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At my age, a title like this makes me take notice. I sit up straighter, pull my shoulders back and suck in my middle.

That’s what we want to do with the middles of our stories: be aware of their presentation and do what’s required to improve them.

We’ve talked about Beguiling Beginnings with more than enough zip to catch the readers’ attention and pull them into the story. We may have a good idea where the story is going and how it ends, and often the ending is intense enough that we can hardly wait to get there. Perhaps we write it early on, to be adapted later. But now we must focus on what comes between an exciting beginning and an intense ending.

If you look back at Fiction 101 — Part 8, the one about outlining or structuring a novel, you’ll see that we talked about various methods of structuring. One idea was the Plot Skeleton (from Angela Hunt). When we use the Plot Skeleton method, we start with the head (the protagonist), then the neck (the incident that starts things rolling) and then the ribs (the complications).

Let’s talk about the ribs. They run up and down both sides of the chest. Convert that image to a two-column page and put + on one column and – on the other. Something good happens, then something bad, back and forth, balanced but with ever increasing importance and tension as we go along, until we reach the crisis.

If we use the rib scenario / two-column page, we can fill in any number of events that will sustain interest and increase tension as we move forward with our stories.

Another way to hold up the middle is with subplots. Wikipedia defines a subplot as: a secondary strand of the plot that is a supporting side story for any story or the main plot. These subplots connect with the main plot in some way through one of the characters, either a major or, more often, a supporting character. Subplots are less important than the main plot, so they get less time in the scheme of the story, but they add interest and tension, as well as helping to fill out characters.

So, instead of getting bogged down with our main plot, trying to keep up the interest, we can employ subplots to switch up the focus to include other events, journeys and characters.

It’s also absolutely necessary to remember that character development must happen throughout the novel. Every scene should either move the plot along or show character development. Every scene should be based on a goal and include conflict and tension. It only all works out in the end!

The plot thickens, as they say, getting more involved. The characters meet more obstacles, face more discouragements. The goal of the main character as set out at the beginning of our story seems consistently more unattainable . . . right until the end.

All these elements make the reader sit up and take notice. What’s happening here? How are the characters ever going to come out of this in one piece? We must make the reader guess, frantically turn the pages, forget about dinner and bedtime. Let’s exercise our writing expertise, work out with subplots and character development, and make that middle firm.

I listened to the audio version of this story a few weeks ago and will never forget it. I’d read / listened to Charles Martin before (The Dead Don’t Dance, Where the River Ends, Wrapped in Rain, The Mountain Between Us), so I knew the journey would involve both my mind and my heart. This expectation was not disappointed.

I think a digital or print version would have enhanced the experience, making it easier to keep track of the hop-scotching plot. But even with that non-visual disadvantage, the story pulled me in easily.When Crickets Cry

Reese tells his story in first person, beginning with winsome little Annie Stephens selling lemonade in the small town near where Reese lives. When he discovers Annie’s story, Reese once again faces his own story, his and Emma’s, which leads us to who and what he is and the haunting background that led him to this out-of-the-way place along the Tallulah River.

Setting is an important aspect of this story. From the hidden bays and backwoods of the Lake Burton area to the hospitals in the city, from the laid-back rural life to the intensity of urban society, the setting is strong and influential to the story.

Martin’s writing is lyrical; the story is poignant. Characters, both main and supporting, are fully fleshed out. They speak and move true to their character. Everything that happens has a reason, even if the reason is not easily obvious.

Charles Martin writes this book in a non-linear fashion, which works well, adding tension with each leap from now to then. Rather like putting together the pieces of a puzzle and placing the last one with satisfaction.

Only once did I take exception to Martin’s choice of scene placement. One of the pivotal scenes of the story ends at a crisis point, slanted so the reader assumes one direction. Then, after several intervening scenes, we realize we’ve been duped. The outcome was not at all as we suspected.

Other than that particular misleading point of tension, I would give this book five stars. It’s captivating and definitely worth the read, another immutable image for your story heart.

Ruth L. Snyder

Ruth L. Snyder

Janice: Hi Ruth. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview with me. I look forward to getting to know you better.

RUTH: Thanks for the opportunity to chat with you and your readers. I appreciate the invitation.

Janice: From my knowledge of you, you’re a very busy woman. Tell us some of the things / people that make up your daily life.

