Measuring Success as a New Author

Please welcome my very dear friend,

Sara L. Foust

Headshot Sara L Foust

As a new author, I must sheepishly admit I had big dreams. Even though I’d heard in conferences over and over, writing and earning an income that can be considered a full-time career is rare in this industry these days, I chose to hope, with fingers and toes crossed, I might be one of those “special” ones. My first novel was going to go straight to number one on the New York Times Bestsellers list and I would launch my career nationwide. Everyone would love my books. I would be able to provide for my family with my writing within the first few years. Oh, yeah, big dreams.

I completed my first manuscript in late 2015 and started sending out queries. It really didn’t take me long to tuck that manuscript in a drawer and pretend like it didn’t exist. My second manuscript was better. I worked hard, read everything I could about the craft of writing, and applied that new knowledge to improving my writing. It was published in November 2017 and I now have three published novels and one self-published novella.


I’m still not making anything you could exactly call an income, but I have learned to measure my success in other ways.  I was recently emailed from my website contact form and invited to come speak at a library about an hour from my home. Friends have sent me pictures of them reading the books, finding them in my local library just down the road, and passing them to friends and family of theirs. I met a bookstore event planner at a local event and she invited me to come for a book signing in May at the store in Sevierville. I have “met” hundreds of new people online who want to engage and talk to me and expressed interest in my writing. And most of all, I have learned so much. Each of these small victories adds up to success in my book (hehehe). I’m not going to stop writing or slow down just because I’m not seeing the big money roll in. This is my passion and I am proud of the things God has allowed me to do so far. Money would be helpful for my family’s finances, but it isn’t why I write.

I recently told my best friend and writing pal that we have to learn to measure our success in different terms than the “big guys,” you know, those little-known writers like J. K. Rowling and Stephen King. We have to be willing to look at every new contact with someone where they express interest in our work, or every new email signup, or every new review as a success. Writing may not yet be paying my bills, but the value this career has added to my self-esteem, my enjoyment of life, and my feeling of fulfilling my God-called role is worth so much more!

Are you a new author out there? Or maybe you are one who has been around the block a few times but still feel you haven’t “made it.” Let’s start thinking about success in this industry differently, together. How do you measure success?

Get your copy of Sara’s book: Rarity Mountain!

No job. Little faith. A paralyzing secret and a life-changing survival show.

rarity mountain

Author: Sara L. Foust Title: Rarity Mountain: Journey to Faith ISBN-10: 1945094737 ISBN-13: 978-1945094736


Headshot Sara L Foust

Author Bio:

Sara is a multi-published, award-winning author and homeschooling mother of five who writes surrounded by the beauty of East Tennessee. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is the author of the Love, Hope, and Faith Series, which includes Callum’s Compass (2017), Camp Hope (2018), and Rarity Mountain (March 2019).  She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and a novella, Of Walls (November 2018). Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit



How to reach me:


Meet Rachel Dylan!

56157759_2198407000249657_2803427331371171840_nPlease join me in welcoming, Rachel Dylan to the WordyNerdyBlog.

SHAREE: Thanks so much Rachel for being here! I have absolutely loved the Atlanta Justice Series and I think Breach of Trust is becoming my favorite! I’m still reading so I won’t be offering any spoilers, but I will say plan to be up late reading with this one.

I’m so excited for you all to meet Rachel. She’s an amazing writer and a beautiful person! If you’re not already an avid reader and fan of her books, I’m urging you to start today with Breach of Trust!

Let’s dive right in and start with writing questions.

Everyone’s always curious about where writers get their story ideas. Have any of your stories developed as a result of cases you’ve worked on (realizing confidentiality plays a huge roll here) or have your characters come from people you’ve met?

RACHEL: None of my stories have arisen out of cases I’ve worked on, and as you suggest, that’s by design. I choose topics and situations that are outside of my cases. But of course, being a lawyer is built into my DNA at this point, so I do bring those parts of me into the story.

SHAREE: I love audiobooks because I can be doing chores while listening to a great book. Would you share a little about the process of converting your books into audiobooks? Do the narrators contact you to make sure they’re conveying the story and characters accurately?

