InSilverpines Series

Introducing: Renea Westlyn

 Yup, that’s ME! I laughed when I realized I was going to need to interview myself! I told my husband I had to interview myself and he said, “well talk good about yourself.” I do love that man. He’s got all the jokes.
So, I suppose I should tell you a little about me
First off, I hate these questions and I wrote them! Plus, they make me want to sing, “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you” – you know from the King and I? Julie Andrews?  What can I tell you… I’m from a small town in Missouri where everybody knows everybody. I married my husband 3 months out of High School. He served in the Air Force for 24 years. We moved from Missouri, to Utah, to Ohio, to England (for 6 years), to Oklahoma and then he retired and we settled in the beautiful state of Virginia. We’ve had a lot of adventures in our nearly 19 years of marriage and I look forward to many more. We have two children, 18 and almost 16. They make me feel rather old, though I’m not. Anyone wanna guess my age?
Let’s see, what else…I’m bluntly honest, but I try hard not to hurt anyones feelings. I am a coffee addict. I enjoy Cherry Pepsi’s and Pizza. I love to read and get lost in a story, it’s like adding more adventures to my life. I love road trips and traveling in general. I tend to try most things at least once. I am an introvert and sometimes battle anxiety. I enjoy running… Recently, I was complaining about being lonely. My teens have busy lives and don’t need much from me other than food and driving one them somewhere from time to time and my husband travels. Now, the good thing about being an introvert is I actually enjoy my alone time but sometimes I do get lonely. I think I was feeling the early symptoms of the “empty nest” syndrome. My daughter graduates this year and she’s my coffee buddy and she’ll be leaving me. It makes me happy and sad. My son said to me, “Well Mom, what did you want to do before you were Mom?” I didn’t have to think long to answer him. “I want to write. I’ve always wanted to write and I’m too old to be a barrel racer now.” Lastly, I am an old soul. It seems I never spend time with those my own age and I’m completely okay with that. I like being the baby – cause I’m actually the oldest sibling.
1. How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was 8, little poems, short stories, journal entries, long letters…anything I thought of really. I was always writing, still am. At the time I needed an outlet, then I fell in love with it and the rest is history.
 2. What genre’s do you write in?
I discussed this with my writing mentor George and he gave me a category… Sweet Clean Romance.
3. When were you first published?
I have not yet published a book. I have sat on my work my whole life. I did have one poem published in 1999, but other than a newspaper article and writing for a few websites that’s the jist of it.
4. How long does it take you to write a book?
Truthfully, I don’t know yet. I’ve not finished one. I have over 50 incompletes. I get so far and then I self-sabotage. I get scared and I shut down. I started “The Scent of Coffee” last year, everything was going great and then for some unknown reason I hit the breaks. I will finish that book this month. I could have finished it last year in probably a month, but I didn’t and I can only blame myself.
5. Where can we find your published books?
You will find my published books on Amazon this February! It might only be one, but it might be three – who knows! That, however, will be the place to go.
6. What can you tell us about your first book in the Silverpines series?
Oh, I really don’t want to tell you very much! I’m afraid I’ll give it away! Abby Porter is a mail-order bride that arrives in Silverpines, Oregon to marry Reverend Samuel Bates. However, when she arrives it is complete destruction and chaos. She has no idea if he is alive or not! And…that’s where I’m gonna leave you hanging. Sorry! We’re having a Silverpines party on Saturday -online, and we’ll be giving away more secrets, playing games and there will even be prizes! So you should totally join us and learn more!
7. Do you have a newsletter and how often does it go out?
I’m working on that. I have something up on my website here that you can sign up for, but I’m not sure if it’s for updates posted or what. I really need to sort that out, but I’ve kinda been busy writing a story.
8. Do you have a Facebook page, group or other platforms where you hang out to connect with your readers?
Oh, heck yeah! I’m everywhere! 🙂 Facebook Page, Facebook Group, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and y’all I’m even on Snapchat!
9. What is your favorite thing about writing books?
I get to write! For me, it’s not so much about creating the characters or the town but the feelings they evoke. I don’t want to create a character that you cannot feel connected to in some way. It’s that empathy thing, I want you to feel what they feel. I want you to connect and relate and laugh and cry and get mad and stay up all night because you’re hooked. I want you to feel something because I unpack pieces of my heart in everything I write. That’s what I love most, which means I have to stop hiding my work!
10. What other books do you have releasing this year?
The Scent of Coffee, 2 books in the Silverpines series, 3 other secret projects and perhaps The Scent of Cherries – we’ll see. Lots of wonderful adventures on my horizon!
11. Have you done a multi-author series before?
No, never! I love it though! I love that George is willing to let me participate, mentor me and push me. I love learning from these other authors and their encouragement. It’s a wonderful team and I’m feeling very blessed to be a part of it.
12. What’s one unique non-writing fact about you?
Oh dear! Why did I write these questions! Non-writing fact, I was my hometown Rodeo Queen.
Well, how did I do interviewing me, myself and I? I hope you learned something, got to know me a bit and I look forward to getting know you!
Much Love,
~Renea~
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