A New Diamond Shines: Interview with Author Rachelle Rea

I’ve talked a lot on my blog in the last month about how opportunities to connect with upcoming authors is one 11391557_1051272451551292_11676093034241292_nof the greatest joys I’ve had since becoming involved in the Christian publishing industry. Today I have the pleasure of again sharing with you one such author: Rachelle Rea, editor, writer, and author extraordinnaire for WhiteFire Publishing.

Rachelle’s debut novel, The Sound of Diamonds, is soon to be published by WhiteFire Publishing. As we await anxiously for June 15th to arrive, check out my interview with Rachelle to learn more about her YA novel, her inspiration for The Sound of Diamonds, and her writing. And don’t forget, you can pre-order The Sound of Diamonds on Amazon!


AWWW: Welcome Rachelle! Thanks for joining me on A Way With Words. I’m so excited to have you here to talk about your writing and your upcoming novel. I’m reading The Sound of Diamonds right now, and I’ll tell you that so far I’m in love with your novel. Gwyneth and Dirk have so many obstacles against them, and you’re just driving their stories in such an exciting way! I don’t want to stop turning the pages of my Kindle.

RR: Thanks so much for having me today, Marisa!

AWWW: The Sound of Diamonds is set during the Reformation-era England. When did you first become interested in the Reformation era, and what do you feel continues to call you to setting stories in this time period? What is the background to why you wrote The Sound of Diamonds?

RR: When I was in middle and high school, I think the librarians saw me coming. I checked out that same red-cover biography of Queen Elizabeth I so many times, I’m sure they probably rolled their eyes. Elizabeth I is my favorite historical figure and I devoured every biography my library had (especially that large one with the red cover!). I’ve always been really interested in the Reformation and Elizabethan era, so I started Diamonds with that interest and curiosity. 🙂

AWWW: That’s great! I also find British history fascinating, especially the Elizabethan time period. I’ll have to try to find that red-covered biography of Elizabeth I!

Speaking of England, we talked already about the Reformation-era, but what draws you to England itself? I personally am a huge Anglophile, and love all things related to Great Britain, the royals, Downton Abbey, the Harry Potter series, etc. Is there anything in particular that you love about England or Great Britain?

RR: Oh, all that! Well, almost, LOL. I enjoy Downton Abbey, but I have yet to watch Harry Potter (I know, I know! Maybe someday. 😉 ). I enjoy reading about Will and Kate, and I’d like to visit England one day. But I’ll never be able to visit the England of Elizabeth I’s first time, so in the meantime traveling back to that place and time on the pages of (my) books will suffice!

AWWW: We share many of the same dreams! For those of us who do yearn to travel to times past, we can live vicariously through historical fiction novels. I’m so excited to add The Sound of Diamonds to my list. 

Historical fiction is one of the most popular genres within the CBA and ABA markets. What do you enjoy about both writing and reading historical fiction? Are there any authors of historical fiction that you looked up to when writing The Sound of Diamonds or whose work you enjoy reading?

RR: It is popular! And rightly so. It’s amazing. Authors work so hard to blend history and storytelling in a way that is still compelling and entertaining. I adore the genre and love the works of Lisa Bergren, Melanie Dobson, Laura Frantz, Roseanna White (and not just because she’s my editor), and Dawn Crandall. I highly recommend them! If you’re looking for an era that sweeps you away without forgetting that Story trumps detailing what people once used to brush their teeth with, you can’t go wrong with that list. 🙂

AWWW: I literally laughed aloud at your detail in that answer! You are so right–those details are what make historical fiction novels come alive.

If you were to write another historical fiction novel, what other settings and time periods would you consider?

RR: I’d love to write a Revolutionary War novel. I wouldn’t mind trying my hand something in between the Reformation and the Revolution, something akin to the time period where MaryLu Tyndall’s amazing Legacy of the King’s Pirates books are set. But I will definitely be revisiting the Elizabethan era someday. 😉

AWWW: Oooh, MaryLu Tyndall is such an amazing author!  No matter what time period you set your books in, I’m sure they will be fantastic.

The CBA market—Christian Booksellers Association, for those who may not know the acronym—tends to focus upon novels that do not break down its characters’ faiths into denominations. In fact, most Christian fiction tends to lean towards a general evangelical or Protestant-focused faith background. Were you concerned that the topic of the Reformation or characters of a Catholic background would raise some concerns with industry professionals or with readers?

RR: I think I had moments wondering what people would think of it all after I had written Diamonds. Since, as you said, we seem to have settled a bit into a comfort zone. And there’s nothing wrong with those zones—and neither is there anything wrong with those who write from other perspectives. While I was writing, though, what was important to me was telling the story that demanded to be told. I considered that this novel might be published someday, but I anticipated that was years away; I didn’t concern myself with that as much as with finishing the first draft before college classes began again! 🙂

AWWW: You took a good perspective on those possibilities. Diamonds was clearly a story close to your heart, and as authors many times God puts a story close to your heart for a purpose. If He’s calling you to tell a particular story there must be a good reason for it.

The Sound of Diamonds is set during a time in which religion and faith was foundational to peoples’ lives. You write novels with faith as the characters’ cornerstones and for sites that directly acknowledge faith. What can you tell us of your faith, relationship with Jesus Christ, and the impact that that has on your writing?

RR:  My faith has everything to do with my writing. I wouldn’t have any words without Jesus giving them to me, first of all; and secondly I’d never have the courage to share them without Him taking the hand of this shy little blonde mess and telling me it’s okay to be daring. The story of Diamonds is very much about hope; He is where my hope is and always will be. Because of that I have a story to tell over and over again through different characters, in different settings, on page after page. 🙂

AWWW: Beautifully said, Rachelle. That is why I truly believe you are going to touch many lives through your writing.

You studied communications in college, but your career since graduating has been mainly writing based. Why did you choose to study communication instead of English writing or English literature?

RR: I wanted to study Journalism because a writer I admire (Shannon Kubiak Primicerio) studied that in college; I was like thirteen and I decided I’d just follow in her footsteps. Plus, an English degree seemed to require a lot of reading, but Communication classes seemed reading and writing-based. At least where I was at the time. I wanted to not just read in college but to write, too. So, purely selfish reasons. 🙂

AWWW: Haha, well, I don’t know if I’d call that selfish–it seems practical to me–but for whatever reason, I’m glad you took the path you did because it brought your books to the world!

