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BFOR BLOG BLITZ – Interview with Cozy Mystery Author Karen Musser Nortman

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Today I’m taking part in the BFOR BLOG BLITZ and am sharing my interview with cozy mystery author Karen Nortman. Books for Older Readers (BFOR) is a group that was established in October 2017 to promote books with older protagonists and/or themes such as ‘second chances’ which tend to appeal to readers in mid-life or beyond. I will give you more information later along with the Facebook and website links, but right now I want to tell you about my special guest.

Head Shot Karen Musser NortmanKaren Musser Nortman, after 22 years as a secondary social studies teacher and 18 years as a test developer, returned to her childhood dream of writing mysteries. Her first series, The Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries, sprouted from numerous camping trips in Iowa and through at least 24 other states. These mysteries center around a group of retirees who camp together and sometimes stumble over dead bodies. Six of the books have been designated IndieBRAG medallion honorees and three have been finalists in Chanticleer CLUE and Mystery and Mayhem contests. Most of the books are based on actual campgrounds.

Karen has two other series. The Time Travel Trailer series follows the adventures of Lynne McBriar who buys a vintage camper that turns out to be a time portal. The first in the series, by the same name, was the 2015 category winner in the Chanticleer Paranormal contest. The Mystery Sisters is a new series involving two seventy-something sisters who travel the country in a 1950 Studebaker, argue, annoy their relatives, and solve mysteries.

Karen has three children and eight grandchildren. She also loves reading, gardening, and knitting, and can recite the 99 counties of Iowa in alphabetical order.

Hi, Karen! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with me today. I’ve read most of your books and have really enjoyed them. Since your books are mostly based on places you’ve been, I feel like I know you. But I still have lots of questions, so let’s get started.

 Which came first, camping or writing?

 I’ve always loved to write but did not do so seriously until after I retired. We tent camped with our children when they were young and then, as they got busier, we got away from it. In 2006, we decided to get back into it but not sleeping on the ground, so we bought a used travel trailer and have been avid campers ever since.

As a camper myself, I know that the lifestyle can be addicting – as can writing! When did you publish your first book, and what inspired you to write it?

I received a Kindle for Christmas in 2010 and that spring was looking for a light mystery to download for a camping trip. I thought it would be fun to read a camping mystery but at that time there weren’t any.  I began to consider what a great setting campgrounds are for mysteries. You have a variety of characters—many of whom are strangers—but you go about your daily chores and recreation in close proximity. There are lots of mishaps and humorous incidents. Because many are strangers, things happen that could have a sinister explanation. For example, once some people were camped across from us and on Friday night had a big campfire. The next day their vehicle was gone and we didn’t see anyone for three days. Their trailer was still there when we left and we never found out what happened. It was likely a family medical emergency or perhaps broken water pipes at home or some other simple explanation. Or it could have been that a serial killer murdered them all and stole their truck. We never found out. Nature is also a factor that can create threatening situations.

So when I retired that summer I decided I would start a series involving a group of retired friends. I particularly wanted my characters to be typical sixty-somethings—not decrepit fussbudgets named Mabel and Gertrude. (Those names are from an older generation.)

I love how your imagination works! I have noticed that your books, at least the ones I have checked, are self-published. Have you always gone this route? If so, why?

Cover Bats and BonesWhen I finished my first book in 2012, Bats and Bones, I began looking for an agent. There was some interest and I was really excited when an agent in New York who handles several successful cozy series asked to see the full manuscript. After I sent it, I read that you need to allow an agent at least six months to look at a full manuscript; if they take you on, another year to find a publisher; and another year to actually get the book in print. I was 69 at the time—I was afraid that I might not live long enough to see my book published!

At the same time, I read quite a bit about the emerging self-publishing scene. I withdrew my manuscript from the agent and published my book through Amazon’s Kindle Direct and CreateSpace programs. That first one involved a pretty big learning curve but I have it down pretty well now.

