Announcing the release of a new novella collection by Frances Devine, Vickie McDonough, Jeri Odell, and me. We're really excited about this book.And to celebrate, we're giving away 4 copies of the book, not the usual one, so you have a better chance to win--if you leave a comment.
This is Frances Devine. She doesn't have a personal web site yet, but you can find out more about her at www.barbourbooks.com/author/detail/frances-devine .
Here's Jeri Odell at Lake Tahoe. Her web site is www.jeriodell.com
I'm interviewing all three of these women for you.
How did your story for Spinster Brides come about?
Vickie: My heroine is gung-ho about expanding the orphanage mentioned all through the book. I got to thinking what if she wanted to buy the same piece of property that someone else wanted. I could see that would create some good conflict and created my story around that issue.
Frances: To be honest, I’m not sure. It was just there.
Jeri: I’d actually had this story in mind for several years. My youngest son was in law school at the time, so I did a little research on early women lawyers. The story grew from there.
Lena: My answer is similar to Vickie's. I knew in that time period, women weren't often owners of ranches, especially young women. If her father had asked for a man to check on her, conflict would flare.
What are you reading right now.
Vickie: Reluctant Runaway by Jill Nelson
Frances: I’m re-reading Bodie Thoene’s Zion Covenant books for the umpteenth time.
Jeri: Fireworks by Elizabeth White
Lena: Caught in the Middle by Gayle Roper
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
Vickie: Heartsong Presents books: Sooner or Later, Spinning Out of Control, The Bounty Hunter and the Bride, A Wealth Beyond Riches Anthologies: A Stitch in Time, Brides O’ the Emerald Isle, Lone Star Texas, Kiss the (Cook) Bride
Frances: Miss Aggie’s Gone Missing for Heartsong Presents Mysteries
Jeri: I’ve written six novellas in various collections by both Barbour and Tyndale, and I’m now in the process of writing my fifth Heartsong with two more to follow. I also wrote a non-fiction book a few years back titled Spiritual Single.
Lena: I've written nine Heartsongs and five novellas. You can find out all about them on my web site www.lenanelsondooley.com
How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Vickie: Working with an anthology team is a great way to build new friends and strengthen friendships you already have. It’s a big give and take, where you have to be willing to let go of some of your ideas and accept ideas from your teammates.
Frances: It gave me confidence and fulfilled a life-long dream.
Jeri: I loved working with each of these gifted women. Vickie is a wonderful writer and is the brains behind the book. Lena has so much experience and expertise. And Francis, being in the early stages of her career, brought so much excitement and enthusiasm to the process.
Lena: This was a very good team to work with. You'll find that helped create an interesting book.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Vickie: Usually I pick a name I like. I sometimes have to do a search on surnames or baby names to get ideas, but often, I just have a good idea of what a certain character should be called.
Frances: Sometimes they’re just there. Sometimes I look through lists of names.
Jeri: I keep a list of names that I hear and like. When naming a character, I go over the list, check meanings, and chose one that fits.
Lena: I could say, "All of the above." In addition, I've even had characters insist I change their name while I'm writing. Each time I've had to change it in the whole book, because I kept typing the wrong one.
What did you want the reader to “get” from your story?
Vickie: I want my readers to be entertained with a fun, clean story and to be inspired in their walk with God.
Frances: I want them to enjoy the story, but also to be reminded that sometimes we have preconceived ideas about others that prevent us from offering compassion.
Jeri: That we don’t all, as Christians, have to see eye to eye on every subject, and often some of our preconceived ideas are actually misconceived.
Lena: I want them to enjoy the story, but also understand that if we compromise, everyone wins.
Why are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers?
Vickie: ACFW helped me get published. I met authors on the loop who liked my writing and gave me a chance to work with them, which is how I first got published. I’ve learned so much about writing through ACFW’s online classes, their e-zine, and best of all, the ACFW annual conference, which is the best fiction writers conference in the U.S.
Frances: It’s a wonderful group that offers fellowship and communication with other writers while also providing many writing helps.
Jeri: Encouragement, fellowship, and wisdom. They also have a great annual conference that stretches me, challenges me, and improves me as a writer.
Lena: Another all-of-the-above moment. See why we worked so well together. However, it probably is the best Christian fiction writers conference in the whole world.
Will you be at the conference in Dallas in September?
Vickie: You betcha!
Frances: I hope to be
Jeri: I hope to be. I’ve attended the past four years in a row.
Lena: Since's it's in Dallas, and I live near there, I'll for sure attend. I have been at all five nationals and the two regional conferences.
What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
Vickie: Study your craft and keep writing. It takes persistence to get published.
Frances: Stay teachable and don’t fall in love with your words.
Jeri: God is sovereign over my writing ministry, so whatever is happening, trust Him.
Lena: All good advice. Maybe another piece of good advice is: Don't compare your writing or your success to anyone else's. This fits with Jeri's. Let God work His will and His timing in your writing.
Vickie, Frances, Jeri, thank you for spending this time with us. I think we all have book signings coming up in the next couple of weeks. If you're near southwestern Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Tucson, Arizona; or Hurst, Texas, please come to the signings. Mine is Sauturday, March 31, at Walmart on the corner of Harwood Road and Precinct Line. Be sure and tell me you read about it here.
Also, sign up for one of the 4 free copies.