In addition to writing fiction, you’re also a fiction editor and known for your blogging and writing for sites such as Kindred Grace. Give us an overview of your writing and editing background: how did you get started in your editing career, how long have you been writing, and what sorts of writing do you enjoy most?

RR: I like to get around, yes, LOL. I enjoy helping writers say what they want to say, and I sort of stumbled into editing freelance by just hanging out my shingle and collecting a few clients. I love it. 🙂 And I began blogging before I began noveling! I really am blessed to have the opportunity to write for Kindred Grace. Nonfiction is fun; I go through stages of enjoying writing lots of nonfiction and wanting to write nothing but Story. It’s a delicate balance. 🙂

AWWW: That’s great! You have endless opportunities since you’re skilled with writing both non-fiction and fiction.  

What writers and authors have you worked closely with and have influenced either your writing or your writing career? Do you have any advice from your mentors that you could share with aspiring writers?

RR: This just may be my favorite question because I have so many people to thank! Stephanie Morrill, for being the founder of Go Teen Writers and first telling me I had voice. Anne Mateer, for telling me I struck her as a writer who wouldn’t quit. Erica Vetsch, for first telling me I was ready. Joanne Bischof, for commenting on a blog years ago, a comment that blossomed into a friendship around some amazing books of hers. Roseanna White, for taking a chance on me. Dawn Crandall, whom I fell into touch with right when I was eager for some new-novelist advice.

Some advice I’d share: It’s possible. Each one of these ladies and so many others looked me in the eye, so to speak, and told me I could do it. Use the mirror if you must, but find someone to tell you you’ve got this. It makes a difference.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

11295851_1051272448217959_1515458105337505338_nRachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she’s lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. As a freelance editor, she enjoys mentoring fellow authors in the craft. A homeschool graduate and retired gymnast, she wrote the Sound of Diamonds the summer after her sophomore year of college.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

10919398_966124270066111_5102199316063508510_oHer only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle’s castle. She doesn’t dare to trust him…and yet doesn’t dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope…or be overcome.

A Triple Threat: Part One of an Interview with Harry Wegley

Good evening readers,

Harry WegleyTonight author Harry Wegley is stopping by A Way With Words for the first part of three interviews about his writing career and new novel, Triple Threat. On Friday, the release day of Triple Threat, I posted the cover reveal of the novel.

Here’s the synopsis of the book:

Brilliant, beautiful, 21-year-old Katie Brandt, PhD candidate and woman of faith, detects a deadly conspiracy. Suspecting it’s only the tip of an iceberg, she dives in, pulling fellow grad student, Joshua West, with her into a high-risk investigation of a cyber-terrorist plot.

Damaged as a child by the foster-care system, Katie takes huge risks to win acceptance and love. But when she risks the life of Josh, an agnostic who isn’t prepared to die, she fears her mistake might have eternal consequences. And that would break Katie’s heart, a heart rapidly falling for Josh.

If Katie and Josh survive the investigation, can they span the chasm of divergent worldviews that separates them? How can they awaken a dozing nation to a three-pronged danger that threatens its very existence?

Intrigued yet? Find Triple Threat on Amazon and Pintrest, and until your copy arrives, read on to learn more about Harry’s novel!


Thanks for joining me at A Way With Words, Harry.

1) How did you decide upon the title, Triple Threat?

Triple Threat came from the terrorism thread in the plot. The terrorist conspiracy used three attack vectors to attempt to cripple United States in an attack that dwarfs 9/11 by orders of magnitude.

2) How important are names to you in your books? Did you choose the names of character in Triple Threat based on liking the way they sound or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing Triple Threatresources you recommend?

The only characters I spend much time thinking about the names are the main antagonists and protagonists. I use Internet resources to find ethnic names. There are several sites where you can find the names and their meanings. I simply Google names and the ethnicity that I want. That usually gives me more than enough choices for my characters. As for name meanings, I have usually chosen the antagonists names based partly on their meaning.

3) Are any experiences in Triple Threat based on personal experiences? Did you draw upon any stories or movies for inspiration for the novel?

For Triple Threat, unlike my previous novels, I didn’t draw on personal experiences. However, I did use settings that I’m very familiar with. The Whistler, BC setting was inspired by a magazine article I read which stated that there had never been a 007 movie filmed in Canada and that there had never been a thriller, movie or book, that used the Whistler peak-to-peak gondola run, the longest stretch of unsupported cable in the world. After reading that, I immediately began writing a scene using the peak-to-peak gondola. It truly is a spectacular setting. Here’s a link to a picture of it:

http://d13pix9kaak6wt.cloudfront.net/background/users/h/l/w/hlwegley_1390451584_93.jpg

4) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Triple Threat?

The only thing I would change if I were rewriting Triple Threat, is to show the hero’s epiphany from his point of view. In my story, it happens off screen and removes some of the punch from the final scenes.

5) Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

It doesn’t take an IQ of 180 to answer questions from critics about Christianity. You only have to know a few basic truths. Anyone can learn them. But, wielding them wisely takes God’s help. Over the course of the story, Katie Brandt answers, in dialogue, nearly every major criticism of Christianity that non-believers throw at Christians.

6) What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

Getting pictures for the cover, and possibly a book trailer, was challenging. It required two trips to Whistler and two rides on the peak-to-peak run, hanging 1/2 mile above Whistler village. But I did sell some books on the gondola. https://i1.wp.com/www.teenidols4you.com/blink/Actors/juliegonzalo/juliegonzalo_1285030686.jpgPeople asked me why I was shooting so many pictures. I handed them book series postcards and they ordered books.

8) If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Katie Brandt is almost impossible to cast. She has it all, 5’ 9” tall, long blond hair, slender and extremely athletic, has a 180+ IQ. The best I could come up with was Julie Gonzalo from a few years ago. She looks a bit too old for Katie now and I think Julie is a couple of inches too short. And I’m sure she can’t crank a baseball up to 90 mph.

