Through words and pictures, we walk the winding trails of the untamed west. As a Wyoming Christian author, I breathe in the beauty around me and put it on paper, but I dare all to take a leap into God's country. Learn of its untold stories and discover . . . where the wild meets the Forgiven.
cups, ladies and gents. Gather round. The fire’s roaring and the smell of brew
is in the air. Join us as we talk about writing, life and her book, Winds
comfortable? Good… here we go!
Becky. Welcome to the Coffee Corner. I’m so glad you’re here. It’s not often I
get to meet someone from Wyoming, especially here in Texas. I’m really excited
Wyoming, how did you decide on the setting for your book, Winds of Freedom?
The setting for the first book in the series, Winds of Wyoming, was a Wyoming guest
ranch. I kept that setting and many of the characters plus added some scenes
and characters in Dallas, Texas. I needed a big city somewhat close to the
U.S./Mexico border with a bit of glamour and intrigue.
Cool! Sounds like a book for
me. Two states I know about. Although I have to say, Dallas is a little out of
my league. I’ll stick to Waco. Or at least my little slice of it. It may not be
Wyoming but it is small—er.
I have to ask though, when
writing your new book, did you have a favorite part?
Favorite part. Hmm. That might be the scene where a new foal is
birthed or maybe when the characters revel in a winter wonderland.
It sounds like an awesome
book. You wouldn’t mind sharing a small bit of Winds of Freedom with us,
Of course, here you go.
moments, it seemed, they were standing just inside the entrance of a beautiful restaurant
high atop an elegant hotel in downtown Dallas. The palatial yet intimate
setting was exquisite. She’d never seen anything like it—or smelled such
took off his jacket, his muscles rippling seductively under a form-fitting red
silk shirt. He adjusted his tie and insisted she leave her jacket as well as
her suitcase and purse with the coat clerk. “The employees at this place are so
trustworthy they’re bonded. Your belongings are probably safer with them than
with yourself.” He laughed at his joke as if it was the funniest thing he’d
laughing at her? Did he know she’d done time for theft?
could barely understand the menu let alone recognize the food her escort ordered
for her, but it was tasty. Delicate flaky pastries melted in her mouth. A
savory sauce topped incredibly tender meat. And the buttery vegetables were
steamed to perfection. She couldn’t begin to imagine what the dessert options
she asked for iced tea, Thomas insisted she try the house specialty, a grand
mimosa with raspberries. “You’ll love it. That’s what I always order for my
go to the job interview with alcohol on my breath.”
“You seem tense. A drink would help you relax.”
didn’t feel tense. Scrutinizing his flawless features and staring into his
beautiful eyes banished all concern. If she could, she’d sit there all
afternoon just ogling his perfect body. She lowered her gaze and speared a
broccoli floweret—and hoped she used the right fork.
waiter set their drinks in front of them.
stirred his and then reached over to stir hers. The tattoo undulated with the
stared out the window at the wide expanse of city below. Why did such a
gorgeous man have to ruin his body with a snake head?
restaurant’s mimosas are perfect,” Thomas was saying, “except I always think
they need a couple more swirls to blend in the liqueur just right.”
her gratitude and slowly chewed a bite of meat, relishing the flavor. Thomas watched
her eat, but she wasn’t about to hurry. No matter how much money they paid her,
she had a feeling it would be a long time before she could afford anything this
expensive. She swallowed. “What?”
you mean, what?”
the feeling you’re waiting for me to choke or something.”
at all. Do you like what I ordered for you?”
tastes fabulous, wonderful, scrumptious. Even if I can’t pronounce the names.
Thank you for bringing me here. I’ve never been to such an exotic restaurant.
The view from this place is incredible.”
thank me. It’s on the company, even the drinks.”
really think it’s okay for me to drink alcohol before the interview?”
forward, rested his elbows on the table and tented his long fingers. “If it’ll
make you feel better, just take a couple sips. You’ll love it.”
reached for the drink. “You have a much better idea of what is expected of me
today than I do.”
eyebrows rose. “You’d better believe it, baby. I’m looking forward to it.”
that supposed to mean?
tilted the delicate champagne flute, sipping from the rim. It was good. She took another, longer drink
and smiled at her host. “Mmm. Very nice.”
meal number one. Two to go. She could get used to this lifestyle.
lowered his eyelids and loosened his tie.
the drink down. The mimosa was delicious, but she couldn’t risk ruining the
interview of a lifetime.
