A Visit with Denise Weimer: Editor and Multi-published author

Denise Weimer is my special guest today. She is blessed with two books releasing at the same time in different genres. I had to get to know her better. Welcome Denise, please tell me about your writing journey.

My writing journey began around age 11, when my parents would take me to historical sites around the Southeast. My active imagination wondered what kind of people lived in those old houses and towns and what their lives were like. I started scribbling stories in my spiral-bound notebook in the back seat of the car. Then reading them aloud to my mother, who encouraged me to keep writing.

I received a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. I was almost published by my dream publisher right out of the college—back in the day one could approach publishers directly, without an agent or previous publishing experience—but they’d just committed to a similar series. I set my writing aside as I worked in public relations and as a free-lance magazine writer, then started a family.

When my younger daughter started napping, then attending preschool, I decided I might write a novella. Thus my first book baby, Redeeming Grace, was born. It was followed by The Georgia Gold Series (Eugenia Price-style historical fiction set in Savannah and the mountains during the mid-1800s), The Restoration Trilogy (modern romantic suspense with historical back stories that emerge during a renovation), and Across Three Autumns of The Backcountry Brides Collection.

I loved The Backcountry Brides Collection. My absolute favorite novella was Across Three Autumns.  Your historical imagination kept me engaged. Now, tell me about your latest project.

Backcountry Brides last year was my most recent release, but please check back next month as I share about two novels I’m releasing in September with Lighthouse Publishing, a historical (The Witness Tree – https://www.amazon.com/Witness-Tree-gain-break-heart/dp/1645260623/) and a contemporary (Fall Flip).

While we all wait to hear more about your two new releases and how you research them could you tell us what inspires you to write your stories?

I draw inspiration for my novels from the varied settings in my home state of Georgia—from the mountains to the piedmont to the coast. Add to those all the different time periods, and there are endless possibilities.

For The Restoration Trilogy, watching my parents restore a mid-1800s doctor’s house and apothecary shop provided the nudge. I love the idea of modern characters learning life lessons from history. In the stories, a brooding bachelor and a historical preservation grad uncover artifacts and letters from three different centuries, all while enduring mysterious accidents, fighting about the restoration, and then, of course, falling in love. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B0719FYYLZ/)

There’s another book to put on my TBR pile.  Here is one of my favorite questions to ask authors. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

“You were right, and your professors were wrong. You don’t have to start your writing career at a newspaper!” LOL. Although I admit, my journalism training has served me well.

In general, I’d say that everyone’s path to publication looks different, these days more than ever. And that’s okay.

I agree.  It’s tough to be  a creative in a world that demands so much of our time. Tell me, who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

My author friends, most of whom I’ve not yet gotten to meet in person. It’s such a blessing to know there are so many like-minded individuals out there, even if we are scattered across the county! Most of the doors that have opened in my career have been opened by the grace of ones who have gone before me, like Carrie Pagels and Pegg Thomas, my mentor and co-laborer as managing editor at Smitten Romance.

As writers, we are encouraged to read, what is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Historical romance, although I do also enjoy a fast-paced modern romantic suspense.

Denise, where is your favorite place to write?

At my kitchen island when everyone is gone, with a cup of hot tea at hand and a view out the window of beautiful autumn hardwoods.

Awesome! Denise, thanks so much for stopping by. I’m looking forward to your revisit in September when you share more details about your new releases.

  More about Denise:

Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She is the managing editor of Smitten Historical Romance and Heritage Beacon Historical Fiction (imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) and the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy, and a number of novellas, including Across Three Autumns of Barbour’s Colonial Backcountry Brides Collection. Fall Flip (Candlelight Romance –order on amazon) and The Witness Tree (Smitten – https://www.amazon.com/Witness-Tree-gain-break-heart/dp/1645260623/) release in September. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! Connect with Denise here:

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If you love author interviews and blogs about writerly things please subscribe to receive these posts in your email. Don’t forget Denise will be with me again in September, you don’t want to miss learning how she does research for her historical and contemporary romances.

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Adam Blumer Talks about writing and Kill Order

Today suspense writer Adam Blumer is my special guest. When I read a suspense novel I want to be captured. Adam’s really drew me in. The what if scenario kept me glued to the pages. I want to introduce him to all of you. His newest novel Kill Order releases August 15th. Welcome Adam. How did you get into this writing gig and what has the journey been like?

