Tiffany Colter’s interview

» Posted on Aug 4, 2009 in Blog | 8 comments


This week I’m hosting Tiffany Colter who will give away 3 months of Writing Career Coaching [a $90 value] with the corresponding e-workbook [a $35 value] and Renee Ryan with Hannah’s Beau. If you want to enter the drawing for the book, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (Aug 9th) evening.

Tiffany Colter’s interview:

1.What made you start writing?
All I’ve ever wanted to be is a writer. One day when I was in 2nd grade I was sad and so I sat in class and wrote a story about a sad string. Ever since I’ve only wanted to write. When I was 10 years old and most kids were reading “Teen Bop” or something like that, I was reading Writer’s Digest from cover to cover.

2.How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I have been writing full time for 7 ½ years. My first sale [for pay] was to today’s Christian followed a week later by a sale to Charisma magazine. I have been writing for magazines, journals, ezines for about 6 years now. I’m still working to sell my 1st book. My manuscript A Face in the Shadow [the third full MS I wrote] won the 2007 Daphne du Maurier award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense in its division. That was a huge thrill.

3.How do you handle rejections?
Better than I used to. I try to keep myself so busy with projects—articles, speaking and books—that I always have something going on. That makes the blow of rejection far less painful. I no longer watch the mailbox. But it still hurts. So, I cry for a minute or two [on book rejections] and then try to write something else. I’m always writing. I love it. When I’m sad, I write. When I’m happy, I write. When I’m angry, I record the physiological reaction my body goes through [that means, I write].

4.Why do you write?
Because I don’t know what else to do. I constantly have fiction and non-fiction running through my head. My car always has a book on tape/CD [or two or three] in the passenger seat. I just got home from my weekly trip to the library tonight and I came home with 4 books on tape and 3 movies. I have a book on my nightstand. If my body could physically resist sleep and food I would be writing. Most nights I write until 1am or 2am then go to bed and read a few chapters of a novel. Then when I get up in the morning I push the “play” button on my CD player and listen to books as I make breakfast. Once I’ve done that, I start writing.

5.What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
Reading, hanging outside with my kids, watching my chickens [we have 51 laying hens and they are HYSTERICAL to watch] or—if I had unlimited resources—taking my kids around the world. [I’m trilingual and love to travel and explore other countries.]

6.What are you working on right now?
At this moment I have 2 articles on assignment, one on speculation, a few blogs, Examiner.com articles, editing projects for my clients, coaching lessons that I’m grading [from Writing Career Coach], Three novels [1 with a coauthor] a non-fiction book and a website for what I hope will be a second non-fiction book in the near future. I am also working on more lessons for my Writing Career Coach program and 3 webinars I will be teaching soon. [That doesn’t count my speaking work.]

7.Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
I think every author explores a piece of their life when creating stories. Whether it was a childhood fear, a “What-if” when you were nearly in an accident or working through a part of yourself, our books are shaped by our experiences. I have some of my ideas in my characters, but when I write a story I tend to explore the idea of “What if I had chosen another path?” I write suspense [and RS] so many of my books are pulled from some of my deepest fears. In that way, yes, I put myself in them. If you are wondering if “Tiffany” is thinly veiled in a heroine-no.

8.Tell us about the book you have out right now.
Right now I have the Balanced Life which is a website that was born out of the financial struggle our family just emerged from. We adopted a special needs child in April 2005 which required a huge financial investment. Exactly 7 months later my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We had 4 kids [2,4,5, 7] at that time. He was our sole income and he was [and is] my BEST friend. We learned a great deal about our attitudes towards money [and how to live on nothing] during that time. So many people are living NOW with the uncertainty we lived with then. The Balanced Life is where I am offering what I learned [FREE] to help.

9.Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up. Never give yourself an excuse to give up. Never believe that “some got it, some don’t” because your success will be based on your level of commitment and your teachability. Many writers never grow because they want to spend the time telling everyone what they know. I am such a good coach because I spend every possible hour learning from people.

10.How important is faith in your books?
I want my faith in my books to model my faith in my life. I want people to see it in my life without me giving a 3 part sermon and an altar call. When my husband [who was 29]was diagnosed with cancer I trusted God. When we looked like we were going to lose our house because of the income Cancer took from me-I got mad. I struggle with things like everyone else. My characters will struggle with things. Paul said, “Why do I keep doing all the things I don’t want to do but I don’t do the things I WANT to do.” My characters battle with that. It may not be faith, it may be their temper or materialism.

