What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
I am asked this question a lot at author events and I always like to take the opportunity to talk on this. A Thousand Stolen Moments was the second book picked up by an Indie publishing company, it was published under a different name and after this piece of advice you will know why. I was naive in my journey into publishing and sent my query letters out without much thought, so when I was offered a contract I was excited. But with everything in the world, you need to know who you are before venturing off into the unknown. I hadn’t decided who I wanted to be as a writer and that was an issue. When the company told me how they felt I should change the book to make it fit into a different category, I blindly did it. My G rated novel was no longer G. I am a Christian and I forgot that that belief system should be represented with anything I send out into the world. I shouldn’t say one thing but then send out un-Christian material into the world. Did I see success from my secular books, yeah, I did. But I wasn’t being true to myself. Luckily God stepped in, hit my in the head, and got me back on track. So my advice is decide on your writing beliefs, decide if who you are as a person is the same as the author you want to be, and finally set limits to what you will do for success. The Devil will tempt you with promises but every promise will hold a sacrifice. Set your limits before you send out manuscripts.
Can you tell us three things about you that not a lot of people know?
If people follow me on any social media or look closely at my world these things aren’t secret but you probably have to be paying close attention.
- I am a teacher and have been honored with Science and Math awards allowing me to travel across the United States. I have multiple teaching endorsements and a Masters Degree in Curriculum.
- I run Hydroponic and Aquaponic garden systems with my classroom so we can attempt to self sustain with fresh foods. I am kind of a science geek. I write grants for the opportunity to bring these projects to my students and writing has greatly improved my grant writing abilities.
- I have two grown boys, one is in the Army and the other will be entering the Air Force in 2021. My oldest made me a grandma recently and everyone who follows me is probably sick of my pictures as a dotting Nana.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I average about a book a year. That is from start to finish. My kids aren’t at home anymore and you would think that I would have more time to write but I commute two hours a day to work during the school year and I work full time at a second job in the summers so I have to find spare hours to write. I can’t, or struggle to schedule the time so it becomes a lot of keeping notes and getting them onto the computer when I have time. I write more in the winter due to the poor weather conditions.
If you have pictures on your writing desk, who/what are they of?
I have a bulletin board on the wall in front of my desk and it has pictures of my boys from little to current as well as my husband and myself on our adventures. Aris my grandson has not been added.
Do you like audiobooks, physical books, or e-books better? Why?
I have a systematic way of keeping books. I have audible and I download audio books. I listen to audio books in my car when I drive and I listen to them when I stretch after I run on my treadmill. If I walk around the neighborhood I will listen to them then as well. I like to find a series to listen to for my audiobooks. I like ebooks because I have a little Ipod that has my books on it and it fits in my pocket and I can read anytime I am waiting for anything. I usually am reading a ebook at the same time I am listening to something different on audio. Then I also like physical books to shove into my backpack for traveling due to battery issues. So at any time I could be reading three different books. For example current I am listening to All the Bright Places, reading the Compound by S.A. Bodeen, and reading the physical book Own it!.
How has being a writer helped you as a person?
I began writing as a therapeutic venture. I had some traumatic incidents in college and began writing a book that was paranormally based but dealt with a character similar to myself, going through her troubles and then the healing process. The book is nowhere near the original version now, but it was my first venture at writing and became a chance to look at events from a different perspective and let myself heal. That book is currently not published so don’t read all my books and try to figure out what the deeper meaning is, ha ha. I think journal writing or note taking during your day is a great way to let out frustration and see events from multiple perspectives.
What did you edit out of this book?
This book was tricky because it began as a novella and it was really about the journey Thommy was taking. But, with my editor we edited out more of his story and added more of Raven and Emme so that readers could feel they got closure in their story before being told Thommy’s.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I think I have about seven books in various states of writing. Three are complete but need to be edited to be worthy of my readers time, 🙂 Two are about midway completed, and then some are just notes waiting to happen. The next book that will be completed will be the end of the Forsaken Series, that book is about 40% completed in rough draft form.
Read Connie’s newest release, A Thousand Sacred Moments today!
Every moment is sacred, even the hard ones.
Sawyer and Raven are finally happily married and living by the beach in California, but things are far from perfect. Unsettled with “normal” civilian life, Sawyer feels called back to the battlefield. With Raven’s reluctant agreement, Sawyer deploys with a helicopter medic group.
Raven struggles with letting her go again, the nightmares of her last deployment never far from his thoughts, but when their close friends, Thommy and Vanessa, announce they are expecting a baby, Raven begins to wonder if Sawyer is searching for more than just her next deployment.
As a former prisoner-of war, Sawyer suffered life changing injuries that leave her unable to have children. Now that their best friends are expecting, Sawyer’s questioning her ability to give Raven the family he desperately wants—and deserves. It seems everyone is moving forward in their lives while she continues to go backward, hoping the next life she saves will fill the hole in her heart. But the middle of a battlefield is the last place she expected to discover the doctors were wrong, and God has other plans.