Friday, January 22, 2010

Interview with Julie Wright

I can't remember how many years ago I met Julie, but I do remember immediately liking her and feeling a connection with her. She is one of the most vivacious, infectious and likeable people I have ever met. A pure joy to be around. If you haven't met her, I hope you have a chance to someday.

Julie is the author of To Catch a Falling Star, Loved Like That, My Not So Fairy Tale Life and recently released Eyes Like Mine.

Here's a little about Julie . . .
Julie Wright was born in Salt Lake City Utah and is the author of four publisher novels. She currently resides in West Central Utah where she and her husband own a little country grocery store. They have three children who keep things busy at their house. She loves reading, writing, hiking, eating, taking long walks (and even longer baths), traveling, playing with her kids, and snuggling with her husband. But her favorite thing to do is watch her husband make dinner.

She loves speaking to youth groups, women's groups, and schools. For more information regarding that, please contact her at her website: www.juliewright.com

The backliner from her book:

A story of family that transcends time William has been missing for two days. And even though the rest of the wagon company has decided they must continue on to Zion, Constance Brown refuses to go any further until she finds her husband. All she can think about is the last time she saw him — he lovingly touched her face and then sang their baby girl to sleep. Will that memory be all Constance has to hold on to?

In a future time and place, Liz King is a teenager struggling with her identity in the modern world. The embarrassment she feels because of her parents’ divorce and her family’s new-found financial problems turns to bitterness.

Through an inexplicable twist of fate, Constanceand Liz are brought face to face. Liz recognizes Constance’s name from her mother’s endless lectures on their family history, and she also recognizes her eyes — they are exactly like her own. Were these distant relatives brought together in order to help each other?

Will Constance be able to return to her own life and find William, and will Liz be able to keep from telling Constance how her story ends? In this irresistible novel filled with gripping adventure and heartfelt emotion, two young women from drastically different times and settings learn that the challenges life holds for them are not so different after all.

Here's my interview with Julie:

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Julie: In seventh grade when Mrs. Brown, my English teacher, told me I had a talent in writing. Since then, I wanted to be a writer in some format or another. I wanted to be an advertising agent, a lyricist, a poet, a screenwriter, a novelist. I just wanted to write and I wasn’t much concerned about how or what for. I was just glad to find out that I had talent somewhere!

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Julie: I started writing my first book when I was fifteen and finished it when I was twenty-four. After I’d finished it, I was terrified to send it out to publishers. One day my husband handed me my coat and told me we were going to a bookstore. Happily, I went along, only to discover that he’d brought a pad of paper and a pencil. He found books similar to the one I’d written and copied the publishing information from the books down on his pad. We then went home and he submitted my book for me. I got three rejections and they crushed me. I thought maybe giving up would be a good idea at that point. Instead of giving up, I sent out one more submission as a “last ditch effort.” Several months later, a letter from that publisher offered publication. Once the book was accepted, it occurred to me I could write more than one book. I wrote my second book in six months and haven’t looked back.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Julie: Oh my, YES! I still have moments of discouragement, moments where I wish with all my heart I could get a memory block and forget I ever wanted to be a writer. Rejections hurt. Bad reviews hurt. Days when the story I’m working on suddenly feels pointless and lame hurt too. To deal with it, I simply moved on. I didn’t dwell long enough to cripple myself permanently. Moving on meant writing something new, submitting again, and again, and again. By continuing to move forward, it keeps me from obsessing and keeps me from becoming stagnant. Although sometimes, rocky road ice cream has been known to pull me from discouragement as well.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Julie: Schedule? Do people have schedules? I am not organized enough for such things. I write in short time increments during the day. Five minutes here . . . ten minutes there—the time adds up. There have been days where I’ve been able to write the entire day and there are days where I only get a word down. My goal is always to write at least one book a year. I’m hoping that 2010 will be productive and I’ll get three completed.

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is
good enough to write a book about it?

