Please welcome Inspirational Romance author, Shawna Williams, to The Balanced Writer. I have known Shawna as a friend and author. I've read her books, I've worked with her, and I also share the title of 'Editor' with her at two different publishing houses. She is warm and talented, a tender writer and a true Christian. Her books have received awards and stellar reviews, and she has even been a featured book of the month author with Christian readership organizations. Shawna's new release is my favorite book of hers to date: THE GOOD FIGHT.
I never intended to be a writer. Never gave it any thought until I was thirty-one years old, and even then it was just about my own curiosity in trying to make sense of a dream I'd had. I pondered that dream for many years as I wrote and revised the story -- ad infinitum times. My first two books, NO OTHER and IN ALL THINGS were the result of those years of pondering and rewriting.
THE GOOD FIGHT was a book that I had no intention of writing. When I came up with Roger Talbot's character while writing my debut novel, NO OTHER, my initial plans for him were to serve as one of the main antagonists -- especially to the hero in that story, Jakob. As the story unfolded though, the character of Roger began to reveal himself in a different way. He was arrogant and unlikable, but not bad, just easily manipulated due to his sights being focused on attaining a certain goal. In the end of that book he showed himself capable of standing for right, though it cost him what he'd been trying to attain.
As I promoted NO OTHER, I often mentioned that there was a sequel in the work and was surprised to find that many of my readers assumed it would be about Roger. When I told them it was a continuation of Jakob and Meri's story, they would ask, "Are you going to write about Roger?" My answer at the time was that I had no plans to do so.
However, while writing IN ALL THINGS, something funny kept happening. The character of Jakob had many unresolved issues, and they kept manifesting in a comparison of himself to Roger. A third of the way through that book I realized that while Roger's character wasn't in the story, he definitely had a strong presence. Toward the end of the book he made a reappearance, and so I thought that I was likely done with him.
The book released, and guess what readers asked me? "What about Roger?" That's when I began to ponder some of the more interesting aspects of his character, and his character's relationship with the other characters from those two books, as well as the history of the area at the time. Suddenly it was staring me right in the face, the workings for an intriguing story -- one with strong elements of suspense for that matter.
Even as I wrote I didn't really think I could ever grow to like Roger's character the way I had liked Jakob. But then Pennye popped up, and she had a way of bringing out some unexpected qualities in him. By the time the book was done these two had wormed their way into my heart as deeply as Jakob and Meri. I hope my readers will feel the same. This book is written because of you. Thank you for stirring it within me.
Roger Talbot's life is defined by his devotion to public service. Having just successfully prosecuted a brutal murder case, Roger turns his attention to discovering the shady dealings of Niles Parker -- the town's former mayor, Roger's old boss and the father of the woman Roger almost married.
Pennye Carrington ran away from Port Delamar with plans never to return. However, learning that her brother had murdered a family member of a famous movie star changed those plans. Pennye comes back with the hope of bringing stability to a family in disarray, but facing the torment of her childhood may be more than she can handle.
Roger's mission to bring down Niles Parker and Pennye's desire to keep her brothers out of trouble create a middle ground, where two people who couldn't be further apart, embark on a danger-filled journey of discovery to find themselves and each other.
I'm a lot of things: a Christian, wife, mother, friend, author, artist, rock hound, science geek and animal lover. The first four take priority. The rest tend to jostle for my attention. Since I'm always a dreamer, author usually wins.
Indeed, my first two books are the result of a dream -- an actual dream. It nagged me for six months as I mentally tried to fill in all of the gaps. I finally had to write it down. Since then, God has continued to bless with me inspiration at times of His choosing.
Technically, I'm an Inspirational Romance writer. But I like to think that romance includes more than the relationship between two people. It can also be about the era or place, or even a single moment in time, when an elusive whisper reaches inward and ever so gently taps the soul, saying, "This... Remember this."
It's my desire that my stories create such a moment.
Some of my methods for filling my creative reservoir are reading about the histories of small towns, pouring over old photos in antique shops and people's homes (If I'm at yours, I'll ask to see your picture albums.), and asking prying questions about your best family stories. Oh! And if you ever see a lady on the side of the road, taking pictures of old, dilapidated houses and buildings, it's probably me. My website: http://shawnakwilliams.com/
Win a copy of THE GOOD FIGHT!
Details about my book release contest: