I’ve been asked to participate in a Writer’s Blog Hop. I will be answering four questions about my writing and then will tag three other authors to answer the same questions on their blogs within the next couple of weeks. Check the links to their blogs at the end of this post to more about more about them and their writing. Thank you to C.Joy Allen for the invitation to participate! Find her answers to these questions at her blog over at www.toseejoy.com. What are you working on? As of this week I am working on some revising of my first story Counted with the Stars. CWTS is the story of Kiya, an Egyptian slave who goes with the Hebrews on the Great Exodus while refusing to believe in their invisible, and as she sees him, destructive god. I was given a great suggestion to add my hero’s first person perspective so I have been hashing through his story arc. I am really excited about the depth and layers it is adding to my story and I am getting to know Eben, my Hebrew hero, in a whole new way. When I am finished with these chapters and revisions I will return to writing the story of Shira, a friend of Kiya (and sister to Eben) who becomes a midwife at the foot of Mt. Sinai and must marry a man whose wife she believes she killed during a tragic delivery. I am also slowly working through revisions on the third book in the series, the story of Elanah, a Canaanite women who is so desperate for revenge she dresses as a man to go fight against the Hebrews but is captured and forced to marry her enemy to protect herself and her unborn child. How does your work differ from others in its genre? Biblical fiction is an interesting genre. Taking the stories already written down in the Word of God and weaving a fictional narrative in between the lines is not an easy feat. And most Biblical fiction is written from the perspective of an actual person in the Bible—Moses, Ruth, Rebekah, Sarah, etc. When I set out to write Kiya’s story I wanted it to come from a fresh, first person, perspective, I wanted to delve into what the Egyptians were experiencing during the Exodus, how they understood the events that were transpiring, and my main question was, what could possibly convince an Egyptian to go with the Hebrews? I wanted to step away from the normal perspective, stay away from anyone who might be considered royal (no kings and queens) and find out what a slave would have to say about the Exodus. My goal is for all my biblical fiction to be written from an “inside-outside” perspective, either from an enemy perspective like Kiya and Elanah, or like Shira, just one of the Hebrews along for the ride. It just gives me more leeway to weave in my own plots alongside the Biblical one. I want my reader to walk in the sandals of my characters and experience Biblical history in a whole new way. How does your writing process work? I am a stay-at-home mom who homeschools and teaches piano and art classes. So my best writing is done in the middle of the night. I don’t sleep much. It’s a pretty good thing my kids are homeschooled or they would be tardy to school. A lot! But that is the season of life I am in and I love it. I take those quiet hours after the monkeys have been locked in their cages, I mean, the angels are sleeping peacefully, I light my “writing candle” (which is my signal to concentrate) and I dig in. Right now my process is pretty messy and flexible but it has to be to fit in my lifestyle at the moment. Some days I write nothing and some days I write thousands of words. I really prefer to write a chapter or two and then edit as I go though, I am too much of a perfectionist to write a completely sloppy first draft. Why do you write what you do? I have a passion for the Word of God and I want to help inspire people, especially women, to dig into the Bible. To really read it for themselves, instead of simply being spoon fed from the pulpit each Sunday or read about someone else’s opinions of God’s words. My goal as a writer is to spark curiosity in my readers, to challenge their assumptions, to surprise them with things they never noticed before in the Bible stories they thought they knew, and to help them understand some of the historical context in which those stories were written, as well as how they fit together and foreshadow the redemptive story of Jesus. I want my readers to see how God’s grace and mercy is on every page of the Old Testament, just as much as it is in the New Testament. Tag, You’re It! Here are some great writers who agreed to follow me on this blog hop. Stop by their sites in the next couple weeks to see what they write and how they go about it... Karla Akins is an award-winning, prolific writer of books, short stories, plays, poems, songs, and countless nonfiction articles. Her biography of Jacques Cartier went #1 in its category on Amazon. Besides writing biographies and history books for middle grades, she also writes fiction. Her first fiction novel, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots was released in 2013. Her short stories have been published in four Splickety Magazine editions. She is an online columnist for Examiner.com acting as the National History Examiner, National Special Needs Kids Examiner, National Homeschool Examiner, Fort Wayne Homeschool Examiner and Fort Wayne Preppers Examiner. She blogs at her website and on her History Scroll blog that interacts with the history books she writes for middle grades. Karla also engages her readers regularly via her website, and social media platforms such as Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, tumblr and google+. She is a classically trained musician on piano, violin and voice as well as a bible scholar. She earned her seminary degrees at Kingsway Theological Seminary including a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Theology, and a master’s and doctorate in Christian Education. Karla is also a pastor’s wife, mother of five, and grandma to seven beautiful little girls. She lives in Northeast Indiana with her husband, twin teenage boys with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s and three rambunctious dogs. When she’s not writing she’s riding her motorcycle, taking pictures, and looking for ancient treasure. You can find Karla’s blog and answers to her questions over at Humor History and Hope. Gail Helgeson loves to write and encourage others. Journals back to the 8th grade are stacked on her bookshelf full of dreams and aspirations. She has a deep admiration for the writer CS Lewis, along with many other English literature writers. Those include Jane Austen, Beatrix Potter, and Charles Dickens to name just a few. Gail fell in love with that land across the pond the day Diana met her prince. Although the fairytale didn't last, ours can. A dream trip to England confirmed that God indeed, longs to give us the desires of our heart. England has a lot of history, and so do we! The question remains. What kind of legacy do I want to leave? Gail's desire is to write about women learning, changing and discovering that God delights in us. He spoils us and wants us to "Have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10 You can find Gail’s blog and answers to her questions at Shadowlands. Carrie Fancett Pagels is a Christian historical romance author. Her historical romance novella, The Fruitcake Challenge, releases in September, 2014. In July, 2014, Carrie won in Historical Genre for Family Fiction's "The Story 2014) contest, with her short story The Quilting Contest. Carrie's novella, Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, was an Amazon Civil War best seller and remained on the top-rated list for a year. Her short story "Snowed In" was published in Guidepost Books A Cup of Christmas Cheer. Nonfiction chapter contribution to Selah Finalist God's Provision in Tough Times by Cynthia Howerter and LaTan Murphy (Lighthouse of the Carolinas, 2013). Represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency. Founder of Colonial American Christian Writers group. Owner/administrator of the group blogs "Colonial Quills" and "Overcoming With God." Member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Faith-Hope-Love Chapter of RWA, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and FaithWriters. Was a licensed psychologist for over twenty-five years. Has an adult daughter and a middle school aged son. Married the love of her life, Jeffrey D. Pagels, in 1987. You can find Carrie's blog and answers to her questions at Overcoming with God Thanks ladies for your willingness to participate in the blog hop! Can't wait to see what you post.