RACHEL: For my Bethany House books, it’s completely dealt with at the publisher level, and I’m not directly involved. For the Windy Ridge Series, which is Indie, my awesome agent got me the audio deal. I have worked with the narrator on pronunciations, and I’m thrilled at how the Windy Ridge Series has come to life. I’ve been listening to the audio during my commute to work.

SHAREE: Could you tell us about your next series and the release dates?

RACHEL: I’m starting a new series called Capital Intrigue and book one: End Game releases in January. This book still has legal elements but brings in a broader group of law enforcement characters and government agencies. I’m really excited about it. End Game involves an FBI and NCIS agent along with a JAG attorney and some other great characters.

SHAREE: Woowhoo!! Can’t wait for that series! You have some of the coolest book trailers. Do you create them yourself?

RACHEL: Yes, I do. Unfortunately, the website I was using to create them has shut down! So, I’ll have to look for other options in the future.

SHAREE: I’m sure the next trailers will be as just as fabulous. Now, for those writers in our reader audience, what writing advice were you given or do you have, that you’d be willing to share with new authors?

RACHEL: Write the story of your heart and know that there isn’t just one way.

SHAREE: Oh, I love that! One of the things that is especially interesting about you is that you’re a lawyer as well as a multi-published, award winning author. I’m astonished how you do both and you do it remarkably well. What would you say is the key to balancing the two?

RACHEL: I ask myself this everyday LOL. The bottom line is there is no substitute for hard work. I take my work ethic from being a lawyer and apply that to my writing. Given the time constraints I have, I must stick to a schedule.

SHAREE: Yes! Writing is hard work and I so appreciate keeping to a schedule. What kind of law do you practice?

RACHEL: I worked in a large law firm for eight years as a litigator defending large companies. Now I work in-house at a global automobile manufacturer. If you pay attention closely enough to the cars my characters drive, you might be able to guessJ

SHAREE: The hunt is on to learn what cars those are! For our readers, if know the answer, please consider adding it to your comments below. As a fellow animal lover, I always enjoy seeing pictures of your fur-babies. Can you tell us a little about them?

RACHEL: Yes! I have five furry babies—two dogs and three cats. Four of them are rescue including a three-legged cat. Chloe the Labrador is the oldest. She turns 13 in April. Happy Birthday!!

SHAREE: AWWW Happy Birthday Chloe! If you could write the book that changed the world, one that would be read for centuries to come, what message would you want it to convey?

RACHEL: That God’s love is relentless, and no matter how far gone you feel like you are, Jesus will meet you there in the darkness and walk with you through the fire and into the light.

SHAREE: Amen and amen! Was there a particular book or television show that propelled you toward wanting to be a writer?

RACHEL: I’ve loved writing since I was a little girl. My love for reading and English classes started super early.

SHAREE: Yep, me too!! Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

RACHEL: I love connecting with readers via email or on social media. You can find more info at

SHAREE: Please connect with Rachel and be sure to grab your copy of Breach of Trust! Rachel, thank you so very much for being on my blog!


ISBN-13: 9780764219825 Publisher: Bethany House


Welcome Laura Conner Kestner

Please join me in welcoming my friend, Laura Conner Kestner!

pic.jpg After 25 years in community journalism, Laura Conner Kestner embarked on a career in inspirational fiction. Laura is a proud seventh-generation Texan. Born in Fort Worth, she now lives in central Texas. She is happily married to the “boy next door” and they have two daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. She’s thankful for God’s grace, her family, and an opportunity to do the work she loves. Laura is a 2016 ACFW Genesis Award winner, 2016 ACFW First Impressions winner, 2016 SWFRW/RWA Joyce Henderson Contest winner, a 2016 NWH/RWA Lone Star Writer’s Contest finalist (second place), a 2016 SARA Emma Merritt contest winner, a winner in the RWA/KOD 2017 Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery suspense, a 2017 Maggie finalist, and winner in the inspirational category of the 2017 RWA Southern Magic Linda Howard contest. Laura was also a 2017 GOLDEN HEART® finalist, and a double finalist in 2018. Her novel Remember Texas was published in October.

Today, we’re talking about Laura’s debut novel, Remember Texas.


Abigail Horton’s life is turned upside down during the last night of a week-long revival when her father—believed dead—shows up in the custody of a Texas Ranger. Abby is thrilled to see him, and equally devastated to learn he’s been living the life of an outlaw.                                    

