Derinda Babcock writes to entertain and inspire. Her readers encourage her to continue providing hard-to-put-down novels.
Dodging Destinyby Derinda BabcockPublish: Jul 29, 2018Series: Destiny TrilogyHistorical Romance Time Travel Romance Christian Fiction
In Search of Destiny (Destiny Trilogy Book 2)by Derinda BabcockPublish: Oct 25, 2019Historical Romance Romance Western Romance Historical Fiction Christian Fiction Teen & Young Adult more»
Following Destiny (Destiny Series) (Volume 3)by Derinda BabcockSeries: Destiny TrilogyTime Travel Romance Christian Fiction
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Colorado Treasure (Treasures of the Heart Book 1)by Derinda BabcockPublish: Jun 07, 2019Series: Treasures of the HeartHistorical Romance Christian Fiction
I grew up in northwestern New Mexico not far from the Colorado border. I have many favorite childhood memories, but one of the best is when I put ice down my dad's back while he sat at the dining room table. My plan was to run outside and climb the big cottonwood tree in the front yard if he decided to give chase. As a preteen, I labored under faulty assumptions. I did not believe a man in his late thirties, though ex-military, could ever catch someone as agile at climbing that cottonwood tree as I. My heart raced as I ran toward the front door and the thumping picked up speed when I heard the chair legs scrape on the vinyl floor. The sound of his footsteps and heavy breathing urged me up the tree faster than I'd ever climbed. I looked toward the ground from where I rested in a forked branch. To my chagrin, Dad had no trouble coming up the tree after me. I was too afraid to climb higher, so I started squealing and laughing and saying, "Dad, no!" He didn't listen. He hauled me out of the tree and turned a hose-full of cold water down my back.What made you decide to write historical romance, and not any other genre?
Though Colorado Treasure and the other two books in the Treasures of the Heart trilogy are historical romances, the books in my Destiny trilogy, Dodging Destiny, In Search of Destiny, and Following Destiny are classified as fantasies because of a time-travel element. I'm working on a medieval fantasy trilogy and a contemporary novella series, so I write across genres.What were some of your inhibitions and fears while publishing your first book?
The biggest concern I had, given my busy schedule, was deadlines. Could I complete the other books in the trilogy in a reasonable time after the first book was published? I still dread deadlines, so I plan and write in advance so I don't feel rushed.What was the reaction of your family when you decided to write a book? What was the acting force that pushed you to write?
My family was supportive. They had confidence I could handle the career change from being a teacher for twenty-five years to starting over as a writer. Their responses now are always, "Did you write more? When will the next book be released?" A literary agent contracted with me a few years before I retired, so I was writing as well as teaching. Toward the end of my teaching career, I realized writing novels was much more entertaining than writing lesson plans, so I made the switch.What is the most important thing to remember while writing a series? How do you tie the stories together?
For me, research and planning skills are invaluable. Though I may be writing a historical romance, I (and my readers) expect the historical aspects of the story to be accurate even though the work is fiction. For the Treasures of the Heart series, I know the books will span late 1894 - the end of World War 1. I research and plan accordingly. I also make sure my characters don't act outside the parameters of their personalities. Though they will grow and change through the series, they won't suddenly become a person who thinks and acts out of character.What sort of significance does the title "When the Morning Comes" hold? How important do you think a book title and cover is?
"When the Morning Comes" reminds me of the last part of Psalm chapter 30 verse 5: "... Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." I would expect a book with this title to be one of hope after a time of darkness or pain, just as the verse in Psalms is for Christians. How well book titles and book covers interact with each other is a key factor in whether I'll choose to investigate the title further. If I have to guess at the genre or content, I probably won't turn to the back cover or click on the "Look Inside" option. I appreciate when cover designers design for the targeted audience.Who is your all-time favorite character from "In Search of Destiny"? What inspired you to write this character?
Most of the characters in the first part of In Search of Destiny were those readers met in Dodging Destiny. Lexie Logan is the main character in Dodging Destiny and Following Destiny and, though she isn't physically present in In Search of Destiny, the impact she had on those she left behind keeps her presence alive. She would be my first choice, but I'm partial to Jonathan, the rough-edged Johnson brother who fought for the South during the Civil War, though his younger brother Jesse fought for the North. I needed Jonathan to act as a foil for Lexie and as a way to integrate the thinking of the time period.Where do you find the models for your book covers? What are some things you look for when choosing the best cover for your book?
