Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Thank you so much for having me here at NOR. As well as being a writer, I am a wife, mother, grandmother and full-time sales producer in the insurance industry. I am also the Co-Founder, President and Treasurer of Bayou Writers' Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Wow, what an intriguing question. One of my characters.hmmm.well while I relate really well to all of my female characters, I'd like to be Tamera as she appears in Tempered Dreams because spiritually she is in a place that I strive to be.. gracious, loving, compassionate, supportive, non-judgmental. Though I try hard to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and develop these qualities in my life, unfortunately, many times it is easier to show them through a character than to practice them in person. :)
What's your favorite genre to read?
By far my favorite genre is Romance.
Who or what influences you when you write?
Well, as an avid romance reader, the search for the perfect life partner and happily ever after is part of what influences me. As a Christian and a writer, my relationship with God through Jesus Christ also influences me since it is my goal to encourage people to pursue their own personal relationship with Him.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Boy, I wish that were easy to answer, LOL! Since I work full-time, there is no such thing as a `typical' writing day for me. When I'm writing, I write as much as possible.mornings, evenings, and weekends. When I'm editing or proofing, those things take up my normal writing time. Then, there is promotion and marketing, blogs, interviews and article writing that must also be tended to. So I guess my typical writing day just depends on what needs to be done the most. :)
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
For me, writer's block only occurs when I try to write a story my way instead of how God wants. The only way I break free is to repent, submit and let Him write through me.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I'd love to. Tempered Joy, book 4 in the 5-part series will be out sometime late this year or early 2008. Can a heart bound by grief find joy in new love? Based on Psalms 126:5: "They thatsow in tears will reap in joy," Tempered Joy revolves around Ace Harris (Craig and Tamera's son) and Lexie Morgan (Scott and Katrina's adopted daughter). Can two young people who clash from the onset learn to trust in the healing power of God to find love and happiness amidst tragedy and grief? Find out in Tempered Joy.
Also, coming April 27 from The Wild Rose Press in digital format and June 22 in print is my single title novel, The Inheritance. Widowed at age 39 and suffering from empty nest syndrome, Rebecca Sinclair is overshadowed by grief and loneliness. Will an unexpected inheritance in the wine country of New York bring meaning and purpose to her life and give her the courage to love again? US Postal worker Raymond Jacobey has been in love with the little widow since he first set eyes on her. Will he gain the heart of the lovely widow or will he lose her to the wine country of New York? Find out in The Inheritance.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
Well, along with Tempered Joy and The Inheritance, I currently have 2 other works submitted to different publishers, a book of short stories in the works and a romantic saga that is complete which I hope to edit and submit this year. After these, I need to write my 5th Tempered novel, Tempered Truth.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? In general and in you're writing career.
As for my writing career, in 5 years I hope to have all of my current WIPs published, or at least contracted, and film scripts developed -and hopefully contracted- for at least three of them. In general, I'd like to be more active in speaking, teaching writing and ministering through words, and of course, writing. I'd really like to do more projects like my Gift Book, possibly a book of devotionals or something of that nature.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
In fiction, my perfect hero is Dr. Scott Hensley in Tempered Dreams. He is sweet, sexy, compassionate, humble, and has a heart for God. In real life, my husband Terry; he has supported my dream and put up with all of the long hours at the computer, evenings and weekends away at meetings, speaking engagements, conferences, book signings, etc without complaint. :)
What do you do for inspiration?
I read books by my favorite romance and Christian authors as well as biblically based books that minister to my spirit and help me grow as a Christian and a writer.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
Romance, but when I rededicated my life to Christ in 1989, my focus became "not just another romance," but something that glorifies Him.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Neither. Since my current work situation forces me to focus on one project at-a-time, deadlines have not been a problem.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
Well, I started writing over 25 yrs ago in 5-subject notebooks and did that for about 11yrs. Since you cannot submit a hand-written manuscript, I did not begin even thinking about submitting until 1993 when I bought my first used, word processor. I've always worked outside the home, so it took a whole year for me to type up my WIP at the time, then I had to get the others typed up also. As I mentioned earlier, my husband has always been my biggest supporter and he encouraged me to start querying and submitting even before I had everything typed.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
You can't put that in a Christian novel; take it out, change it, conform!
Write what God puts on your heart and let Him open the doors of publication.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I am by far a SOTP (seat of the pants) writer! I know only the bare basics of any character or story when I start.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first published work was articles in Tete -a- Tete, the newsletter for Couer de Louisiane, the writers' group I belonged to from 1998 thru 2000. My first published novel was Tempered Hearts as an Ebook in Dec. 2000 thru Writer's Exchange Epublishing Co; Tempered Dreams followed in June 2001.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
The best way is visit my website, or my publishers' websites, but I also try and regularly update my blogs and MySpace about my books.
What would you like to tell your readers?
I would like to thank each and every one of my readers for their continued support of the challenges we've faced -and overcome- in my writing career. My prayer is that each and every reader, current or new, will be encouraged to develop a closer walk with the Lord, Jesus and that God will bless and keep each of you -and yours- in the palm of His mighty hand!
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
No, not a group, but I do have a critique partner who helps me tremendously. In fact every time I re-read something or begin a new project I hear her voice. "What is it? Active not passive, show don't tell!"