Thursday, August 25, 2016

Anne Mateer | Author Interview

Today, let's welcome author Anne Mateer, author of Playing by Heart, At Every Turn, and more Christian historical fiction.

In reading the "about you" on your page, you mention that writing is only a portion of your life. What does a "normal" writing schedule look like to you? Or is there nothing normal about it?
17350821I prefer to have a “normal” writing schedule—though 2016 has not brought any such days thus far! My best schedule is to write an hour or so mid-morning, then a couple of hours in the afternoon. I can usually get my word count done in those few hours of intense writing, and its about as much in a day as my brain can take. The harder writing times are at the research and brainstorming stages of a book. Those are much more time consuming for me than the actual writing, though revisions are also times where I work many, many hours each day!

I can definitely understand the research-and-brainstorming stages being more difficult!
Besides writing, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I consider myself a reader first and foremost, so I still read a lot. I usually have three or four books going at any one time: a non-fiction book, a fiction physical book, and a fiction ebook—with often a research book added to those. I also enjoy crocheting and any kind of tangible history—visiting museums and historic homes, that kind of thing.

Sounds like a ton of fun!
What is the easiest part of writing for you?
Characters. They just seem to appear in my head and take up residence, pretty much fully formed.

What is the hardest?
Plot. While my head is peopled with characters, they don’t come to me already living their story. In other words, I have to work at making things happen to them rather than just enjoying their company!
Do you find your real life reflected on the pages of your books?

Absolutely! It might be in little ways, such as a character dealing with whatever is irritating me at the moment, or in bigger ways, such as creating a character based in large part on someone close to me. Or sometimes it’s just using stories to address the issues I see those I love dealing with on a daily basis.

That is very neat! 
Why historical fiction?
I’ve always loved history. Even in elementary school I gravitated to the books in the school library that revealed life in another place and time. Books like The Little House on the Prairie series orStrawberry Girl or Caddie Woodlawn. As I grew older I discovered that I loved reading real history, too, and ended up majoring in history in college.

Which story has been your favorite to write? Which character?
That is such a difficult question! I have loved each story and character for very different reasons. But I think the favorite book to write was probably At Every Turn. It was my second contracted book, so I didn’t have that nervousness of wondering if it would ever find a publishing home. Plus its historical setting and premise was a brand new topic for me, and I loved learning about it. Also, the story itself was just plain fun.

13432068My favorite character to write is even tougher, because there are so many! I’ll have to go with two: Irene, the older woman who befriends Rebekah in Wings of a Dream and Blaine, the self-sacrificing hero in A Home for My Heart. Both were wonderful characters who exemplified Christ in their actions toward others. They are who I want to be.

At Every Turn was a fun book! 
Who are the authors that have most inspired you?
There are so many! In my early years, Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery, and Louisa May Alcott. Others include: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Eugenia Price.

What is the #1 thing you'd say to an aspiring writer?
Don’t be afraid to write books that don’t get published. My first 4 novels are still in my computer, and while I might someday re-write them (and I mean completely re-write, using only the basic story premise from the original!), I am fine with them never being published because they were HUGE in my personal development as a writer. They were not failures. They were building blocks to being published. They made me a better writer.

Resounding "yes" to that tip!! :) 
Thanks again for taking your time to "visit" my blog!
My pleasure! Thanks for asking!

About Anne

Anne Mateer has loved reading and writing stories since childhood. In 2000, she began studying the craft of fiction and working toward publication. Ten years later, she received her first book contract. Anne is a three time Genesis contest finalist, a Carol Award finalist, and a contributor to A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts.

Anne and her equally history-obsessed husband live in Texas. They are the proud parents of three young adults who spent many family vacations touring historical sites.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Two Music Videos

Last weekend, our family did revival services at a church about 1 1/2 hours from us. What a blessing it was! Such a sweet spirit!