Drew Waters would make a good Joshua West, although Josh was a tight end on a state championship football team, so he’s probably a bit bigger than Drew. https://i1.wp.com/www.magweb.com/picts/nm1988958.jpg

http://www.magweb.com/picts/nm1988958.jpg

10) What was it like coming back to Katie, Lee, and Jennifer for the 4th novel in the series? Do you foresee any more stories for this family of characters?

Jennifer is the same Jennifer, intellectually unmatched, though Katie comes close. Lee is now the protective father of Katie.

Katie Brandt grew up a lot between books 3 and four. In the intervening five years, she went from being a beautiful, courageous 15-year-old girl to being a beautiful woman who is pushing the limits of human knowledge in computer science. It was fun to define the grown-up Katie as being so gifted, physically and intellectually, that she thinks she can get away with just about anything. She takes too many risks and this gets her into all kinds of trouble.

Right now, I don’t foresee any further books in the series. But, if I were to write one, I would like to take the three-year-old genius twins, Grace and Grady, and write a young adult novel starring them.

Beyond the Scenes: an Interview with Jennifer Slattery

Good morning friends,

Jennifer SlatteryToday I have the pleasure of hosting Jennifer Slattery at A Way With Words. Jennifer is a new friend of mine, a fellow member of the ACFW, a blogger and prolific writer, and an author! Wow, she has so much going on and somehow manages to do it so well. Last night I posted my review of Jennifer’s debut novel, Beyond I Do. The novel released in August, and if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet I highly recommend you do. This sweet contemporary inspirational contains a story that we can all relate to, as well as some much needed spiritual lessons that we can all benefit from.

Until you get your hands on Beyond I Do, read Jennifer’s interview about her writing and her faith. Don’t forget, find Beyond I Do here and let Jennifer know what you think of her novel. Enjoy!


 

1) What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book…? Or do you mean to write in general? I’ve always processed through my hands (pen and paper or keyboard) and have been known to slip into fantasy worlds on numerous occasions, but I never considered writing as a calling until I became involved in church ministries. Initially, writing began as a means to an end. I wrote curriculum to teach something, dramas to reach the community, short stories to illustrate a truth taught in Sunday school. Then one day it hit me, “Hey, I like this!” Even so, I didn’t pursue it as a calling until some time later… almost ten years later, in fact, after much nudging and prodding from God. 🙂

2) Do you have a specific writing style?

I am inherently sarcastic, which I’m learning I need to tone down, as, until someone invents a sarcasm font, sarcasm doesn’t translate onto the page well. I also tend to write about gritty and intense subjects like homelessness, abandonment, and alcoholism. And yet, though I believe my readers like authentic stories (and real life gets messy), I also know there’s only so much intensity one can take before they need a bit of a breather. Because of this, I like to sprinkle humor into my novels. I suppose that also helps feed my sarcastic, goofy side.

3) What does your writing process look like?

All of my stories begin with a character that camps out in my brain. I’m very visual, so I often envision this character in full color. I see her challenges, her day-to-day, those lonely nights when she wrestles with dreams and the harsh realities of life that threaten to keep her from them. I also spend a great deal of time in prayer at every stage in the writing process because if my words aren’t infused with God’s grace and truth, they’re pointless and soon to be forgotten. But if, by God’s infinite wisdom and grace, they manage to touch my readers in a lasting way, drawing them closer to their Creator and helping them embrace His eternal mission, than they are worth every rewrite.

5) Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action?

I don’t think so. I have times when all scenes are hard to write in general, and I’ve found those moments of struggle are often a reflection of my heart. The closer I am to God, the easier it is for me to live out my calling, for He is my power and creativity source. But when I get too “busy” to abide in Christ (John 15:1-5), I find I waste a great deal of time staring at a blank screen. Or creating trivial garbage fit only for the shredder. And honestly, I hope and pray this is always the case because, being the selfish, distracted human I am, I need all the incentive to stay close to my Savior that I can get. 🙂

6) What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

I am creating a video about it this very weekend. I’ll have to come back and show the finished project to you all when I’m done. J But to answer your question—marketing. I know we all need to do it, and quite honestly, it’s the ethical thing to do. Considering how much effort and resources my publisher puts into my books, the least I can do is participate in the marketing process. But sometimes it feels as if I’m boasting or trying to be the center of attention. When those feelings of insecurity arise, I have to remind myself that I am not promoting me but rather the book I wrote, which I believe glorifies God and draws His children closer to Him. So really I’m not promoting myself, per say, but rather an outreach tool. 🙂 Even so, if I had my druthers, I’d spend all of my time simply writing.

7) Do you have a favorite writing conference to attend? What is it?

As a longtime ACFW member, I always enjoy going to their conference as that provides an opportunity to see many of my friends, though ACFW does tend to have a lot of cumbersome rules regarding who can take what classes that can make things a bit frustrating. (Though I’ve heard this is changing. Yay!) However, I want to try a different conference each year, as I know each conference has a unique flavor and unique classes. This spring I’m going to Mt. Hermon, and I’m so excited!


About the Author:

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently discounted in e-book format for under $3! You can find it here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beyond-i-do-jennifer-slattery/1118903211?ean=9781596694170

She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries. When not writing, Jennifer loves helping aspiring authors grow in their craft, and has editing slots open beginning in November. Find out more here: http://wordsthatkeep.wordpress.com/

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud,  on Facebook ,  and on Twitter @Jenslattery.


About the Novel:

Beyond I DoWill seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here:

http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/beyond_i_do_sample?e=6362996/8842858

 

Behind the Scenes: Hannah Conway’s Novel Life

FINAL CALL TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FOR THE WOUNDED WARRIOR’S WIFE!

Good afternoon, everyone:

ww 3Exciting news! The Wounded Warrior’s Wife is now available for purchase as an e-book!

As part of her book launch, Hannah is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews and book reviews.

A few week’s ago I posted my review of Hannah’s debut novel, The Wounded Warrior’s Wife. To celebrate the release of her novel, Hannah is making three appearances on my blog to share her thoughts on her writing process, the story behind The Wounded Warrior’s Wife, and future projects! I recently met Hannah in person at the ACFW conference in St. Louis. She is just as loveable and wonderful in person as she is through her social media sites.  I know you all will enjoy meeting her just as much as I have!

