By Deena Adams
Today I’m excited to introduce you to my online author friend, Tabitha Bouldin, who writes contemporary romance in a tropical setting. I could use a little of that right now, couldn’t you?
Tabitha has offered a digital copy of her novel, Mishaps Off the Mainland, to one lucky winner. Comment on this post by March 23 to enter.
Welcome Tabitha! Let’s start by learning a little about you and your family.
I met my husband in junior high and we married two weeks after graduation. We claim that whole “high school sweethearts” status with pride. We’ve been married going on nineteen years and have two boys, ages 13 and 14, who people always think are twins.
I can relate. My husband and I met in eighth grade and married six months after high school graduation. Tell us how and when you started writing.
Writing wasn’t something I intentionally started. In 2014 I had this story idea that would not leave me alone. I’m talking stay up all night and think about nothing but this story. That went on for about a year.
At the time, I was working as a medical assistant at a doctor’s office. I started carrying a notebook in my car and would sit outside at lunch time and scribble away bits and pieces of this story. Things snowballed from there, and I became a writer.
I love your writing beginning. So cool. Why did you decide to write romance novels?
I love reading romance, and I was tired of always seeming to run into the same conflict between the hero and heroine. I found a quote that said “write the story you want to read” so I did.
Romance was a natural genre for me to step into. I don’t know that I even thought about genre at first, I simply wrote the story on my heart, and when I decided to publish, it fell into the romance niche. I adore romance. In books and in real life.
How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?
I always try to include at least one character who is struggling with their faith. Either through a situation they’re in or something that happened in the past, they have questions, and I use the story to help answer those questions in the best way I know how: by looking to God and the Bible but without the sermons and preaching. I strive to give readers hope without shoving a message down their throat.
I appreciate your desire to share hope with readers. We all need that, especially these days. Are any of your stories inspired by true events or personal history?
In Mishaps Off the Mainland my heroine goes through a similar situation as I’ve been through. She has a dream, and she believes God has answered her, but things start going wrong and she begins to doubt.
When I left my job to be a stay-at-home mom who also homeschools and writes, I had a rosy outlook on the future. Then it all started falling down around my ears, and I struggled. Had I heard wrong? I put that same fear in Mishaps.
It’s great that you can pull from your experience and incorporate the emotion into your story. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Right now, I’m contracted to write 50,000-word novellas. Those take two months on average. I can finish in one month, but my writing suffers and I end up fixing a lot of mistakes that I wouldn’t normally make.
For a longer book, say 90,000 words, I need a solid six months. You would think I could do it in four, but longer books take more time for me to figure out where the story is going and what it’s trying to accomplish.
Yeah, I wrote my first manuscript in four months and I’m still editing it! LOL. What do you hope your readers take away from the book?
I hope they take away the knowledge that God isn’t out to make our lives miserable. He said we’d suffer, but He’s always by our side. Better yet, He’s on our side, fighting for us every step of the way.
Amen! Great lesson. Which character in Mishaps Off the Mainland was easiest for you to write and why?
The easiest character to write was Mel. She’s spunky and outgoing, and even though I’m an introvert and Mel’s an extrovert, her character practically wrote itself onto the page. She told me exactly what she wanted, which is one of the reasons she had a lesson in patience, and she’s a go-getter who isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants.
Which character presented the biggest challenge?
Zeke was more challenging. He’s sarcastic like me, but I needed him not to be a jerk. Sarcasm can be difficult to get just right so the reader understands he’s not being mean. Zeke isn’t comfortable with conflict, and he deflects with sarcasm. Naturally, he had to learn how to stand up for himself instead of running away. Not an easy task for me to write.
Sounds like interesting characters! What’s next from you?
I’m currently working on a five-book series of contemporary romance novels with a beach/island setting (Independence Islands published by Celebrate Lit). I’m writing the fourth book now and book two releases in May.
After this series, I’m doing something similar, but on a different set of islands, tropical this time, and with more authors in the group of writers.
I also have a fantasy novel that I’m praying will be picked up this year, with publication most likely next year.
You have a lot going on. I pray God’s blessings on your endeavors. Besides posting comments on your website, how can your readers and fans support you?
I love when readers share about the books. Memes, graphics, snippets of their thoughts. Seeing those pop up across social media is like getting a shot of espresso. It jumpstarts the creativity and helps push me to continue writing through the rough patches.
Thanks so much for joining me on the blog today, Tabitha. It’s been great getting to know you and learn about your writing.
Join the conversation. Do you read contemporary romance novels? What do you love most about them? Does reading a story set in a tropical island sound as appealing to you as it does to me?
The winner of an e-copy of Mishaps Off the Mainland will be announced in the comments on March 24.
Mishaps Off the Mainland by Tabitha Bouldin
Click the book cover for purchase link
All Mel wants is to run the business of her dreams.
Melody Carmichael’s mobile pet grooming business might sink before it can sail when a favorite pet escapes her care. Doggie escape-artist, Daphne, got a taste of freedom, and the Afghan hound refuses to be found.
Enter Zeke Solomon. Desperate to bring the dog home for his grandmother, Zeke steps in to save the day.
And working together with Zeke would be a snap—if they could just find the dumb dog.
Zeke is desperate to prove himself worthy of the Solomon name and step out from his father’s shadow. With his father breathing down his neck and demanding he return to the company business, Zeke must decide whether confronting the man he admires most is worth the risk of alienation.
Everything’s falling apart, and Mel’s dream transforms into a nightmare. She thought this was what God wanted for her life, but can you blame her for second-guessing everything?
Was it all just a mistake?
Tabitha Bouldin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has been writing since 2015. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, you’ll find her curled up with a book. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart.
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If you missed last week’s interview with Alexis Goring, find it here.