Blog Shift

Yea back long ago, when blogging was just coming out and I was a writer-in-waiting, I started a blog. At first, like many would-be bloggers, I was good at posting. Then, when life (e.g., crises and/or work) intervened, the amount of time between posts dwindled from days to weeks and from weeks to months. I’d pick it up here and there, but then something would happen, and blogging would fall off my radar.

Then I changed from writer-in-waiting to writer-got-a-novel-coming-out. Yes, almost to the day last year, I found out that Comfort Publishing was very interested in a manuscript I’d sent to them. Fast forward to today, and on Tuesday, November 6th, my novel, Exiled Heart, will be released. It’s an inspirational romantic suspense novel that traces the life of one Ziad al-Kazim as he travels in exile to the US after being framed for the murders of his family. For Ziad, the change is a series of highs and lows as he struggles to adapt to the southern culture and his budding relationship with Claire Montgomery.

This novel coming out is a new experience for me, and with this new experience came a desire to shift gears a bit on my blogging.

The first change came with changing up the title of the blog page and its associated tagline. I do believe that a successful writer should lead an interesting life full of variety because that variety gets pulled into writing. For instance, I’ll share a couple of things about my life that got pulled into Exiled Heart and where the novel is set.

First off, for some reason, I’ve always been drawn to Middle Eastern culture. I think this comes for many reasons. For starters, my parents spent 13 months in Turkey during the 1960s. While there, they traveled to many places such as Egypt, the Holy Land (the part under Jordanian control at the time), and the southern coast of Turkey. Also, that part of the world is so different from here. So mysterious. It was natural to set the beginning of Exiled Heart in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

I’m also a southern girl at heart. I like my sweet tea, eastern NC barbecue, and hush-puppies. The Braves (even during the rotten years). Hot, humid summer nights. And Charleston, South Carolina. To me, Charleston in some ways is just as mysterious as the Middle East. There’s a great part of our nation’s history there. A great deal of intrigue for those of us outsiders regarding the old Charleston society. I remember reading all of the Pat Conroy novels I could find that dealt with the Low Country of South Carolina where Charleston is located. Having visited several times when my brother lived there, I got to know the city pretty well, and the more I visited, the more I wanted to return. Again, it was natural to set the remainder of the novel in Charleston.

So those are two examples of how my variety of interests fit into my writing. Part of what I want to do with this blog is to write more about those interests. But I also want to hear from you, my blog readers, especially if you have questions pertaining to my writing, my novels, or to me. I’ll answer most questions except for those that I deem to be personal. So feel free to leave comments and questions for me. And may you enjoy reading Exiled Heart as much as I did writing it.

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