An Interview with Author, Jodie Wolfe

Jodie Wolfe

I recently had the opportunity to interview author, Jodie Wolfe. She writes Christian Historical Romance novels. She has a new book that will release on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2020.

Q: How long have you been a published author, and how long did it take you to publish your first book?

I’ve been a published author since May of 2016. My first book was indie published, and I wrote it earlier that year.

Q: You have quite a few books published and available on Amazon: a two-book series–series title, “Twins and Needles”; an anthology entitled “Let Love Spring: A Historical Spring Collection”; a Christmas anthology entitled “The Hope of Christmas”; and “To Claim Her Heart” which came out in 2018. You also have a nonfiction title: “Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society”. What was your first published book, and what led you to write the nonfiction Mrs. Wigglesworth book?

My first published book was Hearts Tightly Knit.

Mrs. Wigglesworth’s Essential Guide to Proper Etiquette and Manners of Refined Society came about because her sayings are at the beginning of each chapter in my book, To Claim Her Heart. Readers so enjoyed these quips that I decided to offer an ebook with more of them.

Q: Your fiction stories are historical fiction. What led you to decide to write this particular genre?

My love for historical fiction developed as a little girl, reading and watching Little House on the Prairie.

Q: I read and reviewed, your last release, “To Claim Her Heart”. I enjoyed that story. You create such interesting characters that draw your readers into the story and keep them reading. You also include some great historical facts about the places you write about. I enjoyed reading about the “runs” in order to purchase property in “To Claim Her Heart”. That story was set in 1893. Your upcoming release, “Taming Julia” is set in 1875. What is it about the 1800s that inspires you to write about that time period?

I love that time period – the styles of clothing, the simplistic life, as well as so many things were being discovered, created, etc.

Q: Also, both “To Claim Her Heart” and the upcoming “Taming Julia” are set in the Old West. What is it about the Old West that draws you to write about it?

Part comes from those Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and also part developed years ago when my in-laws were living in the country and my father-in-law was the pastor of a tiny church. I had the opportunity to visit many areas of interest that spurred ideas for stories.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a writer and what gave you that desire?

My desire to be a writer happened in grade school after a school assignment to write a poem. I wrote about my absolute favorite thing at the time – Snoopy. Soon after I was creating little stories… I was hooked and knew I wanted to be a writer.

Q: You are a member of both ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and RWA (Romance Writers of America). Can you tell us a little about these organizations and why you find it valuable to be a member of these groups?

Each organization has something special to offer. ACFW is a great network for learning about current trends in publishing, encouragement, courses, etc. As for RWA, my main reason to be a part of that is because of the group within RWA – Faith, Hope, & Love https://www.faithhopelove-rwa.org/. They are a great resource for asking questions, providing support and ideas, etc. I recently joined Compel Training https://compeltraining.com/home-member/ through Proverbs 31 Ministry. They provide weekly teachings, online support/learning groups, critique groups, etc. Each of these groups has been helpful in my writing journey.

Q: Your new book, “Taming Julia”, will release on Friday, February 14, 2019. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery’s sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation’s ultimatum that he marry or leave, forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy.

Jules Walker strides into Drew’s life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle–more cowboy than bride. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is.

Q: Your female characters are strong and independent. Why do you choose to write them in this way? Do you base your female characters on yourself?

I think those type of characters are fun and provide lots of opportunities for struggles and conflict within the story. As for basing the characters on myself, there’s always a tiny bit of me in each one, but I don’t know that I would call myself strong and independent. 🙂

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

While the majority of the story takes place in Kansas, there’s a portion that is set in Texas. I had the pleasure of visiting my husband’s aunt and uncle a couple years ago to see the area they helped me write about. We had the chance to go on private property and view the spot I wrote about that causes bad memories for Jules. I’ll let it at that so I don’t ruin the story for you. 🙂

Thanks for having me here today, Kelly.

