About the Author
Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of two series—Heaven's Edge and Wylder Tales—and the stand-alone titles Stay and Silver Hollow.
1. When did you write your first story? Has this story been published or is it hiding somewhere as an original manuscript that got you started writing?
My first story, I wrote when I was nine about a group of stranded alien kids, that later became my Heaven’s Edge Novellas. My first “book,” if you can call it that, was a Lord of the Rings fanfiction I wrote with my twin best friends, beginning in Jr. High. Fellowship of the Rings had just come out and we loved it so much we wanted our own characters to explore Middle Earth. (In the case of one twin – fall in love with Legolas) We had so much fun writing these together, I finished three full-length novels. At the time I didn’t really know what fanfiction was. I wasn’t publishing it or writing for anyone but ourselves. It was the most fun I’ve had writing anything. Eventually I wanted to create something more original. And while my confession betrays how much of a nerd I was and am, I learned so much creating my first “series.” So if anyone reading this happens to read and write fanfiction, keep writing and keep sharing. You never know where that road will lead you.
2. What does your writing process look like (research, brainstorming, character sketches, writing time, etc.)?
My process has definitely changed through the years. Today I begin with a loose outline of the whole story. I then dive into the characters and try to root out their motivations, their likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams. As I write, I often write screenplays with dialogue, to see if a scene could stand on that alone. I also keep copious notes on all those tiny details I tend to forget later on. Then I write, I write for at least an hour every day, hopefully a chapter a day. Somewhere in the process magic happens. The characters come alive and breathe and the words flow. At some point I struggle to write a sentence, until I break past the block and keep going. The important thing is to keep writing, no matter what. A big part of my writing process is also my critique partner, Melissa. We exchange chapters as we go and help each other keep track of inconsistencies. Since the twins I mentioned above have very busy lives today, I go to my fellow author friends for feedback. But having a person you trust helps so much in spurring your creativity.
3. What top 5 books do you currently have on your TBR pile?
How did you know I had at least 5 books in my TBR? Just kidding, but seriously that is a typical norm for me. At this moment my currently reading list is: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Refugees by R.A. Denny, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin and Ravensdale by Lucinda Elliot.
4. What inspired the idea for Silver Hollow?
Sometime in 2008 I decided I wanted to branch into original fiction. I knew I could write books and I wanted to write something new for myself and the twins. The first few chapters of Silver Hollow came about one random night of inspiration. I printed out the pages and brought them on a girls trip the twins and I took. They loved the story so much, they begged me to write more. So I suppose the first Silver Hollow was very much a “wish fulfillment” fantasy. The kind of life I wanted to be brave enough to live at the time. When I came back to the story last year to rewrite and expand the first edition, I approached it from a more professional attitude. I wanted to tell a moving and compelling story, to really dive into the way fairy tales and legends impact and shape us, to give these characters voice.
5. What do you want readers to take away from reading Silver Hollow?
I hope you are transported, just like Amie, into a world both familiar and stranger than fiction. I hope you are moved and encouraged to be live free and take risks like our heroes. But mostly, I want you to have as much fun reading as I enjoyed writing Silver Hollow.
6. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about it?
Around the same time I wrote the first pages of Silver Hollow, I also came up with this idea for a fun urban fantasy series. Every other year or so I would pick it up and dust it off, see what I have and start again. A couple years ago I managed to finally create a cohesive first draft for what would be the first book, then decided it was better written in first person, present tense. I’m excited to finally share the first serialized novel, Angel Blue with y’all this coming August. You can learn more about it on Goodreads. Stay tuned to my website & newsletter for future teasers to come!
About the Author
Winner of the 2012 RONE Best Inspirational Book of the year (2012) and author of six Historical novels, Stephenia H. McGee has a fascination with hoop skirts and ball gowns, Greek revival homes and horse-drawn carriages, quirky Southern sayings, and home-grown recipes. She currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and two boys, (accompanied by their two spoiled dogs and mischievous cat) where she writes stories of faith, redemption, and stories steeped in the South.
1. What top 5 books do you currently have on your TBR pile?
I have so many I want to read! I’m currently reading If I Run by Terri Blackstock, but my latest purchases for my TBR pile are: Pam Hillman’s The Promise of Breeze Hill, The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd, To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander, Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley, and The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck
2. If you were to go to tea with one of the characters in Her Place in Time, who would you pick and why?
Lena. Wouldn’t it be really cool to talk to a girl who went back in time? I think we have an idea of what it would be like in the 19th century, but it would be so much fun to talk to someone who actually saw it…especially from our modern perspective.
