Archive | May, 2013

Guest Author: Angela Breidenbach

22 May

Angela Breidenbach

Welcome Angela Breidenbach! Thanks for taking time to visit today.

Alison: Reading your bio, I can see you have a very active and busy life. How do you make time to write?

Angie: It’s tough sometimes, but there’s nothing like a deadline. I write best to deadline because of my workaholic nature. That’s like Mara Keegan in my new novel, A Healing Heart. I don’t really watch much TV. I work six days a week and schedule freelance, coaching, etc. on my daily schedule. I also take breaks between books to write articles and pre-load marketing and do interviews for the book or compilation that sold. I think the most important thing for writers is to actually schedule writing into your daily calendar. You don’t get anything done unless you plan to do it. I’m always working on what to cut out of my schedule!

Alison: How would you describe your perfect day?

Angie: The perfect day is never the same 😉 I’m not someone who can do the same thing over and over again. I need a lot of variety to keep from boredom. But my favorite things are spending time with my kids and grand kids, coaching, and speaking. So I think a few hours of each with some great eclectic food tossed in would be a delightful day. Make it sunny, warm, and near a beach and I might think I’m in heaven, lol. (Remember I live in the cold mountains of Montana.)

Alison: I see that you are a CTA Life Coach. In your experience, what is the single most thing that holds people back from living the life of their dreams? (Is it possible to answer this question in a few short paragraphs? :))

Angie: The single thing I see that holds people back from living the life of their dreams is a sense of victimization. Overcoming a victim’s attitude is crucial. It keeps people inside their heads, inside their defined box (usually defined by someone else), and fearful. I love watching someone bloom as they release the victim attitude and embrace the life God planned for them. It’s beautiful and stunning! That’s why I wrote my non-fiction book that gets used at women’s retreats, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life. It’s my dream to help people let go of that victim’s attitude and leap into their life.

Alison: Favorite vacation spot?

Angie: Beach, beach, beach 😉 Okay, and I have dreams of spending a month each in Scotland, Sweden, and Australia/New Zealand. Then I want to write books set in those places.

Alison: Tell us a little bit about the next writing project you’re working on.

Angie: I am working on a couple of stories. The sequel to A Healing Heart is the story of Cadence Keegan, the graduating teen all grown up. That book is called Climb Every Mountain—Cadence is a fitness coach with a failing gym about to give up on her dream when a mischievous girl nearly burns her gym down. Cadence has to choose fight or flight when Jackson comes to get in shape for his dream to climb mountains.

Lucky’s Draw is an 1864 Montana Territory: Is thirteen a lucky number? A dozen Swedish widows turn to a Black Irish saloon girl for matchmaking after Hidden Draw’s devastating loss of their male population. Who better to choose their husbands than one who really knows male character?

A Healing HeartAbout A Healing Heart:
What would you do if the one man who can help is the one man you can’t trust?
A heart attack has stopped workaholic Mara Keegan in her tracks, leaving her daughter’s unfinished photo memory quilt hanging by a thread. Little does Mara know, this quilt—and the memories it bolsters—are the key to her rehabilitation. But Mara’s heart needs to be healed in more ways than one. And Joel Ryan is fraying her last nerve. With her daughter’s graduation fast approaching, even Mara starts to wonder if she—and her faith—can mend in time. Will Joel’s photo find a place on the quilt… and in Mara’s heart?

Praise for A Healing Heart:
A Healing Heart weaves tears, cheers, laughter and delightful moments to keep you saying, ‘this is my story, my own healing and my own victory.’”—Janet Perez Eckles, author of #1 best-selling Simply Salsa

“As beautifully woven as a keepsake quilt, A Healing Heart wraps itself around you, offering a cozy, heart-tugging story. This is definitely my kind of tale—one that pulls you in from the first page and keeps your emotions engaged throughout. Highly recommended.”—Janice Thompson, author of Queen of the Waves

Bio:
Angela Breidenbach’s family tradition is giving unique quilts of memorable moments spanning birth to graduation to their graduating seniors. Mrs. Montana International 2009, an inspirational speaker and author, Angela also coaches writers, pageant contestants, and weight loss/fitness in Missoula, MT.
www.AngelaBreidenbach.com
Twitter & Pinterest: @angbreidenbach

 

Thanks for stopping by, Angie.

Cheers,

Alison

Advertisements

Guest Author: DiAnn Mills

15 May

DiAnnMills-2012

Welcome, DiAnn, to my blog. I love your husband’s challenge…looks like it lead to your writing career!

1. Your bio on your website reads, “I had always dreamed of becoming a writer, but I didn’t have the courage to take the first step.” First published in 1998, you now you have over 50 books published. What finally pushed you to take that first step?

My husband challenged me to write a novel. “Stop telling me you’re going to one day write a novel. Do it now. Quit your job, and if you get anything published in the next year, you don’t have to go back to your day job.” 🙂 I never went back to my day job.

2. Why did you decide to write for the inspirational market?

My faith and desire to offer hope to believers and unbelievers in a nonthreatening environment. We all have family, friends, and neighbors who will never step inside a church, attend a church function, or read a Bible. But we can hand those people a novel in which one or more of the characters solve their problems according to a Christian world view, and those people begin to see what following Christ is all about.

3. What is your writing process like?

First is a what-if that includes a character and a plot idea. From there I develop characters, the longest segment of the preparation to write process. I use psychology and counseling books along with personality testing. I spend lots of hours imagining how the characters would react/respond to various situations. Plotting comes next. I keep the word “antagonist” firmly planted in my mind to show the strong probability of the antagonist winning the goal. I plant twists and turns to show the complexity of life. And I do whatever it takes to research a topic appropriately.

4. Describe your perfect day.

Writing all day without emails to answer, laundry, phone calls, errands, and the words running like a waterfall. (I’m a dreamer too.)

5. What’s up next for you?

I’m working on the first book of a new FBI romantic suspense series. Nearly finished with the first draft.

 

DiAnn Mills is an award winning writer who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than fifty-five books published.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

Connect with DiAnn:

 Thank you for stopping by, DiAnn. I enjoyed your interview.

Readers, check out one of DiAnn Mills’ latest books, The Survivor, out now.

Blurb for The Survivor:

Is it her next bestseller . . . Or her last words? In The Chase, award-winning author DiAnn Mills introduced you to the world of Kariss Walker, the bestselling suspense author with a nose for trouble. In The Survivor, Kariss gets the chance to tell her most powerful story yet. But will it revitalize her writing career? Or bring it to a violent end? Kariss meets Dr. Amy Garrett, who survived a brutal childhood attack in which the assailant was never found. Now Dr. Garrett wants her story written in a novel. Kariss wishes she could seek the advice of Special Agent Tigo Harris, but she broke off the relationship a few months prior and seeing him again would be too painful. She interviews Amy and conducts her own research, stepping unaware into danger. Tigo misses Kariss and wants her back, but he understands why she broke off their relationship. Instead, he concentrates on solving a car bombing and bringing the killer to justice. As Kariss’s new story attracts an onslaught of danger that she never expected, can Tigo save the woman he loves and find out who wants her dead for writing about an unsolved cold case?

 

Cheers,

~Alison

Welcome Guest ~ Merrillee Whren

8 May

Merrillee Whren

Welcome Merrillee Whren! I love chatting with fellow authors. Thanks for answering my questions. And be sure to check out Merrillee’s latest release, A Place to Call Home.

1. I love your story of perseverance on your journey to publication. Can you share a little bit about how you kept going in the face of rejection to eventually find publishing success? In the early years, I expected rejection, and I was too ignorant to know that receiving a rejection five months after I submitted was not a sign that the editor had actually read the whole manuscript. Although I had read a couple of books on writing romance and a couple of others on writing novels, I learned so much more after I joined Romance Writers of America and the local chapter, Georgia Romance Writers. Also being part of a critique group helped keep me going. A year after I submitted my third manuscript to a publisher, I got a request for revisions. It took me too long to do the revisions because I had just started a new teaching job. Anyway, nine months later I got the rejection, but it was a very good rejection. Sometimes, when I got overwhelmed with discouragement, I would pull out the rejection letter and read it and remind myself that an editor had said some very good things about my writing. Another thirteen years passed before I made my first sale. During that time, I stayed active with my local RWA group wherever that might have been since I moved numerous times. I entered writing contests for feedback and began to place or final in them. My best win was the RWA Golden Heart that I won in 2003, the year before I made my first sale to Love Inspired. I somehow worked my way through the bad news and rejections and clung to the good news. As I look back over that time, I see that God was leading me to write Christian stories.

 

2. What is your writing process like? I’m mostly an organic writer (seat-of-the-pants). The kernel of an idea—either a character or a setting—comes to mind in a beginning scene. I take it from there. I have a difficult time seeing the whole story, so it is hard to plot things ahead of time, but if I want to sell on proposal, I have to come up with that synopsis. Even after a dozen books, it doesn’t get easier.

3. Describe your perfect day. A perfect writing day would include completing 2500 words. That doesn’t happen very often because I am not a fast writer. Otherwise, a perfect day includes a long walk during which I think about the story I’m writing, a visit with my granddaughters and an evening watching my favorite TV shows with my husband.

4. I love the cover of your new book, A Place to Call Home. Why did you decide to “go indie” when you published it? Thanks, Alison. I love the cover, too. Kim Van Meter did an excellent job helping me capture the concept of the story. I decided to “go indie” with this book because it is the manuscript that won the Inspirational Golden Heart in 2003. It is too long for Love Inspired, since they lowered their word count a number of years ago. I don’t believe I could place it with other publishers because it isn’t a story that would work as a single title. It lacks the subplots necessary for a single title book. Thankfully, authors have choices now that allow stories that fit nowhere else to find a home.

5. What’s coming up next for you? I’m waiting to hear on a proposal that I have with Love Inspired. While I’m waiting, I’m working on a book that looks like it’s also going to be an indie book. It’s what I call my “basketball story.” I think it has some elements that are very relevant to today in college athletics. Again it is a story that is difficult to place, but may find readers in the “indie” market. It is also a story that requires a lot of research.

 

STARTING OVER

WEB MERRILLEE WHREN for FB (427x640)After serving six years in prison for the false charge of manslaughter in the death of his wife, Kurt Jansen must overcome a world of bitterness if he wants to start a new life. But his first priority is securing a restoration job to pay a private investigator to find the real killer and a lawyer to get his kids back.

Hiring a convicted wife-killer isn’t what kind-hearted Molly Finnerty bargains for as part of the prison ministry she supports. However, she begins to believe Kurt’s claim of innocence and gradually finds a great deal to like about him—perhaps more to like than she should.

Can they overcome the past and find forgiveness and love?

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

A Place to Call Home looks wonderful. Congratulations. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

All the best,

Alison