So my friend and brilliantly funny writer, Rhonda Hall, invited me to participate in a blog hop. Since I’m working on some new things, I thought it would be fun. Check out Rhonda’s blog at http://rhondamhall.wordpress.com/. And keep an eye out for her name. I’ve never met an author with such a gift for humor. Her characters are so realistic and her dialogue leaves you crying from laughter.
Okay, here are this “hop’s” questions and my (hopefully) brilliant answers.
1. What are you working on? I’ve got several irons in the proverbial fire. I’m sending my contemporary Christian novel, Winter Trees, out to get copyedited. Once that’s done, I’ll be putting it up through Createspace and Amazon. I’d like to finish my NaNoWriMo novel even though it’s a little darker than I usually write. I like the protagonist, a grieving teen named Leia, with a lot of family and school turmoil to overcome. I may never publish that one, but I need to finish it so I know what happens to her! Next, I’ve got to finish my YA trilogy, The Portals of Ayden. I’m stuck in the third novel, not wanting write out the mega-battle I know has to take place. I think I’m afraid because I know characters have to die and I don’t want to let them go. And finally, I want to start a novella on the prophetess, Anna. All this is between a spring marketing push for Woman of Flames.
I’m a little overwhelmed writing it all out. Think I’ll go get another cup of coffee…
2) How does my work differ from others in its genre? I’m really trying to walk a fine line between fiction that honors my faith, but will be enjoyed by people with no faith. I don’t want to preach to anyone, but I want my characters to serve as an example. I want someone who is hurting, who maybe has been hurt by organized religion, to still identify with my characters and their trials.
3) Why do I write what I do? To be honest, because I couldn’t find many novels whose characters were like me. I’m a mess. I have a lot of wonderful, messy friends. But we have a strong faith. Traditional Christian novels seem neater. There’s one “mess” and many “together” people. And then there’s a section that hits me over the head with THE TRUTH. I don’t want to hammer a sermon into my readers’ brain. I see myself as planting seeds. What happens after my story is up to the reader and God.
4) How does your writing process work? First I need to be inspired by a character or scene. Woman of Flames came about from the research I’d done when I performed a monologue about Deborah, the prophet. Other times, I’ll be free thinking (usually in the shower, go figure) and a scene will appear in my mind like a mini-movie. It’s usually some horribly traumatic scene–a woman grieving the loss of her fiancé (Winter Trees) or a modern teen thrown into a medieval jail (The Portals of Ayden trilogy.) The weirdest one was my contemporary YA. The opening line popped into my head one day, “If my father’s infidelity hadn’t already killed my mother, the endless rolling nothing of the Iowa landscape would have pushed her over the edge.” The line immediately drew me into this girl’s story.
After inspiration hits, it’s a process of sitting in front of my computer and spewing out the story. This involves a lot of coffee and my pajamas. I like to be comfy when I write and normal clothes constrict my creativity (don’t judge.) I don’t outline until the middle of story, until then, I free flow it. At some point however, I hit a wall and need to scratch out the bones of the ending.
Now for the next Blog Hop!
It’s my pleasure to introduce 3 authors I’m honored to call my friends. Steve Parlato’s YA novel, The Namesake, won the Tassy award. Chuck Grossart’s The Menegele Effect is a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and Angela Meyer’s novel, Where Hope Starts is a finalist in the 2013 Grace Awards. Check out their bio’s and follow their links below! Thanks!
Steven Parlato is a writer, illustrator and Assistant Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Connecticut. An occasional actor, he’s played roles including MacBeth, The Scarecrow and Bambi’s dad, the Great Prince of the Forest. Steve’s poetry appears in journals including MARGIE, Borderlands, Freshwater, CT River Review and Peregrine. His debut YA manuscript, JUNIOR, winner of the 2011 Tassy Walden Award for New Voices, was released January 18, 2013 by Merit Press as The Namesake. Recently, Kirkus called the novel a “memorable, disturbing story, carefully wrought.” Represented for fiction by Victoria Marini of Gelfman-Schneider Literary Agency, Steven is at work on his next YA novel. He’s a member of a YA author collective, Uncommon YA. You can also find him online at http://www.stevenparlato.com or on Twitter: @parlatowrites
Angela D. Meyer lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of more than 22 years. She homeschools their daughter and recently graduated their son who is now off to the Marines. She has taught Bible class for over 35 years and served for almost three years on the leadership team of her local Christian writers group. She loves God, her family, the ocean, good stories, connecting with friends, taking pictures, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon and vacation by the sea. www.facebook.com/AuthorAngelaDMeyer www.angeladmeyer.com
Chuck Grossart is a retired United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel originally from the Denver, Colorado area. After serving his country for twenty years as a missile launch officer, space operator and strike planner, he settled his family outside of Omaha, Nebraska, where he continues to serve as a strategic plans analyst for the Department of the Air Force. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Northern Colorado, and a MSHRM from Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. His first novel, THE COMING, was a quarter-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) contest. His second novel, THE MENGELE EFFECT, was selected as a top-three finalist in Audio-ON’s 2013 Aspiring Authors Contest. Chuck is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild, and the Nebraska Writers Workshop. http://cvgrossart.wix.com/chuck-grossart