Wednesday’s Writer with Darlene L. Turner

Darlene L. Turner

Today I have a fellow Love Inspired Suspense author, Darlene Turner. She’s here today answering a few questions and letting us get to know a little more about the writer behind the story. Welcome, Author

When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?

Yes, I’ve always wanted to write ever since I picked up my first Nancy Drew book. Those books along with Anne of Green Gables instilled in me the desire to write.

Out of all the characters you’ve written about, is there one that is your favorite?

I love all my characters so far, but you’re always partial to your first ones. In my case – Amber and Dayton from my first manuscript. Maybe one day they will get to print!

Have you ever won any awards for your writing?

Yes, three! Two Daphne awards and one ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Genesis award. So humbled and blessed.

Do you have a special place where you like to write?

My office – it’s a sunny yellow and makes me happy! However, I have a cottage I also like to go to when I can get totally away from everything.

Have you ever received a rejection?

Yes, of course. Many, but I learned from each one and pressed forward! They say that each rejection leads you to the “one.”

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an unpublished writer?

Wow. I’ve dreamed that someone would ask me that someday. I would say keep on and don’t give up. I know that’s easy to say as there were times when I felt like giving up, but I had many supporters cheer me on. Also, read writing books, go to conferences, and find a writing mentor. These will all help you.

Do you take time to plot and outline your books? Or do you like to write by the seat of your pants?

I’m a little bit of both a pantser and a plotter. I like to have a general storyline worked out before starting Chapter 1, but then let the story come to me as I write. My favorite part of the process? Setting up my characters – deciding on their backstory and picking what movie stars I picture them as.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to tole paint. This is painting designs onto wood surfaces. It’s fun and relaxes me. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time to paint as I would like! I also love to watch movies and read.

Do you have a mentor author or a particular author whose work inspires you?

DiAnn Mills is my mentor and has been such a huge help, encourager, and supporter to me!

Do you have a full-time day job? If so, how do you find time to write?

Yes, I’m a Quality Assurance Analyst for an insurance company – I test our online application. I spend my evenings and weekend writing.

Border Breach

When drugs are smuggled across the border

it’s their duty to stop the culprits…at any cost.

Forming a joint task force, Canada border officer Kaylin Poirier and police constable Hudson Steeves have one objective: take down a drug-smuggling ring trying to sell a new lethal product. But when the smugglers come after Kaylin and Hudson, this mission becomes more than just a job. Can they live long enough to solve the case?

Get your copy today!


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About Darlene

Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. You can connect with Darlene at where there’s suspense beyond borders.

Wednesday’s Writer with Linda Shenton Matchett

Linda Shenton Matchett

Today I have an interview with Linda Shenton Matchett. Welcome, Linda!

Do you have a special place where you like to write?

I have been blessed to have offices in my current (we recently downsized and moved) and last house. The furniture is the same, but my view now is into the woods behind our house. The trees are beautiful no matter what the season (I live in northern New England so we get all four seasons, including a winter that lasts from November to April.) There are lots of birds from hawks and falcons to woodpeckers, blue jays and cardinals. A peaceful setting that I find inspirational. In fact the room and its view is what sold us on the house when we were looking for our new home.

Have you ever received a rejection?

I’ve received many rejections over the years. Under Fire (book one in the Ruth Brown Mystery series) was rejected seven times before being accepted for publication. But my favorite rejection was from a well-known acquisitions editor at one of the larger Christian publishers in response to my very first manuscript that I sent to her in 2007. The editor wrote me a graciously-worded, lengthy response indicating that she saw potential in my writing, but that I was not ready for publication. She suggested that I read books and magazines on craft, attend conferences if possible, find a critique group, but most importantly to keep writing.

Do you take time to plot and outline your books? Or do you like to write by the seat of your pants?

I am definitely an extensive plotter. For a 40-60K book, my outline is ten or twelve pages. I create a chart that includes a column for date, weather, character POV, goal of the scene, scene, hook, and any notes such as research needs. Before I start the outline, I write a full character history for the main characters, and a partial history for my secondary characters. I do follow the characters “off the page” sometimes, but for the most part I follow the outline.

Do you ever talk about your next project or do you like to keep it a secret?

I tend to keep information about my works-in-progress close to the vest other than perhaps a comment about what the main character does for a living (e.g. USO singer, journalist) and where the book takes place. That works best for me.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Initially, a full book would take me nine to twelve months. As I have matured as a writer, I can finish a solid first draft for a 45-60K book in 60-90 days. During holidays and busy family times, I’m not able to get as much time in front of the computer, so sometimes a book can take as much as four months, but that’s unusual. I love writing novellas, because I can usually finish one in four or five weeks.

Is there a message in your book you hope readers will related to?

One message in nearly all my books is that of second chances. No mistake or sin is so bad that God won’t forgive it and take us into His family. I was a long time taking that concept to heart, so I feel strongly about sharing the message regularly.

What kinds of research do you do for your books?

I LOVE to research, always have. As a school kid, whether it was book reports or projects, I’ve always gone crazy digging up facts. I think first-person information is vital, so for my books, I read lots of memoirs and autobiographies, but my favorite way to research is to watch interviews on YouTube conducted by museums and universities as part of oral history projects.

Do you have a full-time day job? If so, how do you find time to write?

I am a dining services and catering manager for a boarding high school. It might be a fine line, but I make time rather than find time. I’m a morning person, so I’m at my desk by 6:00 and write until leaving for work around 7:45. I work a late shift on Wednesdays, so I have six whole hours to write on that day! Saturdays are for a variety of writing tasks such as marketing, research, and the like, and Sundays (outside of church) are for handling social media (blog posts-my own and guest posts, creating pins and tweets, etc.). All-in-all, I spend about twenty hours per week on my writing career.

