Meet Elizabeth Ludwig

Note: For those of you who are writers, you’ll enjoy this interview. For those who aren’t, here’s a free peek into our crazy world of writing plus, you’ll hear about the fiction she writes. Smiles, Susan

Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning speaker and teacher, often attending conferences where she lectures on editing for fiction writers and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Recent honors include a HOLT Medallion Award for A Tempting Taste of Mystery, part of the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries series from Guideposts. Her latest releases include Don’t Rock the Boat and Shifting Sands, part of the Mysteries of Martha’s Vineyard series, also from Guideposts. To learn more, visit ElizabethLudwig.com.

Tell us about your newest book.

I really excited to have two books releasing from Guideposts this year. The first is a return to the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries that ended last year. The series was so popular that Guideposts decided to extend it by five books. Mine is titled Secrets Plain and Simple and will release this month. The second book is my final installment in the Mysteries of Martha’s Vineyard called Sheep Passing in the Night (and yes, it’s a fun play on words). That one comes out in October.

But what I am most excited to tell you about is a project that is a complete departure from fiction. I recently collaborated with nine other authors to put together a writing craft book called Writing from the Trenches: Tips and Techniques from Ten Award-winning Authors. This really is a heart project for me. I have been so blessed in my writing career and was excited to be a part of something that might help others who are on the same path.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I have two passions—historicals and mysteries. Most of the time, when I want to sit down with a good book, I choose a historical. So, of course, I want to write them. But I’m also a huge fan of Agatha Christie. I love figuring out “whodunit”. I drive my family crazy, because we can’t sit down to a movie without me solving the mystery before they do. I’m rarely surprised, so when I am, I chalk it up to a very skilled storyteller. That’s what I strive for in my own mysteries.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I have a funny story about that. Years ago, I was sitting in church and was shocked to realize that I had missed most of the sermon because I was daydreaming a story. That made me sad. God was and is deserving of my attention and so much more. So I asked Him what I should do with the story rattling around in my head, and He told me to write it down. That was almost twenty years ago. I’ve been writing down stories ever since.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

In the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries, the main character’s name is Cheryl. In the Mysteries of Martha’s Vineyard, it’s Priscilla. These series are very much like the Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys Mysteries. They are continuity books, with each story being a stand-alone mystery, so I didn’t have a lot of say in naming those characters. But when I do name my characters, I always take their age and ethnicity into account, as well as the time period. And then I work on getting to know them a little bit. What do they like? What are their fears? After that, they usually name themselves!

What does a day in your writing world look like?

To be honest, it depends on the time of year. Besides writing, I work full-time as an administrative assistant in a public school. My busiest time of year is August and September when school is starting up. That makes it really hard to get any quality writing time, so I’m lucky to eek out a few minutes every day. But when I’m on a deadline, I’m much more disciplined. I write at least 1000 words every night even if that means staying up past my bedtime and paying for it the next day.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

Being a writer means living on an emotional rollercoaster. There are very high “highs” and very low “lows”. Reviews, contracts, book sales…I’ve had to learn to live with all of those things. What brings me stability is knowing I wrote the very best book I could and then leaving the rest to the Lord. I won’t lie…it’s hard. I keep trying to take things into my own hands. So thankful He’s patient!

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

There is so much satisfaction in writing “The End.” I read a quote once that said, “Writers don’t like writing. They like having written.” I guess that’s true for me too. Once I see that book in my hands, and hear from readers that it meant something to them, that makes all the work and struggle worthwhile.

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

I ran into a lady once who was a very enthusiastic fan. She raved about my newest release, but the more she talked, the more confused I got. Nothing she said sounded anything like my book. I finally asked her which of my titles she liked the best and…you guessed it. She was talking about another author. Trying to save us both from embarrassment, I thanked her for being such a faithful reader and walked away. LOL!

What are you most proud of?

I am so proud to write books that anyone can read. I have grandchildren now, and I never want them to be embarrassed to say that I’m an author. Plus, I always strive to write books that bring glory to God. Heaven knows, I stumble often enough. Hopefully, He is pleased.

