Monday, January 06, 2014

Hopping Around the Blogosphere

It's a new year. Time for new plans, resolutions, plots and characters. I was extremely blessed to have Dysfunction Junction published in 2013. Now it's a new year and time to work on all the new plots and outlines I've tucked aside. But before I get into that, I want to take a moment to introduce you to the author who invited me to be a part of this Blog Hop. KC Sprayberry has been a friend and fellow writer for quite a few years now and it's been amazing to see her success sky rocket, especially this year. She's been a great help in my writing journey as well.

KC Sprayberry was born and raised in Southern California. She spent time in the Air Force and was stationed for several years in Europe, specifically Germany and Spain and later transferring to a base in Phoenix where her love affair with the Old West begin. Since then, she's learned to explore every possible place of mystery, romance, adventure, or history no matter where she is. Her home is now in Northwest Georgia, in a small town brimming with history. Her sense of adventure now takes its turn on the pages of her computer screen as she translates a lifetime of discovery into stories for those who love her work. As to when she'll stop writing? To quote her husband, "When they nail the coffin closed."

You can visit KC Sprayberry's blog HERE.

Now on to this year's questions!

1) What am I working on?

In addition to marketing my latest release Dysfunction Junction? Cuz let me tell you, that takes a lot more time than I expected - and I expected it to be time consuming! :)

There is a sequel in the works to Dysfunction Junction. This book will feature Kianna's best friend and roommate Alexa Fehr. Alexa has a major life change ahead of her, one that is really going to make her take a step back and take a new look at her life and what God has planned for her. Of course there will be plenty of humor to go with that drama. That's kind of my trademark.

I have a new Christian suspense in the opening stages. Can't give too much away, but let's just say that there will be a stalker, a kidnapping, a little human trafficking... and a very unique gift of sight. I'm very excited about this one. My sister Angel had a great initial concept and between the 2 of us we had the whole outline plotted in 2 days over Christmas break. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the writing goes just as quickly! LOL!

A cover mock up I played with
I also have a second suspense novel with the working title of Burning Justice that features an arsonist and the fire fighting heroes that work so hard to be our every day heroes. It will hopefully be getting a few touch ups and then sent on to a few publishers to see if I can get a nibble.

In addition to writing adult Christian Fiction, I've also written a few children's books. One, titled Creation's Ballad, is being illustrated by my mom. She's a very talented artist. I look forward to seeing that published in the near future.
Keep your eyes open for updates on all of these projects and anything new that might pop up. I never know what might come up!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My current novel, Dysfunction Junction, is what many would term Christian Chick-lit, but it's so much more than that! Yes, it features a young single working girl looking for love and success amidst romance and comedy; but it's also a deeper look at what so many of us see in our every day lives. Abusive relationships amongst friends and family, infidelity, the struggle with personal self-confidence and acceptance.

Kianna is plus-sized, but her actual size is never listed. That was done intentionally. The point was for any one that struggles with self-image and weight to be able to identify with Kianna, no matter whether she was 5 pounds overweight or 150+ pounds overweight. Even those who aren't plus sized often still face the same self-image doubts and weaknesses. It was more important to share the heart and emotion at the center of it all.

The book is also written in first person present tense. Not overly common, but I hope it gives the reader the chance to really 'get inside' Kianna. I tried it initially in several formats, but I didn't find my writer's voice until this final format.

One more thing that may set my writing apart from other's, is also one of the most important for me. It's that I'm able to share my beliefs and witness of Jesus and the Restoration Gospel with freedom. I admire many other publishing houses and Christian authors, if you follow my blog you know what a big fan I am. However in my writing journey, I found that I was trying to simplify my message or watering it down to make it fit what the Worldview Publishers would accept. I got a lot of compliments, but no contracts. It wasn't until I told God I would no longer water things down in order to try and publish - that I would write everything straight forward and publish independently if necessary - that things changed. I did a final re-write on Dysfunction Junction and added back in those things I'd left out. A few months later a fellow writer friend convinced me to submit to Muse It Up Publishing. Within 10 days of submission I had a contract. No doubt God will open doors if you write the message He gives you!

3) Why do I write what I do?

To share my love of the Restoration Gospel of Jesus Christ with a new generation - and I want to do it in a way that captivates them in such a way that when they are done, they want to know more. I want to witness of Jesus' love in all our lives, no matter our size or station in life. Every year our world gets crazier and crazier. Stories of war, terrorism and murder is only part of it. The channels are filling constantly with Paparazzi gossip of all the misbehavior - partying, drugs, cheating, sleeping around, eating disorders, bullying... The list could go on.

Jesus knocking at the door of your heart by Greg Olsen

In all, I feel like no matter what story is written, any story can be made entertaining and engrossing as well as identifiable and touching. Every story can share HIS message without the reader feeling like it's irrelevant.

4) How does my writing process work?

Every book is completely different! LOL! I suppose there are some similarities. Generally, I get my concept and I see the pivotal scene or final plot twist that peaks in the end of the story. I write that scene and then work my way back to figure out how I got there. I do a basic outline and then cast all my characters. Once I start writing, things will probably change. As they do and the story grows, I go back and expand my outline to make it more detailed. In those cases I generally know how the book will end and start, but I have to come up with the middle.

Then there are times when I start with the character and the beginning and concept but have no idea how it will end. That is an interesting journey! So backward to my general process.

But since every story is unique, I kind of expect each to grow out of it's own unique process. It also is a good way to push my own boundaries as a writer. I don't think there will ever be a time when I will feel like I have nothing left to learn.

Be sure to check out these participating blogs next week:

Donna Alice Patton is another longtime writer friend and associate. Her writing is fantastic and she's so great to work with. :)

Donna Alice Patton
Donna Alice Patton is a freelance writer and history buff living in rural Ohio. She is the author of three books - The Search for the Madonna and The Gift of Summer Snow for children for adults – Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue.

"I always say that I had to become a writer. It was the only legitimate excuse I could have for daydreaming all day!"

As far back as Donna could remember she loved to make up stories and characters. In one of her Memory Boxes, she has books that she made as a child. Each has a scribble of picture and a line or two of story. She loved nothing better than to create a whole new world or write 'sequels' to her favorite TV shows or books. One of her favorite authors was and still is Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wanted to grow up to be just like Laura and write books people would read for years and years. Recently she was able to take a trip to visit the places where Ms. Wilder lived and worked. 
"It was a thrill to see where my childhood heroine's books came to life..."
You can visit her at: Layers of Life

Barbara Ehrentreu

Barbara, a retired teacher with a Masters degree in Reading and Writing K-12 and seventeen years of teaching experience lives with her family in Stamford, Connecticut. When she received her Masters degree she began writing seriously. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Barbara’s first YA novel, was published by MuseItUp Publishing, September 16th and was inspired by Paula Danziger. This novel recently won 2nd place in the Preditors & Editors Poll for the Best Young Adult Book of 2011. Her second YA novel, When My Life Changed is scheduled to be released by MuseItUp Publishing this summer or fall. In addition, Barbara has a story in the anthology, Lavender Dreams, also published by MuseItUp Publishing. All proceeds from this anthology go to cancer research. Barbara also writes poetry and three of her poems are included in the anthology, Prompted: An International Collection of Poems, a collaboration of members of The Anthologists and five are in Beyond the Dark Room also with The Anthologists. Her blog, Barbara’s Meanderings,, is networked on both Facebook and Blog Catalog. She hosts RRWL Tales from the Pages (Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages) on Blog Talk Radio every 4th Thursday. In addition, her children's story, “The Trouble with Follow the Leader” and an adult story, “Out on a Ledge” are published online She has written book reviews for and several of her reviews have been on Acewriters and Celebrity Café. She is a member of SCBWI. Writing is her life!

Visit her at: Barbara's Meanderings


Rochelle Weber

Rochelle Weber is a Navy veteran and holds a BA in Communications from Columbia College in Chicago with an emphasis on Creative Writing. “Would you like fries with that?” Her novels Rock Bound and Rock Crazy are available in both e-book and print. She edits the Marketing for Romance Writers Newsletter, as well as for Jupiter Gardens Press. Rochelle battles bi-polar disorder, quipping, “You haven’t lived until you’ve been the only woman on the locked ward at the VA.” Her song, “It’s Not My Fault,” won a gold medal in the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition. She lives in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. She has two daughters (one engaged, one married), four grandchildren, one step-grandson, two grown step-granddaughters, and one step-great-granddaughter. Two cats allow her to live in their house and cater to their every whim.
Visit her at: Rochelle Weber--Author

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