I want your input. I created a poll over on my facebook page. Read on to see what it's about and then go vote!
I was chatting with a friend about a scene in a book I'm editing right now. She was a little upset because it was a proposal scene, but not what you normally expect in those. It wasn't the normal romantic setting with candlelight and music and a ring. It was rather spur-of-the-moment and a little stumbled. She was disappointed in it. I guess it never dawned on me that it would be disappointing because that's sort of the kind of proposal I got. So, I want to know. As a reader of romance novels, which do you prefer? The normal romantic kind, or a different kind that you don't always get in books? Feel free to add comments and let me know your own proposal stories! I might just use one or two of them in future books!
I discovered that someone who had gotten my book as a Christmas gift loved it so much that she recommended it to her book club. They read it together last month. How neat is that? Not only did they read it together, they came up with questions to help them discuss it. She sent me their list of questions in case anyone else wanted to use them, as well. These are completely theirs. I didn't help them create them at all. What do you think? Did they do a good job? Can you think of any others?
I will also post these to my Facebook author page so you can find them there, as well.
**SPOILER ALERT** If you read farther, some of the details of the book will be given away, so if you haven't actually read the book yet, go read it first. :-)
1) As roommates and co-owners of a bookstore, both Jessica and Courtney are young christian women. Do you see them as a Mary or a Martha? Why?
2) Are you using all your talents for Him or are you burying some of them? (Chapter 2, page 16)
3) Name the surprising twists in this novel.
4) Have you ever been in a relationship (romantic or otherwise) where someone tried to manipulate you like Austin did to Jessica? How did you respond?
5) How could Ruth have dealt better with her disillusionment over the early unexpected demise of her fiance? Why do you think she kept it to herself?
6) Who handled Ruth's fears and bitterness better--Jessica or her mother, Sandy? Why?
7) Do you think Ruth was unrealistic in how she dealt with things? Why or Why not?
8) Will you put a review on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for Amy?
Today, I want to introduce you to one of the most amazing people. I am blessed to not only call Sandi Rog my mentor, but also my editor, publisher, and friend. Before she was all of that though, she published several books of her own ... and they're wonderful, too. I just reread Walks Alone, probably my favorite of her novels, and I seriously didn't want to put it down even though I had read it several times before and knew what happened. It's that good. So, here is my interview with Sandi so you can get to know her a little better, too.
When and how did you start writing?
I always wrote when I was young, but the following experience is what pushed me into writing novels. I lived in Holland for thirteen years, and during that time (before Amazon) we made a visit to the States. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a book written in English. Of course, I wanted Christian fiction. I found a book that was nearly 500 pages long. I devoured a good portion of it on the plane back to Holland. After wading through sermon after sermon, a bunch of boring details, the story finally got interesting in the last chapter (turned out it was the first book in a sequel). After that, I’d had my fill of Christian fiction. I was so furious I tossed the book across the room. That’s when my friend said, “Why don’t you write what you want to read?” That was the spark that got me started on “The Master’s Wall” in my IRON AND THE STONE SERIES. I’ve noticed since then that the Christian Fiction market has improved significantly with much more exciting and interesting books to read.
All of your books are historical fiction. What is it about historical fiction that speaks to you? Would you be interested in writing something contemporary?
I’ve always loved history. When I was in school I always imagined personal stories woven into the fabric of the past. I also like to reveal how we as humans are still the same, today, tomorrow and yesterday. To me this means that God’s word also doesn’t need to change. It applies to us just as much today as it did to those in the past.
I might be interested in writing a contemporary if I can come up with a story that appeals to me.
I love how books like your "The Master's Wall" take us back to a time we probably don't think much about despite the fact that it's around the time the Bible was written. Was it hard to do the research for your books? Which took longer? The research or the writing?
Yes, it was difficult to do the research for my ancient Roman stories. People back then didn’t even sit in chairs at tables to eat like we do today. I had no idea “what” they ate, etc. I was blessed enough to visit several ancient cities, such as Trier, Germany (former capital of Rome when Constantine was Caesar) and Rome itself. The research of visiting places was fun! But I also got my hands on a lot of books. I’d have to say because of the research, the writing took a long time. So both took longer. LOL
Of the books you've published, do you have a favorite? If so, why?
That’s hard to say. I like them all for different reasons. For a great romance, my favorite is Walks Alone. For an adventurous historical (with a bit of romance), I like my Ancient Roman stories: The Master’s Wall and Yahshua’s Bridge.
You have sort of been on every part of publishing now: writing, editing, and the main publisher. What is your favorite part of the process? What is your least favorite?
My favorite part of the process is the writing. My least favorite is the publishing. Writing requires creativity and “escape.” Publishing requires logic and numbers. Ugh!
Any tips for those who are out there hoping to someday be published, too?
Write what excites you. I’ve written both what inspired me and for the market. The stories that excited me are what sell the best. Your excitement and passion for a story will be felt by the reader.
Can you leave us with one little fun fact about you?
Hmm. I know how to ride a unicycle. :-)
Wow! That is a fun fact! Thanks for joining us today, Sandi! And let me just say that I'm glad that you're willing to publish even though it's your least favorite part!
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)