Thursday, January 26, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway

Today I’m really excited to introduce a wonderful author to you all by the name of Deborah Lynne. You might not of heard of her yet but she is not new to the business of writing. She’s been creating stories for a very long time and is extremely talented. I recently finished her first published book Grace, a Gift of Love, and so I know firsthand that she writes beautifully. Very spiritual and uplifting writing from this lady.
Before I begin her interview, I just have to tell you a very funny and kind of “freaky” story about how she and I became friends. We both live in the Baton Rouge, LA area but had never met. However, somehow we both found out that if we joined The Arts of Livingston Parish then we could sell our books with them at the big Baton Rouge Book Festival. We both only learned of this a week or so before the festival. Well the day of the festival, I arrived after everyone else was there and set up. I began setting up my books and Deb says, “What’s your name?” I told her and she gasped. She said, “I read your blog last night and got a tip from an article you posted on there about printing out the first two chapters of a novel to pass out at things like this and get people interested in your book. She said she was up until midnight printing out copies.” We were both amazed because of all the blogs out there, somehow she found mine and we met the very next day in the same exact booth!! How crazy is that. Anyway, she preceded to tell me things about myself that she’d read on my blog. So the rest of the day, we both referred to her as “my stalker” and laughed during the entire festival.
So the saying sure is true “it’s a small world.”
Deborah was not only generous enough to allow me to do an interview with her but she is also giving away two of her books to two lucky winners! If you would like a chance to win either Grace, the Gift of Love or the first book in her Samantha Cain series Be Not Afraid, all you have to do is follow my blog if you are not already a follower and comment. Each comment will count as a chance. You will have until next Wed. Feb. 1st to comment and I will announce the winner on my Thurs. blog. Goodluck everyone!
MY INTERVIEW WITH DEBORAH LYNNE:

How long have you been writing and when did you first know you wanted to become a writer?
I started writing when I was 33 (twenty five years ago). At that time I was writing for fun. It wasn’t until I had 4 novels written and was working on my fifth that I heard 3 ladies were trying to start a writers group here in Baton Rouge. A chapter of Romance Writer’s of America, Heartla was formed. That was when the desire to be published became strong within me. That was twenty years ago. I’m proud to say after 18 novels, my first book was published, Grace, a Gift of Love. Now my fifth book, Testimony of Innocence, will be coming out later this year. My publisher, Oak Tara, is putting a new face on my book Be Not Afraid, which is Book 1 of the Samantha Cain Series, and plans for book 2, Testimony of Innocence is being prepared for publishing as we speak.

What is that a picture of on your cover of Grace, a Gift of Love?
I believe it’s called Oak Alley, a beautiful Louisiana plantation which is famous for being in several movies. When that publishing company was searching for an idea for the cover, they saw it and it reminded them of the home in my book…except in my book, Grace, a Gift of Love, the home is in Virginia.

How many books have you had published to date?
Four
Grace, a Gift of Love, All in God’s Time, Be Not Afraid, and Passion from the Heart
Which have you found to be the most difficult stage of writing a novel?
  1. Coming up with an idea to write about;
  2. Writing the story;
  3. Finding a publisher;
  4. Or marketing the book
Possibly marketing the book is the hardest, but I do believe it takes time to grow your readership no matter who publishes your first book…of course being in the right place at the right time wouldn’t hurt either. Finding the right publisher for your novel is also a difficult thing. One thing I have found over these years of writing, the more you learn about writing and use it in your own writing, the better your books will become. The key is to never give up. Keep growing as a writer.
Which was easiest?
The easiest for me is coming up with the ideas. I have a book I use to jot down a story idea every time one comes to me. It keeps growing. My second book that was published, All in God’s Time, came to me in a dream…from the beginning to end. When I got up the next morning, I took a spiral notebook and started making notes of what happened in my dream. When I sat down at my computer, the story flowed. Occasionally, I had to revert to my notes just to get rolling again, but once I got started again the words spilled out. It was probably the easiest book I’ve ever written.

If you weren’t a successful writer, what do you think would have been your chosen field?
I already worked thirty years at a trucking company. The first ten years as a secretary, and the last twenty as a dispatcher. Almost 3 years ago, I retired to pursue my writing. I love writing full time. If I didn’t do that, I’d just be enjoying retirement. Adding writing to my retirement let me know I never have to retire again. I want to do this for the rest of my life. I love it!!