Hannah is offering a number of great prizes throughout her blog tour book launch! If you want to win an e-copy of The Wounded Warrior’s Wife or any other of Hannah’s giveaway prizes, make sure to read these interviews, comment on my post, like my page, and leave your contact information below (your name and your email address *follow this format* [your address [at] company [dot] com]). Other prizes aside from the book include $10 Amazon gift cards, groove passes (photos!), and super-fabulous grand-prize in mid-November! Enter as many times as you’d like from the various sites Hannah will be visiting during her blog tour (full list available on her website).

In our third session, Hannah shares with us the books that have impacted her life, new authors whose books she loves, what she would do if she wasn’t author, and more. Welcome back, Hannah! We’re so pleased to have you again on A Way With Words.


www1) If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I can’t name only one. My critique group (Shout-out ladies), have been amazing mentors. We’ve grown in our writing and friendship together. Also, Authors Joanne Bischof and Cara Putman were so kind to come alongside of me and give me pointers. They even took the time to look over my work and give honest feedback and direction. I will forever be grateful for them.

2) What book are you reading now?

I am reading Havah by Tosca Lee. TOTALLY recommend it! It’s the story of Eve and the Garden of Eden like you’ve never heard or imagined!

3) What books have most influenced your life most?

The Bible, hands down, but if we’re talking others, that will have to be Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Those books have stuck with me for years. Even with the struggle, hurt, and trials depicted, there’s something so beautiful about these stories. Maybe it’s the redemption, forgiveness, and restoration that takes place. Whatever it is, it has never let me go.

4) Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes! Dawn Crandall with The Hesitant Heiress, Elizabeth Byler Younts with A Promise to Return, and Autumn Macarthur with The Wedding List. SOOOO GOOD! Check them out!

5) If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

I think I’d go back to being a teacher. Still lots of books around me there. 🙂

6) Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m currently working on a Novella Prequel to The Wounded Warrior’s Wife. It’s my FREE gift to my readers for all the kindness and support they’ve shown me.

7) What book do you wish you could have written?

No kidding…there are too many to name. We’d be here all day! I’m so amazed and impressed by many authors. I want to be like so many of them when I “grow up.”

8) Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I want them to know how much I love them, how special they are, and how much God loves them. I’m so thankful for my readers, and I love connecting with them. I enjoy when they share their lives with me and let me know how I can pray for them. It’s wonderful!

 


www 2About the Book

Battles Raging Within Are The Ones You Must Fight To Win

WHITLEIGH CROMWELL dreamt of a happy life with her newlywed husband. Army Private First Class COLLIER CROMWELL loved God, his wife, and his country, though the military demanded he pay a high cost.

When an unexpected deployment during the height of war sends Collier away for another year, their lives tumble down a path marked with struggle, and fatalities. War weary, and faith crippled, Collier brings home a war of another kind leaving Whitleigh staring at the shattered pieces of their broken marriage.

Are there wounds too deep, and marriages too broken that they’re beyond even God’s ability to restore?

 

Find The Wounded Warrior’s Wife at the following links:

Amazon

Goodreads

Pintrest

 


Hannah ConwayAbout the Author

Hannah Conway is the author of The Wounded Warrior’s Wife and Wedding the Warrior. She is an Army wife of more than a decade, mother of two, writer and speaker. A Kentucky native, Hannah lives near Fort Campbell where she and her family are currently stationed.  She holds a BA in History from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and is active in ministry, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), as well as the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and My Book Therapy (MBT).

When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Hannah volunteering for community service projects, jogging (slowly), neck deep in Pinterest crafts, or browsing thrift stores. The most important thing about Hannah, is that she’s a follower of Christ. It’s her prayer that readers will come to know just how much God loves us through her writings.

Find Hannah at the following links:

Email:             authorhannahconway@gmail.com

Web:               www.hannahrconway.com

Twitter:          www.twitter.com/hannahrconway                 #thewoundedwarriorswife

Facebook:      www.facebook.com/authorhannahconway

Pinterest:        www.pinterest.com/hannahrconway

Goodreads:    www.goodreads.com/authorhannahconway

Behind the Scenes: The Joys and Hardships of a Writer’s Life

Good evening, everyone:

hannah 2Exciting news! The Wounded Warrior’s Wife is now available for purchase as an e-book!

As part of her book launch, Hannah is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews and book reviews.

A few week’s ago I posted my review of Hannah’s debut novel, The Wounded Warrior’s Wife. To celebrate the release of her novel, Hannah is making three appearances on my blog to share her thoughts on her writing process, the story behind The Wounded Warrior’s Wife, and future projects! I recently met Hannah in person at the ACFW conference in St. Louis. She is just as loveable and wonderful in person as she is through her social media sites.  I know you all will enjoy meeting her just as much as I have!

Hannah is offering a number of great prizes throughout her blog tour book launch! If you want to win an e-copy of The Wounded Warrior’s Wife or any other of Hannah’s giveaway prizes, make sure to read these interviews, comment on my post, like my page, and leave your contact information below (your name and your email address *follow this format* [your address [at] company [dot] com]). Other prizes aside from the book include $10 Amazon gift cards, groove passes (photos!), and super-fabulous grand-prize in mid-November! Enter as many times as you’d like from the various sites Hannah will be visiting during her blog tour (full list available on her website).

In our second session, Hannah discusses her inspirations, writing, processes, and the challenges and joys of being an author. Welcome back, Hannah! We’re so pleased to have you again on A Way With Words.


www

1) What inspired you to write your first book?

I was inspired to write The Wounded Warrior’s Wife while struggling alongside my husband as he battled with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury) from war-related injuries. Those years of our lives were the most trying and I have to admit there were times I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it. It was God who got us through and gave us a ministry to help others struggling with unseen wounds.

2) Do you have a specific writing style?

Hmm. Specific? I wouldn’t say that. I try to keep it simple, paint pictures with words as best as possible, and draw the reader into the story. If I can do that, then I’m happy with whatever writing style that is. 🙂

3) What does your writing process look like?

