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Interview With Colleen Coble

With settings as alive as her characters, Colleen Coble spins tales sure to win our hearts and wow us with her detail. She’s an award-winning author whose first hardcover, Abomination, hits the shelves this month. Take a moment and read about this inspiring and dedicated author.

Your latest book, Abomination, releases this month—your first hardcover. How does that feel?

Oh it’s indescribable! My publisher, Allen Arnold, brought it to me at the Christy Awards dinner and gave it to me, and I cried. It was so beautiful. A dream come true! The cover is fabulous, the flap and back cover copy is perfect, the whole package is just phenomenal. Nelson always does such a terrific job!

Reflecting back, what do you see as being most significant to your publication journey?

When Thomas Nelson bought my Rock Harbor series, I was lucky enough to get to work with two great editors who are HARD on me: Ami McConnell and Erin Healy. And I LOVE it! I’ve grown so much from editing. I crave the feedback, the challenge, the big picture that they help me to see. I’m so blessed to get to work with these exceptional women.

How do you balance your writing time with other responsibilities?

What other responsibilities? Just kidding. It’s hard because writing is my passion so I can sometimes lose sight of other things. The house could fall down around my ears, and I wouldn’t notice. I try to write before I do any other responsibilities and save other things for when my brain dies for the day.

And how does your faith and spiritual life play into the picture?

It shapes how I look at the world and how the characters act. They are usually learning something I’m in the process of learning or have just finished dealing with. Not the circumstances but the principle behind it.

What was your biggest obstacle in writing and how did you overcome it?

I’m still working on overcoming the demon of insecurity. It’s hard to put your baby out there for other people to judge. And if they judge it harshly, it can feel very personal. I have to remind myself it’s not me they’re judging but a work of fiction. Rejection is hard though. And it never gets easy, but it makes me stronger.

What has been the highest moment of your writing/publishing career?

The day I held Abomination in my hands. A hardcover seemed a dream too big for me to accomplish. And it was, really. But it wasn’t too big for God!

Who/What is your greatest inspiration to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?

Hmm, I don’t know about the inspiration. I’d say God planted a desire in my heart to write. And the ideas come from everywhere. Some snippet from a magazine, some educational show. Abomination came from the melding of two things—an article about geocaching and reading Proverbs 6.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?

I try to weave a strong sense of place and atmosphere into my stories as well as characters who are real to me. I want my reader to experience every emotion with me and my friends in the books.

Finish this question. When I think of the future in terms of writing and publication, I …

will never quit. I hope to drop dead at the computer. LOL

Any parting words for up-and-coming writers?

Never give up. Never give up. Never give up. Persistence is the thing that separates successful novelists from those who dream of being published. I almost gave up once. Here’s Life Publishers wanted to publish Where Leads the Heart, but they’d just been bought by Thomas Nelson and the pub board there would have to say yes or no. They said no, and I almost said forget it. It’s never going to happen. But something inside wouldn’t let me give up. And now here I am all these years later with Thomas Nelson after all. God has a sense of humor. LOL

Thanks for sharing with us, Colleen!

Thanks for having me, Dineen! One day it will be your turn to answer questions about your publishing career! You’re going to make it, girl!

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