Author Interview – Kara Swanson

Author Interview Blog Title Image - Kara Swanson

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I had the pleasure of meeting Kara Swanson at the first annual SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference in June of this year. I also recently shared the first line from Kara’s novella, The Girl Who Could See, (which kept me up FAR too late on the night I purchased it) and today I’m excited to welcome her to my blog for a fast and fun interview!

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The Girl Who Could See

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

A Little About Kara

Kara Swanson

As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. At seventeen, she independently published her debut fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.

the-interview

Let’s get started with something easy:  What’s your favorite desert?

CHERRY CHEESECAKE! Homemade. Delicious slices of heaven. 🙂

Homemade desserts are often the best. 

What is your favorite hymn or worship song?

I really love “All in All” 🙂

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Hmmm when I finished my first full-length novel at seventeen, that I co-authored with a fellow missionary kid. That’s when I really felt like a writer – a novelist.

What first inspired The Girl Who Could See?

I wanted to write a novella for this sci-fi magazine I was trying to enter, these two lines popped into my head:

They say every child had an imaginary friend. Mine never left.

It seemed like the perfect story inspiration, so I kept exploring those two lines, and eventually TGWCS was born. 🙂

If Fern and Tristan went on a date, what would it be like?

AWWW! Cute question.

Hot dogs, definitely. A walk in the park, and he’d probably get her some flowers – and make a joke about her name being Fern but that there were no ferns in the flower shop. And they’d sit on a park bench, watch the people go by, soak in the peacefulness. And just … be. Together.

Aww. I like that. Very sweet. 

What are you working on now?

I just signed with an agent! (Whooohoo! That I actually met at the conference where I met you, Kathleen.) We’re working on pitching two series of mine right now.

One of them is a sci-fi/dystopian-esque novel about a girl who discovers everything she knows is a lie – including her very identity.

The other is a paranormal YA about a girl with wings whose father is a fallen angel, and her journey to joining the very creatures she’s been bred to hate:  the angels.

Oh! Very exciting! Congrats on getting an agent and I’m looking forward to your next release!

I just want to conclude this interview by stating that I completely agree with another reviewer who said:

“I really think this book is for everyone. Don’t let the fact that you may not be into the scifi genre deter you from trying it. I think you’ll find that it just might be the book that makes you a fan!”

– Jessica Baker, A Baker’s Perspective

And for the record, I purchased my own copy of The Girl Who Could See at the SoCalCWC conference. In fact, I highly recommend you purchase your own copy of this fascinating novella!

The Girl Who Could See

What do you think of Kara’s cover for The Girl Who Could See? What is the last book you read outside of your typical genre preference?

Author Interview – Angela K. Couch

Author Interview Blog Title Image - Angela K Couch

As promised, today I have the delightful pleasure of interviewing Angela K. Couch, whose latest release, The Patriot and The Loyalist, was released earlier this month as the second installment in her Hearts at War series. (Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Tomorrow is the last day!)

about-the-book-2

the patriot and the loyalist cover image

Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home—not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain—so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.

Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope—if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes…

Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded…and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.

My full reviews for The Scarlet Coat (book1) and The Patriot and The Loyalist (book 2) may be read by clicking on the linked titles.

 

A little about Angela

angela-k-couch-picTo keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after three munchkins.

the-interview

Welcome, Angela. I have to tell you, your books are wonderfully written, historically rich, and truly entertaining. I am so pleased to be having a chat with you today!

Let’s start with a fun one. If you could spend one week living the life of any character, whom would you choose to be?

I think I would have to choose Lydia, the heroine of The Patriot and the Loyalist for this one. Mostly because I would love the chance to live in the grand southern Colonial home her father had built for his daughters. Plus her father’s library is full of some great classic reads. I could spend most of the week hanging out in there…while I try NOT to get in trouble with the British!

LOL Yes. Much better to be reading about trouble than actually living it! Speaking of that grand southern Colonial home:  In prep for this interview, I was exploring your Pinterest board for this book and noticed that your inspiration for the Reynolds home was this beautiful old plantation home in North Carolina, and I happened to find a virtual tour of the property which I think our readers will enjoy: 

I’ve heard so many different answers to this question, I’m curious:  When did you first view yourself as a writer?

Probably as soon as I finished my first manuscript at sixteen. Not that I should have qualified as a “writer” but it was when I realized writing was a huge part of who I was and always would be.

I am seriously impressed that you finished a complete manuscript so young! 

Angela K Couch Author Interview - Writer Quote

Can you share with us a unique quirk in your writing routine?

I’m not sure if there is much about my writing routine not quirky. I have three kids under 6 at home with me all day so most of my writing happens in and around play and snacks and “using mommy as a playground”. I’ve gotten good at setting writing aside and picking it back up at any given moment.

Oh, I cannot count the number of times I have said, “Mommy is NOT a playground, can you please stop trying to climb me.” LOL I absolutely love the image of you doing this while trying to write, and I am seriously impressed with the amount and quality of your completed works while having three kids under 6! That is no easy feat! Well done!

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what music do you listen to?

I sure do! With lots of noise (usually happy squeals and laughter) in the house, and lots of disruptions in the middle of writing scenes, I love my mood music to keep, or get, myself back in the groove of the story. Writing romance, I listen to a lot of love songs. Things like “Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel, or Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes”. For The Patriot and the Loyalist I listened to Tiffany Alvord’s cover of“Beneath Your Beautiful” a few times.

I admit, I had to look those up. They both seem very calm and serene. I can see how that would work for writing. 

Angela K Couch Author Interview - Music Quote

How did you come up with the idea for this series?

There were originally only two “hearts at war”. The Scarlet Coat started out as a stand-alone. One of the first full manuscripts I finished years ago. Not until more recent rewrites, did I start thinking maybe Daniel Reid needed a chance to fully redeem himself and find love. I mentioned the idea of a second book or possible series in my proposal, and my publisher wanted to know more. They signed me on a two book contract, including the idea that had grown for The Patriot and the Loyalist.

By the time I finished the first draft of this book, I had the next two plots mapped out in what was now the Hearts at War series, and signed another two book contract. I’m very excited about The Tory’s Daughter, and The Return of the King’s Ranger! With how well this series has come together, I can only assume God had plans for it long before I!

I am so glad you gave Daniel his chance at redemption and I am very excited to know there are two more books coming out in this series! However, I must admit to being saddened a bit when I discovered who the hero will be for The Tory’s Daughter. Nevertheless, I am eager to read and see where you take him. 

Can you share with us how you went about doing the research for The Patriot and the Loyalist?

I’ll start by saying how much I LOVE the internet! My first manuscripts – which have not yet seen the light of day – were set during WWII and I well remember my hauls from the library back in the day! Now I have access to everything from Museums to someone’s Master’s theses. A professor in Revolutionary history actually compiled day by day, month by month slides of Colonel Francis Marion’s movements. Gold! With great resources at my fingertips I was able to map The Patriot and the Loyalist off actual history, day by day as the hero assists in the fight against the British in South Carolina.

I completely agree. My local librarians already know me by name in the history departments. Thinking of doing all this historical research without the internet makes me cringe. Wow. What a treasure to have that professor’s detailed records to work with! I was so intrigued when you first told me the Swamp Fox and his nephew, Gabriel, were true historical figures. It definitely added something to your story. 

One of the things I love the most about great fiction is how it can challenge us to take another look at our own lives and values. In The Patriot and the Loyalist, your characters’ must decide where their loyalties truly belong. Can you share a time when your own loyalty was tested?

First I have to decide what I was loyal to in the first place! 😉 I’m very politically opinionated…but I don’t think we want to go there today. And I’m not very much into sports. I think usually my loyalties are tested when it comes to people. I would never do anything to hurt anyone, but I would probably cut ties before letting them be a negative influence on my family.

Good call avoiding the political. 😉 I also think that’s a smart line to draw for protecting your family. 

What are you currently reading?

I actually have a couple books on the go. One on my kindle and one in print…so I have a book for any circumstance! At the moment, I am quite enjoying Amber Lynn Perry’s So Fair a Lady, also set during the American Revolution, and I just started a contemporary romance by Glynna Kaye, The Nanny Bargain.