Texas Ranger Caleb Calhoun stops in Moccasin Rock to let his prisoner, Bob Horton, visit briefly with family before transporting him to Austin for trial. Caleb takes a room at the family’s boarding house, planning to be in and out of the small town by morning. But within hours he’s kissed Abby Horton, made an enemy of her naïve suitor, and let his prisoner escape.  

As Caleb searches for the missing outlaw, and Abby struggles to keep the man’s whereabouts a secret, they also battle a growing attraction to each other. 

Throw in a Calhoun family mystery, an elderly preacher on a mission, an old flame of Caleb’s, a secretive spinster, a team of surveyors, and Abby’s mother and brother—and you have a compelling story of faith, family and forgiveness.

Friends, grab a chair and hang with us as Laura shares insights about Remember Texas.

Laura, First thank you for visiting!!

Thank you, Sharee! I’m thrilled to be here!

  1. Okay, before we begin, your debut Remember Texas has the most fascinating cover! Did you have any input on the design?

Yes, I had several images in mind for my cover, including a church, a Texas Ranger badge, a gun, and a train, and I was thrilled when the designer worked each of them in. I fell in love at first sight.

  1. You have a background in journalism? Tell us about that.

For twenty-five years I worked in community journalism, which just means I worked for several small town newspapers doing a variety of tasks including writing and photography. It was never boring. I’ve photographed everything from drug busts to structure fires, to kindergarten programs and record-setting produce (biggest melon, etc.) Okay, so sometimes it was boring. But I definitely benefitted from the experience. And I also wrote historical features about Texas, which included outlaws, gun-toting preachers, floods and fires. I loved every minute of it. But through it all, I wanted to write a novel. I had about a dozen partially finished manuscripts when I finally got serious about fiction in 2015.

  1. You have so many amazing accolades and awards. Are they all for Remember Texas?

No, many of them are for Fair Haven, a contemporary romantic suspense. That book is scheduled for release in 2020. And one award is for middle grade fiction. I love to write in different genres.

  1. Did you start with that title?

In a way. I wrote the first part of Remember Texas years and years ago, then put it in a drawer and moved on to other things. At that time, I was owner/publisher of a (small) regional magazine which had a similar name. It was a publication featuring historical tidbits, photos and stories from my home state. When I started working on this novel again I referred back to my own magazine often for research, and that name just seemed to fit.

  1. What’s been the biggest surprise since becoming a published author?

The biggest surprise is something that I became aware of before publication (but it’s definitely carried through, post publication) and that’s how incredibly supportive other authors are with advice, inspiration and encouragement. I’m so very grateful, and I’m trying to pay it forward.

  1. You’ve done book signings? What was the most memorable and why?

I’ve done only one official signing, at a nearby library. It was memorable because so many of my friends and family showed up, and I made some new friends. One of the local ladies clubs provided finger foods, and several people brought roses. I was so touched. It was truly a magical day.

  1. What do you hope your readers discover in Remember Texas

That even though God doesn’t promise believers a trouble free life, He does promise to walk through trouble with us. Also, don’t decide you know everything about a person before you get a chance to really know them. Sometimes things are just not what they seem.

  1. Is this a standalone or a series?

It can be enjoyed as a standalone, but there are other books about the Calhoun family. In fact, I started writing the second book in the series before Remember Texas, but then Caleb and Abby’s story just didn’t want to wait. The second one should be out in the next few months.

I’m so grateful Laura stopped by today. Please grab your own copy of Remember Texas. Friends, if you have questions or comments for Laura, please post them below. She’s an amazing lady and we’d love to have you join in our discussion!


Interview with Author Laurie Wood


Publisher: Anaiah Press ASIN: B07K8SLZVS

Thank you so much for joining us today! I can’t wait for you to meet my friend, Laurie Wood as she talks to us about her romantic suspense debut Northern Exposure.

Here’s the book blurb:

Reunions can be deadly.

 After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientist. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again. 

Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes crashing back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now, Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.


Please welcome Laurie Wood:laurie-wood-for-screen-1211

SHAREE This book has some wonderful information about polar bears. Being an animal lover it immediately caught my attention. I don’t want to give any spoilers but I’ve gotta ask…How did you know about polar bear jail? Are there really attacks in town? Have you seen polar bears in the wild?

