Sunday Spotlight: Lindsay Detwiler Author of Voice of Innocence

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Sunday Spotlight is a weekly scheme I am running to bring publicity to lesser known authors who, in the book blogging community, it is important to support. If you are an author and you wish to be considered for it please email me at emily.confessionsofa
bookaholic@gmail.com with 'Author Spotlight' in the subject line.

The first author I would like to introduce to my new Sunday Spotlight scheme is Lindsay Detwiler, author of the 2015 new release, Voice of Innocence, a sweet romance with a sharp edge which has already received a five star review on Goodreads despite it's very recent publishing!
  
She has kindly agreed to both an author interview so that we can learn more about both her and Voice of Innocence, and a giveaway of two copies of her book. How exciting!

First, here is some more about it:

We’ve all heard the saying: you never forget your first love. For some, however, perhaps the better terminology is haunted---haunted with the memories, the connections, and the life-changing relationship. So begins the tale of Emma Ranstein and Corbin Jones, two typical teenagers who travel the road of first love together, hearts sealed by a seemingly impenetrable bond. When Corbin Jones is convicted of murder and faces years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, though, their love is put to the test. As Emma and Corbin await his release from prison decades later, both reflect on the power of a relationship neither has gotten over. Their unique story speaks to a universal heartstring within all of us: how do we move on past a first love if we aren’t meant to do so? More importantly, it reminds us that there is hope if the heart leads the way.

Doesn't it sound interesting? I thought so which is why I simply had to ask Lindsay some more about it in our interview below, check it out!

Hi Lindsay!
The first question I must ask is the most obvious however I’m curious. Voice of Innocence is a very unique title; tell us what made you choose it!
I know this is a terrible answer, but it literally just came to me. I had always been intrigued by the concept of the wrongfully convicted, but I often found myself thinking about their loved ones.  What would it be like to be a girlfriend or wife of an innocent man convicted of a crime?  One day, I was thinking about this when the title just popped into my head, and the characters unfolded from there.  I started thinking about this girl who was madly in love with a guy who was wrongfully convicted.  She would have to be his voice of innocence, the voice trying to proclaim the truth in a sea of doubters. The rest of the story just started flowing from there.
I have drafted another novel and starting outlining several others, and I find that the title always comes to me first.  I get a general idea about the book’s topic, the title comes to mind, and I start writing from there. 

What author would you say has influenced your writing most?
I have always been a huge Nicholas Sparks fan.  I know that critics deem his work as predictable, but I like to think of it as dependable.  I know when I pick up one of his novels that I am going to get a beautiful love story, realistic characters, and some wonderful, poetic writing.  He writes about characters who are easy to relate to, no matter what your age or experiences.  I think that speaks to his talent as a writer.

I read on your Goodreads profile that you are a high school teacher. What is the writing advice you would give to your students if asked?
My biggest piece of advice is to write with heart and emotion.  When I’m introducing a creative writing unit in my classroom, I always start with the question: What is the most important thing about writing?  I usually get answers such as grammar, topic sentences, adjectives, or vocabulary.  The truly perceptive student is able to answer correctly: emotion.  No matter what you’re writing, whether it be a poem, story, novel, or a formal essay, the writer’s goal is to evoke emotion. 
I often see websites and books encouraging prospective novelists to do research before they write.  They tell you to research marketable ideas, groups who are most likely to read your book, and ways to build momentum by focusing on popular events and ideas.  This may work for some writers.  For me, though, I never anticipated Voice of Innocence would be published.  I didn’t worry about marketability or writing for a key demographic.  I simply wrote because I felt like I had to tell the story.  Even if no one ever read my book, I felt an emotional attachment to telling Emma and Corbin’s tale.  I think that the best writing comes from a place like this, a place of vulnerable emotion and passion for your writing.

Also on your profile (I’m not stalking you I swear) you say that you did an accounting then later did an English degree. What prompted such a drastic change?
I always wanted to teach, but job prospects in the field were slim to none in my hometown, which is where I knew I wanted to live.  It was in my final semester of accounting, though, that it finally hit me; I wasn’t pursuing my true passion, and if I didn’t act soon, I may never get a chance to set things right. I had minored in English and found that I enjoyed my English classes more than my business classes. Plus, I had always loved reading and writing as a child. Thus, I stayed in college to earn a second degree in English/Secondary Education.  It was the best decision I ever made.  I ended up getting a job in my hometown, and it is a job I absolutely love.  I get to talk about literature and writing everyday; I couldn’t ask for anything better than that!

