Posted by: rcwriter | October 13, 2008

Featured Author Interview–Tina Ann Forkner


Hi beach readers!
I have special treat for you today. Tina Ann Forkner took some time to answer some questions. I had a great time getting to know her better.

Thanks, Tina for taking time for my readers.

Be sure to leave a comment to tell her, “thanks” yourself. This will enter you in a chance to win a copy of Ruby Among Us.

When did you first start writing, or when did you realize you had the gift of writing?

I can’t remember not wanting to be a writer. I have just never stopped writing.
Creating a first novel can be a daunting task. How long did you work on Ruby Among Us?

I worked on Ruby Among Us thirty to forty-five minutes a day for nine months before I received a writing contract. It’s true that writing a novel can be a daunting task, but since I was really writing that story for myself more than for publication, I didn’t feel overwhelmed at all.
Now that I’m published, writing under contract is a little more daunting because of pressure, deadlines, promotion work on the current book, etc. I just do whatever I can to get back to that “place” where I feel free to be myself and write my heart.
Have you written anything else, like short stories or articles?

For years I wrote short stories and silly little poems, which I tried to get published. A greeting card company accepted the poems, and then ultimately rejected them. I was crushed! But in college I started writing literary poetry and I still do that for myself.
I’ve also written a few essays and articles for my hometown newspaper, various websites and a magazine. I wouldn’t call myself widely published, but my favorite article was one I had the opportunity to write about Johnny Cash for the Gaithers’ Homecoming Magazine in 2007. What an amazing man he was. His life really inspires me.
I love generational novels. Watching how one’s decision affects their children and grandchildren. How much research was involved in this novel?

I’m embarrassed to say this, but no research. This novel was inspired by things I have experienced or seen happen to other people. I just try to listen and ask questions. Mainly, I had some questions about dealing with the single mom issue when I first started writing the novel. I was trying to work through those things.
While writing this novel, what did you enjoy the most about the writing process?

I enjoyed the act of writing itself. There is nothing more satisfying than to be able to get lost in a story with no boundaries, deadlines, or pressures. I think contracted or not, ever writer should always have a story that nobody is waiting on. That way, the writer can feel freedom to write and truly enjoy the process.
Every author leaves a bit of themselves in their work, how did your childhood and upbringing impact your novel?

Even though I lived in California and spent time in Sonoma Valley, I actually grew up in Northeastern Oklahoma in a very small town that had more churches than one could imagine would be in a town its size. Christianity was an integral part of our upbringing and woven into our daily lives. It wasn’t until I grew up and moved away that my faith was ever challenged. I ended up talking about that faith challenge in Ruby Among Us.
I ask all my authors this question, how do you incorporate worship into your writing?

Maybe I don’t understand the question, but for me worship is when I pray, sing (albeit badly), read my Bible or go to church. I think of writing as a gift from Him and I do meet with Him and seek His purpose in my writing, but for me, the act of writing itself isn’t worship.
I guess the act of writing is something I do, like my friends who play golf or my friend who quilts. This is a really good question because maybe all of our work and activities should be acts of worship, whether we are flipping burgers, mopping floors, handling corporate accounts, or being a parent.

RC NOTE: The only way to pray badly, is to not pray at all. God hears us in our own terms. 🙂

Balancing family time with a job can be difficult for mom,. How do you balance family and writing? (I’ve been known to take pen & paper, books, or my laptop to soccer practice.)

I see writing as a job, so I balance it like any working mother, except that I am blessed to have more flexibility because I work at home. My kids are all in grade school too, so that helps. I admire the moms who write with toddlers and homeschoolers. It’s a tough job!
Like you, I sometimes try to do some reading or writing when I am waiting for my kids during activities. For me, getting up and writing early in the mornings has always been the best time. It’s the only time I am guaranteed not to get interrupted.
Now a couple of fun questions, what do you like to do when you’re not writing, and what would you do if you didn’t write?

When I’m not writing I love to spend time outdoors with my family. Whether we are at the park throwing a football, camping, fishing, or anything at all, it’s great to be together as a family. When it’s cold, we have movie nights with popcorn & hot chocolate.
What’s up next & when can I read it?
My next novel, The Rose House, is set in La Rosaleda again, but this time is about sisters. It comes out in May 2009.

Thank you so much for the interview!!!

You can find out more about Tina at her website.

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Responses

  1. My favorite type of books are dramas that deal with family relationships, and I’ve wanted to read Tina’s ever since it came out. I’d also like to read the article she wrote about Johnny Cash, a long-time favorite of mine.

    Thanks so much for having this giveaway.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  2. Interesting interview! I always love hearing from the authors!

    Thanks Tina for letting us into your world!

    Sunny
    sj3girls(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. Great interview! Please enter me in for the drawing of A Ruby Among Us. Thanks!

  4. I liked the idea Tina had to just write a story with no pressures, on the side, just for the joy of it. It is true, whatever we do, we should do as unto the Lord. Perhaps that is how the writing can be done, bringing the gift of writing to Him with thanksgiving.
    It was great to get to meet Tina at the conference, every time I see her name now, I think of the “twins” picture I got of her and Michelle. Fun.
    Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks.
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms at yahoo dot com

  5. Wonderful interview! Would love to be entered in the drawing for this book.

  6. Thanks for the interview, ladies. Please count me in for the drawing. Thanks.

    Stacey

  7. I would love to be entered into the drawing for this book.

    Thanks,
    Stormi

  8. I would love to wina copy! Thanks for the interview!
    martha(at)lclink(dot)com

  9. Please enter me in your contest for A Ruby Among Us. I have wanted to read this book all summer, and haven’t had the chance. Now I could look forward to reading it curled up beside the fireplace with a warm mug of hot cocoa. 🙂 Thanks.

  10. great interview 🙂


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