LAURIE These are all great questions! I learned a lot about polar bears researching for this book. They’re fascinating creatures. The “Polar Bear Jail” is what the people of Churchill call the facility. Its official title is the “Polar Bear Holding Facility” and they keep the bears locked up there with water but no food until they’re released back into the wild. They don’t want the bears to associate food with humans in any way. The bears are either airlifted miles north via helicopter, like in my book, or out onto the sea ice once it’s solid on Hudson Bay, so they can’t return to town.

The most well-known attack in town was November 1, 2013 when a woman was attacked by a male polar bear around 5 a.m. when she and some friends were walking home from a Halloween party. The bear had her by the head and was throwing her around like a rag doll. A 69-year-old man saw it happening from his front window and rushed outside with his shovel to help. The bear then turned on him and attacked him as well. The two of them survived but were gravely injured and had to be airlifted down to Winnipeg. They awarded the man the Canadian Star of Courage for his bravery in saving the 30-year-old woman. Other attacks have been less injurious, but the town is built on the bear’s migratory path and in the middle of their territory so it’s a tenuous human-animal relationship.

The town follows a rigorous “Polar Bear Alert Program” where everyone is encouraged to call a phone number to report any bear seen near town or in town 24/7. It’s an emergency line and is staffed that way. Staff with go out to check on the bear and its location. Natural Resources Officers follow up as well. People use air horns, paint balls, rubber bullets, cracker shells, pepper spray, etc. when dealing with bears they encounter. But the best thing is to avoid them entirely. A polar bear is bigger than a human, faster than a human, and unlike a black bear or grizzly, they will kill you not just maul you if they get you down on the ground.

I’ve never seen one in the wild although we plan on going to Churchill together. My husband has been there several times with his military career, so I was working with his hundreds of photos for my reference. We have six Churchill polar bears here in our Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg though. They’ve been brought here because they were either orphaned or had human-animal encounters and it was decided that they wouldn’t be able to fend for themselves in the wild. Polar bears don’t mature until they’re about four years old. If they lose their mothers before that they won’t survive.

SHAREE You tackle the tough topic of rape in such a careful and considerate way. What was the hardest part of including such a delicate topic in your story?

LAURIE  It was important to me to balance out Kira and Lukas’s story and bring them both full circle. My publisher, Anaiah Press, liked the fact that I did the reveal through Lukas’s point of view. I wanted it to be part of his own character growth and his spiritual growth. I think the reality is that most men who are married to or are going out with anyone who’s been the victim of a sexual assault, struggle with it and hurt deeply, and as a society we don’t pay enough attention to that aspect of how rape culture affects us.

When I was a police officer, I dealt with a horrendous case of a woman who suffered a rape through a home invasion. Her husband was away on a business trip and her teenage son was tied up and gagged before her assailant trashed the house and then violently attacked her. And her biggest fear was how her husband would react to her being raped—that he would now reject her.

She wasn’t the only sexual assault victim I dealt with and that was a common theme. So, when I made this Kira’s deep secret I knew her shame of not being perfect for Lukas anymore would tie in just right with him needing to learn that his shallow, materialistic view of life as a rich kid wasn’t what God wanted from him either.

My goal in writing this story was to write a high-action suspense story with a good love story. But I also wanted to write about an issue that many women share and to say: “God’s got you. You are safe now. If this happened to you, it wasn’t your fault.”

SHAREE  Will we see Kira, Sophie and Lukas in book two?

LAURIE  Book 2 is the story of Ben Koper, who’s mauled by the polar bear and he and Lukas are best friends, so I think they’ll make an appearance. I’m not sure how much will remain in the book once final edits are done, so I can’t promise anything!

SHAREE Tell us about book two and when does it release?

LAURIE I don’t want to give out too many spoilers, but Ben has to deal with PTSD after his attack and the uncertainty of whether he will be able to recover and use his right arm again. His life revolves around being a police officer, and he doesn’t want to do anything else. His past will catch up to him as well. When it will release, I have no idea but I’m hoping next year!

SHAREE I loved the way you addressed Kira’s uncertainty about how to treat and talk to Sophie. I have an adult niece who has Down Syndrome, so this was a touching part of your story for me as well. What advice would you give to someone meeting a child with Down’s versus meeting an adult with Down’s?