Ha! It’s a long one. A lot like giving birth! The process, for me, isn’t as pretty as I thought it would be. I look a mess when I write. I have papers, books, and notes all around me. Gotta have my glass mason jar full of water and lemon by my side. My hair is crazy. At some point while writing I usually have to get up and go for a walk. Since I’m a Stay at Home Momma, it’s difficult to always carve out the time to write with my youngest needing a lot of my attention. Often I would wake up before the kids around 5am and write until they woke up. I pick a few nights a week and write from the kids’ bedtime until close to midnight. On a Saturday here and there my hubby would watch the kiddos while I hid somewhere to write. So it really is a long and crazy process.

4) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Taking the time to describe or show the reader what I’m saying instead of simply telling them. It’s worth the effort, but goodness, sometimes it can be challenging.

5) Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action?

I’m not sure if there is a certain type of scene that’s harder for me to write, but all of them can prove challenging. When I write I put myself in my character’s place in order to feel what they would feel and it can be emotionally draining. Several times I’ve had to stop writing and get a tissue to dry my eyes and blow my nose! Ha!

6) What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

For publishing I’d have to say the endless edits, but at the same time, I know editing only helps me to grow as a writer. Regarding the writing process, I would have to say my least favorite part would be how emotionally attached I get to my characters. No kidding, I sometimes forget they are fictional characters! I may need counseling soon!

7) Do you have a favorite writing conference to attend? What is it?

Yes! My favorite writer’s conference is the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference. The whole “as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another” Bible verse comes to mind with I think about the ACFW. They train, equip, and encourage writers to spread God’s love across the globe. LOVE them!


www 1About the Book

Battles Raging Within Are The Ones You Must Fight To Win

WHITLEIGH CROMWELL dreamt of a happy life with her newlywed husband. Army Private First Class COLLIER CROMWELL loved God, his wife, and his country, though the military demanded he pay a high cost.

When an unexpected deployment during the height of war sends Collier away for another year, their lives tumble down a path marked with struggle, and fatalities. War weary, and faith crippled, Collier brings home a war of another kind leaving Whitleigh staring at the shattered pieces of their broken marriage.

Are there wounds too deep, and marriages too broken that they’re beyond even God’s ability to restore?

 

Find The Wounded Warrior’s Wife at the following links:

Amazon

Goodreads

Pintrest

 


Hannah ConwayAbout the Author

Hannah Conway is the author of The Wounded Warrior’s Wife and Wedding the Warrior. She is an Army wife of more than a decade, mother of two, writer and speaker. A Kentucky native, Hannah lives near Fort Campbell where she and her family are currently stationed.  She holds a BA in History from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and is active in ministry, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), as well as the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and My Book Therapy (MBT).

When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Hannah volunteering for community service projects, jogging (slowly), neck deep in Pinterest crafts, or browsing thrift stores. The most important thing about Hannah, is that she’s a follower of Christ. It’s her prayer that readers will come to know just how much God loves us through her writings.

Find Hannah at the following links:

Email:             authorhannahconway@gmail.com

Web:               www.hannahrconway.com

Twitter:          www.twitter.com/hannahrconway                 #thewoundedwarriorswife

Facebook:      www.facebook.com/authorhannahconway

Pinterest:        www.pinterest.com/hannahrconway

Goodreads:    www.goodreads.com/authorhannahconway

Behind the Scenes: The Wounded Warrior’s Wife by Hannah Conway

Good evening, everyone:

hannah 2Exciting news! The Wounded Warrior’s Wife is now available for purchase as an e-book!

As part of her book launch, Hannah is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews and book reviews.

A few week’s ago I posted my review of Hannah’s debut novel, The Wounded Warrior’s Wife. To celebrate the release of her novel, Hannah is making three appearances on my blog to share her thoughts on her writing process, the story behind The Wounded Warrior’s Wife, and future projects! I recently met Hannah in person at the ACFW conference in St. Louis. She is just as loveable and wonderful in person as she is through her social media sites.  I know you all will enjoy meeting her just as much as I have!

Hannah is offering a number of great prizes throughout her blog tour book launch! If you want to win an e-copy of The Wounded Warrior’s Wife or any other of Hannah’s giveaway prizes, make sure to read these interviews, comment on my post, like my page, and leave your contact information below (your name and your email address *follow this format* [your address [at] company [dot] com]). Other prizes aside from the book include $10 Amazon gift cards, groove passes (photos!), and super-fabulous grand-prize in mid-November! Enter as many times as you’d like from the various sites Hannah will be visiting during her blog tour (full list available on her website).

In our first session, Hannah will discuss her debut novel: her inspiration behind the story, the making of her characters and their names, and the creative process behind The Wounded Warrior’s Wife. Welcome, Hannah!


www1) How did you decide upon the title of The Wounded Warrior’s Wife?

The Wounded Warrior’s Wife came to me even before the novel was finished. Being an Army Wife of an Infantry soldier who struggled with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury), I related to the title on a deeply personal level. My husband was a wounded warrior and I was a wounded warrior’s wife. Simple as that.

2) How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names of character in The Wounded Warrior’s Wife based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Ooh, I like this question. I’m a little quirky about names. Names are so very important to me. If I don’t like the meaning of the name or feel it doesn’t fit my character in some way, then I refuse to use it. I totally keep a baby names book close by equipped with meanings and spelling variations!

3) Are any experiences in The Wounded Warrior’s Wife based on personal experiences? Did you draw upon any stories or movies for inspiration for the novel?

The Wounded Warrior’s Wife is deeply personal on many levels. Dealing with PTSD was an experience I related to with regards to the book. Like my main character Whitleigh, I struggled to adjust to military life. Like Whitleigh and Collier, my husband and I spent our first two years of marriage apart because of deployments. Those were hard times for us, full of fear and uncertainty. Our faith was definitely shaken, but as we sought guidance from God, our faith deepened.

4) If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Fun question! I actually put a Pinterest board together with who I picture as the characters. I see Reese Witherspoon as Whitleigh and Zac Efron as Collier. Not sure why, but those celebrities popped into my head and I went with it! Check out the Pinterest board here: http://www.pinterest.com/hannahrconway/the-wounded-warriors-wife-by-hannah-conway/

5) Did you have to travel much for research for The Wounded Warrior’s Wife?

Sort of. I used places that we traveled to being in the military to create the atmosphere and scenery.

