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Interview with Lori Altebaumer 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 excited to have Lori Alterbaumer as my guest. Her debut book sounds SO GOOD. If you love romantic suspense, you definitely want to check it out. I very much enjoyed seeing the glimpses of Lori’s heart for our God in her answers and hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her book!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Howdy from the Lone Star State!  I’m Lori Altebaumer and admitting to others that telling lies is my passion seems a bit harsh. I’m a fiction writer seems so much more acceptable. I do write both fiction and non-fiction (which means I’m not always telling lies), although fiction is my first love (which might tell you about my propensity for telling lies). Of course, truth is truth no matter where you find it—even if it comes wrapped up in fiction.

I have a degree from Texas A&M University in Agricultural Development, and I love my country roots. It’s true that you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. And eventually, the girl moves back to the country. Those country roots are evident in my writing and my perspective on life. I’m a wandering soul with a home keeping heart, so I enjoy exploring new places with my husband—and always coming home to our place in the country. I look forward to traveling more soon, but until then I am visiting the homes of my adult children often where I can rummage through their refrigerators and food pantries while complaining there’s nothing good to eat there.

Tell us about your current release. My debut novel, A Firm Place to Stand, is a romantic suspense that released in January 2020. It’s a story of not only the power of forgiveness, but of the desperate need we have to both give and receive this forgiveness. This is the story of a young woman trying to disappear from her past, who comes to understand this need of forgiveness by looking from the outside into the lives of others. Set at a summer camp for girls in West Texas, Maribel has to contend with both the darker side of human nature as well as the brutal side of Mother Nature. But most deadly of all is the proof that she is being stalked, and disappearing in Turnaround, Texas, hasn’t made her as invisible as she hoped.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. I answer to God for everything I write. He alone has the final say and He alone is my source of affirmation. When I sit down to write, I am on a path of discovery with God. If I gave in to the pressure to write for worldly success, I am convinced I would lose the joy of writing. The process would lose its ability to be a path of discovery if I tried to direct my steps—my words—to meet the expectations of others.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? The answer to this question depends on the goal and purpose of a work of Christian Fiction. If I’m writing a novel meant to entertain without offending, I think the Christian Fiction market is pretty clear on what is acceptable. But if I’m writing a novel that I hope will inspire a transformation, bring healing, lead someone to the word of God, the expectations get a bit murkier. I believe what is often missing in some Christian Fiction is a more accurate portrayal of reality. We live in a broken and sinful world. The stories that can reflect that without sensationalizing or glorifying it are the ones with the most power to reach the lost. They have the most power to change lives. That is the kind of writing I aspire to. If my writing is to be a path of discovery with God, then I have to be honest about the world around me. I have to go where God goes, and that is often to the seedy side of town in search of a lost lamb.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? The answers to the questions above probably give you some clue as to the reason why I felt comfortable with self-publishing. The real answer is multi-faceted though. For starters, I lacked the platform numbers needed to find an agent. I’m sure I could have shopped around and found someone willing to take the chance, but at what cost of time when I already possessed the resources needed to move forward. Not being an overly tech savvy or social person, I knew it would be a long, uphill climb to reach those numbers. I also knew I would need to hire editors, cover designers, and formatters to tackle the parts I’m not proficient in. I wanted a quality book so readers to feel it was worth their time and money. Oddly enough, publishing my book has done more for my numbers than anything else I have tried, not to mention giving me a boldness to talk about it I didn’t have before. While having the credibility of a traditional publisher behind my book would be great, I don’t regret moving forward with publishing this book the way I saw it and making it available for others to read. I’ve been pleased with the reviews and comments I have received from readers, so it has been worth it for me.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? They definitely develop as I write. I start with an idea—most likely a scene—that has popped into my head, capturing my attention. It demands I find out more about these characters and what’s going on. The characters are often just like people I meet in real life who don’t tell me everything right at first. They are especially annoying when they withhold key information until I’m almost finished and suddenly they reveal something crucial to the plot that I didn’t know… “What do you mean he’s your step-brother and why couldn’t you tell me this twenty chapters ago?” With that being said, I am trying to blend some elements of planning into my process in order to avoid the massive amounts of rewriting I have to do by learning as I go.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? The biggest thing I learned from finishing my first book was that you have to write a book to truly understand how to write a book. I had been reading books on craft for years, but until I actually sat down and did the work to make it all happen, I couldn’t get a good grasp on so many of the things I was reading and learning. Don’t wait until you know it all (you never will) to write the book. Write the book, study craft as much as you can, and engage with a group of brutally honest (not the same as mean) critique partners. And never give up.