RUTH: My relationship with God is my top priority. Kendall is my “Mr. Fixit” husband (he’s a mechanic) and God has blessed us with five children, Grace (17), Luke (14), Levi (14), Jayson (12) and Dorothy (6). Besides being a wife and mother, I enjoy writing, teaching private piano lessons and Music for Young Children, volunteering in our community (right now we’re working on upgrading playground equipment in the village of Glendon), playing the piano and leading the choir at church, and providing leadership to InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, a writing organization for Canadian Christian writers.

Janice: How do you balance your personal life with your professional responsibilities?

RUTH: This is a constant work in action for me. I try to make decisions based on my priorities – God first, family second, and then other opportunities and obligations.

Janice: With all the busyness in your life, why do you write, not to mention how?

RUTH: I write because it’s enjoyable, challenging, and I’m not content if I don’t write. Sometimes I almost feel driven to express myself through writing. As a Christian, I believe God gifts His children with responsibilities and abilities. Writing is one of my abilities that I try to use to bring honor to God. I also see writing as a ministry. You never know who will read your writing or what affect it will have.

Janice: Is that your writing goal?

RUTH: My goal in writing is to write in obedience to God’s promptings, clearly communicating a story or idea to my readers. If my readers experience emotions or are moved to change something in their lives because of what I wrote, then I will consider myself a successful writer.

Janice: Do you write well in busy surroundings or do you prefer quiet? Do you write with music in the background? A specific place?

RUTH: I prefer to write in a quiet surrounding, but I’m learning to write whenever I get the opportunity, e.g. while my children are watching a movie or exploring books at the library. Sometimes I’ll put on classical music or other music without words while I write. Although I do have a desk and computer where I do some of my writing, I prefer to write on my iPad, because it’s portable and it doesn’t have as many distractions as my computer.

Janice: I’m with you in the “music without words” thing. Tell us about how you write—your process.

RUTH: When I’m brainstorming, I’ll often use pen and paper. For instance, when I’m working on a story I’ll jot down an overview of the plot, and then come up with what happens in each chapter of the story (in point form only).

Once I start the actual writing, I prefer to use the computer or my iPad. (For non-fiction writing like blog posts or articles, I use my computer, but for my fiction projects I’ve found my iPad a better choice.)

During the school year, I usually get up at 5:00 or so to spend some quiet time thinking, reading my Bible and praying. By 6:00 I’m writing so that I get 30 minutes of writing in before breakfast. Usually I can write 500 words in this time frame, which isn’t a lot, but over time it adds up. Many of my blog posts are written in that 30-minute slot before the rest of the family gets up. My other writing is generally done during the day between throwing in loads of laundry, cleaning, etc.

I’ve just started experimenting with Scrivener, which is a wonderful program. My only frustration is that there’s not an iPad app for the program yet. (I’ve heard they’re working on it, though!)

Janice: I love Scrivener. I’m glad you’re enjoying it too. What genres do you write and why?

RUTH: I enjoy a variety of genres. Devotionals are one of my favourite genres because I get to share what I’m learning in my personal walk with God. Articles are enjoyable, especially when I get to share how to do something. I’ve been told I’m a teacher through and through, Lol. For fiction, I enjoy writing historical fiction because I think we can learn a lot from what has happened in the past. I’ve also written contemporary fiction in the romance genre. I think most people (especially women) enjoy a good love story.

Janice: How do you approach research? What’s your favorite source?

RUTH: I’ll usually do some preliminary research when I put my outline or plot together. Sometimes I’ll go to my local library and read through magazine articles or books. However, most of the time Google is my best friend when I’m researching. I’ll often research as I’m writing so that the setting or facts are accurate.

Janice: What do you like most about writing? What’s the most difficult aspect?

RUTH: I enjoy the challenge of using specific words to convey the ideas in my mind. Often I’ll ask myself what the character is experiencing with his five senses – what does he see, smell, taste, touch, hear? Also, what are the physical reactions he has to show his emotions?

For me, the most difficult part is getting that first draft down. Editing is something else I enjoy. It’s not too bad once I have something to work with, to shape and hone and embellish.

Janice: Well said. I’m in the same camp. Do you always write with a specific audience in mind? What’s your favorite audience?

RUTH: I try to write with an audience in mind so that I can use language, descriptions, and topics that are interesting to my audience. One of my favorite audiences is women from 30-50.

Janice: What are some of your social media connections and which do you consider the most efficient/effective?

RUTH: My favourite social media sites are Facebook and Twitter. I appreciate the opportunities to share and interact on Facebook. Twitter provides a great way to meet people with interests common to mine, to gather current information, and to share my own news. Both sites are great places to share my latest favourite photos or quotes.

