PAT - WINNER OF
I'd like to welcome Fay Lamb to Sleuths and Suspects. I believe this is her first time to visit and I hope it will be many more. I first met Fay at the Catch the Wave Writer's Conference in Atlanta, GA last year. She is an excellent teacher and she is one of the friendliest and helpful editors I've met. I'm looking forward to seeing her again this year. I'm thrilled for her success with her debut books. She is gracious to offer a copy of her book "Stalking Willow" for a giveaway. Just leave a comment and your email address and be a follower of Sleuths and Suspects to be entered in the giveaway. Believe me you don't want to miss this book! Now on to the interview.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in a small Florida town called Titusville. Most times when I mention the name of the city, I have to add that it is where Kennedy Space Center is located. My family, and my husband’s family have lived here for generations. Both of our grandmothers were born in Titusville. Besides writing, I am also an acquisition editor for Pelican Book Group—a job I love. I am a past-secretary for ACFW, and I moderated the ACFW Scribes’ Critique Group for four years.
2. Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.
Stalking Willow is the first novel in my romantic suspense series entitled Amazing Grace. This story was released by Write Integrity Press in May.
Bitterness, a stalker, and a neighbor to die for. What's a girl to do? Trailed by a stalker in New York City, Willow Thomas, a young ad executive, scurries back to her small North Carolina hometown and the lake house where ten years earlier a scandal revealed her entire life had been a lie, and a seed of bitterness took root in her soul. The cocoon of safety Willow feels upon her arrival home soon unravels when she meets opposition from her and the stalker reveals he is close on her heels.
Can Willow learn to trust God to tear out her roots of resentment, reunite her family, ferret out a deadly stalker, and to rekindle the love she left behind?
3. Why did you choose this particular genre?
I’m not sure that I choose the genre as much as it chose me. I’m usually the first one to put my hands over my eyes when something tense or suspenseful comes on the television. I also keep asking, “Tell me what happened? Did he kill her yet? How’d he do it?” However, when writing suspense, I know what’s going to happen, and I take a lot of joy in hopefully making the reader’s shoulders climb while they’re waiting to see if the hero or heroine will save the day, get out of the situation, and live to tell about it.
4. What was your journey to publication like?
I have a number of adjectives to describe that journey: long, arduous, surprising, fulfilling, and incredible. I have always been a writer. Before I could write, I was a storyteller. Words are magically to me. As a kid who sat in a car while her mother worked or remained home behind closed doors as a latchkey child, storytelling was my preservation. When I finally realized how God wanted me to use the talent He’s given me, I had to learn how to craft my storytelling. That took a few years. Well, it actually took more than a few, but who’s counting?
Currently, and for what I think will be a very long while, I’m working with a tremendous editor, and those times in the past when I would have used the unhappy sounding adjectives were well worth it because now, I’m enjoying myself tremendously.
5. What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?
Bliss by Jeness Walker and Tracy Bowman is at the top of my list of all-time favorite reads. The story is laugh-out-loud funny from the start to the very last line. I hesitate to call it chick-lit or women’s fiction. Let’s call it humorous contemporary fiction.
Failstate by John Otte and A Fistful of God by Therese Travis are two of my favorite published young adult novels. I’m partial to Therese’s story because I acquired and edited it for Pelican, but both of these stories transcend their genre, and I highly recommend them.
Currently, I’m reading non-fiction. The book is The Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus Christ. An excellent read and study by Dianne E. Butts, a fellow writer at Pix-N-Pens.
6. What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it?
Right now, until September 1, I purposely took a writing hiatus because I had a packed August filled with workshops. However, I’m looking forward to delving into the writing of four books that are currently on deadline. I’m happy to give you a little peek inside Better than Revenge, the next book in my Amazing Grace series.
Issie pushed on the gas pedal. The Jeep shot from the bridge and onto the road, skidding against slick mud.