6) Was there anything in The Wounded Warrior’s Wife that you did not enjoy writing about?

The battle scenes were so unpleasant! Enough said on that. 🙂


www 1About the Book

Battles Raging Within Are The Ones You Must Fight To Win

WHITLEIGH CROMWELL dreamt of a happy life with her newlywed husband. Army Private First Class COLLIER CROMWELL loved God, his wife, and his country, though the military demanded he pay a high cost.

When an unexpected deployment during the height of war sends Collier away for another year, their lives tumble down a path marked with struggle, and fatalities. War weary, and faith crippled, Collier brings home a war of another kind leaving Whitleigh staring at the shattered pieces of their broken marriage.

Are there wounds too deep, and marriages too broken that they’re beyond even God’s ability to restore?

 

Find The Wounded Warrior’s Wife at the following links:

Amazon

Goodreads

Pintrest

 


Hannah ConwayAbout the Author

Hannah Conway is the author of The Wounded Warrior’s Wife and Wedding the Warrior. She is an Army wife of more than a decade, mother of two, writer and speaker. A Kentucky native, Hannah lives near Fort Campbell where she and her family are currently stationed.  She holds a BA in History from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and is active in ministry, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), as well as the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and My Book Therapy (MBT).

When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Hannah volunteering for community service projects, jogging (slowly), neck deep in Pinterest crafts, or browsing thrift stores. The most important thing about Hannah, is that she’s a follower of Christ. It’s her prayer that readers will come to know just how much God loves us through her writings.

Find Hannah at the following links:

Email:             authorhannahconway@gmail.com

Web:               www.hannahrconway.com

Twitter:          www.twitter.com/hannahrconway                 #thewoundedwarriorswife

Facebook:      www.facebook.com/authorhannahconway

Pinterest:        www.pinterest.com/hannahrconway

Goodreads:    www.goodreads.com/authorhannahconway

Behind the Scenes: More About Rachel

Good evening, readers and bloggers:

Rachel Muller_HeadshotAs part of her book launch, Rachel Muller is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews and book reviews.

Early in September I posted my review of Rachel’s debut novel, Letters from Grace. To celebrate the release of her novel, Rachel is making three appearances on my blog to share her thoughts on her writing process, the story behind Letters From Grace, and future projects!

In our final session, Rachel will discuss her current reading, upcoming projects, and more. Welcome back, Rachel!


1) If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Sarah Sundin and Cara Putman played a huge role in the completion of Letters from Grace. They gave me great advice, pushed me to work on awkward sentences and chapters, and their own writing has been an inspiration to me.

2) What book are you reading now?

I am almost always reading some new WWII historical romance. I recently finished Unbroken; however, I haven’t picked up a new one yet since I am in revisions for my 2nd novel.

3) Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Kate Breslin is an amazing new author whose debut title, For Such a Time, is written with skill to that of a seasoned author. I’m looking forward to reading her 2nd novel.

4) If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

In an ideal world, I would love to purchase a run-down historical building, renovate it, and open a beautiful B&B with a historical theme.

5) What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Maggie’s Mission, Book 2 in the Love & War Series has been written and is under revision. This story features Maggie, Grace Campbell’s best friend, as she finds herself on the front lines in Germany and stumbles across a man who resembles her dead boyfriend.

11) Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

It is my hope that through my writing and stories, readers will see a story of loss, angst, brokenness, and ultimately, healing in the worst of scenarios. There is always hope, there is always healing, and there is always a brighter tomorrow on the horizon when we have faith.

Thanks so much for having me today, Marisa!


 

Letters from GraceAbout the Book

Can she risk losing her heart and the man she loves…again?

Scarred from the death of her fiancé in World War II, Grace Campbell must learn to love again. Lieutenant Luke Brady could make falling in love easy…except he’s going to war. Only one thing will keep a delicate thread tied between—letters. But the suave Dr. William Keller enchants Grace with his charm and proposes marriage. She must choose between them. Will she settle for comfort and safety or risk losing her true love on the Normandy beaches?

Find Letters From Grace at the following links:

Amazon                        Barnes and Noble           Goodreads

 

 

 


rachel mullerAbout the Author (taken from author’s website)

In late August of 2011 I awoke to a marvelous premise for a book. Whether that idea came from a dream or not I don’t recall, but I pulled out my stack of college ruled line paper and began penning down the words that would later become my first finished work.

My love for World War II history began in my senior year of high school when I chose the Pearl Harbor attack as my research paper topic. Subsequently, the movie Pearl Harbor hit the silver screen and I jumped at the chance to see it. I didn’t realize it at the time but a seedling had been planted in my life, slowly growing inch by inch for nearly ten years

I researched the war, the people, the fashions, 40’s slang, even the makes and models of vintage vehicles to create a nostalgic feel in my project. Then fictional lives began to evolve on the white of my paper.

Letters From Grace is Rachel’s first novel. Visit Rachel at www.racheldmuller.com

She can also be reached at the following social media sites:

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Pintrest

 

Behind the Scenes: Rachel Muller’s Writing

Good evening, reader and blogger friends:

Rachel Muller_HeadshotAs part of her book launch, Rachel Muller is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews and book reviews.

Early in September I posted my review of Rachel’s debut novel, Letters from Grace. To celebrate the release of her novel, Rachel is making three appearances on my blog to share her thoughts on her writing process, the story behind Letters From Grace, and future projects!

In our second session, Rachel will discuss her writing: her inspirations, her process, the challenges,  and much more. Welcome back, Rachel!


 

1) Have you always like to write?

Absolutely! I have written stories as far back as I remember. I even attempted to illustrate my own fairy tales as a child. As an older teenager, I began writing screenplays and song lyrics that portrayed some of the hardships I endured through my high school years. Teachers submitted most of my stories into Fine Arts Comps, and I came out with many awards for creative writing. It’s truly a God-given talent.

2) Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I love fairy tales. Cinderella is my all-time favorite princess story and it became a foundation for many of my childhood story ideas. Most of my writings had something to do with falling in love amid troubles and trials. However, it wasn’t until my aunt read a letter in my handwriting that I began to think of writing as a career. As clearly as I remember, she said, “Rachel, have you ever thought of going into writing?” I believe that is when the seed was planted.

