Welcome back, Zoe. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I started out writing inspirational romantic suspense. My rejections always praised my ideas, but most invited me to send another project. I realized incorporating three elements, faith, suspense, and romance, always left one element wanting. I let the suspense aspect go and wrote inspirational romance. I contracted my next book. I learned from my characters that before opposites attract, opposites distract. I loved writing how extreme opposites learned to embrace each other’s differences.
But as an analytical person, I also enjoyed writing, contracting, and publishing a book on writing. I wanted to help aspiring writers and other writers to have an easier time getting a manuscript in shape for publishing. Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days is based on my experience and years of researched blog posts on writing.
And to the shock of my Word Weavers group, relatives, and myself, I have drafted a hero’s journey synopsis for speculative fiction.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
When I had a second chance at love and married my husband.
How has being published changed your life?
The rose-colored glasses came off. Writing is a lot of work. And much of the work is not writing stories. I write full time—a nine-to-six job. Even with my husband taking on many of the promotion and marketing tasks, I’m often overwhelmed fitting in deadlines. Weeks need an extra day inserted! No, that’s not the solution. I’ve learned to turn down some opportunities.
Also, writers must bear criticism or rejections from critique partners, acquisition professionals, editors, readers, and reviewers. My skin is like leather … almost.
This year, after so many people have helped me on my writing journey, I believed I should give back. So besides posting blogs on writing and offering Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, I agreed to be the ACFW Virginia Chapter treasurer. I’m still dealing with the learning curve. Perhaps I’m spreading myself thin by taking the job, but I believe another harried author shouldn’t have to take the job so I can enjoy the benefits of the chapter.
I enjoy creating stories. So I march forward.
What are you reading right now?
The Final Race by Eric T. Eichinger and Eva Marie Everson. In my book, The Putting Green Whisperer, Shoo is a golf caddy aspiring to be a PGA pro golfer. Eric Liddell is Shoo’s role model. Eric Liddell is the 1924 Olympic runner featured in the movie, Chariots of Fire. At the North Georgia Christian Writers Conference, I saw The Final Race for sale. When Eva Marie said it was about Eric Liddell, I had to buy it. I’m reading it to husband John on our trips to our lake cabin.
I’ve always been fascinated by Eric Liddell, too. What is your current work in progress?
I have several books in progress at different stages. I had to put aside my edits for The Identical Woman In a Black Dress while I met two other deadlines. But I’m working that book back into my schedule. It’s the next book in the Twisty Creek Series and follows The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress.
What would be your dream vacation?
John and I have enjoyed many vacation spots from the ski slopes out West to the romantic cities of
to the breezy beaches of Punta Cana, . My dream
vacation would be to spend a month in a quaint town in a country like Dominion
Republic , taking
day trips into the countryside. Ireland
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’ve chosen cities I’ve lived in or been to. Recently, I prefer to create settings based on a real or a combination of real places. That way, I can include the charm of the actual town and what I need to create to make the story work well.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Anne Graham Lotz. We are only months apart in age. I’ve attended one of her “Just Give Me Jesus” presentations and have read several of her books. I would ask her questions participants and I bring up in the Bible study I lead.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
My husband John and I enjoy canoeing the
River and can’t wait to explore the lake we recently bought a
cabin on. I enjoy knitting and crocheting for a prayer shawl ministry I host.
I’ve learned to enjoy watching golf from our annual trip with my sister and
brother-in-law to the Wells Fargo golf tournament in .
(This is how The Putting Green Whisperer
came about.) I’m working on growing a penchant for Charlotte, North Carolina
football. Wake Forest
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
For me, it’s multiple small roadblocks combined that prevent me from moving forward. For example during one day, my book is released on time on several bookstore sites, except the important one. Suddenly, an application freezes on my laptop and I have to reboot. An important email I need has gone to my junk mail. I’m bombarded by messages to update operating systems, software, and my website. The electricity goes out, and I must drive forty-five minutes to the nearest library to work. These obstacles always come in fives or sixes. I build them into my schedule and have resigned to treat them combined like any other task.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
If writing your stories is important to you, don’t give up. It takes time to make it all happen. To hasten success, attend conference workshops, visit writing blogs, and read books about writing. Get connected with critique partners and local or online writing groups.
I say this humbly, Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days will help you write or get your manuscript in publishable shape. The book has nine endorsements by writing conference professionals, editors, bloggers on writing, agents, and those who will most likely use the book, aspiring writers.
Tell us about the featured book.
The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress was first published in a 2018 Valentine’s Day collection of books by five authors. The collection is a finalist for the Book of the Year Award from Interviews and Reviews.
Candace Parks lives a passionless life in
The computer programmer returns to the empty family home in the Richmond, Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains solely to evaluate her job, faith,
and boyfriend. Her high school crush, Trigg Alderman, who barely remembers her,
visits his Gram next door. Things look up. When a local beauty vies for Trigg’s
attention, his ex returns, and an unwanted mission to
calls, sorting her life out becomes nothing of the sort! Papua New Guinea
Please give us the first page of the book.
PASSION, DON, OR
. Once again,
Candace mulled the choices. Don pulled his sedan into the no-parking space in
front of her apartment building. PAPUA NEW Guinea
Always the same. All-you-can-eat pizza in noisy Luigi’s and talking work with this friends, until they moved on to other subjects and she became invisible.
Every Saturday night.
Candace released her seatbelt and shifted to face Don. He cocked his ear toward a sports announcer’s rehash of a basketball game on the radio.
“Kiss me, Don.”
He glanced at her and held up a finger. “Just … one … minute.” He leaned closer to the dashboard. Don already knew his team had won, yet not a face muscle twitched. His brown eyes remained focused on the radio knob.
Candace swung her knees away from Don, opened the door, got out, and closed the door.
The car window whirred. Don bent over the passenger seat until he could see her. “Don’t you want that kiss?”
“That’s okay.” She turned away and plodded up the snow-dusted sidewalk.
“Are you sure?”
She waved and kept walking. “I’ll see you at work on Monday.” She skirted a pink Big Wheel in the stairwell and shuffled up the cement stairs.
I’m already eager to read this book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Zoe, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me.
Readers, here are links to the book.The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress (Twisty Creek) (Volume 1) - Paperback
The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress (Twisty Creek Book 1) - Kindle
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