The Encounter Interview at Sara's Desk

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Welcome, all, to another day and another blog! I have another Tennessee author for you today – author Robin Densmore Fuson. And my interview with her was just delightful. I can’t wait for you to dive in. But keep with me, there is a giveaway if you can hang in there. But I doubt that will be a problem.

I met Robin through our affiliation with the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), but it seems we have other things in common as well. I have been a part of a critique group (mine is online) called Word Weavers International that she is a member of as well (we are not in the same critique group). This is a fabulous group that can place you in a group that will offer valuable feedback no matter where you are in your writing journey.

Again, I ramble. Let me jump right into the interview…

Welcome to my blog, Robin. First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

At first blush, fifty-two-year-old Renee Harris appears to be a confident sophisticated woman. Hidden are the scars of deep pain and fear. A meeting in an ordinary elevator will not only take Renee to the designated floor but also on a journey of discovery.

Chaplain Lance Freeman’s only thought is to help a family in their hour of need though unknown to him, the woman in the elevator needs him more than the family down the hall.
Elevators can be strange things. Full of ups and downs, they may be used as a vehicle to change the course of someone’s life. Renee and Lance are about to find out just how much a chance meeting can alter a person’s direction. Can real love be a part of their new beginnings? Will they allow God to lead and interrupt their lives so they can eventually find peace, joy, and love?

Interesting. And I must say, rather intriguing. I don’t see a ton of romance novels where the primary characters are more in the prime of life. What was the inspiration for The Encounter?

My publisher, Cynthia Hickey asked for a romance where the characters were older than the typical young love. I have experience with this. A few years after my husband passed away, I met and married my husband, Jimmy. Older people have more life experience and can have a bit more baggage. At age fifty-three, my character Renee has both. She needs to heal and learn who she is in Christ. Some of the issues Renee faces I had to face. Love reigned supreme in my life as well as Renee’s. I pray this book will touch hearts with romance and help people solidify how the Lord sees them.

So great. I love it when the book contains a bit more of the writer’s own experience.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

 I didn’t dream of becoming a writer although I loved to tell stories. I first wanted to be a chiropractor then an elementary school teacher.

Fun! But eventually, that writing bug got ya!

I know we as writers are always learning more about our craft. Some of tht is learned, I believe, intuitively from what we read. And, reading is often a writer’s first love…

What are you currently reading?

I have a book going all the time. Currently I’m reading, Canyon of Death by J. Carol Nemeth. I love to read friends books and new author’s works and review them.

Same here. I like to find new authors to introduce my readers to. (And to find those gems for myself.)
One thing I do to “set the tone” when I write is listen to music. Especially i a coffee shop…some of those places have the strangest music playing 🙂
What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
In romance scenes, I listen to romantic music mostly songs from favorites from eras gone by. When suspense is going on the page, I gravitate to exciting instrumentals or movie tracks. I also listen to praise and worship music. There is always music going or I’m singing. 
Love it! Do you have a favorite time of day to write?
I’m not a morning person so I don’t typically hit the keyboard till after 11am. I am known to work nights but my favorite block of time is 12 to 3 in the afternoon. I wake in the night and jot down things in the dark—sometime whole scenes. My husband is amazed it’s legible.   
I’m amazed it’s legible! Jotting notes is the last thing I can imagine doing at night!
What about a favorite place?
I love my office. The room is bright and cheery. I angled my computer desk so I can see out the window to the beauty of God’s creation and listen to the birds as well as see down the hall into the living room. 
Sounds so nice! A pleasant set up 🙂
Readers are always curious about this next question: How long does it take you to write a book?
I’ve written children’s chapter books and novellas which typically take me two to three months, start to finish. The historical works take a bit longer because of the research needed. I also write flash fiction which is a complete story in under a thousand words. Those I can complete in a day. The novel I’m writing is a long project of the last few years. I fulfill my contracts for the novellas and go back to, The Race of Her Heart.I
I would be remiss if I let you go without asking this one last question: Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
As I stated, The Race of her Heart is a novel I’m always working on. LOL! This contemporary story takes place in Durango, Colorado. A romantic suspense set in the rugged and majestic Rocky Mountains. An injured Olympian, Jalyn is being stalked and threatened. Jalyn’s name is a combo of my parent’s middle names. Jay and Lynn, only with five letters because my name and my children’s names all have five letters. I’m also delving into devotionals and hope to submit them soon. 
Seems like you are one busy lady! I wish you well with those endeavors. Thank you again for coming on the blog and sharing about your release and your process with us. I don’t want to ramble too much before I let my readers jump into the details of your novel (including a video and except!)…

Enjoy an Excerpt

The elevator moved as slow as a sloth on a tree branch. The normally crowded elevator stood vacant a moment ago as Renee glided her blue tennis shoe-clad foot into the gaping space. The cubical swallowed her as the doors closed with the usual swish and she pressed the top floor number, causing it to light up. Tension snarled her shoulders as the conveyer inched upward.
Only acquainted with the three parts of the hospital, she tried to steady her nerves as she ascended to the floor and the familiar place where her husband lay in a bed all alone. She had only been gone to the cafeteria for half an hour when she received a call from the nurse to hurry back up.
Earlier, the nurse on duty, Carol, practically pushed her out the door. “Girl, go grab some food. I called down and they still have some of the amazing chili and sandwiches. Even at three in the morning, they serve some delicious food. You need to keep your strength up. He will be fine. Now, go.”
The ascending lift seemed to slow even more as thoughts crept into her mind, she mulled over the crash. What could they have done differently?
Darin said he had swerved to miss the deer. She had screamed when the car swerved. The car began the skid that took them off the shoulder of the road. Renee awoke to men banging on the window for her to unlock the door.
The throbbing in her casted arm and headache reminded her that she was one lucky woman whereas Darin’s injuries were far worse. She sighed.
The elevator chimed as it came to a stop. The door slid open and a tall man entered. That’s when she glanced up and saw she hadn’t made it to her destination. Renee scooted back and to the right out of the man’s path.
He nodded. “I see I’m not the only one up. Well, the staff are, of course. Visiting?” He frowned as he took in her cast and sling.
“Yes. My husband.”
His eyes bespoke of compassion and intelligence that had quickly summed up her ordeal. Blue eyes. Crinkles of laugh lines around them. The badge hanging from the lanyard read “Chaplain.” A shudder skimmed down her spine. She pulled her sweater closer but it slipped out of her grasp, causing it to slide off instead. 
“Here, let me help.” He took hold and clasped the edges and buttoned it before dropping in into place. Not touching her but it felt as if he had.
“Thank you.” The automatic words slipped out. The ding of the elevator saved her. She glanced up. Relieved. “My floor.”
He stepped up and placed his hand on the edge of the door to keep it open so she could make her way through. She heard him follow. Of course. This was the top floor, after all. She kept her eyes on the hall in front of her that led to Darin’s room. Before she got to his open door, she paused to place the smile on her face and squared her shoulders. The scene that met her inside caused the world to spin out of control.
Lance noticed the sway and grabbed her before she collapsed. He swiftly took in the scene and guided her to the only chair, close to the door. He helped her sit and then stood next to her with his hand on her shoulder as the emergency team worked on the man in the bed whom he assumed to be her husband.
One nurse glanced up and nodded before returning her attention to the task at hand. Lance turned his attention to the whiteboard. Patient’s name, Darin, interesting spelling. Wife, Renee. Nurse, Carol. Phone numbers followed. Area code—not from Utah. No secondary contact. Renee must be alone. He counted five people trying to get a response out of the heart they jolted. The team worked feverishly but to no avail. The doctor he assumed, shook his head. “Time?”
“Three forty-three a.m.” They turned in unison at the gasp from the woman beside him.
Lance aided her to stand. The staff parted, clearing the way as she walked to the bed and took hold of the still hand. Her husband’s bare chest did not rise. Dead. Lance hated the word. He itched to help this woman, this stranger. Spiritual needs were heightened during this sort of crisis. He grabbed the chair and took it over and again clasped her elbow and guided her to sit. The silent staff wheeled out the machines…


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