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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Just Keep Writing: Author Interview with Carole Towriss

What was the inspiration for you to write your first book? 
The idea for In the Shadow of Sinai first came to me as I was reading in Exodus. God says to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills…” I wondered, how does a slave learn to make all the beautiful pieces that were in the tabernacle? Did God just say, “Poof! Now you know!”? Sometimes he works that way, but not very often, and it’s not very fun that way, so I made up a story to explain it.

How long does it take you to write a book? How many edits do you do?
About a year. Most of my books take that long because of all the research I have to do. I don’t know how many rewrites it took because I edit as I write.

Who helps you with the editing?
My publisher arranged the editing for my first two books. The last two were indie, so I hired an editor. Other writers encouraged me.

Are you active with any writing critique groups?
Right now, I’m not in a critique group, but I have been and they’re wonderful.

How did you go about finding an agent/publisher?
My first publisher published the books of a writing friend. After two with them, I went totally indie, and I love it.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? Starting? Creating a scene? Dialog? Tension? Settings are hard for me. Character arcs are tricky as well.

What does your editor remind you to do most often?
Keep the character’s journey central from beginning to end. Otherwise, the story becomes episodic.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
Hearing from readers who loved the stories—who were touched, learned something, or went back to the Bible.

We have all experienced rejection. Give me an example of one you’ve had, and how you learned to write past it.
The first agent I talked to told me I was a good writer, and if I wrote “bonnet fiction” she could sell it in a heartbeat. She told me to go ahead and send her my manuscript, but I never heard from her again. I just kept writing. I figured God wanted me to write, even if it was only for him.

What has surprised you the most in writing/publishing?
The amount of time involved in marketing!

What do you know now about writing that you wished you had known sooner?
Just keep writing. No matter what. A writer writes. God takes care of the rest. And don’t compare yourself to others. God has a special plan for each person, and yours is not the same as anyone else’s.

What is some of the best writing advice that you’ve received or could give?
Keep learning. Take classes online, go to conferences. Keep working on your craft.

Are there any other points about writing that you would like to add?
Writing can be its own reward. I love it when I finish a book. The sense of accomplishment is incredible.

What is the next book that will be coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
After my contribution to The Psalm Series releases on September 1st of this year, I’m working on a new series called “Planting Faith.” Each book takes place in a city Paul visited during his second missionary journey. 

The first one is set in Philippi and is the story of the jailer and the slave girl. Like all my books, lesser-known people in the Bible, like these two, are the main characters. The more famous people, like Paul, are there but they are supporting cast.

For more info about The Psalm Series, go to

If you’d like to learn more about Carole’s writing, here are some links to get you started.

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