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Interview with Laurie Stroup Smith 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 Laurie Stroup Smith as my guest. I really enjoyed this interview. Laurie has a way of drawing you in with every question to the point that I found myself emotionally involved in a story about giving an interview. I imagine her books can do the same thing! I love that she inspires people to serve – you guys know me and know that kind of thing is always on my heart. I hope you enjoy this interview 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 about yourself. I grew up in an eastern suburb of Cincinnati and currently live about twenty minutes from my hometown with my husband Travis and our 14 and 15-year-old daughters. After earning my bachelor’s degrees in both athletic training and exercise science, I later obtained my master’s degree in health promotion and education. I worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer, practicing in a physical therapy clinic while also providing medical coverage during high school and professional athletic events. When I became a mom, I had the opportunity to stay at home. I love scrapbooking and anything crafty, being outdoors, and spending time with loved ones. For a week or two each summer, we enjoy discovering new adventures along the western coast of Michigan.

I made writing a priority in my life over four years ago. My tagline is “Inspiring Service Through Story.” Serving others brings me great joy, and I’ve woven service projects into each manuscript I’ve written with the hope that readers will be inspired to get involved in their own communities.

Tell us about your current release. Pockets of Promise, Book #1 in The Pocket Quilt Series, is my debut, and it was released on April 30, 2020. This is the story about Mariah Mast, a young woman who travels to the Amish snowbird community of Pinecraft, where she receives wisdom and guidance through secrets notes tucked in the pockets of a special quilt. While in Florida, she spends time with a new group of friends, and she faces a decision that will have lasting consequences for those she loves. Will she find fulfillment in Florida? Or does her heart belong in Holmes County?

Pockets of Purpose, the second book in the series, will be released on June 30, 2021. Mariah’s friend Dixie Yoder travels from Pinecraft to Holmes County, with hopes of a future with Gideon Petersheim. Surgical complications leave the auctioneer searching for purpose as Dixie yearns for his love.

What is the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? The Challenger explosion. I was in fourth grade, and it was my friend April’s birthday. Mrs. Zwayer was my homeroom teacher, but we had switched classes, and I was sitting in Mrs. Monroe’s language arts class. She was an older woman with short curls who often wore long skirts and comfortable shoes. A large tube television had been rolled to the front of the classroom on a media cart, and we were excited to watch the space shuttle launch. Not only would the takeoff be cool to see, but this also gave us a break from vocabulary words and grammar lessons.

In class, we had learned about Christa McAuliffe, the high school teacher selected to be the first civilian to go into space. I remember admiring her bravery—I didn’t have a strong desire to study anything that existed beyond the earth’s atmosphere, much less travel there, and wondered why someone would. That being said, I respected the work ethic and dedication she and her fellow astronauts demonstrated. Leading up to January 28, 1986, I thought about her children and how they felt about the mission—I didn’t want my mom to leave us for a long weekend much less be launched into space.

I can still picture the explosion appearing on the screen—the unexpected fireball followed by fingers of smoke, stretching through the sky. Mrs. Monroe hurried to turn off the television and then rushed into the hallway as we whispered about what we’d witnessed.

Later that afternoon and during the days and weeks that followed, I sat beside my parents on the couch and listened to the news—interviews and investigations. I recall the jokes about the tragedy, which made me even more heartbroken for her children and students, but I learned that people often turn to humor to deal with circumstances that are difficult to understand.

Each year on January 28, I remember my friend April and what we witnessed on her 10th birthday.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? Around the age of nine, I remember telling my parents I wanted to be an author, but my interests later led me to become a Certified Athletic Trainer. Writing has always been important to me. One of my college professors requested a copy of my master’s thesis to keep as an example for other students, and the manager of the physical therapy clinic where I worked asked me to help write new versions of our treatment protocols. While serving for six years as a Girl Scout Troop Leader, I started a blog called Kapers, Cookies, and Campfires as a resource for other leaders. During this time, I wrote a story for our daughters who were grieving the loss of two grandparents. I shared it with an author friend who then encouraged me to pursue writing. It was then that I remembered my childhood dream.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? The pandemic presented unique challenges that proved to be a huge roadblock for me while I was writing Pockets of Purpose, the second book in The Pocket Quilt Series. In addition to my dad being in Hospice, our daughters switched to remote learning, and my husband enjoyed a four-month furlough. The once-quiet house was full of laughter, which was a wonderful blessing that I will forever cherish, but it was difficult to work through the distractions. When I hit a roadblock and didn’t know in which direction to go, Travis and our girls came to the rescue. They talked through the plot points with me and offered suggestions, many of which I explored.

As I consider this question, I’m also reminded of a workshop I attended during the 2019 ACFW Conference. Robert Dugoni was the featured speaker. At one point in his presentation, he explained that when one of his characters needs to respond in a situation, he never chooses the first idea that pops to mind (Option A). Instead, he jots down a list of believable alternatives. Option B might be good, but he pushes it to the side as well. While Option C could work, Option D would be even better. He goes with it, knowing the reader would never expect that twist. His process has proven to be helpful when roadblocks stand in the way of my progress.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Great question! And yes I would. I started on this journey because I felt called to write a story to help our daughters through their grief after losing two grandparents. I continued writing because God has opened doors for me by crossing my path with the right people at the right time, often when I start to doubt the direction in which I’m headed. He sparks an idea in my heart, and I do my best to get the story on the page, trusting that He will get the book into the hands of those who need to read it. Eventually.

The waiting is hard. The rejection is tough. The Parable of the Lost Sheep shows that each one of us is precious to God, and He will pursue those who have wandered away and those who are lost. He has used others to reach me at various points along my spiritual journey, and I have promised to follow where he leads me despite the challenges I may face along the way. Though I’m not always patient, I continue to pursue publication, trusting that God will continue to work through me, whether His word reaches one or many.

What is one thing that I never saw myself doing and either do it now or have done? Around the release of Pockets of Promise, I scheduled an on-camera interview with a digital magazine, and I accepted invitations to be a guest on two different podcasts. I usually experience the normal jitters whenever I speak to groups in public, but the butterflies settle once I begin talking as long as I’m prepared. For two of those three engagements, I was given questions I could expect during our time together. But the host of the third interview explained that she likes to let the Holy Spirit guide the conversation. I never expected to find myself agreeing to do an interview that I could not prepare for in advance. And I almost allowed fear to keep me from showing up for that appointment.

Quick backstory: my dad was given two days to live in early July 2019, but he rallied only to be given “days to live” again in mid-February of this year. By the grace of God and the power of prayer, he is still with us as I answer these questions for Hallee. But on the Tuesday before my scheduled chat with Doris Swift for her Fierce Calling podcast back in June, my dad’s condition began to decline. I didn’t want to postpone the interview, but after all we had experienced with him over the past year, I was not about to pretend what the week would look like for us.

By Friday morning, there had been no significant developments with my dad, but I was having serious doubts about this podcast. Between my dad’s declining health, the pandemic, and the rising tensions across our country, I was holding onto a lot of grief, anger, resentment, and judgment of others. I was in the midst of a storm—an emotional wreck. Who was I to talk to anyone about faith? Especially when I had no idea what questions might be asked of me. Knowing my concerns, my husband strongly suggested I not cancel, but I wrote the host an email anyway, but then followed a nudge to sit on it for a couple of hours.

While revising the email later that afternoon, I felt like God was encouraging me through the lies and doubts that were pushing me to cancel. The world was in pain, and maybe I could share the ways God has fought for me and loved me. Maybe a listener would hear a nugget of truth that could be applied in his or her life. God had led me to Doris in a unique way, so I believed He would use her podcast to deliver my story to those who needed to hear the message.

Never did I ever believe I’d agree to an interview for which I could not prepare. But I did! You can listen to that podcast here (Episode 34).

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write the story you feel called to tell, and invite God to come alongside you throughout the process.

Continue to write despite rejections or bad reviews. Attend workshops and conferences and read books on the craft of writing. Be bold—introduce yourself to other authors and industry professionals. Reach out to those with more experience and then share what you’ve learned with those who come to you with questions and doubts.

