Friday, January 19, 2018

Interview with Tanya Stowe

This week, I interviewed author Tanya Stowe.

author photo

On your blog you mention, “Have motorhome will travel.” Where have you traveled thus far?
We just retired a little over a year ago so we haven’t been far. Last summer we planned a trip from California to Florida. It was going to be a nice leisurely drive but my husband needed surgery. They scheduled it for August so we ended up driving home with the motorhome in one week. Long daily drives. Not much fun. But we saw lots of amazing country and before that, we flew our granddaughter out for a graduation present and went to Disney World in the middle of July. I thought I’d be miserable since I have an aversion to bugs, humidity and alligators but I loved it. Florida is beautiful. It rained every day. The clouds were so close to the ground it felt like you could touch them. And the lightning! I had no idea Florida was the lightning capital of the U.S. Our return trip was rushed but I have every intention of going back through the Gulf States at a much slower pace and enjoying those areas as much as I did Florida.

But I have to say our most interesting trip last year wasn’t in the motorhome. We had an opportunity to tour China and we jumped on it. The best impulsive idea we’ve had in a long time! China is fascinating. I’ll be blogging about it for many months to come.

You’re a multi-published author. Which book has been your favorite to write?

Every book is your baby so it's hard to pick just one. But I have to say the one that was the most fun to write was Santa Fe Sunrise…simply because I love everything about Santa Fe. The scenery. The history. The food and clothes. Even the music. I’d put on my Nouveau Flamenco tunes by Ottmar Liebert and start typing. That book just seemed to flow. It might not be my best book or the most compelling but it was fun to write.

Did you always want to be a writer?

I wrote my first book when I was eleven years old. It was about a princess named Shalimar set in Ancient Egypt. So yes, I’ve always wanted to write. And it’s interesting to note that my first published book was a time travel romance about…you guessed it…an ancient Egyptian slave girl named Mara caught in a plot to murder the Pharaoh.

You have a large family. How do you find a good balance between family and writing? 

What is balance? Is there really such a thing? Lol. I think balance is a lot like a faith walk. You stumble and fall. Get back up and start again. It’s the getting up that’s important not the state of being “balanced.”
Having said that, I will tell you I’m a list maker. Always have been. Lately I’ve found a planner that incorporates all aspects of my life, work, relationships, faith, chores, appointments. It even has a scripture passage for each week. I sit down on a Sunday night, name all of my goals and tasks for the week then plug them into a daily calendar. I find that if I get busy and drop the ball, it’s on the planner and I can pick it up the next day or the next week. Things I need to do don’t disappear into the ether, especially those important writing or PR goals I need to meet. I also find that my daily to-do list that seems overwhelming in my head isn’t such a monster when it’s down on the page.
Tanya's latest release, Mojave Rescue (Love Inspired Suspense), is available on Amazon. 
cactus shown on cover

Friday, January 12, 2018

Review of An Unexpected Legacy by Amy Anguish

Man and Woman are shown holding hands on the cover


In An Unexpected Legacy, an intriguing tale by Amy Anguish and set in Texas and Arkansas, Jessica Garcia and Chad Manning are drawn to each other, but a family secret threatens to keep them apart. Thus, the main characters are forced to unravel this mystery before moving forward in their relationship. Along the way, the novel delves into the topic of forgiveness. I liked this because the topic wasn't just glossed over; the author demonstrated how an unforgiving spirit can harm others, including the person who chooses not to forgive. This book should appeal to readers of Christian fiction who enjoy romance and mystery.*

photo of author Amy Anguish

Author Bio:

Amy Anguish grew up a preacher's kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a cat or two. Amy graduated with a degree in English from Freed-Hardeman University and hopes in all her creative endeavors to glorify God, but especially in her writing. She wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.

*I received a copy of this book from the author and this is my voluntary review.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Interview with Amy Anguish

Author Amy Anguish is shown in photo

What was life like as a preacher’s kid?  

In some ways, being a preacher's kid is hard. A lot of people expect you to be perfect or to know all there is about the Bible. For us, the hardest part was probably that I never lived anywhere longer than six years (still haven't, honestly). As a kid, it's hard to have to leave your friends behind and pack up and move somewhere new every few years. But now, looking back, I can see that it helped me in a lot of ways. I am able to adjust to things like that easier (for the most part), I can make friends or figure out new situations more quickly now, and I have tons of friends all over the country that I made through the years. Being a preacher's kid didn't necessarily give me a strong faith, but it gave me a great foundation to build one.

I noticed that you have lived in several states, so I am curious. In which states have you lived? 

I have lived in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas.

What authors have influenced your writing style?

I am an avid reader (almost 70 books this year alone, if you don't count the children's books I read to my children). I read so many authors that I like to think a lot of them have merged into my style. I guess of my favorites, my style is probably most like Christine Lynxwiler or Annalissa Daughety, although everyone has their own quirks and ways of phrasing things.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

My advice is to not give up. Even when it seems like you're never going to get published, keep trying. It only takes one person to notice your talent and fall in love with your story to make it turn from a dream to reality. My second piece of advice is to make sure you've edited your manuscript as much as possible and then edit it again. Most publishers aren't going to want to see a manuscript that needs tons of work. They want to see that you're serious enough about pursuing publication that you're willing to make sure your work is as perfect as you can get it before sending it out.

Novel cover shows a couple and a leaf

Tell me more about An Unexpected Legacy. How long did it take you to write the story?

"An Unexpected Legacy" started as a Nanowrimo novel in 2011, believe it or not. It was around 52,000 words when I first wrote it, and very rough. I started only with the idea that Jessica and Chad would meet at a smoothie shop and that would be their common interest that helped them fall in love. I knew that there was going to be something in their family history that was going to cause problems for their relationship ... that their family would be from the same town. But it took me almost the whole book before I figured out exactly what the actual reason for the conflict was. I started writing and meant to only write from Jessica's perspective, but as I continued, I realized I needed some back story (not to mention more words if I was going to meet my 50K word goal for that November) so I started including the historical scenes to tell "the rest of the story." I did a quick edit and then sort of let the story sit for a while. When I started really considering publication seriously, I sent my manuscript to a friend I had who was an acquisitions editor at a newer company. That company wasn't right for my story, but she remembered it and loved it, and years later, when she decided to start her own publishing company, she contacted me about it. She helped me polish it up, teaching me more about the craft and what I needed to do in the future, and we finally had it in print and ebook this last November. It's been a crazy journey, but one that was full of learning and growth for me. And the culmination has definitely been the icing on the cake. I can't wait to start my next journey with one of my other manuscripts just waiting to go out into the world!

Please join us next week, on the 13th, when I share a review of Amy's book.