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You’re welcome. Thank you for being here and giving readers a little glimpse into you’re writing life and your wonderful stories. I look forward to reading “Taming Julia”.

Q: Where can readers find you and connect with you online?

Website: https://www.jodiewolfe.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jodie-Wolfe-553400191384913

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodieAWolfe

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/JodieAWolfe

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15220520.Jodie_Wolfe

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jodie-Wolfe/e/B01EAWOHXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Purchase Links for Taming Julia:

https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Julia-Jodie-Wolfe-ebook/dp/B083L8MDD5/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=taming+julia&qid=1578503989&sr=8-1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-julia-jodie-wolfe/1136004491?ean=9781522302711

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Be sure to get your copy of “Taming Julia” on February 14th. I will be reading it soon and will post a book review here on my blog.

Author Interview: Lisa Renee Blog Tour

   

Q: When did you know you wanted to be an author?

As a young adult, I believed that one day I would write a non-fiction book, but fiction came as a surprise. Only two years ago, I felt inspired to write my first novel.

Q: Where did the idea for More Than a Second Chance come from?

My debut novel is based on a true story. “Cassie” is a determined woman despite her misfortune and tragedy. I wanted to give her a happy ending, so the romance is fictional until it comes to pass in real life.

Q: Why did you decide to indie publish rather than traditional publishing?

My story is based in Australia with Australian characters which isn’t what American publishers are looking for. We have small publishers in Australia, however with my marketing and business background, I thought I would try indie publishing for this first series.

Q: You are a homeschool mom of seven children. How do you care for a family of this size, homeschool, and still find time to write?

Many people perceive homeschooling to be a massive task. I’ve been homeschooling for fourteen years and I find I’m mainly working with one younger child and the older ones are self-taught with the programs we use. All our homeschooling activities are finished by lunch time. We also attend a once a week group with other families for extra curriculum activities.

Q: What does a typical day in your life look like?

After breakfast, the children have some free time while I check my emails and perhaps do an edit on a chapter. By nine o’clock, I set the children up with homework and work with my new reader for up to an hour. After morning tea break, I work on my computer next to their desk and I’m available if they need help.

In the afternoons I might read a novel or work on writing a chapter in my work in progress. I’ll be finished for the day by five p.m. My schedule is flexible, and family always comes first.

Q: Do you have plans for upcoming novels?

I’m working on Acres of Promise, the next novel in the Single Again series. This one is also a lot of fun, but has some meaningful themes that will bless single mothers.

Special Post: Interview with Laura Zimmerman, Author of the New Release “Keen”

Hi Everyone! Yesterday was a big day for my friend and fellow writer, Laura Zimmerman, as her debut novel, Keen, released YESTERDAY! It is my pleasure to interview Laura for this event.

Q: Keen is your debut novel. How long did it take you to get to this big moment?

Laura: Well, I began writing the rough draft of KEEN in July of 2017, but my journey to publication began much earlier. I’ve always loved to write and have spent years crafting my stories. (I’ve got bits and pieces of stories from when I was in elementary school and even a novel I started while in high school!)

It wasn’t until 2013 that my husband tired of watching me write novels, only to see them sit on my laptop. He gave me an ultimatum to try to get published or he would take one of my (very rough) manuscripts and would publish it on Amazon. *hides face*

I attended my first writers conference in April 2014. When I pitched my novel, the editor was real with me. The manuscript I had wasn’t ready. But she encouraged me to continue to attend conferences and to work on my craft. She said statistically the average time it takes for an author to get published is 5 years. Sometimes it takes less time, sometimes it takes longer. But for me, her words were right on!

Q: Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?

Laura: Actually, I wanted to be a visual artist when i was little. At age 11 I got bitten by the acting bug and was headed to Broadway. But in my senior year in high school I decided a degree in music would gave me more opportunities. I went on to graduate with a BMUS. All that time I wrote stories but only considered it a “hobby”. Until my husband suggested I get published, I honestly didn’t think it was something I could do. I haven’t always wanted to be a writer, but I’ve always been writing.

