Interview with Delia Latham

Delia, I just read your “about me” page and you seem like a hoot! Thank you for stopping by today and congratulations on the upcoming release of Destiny’s Dream on December 17th. I feel like I should offer you avocados or something very Californian . . . but will mint hot chocolate do?

I love mint hot chocolate! You may never get me to leave!

DELIA LATHAM is a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. While she considers each of these roles important ones, she treasures most of all her role as a child of the King and an heir to the throne.

A former newspaper staff writer, Delia promised herself a novel for years, while raising her four children, working at various jobs and writing the occasional article, poem, or song. She fulfilled that promise when Vintage Romance Publishing released Goldeneyes in 2008. A Christian historical romance with a touch of the divine, Goldeneyes is set in the farm country of the author’s childhood, and therefore close to her heart. In 2010, White Rose Publishing released Yesterday’s Promise in electronic format, and Destiny’s Dream in print and e-format. A children’s book will be available early in 2011.

Delia grew up in Weedpatch, a tiny agricultural community near Bakersfield, in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She and her husband Johnny recently transplanted from that area to Okmulgee County, Oklahoma.

December 17th Delia’s third novel, Destiny’s Dream, releases. Here is a blurb : Destiny May’s dream comes true when she opens a Christian dating agency in Castle Creek. But when  a Solomon’s Gate match foils the plans of a man on the edge of sanity, it takes a little heavenly assistance to protect the pretty matchmaker from the madman’s revenge. And Heaven’s not above using Clay Gallagher to help out a bit.

Delia, I simply love your name, is there a story behind it?

Thank you, ma’am!

Well, with a name like Delia, you learn to answer to anything! 🙂 Where folks find that second “L” to pronounce it Delilah I’ll never figure out. One gentleman I worked with for several years spent the entire first twelve months calling me Dee-Ella. Oh, well. He knew who he was talking about.

It was my grandmother’s name—at least, the spelling was. Granny pronounced it Deelee. My mother pronounced my name Deela. But she spelled it Delia (which apparently didn’t make a lot of difference in Mom’s generation or my sweet Granny’s), so when I started school, my teachers called me Delia (Dellya). I was waaay to shy to tell them my Mommy said my name was Deela, so I became Dellya to everyone outside my family. That carried over into adulthood. It’s just easier to answer to the logical pronunciation than to stop everyone who pronounces it the way it’s spelled and tell this rather lengthy story. LOL

You make me think about my name, Heidi, and how my father always wanted my name to be Heather. Weird what we remember! But back to the interview and your upcoming novel 🙂 Tell us the inspiration behind Destiny’s Dream.

Aha! You’re wondering why this 50-something grandmother is writing about a dating agency! ‘Fess up! 🙂

Actually, I’ve had the idea in mind for a long time. Some years ago—at least a decade, but I’m not exactly sure of the year—I read a novel that was one of the books in a series. (Part of being 50-something is the inability to remember details, and I can’t remember the name of the book, the author, or the series… I really wish I could.) The heroine in this particular segment of the series owned a dating agency. It was so much fun! I immediately thought, “Oh, wow! Wouldn’t it be fun to base an entire series around a Christian dating agency?” I talked about it on interviews and online chats, called it a work-in-progress. And it was…but only in my mind. I mulled it over and hashed it around my brain. I worked up possible scenarios while doing dishes and making beds. I came up with plot hooks while trying to get to sleep at night. And finally…years later…I woke up one day and it was as if God put His finger in my face and said, “It’s time. Write it.” So I did, and to my surprise, God had plans for more than a novel. He had things He wanted to do within me that He accomplished through the writing of Destiny’s Dream. I learned things about myself, about what I believe. I discovered a hidden power—an “additive” to prayer—that had always been a part of my life, but which I’d never fully utilized because I didn’t really understand its potential. So this series has meant so much more to me than just a publishing accomplishment. (I’ve shared a bit more about God’s work in me through this effort at various blog spots throughout this tour. I hope you’ll search them out and learn the details, because there’s something in it for you too!)

I see you did NANO. And it appears that the novel you wrote actually turned into a published book Yesterday’s Promise. I must say I am shocked that something written during NANO got published, tell us what happened?