3. What inspired the idea to write a time travel novel?
When I was at Rosswood researching for The Liberator Series, the owner showed me a dress they found in a trunk in the attic. She let me take pictures with it (due to the age of the dress, it is only clipped to my shoulders). Coupled with the tales of a Civil War couple that can still be seen walking the grounds, (I didn’t see anything, but many people have claimed to) I came up with the idea of a dress that was tied to the house and by wearing it, you could go back in time.
I also thought the strange time warp would be a fun explanation for the mysterious couple. I finally got the chance to write the story, and I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to see what it would be like for a modern woman to step into the places I always write about.
Recognize this yellow dress?
4. What do you want readers to take away from reading Her Place in Time?
This story’s theme is about how our future might not be what we expect, and sometimes God has plans for us we may not always understand, but in the end His ways are always for our good.
5. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
I have a new Civil War spy novel entitled Eternity Between Us planed for October. It’s currently with my editor. In June, I have another novella (The Heart of Home) coming out in the Timeless Love Collection that is a companion novella to In His Eyes. In the midst of all of that, I am also writing Missing Mercy, the third book in the Ironwood Plantation series.
About the Author
Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Her most recent novel, The Memory of You, released March 2017 and Where Hope Begins releases in May 2018. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com.
1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I’m not sure it was any one thing. I always loved reading as a child and writing stories. When I got to middle school, English was my favorite subject. I read anything I could. My parents were big readers too, so we’d spend a lot of time together reading. Mom was a big fan of Mary Stewart and Catherine Coulter, and she’d pass those books onto me. It’s a wonder I didn’t choose romantic suspense as my genre of choice, but I guess it didn’t stick. Once I got my hands on Gone With the Wind, romance and family drama took over! I kept writing off and on as something fun to do to occupy my time. It wasn’t until my kids were in school that I began to take myself seriously and start really pursuing publication.
2. Who are some of your favorite authors? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
Oh, I have many! I read widely in both CBA and ABA, and I’m always looking for new authors as well. I’d say a few of my long time favorites are Susan Meissner, Lisa Wingate, Katie Ganshert, Kristy Cambron, Patti Callahan Henry, Rachel Hauck, Nicole Baart, Karen White, Sarah Addison Allen, Liane Moriarty, Kate Morton . . . I could go on, but we’d be here forever! :)
3. What are the top 5 books currently on your TBR pile?
I don’t have a ton of to be read books at the moment, as I’ve just gone through a reading binge, so I’m saving up new stories for summer and going to try to get some writing done! That last few books I’ve read are The Man He Never Was, by James L. Rubart, An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones, No One Ever Asked, by Katie Ganshert, Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart, and As Bright As Heaven, by Susan Meissner.
4. Who was the hardest character to write in Where Hope Begins? The easiest?
Gosh, tough question! I guess I’d have to say the hardest character to write was Kevin. Because we don’t have his POV, I wanted to be sure that the scenes he’s in really did show who he was and why he made the choices he did. I chose not to include his POV, because this is really Savannah’s story. The easiest character was probably Clarice. She just waltzed into this book and kind of took over as the voice of truth. I loved her and I think she brings so much character to this story!
5. What inspired the idea for Where Hope Begins?
Um, can I say God? I really don’t have another explanation. The idea literally came to me late one night, the first line so clear and loud – ‘My husband is leaving me.’ I was like, what?! LOL. Savannah’s voice came to me in first person. I have never written anything in first before and honestly, it always terrified me. But once I began, I realized I loved it! I really had no idea what this story would turn into, that’s the amazing thing. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle the topic of adultery, loss of a child, suicide. That’s heavy stuff that I had no experience with. But I kept writing. And as I was finishing the first draft, we were hit with the news that dear friends were separating, and I was suddenly walking that road with my friend. I was able to go back into the story and give greater meaning and depth to it. Marriages are in trouble. The more I see and hear, I have to wonder if the vows we make before God are truly taken as seriously as they once were, as a covenant with Him, even within the church . . . I’m sure most people could say they’ve been affected either directly or indirectly, by broken relationships. I think this story is a relevant one for today, and I believe God has a purpose for it.