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading, of course! I wish I had more time to read for enjoyment. Lately, I’m so busy judging contests or reading for endorsement that I rarely get to pick up a book “just because.” My other favorite pastimes are crafting, skiing, or playing with my dogs.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I wrote a historical suspense series for Bethany House called the Edge of Freedom. Book one in the series is No Safe Harbor. Books two and three are Dark Road Home and Tide and Tempest, respectively. This was a challenging series for me because I had to double my research. The series starts in Ireland and follows a family to America through Ellis Island. It was a lot of fun though, and one of my favorite series to write.

What are you working on now?

A couple of years ago, our pastor preached a sermon based on one of King David’s psalms. In it, David writes that he is like a green olive tree in the house of God. As our pastor preached on the process of pruning and harvesting and curing olives, a story idea formed about a man who learns about the goodness of God through caring for an olive tree left to him by his dead wife. The book is titled, fittingly, I think, The Olive Grower. Of course, I don’t always get to keep my titles. Sometimes, the publisher changes it, but this is one I’m hoping will stay.

Website: www.elizabethludwig.com

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Writing-Trenches-Techniques-Award-Winning-Authors-ebook/dp/B07G5PS8CH

Social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabethludwig102

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ELudwig_Author

Blog: http://theborrowedbook.blogspot.com

 

 

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Meet Janine Mendenhall

If you enjoy historical romance, Janine is a kindred spirit who finds herself Lost in Austen or Somewhere in Time way more often than she should, according to her husband, Tom. Notwithstanding this, she also love sharing the Gospel, and you won’t miss it in her books.

 

Tell us about your newest book.

So many readers despised Sir Steven Likebridge from Starving Hearts, Book 1 of my Triangular Trade Trilogy, and in a way, I hurt for him. In fact, he reminds me to stay humble because no one is better than another. We are all broken and sinful, and that’s why I had to write Never Past Hope.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I write to share the Gospel, which might seem ironic because I’m writing in a different time period. But so many people love historical fiction, just like I do, and they want a solid Christian message too. Of course, I truly enjoy anything Jane Austen so researching her general time period is really fun too.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

There are a few different main characters. Miss Mary Hope Adsley, Peter’s sister from Book 1, is the female lead, and I gave her this name to be sure I always had a visible example of hope for Steven. Sir Steven Likebridge, who is also known as Mr. Slike, the horrible slave-trading villain from Book 1, is her leading man. His real heritage is a bit of a question, and he truly needs and wants a bridge to get back into a right relationship with Christ and his all those around him. (I have to say, you will be very surprised to see how Mary Hope and he have a history and get along, despite the terrible things he had done.)

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

You mean besides the fact that there are only twenty-four hours in the day and many other responsibilities besides writing? I’m just teasing. The truth is we all of busy days and heavy responsibilities. Those things aren’t hard for me, but everything else, like keeping up Facebook and social media, is challenging. I would so much rather go into that other world I write, see, hear, and love. In fact, I could get lost there, but if I did, then no one would know about my books.

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

Every time I write, I get to go live in another world, and I love listening to my characters talking to each other. It’s like eavesdropping on a great period drama movie. And I don’t even know what’s going to happen next.

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

My friends would say that being an author hasn’t caused me to experience crazy. I’ve been there for so long I don’t know what it’s like to be normal. Of course, you’d never notice it from the outside—unless you call sewing an entire 18thcentury gown in one night just so I could dress up like Emma Swann, Jack Sparrow’s sidekick in Pirates of the Caribbean,the next day.

What is your favorite pastime?

I wish I had some time I could call free. Then I’d try to figure out what my pastime would be, but in the meantime, traveling into a different time and place while I write is so fun I don’t want to explore anything else.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes, I have another book, and you probably want to read it before you read Never Past Hope. Starving Hearts, a Selah and Carol Award Finalist, is Book 1 of the Triangular Trade Trilogy, and you can begin reading it right now. Click here.

