Provide us with a two-sentence description of your book
When Joel discovers Serena is stuck in an abusive relationship, he’ll do everything in his power to protect her. A Worthy Heart follows Joel and Serena’s romantic journey as they both learn to lean on the One who holds all things in His hands.
What does your writing process look like?
If I am beginning a new book, I spend a good amount of time free writing – which in all honesty, is my favorite part of writing – I write down all of the great ideas that pop into my head – sappy love scenes, action scenes, what I refer to as candy scenes. I write them all down, regardless of chronological order. This is also the most time consuming part of my writing process because it requires the largest blocks of time. The longer I write, the more I write, the more ideas develop as I go.
-After this, I make an outline which helps me fill in the gaps of time
-Then I use the outline to create another draft
-Then the standard phases of writing develop naturally; editing, revising, editing, and finally, querying. My standard amount of drafts before I query has been about 12.
What’s more important: characters or plot?
I love to write character driven stories. I tried writing plot-driven and it’s difficult. When you truly get to know your character, your character leads the way and sets the plot of the story. Your character’s actions, reactions, decisions, create the plot. That’s why you often hear writers talk about how their characters keep taking them off the tracks. Writing a standard romance is interesting, in that you’ve got 2 MCs telling you what they want to do, and their stories have to intersect and align somehow. But think for a minute about the last popular romance you read – most of the time, you can tell which MC is really leading the plot.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Finish that first draft all the way through without editing/nitpicking at it at all. Once you finish the first draft COMPLETELY, then you go back and do a whole-picture edit. Invest in some writing books, they can aid in the whole process. There are quite a few out there. Two that I use, The Plot Thickens and Rock your Revision, are very helpful. But first – finish that first draft, and get comfortable with the fact that it will be terrible and messy and fun and rewarding and always, always, always, a learning experience.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I work in a kindergarten class. I love to play guitar, and hang out with my family. I love to work out in my backyard in the garden and on creative landscaping projects.
Where can readers find you online?
Joel Bennett has always known Serena Hayes as his sister’s gregarious best friend. In the three years since Lacey began college, Serena became a regular houseguest, but lately, she’s absent more than not. When Joel discovers she’s in an abusive relationship, protectiveness from within roars to life.
With only a part time job to support her and nowhere to go, Serena fears leaving her current relationship would jeopardize her chances of graduating college. After a brutal attack leaves her no choice, she courageously moves out. On her journey toward regaining confidence, self-worth, and independence, Joel falls in beside her, encouraging her. The way he emulates Godly love and compassion draws her close—not just to him, but to the God who can satisfy her longing for love better than any man,
Attraction sizzles between them, but events from their pasts cast shadows of doubt.
When the unthinkable happens, can Serena open her heart to a second chance at love, or is she destined to be alone?