6. What do you want readers to take away from reading Where Hope Begins?
Reading is a subjective experience, so I can’t say what I want another person to experience. That will happen organically. I can share what I learned while writing this story though. I realized what it must be like to be thrust into a situation you can do nothing about, the helpless feeling one must have. I learned that judgment is an easy weapon to yield, and so very harmful. I learned that even in the darkest hour, if we truly want things to change, we can find a glimmer of hope. God does not abandon us, even when it may feel like it. We are never truly alone. And while things may not work out the way you planned them, God always has a better plan in mind, and healing is possible.
7. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
I’ve been playing around with a new story that will be set in Bermuda. This is fun for me, as I’ve never written a story set here before. I’m not very far into it at the moment, but I can tell you that it’s women’s fiction, there will probably be three main characters, and I think we’re going to take a peek back in time through one of them, who fought for women’s rights in Bermuda back in the early 1900s. It’s a story about discovering our true identity, not being afraid to stand up for your beliefs, and really about finding your voice. I’m just praying for more time to write it!
About the Author
Shannon Symonds announces her first book, “Safe House,” a 2017 Whitney Award Nominee released by Cedar Fort Publishing and Media in July of 2017.
Shannon worked for 15 years as an Advocate. Shannon lives in a small seaside town where she works, writes, runs and paints. She believes the word can be changed one heart at a time and then even small acts can make a difference.
1. What top 5 books do you currently have on your TBR pile?
5) I just finished Traci Abramson’s version of, Safe House, and loved it. I would like to go back and read the 1st book in the guardian series. I met Traci at Storymaker’s Conference in Utah and she is not only fun and entertaining, she is as deep and caring as the characters in her stories.
4) I am currently reading, The Road to Freedom, by Shawn Pollock. I look forward to reviewing it on my blog. Already, I love his descriptions.
3) I want to finish Melanie Bateman’s The Time
Key. I am part way through and have had to read other books. I look forward to finishing it.
2) One by One by David A. Bednar. My daughter is a relief society president and she said the book was invaluable. She recommended I read it in relation to my work with survivors. I have it downloaded in my Deseret Book, “Book Shelf,” and will listen while I clean, weed, and work.
1) The Book of Mormon, Old Testament. A little time with the scriptures on my iPhone, or audio each morning fills my spiritual bucket. I can’t face the world without bolstering my faith. We live in pretty tough times. I believe, no matter what you believe spiritually, time spent on your physical, mental, and spiritual growth is time well spent.
2. What does your writing process look like and specifically what did it look like for Safe House?
I run daily on the beach or cement seawall called the “Prom,” by my house. I usually see the story I am working on like a movie while I am running. I think about the characters and spend time with my imaginary friends. Although I had the story outlined before I started writing Safe House, dialogue and little details were worked out by the sea. When I got home, I sat by my fireplace and wrote on a laptop.
When I wrote Safe House, I began in the winter. I spent many nights by the fire writing and then calling my sister Stacy to read to her, or reading my work out loud to Scott. When I finished it, I mailed it to Stacy and my cousin Kristi who red-penciled it and sent it back. They were my greatest cheerleaders.
I sent it to one publisher, who referred me to another. I rewrote the whole thing, changing a main character and had Stacy read it one more time. Stacy suggested I name it, “Saving Grace.” We were both excited by the name Grace, I changed my main character’s name.
I was so afraid to send it in, I let it gather dust for a while. Stacy kept pushing me. Finally, I sent it online to Cedar Fort. I will forever be grateful to Stacy for pushing me, and Cedar Fort for publishing my first novel.
Stacy passed away from Cancer a week before she could hold a hard copy in her hand. I gave her the first PDF copy and if you open the cover, you will see the book is dedicated to her. Stacy worked on the “Christmas Box House Foundation,” with Richard Evans, and did many other service projects internationally. She never told anyone. She never asked for attention. She gave all the credit to God. I am so grateful my sister Stacy and I had the Safe House adventure together and that I get to give her the credit she deserves.
3. What can you tell us about the sequel to Safe House (your current WIP)? What is this story about and when will it release?
The sequel to Safe House is a stand-alone story which takes place in the same beach town of Necanicum on the Pacific Coast as Safe House and with some of the same characters. Reader’s favorite characters like Advocate Grace James, her family, and Joe Hart are back. You will also meet Hope.
