Interview + Giveaway: Jan Drexler

When you walk into a bookstore, you make a beeline for what section?

Inspirational fiction! Next up is always history.

Favorite place to write:

Since our daughter got married a couple years ago, I’m blessed with my own office. Surrounded by my favorite books, tea mugs, and pictures, I’m in heaven.

Go-to writing snack or drink:

I make a pot of Earl Grey tea every morning in the winter. Once I get into my story, the pot is empty before I know it.

What does your writing nook look like?

I use my computer to write, but a lot of brainstorming takes place at my desk.

Something you must do or have to write:

Sleep. If I don’t get enough sleep at night, I have a hard time writing in the morning!

Favorite (doesn’t that word just make you cringe?) writer resource:

Seekerville, a blog for writers. When I was first starting out, the Seekerville ladies cheered me on, taught me many lessons about writing, and offered friendship and a helping hand. I am now a Seeker myself, and love being part of this community for aspiring and experienced authors, as well as readers!

What book is currently on your nightstand?

The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book:

Hard copy, when I can. E-reader if I’m traveling.

What was the inspiration behind The Sound of Distant Thunder?

I like my books to take place during times of change and upheaval, and the Civil War is one of the greatest times of change in our nation’s history. At the same time, the Amish church was also going through a time of great change. I started researching that time period with an Amish story in mind, and the further I went into my research books, the more ideas I got.

Favorite part of writing The Sound of Distant Thunder:

The research. I love history and the Civil War era.

Hardest part of writing The Sound of Distant Thunder:

Getting the characters to behave. Jonas and Katie didn’t give me too much trouble, but Levi was very insistent on more time, more lines, and even his own point-of-view scenes. I thought he was going to be a minor character, but he had other ideas!

If The Sound of Distant Thunder was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I’d love to see Bradley Cooper as Jonas. For Katie, I think Carrie Underwood.

What is next?

The sequel to The Sound of Distant Thunder is coming out next fall. The title will be The Roll of the Drums. Also coming next fall will be an Amish Christmas novella in a collection from Bethany House.

After that, I’ll be working on the third story in “The Amish of Weaver’s Creek” series.

What else would you like readers to know?

I have a newsletter that comes out about four times a year. Readers can go to my website to sign up for it!

Giveaway:

Click the image or Rafflecopter link to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**The winner is Kathy D.! Please claim your prize within 72 hours or another random winner will be selected.**

About the Story:

Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents’ insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother’s name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother’s place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.

Connect with Jan through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Yankee Belle Cafe.

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Interview: Barbara Brutt

When you walk into a bookstore, you make a beeline for what section?

Ooooh, I love to peruse the clearance section and see if I can find any gems before I move to the fiction and then self-help.

Favorite place to write:

Near a window. Right now, my writing happens on the dining room table, but I daydream about having an L-shaped desk.

Go-to writing snack or drink:

Generally, a cup of tea. I prefer black tea with milk, but I’ll switch to non-fruit herbals when I’m drinking the tea to warm my hands.

What does your writing nook look like?

Right now? It looks like an over-grown jungle because we brought in the herbs and have a random assortment of plants sharing the dining room table.

Something you must do or have to write:

Music helps. And I’ll generally go through a few quick housekeeping items, such as checking my email, Facebook, and Pinterest. Then, I’ll settle in for writing.

Favorite (doesn’t that word just make you cringe?) writer resource:

I really love Steven James’ resources on writing. Earlier this year, I attended the Novel Writing Intensive that he and Robert Dugoni put on annually. Great resource!

What book is currently on your nightstand?

My copy of Teal Paisley Tights, some lotion, and Spike, my succulent.

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book:

All three. I prefer hard copy, but my e-reader is great for night time reading. And I love audio books for all the driving I do. Yes, that means I’m often reading three different books at a time!

What was the inspiration behind Teal Paisley Tights?

Oof. Jadyn? I think in some ways it was Jadyn, the main character, but then also, I know so many people who struggle with people pleasing, saying yes to everything, and then just being maxed out.

Favorite part of writing Teal Paisley Tights:

Exploring the story, and then rereading and laughing at the funny. Is it bad that I’ll laugh at my own story—forgetting that I wrote it?

Hardest part of writing Teal Paisley Tights:

The process was long so I think it was challenging to keep at it sometimes, especially when there are a lot of other good things vying for my time.

Image credit: Pinterest

If Teal Paisley Tights was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Ah, this is tricky. So I’m not a huge movie watcher. But I think Sanaa Lathan has the right look for Jadyn. And for Ethan, hmmm, I’ve chosen a few male actors, but I think Chris Evans would be a good one.

