Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Author Behind the Story Series - Kimberly Rose Johnson


Readers often wonder, "What is it like to be an author?" Then they think of big-named authors they know, or envision authors portrayed on TV or in a movie-who almost always are living lavish lifestyles and experiencing sales that would make J. K. Rowling drool.

But alas, such depictions are accurate for approximately one-to-three percent of the authors out there. For many writers, sitting along the sidewalk in St. Augustine, Florida, holding your book, reading from it while passersby toss loose change into your briefcase is probably more realistic. Of course, I exaggerate a little. We don't do our begging on sidewalks. That's reserved for guitar players and painters. Authors use social media and local bookstores.

At this very moment (July 2), I'm sitting here at my desk, listening to John Williams' Greatest Hits, while I take care of posting this blog. The Imperial March is playing. Which makes me think about how certain phrases or tunes become so iconic because they are usually tied to a memorable character. 

Once I'm finished posting this blog, then I'll get back to Book 5 of my Blake Meyer Thriller series, A Pulse of Time, which is due to the editor by July 31 in preparation for a December release date. Then, tomorrow, I have shoulder surgery to look forward to. 

So, see, authors are people, too. They deal with their own set of struggles and triumphs just like the next person. Writing is a job and a passion, just like others jobs are to other folks. Which brings us to the next guest on the Florida front porch! She, too, has a passion for this writing biz. Please welcome Kimberly Rose Johnson!

Kimberly, pull up a chair, grab some iced tea, and in fifty words or less, tell our readers about yourself.

Hi, I’m Kimberly Rose Johnson. I write faith-based contemporary romance and romantic mystery. Writing is my passion, which I believe was fostered through my love of reading Christian romance. I have one award credited to my name and have been a best seller on Amazon multiple times.

See, Dear Reader? I told you writers have a passion about what they do. 

So, Kimberly, before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

I didn’t begin writing until my early thirties. I always enjoyed creative writing in school. Aside from music, that was probably the only thing I liked about school. I distinctly remember one time in particular in my high school English class when my teacher told us to get out a piece of paper and write a story. I don’t recall any instructions beyond that. I had zero trouble with this assignment and immediately started writing. I noticed my classmates grumbling and having a hard time with the assignment. They couldn’t understand how I could already be finished when they couldn’t even get started. Storytelling came naturally to me; however, I had no idea I was a writer at that time. In fact, it would be close to fifteen years later before that idea to try writing ever came to me.

What educational background do you have?

I have a B.A. in Behavioral Science and a minor in music from Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. It was the only college I applied to. I received a music scholarship there and felt strongly it was where the Lord wanted me to go.

For all the pet lovers out there, answer this question: Do you have any?

I am definitely an animal lover. Because I am extremely allergic to cats I only have a dog. She is a yellow lab.

Good thing you're not allergic to dog fur. 😀 Our daughter has had two yellow labs. Clogs up the Roomba. And when they take them outside and brush them, it looks like a rabbit got attacked by a hawk in the middle of the night.

Besides storytelling, what talents do you have?

I play the piano. I taught piano lessons for 18 years. I used to sing to, but no longer do that.

Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?

For me the most personal challenging thing I’ve faced is my inability to work a “day job” and still have enough energy and creative juices to write. Because I am an introvert it is exhausting for me to be around people for large periods of time.

I had a job working in a high school, which I loved, but I found that when I came home I had no energy. I literally had to take two-hour naps before I was able to function again. This cut into my writing time in a huge way. It also put a lot of pressure on me and affected my health in a negative way because I had to push myself so hard to meet my deadlines. I ended up quitting that job and now write full-time.

Tell us about your writing day. How do you go about writing?

My average writing day probably looks like many of your days. I get up with my husband and do the normal before work things such as breakfast. Once he’s off to work then my workday begins. I start with social media then emails and then I get into writing. I generally write in two-hour chunks for a total of four actual hours a day of writing. If you do the math I’m short a couple of hours since I work while my husband in at his job. Those hours are consumed by continuing education and exercise. I want to be a screenwriter, so I am taking classes online. Thankfully, it appears that I’m good at adapting books. I’ve acquired a manager who is shopping my work.

That's awesome!

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Once I determine the approximate ages of my characters, I Google popular names in the year he/she would have been born. I choose from the list given. I’ve been known to give characters from different books that same name. Thankfully, I’ve discovered many of those names before they are published and have changed them (LOL). Though many readers know a character as such and such, I will always have them in my head with their original name.

Tell us about what project you are currently working on.

I am currently juggling a couple of indie projects and brainstorming a new book. Edge Of Truth will release August 6, 2019. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes things that need to happen for this book to get published, so I’m pushing hard to make it happen. Edge Of Truth was one of the first books I ever wrote. I had been thinking about that book and decided it was time to dig it out. It was fun to revisit something I wrote in the early years of writing—approximately 12 years ago.

The other thing I’m working on is a group project with six other authors. We are publishing a series in October for Christmas. Each book will be a novella in the same story world with a central concept. Sara’s Gift.
My book will be titled

The last project I’m working on is an idea that was inspired by a visiting pastor at my church. I’m going to write the book then adapt it to screenplay. I’ve adapted two of my other books to screenplay. Adapting my books is another passion.

More and more authors are doing the screenplay thing...especially those who write the Hallmark kind of stories. I bet Hallmark gets flooded with screenplays these days. 

So, let's switch gears a little. If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be?

This is a very hard question! I’m going to cheat. Since you didn’t specify if the person had to be living or dead I’m going to do one of each. J

My mom’s mom died about 25 years ago. I miss her and would love to spend more time with my grandma.

As for a person currently living, ugh, there are so many I want to say, but I will stick to one. I met Robin Jones Gunn many years ago over lunch at a writer’s conference. She was so kind, I would choose her. Her writing is exceptional, and from what I’ve heard, she has experience working with producers. I would love to chat with her about the business, writing in general, and life.

When you look for a new home, what are the things that are important to you?

It’s funny you should ask this because we were house hunting this past fall. My must haves are two living areas with separation, an open floor plan, three bedrooms with enough square footage for a queen sized bed in each room along with a desk and dresser, an updated kitchen, two updated bathrooms, a laundry room, at least two stall garage, and a quiet neighborhood.

After looking for a new house for over 20 years (I’m picky), we finally found my dream house but the location was wrong. It was at the bottom of a hill with a large water retention basin beside it and across the street from it, and the land had been developed to have a creek bed flow through the back yard. The house itself was perfect! It was even brand new—necessary because of my many allergies. Needless to say we didn’t buy it. I’ve decided to be content with the house I’ve been in since 1993—we bought it in the framing stage.

Houses grow on you, don't they? Like that comfortable pair of shoes or your broken-in recliner. So, you shrug and say, "Eh, we'll just keep this one." Then, you watch all the House Hunter shows and find yourself using the lingo when thinking about what you would like in your new place. I guess, if you two raised African swallows for a living and had a budget of $800,000, three-months later, you could have had the retention pond repurposed into a man-made, creek-fed lake brimming with farm-raised trout (Can you tell we watch those shows at our house, too?).

When you look for a new car, what are the things that are important to you?

My dream car is an all wheel drive, with good gas mileage. It must have a hatchback type opening in back. I don’t like normal trunks. It also needs to have plenty of space in the “trunk.” Other than that, I don’t want anything fancy.

Vehicles say a lot about a person. I'm reading "practical" here.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why?

Jeremiah 29:11 and Proverbs 3:4, 6 because they encourage me.

If you had life to do all over again, would there be any changes? If so, what would they be?

I’m basing this answer on my writing life. I would have started indie publishing sooner. I am a hybrid published author, which means I am both traditionally published and independently published.

Amen to that. I would have started writing a lot sooner. Oh, well. Better late than never. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover?

When I first began writing it was my dream to be published in the romantic suspense genre. That however is not the genre I found success in as a traditionally published author. My current publisher has encouraged me to include a mystery in many of my books, which ended up inspiring an idea for a romantic mystery series and The Librarian Sleuth Series was born.

The Sleuth’s Dilemma is the second book in that series and my most current release.

