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 so excited to have Meghann Whistler as my guest. My heart resonated with her juggling having young children with writing time. I so well remember doing that! Meghann writes sweet Love Inspired romances and her new release sounds so good (and, ya’ll…the cover!) Read on to see how you can win a copy of ebook of her first book, Falling for the Innkeeper!
First and foremost, I’m a wife and a mom. My husband and I will actually be celebrating our 16th anniversary this Friday! My kids don’t know this yet, but what we’re taking them to their first Christian music concert as part of the celebration!
(We’re going to see TobyMac, who’s my absolute favorite musical artist!!! 🎼💃🕺)
Tell us about your current release: I’m beyond excited about this book! The Baby’s Christmas Blessing is the second book I’ve written for Harlequin’s Love Inspired line, and it was so much fun to go back to Cape Cod and revisit some of the characters from my first book.
If you like books that take you on an emotional roller coaster ride, The Baby’s Christmas Blessing will be right up your alley. Here’s what you can expect:
⭐️ A feel-good second-chance romance… at Christmas!!!
🚹 A strong & caring hero with a shockingly sad (and secret!) backstory
👦 A snuggly newborn baby who needs a nanny
💕 A big-hearted heroine with amazing friends
✝️ An uplifting inspirational message about love, family & forgiveness
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? So, I actually started my first novel when I was in college, and completed it in graduate school back in 2003. It wasn’t Christian fiction, and it didn’t get published. I did try to find an agent and a publishing house, but I feel like God said no to me back then because He had something else in store for me and my writing career.
For the next TWELVE YEARS, I worked as a marketing writer in the technology sector. I used my writing skills to write case studies, white papers, press releases, ad copy, and other things like that, but my dream was always to become a published author.
After I had my third child in 2015, I quit the marketing job to focus on raising my kids. Being a stay-at-home to three small children is definitely a full-time job!
By 2017, though, two of my kids were in school at least part-time, and I had a little bit of time to myself. I’d been reading a lot of Christian romance novels because they were positive, uplifting, and easy to read, and after someone close to me recommended that I find a project that was just for me, God started nudging me to write in this new genre: Christian romance.
The biggest roadblock when I started writing that book was finding the time to write! I’d snatch a half an hour when my little guy was napping, and another hour or so when I’d take the kids to the babysitting room at the YMCA. It took me about nine months to finish the first draft of what would become Falling for the Innkeeper.
Once I had it written, the path to publication was actually pretty smooth. I went to a writing conference in 2019, met an agent who was interested in seeing my full manuscript, and signed with her a few days later. She pitched my book to an editor at Love Inspired who liked it and sent me a “Revise and Resubmit” letter. I spent about a month revising the book per the editor’s suggestions, and then signed my first book contract a few days later!
It still feels like a dream to me that I get to write books and see them on bookstore shelves!
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 have a very loose idea of where the story is going when I first start writing. The beauty of writing romance novels is that you always know you’re going to end with a beautiful happily ever after. ❤️
I’m a character-driven writer, and I get to know my characters as I write about them. I have some vague ideas about the plot at the beginning, but my characters really dictate where the story is going to go.
What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? Ha ha ha—I would have to say, write a romance novel! 🤣 I didn’t discover Christian fiction until 2017, so I thought all romance novels were kind of racy, and I had no desire to write that kind of book. Once I found Christian romance, though, I saw that I could write a sweet stories that wouldn’t make me—or any of my friends and family—uncomfortable, and I was all in!!!
Do you have a particular character that you fell in love with and keep them alive in your mind? I always fall in love with my heroes. They live pretty large in my mind until I’m deep into writing the next book, when the next hero comes along and takes over!
How difficult is it for you to make sure those who are asked to review actually do review? Does this limit your thoughts on ARCs? When I send out my ARCs to my early reader team, I give them all the information about the publication date and places where they can leave reviews. On the day the book comes out, I remind everyone that they can now leave a review on Amazon and the various other retail sites. If someone hasn’t left a review after a week or two, I’ll check in to see if they had trouble downloading their review copy. I understand that things happen and life can get in the way, so I don’t push too much if people go MIA.
I personally invite people to join my early reader team on a release-by-release basis, so if someone chooses not to leave a review, I generally won’t extend another invitation in the future.
What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I remember the day the Challenger blew up. I was six, and I remember my mom being very upset. I’m married to a rocket scientist now, and I’ve seen a lot of failed launches. (Fortunately, none with people on board.) Watching the launch of Inspiration4 last year, which was the first crewed orbital mission with no professional astronauts on board, was extremely stressful. I was praying the whole time that nothing would go wrong and those four crewmembers would have a happy ending to their journey into space!!!
Find Meghann online:
Meghann is giving away an ebook copy of her book Falling for the Innkeeper! Click below for all of the ways you can enter to win!