Meet author C.F.E. Black

C. F. E. Black learned her love of literature from her two professor parents and a handful of excellent English teachers. She now pours this love back into young people by teaching high school and writing novels for teens. She lives in north Alabama with her husband, son, and a cat named Sprinkles. Find her on her website cfeblack.com.

 

Tell us about your newest book.

Mind of Mine is YA sci-fi about a girl who has to share her mind with fifteen other people. It released with Illuminate YA, an imprint of LPC Books (now Iron Stream Media). Mind of Mine is my first novel.

What inspired you to write Mind of Mine?

Mind of Mine was two things for me: a means of giving back and of not giving up. I teach high schoolers and I see their hurts, their triumphs, their challenges, and their needs every day. Books have a way of telling us the things we need to hear, but they do so in a way that entertains and delights. Teenagers who read are often the more successful ones in the classroom. I wrote this book for all my students. I wrote this book because I want to tell young people that they matter enough for adults to write about and for them.

The second reason I wrote Mind of Mine is a personal one. While a writer at heart for many years, I did not begin my drive toward publication until after a near-death experience that left me shaken and awed at the temporality of our lives. I dove into writing full-time for one academic year (thanks to my husband’s support), and completed a novel as I’d always wanted to do.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

She is a genius . . . who frequently forgets her own name.

Raised to put science over self, V must link her brain with fifteen other people, making her one of the world’s smartest humans. With this privilege comes a life dedicated to continual research inside a secluded facility, a life devoid of freedom.

But V is losing her identity and unable to predict which face will peer back at her from the nearest mirror. Escaping this life will mean freedom to think for herself—and abandoning everything and everyone she’s known and loved.

When your thoughts and speech are no longer private, freedom comes at a price. But for V the price may be her life.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I write YA sci-fi and fantasy because I teach high school and know how important it is for young people to have clean entertainment with positive messages.

Why do you write?

Writing is so exciting! I love creating characters and worlds. But I also understand that fiction can communicate deep truths, so I strive to do that in a God-honoring way. Because I have spent so much time with teenagers, I know how badly they (and we all) need the truth!

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

Her name is Valeria, but she goes by V. The name actually came from a secret society I was in in college (almost all the names did!). She goes by V because she is known by her superiors as just the Roman numeral five, and she has taken this number, which she resents, and let it become just a letter, which is unique to her. She’s a little prickly at first, but there’s a reason!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

For this book, I actually took a year off of full-time teaching after a scary near-death experience that left me more motivated to write. Emotionally and physically, I just didn’t feel ready to go back to full-time teaching, so I wrote. Everyday. A year later, I took another job teaching high school English. Now, my writing schedule consists of writing as much as possible during my toddler’s nap time! I’m more of a morning writer, so I don’t write too much after my son goes to sleep.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Navigating the marketing world. Being an author requires so much more than putting words on a page in a compelling way. I’ve learned a lot since the book came out, but I still have much to learn!

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

Creation. I just love the thrill of writing. I can’t imagine ever not wanting to write all the time.

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

My readers may want to know that my students helped me pick my author name, the book title, and website design. One unusual fact about me is that I grew up thinking I wanted to be a lawyer—then changed my mind senior year of college and decided to teach! I always encourage my students when they don’t know what they want to “be” yet.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

The first manuscript I wrote was a story I’d been writing and revising since I was probably twelve. I needed to finish it, just to tell myself it could be done. The second book I finished, which is the only one I’ve published, is hopefully much better than the first one I wrote. And with God’s blessing, I hope I’m continuing to hone my craft and improve as a writer. I’m currently taking a writing course to that end!

What is your favorite pastime?

Like all authors, I love to read. But perhaps the hobby that brings me the most joy and relaxation is running. I’m not one of those super-runners, but I completely love it. I’ll run instead of read if the time permits.

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

No other published works. Yet. I’m working on a YA fantasy draft, and I’ve got another sci-fi book starting to take shape in my mind after that. We’ll see!

Website: www.cfeblack.com

Link to book: https://amzn.to/2LLMHDx

Social media links: https://www.instagram.com/author_cfeblack/

https://www.facebook.com/CFEBlack

 

 

 

 

 

Meet author Kathy Ide

Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, and Capitalization Dictionary and editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She’s a professional freelance editor. She directs the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She owns Christian Editor Network, parent company to The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, Christian Editor Connection, The PEN Institute, and PENCON, which she founded. For more, visit www.KathyIde.com.

