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Interview with Anne Carol 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 author Anne Carol as my guest. I really enjoyed this interview, and not just because we were both in 6th grade in 1984 (heh). I love the way that God inspired Anne to write edgier fiction for Christian authors. Those of you who have read me know that many of my books would be classified under “edgier”. It’s wasn’t easy to put those first ones out on the market nine years ago because oftentimes, readers felt the need to lecture you and bring you back to the sweet and clean writer fold. But I discovered a HUGE audience for that type of fiction. I also love that this book series follows the story of one couple. I LOVE series like that! I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win an autographed paperback of Anne’s latest release!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Northern California, in the same town where I currently reside with my husband of 22 years and two college-aged sons. Technically, one son is away at college and the other will move to college in the fall. So we are almost empty nesters! I am not a full-time writer (yet); I work part time as a CPA, full time during tax season. I enjoy traveling, wine tasting, hanging out with our church small group, and watching Hallmark movies. I’m also a big music geek who loves making music playlists. My favorite type of music is classic alternative (80s New Wave).

Tell us about your current release: My new book is titled Never Give Up, and it is the fourth and final book of my Faithfully Yours series. This series chronicles the love story of David, a London musician, and Beth, an aspiring writer from California. They meet as teenagers in the first book, Never Let Go, when Beth spends the summer in London. The series takes you through their relationship journey from long-distance teen romance to early marriage, through the ups and downs of his music career, to starting a family, dealing with his addictions, and a few other challenging events which threaten their relationship. This fourth book is about transitions in their family life and how those big shifts affect both David and Beth. You’ll also see how they learn to put God in charge of their lives. Their faith journey over the four books is subtle but most prominent in Never Give Up. This installment took me over two years to write, and I really felt God’s presence and influence as I wrote it.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? I like this question because I feel like this is close to the truth for me! I feel largely “under the radar” in the writer world and have come close to giving up many times because I didn’t think my books mattered. There are so many talented authors out there, why should I bother? But God has made it clear He wants me to keep writing, and every so often He gives me a “God wink”: a hint that my efforts are not wasted. Moreover, I benefit spiritually from the writing process, as I work out my own issues on the pages. In addition, trusting God with the finished book stretches my faith. He knows exactly who needs to read my stories, and even if I never know in this lifetime the impact the books have had, I am confident God knows what He’s doing! I’m just the instrument He uses to reach people (or one person).

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Not anymore, but I did several years ago when I wrote the original versions of my first two books. I wrote in a style and with a heat level that was not representative of me or my comfort level. I regret it deeply, and even though I revised and re-released the books, I still fear it hurt my chances of success going forward. But I also know God’s plans can’t be thwarted by our errors.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? I write for my own enjoyment as well as what God has placed on my heart. Writing is my “side gig”, so at this point, I don’t feel the need to write to market. But I’m sure my writing will evolve as I gain more experience and knowledge.

Who do you envision your typical reader to be? A reader of my books will be: okay with edgier subject matter/redemption stories, a fan of romance, open to reading young adult or college-age fiction, a bit nostalgic, and comfortable with a Christian worldview. Loving music isn’t a requirement, just know most of my stories will involve music somehow. Age-wise, I’ve had my 16-year-old niece enjoy my books as well as friends in their fifties. Christian and secular readers alike have read my books.

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? The idea for my first book came to me when I was in sixth grade (circa 1984), when I had a mad crush on a member of an English rock band. I had a vivid imagination which wouldn’t stop, and one day I decided to write a story about a girl from California who spends the summer in England, where she meets and falls in love with a future rock star. Fast forward twenty-five years, that story still floated around my imagination, so I decided to write it for publication. The original story from my preteen mind evolved into four books!

