Hi, and thanks for your willingness to appear on my blog! I’m looking forward to sharing your knowledge and advice with the rest of the world (at least with the small portion of it that follows my blog).
Hi, Karin! Thanks for inviting me on your blog!
To get started, what genre do you write?
I usually write in the mystery/suspense genres, i.e. romantic suspense, cozy mysteries, classic suspense, etc. My last book, however, was a romance.
How did you pick these genres?
This one is easy: it’s where my interests lie—in mysteries/suspense, that is. 😉
What are your favorite genres to read?
I like trying to untangle the plot—find the answers before being told. There’s just something about observing the characters and figuring out motivation that fascinates me—in real life as well as in books & movies.
How long did it take you complete your first manuscript (published or not)?
Wow, I’m not really sure about that first one—I was only twelve, and it was more of a “continuing” sort of story. Of course, there’s always the possibility that I didn’t know how to end it. 😉
My first published book, The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, took about four months. That was a whirlwind!
Have your follow-up novels been easier or harder to write?
The second Bouncing Grandma book didn’t take much longer to write than the first. The next three novels (Mirrored Image, An American Gothic, and Portrait of Jenny) were older manuscripts that — after too many years and re-writes to count — were re-written yet again for publication. It was a long road on each of them, but well worth it. My last novel, The Wedding Barter, took the least amount of time. It was also much shorter.
To answer your question more precisely, I believe it’s a bit harder to write the follow-up novels. As to why, I guess it’s because of not wanting to fail the readers.
What’s surprised you the most about the book-publishing process?
Um. . . everything, really. I’ve always been with small presses, which I feel has been a blessing. At the same time, trying to get the word out there, the advertising, etc., is very difficult for me. I try to do a lot of blogs and giveaways to help.
What’s been the most challenging part of getting a book published?
The most challenging thing was getting people to read my manuscripts. I started out in the 70s, sending in typed manuscripts “over the transom.” I’d pour over Writer’s Digest magazine every month for tips, bought books when I could, contacted countless agents — you know the drill. I collected enough rejections to paper the 1008 sq ft house my family lived in. But with each rejection that wasn’t a form letter, I felt I was getting closer. It took a long, long time. I frequently felt I should give up, but I hung in there. I’m really glad I did!
What’s your favorite part of the publishing experience?
Having someone tell me how much they enjoyed the book, that they are anxious for the next one, or that it helped them in some way — those experiences are priceless.
For learning the writing craft, which do you prefer – books or conferences?
Books helped me because I’m extremely introverted. I’ve been to several conferences & have enjoyed the experiences, but they can be a little overwhelming . . . and expensive.
If you could recommend one writing conference, what would it be?
The ACFW Conference.
The staff are always very helpful, the people friendly, and the courses cover a wide variety of subjects. ACFW includes agents, editors, publishers, and multi-published authors throughout CBA and publishing in general.
If you could recommend one writing book, what would it be?
Beyond a good dictionary and thesaurus, I would recommend reading anything that is in your preferred genre as well as books on goals, motivation, and characters in general.
If you could pick any of your novels to be made into a movie, which one would you pick?
Oh, this is so hard . . . I’d love it if ANY of them were chosen!
Who would you want to play the lead roles, and why?
I don’t know much about actors and actresses of today — if they aren’t among the handful of those who do Hallmark movies, I wouldn’t know them.
Thank you so much for stopping by and giving us a quick peek at your writing life!
Thank you again for having me! God Bless!
For a chance to win a free digital copy of The Wedding Barter, leave you email address in the comments below!
Riley Carr has been best friends with Amy Lawton since they were toddlers. While Amy awaits her discharge from the Army, Riley’s been left in charge of helping to arrange “a very small, intimate ceremony with no fanfare” for Amy and her fiancé. But, Riley has something else in mind.
With the aid of two other friends, Riley presents her “wedding barter” idea to groom, David Herron. He agrees, providing best man, Mike Todd, stays in the loop to keep things from getting out of hand.
It doesn’t help that the giant of a man is threatening, overbearing, and just doesn’t seem to like her or her ideas. But, when Todd gives Riley an ultimatum of producing results in three weeks or he’ll take over, she’s determined to prove him wrong. . .in more ways than one.