Q: What made you choose to write Fantasy Fiction?

Laura: Ha! I think my brain gave me very little choice in that. I’ve always been drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal stories. As a child I ate up Christopher Pike and Goosebump books like they were candy, and Star Wars has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried to write straight fiction, but somehow fantasy always bleeds through into my story! (I guess my head is in the clouds!)

Q: Where did you get the idea for a banshee character?

Laura: I was actually in the middle of writing another series and had no intention of starting a new one. But my teenage daughter asked me to watch the CW show Teen Wolf (that was on Netflix) with her. At first I humored her, but wasn’t really interested. However, like many shows, by the time I got a couple seasons in, I was really hooked! They featured a teenage girl banshee on the show and spent quite a bit of time building up to reveal exactly “what” she was. I was intrigued by the idea of a teenage banshee. I’d never read or seen anything else with that type of character. I began thinking on what it would be like for a teenage girl in high school to have to deal with the curse of being a banshee. Eventually I couldn’t stop thinking about it and had to begin writing. Once I did, I just never stopped.

Q: What is your favorite fantasy or mythological creature?

Laura: Mermaids! *swoon* I love anything mermaids and secretly want to turn into one. (The beautiful kind that don’t kill men, though. *wink*) I even bought my daughters mermaid tails to swim in when they were little. Of course, that’s easier said than done, so they really just wore them in the tub! Haha.

Q: What does your writing process look like?

Laura: I used to be solely a plotter, than changed over to writing by the seat of my pants. Now I’ve balanced out. I plot as much of the book/characters as I can by mapping out plot points and creating character arcs. But I leave it there and allow my creative juices to direct the story as I write. It’s hard to know the characters’ personalities early on, so sometimes writing the book helps bring their true personality out as I go. Which means some tweaking in rewrites but that’s what rewrites are for, right? Overall I feel like my stories flow much better and I’m less frustrated than writing strictly by plotting or writing by the seat of my pants. I like this balance and hope it continues to work for me!

Q: Is Keen a stand alone novel?

Laura: When I started writing it, it was. But since I like allowing my creative juices to flow while writing, it ended completely differently than I expected. In the final climax scene I planted a solid Easter Egg to allow for further books, although I did also tie up loose ends so it could be a stand alone just in case the publisher wasn’t interested in continuing the story. I had a good idea of where I wanted to go with books 2 and 3 by the time I pitched the novel to the editor but let them decide if there would be room for more books.

Q: What Fantasy authors have you read that have inspired you?

Laura: Wow. There are a ton of inspirational authors that have influenced me. JK Rowling is the obvious, along with some other big names like Ingrid Law and Jennifer A. Nielsen. But I think the ones that have influenced me the most are the authors I’ve met at conferences or through social media. My fellow authors in the #bookstagram community and those I’ve connected with through Realm Makers have influenced me more because I get to see their authenticity in their life and their writing. I’m so thankful for all the connections I’ve made with fellow writers and the way they’ve encouraged me in my writing journey. I wouldn’t be here today without the writing community!

Q: What makes writing for a young adult audience appeal to you?

Laura: I’ve always been drawn to reading YA and just never stopped reading it as I got older. I think it’s easiest to write what I know, so it feels natural that I gravitate toward writing YA. It helps that I’ve got two teenagers in the house to pull inspiration from as well!

Q: Have you begun working on another book?

Laura: Yep! I’m about to finish LAMENT, book 2 in the “Banshee Song Series”! *throws confetti* I’m not sure when that one will be released, but I hope you’ll enjoy that one just as much as KEEN!

Q: Where can readers purchase Keen?

Laura: The easiest way is to visit the L2L2 Publishing website. They have all the links where it can be purchased there. Both the paperback and the e-book version are currently available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as other distributors!

