JO: Delia, glad to have you with us. Please tell us a bit about who you are outside of the writing field.
DELIA: I'm a born-and-bred California gal, transplanted to Oklahoma at age 50. Talk about your change of life! My husband and I moved here in 2008, after he was medically retired (with COPD) and needed to get out of the San Joaquin Valley in California, with its sadly tarnished air. I am fortunate to be able to write full time--a new thing for me, and I'm loving it!
JO: The Solomon's Gate Series sounds intriguing, with the whole dating agency concept. Is your new release, Kylie's Kiss, a part of that series? Share a bit about Solomon's Gate.
DELIA: Solomon's Gate is a set of three books, based around a Christian dating agency of the same name. The introductory novel, Destiny's Dream, focuses on Destiny May, who founds a Christian dating agency in a mid-sized, conservative California town. The two follow-up novels involve a couple of Destiny's "Seekers," which is her name for the people who come to her seeking a soul mate.
Kylie's Kiss, book two in the series, released April 29, 2011. I'm excited about this book, and the true-to-life issues in the storyline. Here's a blurb:
On a dare, Kylie Matthews lands smack in the middle of Solomon's Gate--Castle Creek's new Christian dating agency--and she finds herself revealing exactly what she's waiting for in a relationship: "The kiss that steals my breath away."
What she doesn't reveal is her lack of self-esteem or her irrational reaction to facial disfigurement. Neither is applicable to her quest to find the perfect match. But that seemingly superficial malady becomes all-important when her first agency-arranged date is Rick Dale--a man who is everything Kylie is searching for. He's handsome, smart, fun. Rick has it all...including an angelic six-year-old daughter with severe scarring on one side of her face.
Hard at work founding a therapy camp for young female victims of deformity or disfigurement, Rick wants Kylie to be a part of those plans. She'd love to say yes...but how can she, when every contact with the facility's guests--and Rick's own daughter--will make her violently ill?
Kylie is ready to admit their relationship doesn't stand a chance, but she's forgotten that God makes a way where there seems no way.
JO: How do you market your work, or does your publisher do the majority of the marketing?
DELIA: My publisher is wonderful about doing everything they can to get the word out and place our books. They are, however, a small press, and I am expected to help with the marketing. That said, even large publishing houses are now asking authors to contribute something to the promotional process, so I don't mind. I'm grateful to find a reputable home for my books. White Rose Publishing is recognized by both RWA and ACFW, so they must be doing something right.
JO: What can we expect from you next?
DELIA: I'm working on a book of women's fiction. It incorporates characters from two of my earlier books...Yesterday's Promise and Goldeneyes. This is a bit unusual, since Goldeneyes is set in 1936 and 1959, and Yesterday's Promise is a contemporary romance. Readers who've read either or both of those books will definitely be interested in this one. I'm also working on a short novella for a Valentine collection. Now to find a home for it... :)
JO: What advice would you give to budding authors who have published a book and now ask, "What next?"?
DELIA: Start writing your next one! That said, it's so important to learn everything you can about marketing a book, because you should be doing that even before yours is released. If you don't already have a platform of followers/fans, start building one--yesterday! Use as many social networking tools as you can efficiently handle, and work them. If you don't have a website, get one. This will be crucial to your publicity, and if you can't afford to have one done professionally, there are numerous free web hosting companies online. Webs.com is a good one. Above all, place your career in the hands of God and follow His lead. He sees the bumps in the road ahead that are not within your line of sight yet, and He knows how to guide you through, around, under, or over them...whichever is best for your situation. Trust Him!
JO: As a successful author, are there any words of wisdom you'd like to share?
DELIA: "Successful" is probably stretching it a bit. I'm still struggling to make a name for myself and get my books on the bookstore shelves, because I truly feel that each of them holds a message from God for someone--hopefully more than one someone. My advice is always, first of all, to write from the heart. Also, I think it's absolutely vital to a writer's success to find a place they can call their own, whether that means a fully-dedicated office, the corner of a bedroom, the end of a dining table, or a closet dedicated to the cause. Wherever, whatever it is, go to that place every day, preferably at the same time every day, and write. Write badly if necessary on some days, but write. That's what writer's do.
JO: Do you have a favorite verse of scripture?
DELIA: I actually have two, and it's impossible for me to choose one over the other.
This first one is my daily plea, because I need a new, clean heart every day--and only God can keep my spirit right and steadfast!
Psalm 51:10--Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
And this one I like to read every morning, because it reminds me where my mind should be channelled.
Philippians 4:8--Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
JO: Just for fun, what super power would you like to be blessed with?
DELIA: Just one? I think I'd like to be able to fly then I could visit all the places I'd love to see without having to spend the money to get there.
JO: Thank you, Delia, for spending time with our readers. And thanks again for the PDF copy of Kylie's Kiss that one reader will win.