Tell us about your newest book.

Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors is the follow-up book to Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. It contains a wealth of suggestions from best-selling authors who have studied editing techniques and implemented them in their books.

Successful writers spend a lot more time editing than they do writing. They know that first drafts need extensive revisions to ensure their stories or messages come across clearly and effectively. This book will help aspiring, beginning, and intermediate writers polish their manuscripts and get them ready for publication. These tips can help established authors edit other writers’ manuscripts, either in a critique group setting or as editorial freelancers.

What inspired you to write Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors?

I’ve been a freelance editor for more than twenty years. In my work with authors, I created flyers on various writing techniques that I sent as an attachment to my edits whenever a client was clearly struggling with a particular area. These flyers became the basis for my chapters.

I’ve been serving on faculty for writers’ conferences across the country for about fifteen years. This has enabled me to meet numerous best-selling authors, professional editors, acquisitions editors, literary agents, and other industry professionals. When I told them I was putting together a book about editing, and asked if they’d be willing to provide their favorite tips, many were eager to help.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

If you want to write a book that resonates with readers, you’ll need to spend more time editing it than writing it. This book is a roadmap for that journey.

What genre do you focus on and why?

Editing Secrets of Best-Selling Authors has tips for fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. While some editing is the same regardless of genre, there are unique aspects to those three categories that change the way an author needs to edit.

Why do you write? 

I’ve seen the power of the written word—whether in books, articles, scripts, poems, or even personal letters—to touch hearts and even change lives. Since I’ve also seen how the written word can often be misunderstood, I have a passion for helping writers make sure that what they’ve written clearly communicates what they intended.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Because I direct two writers’ conferences and own a network for Christian editors, my schedule is always crazy! My own writing typically takes a backseat to my other responsibilities. But I carve out time for things I feel strongly that God wants me to work on. When I’m not traveling or busy with visiting relatives, I try to make Wednesday my Writing day—at least a few hours of it.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

For me, it’s focusing on my writing when I have so many other commitments pulling at my attention. I love everything I do, including my writing. But I tend to work to deadline, putting off things that aren’t urgent in order to accomplish what has to get done today. It can be difficult to let myself write when I have no idea how I’m going to meet some deadline for something else.

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

The people I get to work with! I adore Christian writers, Christian editors, people who participate in Christian writers’ conferences. They all have the same goal I do—to help one another take the next step in whatever journey God has them on to accomplish what He has called them to do. And so many of these people have played vital roles in helping me accomplish the things He has called me to do. Most of my dearest friends are people I’ve met through writing and editing.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

My birthday is 2/2/55

My anniversary is 5/5/95

This year was my palindrome birthday: 02/02/2020

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I have gained a tremendous appreciation for the work that goes into writing and publishing a book! And a tremendous admiration for everyone who is part of the big team of people involved.

I’ve always loved to read, and the Lord has spoken to me clearly through many things I’ve read. But being in this world has opened my eyes to everything a writer goes through, and how many other people work so hard to get the writer’s words into a reader’s hands. Sometimes it seems like a miracle that anything gets published! I so appreciate everyone who has a hand in the process.

What is your favorite pastime?

I have a few: Disneyland, having family come to visit, and hiking with my husband in secluded forests to find giant sequoias

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

Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

Capitalization Dictionary

Fiction-Lover’s Devotional series

What are you working on now?

My agent has a proposal out for Sequoia Quest, based on the journey my husband and I have been on to find all of the largest trees in the world—all sequoias, and all without a five- to six-hour drive from our home.

Website: www.KathyIde.com

Link to book: https://smile.amazon.com/Editing-Secrets-Best-Selling-Authors-Kathy-ebook/dp/B084DTYJWM/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=editing+secrets+of+best-selling+authors&qid=1582589689&sr=8-2

Social media links:

www.facebook.com/Kathy.Ide

www.facebook.com/KathyIde.AuthorEditor

www.twitter.com/KathyIde

https://www.instagram.com/kathyideauthoreditor/

www.linkedin.com/in/ kathyideauthoreditor

www.goodreads.com/author/show/4354766.Kathy_Ide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet author Pat Nichols

Pat Nichols draws on her experience to create stories about women facing challenges and triumphs in the pursuit of their dreams. Pat received a 2018 NGCWC Awards for her short story, The Vet and Valentine’s Day, and a 2019 Award for Willow Falls series book three. She is a member of ACFW and Word Weavers International. She has been featured on WATC Television Atlanta Alive and in Voyager Magazine

 

Tell us about your newest book.