Under Cover

(Ruth Brown Mystery series, book 3)

In the year since arriving in London, journalist Ruth Brown has put a face on the war for her readers at home in the U.S. Thus far, juggling her career and her relationship with Detective Inspector Trevor Gelson hasn’t proven too challenging. The war gets personal for Ruth when her friend Amelia is murdered, and Trevor is assigned to the case.

Life gets even more unsettling when clues indicate her best friend, Varis, is passing secrets to the enemy. Convinced Varis is innocent, Ruth must find the real traitor as the clock ticks down toward Operation Husky-the Allied invasion of Sicily. Circumstantial evidence leads Trevor to suspect her of having a part in Amelia’s death, and Ruth must choose between her heart and her duty.

Get your copy here:     Amazon

Wednesday’s Writer with LoRee Peery

LoRee Peery

Today I have multi-published author, LoRee Peery, answering some fun questions and talking about her new book, Without a Home. Welcome, LoRee.

When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?

The first thing I remember wanting to “be” was a ballerina. That wish was never an option once my parents said they didn’t have one dollar a week for lessons (for piano, either, so I taught myself the treble clef). I wanted to be a missionary as a tween, and later a music teacher. Life has a way of changing direction and I found myself a young mother. My mother taught me to read by reading to me and I still obsessively devour books, one right after another. My desire to write happened in the 1980s when I slammed a magazine on my lap and said, “I could write better than this.” I wonder if my husband has ever regretted his challenge, “Why don’t you?”

Out of all the characters you’ve written about, is there one that is your favorite?

During the brainstorming and initial writing phases, the heroine I’m writing about is my favorite. Once in a while I like the hero better. I totally identified with the heroine of the book that will remain in a tote. Abby went home to her hometown to solve the case of her father’s “accidental” death. That story took ten years to complete and was cathartic in dealing with my father’s unsolved homicide. I self-published Touches of Time in 2016, and the Lord used that book to finally give me peace concerning the cold case. There’s probably a little bit of me or someone close to me in all my female protagonists. I enjoyed writing about Geneva and Lanae, older heroines in the Frivolities Series.

Have you ever received a rejection?

Oh, my goodness. Countless. That magazine I slapped on my lap had published a short romance. I fired off first versions without rewrites of countless short romances. I still attempt Woman’s World on occasion, but their silence is a rejection. Somewhere I have a tote with a heap of those rejections. (And wonder why I still have them.) Even after the publication of several books, my editor didn’t care for the heroine of my upcoming release Courting Country, and didn’t accept without a rewrite.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an unpublished writer?

If the desire to write comes from the Lord, He put that desire in your heart. I tried to quit writing several times. A long time ago I heard an author say she couldn’t not write. And that’s the way it is with me. So never give up. Be tenacious. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep piling up rejections. Most importantly, keep praying. I didn’t get my first contract until I dealt with a spiritual condition of bitterness. Our writing journey is an individual one according to God’s time, like everything else in our lives.

Do you ever talk about your next project or do you like to keep it a secret?

Hmm. It depends. I’m a writer who can only work on one story at a time. Often as elements of a future tale come to me, I jot notes for when I’m ready for that project. During the brainstorming phase, I may ask friends or readers particular questions, but I usually don’t talk about a project unless I’m well into it.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It varies. For a novella such as the Christmas Extravaganza stories, I give myself a month and shoot for 20,000 words. It may take a couple more months before I have what I consider a finished project. Other times, it takes longer. I think I worked on my first time travel, Cowboy Just in Time (release date unknown), for a year. During that writing the historic rancher’s daughter kept raising her hand for me to tell her story, and Future of My Heart took less time because the heroine was a character in the first story. Due to my husband’s health, my own pain and surgeries in recent years, as well as a large family when anything can take me away from my desk, I always finish a story before I send it off.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Oh, gosh, I used to do so much! I still hope to get back to sewing, especially strip quilting and/or quilted wall hangings. I did get in my rock gardens and mess with my flowers this last summer, but mostly I switch out décor in the house according to the season or holiday. I love spending time one-on-one with grandchildren, walking outdoors or just sitting on the deck or porch. But always when I’m not doing something else, I’m reading. I used to think I’d go through and reread all the books on my shelves, but I went through those and took away 500 that I knew I’d never look at again. I LOVE that I have over 500 titles on my Kindle. I should probably reread those!!

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Readers love to know the answer to this question. I used to be curious as well, unable to comprehend how big name authors have 80-100 books available. Ideas are everywhere. A Blessed Blue Christmas originated with a picture. Meet in the Middle happened because I heard a pig squeal. I try to keep an open mind, listen for snippets of dialogue (where the title Hiding from Christmas originated) during TV shows, and “eavesdrop” out in public. (I’ve heard some outlandish things.) I’ve penned story notes during sermons when my mind wandered, but have gleaned from those messages for certain stories. I once kept newspaper articles, but there are ideas in TV news and of course a person can find almost anything on the Internet, so now I just have an idea notebook. Life around us and the past abound with stories to tell.

Thank you so much for being here today, LoRee. It’s always great to have you.

Thank you, Theresa, for hosting me today. I wish all your readers a thankful Thanksgiving and hopeful Christmas.

LoRee’s new book is out now ! Get it at AMAZON.

~~About LoRee~~

I am thankful my mother read to me, enabling me to read at age four. Life is as hard as it is pleasurable and I love to read stories about true-to-life characters. The desire to write should never be ignored, I am so glad I kept returning to the blank page. I am blessed to live under God’s redeeming grace, and to experience Nebraska’s sense of place.