Thursday, June 6, 2013
Author Interview - Fay Lamb
Anne: Good morning, Fay Lamb, nice to see you here again. I love this picture--I hope you don't mind that I snatched it from Facebook.
Yesterday I reviewed your most recent book, so today we have to know what inspired Stalking Willow. [To read the review, click HERE.]
Fay: Most of my books are inspired by issues I have had to deal with or issues that God is calling me to deal with. Willow’s issue was bitterness, and my desire to show people that bitterness is nothing but a destructive force in our lives is the reason for Willow’s story. Why the desire? Because it was something I had to learn.
Anne: This version is a very little different than the one I helped critique a year or so back. I didn't think that one could be improved upon, but it just goes to show you how mistaken I can be. How do you feel when the publisher asks you to do revisions?
Fay: I’m smiling here. The finished work that my publisher and my terrific editor, Tracy Ruckman, received is basically what was printed. Tracy challenged me on one point-of-view issue, and she was absolutely correct. She advised me that she found a few questionable question marks, but what you read is pretty much what my publisher received.
Anne: Ah, those pesky question marks. Did you have to remove any parts you particularly loved in any of your books?
Fay: With Willow, I can’t remember removing any of my darlings once it was submitted. Now, if you ask me about my upcoming novels Charisse and Liberty, I recently sent the manuscripts self-edited to Tracy, and I did find myself taking out some portions of Charisse that upon second thought I didn’t think strengthened the storyline. In Liberty I worked hard to mature the plot. In other words, I felt my heroine needed more motivation for her actions, and since that story is a classic romance in every way, but it involves the issues of self-esteem and the potential for physical abuse, the motivation for the give and take between the hero and heroine needed to be strengthened.
And there’s no saying that my editor won’t be asking for other changes in either of the stories. I’m ready, willing, and able.
Anne: What do you like best about the revised version?
Fay: I was given excellent advice by someone that I truly respect. She suggested that my hero not be overly aggressive when dealing with one of the antagonists. I reworked two scenes, and I do believe that in taking her suggestions, Quentin became more heroic. With regard to the relationship between Quentin and Willow, I was very happy that the snarky, sarcastic wit between the two of them brought humor into a story. It was that humor that finally allowed me to figure out how to soften Willow and make her more likeable. In real life a person with bitterness isn’t often likeable, but in fiction an author must have a likeable heroine so that a reader can connect with her. I believe the humor in the story, the fact that Quentin doesn’t allow Willow to get away with an attitude, just works.
Anne: They say a person should write about what they know about--is that true of you and Stalking Willow? How so or no?
Fay: Yes, there are two things I know about. As mentioned above, I write about issues that I need to deal with it. Willow Thomas has a garden of bitterness in her soul. The roots are so deep into her soul that she can’t see the good memories of the past. This is where Willow Thomas met Fay Lamb. In writing Willow’s story, I hoped to share with others that we aren’t meant to carry around our anger, jealousy, pain, or a myriad of other emotions that moisten the soil so that seeds of bitterness can grow. Bitterness is nothing but a destructive force that we unleash upon ourselves. No matter if the wrongs done to us were deliberate, unintentional, real, or perceived, Christ wants us to lay those emotions at His feet. As Willow learns, the One who liberates our soul by his grace and mercy (forgiveness), is the greatest example of how to forgive and to live a life free of that destructive force—whether or not the person we forgive ever understands the pain and hurt they have caused.
The second thing I know is family. My mother had five brothers and one sister, and my father had a younger brother. They had lots of children, and I thank the Lord that He placed me into the midst of so many strange and wonderful people who share my DNA. My extended family, though I don’t see them that often, are precious to me (and isn’t FB wonderful for helping us keeping connected). Whether they are aware of it or not, my aunts, uncles, and cousins have shaped my life. Willow’s cousin, Laurel, is a bit of all of my cousins and the relationship that I have with them. Willow’s father and his two brothers also comprise a bit of my own uncles. And before anyone asks about Willow’s Aunt Agatha, only the best of what Agatha becomes shows the love my aunts have always provided to our family.
Anne: Will there be a sequel to this novel?
Fay: Well, there is no sequel for Willow and Quentin, but there are three other books to follow in the Amazing Grace series. Each are romantic suspense titles involving couples living in the fictional town of Amazing Grace, North Carolina. For those who have read Because of Me or those who didn’t get the chance the great news is that the book has been given a new life with my current publisher. The story of Michael Hayes and Issie Putnam will be re-released as Better than Revenge in September 2013 by Write Integrity Press. The next two books in that series, Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes will release in 2014/2015.
Anne: Wow, that's an ambitious schedule. Would you like to tell us a little about your next release?
Fay: My next release will be July 2013 and it is from The Ties that Bind contemporary romance series. The first story is Charisse. Charisse Wellman’s husband has been gone a year, and she’s about to lose the only home her son, V.J., has ever known. She’s quit law school but the money just isn’t there. Her only option is to work as a law clerk for her ex-friend, Gideon Tabor. The only problem: Gideon is the judge who let her husband’s killer go free, and Gideon doesn’t know the connection.
Gideon Tabor can’t believe that the woman interviewing for the job is the girl he loved in high school. Charisse is hesitant about accepting his job offer, and when she does, Gideon makes every attempt to apologize for his relationship-ending blunder in high school. Charisse accepts his apology, but she keeps him at a distance. When Gideon learns that Charisse’s anger actually stems from his release of the man who ran down her husband, he tries to explain, but Charisse doesn’t want Gideon’s excuses or the love he has to offer. She wants her husband’s killer to pay.
The second story in this series, Liberty, will release in early 2014. Two other novels will follow. Their titles are: Hope and Delilah. Everyone who critiqued Charisse asked if Delilah would get her own story. At the time, I had no idea, but when your publisher asks you that question, there is only one answer. I’m so excited about that project because Delilah is just a special character to me, and apparently, she struck a chord with other readers as well.
Anne: And I can't wait to read them, too. Thanks for being here, Fay. You are an interviewer's dream!