Janice: What do you like to read? What are you currently reading? Digital or print?

RUTH: I read both fiction and non-fiction. Often I’ll read fiction when I want to escape or relax while non-fiction is to keep myself informed to help me learn something new. Most of my fiction is read digitally on my Kindle app on my iPad. Non-fiction I prefer to read in paperback or hardcover so that I can make notes, circle ideas, highlight, and even turn over the corners of pages I want to come back to at a later date.

Non-fiction:

  • Total Recovery: Solving the Mystery of Chronic Pain and Depression by Dr. Gary Kaplan, D.O.
  • Holy is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present by Carolyn Weber
  • 40 Day Devotional Challenge by Kathi Macias
  • Am I Messing Up My Kids and Other Questions Every Mom Asks by Lysa TerKeurst
  • Launch by Jeff Walker

Fiction:

  • Neighbors Series by Tracy Krauss
  • Sun’s Parting Ray by Mishael Austin Witty
  • In Time of Trouble by N.J. Lindquist

Janice: Do you edit your own manuscripts or do you have input from others?

RUTH: I always go back and edit my own manuscripts several times. However, I also ask for feedback from other writers and I’m working with a professional editor for my full-length novel.

Janice: What advice would you give to beginning writers?

RUTH: Make time to write every day if possible. Learn as much as you can and allow yourself to try new things. Seek God’s guidance in all you do, do what He tells you to do, and trust the results to Him.

Janice: Thanks for joining me today, Ruth. God bless you in your writing career as well as in your personal pursuits.

RUTH: You’re welcome, Janice. I appreciate your support and encouragement.

Ruth L. Snyder was privileged to spend the first 10 years of her life in southern Africa where her parents served as missionaries. From there her family moved to Canada, settling in Three Hills, Alberta. Ruth enjoyed her years as a “staff kid” at Prairie and is grateful for the biblical grounding she received there. She now resides close to Glendon (the pyrogy capital of Alberta, Canada) with her husband and five young children. Ruth enjoys writing articles, devotionals, short stories, and Christian fiction. She is a member of The Word Guild and The Christian PEN. Ruth currently serves as the President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Ruth’s children have taught her many things about living with special needs. She is a strong advocate and spent several years serving on the local public school board.

Ruth loves her job teaching Music for Young Children. She is fascinated by children’s imaginations and enjoys helping young children learn the basics of music through play.

In her spare time, Ruth enjoys reading, crafts, volunteering in her local community, photography, and travel. Several years ago, Ruth and her family traveled through 28 States in 30 days! Find out more about Ruth and her writing at http://ruthlsnyder.wordpress.com

 RUTH’S SOCIAL MEDIA ADDRESSES:

Website: http://ruthlsnyder.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRuthL.Snyder

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wwjdr

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RuthSnyderAuthor/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ruthlsnyder/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7578211.Ruth_L_Snyder

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=109478227

Our kitchen roof is coming down today. It’s actually an old lean-to added onto the main house, which was built in 1906, and it’s been sagging. Construction standards have changed. The old roof was supported by two-by-fours spaced two feet apart. We want to preserve the basic structure, using two-by-tens every sixteen inches. But the update requires work and mess.kitchen renos

As I stay out of the way for the demolition portion of the project, I hear pounding, sawing, and wrenching. Long nails shriek as they are pried up through old wood. Boards split and crack. Dust billows.

It reminds me of old habits. They die hard, but they will die if we insist.

I am like a lean-to added into the age-old body of Christ, created not to sag but to do good works, which He established beforehand. The standards of the new covenant need to be implemented, reinforced daily through the grace and truth of Scripture. Old habits must be removed, shrieking and screeching, and discarded. The end result will be well worth the effort.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:24-25

G-zone

Thanks to Gio and the G-Zone for another opportunity to talk about writing in general and my writing in particular. This being my second radio interview, I cannot claim innocence as to my expectations regarding a live conversation.

One strives to remain calm and alert, to use clear and concise terms to express oneself, to say what needs to be said. And as with anything “live,” an interview is full of surprises. I hope I have conveyed my ideas clearly in this audio interview. Enjoy and pass it along if you see fit.

 

Here’s the link:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gelatisscoop/2014/08/20/janice-l-dick-other-side-of-the-river

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Confessions:Farmer's Wife

“I was six, he was eight. We met down my Miller’s Creek…”

Confessions from a Farmer’s Wife is a coming-of-age story set in the 1920-1940s, based on the biblical story of Job. The theme is the age-old question: why do bad things happen to good people?

From the beginning of the book, I was captured by the characters. Job Nightingale is different from any boy Jessie Bingham has ever met. He rules his life by integrity, even at the age of eight.

The first part of the story involves the childhood of Job and Jessie, and their cast of family and friends in Miller’s Creek and Grand River Junction. The author crafts a typical roller-coaster teen romance with great skill and power of emotion.

Then the troubles come. As they did to Job of the Bible. No warning, no explanation, no reasoning, no conceivable sense. Even those closest to Job begin to doubt his innocence in the face of his suffering. Will he be able to cling to his lonely faith when others have sincere reservations?

Author Caroline Way creates a compelling plot. The beginning is catchy, the tension riveting, the mood kept from becoming dismal by frequent touches of humor and exceptional word usage. Even for readers familiar with the biblical story of Job, the suspense is intense. The reader is drawn into the lives of Job and Jessie from the first page, led along by the author’s storytelling style.

I found the dialogue authentic, with clear speech patterns, no unnecessary speech tags and good beats to identify speakers. I also appreciated the deep point of view from Jessie, letting me into her head and heart, making me care about her and Job, often to the point of frustration / anger with her.

The setting is well-researched and described in detail, as well as era appropriate with nostalgic references to pre-WWII days. Even though the story is told in first person through Jessie and well-maintained throughout, we are able to learn about the other characters through Jessie’s narrative and the events of the story. The author tells the tale through a child’s point of view at the beginning, then adapts appropriately as the characters grow.

The author’s Christian worldview comes through clearly in this novel. The questions raised are universal, thus important to a broad spectrum of readers. Often as I read, I felt myself challenged to consider my understanding of and relationship with God. It is a courageous undertaking for a first-time fiction author to deal with these heavy issues, questions without answers. Caroline is to be commended for this.

I loved this book, have read it several times, and I will never forget my experience with Jessie and Job, or the things they learned on their journey to knowing God. An author must dig deeply into her own life and become vulnerable in order to share a meaningful story with readers, and I believe Ms Way has done this.

To learn more about author, Caroline Way, scroll back to my interview with her on August 12.

Caroline Way

Caroline Way

Janice: Welcome to my blog, Caroline. I look forward to our visit today.

CAROLINE: I do too, and thank you for having me.

Janice: Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did your writing interest begin?

CAROLINE: I don’t know that I always wanted to be a writer. I have always loved to write. In high school, I would always pick the creative option out of the essay questions, rather than pick one of the “analyze the imagery in….” type of questions. In university I wrote a lot of letters – no email then (gasp!) – and once took a page from Chaucer and wrote a Canterbury Tales type of letter about the new friends I was making. I wrote a lot of plays for summer camp, and in graduate school, moved on to screenplays. It was then that I really determined writing was something I wanted to pursue in a serious way.

Janice: Who are some of the people who most influenced your decision to write?

CAROLINE: While there are certainly people who have influenced my decision to keep writing, I think the decision to start writing was born more out of different events or interactions with certain individuals.

There was a youth group leader to whom I sent the Chaucer influenced letter. When I was home on break one time, she said, “You write very good letters. You could be a writer.” I kept her words inside. Every now and then they would creep to the front of my thoughts, but I would dismiss them. Her words stayed with me. I think it served as the validation for giving in to the compulsion to write the letter in the first place. Then there was the high school teacher whose praise, after I created my own modern myth instead of the answering the other essay questions on Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business. Again a moment of validation. There were others, but really, it was while I was pursuing my Master of Arts degree in Film, that the bug took hold.

In our Principles of Christian Communication class, we were assigned the task of communicating a common Christian principle in the creative manner of our choosing. There were so many creative people selecting all manner of mediums but, I wrote. Once the idea came to me, the need to get the story down was consuming. That, combined with the resulting response, is what really pushed me in terms of making a decision to write seriously.

In terms of people who influence me to keep writing, my very good friend, Cheryl McKay would be among the top contenders. She’s a wonderful screenwriter and is now venturing into novel writing. Her honest feedback and encouragement has been invaluable. As well, I consider myself lucky to have friends who are honest in their feedback, freely expressing what they like, or what they don’t like, and taking a sort of ownership over the story in such a way as to almost be as invested in it as I am. It’s been amazing.

And of course there’s you, Jan. Your friendship and mentoring has meant so much, I don’t know if I can express it adequately. You helped keep me motivated to finish and to remain true to the characters as I went.

Janice: Well, thanks, Caroline. Your novel, Confessions from a Farmer’s Wife, released in November of 2011 with Greenbrier Book Company. How long did it take you to bring it from concept to completion?Confessions:Farmer's Wife

CAROLINE: It took a very long time. I started it just as I was finishing my MA in 1996, and didn’t finish it until 2010. I didn’t take it seriously for the first little while and let life distract me.

Janice: Tell us a bit about the book and why you wrote it.

CAROLINE: I think the story found me. The book originally started out as visual image for the beginning of a short film idea, but the more I wrote, the more I realized it was bigger than I had thought. The visual is still the beginning – two kids sitting on the bank of a creek, meeting for the first time. But even before that moment when the image came into my head, the idea behind the book came about from a remark my mother made. She had written and directed a play based on the book of Job. I don’t remember what our conversation was about when she commented that all we really know about Job’s wife is that she tells Job to curse God and die, but her comment really made me think. It struck me that she, Job’s wife, lost everything too. It would make sense that she would have a lot to feel about the matter. I started to explore the idea of what it would take for a wife to tell her husband, whom she knows values his relationship with God above everything else, to turn his back on his God and die. What did she mean by it? What was her faith like compared to that of her husband? These are the ideas I wanted to explore.

Of course, being a parallel of the Book of Job, there are certain themes that run through the book, the idea of believers suffering and who is responsible for it. What do we do when we suffer? How do we keep faith when it happens? How do we deal with God? Heavy thoughts for a novel, and I don’t try to answer these questions, because I certainly don’t have all the answers. I think that’s the main theme – What do we do when we don’t get any answers, and not just ones we don’t like?

The book is very character driven. The entire book you’re in the head of Jessie, the main character as she recounts the events in her life from the time she is six years old through young adulthood. You see the other characters through her eyes and learn what they mean to her, how she feels about them, and what impact they have on the choices she makes.

Janice: Sounds amazing, and since I’ve read it, I can attest to that fact. Are you currently working on a sequel or another novel?

CAROLINE: I am currently working a second novel with the same characters. It’s a bit of a sequel as it picks up from where the first book finished, but it’s also a prequel in that it takes us back further in time and into the lives of other characters – a different POV. I also have an idea for a sort of mystery thriller that I’m toying with. Very different from Confessions.

Janice: Cool In what genre would you classify Confessions?

CAROLINE: I would classify it as contemporary. It’s a little historical in terms of setting, but the historical events are not what drive the plot.

Janice: What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you? And your favorite part?

CAROLINE: The most difficult part of the writing process is having to pull myself out of the world I’m creating. When I’m there, I just want to stay there. When the phone rings or other things demand my attention, I get a little crabby. I resent everything that keeps me from getting back there. And yet it’s probably a good thing to touch base with reality more often than not! That’s also my favorite part. If I want readers to want to spend time with my characters, I have to want to as well. I love the feeling of sinking into the process, loosing all track of time and awareness of anything but the emotions of the character and the click of keys on the keyboard. I can feel my heart rate increase as I being. It’s a very heady feeling.

Janice: What did you learn while writing Confessions?

CAROLINE: This is tough. It was such a personal journey. While I’ve never suffered through the events that my characters have to go through, I struggled and still struggle with many of the questions that they do. I think I had to come to terms with the understanding that there are things that happen and that God, in all His wholeness as loving, just, jealous, forgiving, sovereign, and many more attributes, is God. There are many things I will never understand, but my faith is not misplaced.

Janice: Are you a planner or a pantser? Do you use any computer programs to aid your writing process?

CAROLINE: I think I’m a mix. I know where the story will end. I have to have this first. Then I can know where I want it to begin. I will have several key events that will have to happen to get me from beginning to end, but how we get to there will be anyone’s guess! I do make what I call a “shot list” – I think in film terms even when it’s a novel. This is a list of key points that need to happen either in a particular scene or to link two events. Sometimes I make the list because I know what I need to happen in advance of sitting down to write. And sometimes the list grows organically out of what is happening emotionally with the characters as I write. I’m usually thinking, “What has to happen plotwise to get my character to this point, and what is plausible in terms of story/setting etc?” But I’m also thinking about surprising the reader. I’m not always sure how successful I am, but it’s something for which I strive.

Janice: How do you promote your book? How much is your responsibility and what do you expect from your publisher?

