Author Interview: R. M. Strong


Today, we have a meet-the-author session with R. M. Strong, while she talks about her latest book, Patient Love…

How did the idea for “Patient Love” come about?

I was looking for something to write for Camp NaNoWriMo this last April and wanted to try to do something completely different. The farthest polar opposite of the Young Adult fiction I have written before that I dared to write was a contemporary romance. Another writer friend of mine had a whole bunch of romance plot summaries that she wasn’t going to use and gave them to me. This one, especially, resonated with me.

Where do you get your inspiration for book titles and character names?

The book title came from the Love Chapter in 1 Corinthians: Love is patient. One of my characters is quite long-suffering—and another character’s love can be described as the antithesis of everything Paul said love was—and that gave me my title. My character names, save my main character Jasmine, come from the BBC Sci-Fi series Doctor Who. I had never written a contemporary romance before, and have never really read a lot of them, and so my muses were revolting a little at the beginning. In order to get them to cooperate, I began using the names of the Doctor’s companions and side characters. It saved me a lot of time, too, trying to find names for minor characters.

How do you approach tough or touchy subjects in your books?

At the beginning of the book, Jasmine is being thrown away, tossed out by her fiancé just days before they were supposed to get married. Philip had been emotionally and spiritually abusive to Jasmine their whole relationship, using a narrow, ultra-literal interpretation of Scripture. I have not experienced such abuse myself, but know people who have and allowed them to read and give feedback on the story before publishing. Because everyone and every denomination has their own way of interpreting the Bible and God’s instructions–and because I didn’t want to alienate or offend anyone of any denomination or sect–I purposefully made Philip’s church and theology beyond ultraconservative. In his church’s theology, women cannot even speak in the church sanctuary because Paul says women should learn in quietness. Women are only considered saved after they have had children (“women are saved through childbearing”). The man is the head and will do as he pleases with no input or advice from his wife. By going so overthe-top (while staying within the literal confines of Scripture), I hope to get my point across while still not offending.

What was your biggest challenge while writing “Patient Love”?

The biggest challenge was just writing it. In addition to writing something completely foreign to me, I wrote it in a month during Camp NaNoWriMo, during a time when my husband was working in another state 400 miles away and I was, effectively, a single mom. Everyone was rather supportive of the whole thing, though, and I got done with time to spare.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m still trying to figure that out. After being a stay-at-home mom of an infant, then a toddler, then a preschooler, then a kindergartener, now I get to be the mom of a first grader and that means all-day school. I finally have spare time again. I’ll probably end up using it for writing and reading.

 

Top 3 goals for the rest of 2013?

1) Complete my New Years’ Resolution of writing 250,000 words this year (I am currently just over half-way done).

2) Finish two more books—a ghostwriting project and Erimentha, the third book in the Superhero series.

3) Win (write 50,000 words) National Novel Writing Month this year.

 

Author Bio:

R.M. Strong grew up an hour from the Pacific Ocean, and her favorite childhood memories are the annual beach trips with Grandma and Grandpa. After nearly a decade in Potato Country, she and her family are once again an hour from the shoreline. Patient Love is Mrs. Strong’s fourth book, joining Young Adult novels Karis and Flash and historical fiction What Difference Does Seven Days Make? Patient Love is available now in print and electronically on Amazon and Smashwords.

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