Welcome! I’m so excited to be interviewing you! First, I would love it
if you would start by briefly telling us how your writing journey
My passion for writing began at a very young age! When I was little, my mother would tell me bedtime stories—she would read from books sometimes, but often she just make something up. So I learned stories really started in the imagination, and it felt natural to make up my own. Later, when I was in high school, an English teacher invited me into an elective class on writing, and one of the assignments for everyone was to submit something to a real editor. It could have been a poem, short story, article, novel or novella—anything, really, just to get that first rejection behind us and to learn a few things beside: we could survive rejection, and we weren’t alone. Every one of us was rejected. But I have to say the rejection I received for the sample chapters of a novel I sent was probably one of the reasons I’m still writing today. The editor took the time to send me a personal letter explaining that while she couldn’t publish my work, she was impressed by the quality from someone so young (I was sixteen at the time and explained in the cover that this was part of an assignment). She encouraged me to keep writing, and so it was one of those moments that could have shaped my future very differently had she been less kind.
So began my endeavor into professional publication. A few years later I joined critique groups to hone my craft, going to writer’s conferences and learning everything I could about writing. Of course I kept reading all the time, because that’s one of the best ways to learn how to write, by seeing what works.
Please share with us one fact about you that not many people know. And
feel free to have fun with the question!
I have a backwards tooth. Every time I’ve gone to a new dentist, they mention it and call in the hygienist to have a look. Evidently I was born with it. Thankfully, it’s a back tooth so very few people outside my local dental office are aware of it!
Which fictional literary character most inspired/inspires you?
I’m inspired every time I read a book I enjoy! But to recall some of my first inspiration, a very long time ago I read a trio of books Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. I thought the heroine was incredibly brave and romantic. Of course, I was writing secular romances back then so my tastes may have changed over the years, but I recall that series as having a powerful impact on my writing. A more recent example for a Christian heroine would be anything by Lynn Austin, Siri Mitchell, or Tamera Alexander, three of my favorites!
What inspired you to choose the setting for your novel?
I’ve always wanted to write a book set in the west, and so I was dabbling with some research material centering around rogues and scoundrels of the American west. I read about a man who single-handedly robbed several coaches by pretending he had an entire gang of robbers behind him. He carved sturdy sticks to look like rifles, placed them just high enough in a canyon so from below they couldn’t be identified for what they really were, then he put on a mask and stopped the coaches at the best spot with his “gang” behind him. He was eventually caught, but I thought I’d have my hero get away with it—and let his guilty conscience convict him. But because of that act, I knew I needed a western setting. Denver was a fairly large and established city by the time the Gilded Age came along, which was exactly what I needed for my semi-reformed rake. That’s how All In Good Time came to be set in Denver.
If you could be best friends with any of the characters in your novel,
who would it be? Why?
I’d love to be best friends with my heroine, Dessa. She loves to cook and clean! If I could just get her to cook dinner for me and my family . . .
What are 3 things you like to do to relax?
Well, obviously not cooking or cleaning . . . Actually, reading is my number one choice, but I also like to watch a movie if it has a clever plot and a romantic thread. I have a child with Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder of the brain that has severely limited his ability to take care of himself. He goes to school for a few hours a day, and so when he’s home I’m pretty busy. As sweet as he is, it can be frustrating, too, since he’s nearly 18 and my caregiver tasks have been pretty much the same all these years. While he has free roam of the house, I do need to be aware of what he’s doing, and that’s where my Kindle Fire comes in handy. I can basically watch a movie while I’m making sure my son is safe, because the Fire goes where I go.
I also like to have long chats with my husband! We do daily “debriefing” sessions where we catch up on each other’s day, and it helps me put life in perspective. I find it very refreshing!
What book(s) are you reading, or have read lately?
I just read several books for a contest I helped to judge, so that kept me busy for about a month. I also belong to a book club so we choose a new title every month. Right now we’re reading a secular title called The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, but it’s too soon for me to have formed an opinion yet, other than that the writing is lovely. In the last few months, I also enjoyed Ruth Axtell’s new book, Moonlight Masquerade, Siri Mitchell’s Unrivaled, and Ann Gabhart’s Words Spoken True.
What piece of writing advice have you received that was most helpful to you?
That we learn best from what we do best and can improve the rest. Confidence plays such a large role in everything we do, and writing isn’t any different. When we believe what we write has value, it inspires us to keep going. That’s why whenever I give a critique, I try to sandwich any suggestions for improvement between praise for what they’re doing right.
Where can readers connect with you?
My website hosts my blog, www.maureenlang.com and I welcome new readers! I also love getting emails at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for giving me the pleasure of an interview with you!
And I wish you the very best with your newest release!
Thanks for having me!
Ms. Lang has been generous and is offering a copy of either her latest book, All in Good Time or any one of her other 10 titles as a prize. If the winner is a US resident they will receive a print copy, or an ecopy if they prefer, but if the winner is not a US resident they will receive an ecopy.
Will there be other Gilded Legacy books? Thanks for the interview & for the chance to win one of your books!ReplyDelete
Cooking and cleaning aren't my idea of relaxing either!! ;) Reading is my #1 relaxation method, also.ReplyDelete
Prayers for you, Maureen, with your son. It sounds like you're doing a great job, though! :)
What a blessing to have such a smart English teacher and an editor willing to encourage you. Sometimes we just need that little push!ReplyDelete
That English teacher had a great idea. Get that first rejection out of the way early on!ReplyDelete
I enjoyed the interview. All in Good Time sounds like a book I'd enjoy reading. Thanks for offering a copy.ReplyDelete
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com
You have a backwards tooth?? That's so cool! I love all of your covers; they're gorgeous!ReplyDelete
What a beautiful cover!ReplyDelete
I just read your latest novel, Maureen, and loved it! I have Bees but haven't read it yet.ReplyDelete
Life is certainly busy when you are raising children, but especially one with challenges. I've been there and know how frustrating and exhausting it can be. I wish you the best.
I just wanted to thank everyone for their comments and participating in this giveaway, and thanks, too, to Faye for having me!ReplyDelete
At the moment I don't have any more books set in the Gilded Age, but I'm exploring the Edwardian Age which is just a little later. That promises to be fun. It's right between the Gilded Age and First World War, so I feel like I need to fill in the gap. :-)
I'd just like to add that I appreciate the comments about my son, and always welcome prayer on our behalf!