Some of you may or may not have heard my family sing. I've posted some videos on here before, but I really and honestly and truly love being able to still sing and play with my family--so why not share another song with my blog readers? ;) Being raised in a musical family has been a tremendous blessing! Sure, we have difficulties (like when your older siblings "grow up apart" from the music group and you have to completely revamp everything you do), but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

I'd like to hear from you: does your family sing together? (even just "around the house for fun")

And then, the usual Wednesday piano solo: Softly and Tenderly (arranged for intermediate pianist)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Pantster's Lifesaver

I recently posted this on Word Painters, and thought I'd share it with my readers here as well (though, if you're a writer, I highly recommend you start following Word Painters!)

I write what's considered a "pantster" writing style. You know, "fly by the seat of your pants." Writing before you have it all outlined. Thinking up plotlines as you go. It's great fun to do so, but there can very easily be major pitfalls in writing this style. One of the most common pitfalls is inconsistency. You've probably seen them in amateur writing before -- the one comment that suddenly makes you stop with, "Wait! I thought this character had blue eyes three chapters ago..." And of course, as a writer, this is the type of mistake I'd like to avoid. However, if I'm creating characters, scenes, and situations as I go, it means that I most likely haven't sat down to think them through carefully.

I have honestly tried to print out character sheets and outline my characters before I write them, but that just doesn't work for me (you know, the ones where you have to decide their whole back story, eye color, favorites, and everything else). My characters tend to form as I write them -- and sometimes, I don't have the same "list of knowledge" for each character (e.g. I don't know each of my character's family trees). That being the case, I just create Word documents which save my pantster-loving life (er, my story).

As soon as I introduce a character in my story, I create a document for him. 

Yep, just a name. Then, as I write a little more, I might add something like this:

His character develops more -- an interesting trait or something -- and with every addition I put in my manuscript, I put in my character page. I also jot down anything I think is important for me to remember. Sometimes, I'll add a quote from this character or special phraseology, if applicable.

Here, we must leave my Zeke Thomas example, because this is as far as I've currently developed him. As I continue to write Journey of Choice, and if Zeke continues to show up in the scenes, then his document will grow. And as I continue to write, I have something to go back to, to glance at, to keep me consistent.

One more example before I leave, because this method helps me for more than just characters. Here's my castle plans for my WIP, "Befriending the Beast." I have more rooms floating around in my mind, but Belle hasn't yet entered these rooms, so I haven't quite decided which floor they're on, or what they looks like. When I do decide, you can be sure that it will find its place in this document.

I know there are magnitudes of methods for preserving your ideas as you write. This is just the method that works best for me, but I'd love to hear your side. 
How do you develop your characters, scenes, and plots? 
Do you use premade outlines and character sheets? Do you plan your characters before you write them out, or do they develop "on their own?" Do you keep a notebook by your laptop? Do you sketch house plans? What is your secret?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Scripture Designs 03

What are some Scripture verses that have blessed you this past week?

This one I made for my phone's lock screen

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Book Trailer! ("Befriending the Beast")

When I first saw someone's book trailer, I was like, "Okay, whatever." But, I have to admit, this one was super fun to make! I'm really excited to share just one more glimpse of Belle's story with you!

And now, going beyond my exuberance with my upcoming release, I'd like to hear from you: what is your favorite fairy tale retelling?

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Loyal Heart | Book Review

27840589At the beginning, I thought I wouldn't like the book because the characters showed immediate infatuation to each other, and I'm not a huge romance fan. But though they were attracted to each other, it was not the main theme of the book.

What I liked:
There was a lot in this book that I liked. Being a Civil War fan, I enjoyed reading of the aftermath of the CW in people's lives. The flashbacks to Johnson's Island when the men were POW was also intriguing. The hint of mystery with Mrs. Markham's threats, the loyalty and friendship of her servants, the love and loyalty of Phillip's comrades. It was a very interesting and likable story.