It used to be I could only read one book at a time, but these days I’m usually reading 2 or 3 as well. 

Well, that’s all the questions I have for you today. Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us!

Thank you graphic

 

Okay readers, what are your thoughts? Did you enjoy the interview? And I’d love to read YOUR answer to the question:  If you could spend one week living the life of any character, whom would you choose to be? Let me know in the comments below!

psst

Don’t forget to stop by my review post for The Patriot and The Loyalist and enter the GIVEAWAY to win your own copies of the first two books in the Hearts at War series!Hearts At War Giveaway Image

All entries must be complete by 11:59pm PST on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017(That’s TOMORROW!). Winner will be announced Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

TWEETABLES

“I love my mood music to keep, or get, myself back in the groove of the story.” ~ @AngelaKCouch #authorinterview

When did you first view yourself as a writer? @AngelaKCouch answers #authorinterview

The helpful resource that helped @AngelaKCouch write #ThePatriotandTheLoyalist

“I realized writing was a huge part of who I was and always would be.” ~ @AngelaKCouch #authorinterview

Author Interview (and Giveaway!)- The Outlaw’s Secret

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I am so excited to welcome award-winning multi-published author, Stacy Henrie, to my blog to talk about her latest book, The Outlaw’s Secret!

about-the-book-2
On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

The Outlaw’s Secret
by Stacy Henrie

Lawman in Disguise

Getting taken hostage by a gang of train robbers wasn’t in dime novelist Essie Vanderfair’s plans, but interviewing these men could make her career soar. Especially since the gang includes legendary outlaw Tex Beckett, better known as the Texas Titan. Tex is famed for his protection of women and children, so she’ll be fine…right?

Keeping the gang in line was hard enough before a stubborn, beautiful writer interfered. Now Tex is scrambling to keep Essie safe, to gather evidence against the gang and most of all to hide his dangerous secrets. First, that he’s a detective working undercover. And second, that he’s not the Texas Titan at all, but Tex’s twin brother, Tate Beckett.

Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Pages: 288 pages
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Love Inspired Historical

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the-interview

Let’s get started!

As an author, I often get asked how much of myself I put into my characters. So I’m curious, if you were on that train instead of Essie, how would you handle the situation?

I would’ve been terrified! And unlike Essie, I would have chosen to stay seated and silent and hopefully unseen.

As you know, some writers overwrite, others underwrite, and not every scene a writer creates is guaranteed to make it into the final draft. Are there any deleted scenes from this book that you can tell us about without giving away any spoilers?

I love this question, and because I tend to write super close to my word count, there aren’t usually scenes that need deleting. If anything, I may have to add scenes.

As a historical fiction writer myself, I’m always interested in how others approach the research phase of our work. What is your research process like?

I like to get a good handle on the time period and setting before I start writing. Then I’ll research additional things as they come up during the writing process, followed by double-checking details during the editing stage.

I know I have at least one unfinished manuscript which will never see the light of day and another full-length manuscript I have set aside for possible major revision in the future. How many unpublished and unfinished manuscripts do you have and what are your plans for them?

I have three full-length manuscripts that are unpublished—and they will definitely stay that way. J The first novel I ever wrote has not been published because that was really my practice one. The characters of my second unpublished novel are the same characters as my third published book—though with different storylines—so that one will also remain unpublished. I tried my hand at writing a book with a contemporary and a historical story line and realized, for now, I enjoy writing historicals much more than I do contemporary. So, for that story, the contemporary part will remain unpublished too.

Oh, I like that! I am definitely calling mine “practice manuscripts” from now on. I can have more than one, right? 😉

There are so many wonderful writers’ conferences to choose from and only so much time (and money) to go around. Help a fellow writer out. Of the writers’ conferences you have attended, which did you find the most helpful?

Great question! For romance writers in general, I think Romance Writers of America (RWA) puts on a fabulous national conference. For inspirational romance writers, I think the best conference for networking and understanding the market is the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) national conference.

What other authors are you friends with and how did they help you become a better writer?

