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Interview with DiAnn Mills 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 thrilled to have my friend, DiAnn Mills, as my guest. DiAnn and I met years ago as we served together on the Faith-Hope-Love chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and I completely fell in love with her passion for writing stories that take her readers on an adventure! Our paths have crossed many times, and we always make sure to take time for a coffee or a meal, so that we can fellowship together and support each other. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did — and read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her book Where Tomorrow Leads!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. First of all, I believe my readers should Expect an Adventure. If I fail to send them on an unpredictable journey with twists and turns, then I haven’t done my job. I live in Houston, Texas, and I love heat and humidity. My writing began in 1996 when my husband challenged me to stop talking about writing a book and just do it. He encouraged me to quit my job and give myself a year to get anything published. And if it did, succeed, I wouldn’t need to return to my day job. I took him up on that challenge. My first book released in 1998, and I’ve been writing since then. But a huge changed happened in 2017 … now, my husband works for me. Originally, I wrote historical and contemporary romance. My reading habits were romantic suspense, and that became my writing genre. I believe in giving back to the writing community in the way of encouragement, prayer, teaching, mentoring, and editing. I also direct the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference with Edie Melson. We also are the directors for the Mountainside retreats.

Tell us about your current release. Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.

While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field . . . and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.

As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.

I had this idea 3 years before the coronavirus attacked our world. But it required so much research until facts and the right people entered my path.
My mission then and now is to show a story that weaves hope, reality, and the sacrificial work of first responders when a deadly virus spreads through innocent people.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes! I never know who or how many people will read my story. I believe God gives me the idea, so the reader may only be me.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Not at all. I’m a storyteller, and my faith is shown in how a Christian character reacts and responds to the world. I don’t write sex, cursing, or violence for violence sake, because I write what I read: strong stories that are unpredictable and show character growth and change while reaching for a goal.

Fiction is not a platform to evangelize those who aren’t followers of Jesus. The faith aspect is not an engine additive. Unrealistic and predictable characters, preachy content, and verbiage only a Christian understands can be condescending to any reader. The practice lowers the importance of a writer’s first priority: entertaining the reader. The Christian novel is different because of the writer’s belief system. Good overcomes evil. Writers can give examples without trampling on the feet of unbelievers.

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)? Lots and lots of prayer! But I believe the fear is healthy. It keeps me relying on God instead of myself. The same fear that existed during writing book one stills stalks me.

What is your inspiration for writing? First: to entertain readers. Second: to inspire readers to be better people. Third: to encourage readers wherever they are in life. We live in a dangerous and unpredictable world. I want to show how God works through a character or characters to overcome evil for good.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? I go back to the beginning of the book and start reading. I also review my characterization sketch, research, and notes. At times, I consult a trusted writer friend. By the time I get to my troubled spot, I’m ready to write again.

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 the plot laid out. I’m an organic writer, which means everything rises from character. I will have an idea of what will happen, but it’s all discovery from what works best with the character(s).

Here is where you can find DiAnn online:

Website https://diannmills.com/

Blog https://diannmills.com/articles/

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/diannmills

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

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

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/diann-mills

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/diannmills

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/81639.DiAnn_Mills

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/diannmills/

DiAnn is giving away a copy of her book Where Tomorrow Leads to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Kimberly Rose Johnson 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’m so happy to have Kimberly Rose Johnson as my guest. I’ve met Kimberly many times over the years at various writer conferences. It’s always fun to have someone I “know” as my guest. Her new book is romantic suspense and it sounds so good! Read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Sure! I live in Oregon with my husband of close to 30 years. We enjoy long walks, reading, and watching shows that are music-centric. I signed my first book contract in 2012 and am what is called a hybrid writer. I am published in contemporary romance, romantic mystery, and romantic suspense.

Tell us about your current release. Direct Threat is the first book in my Protection Inc. series that will begin releasing June 1st. Here is the back cover blurb: One little girl. Two bodyguards. Only one chance to guard their hearts.
Protection Inc. co-owner, Carissa Jones, an ex-cop turned bodyguard, has one goal-keep her young client safe. When her business partner brings in a new guy to help, she discovers her heart desires more. Can she still do her job and follow her heart without compromising her client’s safety?

Marc Olsen, a former Military Police officer, struggles to find his way as a civilian. He agrees to help out an old friend for the summer. He gets more than he bargained for when he’s assigned to work with the feisty co-owner of Protection Inc.

When sparks fly faster than bullets, will the bodyguards be distracted from their task, or will they work together as an even stronger team?

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? When I first started writing in 2006, independently publishing wasn’t what it is today, so it was extremely important to me to prove myself and land a traditional contract. I currently publish my own books as well as write for a publisher. I ultimately decided to indie publish because I felt the Lord directing me to do so. I’m very happy I listened. It’s a lot more work, but I love having complete control over my work.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Not completely. I have a general idea of what the book will be about. I also have a basic outline of my characters.
LOL I don’t recommend writing the way I do, as it’s much more time consuming to figure things out as you go. I generally write several drafts of the first chapter before I’m satisfied with the opening. The opening chapter is crucial to setting the stage and tone for the entire story, so it is critical to get right.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? Yes. I need to know how long a story will be for pacing purposes.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Read well-written books in the genre you would like to write. Figure out what makes those stories so great. I like to read exceptionally written books. I feel like they help me grow as a writer.

