Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Feature Getting to know June part 3

Here we are with the last few questions left from interviews I have done over the past few years. I have enjoyed sharing these with you, I hope you also have enjoyed reading them.  Thanks for visiting and taking time to read my posts. 

Does your faith affect your writing? How?
In every way. My characters either start out with faith in God or find it somewhere along the way. I want to communicate to readers why I believe it is vital to have a relationship with the Lord.

Why do you keep writing?
I think it's because the Lord has put the motivation in my heart. He's given me the desire to write my stories. My prayer is that the Lord will use them to minister to others who are experiencing the same issues as my characters and will be encouraged.

Do you put yourself into your main character, or do you find yourself borrowing from family or friends as your characters develop?
So far, yes. I see a little of myself in my heroines. And yes, I've borrowed character traits of others - family and friends, but I don't pattern the character entirely after others. I just use part of what I observe in them.

Is there any scene in your book that came from a real-life happening?
No, not entirely. I may use some real-life occurrences but change them so no one will recognize the situation or the people involved.

If you could interview any character in one of your books what might that character say? Why?
If I interviewed Ryan Reed, he'd say praise the Lord for His glorious freedom from the things that held me captive.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
I'd probably be sightseeing with my husband in our RV.

Have you won any awards with your writing?
My book Give Us This Day finaled in EPICon 2013 awards in the spiritual/metaphysical category. (As you have seen on my blog, this year 2014, two of my books were nominated and finalists for awards, which is a great honor for me. Give Us This Day and Ryan's Father.)

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Prayer and seek God's will first. Then learn everything you can about the craft of writing. Grow tough skin and don't worry about the rejections. Just keep on writing.

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
This happened not because I'm so good at taking risks, but I had to. My husband used to have a small 4-seater plane. We were flying along, and he had to crawl over into the back seat. He told me to take the controls and fly the plane. I'd had a few flying lessons but wasn't good enough to "fly the plane" like he said. I took the wheel though the plane met with turbulence, and we were heading toward a mountain range.

What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?
Back after the hurricane Katrina hit the southern states, my husband and I were hired by Pilot Catastrophe, a branch of Allstate Insurance to process claims. I got fired after two weeks.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? Maybe a writing tip for aspiring authors?

Read, read, read. The books on craft as well as books in your genre. Make good friends with your critique partners.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri

Constantly on the news these days is the racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Today as I read my Bible, a thought came to my mind, and I feel like I need to share it.

The voices of angry protesters and rioters in Ferguson are heard throughout our United States and certainly abroad. The reason, they say, is the shooting of the young, black man in the process of robbing a convenience store. They call for social change and equality. I'd like to say that racial inequality isn't the root cause.

Please don't accuse me of being prejudiced against people of color. I am not. One of my best friends is black. I'm planning on writing a romance between a black man and a white woman. The man is privileged and the woman comes from the streets.

So what's the underlying genesis of the Ferguson riots? Some blacks and whites, for that matter, look to the wrong source for affirmation—to define who they are. The federal government is not it. Society is not it. Only the Lord God can determine our validity. A Christian, black or white, can stand on these verses. John 1:12 says: "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."

Romans 5:1 says Christians have been justified, not condemned. Colossians 2: 10 says Christians are complete in Christ. Focus on being a child of God, not a child of a sin-sick society that once held people in slavery.

Ferguson protesters and rioters: give up your anger and find out who you are in the Lord—a much more productive way to spend your time. Who God says you are is more important than focusing on the wrongs of the past. Allow anger to dissolve as you praise God for His wondrous creation—you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Purify My Motives, Lord

Every day when I begin my daily activities, I ask God to be in charge, to give me ideas for my stories. Sounds like a really spiritual thing to do. Right? In my case, wrong.
A lot of times I have to examine my motives. If I'm honest, I like asking God to guide my day because I know His way is better than mine, not because I truly want him to be in charge. Does that make sense?

Or gathering ideas for my stories. I plead with God to help me write a more compelling plot because I know His thinking is more creative and fresh than mine. Sometimes I go to Him red faced and confess my intentions are not pure.
We can ask God to help us because He's better at it than us. But I think the ultimate reason should be because we love Him and want to please Him, putting Him first in our lives. Honestly I don't think our thinking will be completely righteous until we see him face to face. We're still living in this body of sin daily and battling our fleshly desires.

"Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily as for the Lord and not for men." Colossians 3:23.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Author Spotlight is Shining on Rebecca DeMarino

Join me in welcoming Rebecca to my blog.  We look forward to getting to hear about her book, and learning more about her.
A PLACE IN HIS HEART is inspirational historical romance author Rebecca DeMarino’s debut novel and is book one of THE SOUTHOLD CHRONICLES.

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton, the town baker, still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas’s secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary’s world is upended. How could she possibly leave her Papa and her dear sister? And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband’s broken heart?

 Author's Bio
Rebecca DeMarino lives in the Pacific Northwest, and inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother, a love of horses, reading and writing from her dad, and a wanderlust gene from both parents. No one knows where she got her passion for jogging and hiking! A Place in His Heart, is a historical romance inspired by her ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton, and is book one of The Southold Chronicles.

Buy Links for A Place in His Heart item_code=WW&netp_id=1212457&event=ESRCG&view=details

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Feature, Getting to know June Part 2

Back today with part two of this series of questions. I do hope your enjoying these. Today I included some pictures of me through-out this journey.  There is a picture of me in the RV, when I first started my writing career, one on the steps of my house holding my first book in paperback, and one of my husband and I during our travels. Remember if you want to ask me a question, just leave a comment, and I will do my best to answer your questions. 

What inspired you to write this particular book?
Probably the same thing as the other two. I have a passion for characters who deal with difficult issues but overcome by God's power in their lives. Deliver Us has a strong pro-life theme which I stand behind.

How long did you write before you sold your first book?
I began writing in January, 2010 and sold my first book September 2011. I kid around saying that God must have put me on the fast track to publication because He knew I don't have as many days on earth as my younger colleagues.

What are you working on right now?
I'm rewriting a book called The Way Home but will probably be changing that title pretty soon. It's about a Christian woman who meets a handsome accountant she believes will make the perfect Christian husband. But she soon learns how wrong she is.

Where do you get ideas for your books?
I believe the Lord gives them to me. Since I write romance, I like to think of a man and a woman who would least likely fall in love. Shall I confess right now? I wrote one book about a young woman who falls in love with a Christian homosexual man. Yes, it's true. Ryan's Father will be out in 2014. I'd like to remind you my stories are all told from a strong Christian worldview, so you'll have to wait to see what happens. The story reflects my stand on this delicate topic.

How do you choose names for your characters?
Mostly I choose names I like, except for the antagonist. I've actually gotten last names out of the phone book. If I hear someone's name in real life that I like, I write it down and assign it to a character later on. I also like to select names by their meaning. My current heroine is named Joella meaning Jehovah is God.

In three words describe your style of writing.
Simplistic. Heartfelt. Melancholy.

How do you get to know your characters?
I get a picture of a famous person I think looks like my character. Then I fill out a character chart describing every detail about this character. I interview him/her asking pertinent questions relating to the novel's plot and see what answers they give me. I examine their goals, motivation, and conflicts. If I know anyone who's like my character, I try to figure out how that person would react and what they'd say in various situations.

Are you a plotter, a pantster, or somewhere in between, and can you elaborate on your answer? 
I am mostly a plotter. I have to begin knowing my characters and the basic events of the plot. But often, new ideas will pop into my head after I'm finished with the first draft and I don't hesitate to add them to the story. Also, my wonderful critique partners give me ideas which help me change the story for the better.

 What are you favorite themes to write about?
I like to write about issues we as humans struggle with. Though we're Christians, we're not immune from the world. But Christians have an advantage. We don't have to solve our problems alone. God offers his wisdom and power so we can find victory. So I've written about addictions, jail terms, abortion, forgiveness, shop-o-holism, and many others.

 What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
My "office" has changed drastically since we moved out of our RV. Before I had a desk and two filing cabinets where the couch used to be in the RV. It actually worked fine. I wrote five books in that location. Now I have a whole big room upstairs in our house. I have more room to spread out now and more reliable internet, which is a blessing. Each day, I try to get up by 6:30 and get to writing no later than 9:00. I take breaks for various reasons, but most days I don't finish up until 9:00 or 9:30 at night.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
I'm very blessed to be retired from my job. I was an elementary teacher. But I do still have family responsibilities - like all the cooking, doing the wash, church events, etc. So I try to prioritize my life. The Lord is first and my husband, kids, and grandkids second. Then the rest of the time goes to my passion, writing Christian inspirational novels.

Ryan's Father Book Trailer

Where to Buy June's Books

Click on any of the images to go to a purchase site for the book.