Image credit: Pinterest

What is next?

Well, I do have a rough draft (and boy, it’s rough) of book 2. At this point, we still follow Jadyn. And I’m about halfway through writing a Christmas novella, which I’d love to release Christmas 2019. Or you know, Christmas in July?

What else would you like readers to know?  (If there is anything else you think readers might enjoy knowing…random tidbit about you, the story, your writing process, etc. feel free to add it here.)

I’m addicted to circus. My two great loves are writing and the aerial arts. If you scroll through my @cordiallybarbara Instagram account, you’ll see a few aerial funs.

About the Story:

After graduation, Jadyn Simon expected to launch her art career. Instead, this Pittsburgh native finds herself locked into a low-paying marketing position with an impossible boss.

Evicted from her apartment because of a small spending problem, she is forced to move in with her know-it-all sister. While everyone else plans a neat, buttoned-up life for her, Jadyn longs to paint professionally. Stretched like canvas between responsibility and dreams, she must choose.

Will practicality always win?

Connect with Barbara through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Interview: Liz Johnson

When you walk into a bookstore, you make a beeline for what section?

Oh, man! This is tough! I guess it depends on the day. I love the Christian fiction section, and I always make it there. But I also love to check out what’s new in YA and general literature. I usually do a stroll through the whole store if I can.

Favorite place to write: Usually at a coffee shop or restaurant. I like to write while I’m getting dinner or during my lunch break at work.

Go-to writing snack or drink: Diet Dr. Pepper is ALWAYS my drink of choice. 🙂

What does your writing nook look like?  I have a comfy writing chair in my library, but it’s recently been overrun by moose. But when I clear it out, it’s the perfect writing nook.

Something you must do or have to write: The right keyboard. I’m very particular about the keyboard on my computer, so if I have the wrong one, I just can’t seem to get words down and have to handwrite them.

Favorite (doesn’t that word just make you cringe?) writer resource: The Emotion Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman.

What book is currently on your nightstand? Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischoff and The Story of With by Allen Arnold and Story by Robert McKee (along with about 40 others).

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book: All of the above, and usually at the same time. I do love a good audio book for a road trip. And my general impatience makes getting books on my e-reader as soon as they release a delight.

What was the inspiration behind A Sparkle of Silver? My dad and I visited Hearst Castle in California, and I was fascinated by the opulence of the estate. I mean, who needs gold-plated swimming pool tiles? But Hearst had them. They also didn’t seem to make him very happy. And I started thinking about what it would look like for an outsider to that kind of wealth staying in a home like that.

Favorite part of writing A Sparkle of Silver: Discovering the ending! I had a loose idea of how it would end, but right up until I wrote it, I didn’t know who Millie’s great-grandfather was. She searches the whole book for her true family, and I didn’t know until I wrote the words who it was going to be. It was a fun moment of discovery.

Hardest part of writing A Sparkle of Silver: Finding the right language for a journal from 1929. I was constantly checking words and researching contractions to see if they were commonly used during that time period.

If A Sparkle of Silver was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads? I always envisioned Ben—the history professor—as Tom Hiddleston and Millie—the weary waitress/actress—as Elizabeth Olsen.

What is next? I’m working on revisions for the follow up book, A Glitter of Gold, which should release next summer. I’m also working on what I affectionately call my “super-secret project,” which I hope to release soon too.

About the Story:

Ninety years ago, Millie Sullivan’s great-grandmother was a guest at banker Howard Dawkins’ palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Now, Millie plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of the same manor. But when her grandmother suggests that there is a lost diary containing the location of a hidden treasure on the estate, along with the true identity of Millie’s great-grandfather, Millie sets out to find the truth of her heritage–and the fortune that might be hers. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate’s private library, he threatens to have her fired. But her story seems almost too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up . . .

Connect with Liz through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Interview: Sarah Monzon

When you walk into a bookstore, you make a beeline for what section?

Christian fiction, of course! I have to go visit my friends. ❤

Favorite place to write:

At the gym on a stationary bike with my iPad.

Go-to writing snack or drink:

Water. For editing though, it’s usually chocolate and coffee.

 

What does your writing nook look like?

What book is currently on your nightstand?

I’m in the middle of rereading the Age of Faith series by Tamara Leigh.