What is your preferred method of writing? When I am in the pre-writing phase of plotting and thinking about what I want to write I use a pen and paper. When I get down to actually writing, I use my computer. The only exception is if I’m traveling and something comes to me. Then I grab a piece of paper and start writing.

Here is where you can find Kimberly online:

kimberlyrjohnson.com

facebook.com/KimberlyRoseJohnson

twitter.com/kimberlyrosejoh

instagram.com/kimberlyrosejohnsonauthor/

Kimberly is giving away an ebook of Direct Threat to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Morning Coffee and Chat 5/4/20 – Will you ever write the Suarez brothers?

Hello! Welcome to Monday Morning Coffee and Chat! Today I’m answering the question, “Will you ever write the Suarez brothers?”

If you have a question, click this link and it will take you to the google form where you can ask me!

Books talked about in this video are:
A MELODY FOR JAMES: https://www.halleebridgeman.com/books/a-melody-for-james/
AN ARIA FOR NICK: https://www.halleebridgeman.com/books/an-aria-for-nick/
A CAROL FOR KENT: https://www.halleebridgeman.com/books/a-carol-for-kent/
A HARMONY FOR STEVE: https://www.halleebridgeman.com/books/a-harmony-for-steve/

What’s Hallee drinking? Hallee’s Brew! Try it today! https://www.halleebridgeman.com/hallees-brew/

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Interview with Erin Unger 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’m happy to have Erin Unger as my guest. I’m a fan of anyone who lists Mary Higgins Clark as a favorite author — but beyond that, I’ve been connected with Erin in the Christian writing community for a long time and I’m THRILLED that she’s finally a guest here! 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. Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be on Hallee’s blog. I was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books I could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, I have enjoyed an exciting life with my hubby. But my fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in my books thanks to all of my mostly grown children and a couple of grandkids.

Tell us about your current release. Worthington Investigations is on another grisly case in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

When P.I. Shauna Pratley heads up the investigation for Christopher Newen, a rural firefighter, she only wants to solve his father’s murder not fall in love. She’s struggling to decide if God’s directing her to leave the team and re-enlist in the Army.

Christopher Newen may be used to the blazes of fire but not the heat ricocheting between him and Shauna. He needs the team’s help but has no intention of letting flames ignite between him and Shauna…yet her protective nature and fun-loving personality draw him in more than he wants to admit.

How will they work together to find a killer without letting love get in the way? Will they have to admit maybe God has used the horrors of evil to bring them together for good?

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? This is going to date me, but my first screen crush was Tom Cruise. In Top Gun he was so alive and roguish.

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 am a plotter through and through. I’ve been known to have a sixty-page outline before I start a book. I feel like the outline is the bones and organs of the story and the actual writing is the skin and circulatory system of it. It gives me a chance to be creative twice with one story!

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? I always have a pre-determined length decided because it depends on the standard of which publishing house I am writing it for.

What is your preferred method of writing? Since laptops are easy to take anywhere, I have always preferred to type my ideas and stories on my computer or cell phone. Even editing is easiest for me to do on the computer.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? I was an avid reader as a child, and I read thousands of books growing up. My most favorite were Mary Higgins Clark and Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew).

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? As a writer, hitting roadblocks is common, but I have a tried and proved method for getting through it. I write the scene or character in question and circle it. Then I write every possible characteristic or situation I can think of. I circle the one that feels the most right. And I keep doing this until I have solved the complete scene.

Here is where you can find Erin online:

www.erinungerwrites.com

https://www.facebook.com/ErinUngerWrites/

https://twitter.com/erinungerwrites

https://www.instagram.com/erinungerwrites/

Erin is giving away an ebook of Summer Flash Burn to a reader! See below how to enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Chloe Flanagan 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 Chloe Flanagan as my guest. I LOVE the sound of her latest book (the computer nerds in my life rank up there as my favorite people), and I love that she listed Mary Higgins Clark as a favorite author! Read on to see how you can enter to win a paperback copy of No Longer a Stranger!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. First off, I’m thrilled to be here and want to thank you for having me. I’m an Oklahoma native but have lived in many different places in the US, including Texas, the Alabama Gulf Coast, Hawaii, Georgia, and New York City, where I went to college. I’m back in Oklahoma City now, where I’m a technical editor for an aerospace engineering firm, a blogger, and an indie author.

Tell us about your current release. My most recent release is called No Longer a Stranger, and it’s the third romantic suspense book in my An Offer of Grace Series. It’s the story about two very different people.

He’s a lovable goofball and computer nerd. She’s a tough ex-cop with a past. She enters his life to help resolve a blackmail and attempted kidnapping. Working on the case together dredges up old sins, new dangers, and a potential romance.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? haha. I’m not even sure of that one person when I write a story, but the short answer is yes.

