Saturday, March 19, 2016

Laura Hilton, An Amazing Author

Today, we welcome Laura Hilton. Have you read her novels? Here is a bit about her:  

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.
Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard,  and The Birdhouse. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. Laura is contracted for another three book Amish series set in the Jamesport area, with the first book, The Amish Firefighter, planned for May 2016.
She has self-published a Christmas novella, Christmas Mittens.
Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer and blogs for Putting on the New and Seriously Write.

Now, let's get to know a little bit more about Laura.

Joi: Why did you start writing? How did you start writing?  
Laura: I don’t know why I started writing. It was just something that I always wanted to do for as long as I can remember.  I used to write during my spare time at school… not that any of that ever saw the light of day.  I remember my third grade teacher putting limits on lengths of writing projects because I would write and write and write. . .
Joi: That's funny, Laura!

Joi: How did you select your genre?  
Laura: I think it selected me.  I love contemporary romance.  I do have Amish ancestors and I thought it’d be fun to try to write one. . . I didn’t expect it would sell. But it did.  I think it’s the best of both worlds. Exploring my ancestry and writing contemporary romance at the same time.

Joi: What is your writing day like?
Laura; Get up, brush my teeth, have breakfast, sort school work, market, start school and laundry.  Edit chapters I got critiques back on while kids do seatwork. Do more school.  Finish school. Open manuscript. Sons and husband get home. Fix dinner. Edit what I wrote the night before. And maybe get five hundred to a thousand words written before I go to bed. If I’m lucky.
Joi: You are busy!

Joi: How do you organize your writing? (outlines/note cards/post-its)
Laura: Um. I’ll scribble anything that I need to remember on a scrap of paper, lose it, and when I find it again, type it into another document on my computer labeled “notes”.  Usually it doesn’t contain much more than character names in that story and relation to hero / heroine unless of course God gives me a brilliant idea I don’t want to forget then I will type in something that probably makes no sense to anyone. “Car shows up, he gets in. Where does he go and why?” something like that. 

 Joi: What's the most surprising thing a character has “told you”?  
Laura:  I am always surprised by my characters.  I’m a seat of the pants writer and I only know things as they tell me but I don’t want to give any specific examples because someone might not have read that book and it might give something away. 

Joi: Do you have a list of characters that you're saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters? 
Laura: No, not really. I know the main characters of my next book only because I wrote a pitch for that book, but other than that pitch I know next to nothing.  I’ll discover it as I write.

Joi: What does your work space/office look like?   
Laura: I have no office. I write in a corner of the living room – the same corner I homeschool my children in – it’s kind of blocked off in a corner, right by the front door, but my son put the love seat in front of my writing desk and a bookcase beside it where I keep homeschool books, so we all crowd into this little area to do our work. 

Joi: What is your go-to snack when writing?  
Laura:Usually, no snacking.  I do keep iced tea or iced water beside me – out of the way so it won’t dump on my computer or on books – but other than that, none. Unless I get stressed out. Then you might catch me inhaling chocolate, if there’s any in the house.

Joi: If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why?  
Laura: Oh. No. I can’t do that.  I love certain authors and books but I don’t want to recommend one over any other because it would be sooo hard to choose!  Besides, it depends on the genre. I can tell you my favorite contemporary romance writers, historical romance writers, romantic suspense writers, Amish writers, etc. 

Joi: If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why?  
Laura: Honestly, craft books are worthless to me. I don’t understand them; my brain doesn’t function that way. It works better for me to read and find authors I love and figure out why their books are so beyond wonderful. How did they grab my interest on page one? How did they introduce their characters? How much backstory was revealed and when? Study books that you enjoy – and figure out why you enjoy them.

Joi: Is there anything else you'd like to add?   
Laura: I know I write different than how others do it, but there are others out there wired just like me.  God knows what He is doing. I pray constantly when I am writing that He will have me write what He wants me to write and it always amazes me when I get to the end and the theme is there all along that He is working with and I never saw it until I reached the end. And then it is WOW and I sit and stare at it and thank God for guiding me through yet another book and getting His message out there. 

Thanks for joining us, Laura! Laura is offering a giveaway to any one of her books! The winner can choose whichever one she/he desires. Leave a comment below and you'll be entered in the drawing!

The Amish Firefighter

Can they overcome their past?

Abigail Stutzman’s life is about to change – whether she wants it to or not. Her mamm is getting remarried to a widower with a large family. Abigail is sent to live with her aenti and onkle in Jamesport because she and her new step-brother had dated and their parents anticipate problems. (Her step-brother is needed on the farm.) Abigail launches a full-scale plan to return home to her family—and Mark—when she finds herself in over her head…and heart. When Abigail and her new “wrong crowd” get into significant trouble, her punishment includes helping a collection of crazy old maids with housekeeping. In the midst of her atonement, Abigail uncovers family secrets that run deep, and realizes she’s not the only one with a pain-filled past. Abigail must decide if she’ll continue her messed-up legacy or embrace a new beginning with the man who’s stolen her heart.
Sam Miller has trouble of his own. When Sam and his close friend Ezra Weiss are in a drug/alcohol-related car accident in Pennsylvania, Ezra is killed. Though Sam survives, he is deeply affected by the tragedy and vows to help other victims. Now a new Christian, Sam is a volunteer firefighter and a college student working to earn his EMT and paramedic license. But Sam has a past. When it comes time to confess his crimes, he finds that the truth may set him free—but it might also land him in some uncomfortably hot water. Will Sam and Abigail be able to find a future together?

You can find Laura here: 

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Purchase her books:





Anonymous said...

I love Laura's books. Would love to win any one of them. Her newest looks fantastic.

Ann Ellison said...

I haven't had the privilege of reading any of Laura's books, but I think I need to remedy that. I would love to win a copy of one of her books.

Elaine Shorb said...

Cannot wait to read "The Amish Firefighter". Sounds like a great story. Thank you, Laura Hilton, for the information that you provided about yourself. I enjoyed reading and learning about you.
Elaine Shorb

Lucy said...

Thank you, so very much for the chance. Laura is a gifted author.

Sarah said...

Sounds great Laura! Many blessings.

Jennifer Hibdon said...

Thanx for the giveaway! I loved The Birdhouse. I would like to read more from that series. I enjoyed learning more about you, Laura. Jennifer Hibdon

Dianne Casey said...

"The Amish Firefighter" sounds like an interesting read. Would enjoy reading.

Mandy Bentley said...

I would love to read one of Laura's books! This new one sounds great!

Just Commonly said...

This one sounds amazing! I would love to win this! Thanks for the interview!

Marilyn Ridgway said...

Thank you for featuring Laura V. Hilton. A great interview to learn more about Laura as I've fallen in love with her books. I look forward to reading "The Amish Firefighter". I know I will not be disappointed with this book by Laura.

Brandie Mcnemar said...

I love her books, they are just an all around good read. I am looking for more great historical fiction reads, I am into one right now by Edward Webster called Soul of Toledo. It's been so good, but I need a good one after this, this was the last one I had on my table to read!!

Books by Joi Copeland said...

Annie, you are the winner!