How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
Falling in love with writing in the fifth grade was the easy part. I adored my writing teacher. She always read the best compositions aloud in class. The way she cradled them in her hands told me they were treasures. I worked extremely hard to please her; to hear my words read aloud—but I was never chosen.
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
The Christmas Edition caught the eye of director/producer Steven Zambo of Salty Earth Pictures and by the time this interview ‘airs’, he will be in post production. The targeted release of the movie based on my book is December 2010. The name of the story has been changed for the movie. It will be aired as Journey to Paradise. As a result, my publisher is re-leasing the book with a new ending and more scenes, so even if you have read it the first time, you will want the newer copy. Steve Zambo plans on releasing The Valentine Edition next, and then The Easter Edition.
A new book series is in the works with Point Yonder Press. The series combines mystery and romance about a young woman who is a biologist and returns to her hometown, which happens to be on an island in Lake Michigan—Willow Island. Be sure to watch for the release of Wynn in the Willows.
Lastly, I have co-authored a young adult book with former Dallas Cowboy, Kalen Thornton. Ruby Red is being published by Sparklesoup and the talented Amu Munoz is designing the cover. The story is told through Ruby Red’s eleven-year old eyes. Set in the 1920s, Ruby is taken in as a maid and finds little hope of being anyone. Then she makes a risky move by faking insanity. After being tossed out, she sneaks onto a train that is heading west where she finds adventure, danger, and renewed hope.
I love writing about strong women. Does it show?
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
I only wish I had writing days. I am the Special Education Coordinator at a juvenile facility. That is a full time position that I love. I write at night and on weekends. Some novels took me six weeks to complete while others were in-process for years. At times I set goals for number of words per day while at other times my goal for the day is to re-polish one or two chapters.
Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it? What can readers expect to get from reading it? How and where can readers buy your book?
Readers can order my books from Amazon or any bookstore. The spiritual message of The Easter Edition is " Follow God for He will give you the desires of your heart." Not only will readers be captivated by the story and characters but they will find messages of hope and renewal.
Here is a blurb: Bridal shop owner, Carol Horn, looks forward to being a bride herself someday. Having surrendered her desires to God, she's praying the Lord will show her the path she should take. When she meets new assistant pastor, Luke Peters, she feels he is the answer to her prayers, but if that’s so, why does she feel called to go overseas to help build an orphanage?
Luke has a sketchy past that includes doing jail time, but he comes to Turtle Creek, Wisconsin as a changed man. He falls hard for Carol, but when she applies for the mission trip, Luke finds himself torn between ignoring her application and giving up the one person who trusts that he has truly become a man of God.
Can Luke overcome his shadowy past and show Carol that he is the man for her, or will she discover that the rumors about him are true?
Where do you get ideas? Character names? Do you find your characters similar to you in any way?
Generally ideas come to me all the time. I write them down the minute I get them, otherwise there're gone along with my youthful figure. I have the beginning plots for ten more books but I have to write and edit the books which are contracted first. As for names, I have a baby book that sometimes I look through, but usually my characters tell me what their names are as I write about them. They are insistent like that. Some of my characters personify different sides of my personality.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?
Like a smoker (which I am not) I have given up writing and then taken it back up again at least a hundred times. What drives me? It is part of who I am and I suppose that is part of every successful writer’s psyche. The inner conflict is often a driving force to put fingers to the keyboard and start pecking away. I have all these characters inside of my brain that want to be set free on paper and each has his or her own story to tell. There were discouraging times when the rejections piled up. To some degree I wanted to be published, but there was also a part of me that wanted to write even if that work might not be published. With each rejection, I became even more determined to write a good book. I learned a lot from reading the books of other authors, attending writer’s workshops, and going to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference. That organization is invaluable. They are loving and supportive; it’s good to have a ‘friend’ when things go right and wrong.
Would you roughly explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin. Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
I never sit back and relax. I am driven to write, but writing is also a form of relaxation. There will always be the next book to tend to whether I have to polish a rough draft or write out what is burning inside me, there is always good work to do.. It’s like having a lot of children. You want to enjoy the ones that are already born and you do, but it’s the newborn that needs the most attention. God has opened many writing doors for me and I keep walking through them. I never chose publishers at random. I study the market to see what publishers are looking for and query those publishers with suitable book proposals.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
I love to read and go to movies. Garage sales are my best therapy for an overworked schedule. I plan to travel all over the United States and experience what our country has to offer, which is magnificence.
You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
The Easter Edition is the third book in the Turtle Creek Edition series. I think readers will find it to be a passionate read about a young woman who is torn between serving God and being with the man she loves.
Readers can find my books on amazon.com at:
or, order them from any bookstore.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
I like to spread hope. There a big and little problems that each of us face in life. Sometimes the problems are daunting. My books are meant to inspire hope and the romances are meant to motivate people to get past their obstacles and do well in life.
I would love for everyone to befriend me on Facebook, Robin Jansen Shope. Also please join Journey to Paradise Movie and Salty Earth Pictures for movie updates.
My blog is: http://write2robinshope.blogspot.com/
Thanks, Robin, for joining me today! Folks, check out Robin's books. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Don't forget to comment for a chance to win one of Robin's books!