What an interesting story! I
can’t wait to read it and I love to read as well as write. For those who may
not know, writing can be fun but a challenging proposition. Becky, what’s your
biggest challenge as an author?
One of my Facebook writer friends recently posted that she
enjoys writing first drafts but hates rewrites. I’m the opposite. Getting the
core story down on paper or into the computer is hard for me and seems to take
forever. But I love the rewrite process! Editing, reorganizing and rethinking a
book can be a lot of fun full of serendipitous surprises.
I have to agree. Pulling
words out of my head the first time around is quite a chore. But I love the
editing process. Considering I’m a fairly new writer, I guess it’s a good thing
I like to edit, huh? How long have you been writing, and how did you start?
Many, many years ago, my high-school English teacher encouraged
me to go into journalism; instead, I earned a Church Education degree from a
Bible college. But before I had a chance to use the degree, I married my
college sweetheart and we started having babies. When our first child was just
beginning to walk around furniture, I saw a notice in the local paper for a
community education writing class. Intrigued, I registered for the class, found
a babysitter and ended up writing a couple feature articles for the newspaper,
thanks to the reporter who taught the class. I’ve written articles and stories
for a variety of publications over the years and published two fiction books
and two nonfiction books. I also edit fiction and nonfiction for authors and
It sounds like you’re a busy
lady! With all that writing, it’s a wonder you have time for anything else. I
mean, I like to fish when I can. What do you do for fun and relaxation when you
I like to walk, garden, camp, hike, cross-country ski, snowshoe,
participate in women’s Bible study groups, Skype with our grandchildren (and
their parents!), hang out with writing friends, read, cook from scratch and
make fun, health-promoting fermented foods like kombucha tea and sauerkraut.
Area farmers raise a lot of goats, so I’m thinking of experimenting with
goat-milk kefir or yogurt.
I don’t think I’ve ever had
kefir or kombucha tea. I’d have to say…interesting… I’m not a sauerkraut fan
but everything else sounds awesome. Well, the sun’s going down, but before we
go, I have one more question.
Words present such opportunities
to a new writer. How, when, where? So many new and wondrous ideas fill the mind
then page. Do you have any advice to that writer, either in experience or age?
Never miss an opportunity to learn your craft and hone your
writing skills. Over the years, I’ve enrolled in writing classes and seminars at
community colleges, traveled to nearby cities and states for writers’
conferences and workshops, studied writers’ magazines and how-books, taken
correspondence and online classes, and garnered insights from critique partners
and industry newsletters as well as writing-focused websites and blogs. Also—write,
write, write and read, read, read.
Thank you so much, Becky. I
appreciate you coming to the Corner. Good luck with your new book, Winds
Thank you, Renee, for
letting me visit your beautiful site!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥GIVEAWAY♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
The winner receives a signed copy of her book,Winds of
Freedom. Leave a comment about the blog with your email address.
In a week, I'll draw for the lucky winner.
Winter storms blast
across the Whispering Pines Guest Ranch, and a cold wind blows through Kate
Neilson’s soul. Despite her pain, Kate’s well-being takes a backseat to the
needs of loved ones: her best friend, who’s been ensnared by evil; her failing
great-aunt, whose dementia care keeps Kate guessing; and Laura and Mike Duncan,
whose ranch and livelihood are threatened by a land-grabbing neighbor.
Rebecca Lyles grew
up in Wyoming, the setting for her award-winning Kate Neilson novels, Winds of Wyoming and Winds of Freedom. She and her husband,
Steve, currently live in Idaho. In addition to writing fiction and nonfiction,
she serves as an editor and a mentor to aspiring authors and as a transition
coach for women transitioning from prison to “the outside.” Becky’s articles
and stories have appeared in magazines and compilations. Her nonfiction books, It’s a God Thing! Inspiring Stories of
Life-Changing Friendships and On a
Wing and a Prayer–Stories from Freedom Fellowship, a Prison Ministry, are
now available in ebook as well as print formats.