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Interview with June Foster 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 pleased to have June Foster as my guest. I very much enjoyed reading about her writing style and I am so intrigued by the plot of her book Dreams Deferred – and LOVE that it was inspired by the love story of her great-grandparents! June is giving away a copy of the book, so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. June Foster is an award-winning author who began her writing career in an RV roaming around the USA with her husband, Joe. She brags about visiting a location before it becomes the setting in her next contemporary romance or romantic suspense. June’s characters find themselves in precarious circumstances where only God can offer redemption and ultimately freedom. To date June has seen publication of 19 novels and 1 devotional.

Tell us about your current release. Frances Matthew Hall is obedient to family tradition: all firstborn sons will serve as a priest. Now Matt officiates at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. But when on Easter Sunday, he notices a beautiful young woman who takes his breath away, he must fight against his attraction to her or leave the priesthood and alienate his entire family.
Mary Louise Graham is a middle school teacher and devout catholic. Yet no amount of service to the community can ease the heavy load of guilt she carries. God can never forgive her unspeakable mistake. But when Father Matt tells her about a forgiving God through His son Jesus Christ, she’s free. Only thing, the Godly priest now means more to her than he should.
Dreams Deferred is inspired by the author’s great grandfather and great grandmother’s story.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Most definitely. This is my purpose in penning fictional works. My hope is readers will identify with the characters in the story and find freedom in the Lord. If it’s only one, than I’ve served the Lord.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful?  The issue has arisen in my writing journey, however, I feel God has placed these stories on my heart and in my mind, and I don’t have the option of deviating from them.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? When I first began writing, I was told by editors and agents that my work was too “preachy.” I considered toning down the spiritual aspect of my writing and couldn’t. I believe that Christian fiction writers should follow the Lord instead of the market in penning novels.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I’m a plotter rather than a panster so I generally have a scene by scene synopsis written down before I even start the novel. However, as I write each scene, my characters sometimes tell me to go in a different direction than I’d orginally planned. I’m always open to change and new ideas.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? This almost sounds too simple, but if I write a G (goal), M (motivation), C (conflict) chart on each character, ideas tend to flow.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? Unlike most authors, I began writing at an older age. In fact, I was a retired teacher and a grandmother. One day I noticed a story in my head and happen to tell my daughter the entire story. She said she thought I should write it, and that was the spark I needed. I wrote that novel and eighteen others to date plus one devotional. I have no doubt God orchestrated the venture!

What is your preferred method of writing? If I didn’t have my computer, I probably wouldn’t write!

Find June online at:

http://junefoster.com

https://www.facebook.com/authorjunefoster/

https://twitter.com/vjifoster

https://www.pinterest.com/junefoster/

June is giving away an ebook copy of Dreams Deferred to a lucky reader! See below how to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Jude Urbanski 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 pleased to have Jude Urbanski as my guest. I LOVE the fact that her mom wrote sweet love stories in the 1930’s. That just speaks to my heart and soul! I also love that she is a southern girl — I am married to a southern gentleman and I love living in the south. I hope you enjoy Jude’s interview as much as I did. She is giving away a copy of her latest release – read on to see how you can enter to win!

About me: I was born into a large Southern family, grew up in the North, but retained a southern heart. I have used the South as the setting for my novels. So, last May, in year four of my unexpected journey as a new widow, I made the decision to move to the beautiful Cumberland Plateau area of Tennessee. Seven generations of family had descended from this area. I returned to my roots and keep contact with my scattered kids and grandkids via phone, texts, Face time, email, snail mail, and visits.

My Current Release: The book is called New Beginnings, a title with which I relate, but one which heroine Savannah Banks sought with a passion. She never wanted to see her runaway groom again, especially after discovering her pregnancy with his child. Until meeting a father figure in ill-and- aging artist, Alberto Patagalia, she never wanted to see anything again. Together they heal while awaiting her baby’s birth.

A dream job takes the three to Jamaica, where Savannah works with the islanders as a nurse practitioner. Renewal of faith in God and entrance of two handsome doctors promise new beginnings, but all too soon idyllic life becomes turbulent and everything she holds dear is threatened.

What inspires you to write? I’m convinced several family members possess a DNA art gene and it is played out in music, painting and writing. My mother wrote sweet, love stories in the 1930s and used the same setting I used many years later-the community of Chanute where we both were born. My daughters write. My grandson writes as does my nephew. Others paint and make music.

