Monday, October 18, 2010

Sandra D. Bricker's "Always the Baker Never the Bride"

We're happy to have Sandra D. Bricker with us today talking about her book, Always the Baker Never the Bride. To learn more about Sandra D. Bricker and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
I’m a big fan of CAKE. I love those shows like Cake Boss and Amazing Wedding Cakes. So one morning I was having coffee and watching one of those shows, and my main character just popped into my head! Then I couldn’t shut it off. The whole book flooded over me in a matter of about 20 minutes.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I had recently sold The Big 5-Oh! to Barbara Scott at Abingdon Press. When the idea for Baker hit me, I wasn’t sure if it was too soon to pitch her another one. But something told me she was the one who would really GET this story. I couldn’t have been more right because she just flipped for it, and we were already dreaming about translating it to film before the committee ever even met and agreed to make an offer!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I have no rhythm whatsoever. I love music, and I love to dance … but not in front of anyone. If you ever watched Seinfeld and you saw the episode about Elaine’s dancing, then you understand. If not, let me just say this: Uh-huh. No.
2. I have a secret crush on Dean McDermott, Tori Spelling’s husband.
3. I’m a hermit at heart. I could easily hole up in my house for weeks on end without ever leaving, and I’d be perfectly happy.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’ve just completed my portion of the devotional I co-authored with Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Debby Mayne and Trish Perry. It’s called Delight Yourself in the Lord…Even on Bad Hair Days. It’s due out in the spring, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

5) Parting comments?
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you for a visit. And I hope your readers will pick up a copy of Always the Baker Never the Bride. I think it’s the most joyous writing experience I’ve ever had, and I really hope they enjoy it!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My Web site: http://www.sandradbricker.com/
My blog: http://sandradbricker.blogspot.com/
Book trailer for Baker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky8BKxyEnEk

LoRee Peery's "Moselle's Insurance"

We're happy to have LoRee Peery with us today talking about her book, Moselle's Insurance. To learn more about LoRee and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
My ideas evolve from life experiences mixed with imagination. I was captivated by the novelty wrapped up in a group of women’s shops in neighboring Louisville, Nebraska. Frivolities was born. My maiden name is Mosel and I always thought a niece or granddaughter named Moselle would be sweet. So I birthed another girl with that name as a heroine. My husband is a retired insurance agent, thus Eric’s occupation. Often in life, first romantic relationships end without closure, so I’m drawn to reunion stories. I had so much fun creating Moselle’s mother and aunt that they became heroines of the next two stories. I’m revising the fourth in the series, in which Eric’s ex-wife is the heroine.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I’ve been writing a long time. And I’ve tried to quit writing several times, but I guess the Lord doesn’t want me to. When I had three or four book-length manuscripts (and piled up rejections from editors in the process), I searched for an agent. Moselle’s story was rejected by five agents, but feedback led me to believe I was close to acceptance. I had never considered going the route of an online publisher. But at the time, there was only one NY publisher that accepted unagented material, and they had rejected half my stories. Lori Graham, an editor for The Wild Rose Press and then editor for White Rose Publishing, came to Prairieland Romance Writers. She invited me to submit Moselle’s Insurance. It was rejected twice by White Rose editors, with the invitation to resubmit. I was devastated by the second, very detailed rejection letter, and quit writing for several months. At retreat in January of 2010, my fellow writers encouraged me to reconsider that best-kind-of-a rejection. So I went through the editor’s comments, agreed with her, revised, and resubmitted. Moselle’s story was accepted in less than a week.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
My father’s homicide remains one of Nebraska’s unsolved cold cases.
I would rather clean a toilet than dust furniture.
Before lumbar fusion I wanted to ride a burrow to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I mentioned that I’m polishing the fourth story in the series. It’s less about Frivolities, since the heroine only works there part time, and contains a suspense element. I’m also fictionalizing my dad’s death. This time, there will be closure.

5) Parting comments?
At the end of the day I like to agree with George Strait, and say, “I Saw God Today.” I look for evidence of God every day. For me, it often comes from something visible seen in the nature of country living. If I don’t see Him in the colors of the sky, a flower or butterfly or deer, He gives me peace through His Word. His presence also comes through the trust of a grandchild, the eyes or smile of a friend. He’s with me, His blessings are all around. He is ever-present.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.loreepeery.com/
http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/

Jody Hedlund's "The Preacher's Bride"

We're happy to have Jody Hedlund with us today talking about her book, The Preacher's Bride. To learn more about Jody and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
The Preacher’s Bride is a tale about finding true love amidst the intense discrimination and persecution that existed after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1650’s England.
This book is inspired by Elizabeth Bunyan, the second wife of John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, one of the most popular books of all times. As I was reading a biography about John Bunyan, I ran across a small excerpt about Elizabeth.
I loved the brave way Elizabeth defended John during one of his trials when he was under arrest for his “unlicensed” preaching. Her strength to face a court of persecutors and her determination to faithfully support her husband touched me so deeply, that I decided her little-known story needed to be told to the world.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I spent about 6 weeks reading biographies and other time-period books. I sifted through plot ideas, wanting to stick as closely to the facts as possible, but also knowing I needed to dramatize the story to bring it to life.
A large part of my planning involved the process of getting to know my characters. I used an extensive character worksheet (available on my blog for free). I try to use what history has told us about the real characters, but then I filled in the rest and made them larger than life.
Then after my characters were living and breathing in my mind, and after I had a basic plot outline, I started the actual writing. It took me about nine months of writing during my little ones’ naptimes. When I finished, I spent several months editing it.
Finally, after about a year from when I first started, I queried the book to agents. It took me another nine months to get an agent to take me on as a client (an ACFW Genesis contest win really helped me). Then my agent shopped my book to Bethany House . . . and the rest is history!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I eat pie for breakfast. Yep. Anytime there’s pie in the house, I indulge myself in a piece for breakfast, especially if it has fruit in it of any kind because then I’m getting a couple servings of fruit.
2. I’m a fast walker. My kids usually have to run to keep up with me everywhere I go. I’m sure it looks quite comical to see me, the mother duck with my five youngun’s trailing after me, tripping over themselves!
3. Writing quirk? While I write, I stick bananas in my ears to block out the noise of my children. Okay, so not really. But I do wear headphones and listen to Pandora a LOT during my writing time.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m in the editing stages for my next book, The Doctor’s Lady (which will be published in September of 2011). And I’m also working on researching and plotting a third contracted book (to be published in 2012).

5) Parting comments?
I love meeting readers! Please stop by my Author Facebook Page and introduce yourself! I’d love to connect!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Website: http://www.jodyhedlund.com/
Blog: http://www.jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/
Email: jodyhedlund@jodyhedlund.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJodyHedlund

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JodyHedlund