Friday, November 25, 2016

Candid Answers to Candid Questions

Good morning, Bookish Orchestration People! I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving! Last week, I asked for some candid questions and I got a LOT. So I posted them all, with their answers, here for you today.  Enjoy!

Kate W.
What is the craziest name you've given a character?
Darius Gardner. I don’t know what possessed me to name a character after a Persian king, but I did it. And he grew into the role. Even if he was only a minor character and a farmer at that. He’s in my book, Be Thou My Vision, in case you’re wondering.

Bethany W.
What gave you the rather unusual idea for the ‘Hymns of the West’ series?
A simple question from a beta-reader, “What’s the next book about?” At that point, I only had one book on my mind, A Mighty Fortress. I didn’t even have any ideas for another book, let alone making this one into a series. I tried not to think about it too much, but the wheels kept on a-churnin’ and an idea flitted through my mind for a book about Joshua becoming a Pinkerton Detective. That idea ended up being book 5 because I came up with a few other ideas.
As for the title of the series, that was easy to figure out once I had the final title for A Mighty Fortress and decided to put the hymn Be Thou My Vision in the second book.

Do you have any new books in the work-in-progress stage?

Always! I write full-time, so I almost have to, but I enjoy it so it doesn’t usually seem like a chore. I am currently editing my next novel, the first in a new series entitled Orphans of the West. The book is called Savior, Like a Shepherd. For those who have read Blessed Assurance, the main character will be slightly familiar to you. Titus Hine was a very minor character near the beginning of the book, but he gets his very own book which will, Lord willing, be published in February 2017.

Do you design your own covers?
No, I do not. I take that back. I have designed five of my covers. The covers for Life and Salvation, Just a Closer Walk, Just As I Am, Blessed Assurance, and the upcoming Jesus is Lord. My other covers were made by either Perry Elisabeth Design or Kendra’s Kovers.

Do you have any other jobs/pursuits aside from writing?
Yes, but they are all writing related. I orchestrate blog tours for authors who want to promote their next book or an old one that needs a little TLC. I also occasionally do proofreading, but not very often.

Of all your books which is your favourite one, and why?
It’s a tie between The Solid Rock and Blessed Assurance. Both for similar, but different, reasons. I like The Solid Rock because I truly believe my writing grew in many ways through that book. Plus, I wrote the rough draft in July and when I went to edit it, I was going through some struggles and literally stopped editing because the story was speaking to my situation so much.
I like Blessed Assurance because Adelaide and Bradley are my ideal couple. I loved writing the double mystery in this story.

If you could choose only one character from one of your books to come alive and have tea with you, which would you choose and why?
Harriet Brookings. She is a wonderful mother, caring, and I would just love to chat with her and maybe ask her for some advice.

Of all your covers which is your personal favourite?
Definitely The Solid Rock. I love the stormy sky, the lightning bolt, the mountains in the background and the cowboy and horse. The whole thing fits the story so well.

If you could marry one of your male characters who would you choose and why?
Bradley Connor. He’s not perfect, but he has a strong faith in God, even when he struggles with his past and decisions he has to make.

Which of your characters would you like to have as your best friend?
Adelaide. She seems like such a nice person and genuinely caring.

How do you find names for your characters?
From the Bible, other books of the genre, or a website that has a name generator for Old West names.

Which of your books was the hardest to write?
I would have to say Amazing Grace. I’m not even really sure why, but for some reason, the editing was especially hard for this one.

Of all the hymns in the ‘Hymns of the West’ series, which is your personal favourite hymn and why?
Be Thou My Vision. I love the haunting melody, the words, and the message it tells.

Madeline B.
What inspires you to write?
God is my main inspiration. The praise and words of encouragement from others also helps.

Which of your characters do you connect with the best?
I’d have to say Ruth Brookings. She and I are the most alike of all of my characters.

What author has influenced your writing the most?
Probably Louis L’Amour.

George M.
What made you decide to write?
Great question! I've always liked writing, so in High School, Mom made sure I got plenty of writing experience through the curriculum she picked (I was home schooled). When I graduated, I just kept on writing and eventually discovered indie publishing and got published.

Judy T.
How did you decide on westerns?
Ever since discovering Dad's Louis L'Amour collection, I have loved Westerns, so it was really easy to start writing them.

Jaymes L.
Did you ever read Zane Grey?
I've read one, I think. I have some on my Kindle, but I haven't had time to read them yet.

Savannah A.
Do just write western?
No, I don't. I have also written a collection of futuristic short stories and a contemporary short story. I just finished a contemporary suspense novella and have plans for a series of WWI and WWII novels as well as a contemporary/futuristic trilogy.

Anne M.
At what age did you start writing for fun?
Um... I think as soon as I could? I don't really remember the exact age.

Dan A.
Is that your real name?
I have never been asked that question before! Good job!;) Yes, it is my real name.

Jean FS 
If you had a choice what time period would you want to live in. The victorian era, roaring 20's, live in the time era when the west was developing, etc.?
I would love to live in the era when the West was developing. In most ways, anyway.

Diane S.
You're a new to me author! At what age did you decide to write was it at an early age or later in life?
As in a published writer? I don't think I really decided that until I was around 22 and learned about independent publishing.
Writing for fun, I've always loved to do that. 

Margaret V.
Why write westerns?
Because I like reading them, but the Christian ones are often too romancy and not enough of the Western feel. And the secular books are too much Western feel and not enough Christianity. As my mom puts it, I'm a combination of Janette Oke and Louis L'Amour.

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  1. I love the hymn 'Be Thou my Vision' too. In fact I'm rather fond of hymns in general, just the title can put them in my head. I've even looked up some of your titles I wasn't familiar with.

    1. I can get songs in my head from the title, too. Sometimes that's good and sometimes it isn't. Which ones weren't you familiar with? I'm just curious.


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