Grace James, Sexual Assault Advocate, and single mother is seeing signs of sex trafficking in the small coastal town of Necanicum, but what she doesn’t see is a way to do her job and protect her own family while Morgan, her ex-husband is out of prison. Will she and officer Joe Hart be able to stop the spreading evil before Hope Experience Flanagan, a homeless 17-year-old disappears forever or will Morgan take Grace’s life at the same time as he and his partner Vlad plan to take Hope to sea forever?
I have an outline and a partial manuscript! I am so excited about this story. I love the characters. I currently run in the morning, work with foster youth at FosterClub during the day, and write at night. The draft will be complete June 1 if I can keep up the pace. I hope to have copy edits done in June. A book takes time to put together after it is approved by a publisher so I don’t have any dates yet.
4. Can you tell us what a day in the life of Shannon Symonds, Author looks like? What type of writing schedule do you have and what other obligations do you have on any given day?
I think I am a pretty typical woman, I have more work than hours in a day. I wake up at 5:30 and run. I have my hair down to 5 minutes. Unfortunately, I just can’t get my shower down to less than 20 minutes of luxury. I am a gluten free, dairy free, fun free kind of eater, so I pack breakfast and lunch for work and listen to scriptures.
During the day, I work at FosterClub, a national non-profit headquartered in Seaside, Oregon with an office in Washington D.C. I am the Outreach Manager. About 27 interns join us each summer for training and then go out and work with youth, state-level stakeholders, child welfare professionals, and policymakers across the country. It is busy!
After work, during the week, I write. I usually eat by the computer. I drag it to bed and write until I can’t stay awake any longer.
My daughter, her husband, and my adorable grandson Elliott live with me. Occasionally I break away from writing to bike ride with Elliott or take him for a walk to the beach. Fridaynight is date night. Saturday is run and family time. We fish, clam, have bonfires, hike, and kayak. If it rains or storms, I write (Sometimes I pray for more rain!)
I never write or work on Sunday. Sunday is for family and good books. I have six children and their families. We try to get together a few times a month on Sundays. During the summer about 50 of my closest relatives also come to town and stay in my house, our family beach house, “Lassie Hame,” which is just down the road, or my sister’s nearby “River House.” So I need to get my next book done before the gang gets to town June 17th.
My parents also have an apartment in my house and stay with me for 3 or so months a year. I love it when they come. My mother is a wonderful cook and helps me with the flowers. When I write in the evenings, she comes in to read or keep me company by the fire.
So you see, all in all normal. Trying every day to serve others and figure out what is good, better, or best.
About the Author
Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography
Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie's Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.
CONNECT WITH MARY:
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You can also find Mary at these sites:
Seekerville and Petticoats & Pistols
1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I actually have a speech I give about what started me writing and it’s too long to give here (Yeah, you’re welcome!). But four things kicked me into opening that Word document and writing ‘it was a dark and stormy night….’ For the first time.
1) I had a friend write a book and I was so impressed by it, very different from what I do, but I made such a fuss over admiring it, she said, “Try writing one of your own.”
2) My daughter wrote a book, about ten pages long, for a school assignment, but it had the seed of a really cool story about the Bermuda Triangle. I asked her if I could take it, lengthen it, turn it into a whole book (she was ten years old, should I have needed to negotiate?) She said, “Keep your hands off my book and write your own.” (a little more politely than that, but I got the message.
3) I got a computer. An old thing you practically needed to stoke coal into, but it worked. The way I write, editing and revising over and over…I can’t imagine doing that without a computer.
4) My baby went to Kindergarten. After about yikes…twenty years as a stay at home mom, I had my mornings free, with a computer and some ideas and a couple of nudges. And I sat down to start writing and whatever made me START….I found out I loved it. It was the most fun I’d ever had.
2. What authors do you enjoy? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
My ‘writing inspirations’ are a little strange I suppose. Four authors (is this interview about groups of four???) But three made me wonder, “How did that do that? How did they grab me and drag me inside this book so I was riding that horse? I was the woman in peril? I was saving the world?” I’ve heard people say they started writing because they read a book so bad they thought, “I can do better than that.” Not me. I read books so good it made me wonder, “Can I do that?”
1) They are Walter Farley and his Black Stallion books. I read voraciously as a child and in those books, I was in the race. I could smell the dust, hear the pounding hooves, feel those big horse bodies brushing against each other as they raced. Brilliant writing. The first time I can remember being aware of an author really deeply catching me and making me part of the story.
2) Mary Higgin Clark. Her books are a roller coaster ride. Wow, I read her first book as a young adult and remember closing it at the end and looking for the authors name and wondering, “How did she do that?”
3) Clive Cussler. He has this writing style where he takes like three or four separate, seemingly unconnected stories and set them on a collision course. He takes you up to a cliffhanger moment, then jumps to another story. Well, you’re FURIOUS because you don’t want to leave THIS story, then the first sentence of the next chapter it’s like OH YEAH WE LEFT THE HERO HANGING FROM A CLIFF! And you’re right back in deep. Done well, it’s brilliant, addictive storytelling at it’s finest. Impossible to put down.
And the fourth didn’t so much inspire me to write…as it is like the foundation of what I do.
4) Louis L’Amour. I’ve learned in my writing life that not only is he a talented researcher to be trusted, but also if the TRUTH is different than what L’Amour says, just forget the truth and go with Louis, because he’s so fundamental to the western genre that no one is going to believe me anyway if I disagree with him.
3. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did becoming an author ever cross your mind?
Well, I wrote a book when I was twelve. So it must’ve sort of crossed my mind. But the thing I remember wanting to do when I grew up was…I wanted to build roads. I remember the first time I was driven under an overpass. Like my first Interstate, big city ride. (Have I mentioned I’m OLD and from way out in the country?) The connection I remember vaguely is, we were studying ancient Rome in school and I’d read that there were old roads that had survived all this time from ancient roads. And I went under that overpass and thought, “This would survive. It might cave in and even be buried beneath a century of dirt, but it was too big to ever really go away, just like the ancient Roman roads.” And I loved the complexity of the on and off ramps and the curves and multiple lanes. I wanted to do that. It would last through the ages. And now, I write books, and those last through the ages too, and I don’t have to pour any cement.
4. When not writing, what other "hats" do you wear?
Mostly Wife and Mom and Grandma. Daughter, too, my mom is 90 and she lives near me and she’s the sweetest lady ever. I help somewhat with My Cowboy (which is what I call my husband on Facebook). But mostly I just get to go along when he checks cattle. Sometimes I stand in an open gate, so I help there because a well-trained cattle dog could do that, but a well-trained cattle dog is expensive and My Cowboy is already feeding me.
5-What top 5 books do you currently have on your TBR pile?
1) Secret Past by Sharee Stover
2) Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers by seven of my favorite authors, including Erica Vetsch
3) Safe in the Cowboy’s arms by Tina Radcliff
4) Her Secret Daughter by Ruth Logan Herne
5) and something weird and sort of fun, Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child-A thriller about a beast that hatched out of some archeological relics brought back to the New York Museum of Natural History and now is roaming in the sub-basement and picking off the occasional human morsel.
6. What inspired the idea for The Accidental Guardian?
I’ve been fascinated for a long time with the pathfinders from American history. Louis and Clark, Kit Carson, Jim Bridger. I always feel like I just have NO GRASP of the vastness of the American frontier. So, I had this idea in my head of, “Could someone stranded and alone in the wild west get so hopelessly lost he really had no choice but to stay there and learn to survive. That’s the nugget of my story. This half-grown boy, alone after a wagon train massacre, with the snow coming down and the trail not that easy to see on a good day.
And ten years pass and Trace Riley is now one of the toughest men in the west and so lonely he can hardly bear it. And he comes across another wagon train massacre and a pretty young woman who survived it with her sister and two little children. Trace becomes their Accidental Guardian.
7. What do you want readers to take away from reading The Accidental Guardian?
Well, what I want first, last and always is, for my readers to have so much fun reading my books they can’t put them down. Beyond that, I write from a Christian world view. A simpler way to put it, I want my 90-year-old mom to read them and not be ashamed of me. I suspect that if anyone gets any great take-away from my books they are either imagining it or I put it in there by accident.
8a. What is your current WIP?
I have just turned in the galleys…that’s the final read-through…of The Reluctant Warrior, book two in the High Sierra Series. And I’ve turned my attention to revisions for The Unexpected Champion, Book #3 in that series.
8b. What can you share with us about this project?
The Reluctant Warrior is now available for pre-order. In The Accidental Guardian, Trace Riley finds and protects two women and two yung children. Trace and Deb, and especially Deb’s younger sister Gwen have fallen in love with them. Now one of them has a Pa still alive. Cameron Scott comes to get his son and niece. But Gwen doesn’t want to let them go. Cam’s been away at war and now he’s got another battle on his hands, getting his children away from that child stealing Gwen Harkness.
About the Author
Kari Trumbo is a co-author of the best-selling Cutter’s Creek continuity series as well as her personal series, The Seven Brides of South Dakota. She began her writing journey four years ago and has published over twenty titles through self-publishing. Prior to writing, she was a freelance developmental editor and beta reader.
Kari has a degree in Psychology and home schools her four children. She loves to learn new things and believes life should always be a learning environment. To continue her writing education, she is a part of the national Romance Writers of America and the American Christian Fiction Writers Association along with her local chapter, MN N.I.C.E.
1. What are the top 5 books currently on your TBR pile?
I am so behind on my reading! Top 5 in no particular order are!
1) Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
2) When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin
3) The Innkeepers Daughter by Michelle Griep
4) Lady Jayne disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano
5) The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo
2. What does your writing process look like? Specifically, what was it like for An Imperfect Promise?
To anyone looking in from the outside, my process is probably a mess, but this is just how my brain works the best. I always have 3 books going on at once and I juggle them throughout the day. In the morning, I’m doing rewrites before a book gets sent to the editor (and marketing my newest released titles). In the afternoon, I’m working on the edits of the next book I will release. In the evening, I’m writing the next book. It all flows really well. This is a full-time job for me and it’s rare that I don’t put in about 60 hours a week between writing, editing, marketing, and improving my craft.
3. What inspired the idea for An Imperfect Promise?
The whole story started with one man that I felt sorry for. I couldn’t just let him go. Poor John (the hero) was in love with Margot from one of my other series (To Love and Comfort) and he leaves to go help his sister. I was so sorry to see him go, even though he was not a particularly likeable character in the other book, and he’s not in the beginning of this book either. He had to be a grump, he’d just been betrayed. He’s angry and doesn’t trust women.
Then, I had to think of the perfect (imperfect) heroine for him. Someone who had also been hurt. A friend of mine and I were talking about promises one day and how people don’t treat them as importantly as they should. People toss around the word promise like they toss around the word love and it’s lost some of its meaning. That conversation lead to the creation of the Gini characters and what her deep turmoil could be.
4. What did you as an author take away from writing An Imperfect Promise?
So very much. I actually re-wrote this story more than three times. It was originally written to be a novella, then I found areas that needed deepening. It then became a short novel and I intended to submit it to Love Inspired Historicals. I found out while it was in editing that Love Inspired Historicals would not be taking any more westers. At that point, I knew the book didn’t need to be held back by a word count and my editor and I fleshed out everything. Now, it is a full length novel, and I’m more pleased with it than I was at any other point in its many stages of life.
5. What is your current WIP? What can you share with us about it?
I’m currently working on the sequel to the first book of my Brides of Belle Fourche series. The first book is in the Timeless Love Charity Collection, but only for a limited time. I have the preorder up, but the novella itself is still in production. It’s called What the Heart Holds.
About the Author
Lindsay A. Franklin is a best-selling author, award-winning editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. She lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder of a husband, their precious geeklings, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed wombat with his own Instagram following.
1. What top 5 books do you have on your TBR pile?
1) Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
2) Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
3)The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber
4) Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer
5) The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
I could list so many more! My TBR pile is taller than I am.
2. If you were to go to lunch with one of the characters from your book, who would you go with and why?
This is a tough question, but I think I would want Tanwen and Brac to take me to Blodwyn's Tavern so I could listen to their banter while I quietly ate some onion soup. They make me laugh.
3. What does your writing process look like? Specifically, what was your writing process like for The Story Peddler?
I always outline first. I need to have a clear idea of where the plot is going, otherwise I'll meander around too much and never end up with something that feels whole. I allow myself the freedom to change my outlines on the fly (and I do when something doesn't feel right as I draft), but having a road map before I start is essential for me.
