Contest Author Interview – C. David Belt

(NOTE: TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF MY CONTEST TO PROMOTE MY NEW BOOK-A NIGHT ON MOON HILL. If you somehow haven’t yet heard about the contest, go here to see the entry details, as well as the 50+ different prizes, and please think about entering. After all, there’s no limit on number of entries and there are many ways to enter. If you’ve already entered, remember that leaving a comment about this interview earns you one last entry!)

Aye, that lad sporting the kilt (unseen but imagined) and the Tam o’ Shanter, and no doubt well-armed, is none other than C. David Belt, software engineer, Mormon Tabernacle Choir singer, and author of the paranormal vampire series, “The Children of Lilith.” He has offered the first volume of his trilogy, entitled THE UNWILLING, as a prize in my contest.

Me:  First of all, as someone who grew up overseas myself, I’d be interested in knowing more about your childhood in the Far East and what took your family there.

David:  My family moved to the Philippine Islands when I was three.  My father was a high school history teacher in the DOD school system on Clark Air Force Base.  We lived off-base for a year or so and then moved onto the base.  I spent one summer with a Filipino family while my parents were travelling.  While I have vivid memories of that summer (riding in jeepnies, butchering chickens), one of the things that impressed me most was the fact that the family had saved for many, many years to be able to travel to New Zealand to be sealed in the temple.  

My parents and I travelled all over the Philippines—I met head-hunters!—and visited Thailand and Hong Kong.  My most vivid memories of those travels are the elephants, the floating market in Bangkok, feeding bananas to a monkey until he couldn’t eat anymore, and standing on the border of Red China.  The military jets flying over Clark and the naval warships at Subic Bay impressed me greatly.  Perhaps that’s why I grew up to fly bombers in the Air Force.  We returned to the states when I was nine.  We travelled on a cruise ship.  With all that wonderful food that was available, I remember ordering a ham sandwich for lunch every single day!

(Ah, cruise ships were the best way to return to the States. But don’t get me started…)

Me:  Did you write any stories as a child and, if so, can you recall the gist or the subject of your best one?

David:  Yes, I’ve been writing stories most of my life. Many of my early ones revolved around superheroes, particularly the Batman. I was particularly proud (at the time) of a werewolf tale. As a teenager, my focus moved to science fiction, including a story that bore a remarkable resemblance to the movie, “Enemy Mine,” decades before that film ever came out. (Hmm…you were either prescient or robbed!)

Me:  Okay, how did a guy who graduated with a bachelor’s in Computer Science, served as a B-52 pilot in the Air Force, and now sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir end up writing vampire novels?

David:  I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I was 8 years old. I have read it seven times, almost as many times as I’ve read The Hobbit and The Lord of the RingsDracula remains one of my favorite books. 

Most of my stories start out as an image in my head, a snapshot, if you will, like a screen-capture from a movie. The image will possess me (or at least haunt me) until I turn it into a story, till I fill in all the backstory. This one started as shot of a dark ordination, dozens of vampires surrounding a mortal man, turning him into a vampire against his will. In this snapshot I knew the vampires could not and would not convert anyone without his consent. I knew that vampirism (in the context of the image) had to be a choice. Eternal damnation cannot be forced on someone. You can be seduced into evil, but nobody can take away your salvation. I love a good vampire story, but the idea of forced damnation always bothered me. It took me ten years to get started, because I couldn’t work out how the hero could be forcibly changed if he did not choose it. I was also trying to write it as a main-stream (i.e., non-LDS) story, but it was too tied up in agency and the atonement for me to separate it in a way that made sense, in a way that was honest. When I finally gave in and made Carl LDS, everything snapped into place.

Me:  Another LDS author I know, Michael Young, also sings with the Tabernacle Choir. Do you guys ever talk about writing, maybe swap manuscripts for editing?

David:  Yes! All the time. We have a small MTC-Writers group on Facebook. (Okay, as a missionary mom, you confused me for a minute there . . . MTC . . . Mormon Tabernacle Choir, got it.) We get together and swap stories, manuscripts, etc. We proofread manuscripts, bounce ideas off one another. All our conversations revolve around writing. (And here I thought all they did was sing in their spare time. How many more MTC writers are there?)

Me:  With your day job as a software engineer, when and where do you do most of your writing? Please describe your writing space (and provide a picture).

I jot down ideas or bits of dialogue on the back of Choir announcements during rehearsals (Can you imagine what the custodians must think if David ever leaves any of his notes behind accidentally?) I get some of my best ideas while sitting in the Choir loft between songs, gazing at the vaulted space of the Tabernacle or the Conference Center. 

I DO have an office at home where I do a good portion of my writing (as well as some programming).  There I am surrounded by my sword and armor collection (as well as toy spaceships).

(Check it out. He provided several pictures. Talk about a lot of armor! More about that in a minute.)

Me:  It’s apparent you have quite the collection of medieval weapons and armor (Joyce DiPastena, eat your heart out), with an emphasis on Scottish swords. What do Scottish swords have that others don’t? And have you given any thought to writing in another genre . . . say, historical fiction?

David:  I started collecting swords twelve years ago. Most of the pieces that I acquired happened to be Scottish, but I couldn’t have told you why I was attracted to those pieces, other than I have always been fascinated with history. As I became more and more involved in my own genealogy, however, I discovered that better than 80% of my ancestral lines are Scottish. I like to think that this was the connection, at least on a sub-conscious level.

Swords figure prominently in the vampire trilogy, and I drew inspiration from specific pieces that I own and/or wish I owned.

Me:  I’ve heard of writers with dogs, and writers with cats (like me), but I’ve only met one other writer so far with a parrot (she’s in my writing group). Tell us about Mork, your Eclectus Parrot, and how he helps or inhibits your writing. (And I MUST have a picture of him, preferably jumping on your keyboard as he is wont to do.)

David:  Mork is a sweetie, but he is very demanding. We got him as a mate for our female eclectus (who later died). He was three years old and had never been handled. Taming him was a challenge. (He was convinced I was trying to eat him.) I finally just had to let him bite me repeatedly until he was convinced that I was no threat. Now he is very gentle. He allows me to hold him upside-down in the crook of my arm, as if I were holding a baby, or dangling by his tail feathers.

He frequently hangs upside-down in his cage (like a bat). (Ah, a true muse.) He does talk, but rarely when anyone is in the room. When he can hear you in another room, he can be quite chatty (trying to get your attention). He will sometimes sit on my shoulder when I’m writing, but if I’m not paying enough attention to him, he’ll sidle down my arm, slowly climb onto my hand as I’m typing, look at me quizzically, and then jump onto the keyboard. I pick him up and set him back on my shoulder. He squawks his disapproval and then slowly makes his way back toward the keyboard. So he can be a bit of a distraction, but I love having him around. (Now I understand why you write so much at Choir rehearsals.)

By the way, we DO have two cats. They are terrified of Mork.

(And here are pictures of Mork doing precisely what David described. He’s a beauty, but I’ll never complain about my cat, Peach, again.)

Me:  How would you describe your writing process, that is, when Mork isn’t getting in the way?

David:  I am very much a discovery writer. I never create an outline. I create a document of notes, character sketches, locations, backstory, plot points that I want to cover (not all of which will make it into the manuscript), etc. For The Children of Lilith, I had to write down exactly how vampirism worked in my mythos, what the rules were, how they could be killed, etc. Then I stew over a starting point, an opening scene. Once I’ve got that in my head, I plunge in. I let the characters drive the story. Often, a character, such as Moira, will speak up in my head and say, “That’s nae what I would say, laddie,” or, “I would nae ever do that,” and the story takes a whole new direction that I wasn’t expecting. (That sounds familiar, though not in that accent.) I know the beginning and the desired ending of the story when I start. The rest just happens along the way.

Me:  And what are you working on at present?

David:  The vampire trilogy is done (with book 3 in the final stages of editing). I’m currently working on a standalone science fiction novel with LDS themes and a main character who is LDS. Time’s Plague borrows themes for Shakespeare’s “King Lear” and is set roughly a century or so in the future. It starts out on a penal colony on Callisto (one of the moons of Jupiter). The story centers on Edgar, an innocent man, who has been sentenced for life (there can be no parole and no escape from the Hades penal colony) for a murder he did not commit. He was framed by his ex-wife and his best friend. The prison has no warden and is ruled by the prisoners, all of whom are male. It is literally a hellish place populated by murderers and rapists, the worst of the worst. New prisoners and supplies are dropped from orbit and no ship ever lands on Callisto… that is, until a shuttle crash-lands. There is only one survivor—Edgar’s ex-wife, the one person in the universe he hates more than any other. No woman can survive on Callisto. Edgar has to figure out a way to get her off-world and protect her from the other inmates.

Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? So he is delving into another genre, after all. (Of course, that one bookshelf in his office kind of gave this other passion away.) If you want to know more about David and his vampire trilogy, check out The Children of Lilith website.

One last note. I’ve enjoyed doing these interviews so much that I’ve decided to try to continue with a weekly “Wednesday Writer” conversation. I’m kicking it off with my son this Wednesday. Granted, he’s not published . . . yet. But he’s a writer in development and, besides, I thought you might be interested in his views on A NIGHT ON MOON HILL. After all, he inspired the story.

If any of you authors out there would like to be featured as a “Wednesday Writer” then please contact me at the email address I give on my Contact page here.

 

Originally posted 2012-09-24 06:00:25.

“Moleskine Monday” – A Contest!

Since this is my “N” for “Networking” day, let’s test the power of social networking in a contest to spread the word on my soon-to-be-released novel, A NIGHT ON MOON HILL.

Back Cover Copy:

Swimming is Daphne’s one refuge–until the night she finds a body in her pool.

University professor and renowned author Daphne Lessing has never felt at ease in society. But a disturbing occurrence in her once calm and controlled existence suddenly unearths events from her past and thrusts an unusual child into her life.

Ten-year-old Eric has Asperger’s syndrome and is obsessed with fishing and angels. Soon, Daphne finds herself attached to him–and faced with a choice: Does she leave him and return to her solitary, ordered life, trusting others to do right by him, or does she allow this bright child to draw her into the world she has tried to shun? And what about the man that came into Daphne’s life with Eric? Will she be able to shut him out as well?

Details: (Note: Entry details are at the bottom of the post)

The contest will run from August 20th to September 24th (the day before my launch party). This being “Moleskine Monday,” prizes have to include Moleskine products, right? What writer doesn’t love Moleskine notebooks? What reader doesn’t love Moleskine journals in which to jot their favorite passages? And what artist doesn’t love Moleskine sketch notebooks?

Also, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I will feature an interview with an author who has donated his/her own fiction as a prize.

Prizes Include:

  •  1 Sony 7″ Digital Photo Frame (Again, only those who’ve subscribed to my newsletter AND “liked” my new FB page for A NIGHT ON MOON HILL are eligible for this prize)
  • 1 Moleskine Writing Gift Set

  • 1 Moleskine Rechargeable USB Book Light

  • 3 Moleskine Passions Book Journals (I have one…they’re great!)

  • 4 Moleskine Classic Ruled Extra-Small Notebooks (like the kind Daphne has in the story…only hers is black…these are green, violet, orange yellow, and magenta)

And books…lots of books!

  • A free copy of Margaret Turley’s SAVE THE CHILD, a fictional story of one family’s struggle to save a child from cancer

  • A free PDF of Tristi Pinkston’s amusing mystery, SECRET SISTERS
  • A free copy of Liz Adair’s latest mystery, COLD RIVER, her Whitney Winner, COUNTING THE COST, or a set of her SPIDER LATHAM mysteries

  •  An ebook bundle of romances from Jewel Adams including: BEAUTIFUL IN MY EYES, AGAINST THE ODDS, STILL HIS WOMAN – AN AGAINST THE ODDS NOVELETTE, THE LEGACY, THAT KIND OF LOVE – A LEGACY NOVELETTE, THE WISHING HOUR, and GUARDIAN OF MY HEART – A CHALLISSIAN NOVELETTE

  • 2 paperback copies and 3 ebooks of my first book, THE RECKONING

  • A copy of Julie Coulter Bellon’s soon-to-be released (in September) novel, ALL FALL DOWN

  • 3 ebooks of THE SECRET SISTERS CLUB: A GINNIE WEST ADVENTURE by Monique Bucheger
  • 3 copies each of Janette Rallison’s MY FAIR GODMOTHER, MY DOUBLE LIFE, and HOW TO TAKE THE EX OUT OF EX-BOYFRIEND
  • A paperback copy of H.B. Moore’s DAUGHTERS OF JARED
  • Three different ebooks from medieval romance author Joyce DiPastena: LOYALTY’S WEB (for Kindle), ILLUMINATIONS OF THE HEART (for Kindle), and DANGEROUS FAVOR (for Kindle or Nook)
  • One paperback (U.S. only) and 2 ebooks of Cindy M. Hogan’s suspense thriller, WATCHED

  • One copy of Adam Glendon Sidwell’s popular MG novel, EVERTASTER

  • Two of Ali Cross’s YA Paranormals, BECOME (3 ebooks and 1 print) and DESOLATE (3 ebooks and 1 print)
  • One copy (either print or ebook) of Danyelle Ferguson’s and Lynn Parson’s award-winning (dis)ABILITIES AND THE GOSPEL
  • One copy each of Patricia G. Stevenson’s Professor Del Channing’s murder mystery series: THE DILAPIDATED MAN, THE JEZEBEL BRIDE, and THE SHAMROCK CONSPIRACY

  • One copy of THE UNWILLING, the first volume in C. David Belt’s “The Children of Lilith” trilogy

  • And last, but not least, 2 ebooks from Annette Lyon: LOST WITHOUT YOU and AT THE WATER’S EDGE

Other Details:

  • No limit on number of entries
  • No limit on how many prizes can be won by any one person
  • Winners will be drawn using Random.org on September 26th
  • Prizes will be shipped (or emailed) anywhere in the U.S. and Canada (where possible, books will be signed)

 

How to Enter:

  • Join my new newsletter list here on my home page (look for it in the sidebar on the home page) for three entries and a shot at the top two prizes (as long as you also “like” my new book’s FB page)
  • Leave a comment here for another entry (be sure and include your full name) and you get an entry for each comment you make on my author interviews during the contest period (one per author)
  • Blog about the contest and coming book release, including the book cover image and back cover copy posted above in italics (email tanyascontest@gmail.com with the blog link) for two more entries
  • Read the First Chapter here and tell me what clued Daphne in to the body’s identity (email tanyascontest@gmail.com) for three entries
  • “Like” my new Facebook page for A NIGHT ON MOON HILL for another entry and a shot at the top two prizes (as long as you also subscribe to the newsletter)
  • Facebook about the contest and release (email tanyascontest@gmail.com–one FB entry per person)
  • Tweet about the contest and release (email tanyascontest@gmail.com–one Twitter entry per person)

I hope all of this is clear, but if you have any questions, please ask.

Originally posted 2012-08-20 05:00:04.

“Wednesday Writer” – Sarah M. Eden

Happy Halloween! While all of you are out either preparing for trick-or-treaters or getting your costumes finalized to go do it yourself, I am happily tucked away at the Rosario Marine Beach Lab for a wonderful 3-day Writer’s Retreat (the ANWA Northwest Writer’s Retreat). If you’re LDS, a woman, and you like to write, check out this retreat for next year.