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Straight off, I’ll say rock star romance. It’s my favorite genre and what I write, but it’s very hard to find clean or Christian rock star fiction. You will find scores of rock star books in secular romance, but they tend to be steamy reads. One of my writer friends is self-publishing a Christian rock star series soon, and I cannot wait to read her books!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write from the heart and stay in constant communication with God. Don’t worry about whether you’ll make a bestseller list or earn awards, just enjoy the process. Join online and in person writing groups. Attend conferences. Read books about writing, marketing and the publishing process. Read well-written books, especially ones that are in your genre. Don’t compare yourself with other writers. Be patient and persevere. 

Find Anne online:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/annecarolauthor/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323139685086685

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

Newsletter Sign-up: https://bit.ly/2UDc7WH

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

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/annecarolauthor?si=2CpMJ5HSRW-LyTntS49ZKQ

Amazon Page: https://amzn.to/2x30NHq

Website: https://annecarolauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneCarolAuthor

Anne is giving away an autographed paperback of Never Give Up! Click the image below to register. (Note: Entries will be added to our mailing lists. You can unsubscribe at any time.)

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Interview with Leah Pugh 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 Leah Pugh as my guest. I loved reading about how she “journaled” through her brother’s deployment and how she creates differently depending on the genre she’s writing. I hope you enjoy her story 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 a wife and mother who enjoys curling up with a good book and a delicious cup of tea when I can find a spare moment. When I’m not doing either of those things, I’m usually jotting down stories or spending time with my family.

Tell us about your current release. Something Warm For Grandma is about little Ryan who wants to visit Grandma in the hospital. When Daddy reminds Mommy to bring something warm for Grandma because she gets cold, Ryan sets out on a mission to find just the right gift to keep Grandma warm, and help her feel better faster. 

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? A wider amount of Christian Fiction books geared towards a younger audience. (Kids, middle grade, young adult)

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? One of my friends helped make the decision for me. I’d sent the friend my first manuscript to get her feedback. Unbeknownst to me she knew a publisher. The friend liked my story so much, she forwarded it to the publisher (without my knowledge). The latter also enjoyed the manuscript so much, she signed me on with her publishing house.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) For some reason if I’m writing a picture book, I prefer pen and paper. However, if I’m working on a novel, I do that on a computer. I also like to have music going on in the background when I write because I often feel that music helps the creative writing process. And often a good musical score will go great with the scene I’m writing.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) Louisa May Alcott, Carolyn Keene, Franklin W. Dixion, Charles Dickens, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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? Door number two: I write as they pop in my head. It started back in middle school when I decided to write a story based off the adventures I’d had with my friends. And then when my brother was deployed overseas, instead of keeping a journal, I wrote a story about a girl going through the same experiences as me. That trend has continued through the years, writing as it comes to me, and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

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? Yes. That’s what’s currently happening with a book I’m working on. Halfway through, it’s started going in an entirely differently direction. It can be a bit frustrating when it happens because then I have to go back, and change a lot of stuff. However, often the new direction ends up making the story much better than what I’d originally envisioned.

Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story? Yes, I’d just lost my grandma and snuck off to the bathroom to cry in peace. My son tagged along, as little ones are apt to do. However, when he saw my tears he said, “Bye, Mommy” and closed the door. We didn’t have a chance to say good-bye before Grandma passed, and I started wondering what he could have done if he’d been able to say good-bye to his great-grandma. He’s a very caring person, and the idea of a young boy trying to find the best get-well gift for his grandmother came to mind. 

Here is where you can find Leah online:

www.facebook.com/LeahPughAuthor/

Leah is giving away a copy of SOMETHING WARM FOR GRANDMA to a reader! Click this link to enter: https://kingsumo.com/g/rrcp2z/something-warm-for-grandma-by-leah-pugh


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Interview with Lila Diller 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 Lila Diller as my guest. My husband and I have spent years ministering to marriages, studying male/female dynamics, and writing articles about relationships. It’s always nice to meet someone who has a heart for marriage like we do. I hope you enjoy Lila’s interview and much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win not just one but TWO books in her current series!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi, I’m an introverted, small-town ginger—novelist, blogger, home school mom—with a humorous husband, two energetic and funny boys, a “knead”-y cat, and a rambunctious dachshund puppy. Our home overflows with cuteness, creativity, and laughter. I encourage Christian wives through fiction and nonfiction to work past disappointment in their marriage to remain faithful to the God who faithfully pursues them.