Here is where you can find Lori online:

Website               https://www.lorialtebaumer.com/

Facebook             https://www.facebook.com/lori.altebaumer

Twitter                  https://twitter.com/lori_altebaumer

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

Book Bub             https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lori-altebaumer

Goodreads          https://www.goodreads.com/lori_altebaumer

Lori is giving away an ebook copy of her newest release A Firm Place to Stand. See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Interview with Jennifer Delamere 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 Jennifer Delamere as my guest. Jennifer’s parents sound like they’d be the starring characters in a contemporary romance novel — the journalist and the Navy pilot. I love it! As an Army brat, I can completely understand moving around a lot, and I think that also inspired my love of reading and traveling. It’s always fun to have a guest that I can relate to. I hope you enjoy her 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 bit about yourself. I’m the youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist. We moved around a lot during my formative years. I credit this for both my love of travel and my love of reading. These days, I live in North Carolina. This affords me plenty of opportunities for day hiking, which is my favorite away-from-the-computer activity. For my “day job,” I’m an editor and project manager for a company that produces educational materials. I love reading history books, so when I became it writer it seemed inevitable that I would want to write historical fiction. My books are set in Victorian England, a time and place I find fascinating. It was a time of great innovation, with many shifts in technology and culture—and in that sense, not unlike our own times!

Tell us about your current release. Line By Line is the first book in my new series about three friends who are telegraph operators in Victorian London. Almost from the beginning, telegraphy was an occupation pursued by women as well as men. Sometimes they worked in separate departments, but more and more, men and women worked right alongside each other. It didn’t escape too many people at the time that this setup could easily give rise to workplace romances. That’s a fun fact that I’ll be pursuing in this series.

Since she was young, Alice McNeil has seen success as a telegrapher as the best use for her keen and curious mind. Years later, she has yet to regret her freedom and foregoing love and marriage, especially when she acquires a coveted position at an important trading firm. But when the company’s ambitious junior director returns to London, things begin to change in ways Alice could never have imagined.

For Douglas Shaw, years of hard work and ingenuity enabled him to escape a life of grinding poverty. He’s also determined to marry into high society—a step that will ensure he never returns to the conditions of his past.

He immediately earns Alice’s respect by judging her based on her skills and not her gender, and a fast camaraderie forms. However, when Alice accidentally angers a jealous coworker and his revenge threatens both their reputations, Alice and Douglas are forced to confront what is truly important in their lives. Will their growing bond give them the courage to see the future in a different light?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. My primary aim is always to write books that are entertaining, interesting, edifying, and inspiring. If my book accomplishes any of those goals for a reader, I feel it has been a success. That said, there are always spiritual themes in my books, and I do hope they strike a chord with the reader and help them see some aspect of their lives in a new light.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? It’s quite the opposite, really. I’m always striving to become a better writer, because I feel that’s what will ultimately help me reach a larger audience.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I sold my first book in the fall of 2011. Self-publishing was still very new at that time, and I never really considered it as an option. Today, I still prefer traditional publishing. I’m thankful for my publisher’s support in marketing, the art department making fabulous book covers, and most of all for the high-quality editing support. These things help me focus on the writing, which is what I love most, and make me feel I’ve produced the best book possible for my readers.

