Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Juggling through Life with Fay Lamb

The Diamond Mine's a happening place for interviews and giveaways. And in honor of the Christmas season, we have a true treat for you today...Christian author, editor, and writing coach, Fay Lamb.

I know I’m excited to meet this lady. How about you? I figured as much…okay, okay, I get the point. Let’s jump right in… (oh, make sure you check out Fay's awesome giveaway! You won't want to miss it.)

Renee: Howdy, Fay, new releases, old releases…what do you have for us today?

Fay: Libby is the second novel in my The Ties that Bind series. Readers meet Libby in the first novel, Charisse. When she came on stage while I was writing Charisse, Libby endeared herself to me. She had a sense of humor that she insisted on sharing, though somehow I knew she really wasn’t a jokester. In order to get to know Libby and the reason behind the persona she displayed, I had to write her story, and I learned that the humor was a coping mechanism, and strangely enough, her author uses that same mechanism to cope with the heavy stuff in life.

Here’s the blurb for Libby:

Libby Overstreet can’t see herself as anything but shy and socially awkward. She’s nearing thirty, and she’s never even been on a date. Then she meets the man of her dreams, but Libby knows he would never be interested in a wallflower like her. All she wants to do is to buy that garden nursery on the outskirts of town and settle down with the life she has always dreamed about.

Evan Carter has been watching the woman in the coffee shop for weeks when his friend tells him that the object of his affection plans to buy a garden nursery and needs Evan’s expertise as an architect/contractor.

When they meet, Libby is more enamored of Evan and even more convinced that he would never look at her as anything but a friend.

However, that’s far from the truth. Evan would love to get to know the innocent beauty God has placed in this path. Trouble is, he fears that a lovely flower like Libby will wilt under the sins of his past, and he’ll do everything in his power to keep that from happening.

Renee: That sounds like a cool story! I need to pick it up myself…soon. Now I know you’re more than just an author…how on earth do you do it all?

Fay: Yes, I am. I’m an editor, a writer, speaker/teacher and a writing coach. On the non-writing side, I work with my husband and my son’s companies (three in all). I’d like to say that I can always keep the balls up in the air and get everything done that I have placed on my plate, but the truth is, I have to sometimes let some balls fall so that I can concentrate on the job that needs the most from me at that moment. On good days, I do what I call “working around” where I simply work on certain projects for a designated amount of time per hour. That allows me to get my housework done, do company accounting, and to coach, edit, and prepare workshop materials. On occasion, though, the projects need more than fifteen to twenty minutes per hour. For example, writing isn’t something that I can do in blocks of times. I need to focus. That’s when I place the other balls on the ground, and I concentrate on the project at hand.

Renee: You may need to teach me how to juggle like that, Fay. I’m not too good. I know it’s probably a rare commodity, but what do you do in your spare time? Does it ever find a way into your novels?

Fay: I love to tat and to collect salt and pepper shakers. While the shakers haven’t met it into my novels yet, Libby is a tatter. Tatting is a form of lace work that I learned by the skin of my teeth after meeting a ninety-plus year old woman at a quilting show. Now, one must know first that I cannot sew a lick. I also can’t crochet or knit, but tatting fascinated me. The woman was moving the tatting shuttle in and out and out and under faster than I could follow. She set up lessons for about five women, and I was one of those. During the last lesson, I still hadn’t gotten the hang of the stitches, so this dear woman made me stay and work with her alone until I mastered it, and I did. Since I always have to be moving, even when I’m sitting down, tatting has been a great way for me to relax and watch television on occasion.

Renee: Wow, I’ve never heard of tatting before. I’d probably have another ball at my feet, literally! You must be one talented lady. Has anything unexpected ever happened when writing one of your books?

Fay: I am amazed with each story that I write how God allows my subconscious to add humor or insight that I don’t realize. I can’t take credit for it because I’m just as surprised by it as my readers might be. I love it when I start laughing at something I wrote that is funny or when I cry at moments that didn’t strike me while writing.

Renee: So for us writers out there who may be interested…are you a plotter or a pantser?

Fay: I did not coin this term, but I told the author who mentioned it to me that I was going to adopt it. You would normally call me a panster, but I prefer to be called an organic author. That means that I sit in my seat and let the story pour from within me. However…on occasion, I do get stuck. That’s when I pull out James Scott Bell’s LOCK system, and I use it to creatively “plot” with 3x5 index cards (created on my computer) where I spell out who my lead character is for each scene. The objective the character has for that scene, the conflict for that goal, and an attention getter or kicker ending.
I would never be able to plot with an outline. It makes the creativity seep from my soul, but with the 3x5 cards, I can still envision the scene, the characters in the scene, and I can creatively build upon the story with each card. It’s the best of both worlds: part organic, part plotter.

Renee: I may need to adopt your strategy as well, ma’am. I can’t plot. It kills every bit of creativity within me. I’ve tried a few times, but it never works. What happens after you write a story and something doesn’t “click”? Do you ever toss one of your “babies out with the bathwater” so to speak?

Fay: Oh, no. I place them aside for a while, but all of my babies have either been contracted or they are awaiting the end of series to be contracted. I have been very fortunate in that regard. Most of my novels are either finished or at certain stages in the writing process.

