Erin Klinger has gone through much of the same, sometimes agonizing difficulty to get her books published that I have. It can be discouraging at times. A couple of years ago I had an opportunity to read her work in progress and give her feedback. The book was great and I knew that it would be accepted for publication. She had to go through some rewriting to have it accepted by our publisher Covenant Communications, but her hard work paid off. I look forward to reading the final product. It is my privilege to interview Erin on my blog. I hope you'll enjoy reading about her and her books.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was about eight years old, actually. I wrote a silly little story (though I probably thought it was groundbreaking when I wrote it) about a dog who wanted a dog house for Christmas. I still have it saved in a scrapbook somewhere. My love of reading prior to that and ever since only strengthened my desire to become a writer. I soaked up everything I was taught in my English and creative writing classes in junior high and high school. Then after I got married and was busy raising children, I started writing a couple of different things when my kids were napping or playing. Between the Lines is my second novel.
Is your book based on a personal experience?
Not in the least. :) But I do love watching television shows that mix character relationships with criminal investigation--Alias, Castle, Bones, etc. My passion for those kinds of stories made me try my hand at romantic suspense. To my surprise, I actually love writing bad guys almost as much as I love writing romance! Who would have thought?
How long did it take you to write the book?
Um...forever. :) In its various incarnations, it was probably a three-year project. It doesn't normally take me that long, but it started out as mostly romance until Covenant's evaluators decided they thought I should stick in more "bad guy stuff." So I rewrote. Then resubmitted. Then had it accepted and rewrote various aspects of it many times. It's been a long road, but I'm happy with how it turned out.
What books or authors have most influenced your writing?
Definitely Kerry Blair, first and foremost. Her "The Heart Has It's Reasons" and subsequent books in that series were the first LDS books I fell in love with. They really were a turning point in my life. Shortly after I read them, we started exchanging emails, and she became a dear friend. She had an enormous impact on my decision to keep trying to get publish. Also, Traci Abramson's books really turned my thoughts to writing LDS suspense. She's such a master at it! I greatly admire her and her writing ability so much. Just getting to know her has inspired me to become a better writer.
What can we look for next? What current projects are you working on?
Between the Lines is out the first week of May, and I'm very excited about that! I hope all the years of hard work put into this book helps it to be something people enjoy. So much of my writing time has been focused on getting this book ready that I haven't fully jumped back into writing my next project. Now I can do that! Its working title is "Deceit," and the book is high-energy action (the helicopter chase scene as the bad guys try to chase my main characters through the mountains of Colorado continues to be my favorite!) with a tale of rekindled love--if my characters make it out alive, of course!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding time, mostly! Being a YW president, raising five kids, and working part time as a medical transcriptionist rarely leaves me spare time. But writing seems to be vital to my mental health, so I squeak out whatever time I can.
Do you have any advice for other authors?
Yes! Don't give up! I talk to so many aspiring authors, and most of them think the path is easy: write a book, send it off to a few agents, and then it's published. When they find out there's a lot of hard work and heartbreak along the way, they get a little freaked out. But anything worthwhile takes work! So be prepared to work, and don't give up! Most of the joy in the experience, I have found, comes in the friendship and learning experiences you discover along the way.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
In my 2 seconds of spare time? :) I love to play tennis, and I love to read. It seems to be easier to find time to read (while waiting for kids to come out of school, or in bed at night during the news broadcasts) than to play tennis, so I find myself reading more often than pounding tennis balls across the net.
Any last words you want the reader to know?
I'm just excited to be sharing my passion for reading by writing something I hope people will enjoy. If I've been able to give somebody a few hours of escape or enjoyment through the pages of my book, I'll feel like my time writing has been well spent. Every time I hear somebody say, "I haven't done a lick of housework in 2 days because I was too absorbed in your book!" I feel like I could die happy. :)