Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Sipping Sodas and Chatting with LaDonna Holloman

Welcome LaDonna Holloman to my virtual café. It is so nice to have you with me today. LaDonna will be one of the authors signing and selling books at the Aurora Fossil Festival, Saturday, May 25th. I’m so glad you stopped by.

LaDonna: Yes, thank you for inviting me.

Sherri: LaDonna is a member of the Pamlico Writers’ Group, she joined about the time we were planning our Carnival of Books. I feel as if I’ve known you forever, I was surprised to learn that you are not originally from North Carolina.

LaDonna: No, we moved to Washington four years ago. My husband is the pastor of Snowd Branch Church of God. I was born in beautiful West Virginia but grew up in Maryland.

Sherri: So, you are still new to the area. Wow, that’s exciting. Do you miss your home?

LaDonna: I do miss my home state, but I love North Carolina.

Sherri: I was very close to our former pastor and his family. I know it’s not easy being a pastor’s wife. I admire you.

LaDonna: I was a Children’s Church pastor for over ten years. My husband and I have been in the ministry most of our 45 years of marriage.

Sherri: Forty-five years, congratulations. David and I will celebrate twenty-eight years this July.

Did your work influence your writing?

LaDonna: I was always a story teller growing up, but never wrote them down. As Children’s Church pastor, I wrote my own clown and puppet skits. I’m a retired Registered Nurse, working in Labor and Delivery with the Newborn babies. Miss those babies, but love the change in my life, writing.

Sherri: Two admirable and demanding professions, along with being a wife and mother. Retired now, does that mean you are able to write full-time?

LaDonna: I’m a Senior Pastor’s wife so my time is divided three ways: church, family and writing.

Sherri: So, there is still a big demand on your time?

How long have you been writing?

LaDonna: I have only been pursuing writing for one year.

Sherri: Wow, then I really am impressed. You have gone all out with publishing and marketing. It’s not easy for a new author to get noticed. What kind of books do you write?

LaDonna: I have written and published through Christian Faith Publishing, my first book, “Where Have All the Children Gone?” The genre would be Christian mystery/fantasy.

The second book, which is almost complete, will be Indie Published.

I also have the outline for a clean romance that takes place in Ireland. I recently was invited to a wedding while visiting Ireland and my mind has taken off with the possibilities.

I am also working on a children’s book but probably will not write many of them. I found our it isn’t my favorite genre since getting older.

Sherri: Sounds like you are going to be busy. That’s great. I have met your husband and your daughter, and they seem very proud of you and very supportive. I believe that is important. We can write on our own but having the support of family and friends makes a better experience.

What compelled you to write your stories?

LaDonna: I’ve always wanted to write down my stories but just never had the time, until now. As a pastor’s wife I’ve always wanted to share my faith without being overbearing. What better way than writing a story?

Sherri: I agree, sharing our stories allow us to inspire and educate without beating someone over the head. I believe it is important to have stories that allow us to see ourselves and others in a different light. Earlier you mentioned several genres you were already writing, do you have plans for anything different in the future?

LaDonna: I would like to write a romance and a time-travel story.

Sherri: Right now, you are busy promoting “Where Have All the Children Gone?” But what other projects are you working on?

LaDonna: I am working on the second of three series, “Journey to the Dark Island,” The Island Journeys series.  Nicole returns to what she believes is the island of her childhood, but in time, discovers it is totally the opposite.

I am also in the process of self-publishing my first children’s book, “Luke and the Sparrow.” Luke loves learning about birds. He finds a sparrow with a broken wing and has to defend it from bullies. With the help of Nicole, he learns that God cares for even the sparrows, if he only prays and believes.

Sherri: Is this the same Nicole from the Island Journeys series in the children’s book?

LaDonna: Yes, it started out following the boy in the island story, but it just didn’t fit right, but I kept the same characters.

Sherri: What do you enjoy about writing?

LaDonna: The fun part is not knowing how the story is going to end until you get there!

I have had the opportunity to be interviewed on three different radio stations. Two of which have been in Ireland. They’ve invited me back when my second Island book is complete.

