Interview with Colleen L. Reece

Colleen from Bazaar-1
Lovely Romance Press is so pleased to have the talented writer Colleen L. Reece working with us.
She and Birdie Etchison have teamed up to put together a two novella book, Christmas Calling

What inspired you to write your first book?

Reading Avalon inspirational romances and thinking I could write books like that

 Do you have a specific writing style?
Simple, straightforward, descriptive

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Trusting God changes lives.

Are experiences in most of your books based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Very much. Part of me (and/or others I know) is in every plot and character

 What books have most influenced your life most?
The Bible. Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. The Man Nobody Knows, by Bruce Barton. Novels by Emilie Loring and Grace Livingston Hill.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
God, Author of Creation. Then Julie Reece-DeMarco (niece) and Susan K. Marlow, (we trade editing).

What are your current projects?

Mostly short articles and children’s short stories due to regaining strength after some health issues.     

 If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your writing career?
I wouldn’t wait until I was past forty to get serious about writing. On the other hand, God knew I wasn’t ready until then (lack of self-confidence, etc.)

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Accepting it is never going to be perfect but the best I can do at the time.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
(1) Tying up every loose end in order to play fair with my readers. (2) Making sure solutions to each problem were authentic and believable.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Concentrate on writing for God, not for fame or fortune. Write what He impresses you to write, then turn it over to Him. He knows where it can do the most good. We don’t.

What were the challenges in bringing your writing career it to life?
Darrington, Washington, the small logging town where I was born and raised grew big trees. It did not grow authors. It took a long time for me to learn what an extraordinary God can do with an ordinary logger’s daughter.

What is the funniest thing about you as a writer?
It is funny now, but not when it happened! In 1976 I wanted to write an inspirational romance but was working full time. Unwilling to complete a book that might never sell I decided to write one chapter and submit to Avalon Books. By the time I received a reply (no doubt “thanks, but no thanks”) I’d  have a couple more chapters done and would approach another company.  
Bad idea.  Three days later a letter came. The editor really liked my story. She asked me to please send the rest of the manuscript. Ouch! I had no outline, no character charts, and only a vague plot idea. I’d just blown my chance to get published.
Not true. I finished The Heritage of Nurse O’Hara and Avalon published it in 1977. Ever since, my students have laughed at but learned from my horrible example: Never, ever, approach an editor until you know you can deliver—and soon!       
Colleen L. Reece


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