I'm sure our readers will be checking it out! Who doesn't love a good mystery?

Kimberly, we appreciate you taking time out of your busy writing scheduled to open up your life and allow our readers to sit down and learn more about you and your work.

Readers, if you wish to get to know Kimberly better, here are some places you can go to do just that: 

Kimberly Rose Johnson’s website
Kimberly’s Amazon page
Kimberly’s Instagram
Kimberly’s Facebook

Again, thanks, Kimberly, for being a part of our Author Behind the Story blog series! May God bless your efforts!


And may God bless America, and more importantly, may America bless God!

Kevin






Friday, June 28, 2019

I Hereby Propose Summertime as the New NaNoWriMo (A Seriously Write blog)



Those who created NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, are evil miscreants. They must not be favorable of anything American, like football, Thanksgiving, fall, or people who have birthdays or weddings in November. The only month more horrible in its choosing for such an endeavor is December, for obvious reasons.

That is why I hereby propose summertime to be the new, official NaNoWriMo. 

Why do I proclaim it is anti-American? Take football, for example. Although baseball has been touted as “America’s pastime,” those days are long past. Empty seats at baseball stadiums, declining TV ratings, and long, tedious 162-game seasons are all reasons why baseball has fallen from its lofty perch. Football reigns supreme now. It has been thus for years now. And college football, with its playoff system, has reached stratosphere levels in fandom across the landscape of our country. 


You can finish the article HERE!





Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Susan G. Mathis Interview with Yours Truly



I'm always honored to be featured on another website! And this time, fellow author, Susan G, Mathis, has interviewed me on her blog to discuss the release of Book 4 in my Blake Meyer series, When the Clock Strikes Fourteen. Come check it out. It's amazing how the questions vary, and you always learn just a little more from these interviews.


Click HERE to read it in its entirety. 


(And one little addition here that you won't find in the article: When I refer to the one-or two-syllable method, I found it interesting that many of your best and most famous heroes in both literature and film had names with one or two syllables, such as James Bond, Han Solo, Jack Ryan, Sherlock Holmes, Thor, Tony Stark, Black Widow, etc. Once in a while, you may find one with three (Luke Skywalker, Maximus, for example), but rarely did you find one with multiple syllables in both names, like the singer Englebert Humperdink. Of course, this rule or method is a rule of thumb generalization and has its exceptions. I also found the villains to have similar tendencies (one or two syllables, which somewhat lends to the general construction of names), but with more of a tendency to be multi-syllabic, e.g. Professor James Moriarty, Commodus, Hannibal Lechter, Maleficent. Again, these are some of the more memorable ones, but many villains have short names as well: Darth Vader, Nurse Rached, Green Goblin, etc. Isn't it amazing what goes through an author's mind, just to come up with a name of a character?) 





Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Author Behind the Story series - Kathy Collard Miller


As we gear up for summertime, with all of its heat and humidity, vacations and lazier days, we here at ckevinthompson.com want to wish everyone a wonderful beginning to this season of more time with the kiddos, hopefully more outdoor time with the family, and a safe and happy Fourth of July!


However, before we jump to conclusions, literally, I first want to welcome to the Florida front porch another writer about whom you will learn a little. And I hope this series has been helpful to our readers in finding authors they or someone they know may like. Many of these folks you may not hear about through normal channels like the Amazon Top 100 or the New York Times Best Seller List, but they may write something that could resonate with you. So, our hope here at ckevinthompson.com is to help our readers find other writers. 

Also, just so you know, I post additional writers and his or her website on my Facebook Author Page on the first Saturday of each month. Just another way to get the word out about writers I know or have read (or both!).

So, please help me welcome another author in this growing list of great authors. Please welcome Kathy Collard Miller!

Kathy, give us a quick bio. In fifty words or less, who is Kathy Collard Miller?


I was a child abuser and thought God didn’t want to help me. Now I see God’s hand in every experience through marriage, parenting, grandparenting, writing, and speaking. He’s helped me write over 50 published books and to speak in over 30 U.S. states. I’m amazed at his generosity. 

Wow! You got our attention. :-) Are you married? Single? Have kids? 