In the meantime, it’s that day of the week again and I have another terrific writer to unpeel before your very eyes (not that I’m comparing her to an onion, mind you, but all writers have layers, I’ve found . . . Let’s consider her a sweet onion of the variety grown nearby in Walla Walla, Washington). :D

I first met Sarah M. Eden when we both took part in a self publishing panel discussion at the LDStorymakers Writers Conference back in 2009. As it turned out, she and I were Whitney finalists that year, along with another member of the panel–Joyce DiPastena. Since then, she’s gone on to be traditionally published, has an agent, and has become a must-have emcee at that very same writer’s conference. Oh, and by the way, she joined us up here near Deception Pass as our Writer in Residence for last year’s retreat!

Now let’s start pulling back the layers.

Me:  How old were you when you first realized the power of humor, and please describe the circumstances of that discovery? (And I’d love a picture of you at that age.)

Sarah:  I can’t remember a time when humor wasn’t a defining character trait of mine. It probably began in the womb–no, I don’t have a photo of that. (What? No ultrasound? Drat!)

My entire family is funny. Family dinners involved as much laughter as eating. The time an entire cooler of ice water spilled in the back of the minivan, the Noah’s Flood jokes went on for hours. Weeks. Okay, we actually still joke about it. My sister and I once spent an entire afternoon acting out a parody of the first two Twilight movies for our sister-in-law, complete with props and costumes, simply because it would be funny. (And you didn’t videotape it for YouTube? Have you thought about reprising it for a conference? Hint, hint.) My youngest brother was once attacked by a dog, leading to stitches and the services of a plastic surgeon. We responded in the usual way . . . a care package of doggy chew toys, kibble, and a greeting card that played “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

That’s just how we roll.

(Something tells me it’s genetic, too. Her daughter’s going to be just like her.)

Me:  Not counting “The Sun,” which you wrote at age 5 (and it sounds like it may have been one of those Kindergarten school assignments), what was the gist of the very first story you ever wrote (“The Mystery of the Broken Unicorn”), and do you still have it? Any plans to rewrite it?

Sarah:  Do I still have it? Do you doubt I would hold on to such a piece of literary mastery?! Of course I still have it. One might classify this magnificent story as a Middle Grade Fantasy. One might also classify it as horrible. One would be right on both counts. (Notice the voice change here? She’s definitely in her Regency voice.)

I begin the book by making note of the fact that the “pictures & words” are by me. That’s how you know you’re about to get quality. The story tells of a young girl whose mother has a glass unicorn on her dresser that the girl should “NEVER touch, no matter what.” So the girl, of course, touches it, and it puts a spell on her. That is the point where I wrote The End. No, really. That’s where I ended it. I didn’t know what to do next so I figured just calling it quits was the best option. (A very quick read…but a promising beginning.)

Isn’t she darling in her first dance costume?

Me:  Okay, why did you choose Social Science Research as a major when it’s apparent your true loves are literature and history? In other words, who convinced you to be practical?

Sarah:  I chose Social Science Research because it was fascinating. My emphasis was the impact of mass communication on societies, with focus on the role of emerging social media. My thesis, get this, hypothesized that emerging social media (this was in 2000) would be used to create virtual communities. *insert evil genius laugh here* Essentially, I predicted Facebook and Twitter. Someone owes me big bucks! (Well, when you put it that way…as Rosanne Rosanna Danna would say, “Never mind.”)

I still find research, be it historical, social, statistical, etc., endlessly enthralling. I love when pieces fall into place and a mystery begins to make sense. I get all giddy when I learn something new, especially something obscure. *insert evil genius laugh here*

Short answer: I’m an evil genius.

(And the Princess of Prescience!)

Me:  What was the basic plot of the short story for which you won 1st prize in the 2007 City of Glendale Short Story Competition? Any chance you’ll lengthen any of your short stories into novels?

