Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Interview with Author Delia Latham
Delia Latham is a born-and-bred California gal, recently transplanted to Oklahoma with her husband Johnny. She's a Christian wife, mother, grandmother (uhh ... make that Nanny!), sister and friend. Most importantly, she's a child of the King and an heir to the throne! Her Women's Fiction novel, Goldeneyes, was released in March 2008 by Vintage Romance Publishing.
Delia recently interviewed with Lisa.
Delia, welcome to Favorite PASTimes! What can you tell us about yourself and your road to publication in a couple of paragraphs?
I'm a small-town girl, raised in a little farming community in California. Books were my pastime growing up - almost exclusively, along with attending church and church functions. Almost from the time I could hold a pencil, I've been writing something: poems, little stories, articles, news items, songs - you name it. Writing a novel was just the natural culmination of a lifelong love of stringing words together. I'm grateful and honored that Vintage Romance Publishing liked Goldeneyes and made my dream of being a published author a reality.
You’ve been a journalist, written magazine articles and greeting cards. What have you discovered about the differences between publishing in the non-fiction and the fiction world?
An absolute world of difference! I love that I can bend characters and situations and settings to fit my own idealistic resolutions. It's a chance to bring about the happy endings I longed for while writing articles - especially news articles. Still, I'm extremely grateful for my experience in the world of journalism, which taught me so much about "writing tight."
How did you come up with a voice that’s unique to Delia Latham?
I hope I have done that. It's one of the hardest things for a writer to do because we all develop our writing styles based on those of authors we most admire. The tendency and the temptation is to copycat their voices instead of using our own. But I think it helps to write from the heart, and not be overly worried about the craft of writing - at least while putting the story together. After it is written, there'll be time enough to worry about technique, syntax, rights and wrongs, and do's and don'ts. The most important thing is to get the words out of my mind and into a manuscript. What comes from my heart will be my voice. I have to keep that in mind during the editing process, so that I don't change my unique voice and turn it into a poor impersonation of Francine Rivers, or some other author I like a lot.
Research and attention to detail make or break the historical novel. Share with us your best strategies for research and fact-checking. Have you caught yourself up on any unusual details or fantastic sources material that you’d like to share?
I love being able to do most of my research online. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in libraries - couldn't afford to buy all the books I wanted to read, so the librarian was my best friend. As I began writing as a profession, I was forced to go there for research material, but I have to confess I hated it! Somehow, using a location which had afforded me so many hours of pure pleasure as a professional tool just took away the joy of going there. I know that probably sounds ridiculous, but it's true. So I readily admit to being an internet researcher, almost 100 percent. There are veritable treasure troves of knowledge on the web. Wikipedia is a tremendous source of easy information, usually my first stop in the informational scavenger hunt.
Did you learn anything about the era you’ve researched that have surprised you?
My historical barely fits the genre. Part 1 is set in 1936, and Part 2 in 1959, so it's very recent history. I discovered a bit about differences in slang terms used then and now, but really, nothing mind boggling.
What’s it like, writing “clean, homespun Christian romance” for a not-exclusively inspirational publisher?
Tune in tomorrow for the answer!
And don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing to win a copy of Delia's book Goldeneyes! Winner must be within the United States.