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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 16 February 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – ROBIN PATCHEN

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CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – ROBIN PATCHEN

“I love helping authors polish their work.”

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“If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world—twice… so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.”

 

rem:  Hullo, Robin, and welcome! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

ROBIN:  My family moved to Londonderry, New Hampshire, when I was three years old. I went to college in Boston and lived in that area until my husband and I moved to Oklahoma in ’96. We’ve been in in Edmond, OK, ever since

rem:  That’s gotta be some culture shock! Tell us three things about yourself.

ROBIN:  I’ve been told I’m a good cook, I love to entertain, and I desperately hate to clean.

 

rem:  We have more in common than our name then. What is your favourite quotation and why?

ROBIN: “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” C.S. Lewis. I’m not sure that this is my favorite quote, but it’s the one that comes to mind. I love it because I’ve known a lot of folks who’ve spent their lives scribbling “darkness” in their self-imposed prisons.

rem:  It’s a good quote, and very true, and I’m guessing that someone who reads the interview needs to hear it. If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

ROBIN:  I’d like to experience America in the years between the Revolution and the Civil War when we as a nation were discovering who we were and what we were about. I would especially like to experience the Second Great Awakening. I’ve been thinking a lot about revival lately—and praying for another great revival in America—so perhaps that’s why I would like to see it firsthand.

rem:  Don’t see much on that piece of time—can I come with you? Would you bungee?

ROBIN:  Definitely!

rem:  Let’s do it! Favorite season? Why?

ROBIN:  Autumn, because I grew up in New Hampshire, where the leaves explode in indescribable beauty every year. Unfortunately, Oklahoma leaves leave much to be desired.

rem:  Ya, in New England I guess that’s a given. 😉 Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

ROBIN:  Psalm 1:1-3. It was one of the first verses I memorized after I became a believer over twenty years ago, and it helped to solidify for me the need to memorize and meditate on Scripture. Even today, the Lord teaches me from this passage.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

 

rem: So powerful in its simplicity. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

ROBIN:  My son is currently studying at Youth with a Mission in Hawaii, and I’ve learned a lot about the man who started that ministry, Loren Cunningham. I would love to get to know him and to hear his thoughts on revival in America and around the world.

 

rem:  I’ve heard of YWAM. What is your favorite bird and why

ROBIN:  I’m going to have to say the robin, and not just because I’m named after them. There’s something special about a robin bird. They’re not exotic. They’re not particularly special, and they don’t have the most beautiful plumage of the birds, and yet look how God allows those common birds to soar. I feel like a robin bird sometimes—commonplace, but with God’s love carrying me, even I can fly.

rem:  I love your reasoning—and ya, I can fly too! Do you like to fly? What’s the furthest you’ve ever flown?

ROBIN:  I love to fly! My father was an airline pilot, so I’ve done a lot of flying in my life. The furthest was probably to Rome when I was about 15. I was involved in an exchange program, so I went by myself to Rome to stay for a week with a family I’d never met. It was an amazing experience that began on the flight when there were no seats in coach or first class, so they bumped me upstairs to business class. The seat was so big, I slept on it like I would a twin bed. It was total luxury.

rem:  When is your birthday?

ROBIN:  December 12, just 13 days before Christmas.

rem:  We’re close, month-wise if not year-wise. What is your favourite birthday memory? All-time favorite birthday gift?

ROBIN:  Not that they were all birthday gifts, but many of my favorite gifts are the robins I’ve collected over the years. Most were gifts from my mother, but I’ve received some from my husband. A dear friend did a small drawing with colored pencils of a robin, which is a treasure, and my sister-in-law took a photograph of a robin just hatching in a nest. When I was young, I thought the robins were silly, but now that I’m older, I treasure them.

 

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rem:  Oh! They’re all so lovely! And I’m a wee bit jealous! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

ROBIN:  Being a novelist is hard work. Attempting to write stories that glorify God and reflect truth is even harder. Dealing with rejection can be torture. My relationship with Christ has grown as I’ve learned to trust Him with all of it—the stories, the themes, the rejection. I have become more patient and more faithful as I’ve waited for the Lord’s timing in my writing.

rem:  Robin, you are so right. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

ROBIN:  I hate it when heroes and heroines do things that don’t make sense. If you want the heroine to go into the creepy basement all alone (like in every horror movie I watched in my youth) she’d better be on the hunt for a shotgun. When a hero or heroine behaves like they’re too stupid to live, I often don’t want them to.

rem:  Haven’t heard it put quite like that, but great point! LOL Which is more important: plot or characters?

ROBIN:  Yes to all. Without one, the other is irrelevant.

rem:  What would you do if you weren’t writing?

ROBIN:  I’d be an editor. Oh, wait, I am an editor when I’m not writing. J

rem:  Touché! What are you reading right now?

ROBIN:  Donald Maass’s The Emotional Journey, Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert, and I’m about to start James L Rubart’s The Five Times I Met Myself. I’m a little scattered with my reading these days.

rem:  What do you munch on while you write?

ROBIN:  I try not to munch, but I drink loads of coffee and tea.

 

rem:  Good on you! Such discipline! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

ROBIN:  I wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember, but for most of my life, I lacked the courage to try or even admit that dream. I didn’t start writing my first novel until I was forty, just (ahem) years ago. Once I started, though, I haven’t been able to stop. Through this journey, the Lord has given me the courage to share my work and the ability to do what I’ve done. He gets all the credit for the good things. The bad things—those were all me.

rem:  Yeah, well, you’re ahead of me! I was past fifty when I started… But yeah, can’t stop. What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

ROBIN:  I usually write standing at my kitchen counter, though sometimes I sit at the kitchen table. I love to write in coffee shops, but it’s hard to justify the cost when I can write at home for free.

rem:  I love the ambiance of a coffee shop—but I get too distract—squirrel… What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

ROBIN:  Every aspect of writing is hard. Every aspect of writing is joy. It just depends on the day. Right now, the problem is trying to figure out how to get my hero and heroine into the danger that will culminate in the climax. This isn’t the kind of problem normal people have at work. J

rem:  No, and I wouldn’t trade to normal for nuttin!! You’re a writer and an editor—do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

ROBIN: I write because you can’t edit a blank page. I much prefer editing.

rem:  Ha! Good point! Which came first, the writing or the editing?

ROBIN:  I’ve always been both a writer and an editor, but for me, editing is much more natural than writing. That’s why I rush through the first draft—because the magic happens in rewriting.

rem:  What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

ROBIN:  I get to do what I love all day, every day. It get to make up stories for a living. I get to string together letters and words and sentences and paragraphs and create something from nothing. It’s the greatest job in the world.

rem:  So true. What do you enjoy most about being an editor?

ROBIN:  I love to take a mediocre passage and make it sing. I love to take a scene that’s falling flat and make it soar. I love doing that with my own stories and with other people’s stories.

rem:  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would you recommend not doing?

ROBIN:  What to do: 1-Read a lot of books, both within your genre and without, and both in the CBA and in the general market. 2-Read craft books and go to writers workshops and then try to implement what you learn. 3-Find some great critique partners. What not to do: 1-Take every piece of advice as gospel truth. 2-Discard every piece of advice because you’re sure you know better. 3-Break rules for no good reason or because you never bothered to learn the rules. Picasso is a great example of this. Before he painted his signature rule-breaking pieces, he spent years and years studying and perfecting the techniques to his art. Only then was he able to break the rules with style.

rem:  Super analogy! (and one of my cardinal “rules” – know the rules so I know how to break them.) Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

ROBIN:  I have no idea. The ideas just sort of come. It’s terrifying sometimes, because what if no more ideas come? And then I have to remember that God will provide the next idea when I need it.

rem:  Sheesh, we think a lot alike! How do you choose your characters’ names?

ROBIN:  I’m terrible at names and titles. Often, I’ll start with a nationality. For instance, the hero in the story I’m writing right now comes from a Germanic background, so I looked for German names and chose Garrison Kopp. The heroine’s last name is Messenger. I chose that because at the start of the series, she’s the only Christian in the group of friends—the messenger. I doubt any readers will pick up on that, though.

rem:  I dunno, I rather imagine some will. Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

ROBIN:  Usually, I have a good idea how a story will begin, I know what the major plot points will be, and I know how it’ll end. I like to follow the plot outline in Save the Cat, so I try to have a lot of those blanks filled in. But even if I plot the stories really well, I always end up changing things around when I’m writing, so I’ve learned that for me, a rough outline is the best plan.

rem:  Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

ROBIN:  I just released the second book in the Hidden Truth series. It’s a romantic suspense called Twisted Lies. Here’s the blurb:

 

She thought they’d never find her.  And then her daughter vanished.

Marisa Vega’s life as an adoptive mom in a tiny Mexican village isn’t what she’d dreamed while growing up in New York, but as the target of a man who’s convinced she stole millions of dollars from his financial firm, Marisa believes hiding is her only way to stay alive. When her daughter is snatched and held for ransom, Marisa must discover who really stole the money in order to rescue her.

