Deeanne Gist is the author of the award winning A Bride Most Begrudging, The Measure of a Lady and soon to be released, Courting Trouble. Deeanne has a unique style and I have enjoyed all her books so I was thrilled when she agreed to to share with us her thoughts......
Please share some of your writing/publishing journey with us.
With four kids under the age of four, I retired early from teaching to be a stay at home mom. At that time, I began an out-of-the-home career in freelance journalism. A few years after experiencing some success in that field, I decided to write a romance novel. I had always been an avid romance reader, but had become more and more concerned about the moral fiber of the heroines in the story. I wanted to write a compelling story about two people overcoming adversity, but who also tried to honor the boundaries God has asked us to respect while courting. Not an easy task--especially when they didn’t *want* to stay in the boundaries.
Why Christian fiction?
Why not? ;-)
What gets you through those difficult writing days?
For writer’s block, I read a book that I know is well written (so it is usually one I’ve read before and have saved on the shelf). Sometimes, I just need a break and I go do something fun--away from the office. It could be working on my scrapbook or going to lunch with my mom or catching a movie with my man.
What project or book are you working on now?
I am working on the sequel to Courting Trouble. (Should have a title for you within a week or two.) It will be released (as are all my books) in June, 2008.
ON COURTING TROUBLE....
Did the plotline or characters come first?
Essie came first.
Do we "see" some of you in your characters?
I’m sure they reflect me in some ways. I don’t see how they couldn’t, but I don’t intentionally make them personal. I couldn’t even pick out what parts of the novels are personal and what parts aren’t. I’m simply not aware of it. If you were to ask my sister, though, she would probably be able to tell you. On second thought, let’s not ask my sister. That could be dangerous. ;-)
Many authors say they "hear" their characters talking to them. How does it work for you?
The dialog definitely flows off my fingertips. It’s the narrative and descriptive parts that are killer for me.
If you were casting actors for a movie of Courting Trouble, who would you choose?
I don’t have anyone in mind for this book. I’m using Hugh Jackman as my hero’s model (looks-wise) in the sequel, though.
You are very direct when describing characters desires and the realities of attraction between men and women. How do you balance genuine writing with the constraints placed on Christian writers?
I don’t censure my characters at all. If they want to swear, I let them swear. If they feel desire, I let them feel desire. If they have uncharitable thoughts, I let them have uncharitable thoughts. Once I turn the book in, my editor lets me know what needs to be “toned down.” (Though I’ve been known to dig in my heels if I think it is necessary to the novel for the scene to be “on screen.”)
ON MATTERS PERSONAL....
Do you read Christian fiction yourself? If so, some favourite authors or books both Christian and/or secular?
Romance are my favorites. Always have been. I find I enjoy historical romances the most, but don’t particularly have a favorite time period. I do prefer American historicals over some of the others, but really I like them all.
My all time favorite book (which, ironically, isn’t a romance) is To Kill A Mockingbird. My all time favorite secular romance authors are LaVyrle Spencer and Pamela Morsi--their historicals. In the CBA, I think Francine Rivers, Beverly Lewis and Liz Curtis Higgs are at the top of their craft and always enjoy their books.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m judging historical romance novels for RWA’s (Romance Writers of America) RITA contest. So, I’m in the midst of reading those seven novels--but I’m not allowed to reveal which titles I am judging.
Where is your favourite place to read a book?
Who inspires you?
The Holy Spirit, my parents, my pastor, my closest friends.
Please share some of your faith journey.
I was introduced to Christ at the same time I learned about Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. One by one, the imaginary entities fell to the wayside, making way for the One and Only. I committed my life to Christ at the age of 9 while eating a bowl of Fruit Loops. (Which is still my favorite cereal!) My faith has been an important part of everything I do ever since.
Any last words....
I have a very active online community and would love for your readers to become a part of it. If they go to my website (www.IWantHerBook.com) then they can click on the “Blog” tab to participate in our online discussions. I upload new posts every Monday and Thursday. If they would like to contact me privately, click on the “Contact Dee” tab. Those emails come directly to me. So far, I have answered every single one.
Thanks Deeanne ~ it has been a pleasure getting to know a bit more about you and your writing!