The usual childhood things captured me, like the high school newspaper, but two specific things led me later to write. My oldest daughter had a tragic auto accident in which her six- year-old son died and she suffered a forever traumatic brain injury. Eventually, writing that non- fiction book helped both of us heal from a very dark period. The book is over ten years old and still sells- because grief is evergreen.  Secondly, several years ago I received a cancer diagnosis, which made me pick up my pen again. I didn’t know how long I had. That was three novels ago and five years of writing for a magazine as well as editing jobs.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Know that writing is a hard job, but one which gives satisfaction and worth the effort. Think rewrite, not just write for there will be many edits. Learn all you can. Buy books on the subject, take classes (many are available many places), invest in conferences, and an editor. Join critique groups. Be courageous enough to submit to contests even if you are rejected. It means you are working. Securing a writing mentor can be very helpful. But know you must find your own voice, your own way of building your words. Publication does not necessarily validate you.

Through my years of writing I have gained some of my most valuable friendships. You will too.

How did you determine to self publish or to seek a traditional publisher? I wanted a publisher initially and at that time self publishing was not as common. With my first book, I called the small publishing house because they did not have their guidelines on their website. Well, the publisher answered! We had a long conversation and at the end she asked me to submit my manuscript. That was my beginning.

My two novels were also with a small publisher and there for over five years. After that I had the option to receive my rights back, which I did. I went on to self publish those two books, as I also did the third novel, New Beginnings. I find pros and cons to both traditional and self publishing and an author must give a lot of thought to that personal decision.

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’ve thought about this and don’t consider my writing method to be strictly either pantster or outliner. I mix up both and throw in a lot of thinking. One technique I have found helpful is to do thorough character sketches. I will say I have a general plotline in my head, but funny things always happen ‘on the way’ and I am often surprised. When I have writer’s block, I leave the manuscript for a few days and do some thinking.

I do not necessarily have a predetermined page length because that is sometimes determined by the publisher or whether you are writing a novella. I think excessive description loses the reader. It is harder to effectively write cleanly or simply.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? These will date me, BUT I remember in grade school being dismissed in order to see on TV the coronation of Queen Elizabeth! I also remember first hearing the news of Kennedy’s assignation. I was a college student and was studying as the news came on TV.

Here is where you can find Jude online:

http://www.judeurbanski.com

https://www.facebook.com/jude.urbanski

Jude is giving away an ebook or signed copy of her book (signed copy US only) to a lucky reader! See below how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Interview with Bonita McCoy 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 romance author Bonita McCoy as my guest! She learned that she loved writing romance more than anything – much like me – and is giving away a copy of her latest book. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!

Tell us a little about yourself. Well, I live in the great state of Alabama with my husband of almost thirty years on a five-acre hobby farm. We have two dogs, two cats, and two horses. It’s sort of reminds me of Noah’s ark.

We have three mostly grown sons. The two oldest are married, and we enjoy both of our daughters-in-love very much. Our youngest son is living at home while he attends college. With college and work, we don’t see him much.

I spend my days praying, drinking coffee, teaching high school literature to homeschoolers, and writing sweet, clean romances. Oh, and I do like to surf Facebook and Instagram on occasion.

Tell us about your current release. Truth Be Told is a sweet, clean romance centered around the Sawyer Family and the small town of Miller Creek.

Adele Sawyer loves to play matchmaker. So, when she finds out that Claire Reed needs a job and that her nephew Haden Sawyer needs a secretary for his construction company, she thinks it’s a match built in heaven.

The last thing on Claire Reed’s mind is love. She has one man in her life, and he’s all she needs. Well, he’s all she can juggle. Taking care of her son Henry with his medical issues and trying to stay employed is all Claire has time for these days. But she can’t stop herself from noticing the dimples etched in Haden’s rugged features or how much he loves his family. No matter how infuriating the man can be.

Haden suffered from a broken heart after he called off his wedding to Sarah Dempsey. But after a year’s worth of telling himself he did the right thing and a mound of cheeseburgers, he thinks he might be willing to welcome someone new into his life. However, when his ex-fiancé moves back to town, a little white lie threatens to wreck his chances with the kindhearted Claire.

I am currently working on book two of the Sawyer Family series, and I am hoping to release Seeds of Love in April.

I keep pretty busy between writing, marketing, and publishing. I love it though. I’m sure you understand all about that.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? A funny thing happened on the way to home room one day in Junior High. I found out about the Journalism class and decided to try out for it. I got it and spent the next two years learning to write news articles.

We not only wrote the articles, but we took the pictures and did the layouts. The local newspaper printed ours for us, so I got real world experience at thirteen. It was such a thrill to see your words in print. I guess I kept going.

Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? Both and no, that’s not a cop out. My first novel was a cozy murder mystery. I do like to read those type stories, but I found I was more interested in writing the love subplot then I was trying to fit in the red herrings.