Months after being kidnapped, tortured, and left with PTSD, Nate Boyle is ready to live a quiet life in rural New Hampshire. When the source of his breakout newspaper article—and the woman who haunts his dreams—begs for help, he gets pulled into a riddle that’s proved unsolvable for nearly a decade.

Can Nate and Marisa unravel the years-old mystery and bring her daughter home?

 

rem:  What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

ROBIN:  The heroine, Marisa, has spent eight years in hiding because she was afraid of the people who had her fiancé killed, the people who believe she stole millions of dollars from them. But now her daughter has been kidnapped, and in order to save Ana, Marisa comes out of hiding to fight for her. I love the courage of a mother willing to face death to save her child.

rem:  Nothing like a mother (bear) fighting for her cub! Tell us about why you wrote this book.

ROBIN:  I started writing it because of the hero, Nate.  He was a secondary character in the first book of the series, Convenient Lies. Here was a guy who endured serious trouble in order to protect a woman who’d dumped him. And what he had to go through for her…well, I won’t give it away, but he captured my heart. He deserved to have his own story told.

rem:  Stories lurking everywhere, even within stories. Please give us the first page of the book.

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ROBIN:

Nathan Walter Boyle had come to New York City with a handful of dreams. He was leaving with a truck full of nightmares.

Well, not a truck, exactly. He stopped at the bay window and looked out front. There in his driveway sat the weird container his father’d had delivered. The Pod was as big as a Dumpster, only shiny and white.

Nate had called his father before the delivery truck pulled away. “A U-Haul would have been fine, Dad.”

“This will give you time to sort it all out.”

Nate had a lot more to sort out than just the paraphernalia he’d accumulated in the fourteen years he’d lived in the city. If only he could figure out how to pack the nightmares away along with the detritus of his life.

He grabbed a packed box from the kitchen table and headed for the front door. He stepped onto the front porch, where he took a deep breath and blew it out slowly, like he did a thousand times a day. All was well. The guys who’d taken him were dead. He was safe.

Tell his pounding heart that.

It was sunny and chilly, mild for late March in New York. Spring had always been his favorite season in the city. The once slushy streets were clear. Trees budded along the sidewalks. Flowers bloomed. Even the people seemed to reawaken after their long grouchy winters. As the weather warmed more, kids would soon skateboard along the sidewalks, cords dangling from their ears. In city parks, the thump-thump of dribbling basketballs would serve as the rhythm for the season, while little children’s laughter would supply the melody.

For just a moment, Nate wished he could stay.

 

rem:  Well that says a lot in a few words—as any good beginning should. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

ROBIN: Nate is suffering from PTSD and feels like he can never play the hero—he tried that, and he failed. At the end of the story, his friend says something like, “A hero is someone who’s scared but does what he has to do anyway.” I hope the reader leaves with the truth that heroism isn’t the absence of fear but the courage to face yours fears and do what you have to do.

rem:  Face the enemy and don’t back down. Anything you’d like to add?

ROBIN:  It’s been a pleasure. You ask some hard questions!

rem:  Well, ya know, gotta dig a little to know you better. Robin, thank you so much for joining us today!  It has been my pleasure to have you here!

Where can we find you online?

ROBIN:

 

https://www.facebook.com/RobinPatchen

http://robinpatchen.com/

https://robinsredpen.wordpress.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Patchen/e/B00A289790/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1486665139&sr=1-5

And for regular updates and occasional freebies, join my newsletter:

http://robinpatchen.us10.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=a8941bcf8b7c1f9b43c22164b&id=9937d87af3

 

 

“Robin’s red pen is the best thing that ever happened to my writing. Her grammar and punctuation edits are right on target, and her content suggestions always make my stories flow just a bit smoother. If you’re looking for an editor who’s unafraid to tell you what’s wrong, while freely praising what’s right, you’ve come to the right place.” – Sharon Srock, author of The Women Women of Valley View series.

 

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#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Robin Patchen, Robin’s Red Pen, Twisted Lies, Convenient Lies, Chasing Amanda, Finding Amanda

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY KNEWBIE KNEE

Knee replacement was one year ago today and I couldn’t be happier.

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday Saturday 11 February 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – ROBIN E. MASON

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CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – ROBIN E. MASON

 

“I’ve always had stories in my head. And . I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

rem

“I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.”

 

rem:  Hullo Robin, and welcome to, uh, my blog… Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

ROBIN:  If you call me normal I’m offended.  😉  I was born in Mississippi but we moved a lot as I was growing up. I went coast to coast and back again—in utero! I now live in the upstate of South Carolina with my four feline fur babies. (Mama is now an outdoor cat, her choice.)

rem:  Tell us three things about yourself.

ROBIN:  I have three knucklehead – I mean wonderful grown children, and two beautiful grandgirls whom I love most dearly. My blood type is A-T+ (A-tea-positive). I am a pluviophile (lover of rain) and an ailurophile (lover of cats).

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rem:  Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

ROBIN:  Yes. Un. Coffee to start the day, cinnamon hazelnut. And tea, iced and not sweet the rest of the day. (thus A-T+)

rem:  What is your favourite quotation and why?

ROBIN:  There are so many that I identify with but this one speaks to me deeply: “What if I fail? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?” attributed to Erin Hanson

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rem:  What do you do as a hobby?

ROBIN:  Yes. I paint and draw, but I also sing, act, and play the piano—and will have a piano in my possession again soon! I also enjoy cooking, and not sure is this counts as a hobby but go for walks as often and as far as I can.

rem:  What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

ROBIN:  Ha! My “desk” is more like a nest—the area immediately around me. The most random thing probably is a broken paint brush that I use to dust my keyboard.

rem:  What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

ROBIN:  Movie, The Sound of Music. TV show… hmmm… Friends comes readily to mind. Gilmore Girls, Castle… guess that’s “a” favorite though

rem:  Your movie snack of choice?

ROBIN:  I’mma go with the classic popcorn but I don’t do the packs, I buy the old fashioned kernels; I do pop it in the microwave though.

rem:  What’s your favorite recent discovery?

ROBIN:  GoFundMe. I’d heard of it, but a friend suggested I start a campaign (for a car.) Slow going (so far) but it’s going. The link if you’d like to check it out is

https://www.gofundme.com/robin-needs-a-car

 

rem:  If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

ROBIN:  Yes. (I use that snarky answer a lot, don’t I?) It would have to be a tour of different eras. I love history and would love to visit a bunch of different times. There’s something “romantic” about Medieval Ireland, but if I had to choose one time it would be when Christ was with us in the flesh.

rem:  Are you named after someone?

ROBIN:  Yes and no. My middle name, Elizabeth, was my mother’s name. But Robin came from a dream she had before I was born.

rem:  Do you use sarcasm?

ROBIN:  Who me? Never.

rem:  Would you bungee ?

ROBIN:  Absolutely!

rem:  What is the first thing you notice about people?

ROBIN:  Their smile or countenance.

rem:  Favorite season? Why?

ROBIN:  Spring. It’s a, er, robin thing.  😉

rem:  Hugs or kisses?

ROBIN:  Yes. (please)

rem:  Rolling stones or Beatles?

ROBIN:  Beatles à Paul McCartney

rem:  Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

ROBIN:  Can’t choose a favorite, but Romans 12:2 has been my signature Scripture for years. Seems the whole of the Bible is about knowing Father God and becoming like Him.

rem:  If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

ROBIN:  This question always stumps me but in light of current events, I would love to spend an evening with our new President. I’m fascinated by the press (both sides) and intrigued by his charisma—and impressed with his action. And did I mention, no more PC talk!  #MAGA

rem:  What is your favorite bird and why?

ROBIN:  Really? You need to ask this?

rem:  Do you like to fly? What’s the furthest you’ve ever flown?

ROBIN:  LOVE to fly! I’ve been to Trinidad three times on mission trips, roughly 3000 miles.

rem:  When is your birthday?

ROBIN:  tomorrow

rem:  What is your favourite birthday memory? All-time favorite birthday gift?

ROBIN:  Eight years ago, my 50th. My kids love to rag me about how old I am, so I donned my best actress-granny persona and an extreme old lady costume. My oldest at the time was manager of a restaurant where we gathered for birthday dinner. He held the door for the dottering old woman—didn’t even realize it was me! Best gift—my new knee, one year today.

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rem:  What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

ROBIN:  I think Christian fiction is comparable to Biblical parables. I don’t market at CF but I am a Christian who writes fiction. It’s such a God thing, as I began to “dabble” in this passion that has always been in me, I began to see who I am, and the more I saw who I am, the clearer I can see who Father is; and the more I can see who He is, the better I can know who I am.

rem:  When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

ROBIN:  Unrealistic dialogue.

rem:  Which is more important: plot or characters?