In my imagination, I also have If She Could Speak and Of Days Gone By, both offshoots of the Triangluar Trade Trilogy as well as a time-travel piece that will be about a modern woman like you or me experiencing time travel back to my favorite late Georgian or Regency Era, but those are still in my mind.

What are you working on now?

You guessed it! I’m working on what I call Perseverance, the last book in the trilogy not a physical fitness test. If you’d care to sign up for my newsletter and blog post, you can get a free prequel story and receive updates about my book progress at www.janinemendenhall.com.

Website: www.janinemendenhall.com

Link to book: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B07FB77866&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_DhVLBbAZBETAA

 

 

 

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Meet Anne Greene

Welcome, Anne. Tell us about yourself.

Besides my first love, writing, I enjoy travel, art, reading, sailing, and way too many other things to mention. Life is good. Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.” Whether writing contemporary or historical, my books celebrate the abundant life Jesus gives.

My home is in McKinney, Texas, just a few miles north of Dallas. My dear husband is a retired Colonel, Army Special Forces. My little brown and white Shih Tzu, Lily Valentine, shares my writing space, curled at my feet. I have four beautiful, talented children.

Tell us about your newest book.

My newest book is Recipe for a Husbandand is set inside a lighthouse in Maine during the year 1940 as America enters World War II. Nessie McDonald, daughter of a recently deceased lighthouse keeper, seeks a husband by Thanksgiving to share the work and responsibility of warning sailors off the rugged Maine coast and watching for German saboteurs. She advertises in the Bar Harbor Newsfor a husband and cooks gourmet dinners for each would-be husband’s interview.

Kyle Cameron, the injured seaman she rescues from the sea, doesn’t qualify because he must return to his home in Australia to run his enormous sheep station. Yet Kyle, lying on a cot in the kitchen with a broken leg, points out each of Nessie’s aspiring husband’s unsuitability by reading spiritual advice aloud from Lady Jane’s New England Cookbook,Nessie’s mysteriously discovered heirloom. Kyle also offers hilarious Aussie advice.

When Kyle must return home, he cooks up a recipe of his own.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I usually focus on historical romance because I think if people don’t know the history of their country they are destined to repeat the tragic years. Plus, I love a happy ending. I also write suspense and contemporary detective stories.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I write because I can’t not write. I have the greatest message in the world to share, and I’m not a fantastic conversationalist. But, I don’t believe in preaching. My characters react naturally to their environment and those events reveal their Christian character. Sometimes the reader must search for my message, which I trust will sneak up on them and surprise them.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Nessie McDonald is the heroine of Recipe For A Husband and Kyle Cameron is the hero. Her ancestors arrived on the Mayflower and have operated the lighthouse at Bar Harbor for generations. Of course, this information never appears in my book. But Nessie comes from early Scot immigrants. Kyle is an Aussie. I chose his name because I like it.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

My days are quite varied. When I’m on a deadline I get to my desk as early as possible because my deadlines are tight. When I’m not on deadline, which is seldom, I plan to be at my computer by 11:00 each day, often including Saturday. I work usually to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. I don’t work on Sundays. I often put in a 35-hour week.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

I’d have to say, promoting. I love being a published author. But these days with the internet and self-publishing (I’m not self-published) books flood the market. So, every author is required to promote their books. I don’t mind promoting my books because they are well written and enjoyable as well as giving the reader an experience of life they’ve never had but promoting is time consuming and takes away from actual writing.

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

I love seeing my books in people’s hands. I love seeing them displayed in public and seeing them online. I love when readers come to me and say my book has impacted their life and they thoroughly enjoyed my book. I love seeing each new book cover arrive from my publisher and the new books arrive at my doorstep. I love when my book’s ending brings me a sense of satisfaction that the ending is really good. So much I love about writing. God has given me a joyous gift, and I give Him all the glory.

What are you most proud of?

