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An Interview with Author Amanda Cabot

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m so pleased to introduce to you Amanda Cabot. Being married to someone in the IT field, that is always on my radar. Over the years, it has been amazing to me how many technical writers come out of IT and into the romance writing field! Amanda is one of those amazing writers who shifted from technical to romance.  I loved reading her interview, and hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What can I say other than that I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and now I’m living that dream? I’m a former director of Information Technology and have written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Along the way, I’ve managed to write more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Now I’m thrilled to be a full-time writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with my husband in Wyoming.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I’ve always wanted to write. From the time I was seven, when reading was my favorite pastime, I thought the most wonderful thing in the world would be to be a writer. It took a while before I actually submitted a manuscript to an editor, but once I did, there was no turning back. And, no, that first story didn’t sell to the first editor, but I was fortunate enough to sell it to the second one.

Amanda CabotDo you have your plot-line and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Don’t laugh, but the answer is “both.” In addition to the synopsis, which tells the story from beginning to end, I write a chapter-by-chapter outline. That tells me what scenes will occur in each chapter and makes sure that subplots are properly paced. The chapter-by-chapter outline is my road map. But as I write, I sometimes find myself taking detours. And when I finish the first draft, I know my characters so much better than I did at the beginning of that draft that there are always more detours during the second draft.

Tell us about your current release. As someone who’s challenged to finish a book in less than 110,000 words, giving a brief description of my books is almost as difficult as writing the book itself. Instead, let me share the back cover copy with you.

Her life is set to warp speed. His is slowing to a crawl. But love has its own timing.

Marketing maven Kate Sherwood’s world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is grind to a halt at Rainbow’s End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country.

Still, she cannot deny her ailing grandmother’s request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week fifty years ago. There, Kate meets Greg, who appears to be the resort’s unassuming handyman. But there’s more to Greg than meets the eye—billions more, in fact.

At-Bluebonnet-LakeKate isn’t looking for romance, but she can’t deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate’s long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?

Amanda Cabot invites you to step into a place away from the pressures of the day. You might be surprised by what you find at Rainbow’s End.

For me, one of the most exciting things about this book is that Publishers Weekly gave it one of their coveted starred reviews. To say that I was thrilled by that is no understatement. I was doing the Snoopy dance for days afterward!

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? One of the good/bad things about my day job was that I was a very frequent flyer. The good part was that I was able to visit a lot of different places, and some of them provided inspiration for books. I was sitting in a restaurant in Phoenix, eating alone (one of the bad things about all the traveling), when the Muzak started playing “Stranger in Paradise.” “What a great title for a book,” I said to myself. (No, I haven’t gotten to the point where I talk out loud and cause strangers to stare.) That started the whole process of asking questions. “Where’s paradise?” Answer: Hawaii. “Why would someone be there and feel like a stranger?” The answers to that question turned into a book. Even though I changed the title, the story begins in Hawaii and the hero and heroine are definitely strangers there.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? I have three pieces of advice. The first is to read extensively in the genre you want to write. That’s the best way to learn what publishers are buying. Secondly, join a writer’s group. ACFW is wonderful for writers in the Christian marketplace, and Romance Writers of America is excellent for anyone interested in writing romance. A writer’s group provides support, networking and so many other resources to the aspiring writer that I can’t over emphasize the importance of joining one. And lastly, never give up. Rejection is a fact of life. I won’t sugarcoat it: rejection hurts. But if you let it defeat you, if you stop sending out your manuscript just because it was rejected, you’ll never be published. Believe in your book and in yourself. Oh … that was four pieces of advice. Sorry!

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I was (and still am) a great fan of Louisa May Alcott and Lucy Maud Montgomery. Although they both died before I was born, I always wished I could have met them, so I did the next best thing and visited the places that inspired their books. Orchard House in Massachusetts, where Alcott lived and wrote, was fascinating, but the place I fell in love with was Montgomery’s Prince Edward Island. The combination of the red dirt and that incredibly green grass, not to mention the vivid blue sky and white surf was unbeatable. We won’t talk about how difficult it was to get that red clay off the side of the car, though.

