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An Interview with Author Kimberly Rose Johson

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’m so happy to introduce you to Kimberly Rose Johnson! I admire anyone who loves music. I don’t have an “ear” for it, so it’s something that’s almost like a puzzle to me. I wrote the Song of Suspense series so that I could try to get into the heads of characters who make music their lives. Kimberly Rose has a degree in music and used to teach piano! Read on to learn even more about her and to learn about her latest release. AND — if you want — check out my interview on her website where I talk about Grace’s Ground War.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.   I’m a wife and mother of two boys. One is away at college, the other is a senior in high school. I write when my family is not home, and I love the creative process. Before I was published, I taught piano lessons and thoroughly enjoyed it for eighteen years.

I have a degree in Behavioral Science and a minor in music. I think my degree lends itself well to getting into my character’s heads. Several of my books include musicians, lol. I can’t help myself.

Tell us about your current release.  A Match for Meghan is my current release.

KJ_063 vs 2 (800x708)MEGHAN BLACK HAS FINALLY MET HER MATCH

The veterinary assistant never backs down from a dare…and what greater challenge than finding die-hard bachelor Ben Young his ideal mate? But what’s an incurable cupid to do when the handsome vet turns the tables and asks her out?

Ben is perfectly content with his single life. And he figures there’s only one way to get the petite dynamo to quit her matchmaking—date her himself! But his plan backfires when he realizes that Meghan could be The One. Can he convince a woman who believes in happy endings for everyone but herself that he’s her Mr. Right?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely! It’s impossible to know the impact that one person will have on the lives around them. As a child my mom was invited to church by a friend. My mom went and liked it, so she started to attend, and then she talked her parents into going. They ended up bringing the whole family and the legacy has spread down the line. One person has affected the lives of countless others.

A Match for Meghan Header 9780373487660 (506x800)Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. I write what’s in my heart to write. If I don’t, there’s no point in writing.

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)? I have faith in my critique partners and my agent. I know they will tell me if something needs work or is not ready. I’m naturally bold — lol.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I do something other than writing. I find if I can get away from my story and stop thinking about it, my subconscious chews on the problem and the story begins to flow in my head again.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Currently I am only traditionally published. That will change in July though, when I indie publish a box set with five other writers. I choose to begin indie publishing because my publisher cancelled the line that I write for. I don’t want too much time to pass before I have a new release. I have one more book coming out with Heartsong Presents in March, so I think July is about right.

What made you take the plunge and finally do it? I suppose to prove I could.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? All of my Heartsong books were plotted chapter by chapter, but as I wrote, the story sometimes deviated from the original plan. My indie book that I’m currently working on has been more conceptual. I know the basics, but I’m filling in the rest as I write. It is actually taking me longer to write this way, since when something doesn’t work I have to go back and re-write it until it does. I will probably go back to my old way of plotting after this book.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Yes, always.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Study the craft, join writer’s groups, go to writer’s conferences, enter contests, and don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. You can learn a lot from a judge’s comments, or a critique partner who is further along than you.

You may contact Kimberly via her website or on Facebook or Twitter

You can purchase Kimberly’s books at:


 

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An Interview with Author Elizabeth Maddrey

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. Today, I bring you Elizabeth Maddrey. I love anyone who had a crush on Pierce Brosnan in “Remington Steele”, so I already feel like we’re a bit like soul sisters. Add two little boys and a love of crochet, and I feel like we should be next door neighbors who regularly enjoy sharing cups of coffee. I very much enjoyed reading about her writing and hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My husband and I have been married just over 19 years. We met in our first college class (bright and early at 8am) – a computer architecture course. We’re both computer nerds at heart, though I don’t flex those nerd muscles professionally any more, preferring being home with our two boys and getting to write instead! When I’m not writing or being Mom, I enjoy cooking and crochet and playing the piano.

ElizabethMaddreyHeadshot (1024x808)Tell us about your current release.  Love Defined is the third, and final, installment in my women’s fiction series about twin sisters and their attempts to start a family. Infertility is one of those things that’s never really finished, so even though I’m ending the series, not everything is tied up in a pretty little bow. I feel like all the characters have reached a place of resolution and happiness that will see them through the next stage of their life. That, to me, is a happy ending and I hope readers will get that sense.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?  Absolutely! In fact, I spent a number of years wrestling with questions along these lines before I ever ventured into the publishing world. I wanted to be sure that my motives for writing were what they needed to be. Having that understanding that, you know what, it’s okay if I’m not one of those big-name authors from the large houses who everyone raves about, has really helped me focus on the fact that what matters is telling stories that will resonate with people who maybe aren’t used to having stories published that do that. I’m just incredibly grateful anytime God uses one of my books to touch someone.