Q: What social media sites can Keen readers use to connect with you?

Laura: I’m active on Instagram @lauralzimmauthor, Twitter @lauralzimm, Facebook, and my website http://www.lauralzimmerman.com. I love connecting with fellow readers and writers!

Thanks for having me, Kelly! It was fun getting to talk about writing and KEEN!

You’re welcome Laura! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, and best wishes on your release of Keen!

Readers, If you like YA Fantasy stories, and want to read about a character unlike most Fantasy characters, pick up a copy of Keen today!

Interview with Debut Author, C. S. Wachter

Me: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

C.S. Wachter: During the summer of 2015 I began meeting with a couple people from my neighborhood who were interested in writing. We shared short pieces, no more than three pages. They were very encouraging. So … one day after we met, I went home, sat at my laptop, and started writing.

Me: Why did you choose to write Christian Fantasy?

C. S. Wachter: Ever since reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” in middle school, I’ve been drawn to fantasy that reflected the battle of light and dark, good, and evil. It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy fantasy that doesn’t have Christian threads running through it; it just means, for me, those stories seem to lack something. Over the years, Christian Fantasy writers have enriched my faith. I decided that if I was going to write, I wanted to do the same for others. Much of what is out there today focuses on humans battling evil by themselves. Or, if they seek help, they turn to stronger demons. I wanted to tell a story where God is part of the tale and His help is given.

Me: Do you think you’ll ever add any other genres to your writing? If so, what are they and would you plan to publish them?

C. S. Wachter: Years ago, I read something C. S. Lewis said about fantasy reflecting reality but with enough distance that people could process things they would otherwise face with difficulty. This idea has proven true for me and because of that, I doubt I would ever write another genre. But, I have also learned never to say never. If I did write another genre though, it would probably be contemporary fiction, maybe with an edge to it.

Me: Where do you get your story ideas?

C. S. Wachter: My friend, Jan, says I have confetti in my brain. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but the ideas just fill my head, frequently in the middle of the night, sometimes when I’m walking. It could be something as common as a leaf flying by on the sidewalk that triggers a whole idea in my confetti brain. I usually jot my impressions or ideas down as a note in my phone for future use.

Me: Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, what do you do to overcome it?

C. S. Wachter: There have been times when I couldn’t seem to move forward when writing a first draft. For me, that is a signal that something I just wrote isn’t right. I back up, analyze what I wrote prior to the block, and think through what I need to change to make the story flow again. I don’t know how it works for others, but for me, once I get past that change, I usually can move forward without a problem. I like to think the story already exists and I’m just the one discovering it and revealing it.

Me: On average, how many hours a day do you write?

C. S. Wachter: It varies, but I would say I usually get in at least three hours and sometimes as much as eight hours.

Me: How long does it take you to complete your first draft?

C. S. Wachter: The four books of “The Seven Words” series were written in twelve months. That averages one every three months. But … I have other books I started that I set aside while I continued editing “The Seven Words” books. Lander’s Story, (that title will change), started out as a short story (Leaving Wharton) which I wrote for family and friends for Christmas of 2016. After completing the short story, I decided I wanted to continue and used it to launch the book. Though Lander’s Story is almost half written, it has remained at that point for more than a year now. Once the editing, publishing, etc. is completed on “The Seven Words” and the sequel to “The Seven Words”, I look forward to plunging back into writing Lander’s Story. Having said that, though, Lander has been percolating in the back of my brain, so he hasn’t been forgotten.

Me: Are you part of a critique group? If so, do you find a critique group helpful and do you use the critique group while you are writing or after your first draft is finished?

C. S. Wachter: Yes, I do belong to a small critique group. Yes, it has been most helpful. I started writing less than three years ago and I have learned so much through my critique partners. They’ve helped me hone my writing in ways I would never have thought to do on my own. So far I’ve mostly shared drafts that have been somewhat polished because I didn’t even know about critique groups when I first started writing. Would I share a WIP before it is in the first-draft phase? I’m not sure.

