Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Great Guest Has Been All Over the World!

Welcome Tina

I'm honored to be here, Shirley. Thank you so much for the invite. First let me share a bit about myself.

I was an Air Force brat and a navy widow. Meaning of course, my father was in the Air Force and my husband served in the Navy. I lived in Germany and Turkey and moved to several different states. Now I reside in Western Colorado--God's Country-- with my high school sweetheart, Danny. We've been together for 34+ years, married to for over 30 years. I am mother to three grown sons. I have two lovely daughter-in-laws and four grandchildren, with another one due by the end of the year.

SKC: Oh, I'd love to get to know you better, Tina. One of my sons is in full time military, and I used to work at West Point for several years. My grandsons are all over the place as military "brats." My youngest daughters-in-law is a worldwide traveler like you. You have experiences galore, I'm sure, to write and share about. By the way, I love the Scripture verse you share on your biography at your website from Philippians 3:14. How did you come about selecting that particular promise for your life?

Tina: The verse is a reminder that, even when I feel like the world is out of order, I have a goal ahead of me, and God set it. He even made the trail easier by marking it out. I just have to keep my eye on him and run. I need to press on toward that mark. Run the race. God never said it would be easy, but he did promise to be with me.

SKC: No, it's never easy. What inspired you to come up writing for your particular sub-genre? Tell us about the circumstances.

Tina: I love historical fiction, especially the American West during the expansion, and Civil War. I often wondered what it would be like to have lived and loved during that time. I realize some things would be harder, but what would ease, what would the exchange be? A simpler time. My first full-length novel, was a four part serial (that has yet to find a publisher,) about the Civil War and traveling the Oregon Trail. I find that time interesting.

SKC: I love reading about the time myself. How long had you been writing before you got your first contract? And tell us how you dealt with your patience as you waited for that first phone call.

Tina: I'd been writing for 20+ years, I wished I could say I handle all the rejections and waiting time well. But I spent a lot time wondering why I was even writing. I saw the down and didn't recognize an up for what it really was. I got discouraged and decided to publish my own novels. Which didn't go over so great, but it taught me some about writing. Vickie McDonough reviewed my books and while she liked the stories, she told me about the new rules of writing. She introduced to me ACFW and asked me to join a critique group. In ACFW I became a sponge, soaking up knowledge from the courses they provide. I learned about rules, like POV, GMC, among other things. I entered a book in the Genesis Contest and went to the ACFW Convention. When I placed third in the overall of the contest, and Joyce from Hartline Literary Agency approached me to be my agent, I believed I was on my way to publication. Five years later and I still wasn't published. I continued to write, but I question why. What if I never became published? What if I lost my writing skill, or worse never had it? They say a writer is harder on themselves than anyone else, I was horribly mean, and listened to the voice of failure well. I finally had to give myself the freedom to write and know that I had a talent whether published or not.

SKC: Thanks for sharing that. I believe that is where so many are today. But your last comment says it all. We are terribly hard on ourselves sometimes. And I agree, it should not be that way. You have been writing since you were young. When did you decide to write strictly inspirational, and what advice do you have for authors who think they are dealing with writer's block. How do you overcome it?

Tina: I think I've always written inspirational. Even in my poetry and songs. I know that I am a writer because of God. And I want to honor him with my words. As for Writer's Block, I try to get a few words, sentence or paragraph down if at all possible, but if nothing comes, I try not to beat myself over the head, because that makes the block more pronounced for me.

SKC: And would leave a big bump as well, don't you think? How about the magic of the first five pages… Tell us what gets you started on those first five pages of a brand new story.

Tina: The Magic, hmmm… for me that is usually a dream or a waking thought. I can see the story in my head. Every nuance plays out in Technicolor. There have been times I had the ending before I had the beginning.

SKC: So, that makes me wonder if it is even harder to write the book then or maybe a bit easier. I'll have to think about that. Tina, you know how many authors cringe when it comes to the moment they have to come up with their synopsis. What would be your best advice to them?

Tina: I'm one of those writers that cringe. But I pick the points as I work through the chapters and those become my outline. Sometimes I'll make a light outline of my thoughts and that helps. My best advice is to find what works for you to keep the important points of story in order. I've tried different things. There are several programs out there that help, Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method, and Black Obelisk are a couple.

SKC: Good advice. What do you do during the waiting period when editors are looking over your manuscripts?

Tina: I usually work on another story and continue to edit the manuscript that I sent. I don't want to spend my time wondering if they're going to like it or not, because I get no writing done.

SKC: After you finish your present project, what plans do you have in the oven?

Tina: My book Touched By Mercy is due for release in December 2010, so I'll be working on edits for that. It tells the story of one woman's journey to grace. Samantha Northam comes from a background of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, having been molested as a child, I identify with Samantha even more than Kaitlin from In the Manor of the Ghost. The story was pretty much my rite of passage. Coming to a point where I believed God could find me lovely. I made it a bit harder on Samantha than myself, but I wanted to show the beauty of God's grace on us, his arms around the brokenhearted. Samantha hadn't done anything wrong, as far as the molestation went, but she spent years believing she had, and spent long years hating and being afraid to love. I went through long years of wondering like Samantha.

