by Andrea Renee Cox
It's an honor to bring you an author interview with the delightful Becky Wade today. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we had putting it together.
Andrea Cox: Welcome to Writing to Inspire, Becky! I’m so glad to have you here today.
Becky Wade: Thank you for having me!
Andrea: Tell us a little about how you came to write inspirational Christian contemporary romance novels.
Becky: How about I answer in two parts?
How I became a writer… My husband and I lived overseas on the Caribbean island of Anguilla during the early years of our marriage. Because of work permit restrictions, only he was allowed to work, which left me without much to do. Frankly, being stranded on a sunny island without anything to do sounds like heaven to this working mom of three, nowadays. Back then, however, the situation left me somewhat bored and stir-crazy.
I had a huge love of reading, a computer, and a decent imagination. It occurred to me that perhaps I could try to write a book. I dreamt up a story and characters and sat down to begin a novel without knowing one single thing about the craft of writing. If I hadn’t liked writing, that would have been the end of the story. But, instead, I loved it. Right from the start.
How I became a writer of Christian contemporary romance… I published three not-very-successful historical romances for the general market back in ’99, ’00, and ’01. Then I stopped writing for many years when my kids were small. When I left my job as an author, I was so burned out on it that I thought I might never write again. Then, seven years later, I began to hear God calling me back to it. Alongside His call, new ideas began to come to me, my excitement for writing rushed back, and my joy in the work redoubled. I knew for certain that I was meant to write Christian romances for a Christian publisher this time around. In His time, and due only to His grace, God gave me a second chance at my first career.
Andrea: What a wonderful gift, to be given a second chance at your first career! I noticed on your website, along with what you just shared with us, that you’ve traveled quite extensively, in your childhood and also since your marriage. How have your adventures played a role in your writing (other than giving you free time to write while in Anguilla)?
Becky: I think travel enriches us. And anything that enriches us is good not just for our general well-being but for our creativity. I met people and saw scenery and heard stories and ate foods overseas that I still remember. Some of those things have become fodder for my books. Some have simply become fodder for laughter. My family and I still laugh about things that happened to us on trips decades ago!
As authors, it's tempting to think that our best approach is to shut ourselves into a room alone and hunch over a computer. But actually, getting out there and experiencing things can sometimes be the very prescription for our novels.
Andrea: That sounds like a great reason to plan a vacation. *wink, wink* You are quite the busy woman, with a family to nurture while also managing your flourishing writing career. How do you balance all the responsibilities God has blessed you with?
Becky: I have three kids (ages 14, 11, 5) and — happily — my youngest started kindergarten this past fall. Woo hoo! The fact that all three are now in school has made my writing/home life easier to balance.
I always have a weekly goal for my writing and I try to work steadily <ploddingly?> toward that goal, Monday through Friday, during the hours when my kids are in school. Once three o’clock hits, I’m busy driving carpool, hitting the grocery store, taking my kids to and from activities. If needed, I catch up on social media or email or pages I didn’t quite finish at night after my five year old is in bed or on the weekends when my husband is out with the kids.
At this phase of my life, with a family that needs my time and energy, I purposely limit my output to one book per year. In 2015, I’ll also release a fall novella. At this point, one novella and one novel in twelve months is my fastest pace. Sometimes I’m tempted to think that my books might be more successful or that I’d earn a larger income if I wrote more. MORE is a temptation for all of us, isn’t it? The desire for more can so easily wreck our contentment if we let it.
Whenever I start to think along those lines, God reminds me that the goal of my work isn’t to be successful in the world’s eyes or to earn more money. I’m called to write the books He leads me to write for His glory and to take care of the family He’s entrusted to me. That’s it. So I’ve made peace with the fact that I’m a tortoise, not a hare.
Andrea: Oh, that tricky longing for more. Setting it aside, finding contentment … that’s quite a difficult challenge, but God provides the way. I’m glad you’ve been able to find the balance between work and family. What is something that originally surprised you about the process of writing books and having them published? Is there anything that still surprises you about it today?
Becky: Original surprises about the world of publishing (back when I was first writing in the 90’s):
"What? There’s such a thing as a ‘craft’ to writing a novel? I thought I knew everything I needed to know, because I’ve been a lifelong reader."