3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I was very close to my grandparents. Both were born early in the 20th century and lived through the hardships of the 20s, 30s & 40s. I was too young to really ask in detail about their lives as young adults before they passed away. Now all I have are black and white memories in the form of photographs. Just looking at those photos I can see into a whole different world. So, when the premise for Letters from Grace came to me, I knew right away I wanted it to take place during World War II. The storyline is based on my true life account as a pen pal to an Army soldier. I combine that with the true accounts from my husband’s grandfather, who took part in the Normandy invasion, 1944. I pulled all those elements together to create one complete historical. So in a sense, the book ties together my family.

4). Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Ooh, this puts me on the spot. There are so many fantastic authors out there who have written beautiful stories of courage and hope. However, Sarah Sundin and Cara Putman are two phenomenal ladies who have woven impeccable WWII stories. All I have to do is pick up one of their novels and wait for inspiration to blast me from the folds of their books.

5) Do you have a specific writing style?

In fact, I do. While trying to keep the authenticity of the 1940s alive in dialogue and narrative by using slangs of the time, I also write in a style more elegant and complete. No short, clipped sentences for me. Think of all those war or Hallmark movies where letters are being read. Think of how the words flow off the paper in romantic melody. That’s how my writing style is portrayed in my books.

6) What does your writing process look like?

I keep an idea journal where I write down all my premise ideas. From there, I look for character names and models. Once those two elements are established, I begin writing the story.

I write in drafts. Much like research papers, I keep a log of my historical information that I’ve gathered and I keep about 3 different drafts of the story, each draft adding more conflict and meat to the storyline. I’m a part pantser, part outliner. That’s just what works for me. 🙂

7) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Writing from the hero’s point of view is definitely a challenge for me. I didn’t grow up with brothers, so thinking, acting, speaking, and writing from the male’s perspective is something I had to learn. I watched a lot of war movies, and had my husband read my novel for that purpose.

8) What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Be a willing learner and a brave writer. There is so much I have learned just by asking questions and allowing other authors to critique my work. It wasn’t always pretty, but the suggestions my mentors gave me made my writing that much better. Get into writers’ organizations and critique groups. That’s where the knowledge of the industry flows freely. There are so many talented and knowledgeable authors willing to lend a helping hand.


 

Letters from GraceAbout the Book

Can she risk losing her heart and the man she loves…again?

Scarred from the death of her fiancé in World War II, Grace Campbell must learn to love again. Lieutenant Luke Brady could make falling in love easy…except he’s going to war. Only one thing will keep a delicate thread tied between—letters. But the suave Dr. William Keller enchants Grace with his charm and proposes marriage. She must choose between them. Will she settle for comfort and safety or risk losing her true love on the Normandy beaches?

Find Letters From Grace at the following links:

Amazon                        Barnes and Noble           Goodreads

 

 

 


rachel mullerAbout the Author (taken from author’s website)

In late August of 2011 I awoke to a marvelous premise for a book. Whether that idea came from a dream or not I don’t recall, but I pulled out my stack of college ruled line paper and began penning down the words that would later become my first finished work.

My love for World War II history began in my senior year of high school when I chose the Pearl Harbor attack as my research paper topic. Subsequently, the movie Pearl Harbor hit the silver screen and I jumped at the chance to see it. I didn’t realize it at the time but a seedling had been planted in my life, slowly growing inch by inch for nearly ten years

I researched the war, the people, the fashions, 40’s slang, even the makes and models of vintage vehicles to create a nostalgic feel in my project. Then fictional lives began to evolve on the white of my paper.

Letters From Grace is Rachel’s first novel. Visit Rachel at www.racheldmuller.com

She can also be reached at the following social media sites:

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Pintrest

 

Behind the Scenes: Kept by Sally Bradley

Good evening, everyone:

Kept, by Christian fiction author Sally Bradley, is now available for purchase from all major retailers. Be sure to stop at your  favorite website to purchase this fabulous book by who is soon to be one of Christian fiction’s newest favorite authors!

kept RGB front lower resolutionAs part of her book launch, Sally is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews and book reviews.

This weekend I will post my review of Sally’s debut novel, Kept. To celebrate the release of her novel, Sally is making three appearances on my blog to share her thoughts on her writing process, the story behind Kept, and future projects! I’ve been working with Sally for about a month now and have truly enjoyed getting to know her. This weekend I will have the pleasure of meeting her in person at the ACFW conference in St. Louis. I am so excited! I hope you have fun getting to know her through these posts.

In our first session, Sally will discuss her debut novel: her inspiration behind the story, the making of her characters and their names, and the creative process behind Kept. Welcome, Sally!


1) How did you decide upon the title of Kept? I wanted a short, gripping title, and since my character is a kept woman in the beginning, I thought Kept might work. Then as the book went on, I began to see all the nuances to the words and how it meant different things to the heroine at different times. So the title stuck, and I’m pretty happy with it.

2) How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names of character in Kept based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend? Names are huge to me! Give someone the wrong name or try to change it, and forget it. The story dies. Weird, I know.

I’m not big on picking names based on meaning. I go more for sound and era. Miska came to me fully named. The name was unique and beautiful, just like her, so it worked well. For Dillan, the hero, I wanted a name that had a very contemporary feel to it. He’s a good guy who’s lived a godly life in an ungodly culture, so I wanted the very modern name to show that yeah, he’s living right now. Then his brother and sister received similar names since parents tend to go with one style.

3) Are any experiences in Kept based on personal experiences? Did you draw upon any stories or movies for inspiration for the novel? SportsCenter gave me the idea for Kept. They ran a series on temptations pro athletes face, and one of them was about women who made their living off athletes. One woman they interviewed was completely silhouetted but had a very unique short haircut. As the interview went on, she confessed that not only was she “kept” by one pro athlete, being available only to him when his team came to town, but by a second one—and that each man thought they were the only one. My immediate thought was, Honey, I hope you’re wearing a wig. Or they know now.

I couldn’t get her out of my head and had to figure out what would make her live that way and what it would take for her to see—and want—the truth. Plus she needed a truly happy ending.

