Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I'm happy to welcome Cecelia to this blog.
Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’m not really sure how much of myself I write into my characters. It’s not something I particularly notice. However, people I know will tell me that they notice certain things my characters will do or say that will remind them of something I would do or say.
I love to bake, so for my first novel, I gave my heroine a profession I’d love to do someday: a baker. Also, I love food in general, and my sister told me she noticed how I love to describe food in my novels.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t really consider myself to be quirky. However, my friends have told me it was unusual that I used to travel around the world….alone! I’ve been to many countries and most of those travels were done solo. Reason being, I used to work for a travel agency and I got free airline tickets, and sometimes I was able to get free or reduced room and board. I was only allowed to bring spouse and children with me at this free/reduced rate. At the time, I was unmarried and had no children. Most of my friends weren’t interested in traveling to the places I was going and they had no money to go, so I went solo! I went on three cruises plus I went to Europe, several places in the Caribbean, New Zealand and Tahiti! I do recall while traveling in the Caribbean alone, I got a lot of male attention! When those men see a woman traveling alone, they want to take you out and show you their island! Some of them can be pretty fresh too! I’d advise women traveling alone to be cautious!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
One day, when I was twenty-eight years old, I discovered I didn’t have a book to read during my lunch break. So I started to write. I’ve been writing ever since.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Any kind of fiction. However, over the last five or six years, my reading has been about eighty percent Christian fiction and twenty percent secular and non-fiction titles. I suppose since I write Christian fiction, I like to keep myself well-read about what’s out there, plus, I’ve found that I enjoy Christian fiction so much!
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
Too many to name. I had a lot of duds in the beginning that will NEVER see the light of day. There is one title I wrote that was based upon a secondary character in my published novel, FIRST MATES, however, I couldn’t find a house for it. I currently have a women’s fiction with strong romantic elements that I’m shopping around. I also have two other titles that will be released through Barbour’s Heartsong Presents line.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Since I’ve gotten married and had a child, I’ve found that my mind is very cluttered, plus with working full time, it’s hard to stay focused and get my writing done. However, I’ve discovered that I have to focus on one task at a time, and only take certain moments to reflect upon the big picture. If I keep one thing in the front of my mind during my hectic days, it’ll usually get done quickly, but, there’s always a lengthy list of other things to do! After I finish one task, I bring another to mind and focus on that! I’ve found that I’ve had to let some things go, and place some things on the back burner for now while I focus on certain projects, both business and personal projects.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I have a baby-name book. When I’m creating a new character, I’ll scan through the book and choose a name I like.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Both my husband and I are proud of our two-year-old son! Birthing him, raising him, it’s a lot of work but it’s fulfilling! He’s our biggest accomplishment, and I’m glad to enjoy motherhood!
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dolphin. I love watching them perform in shows! They are some of the smartest aquatic animals around!
What is your favorite food?
Don’t ask me that! I love so many things! I love sweets! I have a lot of favorite sweet treats: lemon pound cake, sweet potato pie, apple pie, chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies to name a few! I also love seafood. I love catfish, shrimp, and crabs, and I also like pasta dishes like spaghetti and lasagna.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Learning the craft. At first, I didn’t want a critique partner because I was scared to get my writing critiqued. I wish I’d had a partner or entered a contest sooner. Getting others to read my work offered me great feedback, and I learned about a few resources out there to help me with my writing. Due to time constraints, I no longer have a partner, but I still brainstorm sometimes with writing friends.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Join a writers group and do all you can to hone your craft! Join ACFW and go to their annual conference. Read some books about fiction writing. One of my favorites is Self Editing For Fiction Writers.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
John’s Quest is about an agnostic scientist who finds romantic love while searching for Jesus. I wanted to write a story to show how someone who’s not sure of Jesus’ existence may search for the truth about our Savior.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.ceceliadowdy.com/ and http://www.ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/
Thank you, Cecelia, for spending this time with us.
Readers, look at that cover. Isn't it beautiful?
Now leave a comment here for a chance to win a free copy of John's Quest, then check out Cecelia's web site and blog.
On another subject, I'm really excited about this week. I'll fly out tomorrow to go to the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference in Minneapolis.
I will be posting blogs on the regular days, but I won't choose winners on Saturday as I usually do. Saturday is my busy day. There's a public booksigning at the Mall of America from 1-3 pm. I teach a workshop from 5:15-6:15. Then I have just over an hour to get dresses and ready for the awards banquet. Pray for me, please.
And if you live close enough, come to the Mall of America and introduce yourself to me.