I honestly don't remember the first time I met Carla...maybe at some function for writers in Colorado while my hubs was stationed at Ft. Carson. I do, however, have a distinct memory from a writers conference.
It was 2015, I was recently published, and I was speaking with an agent about representation. This agent asked me to talk about my book and, as I'm in the middle of describing it, Carla walked by. The agent turned away from me to track down Carla. To tell you the truth, I didn't blame the agent. Carla is a superstar in the Christian fiction world. She has a wonderful sense of story, and her McDonald family series is one of my all-time favorites.
As it turns out, we ended up represented by the same agency. She's a delightful lady, an award-winning author, and has a wicked sense of humor. I'm thrilled to give you a little peek inside her head as my guest this month.
Coffee or tea? Tea YES! A fellow tea drinker!!
Morning person or night owl? Morning person… I do my best work before 11am. And all the love I was feeling by our mutual love of tea just flew out the window.
Cashews or mixed nuts – Neither. I’m sensitive to most nuts, so my only choices are almonds, pecans, or pistachios.
Planner or go-with-the-flow? Planner. Times twelve.
Curling iron or flat iron? Flat iron
How did you get into writing?
I’ve written stories for almost as long as I could hold a pencil, I think. I wrote my first story at six; I got my first short story published at 11; I wrote my first novel at 16. And yet it took another nineteen years to get a book deal! I’ve always written, even while holding a full time job and raising kids. I feel really fortunate that I get to make it my day job now.
2. When you’re ready to throw in the towel, what motivates you to keep writing?
The readers. Whenever I think that it’s become too much (I often say I should have taken up something easier, like alligator wrestling), I get an email from someone who’s loved my books or felt a special connection to one of my characters, and that motivates me to get back to work. I’m always conscious of the reader when I’m writing. If they’re going to spend their hard-earned money on my book, I want them to walk away feeling like it was worth it. I never want to settle for “just good enough.”
3. What deadline has been the hardest for you to keep? Why?
Back in 2014, I was writing two series for two different publishers in two different genres. Because a couple of release dates got pushed back, I ended up editing two books at the same time…over the holidays. I literally rewrote one book in November (mostly over Thanksgiving weekend) and the other in December (over Christmas break). By the time I was done, I just wanted to spend a week in bed. I think I did, actually…
I remember that! I kept thinking, "Why would she do that to herself?"
4. Where has this writing journey taken you that you never expected?
I never expected that because of my writing, I would make lifelong friends who would become like family. I’m an only child, so I never had sisters growing up, but I’m happy to say that I do now.
5. What have the characters from The Saturday Night Supper Club taught you as you wrote their story?
The line from that can sum up the entire book is “You are not the sum of your accomplishment or failures.” For someone who is a bit of a type-A accomplishment junkie, that reminder to take a deep breath and just be is deeply meaningful. More than any other book I’ve written, this story grew out of my own personal journey toward grace.
I love that! I'm not a compete type-A personality, but I so need that reminder of grace today!
6. Around here, we're all about “Love. History.” In light of that, if you could go back into your own history and give yourself one piece of advice about love, what would it be?
Carla will answer this in my newsletter coming out on Friday, May 18. Be sure to subscribe here. In honor of her "foodie" story, I'll be sharing a couple recipes along with the story behind them. I hope you'll join us!
A big thank you to Carla for joining us. To connect with her, click on her picture to be taken to her website. To order The Saturday Night Supper Club, click here or on the picture above.