Create a website and/or start a blog. When I made writing a priority in my life, a friend encouraged me to blog about my experiences. I didn’t have an agent yet, but I trusted her advice. I created a website and started blogging about my current WIP, which at the time happened to be a middle grade book. I wrote about our family service projects, summer reading, writing exercises for kids, preparing for a conference, and finding critique partners. My blog posts changed as my journey toward publication progressed, but I found that readers supported me and celebrated the release of that first book because they had rooted for me through the years.

Here is where you can find Laurie online:

Website lauriestroupsmith.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lauriestroupsmith

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

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

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19903556.Laurie_Stroup_Smith

Twitter https://twitter.com/LStroupSmith

Laurie is giving away an ebook copy of Pockets of Promise to a reader! See below how to enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 8/17/20 – Why Do You Write Christian Fiction?

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m answering the question, “Why do you write Christian fiction?”

Answer my question on Inspy Romance blog post today and enter to win a 4-book hardback set: https://www.inspyromance.com/why-i-write-christian-romances-with-a-hardback-series-giveaway/

Preorder Alexandra’s Appeal for the September 29, 2020 release here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CBBP334?tag=hallethehomem-20

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! http://www.halleebridgeman.com/hallees-brew/
Do you want one of those cool cups? Get one here: https://www.halleebridgeman.com/ceramic-coffee-mug/

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Interview with Patti Stockdale 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 Patti Stockdale as my guest. I love the story about how she started writing — clearly God had a plan for her! I also love how her latest release was inspired! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of it!

Tell us about yourself: Patti loves hope, history, and a good happily ever after. She can’t remember numbers, so she married a statistician. Thanks to him, she’s lived all sorts of places and worked all sorts of jobs. For 11 years, she directed the programming at a nonprofit senior center and hosted an annual talent show, rocking a Dolly Parton wig, Annie Oakley boots, and a sweet-although snug-Batman costume. She no longer works there. These days, Patti writes books and reading assessments for an educational publisher.

Tell us about your current release: One forbidden love. Two broken hearts. Three little things.

Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp in 1917. He forgot about her ages ago. It had always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind.

Arno Kreger can’t leave Iowa or his old man fast enough. He’s eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother’s death. Before entering the train, he bumps into Hattie. He’s loved her forever, always from the sidelines, because nobody crosses Hattie’s pa.

One innocent letter soon morphs into many. Arno and Hattie share three little secrets in each letter and grow closer together. But he’s on his way to a war across the ocean, and she’s still in her father’s house. Their newfound love will need to survive dangers on both fronts.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I returned to college at the age of 35, taking classes two nights a week at a satellite campus. Although I valued the convenience, I had few choices on courses. But that was okay. I’d nail down the basics then declare a major. After the college canceled Western Civ one semester, my only other Monday/Wednesday option was, you guessed it, Creative Writing. Could I work full-time, raise a family, and complete the labor-intensive assignments? I had to try. Surprise, surprise. I fell in love with storytelling.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? My favorite authors swoop me into their stories, tug on my heartstrings, and reveal how true love wins. I also appreciate deep POV and humor. Whether historical or contemporary, my goal is to write books I want to read.

Who was your first screen/musical crush? At a recent book signing back in my hometown, a friend reminded me I’d once mailed Christopher Knight, Peter Brady from the Brady Bunch, a fan letter. How had that slipped my mind? Anyway, according to my friend, he mailed me his autographed publicity photo. No, it’s no longer pinned to my bulletin board.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Perseverance. I wrote the first draft of Three Little Things over 20 years ago. Then, it hid in a box while I worked at a busy nonprofit. A million times, I could have given up on my old dream but never caved. It’s not always the most talented writers who sign contracts. It’s those who hone their craft and never quit. My other tip is to hand the manuscript to God, let Him handle the worries and the rejections.

