Today, my close friend, Fay Lamb, joins us to talk about her newest release, Storms in Serenity. Let’s start at the beginning. Have you always wanted to be an author?
Fay: When I say that I have always wanted to write, I mean that my earliest memories are of story. As a child, I told stories. I had children in the neighborhood act out plays. As a teenager in high school, classmates knew me as a writer. I believe I still hold the record for the most English credits by one student. My handwriting is atrocious because I spent hours as a teenager writing stories in notebooks. One of my friends shares that passion, and we wrote together or worked on telling a story. She’d start and stop at a point, and I would pick up. I would have rather been doing something story related than to have breathed back then. I carried the desire into my early twenties where it only grew more important to me as I realized that if God placed this yearning for story in me, I had a responsibility to give Him my all.
I wrote stories in notebooks also. How about now? Do you write every day? What does your typical writing day look like?
Fay: I do write every day. I have to confess that it isn’t always fiction. I wear a lot of hats: bookkeeper, housekeeper, wife, mother, writer, editor … I sometimes have to pull away from my fiction until I can get the roles balanced enough for me to put on my writer’s cap. But when I do settle down to a story, I tend to write daily, and when it is finished, I’ll edit daily as well.
You’re so disciplined! Does this carry over to marketing as well? What’s your favorite marketing strategy?
Fay: One in which I don’t have to market. Only kidding. I’ve struggled with marketing, but I still work at it. My publisher has a great marketing team. I’m a member of that team along with each of Write Integrity Press authors. We work at sharing each other’s promotions and trying to stay away from the dreaded self-promotions. I like working with others and helping others, and I do that with the promotions of not only the Write Integrity authors but of other authors whose work I consider worthwhile. It doesn’t seem so much like marketing if you’re posting interviews with other authors. Likewise, I have The Tactical Editor blog in which I share everything from editing advice, to writing advice, and even encouragement.
With that said, I guess my favorite type of promotion is actually away from the computer. I teach at conferences. I’m always antsy while trying to prepare for the workshop or classes, but God seems to put it all in place. I’m not a great speaker, but I hope that my passion for fiction pours out when I talk about it.
I’ve been in your classes, and you’re a better speaker than you think :) You have a lot on your plate. Tell us what project you’re currently working on.
Fay: I have a couple of projects right now. I am a managing editor for a new magazine that premiers in June. Imaginate is a place where artists of all genres can share their imaginations with readers.
Novel-wise, I’m writing the next book in the Amazing Grace series, Everybody’s Broken. It’s a romantic suspense that centers around the brokenness caused by one man’s death and what he was to those who knew him and loved him best. His murder has his widow and their two boys on the run where they end up in his hometown with his family that he never told her he had.
Sounds like another exciting story! Last question. Have you ever had an interesting experience connected with being an author?
Fay: I fondly recall the 2010 American Christian Writers Conference. From about 1999 to 2003, I had stopped writing with an intent to publish. I’d had an agent, whom I will not name, hurt me badly with something he said, and I sunk into a deep writer’s depression. When I came out of it in 2003, I was still very much unhappy with this particular agent, but I had determined that I was going to prove him wrong. So I began to study the craft, and in 2010 with my first finished novel in years, I was up for the Genesis award at ACFW.
That’s when the Lord started working on my heart. In particularly, He challenged me about my bitterness toward the agent. I knew that when I attended ACFW that year, this agent would be there, and God was prompting me to talk to him.
I didn’t want to do that. He could stay in his corner, and I’d stay in mine.
God didn’t leave me alone about that. So, I challenged God to really show me that I needed to talk to the guy.
I drove to Indianapolis that year, and I was so excited. I was going to catch up with a dear friend. Well, that friend knew about my problems with the agent because she was there when he devastated me with his words. Dear friend rushes to my car before I can give my key to the valet. She whispers to me that the agent I so want to avoid is in the car behind me.
No one has ever declared me pliable. I have a strong will, and like He did with Peter, God has to keep confirming what He wants me to do. I prayed and asked God to clarify His intent.
Mr. Agent follows me into the hotel, and is standing in line behind me.
Not to be outdone by Peter, I need that third clarification. I refuse to even look at the man behind me.
The next day, I meet up with my wonderful writing mentor for lunch, and I’m compelled to tell her the back story about me and Mr. Agent. She sits back in her seat and informs me that he’s her agent, and I really need to talk to him.
I’m not about to tell God that I need another bit of encouragement to do His will. That evening I step into the agent panel. I sit through the entire session. I sit through the long line waiting to talk to Mr. Agent until finally we’re the only two people in the room.
I take a deep breath, and I walk up to him. “You may not remember me, but you really hurt my feelings many years ago.”
Of course he didn’t remember me, but he looks stricken. “Oh no, what did I say to you?”
I told him his exact words–the ones that bitterness had etched onto my heart.
He actually winced and mentions a very famous author that he allowed to get away from his representation. He declares, “What do I really know?” Then he said, “I’m so sorry.”
It wasn’t until that moment I realized that God didn’t have me there for his apology to me, and I blurted out, “No. You don’t understand. I want to thank you. What you said to me back then hurt me, but I hurt myself even more. You were right, and if I’d taken the hurt back then and used it to prove you wrong, I would have realized I had so much to learn before seeking representation, and I wouldn’t have lost four years to self-pity.”
As I was leaving, I turned around to him, and my parting words were, “I’m still too afraid to meet with you at the conference, but would you consider allowing me to send you my most recent manuscript?”
What was he going to do after that, tell me no? Instead, he tells me to be sure to write in the query letter that I’m the one who shamed him at the ACFW Conference.
I’m not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I was too frightened to ask.
Wow. God certainly has a way of working all things to good. Thanks, Fay, for stopping in today! If you’d like to win an autographed copy of Storms in Serenity, please leave a comment and we’ll enter you into the drawing.
Storms in Serenity
A hurricane is barreling toward Serenity Key, but the town is already dealing with another storm brewing on the island, and it has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure. Jake New has a secret he’s guarded for thirty years, and a spiritual tempest is about to lay it bare.
When the daughter he has never met is reported missing, apparently the victim of a hideous crime, and the lives of others he loves begin to unravel, Jake learns that the sins he thought so personal weren’t so private after all. The consequences are wreaking havoc in ways he never dreamed possible.
God is the only one Who can calm the storms, but can Jake and Serenity Key survive until He does?
Fay Lamb is an author, editor, and writing coach. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has contracted three series. Stalking Willow and Better than Revenge, Books 1 and 2 in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series are currently available for purchase. Charisse and Libby the first two novels in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series have been released. Fay has also collaborated on three romance novellas: The Christmas Three Treasure Hunt, A Ruby Christmas, A Dozen Apologies, and the newest adventure The Love Boat Bachelor. Her adventurous spirit has taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.
Storms in Serenity (release February 2015), is the first novel in her Serenity Key series.
Future releases from Fay are: Everybody’s Broken and Frozen Notes, Books 3 and 4 of Amazing Grace and Hope and Delilah, Books 3 and 4 from The Ties that Bind.
Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor. And, yes, there’s one more: Goodreads.