Well guys, we are drawing Fall Fiction Frenzy to a close! Tomorrow, I'll draw all of the winners - including the winner of the Old Navy gift card. So be sure to get your comments in by 6PM pacific time!! :)
Today, I want to do things a little differently! Obviously, I won't interview myself (though I do tend to talk to myself quite a bit - particularly when trying to figure out what I'm going to wear that day), but I did want to answer a few of the more popular questions I get asked frequently in emails. And, side note, if you have a question for me, please don't hesitate to email me! I'm not the best at responding, but I am trying to get better. Having a 15-month old who can't seem to play by himself without getting in tremendous trouble makes it kind of difficult. ;)
Will there be a fourth Lauren Holbrook novel?
Sorry guys - unless I get a surprise call from NavPress, I'm not expecting to write a fourth Lauren Holbrook novel. But I do love the way it ended - I feel like it closed most strings and left a few open for your imaginations. :)
I want to be a writer - what should I do?
First, I hope that this current series is helping a little bit! Every writer has a different story of how they got published - I LOVE that because it just shows how uniquely God has planned each person's life!
As far as practical suggestions, I would recommend checking out one of the excellent Christian writing organizations - The Christian Writers Guild or the American Christian Fiction Writers. They both offer fabulous annual conferences with great speakers, information-overloaded workshops and LOTS of opportunities to meet with publishers and pick editors' brains. I hope you noticed how many of the people I interviewed got published because of one of these conferences!
Also, the Christian Writer's Guild offers correspondence courses. I've graduated from both the Apprentice and Journeyman courses and they were excellent. I saw HUGE improvements in my writing! How do you plot your books? How do you come up with your characters?
I don't plot, actually. :) I have a basic idea of a story I want to write, I sit down at my laptop, type "Chapter One" and go from there. It makes it interesting for me everyday because I never know exactly what is going to happen.
Characters are almost the same story as plotting. I know the basic details - name, approximate age, occupation. Then I learn everything as I go. Lauren Holbrook showed herself to be a caffeine-addict and chocoholic very quickly. Maya Davis had a sweet, tender heart that I discovered along the way. Kate Carter had a way of looking at the world that was SO different than anyone I'd ever written about before!
The key to characterization is to think about whether or not YOU would be friends with whoever you're writing about. Do they seem real? Do they have faults and quirks and annoying habits? Do they struggle with something?
Are you anything like your characters?
A little bit of me ends up in every character I write. Lauren's caffeine habit was definitely true of me - particularly at that stage in my life. When I wrote about her, I was also living at home, I was also very involved in a singles' Bible study that was quickly becoming the Young Marrieds, and I still do love to watch movies (though, I don't get to as much and when I do get the chance, I usually end up falling asleep!). :)
I feel like whatever I'm currently learning in my walk with God always, always ends up in my stories - even if I never intended them to go that direction. Maya's struggle with learning to trust God with her future was a HUGE struggle for me as well - I was newly married, we were pretty much broke and Jon hadn't gotten hired on as a teacher yet. We learned a TON about trusting God that summer!! I finished the series when I found out I was pregnant with Nathan and again, I had to trust that He cared not only for me, but also for my unborn child.
Do you have as much fun as your characters do?
Will you reply to my email?
Oh you guys! I so wish I could reply to every email I get! I hate, HATE not having the time to do that! Please know that I do read every email and every single one is SO wonderful to read. You guys are the BEST readers any writer could ever ask for! I am seriously trying my best to write everyone back, you just may not get a response for a few months. :( Between trying to get my writing done, trying my best to be a good mama to my son and a good wife to my husband, as well as have time to spend with Christ, go grocery shopping, clean the house, cook dinner, etc, etc, I just don't have the time I used to. I am SO sorry. But I do hope to write you all back very soon!!
Guys, I absolutely LOVE having the opportunity to do this little series!! I hope that you have all enjoyed it as much as I have!
Today, I've got one last book giveaway! I'm going to be giving away the winner's choice of any of my novels. :) One last reminder - only one comment per person, please leave some sort of identifying information and lastly, have fun! Every comment over these last two weeks enters you in the big drawing for the Old Navy gift card as well! And if you haven't had the chance to comment on the other posts yet, hurry and go do it! I'll be drawing the winners tomorrow night!
Today's comment question: If you could steal anyone's hairstyle, whose would it be and what would it look like?