The Trouble in Willow Falls, is the second book in the Willow Falls series. It continues the story begun in The Secret of Willow Inn, about a small North Georgia town struggling to survive. The three primary characters are Emily Hayes, editor of her small-town newspaper and aspiring author; Rachel Streetman, who is finally pursuing her dream to become a stage actress; and Sadie Liles, an ex-con who spent thirty years in prison for killing the town hero.

After waiting for months to hear from publishers, Emily Hayes receives one response—a rejection. When famous artist Naomi Jasper offers her much-needed cash to finish writing, then cast and direct a play about Willow Falls’ colorful history, she is forced to make a difficult decision—postpone rewriting her novel or accept the project. After convincing Rachel to partner with her, she agrees to take on the play and realizes failure is an all-too-possible outcome.

Five newcomers and one British tourist test the town’s quirky but lovable residents, who dig deep to surmount the conflicts and catastrophes that challenge Willow Falls’ small-town charms. But the avalanche of trouble in Willow Falls reminds all its residents of what binds them together: honesty, love, loyalty, and a sense of humor.

What genre do you focus on and why?

During my twenty-seven-year corporate career, in seven different management positions I worked with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life. Their stories compelled me to choose women’s contemporary fiction and create novels about women facing tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs in the pursuit of their dreams. The books in the Willow Falls series are character driven, with dashes of romance, suspense, and comedy.

Why do you write?

My writing journey began in 2014 when a beautiful young woman who had drifted in and out of our lives for thirty years, died tragically. I wanted to write a story based loosely on her life, but with a happy ending. When I told my family, they smiled and encouraged me to take the plunge. Little did they know that decision would launch my second career. What drives me today is the belief God called me to write and the desire to create stories that will go entertainment and in some small way touch my readers’ lives.

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

Emily was the main character in The Secret of Willow Inn, while Rachel is the main character in The Trouble in Willow Falls. My first step in identifying names for my characters is researching names popular in their birth years. I prefer names that are easy to pronounce and remember. It’s also important they reflect the characters’ personalities. For example, Rachel, which in my mind is formal, was raised in the city by wealthy parents. Emily, on the other hand, is more casual. Appropriate for a child who grew up in a small country town. And Sadie, well it’s pure southern.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

After my husband and I retired we became late night people, often staying up past midnight and sleeping to mid-morning. Then the writing bug bit me and I discovered mornings again. Now my phone alarm sounds at five thirty. Sometimes I wake up at five, even earlier. Who knew? After pouring a cup of coffee, I settle in the recliner in my living room, read a devotion, and spend a few minutes in prayer. Then, I turn on my computer—yes, I write in a recliner—and begin working toward my weekly objective to complete 5000 words. The discipline and goal setting come from my years in the corporate world. Old habits sometimes come in handy. Throughout the day, I take breaks to engage in social media and connect with readers and other authors. When I finish a chapter, my sweet husband of fifty-plus years listens and provides feedback. He has amazing insight for a guy who hasn’t read a novel since he graduated from school.

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

Other than writing, I most enjoy engaging with other authors and readers. Why? Connecting with the community of authors through ACFW, Word Weavers, and at conferences inspires me to continue to enhance my skills and perfect my craft. Although perfection is never reached. When it comes to readers, I love sharing my story, answering their questions, and hearing their perspectives. It is especially fun to talk to book club members who have read one of my books.

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

I’m a mother of two and grandmother of four, one precious granddaughter is with the angels. I’m married to my high-school sweetheart and have never driven his Corvette. My choice, not his.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

A dear friend, who is a published author, edited my first manuscript and gently pointed out all the novice mistakes I’d made. My first rejection, so to speak. Again, my corporate experience enabled me to accept her feedback as a wake-up call and a blessing. Although God planted the seed to write, He knew it needed a lot of watering. So, I read everything I could find, took some courses, and attended conferences. My sister, a former English teacher, recently complimented my maturity as an author. Those few words warmed my heart and made all the time I spent studying worthwhile.

What is your favorite pastime?

Other than reading, occasionally tackling a jigsaw puzzles, and working Sudoku when riding in a car, I most enjoy spending time with my husband, family and friends.

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

The Secret of Willow Inn, book one in the Willow Falls series, released in January 2019. I’m thrilled my publisher released books one and two in the same year.

What are you working on now?

My current work in progress is book four in the Willow Falls series. Book three is with the publisher and scheduled for release later this year. I’m considering taking a short break from the series and re-writing my first manuscript. The one with all the mistakes.

Website: https://patnicholsauthor.blog

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Trouble-Willow-Falls/dp/1645262715

Social media links: https://www.facebook.com/pat.nichols.52459

https://twitter.com/PatNichols16

https://www.instagram.com/patnicholsauthor/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet author Rachelle Rea Cobb

Rachelle is a freelance editor, an author of six books, and voracious reader. If you’re looking for her, check the bookstore. In 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero and they live happily ever after in a fixer-upper by the sea. She’s a fan of chai and lemonade (though definitely not together). Find her at https://RachelleReaCobb.com

Tell us about your newest book.

Anna Emory grew up the invisible, shy younger sister, and she prefers it that way. But when her father attempts to arrange an unsavory marriage, Anna learns that courage is sometimes found in adversity. Then she meets a boy and his father struggling in their relationship, and they tip her quiet world upside down.

Captain Mathieu Tudder has run from responsibility, entrusting his young son’s care to another and devoting his Sea Beggar ship to the Dutch Revolution. After that cause fails, Tudder returns to England for the son he left behind. But his son seems to have given his heart to a unknown and quiet lady—a woman who reminds him of all he’s ever loved and lost.

Will these two hearts—the battle-scarred and the broken—ever find true freedom?

What inspired you to write Follow the Dawn?

I can’t seem to stop revisiting the cast of characters who comprised my first book, The Sound of Diamonds (WhiteFire Publishing, 2016)! The main characters of that first story make cameos in this one, and I’m overjoyed to have the privilege to tell the story of the sea captain widower we met in that first book I ever published.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

When a shy wallflower who suffers from panic attacks must choose whether to comply with her abusive father’s wishes … or fight for the life she wants, she’s going to get more than she bargained for when she meets a young boy and his crusty sea captain father!

What genre do you focus on and why?

I just love Christian historical romance. I’ve never gotten over having the Heartsong Presents novels delivered to my door, and I always gravitate toward historical romance because I love learning about new chapters in history while seeing unlikely love stories play out on the page!

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

The readers! It is such a joy to release a book into the world … but it is also so very scary! I feel as if I have plucked out a piece of my heart, splashed it onto a page, and then said “ta da, read if you dare!” Each and every time I release a new story, though, readers do indeed dare to read them. And I just love it when they let me know they love them through their reviews, emails, messages, and so on.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

My husband has the same first name as my fictional hero! I finished writing that book before I ever met my man; in fact, I signed my first publishing contract too (at age twenty-two!). Then I met Devin. I just can’t get over the fact that God wrote us a love story far more beautiful than any I could ever write.

What is your favorite pastime?

Besides reading? I really enjoy working on house projects with my husband. We bought a fixer-upper and it’s been fun making it our own. I also love visiting bookstores and the beach!

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

Yes! The Steadfast Love series is comprised of The Sound of Diamonds, The Sound of Silver, and The Sound of Emeralds. I also wrote a short writing guide called Write Well.

What are you working on now?

Well, I just started a manuscript with yet another character from this series as the hero and I’m excited to begin working on that. But I have a feeling my writing may go on hold for a bit once my husband and I welcome our first baby girl in April!

Website: https://RachelleReaCobb.com

Link to book: https://rachellereacobb.com/books/follow-the-dawn/

Social media links:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/RachelleReaCobb

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/RachelleReaCobb/

Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8144149.Rachelle_Rea_Cobb

 

 

 

 

 

Meet author Debra Coleman Jeter

Debra Coleman Jeter’s first novel, The Ticket, was a finalist for a Selah Award. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several international awards. She is a Professor Emerita at Vanderbilt University.