I’ve loved to write stories since I was a kid and studied novel writing in college. I completed five unpublished novels, mostly for youth, before I began Fatal Illusions, my first published novel, in the spring of 2002 in conjunction with a Writer’s Digest correspondence course on novel writing. In January 2006, literary agent Steve Laube, a well-known and respected voice in Christian fiction, responded enthusiastically to my book proposal and asked to see the entire manuscript. Of course, I was on cloud nine. Though he ultimately declined to represent me, he kindly gave me eight suggestions on how to make the novel publishable.

Energized, I followed his advice and got to work, but I still couldn’t find an agent or publisher. A year later, I contacted Kregel Publications, not about my novel but about opportunities to edit books from home. The managing editor noticed on my resume that I had written several unpublished novels and asked to see my latest project. Kregel accepted it for publication in August 2007. God opened a door I never could have opened for myself.

How exciting. What is your latest published project?

Kill Order, my third novel, is being released on August 15 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Here is a short description:

When he sleeps, the forgotten terrors of the past come alive.

Grammy-winning pianist Landon Jeffers’s brain cancer has given him only a few years to live. But when he sleeps, the forgotten terrors of his past torment him. When he wakes, shameful memories come rushing back. Desperate for answers,Jeffers discovers that a brain implant intended to treat his cancer is really a device to control him. forcing him to commit terrible crimes. Now he’s being manipulated by an evil crime syndicate and a crooked cop.

What if free will isn’t? What if your every move is predestined? If you kill, are you guilty of murder? Preorder link.

This is not the kind of story you read before you go to bed at night.  I made sure to read it during the day. Great premise, by the way.

What inspired you to write your book?

My dad, Larry, passed away from brain cancer in 2011, and several aspects of his cancer journey kicked off the initial story idea. One key detail involved a medical procedure; the doctors agreed to remove as much of my dad’s brain tumor as possible and replace it with medicinal wafers intended to fight the existing cancer. My mind began playing the what-if game. What if the doctor implanted something else, something that could monitor or even control my dad’s life? The story’s premise grew from there.

Only a writer’s mind would go in that direction. When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

When I was a child, I began writing wildly imaginative pirate and fantasy stories. My first handwritten story was a fantastical tale about Captain Kidd’s spyglass. In high school, I also wrote and finished an unpublished novel called Down with the Ship. It’s such an Agatha Christie copycat that I laugh whenever I peruse it, but emulation is how a lot of authors get to be where they are today. Those were the early projects that inspired me to take novel writing seriously. When I won a high school award for creative writing, I wondered if God wanted to do more with my love for fiction. In college I won more writing awards, and though I studied journalism, I took as many creative writing courses as possible. God opened doors from there, and I’ve never lost my love for fiction writing.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ESV). I’ve always loved this verse, and my wife and I included it in our wedding ceremony.

Here’s one of my favorite questions to asked authors. If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Writing the story is only half of the project. The other half is finding out what readers like to read, crafting the story for them by following publishing standards, and writing the story to the best of your ability. Then remember that publishers can take a very long to decide whether they want your work. Don’t get discouraged. Just keep going and waiting.

So true.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

When I was a kid, for a while I wanted to be a ventriloquist and had a “dummy” named Andy. But then I got braces and could no longer talk through my teeth like I used to. Andy sadly went into storage.

Where would you be today if you hadn’t retired Andy? So fun.

Authors are usually avid readers. What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Authors write what they like to read. When I was a kid, I devoured Hardy Boys books—yes, even my sister’s collection of Nancy Drew. I read Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Ray Bradbury, and Madeleine L’Engle. Eventually I gravitated to suspense fiction by authors like Frank Peretti, Terri Blackstock, and Mary Higgins Clark. I grew weary of whodunits and preferred suspense novels. I like novels that grab me around the throat, keep the pages turning, and never let go until the final period. Suspense novels filled with plenty of action and conflict captivate me like no other books I read, though I also have a fondness for good literature as well as for fantasy, history, biography, true crime, and science fiction.

What are you reading at the moment, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?