Tell us about your current release. Her Heart’s Disappointment – #4 in the “Love is” series – continues Morgan’s search for true love in the newlywed phase, which turns out to be less than perfect. After the disappointments and annoyances have worn her down, she is blindsided by the big problems—a close friend’s failed marriage and her possible infertility. Will she stop blaming Jason or just continue sweeping her true feelings under the rug?

Whats the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I think it must have been when the Challenger shuttle exploded, in 1986. I was almost 8 years old. One of the lady astronauts was from my state, and it was a big deal in our school.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? It depends on why I’m blocked. If it’s because I don’t know what to write next, then I need to do more prewriting or character development. If it’s because my creativity is empty, I take a nap or watch a favorite movie to fill it up again.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I have always wanted to write since grade school. I never thought I was good enough, especially after a creative writing teacher in college made some harsh comments. So I gave up on that dream for 15 years. What pushed me to follow my dream again was when I dreamed about my heroine being chased by two men. I prayed and felt the Lord telling me to finish it. When my sister attempted suicide, I put it away as not important in the grand scheme of life and death. Several months later, once she was doing well, I felt the Lord urging me to put my story as a family member of an attempted suicide. Now I want to help Christians grow in their walk with Christ because of my books.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Well, actually, I was just too impatient to wait for an agent to seek traditional publishing. 😉 I really didn’t know what I was doing at first. I just wanted to be able to call myself a “published author,” so I self-published. Once I did, I realized that I needed to tell others about my book, so I learned everything I could about the marketing and business side.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? That depends on the project. With my “Love is” series, I had the main characters and the overall plotline of chronologically following one couple from friends to dating to engagement to wedding to children… and we’ll see how long it goes. 😉

With my Jane Austen fanfiction, I brainstormed minor characters from Austen’s novels and began with what I knew of them and worked backward.

I have found that I am a plotter, or at least more of a plotter than pantser. The more concrete details I have about each scene, the easier is it to write. I don’t just write to find out what happens. Though I enjoy proofreading other authors’ works, I can’t stand that much editing of my own work. 😉

What is your preferred method of writing? Computer. Though I love pens, I type so much faster than I write. If I take too long to write it, I forget all my ideas. My memory is not good enough to take that chance.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Morgan in my “Love is” series is taken directly from myself and what I would do if I were ever in those situations. Through her story, I’m trying to show how the Lord has changed me from an insecure receptionist to a more confident woman and writer.

Here is where you can find Lila online:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/loveisseries

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/liladiller

Instagram: www.instagram.com/liladiller

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16575789.Lila_Diller

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Lila-Diller/e/B06XPT2GND

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lila-diller

Booksnatcher: https://booksniffer.com/lila-diller

Lila is giving away the first two books in her “Love Is” series to a reader! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Interview with Lynn Cahoon 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 cozy mystery author Lynn Cahoon. I can always relate to someone whose first celebrity crush is Donny Osmond. Although, I don’t know why she expected him at her door when, of course, he’d be at mine (heh). 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 Lynn Cahoon. My first cozy mystery series was Tourists Trap. It’s set in a California beach town with an amateur sleuth bookstore and coffee shop owner. Cat Latimer mysteries’ main character is a Colorado paranormal young adult author who runs writers retreats in her restored Victorian. A new kitchen witch mystery where the main character is more focused on getting her business up and going in the small Idaho town of Magic Springs. Finally, the Farm to Fork series that’s set in a kinder, gentler version of the town I grew up in. They all have one thing in common – a lot of food. 😊

