Interview with Terri Reed and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I am so pleased to introduce you to professional model turned Love Inspired Suspense author, Terri Reed! And, read on — Terri is giving away a copy of her book, Joint Investigation. To enter, see the Rafflecopter at the end of the interview!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a mother, wife and writer. I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra-Nevada Mountains of California in a small community that, at the time, had only one traffic light in the whole county. I caught the travel bug early in life when I spent my summers as a kid traveling with my grandparents. After high school I lived in Italy for a while before moving back to California. I attended college in Sacramento where I met my husband, then we moved to New York city while I pursued a career in modeling which took me all over the US. I married my college sweetheart and when we found out I was pregnant with our first child we were living in Portland Oregon and knew this was where we wanted to raise our children.

join investigationTell us about your current release.  JOINT INVESTIGATION is the story of FBI agent Sami Bennett’s pursuit of a serial killer who is operating on both sides of the US/Canada border. Royal Mounted Canadian Police inspector Drew Kelley teams up with Sami to put a stop to the killing spree and in the process Sami and Drew find they must rely on their faith and each other if they are going to survive their joint investigation.

With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I am a heavy plotter, meaning I write a very detailed outline/synopsis and stick to it as I write. I also fill out many character development forms and charts before I start writing so I can keep the characters consistent. I struggle in my writing when I don’t do this so have learned that my process is to plot, plot, plot.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?   Exercise, brainstorming with my critique partner and naps. When we exercise we release endorphins that help the brain to function. I don’t always have time to get to the gym for a class so walking at night with my husband or just putting on some music to dance to during the day helps me to work through any issues. Kicking around ideas with my critique partners helps to view an issue from a different perspective. And naps help me to rejuvenate as well as allow my mind to work through a problem with at rest.

terri reedWhat advice do you have for aspiring writers? Never ever stop learning and honing your craft. There is always something new to incorporate into your writing. Perseverance and persistent are key to success in any career. And always treat your writing with respect and professionalism.

What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) A little of both. I do a lot of pre-writing by hand but the actual writing of the novel is done on a computer.

Who were some of your favorite authors as a child?  I discovered Trixie Belden when I was very young. Then moved on to Nancy Drew. I devoured those books. I also spent many summer hours in the library while my mother worked. My all time favorite book is A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens.

Find Terri online at her website, blog, and Love Inspired Suspense


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The Kentucky Christian Writers’ Conference

Last year, I did my big conference rounds and attended every single writers’ conference I could possibly attend. I drove thousands of miles, flew across the country a few times, and logged 30 trips when I sat down and prepared my taxes. THIRTY.

One that stood out to me was the Kentucky Christian Writers’ Conference. It was so well put together and the people were just amazing. As a Kentucky Christian writer, it was wonderful to find a place to connect with so many other writers who share my belief. I filled out the information card at the end of the conference and expressed an interest in being a part of the conference.KCW-Logo

Ahallees class few months later, I was invited to be part of the planning committee! I’ve spent several Saturdays this year meeting with this amazing group of people planning this year’s conference. This past weekend, I joined about 60 other Christian writers and just had an AMAZING conference. Jesse Florea from Focus on the Family was the keynote and delivered several inspiring speeches. I taught two classes (one twice) – Seven Steps to Successful Self Publishing and Writing Fiction with a Realistic Christian Worldview. My classes went well, the feedback was super, Gregg met with several authors for Olivia Kimbrell Press, and we networked and visited and prayed with writers from all over the place.

I am so blessed to be part of the planning of this conference. Look forward to hearing more and more about it as next June approaches and the conference gears up again!

 

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Interview with Author Teresa Pollard

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m so happy to introduce you to Teresa Pollard. I really enjoyed Teresa’s wisdom as I read through this interview. I am also fascinated by the storyline of her upcoming release, Not Ashamed. Read on to see what I’m talking about. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Hi, I’m Teresa Pollard. I’m the author of two books already out, Not Guilty (written with Candi Pullen) and Tokens of Promise, and I have two more due out this year from Hope Springs books called Not Ashamed (also written with Candi Pullen) and Woman of Light. I’m a Mom, a Grandma, and I’ve been a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty some years. Although I’m not from a Christian family, I came to know Christ at an early age. I was married for forty years, but I’m now divorced. I live in Dacula, GA, and I write a blog every Tuesday called Teresa Talks Taboo: Applying God’s Word in an Ungodly World. Join me at http://teresatalkstaboo.wordpress.com. I’d love to have your comments.

not ashamedTell us about your current release. Not Ashamed is due out in July. The sequel to Not Guilty, it’s the story of Charity Wright, a young woman born of the rape of her mother, Carrie Shepherd Wright. Charity comes home from Africa determined to confront her rapist father, but before she can, she’s caught up in a murder mystery. Can she learn to forgive, or will her anger lead her to her own destruction?