So, I moved to romance and immediately loved it.

However, I was not ignorant of the fact that eighty percent of fiction is written for the romance genre, or that it is still the number one best seller. So, I am blessed. I get to write what I love and what is popular.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? It’s either on horseback while we were out on a trail ride or at the mall with my brain storming buddy. Whenever we get together and start plotting out a scene, we laugh and cut up. I’m sure if anyone over heard us they’d think we were talking about real people the way we chat about the characters.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? A lot of prayer and my personality. I like learning all about the business and determining for myself what I can do and what to delegate to others.

It is a little scary and very daunting being an indie author, but I’ve enjoyed the process. The learning curve has been steep, but with each book published, I add to my arsenal of information, so each book is better then the one before it.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, because God is the one who has called me to write. He put it in me to do. So, I don’t write necessarily to please people but to please God. How he chooses to use this skill He gave me is up to Him. Ten, five, one or none. If He says write, I write.

Here is where you can find Bonita online: Facebook.com/bonitaymccoyauthor or Instagram.com/bonitaymccoy

Website: www.bonitaymccoy.com

Blogs: www.beautifulpiecesofgrace.blogspot.com            www.courageuswriters.com

And as a crew member of www.inspiredprompt.com

Bonita is giving away a copy of Truth be Told to a reader! See below how you can enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Author Connie Pease

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 am happy to have author Connie Pease as my guest. Because I can’t hear music, I am always so impressed when I meet someone who not only hears music, but writes music and musicals! I’m in awe of that talent. And, she’s a writer of books, too! Check out her release – the premise sounds absolutely fascinating and fun!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a Minnesota girl who loves the beauty of lakes and woods but could do without the cold of winter and frozen toes. I have four adult children who I love and worry about aConnie Miller Peasend am proud of and treasure. I’ve been married for 28 years to a nice guy I met in college. Writing was never on my radar. I started writing music after my fourth child was born, then started writing musicals and fiction. To be at this place in my life as a published author just goes to show the truth of the proverb that tells us how we might plan out our lives, but the Lord directs our steps.

Tell us about your current release. Mrs. Covington’s Sunday School Dropouts follows the adventures to Cathy Covington and her drop-dead gorgeous cousin, Andi, as they track down her former Sunday School students who have dropped out of church. Subplots along the way (including a town parade Cathy is unwillingly elected to organize, found money, and a small-time swindler) add to the fun.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Oh this is going to date me, but I don’t care – he’s darling! When I was a little girl, I remember watching Andy Williams on television and his voice was like happiness and goodness swirled with smooth chocolate. We lost a good one when we lost him.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Ha ha. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find something that worked and market it? You could make a bundle! When I’m stuck, I do a lot of ineffective things like getting up to get another cup of coffee, bake cookies, straighten up a room – in other words I become the procrastination princess. Honestly, the most effective thing for me is to just plow through and write horribly until I start coming up with something decent again.

covingtonWhat advice do you have for aspiring writers? Be willing to write a few books before you get one published. Those first books might be your favorites, but you will be a better writer if you put in time to write more than just one. Secondly, persist. You must keep going even when your work gets rejected. Thirdly, ask God to bless your work with His direction.

What is your preferred method of writing? I sit at the desk in front of the computer and type. I sometimes stare into space and sometimes out the window. I drink coffee with a splash of milk. Every once in a while I talk out loud. I tell myself that’s not crazy, just creative. What? Isn’t it? 🙂

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? I’ve had a few story ideas I’ve jotted down up at the cabin. Actually, music is the thing that gets written in my head when I’m out driving or taking a walk. It’s kind of funny and great fun when it happens. The steering wheel is percussion and old receipts get lyrics written all over them. Are you worried yet about being on the same roads as I drive?

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. If I didn’t, Mrs. Covington would never have shot at the squirrels in her yard with a BB gun, because a few readers didn’t like that. I wanted it left in, though, because it amused me. (And red squirrels really are very territorial and mean.) It’s only after the book has been published or the musical has been performed that I start getting nervous about what other people think.

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? Your assumption of my plotting skills is flattering! I’ve yet to write any fiction in which I know where the story is going to go. In fact part of the last chapter of Mrs. Covington. . . was actually the first paragraph when I began that story.

Find Connie online: Facebook and her blog.