I pondered that question and didn’t come up with a good answer. I believe writing is the task God has given me, and I hope I’m doing a good job fulfilling that task or talent. Jesus’ parable of the talents scares me as well as prods me into trying to do my best for Him. So, I try with each book I write to write it as best I can for Him. Much as I like to see my covers on display I feel more thankfulness than pride.

What is your favorite pastime?

Oooh, I have so many. I love singing in my church choir and spending time with my family and friends. I love oil painting and travel. I love reading a good book and just being alive. I love experiencing nature and God’s wild creatures. Life as a Christian is good. Much better than life before I met Christ at the age of twenty-one.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes. Recipe For A Husband is my twenty-first published book. All my books are listed on my website. I also have a thick three-ringed binder of awards for my different books.

What are you working on now?

So glad you asked. I’m working on a suspense set in the exotic country of Turkey. The working title is Shadow of the Dagger. While my husband served in the military, I spent three months in Turkey, which is one of the most fabulous countries I’ve visited. In a single day, Nicole, an archeologist, discovers her brother’s been kidnapped, her purse is stolen, and she’s alone in a foreign city with only a mysterious stranger, Josh the CIA Agent, to turn to. And someone wants the secret she hides enough to kill her.

 

Website:Visit with Anne atwww.AnneGreeneAuthor.com

Links to books:https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Greene/e/B004ECUWMG.

 Social media links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AnneWGreeneAuthor

Twitter: @TheAnneGreene

Pinterest at The Anne Greene

Blog: www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet author Grace Fox

I’ve been a career missionary for nearly 25 years and speak regularly at women’s retreats and conferences internationally. My husband and I were married nearly 37 years ago. We have three grown children and seven beautiful grandchildren with another one on the way. Writing-wise, I’ve written nine books and hundreds of magazine articles since launching my career in 1999. My passion is to help my readers connect the dots between faith and real life.

Tell us about your newest book.

It’s an 11-week Bible study titled Forever Changed. It’s based on the premise that our thoughts shape our beliefs, beliefs influence behavior, and behavior determines our destiny. Aligning our thoughts with truth, then, is vital for life transformation. I wrote it for “First Place 4 Health”—for people wanting to improve their well-being specifically through weight loss—but anyone can use it whether or not they’re involved in a FP4H small group.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I write non-fiction Christian living books, mostly devotionals and Bible studies. Why? Because I’m passionate about helping my readers connect God’s Word to everyday issues they face. That’s the key to victorious living.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I’ve enjoyed writing from girlhood. The year I turned forty, I sensed a strong call to explore writing for publication. I didn’t have a clue what that looked like, so I attended a Christian writers conference to learn. That conference resulted in my writing magazine articles—profiles of people who’d overcome difficult and often tragic circumstances, mostly.

Two years after attending my first writers conference, an editor challenged me to write a book. Well, at that time, I was a mom with three kids at home. I’d been involved with a mom’s prayer group that focused on using Scripture for intercession. I knew how to pray God’s Word on my kids’ behalf, so I wrote a devotional that taught moms how to do the same. Within the context of writing books then, I’ve been writing devotionals ever since.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

The hardest part of being an author, for me, is finding the time to write consistently. My husband and I are career missionaries, and our role as co-directors of International Messengers Canada requires overseas travel, training short-term volunteers, hosting our table at mission conferences, and much more. But this is the season of my life right now, and I have to just be faithful to do what I can do.

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

For me, the best part of life as an author is interacting with my readers and hearing how God is using something I’ve written to challenge or encourage them. For example, I recently received an email from a women’s ministry leader in Iowa. “We began the study with seven women,” she wrote. “Five more joined us after the first week. Two are paralyzed by fear. Thank you for these materials. Please pray for God to set these precious women free.” Feedback like this fuels my desire to provide more life-changing resources.

