I recently reviewed Miranda’s new book ‘To Die Once, which you can find in my reviews section. ‘ Here is my brilliant interview with her about that brilliant book ! ENJOY!
How were you personally inspired to become a writer and what inspired you to write your most recent creation ‘To Die Once?’ I first took notice when I came across a Christian fiction book (which I can’t remember the title) for the first time by author, Norma Jean Lutz. After she replied to a letter I wrote to her, it only increased my excitement and planted a seed in my heart. As time passed, I forgot about that book because I’d delved more into mainstream titles. God, however, lovingly reminded of who I’m supposed to be. I wrote all about it in a blog post I titled, ‘Why I Believe In Christian Fiction.’
Which writers inspire you? Love this question! I simply can’t get enough of Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, MaryLu Tyndall and Julie Lessman! I, also, recently discovered K. Victoria Chase.
Give us an insight into your main character; what makes her so special to you? Jennifer is a beautiful sweet, tender, and adventurous dreamer, but not on the wild side, and somewhat naïve too. When I picture her, I see a rose. She’s also a Christian. She’s special to me because she wasn’t afraid to break out of the norm for what she wanted and believed in, although, her decisions cost her a lot.
‘What was the hardest thing about writing your debut book ‘To Die Once?’ At first when I starting writing I constantly wrestled with how honest I should make the thoughts/monologue of the characters. I wanted to write a book that exposed the raw feelings of people in the circumstances created in the story, but of course doing so without crossing the boundaries set for a clean/Christian romance read. Eventually, I decided to put the truth out there, as I felt it was important if the message of grace would be understood to the depths that I hoped it would be. When you read “To Die Once,” you’ll get my meaning. Making the decision was one thing, but crafting it so it turned out exactly how I hoped was another feat of its own.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it? This book is part of the Child of Grace Series. There will be four books in all. I’m presently working on book #2, “To Lie Once”, a story centered on Jennifer’s sister, Joyce. It has a “good girl gone bad” feel to it. I’m truly excited writing it! The Child of Grace Series center on God’s redeeming power of grace, told through the stories of these four siblings—Jennifer, Joyce, Matthew, and Charity, in that order.
What book/s are you reading at the present? On my desk I have “Called To Suffer” and “To Be Called A Friend”, both by Patricia Stuart; “The Movement of Crown Series” by Nadine C. Keels, “Love’s Promises” by Sandra Leesmith, and some others.
Explain a little about the Christian element of your book as it features quite heavily throughout, is it a main feature or is to make the reader think about their own faith? Both actually. My writing centers on my beliefs and faith. They can’t be taken out of it. So, yes, it is a main feature. But I also hope my readers will walk away with something valuable. I, myself, have benefited much from the works of other Christian authors. I’d like my books to have as much impact as well. You can find out about my story in this piece, “Why I Believe In Christian Fiction.”
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character/s from your most recent ‘To Die Once’ book if it were made into a film? Hmm, still scanning my brain for an actor that would do Rodrigo justice. But I think Paula Patton would play Jennifer well.
And finally, any tips to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Ah! That. Well, it’s VERY important to have the general idea of your story sorted out so it’s a foundation you can build on. Make it clear to yourself what you want the expected end to be. That way when you’re stuck you can brainstorm for ideas that will develop the story towards that end. You don’t have to have all the details pinned down at first, just something you can work with. Eventually, as you develop the story, everything will be fleshed out—dialogue by dialogue, monologue by monologue, scene by scene, and so on. Understand, though, that the first draft of a manuscript merely lets you put together your scattered ideas so that the story has a direction. You know what you want and the general idea is clear to you at this point. Subsequent drafts let you flesh out your characters, clean up their dialogue/monologue, tidy the settings and other descriptions, and put your theme into better/sharper focus. When your brain is tired, let it rest for as long as it needs. If you’re sure of what you want but you’re having trouble putting it into words, use resources instead. The internet is great for this as it is a mega database for anything you want to find. I’ve used videos, pictures, scenery around me to help describe what I want when my mind was too foggy to do so itself. I’ve written several simple posts about it on my blog: How To Keep The Creative Juices Flowing.
How can you get involved?
- You can follow the series right here: https://www.facebook.com/ToBeAPerson
- Or if you are a tweeter you can follow the #ToDieOnce hashtag on twitter to follow the author and the influencer bloggers to keep up to date with the reviews!
- Or if you are an avid pinner on Pinterest, readers can view the board set up for To Die Once here!