I’m currently enjoying Mind Games by Nancy Mehl. I especially enjoy a good thriller, whether Christian or secular. Some of my favorite authors are Steven James, Terri Blackstock, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, and Brandilyn Collins. I like how they weave story threads together and craft their scenes in ways that keeps the plot moving forward. Their books are great examples of what works in suspense writing. I learn so much simply by reading their novels.

 

A book junkie like me. I knew it. 😊 Now back to your writing.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I have been blessed with a wonderful home office. Though I often like to write in other locations, this is by far my favorite place. I can close the door, shut out life’s distractions, pray, and become immersed in my story. Now and then, if I need a break, I can glance out the window and delight in God’s creation.

What is the best part of your author’s life?

I love hearing from readers who went to work tired because they stayed up too late finishing one of my novels. If I kept them immersed in my story, that’s a score in my book.

Name your three biggest frustrations about the writing business.

  1. The amount of time each book requires from start to finish. Included in this is the long wait time from publishers.
  2. The continually changing rules in writing and publishing. Just when you think you know what publishers are looking for, your agent tells you something else.
  3. Book marketing. One cannot guarantee sales. I wish a book release was like the movie Field of Dreams. “Build it, and they will come.” If only it were that easy. There is almost an equal amount of work in just promoting the book.

Your frustrations resonate with me. I’m sure they do other writers.
On the flip side, what excites you the most about the creative process?

I get most excited about the creative process when a plot development I never saw coming unexpectedly presents itself, taking the story in a new but stronger direction. This epiphany has happened to me several times.

Cindy, thank you for the opportunity to talk about my writing life at your blog.

My pleasure, Adam.

Adam is going to giveaway a copy of Kill order to one lucky winner. Follow this link to enter. http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8d1eaa8d6/

More about my guest:

Adam Blumer is the author of three Christian suspense novels: Fatal Illusions (Meaningful Suspense Press); its sequel, The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press); and the upcoming Kill Order (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). A print journalism major in college, he works full-time from home as a book editor after serving in editorial roles for more than twenty years. He lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife, Kim, and his daughters, Laura and Julia.

Social media links:

Website: http://www.adamblumerbooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdamBlumerNovelist
Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamblumer
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2315682.Adam_Blumer
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/adamblumer/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamblumer/

 

Southern Fiction Writer Jennifer Hallmark Shares Jessie’s Hope

I’m excited to welcome Jennifer Hallmark to Jubilee Writer today. She’s going to taught about her new release Jessie’s Hope and tell us a bit about herself and her writing journey.

 I’m a Yankee through and through and until I was published I had no idea Southern Fiction was a genre. Tell us what is Southern Fiction?

Jennifer: True Southern fiction has to be lived. You need to feel the humidity, spend a summer working in a vegetable garden, and fish in a pond surrounded by cattle. Southern fiction is about family, not just one generation but how past ancestors shape each and every character.

My publisher, Firefly Southern fiction says on their website: “Southern fiction is about story, driven by characters who are distinctly southern and/or characters who move to southern settings (which are also characters). Southern characters fall into several categories and should not be stereotyped.”

That’s such a fun definition. I’ve read some of Fireflies offering and I enjoyed the quirky characters and the southern charm.

What is your latest published project?

Jennifer: Jessie’s Hope is a Southern fiction novel about a young woman who has overcome great odds in her life and is engaged to be married. She’s decided to try and find her absentee father first. Her Papaw, Homer, who helped raise her only wants to provide for his family. But he finds giving his beloved granddaughter a wonderful wedding with a specially designed dress is harder than he ever thought possible.

I’m excited to see a book with a handicapped heroine.

What inspired you to write your book?

Jennifer: Jessie’s Hope started with three writing prompts during a writer’s club meeting: a wedding dress designer, faded coveralls, and a dusty baseball cap. But my inspiration really came from my parents. I never remember my dad walking. He’s been in a wheelchair since I was a young child with a spinal disease he contracted in his early thirties. Witnessing my dad remain hopeful and encouraging throughout the rest of his life and my mom sacrifice much to take care of my Dad, brother, and me had a great impact. I melded these experiences with my life lived mostly in rural Alabama.

True life experience always add so much to our fiction stories. On that note you must have a have a favorite verse that resonates with you.

Jennifer: Romans 15:13 is the verse that best goes with my novel, Jessie’s Hope. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NKJV) Not only is God a God of hope but He urges us to believe and abound in hope. I’m not quite there but I long for that abounding hope inside of me.

