Monday, June 18, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Tracey Lyons


Thank you for providing a fun candid photo, Tracey!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

TL: I came in 2016 as an author and I participated in the crazy fun speed chat. In 2017 I sat on a panel and both years I participated in the book signing. I will be there with bells on in 2019, hopefully I’ll be participating in some way.

Rachel: Woohoo!!! I can't wait!!!

What is your favorite aspect of CFRR?

TL: I absolutely love the fellowship, both spiritual and chatting with readers and new to me authors. I think my favorite memory has to be of the first CFRR. The room was filled with an anticipation and excitement that I’ve never experienced at a reader/author event. The authors were excited to be there and the readers were thrilled to get to meet and spend a day with their favorite authors.

Rachel: YES! Nothing will beat that first year excitement!!


Are you a hugger?

TL: Yes, I am a hugger.

Rachel: YAY!!!



Just for fun...


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Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?

TL: Since I recently discovered through DNA testing that I’m 31% Irish and English, I’d love to travel to Ireland.

Rachel: Oh that is so exciting!!!

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?

TL: I would own a small café.

Rachel: This sounds perfect!


About reading...

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What's your favorite genre to read?

TL: I love to read romantic suspense and small-town fiction.

Rachel: Oh I love it!


When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?

TL: I am very easily distracted, so I need to block out the world around me in my quiet, out of the way, home office.

Rachel: I feel ya! I would rather work at a coffee shop...to hide from my children haha!


About writing...

Goodreads
How many books have you written? 12 Published? 8

What genres do you write?

TL: Historical romance, Christian contemporary and historical romance.

Rachel: A woman of many talents! I like!


What are you working on now?

TL: I am working on my first Amish romance for Harlequin Love Inspired.

Rachel: That's exciting!

What is your next release?

TL: A Love For Lizzie, Nov. 2018

What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with?

TL: I struggle with keeping my butt in the chair and staying focused.  

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Which aspect is most natural for you?

TL: Plotting and picking the settings for my books.

Why do you think writing Christian Fiction is so important?

TL: I think now, more than ever, Christian Fiction is important. We seem to be at odds with one another and I think CF helps to remind us of what is important in the world and in our lives.

Are you more comfortable working in solitude or among a crowd?

TL: I need to work in solitude, usually with a cup of tea next to me, with quite calming music playing in the background.

About the author...
An Amazon Top Ten bestselling historical romance author of the Adirondack Pinkertons and the Women of Surprise series, Tracey was a 2017 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award finalist. She sold her first book on 9/9/99! Her books have been translated into several languages and are available in print, digital and audio formats. A true upstate New Yorker, Tracey believes you should write what you know.  Tracey considers herself a small- town gal who writes small town romances. Her next release, A Love for Lizzie, Harlequin Love Inspired will be out in 2019.



Say "hi" to Tracey in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her and her stories!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Stephenia H. McGee

Stephenia, thank you for sharing this great pic from your latest writing retreat!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

SM: CFRR 2018 was my first event where I participated as an author. I plan on doing as much as I can in 2019! It was so much fun last year. 

Beth: I look forward to seeing you (and your hoop skirt) again!

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?

SM: I’m most excited about chatting with bloggers, readers, and other authors. I loved talking to everyone last year. And honestly, I am totally looking forward to wearing one of my hoop skirts again!

Beth: Yes! The fellowship is so sweet!

Are you a hugger?

SM: Normally, no. But when it comes to readers…yes! Readers are the other half of the story process. When I meet a reader who loved my story and lived it with me, well, we are already old friends who had an adventure together. And old friends always get a hug!

Beth: Books make friends extra special!


Just for fun...

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Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?

SM: Ireland! I’d love to see the beauty of it and step foot into a real castle.

Beth: Excellent choice!

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

SM: I saw this t-shirt the other day that had a flamingo on it. It said, “Majestically Awkward” and I thought, “That’s me!” At least I’d like to think there’s something grand mixed in with all that awkwardness! So if I were a zoo animal, it would be a flamingo.

Beth: That is fabulous!

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

SM: Scottish. I think I could listen to that all day. Second would be Australian. Both are awesome.

Beth: Agreed!

If you were a spy, what would your code name be?


SM: Mama Bear. Ha! That’s the one my little boys use when we play anything that requires a code name. 

Beth: Hehehehe! If the shoe fits...


About reading...

What's your favorite genre to read? 

SM: Historical fiction. That’s probably not surprising. What might be surprising is that I also love Fantasy. I think it’s the unique world-building I am fascinated with. 

Beth: I love historical! Fantasy blows my mind, I don't go there.

Describe your favorite reading spot.

SM: When it’s cold, this is my reading chair in my office... But if it’s warm enough, then I’m here…


Beth: I am envious times two! Those are great reading spots, Stephenia!

Why do you think reading Christian Fiction is so important?

SM: By size, and then by what I haven’t read yet. My husband’s books get mixed in with mine because they are similar sizes and I have a think about symmetry…


This is how I started organizing the new bookshelf hubby bought me for Christmas last year. 

Beth: What a gorgeous bookshelf! I admire your dedication to symmetry.


About writing...

How many books have you written? Published?

SM: I have completed eight novels and two novellas. Six of the novels are out now, one novella comes released May 25th, the next comes out in the Timeless Love Collection June 19th, and my newest novel will release in October. 

Beth: Yay!

What genres do you write?

SM: Historical Fiction and Historical Romance.

Beth: Love it!

What are you working on now? What is your next release?

SM: My next novel release will be a Civil War spy story titled Eternity Between Us (October) and I am currently writing Missing Mercy, Ironwood Plantation Saga book three. 

Beth: What a busy time!

What are your must-have writing supplies? (pen/paper, post-its, coffee, snacks, smartphone, facebook, etc.)