Me: Have you ever gone to a writer’s conference? If so, what benefits do you think a writer’s conference has to offer?

C. S. Wachter: Writer’s conferences are not only great for learning about the craft from people who’ve done it, they can be great fun and a wonderful place to meet others in the various professions connected with publishing. Nothing beats networking face to face. I still stay in touch with friends I met at my first big conference in 2016.

Me: How many revisions/edits do you do before publishing?

C. S. Wachter: Many. As many as needed. For The Sorcerer’s Bane I probably worked through at least a dozen drafts before it even came close to a final edit. I hope future books won’t need so many drafts before final editing. It’s been a learning curve for this newbie author.

Me: Do you have a professional editor and do you think it is necessary for every writer to have one? Why or why not?

C. S. Wachter: Yes. I think it’s important because no matter how good your friends may be at picking out grammar errors or general typos, they don’t have the experience to do a professional-level edit. (Unless your friend happens to be an editor.) And, let’s face it, we can’t see our own errors. We need that set of eyes tuned to focusing on the problem areas to polish our work before it goes out into the marketplace to compete with others.

Me: Why did you choose to indie publish instead of publishing traditionally?

C. S. Wachter: The first reason: I wanted creative control of my work and was willing to put in the effort to start my own business to have that. The second reason: Time frame. I already wrote all four of “The Seven Words” series and I wanted the flexibility to release them in quick succession (one each quarter through 2018 and the sequel at the beginning of 2019). If I went traditional I’d have to wait for a publisher to decide to publish my first book, then wait approximately two years to have that first book published; and, most likely, wait another year between the subsequent book releases.

Me: Do you continue to study writing? If so, do you consider this important and why?

C. S. Wachter: Like with any craft, we writers need to continue to study and improve. However, I can get bogged down far too easily in learning about something rather than doing that something, so I limit my study. Conferences are great not only for connecting with others of like mind, but they are wonderful places to learn from those more experienced authors who are willing to share their knowledge. Connections I’ve made with others in the industry have made a huge difference in what I’ve learned.

Me: What are some of your favorite writing resources?

C. S. Wachter: The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi and The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell.

Me: What do you think is the hardest part about writing, publishing, and marketing?

C. S. Wachter: For me it’s definitely the marketing. I’m not a naturally outgoing person. I’m most happy sitting at my laptop quietly writing (well, not totally quiet … I happen to love heavy Christian rock). I learned so much through indie publishing and don’t have any problems continuing with that. But the marketing … goose bumps and a shiver up my spine. Social media is hard for me. I don’t blog, twitter, or do newsletters. I guess at some point I’ll need to learn, but for now, I’m slowly feeling my way forward in marketing.

Me: What advice would you give to new and/or young writers?

C. S. Wachter: Just do it! Don’t let your fears that it’s not perfect get in your way. The second piece of advice comes from James Scott Bell: ‘Write fast and furious; edit slow and careful’.

 

A Book Launch and an Author Interview

I’m sorry this post is late today. I’ve been really busy and, honestly, I didn’t know what to post about until I received some exciting information that I just had to share.

Did you see my book review a couple of weeks ago on Twiceborn by J. P. Robinson? If not, you can read it here.

Would you like to get your very own, autographed copy of Twiceborn? Well, if you live in the Lancaster, PA area, you can do just that by attending J. P. Robinson’s Book Launch of Twiceborn at Rachel’s Creperie in Lancaster this coming Saturday, October 14, 2017 from noon until 2 p.m. J.P. will be there selling and signing copies of Twiceborn for your reading pleasure.

If you would like to know more about J.P. Robinson, you can check out an author interview he did with the “Fiction Aficionado” here. I found it very interesting and educational, and if you haven’t read Twiceborn yet, the information in this interview should capture your interest.

