ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ About Chloe S. Flanagan ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ¸
Chloe S. Flanagan is an author, technical writer, blogger, and a graduate of New York University. She enjoys exploring the Christian walk frankly and thoughtfully in her fiction and in her blog, The Candid Corinthian. When she’s not writing, Chloe loves music, travel, reading books in all genres, and spending time with family.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you were raised.
First of all, thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I appreciate all you do to spread the word about your fellow writers.
I’m a fan of words. In my day job, I’m a technical writer for an engineering firm, where I mostly edit other people’s words. I’m also a blogger and indie author, which means I try to catch all the pictures and ideas floating through my head and turn them into words. When I’m not doing that, I spend even more time with words by curling up with a good book.
I was fortunate to be raised in a household that fostered my love of reading and writing from the very beginning. Also, my family moved a lot when I was growing up, which gave me lots of different experiences and people to learn from.
Can you share with us a book you have read recently, are currently reading?
One book I really enjoyed, which came out earlier this year was The Morning After by Raelee May Carpenter. In fact, I gave an author endorsement for the book. It’s a lovely, thought-provoking story about a young man and woman who encounter God’s grace in surprising ways when they unexpectedly become parents.
Tell us about your latest book.
Dreams Last is my third contribution to the multi-author Potter’s House Series 2 and the 23rd book in the collection. It’s a family drama about how Jessica, a young aspiring musician, overcomes heartache and fear to reconnect with her aloof Aunt Lois.
What did you learn about yourself through writing it?
Writing this book really helped me process some of the complexities of relationships among family members and friends. We’re only human. We make many mistakes and the people who are supposed to love us the most are often the ones who hurt us the most. Often, that hurtful behavior is more about the pain and shadows in their own past than it is about their feelings toward us. When we understand all of that and treat each other with grace, we find the freedom to love each other as we truly are and not as how we wish each other to be.
Do you normally use an outline for the books you write, or do you just start with a few ideas?
The more I write, the more I find outlines to be indispensable. I usually start with some basic bullet points of the major plot elements in the story then keep outlining until the points are more and more specific. The final outline, before I start writing, usually has a brief summary of every single scene.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing?
For me, it’s filling in all the little gaps to make a cohesive story that (hopefully) flows well. Fortunately, this is the good kind of challenge, like a puzzle. I love puzzles, even though they frustrate me sometimes. When I’m planning a story in my head, I usually have a general notion of where the characters start out geographically and emotionally, and I know where I want them to be by the end. The pivotal turning point usually comes to me soon after those first two elements. But, filling in the details and scenes and emotional highs and lows that happen in between those milestones is the tough part for me.
How do you feel writing has affected your relationship with God?
When I started writing fiction, I wanted to tell stories that depicted Christ’s love for all people. I’ve found that writing these stories has made me open my eyes to more of the many ways that love shows up in our lives. Sometimes, it shows up as an individual, spiritual experience, but sometimes the love is revealed in the kindness of a friend, relative, or even a stranger. As I become more cognizant of these experiences in my own life, I try to translate them to my stories.
What advice would you give a new author?
One of my first pieces of advice I like to give is, if you have a story or project in mind, start writing as much as you can. Don’t get too bogged down in research yet, if you can help it. Don’t self-edit yet, and don’t solicit other people’s opinions until you’ve really gotten the journey underway. It is so easy to get discouraged or distracted until you just give up, and that’s what we don’t want. Once you have some kind of draft, there will be plenty of time and methods out there to improve the work, but with no draft, there’s nothing to improve.
Aside from that, I think the best thing is to be hungry for knowledge on how to improve your craft. Listen to podcasts, read writing books, find a local or online writer’s club or two and learn from your fellow members. And, of course, read good books. Think about your favorites and what makes them so powerful.
Finally, don’t forget that the dream to write and share your words with others was placed on your heart for a reason. God gave you a story or thought to share with the world, so have faith and keep writing.
Where do we find your books?
All of my books are on Amazon and are also available in the Kindle Unlimited program.
ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ About Dreams Last ღ(¯`v´¯)ღ¸
After growing up in the shadow of her family’s broken dreams, Jessica is finally on the way to pursuing her own dream of becoming a professional musician. But when a sudden crisis forces her to return home to the aunt who raised her but never seemed to like her, she finds herself sifting through old memories and unexpected secrets. Could the path to her future lie through the tangled web of the past?
For the last twenty years, Lois’s life has been precisely where she wanted it…firmly under control. She holds a hard fought for position of prominence in her small town, and her personal life—such as it is—is neatly tucked away. She’d never guess that one natural disaster could sweep all of that away. Picking up the pieces will involve the last two people she’d ever expect: the niece who has always reminded her of a past she’d rather forget and the man who once broke her heart.
Dreams Last is Book 23 in The Potter’s House Books Series Two. Stories of ‘hope, redemption and second chances.’ Read this Contemporary Christian Romance today and be blessed.
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