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Interview with Gail Kittleson 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 happy to have Gail Kittleson as my guest. Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows how much I LOVE WWII and the era of the late 30s to early 60s. I have always believed I was born into the wrong generation (though my husband and kids disagree! HEH) I love going to thrift stores and finding old books and magazines, looking at advertisements, pouring through pictures. And I always feel a kindred connection with other writers who love that era, too. Gail writes WWII books, so she’s one of those kindred spirits with me! I hope you enjoy her interview. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!                                                

Tell us a little about yourself: When Gail’s not steeped in World War II historical research, writing, or editing, you’ll find her reading for fun, gardening, or enjoying her grandchildren in Northern Iowa. She delights in interacting with readers who fall in love with her characters.

Women of the Heartland, Gail’s World War II series, highlights women of The Greatest Generation: In Times Like These, April 2016, With Each New Dawn, February, 2017 (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and Word Crafts Press, December, 2017.)

These heroines make do with what life hands them and face great odds with integrity. No easy outs or pat answers for their struggles – it’s the thick of World war II. The same can be said of Dottie in In This Together, Gail’s first historical novel (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Line), and of the women in her memoir, Catching Up With Daylight (WhiteFire Publishing.)

Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and ESL before writing women’s historical fiction. From northern Iowa, she facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats, and enjoys the Arizona Ponderosa forest in winter.

Tell us about your current release:

Glenora Keeps Her Heart Under Lock and Key

No one ever accused Glenora Carson of being a breathtaking beauty. Her tall, gangly figure and angular face are more solid midwestern stock than Hollywood glamour. But Joe liked her. He even told her, “You’re the one for me.” He gave her a locket with his picture inside, to remind her of him while he was away, serving his country on the U.S.S. Arizona.

After December 7, 1941, Glenora shelves her dreams of attending college on the scholarship she was offered by Iowa State University, locks her heart away, and focuses on holding down the home front by helping out the family business – Carson’s Garage. The grease-stained overalls didn’t do much to compliment her female figure, but they cover her female heart well enough.

That is, until Hank Anderson, a wounded warrior back from battle, walks into the garage and into Glenora’s life.

What inspired you to write? (and )Have you always wanted to write a book? I always wanted to be a writer, although I didn’t really think I’d be writing fiction some day. At first, I only wrote poetry. Then when I taught college expository writing, I realized how much I liked writing essays. Fiction writing was one of those pleasant surprises in store for me. I recall walking out in my aunt’s pasture as a teen and having a spiritual experience that motivated me to write, but it took a long time to develop the courage.

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 had led several groups through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, a wonderful motivational workbook. Each chapter has work for the participant to do at the end, and I took part fully in that. After the final group ended, my first character came to me. I suppose my main roadblock was ignorance of fiction techniques, and it took some determination to learn how to put the story together. The other roadblock was hating to delete my precious words. (: But it’s so necessary, and I have become quite good at the editing process—actually enjoy it almost as much as writing. 

Who do you envision your typical reader to be? She’s most likely a woman, and pretty serious minded if she’s into reading the nitty-gritty details of World War II. I hope my readers are younger and younger, but think they’re mostly in mid-life or older, with a strong interest in history.

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? No, I didn’t have these characters in my mind at all. One day, the very first one appeared to me, and it was one of those golden moments. I had no idea how the process would go, that she would open up little by little and her story would develop. Once that first book was history, I knew the ropes—but before that, I really had no idea how it would work.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? I write them to help readers grasp the incredible tenacity of the Greatest Generation. I think our society forgets what makes true heroes, and desire to reveal some of them to modern readers.  At the same time, I do love this era—I’m hopelessly addicted.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Probably, Addie, the heroine of In Times Like These. She had to overcome a shame-based worldview in order to believe she was worthy of kindness. For her, learning to embrace hope and joy proved a daunting process. Through it all, her faith grew and she realized how much she was loved, and once she got going, it was hard to stop her. That sounds a lot like moi.

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 don’t have a plot laid out when I begin writing. The character whispers her/his story in my ear and as I research the specific time slot, the story develops. For example, Glenora in Kiss Me Once Again has a kid brother deployed with the Navy. In order to pinpoint his ship and the calamities it encountered, a great deal of research was required. I didn’t plan for it to be hit by a typhoon, but that’s what happened to it in real life. Also, I never intended this book to have a strong romantic thread, but it had different ideas!

Here is where you can find Gail online: @GailGkittleson
@gailkittlesonauthor (Instagram)

Gail is giving away an ebook copy of Kiss Me Once Again to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 1/11/21 – Daisy’s Decision!

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m talking about tomorrow’s release of Daisy’s Decision!

Daisy has had a crush on Ken since high school, so going on just one date with him can’t possibly hurt, can it? Even if she’s just been painfully dumped by the man she planned to spend the rest of her life with, and whose unborn baby she carries? Just one date?

Get your copy on Amazon today!

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Interview with Susan Count 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, as a mom of middle-school boys who love to read, it’s always wonderful to find a new middle school author! I’m so excited to have Susan Count as my guest today. I could just feel her love for God flowing through what she does and how she does it. 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. Oh what fun it is to be a middle-grade author! What delight to hear the voices and laughter of children come alive in stories. I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and American Christian Fiction Writers. I take studying the craft of writing seriously and consider revision one of my super-powers. My greater super-power is being a grandmother.

Tell us about your current release. My new release, The Firefly Warriors Club, is a major departure from the horse books I normally write. The story came about after the bushes in the forest surrounding our home came to life with thousands of twinkling lights. We’d never seen such a spectacular show and have not seen one like it since. Then I learned that many children have not only never seen the miraculous firefly, but have never heard of them. God filled our world with delights and clues to His existence. It’s our job to draw young readers near to the light.

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 submitted my first book through the traditional routes. An editor told me the topic of horses was elitist and there were already too many horse books. Then an agent told me she was smitten with the book and wanted it. But the call she promised didn’t happen, and I was done with dancing games. But her wanting it provided the momentum that drove me all the way through the Independent Publishing process. Thank goodness no one had explained to me the hurdles.

Then later, when that voice crept in suggesting they couldn’t be good enough because they weren’t published traditionally; I submitted them for awards. When they won and won again, I asked God to silence the voices of doubt and discouragement. I rest in assurance that my heavenly Father is pleased with my offering.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? More so now than when I wrote my first book. The first one was a wing, a prayer, and a joyful ride. Now that I’ve studied more craft, it’s so much harder. Turns out there are rules. Now to save myself a lot of editing grief, I make every effort to make sure the plot works before I set off on the journey. And that the character is one you’d like to spend time with.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Don’t let anyone discourage you from chasing your dream.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? When I hit a roadblock, it’s time to rest and make sure my connection to God has not jiggled loose. The best way for me to be totally in the moment is to take a ride on my horse on the forest trails.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) Sticky notes. I write plot point on sticky notes and plaster them all over a window. That way I can arrange them to lay out rising and falling action. I use a different color of sticky notes to follow the story tension or conflict. Still another color to track the character arc.

Here is where you can find Susan online:



Susan is giving away a copy of her latest release! Here’s how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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:





Book Bub   


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



Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 12/21/20 – Holidays and Writing

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m answering the question, “How to the holidays affect your writing schedule?”

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today!
Do you want one of those cool cups? Get one here:

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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 :


Twitter: @JenDelamere


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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