1. I’ve been a fan for quite a few years now. What is your primary motivator in writing Christian fiction?
Thank you, June, and thank you for allowing me to share with your readers today. My primary motivation is God’s goodness to me. I want to share with others that He is a God worthy of awe. He loves us even when we fail. He picks us up even when we have fallen due to our own failures. And when life happens and things occur that have no root in anything we’ve done, we can know that God is in control, and He has a purpose for the twists and turns our lives take.
2. How many years have you been writing fiction and how many books do you have published?
With the publication of All I Want for Christmas, this will be my twelfth book. I have four books in the Ties that Bind romance series, four in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series, the first book in my contemporary fiction series, Serenity Key, the two books in the Mullet Harbor series, and one try at teaching the Art of Characterization (actually it’s all about writing deep point of view) in a non-fiction format.
3.What is your particular genre and why?
I hope you’ll allow me to rephrase this question because, as you can see from my earlier answer, I go against the grain of wisdom and write in different genres. I’d like to define the genre my writing will tend to incorporate unless I have to be careful to keep it out.
The truth is, that all genres that I write have an element of romance. Of course, romance stands out in the romance and romantic suspense series. Yet, though I consider my Mullet Harbor series romance, I tend to throw in some suspenseful elements. I mean, there’s an alligator in Mullet Harbor. Abercrombie’s a good guy, but you can imagine he must have some friends who are not quite so attached to the harbor’s residents. I believe that I have a natural bent for suspense, and it tends to creep into my stories.
4. I consider you a mentor in helping me learn the craft of writing. Your teaching always came with an extra dose of reassurance and encouragement. How are you able to guide others without frustrating their efforts?
I’m not sure that I keep from frustrating them from time to time, but early on, even when offering critiques, I realized that no one was going to learn without the truth. I do try to encourage while teaching or showing, but truth, when given correctly, is one of the greatest gifts we can give to one another. Someone who really considers us a friend will not lie to us, no matter what. I keep that in mind and do my best to deliver my comments in a loving way. I’m thankful for the grace and mercy of the writers who work with me both in freelance and in my role as acquisition editor for one of the largest and still-Christian-owned publishers.
5. How do you manage to organize your day so you have time for writing?
I believe most readers think they could answer this question in their sleep. “I know. I know,” they might say. “She sits down and doesn’t get up from her computer until she writes 1,500 words.”
Well … I’ve slipped into being a sporadic writer. In fact, I have gone for months lately without writing one word, and I had two books on deadline, six contracted, and a dozen characters waiting for their stories to be told. I used to fret the not-writing time, but recently, I’ve allowed it to flow, and I’ve finished one book—All I Want for Christmas—and I’m working on a mystery novella that involves a Big Foot expedition. That one is a detour before I write the second book in the Serenity Key series. Currently, I’m in a writing time.
What I do during the writing time is not so much to sit my bottom down and write 1,500 words at a time. I have a daily agenda, and I do what I call “work around.” This agenda includes yard work, housework, editing as freelance and acquisition editor, preparing a Bible study that I record for the publisher I acquire for, and writing. Under writing, I place tasks like interviews, promotions, preparing my newsletter, and of course writing. I break my word count into 500 words each time I work around during the day to that category. And like eating the famous potato chip, what author can write only 500 words. Instead of 1,500 words per day, I generally end up with around 2,000.
6. Who is your favorite author and why?
I’m going to step away from my favorites of those that I know and love because I know and love many great authors in this business, including you. I have been taken to places and enjoyed characters from those authors for years.
Instead, I’m going to say that I have two all-time favorites. These two are unique from each other. The first is James A. Michener. I was introduced to him in a social studies class when the rest of the class was told to write a research paper on an individual of his or her choice, and the teacher looked at me and said, “You, I want to write a book report on James A. Michener’s Centennial.” Piece of cake, I thought until we trudged down to the library and I found the tome. I wasn’t above cheating in my high school days, so I read half the book, did a report, and aced that baby. After graduation, though, I got to thinking about the characters and wondering what had happened to them. I purchased the first edition. Then I purchased another book and another and another by Mr. Michener until I have a full collection of first editions. And, yes, I ran into that teacher recently, and we had a long discussion. I told him that I’d cheated on that report, but that he’d actually one because I’ve read all of Michener’s work.
Another author is John D. MacDonald but only for his Travis McGee series. Mr. MacDonald was steeped into the lifestyles of the fifties and sixties that took America on a downward trend. Those were gritty times and gritty stories that I don’t recommend. But Travis McGee, though connecting with those lifestyles as a stranger, has a knack for solving mysteries, and Mr. MacDonald brought the character to life. I have read the entire twenty-one book series, and I’ve actually been thinking of rereading them again soon.
7. Tell us about your Christmas novel to be released in November.
All I Want for Christmas is the second book in the Mullet Harbor series of Christmas novels that involve the residents of a small swamp town. This is Abigail Brewster and Sheriff Remy Arneaux’s story. They are to be the maid of honor and the best man for their best friends’ wedding, and Abigail had every reason to believe that Remy would invite her to be his date. After all, they seemed to be moving slowly in that direction. Instead, Remy invites someone else.
In the midst of that heartache, Abigail’s estranged sister returns to the harbor bringing with her a boatload of trouble and a crime syndicate set on using Abigail to get the town mayor’s attention and make him do their bidding. But the town syndicate has never met the likes of the quirky residents of Mullet Harbor who have always protected Abigail, and they also have no intention of letting the mayor’s only granddaughter’s wedding go sideways because of a group of murderous thugs.
As an aside, I have to say that Abigail and the denizens of Mullet Harbor have done a lot for lifting me up and allowing me to find my humor amidst all the troubles we’ve all seen in the last two years. June, you asked me at the beginning why I’m motivated to write, and I left this one out until now. I write because I like to share emotions with readers. All I Want for Christmas is ripe with emotions, but the best one is humor. My thoughts after this long season of agony and pain was that God has not lost His humor, and why should we, and I wrote this story as a gift of love and humor to my readers.
Mullet Harbor is planning a Christmas wedding and knee deep in the preparations, Abigail Brewster’s heart is broken when she learns that Remy Arneaux has invited someone else to the affair. With Mayor Herb Miller’s edict that nothing should mar this occasion for his only granddaughter, Abigail presses onward. Then her sister returns with trouble that endangers Abigail’s life.
Remy Arneaux wants nothing more than to escort Abigail to the wedding, but he’s made a promise he can’t break and one he can’t share. With Abigail’s trust slipping away, her sister’s return puts Abigail in a world of danger and pulls their relationship a world apart.
Trouble has come to the quiet sanctuary, but trouble has never met the likes of the quirky citizenry of Mullet Harbor.
All I Want for Christmas:
Fay Lamb is the only daughter of a rebel genius father and a hard-working, tow-the-line mom. She is not only a fifth-generation Floridian, she has lived her life in Titusville, where her grandmother was born in 1899. Since an early age, storytelling has been Fay’s greatest desire. She seeks to create memorable characters that touch her readers’ hearts. She says of her writing, “If I can’t laugh or cry at the words written on the pages of my manuscript, the story is not ready for the reader.” Fay writes in various genres, including romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary fiction.