“I write because I must – the characters in my head simply will not be quiet until I have let them have their say on the page.
I was an avid reader as a child, and throughout high school. I would constantly remind my parents when they would find me awake at one a.m. that I could have been doing far worse things in the middle of the night than reading. This did not save me from being forced to put the books down and go to bed. And if I am fortunate enough to tell a story that keeps someone awake at night because they must finish the book, then I will be thrilled.”
Denice Christensen is an Oklahoma native, and lives in the small town where she grew up. As a single mom with three kids, she feels like her life is a comedy most of the time, so writing romantic comedy makes sense to her. In between being a small business owner, a writer, and a mom, occasionally she finds time to sleep. Rhinestone Cowgirl is her debut novel.
“I write because I believe in the power of story to connect us with the heart of God. He’s constantly showing me new things about the depth of His love for me, and teaching me how to love others well, so I want to write stories that reflect those themes. Inspy romance is my favorite because I love a Happily-Ever-After. There’s just something special about two people finding true, lasting love. And when you can see God’s hand in bringing them together, it makes it even sweeter. Personally, my real-life romance with my husband is the clearest picture of God’s grace in my everyday life, so I hope to write stories to reflect that, and to help us all discover and embrace the grace He’s poured into our lives, whether it’s in our marriages, our friendships, or our families.”
Susan Crawford is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of the Oklahoma City ACFW chapter, and a team member of My Book Therapy. She was named a finalist in the 2014 Genesis writing contest and lives in Oklahoma City, where she happily crams writing in between being a wife, mom, and small business owner.
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“I write to see where a story will lead me. I’ve always had interesting characters or situations come to me unannounced, sometimes full blown, sometimes just shadows and glimpses. But when these story-seeds arrive on the scene, I can’t ignore them.
As a kid, I explored these ideas through endless games of make believe with my siblings and neighborhood friends. As I grew, I began to scribble down fun, outlandish, quirky stories, letting the characters take me wherever they would. I did this just for myself, never sharing the results. But finally, after I was married and raising a family of my own, I felt a prodding from somewhere deep inside to take my ‘hobby’ to the next level. It took me a year and a half to finish that first attempt at a novel, but it was oh so satisfying. And I’ve never looked back…”
Winnie Griggs is the multi-published, award winning author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She enjoys cooking, browsing estate sales, and solving puzzles. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and exotic teas, and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination. Winnie loves to hear from readers – you can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“I love writing romance. True and lasting love here on earth is such a beautiful representation of Christ’s love for the church. In this fallen world where we’re bombarded with bad news in the media, I want my stories of romance to bring a little delight and inspiration into our lives and remind us all just how much we’re loved by our Heavenly Father. And I hope people have as much fun reading my stories as I have writing them.”
Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and two young sons who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
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“There were two things I loved as a young girl: reading and horses. I grew up watching cowboy shows with my dad and fell in love with cowboys too. I never once considered writing a book, but God had other plans for me. (Jeremiah 29:11) He started bringing me ideas for stories, and to get them out of my head, I began writing them down. Long story short, I now write books about cowboys, ranchers, and others living in the Old West. I’ve even been known to write a contemporary now and then. Don’t be afraid to follow God’s leading even when He’s asking you to step way out of your comfort zone. His plan for your life is far greater than the dream you can dream for yourself.”
Bestselling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams penning romance stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie is an award-winning author of 40 published books and novellas. Her novels include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and End of the Trail, which was the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Book winner, and Song of the Prairie, which won the 2015 Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Vickie and her husband live in Oklahoma.
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“I love telling stories. I love the fact that stories model what being a Christian–or a bad guy–is like. Rather than telling people how to think on a subject, a novel shows the ramification of choices. After all, real life is a series of choices and consequences. I also love that through my stories I can talk to many people I will never be privileged to meet. I can share an experience with them, a visit to a favorite location like Seaside with them, talk about a deep issue with them. Most importantly we can think about the things of God together.”
