Her newest book, will be available soon this month.
Shawnee’s Creek is a sweet contemporary romance set around a livestock auction and can be purchased at www.astraeapress.com www.barnesandnoble.com www.smashwords.com or www.amazon.com
Three years ago, I decided to write a novel about taking my mother from the nursing home to live with me. Instead, I wrote non-fiction humorous stories for my friends who were having difficult times. They encouraged me to try my hand at getting published.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My heroines tend to fall on what kind of person I would like to be remembered as. Loving, caring with just enough spunk to be interesting. The villains are all the faults I have seen in four or five people rolled into one.
Interesting perspective on developing characters' traits...I like that. What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?
The history of the people, the area and the destruction from the civil war. Reading the diaries, letters to and from home. I spend way too much time on research and have to pry myself away once I get started. It’s my addiction.
I love reading historical novels but I haven't written any. I admire writers who take the challenge to write such books. Where do you go to do your research?
Most of it comes from the Internet. I don’t get to travel or have access to a library close by.
I use the Internet a great deal, too for my research. It's such a handy tool. How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story? Is the process the same for every book you write? How long does it take you to write a book?
We were having a blizzard and I couldn’t see out my windows. The nearest thing to a mountain is 46 miles away and I can usually see it. That’s how I started Lizzie and the Rebel which took somewhere between two weeks and a month for the first draft. I set her in the Rockies, although I’m on the high plains of Texas. The process changes with each WIP for me. I think a lot has to do with the research, it always leads to another interesting place with interesting stories of its own. The length of time varies upon the amount of research I use in the story.
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
Yes, I have three wip’s started and six I am editing/polishing up to find a home. I always have some project at hand.
Me, too. I am working a several right now. Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
Do as much research on writing, take a little from each one, find what works best for you and never stop writing.
What is your favorite work of literary fiction and why? Do you have a favorite literary author?
Who is your favorite contemporary author? Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?
Jodi Thomas. I have read some of her contemporary novels. Right now, I am reading one of her historicals “To Wed in Texas”.
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
I take care of my mother in my home, anytime I am not doing something for her I’m writing, editing or doing research, which I have a tendency to get lost in.
How did you find your publisher? What was your journey to publication like?
Last year I entered Lizzie and the Rebel in a contest and it took Honorable Mention. I edited it some more, fleshed out some and SweetRomanceNotions yahoo group had a pitch session so I tossed it in. It landed me a contract with Astraea Press. Astraea Press has some wonderful people to work with. The other authors are fantastic writers as well. I enjoy working with them all.
That's great...congrats on the Honorable Mention award. Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?
No, I write no matter what is going on.
How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?
I have two friends who have been very supportive. One is the main reason I started writing to begin with and the other was my reader. The reader is always after me to send another book. She reads the first drafts and is honest about them. If either of the two read them they will tell me if it’s their style or not.
That's great to have support. What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you? ~ POV issues; using too much passive voice and not enough active voice; trouble creating active and engaging dialogue; using too many similar words in starting sentences; or something else?
I would have to say POV. I am a panster and as soon as a character tells me their side of the story I write it in. I have learned to skip a few lines, write it and then go back to the original character.
POV was a big issue for me, also. I have that issue under control now, which is good. I know my editors appreciate that.
Stephy, thank you so much for stopping by today. I enjoyed the chat and I look forward to welcoming you back to The Mustard Seed again some time.
Hope you can stay and visit with us for a bit. Feel free to chat.