Author Spotlight: NLB Horton

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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 the last Author Spotlight giveaway is SAMANTHA B.! Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com with your mailing address to claim your prize.

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Welcome NLB Horton, author of The Brothers’ Keepers, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a signed copy of her book.

NLB Horton croppedShare a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

My kids are grown and my husband and I are retired from our first careers. We are active in church and other ministries, and we fly fish, hike, ski, golf, garden, or blow snow off the driveway from January through April. My schedule is full of delightful responsibilities, but writing is my full-time job.

Share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), areas of interest . . .

I write what I read—international suspense. My middle-aged, well-educated protagonist is a courageous woman of faith determined to do the right thing. Because of her work as an archaeologist, and her adult family’s unusual occupations, she is pulled into life-threatening situations that require all of her God-given gifts to save those she loves—and usually, herself.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

My eighty-four-year-old mother tells me that I sat under an elm tree, drawing all summer. I worked for every newspaper at every school I attended. My undergraduate degree is in journalism, and I founded an advertising agency in my early twenties, for which I did all copy and concept work. After I finished my Master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), and we moved to the mountains, I gave myself the gift of writing fiction at last.

After you started writing seriously—how long was it before you were published?

I have always written seriously! When you support your family, as I did for years, writing seriously enables you to satisfy clients and pay the bills.

I drafted When Camels Fly during the snowiest winter on record in this high mountain valley. I enrolled in a writing practicum that March. Seventy-two hours after I returned home from my first ACFW conference that September, a division of one of the (now) Big Five publishers requested the manuscript. My literary agent parlayed with major publishers, some of them repeatedly, until we decided to self publish. (My protagonist is a little outside the CBA norm. Gasp!) The process from first draft to publication took three years.

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? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I adore the writing process: drafting, editing, designing, marketing. Every morning, I am energized that I am blessed to do this. There is nothing I would rather do than weave these stories, and document the mental banter that kept me awake the night before.

I write all morning or afternoon unless the story is pouring out, in which case I write all day and into the night. I write at my desk in my office.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?

Without doubt, my greatest asset in terms of publication is my literary agent, Mary G. Keeley of Books & Such Literary Management. She stands at the core of a team of talented women: two editors; an artist; a graphic designer; a publicist; and my formidable daughter, a scientist who is brainstorming partner, reader, and consultant—as long as I offer her a cup of tea.

Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?

YES! It combines the complex accountability of my previous work; the need for vision and determination; and an unshakeable faith. My writing is a ministry, supported by knowledge and perception gleaned from DTS.

What are your biggest distractions?

My biggest distraction is my husband. He interrupts me when he thinks I am spending too much time in my office.

What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?

Focusing on the writing career, the best moments were the enormous publisher requesting the manuscript, and being signed by my agent.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?

Pollyanna here: I like it all. (Even professional edits, which can be brutal.)

What is the role and importance of an agent?Adobe Photoshop PDF

I can only speak for my relationship with my agent. I suspect each interaction differs a bit. Mary brings industry experience to our journey. She is sounding board, navigator, partner, and friend. Her educated, critical eye is invaluable in all matters related to my writing. Because we decided to self publish, some of her traditional roles with publishers are not part of our interaction, but I know she would discharge these responsibilities flawlessly.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Learn your craft through as much writing-related education as you can acquire. Never give up. Live so that you can write about what you know. Never give up. Be open to input, edits, and criticism. Never give up. (Detect a trend?)

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

Archaeologist Grace Madison’s daughter vanishes in France and her son’s bride is attacked in Switzerland. Grace soon realizes that before she can save her family, she must rescue an old friend whose deception has endangered them all—if he’ll let her.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

I am in the middle of the Parched series now. When Camels Fly was released in May, and The Brothers’ Keepers was released in November. (They were not written quickly, but stacked up.) I am writing the third while two more storylines battle for dominance in my frontal lobes.

How can readers find you and your books?

Both books are available on Amazon and are listed and reviewed on Goodreads.


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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Comments

  1. What an interesting person you are, NLB! I look forward to reading your work. With your background (DLT), your writing must have so many layers of depth (oh…I didn’t mean to make a pun on your archeologist character!). Interesting to read about your journey to publication, too, and how much your agent has guided you. Thanks for sharing your story! Warmly, Suzanne

    • NLB Horton says:

      Suzanne, archaeological puns are all the rage in this office. I can dig them!

      (Sorry.)

      But seriously, I very much appreciate the opportunity to share my work with your followers. Each post and review is precious, and I learn from all of them.

      Best to you,
      NLBH

  2. Caryl Kane says:

    Interesting post with NLB. I love suspense stories. I am looking forward to reading The Brothers’ Keepers. 🙂

    psalm103and138[at]gmail[dot]com

    • NLB Horton says:

      Caryl, thanks for taking the time to post. I also love good suspense and would really appreciate hearing your thoughts about The Brothers’ Keepers (or When Camels Fly, book 1 in the Parched series) if you have the chance. I take reviews and opinions seriously!

      Thanks again,
      NLBH

  3. Juanita Wickey says:

    Love meeting new authors. Am amazed at how many there are and all new stories and ideas. They are all so inspiring and enriching. Would love to win one.

    • NLB Horton says:

      And I’d love for you to win one as well, Juanita! Please let me know what you think if you read The Brothers’ Keepers, and I hope it inspires you as it has other readers. Archaeologist Grace Madison, my protagonist, is quite a woman!

