Saturday, May 8, 2010

Interview With Author Delia Latham







Welcome Author Delia Latham: a mom, grandma, California transplant, and the first woman to persuade me to read a homespun Christian romance. Her new novel, Yesterday’s Promise, has been released in electronic format through White Rose Publishing.

Hello everyone. Thank you, Bill, for allowing me to share your blog space. I’m especially touched that you were willing to endure a romance novel for a fellow author—that’s true generosity of spirit! I hope, at the very least, that it’s a storyline you’ll remember for a good, long while.

Your writing career includes too many achievements to mention in one interview. How long have you been writing professionally, and what have been your most memorable successes?

Kind words, those! I’m just a struggling author, but I am grateful for the opportunities God has laid in my path.

I’ve been writing in some capacity for too many years to mention without giving away my age. I’ve been writing something almost as far back as I can remember, but didn’t really begin doing it for serious publication until 1986, when I took a position as a Staff Writer for a large daily newspaper. That led to my freelancing for an upper-echelon regional magazine. But I didn’t write my first novel until 2005. It was published in 2006, and Goldeneyes followed in 2008.

Goldeneyes will always be the book of my heart, I suppose. I set it in Weedpatch—the little California farming community where I grew up, and I borrowed names for many of the characters from people and families who were a big part of my life there. Getting that book into print was a major achievement for me, and I consider it one of my greatest successes.

Tell us about your association with White Rose Publishing. They’ve split the White Rose line away from TWRP. Has the new organization been easy to work with?

They’re wonderful! It’s great to work with a group of editors who “speak the language” of Christian fiction so well. I’ve been completely happy with my experience with White Rose.

Marketing e books has become the primary method for putting books into the hands of new readers. Many people now use a Kindle or Barnes & Nobles’ Nook for their reading selections. Does White Rose Publishing make your books available through Kindle and Nook? Also do they make hardcopies available?

My book is available through Kindle, but not through Nook just yet. All White Rose Publishing books are also available directly from their website (http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/). Only books over 60,000 words are made available in print version. Yesterday’s Promise is just under 54,000, so is available in e-format only.

I found the interaction between Brock and his son to be beautifully crafted, particularly because Brock doesn’t know Davey is his son. I was also impressed that the emotional tension between Hannah and Brock remained consistent throughout. What inspired you to write this story?

Thank you, Bill—I’m glad you found something to appeal to your masculinity in my little homespun Christian romance! lol

I wish I could say where the inspiration came from, but the closest I can come is this: “Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above.”

This story came about in such a bizarre manner that I can only think God must have known someone needed to read it. I was working on Goldeneyes, and had come up against a massive wall of writer’s block. To be honest, I was at the point of despair. One day, I was surfing the web a bit, looking for inspiration that was nowhere to be found, when I came across an advertisement for National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo). For those who might not know, it’s an annual writing marathon that lasts from November 1-30 every year. Writers are encouraged to churn out at least 50,000 words—either a small novel, or that many words toward a longer one. I saw the ad three, maybe four days prior to November 1, 2005 and made up my mind to do it. Having made that decision, I laid aside all my notes and worry and plans for Goldeneyes, and started getting my husband and my house ready for a month of “no mama.” J Three days later, I sat down in front of my monitor, pulled up a blank screen and started writing. I pulled an opening out of thin air and just plowed ahead. Literally. I had no idea where the story was going, how it would end, no outline, no definite ideas as to storyline. Out of that split-second decision, Yesterday’s Promise was born. Of course, it started out under the title Almost Like a Song, but that’s a whole other story.


At the DFW Writers’ Conference last week, the question came up about the future of books in print and the need for agents or publicists in an electronic world. Your book, Almost Like a Song, is coming back in electronic format - new cover, new title. Do you have an agent, or is your commitment exclusively to the publishing house with you doing your own publicity through social networking?

I don’t have an agent—but I’d love to! You don’t happen to have one waiting in the wings, do you? I guess the answer is yes, my commitment is exclusively to White Rose Publishing. They help with publicity, but I am heavily involved in marketing my book.

I understand your motto is: “Never, never, never, never, give up!” After looking over your online presence, I’m surprised your motto isn’t: “Never, never, never, never, slow down.” How do you manage your family time, personal pursuits, and career? And a follow up question, do you have the understanding and patience of your family behind you?