Happy Reading!

Author Interview: Laura L. Zimmerman

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Would you tell us a little bit about yourself, Laura?
Absolutely! I’m an at home-mom of 3 girls–ages 14, 12 and 5. I homeschool the two oldest and spend the rest of my time writing. (Haha. That’s a joke for all those stay-at-home moms that have “lots of time” on their hands, right?) I’ve been married to my “Mr. Darcy” for 16 years–we met in YWAM where we both served the Lord for a few years. I love to write Middle Grade and Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-fi, and am excited to be a monthly contributor to the Almost An Author website for the Fantasy/Sci-fi column! I currently reside in AZ but grew up on the east coast in MD and PA.
When did you become interested in writing?
I’ve always loved to create stories! When I was little, I liked to make Fashion Plate drawings and then make up stories to go along with the pictures. I remember using my mom’s old typewriter and the frustration of making errors and having to use white out–then the excitement of getting to change over to a Word Processor in high school! Lol. Overall, stories have always been a big part of my life. It wasn’t until I was married with the convenience of a computer and time home with my babies that I found I wanted to start taking all those ideas I’d had over the years and actually try to write a book.
Do you have a special writing place?
Well, we moved a few months ago so I lost my official writing space–which happened to be in the spare bedroom/junk room! So now I store my writing desk in my bedroom. I had some back issues from sitting for so many hours, so my husband has insisted on ‘proper’ elevation of screen/keyboard/mouse. So it feels pretty official, anyway! 😉
What books or authors have influenced your writing? In what way did they influence your writing?
I want my writing to be the best it can be, so I’m one to take plenty of notes at meetings or conferences, and to read books on improving my technical abilities. But then I notice I focus too much on technical stuff and can forget my ‘voice.’ I would say the writers that influence me most have very unique ‘voices’ that help remind me to stay true to my writing style, even if it might break a few rules here and there. Authors that come to mind are Ingrid Law–who has a fantastic Middle Grade voice!– and Tahereh Mafi–her poetic style of writing breaks from the norm but makes the deepest parts of my emotion scream ‘yes!’ I also enjoy Lauren DeStefano who has a more introspective style of writing, and Jennifer A. Nielsen with her amazing ability at weaving mystery throughout her novels that make my jaw drop!
Who are some of your favorite book characters and why are they favorites? Have they influenced the way you create your characters?
This is a tough one for me because I don’t want to sound cliche, but ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ are my favorite books for a reason! Scout has always held a special place in my heart. She was an innocent forced to grow up and face the harsh realities of the yuck in our world. The powerful emotions she experienced through each lesson she learned hit me hard–maybe because I was just a teenager when I first read it. And Elizabeth Bennet is the every girl that we all deny lies deep within. She’s that spirit that refuses to conform yet can’t get out of her own way to allow love to find her. As much as I like to think I’m balanced in my beliefs and that I never play the part of the hypocrite, I think Lizzie is a good reminder that we all make poor choices based on our individual filters, but that it’s never too late for forgiveness and reconciliation. I do think both of these characters influence the characters I create, although maybe in different ways, depending on the story!
Do you have a writing routine?
Again, before I moved I had a fantastic routine of writing first thing in the morning! But now my youngest daughter is in kindergarten and I have her at the bus stop during the time I would normally write. So, unfortunately, I don’t have a routine at the moment. I do have a goal of writing and editing each day, and shoot for about 2 hours total of a mixture of both. Some days are better than others! Lol!
Do you set writing goals for yourself? What kinds of goals and are they short or long term?
Yes!! I have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals! My personality thrives on meeting small goals along the way. I find when I have no ‘To Do’ list, nothing gets done. I love the sense of accomplishment that goes along with crossing off another item from my list! A daily goal might be as simple as “Tweet a line I wrote”. Long term goals usually involve the completion of a rough draft or a full edit of one of my manuscripts. For 2016 I’ve already written 2 brand new rough drafts and have a goal to complete 1 more, to give me a total of 3 brand new books I wrote this year!
Are you a member of any writing organizations or critique groups? 
Yes. In Pennsylvania I was active in the ACFW State and Local chapters, as well as Lancaster Christian Writers and Scribes Oasis. Since moving to Arizona, I’ve joined a small critique group one a week, and have begun to attend a library writer group twice a month. I’ve also connected with the ACFW Phoenix chapter here. I always have an eye out for new groups to join, since I am most encouraged just by being with other writers! 🙂
Have you attended writers’ conferences? 
Yes, I’ve attended the LCW Super Saturday a few years in a row and was excited to attend the Write His Answer Conference in Philly and Keystone Conference, last year. With my move, I’ve sadly missed the conferences I wanted to attend this year. But hope to jump back in this winter/spring with some conferences out west!
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Good question! Well, first off, I would say never give up. I’m sure you’ve heard that time and again, but really, don’t ever walk away from your talents. God gave them to you for a reason and they can be used to glorify Him, even if your work isn’t published in the traditional way. Also, surround yourself with those you admire! If you want to be a writer, make friends with writers! Not only is it encouraging, it will help hone your talent and make you better at what you do!
Thank you, Kelly, for having me! I had a great time with this interview!! ❤
Bio: 
Laura L. Zimmerman is a homeschooling mom to three daughters, and a doting wife to one husband. Besides writing, she is passionate about loving Jesus, singing, drinking coffee and anything Star Wars. You can connect with her through Facebook and Twitter @lauralzimm, and at her website, www.lauralzimmerman.com . Laura is represented by Cyle Young with Hartline Literary Agency.