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely. Not Guilty sat on my shelf for thirty years before it was published. But it had been read by a few people in my church and where I worked in the meantime, and I knew it had already impacted them. Yes, my desire is to reach many, because I think there are a lot of hurting people out there it could help, but if it helps even one, it was worth it, especially in God’s eyes, and that’s who I seek to please.

teresa pollardDo you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Not at all. I have a GREAT publisher in HopeSprings. They have the same goals I do: to reach people for Jesus in an entertaining, but meaningful way. They’re a pro-life publishing company that sees publishing as a ministry. Yes, we all want to reach as many people as possible and be successful, but money isn’t the primary goal. Serving our Savior is.

What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? In a lot of it, Christianity. It’s like we’re so afraid of offending the audience, that we don’t really deliver the message. On the other extreme, there are those who would leave out the fun. We have to engage our reader. Let them see real people they can relate to, with all their flaws and foibles, and see them find the answers they need in Christ.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I’m an old lady, so that’s a lot of headlines. I was in an eighth grade English class at Manchester High School in Richmond, VA when John Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, TX. The principal’s voice came over the intercom to tell us the news, and that all classes were immediately canceled. I still remember the utter silence. I don’t ever remember it being that quiet before or after. It was like we were even walking on tiptoe instead of the usual noise of shuffling feet. Even the bus ride home was the same way. No one said a word. It was so eerie. It was like Death reigned that day. But, praise God, he doesn’t have the final say.

Not GuiltyWhat inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I have to laugh every time I get this question, because I started writing on a dare from a friend. No, I didn’t always want to write. I had a hard time writing a letter or a note on a birthday card. But I am a voracious reader. So my friend gave me a grocery bag of Harlequin romances. After reading most of them, I complained to her that they all had the identical plot. I said, “I can write a better novel than this,” so she dared me to. I’ve been writing ever since. Like I said though, it took thirty years for the first one to get published. My creative writing professor told me I never would. He said my writing was too “righteous” for any secular publisher, and too “sexual” for any Christian publisher. I had to agree. I thank God that He raised up a publisher like HopeSprings that is willing to tackle the real issues that face women today.

Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? Yes, and yes. I generally have a general plotline before I start, and I know where I’m going, so it’s like I know the beginning and the end, but I do allow the characters to develop themselves along the way, and sometimes to surprise me with their own twists. This allows some interesting subplots to develop, and also gives fodder maybe to be developed in a future sequel.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? As Nike says, “Just do it.” Write, write, and write some more. Don’t worry about getting it published. It it is His will, it will happen in His timing. First you must find your voice. What do you want to write about? What thrills your soul? If you’re writing just to please an audience, forget it. It’s not worth it.   Let Him show you the way to express your passion. In the meantime, your writing will show you things about yourself that you didn’t even realize, and if you share your writing with your friends, it can inspire them too.

Find Teresa online on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

 

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Christian Fiction Friday: June 19th

Welcome to this week’s edition of Christian Fiction Friday brought to you by me and my lovely and talented co-host, Alana Terry! This is a chance for Christian authors to post short snippets from their works in progress! Easy and fun!

This week, I’ve been working on the audio book for book 1 in my Jewel Series, Sapphire Ice, so I thought it would be fun to do a snippet from that book.

Sapphire Ice, Book 1 of the Jewel Series

Sapphire Ice, Book 1 of the Jewel Series

ROBIN propped her elbow on the kitchen table and rested her forehead in her hand. She stared at the calendar in front of her, with horror. Somehow, the week snuck up on her and here she sat, the morning of the night of Tony’s mega Viscolli Corporate Christmas party. “What am I supposed to wear to something like that?”

Maxine groaned and stretched, graceful as a jungle cat and with just as much pent up energy. “I wish you’d mentioned this before the actual day of.”

“Honestly, I was hoping that something would happen that would keep me from having to go.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. Flood? Meteor? Locusts? Terrorist attack?”

“Okay. Let me think.” Maxine rubbed her forehead, wishing the sinus headache would quit interfering with her thoughts. “Ugh, my brain is not functioning this morning.”

“I knew that live Christmas tree you bought would mess with your allergies,” Robin said with a touch of humor and a dose of concern.

“You enjoy saying, ‘I told you so?'” She took a delicate sip of her orange juice. “It’s in the back alley. Maybe a cat will use it as a scratching post. Or something more heinous.”

“All I could find is Midol.” Sarah came into the kitchen and set the bottle in front of Maxine, who sighed and popped open the tamper proof lid with one thumb.

“Well, my headache might not go away, but at least I won’t have cramps.”

“It has aspirin in it. Your headache will be taken care of.”

“I was joking, Sarah. Sarcasm. Ever heard of it?”

“Only since I moved in here.”

