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Diane Dean White Interview

Diane1What inspired you to write your first book?
I started writing at a young age when I asked for a typewriter in sixth grade.  I pounded away writing stories and poetry on that old black Royal manual. I think it was the best way I could express myself, and keeping private thoughts between myself and my typewriter!

Do you have a specific writing style?
No, I really enjoy using different voices in my stories.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
This is pure fiction romance, and I’m trying to show my main characters can have a good relationship without the pressures of worldly views, and as Christian’s they are tempted with the same desires. Also, that through a prayer life they receive answers.
Are experiences in most of your books based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
They aren’t based on a person, rather an area, a time, events taking place, and yes, I think there are experiences in our lives that come out in our writing, but never what most people guess.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Growing up I loved Heidi; a neighbor and I pretended to live in the Swiss Alps and had slices of bread, cheese and milk to use in our play world. I also enjoyed The Little House series and later Victoria Holt and Eugenia Price were favorite authors.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I don’t have one. I enjoy a variety of authors, but seem to fly solo.
What are your current projects?
Having finished Texting Mr. Right, I’m ready to publish This Side of Heaven, a novel I’ve worked on for two years. Another novella, City Sidewalks will be available before Christmas, and Lilacs in May this spring.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your writing career?
Yes, I would have started earlier…yet, I can’t trade my happy life as a Mom, those were great rewarding years….so I trust the Lord had this all planned out His way.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I rewrite certain parts, and it takes a number of critiques to get things right. I wish I had a full time editor to catch my corny mistakes, but my girl friends who also write, are good critters and proof-readers; so we depend on one another.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
This book was fun, and strictly romance. Most of my books are suspense, with romance and much longer. This is a novella and it was shorter, but a good first experience.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope they enjoy Texting Mr. Right. And please leave a short review on Amazon.
What were the challenges in bringing your writing career to life?
I had a back injury in 2000 and it gradually got worse. I don’t go out a lot because it’s difficult for me and I look forward to my writing room, computer, comfortable chaise lounge and starting my day with prayer, asking God to direct my thoughts. I probably wouldn’t have spent as much time on my craft if I wasn’t confined to the house fourteen-years ago.
What is the funniest thing about you as a writer?
I find it fun to critique other writers work as a relaxation time. Since they write in other genres, it gives me time away from my own work, which is needed after hours of writing. I’m not a coffee or soda pop drinker, and enjoy chocolate a lot; it gives me an extra boost during my busy writing day!

Interview with Anastatia York

anastatio

Anastatia York has written a lovely Novella called “The Proposal Ring”
We asked her a few questions about writing.

How much research do you do for your books?
On some of my stores i do it all from my own mind, in others, I do more research than actual writing.

When did you decide to become a writer? The first time I sat down to write. That was probably eight years ago.

Why do you write? It allows me to be transported to a new place, and it gives me a place to store all my thoughts.

Where do the your ideas come from? I ask myself that all the time.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Keep all your creative juices flowing: read a book, listen to music, go for a walk, stare at the clouds, you’ll get through it eventually.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
Yes

How do you relax?
Music
What is your favorite motivational phrase.
Just keep swimming.- Dory, from Finding Nemo.

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
10-5-13

Interview with Birdie Etchison

birdie best
Lovely Romance Press is proud to announce that we are working with the
talented Birdie Etchison, who has authored so many of the beloved
Heartsong books. Now, she and her dear friend, Colleen Reece have
together authored a Christmas book with two novellas, called Christmas Calling.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was a juvenile. I wanted to write something my children would enjoy.
I was a tomboy and my heroine was a tomboy.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Not sure I do. My style is to write it down fast. Let it sit, then go over it page by page.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

A lesson is learned. Always. It’s the journey that counts, however.

Are experiences in most of your books based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

A little bit of me comes out in the story. Even when I wrote short stories it was
something that had happened to me, or to someone I knew.


What books have most influenced your life?

The Bible of course. I read it through when I was 14. My all-time favorite books are classics: The Secret Garden, Black Beauty, Heidi, and later To Kill a Mockingbird.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

There’s not just one mentor. Back when I started, Agnes Kempton read my short stories. All the members of various critique groups have helped. Colleen Reece is the
best editor ever.