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)?  I’m not sure I actually push past the fear – that fear comes right along with me every time I submit a new idea to my editor. But you know the saying “Feel the fear and do it anyway”? That’s what you have to do. I just remind myself (sometimes I do it a lot) that I’m not in this for fame or fortune but because I want my stories to touch hearts, and they can’t do that on my hard drive. So while there are always going to be people who leave negative reviews, I can look past that and focus on the fact that there are other people who enjoy my books and that makes it possible to take a deep breath and write another one.

Love DefinedWho was your first Screen/Musical Crush?  Johnny Depp in 21 Jumpstreet (the TV show, not the movie reboots) ties with Pierce Brosnan in Remington Steele.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?  I started out looking for an agent and then, hopefully, a contract with one of the big traditional publishers. After several conversations and critiques and mentoring sessions with authors I respect, I realized that the stories I like to tell weren’t probably going to be a fit for what was tending to sell. I considered self-publishing at that point, but I also met with a new small publisher who was interested in the less-mainstream plot-lines. It was a good fit, for both of us, and I’ve been very happy publishing my books with her. I have, just recently, dipped a toe into the indie pool though and that was fun, too. So I might do more of that in the future, we’ll just have to see.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?  I generally have a semi-vague notion of what I want to write before I start – but it could be as simple as one or two sentences highlighting the main plot arc (e.g. twin sisters struggling with infertility). From there, I start writing and I see where it takes me. I usually get a good feel for the next few pages as I’m writing and it just strings along from start to finish. I’ve tried do to more concrete planning…it just doesn’t work super well for me, unfortunately. I kind of envy the plotters of the world.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book?  I usually have a target of around 75,000 words, but really it’s all about the story. How many words will it take to tell the story the way it needs to be told? I can fluff or cut if I have to meet some kind of length requirement for my publisher, but generally speaking I don’t like to do that (and haven’t really had to, either.) But I think the 75K mark makes a nice size book to hold in your hand and gives you a good bang for your buck in terms of time spent reading vs. price.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read?  I hope it’s both, but I don’t spend a ton of time analyzing how many people I think are going to like an idea before I sit down and start writing it. I think there are enough people out there in the world that there have to be some who are going to enjoy the stories that I enjoy writing. Maybe not as many as if I tried to follow the market trends – but I also know that when I try to write something that isn’t where my heart is, it turns out horrible. If I can’t love my characters and their stories, the time I spend with them is painful, and it shows in the final product. (And those few manuscripts that ended up that way will never see the light of day!)

Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her on Facebook  Pinterest  Google+ and on her Website. You can purchase her  books at:

 

 

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An Interview with Author Laurinda Wallace 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. This week, I’m excited to introduce you to mystery writer Laurinda Wallace. Number one, I LOVE mysteries. It’s probably my favorite genre to read. Second, I love the fact that Laurinda writes devotionals. Good, clear, well written devotionals are harder to write for me than a 40 chapter novel. I completely admire the authors who God has gifted in writing devotionals. Laurinda has also offered to give away an e-book to TWO of you readers. So, be sure to read on and see how to enter the giveaway! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’ve been writing since childhood, but got serious about writing professionally in 2005. My devotions and articles were published by The Upper Room, Guideposts, Christian Devotions, and others. The real fun began when a mystery series was conceived along with a Christian novel, The Time Under Heaven and a devotional book, Gardens of the Heart.

