Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rebecca Carey Lyles {Writer Wednesday}

Happy Wednesday to you all!  I'm excited to introduce you to Rebecca Carey Lyles.

A little bit about Rebecca...

Rebecca Carey Lyles is a freelance writer and editor whose articles and stories have appeared in magazines and compilations. In addition to her novels, she’s also written two nonfiction books, “It’s a God Thing! Inspiring Stories of Life-Changing Friendships” and "On a Wing and a Prayer: Stories from Freedom Fellowship, a Prison Ministry." She and her husband, Steve, live in beautiful Boise, Idaho.

How to connect with Rebecca...
Website: www.beckylyles.com
Email: beckylyles@beckylyles.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rebeccacareylyles
Twitter: @BeckyLyles
Blog: widgetwords.wordpress.com


Author Interview | Rebecca Carey Lyles

You & Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself:  How did you start writing?  What has kept you writing? 
...I began writing shortly after our first child was born many moons ago. Although I’d majored in an unrelated field, I felt the draw to write, especially after attending a how-to-write class taught by a local journalist. I’ve had short stories and articles as well as fiction and nonfiction books published.

...Why do I keep writing? I’ve received my fair share of rejection letters over the years. At times, trying to get my work published felt somewhat masochistic, like I was pounding my head against a brick wall. But I think the saying is true—a writer can’t
not write. I love to receive encouraging comments from those who’ve read my books, but even without positive feedback, I’d probably continue to write.
 
What was the hardest thing about publishing?  The easiest?
...For me, getting a book to the point it was publishable was the hard part. I wrote and rewrote “Winds of Wyoming”—and rewrote some more. Then the manuscript went to the editor, who gave me even more rewriting “opportunities.”

...The easy part? I had a fairly specific picture in my head of what I thought the cover of my novel should look like. The publisher liked my idea, and the cover artist understood my vision—only took him two or three attempts to translate my ideas into beautiful cover art.


Your Writing
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...The “Winds of Wyoming” sequel, “Winds of Freedom,” continues the story of the heroine and her life after prison. I’m happy to announce I recently finished the final “Freedom” rewrite (phew!) and sent it to my wonderful proofreaders. I wrote the book not only to expand the heroine’s story but to encourage women who have found or currently find themselves in dangerous situations because they didn’t rely on God for guidance.

Do you have a favorite character in this work?  If so, why?
...My readers often mention how much they like Dymple in “Winds of Wyoming.” I like her, too, and included her in the sequel. She’s a feisty no-nonsense octogenarian with a big heart and a humorous speech propensity.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...No matter the situation, God is the one who breaks our chains and sets us free. “He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.” (Psalm 107:14) “Set me free from my prison, so I can thank you.” (Psalm 142:7)

Writing
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters?  Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...My characters tend to be a combination of fascinating people I’ve met and imagination twists. The heroine of the “Winds” books, Kate Neilson, is based on two beautiful young women I met through prison ministry. One was incarcerated in Wyoming and the other in Arizona. Both were tall and slender, and both had brown eyes, long brown hair and sweet humble spirits. Dymple is a combination of my grandmothers and other courageous older women I’ve known and admired.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?

...Read–write–rewrite, read–write– rewrite, read–write–rewrite; attend writing classes, conferences, workshops and seminars; read how-to-write books, magazines and blogs; join a writers group, join a critique group, find a critique partner.

You
Have you ever attended a writer’s conference? If so, which one(s) and what was most helpful about it?
...I’ve attended numerous conferences in the West, some large, some medium-sized and some very small. They’ve all had their highlights and I always learned something. When I was a new writer, I appreciated the emphasis on the basics of good writing and the energy of mingling with likeminded individuals. As a more experienced, published author, I still love hanging out with writers, and I enjoy hearing about the latest publishing trends, learning new marketing techniques, and being reminded of what I’m doing right as well as wrong in the writing realm.

What’s your favorite green food?  (In honor of St. Patrick’s Day of course!)
...Didn’t even have to think about this one—avocados! I eat the yummy fruit at least twice a week in a sandwich or salad or by itself with salt. Avocados are great in fruit smoothies as well as salsa.

If you could travel to any location and stay there for one month (probably spending most of the time writing) where would you go?

...I’d love to hang out at a log cabin in the mountains—or a shingled beach house overlooking the ocean. Writing with a beautiful view outside the window (or deck) followed by a trail hike or a walk on the beach sounds like the good life to me!
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Thank you so much Becky! I love your advice to aspiring authors - I feel like most of my free time is spent either reading, writing, or rereading/rewriting ;)  I also love that you have taken traits for your characters from ministry that you've been involved with! I love how their stories are now intertwined with your stories - even if they'll never know it.

You can also check out her latest release, Winds of Wyoming...


Fresh out of a Pennsylvania penitentiary armed with a marketing degree, Kate Neilson heads to Wyoming anticipating an anonymous new beginning as a guest-ranch employee. A typical twenty-five-year-old woman might be looking to lasso a cowboy, but her only desire is to get on with life on the outside—despite her growing interest in the ranch owner. When she discovers a violent ex-lover followed her west, she fears the past she hoped to hide will trail as close as a shadow and imprison her once again.

What people are saying about Winds of Wyoming...

Everybody should read this book, western fans or not. It has something for everyone. Suspense, romance, intrigue and just about all you want in a great novel. Keep them coming. 
-Mike D
 To purchase Winds of Wyoming, click [here].

Keep an eye out for Winds of Freedom coming soon...

Four women fight for freedom and wholeness—for themselves and each other. Kate Neilson’s own loss and heartache during a long cold winter take a backseat to the needs of her failing great-aunt plus those of her mother-in-law and her best friend, who’ve both been ensnared by evil.