ROBIN:  I quote DiAnn Mills again, “They are inseparable.” (from my interview with her on 28 January 2016) The way I see it, one feeds the other.

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rem:  What would you do if you weren’t writing?

ROBIN:  Bang my head against a wall, striving to be something I’m not—oh, wait, I did that for years. I do have my degree in Interior Design, and I do love designing. It’s something I can do when opportunity comes along. But writing is my love and my passion.

rem:  What are you reading right now?

ROBIN:  The Scarlet Coat by Angela K. Couch, [another] new favorite author

rem:  What do you munch on while you write?

ROBIN:  Chocolate is an easy go-to, but I love cashews and I try to eat fresh fruit when I can. Or cookies. (now I want cookies…)

rem:  Tell us a little about your writing journey.

ROBIN:  Actually I stumbled into my writing. I’ve always had stories in my head but didn’t know I was the writer until 1995. Fast forward to 2008 and I was out for a walk when my mind conjured up the beginning of Tessa. I went home and started writing. I also went back to school a few months later. After graduation and the big design career didn’t happen, I turned to writing. I haven’t stopped and I haven’t looked back.

rem:  What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

ROBIN:  In my “nest.” I am sitting on the couch, all my writing accoutrements within easy reach. I can even reach the printer if I stretch. I have to get through my emails and messages before I can focus on writing. If miscellaneous things are dangling in my mind, I get distracted until they’re quelled.

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rem:  What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

ROBIN:  Discipline / time management. I have my necessary docs open to serve as a constant “look at me” reminder. Once I get into my story, whatever point I’m at, the story takes over and I get my work done.

I take that back, my greatest struggle is the fatigue and weakness I experience with RA. I have the dubious luxury of staying home all day (disability) but I’m tired almost all the time. And that takes a great toll on writing.

rem:  Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

ROBIN:  I know I’m breaking a cardinal rule but I edit as I go. I love both aspects of writing, the creative part is the music on the page, and the editing is the fine tuning—and relentless practicing to make it the best it can be.

rem:  What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

ROBIN:  The stories, the people—both fictional and real. The network of friends. I’m a total Pantzer and I love seeing a story come together.

rem:  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

ROBIN:  DO: 1. Just do it. And keep doing it. 2. Network, get to know other authors. Build your writing community. 3. Know what works for you (trial and error) There is no “one size fits all” formula. BONUS: 4. Read. And read some more.

DON’T: 1. Don’t skimp on professional services: editing, cover design, headshot. No one can do it all. 2. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. Just don’t. 3. Don’t be afraid to share your work with others—and don’t eschew critiques from other writers.

rem:  Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

ROBIN:  All.over. Seriously, random thoughts, phrases, quotes—anything can turn into a new story.

rem:  How do you choose your characters’ names?

ROBIN:  The major characters introduce themselves to me. Supporting characters (I don’t like to say minor characters, I don’t want to hurt their feelings… ) I sometimes look for the right name—era, nationality, family names, etc, and on occasion I have posted on FB asking for suggestions.

rem:  Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

ROBIN:  Nope. I jump in and know basically where it needs to end up. Other than that, I really don’t know.

rem:  Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

ROBIN:  The Long Shadows of Summer is the first of four in my new series, Seasons. Set in 1912, it’s a cross between Upstairs Downstairs and Gone With the Wind. It’s one story arc told from the perspective of four different characters, all friends, and each with their own twist.

rem:  What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

ROBIN:  [so far] I wrote my first good kissy scene. Haven’t attempted that before. Read it because it’s a story of discovery, of learning her (Mercedes) true identity, which is parallel to learning who we are in Christ.

rem:  Tell us about why you wrote this book.

ROBIN:  Um, ‘cause they (the characters) started talking to me. And they were louder and more insistent than other characters waiting their turn.

rem:  Please give us the first page of the book.

ROBIN:

The Long Shadows of Summer – Mercedes Renaldi – July 1912

 

She looked so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place her. Sitting on the bench like she was outside Hooper’s Market. Her hat was at a rakish angle, her cocoa colored hair perfectly coiffed. Seemed there were tears in her green eyes. I was certain I had never seen her before. But she reminded me of someone…

It couldn’t be her, though. She was dead, we all watched her die. Floating away like that in the swamp. Her lavender dress billowed up like a balloon, her dark hair fanning out on the black water. We had made a pact, Pearl and Scarlett and me, never to tell anyone what happened.

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            I was the oldest of the bunch of us and we did everything together. As much as our elders would allow. My mother worked for Simone’s grandmother, Madame Antoinette Dubois. I helped Mamá most times, but sometimes I was allowed to play with Simone and her friend Pearl.

It happened in 1897, the summer I was eleven. Mamá didn’t make me help her as much in the summers and I was allowed to go outdoors with Simone and Pearl.  Scarlett’s Mamá, though, made her help with dusting the upstairs rooms, but she was permitted to come outdoors after luncheon was served.

Simone always was most daring, walking atop fences and climbing trees and such. That summer, though, it seemed she didn’t have a care. She wasn’t just daring, she was indifferent. She climbed higher than we had ever seen her climb. She would swing from the branches, like the monkeys we read about in our lessons, and then drop to the ground. She jumped right in the black water of the Santee River that day.

And floated away, pale as death.

 

rem:  What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

ROBIN:  That we are all royalty in God’s eyes. These stories make the analogy (like a parable), all four girls (I say girls, they are young woman, in their twenties) learn something of who they really are.

rem:  Anything you’d like to add?

ROBIN:  I love what I do!

rem:  Thank you so much for chatting with us on my blog today!

ROBIN:  Any time.  Hee hee

 

rem:  Where can we find you online?

ROBIN:

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

“I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.”

 

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#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Robin E. Mason, unsavory heritage series, Tessa, Clara Bess, Cissy, Seasons Series, The Long Shadows of Summer

 

BLOGWORDS – Saturday 11 February 2017 – WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – ROBIN’S CINNAMON SWIRL CHEESECAKE

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WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN YOUR KITCHEN – RANDOM RECIPES – ROBIN’S CINNAMON SWIRL CHEESECAKE

 

I like to cook. And I like to invent my own recipes. And I like to try other people’s recipes. And now, I’m going to share them with you.

slide1note: not the work of my hands—my oven is out!

 

ROBIN’S CINNAMON SWIRL CHEESECAKE

Preheat oven to 325°

 

INGREDIENTS

Crust

1 ½      cups     graham cracker crumbs

¼         cup      brown sugar

½         teas      cinnamon

1          stick     butter, melted

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Filling

4          pkg      PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened (8 oz each)

¾         cup      granulated sugar

1          teas      vanilla

4                      eggs

 

Swirl Filling

½         cup      brown sugar

1          tbsp     ground cinnamon

 

Topping

½         cup      flour

½         cup      brown sugar

1          tbsp     cinnamon

¼         cup      butter, softened

 

 

DIRECTIONS

Combine ingredients for crust till mixture loosely crumbles.

Press into 9” spring form pan.

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In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese till creamy.

Add granulated and vanilla, and mix till well blended.

Add eggs, one at a time, and mix on low speed. *Do not over beat.

Pour mixture over crust.

 

Combine swirl ingredients and sprinkle evenly over cream cheese filling.

With toothpick or table knife, swirl through the batter till desired pattern is achieved.

 

Combine topping ingredients to form a soft crumbled mixture.

Sprinkle topping over the top.

 

Bake for 55 minutes, or until center is set.

Run knife or small spatula along rim of pan to loosen.

Allow to cool before removing rim.

Refrigerate for 4 – 6  hours.

 

Serve with cinnamon hazelnut coffee. Delicious.

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If you’ve a recipe you’d like to share leave a comment below or email me at robinemason212@gmail.com

 

NOTE: All recipes must be used with permission.

 

#Blogwords, What’s Cookin’ in Your Kitchen, #RandomRecipes, #AuthorsEat #AuthorsCook, Robin’s Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Cinnamon, Hazelnut

 

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 26 January 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – REVIEWER INTERVIEW – CELESTA THIESSEN

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CHAT THURSDAY – REVIEWER INTERVIEW – CELESTA THIESSEN

 

“Being a writer is magical – spinning nothing into stories – stories that can light the way to a different world.”

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“Settings are easy for me because that’s what’s always going on in my mind. I tend to spend very little time in the present in the real world. Most of my time is spent far away in fantastic places. I like my invented worlds because they’re unique and exciting and the dangers are life and death.”

 

rem:  Hullo Celesta and welcome! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

CELESTA:  I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It’s the largest city in Manitoba – near the center of the continent of North America. I really enjoyed growing up there, right across the road from a huge shopping mall. It was a great place to live. Now I live in Steinbach, Manitoba. It is a very small city (more like a town, really) that is one hour away from Winnipeg. I just love it here because it’s so quiet, there’s no traffic and it’s a more Christian community with lots of churches and Christian heritage.

rem:  And not a little bit cold right about now, I imagine! BRRRR  Tell us three things about yourself.

CELESTA:  I’m a homeschooling mom, I have a business with my husband making apps for iPhone and iPad, and I write books for Jesus.

rem:  Books I knew, writing apps I did not! What do you do as a hobby?

CELESTA:  My hobbies are reading, taking photos and LARPing. Live Action Role Play(LARP) is like playing adventures dressed up in costume in a world like in Lord of the Rings.

rem:  LARP’ing sounds like so much fun – I’m an actress don’tcha know! What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

CELESTA:  Soldier – I’ve watched that so many times. I just love that movie! As for TV shows, I don’t love them as much as movies but I recently enjoyed watching Super Girl. I also really liked Once.

rem:  Haven’t seen that one (Soldier) but will take your recommendation to see it! What is the first thing you notice about people?

CELESTA:  This is the first time I’ve actually thought about that question. But the first thing I notice about people is if they are looking at me. I guess I look to see if they are paying attention to me to see if I should try engaging with them. I find connecting with people hard so if they’re not even looking at me then I usually just go back into my own world in my head.

rem:  Interesting take on it but oh so true! Hugs or kisses?

CELESTA:  Kisses, totally. But hugs are nice too, but only with close family. I’m not a hug-everyone type of person.

rem:  I need some kisses in my life! Hugs too! Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

CELESTA:  My favorite Bible verse is 1 Samuel 16:7b– “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I feel like a lot of people don’t understand me or get where I’m coming from. But God gets me. He made me the way that I am and he knows my heart.

rem:  Isn’t that so comforting, that no matter what, God “gets” us!! If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

CELESTA:  My super-awesome, brilliant, patient, kind, supportive and attractive husband, Leo. I’m SO lucky ❤

rem:  Best.answer.ever What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

CELESTA:  I think Christian fiction is important because it gives an alternative to the soulless, misleading mainstream fiction that is pushing the enemy’s agenda. It can lead people closer to the Truth (Jesus) and help people grow in their relationship with God.

 

I feel like God called me to write. I think being pushed outside of your comfort zone makes you grow. I always hoped I would be able write a book one day. Now I have over 30 books published. I couldn’t have done it without God. Writing has made me tune into him more and rely on him and follow him more closely.

rem:  I agree, well written Christian Fiction draws us closer to Father and to the Truth. And yes, I also believe Father called me to write. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?  

CELESTA:  I’ll stop reading a book if I don’t care about any of the people in it or if I can’t see it. Sometimes when I’m reading an indie book the description is so sparse or confusing that I have trouble seeing the story.

rem:  Yeah, I tend to go overboard with description… LOL  Which is more important: plot or characters?

CELESTA:  Honestly it’s characters. My favorite genre is sci fi so I love plot and action! But the reality is that I’ll read a good sweet romance if the characters are great and I’ll love it but I’ll drop a sci fi book if I don’t care about the people in it.

rem:  Isn’t that true in life, too, though? If we don’t care about the person we are less vested in what happens to them? What would you do if you weren’t writing?

CELESTA:  If I wasn’t writing I’m pretty sure I would feel way more miserable like I did for the first ten years of my working life – being a round block trying to fit into a square hole. I used to be a schoolteacher.

rem:  Oh how well I know the round block in a square hole syndrome!!  Too many years! And I’ve never been happier with what I’m doing than with my writing! What are you reading right now?

CELESTA:  I’m studying scripts right now because I’m going to write for TV one day. Also, I’m reading, Save the Cat – a book on writing screenplays. I feel like I’m learning a lot about story structure.

rem:  How fun is that! I mentioned I’m an actress, ya’d think I’d want to write scirpts but nope, no interest in that at all! LOL  What do you munch on while you write?

CELESTA:  Nothing. I need to focus and have trouble doing two things at once. I’m one of those people who can’t chew gum and walk J

rem:  LOL  I don’t listen to music (or nothing) at all when I’m writing for the same reason – too distracting. (I do have to eat though, blood sugar… ) Tell us a little about your writing journey.

CELESTA:  I wanted to be a writer since I was twelve years old. The summer when I was sixteen I really tried to write. But I found is SO difficult that I basically gave up on it as a career goal. Then when I was 32 God closed every other door to me so that I was forced to really consider doing this writing thing that I knew he wanted me to do all along.

rem:  Isn’t it “funny” how Father narrows our path like that? What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

CELESTA:  I write in my office. My office is the walk-in closet in my bedroom. My routine is that I wake up in the morning by 6am, sometimes earlier. I do some Bible memorization then I start in on my writing. I do most of my writing in the morning before 8am.

rem:  Yikes! And kudos to you, ya morning person you! LOL  What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

CELESTA:  The constant struggle is battling the enemy’s never-ending barrage of lies. I can’t do it. No one will read my stories anyway. What I do doesn’t matter. No one cares what I do. My stories aren’t any good. I’m not a real writer. I have 20 sticky notes up on the wall in my office. Everyday before I start my writing I read these things out loud to myself. On the sticky notes are Bible verses and other things I believe that God wants me to remember. I also sometimes listen to Christian music to drive away the paralyzing negative thoughts.

rem:  And he’ll do whatever he can to stop us from fulfilling Father’s will and plan for us, won’t he? You keep your focus on Father and His Word and the enemy (and his lies) can’t touch you! Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

CELESTA: Making up stories in my head is the easiest part for me. It’s the getting them down AND the perfecting them parts that are hard work.

rem:  Right. I’ve had stories in my head always! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

CELESTA:  Spinning nothing into stories that can light the way to a different world.

rem:  Beautifully said, Celesta. What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

CELESTA:  The hardest part about publishing was learning how to do it and publishing my first story. Now the actual publishing of the stories is easy for me. Once you learn how to format them the right way for the different places then it’s easy.

rem:  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

CELESTA:

  1. Write what you love.
  2. Just write anything (you can always fix it later).
  3. Do what only you can do – tell the story that only you can tell. rem: love this one!

 

  1. Don’t Compare – Comparing is a trap that makes you lose! à If you think you’re better -that’s pride. If you think you’re worse you’ll just feel bad. Your journey might not be the same as other people. Success is to obey God.
  2. Don’t listen to the voices that tell you that you can’t do it.
  3. Don’t give up. If you don’t give up you will succeed, eventually.

 

 

rem:  You write a variety of stories—sci fi / fantasy, kids stories, inspiration, and a devotional—where do you get your greatest ideas for writing? (And how do you keep up?)

CELESTA:  I haven’t written a devotional. I have written a marriage book, though. After 20 years of marriage and walking a journey from a horrible marriage to a beautiful, fulfilling, God-honoring marriage I feel I have a lot to share on the topic J

 

I get ideas from life, TV, movies, books, dreams and after that I just make random stuff up. I never really know which ideas are the greatest until I start writing them down or sometimes when I hear others respond to the story. As for keeping up I’m still figuring that out. I feel like I’m juggling and I drop the balls sometimes.

 

rem:  Oops, thought it was a devotional!   :-O  What a wonderful testimony, and even more wonderful of you to share what you’ve learned. You’ve co-authored several books with your daughters. How do you balance that and who does what?

CELESTA:  When I write with my daughters I sit at my computer and write while they shout ideas and phrases at me that I incorporate into the story. In our story there is one character that represents each of them so that character usually speaks with my daughters’ exact words.

rem:  Sounds like a fun set up. I’m hoping to collaborate with my granddaughter – she’s eleven. How do you choose your characters’ names?

CELESTA:  To choose characters names I sometimes get help from Facebook friends. I describe the character and ask for help naming them. People tend to like that and I really appreciate their input. Sometimes, when I’m in a rush, I just name them the first name that comes to mind. When I do that, though, half the time I end up changing it because the name doesn’t end up suiting them.

rem:  I’ve done both but my main characters introduce themselves to me so their name is “predetermined.” Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

CELESTA:  Never. About half of the time I have setting, main characters, problem and the resolution to the problem. But these latest two books I started writing with nothing at all and just pantsed it. (Wrote it flying by the seat of my pants.)

 

rem:  Ya, 100% Pantzer here! Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

CELESTA:  My current project is THE DREAMERS. It is a sequel to WHISPERS OF A FADED DREAMER – which is currently free on Amazon!

 

http://viewbook.at/Faded_Dreamer

 

rem:  What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

CELESTA:  I like this book because it shows that God can rescue any situation, no matter how bad it is, if we turn to him.

rem:  I think that’s the saddest thing ever, for someone to feel God cannot reach into their circumstance and redeem it and them for His glory. Talk about lies of the enemy!  😥  Tell us about why you wrote this book.

CELESTA:  I just started typing and that’s what came out.

rem:  Pretty much my modus operandi. Please give us the first page of the book.

CELESTA:  Okay, how about I give you the first page of the first book in the series. Giving you the first page of the second book would be a major spoiler J

 

This is the story of a faded dreamer for that is what I am.