LAURIE Whenever you meet anyone with a disability, I’d say the best thing to do is look them in the eye, smile at them, and talk to them directly. Don’t raise your voice as if they’re deaf (you’d be amazed at how often people do that!) and don’t talk down to them. A child with Down’s is just that—a child—so speak to them as a child. When you meet an adult with Down’s then introduce yourself by first name and ask them what their name is… you’ll be able to tell by how they respond to you verbally how well they can speak, but that won’t tell you anything about them cognitively.

My son and daughter both have Down Syndrome. And they speak much less than they can understand. We don’t “discuss” important things around them because they have the memories of elephants! But if you judged them on how they put a five word sentence together, you’d never know that they can memorize twelve months of birthdays, travel vacations, and Mom’s weekend retreats!



Thank you so much for having me, Sharee! It’s been wonderful visiting your blog.


Friends, don’t delay! Get your copy of Northern Deception!

About the Author:

Laurie Wood is a military wife who’s lived across Canada and visited six of its ten provinces. She and her husband have raised two wonderful children with Down Syndrome to adulthood, and their son and daughter are a wonderful blessing to their lives. Over the years, Laurie’s books have finaled in prestigious contests such as the Daphne du Maurier (twice), the TARA, the Jasmine, and the Genesis. Her family lives in central Canada with a menagerie of rescue dogs and cats. If the house were bigger, no doubt they’d have more.







Meet Terri Weldon!

Friends, I can’t wait for you to meet my friend, Terri Weldon. She’s an author, blogger extraordinaire, and she’s awesome! So grab a cup of coffee, or tea, or soda (no judgment here) and let’s talk!

Terri Weldon 2SHAREE: Seriously Write Blogspot is a great help to writers. Can you tell us a little about how you got involved with the team?

TERRI: White Rose, a division of Pelican, published my first novella, Mistletoe Magic, in 2013. Annette Irby was my editor, and she asked me to guest blog on Seriously Write. I began reading the blog on a regular basis once I discovered what a great resource it is for writers. Dora Heirs, a team member at the time, asked me to be a regular contributor. So for a while I posted once a month. Well, to make a long story short if it isn’t already too late, when Dora left the team, they asked me to step into her shoes. Big shoes to fill but the other gals haven’t kicked me off the team yet. I thoroughly enjoy being involved with Seriously Write.

SHAREE: Your bio says your day job is lead analyst. What does that entail? If it’s top secret, that’s even more exciting!

TERRI: Oh, Sharee, if my day job was that exciting I wouldn’t need to write novels. I’d be living the adventures. Instead my day job entails a lot of math and decision making. The absolute best thing about my day job is I’ll be leaving it the end of August. Once that happens I plan to devote more time to my writing.

SHAREE: Writers are some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. Many (including myself) have strange writing habits. What are some of yours (food, drink, lighting, music, etc.)

TERRI: Hmm, that’s a tough one. To begin with I’m a night owl. My creativity comes out in the wee hours. I get a second burst of energy after 10:00 p.m. If I’m working in my office I like to light a vanilla candle and either listen to Praise and Worship music or Rod Stewart. My food preference would be anything chocolate, but since sitting at a desk burns very few calories, well, I have to limit the chocolate intake.

SHAREE: Summertime is the perfect time to celebrate romance. Please share a short back cover blurb with us.

TERRI: Natalie Benton bounced from one foster home to another until she landed on Ellie Alexander’s doorstep. Her vagabond childhood caused her to yearn for a secure life, which led to Natalie’s five-year plan: complete her law degree, marry the perfect man, become a partner at Montgomery, Haynes, and Preston, and produce one child. Getting arrested wasn’t in Natalie’s plan. Needing a public defender wasn’t in her plan. Falling for Grady Hunter, her public defender, definitely wasn’t in her plan. Can Grady convince Natalie there is more to life than her five-year plan? Is Ellie the only one who sees a future for Natalie and Grady? Amazon Buy Link: The Matchmakers

SHAREE: OOOOOh Terri that sounds fabulous! Sold! 

SHAREE: Do you have a favorite character in this story? What makes him/her extra special or different from other characters you’ve written in the past?

