2. Formerly, you wrote for the general market. Other than the obvious restrictions of language and sensuality, what are some of the differences between ABA and CBA?
For me, the biggest difference between ABA and CBA is that, as an author of Christian fiction, I have permission to share my faith without fear of offense, which sometimes required extensive editing of my books (30,000 words slashed from one of my medievals that was deemed "too preachy."). Thus, I have the opportunity to give my readers more than just a romance. I can give them a life-changing message.
Another notable difference is my working relationship with agents and editors. Overall, it's been a refreshing experience. Not only do they make me feel as if I'm a person first, but they pray for me. I truly believe I'm where God wants me to be.
3. I'm naturally a SOTP writer, struggling to learn how to plot. What's your preferred method: SOTP or Plotter? Do you have any advice for those of us, who are tired of plot holes and massive edits?
If you had asked me that question a couple of years ago, I would have declared that I'm a Seat-of-the-Pants writer to the max. However, I've been working on finding a middle place to go with my middle age that likes to mess with my concentration. This means that, as much as I dislike outlining, I discipline myself to work out on paper the major and sometimes minor elements of my story before I completely immerse myself in writing the story.
Perhaps of interest is that this new discipline hasn't helped to the extent I'm able to write a book in less time, but my direction is clearer, and I believe the story is better for it. So, my advice: if you're a SOTP writer, embrace that part of you, but be open to plotting, especially if your writing suffers from plot holes and requires so much editing it takes your breath away. You don't have to commit months and reams of paper to outlining. Just start small, pushing your imagination to the next big scene and the one after that... Also, you should check out Randy Ingermanson's "Snowflake Pro" software program. It holds your hand throughout the entire process.
Thanks for a great interview, Tamara. As a reminder to all of our readers, I'm giving away Tamara's book, "Leaving Carolina." The drawing is open to residents of the U.S. only and is void where prohibited by law. Please leave a comment, along with your email address in the spam-busting format. Example: susanjreinhardt (at) ____ (dot) com. The winner will be drawn on Sunday, March 7, 2010, and notified by email, as well as announced on the blog.