Tuesday, September 20, 2022

 Sandra Kay Vosburgh interview with GIVEAWAY 

 By Kathleen L. Maher

Hi Sandra and welcome to the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. We have some terrific readers here who would love to hear all about you and your new release.

Sackets Harbor Mysteries sounds like wonderful autumn reading. I mean, who doesn't love to curl up with a hot coffee or tea and a cozy mystery as the evening temperatures dip? Tell us a bit about the series and your latest release. 

 My cozy mystery series is set in Sackets Harbor, a small tourist town on the shore of Lake Ontario, amid the Thousand Islands of NYS.

In Book 1, Scandal at Stonecroft, twenty years after the disappearance of the treasurer of Stonecroft resort, an article appears in the Ontario Times, "Whatever happened to Harold Ramsey?" reigniting the town with rumors, whispers, and gossip. Retired spinster Ada Whittaker intends to find the answer with or without help from the sheriff.

 In Book 2, The Death Collector, Ada Whittaker thought it a good idea when her widowed sister moved to Willowdell, Sackets Harbor's premier senior living village. But the upsurge in unexplained deaths among the residents makes her ask, when do too many incidents stop being accidents, and is Frances in danger?   

 

What got you on the path to writing/publication?

I've always loved story and loved to read, but I never thought of writing until my children were grown, and my husband showed me an advertisement for The Christian Writers Guild course.  

Were there mentors, maybe a school teacher, an angelic visitor, or even a favorite book that sealed your literary fate?

Several, but the one who means the most to me is not even aware of her impact. Patti Souder directed Montrose Christian Writers Conference in 1998, the first conference I ever attended. I stepped through the door that first day, unsure of myself, not entirely convinced I belonged there. Patti came up and hugged me, and I just felt God was affirming this step of faith.

 What is your proudest moment so far in your writing calling? 

I've attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for years, but never entered their contest until this year. God overwhelmed me when my novel, Anchorless Summer, won the Foundation Award in women's contemporary fiction. 

 

Wow, congratulations on that auspicious win! 
Was there ever a moment when you wanted to give up on writing?

One moment will stand out forever. I can't put into words how "at the end of myself" I felt that day. I wanted to walk away from writing completely. I figuratively wanted to burn down my office. I can say this because I know other writers have been there. I remember that moment because within minutes, I received an email from Scrivenings Press informing me I had won the grand prize in the GetPubbed contest and was offered a contract. At that moment, I was glad I hadn't burned down my office. 

 

Now that is affirmation. Beautiful testimony.
What's next? What are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on assignment with David C Cook for devotionals. I'm also working on Book 3 in the series. I recently asked my readers to offer suggestions as to where Miss Ada should travel to have her next misadventure. One suggestion almost gave me an instantaneous plotline.

 

Would you tell your younger Writing Self to do anything differently?

Yes, don't be in a hurry to publish your first novel. Take time to develop the craft. Be patient. You don't have to settle for the first publisher that offers you a contract anymore than you have to settle for the boy who gave you your first kiss. Pray about everything.

 

Sandra grew up on a dairy farm in western New York, giving her not only the ability to milk cows, bale hay, and drive a tractor but an appreciation of nature's beauty. Her story settings reflect this love of the woodlands, lakes, and mountains. She allows only her favorite characters to get lost in them. She is a speaker, Bible teacher, and pastor's wife. Sandra currently makes her home in the warmer state of South Carolina.

 Visit www.sandrakayvosburgh.com and signup for her monthly newsletter and check out her blogposts. 

You can follow Sandra on Bookbub, Goodreads, and Amazon.


GIVEAWAY: Enter to win your choice of a Sandra Kay Vosburgh ebook by sharing this post to your social media. Just mention in the comments how many shares, and where, ie Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, etc. For fuirther entries, follow the author on her social media pages, and let me know in teh comments how many extra entries you earned/which you followed. Drawing will be held and winner announced Tuesday, September 27th.

Thank you for reading! Good luck in the drawing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Phyllis Wheeler: Author of Time Travel Adventures for Children

 


This week's author, Phyllis Wheeler, writes stories like I used to love to read as a child. Time travel adventures were always among my favorites. Let's get to know more about her and her writing!

Hello Phyllis. Thanks for joining us with a look into your work and life. To begin, tell us about your writing.

I write fiction for middle grade and young adult, especially speculative fictions such as time-travel, for example my award-winning novel for ages 12-14, THE LONG SHADOW. I'm a Christian, and my stories reflect that in a fairly subtle way. I'm also a veteran homeschooler and write for homeschooled families, including a study guide. I experimented with other genres but keep coming back to writing for kids.


I'm a former homeschool mom and love all the books written for that market now. Tell us more about what you're working on right now.

A time-travel adventure series, GUARDIANS of TIME, is in the works. Book 1 comes out November 1. In the meantime, get the prequel short story at my website, PhyllisWheeler.com. 

This sounds like an exciting book. Can you give us a behind the scenes in what your writing?

Writing teachers tell you to write what you know, so I set my time-traveling heroes in my own St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves, specifically the modest side of town where I live. In my book, Guardians of Time Book 1: The Dog Snatcher, I take the twins on a quick trip to Lyon, France, in 1680, to chase the guy who kidnapped their dog. Lyon is where I spent several days in 2019 and got a good feel for this unique city. For the next book, we're likely to head to someplace I've never been! It's a secret where it is, but I've been able to find a number of  videos online of people walking around there, sharing their experience. Hint: it has a mysterious history.

What is the hardest part of writing a book for you?

Having been a nonfiction journalist and technical writer for most of my career, story brainstorming comes hard for me. I make myself sit in my office chair for long periods, and count it a day's work if I solve one turning point. So, I'm a relatively slow writer.

Who has been the biggest influence on you in your writing?

My very first critique group, which was of course formed of other writers who knew more than I did. They patiently showed me all the ways a former nonfiction writer can be doing the wrong thing! I'm grateful to them, and I've continued with a variety of other critique groups over the years, passing on the same knowledge to others.

Who is your favorite author?

My favorite living author is Jill Williamson, author of the Blood of Kings, fantasy series. 

It's a common question, but what inspires you to write?

Newspaper stories, Internet research on the topic I'm looking at asking friends for suggestions. I'm interested in people's lives and the challenges they've faced.

I noticed you've won some awards! Tell us about those.

The Long Shadow is a winner of a Purple Dragonfly Award and a Moonbeam Children's Book Award. There's even a free unit study available! Details here.

In all of life's adventures, do you have anyone along for the ride with you?

My husband Steve! We have four grown children and, so far, no grandchildren. Not even grand-dogs or cats. However, we do have Meggie, a miniature poodle. She is the boss of the household!

Thanks Phyllis for allowing us to get to know you, and to learn about your wonderful stories. If anyone would like to get to know more about Phyllis visit her website at phylliswheeler.com. 


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