Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Brock and Bodie Thoene is Ava Pennington! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This week please welcome Sarah Ladd in the spotlight! To win a copy of her new book The Heiress of Winterwood (Thomas Nelson, 2013) , leave a comment on this post.
Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?
I am married to a wonderful, supportive man, and I am mother to a sweet little girl. I work in marketing during the week, so I do most of my writing at night or on the weekends. (And occasionally, I write VERY early in the morning!)
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…
I write books set in Regency England, but as far as reading goes, I like to read books that take place in a wide variety of historical settings.
After you started writing seriously—how long was it before you were published?
I have always dabbled in writing short stories, but The Heiress of Winterwood was my first full-length novel. While I had the idea for the book many, many years ago, I didn’t seriously begin writing it until November of 2010.
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write?
I am pretty much a creature of habit! I like to write in my home office or at my kitchen table, but sometimes I go to a coffee shop for a change of scenery. I almost always have a cup of coffee when I sit down to write, and I often listen to either classical music or movie soundtracks when I am working.
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups?
Before I “officially” started writing The Heiress of Winterwood, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. I didn’t know anyone, but I had an idea for a story and a passion for writing. At the conference I met other people who were “like me”. I joined a critique group and found a supportive group of ladies who encouraged me. I would have to say that getting involved and connecting with others who were on the same journey impacted me significantly.
What are your biggest distractions?
Facebook. And email. And my phone. I get distracted easily. ☺
What was one of the best moments in your career?
If you would have asked me that question two weeks ago, I would have said the day I received my contract. I don’t think my feet touched the ground for weeks after that happened! But just a few days ago I received my first “official” copy of The Heiress of Winterwood and held the finished work in my hands. WOW . . . amazing.
What is the role and importance of an agent?
I am thrilled to be represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. She has supported me and advised me through every step of my publication journey . . . Tamela is such a blessing!
What advice would you give to new writers?
My first piece of advice would be to write every day. Even if it is just for 15 minutes a day, write! Like every discipline, writing improves and gets stronger with practice. Secondly, I would suggest joining a writer’s group. If you write Christian fiction, American Christian Fiction Writers is a great place to start. Get involved with other writers in your genre or in your state . . . the encouragement and support will be a blessing to you on your writing journey.
What’s on the book horizon for you?
I am currently working on edits for my second book in the Whispers on the Moors series and I am writing the third . . . and I LOVE doing it! As far as what is on the reading horizon, I am re-reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?