Julie: In high school, I had a writing teacher who brought an old boot to school. She set it in front of the class and told us to write because, “There’s a story in there somewhere!” It was a good reminder that there is a story to be found everywhere you look as long as you’re actually looking. I’ve had ideas while vacuuming, driving, bathing, teaching at church, sitting in lectures, and oddly enough, while watching Discovery Channel. Sometimes I have to fiddle for a bit to be sure an idea is worth writing about. I’ve got several well begun manuscripts sitting on my hard drive. Sometimes it takes me sixty pages to realize the idea didn’t work. Sometimes I figure it out by the end of page one. But usually I just know. If the idea won’t let me go, if my brain keeps returning to it again and again, I know it’s worth writing about.

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to
have their manuscripts become books in print?

Julie: Don’t give up. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Giving up is easy; not giving up is hard. Some days you might have to make the decision to not give up several times. Write one book, work on getting it published, and then while you’re waiting for responses from publishing houses, get busy and write another book. Lots of great authors get rejected. The gatekeepers of agents and slush pile readers are human, after all. They have bad days and different tastes. A rejection really isn’t personal. It feels personal, but it isn’t. Of course it hurts. Cry yourself to sleep if you have to, eat your favorite comfort food, and get over yourself so you can get back to what’s important—the writing.

M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit
down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline
first?

Julie: I loosely outline. But mostly, I get a basic idea and usually start writing just to see where it takes me and also to make sure that if I have to abandon it for something else, I have enough written that I’ll be able to still remember the basic idea when I can get back to it.

M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Julie: I’m sorry; I can’t answer this question. I have writer’s block ;) Just kidding. Yes, I’ve hit “blocks.” These are resolved in one of several ways: Read the whole manuscript (regardless of how far into I am) out loud to my husband so that he can help me figure out where to go next. Work on something else until I can resolve the snag. Clean cupboards while I think about the snag—mindless drone work is a great catalyst for creative thinking. Or lastly, abandon the project altogether and mine it later for tidbits that are worth keeping. I don’t recommend abandoning a project if you’ve never finished one before. You need to prove you can finish a story—especially when you’re starting out. Jumping ship is an absolute last resort.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when
you are writing?

AUTHOR: I definitely don’t need absolute quiet and I sometimes listen to music. Most of my writing time is done while kids are home. Writing with kids around presents challenges, especially at my house where my child population doubles due to my children’s friends.

I experience no writing time that doesn’t include:

  • “It’s my turn to play the x-box!”
  • “Mo-om! She won’t give my book back!”
  • “Mo-om, can we have second lunch today? I’m starving!” (This is usually from my youngest who seriously believes that everyone in the world gets two lunches every day.
  • “Mo-om, I invited ten of my best friends to come and play, and we’re going to make popcorn, and throw it all over the living room . . . that’s okay, isn’t it?”

Do I write to music? In a way, I guess. I write to the beat and rhythm of my family.

M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?

Julie: Discovery Channel. I know it sounds weird, but the world around me fascinates me on a scientific level and always leads me into the thoughts of “what if?” Those thoughts are totally necessary during creation periods.

M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Julie: Wow! That’s like asking me to pick which one of my kids is my favorite—an absolutely impossible task. So many authors have befriended me and made my whole career worthwhile, to mention one would necessitate mentioning all and that is quite the long list. If we go outside of authors, I’d have to say my husband has made the greatest difference. He puts up with my moods, and lets me read my novels out loud to him and helps me edit along the way. He never complains when I have writer things to attend. He’s the first to hug me when I get an acceptance, and the first to hold me when I get a rejection. He is my balance.

M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?

Julie: Nope. I live in the sticks and am too far away from people I’d want to share writing groups with. I’d love to join a writing group, but it’s just never worked out.

M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?

Julie: I just finished a book called Death Thieves. It’s my favorite, but it isn’t published yet. Of my published novels, I’d have to say that Eyes Like Mine is my favorite because it’s about the eternal nature of families. Even when a family feels broken, there is still a plan and a purpose to our lives and the families we share those lives with.

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share

Julie: That sounds ominous. Final words… Never give up on our dreams, recycle your cans, and be nice to people. J Oh yeah, and Michele Bell is amazing. I think everyone needs to know that.

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

Julie: You can go to my website at www.juliewright.com or you can go to Deseret Book online: http://deseretbook.com/store/search?query=julie+wright&x=49&y=7

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SUMMER IN PARIS - book cover

So, this is actually the final cover. Note the Eiffel Tower in the word "Paris" on the sign. Cute!


Monday, January 18, 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT - national release of my young adult book, Summer in Paris, from Valor Books

It's a thrill for me to announce the national release of my young adult book Summer in Paris from Valor Publishing. The official release date is March 16th, 2010 and I will be posting all the wonderful details of the launch party. Visit the web-site for Valor Publishing http://www.valorpublishinggroup.com/and you can find out about all the great books they are releasing this spring. I am posting a countdown to the release and you will find on the side bar of my blog, a list of all the blogs participating in my blog tour.

As part of this exciting venture I spent two days last week with the Valor team of experts and other authors in an extensive and inspiring training. Even after eleven years and nineteen books, I learned a ton of great information and came away feeling so pumped up I thought I would explode!

One of the most memorable moments though was a trip we took to Alexanders Printing where we took a tour of the facility. Valor uses Alexanders to print the ARCs for our books (Advanced Reader Copies) which are sent out to reviewers and other lucky folk who get a sneak peek at the books.

Ryan Young, at Alexanders, was nice enough to give us a tour of the facility. Only authors and other book people would get so excited about seeing big printing machines and the smell of ink and paper. I'm serious, it was intoxicating. Think kids in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and you get the picture. It was fascinating to learn the process a book goes through from the moment they receive the digital text to when it becomes a bound book in one's hands. Like watching the birth of baby. (Again, only an author would really get this)

While we were standing near the machine which puts the covers on the books, someone in our group said, "Hey, look at that." We all looked where they were pointing and there, at the bottom of some random storage bin was a flat cover of my very first book, "An Unexpected Love" completly covered in dust and footprints. Had that one random cover been sitting there for eleven years? Ryan, our awesome guide said he didn't know the answer to that question, but I have to say, there was something significant to the fact that finding my very first book cover there while getting ready to release my first national book made it seem almost too perfect to be a coincidence.
Here's a picture of me and Ryan with the book cover. You can see the footprints in the margins.

I will post the cover as soon as I get it and I will also post more of the fun details pertaining to the book launch party and my national tour. Who knows, I may show up in a city near you. It would be incredible to meet some of you who live around the country.

You can preorder the book now! Click on the Valor link in the sidebar and order you copy today!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Inteview with Josi Kilpack, award winning author

Josi Kilpack’s first LDS novel was published in 2000 and has since been followed by 6 additional LDS titles. Her seventh novel, Sheep’s Clothing, won The Whitney Award for Mystery and Suspense in 2007. LEMON TART, the first book in Josi’s new Sadie Hoffmiller culinary mystery series released January 2009; book two, ENGLISH TRIFLE was released in August 2009 and the third book, DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE will be out in Spring 2010. In addition to her writing, Josi enjoys reading, baking, traveling, and snuggling with her sweetheart, Lee. They now live in Willard, Utah with their four kids, a dog, and a varying number of chickens.

Award-winning author Josi S. Kilpack introduces a new series of culinary "cozies" that is sure to tantalize mystery lovers. In this debut volume, cooking aficionado-turned-amateur detective, Sadie Hoffmiller, tries to solve the murder of Anne Lemmon, her beautiful young neighbor - a single mother who was mysteriously killed while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie's search is Anne's missing two-year-old son, Trevor. Whoever took the child must be the murderer, but Sadie is certain that the police are looking at all the wrong suspects - including her!

Armed with a handful of her very best culinary masterpieces, Sadie is determined to bake her way to proving her innocence, rescuing Trevor, and finding out exactly who had a motive for murder.

What begins as a holiday trip for amateur sleuth and cooking aficionado Sadie Hoffmiller and her daughter, Breanna, turns into a bizarre mystery. First comes the discovery of a dead body in the sitting room of an English manor belonging to the family of Breanna’s boyfriend, who is also heir to the family title. When the body comes up missing, Sadie and Breanna are stranded at the estate until the police can clear them to leave.

Armed with a jogging whistle, her personal recipe collection, and an unfailing sense of American justice, Sadie begins her own investigation to find the killer. But when she seems to encounter one dead end after another, Sadie wonders if anyone is telling the truth — or if the case is really as hopeless as it appears to be.

Layer by layer, Sadie uncovers a mouth- watering mystery with an English flair. Included are Sadie’s favorite new recipes for American English Trifle, High Tea Lemon Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, Wake ’Em Up Breakfast Casserole, Sausage Rolls, Crumpets, and Sadie’s Scrumptulicious Scones

It’s been years since author Thom Mortenson has been back to Garrison, Colorado. As part of the committee who invited the bestselling writer to speak at the library fundraising benefit, Sadie Hoffmiller wants everything to be perfect—right down to the homemade devil’s food cake she baked herself. Certainly, murder was not on the menu.

When Thom’s manager ends up dead on stage, Sadie jumps in to offer her guidance and expertise to investigators. But when the police refuse to take her seriously, Sadie has no choice but to pursue justice on her own. After all, is Sadie to blame if she keeps stumbling over information? Can Sadie turn her back when people intricately woven into the deception keep crossing her path? With her son, Shawn, at her side, her reputation on the line, and a full cast of suspicious characters, Sadie Hoffmiller is once again cooking her way through a case that offers far more questions than answers.

Here's my interview with Josi:

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Josi: When friends started encouraging me to submit the novel length story I’d written. Even during the writing process I hadn’t thought about what I would do when I was done with it; I was just having a great time with the story. Once someone mentioned it I couldn’t get it out of my head and submitted a few days later. I was 24 at that time.

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Josi: Interesting. I was very na├»ve and very uneducated in regard to the whole publishing industry. I didn’t know anyone who had published a book. I looked inside the covers of some of my LDS novels and called directory assistance to get their phone numbers (I didn’t have internet at my house yet). They told me how to send it in and I did—with no page numbers, no chapter breaks, no editing. The first three rejected me, but one of them, Covenant, gave me a three page rejection letter telling me why it wasn’t ready. It was painful, but made all the difference because they told me what I didn’t know I didn’t know. I rewrote that book and ended up paying a portion of the publishing costs to get it published. After that, I realized even more stuff I didn’t know I didn’t know and began to study the craft and the industry.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Josi: In the beginning I was too dumb to be discouraged. The more I’ve learned about writing and markets and careers, the more likely I am get discouraged. Most of my discouragement comes from my actual writing. It’s not as easy as it once was, and it’s harder for me to find time and ideas than it used to be. That scares me and makes me wonder if I’ve used up my best ideas and I’m on my way down from the peak of my career. To my credit, I keep moving forward and so far it just keeps getting better. But I certainly have my moments.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Josi: Do you spell that s-k-e-d . . .

(I have no schedule, I shove it into corners and ask for ‘days off’ from my family so I can immerse myself. It’s obnoxious, but for the season I find myself in right now it works well enough.)

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is
good enough to write a book about it?

Josi: I get most of my ideas from other people’s ideas; books, movies, newspaper articles, short stories. Something will trigger an idea, and that idea grows and develops. Lucky for me, even though the idea is started by someone else’s, by the time I’ve developed it, it has become it’s own creation. I, for one, and very grateful for all the other brilliant people out there since I can’t take credit for the ‘seed’ of a single story I’ve written.

As for knowing if an idea is good enough; I don’t know that when I start which is why I have half a dozen 50 page books on my computer. Sometimes I go back to them, but some of them will likely never become their own story because I just couldn’t grow them past that first 50 pages—poor things.

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to
have their manuscripts become books in print?

Josi: Get out of yourself. Go to conferences, read best selling novels, learn to read other people’s work critically, meet other writers, learn to give and receive feedback, join a writer’s group, follow other people’s careers, keep and eye on the markets. Writing is a scary thing—putting yourself out there for the world to see is intimidating. It’s also a fact that all of us that write, think we’re brilliant—or we wouldn’t do it. Both of these things equate to a fear of rejection, which is a powerful inhibitor toward fulfilling our dreams. But we have to get out of it. We have to know we are not brilliant, so that we keep learning, and we have to put ourselves into the writing world so that we can find our way to a published book.

M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit
down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline
first?

Josi: I sit down and wait to see what happens and it more often than not makes me bonkers. I wish I knew how to outline, it seems like such a much more efficient process. Alas, I am a fly-by-the-seat of my pajama pants writer.

M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's
block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Josi: Constantly. Because I don’t have an outline, I continually find myself backed into a corner. To remedy it I do one of a hundred things until something works; stop writing and do something else, read other peoples books, edit other people’s books, cry, clean out a closet, bake, skip the problem spot and move on to another part of the story, start another story, ask a friend for feedback, write a time allotment every day to keep me going, write a ridiculous scene I know I’ll come back and fix, pray—stuff like that. So far, something has always worked.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when
you are writing?

Josi: I like noise in the background, but then I get distracted by it. I don’t like writing when other people are around and interrupting me. I hate that a whole bunch.

M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?

Josi: I like massages and I’ve convinced myself they are a source of inspiration.

M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Josi: Beyond anyone else it would be husband, Lee. He has continually supported me, and yet kept me grounded at the same time. I’d have never thought I could do this if he hadn’t thought I could as well and throughout this entire journey he’s encouraged me forward. Within the writing community itself, Rachel Ann Nunes was a huge mentor for me in the early years of my writing. She offered me advice, hosted the first writers conference I ever went to, and suggested this idea of starting an e-mail list for authors that eventually became LDStorymakers which has had a huge impact on my writing. She was very generous to me and it made a huge difference in my career.

M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?

Josi: I have belonged to a writer’s group here in Willard for about 5 years now. They are priceless to me. Getting ongoing feedback helps keep me from making big mistakes, and their encouragement is impossible to measure. I belonged to another group for awhile as well, but doing both groups became too hard for me to keep up with. However, both of them were excellent for me and I highly recommend that any writer, regardless of level, seek out a writer’s group.

M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?

Josi: I don’t know. Earning Eternity was my first book, and those characters seem the most ‘real’ to me. To Have or To Hold was a lot of fun to write and I feel it shows a great deal of my own growth as a writer. But then I love Sheep’s Clothing, and of course Lemon Tart was a kick in the pants to write. So, I really don’t know. I love em all, but for different reasons I guess.

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share

Josi: Just that writing novels is my bliss, and I hope that everyone gets to not only discover their bliss but to follow it. God gives us bits and pieces of the gifts we need to develop our talents. It’s not an easy journey, and sometimes it doesn’t seem as though it’s worth it, but it is. Life will march on whether we are pursuing our dreams or not. Pursue.

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

Josi: They can order autographed copies (and first chapters) of all my books via my website, or can find my books at deseretbook.com or in any brick and mortar bookstore as well.

Here are the links to find out more about Josi and her awesome books.

www.josiskilpack.com
www.josikilpack.blogspot.com
www.deseretbook.com

Friday, January 8, 2010

Interview with Rachael Anderson

I am so excited to introduce Rachael Anderson to you. She's a new author and her book was just recently released. I asked her to tell us a little about herself.

I have always been an avid reader and a hopeless romantic, my all-time favorite author being Jane Austen, with her witty dialogue and happy endings. I began penning my own stories and discovered that I also loved to write.

I graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in business finance and a minor in psychology and am now married to a wonderful husband and have four small children.

We currently live in Springville, Utah and love it here! Writing in my spare time has been a great antidote for the rigors of motherhood. I also love anything that takes me out of doors—skiing, biking, hiking, boating, gardening, you name it.


Here's a synopsis of the book:
"It all began with calamity, coupled with faith, followed by a flat tire. Seeking to find some liberation from certain heartache, Kennedy Jackson moved from her hometown near Albuquerque to Tempe, Arizona, where she began working as an assistant interior designer for the largest design firm in the western United States.

Enter Braxton Taylor, the handsome anti-social CEO of Taylor Homes, a
widely successful development company. After coming to Kennedy’s aid, he found
himself both intrigued and captivated. All that remained was for him to track her down and get to know her better. What Braxton didn’t understand was that Kennedy was as interfering as she was beautiful, and more than willing to “innocently” mess with his orderly life.

Divinely Designed is a fun and sophisticated romantic comedy with
an elfin dose of drama that will uplift, entertain, inspire, and leave you wanting more."


I really enjoyed Rachael's book and expect it to be very popular with both YA and adult audiences. Here's my endorsement of Divinely Designed.

"Divinely Designed, by new author Rachael Anderson, is the perfect book to curl up with and completely get immersed in. Anderson creates characters that are memorable and fun and her writing style draws the reader in with warmth and humor. Anyone looking for a charming romantic comedy will fall in love with Divinely Designed."