Laurinda-1 (512x640)Tell us about your current release. My current release is the third in the Gracie Andersen mystery series, titled Fly by Night. Murder, mayhem, and humor all meet in the small town of Deer Creek. Gracie, a kennel owner is joined by her Labrador, Haley on the hunt for a killer amid an environmental controversy and UFO sightings. An old high school “friend”, and her annoying cousin, Isabelle keep it all interesting.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? I did in the beginning, but the source of my creativity is God. I came to a decision early on not to write anything that didn’t honor my Savior. The Lord has given me wonderful opportunities to share my writing with many audiences without compromising my faith. My “secular” mysteries are written from a Christian worldview and are squeaky clean. The inspirational books have touched many, especially The Time Under Heaven. Readers have blessed me with their letters and reviews.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? That’s a real problem sometimes. Notebooks and now writing software collect notes, character sketches, plot-lines, and all sorts of research. Working a full-time day job makes writing time precious. I try not to waste any and write everyday.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I have a great friend who is also a writer. We love our brainstorming sessions to work out sticky plot twists. We even act out scenes to make sure they make sense. It’s a lot more fun to talk it out with another writer than try to make yourself hit the computer keyboard. Inspiration comes out of every session.

Family Matters 2 (533x800)(1)How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Writing professionally was a longtime dream. I had reached a point in life that it was either get my writing out to the public or give up the whole idea. After researching self-publishing and traditional publishing, I decided to go independent. A traditional publisher had shown interest in all three mystery books, but never issued a contract. They always wanted to review my next book. With the advent of Create Space and KDP, it was totally possible to publish without an agent or traditional publisher. My experience as an administrator gave me the skill set to set up my own business, which I did. After assembling a publishing team about two years ago, I’ve never looked back. I’m an oldest child and control is important as you might guess. I love being a CEO and the Lord has really blessed the endeavor.

Do you have your plot-line and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? It’s a little of both. I always have the basic outline ready with a handful of main characters sketched out. The middle of the book is always the toughest. Sometimes unexpected characters pop into the story and the plot takes a turn I never saw coming. Once the book is underway, it has a tendency to take on a life of its own. It keeps writing fresh and fun.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? In a word—write. Even if you don’t plan to publish, that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with writing for yourself or family. Many well-known authors started their careers just writing a story for their children. If you do plan to publish, educate yourself about the industry. There are plenty of companies and individuals who are waiting to take advantage of the uninformed writer.

Visit Laurinda on Facebook and Twitter

You can find Laurinda’s books at

Laurinda is giving away two e books! Be sure to enter to win via the rafflecopter link
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An Interview with Author Anne Greene & 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. This week, I am so pleased to introduce to you Anne Greene. Anne writes Scottish historicals (I LOVE Scottish historicals!) and wounded heroes – the best kind of heroes. She also teases us with an upcoming lady detective series – another favorite genre of mine. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

Anne is giving away an autographed paperback of Marriage by Arrangement! So, scroll down to the Rafflecopter and enter to win!

EveningAnne4_BrushStroke4_5[1]Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I delight in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. My second novel, a Scottish historical, MASQUERADE MARRIAGE, won three prestigious book awards. The sequel MARRIAGE BY ARRANGEMENT released November, 2013. A TEXAS CHRISTMAS MYSTERY also won several awards. My highest hope is that my stories transport my readers to awesome new worlds and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. I make my home in McKinney, Texas. I love to talk with my readers. I just signed contracts for two new series that I hope you will look for soon from Elk Lake Publishing. The first of my Heroic Women series, ANGEL WITH STEEL WINGS, will go on sale soon. The second, a lady detective series, will release early in 2015.

Tell us about your current release.

I think my back cover blurb of MARRIAGE BY ARRANGEMENT gives a good overview.

A MARRIAGE COVENANT
Why does a handsome, powerful noble of the highest rank in England stoop to marry a mere Lady of Lowland Scotland?

A GREAT SECRET
Are the whispered stories about him true? With his shadowy past and strange behavior what awful secret does he hide? Each change of clothes transforms him into a different man.

Marriage_By_Arrangement_Cover[1]AN IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
Can Lady Cailin keep her vow to make her marriage happy and successful, unlike that of her parents, or to save her unborn child, must she arrange for the Duke’s accidental death?

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?  I have never had writer’s block. When I’m working on a book, I read back over the previous chapter and that’s enough to get my creative muse working. Sometimes when I want to end a book, I have a difficult time deciding how to get my characters out of the dilemma

Do you have your plot-line and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? I’m a total seat-of-the-pants writer which means I start a book with either an event or a setting in mind and build from there as I write. The characters emerge from the situation to grow into people who learn how to cope and overcome. I might or might not have an ending in mind when I begin writing. I let my characters tell me what is happening and they determine the course of the book. I never plot or make any character development before I begin. The fun in writing is watching and listening to my characters as they tell me what is happening. To me, plotting out a book removes the incentive to write.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book?  The first books I wrote ran into 100,000 and more words. I found those books hard to sell to publishers so shortened my books to publishers’ parameters which are usually 80,000 to 85,000 words.