Author Interview with Lillian Duncan

Today, I am taking a break from Flash Fiction Friday to bring you an author interview with Lillian Duncan, Christian Mystery/Suspense writer, who has a new book out, Game On.

Tell us a little about you.

My husband and I live in a small town in Ohio. I mean small—we only have 1 traffic light. But I love being back home. I grew up in the area, but moved to the big city of Cleveland for many years. Like Dorothy, I love being home again.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

The answer to both is Christian mystery and suspense with a little horror thrown in from time to time. I guess writing is sort of like eating. You are what you read, and for me that means I’m a suspense/mystery writer.

Tell us about GAME ON.

Game On by [Duncan, Lillian]

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that someone’s not out to get you!

That’s the premise behind GAME ON. Politician Lucas McMann believes he’s the victim of an elaborate stalking game. Since he has no proof, his friends and colleagues believe he’s being paranoid.

He needs someone to help him get the proof and that’s when he turns to Nikki Kent, someone from his past. She’s a private investigator now, but the last person she wants in her life is Lucas McMann. He deserted her years ago when she needed him most, but her new found faith won’t let her say no to him.

And that’s when the game begins!

Tell me a bit about your main characters.

Lucas McMann is a politician with a big problem–actually two. First, he believes he’s the victim of an elaborate stalking game. His second problem is that no one believes him because there’s no proof. He can’t move forward until he stops the game. He can’t stop the game until he discovers who’s behind it. To do that he needs someone who will believe in him enough to help him get the proof he so desperately wants.

And he knows just the person, if only she’s put their troubled past behind her.

Private Investigator, Nikki Kent makes a living finding out other people’s secrets, but she has one of her own. When Lucas shows up asking for her help, she refuses. She can’t take the chance of her secret coming to light. But her new-found faith won’t let her turn her back on someone who is desperate for her help—even if he was the first man to break her heart!

What’s the setting for GAME ON?

Most of the story takes place in Maiden, North Carolina which is a real place. But that’s the only thing that’s real. The specific places talked about in the story are a figment of my imagination.

Who is your favorite secondary character in this latest novel, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?

