Monday, November 28, 2011

Pamela S. Meyers

Today I'm excited to welcome Pamela S. Meyers. This month Thyme for Love came out and she's taking time to answer some questions for us.

Q: Give us a little preview of Thyme for Love.
A: April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. When her Aunt Kitty hears of an in-house chef position for a non-profit organization housed in a lakeshore mansion next door, April returns to Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, where she’d spent many summers growing up, to apply for the job. When she discovers her former fiancé Marc Thorne working there, she wonders if this position was really God’s intention for her. After all, Marc all but left her standing at the altar to chase his own dreams in California. It doesn’t take long to realize Marc is hiding secrets and despite returning feelings for the man, April determines she will not make the same mistake as she did eight years earlier. But when their boss is found dead and Marc is framed for his murder, April has no choice but to turn sleuth to keep Marc from being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.

Q: What made you want to write this book?
A: I’ve always loved romance and mysteries, and decided to write a story that married the two elements together. I grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and have always been fascinated by the many 20th Century mansions that dot the lake’s shoreline. I toyed with the idea of setting the story in one of those homes, but decided to create a smaller lake and village just to the east of Lake Geneva to gain more freedom with some of the details of the story and its characters. I loved having the area located close enough to Lake Geneva that April and Marc could go there for a meal at one of the actual restaurants there. I also gave them backgrounds that involve working on Geneva Lake as many college students do during the summer months.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A: In one way or another I’ve always written almost since I could hold a pencil. When I was eight years old I asked for a diary for Christmas and I wrote in it at different times of my childhood. I still have that little book, and it contains bits and pieces of my life from age eight until sometime in high school. Even into my adult years I’d journal from time to time, but never thought of turning that “need” to put words to paper into a career until years later. While completing my bachelor’s through an accelerated adult program, one of my professors suggested I could make a living writing. I published several magazine articles, but as the hankering to write stories grew stronger, I began taking fiction-writing classes. At a local writer’s conference a multipublished author suggested I could turn one of my short stories into a novel. That was all I needed to hear. I soon joined American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) while the organization was in its infancy and through their writing courses and conferences I continued to grow in the craft.

Q: Have you written other novels besides Thyme for Love?
Oh yes. My first novel which I would classify as a women’s fiction languishes in my computer at the moment. Authors very seldom publish their first written work as that often turns out to be a practice project. The storyline still resonates with me and I’d love to one day pull it out and rework it. There are a couple other stories that will probably never see the light of day. I’m very excited to have a novel set in my hometown of Lake Geneva, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, coming out in June 2012 from Summerside Press. It’s a 1933 historical romance, and I had a blast researching for the story.

Q. Do you have any plans for a sequel to Thyme for Love?
A. I’m so glad you asked. Thyme for Love is part of a three-book series called “On the Road to Love.” Books 2 and 3 involved April and Marc, and both are set in Canoga Lake. In Book 2, Love Will Find a Way, April moves into an old Victorian home with plans to turn it into a restaurant and catering business. It isn’t long before a discovery made while they are renovating the home threatens to hijack plans for the grand opening. In Book three, Love’s Reward, April and Marc’s wedding plans are in full swing, until it becomes apparent there is someone who doesn’t want them to marry.

Q. How do you get your story ideas?
A. There’s an old adage to write what you know. I might add to that, to always keep your eyes and ears open for a possible story line. That first novel I wrote was sparked by something someone said to me when she showed me a picture of my great-grandfather’s grave. My Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin story grew out of wanting to know the history behind the beautiful lakeshore recreational building that has become an icon of the area. Just today a newspaper article sparked an idea I’d like to develop into a proposal.

Q. What is your daily writing routine?
A. My best writing time is morning, but I’ve had to make myself work outside the box at times when that kind of schedule doesn’t work. Since I am a morning person, I find it best to set my alarm as if I’m going to work. I get up at 5:30 and spend at least an hour in my Quiet Time with God. Then I try to walk daily for exercise before settling down in my home office to write. I recently converted unused space in my dining area into an office and that has helped tremendously with getting the sense of “going to work.” This helps me stay on task. Too many years actually working Monday through Friday probably contributes to that. On days I have an obligation away from home in the morning, I have had to force myself to be creative in the afternoon and early evening. I think as I start working on deadlines more and more that’s going to be essential.

Q. What advice do you have for new authors?
A. Persevere, persevere, and persevere. I started out aspiring to be published in novel writing more than ten years ago. I had the raw ability and desire to write, but that skill had to be trained and honed, much like a young colt has to be trained. I have learned that writers need to develop what we jokingly refer to as rhino skin, and we also need a positive teachable attitude. Join critique groups, take writing courses, attend writing conferences where great teaching occurs and you’ll have opportunities to meet with industry professionals and pitch to editors and agents. ACFW has a great yearly conference ever September that is for fiction writers only. I cannot tout ACFW enough. It is a must organization to join for anyone who writes fiction from a Christian point of view.