If you could choose three of your best traits that helped you with your writing success, what would they be?
My desire as a young child was to be an actress. With that in my heart, my junior high and high school days, as well as the short time I went to University, was used to learn more about acting. Also the love for reading that consumed me in my early twenties holds a big part to my success as a writer. The third thing I think helps me write my books, is my love for the movies. When I read a book, as well as when I write a book, I like seeing it unfold like a movie in my head. In fact, some of the feedback I’ve received from readers is that they can see my book as a movie. I take that as a high complement since that is what I strive to do.
How did you come up with where the story took place and the characters in your book, Grace, a Gift of Love?
Some people start with characters and then develop a story, but for me the story comes first. The idea for Grace, a Gift of Love came to me when someone near and dear to me had his father come into his life when he was a senior in high school. I remember thinking how sad. Look how much the father missed out on. And the young man suddenly has a man who wants to be his father after being rejected for 16 years. He was blessed to be raised by a stepfather who loved him as his own. Anyway, that got me thinking…what if? What if a woman, not a teenager, but a woman finds out at the age of 25 she was adopted. She’d lived her whole life believing her mother and father were her mom and dad. Which of course, the people who raise the kids with love are the parents…the mom and dad. The birth mother or birth father may have a good reason why they couldn’t keep the child, but no matter how great the reason some emotions will have to be dealt with by the child no matter what the age.
When I started writing the story, Deanne and Grace were born, and the other characters came as the story grew. The real life story ended well. Read the book to see how Deanne handled such shocking news at 25 years old.

Could you give us in 300 words or less a look into your book, Grace, A Gift of Love?
At the tragic death of Deanne’s parents, she learns she was adopted. At first she believes it has to be a lie. No one has ever told her different. Still in mourning for her parents, she feels she has no other choice but to go prove this woman, Grace, is a liar. She has to know for sure.
Leaving job, boyfriend, and the life she has known for twenty-five years, behind, Deanne flies half way across the country to Virginia to learn the truth. There she finds Grace is a reflection of herself and she learns she has a half sister, Missy. She always wanted a brother or sister. Even though Grace welcomes Deanne with open arms and Missy is relieved to finally meet the sister she’s known of all her life, Michael believes Deanne is there for one reason only—For what she can get from a mother who tossed her aside at birth. He believes she’s there to make Grace suffer more than she already is suffering.
The new life brings more pain, more sorrow, more family, and more love. Deanne must forgive her past to embrace her future, but can she do it?

You’ve been working on your second book in the Samantha Cain series; Be Not Afraid (book one in the series); could you please give us a little “tease” on what Testimony of Innocence is about?
In, Be Not Afraid, Samantha Cain witnesses a murder and becomes the next target for a serial killer. It’s a page-turner with a lot of suspense.
In, Testimony of Innocence, Samantha finds herself in another predicament. This time she’s not being chased by a killer but accused of being the killer. Her boss is found dead one morning in his office, after she has worked the nightshift alone. The police believe they have motive, means, and opportunity, and are ready to send Sam to jail for life. Intrigue, mystery, and danger are tightly woven throughout the novel as she tries to prove her innocence.
I’d like to thank Deborah so much for this special opportunity to interview her. If you’d like to check out a little more about the books she’s giving away, here are two links to them:
Also, Deborah is trying to build her blog family so if you would like to follow her at the link below, she will happily do the same for you.
http://author-deborahlynne.blogspot.com/2012/01/additions-to-family.html

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Calling All Stay At Home Worker Bees!

Calling all stay at home moms/writers!! Okay as some of you may know, I was layed off from my regular full-time job last week. The company I was working for had another big layoff in April 2011 and then cut everyones pay by 5% before Christmas. There were all kinds of rumors going around the office of another lay-off so I was preparing myself for the worst. I was an administrative employee at an engineering consultant firm so as you may guess, administrative people aren’t all that important in the eyes of the company. Anyway, I had been preparing myself and my husband that if it happened to me, I was not going to go out seeking another job in the office, but I would find a way to make myself a fulltime writer at home.