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart, Larry, since 1970. I hated him by the time we’d been married seven years. I even prayed for the plane he was flying to crash. He worked two jobs as a policeman and real estate agent, and also flew planes for a hobby. He was far from being the Prince Charming I expected. At that time our daughter was two and our son was a newborn. Larry didn’t help me, and I became increasingly angry and depressed, blaming everything wrong on him. I took my anger out on our two-year-old toddler and feared I would kill her in one of my rages. That terror caused me to consider suicide. I was a Christian at the time and thought God had given up on me. But He hadn’t. He just had a different plan and method. In time, He gave me patience with our daughter and restored the love in our marriage. That began my ministry of sharing my story and writing about it. Now, our family includes two grandkids, and we all love and value each other—something I thought could never happen. And my beloved husband is my best friend, most supportive encourager, and loves me unconditionally! We are even lay counselors!


Of all the stories/books you have written, which one is your favorite? And what compelled you to write this story?

I love all my books. Of course! And it is hard to choose, but my women’s Bible study series is very special to me because of the way God orchestrated the open door for the publication of those 12 books.

I’d always wanted to write a Bible study book, but felt I wasn’t qualified. I didn’t even finish college, and I’d never served in ministry. How could I know enough to write a Bible study? I did lead a women’s Bible study in my neighborhood, but I used an organization’s studies. I didn’t anticipate ever writing a Bible study.

Then one day I received a rejection letter for a book I’d proposed to a publishing company. But the editor included in the letter that the company was thinking of publishing a women’s Bible study series. They wondered if I would submit several ideas for that—if I was interested. If I was interested? Wow! That was exactly what I’d wanted to do but had been too scared. I quickly wrote out some ideas, they were accepted, and I began writing what ended up being twelve books in my Daughters of the King Bible Study Series. Those books sold really well but after almost twenty years went out of print. Today, I have a new publisher, Elk Lake Publishers, Inc., and I am rewriting and expanding each one. So far four have been published: Choices of the Heart (godly choices)Whispers of My Heart (prayer)At the Heart of Friendship (friendship), and Heart Wisdom (Proverbs). I’m so glad God opened that door and pushed me through it.


When the words aren’t flowing, what is your favorite comfort food and why?

When I’m feeling stuck in uncertainty about my writing, I go for carbs: bread, desserts, and, of course, chocolate. If something isn’t available, I can at least find some pancake mix and have pancakes with syrup or blackberry jelly. Yum. Of course, with a hot cup with English Breakfast tea with honey, sugar, and a little half-and-half. Yum Yum. (Kevin, just thanks a lot. Now I’m going to have to go make some.)

You're welcome. Now, for all the pet lovers out there, answer this question: Do you have any? 

Right now there’s a nest of doves with two babies on the heater in our patio, and they are our pets. Of course, we’re not petting them, but it’s been so fun calling them our babies. Other than that, we had two cats, Oscar and Cody, when our kids were growing up, but no animals now. My husband, Larry, and I travel too much, often ministering overseas, so we can be gone a month at a time. Plus, our kids live at a distance so we would be leaving animals too much of the time. We do love being grandparents to our friends’ dogs. When our friends are traveling, we welcome our temporarily adopted canine friend into our home. For quite some time we hosted a lovely blonde lab. What a sweetheart. She’s gone to dog heaven now so we miss her.

Everybody seems to have a bucket list. Do you? If so, what’s on it? If not, why not?

One item on my bucket list is to be in a public place and seeing someone reading one of my books. I can picture it now: I get their attention and say, “What do you think about that book? I’ve heard of it.” Then if she likes it, I’ll offer to autograph it. Of course, she’ll say she loves it, right? I can’t wait to see her face when she realizes I’m the author.

Another bucket list item is going to Switzerland. I love to travel, and I’d love to go there. I studied that country all the way back in junior high, and I’ve never forgotten my desire to see it in person. Anybody have a chalet in Switzerland they would loan us for a few days?
  
I was there when I was thirteen. One of those whirlwind tours. Seven countries in fourteen days. I was just old enough not to appreciate it. I'd love to go back.

Do you have a favorite line from a movie or book? If so, what is it and explain why it is special to you?

I’m so glad you asked that question. I think mine is rather clever. It’s “Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are our only hope.” Of course, from Star Wars. I quote that to myself and others but substitute God: “God, you are our only hope.” Thankfully, CP3O doesn’t have to be involved for God to hear my plea. And thankfully, God doesn’t respond, “I haven’t heard that name for a long time.”

Do you have a crazy, interesting, behind-the-scenes story about the publishing world you’d like to tell your readers without boring them to death with industry gobbledygook?

I was having lunch at a restaurant with a pastor’s wife and director of women’s ministry of a church who were considering me for speaking at their next women’s retreat. As we chatted, I realized a woman who had walked up to our table was standing there, and she wasn’t the waitress. All three of us turned to her, and she looked at me and said, “You’re Kathy Collard Miller aren’t you? I just finished reading your book (and she named it), and I loved it. Thank you for writing it.” I shook her hand and thanked her for saying so. She turned and walked away. I looked at the women across from me and said, “I did not plan that!” They laughed. I really didn’t arrange it, and I did speak at that women’s retreat. I’ll never forget that lunchtime connection with that reader. I still don’t know how she knew me. Maybe the photo on the back of the book?
  
And that's your story, and you're sticking to it, right? Did you tell the lady. "Here's your five dollars"? Just kidding.

Tell us about what project you are currently working on.

Right now, I’m writing a devotional book potentially entitled “100 Questions God Asked in the Bible and What They Say About His Nature.” Of course there are more than 100 of His questions in the Bible, but I’m going to limit it and also include questions Jesus asked—because He’s God!

This idea came to me as I studied the Bible and noticed the variety of questions God asked. I also noticed the different responses of the person who was being asked. Seeing those fascinated me because it was obvious God wanted to draw something out of the heart of the hearer, and He also wanted to reveal Himself. So each of the devotions will focus on those two aspects. I’m very excited about the project.
  
Knowing what you know now about writing, publishing, etc., what piece of advice would you give to the person thinking about writing that novel they have always wanted to pursue since they were young, or the person who believes they have a non-fiction book in them that would be helpful to others?

For someone wanting to write a non-fiction book, consider writing an article or several articles about your topic. A published article will be read by more readers than a book. Your impact will be far more. As you write the articles, think of each one as a chapter for your book. Not only will you have more people reading your material, you’ll also be able to show book publishers how the articles made an impact. You might receive letters from readers and that would reveal the topic’s popularity. Plus you are proving to a potential publisher/editor that you can follow up on projects.

Good advice! If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be? 

Although I don’t write fiction, or at least haven’t yet (although I have half a novel written), I would like to spend time with Francine Rivers. I think it would be fascinating to hear how she envisions biblical historical characters and crafts a fabulous plot and character development. Maybe talking to her will help me write and finish my novel, which by the way, is about a cop’s wife whose husband stages his own death so that he can go into the drug culture. Not for undercover work but because he’s greedy for money. Of course, there’s a man, a cop friend of her husband, who becomes the love interest. Together they find out the truth and in the end, she has to shoot her husband who threatens her life. Wow. Now I’m inspired. I’ll have to finish it. Or Kevin? Want to take it over?

Hmmm...sounds interesting. If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus?

I want to interview Eve. What in the world, (I guess I should say what in the garden) was she was thinking? What were the emotions and thoughts that went through her mind, and how did the temptation begin to look so wonderfully attractive? Of course we know some things but not everything. And she could also tell me why she didn’t ask for Adam’s help. I also could hear descriptions of the Garden and what it was like to walk personally with God. I’m so glad I have heaven to look forward to, knowing it will be even better than the Garden.

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?

Sky dive! I’d always said I’d wanted to do it but most likely thought I would be spared from it because the opportunity would never happen. Then my sister-in-law talked about wanting to sky dive, and I spoke up: “Me too!” So we planned to do it, and my grown son and another friend joined us.
We did it! The most amazing part was the total silence right after jumping out the plane. (By the way it was a tandem jump). There is absolutely no noise even though you are falling through the air.
But the weirdest part was watching my son jump out of the plane with his tandem partner before me and in front of me. Somehow that was freaky. Although I’ll never sky dive again because I became very sick, I’m glad I did it. But don’t ask me to bungee jump. That’s too scary! LOL

We know “Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.” Is there a book you’ve read in the past five years or so that has helped you become a better you? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life?

