Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Interview with Debut Author: Kaitlin Covel



Hello, friends!! I'm so glad you're here to visit with Kaitlin and me today. As always, I have a pot of hot tea and platter of fresh scones with jam and clotted cream to offer you. Go ahead and curl up in a wingback chair or if you want to get fancy, I have a couple beautiful antique Victorian chairs and a settee. 

One of my favorite things to do is to interview debut authors. Kaitlin's debut novel, Atoning for Ashes, hit the shelves just in time for Valentine's Day, and now she has graciously agreed to visit today. 


Kaitlin Covel has a thirst for adventure much like the heroines of her stories. She is an old-fashioned romantic, and if she could time travel to any historical period, it would be the Regency Era. Here in the 21st century, she is a certified Nutritional Therapy Technician, but writing is her passion, whether it's fiction or non-fiction. Her debut novel, Atoning for Ashes, released on February 14th, 2019 from Deep River Books. She has honed her craft since childhood, benefiting from the insights of other writers through professional writing associations such as the Jerry Jenkins Writer’s Guild and Hope*writers. She lives with her family in Maine, where she enjoys teaching the teen Sunday school class at her church. Her favorite things are family, books, history, chocolate, music, the ocean, and strong cups of tea. Visit her at www.kaitlincovel.com.


Crystal: So Kaitlin, What was the best advice someone ever gave you about writing, life, or anything that strikes your fancy?

Kaitlin: One of the greatest pieces of writing advice I ever received was to write until I was confident enough of my writing skills to share them with the world. I wrote short stories and several novels to practice my skills. I engaged in writing memberships and contests to polish my craft until I knew I was ready to attempt publication. This journey has taken me almost ten years, but I have loved every moment of it. I look forward to the next chapter of my publishing journey and all the new experiences that await me. I know I am doing what I was born to do!

Crystal: Great advice! It takes a lot of hard work to get a good story pulled together and written. 


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Kaitlin: My dream job as a child was to be a published author and see my books on a library shelf. I thank God for making my dream come true!

Crystal: That is so great God planted that seed to write while you were young. I bet there were many stories written in crayon. 


Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Kaitlin: Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, for he shall direct thy path."  I love this verse because it is a daily reminder to trust the Lord and rely upon Him in all circumstances. Life is complicated, but I know the Lord will direct my path if I acknowledge him in all my ways. 

Crystal: That is a great verse, and one that we all have to lean into on the difficult days (and the not so difficult days as well.


Josie Chadwick dreams of marrying for love in Cornwall, England, but with her father's debt threatening to destroy all she holds dear, her romantic options are dwindling. When her elder sister Delia is disowned, Josie finds herself heiress of Chadwick Park, torn between dreams and duty. After sacrificing her heart to atone for Delia's sin, Josie clings to the hope she will learn to love a distant husband, whom she fears is incapable of requiting her affection.
Charles Radcliffe's heart has been scarred and hardened by rejection. He fears hurting his new bride, but his fears of betrayal and rejection are stronger, making it impossible for him to trust her love―let alone the love of her God.
As Josie and Charles face their new life together, ominous events warn of dark family secrets that could shatter them both. More than a loveless marriage is at stake if they cannot stand as one. Will they learn to trust God and each other before it's too late?



Getting to Atoning for Ashes, did God teach you anything through the writing of it?

Kaitlin: God taught me so much through writing this story that I don’t even know where to begin… I think the biggest lesson God taught me in writing Atoning for Ashes was the unconditional nature of His love. I’d never really meditated on this aspect of our God, but because several main characters in my book struggle with a crisis of identity, I reflected on the unconditional nature of my God’s love and grace more than I ever had before. 

Crystal: How do you select the names of your characters?
Kaitlin: I like to look at the census for the year my story is set if it is available. I’m always taking note of unusual period names when I’m watching period dramas or reading classic literature/biographies/memoirs. For surnames, I do a lot of research based on the setting, and I have fun exploring historical documents from the time period. It is a struggle, but I persevere until I’m satisfied with the ring of each characters’ full name! 


Crystal: Thank you so much for sharing with us today! 

Readers, Kaitlin is graciously giving away a print copy of Atoning for Ashes to one lucky commenter. Just respond with your email address below and the winner will be notified the week of March 27th. Thank you so much for stopping by for a cup of tea and a chance to meet this debut author!



Saturday, March 16, 2019

Interview and Book Giveaway with Author Dave Arp!!

Today on The Diamond Mine, we welcome author Dave Arp! Also, to all you readers, please leave a comment in the comment section (link is located after the interview on the bottom of the page) and you will be entered in the drawing to win a free copy of ORB.


Hi Dave! So, what is Orb about?

Once a Marine, now a private investigator, Wes Hansen sat down a billionaire to talk about finding the man who assaulted his daughter. The job sounded easy enough until Wes discovered the only witness is a dog, and his only physical evidence is two identical business cards embossed with a bare eyeball and the name MESHACH. Before it’s done, there’s a little romance and a lot of danger.

Sounds like a pretty cool story! 
And here's an excerpt from it:

Meshach sat in the dark living room watching Shanteel’s house through the open patio doors. His backpack at his feet contained the computer, the cash, all of it. Just in case.
Lightning flashed offshore. A gust moved the curtains. The thunderstorms had arrived. Weather was as unpredictable as the broad who’d stuck his own pistol in his face. She’d nearly killed him. Only a finger’s width away. He grinned at that thought. She’d never know.
Headlights topped the levee—an unrelated vehicle, someone returning her car, or the poster boy cop? A glimpse at the bridge of lights mounted on top of the car told him the latter. A man exited the cruiser and walked toward Shanteel’s. He was off duty, dressed in civilian clothes, but no doubt still armed.
He trotted up the stairs to the front door and entered without knocking. The door slammed. Another light came on.
Meshach glanced at his watch: 11:07. He’d like to hear that conversation. He’d bet money it was one- sided.
Lightning illuminated heavy, menacing clouds. The smell of rain rode on a cooler wind. Wouldn’t be long reaching the area now.
Minutes passed: 11:21. The front door opened. The cop stepped out and slammed the door behind him. He walked with authority and determination. Either the wildcat had tried to emasculate him again, and he was fleeing for his life, or he was out to avenge the slight she’d suffered. He trotted down the steps. As he reached the walkway that would take him back to his car, another quick flash of lightning flared almost on top of them. The thunderous crack stopped him in his tracks.
Hard to tell what direction he looked, but Meshach could guess. Another bolt arced cloud to cloud. The guy stood with his hands planted on his hips, staring toward Meshach.
Could he see Meshach staring back from just inside the door? Meshach hoped he could.
In a second, the distance between them filled with a torrent. Wind blew rain sideways through the doors into the living room. Lightning split the night in half, revealing emptiness where the cop had stood.
  
Sounds like a great read!
How did you get the idea for this novel? 

I’ve tried to answer this question in a blog and to myself several times. I can’t. I was reading the Bible one day and an idea began to form. I didn’t act on it and begin to write until going through some old photos of a friend and me hunting in Alaska. A picture of him set the story in motion. I’d share more, but I’d give away the story and that would be no fun.

That’s true! Do any of your characters share any traits with you?

Wes Hansen and I share a few traits. I don’t think I could write without a little of me going into one of my characters. Wes and I are far from perfect, but we’re fixable.

I think our imperfections can make us pretty interesting as story characters, or as humans! 
Do you write novels from an outline, or from a general idea of a storyline?

I write as my characters live through the story. I see what they see. I go where they go and do what they do. Though, to keep track of the location and activities of Wes and the man he’s after, Meshach, I had to build a spreadsheet. I was rereading one day and thought, Good grief, where is Wednesday?

I know what you mean, since I write the same way. Sometimes you do need to go back and make sure everything makes sense sequentially and in light of plot circumstances or changes. 
Do your characters develop as you write them, or do you have a set idea of them from the beginning?

They develop just like my story does. I usually have a general idea that I stick to, especially for the moral aspects, but I don’t dress them with hair, eyes and clothes from the start.

I think it’s good to leave out some of the physical details of the main characters so that the reader can imagine the people themselves. And sometimes too much description can be tedious to read. Of course, that’s just my opinion, as there are a lot of great stories that rely on lots of description.
Did you always want to be a writer?

I never had the first thought about writing until I was in my forties. When I did, I discovered my spelling was atrocious, punctuation was worse, and telling was easier than showing. Telling is easy. Showing takes effort. I was not a “B” English student. I’m not a “B” writer, but I’m working on it.

I hear you! Telling is as easy as speaking. Showing does take a lot more effort, and I’ve still got room for improvement on that skill!
What’s your favorite thing about being an author?

I’ve been hooked on books before. Ludlum, Clavell, Clancy, L’amour, numerous other fiction writers kept me up late at night reading, trying to see what lay around the next corner, the next page. Is it narcissistic to smile when someone tells you they were up late because they couldn’t put your book down? Maybe a little. I don’t care.

It’s gratifying when someone tells you that, or how they wished your story was longer. One of the perks of being a writer! 
How much time are you able to spend on your writing?

I write in spurts. At home, early morning is my quiet time. Early as in four or five until seven when I take my bride a cup of coffee in bed. I’m a drilling foreman and spend six months a year on an offshore drilling rig. My idle time there is spent writing or reading, mostly writing.

How nice to have a job that affords you the opportunity to spend time writing! That’s great!
Do you have an underlying theme to your stories?

I don’t have an underlying theme, per se, though my first novel, Me and Jake, was based on a true story and hints at child abuse. I write Christian fiction. God and a belief in Him and Christ are always mentioned. I suppose the conflicts in each of my stories are a tale of good and evil.

And that makes for pretty compelling conflicts, in stories and in real life!
What are you working on now?

I have two works in progress. Riley James is 40,000 words across the Saudi desert, but still 40/50,000 words from Jordan, trying to escape The Bloodletting. He and his newfound friend, Matu, are moving at night and hiding where they can with the snakes and scorpions to escape the scorching sun during the day. And I’m working on Sleeping With My Boots On, a non-fiction memoir with a friend who spent 4 tours as a combat medic.

Wow! Sounds like exciting stories are on the way from Dave Arp. Thanks so much for the interview, Dave!
Now, here is a short bio, plus Dave’s social and purchase links. And don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance for a free copy of Orb!!

Bio:
David was born in Arizona and raised in Texas where he began a career in the oil and gas drilling industry soon after graduating high school. Since then, he’s traveled the world. He discovered his love for writing while working for Saudi Aramco, drilling wells throughout Saudi Arabia. Today, he splits his life evenly between home in Colorado with his wife of 32 years, Karen, and a deep-water drilling rig on the Gulf of Mexico.


Pelican Book Group page for ORB:

Amazon

Media –





Other books by Dave Arp: