Monday, March 26, 2018

Candid Momentes with CFRR Author Becky Wade

Becky, thanks for sending this great candid of you at CFRR 2017! Loving the photo bomber!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...
In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

BW: I participated in CFRR the inaugural year as an author and in 2017 as a speaker.  I'm not sure yet whether I'll be able to make CFRR 2019, but I'd love to if I can.

Rachel: Your teaching session at CFRR 2017 was so inspiring and has stuck with me!

What is your favorite aspect of CFRR?

BW: My favorite aspect, hands down, is the opportunity that CFRR has given me to interact with readers.  I spend most of my writing year at home, alone with my characters. It's a joy to meet readers and fellow book lovers face to face!

Rachel: YAY! I have SO loved connecting with fellow readers! The bookish community has been such a blessing to me.

Are you a hugger?

BW:You betcha.

Rachel: That's the answer we like to hear. Hehe!

Just for fun...

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

BW: An Australian accent!  I adore the Aussie accent.  Can't get enough of it!

Rachel: Agreed! I could listen to Hugh Jackman speak/sing all day!

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

BW: Tortoise, because I'm a slow and steady writer.

Rachel: Yet you win the race in the end, am I right?

About reading...
What's your favorite genre to read?

BW: Kissing books, as Meez Carrie would say.  I'm a huge fan of all things romantic. My favorite books are romantic books.  My favorite movies, romantic movies. Romance is, very simply, my thing.

Rachel: I 100% agree with you!!!
When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?

BW: I seek a quiet retreat.  Growing up, my mom always read in our living room amidst the noise, the chaos, the loud TV, etc.  But I'm not that way. I crave silence and solitude while I'm reading.

Rachel: I don't blame you. It definitely depends on what is going on around me. I get distracted too easily.

About writing...

How many books have you written? published?

BW: I've written fourteen full-length manuscripts.  So far, nine have been published, with two more in the pipeline.

Rachel: Eeeeeep!!!! This makes my reader heart happy!
What genres do you write?

BW: Long ago, I wrote general market historical romance, but those books are all out of print now.  Since 2009, I've been writing contemporary Christian romance.

Rachel: This makes me so happy!

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

BW: I just finished the first draft of Bradford Sisters novel #3.  My next release is Falling for You, Bradford Sisters novel #2, which will hit shelves May 1st.

Rachel: I can't wait to read it!
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

BW: I dictate some of my scenes into my phone while writing the rough draft.  I'm hopeful that my neighbors assume I'm having a conversation. However, it's probably more likely that they've come to the conclusion that I'm crazy.

Rachel: Haha! No doubt you are correct. 😉

Why do you think writing Christian Fiction is so important?

BW: Because our novels give God an opportunity to show up on the page.  To declare His grace, and power, and forgiveness through stories about imperfect people who are nonetheless loved and pursued by their perfect God.  Christian fiction can do more than entertain! Christian fiction can minister to God's people.  It can encourage. It can bring hope.
I'm truly honored that the Lord has given me the chance to write books for Him.

Rachel: I LOVE this. Thank you so much for sharing!

BW: Thanks so much for hosting me here on the CFRR blog!

About the author...

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She’s the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

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Say "Hi" to Becky in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we have enjoyed with her stories!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Candid moments with CFRR author Dani Pettrey

Candid Moments with CFRR author Dani Pettrey

Dani, thanks for sending this great candid of you and your husband!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

DP: In 2016, I was a participating author. In 2017, I was a keynote author via Facetime 😀 I’ll be a keynote speaker for 2019.  

Beth: It was so lovely to meet you during the speed chats in 2016 and your presentation with Becky Wade in 2017 was fabulous! Can't wait to see you again in 2019!
What is your favorite aspect of CFRR? 

DP: I love the comradery of authors and readers. It’s so wonderful spending a day with book people. No better group!  

Beth: Completely agree!

Are you a hugger?

DP: Most definitely. Bring on the hugs. 

Beth: YES!

Just for fun...

What secret talents do you have?

DP: The ability to get lost anywhere, except in the middle of the desert in Arizona where I had the uncanny ability to tell North from any point (blew my husband’s mind…and mine too).  

Beth: That sounds like an entertaining story!
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?

DP: Australia. I’d love to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, visit the Irwin’s zoo, and trek through the Outback. 

Beth: I've always loved the Irwin's and Austrailian accents are among my favorites!

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

DP: Cry? Seriously, I feel writing is what God has called me to, but if He hadn’t…I’d either be a full-time grandma or I’d teach creative writing to homeschoolers (I homeschooled my girls all the way through and taught creative writing classes to our co-ops).  

Beth: Don't cry! We want you to keep writing... even though your alternatives are pretty enticing!

About reading...

What's your favorite genre to read?

DP: Mystery. I adore Agatha Christie and Sue Grafton. 

Beth: Mystery and suspense often go hand-in-hand, I can see why it's your favorite!
When reading, do you block out the world around you or seek a quiet retreat?

DP: I prefer a quiet retreat, but can absolutely enter my own little reading world anywhere.  

Beth: Same here!

How do you organize your books?

DP: Organize? What's that? 🙂

Beth: *gasp and shocked speechlessness*

How often do you pleasure read?

DP: At least once a day.

Beth: *deep breath* Oh good, I'm okay now.

How many books do you average per week?

DP: Due to writing deadlines and life, I’m a bit slower than I used to be…quite a bit. I used to read 2-3 books a week. Now I average a book a week.

Beth: I completely understand. I've had to cut back as well. It's hard!

About writing...

How many books have you written? published?

DP: I’ve written eleven full-length books and two novellas. I’ve published nine (come July) full-length novels and two novellas.  

Beth: I still need to read so many of them, too! *whimper*
What genres do you write?

DP: Romantic Suspense. 

Beth: Heart-pounding romantic suspense! Just thinking about your stories makes my pulse pick up!

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

DP: I’m working on the galleys for Dead Drift (out in July 18) and Deadly Isle (part of the Cost of Betrayal novella collection with Dee Henderson and Lynette Eason out in October 18), and writing the first novel in my new Coastal Guardian series (out in July 19). 

Beth: Yay! That's great to hear!
Do you have any strange writing habits?

DP: I write all my first drafts longhand.

Beth: That is impressive (and makes my hand cramp)! I can't swoof without a keyboard.

What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with? which aspect is most natural for you?

DP: I struggle most with getting started and finishing my first draft. I adore revisions. Never thought I’d say that, but it’s true. I love when the raw work is in front of me and I get to play with it. So fun! 

Beth: I'm a self-proclaimed tweaker. I could tweak a graphic or blog post all day but  I would #ratherbereading!

What are your must-have writing supplies?

DP: My Circa notebook, Frixon erasable pen, coffee, and a comfy spot to curl up in. 

Beth: Comfort is key!

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

DP: Definitely solitude. I need quiet to write or I literally start writing all the conversations going on around me. 

Beth: Oh sweet solitude! Thank you so much for sharing a few moments with us today!

About the author...

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has written eight novels, which have sold more than 300,000 copies. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance novel. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

Dani’s adventure-focused Alaskan Courage series climbed the CBA best-seller lists, with Submerged staying in the top twenty for five consecutive months. The five-book series also won multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others. She turns her attention to crime and law enforcement in her home state of Maryland in her new Chesapeake Courage series, starting with Cold Shot, which Library Journal called, “a harrowing and thrilling ride.” For more information about her novels, visit her website.
website | facebook | twitter | instagram

Say "Hi" to Dani in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we have enjoyed with her stories!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Candid moments with CFRR author Jen Turano

Jen, thanks for sending this great candid of you ready to attack the pumpkin!

About Christian Fiction Readers Retreat...

In what ways have you participated in CFRR?

JT: My first experience with CFRR happened in 2017. In all honesty, I was certain I was not going to be able to make the retreat because of scheduling conflicts. But, at the very last minute, I rearranged my schedule and freed up some time. After that, I sent Carrie a text to see if she could squeeze me in and…she did. Funny story with that, though – you see, Carrie was worried I might be a tad upset that she couldn’t squeeze me in as an author, but after I told her that I do read, which means I’m perfectly content to attend retreats as a reader, and that I don’t always like being Jen the Author Person, well, everything fell into place and I was on my way to my first CFRR retreat.
Since I’m scheduled to be one of the speakers in 2019, I do believe I’ll be attending that retreat for sure!
Jen and The Rach(a)els at CFRR 2017
Rachel: Best surprise EVER! Seeing you at CFRR 2017 is a memory that will live on in infamy! And you'd better be there in 2019 hehe!

What is your favorite aspect of CFRR? Are you a hugger?
JT: My favorite aspect of CFRR is getting an opportunity to hang out with so many readers and authors. It’s such a relaxed atmosphere, and so much fun, and I have to say that the 2017 retreat was a highlight of my year. As for whether or not I’m a hugger – it depends. I was not a hugger before I married Al, but his family is filled with huggers, so while I have gotten better with hugs – meaning I don’t completely freeze up, hugging is not always my first option when meeting a person for the first time.
Rachel: Oh I hear ya! I am a hugger...big time...BUT only people I know...

Just for fun...
What secret talents do you have?  
JT: I can shrink anything in the dryer – and sometimes by several sizes.
Rachel: So do you purchase clothing a couple sizes up then?
If you were an animal in the zoo, what would you be?
JT: A penguin, because penguins are super cool and quirky.
Rachel: Good choice! They are fabuous!
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?  
JT: Well, first off, I don’t always enjoy writing books, especially first drafts. But, if I chucked my writing career, I’d go back to being a buyer for a department store. That’s a great job. Someone gives you a budget and you get to go out and buy the latest fashions with that budget.
Rachel: Ah! That sounds perfect! Love it!

About reading...
What’s your favorite genre to read?  
JT: Historical romance, followed by contemporary romantic comedies.
Rachel: You have such good taste in books! 😉
Describe your favorite reading spot.  
JT: I like to read outside in the summer, preferably by a stream. In winter, I do a lot of reading on my bed.
Rachel: Hopefully that warm weather isn't too far off!
How do you organize your books?
JT: My fiction books aren’t organized very well at all – although I do stack them in the order I’d like to read them. My non-fiction research books are organized by subject – such as Balls of the Gilded Age, Tycoons of the Gilded Age, and then location, such as Newport, Chicago, and just recently, books on Pittsburgh.  
Rachel: I think my brain just had a heart attack...BUT at least there is order to it haha!

How often do you pleasure read?
JT: Every night before I go to sleep.  
Rachel: Right answer!
About writing...
How many books have you written?
JT: That’s a little tricky to say. I wrote a ton of books before I got an agent, so…if I count those, plus the ones I’ve had published and then the ones that are turned in to my publishing house but haven’t come out yet – ahhh….probably around twenty-two????  Maybe???? It might be more. I wrote some really awful books back in the day – ones that will never get into print, but ones that were great stepping stones and really helped me develop that thick skin every author needs to develop in order to maintain their sanity in this business.
Rachel: Stepping stones...I think that is a great analogy. We all have to start somewhere right?

JT: Ten full-length published, plus two novellas.
Rachel: Three of which I still have yet to read...*hangs head in shame*

What are you working on now?
JT: I just turned in the first book in a new series, so now I’m laying out the groundwork for the next book in the American Heiress series. This one centers around Miss Poppy Garrison – she’s somewhat of a hesitant heiress, having accepted her grandmother’s offer of a season in New York City in return for her grandmother saving the family horse farm. It’s early days yet, so not much to say about the plot, which will certainly change from what I thought it was going to be at some point in time.  
Rachel: I am SO.EXCITED.for this series!
Amazon | Goodreads
What is your next release?
JT: Caught by Surprise coming out July 2018.  
Rachel: I have cleared my calendar for the week this book comes out hehe!

What part of the publishing/writing process do you most struggle with?
JT: First drafts – I loathe them. There’s just something about seeing that blank page staring back at you day after day after day, and then knowing it’s up to you to fill that page up with…words.
Rachel: But what beautiful (and FUN) words they become!
Are you more comfortable working in solitude or in a crowd?
JT: I only write in my office, and I don’t play music, have snacks, or anything I might find distracting around me.  
Rachel:  That is very interesting. I love working with music on, but I can see how it can be distracting too.
Thank you for joining us Jen!

About the author...
Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her ninth full-length novel, “Out of the Ordinary” released in November 2017. Her next novel, “Caught by Surprise,” releases in July 2018.  She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

Say "Hi" to Jen in the comments and let's chat about some of the moments we have enjoyed with her stories!