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 Christy Distler as my guest. Christy beautifully words how she gets past “imposter syndrome“, something for which I am painfully familiar with, in order to follow God’s will in her life. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win an autographed copy of her latest release!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. My name is Christy Distler, obviously. For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed my most vivid dreams with my eyes wide open. Names became people—people who didn’t exist in this time and place but couldn’t have been more real in my heart and mind. So I’ve done the only rational thing: give them a voice by writing fiction.
My novels, whether historical or contemporary, delve into betrayal and reconciliation, faith and grace, and always involve the intertwining of cultures. When not writing, I work as an editor for Christian publishing houses and independent authors.
Obsession with words aside, I’m also a wife and the mom of kids and dogs. I consider dark chocolate a food group (level on the pyramid all depends on the day). I love to laugh. And I’m thankful. If I’m not reading, writing, editing, or involved with family and church activities, you can find me trolling yard sales and thrift stores. I live in the same Pennsylvania town where I grew up.
Tell us about your current release. As 1756 dawns, Isaac Lukens leaves the Pennsylvania wilderness after two years with the Lenape people. He’s failed to find the families of his birth parents, a French trader and a Lenape woman. Worse, the tribe he’s lived with, having rejected his peacemaking efforts, now ravages frontier settlements in retaliation. When he arrives in Horsham, the Quaker community where he was reared, questions taunt him: Who is he—white man or Lenape? And where does he belong?
Elisabeth Alden, Isaac’s dearest childhood friend, is left to tend her young siblings alone upon her father’s death. Despite Isaac’s promise to care for her and the children, she battles resentment toward him for having left, while an unspeakable tragedy and her discordant courtship with a prominent Philadelphian weigh on her as well.
Elisabeth must marry or lose guardianship of her siblings, and her options threaten the life with her and the children that Isaac has come to love. Faced with Elisabeth’s hesitancy to marry, the prospect of finding his family at last, and the opportunity to assist in the peace process between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, Isaac must determine where—and to whom—the Almighty has called him.
A Cord of Three Strands weaves fact and fiction into a captivating portrayal of Colonial-era Quaker life, including Friends’ roles in Pennsylvania Indian relations and in refuting slavery.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. Even benefitting only one person would make it worth it.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. While I think (probably) every author wants to be successful, I love writing so much that I’d still do it even if I was the only person who ever read what I wrote. I certainly want to reach as large of an audience as possible, but I could never compromise my beliefs/standards to do so, especially if it included material that would be offensive to God and/or cause others to stumble.
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)? This was the hardest part of publishing for me. I think all writers suffer from some degree of imposter syndrome (doubting your talents or accomplishments). For a while, I was happy just writing because I love it, but then I realized that, no matter my doubts, God has called me to write stories that bring glory to him, and that by not sharing them with others, I’m not being obedient. My deepest desire is to be obedient to him, so I had to get out of my own way and let him lead.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Going for a walk. For some reason, that always gets the characters talking to me. I also tend to write better if I’m listening to music that relates to the story. Of course, in the case of A Cord of Three Strands, that wasn’t possible since early Quakers didn’t participate in any type of music.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I’ve always been a writer. Somewhere in my mom’s attic, there’s a book I wrote (and she illustrated) when I was about seven. If I remember right, it’s called Unicornland. ☺
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 mostly pants’d A Cord of Three Strands. For my WIP, which is almost finished, I decided it would be better to make a rough outline first, and that has definitely cut down on the writing time required. I’ve still made some changes along the way, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to stay a plotter from now on.
What is your preferred method of writing? Computer. I use Scrivener for storyboarding, keeping track of chapter word counts, etc., but I prefer to write in Word because I use endnotes to keep track of my research.
Here is where you can find Christy online:
Christy is giving away a signed copy of A Cord of Three Strands and a cord of three strands bookmark like Elisabeth Alden made in the book to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway