Thank you, Lynn for stopping by. Can you share a little more about yourself.
I am a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a soon-to be grandmother, a teacher and a writer (in that order). I wear so many different “hats” that I find prioritizing them tends to focus me better. I have been married to my best friend, Charles for 32 years and we have three wonderful children: daughter, Laurelle (husband, Matt) are expecting our first grand baby in February, and we have two live-at-home teenagers, Brett and Carmen. I have been a teacher most of my adult life, and I still substitute from time to time at the private Christian school my teenagers attend. I love volunteering and working closely with the youth in our church as well. Lastly, when I’m not writing, I’m reading. I love to blog and when I’m not blogging, I’m working on my next book.
Shoot the Wounded, the first book of the Wounded Trilogy, is written for youth and young adults. It addresses how lies and gossip destroy a person's spirit and speaks to the heart of relevant themes such as bullying, teen pregnancy and family violence. The story points the characters, and ultimately the reader, to hope in Jesus Christ.
STW was a finalist in the 2010 Readers Favorite Book Awards.
Congrats on your book being a finalist. That's great!
Heal the Wounded, is the much-anticipated sequel to STW and the second book of the Wounded Trilogy. HTW delves even deeper into the real world of teenagers trying to live out their faith in the midst of upset and struggle.
Heal the Wounded, continues to follow the characters, Jake, Leigh, Mike (Jake's best friend), and Tim (Ronnie's brother) each of them dealing with the aftermath of their friend’s death in the first book. Jake is especially dealing with a variety of disappointments (“Job” experiences I call them) that cause him to question why God allows bad things to happen to good people.
A new character is introduced into the story, Cassidy, a young cancer patient whose unquenchable spirit and faith impacts Jake, Leigh, Mike and Tim in a way that allows them all to experience God's grace and the power of His healing in each one of their lives.
Wow, sounds like two powerful books.
Both STW and HTW have been selected as helpful resources on the world’s largest anti-bullying website: www.bullying.org
That's great. I'm glad your books are making a positive impact. Where can readers find your books and where can they find you online?
Books are available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, on my website and around the world.
Readers may also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook my blog: “Journey Thoughts” and on my website: www.shootthewounded.org
I know this is a cliché answer, but I have always wanted to write. I have written poetry and short stories since I was in elementary school. I was always writing. In fact my biology teacher in high school signed my Gr. 12 year book: “To the only literary biologist I know”. My teachers could always count on me to give a lengthy treatise on any subject. I did not have aspirations to be a novelist. My debut novel, Shoot the Wounded, actually started out as a short story but 100 pages later, I realized I couldn’t call it a “short story” any longer. Then it sat for ten years taking up valuable computer memory space until one day as I was deleting files I came across the story again. It was my husband who encouraged me to finish it and then get it published.
Wow, love that. I can totally relate. I always felt called to write and started my first book when I was just out of high school and didn't get it published until years later. Do you tend to base your characters on real people?
I have three children and because two of them are teenagers and I write novels for teenagers, I have been very purposeful not basing my characters on any one of them. It would mortify them! Instead I try to draw on my experience with working with teenagers in general as a high school teacher and as a youth leader, so I kind of create characters that have a smattering of many individuals I know personally all rolled up into one cohesive characterization. My kids still say that they see themselves in the characters. I suppose that’s to be expected, but I pray that when they recognize themselves they see the character as positively portrayed and not the otherwise.
Any new book projects?
I have just released the second book in the “Wounded Trilogy”, Heal the Wounded and I am currently working on the third and final book in the trilogy, “Love the Wounded”. I am hoping to have that released late 2011, God willing. I am also working on a more autobiographical account of my journey with breast cancer in 2001.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
I am asked this question a lot and my advice is always: WRITE! If you feel called by God to write, just write. Decide in advance what your goals are for writing. Is it for pure enjoyment that you write? Is it something you do that is private or is it something you want to share? Decide to whom you are writing. Knowing your audience will also determine how you will write and what your focus will be when you write. Also determine your “success” goals before you embark on the publishing journey. Do you want to have a small, intimate audience or a world-wide audience? That will help you set realistic expectations when it comes to selling and promoting your work.
I had no idea when I embarked on this writing adventure that there would be so much work involved in promoting yourself and your work. As a Christian we revere humbleness, however for you to be noticed in the industry and to get your books into the hands of readers, you have to create a “buzz” about your work. It takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of effort and purposeful networking. I spent the past year building online relationships with hundreds of authors and industry professionals. I read and reviewed books and I have a successful blog that showcases new and “seasoned” authors. I have learned so much for those who have been in the industry a long time, and I have been blessed with incredible mentors along the way.
Some great advice. Thank you for sharing. What's you favorite work of literary fiction?
There are so many wonderful works of fiction it is tough to choose just one. I love the classics but the book that inspired me to read (and then write) was Lucy Maude Montgomery’s, “Anne of Green Gables”. I suppose being a Canadian, I gravitate naturally to Canadian authors and their work.
My sister and I are big fans of the Anne of Green Gables stories. Who is your favorite contemporary author?
Again there are so many wonderful authors out there. I am an eclectic reader, meaning that I read all genres of fiction so my favourite Christian author(s) are Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury and Suzanne Woods Fisher and Janette Oke. I also like Nicholas Sparks, and Jodie Picoult.
I have a huge pile of books currently on my to-read list: The Search – Suzanne Woods Fisher, The Judging – Ellen C. Maze, My Mother the Man-eater – Tracy Krauss, Overwhelmed – Jennifer Barnes Maggio (non-fiction) and Heaven is For Real – Todd Burpo, to name a few.
I love Karen Kingsbury's and Janette Oke's books. Have your family and friends been supportive of your writing career?
I have a hugely supportive family, extended family and friends. My kids will no doubt be pleased to eat regular meals and have more undivided attention from me once my third novel is completed. Right now they are content with take out and pizza…
My biggest fan is my husband, Charles. He has been the one who encouraged me to publish in the first place (and he had never even read the book at that time). My church family hosts my book launches and prays for me on a regular basis. They realize that this is a ministry for me, and they have bought my books and sent them all around the world! I am more than blessed!
That's awesome. Support from others is so vital. Thank you again for stopping by.
I hope everyone can stick around for a while and chat with us.