Love that verse. Thanks for sharing. I think we all strive to experience that abounding hope.

Because writers are encouraged to read I’m always curious to know what authors read. What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Jennifer: Beside Southern fiction, I love classic mysteries. I never figure them out, but I enjoy following the clues and wondering whodunnit. All my stories have a thread of mystery in them. In Jessie’s Hope, the reader needs to discover the mystery of the green shed.

A love a bit of mystery with a bit of romance.

Authors always have a favorite place to write. Sometimes it’s more than one location. Where is your favorite place to write?

Jennifer: I do a lot of writing in my study on a desktop computer. I also write on my laptop at times, in the living room or the local coffee shop. Occasionally, I use a gel pen, especially when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office or when inspirations strikes and I’m not at home. I always carry a small notebook 😊

Here’s the blurb about Jessie’s Hope

Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love?

Years ago, an accident robbed Jessie Smith’s mobility. It also stole her mother and alienated her from her father. When Jessie’s high school sweetheart Matt Jansen proposes, her parents’ absence intensifies her worry that she cannot hold on to those she loves.

With a wedding fast approaching, Jessie’s grandfather Homer has a goal to find the perfect dress for “his Jessie,” one that would allow her to forget, even if for a moment, the boundaries of her wheelchair. But financial setbacks and unexpected sabotage hinder his plans.

Determined to heal from her past, Jessie initiates a search for her father. Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love when additional obstacles—including a spurned woman and unpredictable weather—highjack Jessie’s dream wedding?

Order Links for Jessie’s Hope

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

More about my guest:

Jennifer Hallmark writes Southern fiction and her website, Alabama-Inspired Fiction, and the group blog, Inspired Prompt, she co-founded, focus on her books, love of the South, and helping writers. She’s published 200+ internet articles and interviews, short stories in several magazines, and has co-authored three book compilations.

Her agent is Cyle Young of the Hartline Literary Agency. Jennifer sends out a monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. You can visit her on Facebook, Facebook author pageTwitter, and Pinterest.

Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama and have a basset hound, Max. When she isn’t babysitting her grandchildren or gardening, you can find her at her desk writing fiction or working on one of her two blogs.  She also loves reading detective fiction from the Golden Age and viewing movies like LOTR or Star Wars. Sometimes you can even catch her watching American Ninja Warrior.

Lots of places to connect with Jennifer.

www.jenniferhallmark.com

www.inspiredprompt.com 

Jennifer Hallmark, Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

More wonderful interviews to come along with some writerly insist you might enjoy. Subscribe to this blog to receive them in your email or RSS feed as they become avaiable.

Candee Fick Shares about her new release Sing a New Song

SingaNewSong 500x750Today I welcome back Candee Fick to talk about her latest release and give us some background information. Take it away, Candee.

Sing a New Song is the third book in The Wardrobe series and features the pampered diva who was a secondary character in the first two books. When we first met her, Gloria Houghton was a poor-little-rich-girl who was used to being the center of attention. But when the spotlight shifted, she found herself scrambling to hold onto her position and her identity. In the second book of the series, she was challenged by the notion that some things are more important than the spotlight. Now, with a nagging knee injury and a lingering sense of dissatisfaction, she found a new stage where she could use her voice as her ticket to stardom. Except the pampered diva is about to meet her match.

You’ve got my attention. I remember how much I didn’t like her in Dance Over Me. What inspired you to write Gloria’s story?

While writing the first book in the series, I was fascinated by my antagonist and in a quest to make her more three-dimensional, I wondered what made her tick. And what it would take to make her change. The seeds for a new story took root in my imagination and I was then able to weave in pieces of her backstory through the first two books. I also knew that she would need to be brought low before she could be rebuilt on the right foundation, so I began brainstorming a succession of events to chip away at her self-reliance until she could only rely on God.

I like that you planned her introduction. How did you research for your book?

There’s a scene in the middle of the book where Gloria comes face-to-beak with a feisty rooster. And to be honest, that scene was inspired while doing chores for my parents. After facing off with their mean rooster, I decided that Gloria deserved an equal encounter because she would certainly be out of her element! However, for the singing scenes, I truly enjoyed the relative hardship of attending several shows in Branson Missouri, a place our family has vacationed for several years. I then created a fictional singing family inspired by several real examples in the area.

