Interview and Giveaway with Lynn Shannon

I’m so excited to introduce you to Lynn Shannon. I’ve fallen in love with her Texas Ranger Series and now she has a book out with Love Inspired Suspense!!

Please welcome, Lynn Shannon!!

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LynnShannon

Tell us a bit about your July LIS release Following the Evidence. Bringing a tracking dog to town put her in a killer’s sights. Inheriting a ranch is a fresh start for Emma Pierce, her baby, and her search-and-rescue dog—until someone tries to kill her. But Sheriff Reed Atkinson won’t let anyone hurt his first love…especially when they uncover a connection to his vanished sister. Can Reed solve both cases before he loses his sister and the woman he’s falling for all over again?

How long does it take you to write a Love Inspired Suspense novel versus a Long Novel?  It’s about the same for me. I spend a long time thinking about the crime and the tropes/hooks I want to use, which is the hardest part. Once I have the first 25% of the book written, everything falls into place and the rest is (usually) a lot of fun to write.

 What is your writing process? Write the beginning 500 times. Literally. The first 25% is the worst for me. I throw out so many words! It’s because the first 25% of the book is the initial setup. The mystery, the romantic conflict, etc. That’s critical. Finally, once I have a beginning I like, then I can move on. My favorite part is when I get to the editing stage. I can see the finish line, and it’s a race to get there. I’m with you on this one! 

 When did you publish your first book, and what was it? Ranger Protection was my first book and it was published in November 2018.

What is your typical day like? I get my kids up and to school, and then I handle a few administrative things before diving into writing. I like to get my writing out of the way first thing in the morning, otherwise, it might not get done later in the day.

When did you start writing? More than 5 years ago. I had an agent for a long time and nearly sold several books before moving into self-publishing. Then I signed a contract for a book with Love Inspired Suspense, which was a dream come true. It’s been an amazing journey.

What is the hardest part about being an author? For me, the hardest part is worrying about the readers. I don’t want to disappoint them, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to continually raise the bar when writing. I always want the latest book to be the best one.

I know I love your Texas Ranger Heroes Series. Please tell my friends a little about it. My Ranger series has been so much fun to write. Who doesn’t love a lawman in cowboy boots? Each book combines a fast-paced mystery with a sweet romance. There’s lots of suspense and danger, but there’s also great small-town moments with extended families and friends. Did I say I love this series? LOVE IT!

Now for the important questions:

Pepsi or Coke?  Coke. But if you have a root beer, I’ll take that!

Candy, cookies, or cake?  Cookies. Specifically, chocolate chip cookies with walnuts.

Coffee or Tea? Coffee.

Favorite vacation?  I love to travel, and I’ve been to so many amazing places, it’s hard to choose one. But if you give me a gorgeous beach and an iced coffee, I’m a happy camper.

Favorite TV show?  Homicide Hunter. I’m so sad it’s over. Oh, and I really adored The Closer. I re-watched all the episodes recently. Such a fantastic show.

Favorite Movie? My geek side is showing, but any of the Star Trek movies. I love them all.

Any hobbies? Pets? Activities? I have a dog, Louisa, who is my writing buddy. She’s by my side all day and I don’t know what I would do without her company. We also have a turtle that hibernates half of the year. Recently, we’ve added two love birds to the family. My kids adore them.

Thank you, Lynn, for stopping by!!

Keep up to date with Lynn and her latest releases @ http://www.lynnshannon.com/

Join me in August for an Interview and Giveaway with Debut Author Sommer Smith!

Interview and Giveaway with Connie Queen

Connie is another MurderCon friend and suspense writer. While we were at MurderCon, Connie had to finish a manuscript and turn it in to the Love Inspired Suspense author search. She was on a deadline and hid out in her hotel room to write the final scenes. Thankfully, she finished, turned it in, and now, you all get to read it!! Yay!

Please welcome Connie Queen!

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Connie Queen

 

How does it feel to be a debut author?  Unbelievable. Seriously, I’m not certain it’s actually sunk in yet. They can’t call me and take back the contract, can they? Haha! I’ve heard you’re not the only one to feel this way. 