Gayle Roper has been in love with story for as long as she can remember whether reading one or writing one. She began her writing career when she wanted to be a SAHM for her two sons. She sold her first short story to a teen magazine for $10. The road to fame and glory awaited. Since then she’s written some 50 books both fiction and non-fiction, adult and children’s. All have been written from a strong Christian world view. She considers herself a novelist and teacher of writing. A three-time Christy Award finalist, Gayle has also won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award twice, the Carol Award, the RITA Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and 3 Holt Medallions. Her nonfiction title, A Widow’s Journey: Reflections on Walking Alone, won the Golden Scroll Award for the best nonfiction book of 2015.
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Camy Tang, writing as Camille Elliott
“I’ve always enjoyed stories—reading them, watching them in a movie or TV series, and finally writing them. I don’t think I could not tell stories, whether it’s writing books or drawing a picture or singing a song. I feel like God puts these stories in me and wants me to let them out. I want Him to use these stories how He wants to, in order to accomplish whatever He has in mind. I’m just along for the ride, and it’s been superfun so far!”
Camy writes Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance under her pen name, Camille Elliot. She grew up in Hawaii but now lives in northern California with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She’s a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of her church’s Sunday worship teams. She also loves to knit, spin wool into yarn, and is training to (very slowly) run a marathon. Visit her websites at http://www.camytang.com/ and http://www.camilleelliot.com/ to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.
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“I write because my imagination makes me… and because I love to type the words “Happily Ever After.”
Pamela Tracy is a USA Today award-winning author who lives with her husband (He claims to be the inspiration for most of her heroes) and son (He claims to be the interference for most of her writing time). While earning a BA in Journalism at Texas Tech University, she wrote a very bad science fiction novel and then decided to write what she read: romance. First published in 1999 , Pamela has since published twenty-six books. Her suspense novels have garnered her an American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol award and a RITA finalist.
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“As a history teacher and museum junkie, I am enthralled by the past, by the courage and tenacity and fight our forebears showed in creating this amazing country in which we live. As a born romantic, I fall in love with fictional characters, living their triumphs and tragedies through the wonder of story. I want to be able to share my love of history and romance and hopefully bring some light and life to the world around me.”
Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.
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Blog: Coffe Cups & Camisoles
“I have been in love with Story since I was a child. I daydreamed alternate endings to cartoon episodes. I read—voraciously—every chapter book in our small-town library by age 11, then graduated to the adult section. I do not remember a time when I didn’t have characters rattling around inside my head. As I got older, the stories that resonated most with me were romances, especially those in which either the hero or heroine made an extreme sacrifice for the other person. I think it’s because these stories are an echo of what Jesus sacrificed for us. That’s what I hope to show others, in some small way, through my fiction: that ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ (John 15:13)”
Lacy writes historical and contemporary fiction. Mostly about cowboys and the women who tame them. Her books have finaled in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards (2012, 2013, & 2014), the Golden Quill and the Booksellers Best Award. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and Novelists Inc.
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“I love writing romantic heartwarming stories full of love and faith and I enjoy suspenseful stories full of action. I want my readers to escape with a good story that is part fairy tale and part reality, woven with faith, hope and love.”
Lenora Worth writes award-winning romance and romantic suspense for Love Inspired and also writes for Tule, Zondervan and Redbud Press. Three of her books finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards and her Love Inspired Suspense Body of Evidence became a NY Times bestseller. Her novella in Mistletoe Kisses, along with several other writers, also made her a USA Today bestselling author. With sixty books published and millions of books in print, she goes on adventures with her retired husband, Don, and enjoys reading, baking and shopping…especially shoe shopping.
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“I write because I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories in my head. I love the creative process of actually seeing those stories into print, and I especially love hearing from readers whose hearts have been touched by something I have written.”
Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than fifty novels with almost two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and several Top Picks by Romantic Times magazine. Kathleen is a proud military wife and an expatriate Texan cheering on her beloved Texas Aggies from north of the Red River. Find out more about Kathleen or connect with her through social media at www.kathleenybarbo.com.
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