Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Family, Holidays, and Writing Journeys with Debut Author Erin Unger

This week we welcome a debut author to the Diamond Mine that you'll be seeing more of in 2019. Not only because of the books she's got releasing next year (which we'll talk a little later) but also because she's joining the Diamond Mine team!

Let's give a warm welcome to romantic suspense author Erin Unger.

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. But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids. Her novel, Desolate Paths, releases January 11, 2019.

Connect online:

Suzie: Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Erin. We are delighted you could join us for a visit.

An icebreaker is always a fun way to learn a little about a new friend, so let’s start with a game of Would you rather (I promise not to ask about eating anything disgusting)!

Would you rather win a million dollars in the lottery or never have to buy anything for yourself ever again?  

Erin: I’d rather not have to buy anything for myself. I bet that would equal tens of millions, lol.

Suzie: I agree (plus I'm not a huge fan of shopping to begin with). Would you rather be a contestant on a game show or a character in a soap opera?

Erin: A character in a soap opera would be so fun to over act.

Suzie: Would you rather sing like a diva or cook like a 5-star chef?

Erin: A 5-star chef is way more interesting. And it would make my family so happy to have all those gourmet meals every night.

Suzie: A 5-star chef would also produce something delicious. Would you rather have your own boat or your own island? 

Erin: Don’t you think an island would be such a dream come true? Then at least I could hide on it and get some writing done without a million interruptions.

Suzie: I am in complete agreement! Would you rather live a hundred years in the past or a hundred years in the future?
Erin: I’d go back to the past for sure. I’m dying to know all the little details of life that we can only guess about.

Suzie: Would you rather never be able to speak what’s on your mind or always speak the truth?

Erin: If I couldn’t speak what was on my mind, I think I’d go crazy!

Suzie: Ok, that was way fun! Now let’s get to some more personal questions. You have a large family. Five kids, y’all! As a single lady, I can’t even imagine! Can you share a couple of your favorite recent family moments with us?   

Erin: I’m so glad you asked Suzie. Last week, I went to visit my army son and his family in Texas. He just had a brand-new baby—my first granddaughter! I held her almost the whole time we were there. And playing with my three-year-old grandson made my year. Top all that off with seeing a bunch of iconic tourist sites and it was by far a favorite trip of all time. 

Suzie: Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, let’s talk about some of your family traditions for the holiday.

Erin:  Thanksgiving at my house is a crazy mix of family and fun. We cook for days. All my kids prepare a dish or dessert of their choice. And my whole extended family also contributes in potluck style. But I always do the turkey. We spend the whole day together, eating, doing puzzles, and playing games—and getting in a little nap too.

Suzie: Sounds like a great day of family and fun! By necessity (did I mention the five children?), you are a couponer. What advice or insight do you have for someone interested in saving money?  

Erin: I don’t coupon like I used to, but it’s a very important aspect of having a big family. The best advice I have is to always shop at stores which double every coupon. And match them to the sales in the sales ads. I’ve done it for years and saved about 65% on my grocery bill on a regular basis.

Suzie: Thanks for the tip! Now, tell us a little about your writing journey. 

Erin: My writing journey has been...well interesting. It hasn’t been easy or quick. But I’m so glad that God brought me through the difficult years and kept me from quitting many a time. I started writing nine years ago, but it isn’t until this coming year that all my hard work is going to come to fruition. 

Suzie: What a great testament to not giving up. With a full house (and then some), what kind of writing routine—or non-routine—do you have? 

Erin: I’ve been on sabbatical for a month but normally I write three days a week. I spend one day a week doing social media, guest posts, and writer maintenance or editing. And I write the other two days. I don’t always worry about word count because I have days where I work all day and still only get out 500 words.

Suzie: What drew you to romantic suspense? Who are your influences?

Erin: I’ve always been drawn to mysteries and suspense since I can remember. Even as a kid, I was looking for every Nancy Drew book and every mystery story I could find. I’ve been influenced so much by Harlan Coben, Stephanie Myers, Erynn Newman, Lynette Eason, Lynn Blackburn, Ronie Kendig, Dani Pettrey, and so many more. They’ve helped to shape my writing more then I imagined possible.

Suzie Definitely some names I recognize on that list. Romantic suspense intrigues me because of the research into procedures and laws and more. What is an interesting tidbit or experience you’ve come across while researching your books?   

Erin: Because of my novel, Desolate Paths, I learned a lot about alcoholism and how it affects people so differently. Some people can drink regularly for years and not be addicted, while others can drink for only a short amount of time and become alcoholics. Even the types of withdrawal can vary in extremes. And they aren’t necessarily directly related to how long a person drinks.

Suzie: Share with us a little about your debut release (coming January 11, 2019).

Erin: When rehab is Brooke Hollen’s only chance at redemption, she runs straight to it. But can she survive the serial killer who hides amongst the damaged and healing? And can she trust Kyle Reston, another rehab resident, who wants to take her under his wing? Or is he responsible for the residents who keep going missing?

Suzie: Do you have anything else in the works?

Erin: I have five books releasing next year. It’s going to be an exciting year. And, I’m in the middle of writing a series about a tight-knit urban community and its secrets, and I’m so excited about it. I can’t wait to get it in my readers’ hands.

Wow, five books? That is amazing (and goes back to that persistence paying off). Erin, thank you again for your time today! I look forward to reading Desolate Paths soon!

Erin is giving one reader a $5.00 Amazon gift card. To enter, leave a comment below and tell us about your favorite Thanksgiving family tradition. For a bonus entry, follow Erin on social media and tell us you did so in the comments.
 ***Must be five original commentors for giveaway to be valid. 


Erin Unger said...

Thanks for having me Diamond Mine!

Wendy Davy said...

Your book sounds great. Love the cover. After Thanksgiving dinner I tend to fall asleep with a football game on...or take a walk outside in the brisk air with my family. Guess that counts as tradition, right?

Erin Unger said...

Thanks Wendy! A walk is a great idea. Especially after all the food I gobbled.

Joy said...

Congrats on all of your upcoming releases, Erin! I am looking forward to your books coming out. I also follow Erin on Facebook. I will be sharing the post!

One of my favorite family traditions is cooking with my family. We also enjoy watching the parade together on tv. Then we usually watch a movie to end the day.

Anne Payne said...

Five books??? You have been busy, Erin!!! I'm looking forward to reading them as I love romantic suspense!

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition used to be going to my mom's. She's been gone 17 years and it's just never the same. All of us miss her beautiful table settings, delicious foods, but most of all her hugs.

Anne Payne said...

I forgot to say I follow you on FB and elsewhere. :-)

Hope Welborn said...

So excited for this upcoming novel, Erin! You really have worked hard and persevered along this long and winding path. Thanks for sharing some fun facts about you. I love the tradition of doing a puzzle together. My family's tradition is to gather around the piano and sing together, after we're full and have had a good nap! Blessings for the new year!

Erin Unger said...

I like to turn the parade on while I prepare for the meal but this year I missed it. Thanks for commenting, Joy!

Erin Unger said...

I feel the same way about my grandma's hugs, Anne. They were the best.

Erin Unger said...

Hope, singing around the piano is almost a bigone tradition. I'm so glad your family keeps it alive!

Becky Lang said...

I love watching the parade and dog show. Getting together and eating is also fun.

Erin Unger said...

Hi Becky! There's a dog show that day? Neat. It's amazing the care it takes to have a show worthy animal.

LiteOfTheNite said...

Hi Erin! I'm so glad to see you and your success! LOVE YOU!

Becky Lang said...

Yes it is

Erin Unger said...

Hey Renee! Hugs and prayers to you for all you've been through lately.