Using both hands, she battled for control of the vehicle, but gravity pulled against her body as the car spun in circles. With a cry, she let go of the wheel and grabbed Cole, pulling him close.
“Not the water, Lord. Don’t let us drown. Please, don’t let us drown,” she pleaded.
With a deafening crash and bone-jarring impact the vehicle came to a sudden stop. Issie held onto Cole, too afraid to move. After a long moment, he wiggled in her arms. She had pulled him to her despite his latched seatbelt. “Are you okay?” She inspected him from head to chest.
“Thank you, Lord.” Thunder boomed, drowning out her words of gratitude.
Looking out her open window through the pouring rain, Issie stared in amazement at the ruts gouged deep in the mire where they’d spun in circles. Their path had taken them away from the creek and across the road to slam up against one of the hundred year old elms. A miracle for sure. Her airbags hadn’t even deployed. Deep, shuddering breaths shook her body. She collapsed over the steering wheel again and sobbed.
Cole touched her. “Mommy, we’re safe. We can walk from here.”
So calm. Where did he get that part of his nature?
Yes, they were safe for the moment, but she’d feel even safer at home with Cole in his pajamas after a warm shower.
Issie groped around in the back of the Jeep, feeling for the blanket she always kept there. Rough wool grazed her fingertips. She pushed open the door, stepped out of the vehicle, and tugged the blanket over her head. Cole climbed across the seat and out to stand under the blanket she’d spread over her. The makeshift shelter did little to protect them against the driving rain.
Cole’s hand gripped her shirt. Water dripped from his bangs onto his straight little nose. His drenched clothing stuck to his body. His teeth chattered, and he let out a broken “Brrr” under his breath. She kept the woolen cover over them and started down the road toward home.
She looked down at him. “What do you say to a warm shower, a grilled cheese sandwich, some warm cookies, and a glass of milk?”
He smiled up at her. “Yeah.”
“Are you okay?” The voice emanated from outside their cloth protection.
Someone was on her property. She was alone and vulnerable. Issie screamed and pushed her son behind her.
7. What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?
This is always one of my favorite questions because I love to encourage writers. Recently, I ran across an anonymous quote that said: “It may be true that the real writer writes, but most people believe that a real writers is one who is published.” My advice is to never let anyone tell you that if you are unpublished, you are not an author. Real writers write. Period. I wrote for years. Publication did not make me an author. The process of writing made me an author. And I was an author before I was published. So, I encourage writers to write. Write more than one book. While you’re seeking publication write more books. In that way, when the doors open, you have more to offer than one story. And publishers love to know that an author has more to offer.
8. Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?
I recommend every book on crafting stories written by James Scott Bell: Plot and Structure, Revision and Self-Editing, and Conflict and Suspense. Mr. Bell has an easy style of teaching, and his examples are excellent. He doesn’t talk over our heads and provide strategies that would bore most writers. They are instructional and fun to read. For encouragement in your writer’s journey, I highly recommend his The Art of War for Writers.
9. Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered?
This has been a whirlwind summer for me. I’m so blessed and thankful to have three releases. Stalking Willow was released in May. Charisse, the first book in my contemporary romance series, The Ties that Bind, released in July, and Better than Revenge, the second novel in the Amazing Grace series releases and the story whose excerpt is shared in this interview will release in September.
10. Please let us know where we can find you on the web.
My website is www.faylamb.com. There I have a blog entitled Inner Source where guest authors are interviewed and share about the issues contained in their stories—those issues their charactesr overcome by God’s amazing grace or even issues that God might have brought to their attention during the writing of their work.
I also love meeting new friends on FB (www.facebook.com/fay.lamb) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/FayLamb). Oh, and I’m also The Tactical Editor, providing editing and writer helps Monday through Friday at www.facebook.com/TacticalEd.
Deborah Malone’s first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in First Novel category. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails,” edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association. As a current member of the American Christian Fiction Writer she has established a blog where she reviews Christian Fiction.