When someone finishes my book I want them to feel like there IS hope in the midst of any situation. There is never a dark too dark for the light of God to shine in. THAT is what I want people to see. In my books, and in my life.

11.What themes do you like to write about?
I write about people who are struggling with outside dangers and inside turmoil simultaneously. I want people to be brought to the end of themselves and then come out better on the other side. That is the message of the gospel.

12.What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
A Face in the Shadow [which I offer FREE in its entirety at http://tiffanycolter.blogspot.com]. It is my favorite because that was the first book I really allowed myself to run with a character. It isn’t the best book I’ve written [although it did win the Daphne], but it is one that allowed me to experiment with characters, plots, structure of the story. It was like my doodle pad. It also was my “transition” book. I finally accepted the idea that I was a suspense writer and I allowed myself to really hurt my characters.

13.What is your writing schedule like?
I’m a homeschool mom so it varies. Since my husband is a paramedic in the local hospital he works a rotating schedule. That means I don’t only work M-F, I work many Saturdays.
8-8:30 Get up. Turn on computer in my office.
8:30-9:00 Breakfast while listening to book on tape.
9:00-9:30 Clean email box. Look over day’s schedule.
10am-4pm Office work: Edits for clients, reply to coaching emails, write blogs/articles, send blogs/articles to my asst to be posted, outline stories, phone calls for speakers’ bureau, some fiction writing.
4:00-6:00 time with kids, make supper, errands.
6:00-8:00pm Go to library with kids [every Monday], Thursday is family day. Other days do something else with family.
8pm-9pm Get kids to bed
9pm-midnight Office work [finish what I didn’t do before, reply to emails, work on novels]
Midnight to 1am Watch TV with hubby or read.
1am-2am Fall asleep some time in there.

8 Comments

  1. Nice interview. I recently looked up Tiffany because she comes very highly recommended from one of my writer friends, Jody, for her coaching abilities. I'm not sure what a writing coach does, differently than a professional editor but it would be interesting to find out.

  2. Patricia,

    Thanks so much for reading this blog and checking me out.

    I coined the term "Writing Career Coach" [At least I couldn't find it anywhere when I set up my business]. What I do differently than an editor is I also talk about ways to market your writing, set up your writing business, think long term.

    In my coaching program I really teach about turning your writing in to a business. You can't have a writing plan of "sell a book, sell another book, sell a third book". You need to look at how different things will all build in to your writing dream-and your financial goals.

    Thanks so much for reading this blog posting. And tell Jody I said Hi. =)

    Tiff

  3. I am so excited about this! I really enjoy reading every excerpt of Tiffany's story when it arrives in my email. Please enter me.
    Love and prayers Melody
    msproule1225at gmail.com

  4. nice interview, since I am not a writter but a reader I don't need to be entered intot he contest for the writing career coach, but would love to win the book

    mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

  5. A writer I'm not. But it's a great gift you are giving to those who do. If the writing coaching includes writing good reviews, that I would be interested in. If so, please enter me. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  6. Great interview. I've visited your website a couple times and like what I've read. I'm amazed at how similar we are, though Tiffany is much younger! But I've only just reached the point of "just get over it" with rejection and haven't yet begun to treat writing as a true career (I don't necessarily write everyday).

    Question about your schedule – you said you homeschool. When do you do that?

    Best wishes with your writing & prayers for you & your family,

    Tammy
    tdinishowen at charter dot net

  7. Thanks for all of your great comments.

    Lilac Grandma, I'm so glad you enjoyed my interview.

    Edna and Linda, thanks for stopping by. Even though you're readers and not writers I hope you enjoyed the interview.

    Tammy, you asked how I homeschool. I use a curriculum used in many private schools. My husband works 3 twelve hour shifts a week in the hospital. I plan my writing time around him. He also helps homeschool the kids using the curriculum. I also write while the kids are doing seat work, in the evenings and in the mornings. Since two of my kids are older [4th and 6th] it is much easier than it used to be. A great deal of their learning is done through reading.

  8. I thought about homeschooling, but I don't think I have the personal discipline to make sure my kids do their work everyday. I tend to get immersed in my own job! For me, writing is almost all done after they've gone to bed. But I just can't do 2 a.m. anymore 😀

    (P.S. the deleted comment from "weebighag" was mine. Google got my identity mixed up with my daughter!)

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