Book Group. It was the fourth book I had written, but it was my first work of Biblical fiction.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? I champion the advice that I received in the first class I took on publishing. I encourage writers to join a professional writing organization, and to never stop learning about the craft of writing. Some of my best friends and mentors have come from professional groups.

What is your preferred method of writing? See question 6 about my typing skills. I write all my stories on notepads—the paper kind. My hunt-and-peck typing can’t keep up with the scenes playing out in my head, but my fast chicken scratch can. After I have handwritten a chapter, I type it into a computer and edit as I go along.

Thanks for sharing my story with your readers Hallee. I am pleased to say that Hannah and Naomi will have Adah join them as part of my Tribes of Israel series.

Find Barb online: Her website, Facebook, Twitter,Goodreads,

Find Barbara’s latest release online:


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Interview with Author Connie Pease

Welcome to Readers Write to Know!  I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance.  This week, I am happy to have author Connie Pease as my guest. Because I can’t hear music, I am always so impressed when I meet someone who not only hears music, but writes music and musicals! I’m in awe of that talent. And, she’s a writer of books, too! Check out her release – the premise sounds absolutely fascinating and fun!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a Minnesota girl who loves the beauty of lakes and woods but could do without the cold of winter and frozen toes. I have four adult children who I love and worry about aConnie Miller Peasend am proud of and treasure. I’ve been married for 28 years to a nice guy I met in college. Writing was never on my radar. I started writing music after my fourth child was born, then started writing musicals and fiction. To be at this place in my life as a published author just goes to show the truth of the proverb that tells us how we might plan out our lives, but the Lord directs our steps.

Tell us about your current release. Mrs. Covington’s Sunday School Dropouts follows the adventures to Cathy Covington and her drop-dead gorgeous cousin, Andi, as they track down her former Sunday School students who have dropped out of church. Subplots along the way (including a town parade Cathy is unwillingly elected to organize, found money, and a small-time swindler) add to the fun.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Oh this is going to date me, but I don’t care – he’s darling! When I was a little girl, I remember watching Andy Williams on television and his voice was like happiness and goodness swirled with smooth chocolate. We lost a good one when we lost him.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Ha ha. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find something that worked and market it? You could make a bundle! When I’m stuck, I do a lot of ineffective things like getting up to get another cup of coffee, bake cookies, straighten up a room – in other words I become the procrastination princess. Honestly, the most effective thing for me is to just plow through and write horribly until I start coming up with something decent again.

covingtonWhat advice do you have for aspiring writers? Be willing to write a few books before you get one published. Those first books might be your favorites, but you will be a better writer if you put in time to write more than just one. Secondly, persist. You must keep going even when your work gets rejected. Thirdly, ask God to bless your work with His direction.

What is your preferred method of writing? I sit at the desk in front of the computer and type. I sometimes stare into space and sometimes out the window. I drink coffee with a splash of milk. Every once in a while I talk out loud. I tell myself that’s not crazy, just creative. What? Isn’t it? 🙂

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? I’ve had a few story ideas I’ve jotted down up at the cabin. Actually, music is the thing that gets written in my head when I’m out driving or taking a walk. It’s kind of funny and great fun when it happens. The steering wheel is percussion and old receipts get lyrics written all over them. Are you worried yet about being on the same roads as I drive?

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? I write for my own enjoyment. If I didn’t, Mrs. Covington would never have shot at the squirrels in her yard with a BB gun, because a few readers didn’t like that. I wanted it left in, though, because it amused me. (And red squirrels really are very territorial and mean.) It’s only after the book has been published or the musical has been performed that I start getting nervous about what other people think.

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? Your assumption of my plotting skills is flattering! I’ve yet to write any fiction in which I know where the story is going to go. In fact part of the last chapter of Mrs. Covington. . . was actually the first paragraph when I began that story.

Find Connie online: Facebook and her blog.

Find Connie’s books online: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 


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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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