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Welcome, Donna Fawcett! Tell us, How did you get your start as an author?

It began in high school when an English teacher told me that if I did nothing else in life, I should write. I shrugged that off until I was in the midst of raising my children. I wrote a story about our dog who rescued our daughter. It was published. I didn’t know that this was unusual. I sent a few other stories out and they, too, were published. As the empty nest loomed, I took university courses in writing. I highly recommend anyone wanting to write to get a formal education first.

Why is that?

Too many raw writers submit their stories before they are ready. They make many mistakes and end up blowing their chances of being published. It could have easily gone that way for me but God really wanted me in this industry so he walked me through those first years.

If you could give one piece of advice what would it be?

Shut down emotion when it is time to submit to an editor. Too many writers ruin opportunities because they are too in love with their writing. Yes, there are times when editors go too far but for the most part, they know the market, they know their readers and they know what will sell. I draw the line when the writing no longer sounds like my writing or when I am asked to compromise my beliefs.

What is the key to getting known?

There are two keys to becoming a known author. I’m still working at both of them. One is exposure. Get involved in writing guilds but also get involved in volunteer organizations. People want to read your work if they know you. Speak at events. The second is patience. There are a handful of one-shot wonders out there but they are rare. Most writers become known because they are patient. They work at it continually.

What is the underlying purpose for your writing?

I ultimately want to bring glory to God. There are so many amazing things in the Bible that, when God reveals them to me, I just want to write about. I have seen (and done it myself once) writers compromise their faith in small increments in hopes that they will catch the attention of the masses. Trust me. If God wants our writing out there, He will put it there. If he has one person in mind who will come to faith in Jesus through my writing, that is enough. My gift belongs to him in whatever way he desires to use it.

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Thank you for joining us Donna! If you want to learn more about Donna Fawcett’s books or purchase them, you can find them below:

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Sandra Orchard is the author of ‘A Fool & His Monet‘.

Welcome Sandra Orchard,  Tell us what inspired you to write a series about art crime, do you have a personal passion for art?

The inspiration for the series began with a newspaper article about Alain Lacoursière, a Montreal police detective who founded one of the top art-theft units in the world. The FBI estimates that the international black market in art is worth about $6-billion a year and it is now believed to be the second biggest source of income for at least one terrorist group. Sounded like great fodder for a story! I scoured the Internet for more articles. I read countless books on art crime, including the biography of an art thief and the biography of the founder of FBI’s Art Crime Team. And more recently, I’ve registered for an online course on antiquities trafficking—the topic of the third book in the series—with the University of Glasgow.

I wouldn’t say I have a passion for art per se. But I’ve found the research into art crimes fascinating and have developed a much deeper appreciation for art’s value to society.

The second book of the series, Another Day, Another Dali, comes out next year. Can you give your readers any insight?

Another Day, Another Dali delves into the world of art forgery. Fakes can be more easily detected than ever thanks to modern technology, yet many paintings on museum walls or sold at auctions, let alone those sold by smaller dealers, are likely forgeries. It was fascinating to learn some tricks of the trade during my research for this book and great fun to incorporate them into the story. On the character front, this story shares more insight into what drives Serena’s determination to find her grandfather’s killer, and ramps up the growing romantic tension between Serena and the two very different men in her life.

Does this series need to be read in order?

No, each book is a standalone mystery that will be completely tied up by the end of the story. There are of course many continuing characters that readers will get to know better as the series progresses and whose interrelationships will change over the course of the series. I’m even inviting readers to vote for which man they’d like to see Serena eventually end up with.

You have received many awards throughout your writing career, which one are you most proud of?

The 2012 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Critical Condition for two reasons. The award is not one authors enter so my novel was up against all other 47 Love Inspired Suspense published that year. Secondly, the novel is very close to my heart, because it is a tribute to a dear writing friend who inspired the story, and died while I was writing it, and to her husband who’d stood by her side through the two decades they battled the disease.

Are your books only for Christian readers?

No. My heroes and heroines are believers, so their perspectives on and reactions to what happens in the stories, of course, reflect that, but the stories are not message-driven. Many of my readers simply appreciate them as fast-paced, entertaining, “clean” reads, free of course language, graphic violence and sensuality.

It took an unfortunate circumstance (blowing a disc in your back) to bring you down the professional writing path. What advice would you give to those who are putting off their desire to write?

Get started. Exploit opportunities to write and to learn. You’d be surprised how much you could have written by the end of the week, simply by snatching moments here and there—while waiting in the doctor’s office, while the children are napping or at music lessons, for a few minutes before bed, or on your lunch break. And read books on writing craft. Understanding the basics about how to show not tell and stay in one point of view and how to write actively, not passively, and about story structure, will save a lot of rewriting later. Join a writers’ group. Attend workshops. Read the kind of books you’d like to write, but don’t be in a rush to be published. Enjoy the journey.

Your husband was the one to suggest that you start writing novels. What is he saying now?

He is incredibly supportive. He actually made the suggestion in the misguided hope that I would bring less books into the house, as they were piling up. Now…we have more around than ever, but it’s fun to see my name on them.

What do you do in your spare time? (Because authors have so much of that!)

I play with my young grandchildren. I also enjoy hikes with my hubby and renovating. Before I started writing, I used to sew and knit and cross-stitch and paint in my spare time, but now I do too much sitting. I need to move.

Thank you so much Sandra, If you would like to know more about Sandra Orchard’s books or purchase them, you can find them below:

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