Thanks for hosting me, Lena! I super appreciate it.
Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I read a ton of young adult fiction, so writing young adult fiction comes naturally. My heroes and heroines can’t be boring, so besides humor, I often give them an extraordinary power...or maybe it’s the villain they must defeat who has an unbeatable gift. And of course, readers must come away having witnessed a character’s evolving relationship with Christ. My number one goal is to be a light for Him.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
My whole childhood is my happiest day! My ten years growing up as an ’80s kid have blurred together in my mind into one long stretch of joy. Boy, was it nice not having major responsibilities—just to roll out of bed and watch TV, ride bikes with the neighborhood kids, and eat dinner when Mom called.
Nowadays when I’m with my kids and husband, and we’re doing something low key on a day off like playing in the backyard and everyone is laughing, sometimes I pause and think—wow. This is awesome. Remember this, Erin. Happiest day...
How has being published changed your life?
I’ve been forced to enter the realm of social media. I now have a Twitter account, which to be honest, I only use to retweet other authors’ tweets since I’m still too chicken to post my own. And—tadaa!—I have an author website and author Facebook page. Someday I hope I enjoy posting on social media...but I’m not quite there yet.
What are you reading right now?
I’m between books because of being so busy, finishing online prerequisite classes to begin my Masters in Teaching. I can’t allow myself to start a book now because once I start reading, I can’t quit! Once I have time, I plan to read two books by fellow Pelican authors. The Host by Stephenie Meyers sits on the floor next to my bed, which means I might have to pick up this favorite and reread it too!
What is your current work in progress?
I don’t want to give away too much, but I’m three-quarters of the way through with my next manuscript. Think Pacific Ocean, a teenage girl on a road trip, and a guy with some freaky glass powers.
I dream of a summer-long road trip across the country that would include stops at Universal Studios and the Grand Canyon. During this “perfect vacation” my daughters would be content in the backseat, never carsick or complaining. We’d sing together like the Brady Bunch family does during their long car drives, which would never annoy my husband. Hmm...I think I need to lower my expectations.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’m slightly obsessed with nature, so outdoor elements such as forests or oceans play a big role in each book. I also cringe at boring settings. For each scene, I pause and ponder...how can I kick the characters’ setting up a notch? For example, in Fanatic Surviving, rather than have Dove camp in the usual, safe tent, she hunkers down in a sketchy shelter thrown over a cactus—ouch, watch out for those needles!
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My first, kneejerk answer is Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. I feel like we’re good friends due to the hours I spend following her recipes during my nightly, dinner-making routine.
But no, my final answer would be Bear Grylls because I’d want to go on one of those push-you-to-the limits survival trips with him. It’d have to be more than one evening, though—at least a full day adventure. Oh, and my husband is also asking to go along. I’d request no camera crew. I don’t need America laughing at my wimpy upper body strength when I’m dangling helpless from the rope Bear’s instructed me to climb.
My grandson-in-law took his wife, her sister, and my daughter to see Ree Drummond. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I can’t answer reading and writing, huh? Well then, judging by how I spend the majority of my free time, it seems my main hobby is cheering on my daughters in ballet and soccer. High on my list are also walking/hiking with my husband, playing with Charlie my beagle, baking, and dabbling in DIY farmhouse décor.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
As I mentioned above, social media is my biggest bugaboo. My second major obstacle is finding the time to write because sometimes I’m too pooped to stay up late—FYI, I tend to write at night when family members are asleep.
To overcome the posting-on-social-media obstacle, I scribble my posting to-do list on a post-it. For some reason, this forces me to get the social media tasks done. In order to find time to write, I purposefully put a pin in other time-consuming activities, like school, to create chunks of writing time during the day.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
As a novice, I don’t have much wisdom to dish out. But for someone who hasn’t started writing his/her masterpiece, I do have advice: If your goal is to be published, find out the general rules for writing your genre. Otherwise, you might waste a bunch a time like I did. I finally purchased a Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies book a year after I began writing. It was a year too late. I discovered I’d painstakingly written my story wrong in so many ways—too many ways. I had to scrap my first project. The helpful information I found in Dummies is most likely available from other sources too, such as local writers conferences.
Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s my Fanatic Surviving blurb:
The Reclaim begins May 15th, and sixteen-year-old Dove Strong can’t do a thing to stop it... or can she? With only weeks until her people attack the unsuspecting nonbelievers, Dove accepts her recommission for peace. Her journey is a success... until she runs into an old nemesis. Then a family member dies, and she is arrested as a terrorist as well as the prime murder suspect. Dove’s punishment? She must survive the unforgiving Chihuahuan Desert under the judging eye of every television-owning nonbeliever in the country. Saddled with a hostile camera crew, Dove fights to reach civilization while enduring Satan’s elements as well as a mysterious Amhebran coder who haunts her steps. Dove is strong. But is her faith strong enough to survive an ultimate friend betrayal as well as a decision of whether to sacrifice another family member to stop the May 15th attack?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Thunk. Gilead’s blade sank into the X scratched on the pine. Dead center. A breath later, Micah Brae’s steel nicked the trunk’s bark and scuttled, disappearing in the frozen groundcover.
My brother’s grunt of disgust reached me up in the crow’s nest where I huddled out of sight. “Pathetic, Brae. Keep your knife horizontal to your target until you release it. Like this.”
I focused on the sunlit branches overhead instead of my brother’s and neighbor’s knife-throwing session—their way of preparing for the Reclaim. The war’s first attack on the godless Heathen was broadcasted for May 15, a month and a half away. And they thought this would make them ready?
Next to me on the snug lookout platform high in the maple, my grandpa surveyed the tree-filled horizons in his systematic way. I leaned my elbows back on the woven blanket, evidence he’d slept up here, despite the biting Central Oregon nights. My mom said he slept in the tree to be extra cautious— with the war between us Christians and Satan’s people approaching. But that wasn’t the real reason. Grandpa was obsessed with sighting his missing son, my Uncle Saul, who I’d discovered back in September, alive, crazy, and nearby, roaming the Oregon Cascades.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.erinlorence.com . They can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you, Erin, for sharing this book with us. We’re all eager to read it.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.
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