I so appreciate Sandra Ardoin for inviting me to participate in a writer's blog hop. Sandy's blog is always a great source of encouragement to writers, especially her High Five Fridays!! Discovering new blogs and getting to know other writers is the perfect reason to join a blog hop, don't you think? But I'm following an example of another sweet writer friend and, instead, sharing some "Agape" love to some writers who have meant a lot to me in my life. Sorry, Sandy, for shaking it up a bit. Hope you don't mind!
So here we go...
What am I working on?
After cranking out six books in the last sixteen months, I breathed a relieved sigh and scheduled a little decompression time. I stuffed three weeks full of family, travel, and...not so much writing. I used that break to prayerfully consider my journey and reestablish some goals. An idea for a new series simmered, featuring three Kester siblings who vow to save their ranch after their father's sudden death. It's my first contemporary western featuring, you guessed it...cowboys!
Roping the Cowboy is the first book in the Kester Ranch series:
Hungry for the coveted VP position in her father’s
company, an ambitious oil executive chooses the cowboy’s heart over the
Picture Channing Tatum as hunky hero Fargo Kester who attempts to romance Darby Brewster (Keira Knightly) away from her father's company and onto the ranch to stay. Have I mentioned lately how much I love being a writer? :)
This is my first venture outside the inspirational genre, but it's still sweet, with the same values and standards as my other books.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My writing tends to veer towards the steamy side of inspy, which might make some people uncomfortable, but I don't believe romance is all about the bedroom. You don’t need to be embarrassed if your children or grandchildren pick up one of my books and start reading. They won’t find graphic bedroom scenes or vulgar language. They will find stories bursting with passion and depth, and characters who deal with real life issues such as single parenthood, domestic violence, weak self-images, emotional or physical abandonment, and more.
The major difference between secular and inspirational romance is the faith element. I love creating stories where the faith thread is weaved, natural and seamless throughout the story, framing a theme or message that wraps itself around your heart and remains with you long after you reach “the end.”
But lately, I'm sensing a call to toss my fishing net farther away from the boat. :)
Why do I write what I do?
To me, romance is an integral part of everyday life. It takes on many forms. Whether that's sharing coffee or lunch with my hubby on our back deck, content to just soak in each other's company and the natural beauty surrounding us; catching my grandson's face light up when he sees me arrive at daycare and his tiny hand stretching up to grab mine; that sweet spot in my soul as worship music covers me like a warm blanket; or feeling the warmth of the sun on my back as I walk around the park. God showers me with His love every day. How can I not write about love and hope, grace and forever? How can I not sprinkle my books with messages of forgiveness or that it's never too late for redemption?
How does my writing process work?
I started my writing career as a total pantser. My goal was to give birth to great characters or an idea and let the story flow organically from there. Since I’ve graduated to contracting on proposal with my publisher, I have forced myself to become a plotter, but that just means I have an initial story concept, like the blurb on the back cover, along with a skeletal outline, including the cute meet and how I want the story to end, but nothing is written in stone. Then, it's all a matter of planting my tush in the chair and tapping out the story, four hours a day, five days a week.
That wraps it up for me. Now, to share some AGAPE love for writers who have blessed my life. Say hello to Maria Bostian >
She's a Life Safety Educator for the City of Kannapolis Fire Department and- who knew? -a writer! She works at the fire station with my hubby and she always has a smile on her face. Can't you just see the joy bubbling over? That's Maria. Her September debut is a children’s safety book about playing with matches and lighters. You can get to know Maria here. Maria will be carrying the blog torch, and be sure to stop by and congratulate her on her contract and her blog debut.
Next, I'd like you to meet someone who has encouraged me tremendously and faithfully...
<<Susan Tuttle. When I put out the call for influencers for my first book, Journey's End, Susan immediately responded with a fabulous review. She took a chance on a new writer, and for that, I will be forever grateful. When I asked her to join Seriously Write as a monthly contributor, she didn't hesitate. She's an inspiration, a blessing, and a true friend. One day I will meet her face to face and tell her how much she's meant to me. Susan just completed her first novel, and I'm sure we'll be hearing wonderful news from her real soon! Be sure to check out her blog, Steps Into An Abundant Life. Her devotions always seem to be just the words I needed to hear on that particular day, and I look forward to her Wednesday quotes and Bookshelf Fridays.
And lastly, Sandra Ardoin. >>
Sandy and I met online through ACFW, and imagine my surprise to discover that we lived just a few miles away! Our friendship has evolved over coffee breaks and local ACFW meetings, and I treasure our time together. Since inviting me to join this blog hop, Sandy signed her first contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel! Don't you just love the title? I can't wait to read it! Congratulations, Sandy! If you know Sandy, please stop by and offer your congratulations here. Even if you don't know Sandy, I'm sure she'd be thrilled to hear from you.
Sandy and Susan have already shared some writer love, but how about you? How can you encourage your favorite writer? Find a way to spread the love...
Labels: #amwriting, A Blog Hop, agape love, childrens books, Christian writers, contemporary, fiction, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, Maria Bostian, romance, Sandra Ardoin, Susan Tuttle, writers