Siri Mitchell, who also writes inspirational historical romance, was the most influential in helping me discover what I wanted to write. I’d read some of her contemporaries, and after reading one of her historicals, I realized that is what I wanted to write—Christian historical romance. I wrote her an email, telling her how much I enjoyed her historical book, and she graciously wrote back and asked if I was going to the upcoming ACFW conference. This was back in 2010 and the conference was being held in three weeks. I arranged things so I could attend and that conference became the springboard to my published career. I also got to meet Siri there, which was a real treat!

What a great story! The ACFW is definitely on my list of “must attend” conferences for the near future. 

Stacy, thank you so much taking the time to share with us! 

USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids. You can learn more about Stacy and her books by visiting her website at stacyhenrie.com.

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Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive print copies of LADY OUTLAW and THE EXPRESS RIDER’S LADY + $10 Amazon Gift Card (US only)
– 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)
– Ends February 18th

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Be sure to check out the rest of the stops along the tour to learn more about Stacy and her newest book, The Outlaw’s Secret. Then stop back here to check out the Grand Finale on February 14th!

What better way to top off Valentine’s Day than by winning new romance novels?

(Yeah, I know there are Amazon Gift Cards too, but who are we kidding? That’s going straight to the book fund! Right? I mean, I know mine would… anyway.)

Tour Schedule

February 1st: Launch
February 2nd:
Bookworm Lisa, Rockin’ Book Reviews, Katie’s Clean Book Collection & Hearts & Scribbles
February 3rd:
Reading Is My SuperPower, I Am A Reader & The Power of Words
February 6th:
Seasons of Humility & Kathleen Denly
February 7th:
Getting Your Read On & Wishful Endings
February 8th:
Mel’s Shelves & Falling Leaves
February 9th:
Singing Librarian Books & Colorimetry
February 10th:
i blog 4 books & Zerina Blossom’s Books
February 12th:
Tell Tale Book Reviews
February 13th:
Heidi Reads… & The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
February 14th: Grand Finale

Thanks for stopping by!

What did you think of the interview? Did you learn something new? Are there any other questions you’d like to ask Stacy? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Discover Stacy Henrie’s plans for her unpublished and unfinished manuscripts. (Click to Tweet)

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Interview With Inspirational Romance Author Terri Reed

Blog Title Image - Author Interview with Terri Reed at KathleenDenly.com

I am so excited to welcome award-winning multi-published author, Terri Reed, to my blog for my very first author interview! Before we get to the questions, though, here’s a little about her latest book:


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

A Family Under the Christmas TreeA Family Under the Christmas Tree
by Terri Reed
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 340 pages
October 4th, 2016 by Howard Books

In this heartwarming tale set during the Christmas season, a single father and a fashion photographer are brought together by a young boy and a mischievous Bernese mountain dog—but first they must learn to set aside their differences if they are willing to let their relationship bloom.

David Murphy never knew much about kids. But when his brother dies unexpectedly, David is granted custody of his six-year-old nephew, Troy, who he’s only seen once a year since he was born. He already has his hands full running his business, and he has no idea how to help the grieving boy. When Troy runs off one day, David finds him at a park playing with an adorable and rambunctious Bernese mountain dog—who leads him to Sophie.

Sophie Griffith has spent her life traveling around the world as a photojournalist. She has never stayed in one place for long, and her new assignment—helping her grandmother for a few weeks—is just temporary. Once Christmas day comes, Sophie is off the hook and can leave for a new adventure. Caring for her grandmother is a piece of cake—but caring for her new Bernese mountain dog, Riggs, is a different story. It doesn’t help that Riggs strikes up a friendship with a lost little boy one day at the park—and leads her to David.

Neither David nor Sophie have time for romance. But as they spend more time together, they start falling for each other even though they know it can’t go anywhere. Sophie will be gone after Christmas, and the last thing David needs is another distraction as he tries to comfort Troy. But as their faith and growing love for the boy and dog unites them, they wonder whether it’s more than a holiday romance…and maybe Troy might finally get his Christmas wish for a family.

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Now, on to the interview!

Thank you, Terri, for agreeing to chat with me and congratulations on the release of your latest book, A Family Under the Christmas Tree! I know everyone’s busy this time of year, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet with six fun questions.

I noticed in the bio on your website that you spent ten years working as a model in your life-before-writing. How did that experience help with developing the character of Sophie Griffith?

Having worked in front of the camera for many years afforded me an appreciation for photography. I was able to glean the art it takes, the time and patience as well as the technical know-how for a well-done photo shoot. I enjoyed putting my knowledge to work for Sophie.

I volunteer in the foster youth community so children in need are dear to my heart. What inspired you to write a story that included a boy who’d lost his family?

I knew I wanted a child in the story and I thought it would be interesting to explore how my very career driven hero would take on sudden parenthood. And David didn’t disappoint, he stepped up to the plate and changed his life for his nephew despite how little he knew of being a parent.

The mischievous Riggs plays an important role in your story. I’m curious, why a Bernese mountain dog?Burnese Mountain Puppy - Mostly black with tan splotches, a white belly, white toes, white snout, a white-tipped tail and a white strip running up between the eyes.

Well, two things happened that led me to use a Bernese mountain dog in A Family Under the Christmas Tree.  I was on Pinterest looking for inspiration and came across a graphic of an adorable Bernese wearing a Santa hat standing beside a downed Christmas tree. The caption read, “Mom, the tree fainted.” I thought that was too cute. Then a few days later we were out at a park and met a Bernese mountain dog pup that was absolutely adorable.  I knew then I would use a Bernese mountain dog in the story.

What a great story! Also, I have to agree:  Bernese mountain puppies are pretty much melt-your-heart adorable.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Oooh! That’s a favorite of mine, too. 

Tell me something about you that might surprise your readers.

I have an extreme phobia of snakes. Doesn’t matter if they are on TV, behind a glass case or in the wild.  They give me the creeps. Mostly because I had a few close run-ins with a variety of snakes when I was a child.

What other authors are you friends with and how did they help you become a better writer?

I belong to Romance Writers of America and know a great many authors. There’s a huge community of writers out there and everyone I have met has been so generous with their support and encouragement. There are several authors who have had an influence on my writing career. Most noteworthy was author Lenora Worth who mentored me when I was an unpublished author. She gave of her time and expertise to help me along my journey to becoming published.

It’s always great to hear about authors supporting each other. I’ve added a link to your answer in case readers want to learn more about Lenora. 

Terri, thanks so much for sharing with us! 

 

Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publishers Weekly top 25 Romance and Publishers Weekly top ten Religion Fiction, Nielsen’s Bookscan top 100 and featured in USA Today, Christian Fiction Magazine, More To Life Magazine and Romantic Times Magazine, finaled in RWA’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest, ACFW’s The Carol Award contest. She is an active member of both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her college-sweetheart husband. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening and playing with her dogs.

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Be sure to check out the rest of the stops along the tour to learn more about Terri and her newest book, A Family Under the Christmas Tree, and stop back here to check out the Grand Finale on December 18th!

Tour Schedule

December 11th: Launch
December 12th:
Reading Is My SuperPower
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Falling Leaves
Zerina Blossom’s Books
December 13th:
i blog 4 books
Bookworm Lisa
Mommabears Book Blog
Rockin’ Book Reviews
December 14th:
Jessica and Gracie’s Tree
Mel’s Shelves
Kathleen Denly
December 15th:
Kindle and Me
Getting Your Read On
Paulette’s Papers
December 16th:
Christy’s Cozy Corners
Tell Tale Book Reviews
December 18th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive a copy of Love Inspired Classic 2 in 1, Love Comes Home and A Sheltering Love, a light up angel ornament, a Santa bookmark, A Family Under the Christmas Tree bookmark, a manicure set, and a Tule Book Girl book bag (US only)
– 1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
– Ends December 22nd

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Thanks for stopping by!

What did you think of my first author interview? Are there any other questions you’d like to ask Terri? Post them in the comments below!

TWEETABLES

Which authors have influenced romance author Terri Reed’s career? Read the interview! @KathleenDenly (Click to Tweet)

Check out this interview with award-winning Inspirational Romance Author, Terri Reed! -via @KathleenDenly (Click to Tweet)

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