You describe your novel as a sweet romance however its subject matter seems quite serious – how do you maintain that balance between sweet and serious?
I try to write with a sense of realism, and to me, life is always about opposites.  Even the sweetest love story has serious, tragic moments, and vice versa.  Part of the balance in my novel comes from the fact that it is told from various perspectives.  My novel tells the story from Corbin and Emma’s individual perspectives as adults.  However, it also uses flashbacks to their teenage years, a time of sweet innocence untainted by the harsh realities of their difficult circumstances.  Even though Emma and Corbin face bleak circumstances, there is still a sweetness to their story because of the power of their love in their younger days.

Difficult question but who is your favourite character in Voice of Innocence and why?
I would have to say Corbin just because I admire his strength.  He endures a lot of difficult situations, yet he is able to maintain a sensitivity to others.  He also has a sense of humor, which I admire in a guy.
As far as minor characters go, I am also a bit partial to Corbin’s dog, Henry, since he is based on my own mastiff . . .and I am admittedly obsessed with him.

Have you got any other books planned? If so do you plan to stray into other genres or are you sticking to romance?
I do have another novel drafted.  It is in the same genre, but it is a bit more lighthearted in tone.  It will also explore the intricacies of love, but this time from the perspectives of both an unhappily married woman and a single woman looking for love.  I’m very excited about this second novel and hope to finish it this summer.
I have also outlined a sequel to Voice of Innocence and plan to start writing it this summer as well.

The cover of your book is gorgeous – how did that come about?
I have Angela Archer to thank for my beautiful cover.  She was assigned to design my cover by my publisher, Melange Books, LLC.  I completed a questionnaire about my book and my characters, and she came up with the design.  I feel like she did a great job at capturing Emma and Corbin’s relationship with this cover.

What are the best and worst things about being a writer?
The best thing is knowing that something you created in your imagination is impacting other people.  I love when my readers tell me that they became attached to Emma and Corbin.  It amazes me that people I created in my mind are impacting others.  That is my favorite thing about writing in general and why I love teaching English—it’s amazing that a person can create a world for a reader by putting the right words together on a page.
The worst thing is just making time to write.  I work as a full-time teacher and am taking graduate courses to earn my master’s.  It’s really difficult to find time to work on my latest stories with everything else going on.  There’s also the battle that when you do have time to write, you might not always be inspired at that particular moment. 

Finally, I read that you have a cat named Arya. I feel I must ask what we’re all wondering – was that name inspired by the Game of Thrones character?

Yes!  We adopted her at the same time my husband and I became interested in the Game of Thrones series.  We had just started watching season one after my husband’s friend recommended it.  My husband suggested naming her Arya because he liked the name and the show.  Ironically, though, she is nothing like Arya from the series; while Arya from the series is bold and sassy, our Arya is timid and submissive. 


Doesn't she sound lovely? Well obviously she is considering the two copies of her books I have to giveaway below! You can't win unless you enter so GO GO GO!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions for me or Lindsay, be they about her book or even her cats, leave them below and if she doesn't see them I will pass them on or check out her Goodreads profile.

6 People dared to comment.:

L McCoy said...

:)

Dawn Husted said...

awesome, just shared on twitter! :-D

Sheetal Sukanya Dash said...

Thanks for the opportunity. The blurb of the book seems interesting.

Olivia-Savannah said...

This sounds like a really cool book and I would love to try it myself.

Check out this post: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2015/03/fantasy-favourites-read-thon-goal.html

Eve Estelle said...

Amazing interview! Very detailed, and good questions. Voice of Innocence sounds interesting. I can very much relate to the author's comments on your question of how her title came to her. Same process for me, most of the time. General idea, title, rest of the work.

Thank you for supporting new authors like this!

Eve
Edge of Night

E L Irwin said...

What a great Author Spotlight! Loved it. I'm always interested in hearing what other authors have to say. This is another book I'll be checking out. Great job.

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