Help me welcome Erin! Oh, and comment below for a chance to win a copy of her illustrated book.
Erin, thank you so much for venturing to other worlds with me. Let’s jump right in so my readers can get to know you better. Tell me a bit about yourself.
Writing was the gift God handed me one day when I felt lost and purposeless. My story isn’t quite like that of other writers. Yes, I loved to write even when I was young, but it wasn’t until I turned twenty-seven that I found my gift. And it didn’t come easy. After self-publishing my first book, Heir of the Golden Stag, the flame was ignited and I knew God was calling me to become a fulltime writer.
I began my writing career late too, though it is really more of a hobby–and maybe a bit of a new obsession– for me. What’s your favorite book? Why?
The Host by Stephenie Meyer is my favorite because it opened my eyes to deep POV [point of view]. Though it’s not Christian fiction, I’d recommend it for a good lesson on raising stakes, deep POV, and incredible tension.
I enjoyed Stephenie Meyer’s The Host too. Speculative fiction is my favorite genre, particularly fantasy, though I’m sure that surprises none of my readers. LOL! What is your favorite genre to read? Write?
My reading and writing tastes go hand in hand. I love a great romantic suspense.
In addition to writing, you are also an illustrator. Memphis Learns the Hard Way is an adorable story, and you did a great job with the illustrations. What message do you hope your readers will take away after reading the book?
Karla and I wanted to portray the importance of children obeying, and what can happen when they don’t. Most children love horses, which makes this story resonate to a large audience.
What has surprised you most about being an illustrator and a writer?
As an illustrator, it takes a lot of skill with the computer to get the artwork downloaded and compatible with the publisher’s computer. Anyone who knows me knows how computer illiterate I am, so it was a real challenge. For writing, I can’t believe how much work it is. The fun only comes once I make myself sit in my seat for a couple hours. Then the words start to flow and things come together. That’s a hard thing to do when you’re A.D.D. like I am.
I’m sure both roles have led to a lot of opportunities for growth. What advice do you have for fellow writers (published and unpublished)?
For anyone wanting to get published, I can’t stress enough how important a good critique group is. No matter how great a writer is, there will always be those common errors that pop up in their work. Critique groups also help you grow in your skill level as they challenge you to bring your work to the next level.
What have you learned from the editing and publishing processes?
The editing process can be painful. I’ve learned how important it is to take the advice of the professionals and make the changes they suggest. They’ve been doing it long enough to know what will make a book better. Of course, you can cry and scream into your pillow first before you get to work on changes. That helps sometimes.
Indeed, it does. [big smile] Before we wrap up the interview, tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I love to read writing craft books. I know, right? Who likes to do that? Isn’t it something we do out of necessity? Well, yes, but for me it’s like opening a whole new world to my writing. I also love to go into abandoned houses that are boarded up and hiding in creepy forests. It’s been a favorite past time of mine since I was young. All kinds of story ideas flood my mind when I stand in those dark rooms and imagine the lives lived there. And last but not least, most writers I’ve met are introverted and covet alone time but not me. I dread it. I guess that’s why I had so many kids and why there’s family at my house all week long. The down side is it’s harder to find time to write when I’m surrounded with people.
Memphis is a frisky foal who just loves to have fun running and bucking all over the fields. He was having the slide of his life until he learned the hard way how important it is to obey instructions.