How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel?  I’d been thinking of writing for a number of years. Then my children both entered school. There was a writers’ conference nearby and my husband suggested I attend. This conference demanded a writer had to send in three chapters before she could enroll. Since the conference opened the following week, I quickly wrote three chapters of a book that had been swirling in my head asking to be written. Near the end of conference each writer met with an editor. I was so green, I wondered why I would meet an editor and what I would say. The editor had read my three chapters and asked if I could write the book in seven months. I said yes, not having a clue how long writing a book took. Long story short, the editor loved the book and published TRAIL OF TEARS, my first book.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write?  I have always wanted to write. As a stay-at-home Mom, when my children entered school I had four or five hours a day for myself. I prayed about what God wanted me to do during the time my children were in school. Fortunately I didn’t need to go outside my home to work because my husband supported us, although that extra money would have been helpful. A psychiatrist friend whom I went to for guidance asked me a number of questions. At the end he said he thought I should become a writer. During our time together I’d never mentioned writing so was stunned. Of course I wanted to write, but how did he know? So his advice coupled with the nearby writer conference nudged me in the direction of writing. When the editor asked me to write that book, I took the circumstances and decided God was calling me to become a writer.

What is your inspiration for writing?  God gave me the talent to write. I write for Him. Listening to the spiritual message He wants included in each book is highly important to me. Touching readers’ lives and in some small way encouraging them or showing them a new thought God wants them to hear is vitally important to me. Writing is my ministry. Plus, as I was growing up, reading was my escape from a difficult childhood. I love to offer my readers escape from hard times in their lives. I love taking them to new worlds they can enjoy. I love giving them the sheer pleasure of reading a good book.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read?  I write what I enjoy reading. My whole writing journey for each book is a love situation between my characters and me. Plus, other than general statistics, I have no idea what other people want to read. I do receive feedback about my books at signings and talks, but, of course, these will be positive. So, I write for my own enjoyment and to find answers to problems that perplex me.

Find Anne online:

Blog

Website

Twitter
Find Anne’s books on Deeper Shopping!

Find Anne’s Books at Amazon!

Find Anne’s books at Barnes & Noble!

Anne is giving away an autographed copy of Marriage By Arrangement to one of my readers. Enter below for your chance to win!

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You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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Interview: Juliette Springs

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, Juliette Springs is my guest answering your questions. I am so pleased to introduce her to you.  I have so many friends who are fans of paranormal stories, and it’s always nice to meet another mom who has teenagers and little ones like myself.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I write about the darker side of romance. My pen name Juliette Springs, is the alter ego of a Southern chick who is a mother of three (two teenage girls and a wild three year old). In my other life I work in the education field and hold degrees in English and Special Education.

I absolutely love the paranormal (especially vamps) and devour romance novels (particularly paranormal). I’m also addicted to the Vampire Diaries (Team Delena), and love Harry Potter, and True Blood.

Tell us about your current release.

My current release is entitled Sarim’s Scent. The blurb is below:

Fueled with thoughts of anger and revenge, Victoria embarks on a mission to find her father, certain he has the answers to questions she’s had her entire life. Questions about why she prefers the night, gravitates toward the paranormal, and bears a strange tattoo on her neck, one she’d never put there. Her journey leads her into the arms of her childhood friend, Ivan, the only man she lets close to her heart. He understands her and has always been her confidant. But would he remain loyal if she revealed all of her secrets and the real reason she’s searching for her father?

Weary of living a lie and unable to walk away from family obligations, Ivan is forced to deceive the only woman he has ever cared about, one who he now realizes is his mate. Ivan knows he’s doing the unforgivable, and it’s just a matter of time before Victoria finds out the truth, but he can’t resist the chemistry between them or deny the sensuous passion he experiences with her. When Victoria’s search becomes life threatening, Ivan must find the strength he needs to tell her the truth, or risk losing her altogether.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

To be like Nike and just do it. Writing is not easy. It’s painful and hard. But it’s something writer’s have to do. The end result is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever accomplished.

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