What did you do when you got “the call”? I’m not a jump up and down, squealing type of person. When I’m nervous, I tend to be slow to respond because I’m afraid I’ll say something stupid. When my editor offered me the contract, I was calm and collected, but then I began to worry I might not sound appreciative enough.  Then I started talking fast and couldn’t stop, and by the time we ended the conversation, I’m pretty certain I had totally left her confused.

After the call, I drove to my husband’s work and said the three most beautiful words, “New York Called.”

Bless him, he knew exactly what that meant.

 Where did you get your idea for your book? I’d been targeting Love Inspired for a while and paid attention to their writing advice including what were popular hooks within the line. I’ve always loved secret identity stories and wondered if I could have a US Marshal fake her death and go “rogue” undercover as a nanny. Once the idea of this highly trained officer having to pretend to be the sitter for a Texas Ranger’s kids without letting the truth slip, the story took off.

How long does it take you to write a Love Inspired Suspense novel? The time varies greatly with the quickest being 4 months and 6-8 months being more realistic. I’ve never been a fast writer but I’m getting better.

Tell us a bit about Justice Undercover?

Keeping her true identity a secret is the only way to stay alive.

Going undercover as a nanny brings presumed-dead ex-US Marshal Kylie Stone closer to catching the man who murdered the witness in her protection—and also killed Texas Ranger Luke Dryden’s sister. When someone tries to kidnap the twins in her care, Kylie must tell their uncle the truth…and convince Luke to help her. But will revealing her identity put all their lives at stake?

What is your typical day like? My husband and I just became empty nesters and moved from Texas to Nebraska for his job. We have 8 kids so it’s been an adjustment to go from constant chaos to having the house to myself during the day. We travel back to Texas frequently and Facetime with the grandkids often.  I get up early but I have a difficult time writing before noon so I get my housework and other projects done in the morning. On the weekends, we enjoy remodeling our small farmhouse.

When did you start writing? Twenty years ago. I’m kind of weird for a writer because I never enjoyed reading when I was young. I didn’t start reading as an adult until I was in my thirties and then I was hooked. Not long after, I started writing my own stories which was a totally blast because I had no idea what I was doing. This was before the days of the internet where writing advice is widely available. I began to enter writing contests and realized I had a lot to learn.

What is the hardest part about being an author? I love to think about stories. I love to talk about stories. I love to research stories. Sitting down every day to put the story on paper, not so much.

Who is your favorite author? I have a lot of favorite authors, but I’d have to say Catherine Coulter because her historicals were what got me hooked on reading. When I completed my first story, I wrote her a letter and she was kind enough to write me back and even listed the writing groups who met in my area! Most authors are extremely supportive people.

Now for the important questions:

Pepsi or Coke?  Definitely Coke. Well, make that Coke Zero. When we moved to Nebraska I found that most restaurants only carry Pepsi products. Now I carry a Coke Zero in my purse just to be safe.

Candy, cookies, or cake? Milk chocolate candy and chocolate chip cookies. I like cake, but I LOVE pies.

Coffee or Tea? Neither. It’s another thing I’m weird about.  It’s either water or Coke.

Favorite vacation?  Cruise! It doesn’t matter where, I just enjoy the ocean (even if it makes me a tad seasick) and spending time on the ship. Great place to take the kids.

Favorite TV show? I watch Perry Mason and Matlock reruns. If I could get I Love Lucy, I’d watch that too.

Favorite Movie? The Fugitive. Even though Tommy Lee Jones was trying to catch Harrison Ford, I wanted both of them to win.  If an author can make you root for both sides, that’s pretty awesome.

Any hobbies? Pets? Activities? My husband and I enjoy working on the house. We just finished making a new epoxy kitchen countertop and I really liked the way it turned out. I realize we could probably pay someone to do it almost as cheap, but where would be the fun in that? We have two super loving Great Danes!

Thank you so much for having me today, Sami!

Please check out Connie’s website http://www.conniequeenauthor.com/ for the latest information.

Thank YOU, Connie, for joining me!!

Come back in July for an interview and giveaway with Lynn Shannon!!

Fangirl Moments with Deborah Clack

I met Deborah Clack a few years back at an ACFW conference. We had finaled in the Genesis contest and hit it off with all our silliness. Both new to the writing scene, we hung out together at meals and got to know each other. She is an amazing person and has an incredible sense of humor.

Please welcome my friend, Romance writer Deborah Clack, as we share a few embarrassing fangirl moments.