Tell us about your newest book.

A deeply committed young man falls in love with the beautiful but troubled Acadia, who knows herself too selfish, too sinful, and too skeptical in her faith to marry a preacher.

Song of Sugar Sands recounts Acadia’s struggle to come to terms with issues of faith, while also telling the story of Peter and Acadia’s falling in love and the traumatic first year of their marriage. When one of her students attempts suicide after confiding her problems in Acadia, Acadia almost quits. Can she find what she needs to keep on trying, or has she made too many mistakes already?

What inspired you to write Song of Sugar Sands?

I’ve always believed in the axiom, If you don’t give up on God, he won’t give up on you. Yet, who hasn’t—at least occasionally—struggled with doubts about her faith in God or about God’s personal interest in her life? Add to this internal conflict a lack of self-esteem and the complication of falling in love with a committed, irresistible man who wants to share his faith with the world. There you have my protagonists, Acadia Powers and Peter O’Neil.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Acadia Powers nearly lost her faith at an early age due to what she saw as the hypocrisy of her parents’ generation. In college—where the novel begins—she meets and falls in love with Peter O’Neil, who is fervent in his faith and wants to share the good news with the world. Despite serious doubts about her ability to survive as a preacher’s wife, Acadia finally agrees to marry Peter. The two embark with high hopes on a new life in Sugar Sands, Alabama.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I bounce around. If you saw my list of favorite books, you’d see that I love everything from literary fiction to young adult, from Southern Gothic to science-fiction. So, it is no surprise that it’s hard for me to settle on one genre. My goal is to somehow manage to embrace elements of all of them in a single work someday. I’ve always believed there’s a need for Christian writers who write for non-Christian audiences (as well as for Christian readers). Although my books have Christian publishers, I would love for them to cross over to broader audiences.

Why do you write?

I like to shake up views on topics I believe important. For example, in my first novel, The Ticket, I wanted to shake up our views on wealth and its importance, or lack thereof, relative to the amount of time and energy devoted to its pursuit.

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

Acadia Powers. “Powers” comes from the idea that she eventually finds the power she needs, not entirely from within herself, but also from a higher source. “Acadia” comes from the poem Evangeline by Henry W. Longfellow.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Promoting my work is the hardest part for me. I’m naturally shy and not good at putting myself out there for fear of rejection or failure.

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

I love writing the most on those days when the sentences just flow, when I feel as if the words are already there, just waiting for me to put them down. For a brief time, when this happens, I have confidence that I’m actually meant to be a writer and not just deluding myself.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I love to be in or near the water. I’m not a good swimmer, but I love to boogie board, jet ski or water ski, and snorkel. To relax, I like to soak in a bubble bath, or float on my back in the ocean or swimming pool if I’m lucky enough to be around one.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I’ve quit thinking about what’s likely to sell. As a professor in a school of business, we often say that most of us can’t beat the stock market. It’s generally better to buy and hold onto your investments over the long-run rather than try to time the market. Nonetheless, I’ve attempted on occasion to time the market by investing when I think it’s about to go up or pulling an investment out when I think it’s about to go down. I’m usually wrong. I’ve learned the same lesson with respect to writing. If I try to anticipate what the market is ready for, the market will have shifted (or been bombarded with pitches) by the time I could write the novel. Once I decided to write from the heart on topics that I cared deeply about, I became a better, more honest writer.

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading or listening to audio books

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

“Pshaw, It’s Me Grandson”: Tales of a Young Actor (narrative nonfiction); Joy After Noon (Sugar Sands Book One); and The Ticket.

What are you working on now?

Mainstream is a family suspense drama about three young couples, all living in Sugar Sands, whose five-year-old daughters disappear one August afternoon from a birthday party. Each of the couples wrestles with its own set of issues leading up to the disappearance. Told from the point of view of the three wives (Barbara, Randa, and Joella) and one of the daughters, Mainstream finds each couple at a pivotal point in relationships and career choices when the disappearance occurs.

Website: www.debracolemanjeter.com

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1951080335/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Social media links: https://twitter.com/DebColemanJeter
https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
https://www.pinterest.com/njjeter/the-ticket-a-novel/
http://askdavid.com/books/18723

Facebook: Debra Coleman Jeter