Behind the Story: Benjamin
Behind the Story: Skye
End of a Series
When I first started writing my Roadtrip Romance books, I was only going to write the one. As I sat at a writer's retreat, chatting through the plot with a friend, she said, "You could turn it into a series."
What? No. I didn't write series. I wrote stand-alone books and was quite happy doing so.
But the idea was there. And it wouldn't leave me alone.
You see, the first book has three friends: Katie, Bree, and Skye. And while the story is mostly about Katie, I was growing to love Bree and Skye too, and wanted to know what happened to them.
Thus, a series was born.
In case you didn't know, Scrivenings Press is my publisher, and the company is more like a family in many ways. Needless to say, I'm always excited to meet/get to know another Scrivenings author. Ellen Withers is one I actually got to meet in person last fall when she came to Nashville for the Christy Awards. I'm also blessed to be her content editor for a novella coming out later this year. Needless to say, I'm more than excited to introduce her to YOU now. Because obviously you'll love someone I already love, right? Read on.
Ellen, congratulations on the release of your first novel! What is one of the biggest things you’ve learned through the process of getting this book published?
I’ve learned so many things, but the most important is being grateful to God for blessing me with a publisher, editors and the other authors of Scrivenings Press who have helped me get this book published. I’m also so grateful for the support of my friends and family who share my excitement at being a published author.
You’ve chosen to write a mystery. What is it that draws you to that genre?
I grew up reading Harriet the Spy and Nancy Drew mysteries and found them fascinating. I’ve lived my life with a strong sense of right and wrong. Mysteries usually put all the pieces together and allow us to cheer when the bad guy gets caught. I love the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes and anything written by Agatha Christie. Even my insurance career involved solving mysteries, such as How did this fire start? How did this collision occur? Who was at fault?
Behind ... or Not
Do you do the yearly Reading Challenge on Goodreads? I've done it for several years now and always seem to surpass the number I set (125 for the last few years). But this year, when I log in to Goodreads, I usually see a message like the one above. See those words right under the little line showing my progress?
But I've been reading. Pretty much reading as much as normal. How is that possible? And should I care?
Author Takeover: Fifty Years Later
It's time! Time for the next book in our Stained Glass Legacy series to release.
Regina Rudd Merrick is guesting on my blog today to talk about the memories and research done to write a book set in the time when she was a little girl. Do you think you could do the same?
When I began writing Window of Peace, all I had was a story outline for the Stained Glass Legacy series, of which mine is second. Heather Greer’s Window of Opportunity is book one (1920s), mine is book 2 (1970), Amy’s Window of the Heart is book 3 (current day), and Erin Howard’s Window of Time is book 4(dystopian future).
How hard could it be? I was alive in 1970. I remember it well.
Tip #1. When you think something’s going to be easy, hold that thought.
Yes, I was alive, but I wasn’t an adult in 1970, like my characters. I was six. Six years old. My PARENTS were in their 20’s!
I started researching the time period. The clothes, I remembered. I’d just been going through old photos of my family, so that wasn’t hard.
Books about ... Books
You know I love to read. Seriously. But I've discovered another thing I love about reading, and that's reading about book lovers. Because I always find something else to read while reading those.
What am I talking about?
Last week, I read a book called Authentically Izzy by Pepper Basham. It's by far my favorite read of the year so far. Izzy is a book lover, and she's constantly referring to and quoting books she loves.
Have you read anything like that? Well, here's the thing, in listening to her gush about her favorite books, I added to my TBR.
I haven't had a chance to read this beautiful book yet, but I'm excited to. Brand new author, Janilise Lloyd is here to chat today, and her story, The Whisperer's Wish, looks absolutely wonderful. So, sit down and stay a few minutes to get to know Janilise and her new story.
Janilise, congrats on your first book release! You say you never thought you'd end up an author, so what changed your plans? What first encouraged you to pursue writing?
As a kid and teenager, writing was never something I considered doing for fun. As far as I knew, it was just something I used for classes in school. But I have always loved to read, and though I didn’t recognize it when I was young, I also loved storytelling. I used to make up little stories when I was cleaning or on long road trips with my family.
When I was in my early twenties, my husband had a different work schedule than me, so I often had evenings to myself. A story idea came to mind and I decide—purely for the fun of it—I’d try writing it down. That’s when my foray into the writing world began. That story grew and changed. I began to see writing as a hobby and then something I sincerely wanted to pursue. My love for it has only grown since then.
Your enthusiasm for helping young people write is beautiful. What is your best tip for younger people hoping to write?
My best tip is to give yourself quiet time to be alone with your own thoughts. In today’s world, the options for consuming other people’s creations are endless. But you’ll never truly create something of your own until you give yourself the time to be with your own imagination. While other people’s creations can serve as a spring board or inspiration for your own ideas, don’t let them crowd out the time you can take to develop your own. While in the beginning stages of writing, you have to let your own creative self take control. Write what you think makes a great story and forget about all the other pressures and distractions.
Update of Sorts
We're three months into 2023. Normally, I'd have some sort of exciting news to tell you about what I'm working on. Want the truth?
I haven't written much this year.
It's a shocker, right? Well, not so much, considering everything else I've been doing. And I did start the year off with a book launch in February, which took up quite a bit of time. So does editing. And my other jobs. And my kids. And you get the idea.
These aren't excuses, though. Simply life. All that to say, there's not much new to talk about right now. But ...
Do you prefer historicals or contemporary? Or both? Today, we're chatting with author Danielle Grandinetti, who writes both Historical Suspense and Sweet Contemporary Romance. And all of her books sound so good. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know more about her and her stories. She has a new one releasing this month!
Danielle, you write both Christian Historical Suspense and Sweet Contemporary Romance. What is your favorite part about each?
My favorite genres are historical, romance, and suspense, so combining them is awesome. I mean, what better way to have two characters fall in love but when they're running for their lives? However, all suspense, all the time, can be challenging, which is why I also love writing sweet romance. My first foray into this genre is A Father for Her Boy, which releases in August from Love Inspired.
As you've done research for your historicals, what is one of the neatest facts you've discovered?
Oh there are so many fun facts I've learned! One interesting thing I learned in my research for Confessions to a Stranger is about Memorial Day. In 1930, the year the story is set, Memorial Day occurred on a date, not a day. So that year, Memorial Day landed on a Friday. It was originally a time to remember those who served and sacrificed during the Civil War. However after WWI, the holiday began to morph in name (from Decoration Day to Memorial Day) as well as to include those who fought in the Great War.
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)