Books, Conversation, and Insight from Bestselling Author Tia McCollors

***Contest following the interview. Be sure to enter.***

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Bestselling author Tia McCollors entices the taste buds of her readers with a sweet blend of faith and fiction in her inspirational novels. After leaving a 10-year career in public relations, Tia has emerged as a steadfast author of faith-based books. Her novels include The Last Woman Standing, A Heart of Devotion, Zora’s Cry, and The Truth About Love.

In addition to being a novelist, Tia is an inspirational speaker and instructor for writing workshops. She’s also a founding author with the Anointed Authors On Tour (AAOT), a group of bestselling authors of Christian fiction and nonfiction whose purpose is to spread the Gospel and promote literacy.

A native of Greensboro North Carolina, Tia now lives in the Atlanta Georgia area with her husband and children.

Your latest novel, The Last Woman Standing, has just come out and already the reviews have been fabulous. Can you begin by telling us what the book is about?TheLastWomanStanding_BookCover

Without giving away too much, the book is the story of what some people are calling a “love triangle,” but they definitely don’t mean that in the erotic sense.  Ace and Lynette Bowers have been divorced for four years but are now realizing that maybe their love never ended. They haven’t shared this fact with anyone, not even each other. Then there’s Sheila – who is Ace’s current girlfriend. She senses something is happening because something, or someone, is keeping Ace from the ultimate commitment of marriage. Sheila sets out to play the hand of God to make sure that she is the new Mrs. Ace Bowers. Okay, that’s all I can say!

As a fellow writer, I’m always interested in the creative methods of successful authors. When a story idea comes to you, is it usually in the form of a plot idea, an interesting character, a life-moment that you read about or see on television, or some other variation of these things?

I’ve experienced all of the above. Although I currently only have four books on the bookstore shelves, there are plenty more roaming around in my head, waiting for the chance to make it to the paper. As far as the plot of my books, I think they evolve from real-life experiences, people I see walking down the street, a news story on TV, or some heavenly creative inspiration! 🙂

Once you have a main character in mind, how do you determine the character’s facial and body features, and personality? Do you create a character sketch or do you piece the details together as you go?

I do a little of both. I usually start with a general picture in my mind and most of the time it’s their complexion, hair style, and body type. A lot of times I’ll see a random person in a magazine and think that the person looks a lot like one of my characters. If I’m really being on top of my game, I’ll cut out the picture and post it near my writing area.

These days I’m doing character sketches more because it’s extremely important that you know your characters. I have a character “profile” sheet that I’ve been using. One of my author mentors also suggested that an author complete a job application for their characters to learn more about them.

If you could chose one thing about the publishing industry that you could change what would it be?

Get back to me on that one!

What books and writing tools would you recommend because they helped you grow and develop as a writer?

There are quite a few, but I must say these are the top four I would suggest (not in a particular order):

The First Five Pages (Noah Lukeman)

Self Editing for Fiction Writers (Rennie Brown & Dave King)

On Writing (Stephen King)

Writing the Breakout Novel (Donald Maass)

Ideas and inspiration can roll through our minds at any time. Before you go, Tia, can you tell us about one of the funnier moments you had with a story idea that popped into your head?

Gosh, Sharon! I racked my brain on this and couldn’t think of one that I’d care to share! Why? Because my husband is always doing silly things and making crazy comments around the house that he wants me to put in a book. Let me just say they haven’t made it in a book yet. Some things are reserved the McCollors household only!

Now we come to the contest giveaway! Leave a comment for an entry into the drawing to win a signed copy of Tia’s latest novel, The Last Woman Standing. The contest starts today and ends on September 14, 2009. The winner will be announced on the 15th. Don’t be shy, take a few minutes to enter—who knows, you might just win!

 

 

 

Related Posts:

Talking About Writing with Author Claudia Mair Burney

Q&A with Author Stacy Hawkins Adams

Author Spotlight on Sherri Lewis

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11 Responses

  1. Okay Tia…great job of getting my curiosity going about what will happen in Last Woman Standing. I would love to win this book.

  2. It’s exiting to see the possibility of a divorce ending up in remarriage. WOuld love to see how this ends. Thanks for the give away.

  3. Susan and Linda, Tia sure knows how to entice a reader doesn’t she? I was at her book signing last weekend and she talked about how she came up with the idea of a divorced couple getting back to together. What I remember most is the hope found in the real life examples. What a great story premise.

  4. This novel looks great. I’d love to be entered in your draw.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. Thanks for the creative process questions and answers. It is always interesting and encouraging to hear how stories come to others. I also appreciate the book recommendations, some of those are new to me. Thanks for the supporting Tia by allowing us a chance to win her book!

  6. I think that it’s just awesome that Christian authors (like y’all) are writing books like this that are real and engaging. I think that it really can be a ministry tool!

    Let me give an example: about a month ago, I got stuck at a chain bookstore for a couple of hours (while my family had my car at the mall). No problem. I grabbed a stack of books and headed for a soft chair. After a while, a young black girl in her late teens/early twenties, sat next to me. I glanced in her lap and noticed that EVERY SINGLE BOOK that she had was by an African-American author. They were all mainstream. And they were all fictional books about somebody-stole-somebody-else’s-man. So, when she struck up a conversation with me, I was able to walk her BACK to the Christian section and say, “I saw what you were reading and I think you’ll LOVE this book, by this author.” I didn’t slam her taste. I just gently nudged her toward something that was of a more life-giving nature.

  7. Great interview, Sharon & Tia!

    I’d love to read this book. Please enter me in the contest. 🙂

    Blessings,
    Susan

  8. Hi Wanda,

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and entering the contest. I just bought Tia’s book at her book reception last weekend and I can’t wait to read it. 🙂

    Blessings,

    Sharon

  9. Lyndie, I’m just like you in that I too get encouraged when I read the stories of others. Tia is such an amazing woman and I’m so glad that I got to know her a little better through this interview.

    Blessings and thank you visiting my blog,

    Sharon

  10. Sarah, I’m so glad you showed that young girl another option. At least now there is the hope that she’ll read a great story with redeeming value. Who knows…if she doesn’t already know Jesus Christ maybe she’ll find him somewhere among the characters in the story you shared with her.

  11. Hi Susan,

    I gotcha covered. Consider yourself entered, my dear. 🙂

    Blessings,

    Sharon

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