Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Victoria Bylin - Authorview

Victoria Bylin

 Welcome, Victoria!

I am:  Victoria Bylin

My best trait:   Loyalty

My bad habit:   Ugh. It’s kind of gross.  Picking at my dry cuticles. 

Qualities I admire:   Courage.  Endurance in the face of trials.  Generosity.  A good sense of humor.  (I think I just described my husband!)

What I like to read:    Inspirational romance, both contemporary and historical.  My favorite devotional is My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I’ll occasionally read Dick Francis, Lawrence Block, Michael Connelly and other “crime” writers. It’s a nice change.

What I write:  Currently: contemporary inspirational romance. In the past: western historicals

What I watch:  Very little, though I’ve gotten hooked on Dancing With The Stars. 

My family:  Married to my husband for 34 years. Two sons, both married.  Two adorable granddaughters--twins!  

My favorite food, snack, or beverage:  Pistachios.

What I love to do:  Write. Chat with friends. Take in the Kentucky skies. 

What I admire:   Blessed are the peacemakers.  

What makes me happy:  Sunrises. 

What makes me sad:  Violence. 

I believe:  I’m a Christian. The story is on my website under “Personal Journey.”  

Victoria Bylin is a romance writer known for her realistic and relatable characters. Her books have finaled in multiple contests, including the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and RT Magazine's Reviewers Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky, where their family and their crazy Jack Russell terrier keep them on the go.

Learn more at victoriabylin.com or find her at one of the links below:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hallee Bridgeman - Authorview

Welcome to Authorview! For the next few months, I'm going to post an interview with a different author every Tuesday. The questions are always the same, but their answers will sometimes be vastly different, and so much fun!

Hallee Bridgeman
Welcome, Hallee!

Nickname or “wannabe” name (If you don’t have a nickname, you can choose one you’d like, that tells us a little bit about who you are): I was Hallee the Homemaker for years. Now I transition between Hallee the Homemaker and Hallee the Storyteller. And Mom.

I am: Blessed in ways I cannot even express.

My best trait: I quickly analyze and come to solutions to problems.

My bad habit: I interrupt people. Because I’ve already quickly analyzed what they’re going to say. (see above)

Qualities I admire: Honesty. Integrity. Cleverness.

What I like to read: Cookbooks. The older the better. I have one written in old English. It’s really hard to understand.

What I write: Christian fiction – romance, suspense, historical (WWII).

What I watch: Campy action.

My family: Pretty much rocks. My kids are clever and fun. My husband is my solid rock.

My favorite food, snack, or beverage: Cake. Which leads to other problems considering my sedentary job.

What I love to do: Go to the movies.

What I admire: Heroes – people who risk all for the life or liberty of others.

What makes me happy: Feeding my family and friends.

What makes me sad: The helplessness in poverty.

I believe: That I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy.

An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee finally settled in central Kentucky with her family so that she could enjoy the beautiful changing of the seasons. She enjoys the roller-coaster ride thrills that life with a National Guard husband, a teenaged daughter, and two elementary aged sons delivers.
A prolific writer, when she's not penning novels, she blogs about all things cooking and homemaking at Hallee the Homemaker(tm) (http://www.halleethehomemaker.com). Her passion for cooking spurred her to launch a whole food, real food "Parody" cookbook series. In addition to nutritious, Biblically grounded recipes, readers will find that each cookbook also confronts some controversial aspect of secular pop culture.

Hallee is a member of the Published Author Network (PAN) of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) where she serves as a long time board member in the Faith, Hope, & Love chapter. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the American Christian Writers (ACW) as well as being a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC).

Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her. She prays her work here on earth is a blessing to you and would love to hear from you. You can reach Hallee at hallee@bridgemanfamily.com

Temperance's Trial
Release date: September 15, 2014
Now available for preorder
Marie Gilbert flees France after the Gestapo arrest her father. In London, Marie is recruited into an experimental all-female cohort dubbed the Virtues, a collection of seven extraordinary women with highly specialized skills.

Known only by her code name, TEMPERANCE, she is trained to operate a wireless radio and returns to her beloved France. As the H-hour to execute a daring mission draws near, Marie plays a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the unrelenting and merciless young Nazi forces that surround her.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Revising, Rewriting, Re-releasing

When the landscape becomes a character, the story comes to life. I've seen a couple of well-done miniseries lately. They will always be set apart in my memory because of the cinematography. The scenery lives and breathes. It's heart beats.

The characters are on the screen, but your eyes are drawn to the entire scene, taking in the backdrop, which may be airplanes landing behind them, or a battle scene, with blinding flashes and heart-stopping explosions.