I think many of us have areas where life catches us, uses us and beyond no fault of our own, leaves us feeling dirty and unlovable. It literally spits us out. That's the nature of abuse. I wanted people to see that God knows exactly what happened. He hurts to see that his creation could be so cruel, and he loves us and wants to heal the scars. If we'll allow him to, he has gentle hands, strong arms and a loving heart

I am currently working on a Sci-fi time-travel series, with clones, gene mutation, and sinister people trying to get rid of Christ. Counting Tessa is the first installment. Then I plan to get back to two Civil War Era stories I've been working on, Finding Middle C, and From Hell to Eternity

SKC: Sci-fi is so popular these days. That's probably smart. I understand you have a book you would like to give to one of our readers. What would you like to ask this week about either writing or for someone who just loves to read?

Tina: For anyone who leaves a comment, telling me about their last favorite read and why they liked it, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free download of my ebook In the Manor of the Ghost

Also, I am having a contest throughout the month of June to celebrate the release of my book. I am holding a drawing for 2 Kindles and several free downloads. Check out the details at:

SKC: What a great contest! I love my Kindle. That's worth checking out. We do want to thank you so much for coming , Tina. It’s a thrill getting to know you. Please let us know where we can find you and your numerous books.

Tina: I appreciate the invitation to visit today. I wish I could say I had numerous books out there, hopefully soon, but until then you can find my books at

SKC: Where can we find you on the web, purchase your book(s)?

Desert Breeze Publishing-


OKAY READERS, WRITERS, VISITORS OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES: Leave us a comment, tell us about your last favorite read and why you liked it, and you'll be entered into a drawing for a free download of Tina's ebook In the Manor of the Ghost. Even if you don't wish to enter the drawing, write and tell us about something you enjoyed. We'd love to know. (Don't forget to leave an email address for us.) Thanks

Congratulations to Carrie Fancett Pagels of Yorktown, Virginia!


  1. I have the book, so I don't need to be entered, but I just want to tell others here how much I enjoyed reading it. Congratulations Tina!

  2. Great interview...I would love to win this ebook... I really enjoyed reading about this book.
    I enjoy writing and I enjoy being with my son. He is the best story I have. Watching it unfold is amazing.
    The last book I read was paranormal, I really like funny paranormal books, was Mary Janice Davidson,"Undead and Unreturnable". I was in the mood for something funny. So I am finishing the series. I have 4 more books to go.
    Thanks again I enjoyed the post...
    Please enter me in the contest

  3. Thanks for Coming by Heidi,
    and consider yourself entered. I've been watching my grandkids and it is quite amazing what little kids do. I just shared how my grandson is into mooning, cause he likes to show his butt as he says, with great pronunciation.
    "Funny Paranormal" interesting read I'm sure.

    Make sure to sign up at my blog, and get signed up for the Kindle giveaway I'm having.

    Shawna, hello friend. Thanks so much for coming by. Always nice to see you. I appreciate you gobs.

  4. Great interview, Shirley! Tina, your background must give you lots of materieal to draw from! I really admire your perseverance!

    I have about six or seven books that I am reading at the moment. I don't usually read more than one at a time but somehow I have now managed to become engrossed in several at the same time. The last GOOD one that I finished was Shawn Grady's Through the Fire. It was so well-written and the struggle that his main character was experiencing really drew me into the story.

    Congratulations on this book and may God bless you in your future writing endeavors!


  5. This book sounds interesting. There's a point being made, far as I can tell from the trailer, about the evil in a person and how it affects others. Please enter me.

    My last favorite book I've just read is The Meeting of the Waters by Fritz Kling. It's about how the global Church needs to be aware of different dynamics/currents that affect the evangelizing of the Gospel, at home and abroad.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  6. I am definitely interested in reading this.

    My most recent favorite is the book I am almost finished with: Family-Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham. Excellent advice on discipling your children.


  7. I've just finished three good books which I've reviewed on my blog at deborahsbutterflyjourney.blogspot.comThey are: Becoming Lucy by Martha Rogers;Beyond Summer by Lisa Wingate; and Hope's Promise by Tammy Barley.
    I guess my favorite would be between Becoming Lucy and Beyond Summer. However, since they are different genres then it doesn't matter. LOL
    Deborah M.

  8. Great interview as always. I've been reading Susan Wiggs. Someetimes she takes you deep into her stories. I couldnt say which is my favorite. there are so many. I would love to be included with this drawing. I've just recently started reading ebooks too.
    Dorothy Gwann

  9. What a nice in-depth interview. I finished reading Karen Witemeyer's debut book with my eyes and started on Kit Wilkinson's last book (just got her new one, too) and just began on Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz. Also listening to the old Stonewycke novels and a bunch by Deanna Gist. My email is

  10. a stray drop of blood by roseanna white touched my spirit...

    thanks for the chance to read your wonderful novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com