Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Wow! That is a cool question. When I first started developing my female protagonist, Candace Johnson, I didn’t think we had anything in common. That’s before I went through some periods of pain and loss myself. Though our circumstances were very different, pain is pain. I certainly poured my emotions into the character. There is probably a bit of myself or someone I know infused into every character.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirkiest thing? I’m a quirky person period. LOL! I’m sure I do things all the time that could fit this category. Lately, my writing time includes comfortable clothes (pajamas) and a cup of tea. :)
I always spend half a day in my pajamas. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed reading and making up my own stories as a young child. My mom nicknamed me “Alice in Wonderland.” It wasn’t until the tenth grade when I wrote a short story for English class that it really hit me how much I enjoyed writing. My teacher and classmates responses to the short story were very encouraging.
After high school and college, writing seemed to be something I grew out of because I started to pursue more of my love for design. I spent several years working on honing my web and graphic design skills. This time was also spent serving a clientele, mainly authors, via my design and marketing company, Tywebbin.com
The desire to birth a story returned in 2006. To my surprise my word count became more than a short story but what was to become my debut novel, When Rain Falls.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m a huge lover of mystery and suspense novels. I’m fan of James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, Patricia Cornwell, Stephen King as well as Christian authors like Ted Dekker, Steven James, Brandilyn Collins, and Terry Blackstock.
I probably read as much nonfiction as I do fiction. I’m as small business owner, so I like to read books about online marketing, social media and small business.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Prayer, organization and rest. A few months ago, I was running myself ragged, forgetting that I’m suppose to keep God at the center and not be a workaholic. I took my weekends back so I could catch up on rest and spent time planning in advance. I’m still learning, but saying “No” helps a lot too!
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes they come to me as I’m writing and sometimes I will choose a letter and run through a list of names.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I feel blessed that my debut novel, When Rain Falls, is actually the first novel I’ve written. This didn’t happen overnight. I started writing When Rain Falls in 2006 and I didn’t have a version I was really satisfied with until 2008. It has gone under a few more editorial changes since 2008. I feel good about the story and stories to come from the Victory Gospel Series.
When Rain Falls is the first book in the Victory Gospel Series. The series introduces three women whose pasts insist on walking beside them like a maddening visitor, unwilling to depart. Through a series of twists and life-altering experiences, these women learn victory over pain truly only comes in developing a deep trust in God. I’m looking forward to having readers grow with me and the characters.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Well, I’m a cat owner so I would probably be a cat. Cats seem to display more of an introvert personality which I am definitely. I like alone time and definitely enjoy naps when I can get them.
What is your favorite food?
I am a “cookie monster.” I love warm chocolate chip cookies especially as a treat after a long day.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Learning my writing style was a roadblock for me almost a year. I tried to write scenes as they came to me, but when I learned how to outline the novel, that clicked for my analytical brain. Since I write mystery and suspense, the outline also helps me to think logically about the story in terms of a timeline (a week, months, etc). I’m able to connect the details needed to create red herrings and clues.
Tell us about the featured book.
Sure, here is the synopsis.
"Why does God keep taking away the people I love?" This is the lamentation of widow CANDACE JOHNSON when her best friend is brutally murdered. Ensnared by a deep-rooted bitterness, seeping her faith day by day, Candace is determined to seek justice.
Detective Darnell Jackson is in need of clues fast. The police captain is coming down hard on him and his partner to find out who murdered Pamela Coleman, the daughter of a high profile judge. Darnell confers with Candace to get the inside track on events leading up to the murder. As the investigation heats up, his growing attraction for Candace plays havoc on Darnell’s judgment.
Little does she know, Candace’s quest to find the truth has led her straight to the killer. She’s already lost loved ones. Now Candace must choose to completely trust God with her own life.
Please give us the first page of the book.
PROLOGUE from When Rain Falls
Bronx, New York, 1981
Twisting her torso around, the girl strained against the seat belt to peek through the police car’s back window. Lights burned from several nearby houses, creating an eerie glow against the damp night sky. A number of sleepy-eyed neighbors lined the street, their attention focused toward a small white house, now decorated with yellow tape around the yard.
The front door opened, spilling bright lights onto the tiny porch. Two police officers walked out with a man between them. The cops were tall, but not nearly as tall as the handcuffed man, whose arms were muscular and huge. The girl tensed, her eyes drawn toward the man’s white tank top, which revealed more than his furry chest. Bright and dark reds merged into a strange starburst pattern around his middle.
He turned his head in her direction, his narrowed eyes hunting for her. The flashing blue lights danced across his face, highlighting his light brown eyes. His lips parted, showing off perfect white teeth. He’d found her. Like always, his smile stopped at the curves of his mouth, never reaching his eyes. She never knew if he liked or hated her.
Wow. That hooked me. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Lena, readers can find me online at:
Thank you, Tyora, for spending this time with us.
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When Rain Falls - Kindle
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