EXCERPT:

Nearing the backstage area, she scanned the map on her phone to locate the rehearsal room.

Almost there. Gloria glanced up just in time for her foot to slip out from under her on the wet floor. Her weak knee buckled, and the concrete floor came rushing toward her. Reaching for anything to break her fall, her fingers grazed the edge of a rolling bucket of mop water, tipping her phone into the liquid a moment before it—and the mop—toppled over. She landed hard on her right shoulder an instant before a flood of water soaked the upper half of her body.

Ouch. That would leave a bruise.

She blinked a couple of times, then lifted her head.

Nearby, a bearded man set down a yellow Caution sign before wiping black-streaked hands on his coveralls. A tool belt hung low around his waist.

Behind him, she caught a glimpse of the stage between the side curtains as the applause of the crowd faded into a burst of conversation with the show ending.

Gloria’s hands slid a little on the wet surface as she pushed herself upright. The new soreness in her shoulder competed with the familiar ache in her knee. She must have tweaked her old injury a bit on her way down.

The janitor approached, reaching out a hand as if to help her to her feet.

“No thanks. You’ve helped quite enough already.” She stabbed a manicured finger in the direction of the tardy sign. Even if she had been paying attention, there had been no warning about a wet floor.

She attempted to hasten his retreat with a glare. Except, the water dripping from her hair ruined the effect, and his frown turned into a bit of a smirk, as if she’d provided his entertainment for the day.

How fun. Can’t wait to read this. Thanks for stopping by, Candee.

 Here’s a bit about Candee and links to check out all her books and become a fan.

Candee Fick_Headshot

Candee Fick is a multipublished, award-winning author. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Candee’s Giveaway

The Rafflecopter direct link is: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b9a55db3360/?

This takes you to a generic page to enter the giveaway but doesn’t give the prize details. First prize is a complete set of the series (paperback for US or ebook only for other) plus $25 Amazon card. Second prize is copy of Sing a New Song (paper or ebook depending on country) plus $10 Amazon card.

Sounds like a great contest.

Candee Fick’s Links:

Website and Blog – CandeeFick.com

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/candee-fick

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CandeeFick

BUY link for Sing a New Song (Kindle) – Book 3 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QHYNTJC/

BUY Focus On Love (Kindle) – Book 2 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077TYHD4T/

BUY Dance Over Me (Kindle) – Book 1 – https://www.amazon.com/Dance-Over-Me-bright-lights-ebook/dp/B01JBFLO2M/

If you enjoy these author interviews and writing tips don’t forget to subsribe to Jubilee Writer to recieve a new posts in your email.

 

Diane Samson shares about Gems of Fire and her writing journey

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Welcome Diane E. Samson, author of Gems of Fire. It is a delight to have you with us to talk about the writing life and your debut novel. Let’s start off with you telling my readers a little about your writing journey. There are areas that  parallel mine and many authors I’ve interviewed in the past few years. So exciting to see that.

I loved reading as a young child, but the beginning of my writing journey began with reading C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia in third grade. Although I might not have understood the underlying parallels until I was older, I remember clearly thinking to myself that I wanted to make other people feel the same magic, wonder and adventure that I felt from reading those books.

I was the editor of my high school newspaper, which for high school, was a rigorous program. My teacher encouraged me to major in journalism in college, so I earned a degree in magazine journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and began a career in that field. Though I worked in journalism, I still held close the dream that someday I’d write fiction, but at the time I’d use up all my words at work. So, I didn’t begin my fiction journey in earnest until I stayed home with my children and also worked as a freelance writer.

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I wrote Gems of Fire (working title was Finding Anna) during my children’s nap time and sometimes late at night. I finished the first draft more than ten years ago. I pursued agents and publishers at writing conferences and was even asked to submit some sample chapters to a famous editor, but in the end, no contracts came. Life got busy. We moved twice. While living in Connecticut I became friends with an incredible woman who worked for a literary agency. She was kind enough to read and edit a few chapters of my manuscript as well as coach me on my writing, including recommending several books to read and apply to my work. I spent the next year re-working my manuscript. I submitted to #Pitchwars and then to #PitMad, which led to a contract with Clean Reads. I am overjoyed to be a published author as of November 2018. A writer’s journey can be lonely, but I had a lot of help along the way.

