What's happening in your writing life and mine; Book Updates and recommendations; The wonderful world of reading, writing, and everything in the middle.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
SOME GREAT INSIGHTS FROM LOUISE!
Welcome to A Pen for Your Thoughts, Louise. Glad to have you here with us.
Award-winning Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction, calling her stories “threads of grace woven through time.” In addition to numerous other awards, Louise is the recipient of the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award for her 2005 novel, Hannah Rose. With her great love of history and research, Louise has traveled to several of her locations to ensure the accuracy of her stories’ settings. When she isn't writing, she and her husband love to visit historical sites and museums. Her favorite Bible verse is “He shall choose our inheritance for us” (Psalm 47:4), a testimony to her belief that God has chosen a path for each believer. To seek that path and to trust His wisdom is to find the greatest happiness in life.
SKC: Hey, Louise, I had a glance at your website and loved the phrase you had by your books, “Thread of God’s GraceWoven through Time” and I noted how you mentioned it again in your bio to us. How did you come up with your focus phrase, and how do you incorporate that focus with the books you write?
Louise:This is a great question. We know that every romance novel needs three threads that must be cleverly woven together to make a good story. Those are the plot thread, the emotional thread, and the romance thread. For Christian romance novels, there is a fourth: the spiritual thread. Each of my characters grows emotionally as the romance proceeds, but the most important thing is the way God reveals His grace to the hero and heroine in ways that resonate with my readers.
SKC: Beautiful explanation. How did you happen to choose your specific genre and why?
Louise: I’ve always loved romantic stories, ever since I read Charlotte Bronte’sJane Eyre, which I consider the perfect romance novel. Of course I love Jane Austen, too. When I began writing, it was only natural that I would write romances because I love to see a hero and heroine grow together and have a happily ever after.
SKC: How long does it take you to complete a book? Are some more difficult than others and do you find it becomes easier with each new book, or more difficult and why?
Louise: Oh, my. Well, some books have taken a year, others four months. These days, having a day job, I take at least six months to research and write a book. It’s not any easier as time goes by because each book needs to be unique. But I love the process and wouldn’t have it any other way.
SKC: The process for a writer is half the fun, isn't it. Do you have any point in your novel writing when you come to a stand still? If so, what do you do to get yourself going again? If not, what is your advice to someone who does have more than a few “stand still” moments?
Louise: Because I do basic plotting, including the major turning points, before I begin a book, I don’t usually hit a wall. Sometimes I have to pause to consider how to approach a scene or chapter. For me, the best way to get back in the groove is to watch a movie I like or go shopping or anything to “change the subject.” Then I can come back to the manuscript and dig in with fresh ideas. I would advise anyone with these moments to get away and clear your mind for a while. Also, asking God’s help is essential to me.
SKC: Hmm. So much good stuff! So you are a PLOTTER and ORGANIZED! I like the way you work your way through the process. Will you add to that and tell us what do you think is one of the most important things you have learned so far since becoming a published writer that coincides with your spiritual walk, Louise?
Louise: Without doubt, I have come to know that God is in charge of my career. I can go all out for promotions, do massive research, and write what I consider a brilliant manuscript. But God decides the success of each step, and I’m still learning to trust Him completely with it all.
SDC: I have to say AMEN to that. Okay, Louise, if you were a reader as a child, how did your reading habits affect your writing style today? And what were a few of your favorite stories as you grew up?
Louise: As a child, I loved the Black Stallion books, Ben Hur, The Robe, Demetrius and the Gladiators, and of course,Jane Eyre. The Black Stallion books had a protagonist who was brave and who never gave up.Ben Hur,The Robe and Demetrius were truly spiritual books that showed me that God cares about every person.Jane Eyre also had a spiritual message that was more subtle, but it taught me about romance. Some people call my style literary because I love the language of the old books. But that’s the style that flows from my mind and heart.
SDC: I get the most from the language of the older classics too, Louise. And the subtle romance seems to cling with the reader longer, I believe. How about when you are not reading or writing? During your free moments, what do you most enjoy doing?
Louise: Movies, museums, being with my family, watching a few, select television programs.
SDC: When do you sense the greatest pressure with writing? Do you find it is at the beginning of a new manuscript – during the rewrites – or when your book is about to come out? As a follow up, have you ever been disappointed at the end result?
Louise: I love starting a new story, rewrites, the whole process. I don’t like deadlines, so I would say that the pressure grows as my deadline gets closer. No, I’ve never been disappointed at the end result of any of my books. They’re all my favorite children.
SDC: Your children. Hmm. I suppose if I called my first books MY CHILDREN, I'd have to say they needed much more discipline! But back to you. We all celebrate in one way or another at the end of our stories. How do you celebrate? And after you share with us, please tell us all about the book soon to be released and the book you are planning to donate to one of our readers.
Louise: Ha! No chocolate for me. I celebrate by sleeping in for about a week! For some crazy reason, I always finish a book about the same time my teaching semester ends, so I end up with nothing to do! Bliss! Once my brain is rested, I start in on a new story.
I’m very excited about my upcoming book,The Captain’s Lady, which releases on March 16. You’ll see in this back cover copy that this story takes place during the Revolutionary War: Torn Between Love and Duty
Captain James Templeton's orders from General Washington are clear. His target: Lord Bennington, a member of George III's Privy Council. The assignment: find Bennington's war plans. The risks: the future of the East Florida Colony, Jamie's life...and his heart. In spite of the dangers of their hopeless situation, he's fallen in love with Lady Marianne Moberly, Lord Bennington's daughter.
Desperate to protect his country, Jamie carries out his orders with a heavy heart. But Marianne's persistence is a challenge he never expected. With love and faith, they must navigate troubled waters to win their future together.
This is also the book I’m going to donate to one of your readers.
SDC: Oh, I wish I could win! Oh well. That's not the way for a host to think. Anyway, I am always grateful to the authors who come by who are willing to graciously donate a book. I thank you for being willing to share one of yours. And since this is A Pen for Your Thoughts, I always like to ask our author guests to give a thoughtful question to those that write in. If you could ask anything at all to one of your fans what would the first thing be that would come to your mind?
1. Many people tell me they would like to write a book. Here’s my advice: Go write it!THAT'S THE FIRST REFLECTION FOR YOU, FOLKS. HAVE YOU STARTED? IF SO, WHAT DID IT FOR YOU? IF NOT, WHY NOT?
That’s how I started. When my friend and I were facing the empty nest years, we were talking about what we wanted to do. I told her about a story I was thinking about, and she told me to go home and write it. I did. It turned out to be my first publishing credit, a sweet little contemporary romance (and its sequel) that I’m still proud of sixteen years later. I love my fans and hope they will continue to love my books.
(If you have been one of Louise's readers)
Please write and tell what you think! How did Louise's books affect you?
Were you pleased with the stories? Be sure to be specific.
SDC: Readers and visitors, please note this is a double whammy opportunity for you to reflect upon. Answer one or both of Louise's questions above. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have had the itch to write a book, we are anxious to hear your thoughts. Tell us what FINALLY got you going. Tell us what keeps you from getting on the ball. And be sure to comment to Louise's specific question regarding her book. I'll be drawing the winner's name in a few days.
To you Louise, THANKS SO MUCH for being with us. It’s been a pleasure having you here. Where can our readers find you and be able to purchase your material?
Congratulations to Mary E Stifflemire of Lexington, Texas. You have just been selected to win Louise's new book! Be watching in the mail for it soon! And do come back again to A Pen for Your Thoughts. We loved having you here.
And thank you to all the rest. Keep trying. The door is always open to win a book here at the blog.