Today Candee Fick, fellow-LPC author is with me today. I enjoyed her debut novel Dance Over Me and today, along with getting to know her, she’ll share her newest release Focus on Love.
Tell my readers a little about your writing journey.
The seeds for my writing journey began at age four when I first learned how to read and unlocked the power of imaginative stories. As an avid reader, I found a happy escape inside the pages of a book and often found myself inventing alternate endings or adventures for my favorite characters. However, there came a time when I found the latest book unsatisfying and soon began dreaming new stories of my own.
Of course, once I deliberately began to write for publication rather than personal entertainment, I quickly discovered how much I had to learn! While fiction was my passion, my first published works came through non-fiction articles and books. However, once I mastered bits of the fiction craft, I haven’t looked back. Multiple attempts at the ACFW Genesis contest eventually led to a victory and finally my first fiction contract.
What is your latest published project?
My latest project, Focus On Love, was released on February 13th of this year, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It tells the story of a photographer-turned-actress who meets a freelancer who has put his career on hold. When he shows her what true love is all about, her life may never be the same. While perfectly okay as a standalone the picks up right where Dance Over Me left off (and I’m thrilled to say I’ve just officially signed a contract for the third book of the series.)
How do you research for your book?
With contemporary settings, most of my research revolves around the professions of my characters. For example, Liz is an actress at a dinner theater and they are about to present White Christmas followed in a few months by Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I needed to know how many people would be in the cast for each, character names, songs in the stage version, and so on. Since Liz and Ryan are both photographers, I needed to research specific types of camera lenses, wedding photography, and then created a fictional magazine publishing empire to hire Ryan.
What inspired you to write your book?
This particular book came to life while writing a previous story about Liz’s roommate Dani. While weaving bits of her character into the narrative, I found myself wondering more about what made her tick. Why did she hold God at arm’s length? If she was so good at photography, why was she an actress instead? And finally, what would it take to change her mind? Once I got to know Liz, her story just had to be written.
When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?
At first, my desire to create fictional worlds for readers was purely for the entertainment value. I wanted to write the kind of books I like to read. But then I found spiritual truths about God creeping into the storylines as my characters struggled with the obstacles they faced. Suddenly, I wanted to show authentic Christians wrestling with the tough issues against the backdrop of God’s unfailing love. That’s when writing became more of a calling.
Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?
I’ve got several favorite verses that have carried me through difficult times in the past. But the most recent actually inspired The Wardrobe series: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) For me, this verse paints a comprehensive picture of God’s unfailing love. Dani discovered that God never left her and in fact rejoices or dances over her. Liz’s fears are quieted with God’s love. And soon Gloria will learn that God sings and then begins to sing a new song herself.
If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?
It’s a long journey so don’t lose heart. But it’s a journey full of personal discovery and some of the most amazingly supportive people you’ll ever meet along the way. Just keep writing…and reading…and learning. And never lose the joy that made you want to write in the first place. If you don’t love your story and characters, no one else will.
Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?
My husband tries to be supportive, but bless his heart, he only reads the Bible and the sports page. For me, my local writers’ group has become that vital foundation. At every monthly meeting, we start off by sharing what’s new in our writing worlds. My goal has been to always have something to say that shows my progress. That accountability and group of cheerleaders keeps me coming back to the keyboard on the rough days.
What is your favorite genre to read for fun?
I read it all as long as it’s clean and the favorite of the week depends on my mood. Sometimes I need a little adventure with a YA dystopian tale or romantic suspense or mystery. Other times, my real life is a tad too chaotic by itself and I crave the escape into a simpler historical or fairy tale retelling. Romance and romantic plot threads are always high on my list but the setting and genre can vary widely.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I recently co-sponsored two trips to a castle to teach middle schoolers about writing fiction. While most of the day was consumed with teaching and mentoring and chaperoning…I still got up early and headed to the library to write every morning. My imagination could simply dance across the page and I wish I could always write there!
However, in real life, I write either at the desk in my office before the family wakes up…or at Starbucks while my daughter is at work nearby. Both seem “literary” to me but are also places where my muse knows to show up and help me get words on the page.
More about the author:
Candee Fick is a multi-published 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 with her day job, writing, 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.
Focus on Love teaser:
Get free first chapters: http://eepurl.com/1OSfH
Check out her other books:
Find all of her books: https://www.amazon.com/Candee-Fick/e/B0056B94VE/
BLURB for Focus On Love: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946016411/r
Free-spirited Elizabeth Foster turned her back on her father’s photography business to pursue musical theater, but a career on the stage remains second to a career behind the camera. The possibility of a one-show contract means she’s a few weeks from unemployment forcing her home, and her dreams of pursuing professional photography reemerge. With photography and theater opportunities unfolding before her, Liz faces her biggest challenge yet—listening to her heart.
Meanwhile, sought-after photographer Ryan Callahan has put his career on hold to help his sister’s family, but the promise of a bigger assignment could lure him away so he can begin building a family of his own. With professional opportunities and personal obligations pulling at him, Ryan faces his toughest challenge—balancing family, relationships, and work.
If given the choice, what dreams would develop for Liz and Ryan? And will they learn to trust each other enough to focus on love?