Today we welcome multi-published author Laura Hilton! Please leave a comment after the interview to be entered in the giveaway drawing! The winner gets their choice of any of Laura’s books.
Nancy: Laura, welcome back to the Diamond Mine! It’s good to have this opportunity to catch up with you. You’ve written so many stories! I’d like to learn more about your writing life. Do you write every day or in marathon bursts?
Laura: I try to get 500 words written every day. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less, but I also have five children, homeschool, am a pastor’s wife, and am busy, busy, busy, so I don’t have time to spend all day writing.
Nancy: You sure don’t! It’s amazing how much writing you’ve done! How do you get your story ideas?
Laura: God. This particular one I saw a photo on face book with an Amish man fighting a fire and I started researching and discovered that Amish do volunteer as firefighters and EMTs in their communities.
Nancy: I didn’t know that. That’s wonderful. Do you work from an outline, or craft it as you go?
Laura: I craft it as I go. I don’t plot. I find it so impossible to plan out a story and then be able to write it. When I was in elementary school, in fifth grade the teacher had us write an outline. She gave us a week to work on it. I struggled, until the teacher commented that “next week, we’ll write a two or three page paper from the outline you wrote.” I’m like “Oh!” So I went home that night, wrote the three page paper, then went back and wrote the outline. I got 100% on the assignment(s), but I learned then, my brain doesn’t work in the typical outline first fashion.
Nancy: Well, that makes me chuckle! I’m awful at outlines, too, and also craft as I go. When did you first know you were a writer?
Laura: I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I could remember. I kept it close to me for awhile, because I’d get the “that’s nice, dear.” And a pat on the head (which even is insulting to a child). And when I did finally find the courage as a grown up, my brother in law looked at me and said “no one will ever publish it.” Wow! That hurt. I get great pleasure in sending my sister and brother-in-law a copy of each of my books. Is that wrong of me???
Nancy: I don’t think so. I’m sure you’re proud of your work, and maybe your actions will teach them to be more encouraging to family members. (I’m an optimist!) What do you want your readers to experience or learn from your stories?
Laura: I leave the application the reader gets from it up to God. He knows how He wants the reader to respond.
Nancy: What a great answer, Laura! Have you ever experienced writer’s block, or had a lot of difficulty with a story?
Laura: Oh yes! Some of the stories were sooo hard to write. The one that’s releasing in February 2017 (The Amish Wanderer) was one of those. The whole book dealt with spiritual warfare (somewhat) and I was battled. It seems there’s a part of every book where I’m having the character come to grips with a spiritual truth and I go through great trauma in real life then.
Nancy: Wow! That’s really interesting, and something I haven’t heard before. You’ve piqued my curiosity. Tell us about your latest book: 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.
Samuel Miller has trouble of his own. When Sam and his close friend Ezra Weiss are in a drug/alcohol-related car accident in
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? Pennsylvania
Nancy: Sounds really interesting, Laura! What do you like best about your main characters in this story?
Laura: They are so real! Sammy is a bit rough around the edges, but he has a soft heart and will do anything to protect those he loves. He has to learn to face his mistakes to move past them. Abigail was hurting from secrets that she never knew about but now flooded her world. I hurt for her.
Nancy: We authors do go through a range of emotions while working on our stories, don’t we?
Are you ever sad when finishing a story or a series, or do you feel relief and are glad to start your next novel?
Laura: Yes both of them. I’m sad to leave characters that have become friends and am anxious to make new friends in the next book.
Nancy: What are you working on now?
Laura: I’m writing a book called The Christmas Challenge that I think might release in 2017 – maybe September, but I haven’t heard for sure on the release date of that yet. It is due to the publisher Jan 2 – so I need to hurry!
Nancy: Well, I hope you enjoy the writing as much as your readers enjoy your stories! Thanks so much for the interview, Laura!
Here’s a little more about Laura, followed by her social and purchase links:
Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals or blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New. Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye and currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.
Purchase her books:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton
Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX
Interview by Nancy Bolton