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Fangirl Moment Giveaway! May 1

Fangirl and Fan-Guy moments are unforgettable moments in time. The first time you meet one of your favorite athletes, actors, or authors is an exciting event.

I remember the first time I met Lynette Eason. I was at the ACFW conference and had signed up for a critique of my manuscript. I found myself sitting across the table from her, the first few pages of my work in her hands, and suddenly realized…Oh, my goodness!! Lynette Eason read my work! I was excited and embarrassed at the same time. Time has passed, and that same EeeKkk feeling isn’t there. (Sorry, Lynette.) 😊 But I’ll never forget my first time talking with her and that feeling of awe.

And then there are those times that you’d like a redo. Those ‘did I do or actually say that’ moments.

Deborah Clack and I have had a few of those. Some more memorable than others. Lol!

Let’s start with one of Deborah’s unforgettable meetings:

Deborah:  My very first ACFW conference (The One Where I Met Sami Abrams), I was wowed by the amazing gala thrown at the end of the week. With everyone dressed to the nines and the inspiring speeches by the winning authors, I was in awe of the entire event.

After the awards ceremony was over, I went to the front of the room to congratulate a fellow unpublished author on her Genesis Contest win. I knew that she was sitting at a table with several big named authors, but I had absolutely no courage to say hello to anyone other than her (I become a blabbering mess when I come into contact with famous people).

The second I finished my well-wishes, I turned around and, I kid you not, I ran smack into none other than the amazing Susan May Warren.

I blurted, “Oh my gosh, I just ran over my idol Susan May Warren!” (Yes. Those are the exact words that came out of my mouth.)

You guys, she is the most gracious person on the entire earth. We had a good laugh, and then she proceeded to ask me what I was writing and how I enjoyed the conference. She turned one of the most embarrassing moments of my life into a completely normal conversation!

Sami:  Last year at ACFW, I volunteered to host two workshops for DiAnn Mills. Here I was working with and getting to know the amazing DiAnn Mills.

The first session went great. DiAnn and I had a good time together, and I hadn’t said anything weird or acted stupid in any way. I was pretty proud of myself for acting normal. Then came workshop number two.

If you know me at all, you know that my mouth can get ahead of me. I tend to tease, and sarcasm is my friend.

As DiAnn and I set up for the session and did final checks, around fifty people had already taken their seats. The microphones were on and working, DiAnn was attempting to organize her table of papers, and she says something about being unorganized.

That’s all it took for my mouth to get ahead of my brain. Yup, that’s right, I lift the mic and pipe in, “Yeah, DiAnn’s a hot mess.”

Are you kidding me? I had just called one of Romantic Suspense’s award-winning, and bestselling author’s a “Hot Mess” in front of everyone. The audience was laughing, and I was looking for an escape route. But what does DiAnn do? She looks at me, and with a straight face, says, “Yes, I am.”

Have to love that woman.

And my personal favorite Deborah blunder:  Several years ago, when I was fairly new to writing, I joined my local chapter of ACFW. After each monthly meeting, the group ate at a local Italian restaurant. One particular Saturday, I spent some time chit-chatting with members who I had only just met. To my left sat my new writer friends, and to my right sat some lovely authors who I already knew.

We were having the usual get-to-know-you conversations about where you lived, how long you had been writing, what you thought of today’s meeting. When one woman answered my questions, I moved on to the next woman and asked, “What do you write?”

My friend to my right, Joy Massenburge, almost spit out her food and started giggling.

My new friend answered, “I write contemporary romance.”

“Oh, wonderful. Me, too.” I smiled, wanting her to feel welcome. “And where are you in the process? Are you published?”

Joy laughed out loud and turned her head away from me. That’s odd, I thought.

The woman I posed the question to nodded and graciously said, “I am.”

When I glanced around the table, a few others would not make eye contact with me, and most seemed to be fighting back giggles.

Then it hit me.

I turned my head to Joy and asked under my breath, “Did I just ask a famous author if she was published?”

She nodded, wiping back a tear. “Yes, ma’am, you sure did.”

I had just asked the fabulous, talented, award-winning Becky Wade if she was published!

Please leave us a comment about one of your fangirl/guy moments.

Get to know Deborah at https://www.deborahclack.com/

Join me in June for an Interview and Giveaway with Debut Author Connie Queen.