TERRI: Well, in this case my favorite character is the bad guy – Jason Whitney. He is just bad through and through, which actually made him kind of fun to write. Jason never did feel bad about how he deceived Natalie. In fact, he acted like she shouldn’t have been gullible enough to fall for him and his scheme. Since poor Natalie did, Jason acted like, tough luck kid. But if you aren’t a fan of bad guys don’t despair. Grady Hunter, the hero, definitely makes up for Jason’s bad behavior.

SHAREE:  Do you have any guilty pleasures when you’re not writing? Binge watching TV or eating a whole carton of chocolate ice cream for instance?

TERRI: I don’t watch a lot of current television programs, but I do tend to binge watch BBC – Phryne Fisher, Lord Peter Wimsey, Miss Marple, Rosemary and Thyme. And I binge watch my favorite movies such as Send Me No Flowers and Pillow Talk. Plus I love going to the movies. My sister and I have been known to go to the show, eat lunch, and go back to the show. Totally fun!

Another area I binge on is reading. Is there a writer alive who doesn’t love to read?

As far as ice cream, well, I’m taking the 5th.

SHAREE: What’s the greatest message you hope readers gain from this book?

TERRI: No matter what has happened to you in life God loves you and He has placed other people in your life to love you as well. You don’t have to live your entire life holding people at arm’s length. Sure some people will let you down, but others will love you forever – friends as well as family.

SHAREE: Please feel free to share anything else you think will be helpful or fun.

TERRI: Even though I mentioned Jason Whitney, my bad guy, and being willing to take a chance on love no matter what has happened in your life, this isn’t a “heavy” book. It is actually a light hearted read with what I hope you will agree is a good message. Also, this is in an anthology with Jean C. Gordon and Lisa Belcastro so if you decide to purchase the book you are guaranteed two additional great novellas.
TERRI!! Thank you so much for hanging out with us today. I can’t wait to read The Matchmakers. Friends, if you want more information about Terri (and you know you do), here’s her social media links!



Please check out her blog post for a chance to win The Matchmakers! 

Terri Weldon is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes – a habit she really needs to break. Problem is they make new, cute ones every season. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in Oklahoma. Terri has two adorable Westies – or they have her, she’s never sure which. Terri is a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. Her dream of becoming a published author came true when her novella Mistletoe Magic was published.

Latayne Scott

I’m absolutely thrilled to have Ms. Latayne Scott here with us today. I first “met” Latayne through her book, Latter Day Cipher several years ago. Today, she’s with us to talk about her latest book A Conspiracy of Breath. GQ0T1072RT.jpg


You have such an interesting writing history. Tell us how long you’ve been writing and what do you enjoy most about writing fiction?


I’ve been writing since early in grade school. For instance, when the teacher would give us students a list of spelling words, I’d make them into a story.

I believe that just as God’s mind is infinite, and He “calls things that are not, as though they were,” there is great delight in imagining things.  I love to think, “What if” about situations. I love hearing about an interesting, little-known fact of history, and supposing the backstory to it, the possibilities, the clashes and conjunctions of characters.

Actually, I pretty much entertain myself. Even though I live alone (my husband is disabled and lives in a care facility), and because I’m always writing something, I never get lonely, never get bored.


I enjoy playing “what if” games when I’m writing, too. Makes my character’s lives more interesting 🙂

What do you hope readers of A Conspiracy of Breath takeaway from the story?


A lot of people think the “point” of the book was about a woman receiving revelation and writing Scripture. However, I want people to appreciate the sacrifices of early Christians, the “most-favored” people of history who lived around the time of Jesus, and yet suffered so grievously.  I also want people to gain from my book some tools and strategies for dealing with the possible loss of faith when readers encounter trials in their own lives. I think we Christians are in for a rough future.


I’d give a hearty AMEN to that.

Have you received pushback about the idea of a woman writing the Book of Hebrews?


I recently did a recorded debate with someone with an opposing view. I’m a rotten debater. I defended my premise (and there’s lots of scholarly support for the idea that Priscilla wrote Hebrews), but also spent a lot of time responding to my opponent by saying, “Oh, gosh, really?  That’s interesting!  I didn’t know that!” etc.

I have found to my disappointment that people in general don’t want to push back about the idea.  Maybe it’s because of things like the title of Hebrews in the King James Version, which says Paul is the author and therefore people don’t know what other possibilities there might be.