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book:

I actually prefer an e-reader. It fits perfectly in my purse, which means I can carry around more than one book with me at a time and I won’t be ruining any covers with crumbs and sticky things from kid’s snacks. Also, I can hold it with one hand (and considering I usually have one or more children on or around me, this is a big deal).

What was the inspiration behind Literarily for Keeps?

The cover. No joke, I saw the art and thought to myself how great a cover it would make and that I just had to write a story for it.

Favorite part of writing Literarily for Keeps:

The rough draft. It’s always my favorite part of writing.

Hardest part of writing Literarily for Keeps:

Waiting for edits back from my editor and the first reviews from early readers. I am always so nervous about how my stories will be received.

What is next?

There is one more bookish-type novellas planned titled Novelly Upon a Time. It will be Harper’s story.

About the Story:

Literature professor Ashleigh Darmody never imagined her life would turn into a classic trope, but that’s exactly what happens when her sister Claire calls with a bizarre request–quickly find a fake husband. Backstory is a powerful thing, and Ashleigh’s has plenty of shadows, but is her past so shady that it requires an elaborate scheme to ensure Claire’s prospective father-in-law, renowned TV evangelist Ken Abrams, will give her his blessing to marry his son?
Already divorced from a man who turned out to be other than he claimed, Ashleigh now has to pretend to be blissfully married to a stranger for the next five days. But when the lines of fiction and reality blur with each tick of the clock, could a temporary deal turn into something for keeps?

Connect with Sarah through her website, Facebook, or Instagram.

Interview: Alexis Goring

When you walk into a bookstore you make a beeline for what section?

When I walk into a bookstore, I head for the Christian Fiction section first because I like to check out inspirational fiction and nonfiction stories and fill up on those first.

Favorite place to write: My room by the double windows because of the beautiful rays of sunlight during the daytime and rich dark blue at night.

Go-to writing snack or drink: Chocolate chip cookies or a slice of chocolate fudge cake

What does your writing nook look like?

My writing nook features a comfortable computer desk station as the base with shelves that are overflowing with books!

Something you must do or have to write:

Music! I listen to my playlist on YouTube. My list consists of movie soundtracks and favorite songs by some of my favorite music artists in the genres of Contemporary Christian/Gospel/Pop/Country music.

Favorite (doesn’t that word just make you cringe) writer resource:

The Christian Writers Market Guide (book)

What book is currently on your nightstand?

You’re Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book:

It’s a toss-up between paperback copies and my Kindle books because while I love to hold the actual book in my hands and flip through the pages, it’s so much easier to store multiple digital books on my Kindle. Carrying around more than one book is troublesome but with e-books, I can carry around hundreds of books (literally) that do not weigh anything because they’re stored in my Kindle which itself is very lightweight. I love it!

What was the inspiration behind Love in Pictures?

My love for wedding photography, Italy, Journalism and romance stories all are the inspiration behind my story, Love in Pictures!

Favorite part of writing Love in Pictures: Creating the characters!

Hardest part of writing Love in Pictures: Writing about sensitive topics that many people of color go through but mainstream society feels uncomfortable talking about in real-life.

If Love in Pictures was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I’d like to cast Katerina Graham as Michelle Hadley and Drew Van Acker as Logan Emerson BUT I’d like to give new actors who are bubbling over with untapped talent, a chance. So if there are new actors who are excellent, I’d go for it especially if their looks were similar to my book cover models.

Check out my storyboard on Pinterest for story related scenery and details!

What is next?

My next book is about a formerly fat pastry chef who is now considered one fine brother by all the ladies. However, he cannot commit to any of his adoring female fans because his heart is set on the one girl who he loved from afar in high school. He was too shy to ask her out on a date back then and now, he is afraid that he’ll never see her again. What he does not know is that she grew up to be a food writer and her magazine office is located down the block from his bakery.

About the Story:

Wedding photographer Michelle Hadley has a passion for diversity and believes that love comes in all colors. So, she’s working hard to convince editors to feature her clients’ images on the covers of the mainstream bridal and wedding magazines.

Despite having a career that focuses on celebrating forever love, Michelle has never actually been in a romantic relationship, and she’s not looking for love, until she meets the one man she cannot forget.

Since his fiancée broke his heart, Logan Emerson’s focus has been on his career. He’s won awards for his work as a print journalist and dreams of greater success on television as a broadcast journalist. But his personal struggle presents many challenges that might prevent his dreams from coming true.

Michelle doesn’t date often, and since his heartbreak, Logan has shied away from the dating scene. But something about Michelle awakens Logan’s desire to love again.

Connect with the Alexis through her Website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and “God is Love” blog.