Your story reminds us it truly takes years to get your first book out there. Thanks for encouraging us all to press on.

Now tell us about Gems of Fire.

My debut young adult fantasy is Gems of Fire, released Nov. 6, 2018. It’s about a princess overcoming fear and figuring out how she fits in her world.

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Palace of Sunderland. Paradise to the peasants. Prison to sixteen-year-old Anna, daughter of the king. She can never escape the castle’s cold walls and scorning disapproval of her father and his brute royal counsel, Seamus. She’ll always live in the shadow of her late mother the queen. Will they ever see her for who she really is?

A riding accident lands Anna in the hands of traders who sell her as a slave in distant Kasdod to none-other than her father’s enemy, Lord Anwar. After overhearing a dangerous plot to conquer Sunderland and kill the royal family, Anna must escape and warn her father, even if it means facing her greatest enemy.

With the doom looming over her, Anna is approached by a dangerous-looking man in the dark. He claims to want to help her, but can she trust him with her secrets? The perils of the journey ahead will push Anna to the limit and answer the one question that has always plagued her. Will she ever be enough?

Anna’s adventures continue in the next book in the series, Valley of Bones, which I’m still writing. I’ve especially enjoyed plotting all three books and am excited to see where Anna’s journey has taken me.

 

Sounds exciting. Your cover is stunning.

 How did you research for your fanatasy world?

Part of Gems of Fire’s fantasy world is loosely based on a medieval European culture, but Morocco serves as the loose setting for the desert scenes. I also researched weapons, sword fighting, armor, moon phases, approximate distance one could travel in a day on horseback and other details. Though it’s set in a fantasy world, I wanted to the details to feel authentic.

I love when fantasy authors research real time things and add them to their stories.

What inspired you to write your book?

The inspiration to write has always percolated in the back of my mind. I was often plotting stories in my head. Specifically for Gems of Fire, when I transitioned from a working woman to stay-at-home mom, I sometimes felt like I was locked in Anna’s room with her. Though I loved being at home with my children, writing was a much-needed creative escape for me.

I can never answer this question without referencing not only Narnia, the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, but others such as Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, the City of Ember, Graceling series, Throne of Glass series, and the incredible, wonderful Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, which begins with The Demon King.

Writers write what they know as well as what they love. Clearly you love fantasy. As an avid reader of the genre you can craft a compelling story. Love it.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

It’s hard to just have one favorite verse. Proverbs 3:5-6 is always a comfort, while Romans 8 continues to be one of my favorite chapters. A passage that resonated with me while revising Gems of Fire and now writing the next two in the series is Psalm 18:30-36.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

I would invest in a mentor early on. I had learned what I could about writing, but until someone sat down with me and showed me how to apply writing principles specifically to my own work, I got stuck at a certain level.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

Writers need to be self-starters, but we also need community. Right now, my community is mostly online, but I have been part of a writers’ group in the past.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

I almost always read young adult fantasy with romance subplots. Can’t get enough!

I am not surprised. 😊

 Where is your favorite place to write?

I enjoy writing in a quiet place, in view of nature. Our home backs to a small lake, so it’s a perfect setting. I’m not a coffee-shop writer because I get too distracted.

What a wonderful setting. Thanks so much for being with us today. Readers, continue scrolling to learn more about Diana and a chance to win a copy of Gems of Fire.

 

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Don’t you just want to open this cover and read. Check out the order links below.

 

More about Diane:

Diane E. Samson is the author of Gems of Fire. She was lucky enough to grow up on acreage just north of Kansas City, Missouri, with horses and dogs in the backyard. When she wasn’t dreaming of Narnia, she was outside riding her horse, training her dog or spending time swimming at the lake. Her love of words led her to earn a degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She subsequently worked as a reporter, editor and in public relations. After moving around the country, she has returned to the Kansas City area where she lives with her husband, children and dog. She will never be without a golden retriever.

Visit Diane on social media:

Website: http://www.dianesamsonauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/diane_samson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DianeESamson/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dianesamsonauthor/

Order Gems of Fire :

Amazon order link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JWB434F

Barnes and Noble order link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gems-of-fire-diane-samson/1129907813

Giveaway!