I use stock photos or pay for photoshoots and then composite the images in Photoshop. The desaturated images on some of the left-hand pages in Colorado Treasure were taken at a photoshoot. I look for eye-catching images that speak to my sense of story and good design principles, how much space is available for typography, orientation--if horizontal, I'll have to build background, and contrast.Do you think you were born in the right era? Which is your favorite era in time?
Yes, I was born in the right era, though I enjoy traveling to other eras via the internet and library research. I'm thoroughly enjoying learning about medieval times as I write a new fantasy series, but I also enjoy researching the nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, so I can't say I have a favorite.Describe being an author in five words. Challenging, enjoyable, satisfying, creativity, inspiring. What are some things you love and hate about the job?
I love being able to work from home and set my own time schedule. I could not do this as a teacher. I love the challenge of creating stories that entertain and inspire readers and then hearing from these readers when one of my stories touches them. I enjoy working with editors, publishers, and my audience of readers. The downside of writing for most of the authors I know is the income generated from book sales does not match the enormous amount of time, energy, and effort they've invested in their writing. Most have to keep their day jobs or have another source of income.What are the challenges you face when writing from perspectives of people that are different from you? Like children, or people of different genders?
The biggest challenge is to ensure the characters' speech and vocabulary usage is authentic to their age, cultural/ethnic background, or situation. For twenty-five years, I listened to and interacted with learners from all over the world whose heart language was not English. I paid close attention to their sentence construction when they were first learning to function in English and then after they'd gained conversational fluency, I was fascinated to observe when they chose to codeswitch--to substitute words they knew equally well in either language--when they conversed with me or others. I try to incorporate this rhythm and sound when my characters with different linguistic or cultural backgrounds speak. In Colorado Treasure, readers are introduced to a Spanish speaker and to Tim, a deaf boy. The dilemma I had with Tim's character is how to make his signs understandable to English speakers who may have no exposure to American Sign Language. Should I smooth out some of the structure for easier reading, or should I keep the signs authentic? I decided to keep Tim's speech "authentic," to the best of my knowledge, so readers will get a feel for how a language formed with the hands might sound if translated directly into English.Can you tell us about the kind of research that goes into writing a historically sound book?
For me, research takes more time than writing. My library contains several resource books organized by time periods and content. I'll do both internet and library research to make sure my facts are correct, then I decide which historical elements will help move my plot along. Though readers of historical novels understand they are reading fiction, they expect the historical aspects to be as accurate as possible. Research for In Search of Destiny was extensive. In the second part of the story, the characters travel the Oregon Trail in 1858. To make this section of the story accurate, I read several primary source diaries from both men and women who traveled the trail during this time period. I created a spreadsheet and color-coded information from each diary. I noted anything the travelers wrote about vegetation, animals, tribal members they encountered, road conditions, forts, and interesting incidents that happened and then tried to organize this in a way that moved my plot along and might be entertaining to read. The third part took the most research. I needed a Union doctor and two brothers (Union and Confederate) who left at different times to fight to be on the same battlefield at the same time. I researched Civil War generals and battles until my eyes blurred. Finally, the information came together. Part three also deals with travel on the Oregon Trail after the war. Many things had changed, so I read more diaries from people who traveled during this time.What advice do you have for any budding writers out there?
Expect to work hard: researching, writing, editing, editing, editing, and marketing, are not skills we've been born with. Develop a thick skin and a lot of patience. Don't stagnate--continue to grow your skills. No writer I know has ever "arrived."What is the title of the next book you are working on? What is it about?
Trouble In Texas, Book 2 in the Treasures of the Heart Trilogy is half-way written and is set to release 6 - 9 months after the second edition release of In Search of Destiny in November. This continues Victoria Silverthorne Morales's adventures when she returns to Texas. The setting is Amarillo, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, 1895 - just before World War 1 (1914). Book 3, The Prodigal Returns, is in the planning and research stage and will wrap up this trilogy. The setting is Texas, Colorado, and Europe. I'm also working on the A Tale of Three Kingdoms trilogy. Book One, The Jindentors, is almost finished. I've written almost ten chapters in Book Two, The Vindorans, and I'm planning Book Three, The Binromese, as I work on the other projects.What do you think of your experience with AllAuthor so far? Got any suggestions on how we could improve?
So far, so good. Thanks. No suggestions at this time.
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