I read Finding God by Larry Crabb, and it changed my life. Well, of course, the Lord caused it to change my life. Dr. Crabb’s insights helped me to identify the underlying causes of my ungodly reactions. It was ground breaking for me. I had to read it as assigned reading for a seminar I took in counseling. My husband and I thought we were only attending so that we could give better advice when we spoke at marriage retreats. Instead, not only did we learn counseling, we were given “soul care” ourselves. As a result, we were transformed, and then God sent us people to whom we could counsel. Reading Dr. Crabb’s book prepared us for this unexpected ministry. We’ve given over 1,500 hours of help to many. It’s been an incredible journey, and it started with reading Finding God and also being trained by John and Patti Cepin through their Journey Companions Ministry (www.JourneyCompanionsMinistry.org).

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover?

I shared earlier how I was an abusive mom and my ministry began because of God’s healing work. My daughter whom I abused was transformed as well. She loves God and serves him in her church. She is a wife, mother of two, and a fiction writer! But what I love most is that we have a fabulous relationship, and she loves me. I had feared she would never love me and never love God. But God did the work I can’t do. I’m so grateful.

Kathy, thank you for stopping by and taking the time out of your busy ministry schedule to share with our readers. Dear readers, if you're interested in finding out more about Kathy's writing, you can find her at these web locations:

Instagram: KathyCollardMiller


Until next time, May God bless America, and more importantly, may America bless God.

Kevin





And don't forget to check out Kevin's writings! The latest installment of the Blake Meyer Thriller series is out! Book 4, When the Clock Strikes Fourteen.





Friday, May 24, 2019

For Whom You Write (A Seriously Write Blog)


I tried my hand at some poetry this go around. Maybe I'm a poet and don't know it, or maybe not, but it was fun, nevertheless. Hope you enjoy it. 

Kevin


___________________________ 




There have been people in the hills,
in the Blue Ridge Mountains, they say,
talking and thinking about
what they should write.

How they should write,
when they should write,
where they should write,
were the topics of delight.

But the day has now come,
the day is now here,
when they must go home,
and face their fears.
To the hustle and hurry,
the obstacles and worry,
the joys and the strife,
of what we call “life.”

But understand fully, My introverted friend,
this group is not unique.
There have been many before them.
There will be many who come after.
Experiencing the enchantment.
Experiencing the exhaustion.
Experiencing the camaraderie.
Of like-minded folk
who fantasize similar dreams.



For the rest of the poem, click HERE!






Thursday, May 16, 2019

A Chat with...well, Me! (A Christian Authors Network Blog Post)


Greetings from Marti Pieper! It’s May, and that means we’re already having temperatures in the 80s where I live in Mount Dora, Florida. My friend and fellow author C. Kevin Thompson knows that, because he’s basically my neighbor and fellow Lake County resident. Kevin is also an ordained minister whose background no doubt assists him in his present position as an assistant high school principal. As you may know, Kevin has posted many of our author interviews, but this time, we get to turn the questions around and point them at him instead.
Welcome back to the CAN blog, Kevin! Tell us about your book, When the Clock Strikes Fourteen (a Blake Meyer Thriller – Book 4).
C. Kevin Thompson
C. Kevin Thompson
At this stage of the story, Blake laments his past, how it is infiltrating his present, and how the future may irreparably harm his family. He has a lead on his family’s whereabouts, but they are still captives. Pawns in a deadly game of vengeance. And the plan to release the contagion that threatens to infect America with its own version of the Black Death is being modified by those responsible, making it harder to defend.
Thriller indeed! What inspired you to write this book?
The title, When the Clock Strikes Fourteen, is a modified title taken from a line in the novel From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. In Hardy’s work, to signify a crazy time that made little sense, the clocks were striking thirteen (I know this phrase is also used in the opening line of George Orwell’s classic 1984, but Hardy’s work came out about 90 years earlier, if memory serves).


To see the rest of the story, click HERE!





Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Author Behind the Story Series - Julie B. Cosgrove


It's that time of year when Moms and Dads all over the United States prepare to usher their children into the real world. No, we're not talking about the birthing process. We're talking about high school graduation. Some will go off to college. Some will get a J-O-B. Regardless of your situation, we wish all the graduates congratulations for staying the course all thirteen years and reaching this milestone. One day, like us older people, you'll look back on those days and say to yourself, "Man, am I glad those days are over! Wouldn't want to be eighteen years old again for any amount of money." Trust me. One day, you'll understand.


Maybe some of those graduates will become writers...which brings me to our next guest on the Author Behind the Story series, Julie B. Cosgrove!

Welcome, Julie! Have a seat on the Florida front porch, where it is currently raining. But just give it five minutes, and the sun will be shining, the roads will be steaming, and the humidity will be as comfortable as a sauna. 

In fifty words or less, tell our readers this: Who is Julie B. Cosgrove?

I am the third daughter of the third daughter (Mom) of the third daughter (grandmother) of the third daughter (great-grandmother). And yes, I broke tradition and had one son. That, of course, was before I had fifteen faith-based novels published and became a digital missionary.

But you could have worked at having a third daughter, right? Just kidding. Probably not the best reason to have children. (This is where Tevye steps in and says, "Tradition!")

Before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

After getting my degree in Humanities and Religion and studying in seminary, I became a medical office manager for three decades, then turned freelance writer, then digital missionary for CRU as well as an award-winning author. Frankly, I wanted to be a ballet dancer, religion professor, or interior designer, but none of those were God’s plan. Now I dance inside when a plot comes together, I profess my Lord in all of my main characters’ lives, and He has been redesigning my interior since my teens. I hope my writings help others get redesigned as well.

I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite

Favorite Song of All-Time: Shout to the Lord because it came out right before Katrina hit, and I was in that horrid time. It gave me hope.
Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own & besides the Bible): When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado, because I relate to his style of writing, and he says profound things I know are Spirit-driven.
Favorite Bible Verse: Matthew 6:25
Favorite Movie: The List of Adrian Messenger – a quintessential British murder mystery with an amazing surprise ending.
Favorite Actor or Actress: Audrey Hepburn, Sean Connery (after 007 years) because they were both so very versatile in their acting.
Favorite TV Show: Midsomer Murders, because it is set in England, a mystery and at times humorous, though a few are a bit racy.
Favorite Novel (other than your own):  The Ivy Tree, because it hooked me on suspense mysteries and to British novelist Mary Stewart…the next answer.
Favorite Author (other than you): Mary Stewart (deceased), Mary Daheim because of her humorous cozy mysteries.
Favorite Sport: Swimming. I am a river rat, was with a synchronized swimming team and taught it as my high school job.
Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): I really don’t have one, sorry. (What? No futbol teams? Cricket?)
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: English because I love words, their meanings and wordsmithing.
Favorite Subject Now: Does reading count? (It does these days. It usually has the word "Intensive" in front of it.)
Favorite Teacher in School:  My college professor Dr. Garcia, a Cuban refugee who was fluent in seven languages and yet had an amazing sense of humor and great laugh.
Favorite Time of the Year: Spring, in Texas because the weather is mild, and the wildflowers blanket the meadows.
Favorite Place to Vacation: What’s a vacation?
Favorite Drink: Vanilla Chai Tea for the taste and aroma.
Favorite Food: Tacos…I am from Texas. 

For all the pet lovers out there, answer this question: Do you have any? 

I’ve always been a cat person. I got my first one at the age of three, and throughout my life, except for when I was in the dorm in college, I have always had at least one. Until recently, I was the servant of two old house cats, one 19 and one 10, who were my joy in my widowhood the past eight years. But I’ve lost them both in the past six months. Now, I only take care of me, and to be honest, it is rather nice. I may get a Guinea pig, though, since I live in a small apartment. I love their chortle and whistle.