What I didn't like.
The main thing that lowers my rating is the Christianity, or lack of it, in the book. God or Jesus weren't mentioned until halfway through the book. And even then, the Lord always seemed and afterthought. "He was going to need to place his complete trust in her and Kern. And the Lord, of course. He sincerely prayed that would be enough."
Gotta get on a soapbox here and say there was more trust in the arm of flesh than in God. Prayer might be a "good idea," but it was never enough. There wasn't really evidence that the characters were believers. I got the impression that they stood up for themselves and fought in their own strength just fine, only turning to God when they thought they needed a little extra help. There wasn't a personal relationship between man and God.

So, as a story, I enjoyed it. The writing style was fantastic, plot line intriguing, but the spiritual aspect found wanting.

*I received this book in exchange of my honest review from LitFuse*

Back Cover Blurb

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

To purchase the book:

To find out more about the author:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Jen Turano | Author Interview and Giveaway

I'm beyond thrilled to have Jen Turano here on my blog today. A few months ago, I saw one of her books come up for review and, after finding out that my closest reader friends hadn't read her (and thus couldn't give an opinion of her), I decided to try her out. Wow. I don't know that I've laughed quite so much at a book before! But you can read her books later. For now, the interview.

When did you first begin writing? How long after that was it before you got published?
In Good Company CoverI first began writing when my son was in the third grade.  We’d gotten through this rather horrible series -  okay, we only got through book six and I’ve never owned up to the fact there are…six more books – but…he said that the stories I made up for him about dragons when he little and needed to stay in his jogger stroller while I ran were more interesting.  So…we decided to create our own book.  It was called Fanglers, had smelly creatures in it, and while it certainly never got published, I realized that I’d missed using my brain.  Not that I didn’t love staying home with my son, it’s just, brains are a horrible thing to let just sit.  As the years went on, I wrote here and there, some middle grade, some YA, some contemporary romance, and over those years I was getting a lot better with query letters.  Agents didn’t seem to want to sign me on, but they would call me, talk about my unusual writing voice, and then they’d give me pointers.  Apparently I had a bit to go with my actual writing craft.  I started really looking at all the books I read, figured out what I was doing wrong, and then by the time my son reached middle school, I landed my first agent and then she sold my first book a year later – so…yeah…it took me a while to get published.   

That is so neat!
Your books have many "laugh out loud" scenes. Does humor just flow from your fingers or do you work on tweaking scenes to make them humorous?
Playing the Part CoverIt takes about four edits for me to start getting funny.  I’ll have the scene down, but the dialogue might not be clicking as well as it should.  However, by the fourth edit, the characters are really developed, so it’s easier for me to know how they’re going to interact, and that’s when the humor happens.  I delete a lot of words – I never save anything that I’ve written because I’ll think that something is brilliant, a quirky turn of phrase, or a specific scene – but it just doesn’t work, so if I don’t delete it, I’ll try to force it into the story and it won’t come across as humorous, just dumb. 

I think that's encouraging to a lot of aspiring writers. We all like to think that if someone's published it means they're talented -- not that they had to work to get there.
What is your favorite type of character? Bold? Shy? Secret? Independent?
I like strong women who have a sense of humor, but who are, at heart, kind. 

Just reading one of your books, I can clearly see that. :)
Besides writing, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I love walking, or more on the lines of power-walking.  I do about five miles a day.  Then, I love meeting friends out for dinner, and Al (husband person) and I love to visit little towns out here in Colorado.  We browse in obscure little shops, looking for unusual things.  I found the coolest metal junkyard dog sculpture a few weeks back, but oddly enough, Al was not exactly as enthusiastic about it as I was, so I didn’t bring him home with me.  That right there is why we’ll be going back this weekend to see if it’s still there (I’ve named him George) because…George shouldn’t have been left behind, and did I mention he’s got a spike collar made out of old metal – oh, he’s fabulous…   

A Match of Wits Cover
Haha! That's great!
What is the easiest part of writing for you?
Editing is the easiest part for me.