In one of the movies, the characters are arguing in the middle of a cotton mill. The air is white with fiber. It looks like snowflakes, so thick you can hardly see. The noise of the looms is deafening. You can barely make out what they're saying, but their body language makes the meaning clear. And the scenery almost steals the show. Without this setting, the dialogue would fall flat. With the setting, we're riveted.

How do you translate this to writing? How do you balance your characters' interaction with descriptions of scenery so the reader feels the place, sees the sunset, hears the waves crash? It's a challenge I'd like to take up, after seeing these films.

What does all this have to do with Revising, Rewriting, Re-releasing? I tested the limits in The Lady of the Haven. I tried to maintain a balance between the magnificent hulking scenery of my imagination and the actual words I put on paper. My first efforts, the scenery overshadowed at times. In my second effort, I hope I've brought more balance. In my future work, I hope to achieve even more.

The beautiful new cover art for The Lady of the Haven spurred me on, almost drove me, to rewrite parts of the book. The revised version, just released, has some new scenes. The beginning is new, the ending is redone. And I beefed-up several of the action scenes, renamed some chapters. Sharpened the view.

I'm still a novice. I'm learning and each time I think I've learned all I need to know, someone opens another chapter. Ah! There's more.

The Lady of the Haven, 3rd Edition*, is now available at most book sites.
Buy link

Coming Tuesdays through the end of the year - Authorviews. Interviews with writers and authors, a chance for you to get to know some special people. Drop back by and see what's happening.

*Cover created by Debi Warford

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Building Bridges Building a Future

I first met Karen Taylor Richardson at a local ACFW meeting. Her area of expertise fits nicely into my theme of Connections--so of course I asked her to contribute. Bridge-building is a well known and respected principle in the business world. You never know when that one connection will create the perfect bridge for your career advancement. I hope you enjoy her post.

One piece of advice many young people receive as they venture into the working world is “no matter what, don’t burn your bridges”.  Bridges connect people to one another. As careers are built, as are bridges, it is the manner in which we handle events or opportunities that lead us from one job to the next – from the mail room to the executive suite. Maybe somewhere in the middle is the best fit. Along the way, relationships are created that will connect us to future opportunities.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Growing Connections

I first met Ralene Burke via the ACFW regional page on Facebook, but I think I'd seen her before. According to her article below, we were both in Denver at the 2009 ACFW conference. I can't imagine being in the same room with Ralene and not noticing her. Her bright personality is hard to miss. After relocating to the Louisville area, she set a date for a meeting and several writers gathered. We've been meeting once a month, ever since that day, picking up more members as we go. Her fresh ideas keep us coming back for more. So of course, I had to ask Ralene to share her take on Connections for this month's theme on my blog. I hope you enjoy the post!

Ralene: When your parents tell you that you can be anything when you grow up, that leaves a whole wide world of choices for the young mind. As a young woman, fresh out of high school, I was ready to tackle the world. Or so I thought. 

For several years, I stumbled about, trying to find my place. I floated from job to job. Sure, I excelled at whatever I put my mind to, but I wasn’t happy. Satisfaction eluded me. I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing.

While I was working at a bank, I had a chance encounter that included my high school bus driver and my teller supervisor. The result was this brilliant (yeah, not so much) idea for a novel. So, in my free time, I started writing. Over the next few months, I continued to work on the story in bits and pieces. I was even brave enough to let a fellow bank employee read it. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Writerly Connections

I haven't really gone fishing. Not in the usual sense. 

As a writer, I need to make connections. One of the best ways to do that, is to attend conferences. You meet all sorts of people at writers conferences. Of course you meet lots of writers from the novice to the expert, unpublished, published, multi-published. You meet agents, editors, publishers, teachers, speakers, and everything in between.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Connect - Disconnect Connection

This month is all about connections here on my blog. It's really a celebration of connections. You know those unexpected, surprise connections that result in life changes? There are good ones, and there are bad ones.

For instance, a good friend in Louisville invited me to spend Labor Day Weekend with her. I was living out of state at the time, so drove in. While there, I received a lead on a job, and met my future husband.

That was a "Connect - Disconnect Connection." I connected with an old friend, met a new friend and my life changed course. By the end of the year, I was married and working at that new job.

Things don't always happen so fast, and they are not always positive. Some disconnects include death, divorce, and disease/illness (the 3 D's). Sometimes, even these devastating disconnects can result in positive changes.

I'm still married, but that job went away when I made a new connection, in the form of a brand new baby boy. He was a definite life change. Another connect - disconnect.

The husband, the new baby, and me - way back when...
Not long afterwards, I was walking down the hall on my way out of church, when I was "accosted" by a stranger who began to kiss my brand new baby all over his face. Don't be alarmed, Anita Edmonds was the wife of our new youth pastor, and soon became one of my closest friends. A lasting connection.The best kind.