I like the fact that I have complete control over my schedule, my covers, my pricing, and my book design. I worked for eighteen years for ACT, the testing company, where a typo or poorly worded question could result in a lawsuit, so I think I am a pretty good editor. We also formatted all of our tests for print so I had experience in that. Marketing is the big challenge but it is my understanding that, unless you are Stephen King or Louise Penny, you have to do your own marketing anyway.

So true! When you began to write, why did you settle on cozy mysteries as your genre of choice?

I have always loved mysteries, including police procedurals and thrillers, but my favorites early on were Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. Later Martha Grimes and numerous cozy writers attracted me. Cozy mysteries are very character driven and I love good characters. In a series that’s especially important so that each book is like spending time with old friends. Sometimes I think I should put my efforts into more serious writing, but then I get a message from a reader, like the one who said my books were just the escape she needed during her mother’s Hospice care. That’s very gratifying.

Yes, knowing that your stories have touched someone is one of the best parts of being a writer. I began my writing with memoirs, so I wrote about my experiences. Have you ever experienced any of the mysteries you have written?

We have experienced some incidents that became the catalyst for a book. For example, The space Invaderwe were pulling our camper through New Mexico a couple of years ago when we were stopped in a roadblock. They were looking for two escaped convicts who they thought may have stowed away in a camper, car trunk, or pickup bed because there is nowhere in that part of New Mexico for anyone to hide along the road. Our camper had been locked since morning and they let us go on. But later I realized that sometimes we forget to lock the outside storage compartments and two of them were big enough for a person. Fortunately, we had no stowaways but the incident became the germ for The Space Invader.

I’ll bet you were more careful about locking those compartments after that! When you begin a project, what does your writing process look like?

to cache a killerMost of my books have centered around an event, location, and/or activity. The Frannie Shoemaker books include ones about biking, storytellers, county fairs, geocaching, snowstorms, New Mexico and the Michigan UP. Once I decide what the ‘theme’ is, I think about how a crime might be connected to that activity. Geocachers wander around in remote areas looking for hidden caches, so it stands to reason that they might also find a body. (To Cache a Killer) When we toured the Michigan UP, I was intrigued by the glass-bottom boat tours to view shipwrecks, but what if a dead body appeared in the viewing window (Real Actors, Not People)? In Foliage and Fatality, the second Mystery Sisters book, the sisters volunteer to help at a haunted house fund-raiser. What better place to hide a dead body?

Then when I know what the crime is, if I’m smart, I figure out a time line. How was the murder committed? What was the killer doing before and after? How can he/she be caught? If I don’t take the time to outline that and just start writing, I paint myself into a corner and have to rewrite.

And rewrites are not a writer’s favorite thing to do. Speaking of favorites, which has been your favorite series or character to write?

That’s like asking if I have a favorite child. Each series has been enjoyable for different reasons. Frannie and her friends are, I think, typical retirees. They have strong friendships, but not without some irritations. They have pet peeves and limitations. They have solid marriages and respect for each other. They also have long standing jokes and insults that just confirm their membership in the group.

The Time Travel Trailer series is special to me because I love history. The original book was intended as a stand alone and started because I have always wished I could have known my grandparents as two-year-olds or pre-teens or newlyweds. I enjoy researching the historical periods that the trailer travels to. The next one may be connected to the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa in 1959—the night the music died. I grew up near there and the Surf was the hot spot in our lives.

The Mystery Sisters series is patterned after my grandmother and her sister-in-law who did travel the country in an old Studebaker and argued all of the time. So this way I get to travel with them.

The Mystery Sisters is your latest series of books. Have we seen the last of Frannie Shoemaker?

Double Dutch DeathAbsolutely not. I wanted to get three Mystery Sisters books out to establish the series, and I just finished the third, Double Dutch Death. I have already started the next Frannie, Corpse of Discovery. The location is based on Lewis and Clark State Park on the Missouri River in western Iowa. There is an annual celebration there of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (the Corps of Discovery) and it includes a fur trader reenactment. An event with hatchet throwing contests and knife makers sounds like it has lots of possibilities for a murder.