What is the hardest?
The first draft – all of those pesky blank pages – staring back at me – day after day after day. 

Do you find your real life reflected on the pages of your books?
Not much, although I have a really odd sense of humor, so some of that does come through on the pages.

Who are the authors that have most inspired you?
Susanne Elizabeth Phillips, Julia Quinn, Jayne Anne Krentz, and J.K. Rowling

What is the #1 thing you'd say to an aspiring writer?
Don’t rush to publish.  It can kill any chance you have at a successful career if you put stuff out there that’s just not ready.  Take your time – concentrate on the writing at first – not on your platform, not on your pitch – you need to write the book.  Not everyone is a storyteller, no matter that you hear otherwise all the time.  If you can get a complete story written that’s compelling – that’s the trick.  And, more importantly, if you want to be published – it’s not about the author – it’s all about the reader.  You have to know your target audience and what they expect in a book of that particular genre, and then you need to deliver that. 

Great tip that we need to be reminded of! Thanks so much for joining me here today!



Jen has graciously offered to give away a print copy of After a Fashion! Because of shipping issues, this is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY.

About Jen
JenTuranoA USA Today Best-Selling Author, Jen Turano has written the critically acclaimed Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist.  It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, released in the spring of 2016, and will be followed by a new four-book series, Apart from the Crowd. When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester since her son recently abandoned her for the college life. She can be found on Facebook at or visit her on the web at She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Her books may be found in fine bookstores, or follow the Baker House Publishing link to find additional places to purchase her work

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Come Ye Thankful People, Come | Music Video

It's not quite fall, but I love this Thanksgiving hymn (which, if you read the Psalms, Thanksgiving should be a part of our everyday life).


 Purchase the sheet music here:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

There is a Fountain | Music Video

Here is another piano solo for you all to enjoy! There is just something about this song that brings back memories of church and good singings. What hymn is like that for you?

Purchase the sheet music here.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Readers and Bloggers needed!

I'm getting things pulled together for my newest novella's release ("Befriending the Beast" -- a Beauty and the Beast non-magical retelling with a twist). This means ... beta-readers, reviewers, cover-reveals, and blog tours! :) I'm just gathering info right now, but I have dates and deadlines on the form to give you an idea of when everything's happening (Lord willing). Sign up if you're interested!

Scripture Designs 02

This week's Scripture designs are both Scripture and some thoughts I had while reading my Bible. I shared more thoughts on these Scriptures on Instagram @amandateroauthor.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

"Befriending the Beast" on Pinterest

I have discovered how amazingly helpful Pinterest is for writers! Seriously, I am more of a visual learner, so when it comes to describing people, places, and things, being able to LOOK at pictures helps me tremendously!!

No, I'm not infatuated with my "Befriending the Beast" story (okay, maybe I am a little stoked about it...) anyway, I thought you Pinterest lovers would like to see a little of the "behind the scenes" work of the story. Where I get my inspiration from. Because I like lovely pictures! Hop on over and check out "Befriending the Beast's" Pinterest board!

(and yes, this is cross-posted from my writing blog)

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Wildcat of Braeton | Book Review

His term of service to Lord Rishdah now complete, Aiden returns to his home in Braeton. As he travels he hears rumors that trouble plagues Braeton. Clan Canich is being attacked from within. He arrives, determined to save his father, his brothers, and his Clan from the treachery of one man.

A year has passed since the Calorins were driven from Aredor and Corin is struggling to rebuild his country. Despite the peace, a fear haunts him that the Calorins aren’t far away. The Hawk Flight takes to the forest again to defend the borders against a possible attack from the neighboring country of Durna and its Calorin ally. 

As Aiden and Corin struggle to adapt to their new lives they know one thing for certain - war is coming to the North!