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? I needed a new project for a creative writing class. At the same time, my mom and her sisters found an old tin of love letters their parents had exchanged. Writing a historical had never crossed my mind. But why not? I loved reading the genre. Once I persuaded the ladies to loan me their letters, I wrote the rough draft of Three Little Things. Initially, I tried to tell my grandparents’ story. But all great characters need flaws. Guess what? It was impossible to flaw my grandparents. After this revelation, my real-life characters morphed into fictional characters, making Three Little Things a much better book.

Here is where you can find Patti online:

Patti is giving a copy of Three Little Things to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Interview with Dawn Kinzer 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 Dawn Kinzer as my guest. Dawn is giving away a copy of her latest release — and, friends, this book sounds so good! Read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a freelance editor, and my own work has been published in various devotionals and magazines. I co-host and write for the Seriously Write blog. Sarah’s Smile is the first book in my historical romance series, The Daughters of Riverton. Hope’s Design is the second, and Rebecca’s Song completes the trilogy. My latest release, By All Appearances, is a contemporary romance set in the Seattle area.

I grew up in a small rural town in Wisconsin—third generation to be raised there. That town’s setting and history inspired The Daughters of Riverton. I’ve lived in the Seattle area for twenty-six years, and I love everything about the Pacific Northwest, except the Seattle traffic!

I’m a wife, a mom to two grown daughters (a stepmom to another), and a nana to four young grandchildren. We’re a close family, and I adore those little ones. When I’m not consumed in writing, editing, or family time, I enjoy gardening, music, and spending time in nature. I’m also a Masterpiece Theatre junkie!

Tell us about your current release. By All Appearances is about a social event planner and a disfigured musician who discover that not all people or situations are what they seem. The story challenges readers to think about how we often make judgments before we know the facts or take time to know the person behind the mask.

Story blurb …

Liana Tate, a special events planner grew up in a high-profile family. No matter what she does, Liana feels she never measures up.

Bryan Langley, a talented musician, was close to signing a recording contract when a barn fire left part of his face severely burned. He survived, but his career did not.

When Liana’s father hires Bryan as a caretaker on the family estate outside of Seattle, Liana’s and Bryan’s lives become entangled. He risks public humiliation for Liana’s success, and she encourages him to use his musical gifts, despite his reluctance. Thrown together, will they achieve their elusive dreams? And will the two find the love and acceptance they yearn for, or will their actions only drive each other away?

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. I was in the first grade, and we were in class when our teacher announced that he’d been shot. She brought a black and white TV into the classroom and showed us a replay of a news broadcast. I think our teacher felt it was important for us to understand and discuss what happened. We were all stunned that he was gone, and it was difficult to process the situation.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? As a child and teen, I wrote simple stories. I took a sci-fi literature class in college and wrote a story as my final project and received an “A.” At the time, I didn’t want to teach English, and I didn’t want to go into journalism. I’d placed authors on a pedestal, and I didn’t believe I would ever be good enough to write anything publishable. So, I focused on science—another passion—and graduated with a BS in biology and chemistry.

Years passed, I became involved with the drama program at my church, and I was asked to co-write a play for the teens to perform. A friend and I ended up writing three full-length plays, and during the writing process, it felt like I’d found “home.” I realized that writing filled a creative void. That’s when I decided to write my first novel—just to prove to myself that I could do it, and that decision started me on the journey to publication.

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’m a plotter. I need a roadmap of where I want to go. When I start writing a novel, I know the beginning, most of the challenges along the journey, and how the story will end. However, surprises always pop up along the way. More ideas come as I write. I also have a pretty good understanding of my characters, and I know their dreams, goals, and fears, along with the spiritual lies they believe. But I still get a rush when one of them reveals something new about themselves. For me, those revelations are exciting because they’re signs that the characters are coming to life.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? As I learned to read Dick and Jane in first grade, a new world opened up for me, and I became an avid reader. Living in a rural town with a population of 500 people, there wasn’t much more to do than read, play with friends, or ride bikes.