      Best,
      NLBH

  4. Vivian Vereeke says:

    I enjoyed the interview. It is so interesting to find out the road an author takes to become a published author as well as how they write. Everyone is so different. I also looked up the book and read a short description of it, and it sounds really good. I love suspense! I really hope I win a copy. 🙂 Thanks for the chance.

    • NLB Horton says:

      Vivian, it always makes me smile to discover that readers are finding good descriptions and reviews. Thank you for that input. I know international suspense is a bit of an unusual genre for a writer with a Christian worldview, but our God is a global God, so taking my protagonist around the world makes sense to me. Please let me know if you pick up The Brothers’ Keepers because readers’ opinions are important to me.

      Thanks again!
      NLBH

  5. Deanna S says:

    Nice getting to know a new author to me… would enjoy reading your book
    dkstevensne AT outlook (dotcom)

    • NLB Horton says:

      Deanna:

      First, that’s one of my favorite names! “Well done” to your parents! Next, in an ideal world, an author would also get to know those people kind enough to comment on interviews and guest blogs like this one. But if you win The Brothers’ Keepers, I hope I have the opportunity to get to know you via a review of my work.

      Thanks again for commenting,
      NLBH

  6. Sharon says:

    Would sure love to win a good Amish book.

    • NLB Horton says:

      Sharon, I think you’re on the right blog for a good Amish book, even if I write international suspense — about as far from Amish as a writer can get! Good luck with your entries, and have a love Christmas.

      Best to you,
      NLBH

  7. Would love to win this book.

    • NLB Horton says:

      And I’d love for you to win it as well, Shirley. It would be a great holiday read driven by a vigorous woman of faith, archaeologist Grace Madison. If you manage to get a copy of The Brothers’ Keepers, please let me know what you think! And thanks for your comment.

      Best to you,
      NLBH

    • NLB Horton says:

      If you do, Shirley, please be sure to tell me what you think of it. I am always interested in how people react to archaeologist Grace Madison, her family, and their friends. And I learn so much about my characters when reading reviews.

      Thanks for commenting!
      NLBH

  8. Darlene says:

    I enjoyed reading this post and getting to know an author that is new to me. This book sounds really interesting. Thanks for the chance to win

    • NLB Horton says:

      Darlene:

      You are so kind to post a comment. The Brothers’ Keepers is doing very well on Amazon and Goodreads, and it’s a very different story for fiction with a Christian worldview. I’m interested in reader feedback, so if you win, please let me know what you think!

      Best to you,
      NLBH

  9. I am a historical fiction genre reader ~ want to switch me over to try suspense? Signing up to win The Brothers’ Keepers hf-s! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

    • NLB Horton says:

      Kathleen, I know we’re very attached to our genres, and I actually read a little historical fiction when I need a break from suspense. Since you’ve been one of my followers for a very long time, and I’m ALWAYS delighted to see your name appear in comments and such, I might be just the perfect “suspense risk” for your reading enjoyment!

      I’d love for you to win and then tell me what you think about The Brothers’ Keepers. And I appreciate you taking the time to post.

      Best,
      NLBH

  10. angela chesnut says:

    would love to win

    • NLB Horton says:

      Thanks for your comment, Angela! I hope you win it as well, and I know you’re keeping some fine company based on comments from other entrants. Please let me know what you think if you do win The Brothers’ Keepers.

      Best,
      NLBH

  11. Sharon Miller says:

    I like your second careers of Fun and Volunteering! Love to win and read your book!

    • NLB Horton says:

      Sharon, I’m enjoying them as well. There is so much need, and those of us who have finished our first careers are perfectly positioned to be that extra set of hands or feet. Throw in the writing, and I’m having the time of my life!

      Good luck on winning The Brothers’ Keepers, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you about it if you win.

      Best to you,
      NLBH

  12. Frances Cavallo says:

    I would be so truly blessed to win this book! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win! God Bless You and Your Family, especially at this time of year! It was very interesting to learn more about you and your new book! Can’t wait to read it! Have a wonderful, blessed day!

    • NLB Horton says:

      Frances:

      Thanks for your kind words, and please accept my best wishes for you and yours during the Christmas season. I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts if you win The Brothers’ Keepers. The contest is almost over!

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      Best,
      NLBH

  13. Lisa Cowell says:

    I am not familiar with your work but would love to read the book. Thanks!

    • NLB Horton says:

      Lisa:

      I am so humbled by all this interest in The Brothers’ Keepers. Your comment, those here and on other blogs, and reviews across the internet remind me of my obligation to produce a great story. If you win, I hope you share your thoughts about The Brothers’ Keepers with me in an Amazon review, and then pick up the first book in the Parched series, When Camels Fly.

      Thank you so much for your comment!
      NLBH

  14. Deanne Patterson says:

    I look forward to reading your suspense story. I thought your bio was interesting , haha to your hubby interesting you. He’s just showing his love for you !

    • NLB Horton says:

      Deanne:

      Good morning! Thank you for taking the time to comment on the interview! I’d love to know your thoughts about The Brothers’ Keepers, although many reviewers are mentioning they wished they had started with Book 1 in the Parched series, When Camels Fly. (I’m not trying to sell two books, but want you to have the best possible experience!)

      And as to Mr. Wonderful interrupting me, yeah. I guess that’s ONE way to do it. I might be more receptive if he were carrying a fresh pot of hot tea or something . . .

      Merry Christmas!
      NLBH