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 the “big picture” elements laid out before I begin writing. I have a synopsis that’s about 8-10 pages long. My books always end up following that general thread (so far!), but there is also room for discoveries along the way. Characters will surprise me at times, and new plot threads will emerge. That’s always exciting! My synopsis is more like a general framework within which the creative process can still thrive.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? There are times when I struggle to figure out what the next scene should be, despite my synopsis. That’s when I find it really helpful to brainstorm with another writer. Talking it out helps me clarify where I’m going. This discussion helps spark new ideas in my mind, plus she’ll offer suggestions that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. I love that collaborative process. At other times, when I know what scene to write but can’t figure out the best way to approach it, I’ve gone a different route. I step away from the computer and sit somewhere comfortable with pen and paper and begin writing the parts of the scene that I do know. That seems to free up a different part of my writing brain. Before too long, the scene begins to take shape, and I know how to use those writing scraps I started with.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? Not sure if this counts, but when I was visiting the Roman Baths in Bath, England, I came across a display in the little museum there that suddenly sparked an idea for an interesting and probably very odd time-travel story. I have yet to write it, but perhaps someday I will!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write the book you want to read. It’s the best way to discover your writing “voice” and allow it to develop and thrive into a style that is uniquely yours. Understand also that writing is a craft, a skill that needs to be developed. Learn from writing workshops, books, and fellow authors. Not every piece of information you get from others will work for you, but much of it will (or can be adapted to your unique writing process). Don’t expect perfection the first time around. Keep working at it. Enjoy the journey!

Here is where you can find Jennifer online:

Webpage : www.jenniferdelamere.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Jennifer.delamere

Twitter: @JenDelamere

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jenniferdelamere

Jennifer is giving away two copies of Line by LIne to a reader! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Sherrinda Ketchersid 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 historical romance author Sherrinda Ketchersid as my guest. I have to say – I LOVE medieval romances – especially Scottish medieval romances. As soon as I saw the cover, I was immediately attracted to his book – and the description even more makes me want to read it! I enjoyed getting to know Sherrinda more and finding a kindred spirit in a Han Solo fan. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release.

Tell us about your current release. When Ian McGowan attempts to claim Whitfield Castle as his rightful inheritance, he finds himself barred by a tempestuous lass who is entailed to be the bride of the castle’s new owner.

Claire Beaumont, the orphaned ward of Whitfield, has good reason to hate Scots, and she is not about to let a Scot enter her beloved home. But when the handsome knight steals into the castle and proves his claim on the land, she must face her ultimate nightmare—marriage to her sworn enemy—in order to save those she cares about most.

Restoring the failing Whitfield Castle while wooing his defiant intended proves more challenging than Ian anticipated. His struggles reach a crisis when his nemesis arrives at the castle, and he must overcome his past demons to prove his worth. He must fight for what is his to keep—and it could well cost him his heart.

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)? I have always been a people pleaser, so this is a struggle for me. I’ve learned over the years to have a tougher skin—you must if you are going to stay in this business. I think what helps is the hope that I can produce a story that readers will enjoy. Reading has been such a joy to me, and I strive to create something that readers can get lost in.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Oh my goodness. This will tell my age, but Han Solo in Star Wars. I was 12 when the first Star Wars came out on the screen, and while everyone else fell in love with Luke, I fell in love with Han. The tough guy with a tender heart. A hero who has a soft underbelly. And he is hilarious. I love a guy with a great sense of humor.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I loved reading, even as a young child. My aunt got me hooked on romances in high school and that is when the dream to write began. I even started a novel in high school. But life got in the way, and I put my dream aside until I turned 40 years old. I decided then that I would cross that off my bucket list before I died! I’ve been writing ever since.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Yes, I like to do character development with the enneagram and figure out their goals, motivation, and conflict. I do like to have the basic plot points laid out but have some leeway in getting to those points. I think it helps to know the character and how they would respond in certain situations before you start writing. Of course, as I write, they will surprise me and act completely opposite, but I figure that is the fun part of writing.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? I would say to read books on how to write and attend seminars and conferences. But most of all, you need to enjoy the journey and don’t fret over getting published. Keep writing. Keep loving it. Keep telling stories. There are so many paths to take on this journey, but you should have fun on whatever path you take.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I loved C.S. Lewis’s books, The Chronicles of Narnia. I also loved George MacDonald’s fairytales. Of course, Anne of Green Gables, and The Girl of the Limberlost (my grandmother’s favorite book).