Wow! I can’t wait. Thanks so much for stopping by and giving us an inside look at Karen Nortman.

You can find Karen and her books at the links below:

Double Dutch Death 

Amazon Author Page

Website 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Books for Older Readers has a website where you can find lists of books and authors that will appeal to all ages but have a special attraction to those of us in middle age and beyond because of the age of the characters and/or the subject matter. The book lists feature short descriptions, book covers, and buy links. BFOR also has a Facebook Group where you can interact with other authors and readers who share your interests and concerns.

Website 

Facebook 

Blessings,

Linda

Author Interview: Alice Patron

Today I have a visitor – Alice Patron, author of Rachel’s Valley. She stopped by to tell me and my readers a little bit about herself and about her book, released by Anaiah Press under their Romance imprint on February 26. Here’s a picture of the beautiful cover, a link where you can find the book, and a little bit about the story.

Cover Rachels Valley

BOOK LINK

About the book:

Not long after saying “I do,” Rachel Wood finds herself abandoned by her husband in a mining town in the West. After a year and a half of waiting for his return, she needs to move on. She responds to an ad in the newspaper and becomes the caretaker for two girls in the small town of Breckenridge, Colorado.

The moment he sees the beautiful young woman climbing into his wagon, widower Clint Harvey second-guesses his decision to hire someone to teach his daughters. But Rachel Wood is just what his girls need. And it doesn’t take long to realize that she is exactly what he needs, too—if only she didn’t keep holding him at arm’s length.

Clint is the only man who has ever shown Rachel true love and friendship, and it becomes almost unbearable to not let herself fall for him. But she doesn’t want to cause a scandal in such a small town, so she keeps her marital status under wraps. But when she finally receives a threatening letter from her “husband,” she begins to question whether her marriage was even legally binding in the first place. Now, she must unravel the status of her supposed marriage before her chance of happiness with Clint has passed—and follow God’s law no matter that outcome, which just might be the most difficult thing of all.

Welcome, Alice. Your cover is beautiful, and your story sounds intriguing. Now let’s talk about you. When did you first begin to write?

My sister published a regency romance novel about four years ago, which got me thinking about how much I’d love to write. A few of us in the family started meeting weekly to write together. Rachel’s Valley came about because of the support and encouragement of family and friends, but especially from those I’ve been meeting with.

That’s an interesting way to begin a writing career. Is Rachel’s Valley your first book? And do you have other books in progress or in your head?

I wrote a YA fantasy novel before starting on Rachel’s Valley. It was a fun learning experience. I’m not sure if I’ll get back to that book someday, but I also have a couple other stories floating around in Google docs. One of those is a novella that’s a modern retelling of the Daddy Long Legs story. One story I’ve started is another historical romance set in the west. I’m also collaborating on a WWII romance. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy!

It certainly sounds like it! What inspired you to write Rachel’s Valley?

I love hiking in the west, and I love the history and geography of the west. In my opinion, it’s a very romantic setting! I can look up and see the Rocky Mountains every day, so my inspiration was all around me.

Having traveled in the mountains quite a bit, I can understand how you feel about them. Who has been your favorite character, and who was the most difficult to write?

Rachel’s sister Edith was probably my favorite character to write. The most difficult was probably Clint – I wanted his voice to be his own, but it was hard to put myself in the shoes of a widower.

Yes, I imagine that would be difficult. Did you have to do any research for Rachel’s Valley?

I did have to do a little research for Rachel’s Valley. From geography, to history, to railroads, ranching, and mining, I had to consult Mr. Google several times while writing. I actually didn’t mind the research aspect too much though – I learned some interesting things!

I’ve had similar experiences – and I wonder how authors managed to complete a project without the Internet! In spite of research and planning, scenes sometimes don’t go where you expect them to go, and characters don’t act the way you intend them to act. Have you experienced anything like that in writing Rachel’s Valley?