My Review
I personally liked this better than Book 1 in the series. It still took me a few chapters to get into it, but I loved reconnecting with the characters from Rise of Aredor. Just like Aredor, this book is filled with battles and oppressors. Claire does a good job depicting battle scenes (for my preference) -- not too much gore but just enough details for you to understand what's going on and feel the heat and excitement.

For about the first half, I had a hard time keeping characters straight because there were so many -- and a couple of the characters from Aredor had name or position changes. Also, several of the characters were similar in character and speech (not enough distinguishing features), so I had to stop and think, "Now which one is this?"

At the same time, there were a few characters that took their shape nicely and were stand-alone. (Martin. Tam.) Also, relationships were progressing and, as the story continued, I found myself enjoying the balance of battles and character plots. There is more romance in this book, but it is not heavily emotional (e.g. if there is a kiss, it is more stated "he leaned and kissed her" rather than focusing on their emotions of how this kiss affected them).

Warriors and children! Ah! I thoroughly enjoyed these parts of the story. Especially towards the end between a specific warrior and child. But I shan't divulge names.

The last battle ... wow. Talk about a swirl of events and emotions! Half of me was like, "Yay, this is so realistic!" and the other half was, "But... but... _________ can't die!!!!" Well done.

Again, things related to religion, death, and heaven were a bit strange to me. I won't rehash what I wrote in my review of Aredore, but many similar things were in this book.

Overall, this was a very interesting two-book series and I enjoyed them.

*I received this book from the author in exchange of my honest review*

Purchase your own copy here. Purchase The Rise of Aredor here.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sara Beth Williams | Author Interview

This week I'm pleased to have Sara Beth with me on the blog!

In a nutshell, what do you write​?
I write Contemporary Christian romance currently.

Fun genre! 
What spurred on the desire for writing​?​ 
I've always loved writing. What has inspired me to write in THIS genre is finally discovering decent christian fiction within the last five years. 

I can agree that there's a need there! How do you balance writing with living -- or is writing your full-time job?
Oh I wish I could write full time, but alas, not being published means not earning anything, which means I get to stay home and watch my 2 girls :) I usually write/edit at night time after 9pm until 11 or 12 

I'm also trying to maintain a noticeable presence online, so I usually sneak in blog posts and other stuff throughout the day.

Who do you hope to reach with your writing?
Ah that tricky audience question. Anyone who loves romance. Hm if I'm serious, I'd like to reach young women who are in that new relationship stage in their life. This first series I'm writing delves a lot into themes of second chances in life. But, I just love to tell a good story, and these happen to have faith weaved in. 

Sounds neat. If someone asked you for your best writing tip, what would it be?
Finish your first draft without doing any major editing. The only way I was able to actually finish my entire first draft was to sit down and write it through almost all the way. (making an outline also helps) In the last decade, I have written many stories, but every time I would write a portion, I would go back and edit again and again until it was all perfect and beautiful. Unfortunately, doing so will 1) derail your flow of writing and ideas 2) cause discouragement because the story seems to be taking forever to finish, and 3) cause you to edit unnecessarily over and over again a portion of your story that might not even need to be in the story. 

When you do major edits, you need to begin looking at the entire project first, and then hone in on the details. You can't look at the entire project if you haven't written the entire project or almost the entire project.

Good tip and good reasons to "just write." What are three things that you greatly enjoy doing?

I love reading, and singing/playing guitar. I also love balloon twisting. Yes, read that right :)

Neat! I've enjoyed finding out more about you! Hope your writing goes well, Sara!