A small revolving library was created in a back room of our town’s fire station. One summer, the librarian held a contest with awards for reading the most books. My first place prize included two Nancy Drew mysteries by Carolyn Keene. I was hooked! I think I spent any money I earned on that series. I still have those novels and two others I inherited from an older relative: The Secret of the Red Gate Farm (1931) and The Message in the Hollow Oak (1935). Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is one of my all-time favorite books. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte made a huge impression when I first read the story, and it remains a treasure.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Sarah McCall may reflect my personality the most. She’s my heroine in Sarah’s Smile, (Book 1 in The Daughters of Riverton series). But it’s almost impossible to pick one of my characters because a part of me is reflected in all of my heroines. Some of their struggles have been my own struggles, and they handle situations like I would—or have. They tend to be independent and a little more on the serious side, but they also have a sense of humor and can be funny at times. They’re strong but also softies at heart. They strive to do the right thing, but they’re imperfect and make mistakes.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? When I struggle with what to write, I give myself permission to daydream. Sometimes our brains are so overloaded with all the other “things” in our lives, we don’t leave any room for creativity. The best place for me to daydream is somewhere in nature (if the weather cooperates). Sometimes, it works to let my mind wander when the house is quiet for the night or in the early morning hours while I’m lingering in bed. It’s amazing what will come when you slow down for a few minutes.

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? I changed direction while writing The Daughters of Riverton series. Annie Banks is first introduced as a minor character in Book 1, Sarah’s Smile. In Hope’s Design, she was originally going to play another small role and then take the lead as the heroine in Book 3.

But as I wrote Hope’s Design and began fleshing out more of Annie’s role, I discovered that the storyline I was originally going to use in Book 3 would make a strong subplot in Hope’s story.

I also realized that I could provide an interesting character arc and a satisfying ending to the series if Rebecca Hoyt became the heroine in Book 3. Readers disliked Rebecca intensely in Sarah’s Smile, but by the time they finished Rebecca’s Song, they’d watched her transformation, and they’d grown to love her. So, Annie never got her own story, but she was still able to have a fun and meaningful role in the series.

 Here is where you can find Dawn online:

Author WebsiteFaithfully Write EditingSeriously Write, FacebookPinterestInstagramAmazon Author Page, BookBub, and Goodreads.

 Dawn is giving away an ebook or paperback (US only) copy of By All Appearances to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Interview with June Foster 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 award-winning author June Foster as my guest. I love that June wrote her first book in her RV, and that she courageously listens to the commands of the Holy Spirit over the topics on which she writes. She’s giving away a copy of her latest release! Read on to see how you can enter to win.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. An award-winning author, June Foster is also a retired teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. She is the mother of two and grandmother of ten. June began writing Christian romance in 2010. She penned her first novel on her Toshiba laptop as she and her husband traveled the US in their RV. Her adventures provide a rich source of information for her novels. She brags about visiting a location before it becomes the setting in her next book.

To date, June has written twenty-two contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels and novellas. She loves to compose stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives. She’s published with Winged Publications. Visit June at www.junefoster.com to see a complete list of her books.

Tell us about your current release. The rippling influence of Ryan Reid’s less than moral mother and absent father made a mark on his soul. Yet everything changed when the young school teacher accepted Christ—almost everything.

An earthquake hurls the beautiful Sandy Arrington into his life, tossing his world upside down. When God calls him to build an annex for needy teens at his church, Ryan must face the carefully guarded secret he’s held deep in his heart. Though Sandy falls in love with him, Ryan’s forbidden affections lie elsewhere, and he must depend on the Lord to see him through a struggle he always hoped he’d never have to face. Sandy’s wealthy cardiologist father and the battle Ryan is powerless to win are hurtles to their romance. Can he dig his way out to find Sandy’s love?