You can find Amanda at the following locations:
Her website
Facebook
Twitter
Her blog

Find Sherri’s new release online:

Find Amanda’s book on Amazon:
Find Amanda’s book on Barnes & Noble:

Find Amanda’s book at Christianbook.com:
734343: At Bluebonnet Lake, Texas Crossroads Series #1At Bluebonnet Lake, Texas Crossroads Series #1

By Amanda Cabot / Revell

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Interview: Amber Kallyn

Welcome to Readers Write to Know Wednesday.  I asked you, my readers, what questions you’d ask your favorite authors if given a chance.  This week, author Amber Kallyn is my guest answering your questions.  I’m so happy to introduce her to you.  Amber is a paranormal author who loves vampire stories.  I am fascinated by her method of writing — I’ve looked at the machine she uses and felt like there was no way I’d be able to use it because of all the reasons she likes it to so much!  It’s wonderful to discover how different processes work for different authors!

About Me:

I’m a rare breed, an Arizona native and can trace my family’s history through six generations in the state. I live with my husband, and our four very active children. Included in the menagerie are four cats (though there’s always room for more), one snake, and two dogs. We won’t count all the fish.

I love the paranormal, from dragons to werewolves to vampires. I’m currently at work on my next book, and it wouldn’t be amiss to find me running around the house, acting out a fight scene with my collection of swords and daggers. Now if only I had claws to practice the other fight scenes 🙂

My current release is Hungerstorm, Heart of a Vampire, Book 2

Blurb

After centuries alone, can a vampire king trust the woman who’s woken his heart?

Jordan MacDougal, laird and King of his vampire clan, walks a thin line of civility between his clan and the local shifter pack. When his vampires began to disappear and the wolves accuse the intriguing woman who’s touched his heart of being evil, he discovers that the traitor in his midst may be closer than he thinks.

A newly turned vampire, Dalia Jensen wakes to an unusual and frightening new world with no memory of the past year of her life.  Accused of working with the Master Vampire who held her prisoner, her inability to remember the truth leaves her reeling under the allegations of vicious past actions. Uncertain of her culpability, she’s unable to trust her own instincts as the reigning Vampire King turns her world upside down.

When the wolves call for her trial, demanding her life for those killed and tortured during that blank year, Jordan and Dalia must work together to find the truth, and save the love blooming between them.

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Interview: Kimberley Payne

Welcome to Readers Write to Know Wednesday!  I have always been interested in both physical fitness and spiritual fitness, so I am so excited to introduce to you Kimberley Payne, the author of Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health, a book that takes the reader on a journey to improve BOTH physical and spiritual health.  Please enjoy reading her answers to your questions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am married with two teenagers living in the country. I work two part-time jobs, and write during the blank spaces in my day-timer. I love to walk the country roads and gain inspiration from nature. I’ve written a novel, three devotionals and a non-fiction workbook.

Tell us about your current release.

Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health is a workbook that takes readers on a journey to better health. In addition to learning about the three components of fitness – cardiovascular exercise, strength training and stretching – the reader’s relationship with God will be strengthened through daily prayer, Scripture reading and daily journal writing.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

Walk. A country block takes about 30 minutes to walk around and by the time I return home, I am ready to sit and write again.

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Interview: Carol Brown

 

I am excited today to introduce to you author Carol Brown for today’s Writers’ Write to Know Wednesdays.  Carol is a pastor’s wife, has a B.A. in anthropology and languages, and has ministered with her husband all over the world – from in Idaho to Indiana to Ohio to Australia to German to Finland to Canada!  Carol writes children’s books and non-fiction books.  Please enjoy her answers to your questions!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a wife, mom, pastor’s wife, elementary teacher and university instructor, foreign student advisor and educational administrator turned writer! And most importantly, a grandmother to 5.

2. Tell us about your current release.

My current release is Sassy Pants Makes Amends. It is the second of a series of four relating the adventures of Sassy Pants who comes to think she is a people not a pig. She develops a real attitude and destroys about every friendship she had. Then in this second book she feels the bitter consequences and wants to fix things but doesn’t know how. Old Clyde, the old Clydesdale work horse knows what to do—make amends. It is a way to fix a friendship when you are the one who broke it. It goes waaay beyond sorry and gives folks a reason to trust.

