About Saundra Staats McLemore
Saundra Staats McLemore is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Ohio chapter of the ACFW. After thirty-three years, Saundra is recently retired as President/CEO of McLemore & Associates, Inc., a nationwide sales and marketing business she built in 1984. In her spare time, she loves to garden, and she can be seen throughout the summer working in her flower beds. Saundra has written two novels so far in the Staats Family Chronicles Series: Abraham and Anna and its sequel: Joy out of Ashes. To date, there are six novels in the Christmas Hotel Series: Christmas Hotel, Christmas for Lucy, Christmas Redemption, Christmas Pact, Christmas Love and Mercy, and Christmas Hotel Reunion just released by Desert Breeze Publishing on September 01, 2017.
Born and raised in the state of Ohio, Saundra is married to Robert, and Anthony is their only child. The other two members of the family are the cat Charley, and the Cocker Spaniel Daisy.
#1--What is the most difficult scene that you ever wrote? Why was it so difficult? Was it based on a personal experience?
In Christmas Pact, I wrote about a soldier who was killed in Vietnam. I used information provided by the United States Army for my family in 1970, when my brother Specialist Four Gerald Martin Staats was killed in battle in Vietnam. The scene was quite difficult to write, and the long ago memories flooded back. My brother was buried the day after my nineteenth birthday.
#2--Do you find writing energizing or exhausting?
A little bit of both. When the words come it's like an overflowing fountain. At such times, I can write for hours. However, some days I just can't find the words to say what I want and then writing becomes extremely frustrating. I usually take a break from writing for several days and read books that have piled up in my TBR (to be read) stack. I enjoy reading books by other authors, especially in the summer. I'll sit in my back yard swing and read, listen to the birds, and look at my flowers. My backyard is my summer sanctuary and quite peaceful. Soon the words will flow again.
#3--As a writer, who would you consider your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? Why?
The mama bear is fiercely devoted to her young. I am a "Mama Bear" when it comes to my stories. Each of them has a particular subject. In Christmas Hotel the subject is depression and trust. In Christmas for Lucy the subject is child abuse. In Christmas Redemption the subject is the humanity of the unborn child. In Christmas Pact the subject is PTSD and forgiveness. In Christmas Love and Mercy the subject is cancer and specifically leukemia. In Christmas Hotel Reunion the subject is dealing with tragic events and Alzheimer's. In all these stories the message is clear. Put the Lord first and everything will eventually fall into place. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV). As a "Mama Bear", I fiercely protect the message of these stories, and I hope the stories will inspire others.
#4--Has being a writer affected how you read other books?
Many times, yes. Before I was a writer, I could overlook typos, poor word choice, and head- hopping. I'd fix errors in my head and move on. Now, if the book is confusing, I usually lay the book aside, and I begin another book. I wish I could tell writers just starting out to hire one or two editors before ever sending a book to a publisher. I personally have used the same editor before all eight of my books were sent to my publisher or if I self-published. I want as much polish as possible before the publisher's editor has to tackle the story.
#5--Who is your biggest supporter? Tell us about them, and why they are such an amazing person.
My mother was always my biggest supporter. She was an amazing woman who taught me my letters and some reading/phonics before I started school. She loved to recite nursery rhymes and poems, and passed the love on to me. When my first novel was published, she was my biggest cheerleader, and so proud of me. I miss her very much. She passed away just five weeks shy of her ninety-sixth birthday in 2015.
#6--What was the best advice you ever received about your writing? Something you keep in mind still today OR What was the best writing tip you ever read, learned, etc.
I have received several tips that I use in my writing, but I'll list two.
- Put yourself in the story and become a part of the scene. In other words, use your five senses. Do you smell something cooking on the stove, is a spider crawling up the wall, are birds chirping? Was the dog's fur soft or rough or the taste of the stew? You get the picture.
- Also, when you quit writing for the day, and the chapter is complete, write the first sentence of the next chapter. The next morning, you'll have a thought to begin the new chapter. Write something--anything! Poor writing can be corrected, but a blank page is useless, and it can easily cause writer's block. #7--Do you have a favorite inspirational quote/scripture/poem that you feel motivates you? What is it, and how does it affect you?"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13 KJV). I live by this verse. When I think something can't be done or feel it's beyond my abilities, then this verse comes to mind, and I will seize the day. I'll place all of myself into the project; be it writing or mending a relationship, or fighting for something in which I believe.#8—Of your eight books, which story was the most difficult to write?Christmas Hotel Reunion, the sixth and final book in the Christmas Hotel series was without a doubt the most difficult story. In the novel, there is a woman who is a victim of the horrendous disease: Alzheimer's. Why was it difficult to write? Twenty years ago, my dad succumbed to Alzheimer's. I watched a virile man of 6'1"and a leader in his profession regress to infancy. It was heart-breaking, but it was a story I knew one day I had to write.Amazon link to Christmas Hotel Reunion: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Reunion-Saundra-Staats-McLemore-ebook/dp/B0759GHMWV/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504543748&sr=8-1&keywords=christmas+hotel+reunionGiveAwaySaundra Staats McLemore is giving 2 eBook gift copy of Christmas Hotel Reunion away to be entered just comment below and tell why what Christmas mean to you ! BE SURE AND LEAVE INFO TO REACH YOU. IF NO INFO AND I DON'T KNOW YOU I WILL PICK ANOTHER WINNER !