I was sitting on a large, flat rock on the sandy beach. With the city behind me, I looked out over the calm blue water as the sun shone down on me. But the warmth of the sun and the gentle breeze didn’t touch my soul. I was alone. The horror was fading but tears filled my eyes again. I’d lost everything. I wouldn’t be able to help anyone, ever again. Tears spilled out and coursed down my cheeks. I let myself cry. There was no reason to try to be brave anymore.

“Now, who will dream my dreams with me?” I whispered.

 

***

 

“Cara Pierce, you know I don’t like you helping all the guys all the time.” Dennis stood too close to me in the school hallway. He towered over me, regarding me with his serious blue eyes. He was so sincere but…really? Scolding me and calling me by my full name?

Taking in his lanky features and fair hair, I took a small step back and tried for a smile. “I help the girls too.” I didn’t like where this conversation was going…again.

“It’s just…I’m your boyfriend. I want you talking to me, spending time with me.”

“I know…but you’re not in my Math class. My teacher likes that I help the other students understand how to do the assignments.”

“That’s not the point. I’m a guy. I know what guys are like. You’re a pretty, blue-eyed red-head. I know what they’re thinking. You’re sending the wrong signals, Cara. I don’t like you flirting with other guys.”

I looked at him incredulously. “Dennis…it’s not flirting – at all.”

He had been talking so loudly that people were staring at us. Dennis glanced down at his watch. “Gotta go. The bell’s about to ring.” He turned away from me and walked quickly down the hall.

Reluctantly, I entered the brightly lit classroom. I took my usual place, at a desk beside Jason, someone who appreciated my help. But it really wasn’t flirting.

Our elderly Math teacher went up to the front and droned on for a while about the topic of the day. I tried to pay attention to the examples that he put up on the board. Opening my binder and pulling out a pen, I copied down the problems and their solutions. I wondered if I should feel angry at what Dennis had said or if I should feel guilty. But the truth was that I felt bad about it already and I wondered how I would be able to make things up to him. I’d have to make sure I wasn’t sending the wrong signals. I wasn’t trying to send the wrong signals. Were boys really so complicated? I sighed. Dennis was such a good guy. I really loved him. But I was just never able to do good enough – even when I was really trying. There was an ache in my heart again. It seemed like I’d been struggling with that for a long time. I blinked and tried to refocus on the examples. It would never do to cry in class.

Finally the teacher stopped talking and wrote down which questions we needed to do from the textbook. After re-explaining how to do these problems to Jason, I started on the questions myself.

“How about a little help over here, Angel?” a guy called from across the room.

 

rem:  Um, okay, I’m hooked! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

CELESTA:  I hope they see truth in my books and feel hope.

rem:  And that’s what the life of a believer is all about, isn’t it? Anything you’d like to add?

CELESTA:  If you have kids you might also like to check out these interactive Bible story apps for iPad that my husband and I have made. http://visionsencoded.com/interactive-bible-stories/

 

rem:  Wonderful! I’ll check that out for my grandgirls. Celesta, thank you so much for chatting with us on my blog today!  It has been my pleasure to have you here!

 

rem:  And where can we find you online?

CELESTA:

http://viewauthor.at/Celesta

http://celestathiessen.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCelesta/

https://www.amazon.com/Celesta-Thiessen/e/B0073JA7DQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

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#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Celesta Thiessen, Whispers of a Faded Dream, Amber Rain, Dragon and Warrior, Salt Eden, Nightcat, Please Fix My Marriage

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Please give a big welcome to SHARON SROCK.

 

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“Sometimes a woman needs another woman to lean on, to draw strength from, to share her secrets with. Someone who knows the dark moments of her past and loves her anyway. Someone to tell her the truth, even when it stings. Someone to pray for her. Someone to remind her that God still loves her. Those are the stories I tell. Ordinary women, extraordinary faith.”
rem:  Thank you, Sharon for being on my blog this week. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

SHARON:  I was born in California, but I’ve lived all over.  It wasn’t until I was 14 that we moved to Tecumseh, OK. I’ve been in that area ever since.

rem:  I’ve bounced around a lot, too. Tell us three things about yourself.

SHARON:  Purple is my favorite color. I despise reality TV. I like to mow the grass

rem:  Ditto to all three! If you could have any super power what would it be?

SHARON:  Teleportation

rem:  Now that would come in handy! Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

SHARON:  Coffee, sweet, chocolate

rem:  Chocolate is ALWAYS good! Star Trek or Star Wars?

SHARON:  Star Trek!! Are you kidding? I have Star Trek uniforms in my closet.

rem:  A true Trekkie! Vacation: beach or mountains?

SHARON:  Beach. I was born close to the water and I think it calls to me (smile)

rem:  What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?

SHARON:  Consistency. I think it’s wonderful when you can look at a person and know that they are the same in or out of your presence. This is a person you can trust.

rem:  Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

SHARON:  Other than the Bible, I’d say TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD. I’ve probably read it a dozen times.

rem:  Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

SHARON:  Spock from Star Trek. He was such a complex character but he had a very human heart.

rem:  There’s that Trekkie again! What would you do if you weren’t writing?

SHARON:  Reading a whole lot more than I get to since I started writing!

rem:  I’m actually reading more since I started writing! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

SHARON:  I’ve had an easy journey compared to a lot of stories I’ve heard. I’ve only been writing for publication for six years. God has been good to me since I decided to obey His call in my life.

rem:  Funny how He works that out! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

SHARON:  I still work full time so I write in whatever bits and snatches of time I can carve from my day. Breaks at work, lunch time. An hour in the evening…computer open in my lap on a road trip. It’s all fair game.

rem:  I can’t fathom working full time (I’m on Disability) and writing, too! What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

SHARON:  That first blank page of a new story is a killer. I just start writing and then I edit it until it says what I meant for it to say. I can’t go much further until that first page makes sense.

rem:  Not so different for me, I write, I edit, I write, I edit…til it’s done. Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

SHARON:  I think I like the editing. At that point I can finally print it out and have the results of the months of effort in my hands. It’s a tangible reward. The fact that I’m going to mark it up with a red pen doesn’t bother me at all.

rem:  I love holding the results of months of effort in my hands! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

SHARON:  Having my work enjoyed by others. There is no greater blessing for me as a writer than to get a note from a reader, or a review, that says “This story touched me. Or “This story made me think.”

rem:  Or, as I heard last Sunday, “You’re such a great story teller.” What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

SHARON:  When I was writing for a traditional publisher it was the waiting…endless waiting! Submit a story…wait six months. Submit your edits…wait some more. Send off the finished book and wait nine to ten months for it to release. I’m not a good waiter!!!  Since I went indie, things are so much easier. The steps are all still there, but the months have been replace by days!

rem:  Another ditto—I do not wait nicely… What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

SHARON:  Things a new writer must do: Find a good critique partner or group. Join a good writing group. WRITE

Things a new writer shouldn’t do: Be impatient (And man am I preaching to the choir!) Think you can edit your own story…you can’t! Listen to the voices of the nay sayers. This is your dream, not theirs. You CAN do this!

rem:  I like that, “[don’t] listen to the voices of the nay sayers.” I don’t think I’ve had anyone say that before, but it’s so true. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

SHARON:  I tend to wake up with story ideas in my head and voices whispering in my ears. I usually know the beginning and the end when I start. I get to fill in the middle.

rem:  Ditto, one mo’ ‘gin. Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

SHARON:  CALLIE. She was the first, the fulfillment of a dream.

rem:  There is something special about that first book baby, isn’t there? Which character in the story is most like/least like you?

SHARON:  I’d have to say Callie. I knew so little when I started writing. I’d heard that you write what you know. Callie resembles me a lot in physical, work, and relationships. She is also the least like me. She out grew me very quickly and turned into this wise and patient woman. I invented her and now she is who I want to be when I grow up.

 

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rem:  Funny thing, I’ve a character named Callie, too; I’ll read yours if you read mine! Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

SHARON:  I’m starting a new series, Tentatively called SISTERS BY DESIGN. I hope to release the first book before Christmas this year.

rem:  Oh! I love that series title! Please don’t change it… What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

SHARON:  That God loves us despite our fears, our past, our scars. ORDINARY WOMEN, EXTRAORDINARY FAITH.

rem:  Not terribly different to mine, now I think about it! Thanks for joining us today, Sharon. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!

 

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http://www.facebook.com/SharonSrock#!/SharonSrock

https://twitter.com/#!/SharonSrock

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6448789.Sharon_Srock

 

#sharonsrock, #authorinterview, #ordinarywomenextraordinaryfaith, #callie, #terri, #pam, # samantha

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Please give a big welcome to CECELIA DOWDY.

