Cole Harrison, an Iraq war veteran, wears his disfigurement like a barrier to those who might love him,
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Today we have the privilege of speaking with Connie Almony. She trained as a mental health therapist and likes to mix a little fun with the serious stuff of life. She was a 2012 semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest for Women’s Fiction and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest.
1) Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what made you decide to write, and how long have you been at it?
My first desire was to be a singer/songwriter. I’d trained and performed through high school and college, but found it hard to hone my skill when I kept losing my voice. I must say this was sort of disappointing at first, but I see God’s handiwork in the whole of it. I’ve even used some of my experience as a musician in my stories, particularly my first manuscript.
I dabbled in writing all my life, and even took a correspondence course years ago, but it wasn’t until I assisted my daughter (who writes chapter books on the side) in a school project writing a Cinderella story set in Greece. We had brainstormed many ideas of how to include cultural elements in the work. She used some of my “brilliant” ideas, but I grieved over the ones she left behind. At that point I decided I needed to write my own story and have never looked back.
2) What do you love about being a writer, and what do you like the least?
One of the things that caught me off guard was how much closer writing brought me to God. So often, I think He is whispering things to me that I ignore. When I write, they seem to end up on the page whether I want them to or not. I’ve written posts about ideas that are important to me, only to find at the end of the article I have a greater understanding of the concept than I had when I’d began. No extra research. Just me and God hashing it out. I guess it’s like journaling out loud.
I might just have to say platform building is my least favorite thing about writing, especially the emphasis on social media. You see, I’m not good with small talk and social media doesn’t allow enough space for all that is going on in my brain. I want to know more about you than that you tried a new recipe. I want to find out how you came to know Christ and how He is using you in His grand creation. And if you tell me He isn’t using you, then I will say “p-shaw, of course He is,” and want to find out more so I can show you how He is using you. So confining my thoughts to a set number of characters sometimes makes me twitch. Could you guess that from the length of my answers to your questions so far ;o)?
3) What’s your favorite method for keeping a story’s middle from sagging?
The best way to keep from having a sagging middle is to start the writing there. I sometimes write the most important or pivotal scenes even before I write the opening. That way, I know where the rest of the story points. This makes it second-nature to weave in foreshadowing when I already have a good idea where I’m headed. I write other, secondarily important scenes, then fill in the rest like mortar in a mosaic.
4) Do you like to listen to music when you write?
Absolutely! I have a muse for every book. My first manuscript is my Third Day story. My second was inspired by Tenth Avenue North. At the Edge of a Dark Forest was written under the influence of NEEDTOBREATHE. I am currently working on a David Crowder Band manuscript.
5) What fun fact would you like your readers to know about you?
You know how movies always portray romance writers with their hair pulled up in a sloppy bun, wearing yoga pants (or sweats) and an old, beat up “grandma” sweater? That’s me. I think there’s a magic in it. You cannot write a good romance without the uniform. My grandma sweater was even once my grandma’s. Only it didn’t get all the holes in it until I started wearing it. If I’m not careful putting it on, my hand will go right through the hole in the elbow. But still, it’s very cozy and makes me feel close to my grandmother who is now with God (probably telling Him what to do).
At the Edge of a Dark Forest is a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Only it is not her love that will make him whole.
Writing book reviews for Jesus Freak Hideout and hosting the following blogs: InfiniteCharacters.com and LivingtheBodyofChrist.Blogspot.com.
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Readers: don't forget to stop by tomorrow when you can enter to win a free copy of At The Edge of a Dark Forest!