Authors Share Their Funniest Stories P.4

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By Beverly Nault

This is part IV of a post I started last month talking shop and having fun with published authors about their process. I know you’ll find their answers as interesting as I did. And when you’re finished, check out their books and blogs, especially if these excellent authors are new to you. Here are Dona Watson, Ashley Ludwig, Dineen Miller, Nancy Farrier and Joanne Bischof. Welcome ladies!

Nancy Farrier writes sun-drenched, Southwestern fiction, and it feels so real you’ll need sunblock and a cold lemonade while you’re reading! Look for her novella in Immigrant Brides, releasing July 1st. Go for Nancy!

1) After finishing the final draft of a book and sending it to my editor, having them return the galley for my perusal can take a few months. During that time, I will be working on another book, researching other stories, or writing more proposals. The book that is already written is often completely out of my mind as I focus on a new work.Immigrant Brides

With one of my novels, at the time I received the galley, I was going through a difficult circumstance in my life. I’d been praying for guidance. As I began to read the galley of my book, I was amazed at how God’s answer to prayer came through the spiritual teaching in that novel. I had put from my mind what happened in the story, and now found myself facing some of the same angst my heroine faced. The words I’d prayed about and penned months ago, now spoke to my heart and helped me through a tough time.

2) Characterization has always been tough for me. I usually have a general idea of what the character is like, but that isn’t enough. I find a picture and write up a short description: hair, eyes, height, weight, notable features, etc. Then I write a few pages of background, depending on the importance of the character. If this is a main character, I will begin with their birth, the family they are born into, siblings, family status and location. Then I write major events in childhood that would have shaped them into the person they are at the beginning of the story. If I “lose sight” of my character, or think they aren’t acting like they should, I can go back and reread the character background to get a renewed feel for who they are, what they believe, and how they might change through the book.

And here’s Joanne Bischof, the author of the Christy nominated, Be Still My Soul, the first book in the Cadence of Grace historical series set in Appalachian. Hey, Joanne!

Joanne

Hi, everyone. I like to do a lot of hands-on research into the Appalachian way of life in the early 1900’s. This involves baking bread to keeping chickens and all sorts of odds and ends. There are a handful of details in BE STILL MY SOUL that revolved around moonshine. Fear not, I didn’t make moonshine, but I did ask some friends to bring some home from Tennessee. I’d been hoping to test a recipe I did for Moonshine Pecan Pie, and as I was baking that day, the researcher in me couldn’t completely resist. I think I tasted about a teaspoonful, and that was quite enough research for me!

And the last question about characters–Great question! One thing I really find crucial to developing a character is digging for their “humanness.” Developing characters goes beyond finding nearly-perfect people but allowing the raw and incomplete pieces to come forward. I think not only can we relate to them more, but the character can grow– giving that person something we can root for. To see those changes come full circle for a character from beginning to end is always one of my hopes as a storyteller.

Thanks, ladies, this has been so much fun!

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