Lindi Peterson lives in north Georgia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and a lively array of cats, dogs and birds. She loves sharing life with her family and friends. Her passion for reading led her to writing. After God spoke words of love into her heart and changed her life forever, she knew she wanted to write novels that show how great His love is for all of us. Visit her at Faith Girls or on Twitter @lindipeterson
Lindi, you’ve published how many books?
My first three novels are published by Bell Bridge Books and I’ve had a good relationship with them. Rich in Love released in July of 2013, is the first in a series titled Richness in Faith to be published by Bell. Rich in Hope, a Christmas story, is scheduled for release in November 2014 and Rich in Faith in February 2015.
Did you, or your agent, choose Bell Bridge Books, and why?
I chose Bell Bridge Books because I like the types of books they publish. The founders are members of my local Romance Writers of America chapter. These ladies are not only savvy business women, they are amazing authors as well. Also, I love the book covers they design.
How long did it take you to get a full-length fiction contract?
I wrote for 12 years before getting my first novel contract. I had some articles published in my church newsletter, but my dream for as long as I can remember has been to become a published novelist.
Was there a specific “what if”’ moment to spark this story? And why did you choose “rich” for the series?
I was at an art show on a cruise with my husband. An artist, Pamela Dale, had created beautiful paper art pictures of shoes made from champagne labels. The story was that she and her husband traveled the world seeing how much money they could spend drinking champagne.
My “what if” moment came as I wondered what it would be like for a person without much money to suddenly being inundated with it.
My character, Ann, begins the adventure of discovering what that’s like.
I had originally titled the first book Champagne Shoes. My editor changed the titles to the “rich” titles when I explained to her that it wasn’t about the ‘champagne’ but that champagne represents ‘the best of the best.’ The series revolves around what is important in life, and realizing God’s love is the ‘best of the best.’
Do you have a full or part time day job? If so, how do you balance your writing time with family and work?
I am a payroll administrator by day. I’ve been employed with the company for twenty years and they are flexible with my hours. I work four days a week which is helpful in freeing up time to write. Mondays and Saturdays are my all-day writing days. I work on my novels in the mornings, and enjoy social media at night. I also love teaching online classes. I’m teaching one right now titled Sweet Passion 101. It’s an interactive workshop designed to up the sensual level in your novel while keeping it G rated.
What happens to the cats, dogs, and birds? And… the husband?
Two of the cats sit with me while I write. One in my lap, one on my desk. The other one, the youngest, runs around trying to steal my jewelry while I’m not looking. My husband is supportive, gracious and has even started cooking. He has become an amazing cook!
Any special recipe?
He loves to cook on the grill. Chicken, vegetables, an array of olive oils we have purchased and his ‘special seasonings’ make for great dinners. The clean-up is easy, too.
Do you consider yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use?
I am a visual writer. I find pictures of my hero and heroine and that helps me get to know my characters. Sometimes a certain look impresses me and I know I must write about that person. The picture I used for Ann in Rich in Love came from an Avon catalogue. For my Richness in Faith series, I scoured the internet for photos of million-dollar homes… since I, sigh…, don’t live in one.
Have you discovered anything in particular that has helped your process for writing?
For me it’s just sitting down, putting fingers to the keyboard to spark energy and ideas. I like to let the words flow. Although I know much of it will be edited out, the story is moving forward and I’m learning about my characters as I write. I also love typing the words, The End. The feeling of having finished a project is amazing.
How long does it take to write a novel? How many drafts?
I can write a draft in 30 to 60 days. But that’s all I’m doing in my waking hours besides working my day job. And since I’m a panster I almost always have heavy edits. I give myself another 60 days to edit and rewrite. I usually read my manuscripts four times before sending them to my editor.
What are your thoughts on critique partners?
I love them. I have three. They are amazing with their comments all the way through the process from initial idea to their reading the full novel.
What are the easiest and most difficult part of writing for you?
I’ve been told that dialogue is my strength. It comes naturally to me. The most difficult part is making sure I have setting and description.
Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?
My husband and I are empty nesters, except for the animals, so I have my own office. I sometimes go to Starbucks on Mondays to switch up the atmosphere. I like the vibe there and find I don’t become distracted by the people or the music.
“Don’t have your heroine pick up a tea cup if it isn’t important to the story.”
I call it the teacup theory and it has tightened my writing.
Do you have any parting words of advice?
Stay true to who you are and write what’s inside you. Let your experiences and your heart come out on the page and there won’t be another novel like it, because you are unique.
I thank Novel Rocket for letting me tell you about my latest release.
Thank you, for sharing with us.
YVONNE LEHMAN,best-selling author of more than 3,000,000 books in print founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, is now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat (October 19-22, 2014).She is Candlelight Romance and Guiding Light editor with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Her latest releases include a Harlequin/Heartsong series set in Savannah GA. Greenbrier will release four collections set in NC and SC (two stories in each book) in April 2014. Her 50th novel is Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the TITANIC (Abingdon)and she will be signing at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge TN, March 29-31, 2014.