Diane is giving away an e-book or signed paperback version of Gems of Fire to one lucky winner. Sign up for her newsletter following the link below for a chance to win. Winners outside the US will be sent an e-book copy only.  Drawing will be December 15th.

Diane’s newsletter gives you exclusive updates, new release info and author news https://mailchi.mp/737d6fa20356/authordianesamson

 

 

 

A Visit with My Favorite Novella Author Pegg Thomas

Illinois is having it’s first significant snowfall. This is a great time to cozy up with a good book. If you’ve never read a novella collection this is the perfect time to do it.  Each story can be read in a matter of hours. It’s the ideal companion with a hot beverage and a blanket. Today’s guests is one of my favorite novella writers,Pegg Thomas. I want ot pick her brain a bit about her newest project, The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection. Welcome Pegg.

Pegg and Kathy Rouser 11-3-18 close up

Pegg Thomas and Kathy Rouser at a booksigning. If you’ve been followng me you read Kathy’s story a few weeks ago.

 

Pegg, you’ve been in several Barbour novella collections. I think I’ve read them all by the way. Why write in a novella collection?

I’ve written for four Barbour novellas so far, and have a couple more proposals out to them. I didn’t actually set out to write novellas, I more or less fell into the first one. I prefer to read full-length books myself, so these never crossed my radar until God put one right in my path. He has a way of doing those things. And thank you for being a reader!

How popular are they?

I wish I knew. I know the current release, The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides, has been on Amazon’s top 100 for collections and anthologies off and on for the past few weeks, even before it released. But I don’t get any stats from the publisher as to what’s selling off the shelves in other outlets.

 

GreatLakesLighthouseBrides

I enjoyed this collection so much. Not being from Michigan I loved visiting the lighthouses through these stories. I discovred some new authors to follow.

 

Tell us about The Great Lakes Lighthouse Bride Collection.

This collection is my “baby.” I wanted to showcase our Great Lakes, and so I came up with the idea, contacted the other authors, and put the proposal together. Many people told me that Barbour would only take prairie romances, but I wanted to try and the rest. . .as they say. . .is now history.

How did you come up with the idea? 

I was born in Michigan and have lived here almost my entire life. I love everything Great Lakes. Our historical lighthouses, many of which are open to the public in the summer months, have always held a special place in my heart. And really, is there a more romantic setting than a lighthouse on some distant shore? I think not.

What was it like to be in charge of the production?

Nerve-wracking. I’ve always been a take-charge, get-er-done kind of person, but suddenly I had six other authors depending on me doing a good job of selling this proposal to Barbour’s publication board. Yeah. That was a bit unnerving.

How did you choose your authors?

As with any collection, you want to put together the best authors you can. I started with authors who had some connection with the Great Lakes. My agent asked me to try to field the authors from our agency, which eliminated a couple I would have liked in the project, but I think we did wind up with a very strong cast of authors. I’m particularly happy that Candice Patterson is onboard with this project. Candice and I have been critique partners for more than six years, and she’s an awesome writer. I just had to convince her to take a stab at writing historical. She did a great job with it.

Other than the lighthouses was there any other connection between the stories?

When I contacted the authors, I left it up to them where they wanted to set their stories. We have five Great Lakes and they touch two countries and eight states. Everyone “claimed” their lighthouse so we didn’t wind up with two stories set at the same place. Our stories include three of the lakes, Michigan, Superior, and Huron, and each one is set in Michigan. That was totally by chance, not design, but of course being my home state, I love it. Since lighthouses were put where they are for a reason—dangerous areas to navigate—of course there are some shipwrecks in the stories too.

As with each of my releases, I’m giving away one of my signature handspun, handknit wool shawls. This shawl is called Beacon on the Bay in honor of our lighthouse stories. The only way to get into the drawing is to subscribe to my newsletter. The drawing will be November 30th.

 

Beacon on the Bay side-front 6-11-18

Here is the shawl she’s giving away. Beacon on the Bay was not only knitted by Pegg, she spun the yarn from her own sheeps. She’s a eral pioneer woman.

 

About Pegg:

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. They raise sheep and chickens, keep a few barn cats, and Murphy the spoiled rotten dog. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” Pegg is published in the Barbour historical romance collections. Pegg also works as Managing Editor of Smitten Historical Romance, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When not working or writing, she can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.