Tell us about your current release. My current release, Killer Comfort Food is set in the Farm to Fork world. Angie and her bestie, Felicia, run a farm to table restaurant in River Vista. Angie’s farm that she inherited from her Nona, is being considered for the new Soybean plant that will bring in a lot of jobs to the area. Problem is, Angie doesn’t want to sell. Add in her pet goat, black and white hen, and her full-grown St. Bernard, Angie can’t just move into a condo. When one woman is found dead, and another is missing, Angie might have a choice to sell or be the next victim.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Love this question. It’s Donny Osmond. Sigh. I grew up in Southern Idaho and he lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was close enough in my mind, that he might just show up in my mall or even move to my town and attend my school. Even then I had an active imagination.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I always wanted to be a writer. A high school student showed me her books when I was in middle grade. She wrote and then illustrated them with pictures she’d cut out of Teen Beat. When I looked at the college programs, there wasn’t a ‘writer’ program, at least not until you were working on your masters. And I didn’t want to be a journalist, I’d have to talk to people. So I went practical (I’m pretty black and white on somethings) and got a political science degree and went to work for the state.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I am actually what they call a hybrid author. I self-publish some of my stories and work with my publisher, Kensington, on others. I think there’s a place for both. Working with a publisher has taught me a lot about the business of writing. The temptation of self-publishing is the ease of getting a book out to the reading public before it’s ready. My books that go through the long traditional publishing process, they get at least four different editing processes – my own, developmental edits from my editor, copy edits, and page proofs. And mistakes still get through. Which makes me crazy.

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 started taking classes toward a Masters in Fine Arts, Creative Writing (which I never finished.) I wrote all the time. Character sketches, short stories, essays. And then I started a novel. My first one was a mystery – a police officer who was chasing a killer who’d stopped into his town one day. I was great at the first four chapters. I’d write up to there and get stumped. So I figured I wasn’t good at writing -a thriller, a middle school historical, a mystery, a romance… I finally got a writer/mentor who challenged me to finish a book. Didn’t matter which one, just finish one. I chose the romance and powered through. Then I wrote another one. And another.

It’s said that writing a book is like driving in the dark with your lights off. You can’t see too far ahead. I still write like that. I have a general idea of the book, maybe a theme, who’s going to be characters on stage, and then, the words come – 2000 words a day. It’s a matter of sitting down and doing the work. As easy as that. And as hard as that.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? There are two reasons I don’t have an idea on what to write. One is the story took a left turn and I need to figure out what happened and if I want to go that way. The other reason is I’m tired and my brain is fried. When that happens, it’s easier to put the book away for the night and start again the next morning. It’s always better to start again with a clear head.

I have too many stories in my head to not have something to write.  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?

Now, see, that’s the problem. I typically know the setting, the characters, and what I want to focus on in a book. But the rest is up to the writing. I’m what they call a pantser or, a better name in my opinion, is a gardener. I plant the seed, then I let the writing water the idea. So sometimes I never really know who the killer is when I start the mystery. In a romance, I’ve had to switch up the location to make the story work. In the Bull Rider’s Manager (published under my pen name, Lynn Collins), I had them fly to Cody, Wyoming for a rodeo. It just didn’t work or increase the tension at all. I stopped writing because I didn’t like the story arc. When I slept on it, I realized that if the plane landed in Las Vegas, the tension exploded.

What made you take the plunge and finally do it? For me, it was a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2007.  I was going through treatment and sat down one day and asked myself, if this was all the time I had, how did I want to leave. And it wasn’t doing the job I was doing, or the other ones I’d worked at. I got out a notebook, wrote three essays and sold them all that year. It took me three years to sell anything else.  But I knew I was on the right track. I’d found my purpose.

Thanks for having me over! I appreciate you all!

Here is where you can find Lynn online:

Lynn is giving away an ebook copy of Killer Comfort Food to a reader! See below how to enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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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:

http://www.gailkittleson.com/
www.facebook.com/GailKittlesonAuthor
http://amazon.com/author/gailkittleson
www.twitter.com/GailGkittleson @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


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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:

www,susancount.com

www,facebook.com/susancount/

www.twitter.com/SusanCount

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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