Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college.
Cindy is lifelong reader, and it has always been her dream to write a book. “It often seems surreal to realize this dream is materializing. I love to read and review books, and I love thinking of ideas for new stories. I greatly enjoy the fun of thinking up new ideas to write about.” She is married to Dave for over 28 years, and they are the parents to two sons, Jarrod who is nearing 21 and John, who passed away in 2009. Cindy also has another book coming out this week and it is a realization of her dream to become a childrens author: Dianna’s Wings: The Parables of Trevor Turtle.
Interview with Laura V. Hilton
& Cindy Loven author of
Quilts of Love Series.
I was wondering where you get your story ideas?
Laura: Usually, the character comes up and introduces himself/herself and I have a vague idea, so I will say God gives them to me. For this particular story (Swept Away), Cindy came up with the idea about Sara Jane and Grandma and their circumstances. She was the brains and I was the brawn. God gave me Andrew and his story.
Cindy: Well with my children’s stories, usually something I see or hear prompts an idea, for example, on a trip to Branson we drove over a bridge with a creek that had an awesome name, and that triggered a story idea. For Swept Away Laura mentioned that Abingdon was doing a call for Quilts of Love proposals and asked if I was interested. I love quilts so I jumped at the chance. I love West Virginia and the Appalachians, so the idea was easily birthed.
What is the usual process for your fiction writing?
Laura: I let the idea stew as long as possible and when God gives me a good opening line, I start.
Cindy: ROFL, umm I procrastinate as long as possible and then I start writing, and I re-write until sometimes I trash it all and start over. I have no set formula.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Laura: Very much a pantser. But that said, on ACFW they say that Pantsers have to rewrite multiple times. I do not. I pray a lot, and God guides and when I type The End the story is done. No rewriting, except for a final read-through and minor edits.
Cindy: Hmmm I am a panster to some extent, I don’t outline or plan the story, but I do plot a bit in that I know what I want my characters to end up doing. Like if my story (for children) has a strong moral lesson then I know I have to get my character to present that lesson. Make sense?
Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?
Laura: I just begin to write.
Cindy: I actually start writing too, but I do research as I go.
What is your daily writing like?
Laura: Who knows. I also homeschool, have five kids, etc and life has a bad habit of happening without warning. I never know if I’ll have time or if I’ll not. But since I’m currently on one tight deadline and fixing to be on another, I try to reach a certain word count every month.
Cindy: I have no set schedule, some days I don’t write at all, well not creatively, as a PR person I am constantly writing tweets, and promo stuff, and then there are book reviews that I write a lot of. But for my fiction or my devotions, I write when I feel like I have something I have to get down. Now that being said, I am a list maker, and a writer (as in handwritten journaling) and I carry a book around to jot stuff down in all the time.
Are you a full time writer? If so when did you make the decision and what factors led to the decision. If you are not a full time writer…Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?
Laura: Yes, I am, as full time as possible with everything mentioned above. I didn’t make the decision. God did, and the publishers that bought my books.
Cindy: No I am not a full time writer. Actually that is a hard question for me to answer, because I do write full time, but not on books, as I said above I do many types of writing, PR, promo, reviews, blog posts, and my stories.
Can you tell us about your experience working with your current publisher? (Any other publishers?) (Or your self-publishing experiences?)
Laura: My publishers are the best. LOVE THEM.
Cindy: Abingdon was a dream to work with, I was amazed by the process. I have chosen to self publish my childrens book and my main tip is to use the tools the publisher makes available, it saves, time, headaches and aggravation.
What is your current release and (without spoilers) tell us about the new book or series.
Laura: I have two Amish series out, a Christmas novel coming out in September, and two books, one Amish, one contemporary romance coming out in November and of course Swept Away.
Cindy: Current release is Swept Away and Dianna’s Wings: The Parables of Trevor Turtle. I also wrote a devotion in the book Fear Not, compiled by Anne Baxter Campbell in honor of Diann Hunt, and published by Elk Lake Publishing. Released in October of this year.
Can you tell us about some of your other writing and any appearances or signings that you have planned?
Laura: My Amish books are: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, Promised to Another, Healing Love, Surrendered Love, Awakened Love, A White Christmas in Webster County, The Snow Globe, and Swept Away. I am currently writing The Postcard for release in 2015.
Cindy: We have a signing on Dec 13 at Lighthouse Christian Supply in the Conway (Arkansas) Commons Shopping Center from 1 to 3 pm.
As an author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?
Laura: Keep writing, learn all you can, and read. Be open to God’s guiding.
Cindy: I have to agree with Laura, also one thing is important, be able to take constructive and sometimes not so constructive criticism well.
Who is your favorite author, and can you recommend a book by that author?
Laura: My favorite authors are Susan May Warren, Denise Hunter, Colleen Coble, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Dani Pettrey…too many to mention, but they are my top favorites. Any books by said authors.
Cindy: Favorite Authors, wow, Laura is one of my favorites, and she is my best friend too, I also enjoy Suzanne Woods Fisher and Susan May Warren, but my favorite children’s author is Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables.
If you would like more information about Laura V. Hilton you can find out more about her on Amazon, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and on her website.
If you would like more information about Cindy Loven you can find out more about her on Amazon, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and on her website.
Today is the release of Swept Away, Quilts of Love by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
To celebrate we are having some giveaways.
Grand Prize Package includes:
Quilted Wall Hanging made by Cindy and her mom.
Copy of Quilts of Love
Second Prize Package includes:
Handmade pillow with the heart block on it from the cover of the book (as similar as possible)
Copy of Quilts of Love
Open for the US only.
Enter Via Rafflecopter. It is super easy, 3 possible entries, that is all. Just click and enter!!
The Rafflecopter runs from November 18th until December 15th at 12 am.
Be sure to drop in (http://cindylovenwrites.blogspot.com) during the month, there might be extra little prizes being given away!