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

I remember a season when I wondered if my role as an author was over. Book sales were low, and my agent told me that my book Moving from Fear to Freedom was about to be discontinued. I felt desperate to know if I should spend my energies on other worthwhile endeavors, so I prayed. My phone rang five hours later. A woman I didn’t know spoke these words: “I’ve never phoned an author. Today I felt compelled to call you and to say that your book Moving from Fear to Freedom has changed my life. Please keep writing.” Her words sealed my call to write. I will do so until God tells me to stop.

BTW, the book was never discontinued. It was published in 2007 and is still being sold. Stonecroft Ministries later asked me to develop a DVD-based Bible study based on it, and it’s been translated into Polish and Romanian.

What are you most proud of?

Writing-wise, I’m most proud of producing the award-winning DVD and workbook to accompany Moving from Fear to Freedom. Ironically, I had to address my own fears and move forward in faith. God looked after the details, and the result has impacted thousands of women for good.

What is your favorite pastime?

My husband and I live on a 48-foot sailboat in a Vancouver, BC, marina. How that came to pass is a faith story in itself! As a result, my favorite pastime is hosting friends and family on our boat, sharing the beauty of God’s creation with them.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes, I have several. I’ve already mentioned Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation. Then there’s Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for the Busy Woman, Morning Moments with God: Devotions for Busy Women, as well as others listed on my website.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently awaiting several publishers’ response on a book proposal I’ve submitted. This is a devotional with very short readings, perfect for the woman whose life is in a state that makes it difficult for her to focus.

Website: www.gracefox.com

Link to book: http://www.gracefox.com/books/moving-from-fear-to-freedom-a-womans-guide-to-peace-in-every-situation/

Social media links:

www.fb.com/gracefox.author

Instagram: graceloewenfox

Blog: www.gracefox.com/blog

 

 

 

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Meet author Diane Stortz

Diane Stortz loves to create engaging books based on the Bible that children want to return to again and again. She lives with her husband of 42 years, Ed, in Cincinnati, OH. They have two married daughters and five young grandchildren—all boys!

Tell us about your newest book.

I AM: The Names of God for Little Oneshas short Bible stories, verses, and prayers help toddlers and preschoolers get to know God by discovering the meaning of twelve different names for God, such as Creator, Savior, Healer, Teacher, and Friend. It’s an 8×8-inch board book with a padded cover.

What genre do you focus on and why?

Mostly Bible-based books for children. I love connecting children with God’s Word.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I’m all about making God’s wonders known to the next generation. My mission is to help people get to know God through His Word, the Bible. I believe everything about our life with God flows from there.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

I’m not very good with routines, so every day is different. I might get up early to work or stay up late. You might find me in my office or at the kitchen table if I need a change of scene.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

Probably the isolation. I’m an introvert, but even introverts need to be around people sometimes!

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

I really enjoy meeting parents and children at book shows and other events. I love seeing children’s eyes light up when they first spot my books and their beautiful covers.

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

My grandson’s preschool teacher came to my book launch party and signing this summer and bought fifteen books—for the preschool and for family and friends. She had me sign them all.

What are you most proud of?

My books have been translated into Korean, Arabic, Spanish, Finnish, and Africaans. That’s pretty amazing to think about.

What is your favorite pastime?

I enjoy being outdoors, and I love spending time with my five grandchildren—all boys!

Do you have other books?

I do! The Sweetest Story Bible and The Sweetest Story Bible for Toddlers(Zonderkidz), Words to Dream On: Bedtime Bible Stories and Prayer, Say & Pray Bible, Say & Pray Devotions, I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God, I AM Devotional (Tommy Nelson), Baby, Baby!(Worthy Kids/Ideals), Parents of Missionaries(IVP), A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year (Bethany House)

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a 365-day devotional through the Bible for women that Bethany House will publish in September 2019.I also have a 52-week devotional for busy families coming out in February 2019, with short, active Bible stories, think-and-talk questions, and fun follow-up activities.

Website: www.DianeStortz.com

Link to book: http://www.dianestortz.com/books/i-am-the-names-of-god-for-little-ones/

Social media links:

https://www.facebook.com/diane.stortz.books/

https://twitter.com/DianeStortz

 

 

 

 

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