Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Interview with Rock Star Romance Author, Anne Carol and a Giveaway

Hello, friend! 

Pull up a chair by the fire, grab yourself a big ol' cup of hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream, and get comfy. I am excited to introduce to you my friend and author, Anne Carol.

Anne Carol grew up reading, writing, and listening to English rock bands, obsessing over one in particular. Her obsession and endless daydreaming inspired her to write her first romance novel at age twelve. Over twenty years later she decided to re-write the story for publication. Never Let Go is the first book in her edgy inspirational series, Faithfully Yours, and is a story that has been a part of Anne since childhood. Anne lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons.

So let's give a warm welcome.

CC: Hello, Carol!! I am so happy you were able to join us on the Diamond Mine. So tell us, what are you reading right now?

AC: I'm currently reading several books now! On my Kindle, I have Above the Fold by
Rachel McDaniel, a historical romance set in the 1920s, and Her Cowboy Till Christmas, a Love Inspired romance by Jill Kemerer. On Audible, I’m listening to The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen, a Regency romance. In paperback, Adorning the Dark by musician-author Andrew Petersen. It’s a nonfiction book for Christians in the creative arts. Very good!  

CC: Oh, I've read The Girl in the Gatehouse, very good, and I'm looking forward to picking up the others. 

When you're not reading or writing, what do you like to do?

AC: I love networking on Facebook with writing pals from all over the country! I also enjoy watching Hallmark movies, having coffee with friends, wine tasting with my husband, getting together with our extended family, seeing live music shows, cooking/baking, and traveling.

CC: I am so glad for Facebook and our ability to stay connected, that's for sure. I love seeing all your activities and watching your boys grow. Bittersweet I know.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

AC: It varies. Right now, Hebrews 12:1-2a: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (NIV)

I feel like I've been battling negative emotions daily--insecurity, envy, comparison, pride--you name it, I've felt it! I keep telling myself I need to fix my eyes on what matters eternally, not on what the world values. If There's anything I can press into my kids' minds before they leave for college, it's the truth. 

CC: Boy to I feel you, Anne. Those negative emotions are so difficult to overcome, but praise the Lord we have a savior we can fix our eyes on and continue running despite the emotions.

But running with your eyes on Jesus in your writing life wasn't always foremost in your mind. It's only been recently that you moved from "mainstream" romance to Christian romance. Can you tell us a little bit about what happened to change your direction? 

AC: My husband and I were in a car accident about week before my second novel released. We weren’t seriously injured, but a woman in the other car that was hit passed away four days later. The accident itself, plus her death and what followed (testifying against the drunk driver in court), put my emotions into a tailspin. Add to that my second book didn’t seem to get the reaction of my first book, and I fell into depression. I decided to read some Christian fiction, and my eyes were opened. My soul just filled with peace, and I knew I had to adjust my writing to reflect my faith. I wanted to give others that sense of hope, while still giving them an emotional love story. 

CC: What has God taught you along your publication journey?

AC: To trust and obey. Meaning, to trust that He has the best plan for my writing. Things work better when I follow His lead (that’s where obedience comes in). 

CC: Such a simple yet hard lesson. We know it, but to follow through can be one of the most difficult things to do. 

What does literary success look like to you?

AC: When my readers close my books with a smile and a sense of hope. (And want more!)

CC: I don't think that will be a problem once they get their hands on your books.

In fact, why don't you tell us a little about this series...

AC: I’m writing a four-book series about one couple, Beth and David. In the first book, they meet as teens when Beth (who’s from California) spends the summer in London, where David is an aspiring musician. The series chronicles their love story from young love (complicated by long-distance) to early marriage (when David becomes a full-fledged rock star) to starting a family, with all the challenges that entails, while managing the rock star life. The fourth book is currently in production, and it will continue exploring how Beth and David uphold marriage and family while pursuing their dreams. The series also includes themes of addiction and finding faith.
CC: When is your fourth book coming out? 

AC: I plan to release Never Give Up (Faithfully Yours #4) next summer, fall at the latest. I’m trying to engage more with the reader community, so I’ve revamped my book group. The Green Room: Anne Carol’s Hangout is open for anyone who’d like to join! The name of the group reflects what I write about: musicians. We chat about books, music, and life! And I have special previews and giveaways just for members. 

CC: I love the fact your group is called the Green Room, it's just so appropriate and it's a great place to keep up-to-date with your progress. 

What is the hardest part about this writing journey for you? How can we support you?

AC: Transitioning has been a long, sometimes discouraging process. It’s taken me a while to figure out where I belong. Connecting with more seasoned writers who can mentor me has been a bust. God has brought some wonderful writing friends into my life, and I’m so grateful for them. But I could really use critique partners and a mentor. 

CC: We will definitely be praying for those to come along. And we are so thankful you stopped by to let us get to know you better.

Readers, if you'd like to connect with Anne, check out her social media links below. Interested in winning a copy of the first book in her series? Comment with your favorite music band and your email. If we have five different commenters, then we'll pick a random winner!

Anne's Social Media

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Interview and Giveaway with Erin Unger!

Erin Unger is back in the spotlight on The Diamond Mine! Today, we're offering a free copy of her thriller The Cabin. Just leave her an answer at the end of this interview to be entered in the drawing for a free copy. Let's turn our attention to The Cabin!    
Being trapped in a snowstorm might not be the worst thing…

Leah Kettridge’s writing career is over before the first book lands on the shelf, when a famous author has claimed she’s stolen his work.  
Keenan Brinner has it all. He's a best-selling author who's only headed toward more greatness. And he must be the most gorgeous guy Leah's ever seen. But he's also a liar and a cheat.

When they end up at the same cabin to write, emotions explode. 

But an unexpected snowstorm traps them deep in the mountains. Is 

he bent on destroying her in more ways than one? How will love 

find them amidst all their anger and distrust?

Sounds like a good one!! Now, let's get started on the interview!

Hi Erin! 

What does it mean to you to be a published writer?

I have worked so hard and for years to get to where I am today. It means so much to me to be traditionally published. I thank God for getting me where I am.

Do your characters ever surprise you?

When I write, I love to let the characters surprise me. They do tend to have a mind of their own.

That's so true!
Since you write stories with intricate plots, do you need to work from an outline?

It’s kind of funny how long my outlines are. My friends like to tease me about it. They usually average 50-60 pages. Pantster writers think I’m crazy but it allows me to write faster and cleaner.

Wow, that is a long outline!!
Have you ever started a story with no idea of how it will end?

My first two books didn’t have an outline and I didn’t know the ending, so it was a little hard for me to work without completely developing the story first. But they were a great learning experience.

Which is more fun for you to write, the hero and heroine or the villain or villains?

I completely love writing both sides! The hero/heroine are characters I get to really delve into. I love to develop them and show their weaknesses. But the villains creep me out sometimes, yet I love to get into their heads.

It's so funny how a character you're writing can actually creep you out. I think only a writer would understand that!
How would you describe the way you feel when writing?

Quite often, it takes a long time for me to get into writing a scene—even with an outline—so it can be frustrating. But when I get into the groove, excitement wells up when I see how my characters are going to get out of the messes they get themselves into.

What do you want your readers to feel when reading your stories?

Emotion is a very important part of writing. If readers don’t feel anything as they read, they’ll put the book down and never finish it. I want them to be on a rollercoaster ride with my characters, to feel what they feel in every part of the story.

Yes!! That's the main thing I think most fiction writers strive for.
Is there a common underlying theme in your work?

There does tend to be a common theme in most of my stories. It’s that bad things can happen to good people, yet God is in control of it all.

Do you write in more than one genre?

I do. I have a children’s book I illustrated, and I plan on writing and illustrating a whole series about a kitten who is always getting into trouble. It’s based on my adorable Persian cat who does the funniest things.

That sounds like a lot of fun! What are you working on now?

I’m about to start rewriting a manuscript called Expired Coupons: Buy One Get Dead Free that I wrote years ago. This fun romantic suspense is about a coupon addict and a murder. Throw in an adorable neighbor, and the main character will never be the same again. It’s due to the editor soon, so I better get to work.

To win my giveaway for an eBook of The Cabin, answer this question. Who is your favorite author and why do you love them?

Thanks for the interview, Erin! So there you go, readers! Answer Erin's question in the "leave a comment" section and you'll be entered for the free copy. Now here's a short bio of Erin, followed by her social and purchase links:

Erin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby, five grown children, and a couple grandkids.

Amazon Author Page: