Thursday, July 23, 2009

Come Visit with MISSY!

Welcome MISSY! What I know so far:

Missy Tippens is a two-time Maggie winner and 2006 Golden Heart finalist. She has taught writing workshops at the RWA National Conference and Moonlight & Magnolias Conference.

Missy has a story included in Blessings of Mossy Creek, published by BelleBooks. After ten years of pursuing her dream, she made her first sale of a full-length novel to Steeple Hill Love Inspired. She still pinches herself to see if it really happened! Her debut novel, Her Unlikely Family, was a February 2008 release and is now available in large print from Thorndike. His Forever Love was a June 2009 release from Love Inspired and will be followed by A Forever Christmas in November 2009.

You can find Missy at

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.

Here’s the blurb:

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! What keeps me going is the love of writing. The joy of creating something. And also the wonderful reader letters and email inspire me to keep going.

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!

At RWA National last week, I took a workshop with Donald Maass. He taught using his new book, The Fire in Fiction. I have the book and can’t wait to read it. The workshop was excellent and very helpful!

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?


MT: Thank you for having me, Shirley!



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.



  1. It's great to be here, Shirley! I look forward to seeing what how-to books your readers can recommend!

  2. Me too, Missy.
    I devour helps books if I understand they are good and will improve my writing.
    Maybe it is because I'm still a newer author. I can use all the help I can get.
    I wonder if others fill their library with books like that as much as I do....

  3. Still wondering if I'd be able to give the guy a second chance. Please enter me. Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  4. Hey, Linda! Thanks for stopping by.

    Actually, the reason he left is because she got engaged to someone else. So he was protecting himself. :) I hope he deserves a second chance! :)

  5. Thanks for the tips about the writing books. I'll have to check out the Prescription for Plotting and the Magic Conflict Chart. Maybe that will help me with a WIP. I'm stuck in the middle. Written the beginning and the ending, but the middle kind of stumps me. :)
    Please enter me in the drawing.
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

  6. Cynthia, I always get stuck about chapter 4 or 5. Some of the charts in Carolyn Greene's notebook help me plan ahead for scene ideas to help me move toward the ending.

    Good luck!


  7. Missy,
    Being a Georgia Girl myself I can't wait to read your book. I write historical articles for "Georgia Backroads" and have a cozy/mystery Christian Fiction WIP. I hope someday I will be as well know as you. I have found that reading published authors are a great way to learn. Please enter me in the contest.

  8. Deborah, thanks for stopping by! I'm in the middle of reading right now myself, mostly checking out new authors to see what the editors are looking for. It's always a great way to learn!

    Good luck on your WIP!

  9. Hello Missy I have not had a chance to read any of your books.but i hope to find some of your books to read very soon.It is always great to hear from authors and how they write God bless

  10. Hi,

    The book sounds great, I would love a chance to win it.


  11. Thanks for stopping by, Kellie and Stormi!


  12. I'm really enjoying all the comments! It is a joy having Missy here too.
    I hope to draw that name by Wednesday. Anyone who shares about what they like to use to learn the craft better is greatly appreciated.Even if it is simply in the reading of an author's book.
    I try really hard, being a fairly new author myself, not to look for errors in a book by anyone, but instead, to find the meaning behind the story that's written. Doing that plays a great part in teaching me, with inspirational books, the importance of the inner message. How many agree?

  13. Wonderful interview! While I am simply a reader and have no intentions of becoming a writer I can appreciate the effort that writers make in crafting their work. For instance, second character point of view can be either wonderful or a disaster depending on how an author handles it. One authore I have seen do ir masterfully is Margaret Daley. She is an amazing writer. Trish Perry is another writer who does a masterful job of it. I would appreciate being entered in the drawing.