What are your current projects?

I am rewriting an Amish novel. A three book historical series, North Beach, is being considered. I’m also working on another novella. I like essays, too

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your writing career?

Try to be more organized. Write chronologically. It’s much easier in the long run.


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

To finish what I start. I have 15 novels in various stages.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The rewrite. It’s easy and the most fun for me to write the basic idea down.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Decide what you want to do and make a schedule. Write down the title, a line of dialogue, names, when something hits you. I get all sorts of ideas when I vacuum.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Just begin. Even if you don’t feel like writing that day, do a page, or a scene, or part of the outline. Read what you want to write. See how other writers do it.

What were the challenges in bringing your writing career it to life?

Having a large family; doing what I felt I must. But one learns there is time for all you hope to do.

What is the funniest thing about you as a writer?

I am a klutz; have always been a klutz. Readers and friends say they can see me in my writing. It might not be the funniest thing in the world, but it amuses me.

Birdie Etchison

Interview With Linda Baten Johnson

Linda-bio
How long have you been writing?
That’s a tough question. I can’t remember not writing in some capacity. I’ve done newsletters and publicity stories for different organizations, and I’ve written materials for use by literacy councils. I’ve done over fifty scripts which are sold to be used in classrooms or churches, and done some magazine articles. If you mean novel writing, I’ve only been working on those for the past four years.

What inspired you to write in the first place?
I started doing the scripts for my middle grade students. They loved to perform, so I started writing for them and then found a publisher.
Writing itself is just making up stories. Who doesn’t like to do that? When you see a young man sitting in a restaurant, you, as a writer, can create a chaotic life for him.

Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere–There is a tree on our street which has over a hundred pieces of gum stuck to its trunk. That tree represents a whole book series–a book for each gum chewer.

What is your ultimate writing dream?
A writer usually has a split life. Half is research and writing, the other half is publishing and marketing. My ultimate writing dream is to work on the research and writing half. I know–you asked about the a “dream” not reality.

Who is your best supporter?
My husband always encourages me and listens patiently when I gush about the latest researched topic.
Alternate answer–sorry bra came to mind when I read it–but probably wouldn’t be appropriate: Other than my underwire bra, I have to say my husband. He always encourages me and listens patiently which I gush about the latest researched topic.

What book have you most recently published?
Her Christmas Cowboy in 2013
Homer the Racehorse in 2012
The Friendship Train in 2012

What book are you working on?
I’m working on two. One is a chapter book about an orphan train rider. The other is a middle grade mystery about a brother and sister who move with their parents to a Michigan lighthouse. Both are set in the late 1800s.

Out of all the books you have written, which was your favorite and why?
The Friendship Train is a historical fiction about a national food drive conducted in 1947 to help the starving people of Europe. Very few people have heard of the Friendship Train or the Train of Gratitude (merci train) which France sent to our country in response. I spent over a year on research. Did I mention that I love researching?

Have you had any great experiences promoting your books?
When we did the book launch for Homer the Racehorse, my co-author brought the racing silks her jockey used and we photographed the children (and some adults) wearing them. I had also written a rap about Homer and the children got to perform. We had a great time that day.

What can you recommend to other writers?
One thing I have on my board is a quote from the late Tony Hillerman, mystery novelist. He said “Write it down, don’t write it right.”
One of my writing problems has been stopping the writing flow because the verb doesn’t sound right or I need to check a fact. Following Hillerman’s suggestion, I put a (word) or (fact) in the middle of the sentence and write on.

Teresa Lilly Review

Image4This review was posted at More Than A Review

     MTAR: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
I am 50 years old, have been writing seriously for several years now            although I loved writing my whole life.  I am married, have three grown children and own a children’s resale story in San Antonio.

MTAR: What do you do when you are not writing?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
Run a children’s resale store.  I actually only get to write between 9 pm and Midnight

MTAR:  What inspired you to write your first book?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
I discovered Janette Oke.   I loved her stories and that inspired my first book  Mamma’s Bells.  However, I prefer to write short Novella’s like Christmas Village Miracle  and Lucky in Shamrock Texas.