But geez, not only am I not making any money but I’m finding it very hard to balance out my day. There are so many things around the house to distract me. Like cleaning, walking the dogs, dying my hair, Dr. Phil , Ellen and my favorite… naps. I never realized how long it takes me to actually get going in the mornings when I don’t have an office to go to. Why is it taking me so long just to eat my breakfast and drink a cup of coffee? When I had to go to work, I didn’t even drink coffee until I got to the office! I got up, ran in the shower, got dressed, ate my cereal and out the door. No problem. But now, I’m finding it a major task to even TAKE a shower!! I’m too tired when I first get out of bed and then before I know it, I’ve wasted 2 hrs and I need to get to my computer, not the shower. I’m starting to stink!!!

How do you stay at home moms and writers do it? Can you give me some tips to help balance myself? Do I need to just overlook the mess and not clean until a specific time of the day? Or am I completely getting ahead of myself since it’s only been one week now?  How long did it take you to get yourself adjusted to be a productive stay at home worker and not end up a stay at home… bum.

Encouragement people… I need encouragement!! Ugh.


Friday, January 13, 2012

And the winners are...

Congratulations to Jean for winning an autographed copy of my book/coloring book The Pea in Peanut Butter and to BJ for winning an autographed copy of the book. I will notify you both by email.

Thanks everyone for participating and as Rachel Ray would say, "I'll see ya when I see ya!"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hello everyone! Thusdays are my normal blogging days but I'm not going to say much today. I was laid off from my job yesterday so I'm feeling a bit down and don't want to sit here and boo hoo everyone to death. I'm sad but also looking forward to now becoming a full-time writer!! Something we writers all dream of. Luckily I have a husband who  is a wonderful provider so financially, I don't have to really worry. But I do love making my own money. It's part of who I am so when I'm not making a regular paycheck, my self esteem goes down, down, down. But I'm going to try like heck to not let that happen. I'm close to turning 55 and looking for another fulltime job sounds horrific for me!!!

Ok, enough of that. Instead let's switch to something more positive... like my latest book review posted here: http://www.beautifulbooksforchildren.com/private/gpbkrnIbEo. This is a great site for mothers and everyone should check it out.

Her review was very thorough and positive, but she mentioned that I should have led Kailee into the frig to try out fresh veggies because those are better for you, therefore she only rated my book a 4. (Darn, I like 5's!! LOL) I do understand her reasoning but when does it ever end with people always finding things wrong? If you've read my book, do you agree with her? I'm just wondering for my future reference.

Don't forget that I will be announcing the winners tomorrow on my blog for a free book and coloring book version of The Pea in Peanut Butter!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Book and Coloring Book Giveaway

Happy New Year everyone!

Whew… I put a pair of jeans on this morning for the first time since being off for the Christmas holiday and they actually still fit!! I was so afraid I’d eaten myself into another size but thankfully that hasn’t happened yet. But if I don’t get a hold of it now, I’ll have to start wearing my fat jeans again!

Truthfully though, that is just another reason why writing has helped me. If I can put my mind to becoming a children’s picture book writer and actually get published than surely I can find that same strength and willpower to lose some weight! Getting published in 2011 has given me the power of positive thinking that I really never had before. Sure I’ve been positive about many things in my life; however it always seemed to go in reverse for me. EXCEPT with my writing! Positive thinking and working harder than I’ve ever worked on anything else in my life, has truly proven to me that I can do whatever I put my mind to and really want to accomplish. So losing some weight this year is definitely on my list of “positive” things I must complete in 2012. What’s on your list?

Of course I have lots of writing goals on my list as well. One of which is to try even harder this year to market my book The Pea In Peanut Butter. So the first thing on that list for 2012 is to giveaway  a free copy of the book and a free copy of the coloring book version. I’ll be giving away one of each to two lucky winners! I will assign each comment a number and let a random number generator pick the winners. You will have until Thursday, January 12th to comment. Each comment counts as a chance to win as long as you follow the guidelines listed below.

(1) Follow my blog if you aren’t already a follower;
(2) Comment on this post and tell me one of your goals for the year;
(3) Then tell me how you intend on accomplishing that goal.
(4) Make sure I have your email address so I can notify you of your winnings.

I wish all my friends and followers much success and happiness in 2012 and goodluck with the giveaway!