Sara Beth Williams is a Christian, writer, blogger, wife, mother of 2 girls. She loves a good story, regardless of platform. Therefore, she hates watching TV episodes out of order! (God forbid she should miss something vital to the overall story line!) She lives in Sacramento, CA with her husband and children. Her time is currently divided between working, raising her daughters, and writing every spare moment she can.
Current Work in Progress: Second Chances: A 3 book Contemporary Christian romance series. You can connect with Sara Beth on Twitter @WilliamsSaraB and through her blog.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Beauty and the Beast with a twist | My WIP Reveal

I'm super excited to reveal a little more about my current WIP--and even more excited to have everyone play a game with me!! "Befriending the Beast" was supposed to be a short story. First draft (very, very rough draft) was 19 Microsoft Word pages, 7,800 words. Yesterday in the edits, I added 1,000 words and am adding more plot depth. How many of you want to guess how long this "short story" will end up being? I have no clue what the right answer will be until it's finished. But it's fun to guess, isn't it? And added to that, if your guess is close to the end result I'll send you a paperback!!! Ready... Set... Guess!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"Me? Teach Piano?" giveaway winner

Today is the happy day in which I get to announce another giveaway winner!! The print copy of "Me? Teach Piano?" goes to Miss Kenzi K.!!! I've sent her an email.

If you didn't win this time and are interested in purchasing a book, you can get it from Amazon (Kindle and Paperback). Or, I have four proof copies (with minor defects) that I will sell for $4 each, $2.50 shipping (first come, first serve). Email me at withajoyfulnoise (at) gmail (dot) com if you're interested.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Scripture Designs

I recently got my first paid-app for my iPhone, and I'll admit, I'm loving it!! One of the reasons I love it is because it gives me a chance to share God's Word more. :) If you're on Instagram, I usually design one a day from the Scripture I've read. Follow me @amandateroauthor. For those of you who aren't, I'll be putting them up on here on the blog ... just not consistently one a day. You'll just get a great dose of Scripture once a week. ;) Here are some for this week!

Friday, August 5, 2016

An Elegant Facade | Book Review

27066722This was a very clever and intertwined book. I haven't read the other books by this author yet, but was able to enjoy this as a stand-alone.

In some aspects, the writing seemed a little amateur (repeating similar phrases often within a paragraph), but the plot line was so rich that it was more of an afterthought about the writing.

At first, I thought Georgina was just a snob. However, realizing that she had a reason for acting the way she did -- and a secret she desperately wanted to hide from society -- made her endearing.

Colin was amazing. In hindsight, it's easy to think of him as too perfect, but his relationship with his family definitely showed him as imperfect. I really, really liked how Colin's acceptance helped Georgina to realize God's acceptance.

That being said, the first 3/4 of this book didn't impress me as a Christian book. But there was a pretty strong spiritual lesson towards the end. It was very neat to see how the author tied it all together. I loved one of the character's hunger and thirst for the Scripture!

There were a few romantic scenes, a kiss, etc. I can't say it was the main thrust of the book (or maybe it was because I was more intrigued by Georgina's problem that I skimmed over the romance." ;)), but it was obviously in there.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book ... and think I found a new favorite author. Looking forward to reading more!

Favorite quote:
"I think, if this is going to mean anything, He's going to have to be my God. If He wants me to ... to change, then He's going to have to speak to me Himself."

*I received this book in exchange of my honest review from Bethany House*

About the Book
Lady Georgina Hawthorne has worked tirelessly to seal her place as the Incomparable for her debut season. At her first London ball, she hopes to snag the attention of an earl.
With money and business connections, but without impeccable bloodlines, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. When he first encounters the fashionable Lady Georgina, he's irritated by his attraction to a woman who concerns herself only with status and appearance.
What Colin doesn't know is that Georgina's desperate social aspirations are driven by the shameful secret she harbors. Association with Colin McCrae is not part of Georgina's plan, but as their paths continue to cross, they both must decide if the realization of their dreams is worth the sacrifices they must make.

To purchase the Book:

To learn about the author:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hope Ann | Author Interview

Today, I'm delighted to have Hope Ann here with an interview!

1) In a nutshell, what do you write​?​

Fantasy! Christian themed fantasy mainly, both novels and novellas. I love the genre. I also really enjoy futuristic fiction and work with that sometimes too (ok, so I’ve a trilogy set two hundred years into the future that I’m working on sporadically, but that doesn’t really fit into the ‘nutshell’ portion of this question. ;)).  

2) What spurred on the desire for writing​?​

I enjoy writing about 64% of the time, but my main drive to write is simply that I have all kinds of stories fluttering about in my head and I have to write them out and share them with the world. I want to provide inspirational and exciting fiction for Christian readers…the kinds of stuff I had a hard time finding when I was younger. My greatest hope is that I’ll inspire readers to live a stronger Christian life.

3) How do you balance writing with living -- or is writing your full-time job?

At this point, I live at home and help around the house. And, after I get married, I plan to stay at home as well. So writing is my main job, though not really a full-time job. I also have a part-time job knitting hats.
As to writing itself, I deadline out for myself what I want to get done and when I want to have it done by. And then I write as I’m able, around housework and noisy siblings. I normally get two to three house of writing done in the morning and another hour or two done in the afternoon. I tend to write in short chunks, working on at least two stories at one time, along with articles or blog posts. But even when I’m not writing, I’m thinking about stories, titles, plot holes, idea…the thought process invades as much of my day as I let it.

4) Who do you hope to reach with your writing?

Follow Hope on her blog
My main audience is Christian teens and young adults. I want to give them good material to read, which will also teach them Biblical truths and inspire them. 

5) If someone asked you for your best writing tip, what would it be?

Don’t ever give up. Just keep writing. I know that’s one of the oldest pieces of writing advice, but it’s true. There’s times where I (and I think all writers) feel discouraged. Or we feel that our work is utterly awful and should never be seen. Or that it will never get done. Or that no one will like it. But keep working and writing though those down moments…or days, or weeks. Get the draft done. Then edit it. Then edit it some more. Don’t give up because, in the end, you will have a good story which can touch people’s lives.

A second tip, closely related, is that any story you write won’t be for everyone. There will always be someone who won’t care for it. It’s not their style or they can’t get engaged. Don’t be discouraged. It happens. Write for those people who love your work and don’t worry about those who don’t care for it.

​6) What are three things that you greatly enjoy doing?
Reading! Fantasy, of course, but also Greek and Roman history as well as anything about spies I can get my hands on.
Climbing trees. What can I say? I love climbing…especially in strong winds.
Archery! I’m not very good, but I own a recurve bow and enjoy shooting it.

7) What is your newest release about? What do you hope readers will learn from this story?

Song of the Sword is a retelling of Rapunzel, complete with high towers, dark mistbenders, a blackened rose, and a powerful sword. Intermingled with the story are strands of allegory. Each of my Legends of Light novellas focuses on a different aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit. For Song of the Sword, that focus is joy and I hope the story will inspire readers and help them realize that our joy does not come from events and situations surrounding us, but Christ alone.

Books and Links
Books: Rose of Prophecy 

About the Author
Hope Ann is a Christian wordsmith, avid reader, and dedicated authoress. With the help of her resident realm leapers, Kirin and Elena, she loves to research published legends, like Lord of the Rings, as well as recount her own tales of undiscovered lands. Her time is taken up with writing, reading, archery, knife throwing, playing with inspirational photos, helping care for the house and eight younger siblings, and generally enjoying the adventures of life on a small farm at the crossroads of America.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Giveaway Winners!

Every time I draw for a giveaway winner, I wish everyone could have won. Today, however, is kind of a win-win. ;) For those of you who didn't win "Journey to Love" or "Letter of Love," you can get them for free for Amazon Kindle today!! The promotion ends tonight though, so hurry (click on the links for the book titles above to get them on Amazon)!

Now...the winners...

For the US Giveaway: Melissa H!

For the International Giveaway: William!

I have emailed both of you with more details! Congratulations, and once again - thank you ALL for your support and love!

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