Monday, May 3, 2010

No Other by Shawna Williams


No Other by Shawna Williams!

We're happy to have Shawna Williams with us today talking about her book, No Other. Read on to learn more about Shawna and her book. Be sure to check out the contest she's running on her blog (details are at the bottom of her interview.)

1) How did this story come to you?
It actually came to me in a dream. The dream was a strange experience. It was like scenes from the stages of someone's life, and sometimes I was the person, and sometimes I was watching. But it started with a young couple falling in love, then having small children, then struggling with the demands of career and family. It ended with a really sad old woman sitting in a chair, watching her grown children, who didn't know her because of choices she'd made in a fruitless chase to obtain fulfillment. Depressing, huh! Anyhow, I pondered this dream, trying to fill in gaps for about six months, and it eventually grew to be so complicated that I had to start writing just to keep track.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I started writing about eight years ago. I'd work for awhile, put it away for months, pull it back out, put it away, work on it again and think about trying to get published, chicken out and not look at my manuscript for months. At one point I went a whole year without writing anything. Two years ago I really felt like God was telling me that it was time to get serious. So I pulled out my awful, 167,000 word manuscript, and started picking it apart. This time though I bothered to try and learn how to write. I bought twenty-something books on the craft, and started submitting to critique groups. Lots of them! Kinda smarted, but it was good for me. I began submitting short stories too, and that got me used to rejections. But it wasn't too long before I also got my first acceptance, and that was great. After that I got several more in short order.

During this time I continued to work on my manuscript by taking the first part of my horrible book and making it its own story, and I also began looking at potential places to submit. I knew that the content and set up of my story made it a not so easy sale, so I determined early on that I wanted to focus on smaller presses.

I became aware of Desert Breeze Publishing through Michelle Sutton, who currently has three books published by them. They were only six months old at the time, and only publishing in ebook format, but every DBP author I corresponded with seemed pleased as punch over their experience. Also, Gail Delaney, the CEO and Editor and Chief, was quite clear about future plans of expanding into print.

There was also just something very appealing about getting in on the ground floor. It's always been part of my personality to go that route. Hard to say why, but it's the same thing that motivated me to start a homeschool support group when there wasn't one, move from the large city to a small town ranch, buy a run-down camping park with my husband and turn it around, and insist on salvaging several old homes that had fallen into ruin. I'm always rooting for the small guy or the underdog. I guess I should mention that I take in stray animals too. It's how I got my collie. Best dog ever!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Oops! I think I just did that in the previous question. Okay, other than my love of underdogs, I'm a girly-girl geek, who likes science, history, and making jewelry. Yep, one of these things is not like the other.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Currently I'm working on two books, both under contract. One is the sequel to No Other -- same characters ten years later. Similar Theme as No Other, but from a different perspective at a different stage in life -- also inspired by that life-changing dream. It's called In All Things. Orphaned Hearts is the other. It's an expansion of a novella I'd written that was inspired by my granddad, who was raised in an orphanage in the 1930s. It was accepted under the terms that I lengthen it.

5) Parting comments?
Hmm...I have no clue what to say here, so I'll just tell you a little about my book. In an answer to a previous question I mentioned that I looked into small presses because I felt that the content in No Other made it hard to place. In the story there are some major failings on the part of the main characters, but mostly I'd say Jakob, since he is a Christian and Meri isn't. But my reason for writing No Other was that I wanted to tell an inspirational story about getting up after you fall. About how Christians don't just struggle, sometimes we blow it, but God doesn't abandon us. Even when our efforts to right things fail, He's still in control. Him, and No Other.

And if you read the book, and notice a couple of things left a little uncertain at the end, including a promise Jakob makes that might seem somewhat misguided, well, that's what the sequel is for.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://shawnakwilliams.com/
http://shawnawilliams-oldsmobile.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/shawnakwilliams
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Shawna-K-Williams/236629884245?ref=ts


I'm running a contest for the month of May. Here's the link.
http://shawnawilliams-oldsmobile.blogspot.com/p/no-other-prize-drawing-details.html
It can also be found by going to my blog and clicking on No Other Prize Details in the top left corner. As part of the contest, I need to post this question at the end of my interview.