"Huh? I don’t just send each editor and agent my full novel? They all have individual preferences about what they’d like to see included in a submission? And I have to send it to them formatted a certain way with a query letter attached? Why can’t I just call them?"
"Against all odds someone is actually going to publish my novel!!!!"
"It’s going to take a YEAR between now and when my book will hit shelves? As in, twelve whole months?!"
"It’s unexpectedly painful to write a book for God’s glory and have my ministry criticized by fellow Christians."
"Authors have A LOT more marketing items on their To Do lists in this era of blogging, social media, and platform! Eeek!"
"I had no idea that a publisher could be as nurturing and supportive of their authors as you, Bethany House, have been to me."
Andrea: Sounds like surprises keep coming for you! What’s one of the most challenging things about writing? How does this obstacle make you a better writer, and a better person?
Becky: I don’t always have the ideas or the passion or the mind frame needed for writing when I sit down to write. That’s the most challenging part. But I’ve contracted to have a manuscript ready by a deadline and I’m always determined to turn in that manuscript not only on time, but also as finished and polished as possible. So, whether I feel like it or not, I make myself do the work anyway.
This sort of determination has made me a better writer and person because it’s shown me that God can use people, regardless of how they might be feeling at any given moment. God honors a writer’s faithfulness when that writer simply brings herself to the table and shows up. In my weakness, He has again and again and again proven Himself strong.
Andrea: I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes it’s all we can do to show up and pray God helps us through. What’s up next for you? Any new books we should know about?
Becky: A Love Like Ours releases in May! Like my previous novels, it’s a contemporary inspirational romance. The hero, Jake Porter, is the brooding, wounded type, so I had lots of fun squeezing every drop of drama out of him that I could.
I’m currently working on Dru Porter’s book. I don’t plot everything out ahead of time. Instead, I start with a general idea of where I’m going and glimpses of turning-point scenes. So, whenever I’m in the process of writing a first draft (like I am now), I'm slowly discovering things about the story and characters as I go. It’s challenging and fun and uncertain — the first and most time-consuming step in a long process.
Andrea: Isn’t that first-draft phase such fun? It’s my favorite part—discovering the story for the first time. Any extra little tidbits, about you or your writing, you’d like to share with us today?
Becky: I guess this is when I have to confess that I’m a chocoholic (dark with nuts, please). There. You’ve wrestled it out of me. Oh, and I love my afternoon cup of tea in the winter. I also enjoy tennis, procrastination, romantic movies, bubble baths, dinner out, and the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice.
Thank you so much, Andrea, for interviewing me on your blog. I truly appreciate your kindness and support. It’s an honor to visit you here. God bless!
Andrea: And may God bless you as well, Becky. It’s such a sweet pleasure to host you here at Writing to Inspire. Thank you for sharing part of your writing process, adventurous life, and secret indulgences with us. Don’t worry; we won’t tell about your little chocolate addiction. Because if we did, we’d have to tell about ours too. (I’m truly hooked on anything by Lindt.)
Stay tuned for information about Becky's latest book (below).
Becky Wade makes her home in Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three children. She's the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of contemporary Christian romances, My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, and Meant to be Mine.
She may be found at the following places (and I'm sure she'd love to hear from you!):
Now, readers, I must tell you: I am super excited about Becky's upcoming novel, A Love Like Ours (now available for pre-order). I'm also working on a book with a hero that deals with PTSD after returning from war, so it will be wonderful to read her novel for inspiration when I'm feeling like this writing journey is impossible to figure out.
A Porter Family Novel #3
Coming in May 2015!
Deeply scarred from a day he wishes he could forget during his military service, Thoroughbred trainer Jake Porter has given up on love. He struggles against symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.
When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, returns to their hometown of Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tenderhearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake trusts her with his prized racehorse, Silver Leaf, then battles his hopes for his horse against his increasing fear for Lyndie’s safety.
Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?
Readers, do you have any questions for Becky Wade today? What are some of the ways you've connected with your favorite authors? If you haven't yet reached out to your favorite authors, consider sending them an encouraging word about how their books touched your heart. That is always a great way to bring a little smile to an author's day.
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