Sherri: Now that is so cool. How did you get invited to be on the radio?

LaDonna: I did an interview with K-Love radio through CFP and my daughter is a co-host on a radio station in Ireland and arranged for me to be interviewed. They liked it so much they invited me back with my second book and then Spirit radio station heard me and invited me to do one with them.

Sherri: That is awesome.

What do you despise about being a writer?

LaDonna: Distractions! And definitely the marketing.

Sherri: Oh yes, don’t we all. Marketing is that necessary evil we all have to face if we want to make back at least some of our investment. What have you tried besides being on the radio? Which I think is super cool and you get double points for being on the radio in Ireland.

LaDonna: Marketing is so hard. I’ve been trying to build a social media platform but I’m not the world’s best computer person. I’ve been to a few book signings but need to do a few more.

Sherri: What are some of your other hobbies or interests? Do these show up in your books?

LaDonna: Reading and adventure. I’m willing to try anything once. I even went skydiving and have had several pilot’s lessons. Since moving to North Carolina, my husband and I have bought a boat and enjoy cruising. I love to go to the Outer Banks and spend the day at the beach, but I’m just as happy on the porch with a good book or curled up on the couch in front of a fire.

Sherri: Who are some of your favorite authors or what genre of books do you like to read?

LaDonna: I love Christian Fantasy/mystery. Ted Dekker is one of my favorites. Jennifer Pierce, Rachel Starr Thomson, and lately I’ve been reading clean romances by Abby Ayles, Carole Towriss and a local author from Greenville, Jennifer Conway.

Sherri: It looks like our time is running out. LaDonna, thank you for stopping by my Creekside Café. I look forward to our book signing at the Aurora Fossil Festival, May 25th. Y’all look for us there.

LaDonna’s Links:

Posted in inspiration

Easter, a time of hope and renewal

Easter, for the Christian is a time for renewal, rebirth, and rejoicing. It is a time we celebrate Christ’s triumph over the grave. It is a time of HOPE. Like spring, there is the hope of renewal: renewing the heart of a sinner, renewing the spirit of the downtrodden, renewing the faith of a weakened spirit, and renewing our faith and belief in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Easter, even more than Christmas, is the time for Christians to rejoice for this is the foundation of our religion. Christ arose. It’s simple. Because Jesus lives so can we.

My stories may not appear religious. They are filled with sex and violence and darkness, but there is also love and hope. Without hope we have nothing. For the Christian, that hope is centered around our faith that Jesus died and is risen. For genre fiction, we have hope in the romance that the heroes and heroines will live happily ever after. In mysteries, thrillers and suspense we hope the good guys will win and the bad guys will get justice.

I’m not going to stretch the truth and say “Chrome Pink” is in any way Christian fiction but my own beliefs and moral code are evident in Rae Lynne’s struggles. I believe we are all searching for something. Whether it is love or justice or faith, that journey of discovery is an important part of being human. I am a believer in happy endings and I’m confident that everyone can find happiness. Sometimes it is making the choice to be happy.

As the flowers burst into bloom and the days begin to warm, a romance writers’ mind goes to love and marriage and happily ever after. Life isn’t fiction and after nearly twenty-seven years of marriage, I know, every day isn’t happy. I believe we have to make the choice to be happy. “God won’t give us more than we can bear.” I have struggled with this my whole life, faith versus the world’s oppression and darkness. My life hasn’t been a story book with perfect people living charming lives. No, I’ve lost loved ones, seen cruelties first hand, and struggle still with guilt and anger over things I wish I could change. I’ve lost a home to fire, had a miscarriage and lost a sister to birth defects. And I still believe we have to make the choice to be happy. It’s not easy to find the silver lining or hold your head up when you feel like weeping. Our Preacher mentioned this passage from Romans and I thought is summarizes all I wish to say. Romans 5:3-5  3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, …

Hope, is what keeps us believing in happy endings, the future and faith. For me, being a writer is tied up in my faith that good will triumph over bad.

Happy Easter, may you all find your spirits renewed and filled with hope.