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Month: November 2014

An Interview with Author Laura Hilton!

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 you to author Laura Hilton. I very much enjoyed learning how much Laura relies on God in her writing and love the sound of the story of her latest release, The Snow Globe. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Laura Hilton lives and writes in Arkansas, surrounded by her husband and five children. The author of inspirational novels about the Amish, she is also a book reviewer.

Tell us about your current release.

35839_1469192045700_1110551537_1419357_4095333_n(1)The Snow Globe  Victor Petersheim has left the Amish and works on a river boat on the Mississippi River, spending three months on the river then having three months off. During his off-work months he returns home to his Amish community and helps out on his grandparents’ farm. When he returns home after his most recent absence, he discovers his grossmammi has developed health problems and they’ve hired Esther Beachy to be a “mother’s helper.” Victor is unsettled by this woman living in their home, but has to accept it. Esther loves listening to Victor’s grandmother’s stories and while puttering around in a store while the grossmammi’s in the hospital, she discovers a snow globe that depicts an area where the Petersheims used to live. She buys it as a gift for the grossmammi to cheer her up during her hospitalization. Victor is touched by Esther’s gift and her care for his grossmammi, and strives to be friendlier. Will Esther’s gentle heart draw him back to the community? Or will he return to the river once again?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. Because God would have a reason for that one person to hear it.

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

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I always wanted to write.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? When I was wanting to be published, the only real choice was a publisher. When “self-publishing” started it was the ones who weren’t good enough to get a real publisher or agent and they just wanted to get stuff out there. I have read some very poorly written self published stuff, so I rarely read any now. However, the self-publishing is losing its bad reputation now.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Thesnow globe cover 2y develop as I write. I pray a lot and God has them in hand, but He reveals to me on a need-to-know basis.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? My publisher has a maximum word count that I can’t go over. So that is my pre-determined stopping point.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? Yes, I write for my own enjoyment more than what I think people want to read. I want to have fun on the writing journey

I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out? Ha. No. Not at all.

Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? Nope. Because I don’t have it all plotted out. To me that would take the fun out of writing.

Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? I was at home, sitting in front of my computer, typing The Snow Globe, by Laura V. Hilton …. Kiss Viktor for me.

You can find Laura on her blogs  or blog  and at
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and Barnes and Noble

and at CBD

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The New Amazon Author Page!

Amazon has restructured the author pages. Check mine out at this link. I love the look of it. The thing I love the most — you can add me as a “favorite” and get notifications of new releases!

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An Interview with Author Harry Wegley

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 excited to introduce you to today’s guest! Harry is a retired code writer – which already endears me to him because m husband is a computer guy. But I am fascinated by the way he writes. There is no way that I could do it by hand. I think too much with my fingers actually on the keyboard.  I LOVE the sound of his books! I love political thrillers – especially ones that come together in edge-of-your seat fashion. It sounds like a fantastic read.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. For many years I made my living by writing. As a research scientist at a national lab, I published in the scientific literature—reports, books, and journal articles. Then, I wrote code for 21 years, over a million lines of it, but my fans were computers. Only after my wife and I retired, and I wrote my first novel, did writing morph from work to something that is thoroughly enjoyable. I write inspirational thrillers/suspense, with a little romance, and have 4 books published by Pelican Book Group. I’m currently polishing my 8th novel, a political thriller.

HLWegley_P13_ppTell us about your current release.  Triple Threat is the 4th and final book in my Pure Genius Series. It’s a high-action, romantic suspense story about two early twenties PhD candidates, geniuses who, during their dissertation research, discover a planned terrorist attack that dwarfs 9-11. In one thread of the story, there’s a sweet romance that’s soured by disparate worldviews, Christian versus agnostic. In the other is a three-pronged terrorist attack that could cripple our nation, indefinitely. When the two threads are intertwined, Triple Threat becomes an entertaining, thrill-filled, sometimes humorous, and often romantic romp through a story line that, told otherwise, might be too chilling to be much fun.
The heroine, Katie Brandt, seems to have everything going for her, beauty, brains (180 IQ), and brawn. She’s always been able to rely on her athletic and intellectual abilities to dodge trouble. But, when she takes on terrorists in cyber space, and the battlefield morphs from virtual to real, she needs big, strong, former football player, Joshua West, to keep her alive. From this couple’s arguments, strewn throughout the story, Katie answers every major criticism of the Christian worldview, instructs Josh on the finer points of Islamic theology, provides descriptions of major terror organizations, and identifies those who fund them. All this comes packaged in entertaining dialogue wedged between the action and suspense.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? If I knew my book would help someone, of course I’d write it. Each time I write a story, I believe and hope that it will help someone, however, there are no guarantees. But if I had a guarantee that even one person would benefit, how could I not write the book? In my mind, the original question spawns another, if God lays a story on my heart, how can I not write it?

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? I have never felt pressured to compromise my standards when I write. That’s not to say such a situation couldn’t arise in the future. But, the real, underlying question here makes the answer very clear in all such situations. That question is, if I compromise what I believe, regardless of the reason, how can I expect anyone to trust my message enough for it to impact their lives? And, would God bless such a compromised message? My head and heart both say no. We dare not send mixed signals to our readers, especially when hypocrisy is so strongly condemned by nearly everyone in our society.

perf5.500x8.500.inddWhat’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? (i.e. Moon Walk, Watergate, Pope being shot) This is giving away a whoooole lot. Can you say geezer? I remember Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first political campaign and his 1952 win over Adlai Stevenson. As a little kid, I sometimes thought about Russian nuclear bombs and missiles. But, with our beloved “Ike” leading us, I always felt safe.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? I’m not sure I ever have “classical writer’s block,” if such a thing exists. But, at times, I simply cannot make myself sit in the chair and write. This almost always occurs because I’m mentally or physically fatigued. When I recognize what’s happening, I decide which is tired, my brain or body. If it’s my brain, I do something active like walking a few miles. If it’s my body, I’ll take a short nap, or sit in the sun (if it’s shining In Seattle) and read. In either case, I usually conclude with drinking a double-shot latte, then I’m ready to write again.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? I usually plan my stories by creating a minimal outline of the plot—usually 2 or 3 pages—using the 3-act story structure. Once I’ve defined my main characters, what they need to learn over the course of the story, and the major events, internal and external, needed to transform them, I can use the outline and the character changes to estimate the length of the finished story, usually within +/- 5,000 words. I’ve belonged to Susan May Warren’s My Book Therapy for about 15 months. Learning how she crafts stories has really helped my writing, and it has helped me decide how long my story needs to be, i.e. what has to happen before the story is complete. But, I made a living for 15 or 16 years by prognostication. I was a Meteorologist. Predicting book lengths is a piece of cake compared to forecasting a major snow storm.

What is your preferred method of writing?  I prefer pencil and paper—a handful of mechanical pencils, a spiral notebook, and a comfortable chair in the sun. Because I spent 21 years in computer systems development and burned out too many times to count, I’ll write a few chapters, then exact my revenge by cramming my writing down the computer’s throat, using Dragon Naturally Speaking. The computer retaliates by generating copious homonyms that the spell checker will never catch. Some of those little demons survive to the galley proof, where my vision grows blurry trying to exorcise them.

How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel? Before retiring 6 years ago, I thought about the possibility of writing a novel, so I collected news articles about cyber security threats that might make good fodder for a thriller. By this time I had experienced several computing security incidents. I also spent 7 years in the USAF where I worked closely with NSA and then served as the Weather Officer on the staff of several wing and squadron commanders during the cold war. Two years after retiring, I drew from all that experience to create the plot for a novel. I wrote most of the first draft in a week, sitting on the banks of Lake Havasu while my wife read. My masterpiece required several writing classes, 2 rounds of critiques, and 2 rewrites spread over 2 years before it won a publishing contract. I had jumped the gun. I do not recommend writing a complete novel without at least some effort to learn the craft … unless you enjoy rewrites. 

You can find Harry on the web at his  Author Web site  on his  Facebook Page  his  Amazon Author Page  or at  Goodreads

Purchase Harry’s books

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*SEVEN* Inspirational Romances for Just 99 Cents!

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Seven sweet stories celebrating love and home in one amazing, limited time collection!

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Greater Than Rubies by Hallee Bridgeman: Antonio Viscolli asked and Robin Bartlett said “yes!” Soon, she will say “I do.” Or will Boston’s “Royal Wedding” leave someone standing at the altar?

Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer: Josephine Shaw, a feisty environmentalist and local-food advocate, falls for Zachary Nemesek, the junk-food-loving reluctant farmer next door.

all_coversAwakening by JoAnn Durgin: When Lexa Clarke tumbles from the top beam of a house and straight into the arms of TeamWork Missions Director Sam Lewis, Sam suspects his life will never be the same.

Home is Where the Heart Is by Kimberly Rae Jordan: Free spirit Violet Collingsworth never expected to return home to live. But when she goes back to attend her grandmother’s funeral, she meets the sheriff and begins to reconsider.

Wildfire Wedding by Lynette Sowell: During the height of Texas wildfire season, Krista and Luke prepare for their wedding while battling past guilt and future fears, when a fire breaks out, threatening the town.

Cowboy by Staci Stallings: To all the world, Ashton Raines has it all: fame, money, and the adoration of millions of fans. Then one night he walks away from it all. Can down-on-her-luck waitress, Beth, let God work through her to lead Ashton back to hope and faith?

Reunited at Christmas by Debra Ullrick: Shelby Davis thought she’d never again see the ex-fiancé who dumped her. Then Ryker Anderson gets lost in a blizzard, and she’s on the snowmobile search and rescue team. Now what?