Robin groaned. “What is wrong with you two? You’ve been snapping at each other since yesterday morning.”

Maxine stared at Sarah. “If you don’t tell her, I will.”

Sarah tore her eyes from Maxine’s and stared at the table in front of her. “It’s just that… um, I mean… well….”

Maxine swallowed two of the pills with her juice and slammed the glass down, wincing at the sharp sound. “What little sis here is trying to get out is that she isn’t going down to Florida with us for Christmas.”

The words cut straight to her heart. Hoping she could keep her expression under control, she glanced at Sarah. “Oh? Did something come up?”

Her sister refused to meet her eyes. “Well, it’s just that mom and dad have never had Christmas without me. I mean, I know I’ve never been with you, either, but –”

Maxine tossed her hair over her shoulder. “Her mommy started crying.”

Sarah gasped and looked up. “You are horrible.”

“No, you are. Robin works so hard, and you’re constantly putting your parents in front of her. That was great when you were fifteen or even seventeen. We were happy you didn’t have to live our lives, then, but you’re an adult now, Sarah, and you need to learn that your mother manipulates you to keep you right there by her side.”

“That’s not true!”

Maxine raised her voice. “You want to bet? The woman cried when her nineteen year old said she had the opportunity to fly down to Florida in a private jet and spend three days in a mansion on the beach.”

“No! She’s just worried about who…” Sarah gasped and jerked her eyes in Robin’s direction.

The pain in her heart twisted like a knife. Oh, yes. What kind of element might the streetwise Robin and Maxine expose their precious Sarah to unchaperoned? The glow of a week of basking in the glory of God, in her newfound salvation, in her relationship with Tony started to dim. Robin put her hands over her ears. “Stop it! Both of you! I don’t want to hear another word.”

Now it’s your turn! Just link your Christian Fiction Friday! Here are the rules:

1. Christian Fiction Friday is a blog hop where authors post short (400-ish words or less) snippets from their current works in progress (not published pieces).

2. Keep it PG-13 or lower. No swearing, no sex scenes. If you have a particularly violent scene or deal with a heavy or controversial subject matter, please include a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.

 

Suggestions:

1. Visit at least some of the other Christian Fiction Friday authors each week and comment on their blogs.

2. Don’t offer critiques unless the author specifically asks for it in his or her post.

3. Please include this blurb at the end of your weekly post:

Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman.

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Categories: 1. Sapphire Ice, Christian Fiction Friday, Novels | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

My Favorite Romance Plot-Line with a Two Book Giveaway!

I’m on Inspy Romance​ today giving away talking about my favorite romance novel plot-line. I’m also giving away an autographed paperback of Topaz Heat and An Aria for Nick! Come say hi. You can get there at this link.

Topaz Heat, Book 3 of the Jewel Series

cover-front_9781939603128_640

 
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Christian Fiction Friday: June 5th

Welcome to this week’s edition of Christian Fiction Friday brought to you by me and my lovely and talented co-host, Alana Terry! This is a chance for Christian authors to post short snippets from their works in progress! Easy and fun!

Today, I’m giving you a snippet of my upcoming book Valor, part 8 of The Virtues and Valor series.

“That’s our cue,” Leo said, slinging his bag over his shoulder. He lifted his pistol and fired, but the distance was too great for any real accuracy. He merely intended to provide Matthew cover fire as he grabbed his rifle. “Let’s go.”

Despite low crawling toward the cover of trees, they continued to receive fire. When Leo felt like it was safe to stand, he moved to a crouch and instanteneosly felt a searing pain rip through his stomach. He fell back to his knees and Matthew shot the uniformed soldier who stepped out of the treeline. As the man fell, Matthew reached toward Leo and grabbed him by his arm.

“I got you, Valor.”

If his arm hadn’t been around him, Leo would have collapsed. The pain took his breath away and caused nausea to swirl in his gut. Inside the treeline, he paused and leaned against a huge pine. Matthew pushed his nose into his face. “No stopping. We have to go.”

Shoring up whatever minuscule strength he had left in his limbs, he gripped his stomach with his hand and leaned into Matthew, who bore his weight and raced them through the woods.

Now it’s your turn! Just link your Christian Fiction Friday! Here are the rules:

1. Christian Fiction Friday is a blog hop where authors post short (400-ish words or less) snippets from their current works in progress (not published pieces).

2. Keep it PG-13 or lower. No swearing, no sex scenes. If you have a particularly violent scene or deal with a heavy or controversial subject matter, please include a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.

Suggestions:

1. Visit at least some of the other Christian Fiction Friday authors each week and comment on their blogs.

2. Don’t offer critiques unless the author specifically asks for it in his or her post.

3. Please include this blurb at the end of your weekly post:

Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman.

Categories: Christian Fiction Friday, Virtues and Valor Series | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments