Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A2Z Take 2: Time to Talk with Fay Lamb

Today we are spending a little  time  talking with an author, Fay Lamb. Last week's post was a review of her suspense book, Because of Me, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already.

AM: Thank you for sending me your book and answering some questions, Fay! How long have you been writing and is Because of Me your first novel?
FL: I have actually been writing since I learned to put letters together to form sentences. I believe storytelling was something I was born to do. Because of Me is my first published novel, but I have written many others before this one.

AM: Is there a story behind the book and how you came to write that particular story?
FL: As I said, I have always been a storyteller, so I’ve always had characters dancing around on an audition stage in my imagination. Michael Hayes is one of those characters. He seemingly came from nowhere. At least I didn’t recognize the significance of his timely audition. I remember very vividly that I was sitting on my back porch brainstorming, and Michael stepped up onto the stage with a very serious, sad face, and he told me that there’s a little boy named Cole and that this little boy wasn’t his son, but Cole was definitely born because of Michael.

After the story was written, I saw a little bit of my husband in Michael and a lot of both of my sons in Cole. I believe that my heart actually had this story planted inside as a way to tell my husband how much he is loved by his wife and by the two boys that he fathered, even when they were not his natural children. And I shake my head because it wasn’t until I’d written the story that I realized that Michael and Cole are the middle names of both of my sons, and my granddaughter’s middle name is the same as the heroine, Isabel.

What’s your favorite part of being a writer?
I love to work with other writers. I think we’re a unique sort of people. I participate in critique groups and help to mentor authors. On the other side of that, I love it when authors work with me, and I’ve had quite a few wonderful mentors myself.

I love working with other writers, too. What’s the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part of writing for me is something I don’t believe many writers like to admit. For me, I find it hard to find the time to write. I’d love to say that I sit down at my desk every day and write so many words before I do anything else. I can’t do that. I will never admit to being A.D.D., but in order to stay focused, I must have numerous projects going. What I’ve found helpful is to divide each of my projects into segments of an hour. Depending on the number of projects, I divide that by sixty, and I work so many minutes per hour on each project. At the end of the day, I’ve stayed focused because of the time constraints, and I’ve accomplished quite a few things, and writing is one of those.

That's a good method. Lately I've been more successful at actually closing FaceBook and focusing on my writing more while I'm at the computer. It's always a struggle for me, especially if I don't feel well. I know many writers have a similar challenge.

How long did the process of writing and then publishing take you, and do you have any advice for other writers who are trying to get published?
Although I’ve been writing since I was a kid, I didn’t take my writing seriously until my later twenties when I realized that God had given me a talent to use for Him. I had a few bumps in the road, and I placed a few roadblocks there myself. It took a good thirty years to find publication. So my advice to writers who are still waiting to get published—don’t stop trying. Keep learning and keep applying what you’re learning, and never stop searching for that editor or agent who believes in your work. Look at each rejection as getting one step closer to the last rejection you’ll receive for that particular manuscript.

So glad you finally found the right home for one of your books. Now that the book has been out for a little bit, how is the marketing process going?
I have been so blessed with author friends who have hosted me in blogs, interviewed me, etc., and I have worked pretty hard to get the information out about Because of Me, but, in the end, marketing is about word of mouth advertising. Recently, I had to stop and catch my breath. I’d been working very hard at pushing the story—one I believe in with all my heart. When I took a moment to think about it, I realized that I was carrying a burden I shouldn’t be shouldering. It wasn’t that marketing was hard, but keeping up with the marketing along with all of my other jobs was wearing me thin. At that point, I knew I could work myself silly, or I could stop, bow the knees of my heart, and I could ask God to direct the success of Because of Me. Since that day, I have had to take several deep breaths and remember to turn it over to God, and He has been very faithful to open the doors for me.

Blessings on the  marketing and I look forward to seeing what God brings for you next. Thanks for joining us!

As always, check out more "T" blogs at www.pattywysong.com.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A2Z Take 2: Suspenseful Synopsis

Before the whole shoulder injury thing, someone contacted me about doing an author interview or book review on my blog. Now that things are finally a little calmed down to the more normal craziness, I’m finally getting that posted.

Fay Lamb writes my favorite genre—suspense. Her book Because of Me was recently released from Treble Heart Books and is available to buy in paper or e-book version. You can purchase it here: http://faylamb.com/book-store/

Though Issie Putnam is scarred from past trauma, she’s focused on being a strong single mother for her young son, Cole. She’s finally come to a place of healing and moved on when suddenly the past is thrown in her face. Her son is convinced he’s spotted  his “father,” but that declaration sends Issie reeling. Who does he think his father is, and why would that man be in town after all this time?

When Michael, the man Cole saw, shows up at their farm in the middle of a storm that has damaged the only road out, Issie is stuck with her former fiancĂ© and the memories of all the turmoil and trouble that led to them being separated almost eight years ago. Most of all, she’s stuck with the lingering questions; is love still possible after all the time and all the trouble that has passed between them? Has Michael really returned to a faith in their God, and can they find forgiveness for all of them?

But things intensify when an evil man, enemy to them both, is released from jail on probation. Michael realizes too late that he’s led the men right to their target. But as the group of bad men are intent on capturing Issie to finish her off once and for all, they spot her son and suddenly just having his mother isn’t enough.

Now Issie has to decide who to trust. Even her sister and brother-in-law’s loyalties are unclear. Can she allow Michael to rescue her when it’s his fault she’s in this mess in the first place, and when he struggles to even look at her own son? Or will he just drag her deeper into trouble, and deeper into heartache?

As if the adults’ confusion isn’t enough, young Cole is faced with two men. One of them is desperate to get Cole’s allegiance and the other wants nothing to do with him. He believes he knows which one is his real dad, but is he right? And when it comes to love and trust, what does “real dad” mean, anyway?

You’ll have to read the book to find out. :-)

I’ll admit that sometimes the details about previous happenings mingled with and influencing the action of today were a little confusing. At times I wished Because of Me was two books—one about the past and one about the present. But everything was sorted out eventually and became clear. I also felt some of the suspenseful moments weren't as scary and tense as they could have been, but I found the characters very endearing and the behaviors realistic and the storyline was unique and interesting.

Next week for "T" we'll have an interview with the author herself, Fay Lamb, for a taste of life as an author. In the mean time, visit her website, www.faylamb.com, or check out her FaceBook page: www.facebook.com/fay.lamb

Thanks for joining me for "S" and please check out more posts in the From A 2 Z Take Two meme at www.pattywysong.com. Feel free to jump in and join us if you're a blogger!

a2z: Take 2. Patty Wysong Helping bloggers blog.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A2Z Take Two: Returning with Ragman

I’m back! In February my shoulder collapsed and had me almost bed-bound with pain. Due to my disease and a number of factors that aggravated it, some of the muscles in the back apparently gave up, so any time I was other than flat on my back, it felt like my shoulder was being ripped off with a burning chainsaw.

Eventually God brought me to the right kind of therapy and it’s finally a little better now. However, I’m still having quite a bit more pain than before, mostly in the shoulder but everywhere else, too (since I needed one more chronic thing), especially when driving. I’ve had to lower my interpreting hours at work to only four a week until they invent hovers that can be programed to deliver me automatically to work while I sleep in the back, or until my shoulder decides to behave differently—whichever comes first.

At any rate, I’m trying to catch back up with life again, including my blog. One of the first things I did when I was a little better was recorded myself performing “The Ragman” in ASL and then putting on English captions. It’s such a wonderful story that I just had to try it myself. So here’s a video of that for you. (and you can probably see how much lower my right shoulder is.) To turn on the captions click on the red CC button.

I also finally got my novel, Reaching Sky, back from my last beta reader and have sent it off for a final edit and proof read. Whew! A year and a half for a first book isn’t too bad. I can’t wait to see what the publisher says, but guess I’ll have to wait, since I haven’t even sent it in yet….

When I graduated and started doing more interpreting a few years ago, then I stopped doing much freelance editing. Well, now that I’ve had to lower my interpreting hours, it seems like God is bringing me back into editing. I have a few small jobs coming up and may be getting hired to do a big rewrite of a project to help give it more of a story feel.

Oh and guess what? many of you know the situation about how the FDIC (by proxy of a big builder) is suing my parents for all their land, retirement savings, vehicles, and forced us to move to a smaller place, through no fault of our own. Hundreds of other builders all over the U.S. are in the same situation and finally we made enough noise that the senate is setting up a hearing to review the issue on May 16th. Please pray they are able to see clearly and bring justice.

a2z: Take 2. Patty Wysong Helping bloggers blog.

Check out more "R" posts in the A2Z meme at www.pattywysong.com and feel free to jump right in and blog with us next week for S.