Love’s True Calling Author Interview & Giveaway!

About the Book

Book: Love’s True Calling

Author: Lori DeJong

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release Date: June 27, 2023

After years of jumping through other people’s hoops to be all they thought she should be, and enduring a tragedy no mother should, self-described “newbie” Christian, Harper Townsend, has finally found her true calling … and her true love. Until it appears that to follow one may mean leaving the other behind.

Adolescent Psychologist, Wyatt McCowan, is beyond delighted to have the-girl-that-got-away back in his life, and his heart. But even as they fall more in love, he realizes that being obedient to God’s calling on each of their lives may pull them apart. She rejected him once in favor of another, which left him hurt and angry. But this time, he can’t fault her for following hard after the God she loves with all her heart, even if it means leaving him once again.Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Lori enjoys writing stories full of grace and the redemptive power of God’s love that inspire hope, joy, laughter, and perhaps even touch a soul or two to get to know Him better. She resides in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband and two fur-babies and is the mother of one grown daughter. Love’s True Calling is the 2022 winner of the ACFW Genesis Award for Romance.

More from Lori

I’ve had a dream for a very long time. In fact, I had this dream long before I was even doing anything to achieve it! Turns out I’ve wanted to be a published author since the 1990’s. And I didn’t even start writing, join writers’ groups, or attend conferences to learn the craft until 2002. Something inside me apparently knew more than I did when I put on my 1996 long-term goals list: To be a published author.

Fast forward to 2023 and my debut novel is being published. I’m not great at math, but even I know that’s A LOT of years that have gone by since I first identified that long-term goal. So the take-away from that should be, if you set a goal, no matter what it is, make a plan. Immediately. Not years later. Seriously. Don’t be me.

So, I chugged away at this writing goal for a few years, until my husband was laid off when the economy tanked in 2009 and our lives turned upside down. I didn’t write again until 2020, when we found ourselves empty-nesters and I started listening once again to those voices in my head begging me to write their stories.

Which brings me to how my first published novel was born. Would you believe it was homework? True story! When I came back to writing in 2020, I needed to re-hone my skills. So I took an online class that required us to plot an entire manuscript based on our characters’ motivations. What do they want out of life and why do they want it?

That’s how I came up with Wyatt, the high school geek now an accomplished and handsome college professor and adolescent psychologist, and Harper, the high school Miss Everything who’d weathered plenty of storms in her life before going back to school a decade after graduation to finally get her degree. What happens when Wyatt sees the girl who broke his teenage heart sitting in his class?

I plotted out this story as homework, never intending to write it. But I fell in love with these two and they were clamoring for me to tell their story. Two years later, that story won the ACFW Genesis award and is now being published by Scrivenings Press. Best takeaway from that? Never. Ever. Give. Up.

Who knew that a class assignment could bring about the realization of a twenty-some-odd-year-old goal? Make a dream come true? God did. And I’m so glad I listened to Him as I put this story to paper.

I hope you’ll read and enjoy Love’s True Calling, a story of love rediscovered, the joy of finding purpose, and the blessing of obedience.

Author Interview

  • What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

How vitally important it is to get the opening right. If you don’t hook the reader in the first few paragraphs, maybe even sentences, they’ll probably just put it down. I worked and worked on the first chapter, sent it in for the 2021 Genesis contest, and it didn’t go anywhere. I reworked it again, tightened it up, sent it in for the 2022 Genesis contest, and it won. That my female protagonist is plummeted into uncomfortable territory on the first page garnered a lot of great feedback from the judges.

  • How do you overcome writer’s block? Do you have any advice for others in finding their process to overcome it?

I do several different things. Sometimes I read a book, and sometimes I read something else I wrote. I’ll also use writing prompts. I actually have another entire manuscript I wrote from a writing prompt. More often than not, though, if I’m in the middle of a manuscript and aren’t sure where to go, I just write whatever comes to mind, even if it’s junk. I can always change it or throw it out altogether. But I can’t do anything with a blank page. Sometimes you just have to unclog the faucet until the good stuff comes out.

  • Do you read the genre you write? Why or why not?

Yes, I really enjoy contemporary Christian romance. And I love reading folks who are much farther along on their writer journey than I am because of what I learn from them. It’s like playing tennis with somebody better than you. It ups your own game because you dig deeper. I recently read The Words We Lost by Nicole Deese. She’s a master at writing deep emotion, and it’s definitely affected how I’m editing Book Two of the True Calling Series. I want to go deeper and find that chord that will resonate with my reader. But I also read in other genres, such as mystery, romantic suspense, western historical. I enjoy them all.

  • What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

DON’T. GIVE. UP. Ever. This writing gig is hard. It really is. And I actually did stop writing for a little over ten years. A lot was happening in our lives that took us down some hard roads, and my writing went by the wayside. I regret those lost years but am so delighted to be back and doing what I love. Even during those ten years, I’d dig out a manuscript every now and then and just read it. I never lost the love. I just lost the drive. But that’s on me. Don’t wait for the passion, or the idea, or the compulsion to hit. Make it happen. And stick with it. It’s worth it.

  • How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

Deadlines! LOL! Seriously, from start to finish, Love’s True Calling, took about two years to hone into what it is today. And I still see things I’d change about it. Book Two is due in October and I’m just now starting the editing process. And once that book is turned in, I have to start on Book Three. I have the concept, just no firm plot points. And that one’s due the following October. My time isn’t just my own anymore. My publisher has expectations and I need to meet them if I want to succeed. So learning to write faster has definitely changed my process.

Blog Stops

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 9 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Artistic Nobody, August 12 (Author Interview)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 13

Guild Master, August 14 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 15

A Reader’s Brain, August 16 (Author Interview)

The Book Club Network, August 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 18

Back Porch Reads, August 19 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, August 19

For the Love of Literature, August 20 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, August 21

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 22 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lori is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/272f8/love-s-true-calling-celebration-tour-giveaway

8 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your interview, bio and the book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading Love’s True Calling

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