Before I started writing fiction, I began my blog The Candid Corinthian because I wanted a space to reflect on the experiences, struggles, and joys of my faith journey; I had a lot to process. What I found, as people started reading my musings, that some could relate to my experiences and even found encouragement in them. I think the process with fiction is somewhat similar. I tell a story with themes and characters that mean something to me and trust God to let that narrative find the reader it will resonate with. Naturally, I market and share my books to advance that goal, but at the end of the day, I believe there is a great deal of Providence at work in the process.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Timothy Dalton! He was my first James Bond, and I loved those movies. Also, of all the film adaptations of Jane Eyre, my favorite is the one where he plays Rochester.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I decided to self-publish because I wanted control over the process. Also, it seems to fit around my daytime career better than traditional publishing would. Right now, I work at my own pace, and I like that.

What made you take the plunge and finally do it? At the beginning of 2017, I made a resolution out loud to some friends that I wanted to write a book that year. My thought was that I’d adapt some of my blog posts into book form. But I really couldn’t get much movement on that idea as I explored my options. Then, just before July, I heard about Camp NaNoWriMo, the summer version of the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I challenge myself to take one of the dozens of story ideas in my head and flesh it out into 25,000 words in July. I did! By the end of the month, I was halfway through my first novel.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Sit down and start putting your story down on paper before you seek too much input from anyone else. The advice and critiques can get too noisy, otherwise. Once you’re on your way with that, you can focus on learning about your craft, studying the things that work in your favorite book and asking trusted reading/writing friends for feedback to make your work shine.

Most importantly, remember God put this story on your heart. Providence is invested in your bringing it about and the Spirit won’t leave you to tell the tale alone.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? I was a true bookworm! I really loved Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys. After that, I’d read almost anything, from Jack London to Mary Higgins Clark.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Marion Sloan, the main character in No Longer a Stranger and Regina MacArthur, a secondary character in this book and main character in the first book, both reflect my personality in different ways. They’re both tough and careful with their emotions, but God has a lot to teach them about community and friendship.

Here is where you can find Chloe online:

http://candidcorinthian.blogspot.com

https://facebook.com/candidcorinthian/

https://twitter.com/candidcorinth

https://www.instagram.com/candid_corinthian/

Chloe is giving away a paperback copy of No Longer a Stranger to a reading (US only)! See below how you can enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Lynn H. Blackburn 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! I’m always excited when a friend is my guest. As I type this introduction, Lyn is at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference with me.  Our paths have crossed many times over the years and she has always been a very dynamic presence. I really enjoyed this interview and am so excited that she’s 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. I live in South Carolina with my husband, three children, and a spoiled rotten mini goldendoodle. When I’m not writing, you can frequently find me cheering for one of my kids on a baseball field or basketball court. And if it’s a Saturday in the Fall, I’ll be cheering for the Clemson Tigers.

Tell us about your current release. In Too Deep is the second book in the Dive Team Investigations series. When the Carrington Sheriff’s Office dive team discovers an encrypted laptop that is linked to an open murder investigation, white collar crimes Investigator Adam Campbell turns to the only person he can trust—cybercrimes expert Dr. Sabrina Fleming—to help him with the case. But when their investigation uncovers an unsettling connection to Adam’s family, they will face a choice between loyalty and the truth.

Have you always wanted to write a book? Not at all! I was a reader for decades before I ever attempted to write anything. I had always had stories in my head but it was a long time before I decided to try to write one down and see what would happen.

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’m a very organic writer. I know the general idea of how the book will end, and the general idea of what the suspense plot is, but how I’m going to get from Chapter One to The End is always an adventure. I’ve tried to outline and plan it all out in advance and it just never works for me. So I write the first scene and then see where the characters and story take me.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? There are too many to list, but the ones that jump to the top of the list are always L. M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon) and C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia). But my first favorite (as evidenced by the photographs my parents have) was definitely Dr. Suess. 🙂 

Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? The first person I contact is my friend and mentor, Lynette Eason. She can usually fix any plot disaster I’ve created. 🙂 I’m also blessed to have a group of writer friends who are amazing brainstormers. 

I often wondered….when you sit down to write that first line/paragraph in a new book/novella, is it difficult to get that started or do the words flow easily? For me, it’s BRUTAL! I can stare at the first blank page for hours before I ever get things moving. I’m a very slow starter, but once I get a few chapters written, that’s when the words begin to flow.

What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? I pray! I also have found that watching something like sci-fi or fantasty – which is nothing like what I write – always inspires me. Live theater or live concerts do the same thing. And if none of those things are an option, I take a shower. I get some of my best ideas there! 🙂

Find Lynn online:

www.LynnHBlackburn.com

www.facebook.com/LynnHBlackburn

www.twitter.com/LynnHBlackburn

www.instagram.com/LynnHBlackburn

Lynn is giving away a copy of her newest book along with a bookmark (within US only). See below how you can enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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