What makes you cringe?

Hearing someone say a snarky or cutting remark to another person.

Uh-oh. Maybe I should go back a delete a few things... :-/

Of all the stories/books you have written, which one is your favorite? And what compelled you to write this story?

Freed to Forgive is by far my favorite because my publisher asked me to write the biography of a minor character in one of my other novels. She is a trafficked teenage immigrant who learns that her anger shackles her far more than her captors ever did. Hers is a story of triumph, one I wish more traffic victims experienced.  I researched the topic heavily and Marisol tugged at my heart strings. She still does, four years later, which is why I am asked to speak on the topic to civic and church groups even now.

I love cozies, though and enjoy writing them. The Bunco Biddies Mysteries were my first series about senior sleuths in a 55-plus community. Now I have switched to thirty-something genealogy buff ladies in the Relatively Seeking Mysteries, who are close friends yet each very different in personality and background.

Tell us about what project you are currently working on. 

I just finished the third in the Relatively Seeking mysteries and turned it in to my publisher for editing. It’s called Leaf Me Alone and will release in February 2020. She is interested in me continuing the series, but after fifteen novels, I’m taking a break. 

Knowing what you know now about writing, publishing, etc., what piece of advice would you give to the person thinking about writing that novel they have always wanted to pursue since they were young, or the person who believes they have a non-fiction book in them that would be helpful to others?

Take several years to learn the craft through critique groups, writing conferences and how-to-books, then once it is written, EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! Pay for a seasoned editor. It is well worth the money. Too many indie-pubbed books out there are rough drafts, and poorly written with tons of typos. It hurts all of us, and it will hurt you as well.

Has your writing crossed over into other areas? If so, how? If not, will it?

I am also a devotional writer and have steadily written for several publications for over nine years as well as being a writer/editor for CRU’s digital ministry, The Life Project. My own devotional blog, Where Did You Find God Today?, has readers in over fifty countries.

If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be?

I’ll have to wait until I get to Heaven, but my maternal grandmother. I never really knew her. She died when I was 2, but everyone who knew her says I resemble her.

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus?

The Prophet Amos. He had audacity to speak out, and listened to God’s instructions far more than I do.

Why do you live where you live? 

I live in Fort Worth because this was the last place we moved before my husband died, and I was tired of moving every few years for his job. I wanted roots. I am a native Texan, and so I relate to the folks here.

We lived in the Fort Worth area for six months back in 1993. In the Watauga/Haltom City area. We loved it there.

If you had life to do all over again, would there be any changes? If so, what would they be?

That is a dangerous question, because I truly believe, and have witnessed the truth of Romans 8:28. God uses our messes to grow us and does work things for the good. My knee-jerk reaction would be not to marry the man I did because it was not a good marriage, especially the last twelve of the 35 years together before he passed. But during that time, God molded me, and my faith strengthened tremendously. I think it helped me to become a writer as well.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover?

All my novels are written to not only entertain but to educate. My characters are real with real issues and problems, and each book covers a social issue, or two, that I want people to become aware of because until we are, how can we be Christ’s hands and feet in our world?

Oh, and by the way, today is Launch Day for Fallen Leaf, the second in the Relatively Seeking Mysteries. To celebrate, my publisher has priced the e-book on Amazon at 99 CENTS TODAY ONLY!! It will then be $1.99 through May 10th.

Congratulations, Julie! New releases are so wonderful! It's like a huge blessing and a huge relief all at the same time.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be a part of our ABTS series! May God bless your writing ministry.

Readers, if you wish to find out more about Julie, you can stop these locations in the web!

Visit her blog: Where Did You Find God Today?  http://wheredidyoufindgodtoday.com
Website:  www.juliebcosgrove.com
Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/juliebcosgrove/
Amazon: Julie B Cosgrove
Twitter @JulieBCosgrove
LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliebcosgrove


Until next time, May God bless America, and more importantly, may America bless God!

Kevin



Just a reminder, Kevin's new book, When the Clock Strikes Fourteen (A Blake Meyer Thriller - Book 4) is now available! Are you caught up with Agent Meyer?