Coffee with Lori DeJong

It’s that time of day when we take a little break and sit down with the authors we love and get to know them a little better.

Today, I have a chat with Lori DeJong to share with you. Lori  is the author of Love’s True Calling. So grab a cup of your favorite drink and maybe a little snack and enjoy the conversation.

Thank you for joining me, Lori.

So, how long have you been writing?

I got the hankering to write back in the late 1990’s, but didn’t get serious until 2002 when I joined a national writing organization that had a local chapter where I lived in Arizona. I started out writing for the secular market but felt the pull to move to Christian fiction around 2004. We moved to Texas in 2005 and I found the local chapter in Austin of the same writers’ group. Because of some difficult circumstances my family went through starting in 2009, my writing fell by the wayside, and I didn’t pick it up again until we were empty nesters in 2020. So all in all, I guess I’ve been actively writing in pursuit of publishing for ten years.

Thats wonderful. Sometimes you have to put the dream to the side when the priority shifts.

Sinceyou have been writing for so long, what advice would you give a new writer or someone just starting out?

Find community. In this day and age, it’s so easy to find writers’ communities online if you don’t have something local. ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) is an excellent organization with tons of resources and opportunities for fellowship, education, and promotion. Faith, Hope, & Love Christian Writers, 540 Writers Community, and many more. Writing is such a solitary endeavor and it can be difficult to keep going when discouragement sets in. Surround yourself with people who get it. Who understand the writing life. It will make all the difference.

YES!!! I completely agree with this. I thrive more in my local writing community then by myself. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Time management. Hands down. I work full-time during the day, so all of my writing endeavors take place in the evenings or on weekends. As I’ve mentioned, I’m big into community, and I’m a member of several writers’ organizations and groups. I usually have one or two meetings, classes, or workshops a week, plus promotion and marketing of my new release. Sometimes I don’t have the energy to work on my writing because of all the other writer things. So I have to work hard at organizing my time to decide what’s important as opposed to what can be left for later so that I have the time and energy to do what I love—write.

Girl, I think you are talking my language, or at least there is a mutial understanding. Time management can be difficult.

Tell us, what is the key theme and/or message in the book?

That God’s plans for our lives far outweigh our own, even when we believe we’re on the path He’s led us to. Harper is a new Christian earnestly seeking meaning for her life and finds it in ministry to teens. Wyatt’s been a Christian since childhood and founded a ministry to help teens find their true value in God, not in who others say they are. But even Wyatt has to learn that, even though He’s answered God’s call on his life, he still has some things he needs to deal with.

Amen, sister!

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share?

Right now, I’m working on Book Two of the True Calling Series, Love’s True Home, Ally and Zane’s story of what home truly looks like when God is in the middle. Once that one’s off to my publisher in October, I’ll start on Love’s True Measure, Shannon and Hunter’s story of how to truly measure the value of one’s life—by God’s standards or man’s

Well, we will keep you in our prayers as the series develops. I look forward to reading what God has put on y oure heart to share with readers. 

Thank you again, Lori, for joining me today. I hope this tour blesses you both and I look forward to seeing more from you. 

 

Readers, please be sure to keep reading and enter the giveaway. 

About the Book

Book: Love’s True Calling

Author: Lori DeJong

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release Date: June 27, 2023

After years of jumping through other people’s hoops to be all they thought she should be, and enduring a tragedy no mother should, self-described “newbie” Christian, Harper Townsend, has finally found her true calling … and her true love. Until it appears that to follow one may mean leaving the other behind.

Adolescent Psychologist, Wyatt McCowan, is beyond delighted to have the-girl-that-got-away back in his life, and his heart. But even as they fall more in love, he realizes that being obedient to God’s calling on each of their lives may pull them apart. She rejected him once in favor of another, which left him hurt and angry. But this time, he can’t fault her for following hard after the God she loves with all her heart, even if it means leaving him once again.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Lori enjoys writing stories full of grace and the redemptive power of God’s love that inspire hope, joy, laughter, and perhaps even touch a soul or two to get to know Him better. She resides in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband and two fur-babies and is the mother of one grown daughter. Love’s True Calling is the 2022 winner of the ACFW Genesis Award for Romance.

 

More from Lori

I’ve had a dream for a very long time. In fact, I had this dream long before I was even doing anything to achieve it! Turns out I’ve wanted to be a published author since the 1990’s. And I didn’t even start writing, join writers’ groups, or attend conferences to learn the craft until 2002. Something inside me apparently knew more than I did when I put on my 1996 long-term goals list: To be a published author.

 

Fast forward to 2023 and my debut novel is being published. I’m not great at math, but even I know that’s A LOT of years that have gone by since I first identified that long-term goal. So the take-away from that should be, if you set a goal, no matter what it is, make a plan. Immediately. Not years later. Seriously. Don’t be me.

 

So, I chugged away at this writing goal for a few years, until my husband was laid off when the economy tanked in 2009 and our lives turned upside down. I didn’t write again until 2020, when we found ourselves empty-nesters and I started listening once again to those voices in my head begging me to write their stories.

 

Which brings me to how my first published novel was born. Would you believe it was homework? True story! When I came back to writing in 2020, I needed to re-hone my skills. So I took an online class that required us to plot an entire manuscript based on our characters’ motivations. What do they want out of life and why do they want it?

 

That’s how I came up with Wyatt, the high school geek now an accomplished and handsome college professor and adolescent psychologist, and Harper, the high school Miss Everything who’d weathered plenty of storms in her life before going back to school a decade after graduation to finally get her degree. What happens when Wyatt sees the girl who broke his teenage heart sitting in his class?

 

I plotted out this story as homework, never intending to write it. But I fell in love with these two and they were clamoring for me to tell their story. Two years later, that story won the ACFW Genesis award and is now being published by Scrivenings Press. Best takeaway from that? Never. Ever. Give. Up.

 

Who knew that a class assignment could bring about the realization of a twenty-some-odd-year-old goal? Make a dream come true? God did. And I’m so glad I listened to Him as I put this story to paper.

 

I hope you’ll read and enjoy Love’s True Calling, a story of love rediscovered, the joy of finding purpose, and the blessing of obedience.

Blog Stops

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 9 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Artistic Nobody, August 12 (Author Interview)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 13

Guild Master, August 14 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 15

A Reader’s Brain, August 16 (Author Interview)

The Book Club Network, August 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 18

Back Porch Reads, August 19 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, August 19

For the Love of Literature, August 20 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, August 21

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 22 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lori is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.