Monday, July 30, 2012

An Author Who Speaks Her Mind...

          Gloria Clover, Christ-follower and Truth-seeker, writes romantic fiction with the hope of showing God's love and our need in both humorous and haunting ways. Currently, she is writing a speculative romance series called Children of the King.
       Washed Under the Waves, the first in the series released as an ebook in August 2011. The Fire Starter, the second book in the series, releases in August of 2012. From the Frozen Depths is scheduled for release in 2013.
       Gloria's contemporary romances, published by Barbour Books and Son-Rise Publications, include: The Remaking of Moe McKenna in the Race to the Altar anthology (a 2011 Carol Award winner), Brianna's Pardon, Tangled Truths, and ten volumes of Penned From the Heart, a compilation of 365 daily devotions.
       She directs a One Day Writing Conference each April, participates in writing/book days in local schools, and enjoys giving and receiving from her various writing critique groups.
       She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, participating in the book club and prayer loops.A member of Emmanuel Christian Church, Gloria's active in prayer ministry, women's ministries, American Heritage Girls, and various other projects.Married with dog, she writes from her little white box in western PA.
       Visit her at where you can find both her site pages and blog topics including prayers and book reviews.
 SDC:   Welcome to A Pen for Your Thoughts. Tell us about your book, Gloria.
 GC:     The Fire Starter is the second in my Children of the King series about a future time when the King sends out his children to reclaim his lost lands. Specifically for this series, the King's kids travel to the Archipelago of Solomnus, a group of islands unknown to us in the 21c.
      The Fire Starter is set on the small island of Celosia, founded by Greek stoics whose descendants believe only in what they can see and touch. A few generations before the book begins, the island was destroyed by a fire storm, and now the survivors live in fear of the outside world and its technology.
     Amaryllis Filippopoulos, the youngest daughter of the high lord of Celosia, has been groomed to rule. A crazy childhood lie dominates some of her adult choices and wreaks havoc with her father's decision that she marry before he dies.
      Enter Prince Valryan Molan, sent from the King, but chosen by Amaryllis's father to be her husband.
The romance is, of course, their journey to true love.
SKC: What made you decide to write in this genre?
 GC: Christian speculative romance. Foremost, I wanted to practice writing description in a place where I didn't have to get the facts right. It hasn't turned out that way, but I do have more freedom because with the series set in the future, it is speculative by nature. And since the novel is set on an unknown island ... well, I get to say what kind of animals and plant life grow there.

The romance part has always been the genre that I write. It's so natural it doesn't even seem like a choice any longer.

The Christian part also comes from who I am. To write a character without physical, emotional, and spiritual conflicts now seems empty and not true to the fullness of who we are as humans.
SDC:  After a long day of writing or doing revisions in a story what is the very first thing you do?
GC:Check my email. Answer the phone...Pat my dog. Whatever is the most urgent.
 SDC:   How long have you been writing?   
 GC: I finished my first complete romance novel the summer between by junior and senior year in college. Um, roughly 25 years. Yikes. Why do you ask that? Now do you want to know how much I weigh, too?  J
 Oh, this is how I should have answered. Twenty-five years. It seems I've been writing since the cradle.  J
SDC:   How do you encourage other authors you meet who are struggling with the craft?
GC:  I like to teach. I critique manuscripts. I belong to writing groups. I direct an annual writing conference that is all about encouraging the new writer and teaching craft. I exhort, but I don't often cheerlead.  So conversations with me might go something like this.  "Here's the plot holes I see in your ms so far. If you do this and this, you might be able to salvage it. However, decisions like that have to come out of the character or they won't be believable either.  So you have to convince me your character would want to choose that...."
Long ago I said I wanted to become known as the mentor who told other writers, "Quit if you can. If you can quit writing and still be a decent, sane human being, then quit." This writing business isn't for curiosity seekers or glory hounds.
 SDC:   What made you decide to choose your present publisher?
 GC:  Ah, Desert Breeze Publishing, an ebook publisher out of CA.  In 2010, I submitted to Desert Breeze Publishing after hearing the good things ACFW authors were saying about the company and the ebook industry. I wanted to try ebook publishing and DBP was highly recommended in that field. I'm pleased that DBP is now offering print books as well.
But I submitted because I wanted to try ebook publishing and DBP was highly recommended in that field.
 Why I've stayed with DBP:
  1.  Their cover artists
  2.  Their freedom in allowing the author to tell her own story
  3.  Because of #2, they don't mess with my themes and water down the gospel to suit every flavor of Christianity
  4. They were willing to take a chance on something speculative. I want to see it grow and benefit the company that took the risk for my vision.
  5. And lest I sound too righteous, my resolve hasn't been challenged by a bunch of big name publishers trying to woo me away. I've always played with the kids who were willing to play with me, and I didn't fuss about the ones who wouldn't.
 SDC:   What excites you most about your writing experience?
 GC:      Two main things vie for the top:
1.      When God reveals something to me (about me or Him) through the characters I'm writing.
2.      When readers tell me God revealed something to them through reading one of my books.
SDC:   What other books are you reading right now? And why?
GC:     Actually, I'm all caught up with my judging at the moment, so my fiction reading time is free. Coming up in ACFW book club is Mind Over Madi. I have a few DBP books in my ipad I want to get at, including Everglades and Nurtured in Purple. Then, the books on my Kindle and paperbacks on my TBR pile. I have so many books....

And I read for the joy of being swept into someone else's life.
 SDC: What book is it you wish to share as a donation and what do you hope readers will get from your story?
 GC:  I can offer either an ebook copy of Washed Under the Waves or The Fire Starter.  Or a print copy of Tangled Truths.  Winner's choice.
 I always hope readers walk away with the knowledge that God is in the process of writing the best story for each one of us.  Yes, sometimes it seems as though He's chased us up the tree and is throwing rocks at us (older romance writers will remember this writing help from the 1980s), but in the end, God is bringing us to the best happily-ever-after possible.

Thank you, Gloria, for your frankness.
Your book sounds exciting, and I look forward to drawing the name of your book winner.

Gloria wrote to us that she enjoys writing in her genre, because she wanted to practice writing description in a place where she didn't have to get the facts right. What do you as the reader enjoy the most about speculative fiction?


  1. What a wonderful interview! Gloria is indeed as inspiring in person as in print...I love teaching at her conference every year!

  2. such an interesting interview. Thanks. I enjoy all.
    Dorothy Biggers

  3. Ladies! Just lost my comment! I have enjoyed this blog very much. Speculative fiction means confidence and chance!

  4. Thanks for reading and commenting. Shirley puts together a good blog. I'm thrilled she invited me.

  5. Gloria is an outstanding writer with a big heart. Her stories inspire me to be a better person and to know God more intimately. I count Gloria as a special friend and sister in Christ.