What does this German phrase "Eine Verletzung kann nicht heilen, wenn man dauernd daran kratz," mean? (Answer can be found in the first chapter, viewable at
http://noother-shawnawilliams.blogspot.com/ )

Morning for Dove by Martha Rogers


Morning for Dove

We're happy to have Martha Rogers with us today talking about her book, Morning for Dove. Read on to learn more about Martha and her book.

1) How did this story come to you?
When my son lived in Tulsa, we went to visit quite often and always stopped at a tourist information system for coffee and restroom break at Thackerville. I became interested in the history of the state and decided to combine it with my interest in Boston.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I wrote the book in 2004 and 2005 and sent it to my agent. It stayed with one editor who took it to committee, but it was rejected. It was with them for over six months. We changed the title and began submitting it elsewhere. After more revision, Tamela sent it out again to several new editors and Debbie Marrie at Strang picked it up.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Hmm, I’m a pretty open book, but they may be surprised to learn I was a nursing student when I started out in college in 1953. Readers might be surprised to learn I am a breast cancer survivor. 10 ½ years since my second surgery. I love to sew and use to make all my own clothes.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on book three in the series and a Christmas novella for Barbour

5) Parting comments?
Never give up on your dream, and never believe you are too old to get published.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.marthawrogers.com/

Stephanie Burkhart's "The Hungarian"


The Hungarian by Stephanie Burkhart

We're happy to have Stephanie Burkhart with us today talking about her book, The Hungarian. Read on to learn more about Stephanie and her book.

1) How did this story come to you?
I'm a Moderator on Writing.com and it was inspired by a simple contest prompt. Write a story about a werewolf that falls in love. Called "The Wolf's Kiss," Count Matthias hires a British nanny, Katherine, for his daughter and they fall in love. It was well received. I entered the story into the Writer's Digest Pop Fiction Contest and out of 3,000 entries it received an honorable mention in the romance category. Spurred on by it's success, I wrote the novel, "The Hungarian."

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
If you consider I wrote the prompt story in 2006, it's been 4 years. My first draft was best kept in the closet. *smiles* The first draft allowed me to get to know the characters, but plotwise, it wasn't as strong as it could be. I wrote a second draft in the 1st person from Katherine's POV, and showed it to Gail Delaney, Editor-in-Chief at Desert Breeze. She said, "I like it, but can you do 3rd person?" I spent about six months changing the POV. If anything, I would say I would say I earned a healthy appreciation for patience.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
A –
I was married in Denmark in 1991. My marriage certificate is in 5 different languages.
B – I have a big comic book collection. I collected from 1981-2000. I have over 3,000. My favorites – X-Men, Teen Titans, and the Legion of Superheroes.
C – I spent 7 years in Germany while in the military. I was an MP.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I'm doing my final edits on "The Hungarian's" sequel, "The Count's Lair." I'm also writing a sci-fi, speculative short story, "Shadows and Light," for Desert Breeze's Borealis Anthology.

5) Parting comments?
For writers, have patience. Learn your craft. Learn how to take constructive criticism without being overly critical.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Website: http://sgcardin.tripod.com/
Blog: http://sgcardin.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1357922219&ref=profile
You Tube Channel (Botrina) http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina

Seasons in the Mist by Deborah Kinnard


Deborah Kinnard's Seasons in the Mist

We're happy to have Deborah Kinnard with us today talking about her book, Seasons in the Mist. Read on to learn more about Deborah and her book.

1) How did this story come to you?
It came the year I vacationed in England, walking around Cornwall and just letting my imagination run wild. There was a ruined building near my hotel, that had once sheltered a well. I got the “holy well” idea from that.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I first wrote it in 1982 on an Apple //C, on software that doesn’t exist anymore. When I got the idea to rewrite it, I couldn’t, so I had to rewrite from scratch. It’s a far different (and better) story now.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
(1) I write characters who are surprised by God in some way;
(2) I’m the only woman in America who cannot make Jello;
(3) I’m a singer by nature but do not ask me to dance. It ain’t pretty.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Working on a sequel to SEASONS IN THE MIST, working title SEASONS OF RECKONING. I’m thinking to finish this story before the ACFW conference this September.

5) Parting comments? I hope readers will want to journey back to the 14th century with me. It was a fascinating time.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?