Renee: I guess since we’re speaking of writing, I can ask this one. What’re you working on right now? Do you have anything out and about?

Fay: My next release will be the first novel in my Serenity Key series, entitled Storms in Serenity. Storms is a modern-day retelling of the aftermath of David’s sin with Bathsheba. I’m currently working on the third novel in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series. That novel is entitled, Everybody’s Broken.

Renee: Do you have a favorite character from one of your books?

Fay: Of course, all of my characters have endeared themselves to me, but I smile when I think of Gideon Tabor. Gideon is the hero of Charisse. As one character describes him, “He’s a little boy in a grown man’s body.” Gideon’s humor plays well with Libby in Charisse, and I actually had to scale Libby’s humor down because Gideon is just that playful. Throughout the series, Gideon’s humor comes into play, especially in the third book in the series entitled Hope, when keeping humor in the characters’ lives will be a challenge as one of them faces the fight of her life.

Renee: Writing can be a challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun. Can you share a moment with the readers?

Fay: The fun in writing for me comes with the twists and turns I can share with my reader. In order to do that, I have to blend in back story rather than put in information dumps of the past. Because I’m primarily a panster—or organic writer—I get to be the first one surprised by a twist and turn.
A recent surprise came for me while writing Everybody’s Broken. I have a secondary character I planned to kill off. This murder was going to be the door of no return for the heroine. However, this woman came onto the stage and she endeared herself to me with her Southern accent and mannerisms. She’s about two decades out of her environment, and it plays so well. Her story is now percolating in my writer’s brain, and I just can’t kill her off. Instead, I found another door of no return.

Renee: That’s what I mean! I love to write. And I never know what’s going to happen with one of my characters. It makes for an interesting ride. So Fay, what’s next on your agenda?

Fay: After the releases of Storms in Serenity and Everybody’s Broken, I still have the third and fourth books in The Ties that Bind Series: Hope and Delilah and the fourth book in the Amazing Grace series, Frozen Notes for release. The Serenity Key series has at least four other novels. So, I have a lot of writing and editing to keep me busy in 2015. When those are completed, I have one stand-alone novel and another series to pitch.

Renee: You truly are one busy lady. I can’t wait to see those books hit the stands.

Don’t miss this great giveaway on the Mine!

Have a question for Fay? Ask away! Or just leave a comment to enter the giveaway.
Drawing 12/17/14

About the Author:

Fay Lamb is an author, editor, and writing coach.
Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on three romance novellas: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt, A Ruby Christmas, and the newest A Dozen Apologies. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.
Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind. Also, look for Book 1 in Fay’s Serenity Key series entitled Storms in Serenity.
Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor. And, yes, there’s one more: Goodreads.


Peggy Trotter said...

Welcome to the Diamond Mine Fay! I love your take on being a panster! I also love it when my characters decide which direction they're going to take! LOL So good to have you!

Susan Stitch said...

Great interview! I think I'd probably better admit that I'm collecting salt shakers, too. Cracker Barrel has such cute ones! Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

Unknown said...

Welcome you busy lady! I remember how honored I was when you critiqued one of my chapters on the ACFW loop about two years ago. You were so encouraging and gave such great advice. Thank you!! You have so many books out. Do you spend a lot of time promoting them? It doesn't sound as though you have much time, though! :)

Lisa Lickel said...

Nice to learn more about you Fay, Congratulations on your latest ventures!

KayM said...

Libby sounds like an endearing person. I am looking forward to reading her story. Fay, you are a busy lady and I sense that your mind never quits. I am so impressed that you learned to tat. My grandmother tried to teach me, when I was a teen, but I gave up too soon and never learned. I wish I would have been more patient (and self-disciplined) and taken the time to learn.
may_dayzee (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

LiteOfTheNite said...

I don't know I could ever learn to tat either, Kay, although it sounds like an awesome skill! :)

Fay Lamb said...

Susan: Cracker Barrel does have the best new shakers around. I love to look for the antique ones in shops or even on eBay. I have found some great finds in both venues.

Fay Lamb said...

Hey, Nancy. I miss being very active in Scribes, and I hope to return soon. As far as marketing, Write Integrity Press has a great way to help us to market. The authors are the marketing team, and we share in marketing strategies, so while I'm promoting others, they reach out to their audience and promote me. And I'm so glad that the Lord allowed me to speak some encouragement into your life.

Fay Lamb said...

Thank you, Lisa.

Fay Lamb said...

Kay: The ninety-year-old-plus woman who taught me had a lot of patience. She wouldn't let me quit, and once you get that double stitch down, it never leaves you. Now, crocheting and knitting are problems for me.

Fay Lamb said...

Renee: To create a simple motif, you only need to know the double stitch. It seems a bit hard, but once you see how it's done, you'd laugh at the ease. I believe it's just getting our brains to move our hands in the direction you want them to go, but I can watch TV and count stitches at the same time. Once your brain gets a hold of it, it's like typing for those who have typed for years. We don't think of the letters. We just think of the words, and our brain does the rest. :-)

LiteOfTheNite said...

True. it becomes automatic. :) You may need to teach me someday!

LiteOfTheNite said...

And the winner of the giveaway is Kay M. Congratulations, Kim! You have your choice of a signed copy of one of Fay's books. :)