 4) What was the hardest part of writing your book? Being careful with what I showed. My heroine starts off the book with pretty sad morals. Since I had to show what she once was before she could begin to change, I had to deal with some scenarios that could have gotten bad fast. So as I wrote and as I edited, I was always evaluating if I’d shown enough or if I’d shown too much. I never wanted to glamorize her sin or make it come across in a scintillating manner. And thankfully I’m hearing that I succeeded here. Phew!

5) Do you forsee any more stories for this family of characters?  I do hope so. There’s a lot of potential for that, and I’ve had people asking about two characters in particular. I just have to figure out what happens to whom. 🙂

6) Who was your favorite character in Kept? Miska and Dillan were equally my favorite. Miska has come from such a messed-up home and has known so much pain, but she just thinks it’s a normal part of life. I loved having her discover what life could be. And Dillan was this wonderful guy who isn’t perfect but is trying to live for God and has his own attitudes challenged as he crosses path with a woman whose life is so completely opposite his.

7) Was there anything in Kept that you did not enjoy writing about? There were a couple scenes where Miska’s behavior was a bit… much. I debated whether those scenes needed to be included and realized, after writing a version without one of them, that they absolutely had to be there. So that was one of those spots where I was extremely careful with what I showed and with where the scene began and ended. So far, knock on wood, no one has had trouble with those spots, and everyone has said there’s nothing gratuitous. Another big sigh of relief!


Processed with VSCOcam with x4 presetAbout the Book

Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman.

Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again.

When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes that her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.

Find Kept at the following links:

Amazon

Goodreads

Pintrest

 


Sally BradleyAbout the Author (from author website)

Sally Bradley has worked for two publishers, writing sales and marketing materials, sorting through the slush pile, and proofreading and editing fiction. She has a BA in English and a love for perfecting novels, whether it’s her work or the work of others.

A judge in fiction-writing contests, Sally is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, The Christian PEN, and the Christian Editor Network. In 2000, she left the working world to have her first child. She now runs Bradley Writing and Editing Services from her home outside Kansas City. A mother of three, Sally is married to a pastor who moonlights as a small-town cop. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, doing laundry, and rooting on her favorite Chicago sports team of the season.

You can find Sally at Sally Bradley, Writer on Facebook.

Kept is her first novel. Visit Sally at www.sallybradley.com

Behind the Scenes: Letters From Grace by Rachel Muller

Good evening, everyone:

Rachel Muller_HeadshotAs part of her book launch, Rachel Muller is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews and book reviews.

Early in September I posted my review of Rachel’s debut novel, Letters from Grace. To celebrate the release of her novel, Rachel is making three appearances on my blog to share her thoughts on her writing process, the story behind Letters From Grace, and future projects!

In our first session, Rachel will discuss her debut novel: her inspiration behind the story, the research that went into the historical aspects of the novel, and the creative process behind Letters From Grace. Welcome, Rachel!


1) How did you decide upon the title of Letters from Grace?

Ah, this one came easy. Because the premise of the book revolves around letters, it was only natural ‘letters’ became part of the title. After surfing the web a bit and reading similar titles, I decided Letters from Grace had a nice ring to it. I confirmed the sound of it by releasing the title on social media and reading the comments.

2) Are any experiences in Letters from Grace based on personal experiences? Did you draw upon any stories or movies for inspiration for the novel?

In fact, it is! Thirteen years ago I became pen pals with an Army soldier. We wrote back and forth for almost a full year. I had the wonderful privilege of meeting him a little over a year after our first letters were exchanged. No, it wasn’t love, but we were friends. Secondly, my hero’s (Luke Brady) story was taken from true life accounts during D-Day. My husband’s grandfather stormed Omaha Beach in 1944. His stories were passed down to his children, who later told me about the images, smells, and especially the ride over the English Channel in the Higgins boats.

3) What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Gathering the research. My biggest fear is I missed something historically. I worked nearly 1 ½ years on gathering the information.

4) Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

It’s not as easy as it seems. Writing is a true craft, just like anything else in life, you have to learn and be ready to change things.

5) If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it, because in reality I have! I would love to see Nicole Kidman cast as Grace Campbell (because the actress resembles Grace Kelly’s features), and quite possibly Andrew Walker as Luke’s character.

6) What was it like coming back to Grace and Luke for the 2nd novel in the series? Do you foresee any more stories for this family of characters?

The second installment, Maggie’s Mission, is already underway. Coming back to the 2nd novel and writing out Grace and Luke’s continuing story as supporting characters makes me smile. I love how their love story ended and I look forward to seeing where they end up at the closing of the third book. For now, Grace’s best friend, Maggie Johnson, takes the spotlight and learns to deal with physical and emotional healing.

7) Who was your favorite character in Letters from Grace?

Ooh, I hate playing favorites, but I couldn’t help but get drawn into Luke Brady’s character the most.


 

Letters from GraceAbout the Book

Can she risk losing her heart and the man she loves…again?

Scarred from the death of her fiancé in World War II, Grace Campbell must learn to love again. Lieutenant Luke Brady could make falling in love easy…except he’s going to war. Only one thing will keep a delicate thread tied between—letters. But the suave Dr. William Keller enchants Grace with his charm and proposes marriage. She must choose between them. Will she settle for comfort and safety or risk losing her true love on the Normandy beaches?

Find Letters From Grace at the following links:

 

Amazon

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble

 


rachel mullerAbout the Author (taken from author’s website)

In late August of 2011 I awoke to a marvelous premise for a book. Whether that idea came from a dream or not I don’t recall, but I pulled out my stack of college ruled line paper and began penning down the words that would later become my first finished work.

My love for World War II history began in my senior year of high school when I chose the Pearl Harbor attack as my research paper topic. Subsequently, the movie Pearl Harbor hit the silver screen and I jumped at the chance to see it. I didn’t realize it at the time but a seedling had been planted in my life, slowly growing inch by inch for nearly ten years

I researched the war, the people, the fashions, 40’s slang, even the makes and models of vintage vehicles to create a nostalgic feel in my project. Then fictional lives began to evolve on the white of my paper.

Letters From Grace is Rachel’s first novel. Visit Rachel at www.racheldmuller.com

She can also be reached at the following social media sites:

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Pintrest