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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?
I have loved writing all my life or at least since grade school. As a young adult I wrestled with the issue of "calling" and came to believe that when God puts a great desire in you for something, responding to that desire in whatever way you think will bring Him glory both honors Him and answers His call.
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
I most often write historical romance. Some might call it women's fiction with a strong romantic element. My stories are inspirational as well, but often the inspirational elements may be subtle. Lately I've been writing some contemporary romance also, but that is new ground for me.
Outside of fiction, I do a lot of writing for the encouragement of the homeschool community and I also write for the Midwestern Christian newspaper Living Stones News (http://www.livingstonesnews.com/) which highlights the testimonies and ministries of regular people whose lives were changed by Christ. Every Christian has a dramatic story to tell, whether they think so or not.
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've tried establishing word-count goals, but that doesn't seem to work very well for me. Though I write by an outline, I'm a seat of the pants person when it comes to flow. By that I mean I may write 400 words in a day or 4000, depending on how the scene is flowing and where the characters lead. If it gets stuck, I go back to the outline and try to imagine it another way. I'm satisfied when I reach a climax moment in a scene. I don't write every day. Now that I have a couple of books out, a good deal of my time is spent just trying to get the word out.
But back to the last part of your question, I like to spend a year on a novel if it's historical, or even longer if I can. I like to give a lot of effort to research and let the story marinade long and hard before I start to write it.
You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
I've actually just published two books. "The Green Veil" is the first in the 3-book series "Empire in Pine" published by Desert Breeze Publishing. It takes place in 1840s Wisconsin Territory.
Colette Palmer is a young woman who has loved timber cruiser Manason Kade since her youth. But time, distance, and circumstances compel her to marry a lumber baron who will stop at nothing to crush his enemies - especially Manason. When Manason and Colette finally meet again, she is forced to choose between her first love and her commitment to her marriage vows, a choice that has her faith and an empire in pine hanging in the balance.
Heart Not Taken" is a contemporary novella published in December by Black Lyon Publishing. It's the story of a high school English teacher Sean Heart, who is haunted by a past indiscretion as well as a mentor's betrayal. His faith is about to slip away, until he meets his family's landscape architect, Jordyn Delaney. But Jordyn is having a crisis of her own. At least with Sean in her life, there’s someone she can depend on and trust. Or can she?
When the situation Sean most dreads threatens to sabotage their budding relationship, he and Jordyn discover that a renovation of the heart and spirit might be the most complicated job of all.
What is the spiritual message in your book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?
Scripture tells us that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?" The Green Veil challenges the common notion that we should follow our hearts. Our hearts can often tend to get us into trouble, and sometimes we don’t know our hearts as well as we think we do.
The message in Heart Not Taken is all about regrets and forgiveness. Both in trusting God's forgiveness, and being willing to extend that same grace to others.
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?
Missionary, and Olympic champion Eric Liddell said, "I feel (God's) pleasure when I run." That quote has buoyed me and put my writing into perspective when I've been down. It reminds me that no matter what becomes of my writing, or if anything at all becomes of it, I write for God's pleasure alone, because He gave me the gift and desire to do it. If He is the only one that sees what I've written, then that is audience enough. It has to be. Remembering that can do a lot to keep frustration at bay.
Who’s inspired you the most?
Wow; that's a hard question. My inspiration comes mostly from God's nudges. As for people, I'm inspired by authors I admire. Also from writers who've proven themselves to be historians as well like Bodie Thoene, Laura Frantz, Angela Hunt, my friend K.M. Weiland, and even Charles Dickens come to mind.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
I'd had several (what writers call) "good" rejections from bigger publishing houses. By that, I mean they read the full manuscript, took it to committee, and wrote personal notes on the final rejection. To get to that stage is HUGE. But... at the same time, it took many months of go-arounds. I decided to submit to a smaller publisher because I felt that there might be a lesser-tapped opportunity there. In the end, I went with Desert Breeze Publishing, though they were only publishing e-books, because I liked what I was hearing about them. They liked my proposal and offered me a contract for my series. They've been wonderful to work with so far, and very personal. My novella "Heart Not Taken" is with Black Lyon Publishing. I'd written that story for a contest. When it didn't win, I decided to tweak it and send it someplace else. BLP was opening a new inspirational novella e-imprint at the time, and I decided to leap through that open door.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
I once wanted to travel the world, but as I've gotten older I've come to really appreciate the beauties and interests my own state of Wisconsin has to offer. I really like exploring the locales my stories are set in, and researching their history. If I do go anywhere else, I'd like to go to Alaska someday.
Other than that, my hubby and I live on a ramshackle old farm and raise a menagerie of critters. I love to be in the outdoors swimming, camping, or gardening. It's a low-key lifestyle. We love it.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
I love hearing from readers and sharing news of what's coming up!
- Stop by my site at http://www.naomimusch.com/ or look me up on Facebook or Twitter: NMusch.
- My books are available at all the usual online outlets: amazon.com, b&n.com, christianbook.com, and the publisher's sites as well.
- If real-life stories of changed lives thrill you, you might also like to check out Living Stones News on the web
- or my site for homeschoolers: http://www.applesofgoldnews.com/
Thank you, Naomi!
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