Hey, all! I have another author for you all to meet today! This is an author I met through Pure Romance Reads, a group of clean Romance writers that help created a place where readers can find clean romance and talk about clean romance on the Facebook page: Pure Romance Reads. I am just as excited as anyone to hear more about her work and dive deeper into her process. As a writer, I feel I can (and should) never stop learning. So, here’s Toni…
Thanks for being on the blog today, Toni. Many of my readers wonder about writers and how we chose this career path…or, for many of us, how it chose us.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?
Love this question! It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had different ideas of what that would look like from being a cop, lawyer, interior designer, librarian, and bookstore owner (although that still sounds awesome).
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
The first time would probably be when I took a creative writing class while getting my bachelor’s degree. I had thoughts about it beforehand, but taking that class made it feel like an obtainable possibility.
Alas…you, too, were bitten by the bug! No regrets though, right? Except that there is inevitably something about the writing/publication process that every writer doesn’t care for so much. What part do you dread?
Editing! I love writing the first draft and sometimes even rereading it to polish it. But I dread editing and editing and editing. By the time I’m done editing, I don’t want to read the book any more, lol.
I agree. You get tired of those characters making the same bad choices. Or worse, you get to be like “who wrote this”!?!
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
Read other authors. Figure out what it is about the book that hooked you and then do it in your unique way. Figure out what you didn’t like and avoid that.
I see that. I agree that we pick up a lot intuitively from reading other authors. On that note…what are you currently reading?
While riding a stationary bike in the morning I read Vilette by Charlotte Bronte. For a book club I’m reading Tammy L. Gray’s Until I Knew Myself.
I always have to “set the mood” for my writing…especially when I’m feeling a little blocked. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
I love listening to music while I write. I usually try to create a playlist that speaks to what the characters are going through. Usually a mix between contemporary Christian, country, pop, and Indie.
I ask this for sheer curiosity sake from a reader’s perspective. Just one of those “I wonder…” things. How long does it take you to write a book?
It took me three months to write the first draft of Finally Accepted. I would say that’s pretty standard for most of my books unless their a novella or short novel. If that’s the case I probably only need a month or two for the first draft.
Thanks again for being on the blog, Toni, and for sharing with us about your process and letting us “peek behind the curtain” for a moment. Readers, I’ll turn you over to the details about Toni’s Finally Accepted as well as the giveaway below. Happy Reading!
There’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.
Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.
As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.
Enjoy an Excerpt
“Grandma, why is my skin different than yours?” Chloe stared at her arms. They weren’t white like the color in the crayon box, but they weren’t dark brown like her grandma’s.
“Because God made us in all different colors. It’s a way for us to remember our uniqueness and how special we are to Him.”
It sounded good, but… “I want to be the same color as you.”
She frowned. Her grandma always asked a lot of questions. “So I can be Black.” She wasn’t sure why people called her grandmother black. She didn’t look like the color but maybe they never heard of dark brown. The kids in her class said she wasn’t Black even though her grandma was. It really didn’t make any sense to her.
“Well, baby, I’m Black and your mama is Black…”
“So I’m Black?” It came out more a question than a statement as her mind tried to wrap around her grandma’s words. Chloe sat up straight. She didn’t know what her dad looked like and right now that didn’t matter.
My mom is Black. Grandma is Black. “I’m Black,” she whispered.
“And loved by God, no matter how light or dark your skin is. Remember that, baby, okay?”
More About the Author
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian contemporary romance author. Once she understood the powerful saving grace, thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.
You can find her on her website at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.
Connect with Toni and Her Books
Blogs I’m part of: http://puttingonthenew.com ; http://heartwingsblog.com ; http://diversitybetweenthepages.wordpress.com
Toni is offering, to one winner, an ebook copy of Finally Accepted. Please follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below to enter.