Sarah:  Actually, I absolutely love that short story. I think it is one of the best things I’ve ever written. I have pondered many times expanding it into a full-length book, but the timing just hasn’t been right. Maybe some day. *sighs dramatically*

The story is about a 3rd Grader with a gambling addiction. No, it’s not an after-school-special type of moralizing book. It’s actually hilarious. And the main character is fantastic. (If I do say so myself.) (Hmmm…have we accidentally uncovered a layer from the author’s own past?)

Me:  After having seen both you and your husband “act” in “film,” I have to assume you both have experience in theater. Am I correct? If so, please provide details (and pictures).

Sarah:  We have both spent quite a lot of time on the stage. I began my “career” playing a dead plant in a church roadshow, followed by an unemployed elf in the 6th grade Christmas play.

The red hair is a giveaway.

Junior High School saw me placed in the oh-so-glamorous position of pretty much everybody’s understudy. By High School, I had moved up in the world, playing a 5-year-old boy (Tiny Tim, A Christmas Carol), a 7-year-old girl (Marta Von Trapp, The Sound of Music), and eventually graduating to a teenager in Hello, Dolly! and Fiddler on the Roof. I found myself typecast as Hermia in A Midsummer’s Night Dream (for those of you keeping track at home, she’s the character who spends the entire play as the butt of everyone’s short jokes).

My husband did a lot of acting in High School, as well. He was in Taming of the Shrew and Cheaper By the Dozen, among others. He was dreamy Tony in West Side Story and played Sherlock Holmes in a community theater production.

Dreamy Tony in another woman’s arms

He has the look of a lead and the skills to get the job done. I was always a sidekick. A short sidekick. Or a child. But I’m not bitter. (Much.)

(Yeah, but who’s getting all the attention now? Am I right? Good things come to those who wait, no matter their size. :D)

Me:  Do you really have, as you put it in an interview with Donna Hatch, “a contraption made up of very large books, packing tape and the back of the sofa in my living room which allows me to type while spending some quality time with my elliptical machine while burning calories to which I’d rather not become too permanently attached”? (You said then that you’d rather not provide a picture, but I DO require a picture of your true writing space…as well as a description of it in either Regency terminology or in the voice of one of your children…please.)

Sarah:  The contraption changed a little last year when we replaced our couch. Fortunately, when you MacGyver a write-while-exercising-stand, it tends to be adaptable. The current incarnation involves a packing box, a wooden cutting board and a book of Broadway ballads arranged for the piano. Here is the catalog entry I am preparing for when I sell it and make my millions:

Do you have Writer’s Butt? Is your backside expanding with every rewrite? Does drafting your newest book get in the way of burning those extra pounds?

Introducing the ‘Tend to Your Deadline and Your Waistline’ computer stand. Finally, a contraption that meets the lazy writer’s needs. Exercise while you type and look good doing it!

(So where’s the picture?)

What? You want a picture? Sorry. I don’t give out that kind of classified information–not until the patent is secured.

(Okay, what happened to the description in the voice of a Regency romance…or one of your children? Hmmm…I guess this is one writer’s lair that will remain secret in every sense…except…she let slip a clue on Facebook, so I think it’s only fair to share. Here’s a look at her plotting board.)

Aha! Part of her secret office.

(If you want the details behind the colorful board, you’ll have to check out her posting on her website here.)

Me:  You’ve also said that “writing requires a certain degree of mental instability.” How so? (And I mean this in all seriousness, as I’m most curious about the writer’s mind.)

Sarah:  Most people consider hearing voices in their head a reason to be concerned. Writers think of it as a running narrative for the scene they are writing.

A normal person would never think a fictional character of their own creation could argue with them, defy their orders, or make their own decisions. Writers embrace this without batting an eyelash.

Most people, if they wake up in the middle of the night with a random idea running through their mind, grumble a bit, roll over, and go back to sleep. Writers rush to write it down, unspeakable grateful to have finally worked through that sticky plot problem.

We pour our hearts and souls into a book we then willingly send out to the slaughter. We get rejected, criticized, ranked, Goodreaded (yes, that is now a verb) (In the same way as Amazoned?) and in many other ways alternately praised and excoriated, yet we keep going back for more rides on the pendulum of public opinion.

We are often insomniacs. We cry when we do horrible things to our characters even though we knew it was coming all along. We compare ourselves to Shakespeares and Miltons and then wonder why we never feel good enough. We can obsess over a single word for hours.

All of this and we love it anyway. This cannot be normal or entirely healthy. Mental Instability.

(Case closed.)

Me:  Which parent had the most influence on you as a writer, and how? (It would be nice to show a picture of the influential parent here.)

Sarah:  They both have influenced me. I couldn’t say one did more than the other. For the sake of answering the question, I’ll say that my mother is the one who first convinced me to seriously pursue writing.

Two influential parents. One cute couple!

I was sitting at her kitchen table bellyaching about how hard it was to find a sweet (think PG content) historical romance. I waxed long and irritated, likely using a great deal too much hyperbole. There may or may not have been references to the ridiculousness of so few sweet historicals on the shelf in light of all NASA’s accomplishments. My dear mother, rather than commiserate and accept my tendency toward dramatics, said, essentially, “So why don’t you write one yourself?”

So I did. And I gave her a spiral-bound copy of that first book for Mother’s Day the next year. The book? THE KISS OF A STRANGER.

Me:  Which is more fun–research or writing? And why?

Sarah:  It’s a toss-up. For me, the two are so intertwined I can’t entirely separate them. The historical context of my books is always a huge part of plot, character, etc. So the research determines what I write, and what I write directs my research. (Sort of like the chicken and the egg, eh?)

I set aside one day each week that is entirely for research . . . no writing (unless I’m on a deadline and don’t have a choice). Some of that is research for a specific project. Some of it is just me devouring history and learning new things. I have found so many ideas for new books, or ways to enrich stories I’ve already thought of, through a steady, consistent approach to research. (Thanks for the tip! I may just be revising my weekly schedule.)

Writing makes me a happy person. Truly. I get so excited when a storyline comes together, when the characters become real right before my very eyes. I put a lot of prep work into my books and there is something extremely satisfying in seeing weeks, sometimes months of planning turn into a story I can be proud of.

Also, I don’t like edits. I like having edited, because the book is always better. But I don’t like doing it. *bleh*

Me:  Finally, what are you working on now, and how far down is your supply of Cheetos?

Sarah:  Cheetos and I had to go our separate ways a couple years ago. Apparently, my stomach and Cheetos have a great animosity for each other. Hatred, pure and simple. I have not yet found an adequate replacement. In fact, I feel a little lonely now when I write. *wipes tear*

(By the way, am I the only one that’s noticed how attuned Sarah is to stage direction, sound effects, etc.? Something tells me she ought to give screenwriting a try.)

Right now I am working on the sequel to a romance novel my agent (Hi, Pam!) is currently shopping. It, along with Book 1, takes place in 1870 in Wyoming Territory amongst a group of Irish Immigrants sharing a valley with a group of settlers who absolutely despises the Irish. Against the backdrop of this percolating feud, our heroine finds her heart being pulled by two very different men, all while trying to sort out a lifetime of her own pain and regrets. In the words of my 9-year-old daughter, “This book is magically delicious.”

I am sure we’ll all agree once we finally get to read it. In the meantime, enjoy any of her others (SEEKING PERSEPHONE, COURTING MISS LANCASTER, FRIENDS AND FOES), including her latest: AN UNLIKELY MATCH.

And you can check out Sarah’s website here. I highly recommend her blog for reading that always entertains as well as informs.

Next week:  J. Lloyd Morgan

Originally posted 2012-10-31 06:00:04.