And now, here is my interview with Rachael:

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Rachael: Definitely not during any English class I ever took. I actually started a book with my sister in high school. We loved to read and every now and then you’d hear us say, “We could write a better book than this!” So we started one—and got about three chapters into it before we gave up. I came away with a deep appreciation for all the authors in the world, and I’ve tried very hard to never say that I could write do a better job. At least they finished theirs!

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Rachael: I lucked out here. First of all, grammar and I have never had a good relationship, so a good friend of mine edited it and cleaned it up for me. I then researched publishing companies, and finally chose Cedar Fort because of some good things I had heard about them. The fact that they were also located in my hometown was an added bonus! I submitted the book at the end of December and heard back in February. I’m sure I had a smile on my face for months! My children were probably wondering what had happened to their normally cranky mother.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Rachael: Of course, but the most discouraging thing for me, actually, was when I read about another author’s long road to publication. I’m not a patient person, so the thought of writing several novels, before finally getting one accepted, was dispiriting for me. I think that’s why it took me so long to finish my first one. Every now and then, I would find myself thinking, “I’m spending all this time, because…?” Thankfully though, I persevered in my own leisurely way, and now I have a published book! I still can’t believe it.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Rachael: I write at night. Ha! “I’m a poet, and you did not know it.” (If you haven’t seen The Scarlet Pimpernail, with Jane Seymour, you will have no idea what I’m talking about. Awesome show!). Seriously though, I have four small children who still go to bed early, so the hours between 9:00—12:00 are all mine. I spend some of that time writing.

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

Rachael: I think you can write a book about anything and just put your own twist on it. My book is a predictable romantic comedy. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl live happily ever after. Hopefully though, as readers journey through my own personal twists, they will smile or laugh and not want to put it down.

Also, with my books, you will ALWAYS get a happy ending. What’s the point in making someone want to throw your book out the window after reading the last page? (Or am I the only one who reacts this way?)

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

Rachael: I’m no expert, but I’d say that if you love to write, then write! Afterwards, go to people who know more than you and who will give you honest criticism and ask for their help. If you don’t know anyone like that, then sign up for a creative writing class and ask the teacher. It’s amazing what a fresh set of eyes and honest opinion can do for a book.

M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

Rachael: I tried to outline my first book, but besides not being able to come up with an entire storyline in one sitting, I was always veering away from the pathetic outline I had created. So no, I don’t use outlines, I simply write. However, I’m sure whatever time I save by not doing an outline, I more than make up for it with revisions.

M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Rachael: All the time. I pick up the phone and call one of my sisters or my mom and pick their brains. I’m lucky because I have six sisters and if one can’t help me, I call another. At some point I usually end up with some helpful direction. If all else fails, I walk away, get my mind on other things, and try again later. My husband, I’ve learned, is about as helpful as a snail, which is a good thing, because I’m not sure how I’d feel if he could give me decent advice about a romantic comedy. J

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

Rachael: After dealing with noise and chaos all day, I crave quiet!

M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?

Rachael: Real life, other people’s real life, and my favorite—daydreams. Yes, I am a dreamer.

M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Rachael: Books! (I suppose the “who” would be the authors). I LOVE getting caught up in a good story and I’ve always had the desire to do the same for others.

M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?

Rachael: Not really. I didn’t know too many writers, at least not well enough to feel comfortable eliciting their help. So I passed a copy around to my mom, my sisters, and one or two friends. I was lucky to have one particular friend, Shelley, who is a grammar aficionado. You should have seen my manuscript when she sent it back.

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share

Rachael: Thanks for the interview, Michele! I feel so honored. And thanks to all the other authors out there who write good, fun, uplifting, and wonderful stories. I have enjoyed reading so many of them!


M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

AUTHOR: Seagull Book, Deseret Book, or online through the following links:

http://www.amazon.com/Divinely-Designed-Rachael-Renee-Anderson/dp/1599553244/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260562788&sr=8-1

http://www.cedarfort.com/#{selector%3A%22.ldsba-body%22%2Cmodule%3A%22/ldsba/productDetail.module%22%2Cparameters%3A{product%3A%2220068366%22}}

You can also visit my website at: http://www.rachaelreneeanderson.com