SM: Coffee, computer, notebook, and silence. This is my office, where I do most of my work unless it’s nice out, then I make it to the screen porch.

Beth: Your office is a lovely space!

Are you more comfortable working in solitude or among a crowd? 

SM: Solitude. I don’t write in coffee shops even though I think it is the “writerly” thing to do. I get too distracted! 

Beth: Yep, I need that alone time! Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Stephenia!

About the author...

Winner of the 2012 RONE Best Inspirational Book of the year (2012) and author of six Historical novels, Stephenia H. McGee has a fascination with hoop skirts and ball gowns, Greek revival homes and horse-drawn carriages, quirky Southern sayings, and home-grown recipes.

She currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and two boys, (accompanied by their two spoiled dogs and mischievous cat) where she writes stories of faith, redemption, and stories steeped in the South.



Say "hi" to Stephenia in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her and her stories!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Candid Moments with CFRR author Eva Marie Everson


Thank you for providing a fun candid photo!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

EME: I’ve never been, but I’m beyond excited that I’ll get to be a part of 2019. As both an author and speaker, I’m hoping that the CFRR team will use me in any way they see fit … whatever works best for them … I’m excited!

Rachel: Oh, I think we can put you to work hehe! I am so excited to meet you!!!

What part of CFRR are you most excited about?

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EME: So often we writers are in a world of our own. We work alone. We go to writers retreats and conferences, which means that when we are with others, we are with other writers whose primary focus is not being readers. To me, the truly exciting part about CFRR is meeting readers. It’s always wonderful to receive fan mail, but to actually meet someone who loves your work, who you can ask questions such as “what did you think about this …” or “how did that affect you?” well … I can’t wait! (This is why I love going to book clubs!)

Rachel: Eeeeeep!!!! Can I go into fangirl mode????

Are you a hugger?


EME: I’m from the South. Of course, I am! 😊


Rachel: Ok good! We might have issues if you had said "No". Hehe!

Just for fun...

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What secret talents do you have?  

EME: HA! I can pick up things with my toes.

Rachel: NO WAY!!! Me too...hehe! It's a family trait here.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?  

EME: Ireland and Scotland (and I’m going next year!)

Rachel: Oh man! Trying really, REALLY hard not to be jealous.

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?  

EME: Driving the 7-mile bridge off of Key West. (I live in Florida. You’d think I would have done this by now!)

Rachel: No excuses! Hahaha!

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?  

EME: Travel Photo Journalist.

Rachel: OK, that sounds fabulous!

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?  

EME: I kinda like my Southern accent, but I suppose the Irish would be next (being that I’m SO Irish genealogically).


Rachel: YEEEEES!!!! I tend to just pick up whatever accent is around me...it's an embarrasing trait.

About reading...

What's your favorite genre to read?   
Eva's Chair

EME:
Southern Fiction

Rachel: Why does that not surprise me?

When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?  

EME: I can do both, actually …

Rachel: It depends on WHAT is going on around me I think. Children screaming? Music playing? No problem...My best friend coming into the coffee shop? Not so much hehe!

Describe your favorite reading spot

EME: “My chair.” My back is to the water (although I know it’s there) and everything in the room is cozy and inviting.

Rachel: Oh I love it! I recently got a chair and it's my favorite place now!

How often do you pleasure-read?  

EME: Every day.

Rachel: Right answer!

Why do you think reading Christian Fiction is so important?  

EME: For several reasons:
1) Those of us who love words (and reading them) deserve to be able to do so without having to deal with genres we are not comfortable with.
2) Christian fiction is storytelling with a moral compass set to guide the reader toward something and Someone. Jesus used storytelling to draw all men to Him; we should be honored to know we are doing the same.

Rachel: Yes, yes, and yes!!!


About writing...
Goodreads
How many books have you written?  

EME: Somewhere between 35 and 40. (With the exception of one novel, I haven’t written anything (yet) that has gone unpublished.)

Rachel: Oh that's so exciting!!!!

What genres do you write?

EME: Primarily Southern fiction.

Rachel: Hehe!!!

What are you working on now? What is your next release?  


EME: A novel (working title), Dust. My next release is in Fall 2018: The Ornament Keeper (with New Hope), and my work Lillie Beth in Summer, which is part of a four-part anthology A Southern Season; Stories from a Front Porch Swing (with Firefly).

Rachel: Ahhhh! So many books!!!! YAY!

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

EME: My house has to be clean. I cannot begin writing until I know that the laundry is going, the beds are made, the kitchen is tidied …

Rachel: I am similar with reading/blogging/etc. Sometimes I leave the dishes...only because I can't see them from my chair.

What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with?

EME: Promotional “stuff.” I am, by nature, an introvert, so to “put myself out there,” isn’t easy.
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Rachel: I can relate.

Which aspect is most natural for you?  

EME: Writing and editing. I love the process of both.

Rachel: That is probably a good thing, given your profession hehe!

What are your must-have writing supplies? (pen/paper, post-its, coffee, snacks, smartphone, facebook, etc.)  

EME: Journals for note keeping. Pens! Pens! Pens! (My company is Pen In Hand, Inc.). I do like a cup of coffee nearby, but (sadly) I often throw half of what I make away because once I get involved in the story, I forget who I am and what I’m doing. I also work best with music playing, especially the music of the era I’m writing about.

Rachel: I feel a kindred spirit here...because I AM THE SAME WAY! Granted not with writing books, but working and blogging hehe!


About the author...

Eva Marie Everson is a best-selling, multiple award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference. She enjoys teaching and speaking at writers conferences across the US as well as coaching new writers via her company, Pen In Hand, Inc.



Say "hi" to Eva Marie Everson in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we've enjoyed with her and her stories!