 

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rem:  Thank you, Cecelia for being on my blog this week. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

CECELIA:  I was raised in Aberdeen, Maryland on a military base. Afterwards, I lived in the town of North East, Maryland. Currently, I live in Greenbelt, Maryland.

rem:  I started on a military base too. Moved around a lot after that. Tell us three things about yourself.

CECELIA:  I love desserts! I love baking (when I have the time)! I love to read!

 

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rem:  Must be why you have a “Bakery Romance Series!” What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? What’s your favorite cookie?

CECELIA:  Cookies and cream. Chocolate chip (made with milk chocolate chips)

rem:  I see a theme here… If you could have any super power what would it be?

CECELIA:  I would be a healer. If I touched an injury or a disabled person, he/she would be healed!

rem:  What a wonderful power to have! Which Muppet do you most resemble? Why?

CECELIA:  Funny you should ask me this question! I can’t really compare myself to the Muppets, but, I do admire Jim Henson, their creator. He’s an alumnae of my alma mater, University of Maryland. Years ago, when they erected a statue of him at UMD, I went to see it. He traveled around Europe, learned as much as he could about puppeteering. Reminds me of when I used to travel around to conferences, soaking up as much knowledge as I could about writing.

rem:  So co-alumnae! Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

CECELIA:  Coffee with cinnamon, honey and half and half!

rem:  I, too, love cinnamon in my coffee, brew it right in. Not sweet, though. Kids or pets? Names and ages?

CECELIA:  I’d love to have a pet, but, no time! I have one child, Christopher Toomer Junior (CJ). Ten years old.

rem:  Yes, yes they (pets) are, demanding and time-consuming. Superman or Batman?

CECELIA:  Batman!

rem:  Vacation: beach or mountains?

CECELIA:  Beach!

rem:  What is your most treasured possession?

CECELIA:  Honestly? I don’t know! Off the top of my head, I can’t really think of a treasured possession.

rem:  What is your greatest regret?

CECELIA:  Sometimes I wish we’d had more children. But, having one is nice. We can dote on our child!

rem:  I had always thought I’d be older and married longer before I had children, but if I had waited, they wouldn’t be the people they are; so thankful for who Father placed in my care. What is your favourite quotation and why?

CECELIA:  I don’t have one.

rem:  What do you do as a hobby?

CECELIA:  Baking, reading, watching movies.

rem:  I reckon that was a silly question, eh?  LOL  Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

CECELIA:  The Bible.

rem:  Always a good Book to read, always new. Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?

CECELIA:  Christian fiction is my favorite genre. Too many authors to mention. I love so many of them!

rem:  Same here, to both. Which is more important: plot or characters?

CECELIA:  Characters. If you have a good intense plot, it doesn’t matter if you don’t care about the people.

rem:  Yes, the story doesn’t really matter if you don’t connect with the people. What would you do if you weren’t writing?

CECELIA:  I’d like to become a professional baker if I could not be a writer.

rem:  Imagine that! wink wink Tell us a little about your writing journey.

CECELIA:  I’ve been writing for several years. I joined Romance Writers of America and attended their conferences. I learned a lot about the craft and the industry.

rem:  Writers conferences are invaluable, in so many ways. Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

CECELIA:  I have an office in my house.

rem:  What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

CECELIA:  Rejection. It gets easier as time goes on. Since I’m indie now, I don’t have to worry about rejection as much.

rem:  That’s a common fear for all of us, I think. Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

CECELIA:  Creating. There’s just something soothing and therapeutic about writing a story without having to worry about editing and such.

rem:  I do love when the muse is pouring forth! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

CECELIA:  I love creating stories and hearing that others have enjoyed my novels.

rem:  Not much compares to readers gushing over what we’ve written! What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

CECELIA:  Rejection. Easiest? Can’t really think of anything easy? LOL!

rem:  You state on your website that, “I answer questions about writing, and seeking publication on my blog.” What is one key piece of advice you would offer?

CECELIA:  Get involved in a national writers group like RWA or ACFW. Go to some writers conferences to learn the ropes of writing and the industry.

rem:  I wholeheartedly agree! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer?

CECELIA:  Writers conferences, get a good critique group/partner or an editor, read as many books in your genre as you can.

rem:  Tell us about your FanFiction. What is it and why do you write it?

CECELIA:  Actually, it was my sister who encouraged me to do that! She told me about fan fiction and that if I wrote it, I might get folks who liked my fan fiction to come and read my novels! It hasn’t quite worked out that way, though! LOL! Titanic is my all-time favorite movie and I wrote a fan fic where Jack Dawson lives. It’s always bothered me that he died at the end. It was like, the romance was not completed.

rem:  Kudos to your sister! Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

CECELIA:  I’m not sure? Ideas just come to me at different times.

rem:  I can relate to that. Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

CECELIA:   No, not really.

rem:  Which character in the story is most like/least like you?

CECELIA:  Well, I share my love of baking with both characters, but, other than that, neither of my characters are like me. I guess both of them are least like me?

rem:  LOL Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

CECELIA:  Shades of Chocolate:

Toni enjoys making chocolate treats in her bakery. Haunted by her abusive past, she struggles with her faith in God. Her world changes when a handsome stranger arrives, reminiscing about his childhood. Jason Matthews misses his days of working in his family’s pastry shop. Estranged from his father, he longs to rediscover the joy and comfort from baking. When Toni’s life is threatened, Jason realizes how deeply he cares for her. Can Toni and Jason overcome their pasts and learn to trust one another?

rem:  Can’t wait to read it! (I do love chocolate… ) What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

CECELIA:  Have faith in God. No matter what you’re going through, pray about it, have faith that God will see you through your troubles.

rem:  Absolutely, I love to see that in the stories I read. Thanks for joining us today, Cecelia. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!

 

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/cdnovelist

Facebook: http://bit.ly/1Tg7LMh

Amazon link for Shades of Chocolate:http://amzn.to/1Vf9K6i

Amazon link for my Author Page:http://amzn.to/1MGr6Yh

 

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#ceceliadowdy, #authorinterview, #shadesofchocolate, #bakeryromanceseries, #raspberrykissed, #sweetdreams, #lemonpoundcakerecipe

 

 

OLD FASHIONED LEMON POUND CAKE

1 ½ cups butter (3 sticks)
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup evaporated milk

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan. Beat butter in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add sugar ½ cup at a time, creaming well after each addition. Stir in vanilla, lemon extract, juice and rind. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir thoroughly after each addition. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 70 to 80 minutes. If cake is not done after 70-80 minutes, bake longer, until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes; remove from pan.

GLAZE:
Sift one cup of confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Squeeze juice of one lemon into a separate bowl. Remove seeds from the lemon juice. Mix lemon juice with confectioners’ sugar and drizzle over cooled cake.

 

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Please give a big welcome to—

me

rem

 

 

rem:  Thank you, Robin for being on my blog this week.

Robin: Thank you. I’m happy to be here.

rem: Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

Robin: About me. I’m eclectic, I’m a singer and actress and artist, as well as a writer. I have three grown children and two precious grand girls. I was born at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, we moved around a lot—I went from coast to coast and back again before I was even born!—lived sixteen years in Colorado, and now live in the upstate of South Carolina. I’ve been here for 28 years.

rem: Tell us three things about yourself.

Robin: 1) I love all things British and Irish, and I do a pretty good British and Irish accent; my favourite thing to say in accent, is, “I’m born in Mississippi.” 2) I have a twisted sense of humour. But I’m really fun to be with! 3) I had knee replacement seven weeks ago and I couldn’t be more satisfied or excited! (I’ve needed it since, well, forever really.)

 

rem: What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? What’s your favorite cookie?

Robin: Ice cream: chocolate mint, close second, cinnamon swirl. Cookie: snicker doodle, close second, mint chocolate chip.

rem: If you could have any super power what would it be?

Robin: The way Samantha Stevens could speed herself up. I always have so much to do and not enough time to do it. There are two reasons for this: not the best at time management but also I get really tired really easily. (which is changing since my surgery!)

rem: Which Muppet do you most resemble? Why?

Robin: Big Bird? ‘cause,  you know, Robin, bird…  (I’m kind of out of the Muppet loop these days)

rem: Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

Robin: Yes. I drink coffee in the mornings, then tea the rest of the time (my blood type is A-tea-positive…..) Definitely not sweetened, coffee or tea. And coffee is cinnamon hazelnut, tea is Pekoe and green tea, no flavors.

rem: Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer? What are the names of your pets?

Robin: I think I’m part cat. I like dogs okay, but I’ a cat lover. They are, Shadow (the Mama), Trinity Juniper Star, Jasper Jupiter Mars, Jacob Jeremiah, and Princess Penelope Primrose.

 

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rem: Superman or Batman?

Robin: Batman. Hello? Robin here….. #sorryhadto

rem: Vacation: beach or mountains?

Robin: Give me my mountains. #rockymountainhigh

rem: What is your most treasured possession?

Robin: Of things it would be my birthstone ring. It’s a pink amethyst, which is a rare color variation. My mother’s father bought it in 1919, forty years before I was born.

rem: What is your greatest fear?

Robin: Oddly enough, my fear used to be success not failure. Failure I knew, success terrified me.

rem: What is your greatest regret?

Robin: Being afraid of success for so many years.

rem: What is your favourite quotation and why?

Robin: There are so many that I identify with but given my aforementioned fear of success, this one speaks to me deeply: “What if I fail? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?” attributed to Erin Hanson (see greatest fear and regret)

 

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                                                                                                                                             image found on Pinterest

rem: What do you do as a hobby?

Robin: Does research count? LOL When I’m not writing or reading, I like to paint and draw, I love to be outdoors and go for long walks. (which I’ll be able to do without pain as recovery from surgery progresses!) I also love to cook and bake.

rem: What do you most value in a friend? What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?

Robin: Genuineness. Don’t play games with me, be real. Qualities that make a man or woman are integrity, honesty, compassion. Oh, and a sense of humour!

rem: When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

Robin: The story has to be real, plausible even fantasy and sci fi. And it has to be well told.

rem: Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

Robin: Ummmm…. let me get back to you on that one…. I read few more than once.

rem: Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Robin: Too cliché to say Robin Hood?

rem: If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?

Robin: Too cliché to say Maid Marian?

rem: Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?

Robin: Favorite genre, easy, historical fiction, Biblical fiction in particular. Favorite authors include Tessa Afshar, Marian Merritt, Kristen Heitzmann, Valerie Comer, newcomer Connilyn Cossette—it’s a long list…

rem: Which is more important: plot or characters?

Robin: Yes. According to DiAnn Mills, “They are inseparable.” (from my interview with her on 28 January) The way I see it, one feeds the other.

 

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rem: What would you do if you weren’t writing?

Robin: Wishing I was. I’ve my BFA in Interior Design and I love doing it. But writing fits me like nothing ever has.

 

rem: Tell us a little about your writing journey.

Robin: I started writing in 1995 as a self-prescribed therapy; I was going through some pretty intense self-examination at the time, going to counseling and on anti-depressant. The writing “came” to me, naturally, and turned into something so much more. I started with my story (which will never see publication) and over the years, have written dozens of poems. In July of 2008, the opening of Tessa, my debut novel, came to me. I made a bit of a start, then lost a chunk (digital malfunction) and I abandoned it. I also went back to school, started with the 2009 spring semester, and that didn’t leave much time for writing (I was also diagnosed with RA during this time.) After graduation, and the anticipated illustrious career in Interior Design did not manifest, I set back to my writing; I got serious about it somewhere around September of that year, and by end of January 2014, Tessa was complete. The rest, as they say, is history.

rem: What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

Robin: Routine, not so much. Although, the muse seems strongest in the afternoon and evening. (In fact, I just set myself an alarm for 5:00—I feed the fur babies at about 5:30 and was so into writing I missed it. Looked up and it was after six! Of course, this also means my supper is later rather than earlier…)

In preparation for surgery, I had to rearrange my living room (technically, two wonderful friend did this for me, and wouldn’t even let me help!) I now have a niche with my writing accoutrements at hand—I “nest” as I write and need everything within easy reach—and it works very well for me. Almost officey looking even.

 

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rem: What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

Robin: Discipline? Focus? Staying off of Facebook….  (yeeps) Once I get into my storyline, at whatever point that might be, it’s pretty golden, and words flow. It’s just that “jump” over that hurdle; I think all writers struggle with this at one time or another.

rem: Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

Robin: Yes. Like plot and character, they are, for me, inseparable. There is the school of thought that you write the first draft without so much as glancing back over it at all, at all. I can’t do that, I need to review, see where I’ve been to get the feel for where it’s going. And yes, I edit as I go. Same principle.

rem: What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Robin: The stories. As a plantzer  I don’t know [most of] the story until I write it. I know the general arc, and where the story needs to go to resolution, but how it gets there—no clue until the characters tell me!

 

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rem: What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

Robin: The hardest? I had no clue what I was doing. The easiest? I had a friend who did!

rem: What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

Robin: DO: 1) Keep writing. 2) Network. Get involved in writing communities, both live and online. Be involved in the writing journey of other writers. 3) Never give up. 4) Don’t compare yourself – your writing or your journey – to another writer. What works, or fits, for one will and necessarily be the best plan for you. 5) One more nugget, which most writers accept as par for the course. Read. Read. And read some more. I have read some that were not what I would have otherwise read, and found that I quite enjoyed them. Like any other field, we are ever learning and growing, and honing our craft. (okay that was more than three… )
DON’T: 1) Ever give up. 2) Forego the value of editing! Or professioinal cover design. No one person can do it all. As an artist, it was hard to let go of my concept for my cover, but in the end I’m very happy with my covers! (designed by Victorine Lieske, by the way) 3) (don’t) take criticism personally. A good critique will have issues that may or may not hurt our feelings, but to produce the best we can produce, we must have more than our own eyes on our work.

rem: Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

Robin: Yes. Anywhere and everywhere. The most random thing can trigger a new story, a name, a concept…

rem: What do you like most about being a writer?
Robin: The creative process, which really isn’t much of a process at all. It’s amorphic, fluid, ever changing. While I know I need the [ahem] discipline, as a creative, this flexibility serves me well. I really love being able to tell a story that others enjoy reading. And as I’ve cast my networking net, I am thriving on the community of writers I am now part of!
rem: Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

Robin: Third book in, and I could no more pick a favorite than I could choose a favorite between my children!

rem: Which character in the story is most like/least like you?

Robin: Cassie. She didn’t know her own amazing talent and ability. She didn’t loathe herself as I did, but neither did she know her worth, or really who she was; she felt invisible, and I very much relate to that.

rem: Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

Robin: Tessa, Clara Bess, and Cissy are all part of the unsavory heritage series. When I wrote Tessa, I had no idea of a sequel, let alone a series. Father God, however, had a plan. Cissy is the culmination of the generational story. It is where the “unsavory” begins, and loops back and forth between the 1860’s and current day; it is also the resolution of the unsavory heritage.

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rem: Why do you write Christian fiction?
Robin
: For me it’s an opportunity to express my faith without being “preachy.” There’s a time and place for traditional witnessing, but to me the greater value and effect is being real in what I believe and living my life accordingly; indeed, this opens the door for direct ministry. For me to be able to write the way I write – which I cannot market as Christian Fiction because of a few “no-no” words – and yet I am a Christian and I am an author, so my faith is in every word I write (yes, even “those” words) and my story conveys what I believe. In the grander scheme, Christian fiction is a platform that readers hold in their hands, and they may confront a Truth they never realized or understood before. If something I write gives a reader pause, plants a seed, or waters a seed planted, then my story is a success.
rem: What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

Robin: Know who you are, and why you were created. Identity is from Father God, and He will bring us to our purpose.

rem: How do you hope your readers react to your stories?
Robin
: Like any other author, I hope readers fall in love with my characters. I hope they find some truth, something that speaks to them in the words I write. I hope some facet of my story rings true with my readers.

 

rem:  Thanks for joining us today, Robin. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!

 

#robinemason, #authorinterview, #interivewselfie, #unsavoryheritageseries, #tessa, #larabess, #cissy

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Author Interview – HARRIET MICHAEL

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WRITING PROMPTS & THOUGHTS & IDEAS (oh my)

INTERVIEW BLITZ

 

Harriet is a Christian writer and speaker. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, magazines, anthologies, and devotionals including, Focus on the Family, The Upper Room, The Secret Place, David C Cook Company, Lifeway, Celebrate Life, and many others. She has written two e-books about prayer,

When the Psalmist penned the verse quoted at the top of my homepage, he penned one of the most beautiful verses in scripture. The verse is addressed to “all who fear God”. They are the ones who will be able to truly appreciate what God has done for a soul, because they have a story too – God has done something for their soul too. This blog is my story of what God has done for my soul and like the Psalmist, I invite all who fear God to come and hear (or in this case, read) what God has done for my soul.

 

rem: Welcome Harriet! So glad to have you on my blog. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

HARRIET: I was born in the jungles of Africa. Really. My parents served as missionaries in the country of Nigeria and the year I was born, they happened to be relieving in the very remote jungle village of Joinkrama. A year after my birth, they transferred to a less remote area for language school and eventually to the city of Ogbomoso. All of my childhood memories are from Ogbomoso, but we did visit Joinkrama once, so I have some memory of it. There really were monkeys swinging in the trees and elephants walking around in Joinkrama. I tasted elephant meat when we visited. One had been killed by a villager, so of course there was plenty of meat to share. J

My parents moved back to the US during the Nigerian- Biafran War. I lived my high school days in Bluefield, WV. After marrying, almost 37 years ago, my husband and I moved to Louisville, KY and still live here today.

rem: Not just to be cliché, but I’d love to visit Africa someday! Tell us three things about yourself.

