Hello, readers! It's been a minute, hasn't it? I've been on a bit of a break for summer, which included an amazing trip to Alaska with my husband's side of the family, immediately followed by Back-to-School-Palooza, during which, for the first time, I sent ALL THREE WENLETS to school. It is definitely an adjustment!
Okay, enough about me. Today's blog guest is the fabulous and funny Deborah Clack, who writes contemporary inspirational romance. I know you'll enjoy getting to know her, and she's offering a giveaway! Details for that are at the end of the post.
Hello to Amanda and Amanda's readers! Thank you so much for having me today!
What inspired you to start writing?
Five years ago, I whispered to an author friend, “I think I want to write a book.” She offered advice to get me started. I made her Pinky Swear she would never tell anyone what I was doing. (My husband made the same promise, though he refused to Pinky Swear.) This happened during a difficult time in my life, and writing became a safe haven for me. For three years I wrote without telling anyone else and one day looked up and realized I had completed three books. They were terribly written! But I was doing it! I started to research the craft, emailed a few authors for advice, and attended my first writers conference. From there, everything has snowballed into this amazing, sometimes arduous profession. I am so grateful.
What does your writing routine look like, if you have one? What obstacles or challenges do you face in making time to write?
I sit down at the computer, open up Scrivener to see what scene I’m working on for that day.
Then I get up, walk to the kitchen to make my special hot cocoa drink.
Sit down again.
Get up and walk to my bedroom to get my comfy socks.
Sit down at the computer.
Fight hard to not respond to an email during my designated writing time.
Get up and turn down the thermostat so I can write like I’m in Iceland.
Sit down and put my headphones on and choose the mood music for the scene.
Stare at the words from the previous scene.
Take off the headphones.
Get up and do five other things … sitting down at my computer in between each of them.
Lament the thirty minutes I’ve wasted.
Put my headphones on again.
Choose a different song.
Then…I start writing. I know it sounds a little crazy, but with each time I get up to do something, the scene and characters are swirling in my head. It’s like they’re warming up and they’ll come running onto the page when they’re good and ready.
Hahahaha!! I know this routine well. But you're right, it is like the characters need some warmup time, and they do come running onto the page when they're ready. Unfortunately, it's nearly always about fifteen minutes before I have to leave to do something else...
You recently signed with awesome literary agent Tamela Hancock Murray! Congratulations! How did you two get connected?
Thank you so much! I followed Tamela on social media for a few years before I met her. (The Steve Laube Agency blog is a wealth of information!) Everything she said resonated with me, whether it be her professional encouragement, her personal musings, or her spiritual wisdom. When my first manuscript was ready, I pitched it to her at an ACFW conference. I had to tamp down my fan-girl tendencies! I am so grateful to be working with Tamela and cannot wait to see what God has in store.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
My Kindle is attached to my hip. In fact, if I lose my phone, I’m relieved. But if I lose my Kindle, I’m in an all-out panic! Star Wars and romcoms fill my DVR. I make admirable efforts at healthy-food cooking, as well as admirable efforts at eating copious amounts of chocolate. Swimming laps is a great time to let my introverted-self relax in the quiet of the water. My husband excels at planning adventures for the family, and we have a wonderful church community we enjoy.
If you could have coffee/tea/gratuitous amounts of carbs with any author(s), living or dead, who would you choose? What would you discuss?
Susan May Warren. At last year’s ACFW conference, I ran right into her (literally!) at the gala. Out of my mouth came the words, “Oh my gosh, I just knocked over my idol, Susan May Warren!” We had a good laugh. If I could have a do-over, and knew I had time to really connect, I think I would just want to get to know her. She weaves heavy life experiences, deep emotion, and struggles with God into a beautiful tapestry of novels. It’s the craft at its finest, but I think it also derives from her journey. I would love to hear how God works in her while she sews each story together.
How has God changed you during your writing journey?
Courage breeds courage. With each fabulous part of the writing journey, there are about seventeen steps to take that are scary, vulnerable, or awkward. But God places in front of me exactly what I need, showing me who I am, but more importantly, who He is. I gain confidence with each step…even if I fail, or something doesn’t go well. It’s this fascinating domino effect of personal growth.
If there is something you have always wanted to try niggling at the back of your head, take that first step! It’s okay to try something new. It’s okay to be imperfect. It’s okay to not know exactly what comes next. What you can be sure of is that God is trustworthy. Faithful. Loving.
Amen to all of that!!!
How can we pray for you?
Thank you for asking! Balance. At the end of the day, I want to be able to say that I honored God, loved those around me well, took care of myself, and wrote the words God had for me to write. This requires me to spend time with Him, hear Him, take care of my family, release my expectations, and cling to the dreams He has for me.
Deborah Clack is a native Texan, non-recovering chocolate addict, and contemporary romance author.
A high school AP history teacher for 10 years, Deborah earned a Masters Degree in Education, and was awarded Teacher of the Year for Arts in Education. Now she creates stories of her own with endearing and broken characters who are full of humor and grit.
She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and DFW Ready-Writers. Her work received First and Second Place in the Foundations Contest at the 2017 and 2018 BRMCWC. She was also a finalist in the 2017 ACFW Genesis Contest, and won Second Place in the 2018 Touched by Love Award through the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of RWA.
Never achieving her dream of becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, she settles for being a fan while living in The Lone Star State with her family.
You can find her on The Social Media, where she pretends to be an extrovert. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the world wide web.
Deborah is graciously offering a $20 Amazon gift card to one randomly-selected new subscriber to her newsletter! Click here to fill out the subscription form, and you'll automatically be entered! I'll announce the winner in the comments section of this post next Thursday, August 30.