Ryan’s Father is a fictional work offering love and respect toward those with same sex tendencies who want to walk away from the lifestyle. Family members and friends will enjoy reading the novel as well.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, a hundred times yes. I’ve known several Christian people who’ve confided in me concerning their same sex tendencies and how they would love to be free. I’m convinced that the Lord put this plot on my heart to benefit others—or perhaps even one.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Yes, specifically with this book. I realize there are going to be people who will close its covers as soon as they discover the topic. It’s hard to stand for something that’s such a hot button issue today.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I suppose that’s why I’m a plotter. Before I begin a book, I “free write” everything I know about the plot, setting, and characters. Then I write a summary of every chapter before I write the book. As I accomplish that, I still gain more insight into the characters as well as when I actually write the book so I’m able to incorporate every idea that works.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I literally feel like the Lord started me on this journey. I had never had an interest in writing, in particular fiction, until after I retired from teaching. That’s when the Lord planted the “writing bug” in my heart. He allowed me to become traditionally published after only two years of writing and learning the craft. I always joke that God knew He needed to put me on the fast track because of my age.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? I’m an introvert through and through. I love chatting with people face to face but never, never did I want to speak in front of a group—or, heaven forbid, go on television and talk about my book. Yes, you guessed it. I was on TV once on a local Birmingham morning show. Once I got into the interview, surprisingly enough, I wasn’t nervous. But I’m not so sure I want to do it again.

Here is where you can find June online:

www.junefoster.com

www.facebook.com/authorjunefoster/

twitter.com/vjifoster

www.pinterest.com/junefoster/

June is giving away an ebook of Ryan’s Father to a reader! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Susan Page Davis 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 Susan Page Davis as my guest. My family has been watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies on our weekly family movie night, so her new book really resonated with me! It sounds very good! Plus – Susan has written more than 90 novels. NINETY. Wow! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’ve published more than 90 novels and novellas, and I love writing. Before I became a fiction author, I worked as a newspaper correspondent. I’m married and have six adult children and ten grandchildren. I grew up in the state of Maine and spent most of my life there, but when my husband retired we moved to western Kentucky. Not only is the climate much friendlier, but we’re nearer most of our children now.

Tell us about your current release. In The Scottish Lass, sailor Fiona Campbell is captured and forced to accompany a band of cutthroats on their quest for a lost treasure. A shifty sailor turned pirate, Samuel Trafton, has betrayed his former sailing mate Elwood Stark and stolen Stark’s new command from under him. Fearing for her life, Fiona fends off her kidnappers and prays Captain Alice and her crew will come to the rescue. Meanwhile, sailor Tommy Mercer was also captured. He tries to help Fiona and suffers for his efforts.

Stark approaches Captain Alice Packard, hoping she’ll help him get his ship back. But Alice can’t trust him. Stark was her friend Josiah Howard’s first mate, but Josiah’s gone on business, and she can’t get his opinion. Alice has many lives depending on her, and she can’t afford to make a mistake. Could Stark be in league with Trafton to gain control of the Vera B. as well as Stark’s schooner? This is Book 2 in the Hearts of Oak series, another seafaring adventure with Captain Alice Packard and her crew.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. I write stories not knowing if they will resonate with people or not. Years later I might hear from someone who found encouragement or inspiration in one of my books. But I don’t hear from the majority of my readers. I might never know how the story affected them. I write what comes to me and leave that part up to God.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I don’t. There’s always more there to be told. Sometimes I write very fast, and sometimes more slowly, but I think I have more stories waiting than I will ever have time to tell.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Little Joe Cartwright for sure.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I have pretty much written since I was a child. I have copies of old stories I wrote in junior high. As an adult, I did a lot of newspaper and magazine articles before starting seriously to write fiction. For me, there’s something compelling and satisfying about getting it on paper.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Usually. Well over seventy of my books were written for traditional publishers, and they all have general lengths in mind and put them in the contract. When I write something for independent publishing, sometimes I just do it and see where the length ends up.

What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? Self-publishing. When I started writing novels, self-publishing fiction was declared “the kiss of death.” It was many years and many published novels later that I began to consider it. The publishing market and process has changed immensely in the past 12 years. Self-publishing is now a viable option for writers. True, because it’s so easy now, there’s a lot of poorly written and poorly edited material out there. But indie authors can make it on their own now, and many have. My first indie books were backlist books on which I had the rights returned to me by the original publishers. Since then, I’ve gone on to publish several original books, like the Hearts of Oak series written with my son, and the Maine Justice series.

Find Susan online:

Website: https://susanpagedavis.com

Twitter: @SusanPageDavis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor

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Susan is giving away a copy of her book to a reader! (Print US only or ebook) See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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