Monday, March 08, 2010
Falling in love with writing in the fifth grade was the easy part. I adored my writing teacher. She always read the best compositions aloud in class. The way she cradled them in her hands told me they were treasures. I worked extremely hard to please her; to hear my words read aloud—but I was never chosen. A few years later, we moved to Delavan, Wisconsin. I wrote a composition for my language arts teacher and she told me there was no way I could have written that paper because it was too good. I proudly explained every word belonged to me. She sent me to the principal for lying. The principal called my mother and spoke with her. Mother told him that she watched me write that paper sitting at the kitchen table. All the fuss and commotion sent me a clear message that I had a good story. My motivation springs from that moment.
Please forgive me because my genre is rather schizophrenic. I began my adult writing career by writing mystery and co-authored three books with Susan Wales. Since then I decided I needed romance in my life so I wrote a series of romance novels, under the series name, The Turtle Creek Edition. The first was The Christmas Edition, quickly followed by The Valentine Edition and now The Easter Edition .
The Christmas Edition caught the eye of director/producer Steven Zambo of Salty Earth Pictures and by the time this interview ‘airs’, he will be in post production. The targeted release of the movie based on my book is December 2010. The name of the story has been changed for the movie. It will be aired as Journey to Paradise. As a result, my publisher is re-leasing the book with a new ending and more scenes, so even if you have read it the first time, you will want the newer copy. Steve Zambo plans on releasing The Valentine Edition next, and then The Easter Edition.
A new book series is in the works with Point Yonder Press. The series combines mystery and romance about a young woman who is a biologist and returns to her hometown, which happens to be on an island in Lake Michigan—Willow Island. The women at Bridge Over Troubled Waters Bible Study stir enough trouble for everyone, and Wynn sets out to solve the island mystery as well as uncover her own past. Be sure to watch for the release of Wynn in the Willows.
Lastly, I have co-authored a young adult book with former Dallas Cowboy, Kalen Thornton. Ruby Red is being published by Sparklesoup and the talented Amu Munoz is designing the cover. The story is told through Ruby Red’s eleven-year old eyes. Set in the 1920s, Ruby is taken in as a maid and finds little hope of being anyone. Then she makes a risky move by faking insanity. After being tossed out, she sneaks onto a train that is heading west where she finds adventure, danger, and renewed hope.
Readers can order my books from Amazon or any bookstore. Each of my books has a spiritual message which is close to my heart. The Easter Edition's is " Follow God for He will give you the desires of your heart." Not only will readers be captivated by the story and characters but they will find messages of hope and renewal.
Here is a blurb: Bridal shop owner, Carol Horn, looks forward to being a bride herself someday. Having surrendered her desires to God, she's praying the Lord will show her the path she should take. When she meets new assistant pastor, Luke Peters, she feels he is the answer to her prayers, but if that’s so, why does she feel called to go overseas to help build an orphanage?
Luke has a sketchy past that includes doing jail time, but he comes to Turtle Creek, Wisconsin, as a changed man. He falls hard for Carol, but when she applies for the mission trip, Luke finds himself torn between ignoring her application and giving up the one person who trusts that he has truly become a man of God. Can Luke overcome his shadowy past and show Carol that he is the man for her, or will she discover that the rumors about him are true?
Generally ideas come to me all the time. I write them down the minute I get them, otherwise they're gone along with my youthful figure. I have the beginning plots for ten more books but I have to write and edit the books which are contracted first. As for names, I have a baby book that sometimes I look through, but usually my characters tell me what their names are as I write about them. They are insistent like that. Some of my characters personify different sides of my personality.
Like a smoker (which I am not) I have given up writing and then taken it back up again at least a hundred times. What drives me? It is part of who I am and I suppose that is part of every successful writer’s psyche. The inner conflict is often a driving force to put fingers to the keyboard and start pecking away. I have all these characters inside of my brain that want to be set free on paper and each has his or her own story to tell. There were discouraging times when the rejections piled up. To some degree I wanted to be published, but there was also a part of me that wanted to write even if that work might not be published. With each rejection, I became even more determined to write a good book. I learned a lot from reading the books of other authors, attending writer’s workshops, and going to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference. That organization is invaluable. They are loving and supportive; it’s good to have a ‘friend’ when things go right and wrong.
I never sit back and relax. I am driven to write, but writing is also a form of relaxation. There will always be the next book to tend to whether I have to polish a rough draft or write out what is burning inside me, there is always good work to do.. It’s like having a lot of children. You want to enjoy the ones that are already born and you do, but it’s the newborn that needs the most attention. God has opened many writing doors for me and I keep walking through them. I never chose publishers at random. I study the market to see what publishers are looking for and query those publishers with suitable book proposals.
The Easter Edition is the third book in the Turtle Creek Edition series. I think readers will find it to be a passionate read about a young woman who is torn between serving God and being with the man she loves. (Let's not overlook The Valentine Edition which shows ultimate forgiveness).
Readers can find my books on amazon.com at
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=robin+shope&x=0&y=0 or order them from any bookstore.
I would be honored for everyone to befriend me on Facebook, Robin Jansen Shope. Also please join Journey to Paradise Movie and Salty Earth Pictures for movie updates.
My blog is http://write2robinshope.blogspot.com/
Thank you, Robin, for spending this time with us.
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