I started writing Love, Lies, and Fireflies seven long years ago in the fall of 2009. I had just turned the ripe old age of fifty and feelin’ blue. I’ve been a writer since I was a little girl, always penning poems, letters, and short stories, and a couple of years previously I’d kicked around an idea for a novel. I even had a whopping four pages written!
I heard about the National Novel Writing Month (http://nanowrimo.org), an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place every November. NaNoWriMo challenges its participants to write 50,000 words with the goal of stimulating those creative juices and keeping writers motivated throughout the process. A group of fledgling writers were meeting at a café fifteen miles from my house, and I decided to give it a try. I only made it to 30,000 words, (okay, okay, it was actually 29,000 something, but thirty thousand sounds so much more impressive) but I was hooked.
And thus began my humble writing career. Did I have any idea what I was doing? Not much, but I could learn. That’s been seven years ago now, and since then I’ve published a couple of other books. But Love, Lies, and Fireflies is very special to me because it’s the first one I started.
Can you give us a short synopsis of Love, Lies, and Fireflies?
Sure! Here’s the back cover copy:
Didi O’Brien is engaged—at least she was an hour ago. Now she’s not so sure. Her fiancé, the suave Kevin Cabot, has just revealed that he’s been unfaithful, and he’s not the least bit sorry. Reeling from the betrayal, with her plans for a happily-ever-after life in doubt, she prays for direction. The answer comes as a complete surprise. God has someone better in mind.
Middle school teacher, Jake Montgomery, is struggling with some issues of his own. Sadly, a year previously his fiancée had been killed in a car crash. Battling anger and despair, in a mountain-top experience, Jake wrestles with the Almighty, and is ready to live again. In his youth, he’d felt an unmistakable call to the ministry but, like the prophet Jonah, since then, he’s been running hard in the wrong direction.
Through a crisis of faith, and glimpses of mercy, Didi and Jake find each other. But can they find the strength to resolve the many obstacles that conspire to keep them apart?
Sounds interesting. Could we have a short excerpt of the novel?
Alrighty. The following is one of my favorite passages:
With sleepy, half-closed eyes, Jake yawned and opened his arms in invitation. Without hesitation, Didi slid into his embrace. “You’re welcome,” he murmured into her ear. He stroked her hair as she nestled into his shoulder. His arms around her were warm and comfy.
Knowing Jake needed his rest, Didi stretched up and planted a light kiss on his cheek. When she tried to let him go, Jake tenderly drew her closer.
“Not this time, Didi.” Pulling back slightly, his gaze full of longing reached out to her. Gentle fingers wound themselves in her hair as he whispered, “Close your eyes.”
His husky voice sent shivers of anticipation down Didi’s spine. Heart pounding, she drew in a deep breath and lowered her eyelashes. Slowly, so slowly, he drew her closer and kissed her with soft, chocolate-scented lips. With her eyes still closed, she melted into him, and he kissed her again—this time not quite so softly.
They stood in the hallway, arms draped around each other, until a drowsy Jake bent back against the door and groaned. “Now I really do have to go before I collapse on your floor, but I’d love to see you again. What are you doing Friday night?” His eyes held a trace of fire as he brushed a strand of hair from her face.
The touch of his fingers on her cheek warmed her heart and gave her shivers. He was a good kisser—no, a great kisser. Beating back apprehension, she made a quick decision. This man was a gentleman, unlike Kevin. “Instead of going out, why don’t you come here? I’ll make dinner if you bring popcorn and a movie. Does that work for you?”
“A nice, quiet evening sounds wonderful, but don’t fuss over dinner. I’m easy to please. Around seven?”
“Perfect.” He leaned in for a swift final kiss, and Didi was charmed that he seemed to have a hard time letting her go.
She picked up his lunch bag from where he’d let it drop to the floor, handed it to him, and stepped back. “Night, Jake.”
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Find a good writers group that is both encouraging and honest. Your mother can tell you you're already a wonderful writer. You want your writers group to challenge you and help you stretch and grow. Conferences are also a great way to learn an amazing amount about the craft in a short period of time. I would highly recommend the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. Also, think about joining a group such as American Christian Fiction Writers. They have been a tremendous inspiration to me in many ways and I give back by hosting an ACFW writers group in Williamsport, Maryland.
In closing where can we find out more about you and your new book?
Thank you so much, Brooke, for featuring me on your blog! It’s truly been a pleasure talking with you today.