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? I would have to say Fiona, Ian McGowan’s sister,  in His to Keep. She is a peacemaker and that is me … I love harmony. She tries to calm down Ian’s nemesis in the story, as well as point Ian to God’s peace. She is the heroine in my next book, which I am now plotting.

Here is where you can find Sherrinda online:

Website: www.sherrinda.com

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

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/sherrinda

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19022507.Sherrinda_Ketchersid

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sherrinda-ketchersid

Newsletter Signup: https://www.subscribepage.com/z2m6x3

Sherrinda is giving away an ebook or print copy of His to Keep to a reader! (Print to US only) See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Christy Distler 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 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:

www.christydistler.com

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter.

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

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Interview with Terri Wangard 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 award-winning historical romance author Terri Wangard as my guest! Terri’s new release sounds SO GOOD! I am also fascinated by the story of Lusitania — and to have a history major with a master’s in library science write a book about it makes me think that it will reveal so much information I didn’t know before! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. My first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days I write mostly historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. I have a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, is my day job.

Tell us about your current release. The Lusitania has always fascinated me, more so than the Titanic. Since I started writing, I’ve wanted to write a Lusitania story. Here is the blurb for Roll Back the Clouds:

A dream come true becomes a nightmare. Geoff and Rosaleen Bonnard embark on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to England aboard the fabled Lusitania in 1915. Europe is embroiled in war, but the authorities insist the conflict shouldn’t affect a passenger liner.

Then, a German submarine hurtles a torpedo into the grand ship. Rosaleen makes it into a lifeboat, but Geoff is missing. She searches the morgues in Queenstown, heartsick at recognizing so many of her fellow travelers. Alive, but suffering a devastating back injury, Geoff is found in a Cork hospital.

While waiting for him to recover, Rosaleen is thrilled to meet her mother’s family, but a dark cloud hovers over her. The battered faces of dead babies haunt her. She sinks into depression, exasperated by Geoff’s new interest in religion. Her once happy life seems out of reach.

Will joy ever be theirs again?

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I think it was Robert Kennedy’s assassination. We were at a motel, and my parents were talking about it. In my vague memory, I can see them looking at a newspaper.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Donny Osmond

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I wrote stories as a Girl Scout, since I received the Writer badge. I didn’t expect to write books though, until I read some stories that seemed to be written by formula. The names and settings were changed, but otherwise they were all the same. That prompted me to try writing my own book.

What is your preferred method of writing? I write on computer, but if I have an hour in the evening and an idea is percolating, I’ll write in a notebook.

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? I first wrote a book in the early 2000s. I sent it to a publisher. It took them a year to say No Thanks. I set aside my writing for a few years. Then, in 2008, I read Debbie Macomber’s Twenty Wishes, about women fulfilling their wishes. That made me decide to write again. I bought the laptop I still use today and wrote Friend & Enemies, the first of five novels, so far.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? I loved the Flicka, Ricka, Dicka series by Maj Lindman.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? I write what I would like to read, and hope others do too.

Here is where you can find Terri online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriWangard

Twitter: @terriwangard

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/terriwangard

Instagram:  @terriwangard

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/terriwangard/

Website: http://www.terriwangard.com

Terri is giving away an ebook copy of Roll Back the Clouds to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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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