Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog in anticipation of my March 2nd release of Unlikely Praise. I can’t wait for everyone to meet Candi and Shade and spend some time with the worship team at fictional Cornerstone Fellowship in Texas.
SKC How did you come to be a writer, Carla?
Carla I’ve been scribbling notes and essays in pastel notebooks and fancy journals since I was a kid. I didn’t think I could pull a whole book together. It seemed like an overwhelming task to create entire worlds and build in-depth characters from scratch. In 2004, I read about 25 romance novels in a week and started to think I could do it. I joined some writing organizations and attended every workshop offered until I felt confident enough to just go for it.
SKC How long does it normally take you to write a book?
Carla It seems like lately it’s been taking me forever but, when I’m in a good rhythm and focused, it takes me about ten months.
SKC That's good timing. What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
Carla I admit to being a plotter. I usually have a very general outline of where I’m going and I know my characters pretty well before I start. However, I am often surprised at where individual scenes end up – and that’s the fun part.
SKC Do you edit as you go or wait until completing the first draft
Carla I definitely edit as I go. I write by scene and sometimes chapter. Once complete, I let it rest for a day and then re-read for self-editing. After that it goes to my critique partners. We meet once a week and discuss each other’s work. I tweak according to their suggestions and make what I call “repairs” (line edits). Then I move on.
SKC What do you have within reach as you write?
Carla I have an office at home and that’s where my cat and I spend our time writing. I sip tea and he rubs his nose in catnip. I call him Saber the Maine Coon Muse Cat. I’m not sure I could do this without him…
SKC In your opinion, what is the greatest danger or pitfall in the life of a writer?
Carla It’s easy to get discouraged and stop writing when those first rejection letters come. We all think we’ve mastered the craft the first time we type “the end” on a manuscript. Then about ten agents and editors or a contest judge assures us we haven’t mastered anything at all. It’s hard to get back on the horse, but we must stick with it. Like everything else, the old cliché – practice makes perfect.
SKC Practice, indeed, does make perfect...eventually. If you could ask our readers anything what would it be?
Carla From a personal standpoint, I appreciate everyone who reads my work and often wonder if any of the spiritual lessons I learned through writing the book and shared in the story have helped anyone else. I also am very anxious to know if they had a laugh or two. I tend to write funny and nothing makes me happier than when someone says they “get” my humor and laughed out loud. One of my favorite fan encounters is when a lady actually brought her copy of my book to show me where she’d underlined the phrase that, when she read it out loud to her husband, caused him to snort coffee through his nose. One of my happiest days as a writer.
In general, I like to hear from readers what they’re interested in. Keeping up with market trends is nearly impossible. I heard every agent and editor at a conference say they were all sick of reunion stories. You know, the ones where high school sweethearts find each other again after twenty years and others like that. Shortly after, I heard several readers say “Gee, I sure love those stories where people find each other after being separated…” So who knows? It’s mind-boggling.
SDC: Thank you for your willingness to donate a book. Please give us a brief blurb on it, and then be sure to leave us the information we need to contact you, and also to find you on your Facebook Author Page.
Contact info:Website: www.carlarossi.com
Candi Canaberry has been the worship leader at Cornerstone Fellowship since the doors opened more than two years ago. A lifetime church musician and instructor of music at the local community college, Candi has dedicated her life to praise and worship. When Cornerstone explodes into mega-church territory, Candi is sure she’ll be the one to take her team to the next level…isn’t she the obvious choice? Apparently not. Church leadership has other ideas when they instruct her to take on a partner and share her duties. But a one-time rocker with a metallic guitar and zero worship experience? God must be kidding.
Recently saved Samuel “Shade” Blackledge is new to Cornerstone Fellowship. He’s convinced a strong church family is what will help keep his head above water as he turns from things of the past and builds a new life. An ex-rock guitarist, Shade is shocked when the pastor suggests he might be just what the worship team needs. But could God really want a tattooed veteran of the club scene? And what about his other secrets - not the least of which is a baby girl he’s never seen?
Worship practice has never been this eventful as Candi and Shade work their way toward each other… and Unlikely Praise.
READERS: BE SURE TO DROP US A NOTE WITH YOUR RESPONSE TO CARLA'S GREAT QUESTION AND I WILL ADD YOU TO THE LIST OF POTENTIAL WINNERS:
From a personal standpoint, I appreciate everyone who reads my work and often wonder if any of the spiritual lessons I learned through writing the book and shared in the story have helped anyone else.