MTAR: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
Christian romance is what I like to write because it’s what I like to read.

MTAR: Which book do you recommend for a reader that is new to your writing?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
The first story in the Sheriff Bride Series   just called  Sheriff Bride

MTAR: What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
Jenette Oke and Grace Livingston Hill.

MTAR: What was your favorite chapter (or scene) to write and why?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
I just love the opening scene in my book Gambled Away, when the young man gladly loses his step sister in a poker game, but the winner thinks he has won a mule.

MTAR: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
Now that the 4 books in the Sheriff bride series are done,  I would like to go back and write a Christmas story with them all.

MTAR: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
I had an acquisitions editor give me two pages of critique on the newest story I am working on,  “Orphan Train Bride”  but I was pleased to get so much information.  Some of the items she mentioned would change the whole theme though, so I am working through them and choosing those that help me without changing the integrity of my book.

MTAR: Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
Please consider leaving positive feedback anywhere you can for books.   A lot of times, only those who are unhappy with a book will leave comments.

MTAR: What books have most influenced your life most?
Teresa Ives Lilly: The Bible first, but then the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke.   They were the first christian books I ever read.  I loved them so much I stole the whole set from my church……ooops  I was a baby Christian myself then.

MTAR: What book are you reading now?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
I’m sort of trying to expand my horizon because I usually just reread Grace Livingston Hills 100 books every year, but I’m trying to find some others that I like.

MTAR: Do you see writing as a career?
Teresa Ives Lilly:   No– a dream come true.   I also sell unit studies for teachers and that actually pays my bills, but my book writing is my real love.

MTAR: What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
Rewriting, rewriting, rewriting  and then still finding a few mistakes.

MTAR: What is your favorite theme/genre to write?
Teresa Ives Lilly:
I love to write Christian Romance, but I dabble in Children’s Chapter books as well.   I have a young adult story in mind…when I get time….

Brooksie Cox Interview

brookeHow long have you been writing?  I’ve been writing as long as I can remember.  When I was a small child, I would make up stories and ask family members to write them down before I learned how to write.

What inspired you to write in the first place?  I think I was born with a desire to write, but my first inspiration was Snoopy.  As a child I loved his adventures on his Sopwith Camel.  And I loved how he would sit at his typewriter and create stories. I wanted to do that!  After I became a Christian, I realized God had given me this desire to serve Him.  That’s what I try to do now with a dash of adventure.

Where do you get your ideas from?  Everywhere.  I keep my eyes, my ears, and my mind open all the time to anything that strikes “my fancy.”  If something gets my attention, then I’m interested. Even when an old memory is jogged, I can get an idea. I try to write them down so I don’t forget them.

What is your ultimate writing dream?  I think every writer wants to be published and have at least one book with their name on it.  But, I want to make a difference in somebody’s life for God and not just entertain him or her for a while.

Who is your best supporter? That’s a toughie.  My first supporters were and still are my husband and daughter.  And I have some awesome and dear friends who cheer me on as well.  I don’t know what I would do without any of them.

What book have you most recently published? “Sheriff’s Bride Jo’s Story” and “Christmas Village Miracles,” which is an anthology.

What book are you working on? I have two I’m working on.  One is a mystery adventure based on some of my family history.  The other is my first try at a romance novella with a little twist.  I don’t like to be like everybody else.

Out of all the books you have written, which was your favorite and why?  “Dinosaur Eggs.”  It’s a Christian fantasy about a 13 year old boy who comes face to face with a T-Rex.  It’s my favorite since I can still serve God while letting my imagination run loose.  Talk about fun!
Have you had any great experiences promoting your books?  Positive Feedback. And it awesome to relate your story to somebody else.  To have them want to come along for the ride.

What can you recommend to other writers?  First, hone your craft.  Second, join an organization such as the ACFW.  The ACFW has free courses you can participate in that can help you in all the different areas of writing and publishing.  And of course, PRAY.  Don’t ever stop praying.