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Interview with Anne Carol 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 have author Anne Carol as my guest. I really enjoyed this interview, and not just because we were both in 6th grade in 1984 (heh). I love the way that God inspired Anne to write edgier fiction for Christian authors. Those of you who have read me know that many of my books would be classified under “edgier”. It’s wasn’t easy to put those first ones out on the market nine years ago because oftentimes, readers felt the need to lecture you and bring you back to the sweet and clean writer fold. But I discovered a HUGE audience for that type of fiction. I also love that this book series follows the story of one couple. I LOVE series like that! I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win an autographed paperback of Anne’s latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Northern California, in the same town where I currently reside with my husband of 22 years and two college-aged sons. Technically, one son is away at college and the other will move to college in the fall. So we are almost empty nesters! I am not a full-time writer (yet); I work part time as a CPA, full time during tax season. I enjoy traveling, wine tasting, hanging out with our church small group, and watching Hallmark movies. I’m also a big music geek who loves making music playlists. My favorite type of music is classic alternative (80s New Wave).

Tell us about your current release: My new book is titled Never Give Up, and it is the fourth and final book of my Faithfully Yours series. This series chronicles the love story of David, a London musician, and Beth, an aspiring writer from California. They meet as teenagers in the first book, Never Let Go, when Beth spends the summer in London. The series takes you through their relationship journey from long-distance teen romance to early marriage, through the ups and downs of his music career, to starting a family, dealing with his addictions, and a few other challenging events which threaten their relationship. This fourth book is about transitions in their family life and how those big shifts affect both David and Beth. You’ll also see how they learn to put God in charge of their lives. Their faith journey over the four books is subtle but most prominent in Never Give Up. This installment took me over two years to write, and I really felt God’s presence and influence as I wrote it.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? I like this question because I feel like this is close to the truth for me! I feel largely “under the radar” in the writer world and have come close to giving up many times because I didn’t think my books mattered. There are so many talented authors out there, why should I bother? But God has made it clear He wants me to keep writing, and every so often He gives me a “God wink”: a hint that my efforts are not wasted. Moreover, I benefit spiritually from the writing process, as I work out my own issues on the pages. In addition, trusting God with the finished book stretches my faith. He knows exactly who needs to read my stories, and even if I never know in this lifetime the impact the books have had, I am confident God knows what He’s doing! I’m just the instrument He uses to reach people (or one person).

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Not anymore, but I did several years ago when I wrote the original versions of my first two books. I wrote in a style and with a heat level that was not representative of me or my comfort level. I regret it deeply, and even though I revised and re-released the books, I still fear it hurt my chances of success going forward. But I also know God’s plans can’t be thwarted by our errors.

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 as well as what God has placed on my heart. Writing is my “side gig”, so at this point, I don’t feel the need to write to market. But I’m sure my writing will evolve as I gain more experience and knowledge.

Who do you envision your typical reader to be? A reader of my books will be: okay with edgier subject matter/redemption stories, a fan of romance, open to reading young adult or college-age fiction, a bit nostalgic, and comfortable with a Christian worldview. Loving music isn’t a requirement, just know most of my stories will involve music somehow. Age-wise, I’ve had my 16-year-old niece enjoy my books as well as friends in their fifties. Christian and secular readers alike have read my books.

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? The idea for my first book came to me when I was in sixth grade (circa 1984), when I had a mad crush on a member of an English rock band. I had a vivid imagination which wouldn’t stop, and one day I decided to write a story about a girl from California who spends the summer in England, where she meets and falls in love with a future rock star. Fast forward twenty-five years, that story still floated around my imagination, so I decided to write it for publication. The original story from my preteen mind evolved into four books!

