Thursday, April 26, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The photograph above illustrates where I'm going in my research. Can you guess where/when that is?
Thursday, April 19, 2012
TITANIC: Voyage of Intent is about a young woman who follows a murderer to save her brother.
Will trying to save her brother's life cost Brenna her own?
Brenna Kelly's brother has been accused of a murder he didn't commit and sentenced to die. Brenna follows the real murderer aboard the luxury liner Titanic to find the proof to save her brother from the gallows. Little does she know that her fate is as tenuous as her brother’s.
Cliffton Statham is charmed by Brenna and sets out to help her and win her affections. But his flimsy relationship with his uncle puts his future in jeopardy, and he must decide between Brenna and saving himself. Can Brenna find the proof she needs in time? Will love be a help or a hindrance?
Will the icy waters of the Atlantic be the end of them all?
Mary, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
That’s hard to say. I think maybe all my characters might be an offshoot of myself, in one warped way or another. I pour my heart into them and feel what they feel. Some might be an aspect of myself. Others are the opposite of me and are how I might imagine I would be if I were like them. For instance, Marty in Marty’s Ride: Marty is brave and races after danger to save her nieces. I’m more like Piglet. “I-I’m j-just a little bit af-fraid.” Also, Brenna in my latest book that is set on the Titanic: She follows a murderer to save her brother. I would love to think that I could do something like that, but more likely the Piglet side of me would come out. But I can live vicariously through my characters and do things I never could or would do in real life.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I have written over a dozen books both historical and contemporary romance. My first published novel is a romantic comedy. This most recent one is a historical romance. Several of my books have been put into compilations. You can see all my published books on my Web site. The one’s you don’t know about are the unpublished ones. I have half of written WWI novel, the first of a trilogy, I still hope to get published one day and a story set in the future but not sci-fi. Both are romances. And in the next few weeks, I’ll be self publishing a historical novella set in Colorado I wrote many years ago that never found a publishing home. I also have a time travel that is looking for a home as well as a historical novel.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Many ways. I use a baby name book and go through the same pain I did in naming my children. I collect names from movie and TV credits. Someone else went through the pains to name their children. And some times my characters name themselves. It’s nice when they let me know. Some times a character will keep it a secret and make me figure it out. But I can’t write a story about a character until I have a name. The right name.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Dyslexia. I don’t know that I have overcome it, I don’t think I can. But I have learned how to cope with it. I have learned how to do things my own way, but don’t ask me what I do different from you non-dyslexic types. I have been asked how I do things different, but that would mean I understand how the rest of you think to know how I’m different. Maybe you can tell me how you think different from me. One thing that is difficult is spelling. I swear my Spell Checker is going stop telling how to spell the same words over and over and over. I swear some times I can hear it saying to me, “If you don’t know how to spell that word by now, I’m not going to tell you.” Also, if I can’t spell a word close enough for Spell Checker to find the right word for me, I think of a synonym that I can spell and look that up in my thesaurus. And in that word’s synonym is the word I want.
How can readers find your book on the Internet?
The Kindle version is available on Amazon. Soon TITANIC: Voyage of Intent will be available for Nook and other eReaders as well as a paperback version.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
April 1912 - Olive Stanford boarded the Titanic determined to protect all she held dear. Her secret will go with her to the grave—but how can she face the afterlife carrying the burden of her actions?
April 2012 - Portland real estate agent, Ember Keaton-Jones distrusts men, with good reason. Ever since her great-great-grandfather, Thomas, deserted the family after the fateful sinking of the Titanic, every Keaton male has disappointed. Ember is on the brink of a huge sale when a stranger shows up with a key to a century-old secret challenging everything she believes. She meets forward-thinking Jeff Dawson who is working in the family’s musty antique shop and finds an unexpected ally in unlocking the mystery of her past. But can they undo the legacy of Thomas Keaton's betrayal?
Carefully researched, this engaging tale includes true stories of the Titanic embedded in historical fiction.
Paula, what is your favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but this one from Jane Austen’s, Persuasion, is one I treasure, “I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.”
I see myself in it, especially in my spiritual walk. A while back I was in a difficult season and felt angry with God. Then I struggled with the guilt of those emotions, which hurt just as much. As I wrote out my struggles, the Holy Spirit helped me process. Suddenly those words spilled upon the page, “weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.” It was like the Lord showed me my heart. Sure, I was human. I’d been weak and resentful, but I’d never stopped loving Him, and He knew it. It was very comforting.
Kathy, when did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have told stories all my life, even before I knew how to write. My mother would ask, “Now, Kathy, is this a real story or a made up story?”