This is a frustrating aspect of writing for me. I’d love to make a very detailed outline then flesh it out. I still make outlines, but they inevitably change. The picnic scene, for example, didn’t end how I originally planned.

Now I can’t wait to read the picnic scene! When is your favorite time to write and where is your favorite writing place?

I don’t get to write when and where I would like. I’m usually writing on my phone when I have a spare minute or two. Apparently, kids need lots of attention! If I could have my way, I’d love to write in the mornings while snuggled up in bed with a laptop and yummy snacks.

Writing would be easier if we lived in a bubble, wouldn’t it? What do you hope your readers will take away from Rachel’s Valley?

Life is hard and messy, but the hard things we face can build our faith and strength. I wanted to write strong characters with faith that overcome hard things and in the end find love and happiness. I want readers to feel like they can get through hard things and hope for the good things to come.

From what I know about Rachel’s Valley, it seems like you have achieved your goal. What is your next project?

I’m hoping to finish a rough draft by the end of the year on a WWII romance.

Best of luck with that project and with Rachel’s Valley, and thank you so much for stopping by for a visit.

About the author:

Alice Patron Head Shot

Alice Patron grew up in a small town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. During college she served for her church in Chile, studied abroad, and did an internship for the forest service. She worked as a pharmacy technician until becoming a stay-at-home mom, her favorite job of all!

 

You can find Alice on Facebook.

 

 

Blessings,

Linda

 

 

Interview with Connie Ann Michael, Author of Forgotten

Connie Ann Michael Head ShotConnie Ann Michael was born and raised in Seattle Washington but recently moved to Montana. She lives with her husband and her two dogs and enjoys any activity which will get her outdoors. Connie has two sons who have successfully graduated from college.

Hi, Connie! Congratulations on your continued success as an author. Thank you for coming by to spend a little time with me and my readers. We’re looking forward to learning a little bit more about you and your work.

 

  1. When did you first begin to write?

I began to write when my boys started high school and they were busy with sports and I found I had a lot of extra time.

  1. How many books have you published at this point? How many do you have in progress and/or in your head?

I have published five books as of now. I have three books in a new series that are getting ready for editing and two or three partials and two definite ones in my head which are outlined but not written.

  1. Where does all your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from the people around me and current events.

  1. Who has been your favorite character, and who has been the most difficult to write?

My favorite character has to be Raven from my Thousand Moments series. The hardest character I have written is Oli from my Screamers series because I want readers to be sympathetic to her but I also want her to be strong.

  1. Did you have to do any research for your books?

I did a lot of research for my military romance but haven’t had to do too much for the Screamers series.

  1. What do you hope your readers will take away from your stories?

The theme I write in all my books is one of redemption. I want my readers to know that God forgives no matter how far you have gone away from him. No sin is too great if you ask for forgiveness and believe Jesus died for your sins.

  1. Sometimes scenes don’t go where you expect them to go, and characters don’t act the way you intend them to act. Have you experienced anything like that in your writing?

During my Thousand Moments series Raven and Emme’s relationship really moved in a direction I wasn’t expecting but with PTSD it couldn’t be a smooth road and I had to let it flow naturally until I could reunite them.

  1. When is your favorite time to write and where is your favorite writing place?

I love to sit outside in the sun to write and can write for a very long time outside, however it is difficult because my computer screen reflects the sun and I can’t see what I’m writing.

  1. What is your next project?

My next project is a series called ‘I wanna be’; the first book is Different. It is a young adult realistic fiction taking place in high school. It really reflects the message I want to give about no matter how far you fall God is always there.

Thanks again for your time, Connie. All the best with your current projects and all the stories you will tell in the future.

Blessings,

Linda

Connie’s latest book is Forgotten, a dystopian romance:

forgotten-coverOli left the safety of her home to spread God’s word to a world that’s forgotten He exists. She never expected to become a pawn between a mother she thought was dead and two competing sanctuaries, all of whom see her as nothing more than a tool to gain more power. But when the Governor shows up to take Oli back to the barrier, she discovers a horrible truth: her mother used Oli as a bartering chip to save herself, and she’s about to do it again.

Oli finds an ally in a scarred boy named Matty—and now he’s her only hope of survival. Unfortunately, the only way to safety is to head into a city full of Screamers. Along the way, they encounter Luca, a man who realizes Oli’s true potential, and he’s going to use her to cement his position as a powerful leader.

Forced to go The Station, a true house of horrors that might hold the answer to the illness, Oli must save her friends and get out before she becomes the next test subject.

Author Interview: Sonia Poynter

Sonia-Poynter__Author PhotoHi, Sonia! Congratulations on the 2nd edition of your YA fantasy, The Last Stored. Thank you for coming by to spend a little time with me and my readers. We’re looking forward to learning a little bit more about you and your work.

  1. When did you first begin to write?

I started writing in high school, but put it on the back burner because I didn’t think I was smart enough. (Often, we stop doing our passion because of that inner voice knocking us around.) I picked writing back up after my kids started leaving the nest. I found I had a knack for it and actually regretted not doing it sooner. If I have any advice to give, it would be to don’t allow that inner voice tear you down, instead keep practicing and learning!

  1. What was your inspiration for the story, The Last Stored?

Us writers are constantly asking ourselves what if questions and observing details around us that others don’t necessarily notice or care about, but often we fall into our own heads, creating stories, characters, and worlds. We live in two places—one foot in reality, the other in our imagination. Sometimes those dreams come together and our fingers can’t work fast enough to get the story out. That was the Last Stored for me.

I grew up in the forest, traipsing under fallen logs and splashing through creeks. A part of me, no matter where I am, is always there. Something about the forest, with its earthy smell, and peaceful sounds contains magic. That got me to thinking, what if, I found a door to another world and a girl was stored on Earth to save that world. Don’t we all feel like we don’t belong, that we are meant for greater things! Amber Megan Peel feels that, and deeply, and a boy is about to bring her home, to Tali!

Look around you, life is filled with magic, we simply need to believe it!

  1. Who is your favorite character in the story, and who was the most difficult to write?

Chaney is my favorite character to write for, I found him likeable, easy, and calm. He’s a sort of big brother—Viking, and who doesn’t want to have that type of guy around? He was the polar opposite of the whirlwind that is Lin.

Who was the most difficult? That would be Amber, she was so much like me, an underachiever, she never fit in, she always was looking for something more, that I found it difficult to share so much of me on the page. I’m a guarded person, but writing her helped me to breakdown those walls.

  1. Did you have to do any research for this book?

Does my life count, lol? Most places in the book are mishmash of local areas. I did change their names because they didn’t quite match up. And dealing with grief, that was something that I knew first hand because of the loss of my own father. Writing for her really helped me to deal the heartache.

  1. What do you hope your readers will take away from your story?

Hope and Magic. Look for the unexpected and realize we are all made for bigger, more glorious things! Swaro!!

  1. Sometimes in writing, the scenes don’t go where you expected them to go, and your characters don’t act the way you intended them to act. Did you experience anything like this in the writing of The Last Stored?

Sure! I am a plotter. Often, I plan out my books backwards. I know the beginning, and I know the ending, I just need to get my characters there, but like real people they have other plans and ideas. They get into mischief, and send me down plot holes. At first Amber wanted a complete different ending. After a long discussion she agreed and well, I won’t give it away, but you can find out for yourself since, I have the alternate ending included in this edition.

  1. When is your favorite time to write and where is your favorite writing place?

I love to write in the daytime and afternoon, with a glass of ice tea, while nibbling on a fudge-round. I have a serious chocolate cake addiction. All of this is done in my office which has two big windows and they look out over one-hundred-year-old trees. A nest family of squirrels often watches me. (Chocolate cake, squirrels, and trees, are my favorite!)

  1. What is your next project?

I am currently working on the second draft of a book tentatively called, I AM ABLE. I hope to be finished with it by late summer. It still needs a third draft, betas, and critique partner edits.

Quick blurb – The year is 1947, the year has always been and will always be 1947. While the sleepy community of Pleasant Valley lives a sheltered existence, free from the Commies who lurk beyond their protective wall, sixteen-year-old Able McCants discovers the monsters aren’t just on the outside. (First draft complete.)

About Sonia’s current book:

Cover

After the sudden death of her parents, making it through the day is a struggle for Amber. In the midst of her grief, an exquisite bird perches on her garden fence and shows her visions of a vivid landscape and a dark lord slouching upon a throne. She thinks the visions are tied to her sorrow. But when a boy appears to tell her she’s the last of her kind, she wonders if she’s just lost her mind.

Cree of Din is tasked with one job: Bring Amber home. For seven years, Cree has trained as her protector, and it is the ultimate responsibility. Failure means Amber’s certain death. The Returning has begun.

Amber and Cree must return to Tali, a world of unimaginable splendor and equally unimaginable horror, and defeat the dark lord, Lorthis. If they can’t, not only will Tali plunge into darkness, but so will Earth.

Sonia Poynter writes books with a common thread of wonder. She found that golden string under the crumpled leaves of her favorite tree when she was but a child, since then she has been unraveling it and weaving it onto the pages of her books. Her first book, The Last Stored, was published through Anaiah Press.

Buy The Last Stored here: https://amzn.to/2EZyknA

Web site: www.soniapoynter.com/

Facebook:www.facebook.com/SoniaPoynterAuthor/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: @soniapoy https://twitter.com/SoniaPoy

Thanks again for your time, Sonia. All the best with The Last Stored and with all the stories you will tell in the future.

Blessings,

Linda

 

Author Interview: Stephanie Eding

UNANCHORED cover

Unanchored by Stephanie Eding

Publisher: Anaiah Press

Imprint: Surge

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: April 17, 2018

Book Links:

Amazon | Goodreads

Blurb:
Cecily Hastings fails to escape her captor when he gambles her away in a game of dice. Now, instead of getting her first taste of freedom, she’s rotting in a cell on the Hellbound, a pirate ship under the command of Captain Finnigan Worley. Cecily, however, has no plans of sticking around with a captain known for his heartless deeds.

As soon as they make port, Cecily attempts to alert the Royal Navy. While trying to get away, she stumbles upon Captain Worley liberating people from a life of abuse and servitude, which makes her question everything she thought she knew about the infamous buccaneer.

Soon she’s recaptured and taken back to the ship, and Cecily vows to figure out the captain’s humanitarian angle. The more she learns, the more she believes in his benevolent mission. With the Royal Navy closing in, she must decide if she’s willing to fight beside Captain Worley or turn him over to the gallows for a chance at her own freedom.

Interview:

Stephanie, thank you for stopping by my blog today to answer a few questions for my readers about your new book, Unanchored. 

  1. Is this your first book?

Nope! Actually, when I first took the plunge toward becoming a writer, I started with a YA fantasy. It was about a group of teenagers who fought nightmares in the dream world. Not knowing a whole lot about the publishing process, I just jumped in headfirst and wrote the first two books in the series. It did not query well… At the time, it was my only idea, so I put a lot of weight on it succeeding. When it didn’t, I was pretty sure my writing career was doomed. Luckily, my childhood love for pirates and need for a high seas adventure took over my brain!

  1. What was your inspiration for the story, Unanchored?

This is a tough one to pinpoint. I feel like so many different ideas came together to create this story that it’s hard to narrow down my inspirations. For one, I am obsessed with antiheroes. They just always have the best banter (which is my most favorite thing)! I was watching ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” and really loved what they did with Captain Hook. I wanted to see if I could balance the image of a notoriously bad villain with a seemingly good heart. I didn’t do much developing of the idea until I laid in bed one night and got a very clear image of a girl passing a biscuit through cell bars to a prisoner on a pirate ship—someone she previously hated. That image made it from the first draft to the final copy of my book, so it must have been good enough inspiration!