4. What inspired the idea for The Story Peddler?
I was sitting in a workshop at a writers' conference, and an acquisitions editor for a large publishing house was explaining her role in the publishing process beyond what aspiring writers typically saw her doing (rejecting our pitches). Whatever tiny handful of stories she liked and wanted to acquire, she had to turn around and pitch to her bosses, the publishing executives. She made a comment—something like: "I have to peddle your stories to executives. At the end of the day, I'm just a story peddler." My fantasy brain went wild. I thought of what a "story peddler" might look like if we added a little wonder and a sprinkling of fairy dust to the equation. A character emerged who might be a fun vehicle for this story-peddling process, and then I imagined a story around her. The rest is history.
5. What did you as an author take away from writing The Story Peddler?
I'm always working through difficult personal situations in my fiction. I've tackled a lot of different pieces of my past before, but The Story Peddler is the first book where I dealt with some of the emotions involved with raising my oldest son, who was born with a very rare type of brain lesion. That might not be immediately apparent when reading the story for those who don't know my family's backstory, but being able to work through those feelings is definitely one of my biggest personal takeaways from this series.
6. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
I just turned in the next book in The Weaver Trilogy! I can't say much if I want to avoid spoilers, but I will say this book just got a new title. I liked the original, but as I wrote the book, it didn't feel right for the story anymore. It's now titled The Story Raider and it releases in 2019. I can't wait to share it!
About the Author
Lauraine lives with her husband, dog and cat on 68 acres of woodland 40 miles north of Portland, Oregon. After growing up in Oregon, they moved their family of three children to Utah. From there they moved to Hawaii and Arizona, finally coming back to Oregon in 2015. Their three children, two girls and a boy, are all grown and live across the United States. After being a professional bookkeeper for over twenty years, she turned her hobby of writing into her first published novel in 2016. She loves to write inspirational romance and hopes her readers will be both entertained and uplifted by her stories. When she’s not writing, she loves to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course!).
1. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Here are some of my favorite authors: Cindy Roland Anderson, Rachael Anders on, Cami Checketts, Diane Darcy, Regina Duke, Shannon Guymon, Shanna Hatfield, Heather Horrocks, Victorine Lieske, Lucy McConnell, Jennifer Peel, Regina Scott, Brooke St. James, Staci Stallings, and Amy Vastine to name a few! I am always trying out new authors in the genre I like to read and write.
Do they inspire your own writing? I’ve been told that to be a good writer, you should read good authors in your own genre. In that sense, yes, the authors I read inspire me. I believe the high quality of their craft rubs off on me when I write. At least, I hope so.
2. If you were to go to lunch with one of the characters of your book, who would you go with and why?
I love my leading characters, but I already know them inside and out. So, I would go to lunch with Katherine’s mother, Mary. She is a positive-thinking woman who isn’t blind to the sparks flying between her daughter and George. I would love to talk to her about her faith, attitude, and peace as she deals with the difficult circumstances in her family’s lives.
3. Which character in the book was the easiest to write and why?
The easiest character to write was Katherine. She is a beautiful person inside and out. I could see her sense of spirit and confidence in her own faith as she gently works on George. The hardest and why? The hardest would be George, because he is the other leading character and I didn’t really delve into the supporting characters much. His character was more difficult because I needed to see things from the perspective of a life filled with disappointment, which isn’t my life. I drew on my imagination more when deciding the natural reaction he would have to the events of the story.
4. What inspired the idea for The Spirit of Christmas?
I love the story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Because I am always “listening” for the next inspiration for a new story, I pondered the idea of a Scrooge who would not only find the spirit of Christmas at the end of his holiday, but find love as well. From there, when I changed the Bob Cratchit character to a young woman, the story came to me quickly.
5. What do you want readers to take away from reading The Spirit of Christmas?
Beyond the normal hope for readers to feel that they have spent a pleasant couple of hours reading about two people who found each other in the end, I want to evoke a feeling of the beauty of Christmas and the idea that people can change their attitudes when they’re exposed to positive, uplifting people (even when their lives aren’t perfect). Yet, in the end, I just want them to close the book with a smile and then tell their friends…
6a. What is your current WIP?
Daisies in the Driveway
6b. What can you tell us about it?
It’s the story about two un-related grandchildren who are offered the opportunity to take over their respective grandparents’ Bed & Breakfast/Campground. They have a disjointed combined history connected to the bed and breakfast. Besides the tumultuous events as they learn to manage the business over the course of the summer they take over the inn, they find additional trouble by making erroneous judgment calls, temporarily preventing them from exploring their growing feelings for each other.
