Friday, February 15, 2008
Interview with Delia Latham
Welcome back to Joy in the Journey. Today we'll be continuing my interview with Delia Latham. If you haven't read Delia's books yet, let me suggest that you get your hands on one of them, either at your local bookstore or library. If the book isn't in stock, just ask and they will be happy to get you a copy. This portion will be more personal as Delia describes her personal writing journey.
1. Delia, can you describe your journey to publication?
Rocky and intermittent, to say the least. I’ve always written, but never in serious pursuit of publication until the past few years. I had always promised myself a novel … someday … and finally decided the time had come. I wrote my first novel, sent it off to a publisher I found online, and guess what? It was accepted! Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken time to really check out the publisher, and as it turns out, it was pretty much a POD printer. After my initial devastation, I decided to take what they had given me – a book in print with beautiful cover, and the fact that it was listed on Amazon.com – and run with it. I put in a lot of hard work and a tremendous amount of networking. It paid off in a more than decent internet presence. In addition, I learned more about self-marketing a book than I ever thought I’d know. I picked up lots of absolutely invaluable knowledge that I will treasure forever, along with the generous, kind-hearted author pals who helped me learn!
It was through this networking process that I met the editor/publisher of Vintage Romance Publishing, and they eventually contracted my second novel, Goldeneyes. My mother used to tell me that things happen pretty much in the way they’re meant to happen, and for a reason. How come I never knew how wise my mother was?
2. Do you have an agent? How has your agent helped you in your writing journey, or why did you decide to go it alone?
I’m in the process of finding an agent. Up until now, I’ve gone it alone, but I can certainly see the benefit of having someone to represent me. Many publishing doors are closed to unrepresented writers – and some of those doors are the ones I specifically want to knock on!
3. What advice do you have for beginning writers?
Don’t give up. Find yourself a room (or a corner) to write in – preferably one with a door you can shut. Enter it at the same time every day and write something … write anything … but write. Don’t come out until you reach a pre-determined, realistic word goal. And remember … the one story that will absolutely, positively never be published is the one you don’t write. The second is the one you don’t submit.
4. If you were starting all over again, what would you do different?
I’d create that writing space much earlier than I did. It does something positive inside you when you have a space – whether it’s a room or a space under the stairwell – that’s yours, specifically there for you to be a writer. And I’d harness the confidence to write that first novel much earlier, as well.
5. How does your writing reflect your faith? Do you consider it a ministry?
It is a ministry. I don’t doubt that for a minute. God gave me the passion for writing and the ability to do it well. Biblically, it’s called a talent. I was taught, and still believe that people with God-given talents are intended to use them for His glory. I also believe the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, so I don’t really have a choice as to whether or not my writing reflects my faith. That’s simply the way I have to write – not that I would wish it any differently. J I pray every day that the words I write will encourage someone in their Christian walk, or point someone in the direction of salvation. If that happens, then my mission is accomplished, and I couldn’t be happier!
6. Can you describe a typical writing day?
I do most of my writing in the wee hours, after the rest of the world is asleep. No phones or doorbells ringing, nobody calling me to get the dog off the street or bring toilet paper – now! (LOL) So during the day I’m just your typical homemaker, mother, wife and grandmother. But sometime around nine p.m., my mind literally starts going into writing mode. By the time my husband starts snoring, I’m deep into whatever project I’m working on at the time, and I don’t usually resurface for at least four or five hours. Which means I have an unusual sleep pattern, I guess, but it works for me. That’s one of the perks of being an empty-nester … I can choose my own schedule. The downside to this is that I can’t seem to shut it off – on vacation or weekend trips, for instance. Come nine or ten o’clock, my mind goes into word play, and I can’t sleep until I pull out a notebook and at least pretend to write something.
7. What would you do if you weren't writing?
I can’t even begin to imagine that! I do quite a bit of editing and proofreading … I suppose I would develop that a bit further. Whatever I did, it would still involve working with words. They never bore me.
8. What projects are next in the lineup?
My current WIP ties together certain characters and situations from two of my other books. This was a surprise to me – I hadn’t planned on the books having any connection whatsoever. After all, one is an historical, and the other a contemporary! Hmmm. I love when these things happen without my knowledge or okay! I’m also putting together ideas for another historical I’d like to propose to a new inspy publisher I just heard about. It will be set in what is now a California ghost town, but once was a booming little place called Last Chance.
9. How do you choose your next project?
They choose me. When the inspiration comes, I go with it. That usually works best for me. This historical I’m “planning” is completely off the charts for me, because I do not plan my books. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool seat-of-the-pants writer. We’ll see how it goes … maybe next time I’m asked this question, I’ll have a different answer.
10. How do you sleep at night with all the voice chattering in your head?
Ha – I gave up and started working at night, since that’s when the voices in my head start yammering the loudest. Now that I let them have their way, they (pretty much) leave me at peace when I do sleep. Well … most of the time they do.
Thanks, Delia, for sharing your writing process with us. Readers, you can learn more about Delia at her website. Don't forget to post a comment to enter to win a GOLDENEYES T-shirt and an electronic version of the book. Follow the links below to keep up with more of Delia's blog tour and for more chances to win.
Feb. 15 – Angela Wilson - www.WickedWordsmith.com
Feb. 18 – Suzanne Woods Fisher – www.suzannewoodsfisher.blogspot.com
Feb. 20 – Cindy Bauer – www.cindybauer.blogspot.com
Feb. 21 – Cindy Bauer – www.cindybauer.blogspot.com
Feb. 24 – Shelagh Watkins – http://shelaghs.blogspot.com/
Feb. 25 – Rhonda Clark – www.freewebs.com/rhondaclark
Feb. 26 – Cindy Bauer – www.cindybauer.blogspot.com (Guest Blog)
Feb. 28 – Julie Kornhausl – www.simplyromancereviews.com