A while ago, I wrote about the first author event I had ever attended. While there, I met a few fellow writers including International Best-Selling author Sunshine Rodgers.
Sunshine was a treat to talk to and she graciously shared with me her writing process, advice to aspiring authors, and future projects she is working on. Hope you enjoy the interview.
When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
When I held my first book in my hands. Writing my first book, “God the Father, Jesus the Big Brother, Holy Spirit the Best Friend” was at first… something to “check off” my bucket list. It was almost like a side-project, as if taking on a personal challenge.
I always loved to read and write and I wanted to see if I could write a nonfiction piece that is very near and passionate to my heart. But when I held the published and complete book in my hands, something inside of me “switched on” and I knew right then and there that writing books full-time is something I wanted to do with my life! (I continue to get emotional every time I celebrate a new book release!)
What’s your favorite book you’ve written and why?
That’s incredibly, incredibly difficult. One part of me wants to say “The Creation Project” because it was like I was “playing God” …as the viewpoint on the pages are from God’s perspective.
And another part of me wants to say “The Ring Does Not Fit” because it’s a romance fiction…and I am a sucker for Hallmark love stories….
BUT I will say that my most creative and challenging piece for me was writing my PG-13 dark fiction book “After You: A Demon is Always Lurking Nearby” because it was told from a demon’s point of view. I had to channel the sinister side of my psyche to get into character for that role. (When I was writing that book, the people around me would ask if I was okay…I was so…*deadly* serious…while writing those pages :p)
What is your writing process like?
I start with a sentence or two of what I want the story to be. Like, with my historical fiction book “The Creation Project”… the idea was: “The Genesis story told from God’s point of view.” That’s it. I don’t make a character list. I don’t create a story map. I just start writing and see where the creative juices take me!
By draft #5…the characters become self-aware and I start to be more of an observer than a writer. That’s my favorite part! By draft #11…I submit the work to the editors AND by draft #15…the book is ready to be published (after a long back and forth between me and my editors!)
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Turn off your inner critic. Don’t let the process scare you. Take it one page at a time. Write what your are passionate about. And stay calm.
My first book took four years before it became an International Best Seller. Being a successful author will take time but the journey is worth it. Be your own cheerleader. Celebrate the milestones in your author career. And learn to love what you do; the passion will fly off the pages! And whatever you do…KEEP WRITING!!
What are you working on next?
My 8th book is an adult fiction called “The Characters Within.” It’s a book within a book (very trippy!). It’s part – musical and part – love story! I’m looking at a Summer 2020 release!
I am currently traveling; I am booked up through April on book signings and author events. I plan to have my 4th book tour in the summer. And I am about to celebrate my 30th book signing!