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Hell and welcome Codee Shaner Burba to Coffee Time Romance and More. We are so excited you are here to visit with  us today. 

Can we start with you telling us about your latest book The Life You Leave Behind?

It started as a dream years ago and progressed from there.  I sat down one day, thinking I had the story mapped out, only to find out the characters didn’t like the way I’d originally planned it.  The Life You Leave Behind, written in diary form, follows Faye Slater’s life for about ten years.  She goes from a young widow in her early twenties to re-marriage, motherhood and the blending of a modern family.  Problems arise in her second marriage and she’s faced with a painful decision—staying put or walking away from the life she wanted.  You know, just your basic everyday problems.

So you have pushy characters too? LOL When a new book comes out, have you ever been nervous over readers’ reaction to it?

Absolutely!  A happy reader is my job security.  An unhappy reader a nail in the publishing coffin, so to speak.

The is nothing worse than an unhappy reader; I for one get very cranky when there is things I can't relate too. How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author?

Everything.  They paid money for my book, hoping to be entertained.  I read somewhere the average person spends 10 hours reading a book.  That’s 10 hours they’ve invested in my plot, characters and writing.  I want them to walk away and think about my characters—wonder how their lives went after the book closed.  And I want them to buy my next book because I’ve done a good job as a writer.

10 hours on average, that's interesting. Do you have other WIP’s you want to get published?

I’ve finished my second book and am querying literary agents.  My third book has about a 100 pages to go before the rough draft is finished.

That is great news for your readers.  Do you have a writing partner to bounce ideas off of?

Her name is Sheri and I met her on authonomy.com.  She sent me her full manuscript and I sent her all of The Life You Leave Behind and our friendship took off from there.  She talked me into doing NaNoWriMo this year and that’s where the third book came from.  She’s an amazing writer and I value her input so much.  We’ve reached the point where if something isn’t working for her she’s not afraid to tell me and vice-versa.  I’d rather someone I love tell me something sucks than read it in a review.

It is always great when you have someone who can push you yet help you keep your craft flowing. Where do you look when you need inspiration?

Hmm…the million dollar question.  When I travel I get ideas.  Maybe that’s because my books are set in places I love and travel to—D.C., Gettysburg, Maryland.  I get great ideas while on vacation.  I guess a change of scenery helps me immensely!

Even in the most beautiful place a change of scenery is needed once in awhile. Is there a question you wish readers or interviewers would ask more?
I love when someone asks if the characters in my book are based on real people—because of course they are.  Some to greater degrees than others.  Reagan in The Life You Leave Behind is based on my cousin—effortlessly beautiful, more like a sister than a cousin.  My cousin’s without the quirkiness and craziness of Reagan, though.  Jimmy and Helen are a complete work of my imagination but that doesn’t mean I didn’t throw in some traits from people I know.

I often wonder how often authors chuckle under their breath with their "secret" of who characters are based on!.At the end of the day, what is the last thing you think of before sleeping?

I’m usually bouncing around story ideas.

 I wish my rambling mind at night would produce something other than sleeplessness, Lol. How about the first thing when you wake up?

I always check to see if my husband, Mike, has made it in safe from night shift.

 That's part of my routine too, my hubby drives tractor trailer overnight. Check him and the kids. If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Creative, mother and straightforward.

Cool choices. Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy?

I love to play the piano (not very well) and take pictures.  And I enjoy a good game of softball.

Very different sports and music.  You mentioned you like traveling before is there a place you have never been to that you always longed to go?

I’d love to go to Italy.  My husband’s family is from there, it would be amazing to walk the same land as his ancestors.  I heard the food’s pretty good there, too.

Italy Ooh I was just thinking the food there. Yum.Lol..So as we finish up grilling you do you have any final words or advice?

If you enjoy writing, write.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t a writer.  If you put one word after another, you’re a writer.  If it’s something you enjoy doing, keep at it and don’t listen to the critics too much.

Great Advice! thank you so much for chatting with us today. I wish you luck, success, and many sales in your future.

 

 

 

 

 

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