Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fay Lamb: Finding the Spark to Bring a Novel to Life

By Fay Lamb

Short summary for Fay's latest book, Libby:

Libby Overstreet can’t see herself as anything but shy and socially awkward. She’s nearing thirty, and she’s never even been on a date. Then she meets the man of her dreams, but Libby knows he would never be interested in a wallflower like her. All she wants to do is to buy that garden nursery on the outskirts of town and settle down with the life she has always dreamed about. Evan Carter has been watching the sweet woman in the coffee shop for weeks when his friend tells him that the object of his affection plans to buy a garden nursery and needs Evan’s expertise as an architect/contractor. When they meet, Libby is more enamored of Evan and even more convinced that he would never look at her as anything but a friend. However, that’s far from the truth. Evan would love to get to know the innocent beauty God has placed in this path. Trouble is, he fears that a lovely flower like Libby will wilt under the sins of his past, and he’ll do everything in his power to keep that from happening.


By Fay Lamb 

When a writer gets serious about her career, she seeks advice. One of the first rules she will learn is rather vague and open to interpretation.
“Write what you know,” the experts say.
I believe that the true meaning is must more complex than this expression.
Yes, we should write what we know firsthand or have been able to research extensively, but knowledge in fiction without passion produces dry words if they are not accompanied by passion. Firsthand knowledge about something isn’t always required to spark a passion for it.
I live in a town that sits directly across from the Kennedy Space Center. This place is rich with space exploration history. If someone asked me to write an historical novel about this history, I could do it. I know quite a bit about the history, but I lack a passion for the subject. There are authors out there who are ardent about this area and its history. I’d rather leave the telling of that story in their capable hands.
Yet, even writing what we know and/or have passion for still doesn’t plumb the depths of the meaning behind “write what you know.”
When I decided to write contemporary novels set in this familiar area, I really didn’t have the desire to put any of my characters to work at the space center. Why? As noted, I lack the passion for that career. Instead, I took two gals and moved them out of my hometown and into Orlando, Florida. One works in in a profession that I know inside and out. The other? Well let’s just say it’s a good thing dreams come true at the end of the story and not the beginning. While the girls live in Orlando, their pasts are firmly set in my hometown. In my writer’s mind, I pictured Orlando as a representation of the present and the future while my hometown represented the past and what needed to be overcome.
All of the heroines in The Ties That Bind series have issues that mirror my own experiences. In Charisse and Libby, the stories are very different, but we do discover that both girls were abandoned by their fathers. While Charisse’s story centers on forgiveness and moving on from the past, Libby Overstreet’s past has crippled her. She lacks self-esteem, and she has a disabling fear of rejection that keeps her from experiencing the awesome gifts that God wants to bestow upon her, including the love of the man she has asked God to allow to cherish her and the business she dreams of owning.
Like both heroines, I experienced firsthand the abandonment by my father. His departure left me with several issues I needed to face, and you’ve guessed it, Charisse and Libby face those same problems. Overcoming the negative emotions and the impact that abandonment places upon a child, even when that child is an adult, is something I’m very passionate about. But it is the emotions and not necessarily the issues that will connect a reader to the story. Knowing and conveying the emotions that are born of issues in our lives can touch an individual reader in ways an author cannot begin to imagine. That touch might possibly lead them to the One who can heal the pain. Having felt those emotions deeply, I try to allow the reader to feel the trauma of a father’s abandonment. Those feelings sent me to the Lord to seek relief. There, I discovered that while my earthly father might not have been perfect, my heavenly Father is, and His arms are all that I need. Not only am I able to convey the bad emotions, but I am able to relay the good feelings that come with learning the truth of the situation.
“Write what you know …” A better translation is “Write where your passions take you.” When our passions resonate with a reader, that is the spark that brings a novel to life and might possibly bring new life to the reader.

Fay Lamb’s emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Fay has recently contracted with Write Integrity Press for three series. Stalking Willow and Better than
Revenge, the first two novels in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series is currently available for
purchase, as are Charisse and Libby, the first two releases in her The Ties That Bind contemporary romance series. Serenity is the third series contracted, and Storms in Serenity is slated for release summer 2014.
Fay is a past-secretary for American Christian Fiction Writers. She served for four years as the moderator for ACFW’s critique group, Scribes. For her volunteer efforts for ACFW, she received the Service Members Award in 2010. She was also a semi-finalist that year in the ACFW Genesis Contest. Fay was influential in the creation of the Central Florida ACFW Chapter known as Sonshine Scribes. She is a past-president and will serve as secretary in 2014.
Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and six grandchildren.

Links for the book:

Links for Fay: (Fay’s website and blog: On the Ledge) (Fay is the Tactical Editor, sharing self-editing tips) (Fay’s Twitter address)