 

Links:

Facebook 

Twitter

Goodreads

Pinterest

Google+

PeggThomas.com

Amazon

ColonialQuills

Stitches Thru Time

Before I go I promised to post the winner of Normandie Fischer’s newest novel  The Sea Prayers  in ebook today. The winner is cydnotter. Cydnotter please contact me at cindyhuff11 (at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize.

If you stumbled across my blog this week and enjoyed it. I’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss fun interviews like this and other writerly stuff.

Pat Nichols Turned to Novel Writing after Retirement

Today I welcome Pat Nichols to Jubilee Writer, she and I have a lot in common. We share a publisher and are both members of Word Weavers and ACFW. And …well, I’ll let her tell her very interesting story. Pat

Eight years ago, my husband and I completed our retirement-travel bucket list, prompting the question, “What’s next”. Having spent twenty-five years in the corporate world, I was accustomed to meeting deadlines and accomplishing goals. It might sound crazy, but I kind of missed the fast pace. Not enough to get back in the rat race, mind you. But enough to consider starting a second career. One I believe God prompted me to pursue. Writing novels.

While I cut my teeth on two, not-ready-for-primetime manuscripts based on real people, three fictional characters began to form in my mind. Strangers with different backgrounds. Emily, from a small southern town, and Rachel, an Atlanta native. And Sadie, a convicted felon returning to the scene of her crime. They eventually found their way into my third manuscript.

From the beginning I’d planned to create an ongoing saga with a small town functioning as a key character. Thus, I researched everything I could find about series, finished book one, and began writing the sequel. Late in 2017 I was blessed with a contract from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Months into the editing process readers chose The Secret of Willow Inn as the title. It will be available on Amazon presale in late September or early October and released January, 2019. Earlier this year, I received a second contract for book two in the series, scheduled for release January, 2020. I’m currently working on book three and plan to continue the series until it comes to a logical conclusion sometime in the distant future.

I first realized a calling to write in the eighties during a three-year assignment as a public relations manager. Creating articles and stories for newspapers gave birth to my passion. Many years and numerous assignments passed before the opportunity to tap into my creativity resurfaced. Now with my computer sitting on a lap desk, I write five days a week from a recliner in my living room. The thrill of deadlines and goals mingled with the flexibility of retirement.

In addition to my friends in the North Georgia ACFW chapter and my Word Weavers group, my wonderful husband of fifty plus years is my best support. Although he doesn’t read novels, he listens to my draft, catches errors, and provides excellent feedback.

A friend recently asked how long I planned to continue writing. The answer? Until God takes me home or I wake up one morning and totally forget where I left my computer. I’m counting on the first happening before the second.

I feel the same way, Pat. Thanks for sharing your encouraging story.

Here’s Pat Nichol’s bio:

Pat Nichols launched career number two as a novelist, proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Drawing on years of corporate experience working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life, she creates stories about women who face challenges in the pursuit of their dreams. She lives in an Atlanta suburb with her husband of fifty plus years, is the mother of two, and grandmother of three. She is grateful for God’s blessings and unfailing love through all of life’s peaks and valleys.

Visit her on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/pat.nichols.52459

https://twitter.com/PatNichols16

https://patnicholsauthor.blog

 

Instagram

 

TheSecretofWillowFallsCover

 

Back Cover Copy of The Secret of Willow Inn:

Two women fighting for their dreams, one who’s long lost hers, are united by tragedy and a long-held secret.

Pregnant with her first child, Emily Hayes is eager to help her mother finish transforming an estate into the Willow Inn and write a novel about Willow Falls’ colorful history. A tragic event threatens her parents’ plans to refurbish an abandoned hotel and transform the obscure Georgia setting into a tourist destination.

Sadie Lyles left Willow Falls a murderer who’d killed the town hero. She returns as a despised felon and seeks solace in the town’s café. Emily struggles to unite the close-knit community and becomes Sadie’s biggest advocate. She strives to uncover the truth about the crime and save her town from dying.

To appease her father, Rachel, a VP in his Atlanta real-estate-development firm, relegates her acting dream to secret performances for imaginary audiences. After meeting charming, flirtatious Charlie Bricker, manager for Willow Falls’ future vineyard, she vows to break free from her father’s control.

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