Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Laura V. Hilton's "White Christmas in Webster County"
1) How long were you writing before your first publication? How many manuscripts had you written by that time?
Have you published any of your early works since? Do you plan to? I started writing when I was in third grade. None of those early works were published. My first two books were published by a small press. And I wouldn’t publish any more of my earlier books without rewriting them. I have learned so much about writing since I first began.
2) What’s your favorite setting for writing -- at home, in a coffee shop, on the front porch, sitting cross-legged on the living room couch, etc?
I sit in the living room, in the hub of the family. I have five children and a husband who like access. I would love an office – someday. My living room is cluttered with writing books, reading books, homeschool books, notes, etc.
3) Are you a morning person? A night owl?
More of a middle of the day person.
4) When working on a manuscript, what do you do when you get stuck?
First, I pray. Then if an immediate answer doesn’t come, I pick up a book and read. Or research something I need to know.
5) Do you ever read your dialog aloud to see how it sounds? Have you ever performed
an action you want one of your characters to carry out in order to help you visualize or
I have done both. Or had someone do it for me. If I am alone (no children around) I will sometimes read dialog out loud. Usually my daughter reads over my shoulder as I write and she’ll correct me. As for the trying something to visualize it, I wanted to see what it would be like to kick the backseat of a car in from the trunk, and if they could kick out the tail lights. We didn’t actually kick them out – but it could be done.
6) How did you come up with the idea for your latest release?
I wanted to do an Amish Christmas story and thought it would be nice to do one around my current setting. But I’m not as talented as some authors who do many different points of views and story lines in the same book, so I picked my latest release in which the hero had a twin brother and prayed about the story and the main points behind it.
7) Do you model characters after people you know? Are any of them (the real people, not
the characters) aware of it?
Not intentionally. Sometimes I can see certain aspects of someone in my story. But, no, I never went around to the people that I unintentionally wrote about and said “you’re my hero in my story.” Or “You’re the bad guy in my story.”
8) Are your protagonists a lot like their creator? Or do you try to make them as unlike you as possible?
Not very many of them are like me. A couple may have one of my traits – such as being quiet or shy. But otherwise, no. They are very different from me.
9) Do you also write short stories, nonfiction, articles, devotionals, or other things, or are
you strictly a novelist?
I have written some articles and some devotionals.
10) If you felt the Holy Spirit urging you to quit writing, would you do it?
Yes. But it would be hard. Creating and the resulting prayer and Bible study is very much a part of who I am as well as the ministry He has called me to.
11) Do you read your reviews? Have you ever replied to one? Do you find they influence
your writing when you work on subsequent books?
I try not to read my reviews. I am at the point where people randomly choose to write one star reviews. “I downloaded it not realizing it was a Christian book.” Or “There’s no sex, so it must be a book for early readers.” I do scan the 5 or 4 star ones occasionally, for marketing blurbs to quote.
12) What question do you find most annoying on author interviews? What is the take away you intend for the reader to get from your book?
I am bothered by that because what I take away from the book and what God wants a reader to take from it may not be the same thing.