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27 August 2011

Meet Delia Latham--Author, COTT Champ, and New Staff

by Sr. Editor, April Gardner

In July, COTT staff added three members to the family. We already love and appreciate these ladies and are enjoying introducing them to you. The last two Saturdays we've met, Raquel Byrnes and Katie McCurdy. Today, we'll get to know Delia Latham.

Delia is the author of the Solomon's Gate Series (White Rose Publishing), a collection of three novels based around a Christian dating agency with a special touch of the divine. Destiny's Dream(Book 1) and Kylie's Kiss (Book 2) are currently available in print and eBook, and Gypsy's Game(Book 3) is pending release later this year. The author's blog, My Book Bag, features News (usually about what's going on with her books and manuscripts), Reviews (of the books she reads), and Interviews (with other Christian authors). Her bi-monthly newsletter, The Bookshelf, offers a mix of writer-and-reader-focused articles. Subscribers are entered into a drawing for free books, gift certificates, and other fun prizes every edition. She loves to hear from her readers, so be sure to visit her website, blog, and/or newsletter - and don't forget to say howdy!

Welcome, Delia! We’re so blessed to have you with us. Can you share what your role is here at COTT?

I'm still feeling my way into it, but I'll be helping develop the Blog Alliance - the group of bloggers who commit to posting our feature articles/announcements each week. We want the Alliance to grow and become a force to be reckoned with...a recognizable and respected entity in the industry. I look forward to helping make that happen.

You’re also using your talents to create some gorgeous new buttons for us. Can’t wait to reveal them! So, what is one goal that you would like to see met before the end of the year?

I'd like to be agented by the end of the year. Hopefully my attendance at the ACFW Conference in September will be a step in that direction. I've been genuinely blessed to get my books traditionally published without on my own so far, but I know an agent will be able to open doors I can't get close enough to even knock on - and some of those doors open into places I'd very much like to go.

I’m with you, Delia! A worthy goal, but you’re already making a name for yourself, including being one of our first champs. Thinking back, how did you hear about us? 

Jennifer Slattery contacted me. She liked the scene in Destiny's Dream depicting Clay's conversion, and asked if I'd be interested in submitting it to COTT for one the Clashes. Of course I was! (My scene came out victorious, too, which was SO much fun!)

To get to know you a little better, can you tell us three interesting random facts about you?

Why is it so hard to think of anything interesting about oneself?  (Sigh) Well, I'll try. Here goes:

1. I was born and raised in a tiny California farming community called Weedpatch. Ran around barefooted even in the hot, hot Summer time. We kids raced from shade to shade with smoke rolling off the soles of our feet, and the stench of burning flesh assaulting our little noses. (And I don't exaggerate...much.)

2.    I'm an unapologetic Dr. Pepper-a-holic. 

3.   I love to sing. Once upon a lifetime ago, I was the female lead in a Country Western band. Now I only sing Southern Gospel music. I still think there's something similar about the two genres...the simple depth of feeling, perhaps? The fact that the songs actually have a meaning...and you can hear and understand the words? LOL  I started playing the piano at about 9 years old, and never had a lesson. I play strictly by ear, and firmly attest that God taught me to play.

I agree with the unique depth of feeling that comes in Southern Gospel, and they often have real stories (which of course, we LOVE!). Are you going to sing in the ACFW choir?

COTT readers, Delia has a question for you. Take it away, Delia!

What quality must a book possess to make you tell everyone you know about it, then come back and read it again down the road?

All this month, Delia has been our guest in the COTT Book Club. We’ve been discussing her sweet novel, Destiny’s Dream. If you haven’t stopped by, it’s not too late! Head over there, now, and jump in.

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Gail Pallotta said... Saturday, 27 August, 2011

Hi Delia,

It's so nice to see you at COTT! I'm looking forward to getting to know more about you. I've always thought country and gospel music have a lot in common. How fun that you sing too.

Anonymous said... Saturday, 27 August, 2011

Hi, Gail! I'm so enjoying getting acquainted with all of the COTT staff. As for singing...well, I can't claim quite the voice I could 15 years ago, mostly because I seem to have less breath. Age...or lack of use? LOL Probably a bit of each, don't you think? :D

Carrie L. Lewis said... Sunday, 28 August, 2011

What quality must a book possess to make you tell everyone you know about it, then come back and read it again down the road?

A book must possess one of two qualities before I recommend it.

1: It has to be very well written with engaging characters in believable but challenging conflicts, who find ways to overcome the odds regardless of how long the odds are.

2: It has to make an impact on me in some fashion. An emotional response. That moment of having a spiritual light bulb turned on. Something that makes me ponder a concept, idea, or attitude I hadn't previously pondered.

A book that's a ten in the second category, doesn't have to be a ten in the first (though that certainly doesn't hurt). I will be more lenient with a book if it has a great message but the quality of story telling is a little lacking.

If a book is a ten in writing craft but the message is weak, I'm less likely to recommend it, even if I personally enjoy the book.

Personally, I'm a lot more lenient with the level of story telling craft than I am with books I recommend. If I'm going to put my stamp of approval on a book, it has to meet higher standards.

I think of the old Hanes underwear ad with the gruff looking old woman.

"It ain't Hanes 'til I say it's Hanes."

I may wear the underwear, but I won't recommend it, in other words.

Same goes with novels.

LoRee Peery said... Sunday, 28 August, 2011

It's so good to see you here, Delia.
For me to recommend a book and not forget that book, it has to reach me on an emotional level. I need to laugh and cry and live through the heroine. If there is a spiritual take-away, what a bonus!

Anonymous said... Monday, 29 August, 2011

I think I'm seeing the name Carrie underneath that date...lol Forgive me if I'm wrong. Carrie, your standards for recommending/re-reading a book sound as if you took them right out of my head. Poorly written books frustrate me to no end, even if the storyline is a good one. The lack of quality draws me out of the story, so I can't enjoy it like I would if it were written with careful attention to the rules of writing mechanics. LOVE the underwear analogy! :D

LoRee, there is nothing - nothing - that makes me remember a book more than does emotion. If it makes me cry, I'll remember it. If it makes me cry AND laugh...AND get angry...I'll tell the world about it! And yes, that spiritual take-away should be the icing on an already delectable cake.

Item Reviewed: Meet Delia Latham--Author, COTT Champ, and New Staff Rating: 5 Reviewed By: April Gardner