Wednesday, July 29, 2009

with Colleen Coble

Colleen, thanks so much for being with us. Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
The phone rang late that night with the news that my younger brother, Randy Rhoads, had been killed by lightning in a freak farm accident. In the coming months, as I emerged from the storm of grief, I realized that if I was ever going to follow the dream I believed God had put in my heart, I needed to get started. I was approaching my fortieth birthday, and time was marching on. I told God I was ready, but still nothing came.

As part of the grieving process, my husband and I made a trip out to Wyoming to see where Randy had lived during a two-year stint. We hadn’t made it to see him while he was there, and he loved Wyoming. As I stood on the parade ground at Fort Laramie, the first idea took root and sprouted. The fire of grief and adversity had finally cracked open the seed that had lain dormant in my heart all those years.

It still wasn’t easy. Getting published is hard and takes work and commitment. But I never gave up on the long road to the first sale because God wouldn’t let me. Every time I was tempted to let the computer go dark, God whispered in my heart that I could do it. That he had given me everything I needed to go on, that I must go on. Seven years later (seven is God’s number so that was perfect!) I finally made the first sale. But God taught me about faith and perseverance through those seven years. Looking back, I’m glad it wasn’t easier. It makes me appreciate so much more the joy and privilege I have to share my novels with my readers and to hopefully make them a little thirsty for the One who holds out a cup of living water.

What a testimony! Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
I love Bree in the Rock Harbor series. That series will probably always be my favorite. I labored over it so long before it was ready that it became part of me. And Bree is probably the character who is most like me. But I love all my books and characters or I wouldn’t be able to spend the time necessary to write the book!

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I’m at that caregiver stage right now. The past six months were extremely difficult as my dear father-in-law’s Alzheimer’s worsened. He died in April and I had book deadlines that still had to be met all through the past six months. It was hard to find the time to do everything but I just took one day at a time and stayed focused.


Which character in Lonestar Secrets most interested you while you wrote and why?
I loved Shannon. I love children so I so identified with her when she realized the daughter she’d grieved was actually still alive. I loved how she was willing to do anything to raise her daughter.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m 57 and most people would never guess I love the water. Love it! I learned to snorkel in the past few years and I take every opportunity to take my fins and mask and explore the world underwater.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
I usually do the things I dread first so I can get them out of the way. :-)

Oh boy! Do I need to take lessons from you! That's something that I'm continually working at, and thankfully I'm doing much better there! :-)
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I’m mostly a suspense reader. I’ll occasionally read other types of books but not often. I love romantic suspense. Which of course is why I write it!

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
Chocolate! Except right now when I’m dieting. Did you HAVE to mention food? :-)

Oops. Sorry about that. Tell ya what. I'll eat the chocolate for you so it's not tormenting you. Will that help? LoL
What is the most important thing to you?

Jesus defines everything about me. Or at least I’d like him to. I fail in that too often. I want my kids and grandkids to look back someday and see him in things I did or told them.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
The theme of forgiveness always seems to find its way into my stories. I’ll start out with another them, but that one always creeps in. I’ve seen the damage an unforgiving spirit can cause so often and it’s a theme close to my heart.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
There is a season for everything. I’ve been under such stress with family illnesses and my father-in-law’s death, and God has shown me that it’s a season and this too shall pass.

Yes, that's a phrase that's near to my heart. Thank you for the reminder.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

The Lightkeeper’s Daughter will be shipping in January 2010. It’s my first historical romantic mystery and is set in the Eureka/Ferndale area of northern California in 1907. It’s been a few years since I’ve written a historical, and it was so fun to go back to my roots. Addie Sullivan discovers her lightkeeper father found her on the sand after a storm and he and his wife were paid to keep her away from her real family for all these years. She has to enter the Eaton manor as a nanny to discover the truth.

Oh wow, Colleen! That one sounds fabulous, too! Thanks so much for being with us this week!

Be sure to visit Colleen at her website at www.colleencoble.com and at Girls Write Out.
You can purchase Lonestar Secrets from Amazon and CBD.

I'm excited about the upcoming months and here's why: While scheduling this fall's author spotlights I had more authors than dates. It's a wonderful problem to have and as I prayed over it and my calendar I had an idea. (Girls, quit rolling your eyes at me! You know me and my ideas! LoL)

In August and September (the start and end dates aren't firm yet) we'll be having a Back to School Book Bonanza! There will be more than twice the authors and books here at Patterings for a few weeks, and I am soooo excited!

So far in the Book Bonanza line-up we have: Nicole O'Dell, Tammy Barley, Kathy Fuller, Joyce Moccero, Dana Mentink, and Shirley Connolly. There are others that haven't confirmed yet, too, so I'll wait on telling you who they are.

And before the Book Bonanza starts? There's our local Fiction Friday friend, Rick Higginson, followed by Mary Connealy. Yanno, I really just need to put together a schedule here on Patterings. I'll work on that. Later. After I finish ironing out some more details.

Don't forget to leave a comment for Colleen to be entered in her book giveaway!

4 comments:

  1. The Rock Harbor series was the first I had read by Colleen and will probably always be one of my favorites. But I also love lighthouses and am eager for the release of The Lightkeeper's Daughter.

    I enjoyed the interview and appreciate the giveaway.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's hard to let go of someone you love, and writing while you care for someone who is dying has to be so very hard. Thanks for the inspiring interview!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3:30 PM

    I can hardly wait to read it, it sounds so good! I just love the cover on LoneStar Secrets! Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
    Esther

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the inspiration!

    hartfg (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete

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