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Charity’s Code is Now Available!

The exciting Virtues and Valor serialized story continues with book 3!

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cover_9781939603470_front_640DORTHY EWING never met a crossword puzzle that she couldn’t solve with shocking speed. As a loving wife and mother of three children, she had an idyllic life with her home and her puzzles – until she had to see her husband off to war. Then the bombing of the Blitz began.

Now her husband Tom is a POW in Occupied France, her children have been sent to the hopeful safety of her parents’ home in York, and she is working at Bletchley Park as an assistant to cryptanalysts. After cracking the code on an encrypted letter from her husband, she is recruited into a special team called The Virtues.

She works on the home-front, receiving and sending messages to her team in France and coordinating a secret mission with her husband via coded letters. She intercepts the transmission from TEMPERANCE alerting to her blown cover. The clock is ticking in a race to save Temperance’s life. Information has to be sent to and received from the team on the ground. Can Charity help save her, or will the constraints of time and the efficiency of the Third Reich work against them?

CHARITY’S CODE is part three of seven serialized novellas entitled the Virtues and Valor series.

Seven valorous women — different nationalities, ethnicities, and social backgrounds — come together as a team called the Virtues.

In 1941 Great Britain a special war department assembles an experimental and exclusively female cohort of combat operatives. Four willing spies, a wireless radio operator, an ingenious code breaker, and a fearless pilot are each hand-picked, recruited, and trained to initiate a daring mission in Occupied France. As plans are laid to engineer the largest prison break of Allied POWs in history, the Nazis capture the Virtues’ radio operator. It will take the cohesive teamwork of the rest of the women to save her life before Berlin breaks her and brings the force of the Third Reich to bear.

Some find love, some find vengeance, and some discover the kind of strength that lives in the human heart when all they can do is rely on each other and their shared belief. Courage, faith, and valor intersect but, in the end, one pays the ultimate price.

Continuing the Virtues and Valor series by Hallee Bridgeman. Seven serialized novellas, each inspired by real people and actual events, reveal the incredible story of amazing heroines facing the ultimate test of bravery. Book 3, Charity’s Code, is now available at the following locations:

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An Interview with Rose McCauley 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 am thrilled to introduce you to Rose McCauley. When I first started writing Christian fiction, I met Rose at a local American Christian Fiction Writers group called Bluegrass Christian Writers. Now, we meet once a quarter, and I enjoy every single event I’ve attended with Rose. I’m so happy she’s joining me on my blog. Look for the books in her 4-in-1 novella series she’s doing with three other authors. I’ve linked the first release for you for you. Rose is also giving away a copy of her Christmas Belles of Georgia — so be sure to enter!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m first a child of God, also a wife, mom to 3, and Mimi to 5 grandkids, and a retired teacher who now writes books.

website photos 002 (640x427)Tell us about your current release. It’s a Christmas novella titled “Christmas Grace” set to release on Kindle on Amazon November 21, 2014. It’s a 4 in 1 novella project about 4 cousins with 3 other authors.   Do You See What I See? by Delia Latham comes out first on November 15th, then Tiff Stockton’s Classic Yuletide Melodies will be released on November 18th, my book Christmas Grace is released on kindle on Nov. 21st and Jeanie Smith Cash’s book Sleigh Bells in the Snow will be out on Nov. 24th with an epilogue with all the cousins appearing

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, because that is the reason I write—to bring people closer to the Lord. And He often draws me closer to Him and teaches me while I am writing, too!

Christmas Grace book coverWith all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? Some days it is like that. I even get hot from typing so fast! But other days, especially at the beginning of a new story, I have to stop and ask the characters some questions to get to know them better.

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 know I am certainly not perfect. No one is except the Lord. I continue to learn about writing, then do the best I can, and leave the results up to Him.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I always loved to read, and God gave me a desire to write later on. My husband and I try to walk in the afternoons, and for years he got to listen to me talk about all the characters in my head, so he encouraged me to retire from my teaching job which I loved in order to start writing about some of them. Now I love writing even more than teaching!

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 do a little of both. I want to have some main info about the characters and plot on paper before I start to write, but the characters often surprise me or the plot takes a turn I hadn’t seen coming at the start. That keeps me still writing, and I hope it will keep my readers reading, too.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? It depends. For many novellas, the publisher sets the limit around 20,000 words, so I just write the story and then go back and edit (with the help of some crit partners) to cut it down to close to that. I also have written two full-length novels that both came out at 87,600 words without planning on it, so that is fun, too.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? KEEP LEARNING. Join a writers group (or two or three) I especially recommend www.acfw.com (American Christian Fiction Writers) if you want to write for the Christian market.

You can find Rose on her website and blog 

Christmas Belles of Georgia can be purchased in both kindle and paperback editions in most book stores

Christmas Grace is available NOW in kindle version only

 

Be sure to enter to win Rose’s Giveaway!
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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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