About the Author
Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children's Director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland Sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, she and her husband take pleasure in camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.
1. What top 5 books do you currently have on your TBR pile?
1)The Bible: I have done the 1 year plan that ended up the 2 year plan. But I’d really like to read through the bible.
2)Love’s Silver Lining by Julie Lessman
3)The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson
4)The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall
5)The Southern Belles Collection
2. When you are not writing, what other "hats" do you wear?
I’m a grandmother who keeps her granddaughter 3 or more days and nights a week. I’m the children’s director at our church. I work with the young teen girls in a small group. And right now my hubby and I are building our home. I also raise sheltie puppies.
3. What type of schedule do you set up for yourself so you get writing projects completed on time?
I try to write whenever I’m not needed someplace else. It has gotten harder instead of easier! I thought after my kids graduated from HS it would be clear sailing, but I’m afraid that my schedules went out the window when they graduated. God is good and always allows me the time to do what I have to. Sometimes it is late at night, other times it is mid-day or even morning. Never in the evenings as that is when we are out working on the house.
4. What inspired the idea for The Perfect Bride?
It’s part of a novella set with the theme of best friends. I decided Philip, who is a minor character in Sword of Forgiveness needed a story. Philip is fun guy and I could just see him having so much fun with his best friend that he never realized he loved her.
5. What did you as a writer take away from writing The Perfect Bride?
I don’t want to say too much and give anything away, but my take away from The Perfect Bride—be careful about judging others. We don’t always know the motive or what a person has gone through. We may think one thing about them but we don’t know the heart. Only God knows that.
6. What is your current WIP? What can you share with us about this project?
My current WIP is Sword of Trust. It is book 2 in The Winds of Change Series. Sword of Trust has more history in it than book 1. My characters are living out the history. It was a time full of uncertainty. Approximately 10 years prior to my storyline there had been the Peasant Revolt, The Lord Appellants had removed King Richard and ran the country for a bit as well as had some of the kings friends put to death, Richard took back over the throne and never really forgot their sins against him. So there was a lot of unrest in the kingdom when my story takes place. There is false friends, treason, a whole lot of suspense, and lots of romance!
About the Author
Jennifer K. Clark is a full-time author, a hobby artist, and a Halloween enthusiast. She lives in central Utah where she spends her time writing books and having conversations with the characters in her head. (Yes, she’s one of those people.) She is a multi-genre author and has written Renaissance romance, contemporary suspense, YA, and children’s activity books. In her spare time, she loves to be creative and has done everything from building a secret passage in her home to making handmade books. She makes every day an adventure.
1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
My sister, Stephonie, inspired me to become an author. I had made up a story and shared it with Stephonie, and she insisted that I turn it into a book. I wasn’t confident in my writing skills, so she agreed to help me. Together we co-authored two novels: MARK OF ROYALTY and BONDS OF LOYALTY. I’ve been writing ever since.
2. What inspired the idea for The Wizard’s Workshop?
I’m a huge Halloween fan, and I was working on making a potions book as a Halloween prop. I like things to be authentic, so I decided to include actual potions adapted from science experiments. My kids absolutely loved it! I was teaching art at the time, so I took the potions book to school and my students went crazy over the wizard-style experiments. Pretty soon, I had people inviting me to other schools and to parties to make my “potions”. Everywhere I went, someone wanted a copy of my book. It was a no-brainer from there—I needed to publish a version of my book. The end result is THE WIZARD’S WORKSHOP.
3. What do you want readers/children to take away from doing the activities/potions in this book?
I want readers to create their own world of magic—to take a piece of fantasy and move it into the real world. We are only limited by our own imagination.
4. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you share with us about these projects?
I’m working on a value series for teenage girls. The main characters of these books go on adventures where they organically learn about a particular value like faith, or individual worth, and so on. I have eight books planned and have three written so far. I’m also contemplating another science experiment book. I have ideas for an ocean/mermaid themed one.
5. When you are not working on a book, what other “hats” do you wear?
Being a mom is my biggest hat. My kids are practically grown, but I still love it! On the side, I run a small online business, and I’m always working on big projects like building secret passages and assembling talking skeletons (another Halloween project). My husband and I are currently building a paintball field and, if I get my way, we’ll add a zip-line to it. I’m always up for an adventure.
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