Ah, the profoundly simple quote from Winston Churchill, via Og Mandino. Og actually added a few “nevers” to his, which had seven of them. One for each day of the week. I love it, don’t you?

To be honest, there’s little time available for slowing down…not for an author doing the lion’s share of marketing on a book she doesn’t want to see go the way of the forgotten. I’m immensely blessed to have a husband who supports my passion for writing. My four children are all adults, and they understand—even if they don’t always appreciate—the fact that I spend countless hours staring at a computer screen. When they really need me, of course I’m available to them. Writing can be laid aside for a time…life cannot. But I appreciate my family’s respect for my writing career, especially now that I’ve taken on a full-time job outside my home. This means that I have to guard my Saturdays and most weekday evenings for writing. We make the most of those wonderful occasions when the family is all together; we stay in touch via Facebook, telephone, and e-mail in between. And we keep on loving each other.


What can we look forward to from Delia Latham in the near future?

A children’s book, Adam’s Wings, will be released December 2010. I’m looking forward to that. It’s about a somewhat careless little angel who can’t keep up with his wings.

I’m also working on the second of a three-book series based around a Christian dating agency. Hopefully, by the time it’s finished, the first book will be placed with a publisher, and I’ll have a solid storyline laid out for the third. My working title for that series is “Solomon’s Gate.” Watch for it!

Finally, many readers have not yet achieved recognition for their efforts? When you were in their position, what did you do that led to your success?

Oh, I’m still striving for success! Two published books does not spell literary stardom. What small measure of name recognition I have accomplished came about by a lot of hard work and commitment; countless hours of networking; helping other authors whenever possible, because I’ve been blessed by a number of caring, experienced people who took time to give a hand up to a beginner; prayer—because it’s where I find my strength; and simple trust that God has a plan for my life and my career, and that He has it all under control.

Thanks Delia. for sharing your time with us. I, too, believe in giving back to people who need something I know I can give, or need a hand as I once did. That’s what God asks us to do. I know your book, Yesterday’s Promise, will sell well.

20 comments:

LuAnn said...

Great interview!

Delia Latham said...

Thanks for your cyber-hospitality, Bill! It was a pleasure answering your questions, and getting to know you a little.

Hi, LuAnn! Thanks for stopping by.

Good luck, everyone, with the drawing!

Elaine Dawson said...

Great interview. Everyone learned alot about you and your books.

Delia Latham said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Elaine! Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

I'm following your blog tour and enjoying it....learning more at each stop.
jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

Delia Latham said...

Jackie, I so appreciate your effort in tagging along on my tour!

atadbitmore said...

Thanks for an interesting interview, that showed the personality of the author!

Delia Latham said...

And thank you for stopping by, atadbitmore! :)

Delia Latham said...

Just a quick heads-up: If you want to be entered in the drawing at the end of the tour, please leave your e-mail addy along with your comment. If I don't have a way to reach you, I can't award you the prize. And if you're worried about web crawlers finding your addy, enter it like this: delia AT delialatham DOT com.

Good luck!

K said...

Great interview!
I am looking forward to the series based around the Christian dating agency! :)
God bless!
Kim
lonebanana(at)msn(dot)com

Delia Latham said...

I hope it's available soon, Kim. Thank so much for stopping by!

Vickie McDonough said...

Delia,

It's nice learning more about you! Your book sounds good. Isn't a cool when God just plots an idea for a novel in your head and you run with it?!

fictionfan1[at]cox[net]

Delia Latham said...

It's the best, Vickie. Thanks so much for stopping in!

Linda Gray said...

Thanks for a great interview, Bill. Love reading about people who make things happen for themselves and those around them, and Karlene is certainly on that list!

Karlene Petitt said...

Delia you ARE a success. Your success comes from not giving up, being positive and you became published! You give the rest of us inspiration, faith, and knowledge that we too can make it. I am so excited to read your books.
Bill, Thank you for sharing Delia with us!

Delia Latham said...

Thank you, Karlene! I enjoyed your interview, as well.

Bill, I've so enjoyed visiting with your readers. I want you to know that I sincerely appreciate your willingness to lend a hand to a fellow author!

Bill Wetterman, the novelist said...

Our business is a tough business. Anytime I can help make it a tad easier, I will. You're a blessing.

Delia Latham said...

As are you, Bill! :)

Margaret said...

Bill, I've never read a Christian romance before either, but now I think I will.

John Biggs

Delia Latham said...

I hope you do, John-and I hope you start with mine! :D