HARRIET:

  • I have four grown children, three sons and a daughter.
  • I have only one grandchild (my daughter’s child). But one of my sons and his wife are in the process of adopting, so I will soon have two grandchildren.
  • Aside from writing, I work part time as a substitute teacher.

rem: Nothing like them grandbabies is there! What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

HARRIET: Cotton Candy. I have a serious sweet tooth.

rem: I’d say so! If you could have any super power what would it be?

HARRIET: I’d like to beam myself places, like the people on Star Trek could. Remember that? I was a big Star Trek fan as a teen and always thought it would be nice to be able to be beamed where you want to go, instead of having to spend long hours traveling.

rem: I know right! Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

HARRIET: Diet Coke. Haha! But I like coffee and tea too, though I do not consume them often. But when I do, they are always sweetened.

rem: Haha! Ya got me! Vacation: beach or mountains?

HARRIET: Beach, for sure! I love the beach. My family went there every summer when I was a teenager. I don’t get to go as often now as I would like.

rem: I don’t guess so from Kentucky! If you come visit me, we’ll scoot right on over though! What is your favorite quotation and why?

HARRIET: “I believe in God as I believe the sun has risen –not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.” –C.S. Lewis

rem: That’s beautiful What do you do as a hobby?

HARRIET: I love to garden, though I don’t have a real green thumb. Plants don’t always grow for me, but I sure do enjoy digging in the dirt and hoping they will grow. I also enjoy pencil drawing and do that on occasion.

rem: Oh! We are kindred spirit—digging in the dirt; I never outgrew that! And I love to draw, too. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

HARRIET: I don’t like sad or terrifying stories. I know they sell but personally I don’t care for them. To quote my sister when she was talking about movies once, “I don’t pay to be made sad or scared. I can feel those ways all on my own without paying anything.”

rem: Good point. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

HARRIET: John Ridd of Lorna Doone. Actually, Lorna Doone is my all-time favorite fiction book too.

rem: Sad to say, if I ever read it, I don’t remember it… Which is more important: plot or characters?

HARRIET: Characters, for sure. If the characters are real to me, I enjoy the book, even if the plot is not particularly riveting.

rem: What would you do if you weren’t writing?

HARRIET: I only started writing a few years ago. I suppose if I were not writing now, I’d do much the same as I used to do—busy myself with hobbies, part time work, and being a wife, mother, and grandmother. But I am so glad God gave me the gift of writing and opened the doors to it. I love it so much. I feel like a kid who loves to play with the gift her Father gave her. I think I finally know what I want to be when I grow up.

rem: I feel the same way! Only ‘cept I’m not growing up! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

HARRIET: Writing is a new work God is doing in my old age. It’s a huge blessing to me and I can only hope it will bless others along the way too. I thank Him daily for opening these doors, even though as is often the case, it was born out of a difficult and even dark time in my life. Through these difficult days, I longed to understand prayer better, searched the scriptures for anything about prayer, and journaled. At the end of four years, I had a manuscript written.

 

Then in 2009, I attended a writer’s conference, hoping to learn how to get my manuscript published. I came home thinking that goal was unachievable. I had learned three things: 1) I knew very little about the publishing world, even after the conference, 2) I have editing issues. 3) I didn’t have a platform.

 

Writing still intrigued me. Actually, it did more than that; it pulled like a magnet. I had words I wanted to share and had spent the previous four years honing my ability to put them down on paper. (Learning to write on a computer came later. My 60,000+ word manuscript and my first few articles and devotions were all hand-written and transcribed onto a computer.)

 

My wheels started turning. If I could start getting small pieces published, then I would be scratching that writing itch while building a platform too. A platform, for those of you who are not writers, was defined to me as the number of people who would read something simply because it was written by you. For me at the time that number was a big zero. Well, my mom and dad would probably read it, so maybe that number was more like two. J

 

So, I shared my thoughts with my daughter, shortly after returning from the writer’s conference. I sheepishly told her about the workshop on freelancing small pieces and confessed my desire to try it. But who did I think I was fooling? I was not a writer.

 

My daughter looked up from her orange juice and said, “You know mom, the average American reader only reads at a sixth grade level.”

 

I burst out laughing and replied, “I can write at that level!”

 

And I sat down immediately and began transcribing a devotion I had hand-written in my journal onto my computer to send to The Upper Room. That devotion, titled, “The Day of Small Things” based on Zechariah 4:10, became the first piece I ever submitted. It was not the first piece I ever had published, because it takes a long time from submission to publication with some devotional magazines. It was published a year and a half later in the February, 2011 issue of The Upper Room.

 

Today I have well over a hundred published credits—devotions, articles, non-fiction short stories, online newsletters and magazines, and others.

 

rem: What an amazing and wonderful journey. What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy

HARRIET: I write anywhere and everywhere. I have a writing desk in my bedroom that faces a window. This is my favorite place to write, but sometimes I take my computer downstairs to the kitchen and sit at the table, and other times, I write while I am at work, during the period that the teacher I am subbing for would be planning. I never substitute on Mondays and set that day aside for writing, though sometimes life interferes.

rem: What makes you struggle as a writer? How do you handle it?

HARRIET: So far, I have not suffered writer’s block. Instead I have too many things rolling around in my head that I want to get down in written form. So, more than anything, I struggle with not having enough time to get it all done. How do I handle this? I just plow ahead and keep writing every chance I find.

rem: Me too, never enough time, translated, too much to do. Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

HARRIET: Creating, definitely! I actually have editing issues (trouble with spelling and punctuation). I benefit greatly from an outside editor. I have found that my strength is content and publishers often like what I have to say and send me contracts but then their editors go back over the piece—thank goodness!

rem: Even editing inclined people benefit from having their work edited. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

HARRIET: Writing feels like playing to me. I think it’s my first language. I write better than I speak. And fiction writing, especially, feels like I’m a little girl again, playing pretend.

rem: Again with the kindred spirit! How incredible to play and get to call it work! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer?

HARRIET:

  • Be persistent
  • Try freelancing some small pieces, especially nonfiction. Having contracts on small pieces is so encouraging. It brings in a little income while it also builds a platform.
  • Network—join groups, attend conferences, get to know other writers.

rem: Numbers one and three, check; number two not so much… Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

HARRIET: Real life. For the most part I am a nonfiction writer and even the few fiction pieces I have written have been fiction based on fact.

rem: Tell us a little about your devotional books.

HARRIET: Among other things, I am a devotional, scripture-based writer. I have had numerous devotions and expository type articles published in magazines—The Upper Room, The Secret Place (Judson Press), Open Windows (Lifeway), SEEK (Standard Publishing), to name a few.

Recently I co-wrote a seasonal devotional book with childhood friend and fellow missionary kid, Shirley Crowder. That book is titled, ‘Glimpses of the Savior”. It contains six weeks of devotions from mid-November- the end of December. Many of the devotions share insights from our childhoods in Africa.

I also have another book coming out very soon from Pix N Pens Publishing. I consider that book, titled “Prayer: It’s Not About You” as my opus. That book took me four years to write and longer than that to get published. It is an in depth look at prayer from a Biblical perspective.

rem: What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

HARRIET: God’s word is the only reliable source for answers to life’s questions. Both of these books, bring the readers back to scripture and helps the reader gain greater insights into what God’s word has to say on certain topics, such as prayer.

rem: If we can point others to Father and His Word, then we have been successful, whatever field we’re in! Thanks for joining us today, Harriet. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!

 

 

 

http://www.whathehasdoneformysoul.blogspot.com/

 

 

#harrietmichael, #writingpromptscrew, #authorinterview, #glimpsesoftheSavior, #theupperroom

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Fiction Aficionado

The power of fiction, the beauty of words, and the God who made us to wield them for His glory.

heartofthehomesite

Christian Homemaker Mommy

A Thousand Finds

The Brain—is wider than the Sky

Together We Survive

"I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back." ―Malala Yousafzai

Margaret Welwood on Writing Children's Books

A children's book writer's journey

Grandma's Treasures

Five precious children--fears, joys, laughter and lessons learned

dragonflydanele

Articles, Interviews, and Book Reviews by Danele Rotharmel the Author of The Time Counselor Chronicles

Kathryn Spurgeon

Author / Speaker

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Writer's Cramps

musings, rants, and updates from author L. S. King

katiescottagebooks

Reflections on Reading

J.L. Mbewe

Adventures that burn on in the heart.

Anonymously Autistic

#ActuallyAutistic - An Aspie obsessed with writing. This site is intend to inspire through sharing stories & experiences. The opinions of the writers are their own. I am just an Autistic woman - NOT a medical professional.

Edwardian Promenade

Your #1 source for Edwardian history!

Redwood's Medical Edge

Medical Fact for your Fiction

Midleton with 1 'd'

East Cork and Irish History, Ancestry and Heritage

The Bean of Life

A Story of Love and Coffee