Once I learned how to put words on paper, I wrote a poem about a fat cat in a black hat. I sold hand-written copies of that poem to my friends, complete with a drawing of a fat cat in a black top hat that looked more like a dusty snowman with whiskers. I charged a nickel and I made 25 cents. This, in my mind, made me a published author. After that, I wrote poems, short stories, I even became an award-winning author when I won the 9th grade writing contest with my entry, “I Was A Female Dog, An Autobiography By George.” It was a true story—about my female dog named George.
Paula, how do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m not sure I do, but this seems a very important question! Besides writing and serving as ACFW CO coordinator, I’m mom to four, ages 14 – 20, two of which we still homeschool. Right now they are all living at home. What keeps me sane is Jesus, Jerry, and my prayer group!
I also crave quiet time and the beauty of nature. It shows when I don’t take enough quiet hours to curl up in a soft chair and prayer journal or read with a cup of hot tea close by (lady grey in the morning, white pear in the afternoon, chamomile in the evening). If it’s a cloudy day or dark, I light candles. Sometimes I listen to classical or worship music—something without words. I need to smell the flowers—literally. I do better when I take time to walk in the sunshine with my husband. (I need to get back to that. He’s worked up to walking/jogging 3 or 4 miles a day while I’ve sat at the computer eating dark chocolate. *sigh*) The jokes of my teenage boys, the delight of my daughter, and the hugs of the whole family also ground me. Two months ago I started a gratitude wall. So far I’ve recorded 116 blessings in colored sharpie. I try to write three a day. It’s too easy to focus on the problems or the stresses instead of the moments of joy and beauty we’re always surrounded with.
Kathy, what makes you feel alive?
The Colorado Rocky Mountains. My husband and I love to camp and fish, and I feel energized when I smell a crackling fire, or cast a line into a mirrored lake. Odd that I love the mountains when so far the books I’ve published are set in Florida, San Francisco, and Southern Oregon. My first book was set in Colorado, but it hasn’t been published. I cut my teeth on that piece, and it shows. lol
Please tell us about the collaborative writing experience.
Paula: The story brought out our strengths. Kathy loves to plot while I tend to do a really rough skeleton and fly by the seat of my pants. We plotted carefully at first. I learned a lot, though I kept teasing Kathy saying, “Can we start writing now?” But our writing styles and personalities blend very well. We’re both pretty easy going and have similar passions, so most of the time we found collaboration only strengthened our original thoughts. I think it strengthened my understanding of story structure and plotting. It also gave me some good “friend” time with someone I already adored.
Kathy: And I could say the same thing. (Hugs to Paula!) I wouldn’t write with just anybody. But Paula exudes so much grace that I knew if we had any misunderstandings they would be resolved quickly. Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal is a contemporary story with a historical frame. She started writing the contemporary heroine’s point of view and developed her while I worked on the hero. But she was also researching the historical. When that storyline started to become more than we had originally planned, she asked me to take over the contemporary so she could concentrate on the historical. We essentially wrote two different stories, and I like that better.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Paula: We’re super excited about the story. It feels like a high-concept idea with lots of intrigue and a strong romance thread. We’re also excited about writing a story that is a little outside the traditional Christian publishing market. We wanted to tell a story that might help someone who doesn’t know Jesus consider who He is. While we hope our Christian readers follow us, we tried to write in such a way that someone without faith will find it believable—and maybe even wrestle with God’s place in his or her life. Much of it explores the idea of generational bondage—how the choices of those who’ve gone before us affect how we think about life.
Writers, you can find some wisdom from Paula, Five Tips for the Publication Journey, on The Inkwell Blog.
Please stop back on Thursday--I can't wait to introduce another Titanic novel to you!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
One kiss can change everything! Wish You Were Here takes the reader on an emotional journey with Allison Denman as she struggles to find her place in this world. Allison comes to grips with the truth that playing it safe is not the same as living to the fullest—a good lesson for all of us. Beautifully written, Wish You Were Here is a lovely debut novel by Beth K. Vogt that illustrates the plans we make may not be God’s choice for us. A fun and satisfying read!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
1. Take care in sharing personal information. Some people actually care, but the others are just curious.
2. For your health, shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Buy and eat fresh, not processed, foods.
3. Remember the 1st rule of etiquette: Never make someone else feel uncomfortable!
4. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Finish a job you’ve started. People respect people who follow through.
5. Do the right thing.
6. Don’t hold on to your regrets. Move forward with lessons learned.
7. It’s okay to put space between you and someone who tears you down. You don’t owe allegiance to anyone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart.
8. Use things, not people, and love people, not things.
9. There is room for both holistic and traditional medicine in your life. Be wise with your health.
10. Do unto others as you would have done to you.
11. Speak the truth in love.
12. Don’t worry and fret about growing older. It’s better than the alternative, and each decade has its own appeal. It is true that with age comes wisdom.
Please feel free to share some of your truths! I'd love to hear them.