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 happy to have Chloe Flanagan as my guest. I LOVE the sound of her latest book (the computer nerds in my life rank up there as my favorite people), and I love that she listed Mary Higgins Clark as a favorite author! Read on to see how you can enter to win a paperback copy of No Longer a Stranger!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. First off, I’m thrilled to be here and want to thank you for having me. I’m an Oklahoma native but have lived in many different places in the US, including Texas, the Alabama Gulf Coast, Hawaii, Georgia, and New York City, where I went to college. I’m back in Oklahoma City now, where I’m a technical editor for an aerospace engineering firm, a blogger, and an indie author.
Tell us about your current release. My most recent release is called No Longer a Stranger, and it’s the third romantic suspense book in my An Offer of Grace Series. It’s the story about two very different people.
He’s a lovable goofball and computer nerd. She’s a tough ex-cop with a past. She enters his life to help resolve a blackmail and attempted kidnapping. Working on the case together dredges up old sins, new dangers, and a potential romance.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? haha. I’m not even sure of that one person when I write a story, but the short answer is yes.
Before I started writing fiction, I began my blog The Candid Corinthian because I wanted a space to reflect on the experiences, struggles, and joys of my faith journey; I had a lot to process. What I found, as people started reading my musings, that some could relate to my experiences and even found encouragement in them. I think the process with fiction is somewhat similar. I tell a story with themes and characters that mean something to me and trust God to let that narrative find the reader it will resonate with. Naturally, I market and share my books to advance that goal, but at the end of the day, I believe there is a great deal of Providence at work in the process.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Timothy Dalton! He was my first James Bond, and I loved those movies. Also, of all the film adaptations of Jane Eyre, my favorite is the one where he plays Rochester.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I decided to self-publish because I wanted control over the process. Also, it seems to fit around my daytime career better than traditional publishing would. Right now, I work at my own pace, and I like that.
What made you take the plunge and finally do it? At the beginning of 2017, I made a resolution out loud to some friends that I wanted to write a book that year. My thought was that I’d adapt some of my blog posts into book form. But I really couldn’t get much movement on that idea as I explored my options. Then, just before July, I heard about Camp NaNoWriMo, the summer version of the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I challenge myself to take one of the dozens of story ideas in my head and flesh it out into 25,000 words in July. I did! By the end of the month, I was halfway through my first novel.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Sit down and start putting your story down on paper before you seek too much input from anyone else. The advice and critiques can get too noisy, otherwise. Once you’re on your way with that, you can focus on learning about your craft, studying the things that work in your favorite book and asking trusted reading/writing friends for feedback to make your work shine.
Most importantly, remember God put this story on your heart. Providence is invested in your bringing it about and the Spirit won’t leave you to tell the tale alone.
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? I was a true bookworm! I really loved Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys. After that, I’d read almost anything, from Jack London to Mary Higgins Clark.
Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Marion Sloan, the main character in No Longer a Stranger and Regina MacArthur, a secondary character in this book and main character in the first book, both reflect my personality in different ways. They’re both tough and careful with their emotions, but God has a lot to teach them about community and friendship.
Here is where you can find Chloe online:
Chloe is giving away a paperback copy of No Longer a Stranger to a reading (US only)! See below how you can enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway