This week and next week, we'll have an extra interview to catch up with my schedule. Today, we're talking to Delia Latham
Delia, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t do it intentionally, but my readers tell me they see a lot of me in my heroines. Maybe I just paint a little of myself into my characters (the things I like about me), then round them out with all the wonderful characteristics I wish I possessed!
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirky is not a word I would use to describe myself, as a rule. But I do occasionally get in strange moods …. A friend and I once pushed my husband’s little VW out of our driveway at midnight. (It was a standard shift, and I couldn’t find reverse, hence the pushing trick.) We drove it all over our tiny little town (and rather jerkily, I must admit), trying to find a place to buy sodas in a little berg that rolled up the sidewalks at five o’clock. I forgot about the reverse situation, and we nearly got attacked by guard dogs at a service station while pushing the silly thing out of the corner I’d parked it in. All we wanted was a Dr. Pepper out of the machine! LOL
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In third grade, during an essay contest. The entire class had to write on the same subject: “What I Was Like As A Baby.” I won the girl’s prize, a beautiful bed doll with a pink satin, quilted skirt. After that, it was difficult to find me without a pen and notebook in hand. I wrote songs, poems, little stories – anything I could think of. If the notebook wasn’t in my hand, I was holding a book. I always loved to read.
I believe you cant can be good writer without reading a lot. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Anything from Steeple Hill-type romances to murder mysteries to paranormal studies. I like so many inspirational authors, but I have to admit that my favorite book of all time is still Robert R. McCammon’s Swan Song. Second would be Stephen King’s The Stand. Both are outstanding, unmatched epics of good vs. evil.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
My first published novel was Almost Like a Song (2006). That wasn’t a positive experience, as I got in a hurry and chose to publish through a company I later learned had a less-than-sterling reputation. (Patience is not my strong suit, but God is teaching me.) I now have the rights back to that book, have reworked it a bit, retitled it, and hope to sell it elsewhere before long.
Goldeneyes was released March 30 by Vintage Romance Publishing. I’m very excited about this one! Reviews so far have been more than encouraging and I’m eager to introduce it to my readers.
I’ve completed a novella, Karissa’s Dream, and am currently working on a novel that will tie together characters and components from Almost Like a Song and Goldeneyes. I had no idea that was going to happen until it did, but I’m liking the route it’s taking.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Who says I do? LOL I’ve decided a person needs to be just a little over the edge to survive this crazy world! What keeps me even minutely sane is my trust in God. Without Him, I’d have been certifiably out of my mind a long time ago.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Most of the time, I don’t. They tell me who they are. I don’t study the phone book and I don’t keep a stack of “Name Your Baby” books in my bookshelf. The right name comes to me along with the development of the character. I give more thought to making sure I don’t have several people whose names start with the same letter, or names that sound too similar, and could cause confusion for my readers.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My four children. They’re all good, moral individuals with loving, caring hearts. I consider them – and my four perfect grandchildren, of course – my greatest accomplishment.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
This isn’t an easy question for someone who’s not an “animal person.” Hmmm. I think I would choose to be a lazy housecat. I’d be petted and pampered, fed and groomed, and “my humans” would consider all this extra blubber just evidence of their outstanding care.
What is your favorite food?
It would take up less space to say which foods I don’t like. I’m a meat-and-potatoes gal – I love food! I guess my favorite is lobster, but I never turn down a chicken breast, either. On the ethnic side, I like Chinese … and Mexican … and Italian … see what I mean?
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Planning. I’m a Seat Of The Pants writer. For awhile, though, because I’d taken certain writing courses and attended a few writing groups that frowned on that method, I tried hard to be a plotter. Needless to say, trying to force myself into a mold that didn’t fit choked my imagination and dried up the idea flow. I was dead in the water until I sincerely prayed about it, and God let me know it was okay to just be me. Now I leave the plotting to Him, and He guides me through each project, from beginning to end. He’s the absolute best outline guide!
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Write, write, write! Take every opportunity to learn more about your craft. But attending a class every day will never get you published unless you write. Don’t take rejections personally, and don’t let them stop you in your tracks. Get back on that horse and write!
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Goldeneyes has been brewing in my mind and in my heart for several years. I grew up in a little farming community called Weedpatch, and I always wanted to use it as a setting for a book. But Weedpatch and it’s history is so much a part of me, I found myself struggling with turning it into a work of fiction. When God helped me overcome that roadblock, it became such a pleasure to share a bit of my heritage with my readers.
Part One of Goldeneyes is set during the Great Depression, when farm labor camps were springing up all over California to house the immigrants from other storm-torn states. Poverty was a way of life, and many people resorted to unthinkable actions in order to obtain the necessities of life. That’s the premise this entire book is built on–one alcohol addicted man resorts to a despicable action in order to obtain his “fix,” and the results of that action reverberate down through time, creating a whole set of repercussions twenty years later, in Part Two.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website: http://www.delialatham.com/
My blog: http://www.themelodywithin.blogspot.com/
Christian web community: www.shoutlife.com/delialatham
A writers’ blog I co-host with three other authors: http://www.dailymuseforwriters.blogspot.com/
Delia, thank you for spending this time with us.
Readers. check out all these wonderful web sites. But before you go, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Goldeneyes.