Actually, I’ve heard of a few Nano products that became published works. Amazing, isn’t it?

Still, it wasn’t quite as easy as it sounds. First of all, there was a lot of work to do, getting that Nanowrimo product into shape after the event. Then…green, excited, and in such a hurry to get published, I submitted to a publisher I’d never heard of on the recommendation of an online friend. My fault entirely, of course, that I didn’t do my homework. Absolutely zero research. Just thrilled beyond measure that they accepted my manuscript and got my book into print. Turned out, the publisher left “somewhat to be desired.” I won’t go into all the details, but yes, it was published (under another title). Two years later, I was able to reclaim my rights to that book. Now I had a real challenge. You think it’s hard to find a publisher for a novel? Try finding one for a reprint! But God is good, and I was able to place it with White Rose Publishing as an e-book. I used a new title (Yesterday’s Promise) to avoid any confusion between publishers. As it turned out, that book also opened the door for the Solomon’s Gate Series, since it was through that book that I became acquainted with the publisher who would make The Solomon’s Gate Series a reality!

Would you share how you plot? Especially for a romance.

Oh, Heidi, you had to ask. I could make something up, I guess, but the sad truth is…I don’t.

I am such a seat-of-the-pants writer. Remember the process I describe in writing this series? That’s pretty much the way I “plot” every novel. In my head, until I have enough grist for the mill—then I sit down and start writing what I’ve worked out in my head. From there, the characters generally take over and lead me by the nose all the way to “The End.” 🙂

For fun, if you could take a plane to ONE place, where would you go? If you could bring one person with you, who would it be? And if you could eat only one kind of food during your trip, what would that be?

Ireland. My husband. Lobster. (Wow, that was easy!)

Finally, tell us about the children’s book that you are releasing in 2011.

Mine! is a rhymed story, which is my favorite kind of writing for children. I had so much fun with it. It’s about two little girls, one of whom has an obvious problem with sharing. She learns a painful double lesson through her friend’s reaction to her selfishness. It’s just a fun little tale with the mandatory lesson hidden away in the entertainment. It’s being released through Vinspire Publishing. They also published my historical, Goldeneyes, and will publish another children’s book, Adam’s Wings. Hopefully that will happen later in 2011, but that’s just me being optimistic. They haven’t really given me any indication as to a projected release date.

Thank you for stopping by to visit today Delia, it’s been fun having you! Everyone, go to Delia’s website and get involved in her BIG contest! If nothing else, check out the jigsaw puzzle of her Goldeneyes front cover. I could not figure out how to do it – can you?!

Thanks for having me. I’ve enjoyed it! And yes, do come on over to my website. (The puzzle’s FUN—don’t let Heidi fool you!) Rather than doing a giveaway at all the various blog stops during this tour, I came up with the Daughters of Destiny contest. It’s fun and exciting, and I think you’re going to love it! There are two parts, and two absolutely gorgeous prizes. (And there could be some extras thrown in as we go along…I’m looking into that.) I’ve built in lots of opportunity to garner a whole passel of entries. Curious? Follow me…


6 Responses to “Interview with Delia Latham”

  1. Heidi, thanks so much for inviting me to visit your lovely blog! 🙂 I enjoyed our interview, and look forward to chatting with your guests.2

  2. Hi Delia,
    Do you think being a pantzer contributed to the success of Nanowrimo for you? I wonder if it would be as successful for a plotter?

  3. Delia, Heidi’s right – you ARE a hoot – in the most wonderful sense of the word! I’m ticking off the hours until the relase of Destiny’s Dream! 🙂 Blessings.

  4. Hey, Tanya! You’re probably right, though I hadn’t thought of that. Nano would probably be harder for a plotter. And Marianne…I’m glad to hear someone besides me is counting down for this release. By the way, I’m reading Hearts Surrender right now – it’s wonderful! And for those of you who might not know, both Tanya and Marianne are fellow White Rose Publishing authors, and wonderful people as well. I do love my White Rose sisters!

  5. Heidi, I meant to get back in here and say THANK YOU so much for having me on your blog! You are appreciated… 🙂

  6. Delia, you are welcome 🙂 You are so sweet and funny, you were a joy to interview. Congratulations again Destiny’s Dream!!!

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