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Straight off, I’ll say rock star romance. It’s my favorite genre and what I write, but it’s very hard to find clean or Christian rock star fiction. You will find scores of rock star books in secular romance, but they tend to be steamy reads. One of my writer friends is self-publishing a Christian rock star series soon, and I cannot wait to read her books!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write from the heart and stay in constant communication with God. Don’t worry about whether you’ll make a bestseller list or earn awards, just enjoy the process. Join online and in person writing groups. Attend conferences. Read books about writing, marketing and the publishing process. Read well-written books, especially ones that are in your genre. Don’t compare yourself with other writers. Be patient and persevere. 

Find Anne online:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/annecarolauthor/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323139685086685

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

Newsletter Sign-up: https://bit.ly/2UDc7WH

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

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/annecarolauthor?si=2CpMJ5HSRW-LyTntS49ZKQ

Amazon Page: https://amzn.to/2x30NHq

Website: https://annecarolauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneCarolAuthor

Anne is giving away an autographed paperback of Never Give Up! Click the image below to register. (Note: Entries will be added to our mailing lists. You can unsubscribe at any time.)

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 2/22/21 – Do You Write Multiple Books at a Time?

Happy Monday! Today I’m answering the question, “Do you write one book at a time or are you working on multiple books/characters at a time?”

Grab a cup of coffee and join me!

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! http://www.halleebridgeman.com/hallees-brew/

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Interview with Leah Pugh 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 pleased to have author Leah Pugh as my guest. I loved reading about how she “journaled” through her brother’s deployment and how she creates differently depending on the genre she’s writing. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a wife and mother who enjoys curling up with a good book and a delicious cup of tea when I can find a spare moment. When I’m not doing either of those things, I’m usually jotting down stories or spending time with my family.

Tell us about your current release. Something Warm For Grandma is about little Ryan who wants to visit Grandma in the hospital. When Daddy reminds Mommy to bring something warm for Grandma because she gets cold, Ryan sets out on a mission to find just the right gift to keep Grandma warm, and help her feel better faster. 

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? A wider amount of Christian Fiction books geared towards a younger audience. (Kids, middle grade, young adult)

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? One of my friends helped make the decision for me. I’d sent the friend my first manuscript to get her feedback. Unbeknownst to me she knew a publisher. The friend liked my story so much, she forwarded it to the publisher (without my knowledge). The latter also enjoyed the manuscript so much, she signed me on with her publishing house.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) For some reason if I’m writing a picture book, I prefer pen and paper. However, if I’m working on a novel, I do that on a computer. I also like to have music going on in the background when I write because I often feel that music helps the creative writing process. And often a good musical score will go great with the scene I’m writing.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) Louisa May Alcott, Carolyn Keene, Franklin W. Dixion, Charles Dickens, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? Door number two: I write as they pop in my head. It started back in middle school when I decided to write a story based off the adventures I’d had with my friends. And then when my brother was deployed overseas, instead of keeping a journal, I wrote a story about a girl going through the same experiences as me. That trend has continued through the years, writing as it comes to me, and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

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? Yes. That’s what’s currently happening with a book I’m working on. Halfway through, it’s started going in an entirely differently direction. It can be a bit frustrating when it happens because then I have to go back, and change a lot of stuff. However, often the new direction ends up making the story much better than what I’d originally envisioned.

Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? Yes, I’d just lost my grandma and snuck off to the bathroom to cry in peace. My son tagged along, as little ones are apt to do. However, when he saw my tears he said, “Bye, Mommy” and closed the door. We didn’t have a chance to say good-bye before Grandma passed, and I started wondering what he could have done if he’d been able to say good-bye to his great-grandma. He’s a very caring person, and the idea of a young boy trying to find the best get-well gift for his grandmother came to mind. 

Here is where you can find Leah online:

www.facebook.com/LeahPughAuthor/

Leah is giving away a copy of SOMETHING WARM FOR GRANDMA to a reader! Click this link to enter: https://kingsumo.com/g/rrcp2z/something-warm-for-grandma-by-leah-pugh


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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 2/15/21 – How hard is it to write books?

Happy Monday! Today I’m answering the question, “Is it hard to write a book? I’ve been thinking about writing one but not sure how to get started.”

Grab a cup of coffee and join me!

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! http://www.halleebridgeman.com/hallees-brew/

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Interview with Lila Diller 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 happy to have Lila Diller as my guest. My husband and I have spent years ministering to marriages, studying male/female dynamics, and writing articles about relationships. It’s always nice to meet someone who has a heart for marriage like we do. I hope you enjoy Lila’s interview and much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win not just one but TWO books in her current series!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi, I’m an introverted, small-town ginger—novelist, blogger, home school mom—with a humorous husband, two energetic and funny boys, a “knead”-y cat, and a rambunctious dachshund puppy. Our home overflows with cuteness, creativity, and laughter. I encourage Christian wives through fiction and nonfiction to work past disappointment in their marriage to remain faithful to the God who faithfully pursues them.

Tell us about your current release. Her Heart’s Disappointment – #4 in the “Love is” series – continues Morgan’s search for true love in the newlywed phase, which turns out to be less than perfect. After the disappointments and annoyances have worn her down, she is blindsided by the big problems—a close friend’s failed marriage and her possible infertility. Will she stop blaming Jason or just continue sweeping her true feelings under the rug?

Whats the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I think it must have been when the Challenger shuttle exploded, in 1986. I was almost 8 years old. One of the lady astronauts was from my state, and it was a big deal in our school.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? It depends on why I’m blocked. If it’s because I don’t know what to write next, then I need to do more prewriting or character development. If it’s because my creativity is empty, I take a nap or watch a favorite movie to fill it up again.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I have always wanted to write since grade school. I never thought I was good enough, especially after a creative writing teacher in college made some harsh comments. So I gave up on that dream for 15 years. What pushed me to follow my dream again was when I dreamed about my heroine being chased by two men. I prayed and felt the Lord telling me to finish it. When my sister attempted suicide, I put it away as not important in the grand scheme of life and death. Several months later, once she was doing well, I felt the Lord urging me to put my story as a family member of an attempted suicide. Now I want to help Christians grow in their walk with Christ because of my books.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Well, actually, I was just too impatient to wait for an agent to seek traditional publishing. 😉 I really didn’t know what I was doing at first. I just wanted to be able to call myself a “published author,” so I self-published. Once I did, I realized that I needed to tell others about my book, so I learned everything I could about the marketing and business side.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? That depends on the project. With my “Love is” series, I had the main characters and the overall plotline of chronologically following one couple from friends to dating to engagement to wedding to children… and we’ll see how long it goes. 😉

With my Jane Austen fanfiction, I brainstormed minor characters from Austen’s novels and began with what I knew of them and worked backward.

I have found that I am a plotter, or at least more of a plotter than pantser. The more concrete details I have about each scene, the easier is it to write. I don’t just write to find out what happens. Though I enjoy proofreading other authors’ works, I can’t stand that much editing of my own work. 😉

What is your preferred method of writing? Computer. Though I love pens, I type so much faster than I write. If I take too long to write it, I forget all my ideas. My memory is not good enough to take that chance.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Morgan in my “Love is” series is taken directly from myself and what I would do if I were ever in those situations. Through her story, I’m trying to show how the Lord has changed me from an insecure receptionist to a more confident woman and writer.

Here is where you can find Lila online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/loveisseries

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/liladiller

Instagram: www.instagram.com/liladiller

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16575789.Lila_Diller

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Lila-Diller/e/B06XPT2GND

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lila-diller

Booksnatcher: https://booksniffer.com/lila-diller

Lila is giving away the first two books in her “Love Is” series to a reader! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 2/1/21 – Today We’re Talking About Characters!

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m answering the question, “Do characters/people or storylines/situations drive your creativity when coming up with new books? If it’s characters, and you base them on real people, how much of the real person do you put into the character? Is it harder to base characters on real people and get it to fit with your plot?”

Thank you for that question! I hope you’re able to learn more about me and my writing through my answer.

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! http://www.halleebridgeman.com/hallees-brew/

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