Find Connie’s books online: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 


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Interview with Author Laura Hilton 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.  This week, I am so pleased to introduce you to author Laura Hilton. As the mother of three, who can only write when she is alone in the house, I am always SO impressed with homeschooling authors — especially homeschooling authors who produce such great content as Laura. Please read on and meet this amazing woman — and, she is giving away a copy of her latest release! Read on to see how you can enter to win.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:  Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork DreamsA Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard,  and The Birdhouse. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. Laura is contracted for another three book Amish series set in the Jamesport area, with the first book, The Amish Firefighter, planned for April 2016. She has indie published a Christmas novella, Christmas Mittens. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Laura HiltonTell us about your current release:

Twenty–year–old Greta Miller’s daed has been injured in a farming accident during the summer. The supportive Amish community tries to help out, but Greta and her sister must work outside the home to make ends meet, and so Greta rents a booth at the farmers’ market. Because Greta is still in her rumspringa and free to explore the world, her family selects her to sell her homemade jams, jellies, and preserves to Englischers. Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game; which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he’s back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. Josh struggles to fit in and rebuild relationships he destroyed. Knowing Greta’s family needs help, he steps in, hoping to win her back. When Greta admires one of his birdhouses, he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta get beyond her family’s distrust and return home? Will she prove her innocence? Or will she remain outside her Amish community?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?  Yes, because that one person is important to God and He wants that person reached with His love and care.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. I’m writing for God, I gave my life to Him to be used as He saw fit. I am not going to compromise myself to become more successful. He knows who He wants to read my books and will make sure the book gets to that person.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?  In my case, they develop as I write. I might have  a basic idea (paragraph length) in mind, and know the characters names, but that is all I know. God tells me the story as I write (I pray a lot.)

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book?  Depends. The publisher generally gives me a maximum and minimum word count and I shoot toward that.

lhbirdhouseWhat advice do you have for aspiring writers?  If God’s given you a passion for it, He’s given you permission for it. Read a lot. Write. And don’t give up.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.)  I write on the computer, edit as I write, and when I finish, the manuscript is ready to go to the publisher.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) I was raised on my grandmother’s Grace Livingstone Hill books. I devoured them. But really, I read anything back then, even cereal boxes.

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 always wanted to be a writer.  When people asked me as a child what I wanted to grow up to be, I said a wife, a mom to five kids, and a writer. They laughed, told me I’d never have five kids, and maybe I should become a librarian, because only certain types of people write (not sure about that!)  I did marry, we’ve been married almost thirty years now. We have five kids. And I write.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? Kill somebody. J Seriously, I pray a lot when I write. But I have been known to wander around the house muttering, “Somebody has to die.” My children assure me, “Nobody has to die, Mom.

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?  No, I don’t have a plot laid out. I know nothing except a basic blurb, maybe about three sentences, about the idea. I just pray and write.

Find Laura online: book blog, personal blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Find Laura’s books online:

 



On Barnes & Nobile:

On Kobo:

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Interview with Author Rose Mccauley

Welcome to Readers Write to Know!  I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance.  I am always excited when I have a personal friend as my guest, and this week is no exception. Rose McCauley is one of my favorite people. I met her at a local Christian writer group several years ago. It’s rare for me to read, but I did read her current release and it is SO GOOD! Make sure you check it out. I hope you enjoy Rose’s interview.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a child of the King, a wife of 47 years to my college sweetheart, mother to three, and roseMimi to five. I taught school for 27 years before retiring to write down the stories of some of the voices in my head.

Tell us about your current release: Surrender to Peace is my third published book, and my first to be pubbed by Olivia Kimbrell Press.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, because the Kingdom principles of surrendering to God and learning to discern his Voice are so important for all Christians, and also something I had to learn.

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)? Since I am writing for the Lord, I want it to be my best work possible, but I have to kill my own ego and write the story He gives me with the skill He has given me at this time without thinking about what others will think of my writing. God can use my feeble skills for His purposes and His glory if I am following His lead.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? Again, you have to seek God’s guidance in this step of the process, too. I have one book pubbed with a traditional publisher, one self-published with the help of someSurrender to Peace friends, and Surrender to Peace is with a small-press. All have been great learning experiences!

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 usually have the spiritual lesson running through my mind and/or some characters who need to learn that lesson along with their backstory that brought them to the beginning of the book. Then I plot out some major plot points and a few sentences about each chapter (although these are also subject to change as the story develops), then I begin to write and see what happens! That’s the fun part!

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? It depends on whether it is a novel, novella, or short story and what the general length for each are, although when you are self-publishing or going with a small press, there is more leeway for less or more words. The best way is to use the number of words necessary to write the best story! And always edit and pray and edit some more!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Join ACFW and other writing groups, and pray for God’s guidance along the whole journey.

Find Rose online: website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Find Roses’s books online: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, Oyster, and Scribd.

 



On Kobo:

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