Q. When you aren’t writing, what fills your days?
A. I volunteer at my church in the multicultural ministry, helping Japanese women learn to speak English and lead a women’s small group Bible study. I’m also chapter president of my local ACFW chapter, which meets monthly. Also, I enjoy reading (surprise, surprise) and movies. I love to cook and find new ways of making things. You’ll find an adaptation of a recipe someone gave me called Chicken George at the back of Thyme for Love. I loved having April prepare it in the novel, and look forward to experimenting with more recipes for the sequels.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Friends

Over the years I've mostly had "couple" friends. Couples my husband and I enjoy spending time with. As our sons grew, our friends became other parents with children involved in the same activities. We've made a lot of great friends at sporting events cheering for each others kids.
Because I've been a working mom, I always felt a little guilty when I'd spend time with the girls. Shouldn't I be doing something with or for my family?
Now that I've started writing, I really feel guilty if I spend time with the girls instead of family.
This past Saturday, a group of us got together to celebrate a good friend's 50th birthday. We met at Saul GoodR

estaurant. We laughed and enjoyed our time together. As we walked out that afternoon, we all agreed we should get together more often. We all needed this time together.
This morning my devotional focused on Titus. Older women encouraging younger women. Bottom line was women need other women.
So I'm going to try to be more intentional about getting with my friends, not just to celebrate birthdays, but to celebrate life.
I hope you can take time to enjoy your friends!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Interview with Regina Tittel

Regina Tittel's new book, Unexpected Kiss, will be out on November 10. Once again Regina turns out an enjoyable story. She graciously agreed to spend a few minutes with us today.

Can you tell me what inspired you to write this?

Two things inspired me. First, we had lived in the area described in
the book and I wanted to broaden my writing capabilities and capture
something different than I did in Abandoned Hearts. Secondly, I wanted
to reach out to those who weren't blessed with an active father in
their youth and show them who our heavenly father is and how to
connect with him.

What qualities do you admire about the hero and heroine in your story?

I appreciate Ethan's patience and non-judging attitude. And of course,
who doesn't like a man who protects us at all cost?! And with the
heroine, I like her controlled manner and her perseverance. She's
turning over a new lease in life and thinks things through rather than
jump into anything.

Is there a spriritual truth you want to reader to walk away with?

Always. In Unexpected Kiss, I want the reader to understand no matter
what sins they've committed, Jesus is quick to forgive and He cares
about everything that happens to us.

Tell us something about yourself the average reader might not know.

I'm cautious of snakes, but I don't fear them. And when a four foot
black snake wanted to crawl under the rocks that line the exterior of
our basement wall, we had a full tug-of-war going on. He won. He got
to stay under the rock but I'd damaged him and haven't seen him since.
(don't try this at home!)

Because we're seeped in football right now do you have a favorite
college team? NFL?

I'm an embarrassment to any sport enthusiast. I don't keep up with any
sports. We don't even have television hooked up in our home. When we
moved in and were finally able to hook up the antennae after months of
building on the house, the same re-run was on that we'd watched before
we'd moved. So we figured we wouldn't miss much. That was twelve years
ago. (We still rent movies though.)

How do you get inspired for your stories?

Through movies, books I've read and stories of people's lives. In the
upcoming book, Coveted Bride, I had a friend who was going through a
very rough time in her marriage. That inspired its beginning. And in
the upcoming book, Cherished Stranger, last year while schooling our
daughter, we used a book called, Windows on the World. It shows the
need for Jesus in countries around the world and the poverty people
live in. I'd almost cry every time I read from it. It inspired me to
write about a sponsor child and her father and draw readers' attention
to the need that's out there.

What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?

My writing goal is to not only capture the readers' interest through
engaging, relatable stories but to leave them informed and inspired. I
want to change the world for the better, one reader at a time.

My books can be found at most online stores, in e versions and
paperback. Abandoned Hearts is available now, and Unexpected Kiss will
be available, November 10th. If you're interested in learning how to
write and become published, I leave my experiences on my blog at
reginatittel.blogspot.com. If you have further questions, you can
contact me at reginatittel@gmail.com.

Thanks so much for having me, Jackie!

I'm glad we could get together, and I wish you much success on Unexpected Kiss!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall in the SEC

I graduated from the University of Georgia. My husband graduated from the University of Kentucky. So fall in my house can be rather interesting. I love Georgia football. I'll even watch them play on TV if I'm home alone. Until this year Tim has stayed a loyal UK football fan. We always try to make it to the annual UGA/UK game and he always cheers for UK, and I cheer for UGA. Only one of us goes home happy. I hope I'm the happy one this year.
This year we got into the Halloween spirit. I dressed as a UK football fan, and Tim dressed as a UGA football fan. Then the most precious Minnie Mouse came to our door and said those magic words, "Trick or Treat."
We had a fun night, and I hope you did too!