Lucas’s mother is my favorite secondary character. She’s a gun-toting Southern belle who believes in being able to protect herself.
Do you have personal experience with any of the events in your story, and if so, could you share about that?

Not in the least! My suspense stories are just that—stories I create.

 

What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?

Actually I was watching a TV talk show. This particular guest believed that many of his “friends” were actually stalking him. My writer’s mind took over from there and I created Lucas McMann, a politician who believes he’s being stalked but nobody else does. And it went from there.

What do you want readers to take away from GAME ON?

I think there are several lessons to be learned. One of the most important is that forgiving others isn’t letting them off the hook. It’s letting go of your own anger and bitterness so you can have the life God wants for you.

What is your writing process?

I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?

Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I’m surprised right along with my readers.

Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?

I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s okay, I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.

What are you working on now?

I just finished the final edits on the third in the Deadly Communications series. Its title is DEADLY SILENCE. In it, Maven will be back and facing some very difficult life circumstances.

Along with that, she’s working with a late-deafened adult as a client. A subject near and dear to me since I’ve lost all my hearing in one ear and a significant amount in the other because of the brain tumors.

I also have several other stories in various stages that I’m working on.

If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?

DON’T GIVE UP! It took me 15 years to get a traditional contract, and now I have almost 20 books published! If I can do it, so can you. But not if you give up. KEEP WRITING!

HOW CAN READERS FIND YOU ON THE INTERNET?

My website is www.lillianduncan.net and I have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at www.lillian-duncan.com. I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan

Paper or e-reader? There are certainly pros and cons to each. Which is your favorite?

I prefer a “real” book with paper. Unfortunately, I don’t read them that way very often because of my eyesight. So, I use an e-reader almost exclusively these days.

Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?

Romans 8: 28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

In 2012, I was diagnosed with brain tumors. The treatments and the side effects wreaked havoc on my health! I was very sick but I kept repeating this verse over and over. It kept me trusting God and it kept me in peace and joy in spite of how bad I felt at the time.

What’s your day job? Tell us a little about it.

I retired as an SLP from a large city school district in Ohio, then spent several more years working part-time in smaller, rural districts near where I live. Between the two jobs, I don’t think there is any type of child I haven’t worked with at least once.

I loved my job and miss it. Mostly I miss the children, not the paper work. If it weren’t for serious health issues, I would still be working.

What sort of serious health issues?

In 2012 I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and subsequently a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 2. A long name that basically means I can develop tumors at any time on my nerves but especially in the brain.

It’s been a long, long journey but God is good. There’s a lot I can’t do these days, but I can still write!

 

How did your education or previous career impact your journey to publication and where you are now?

My day job was as a school speech pathologist, better known as a speech therapist. So for more than 30 years I listened…and listened…and listened some more. I think it helped me in a lot of areas but certainly with writing dialogue of my characters.

Anything else you need to tell us?

To celebrate the release of GAME ON, I’m giving away a virtual basket of goodies on my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes including Amazon gift cards. For all the details, just click on that link. Simply leave a comment on the blog post GAME ON and you’ll be entered.

Also, my publisher outdid herself when she created this GAME ON book trailer

And lastly, thanks for having me.

BLURB for GAME ON

Game On by [Duncan, Lillian]
Politics is no game when a stalker nears and there’s nowhere to hide.

A run for the senate is just a step on the road to the White House for Congressman Lucas McMann. But his public profile has put him in the middle of a crazed gunman’s twisted game of stalking. If he wants to win the election and reclaim his life, he’ll need the help of the one person who’d rather leave their past behind them.

Private Investigator Nikki Kent knows how to dig up secrets and discover those who exist in the shadows. She should. She’s good at hiding secrets of her own. Can she risk her own discovery for someone so desperate for her help? For the first man who broke her heart?

With new-found faith, she’ll help Lucas search for the answers. But with the truth comes a danger they must face together.

BIO:

Lillian Duncan

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in Ohio Amish country with her husband. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense and mystery with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.