CAROLINE: I’m an awful promoter. I don’t really do it. I have some postcards printed up with the book cover on one side and where to order it on the other, but it’s something that I’ve struggled with for a variety of reasons. My publisher doesn’t really promote, except from their website in terms of, “These are our writers, and here are there books.”

Janice: We hear so much about social media these days. Are you into that and if so, how do you use it to promote your book?

CAROLINE: I have a personal Facebook page, I’m on twitter although I can’t tell you the last time I tweeted. I had a cell phone die and haven’t downloaded the twitter app to the current phone. I also have a personal website, but again, I don’t update except maybe once every year or two. I’m pathetic because I recognize that it would be extremely beneficial to utilize the whole social media venue to promote my book, but I just hate the thought of how much time it takes. Plus, I’m not much for selling myself. I find it very difficult, as do many other writers, I’m sure. My profile picture on Facebook is my book cover, if that counts?

Janice: I think many writers understand the difficulty of promotion. How do you research and how can you be sure of your sources?

CAROLINE: I research a bit at a time. I don’t enjoy it all that much. Beyond finding what I need to be certain that where the story is going is plausible, I find it laborious. I use the Internet and the library, and I try to confirm the information with more than once source so that I can be fairly comfortable that it’s accurate. I’m not sure I always get it, but I try very hard.

Janice: Is writing your career or do you have a day job? How much time do you set aside for writing?

CAROLINE: I would love for writing to be my career, but no, I have a day job. I work as an Administrative/Executive assistant. I have a problem setting aside time to write. I commute over an hour to work each way, and when I get home I have to feed the dog, feed myself, exercise the dog…and so on. So weekday evenings are not good. I try to do some at lunch sometimes, but by the time I get in the groove, my lunch is over. I would love to keep all weekends to myself for writing but there are friends and family that I enjoy spending time with, so this is why it took me a long time to complete the first book!

Janice: I empathize! Although not all readers are writers, I know that all writers must be readers. What are you currently reading? What’s on your to-read pile? Do you read mostly print books or digital? Why?

CAROLINE: Currently, I’m not reading, which is probably why I’m not being too creative. I like a good romance when I’m on vacation, or a good mystery. I like Francine Rivers, Charles Martin and stuff like that. I don’t generally do non-fiction – I’m convinced I have a block where that’s concerned, but if the story interests me, I’ll read it. I just need strong characters that I care about. I read a mix of print and digital. I love the feel of a book in my hand, and how the accomplishment of the number of pages read turns into the disappointment of how few pages are left and wanting it to last a little longer. But I do love my e-reader for sheer convenience. Currently, I have your latest book ready to read on my Kindle, and I’m waiting for my friend Cheryl’s latest novel to be released, Song of Springhill. It’s about one of mining disasters in Springhill, Nova Scotia in the 1950s.

Janice: Enjoy the books. For reader interest, what are some of your non-work/non-writing involvements and hobbies?

CAROLINE: I love going to movies, even bad ones, although I try to avoid them I can. I also love photography. I have a couple of friends with whom I go shooting regularly. One day we’ll focus on black and white, another we play with long exposure. I’m very much a novice, but I love it.

Janice: Do you have any tips for newbie or wannabe writers?

CAROLINE: Believe in your story, but not to the extent that you turn a deaf ear to constructive criticism. It’s not personal if someone doesn’t like your writing, even if it feels that way. Not everyone will like it. Be objective about criticism, encouraged by enthusiasm, and grateful for both as it means you’ve written something and someone is reading it.

Janice: Thanks so much, Caroline, for taking time to tell us a bit about yourself and your writing. All the best in your writing future.

CAROLINE: Thanks, Jan. All the best to you as well!

Caroline Way was born in Portland, Oregon, raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland until high school, when her family moved to Ontario. Currently she lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she received her B.A. in Drama from McMaster University. From there she went on to obtain an M.A. in Communication from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA, where she studied film making and screenwriting. Once an active member of community theatre in both Ontario and Virginia, Caroline has always enjoyed exploring the “how” and “why” questions of the characters she portrayed, directed and created.

Caroline has worked on many types of productions, from television commercials to feature films, in a variety of capacities. She has written and directed two of her own short films as well as a documentary for the town of Pickering, Ontario, and instructional video for the Ontario Principals’ Council. Currently, Caroline works as an Executive Assistant.

 

Caroline’s “Blahg” is at http://www.carolineway.com 

 

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