Please pick some questions from this batch of questions submitted by my readers:

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

To simply leave it be and allow the Lord to stir the story and prompt the next flow.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write?

I never seriously considered writing with publishing in mind, but as I was recovering from a nasty attack of MS I began to write down thoughts and stories that came to mind as a way to save my sanity. Then one day the Lord said, “We have a book!” It looked like a big pile of disjointed rambling to me, but a dear friend helped me dig the MS out and we did have a book. When I finished the two books about high sensitivity I told God that it was too hard and I didn’t want to write any more hard books. He said “Okay!” and proceeded to give me the story line for the children’s’ books!

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Interview: Donna Dawson

I am excited to introduce to you Donna Dawson for this week’s Readers Write to Know Wednesdays!  Donna was a freelance magazine writer and has written five novels.  The one she is premiering here today is called Rescued.  It is a suspense novel with a FASCINATING plot.  You have to read on to see how she came up with the idea.  This is definitely a book I look forward to reading!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been telling stories since I was old enough to read.  I am married with three children, two children-in-law and seven grandchildren.  I have written freelance magazine for fifteen years and have five novels published.  Two of my novels won Best Contemporary Novel in the Canadian Christian Writing Awards and I still marvel at that.  I am a conference speaker, a singer/songwriter and I have taught creative writing at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario until this past winter when I retired so I could spend more time writing.  I also teach an online course off my website at http://www.donnafawcett.com 

    2. Tell us about your current release.
Rescued began 20 years ago with a magazine article that I read.  The article talked about transferring the embryos of expensive racehorses into the wombs of retired brood mares.  The brood mares carried, delivered and raised the foals of the race horses while the racers kept on running.  I got thinking ‘why can’t that be done in people?’.  It started a journey of discovery.  I began asking medical professionals how it could be done and, bit by bit, they piece together a method that would take the rejected embryo from the woman who wished to abort and transplant it into a woman who couldn’t conceive but was otherwise healthy.  I knew that I couldn’t do it as a non-fiction piece because I’m not a doctor or nurse.  I gathered as much information as I could find and wove it into a contemporary suspense novel.  I tried to throw in every possible problem I could think of and a possible solution to the problem.  While I did want it to be a captivating read, I also wanted to inspire readers to find a way to stop the abortion war and the death of so many embryos.  The cool thing about this book is: every person who has read it, with the exception of two that I know of, has said that it is a great compromise.  I figured we’d never get people to stop aborting babies because we can’t make everyone believe the same way so the next best thing was to simply rescue the embryos that were being aborted.  What better way than to adopt them out to women who want more children? 

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Interview: Deborah McCarragher

 

I am so happy to introduce to you Deborah McCarragher.  She has written a book to help women who are in unevenly yoked marriages.  There are so many people out there in that situation that I imagine this book is greatly needed.  I know that I was once myself in an unevenly yoked marriage (in my first marriage) and understand how hard it is and the pain that can be associated with it.

She is also from a military family (as am I), lives in my old stomping grounds, and has a son in the military.  I am so honored to have her here with us today — answering the questions that YOU have provided.

1.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Deborah McCarragher grew up in a military family and began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus as her personal Savior in 1989. She enjoys using her spiritual gifts of encouragement and teaching. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her book. Deborah has been a small business owner for over 25 years.  She is a devotional contributor to the E-zine “Ruby for Women” as well as the print magazine “An Encouraging Word.”  She and her husband have one married son serving in the U.S. military. They reside in northeast Florida.


2.  Tell us about your current release.

MISSION POSSIBLE is a powerful tool for any woman who is married to a man who does not share her passion for Jesus. It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to stand in the gap for your mate’s soul. You can influence your home for Christ even within a spiritually mismatched marriage. At just 80 pages this short book is an “easy read”, but has much to say. You will refer back to it over and over again…  This “life changing” book is one you will not want to put down.  The “mission” is one in which you, the reader, will join one woman’s quest to reach her husband for Christ.

 MISSION POSSIBLE was awarded the Readers Favorite 2010 Best Book in the Christian Non-Fiction category.

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