  1. Who is your favorite character in the story, and who was the most difficult to write?

I think Captain Finnigan Worley (Finn) is my favorite. He’s always got a comeback for everything. He’s both cocky when it suits him and desperately empathetic. He has a really tough job with a very intimidating image to maintain, but behind closed doors, he’s just a regular guy who sometimes has food stuck in his teeth and would love nothing more than to get a cat for his ship.

Cecily, my heroine, has proved the most difficult to write, only because there have been so many different versions of her throughout the editing process. She has to react to an incredibly unusual situation in a natural way—but what’s really natural when you’ve been taken by some super-weird pirates?  

  1. Did you have to do any research for this book?

Yeppers! But honestly, that was one of my favorite phases! I got a few pirate books to look at culture, watched some shows/movies/documentaries, and even watched tutorials on sailing ships. The history of the Golden Age of Piracy is so fascinating! While there’s not a whole lot of historical figures/situations in Unanchored, there will be in the next book. My husband and I keep saying we want to take a pilgrimage to all the places my crew has traveled—up the coasts of Ireland and Wales—and down to the gorgeous Caribbean. I can’t imagine anything better!

  1. What do you hope your readers will take away from your story?

Honestly, I just want them to have fun. Life is so serious, and I love books that take me away on an adventure, introduce me to new friends, and give me hope in dark moments. That’s what I want Unanchored to do for my readers.

  1. Which do you find easier during the editing process, being the editor or being the author?

So far, I’ve found this to vary depending on the book. With my pirates, I thought editing was a lot of fun! I could not stop tweaking scenes, adding things here or there, or diving into the nitty gritty of sentence structure. However, I recently finished writing a women’s fiction. The last 2/3 of that story just flew right out of my fingertips! Now that I’m finished, I just stare at the document with no clue as to how to even edit it. Which is bad. Because my career is in editing. J

  1. Sometimes in writing, the scenes don’t go where you expected them to go, and your characters don’t act the way you intended them to act. Did you experience anything like this in the writing of Unanchored?

Oooooh, yes. Honestly, those are my favorite things about writing! I love it when a character’s personality is stronger than my idea for them. When they throw me an unexpected scene, it just fuels me to play around with it and let them drive the story. Those always seem to be the strongest scenes too! One of my favorite “unexpected things” about Unanchored is my dear cabin boy Nikolaus. I never planned for the kid to even be a part of the story, and he just showed up and became one of the three main characters! I even have ideas brewing to give him a spinoff one day!

  1. What is your next project?

           Next, I’m going to work on a sequel and take these miscreants down to the Caribbean to stir up some trouble with a few notorious scallywags.

            I am also working on a women’s fiction. It’s about a 30-year-old woman named Josie whose emotionally abusive husband sends her packing after finding out she’s pregnant. Living with her parents, unemployed, and spending her last few dollars on an intense craving—a corn dog from the county fair, Josie runs into two friends from high school she’s lost touch with. As they chat, they discover that none of their lives panned out quite the way they had expected them to. They’d always heard that their thirties were supposed to be the best days of their lives, but they’re just not having it. The trio moves in together with one goal in mind: fix their messy lives before they turn 31. It’s a story of friendship, fresh starts, and a deep love affair with fried food.

 

Author Bio:

StephanieEding Head ShotStephanie Eding lives in Ohio with her husband Matt and child comedians Ross and Lizzie. She spends her days drinking coffee, working as an editor, and snuggling her three wild-eyed cats. Stephanie always wanted to be a pirate, but settled for writing about them to keep out of prison.

 

 

 

You can find Stephanie at:

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Stephanie, what fun answers! I’m looking forward to reading about the adventures of Captain Finn and Cecily.

Blessings,

Linda

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