It’s definitely something I’d never considered before but I found your research fascinating.

What do you enjoy reading just for fun?


Well, the good news is I love the Bible.  The bad news is I love suspense and murder mysteries. Well, not really bad news. I learn a lot about pacing and plotting doing that.  I also learn what I won’t put up with in fiction, and try not to subject my readers to such things.


I love suspense and mysteries too and appreciate a clean read.

On page 175 of A Conspiracy of Breath you mention Melchizedek not being a part of Abraham’s line. Was Melchizedek a Gentile?


I guess anyone who wasn’t in Abraham’s family was a Gentile.  So, I guess so – but never thought of it before!  That would make the priesthood of Jesus—the Melchizedek priesthood—not only NOT the Levitical priesthood, but not even Jewish!  Whoa!

By the way, my coauthor Dr. Steve Collins with whom I co-wrote Discovering the City of Sodom (Howard, 2012) has a very interesting theory. He says that Melchizedek was actually a local warlord as well as a priest.


Wow! That’s wild!

Who is your favorite character in the story?


Oh, Cordelia. What a woman. She could maintain her faith in God, and wrangle with a stubborn best friend like Priscilla, and never become bitter. In fact, now that I think about it, I just realized she reminds me of another favorite heroine of fiction, Betsie Ten Boom from the non-fiction The Hiding Place. (Parenthetically, I’d like to mention that I got to meet Corrie Ten Boom before she passed to glory. What a woman, there, too.)


No way! I’d start every conversation that way if I’d met Corrie Ten Boom. I must admit, Cordelia was my favorite too.

What was the biggest struggle you had in writing A Conspiracy of Breath?


Chronology. As far as I know, nobody before had ever developed a timeline of her life. I researched where her life intersected with that of Paul, but also how it intersected with such things as the reign of Nero and the building of the Roman Coliseum. (As it turns out, the Coliseum was finished after the time I wrote that Priscilla lived, so there was a no-intersection there.)  I also worked very hard on researching Roman names and customs, and also the writings of early Christian writers about Priscilla. I also found out that her family had a tomb complex in Rome which still exists today.


How interesting! Roman history is very interesting to me.

**spoiler alert!!!***

What was Cordelia’s medical condition?


Cordelia was pregnant for decades.  Her pregnancy was ectopic (the fertilized egg developed outside the uterus, the fetus grew for months but died inside her and the body protected itself against it by calcifying it.)  In fact, this situation is a real medical condition and has happened just a few years ago and throughout history.



Poor Cordelia!

Latayne, thank you so much for being here today!!!


Read more about Latayne and visit her on her website:

Latayne C. Scott writes controversial books. Her newest one, the critically acclaimed A Conspiracy of Breath, is based on the scholarly theory that a woman wrote part of the Bible. She has won awards for her writing, including from Pepperdine University, its “Distinguished Service Award.” Her first book, The Mormon Mirage – also controversial – has stayed in print almost continuously for almost 40 years. She has nearly two dozen other published books.

One notable recent book is about the discovery of the ancient Biblical city of Sodom (Discovering the City of Sodom). Her first novel is a murder mystery revolving around a code developed by the early Mormon church. Both are . . . controversial.

She’s also won a national award for humor. Her kids say she’s not so funny, but she just holds up the prize check.

With her sole-authored theological books, she is patron-supported and publishes those books exclusively with TSU Press.

Leave A Comment to be entered into a drawing for Latter Day Cipher.png

As a special thank you to my subscribers, I’m offering one commenter a paperback copy of Latter Day Cipher. (I can only offer this to those in the Continental US) So leave a comment for Latayne and I’ll draw names by November 15th.

Drawing Rules

1. Only one entry per person per contest is allowed.
2. Contest open to residents of the continental United States. Void where prohibited.
3. Winner agrees to provide shipping address and allow us to publicize their name in conjunction with the contest.
4. Contest ends on November 14, 2017 at midnight central standard time.
5. One person will be selected at random to receive a copy of Latter Day Cipher by Latayne C. Scott.
6. The prize winners will be notified by email and posted here upon response to WordyNerdyBlog’s email notification. If a response email is not received within 7 days from the date of the drawing, another winner will be drawn.
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