Welcome MISSY! What I know so far:
SKC: Okay! Tell us about the book you have coming out or the newest project you are working on now.
MT: My most recent book is His Forever Love from Steeple Hill Love Inspired.
In Magnolia, Georgia, local legend says that a couple who holds hands around the “forever” tree will have an unending love. Even so, Bill Wellington held Lindsay Jones’s hands around that tree years ago...and then left her behind. He chose the big city, and now he wants to bring his grandmother there. But to his amazement, he finds that Granny has a boyfriend—and a vibrant life. A life that includes Lindsay, Granny’s caregiver. Bill never thought he’d want to come home, yet Magnolia clearly has its charms. As does Lindsay, who makes him long for a second chance at forever love.
SKC: Sounds exciting. What inspired you to begin writing in the first place and what keeps you going?
MT: I used to read all the time, and one day I just decided that I would like to try writing a romance novel. I waited until I got my first computer and dove right in!
SKC: Sounds like you've already answered this question, Missy, but I will ask it anyway. How disciplined are you each day with your writing, and when did you begin to take it seriously?
MT: I began to take it seriously when I joined RWA and Georgia Romance Writers. And I took it even more seriously once I started winning contests and realized I might really have a shot at publication.
SKC: One of these days I'll have to try one of those contests, I guess. What are some favorite writing helps books you’ve used, to help you in your craft? I like to ask this, because so many are interested in any helps books they can find.
MT: My two favorite for the last several years are actually workbooks. Alicia Rasley’s The Story Within and Carolyn Greene’s Prescription for Plotting. Those are a must for me as I’m planning a book!
SKC: I can't wait to take the workshop he's doing at the upcoming ACFW Conference. Do you have a special Missy spot for writing, and if so where is it?
MT: I wish I did! But I work right in the middle of the family room, on the couch, using my laptop. I usually work while the kids are at school, so it’s pretty quiet. But I also work when they’re home and can tune everything out pretty well. I like to be comfy when I write! :)
SKC: I wonder if that would work for me. How do you come up with the names of your heroes and heroines, anyway?
MT: I used to spend a full day looking at the meanings of names and choosing something that fits the character’s personality. But now I usually just pick something I like. I often end up looking up the meaning, just to make sure it fits.
SKC: How do you work your middles when many writers come to a lull?
MT: Ahhh, the dreaded middle! :) I often hit that lull as well—about chapter 4 or 5. One thing that has helped is working out of Carolyn Greene’s Prescription for Plotting workbook (mentioned above). She includes a Magic Conflict Chart which is kind of like a GMC chart. She suggests coming up with ideas for each block on that chart. So when I hit a lull, I go to that list of scene ideas and find a few to help move the story along.
SKC: Great idea. So, what do you think is one of the most important things you have learned so far since becoming a published writer, Missy?
MT: That my writing isn’t my “baby.” It’s a project. It can be changed. It can be taken apart and put back together. It can be molded to fit what my editor is looking for. And it’ll end up better!
SDC: How right you are. What would you say is the most difficult for you, the beginning or the end of the story?
MT: Probably the beginning. I feel so much pressure to make the beginning just perfect, with just the right opening sentence that’ll grab the reader’s attention and draw her in. Endings just seem to come like a freight train! Once I get to the black moment, everything after that just flies onto the page. (Of course, I usually know my ending before I start.)
SDC: Interesting. Can you tell us what is next on the horizon for you?
MT: A Forever Christmas is coming from Love Inspired in November. And I’m hoping to sell another proposal soon! :)
SDC: I understand you are donating a book to one of our readers. I appreciate that Missy. How about we ask a question to get their creative juices flowing. Let's see. Okay, how's this?
MISSY HAS SHARED HER IDEAS. YOUR TURN. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HELPS BOOKS WITH YOUR WRITING?
MT: Thank you for having me, Shirley!
WE HAVE APPRECIATED YOUR COMPANY, MISSY!
READERS: BE SURE TO SEND US YOUR THOUGHTS. DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE AN EMAIL ADDY. I HOPE YOU WIN!
Congratulations to Cynthia Chow! You have just won a copy of one of Missy's Books! Watch for it in the mail. And THANK YOU everyone for taking part with us.