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Author Spotlight, C.A. Simonson

Writers enjoy an extended family of sorts. Knowing one writer usually means you’re going meet more writers. Several of my current writer friends were introduced to me by other authors. I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting C.A. Simonson in person, but I’m certain I will soon.

Please enjoy this interview with Author C.A. Simonson.

1. For those readers who are unfamiliar with you, please tell us a little about yourself.

I am now a full-time writer/author and publisher assistant, retired from teaching and working in internet technology. Growing up in South Dakota, and then living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio (the cold north), we decided to move to Missouri where we’ve called home for the last fifteen years. We have two grown sons, six grandchildren, and one great-grandson. When I’m not staring at a computer screen, I enjoy quilting, crafting, and fishing in my backyard pond.

2. What kinds of writing do you enjoy?

I began writing nonfiction DIY or how-to articles for magazines years ago. I still write articles and do content writing for the web occasionally. To date, over 400 articles have been published online, or in national magazines or ezines. Now I enjoy writing YA inspirational fiction – drama, mystery, and adventure. I’ve also written many children’s activity worksheets and stories over the years. Compiling many of those worksheets, Finding Your Superpowers” was created which came out last year. It’s an activity book for ages 6-12.

3. What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

I love the research that must go into the book, but what is most special is when the characters become ‘alive’ and start writing their own story. Unless you’re a writer, it’s hard to understand. You, as the author, may think you have a plot all worked out, and then the character takes over.

4. When did you start writing?

My first published piece was when I was still in high school at age 17. What a thrill! I’ve loved to write since childhood, and even won a READING contest by writing the last book and reporting on it. The story can be read on my website. It wasn’t until my 30s that I began writing articles and fillers. While reading magazines, I found they wanted submissions, so I started submitting. My first novel was published in 2013 after a ten-year struggle with writing it. Since then, I have self-published three more novels, two children’s activity books, an anthology, a food book of hacks, hints, and helps, a family history/memoir book, a Christmas novella, and a book of devotions.

5. To what or whom do your attribute your love of reading and writing stories?

As a child, I would spend all day, every day in the summer reading Nancy Drew mysteries. My sisters loved to read, and it rubbed off on me.

6. How have your past experiences impacted your writing?

Many of my stories are based on true-life events, although sometimes greatly embellished. Facts are often more unbelievable than fiction, so many of my stories can trace events in my life or someone that I’ve known. (Names and places are changed to protect the innocent -LOL)

7. What are some jobs that you have held?

I was an Administrative Assistant for many years, working in churches, schools, banks, nursing homes, corporate businesses. Then I trained for computer technology and became a K-6 computer teacher. At that time, computers were relatively new and there was no curriculum for kids, so I wrote my own and taught children basic computer knowledge as well as typing skills. From there, I went on to teach computer applications to adults in two corporate business settings as well as work as ‘IT help desk.’

8. Does your past employment experience ever make its way into your books?

Only in some of the characters’ traits.

9. What inspires you?

People-watching; observation; past memories; amazing or miracle news stories. If one is vigilant in looking for stories, they can be found everywhere.

10. What made you decide to write about the subjects or themes of your books?

All my novels have been based around children who are abandoned, neglected, or abused. (This honestly surprised even me when I realized it.) The first novel started out with a true story where seven children are abandoned by their drunken father. They must separate to survive. This became the basis for Love’s Journey Home – The Search for Love. This actually happened to my husband’s grandfather and his siblings. From there, the next two in the trilogy, Love Looks Back- The Search for Siblings, and Love’s Amazing Grace-Reunion came easy to write as I followed the children’s journeys. The fourth novel, RUNAWAY, came from a dream I had about a young girl, scarred and crippled, who wasn’t wanted. Her struggle with fitting in and seeking acceptance are the main themes. My goal is always to inspire, provoke thought, and encourage readers. The stories are full of turmoil, anguish, and pain – but end in hope and forgiveness.

11. Have you met any interesting people while researching your books?

The director of the orphanage in Love Looks Back has the looks and mannerisms of a photographer I met on a cruise. If you look around, there are plenty of ‘characters’ waiting to be captured in a story.

12. What is the most difficult part of writing?

Definitely editing. There are many parts of the book the author thinks is necessary, but the words only take up space. Too much description, overwriting, weasel words…the list goes on. Getting the flow of the story correct is also hard, but must be mastered to be effective to the telling of the tale.

13. Who are some of your favorite authors and why do you enjoy their work?

As a young reader, I enjoyed Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew). Ellen Gunderson Traylor writes wonderful biblical historical novels such as Samson, Abraham, Esther, taking the biblical story and putting meat to it. Her accurate research of biblical times was astounding. Janette Oke, a Canadian writer, is another favorite with her inspirational fiction. Joanna Penn, a UK thriller writer with her ARKANE series, also does super research in her stories which brings them to life.

14. What writing advice did you find most useful when you were honing your craft?

Do the research! OUTLINE! Part of my 10-year struggle with the first novel was trying to fit everything in. Someone asked me what the timeline was? What year did it take place? Where did it take place? Were some of the things I talked about still in use, or even invented then? What do your characters look like? How old are they? My response – I DIDN’T KNOW. Once I decided when, where, and how and made a timeline and outline, the story came together.

15. Do you have any new work just released or coming out soon? If so, would you please tell us a little about it?

RUNAWAY came out last year. It describes the plight of runaways and throwaways in our nation. It deals with the abuse they go through, challenges faced in foster care, the hope of adoption, and the constant search for love and acceptance. It also looks at the real fact that everyone is ‘running away’ from something and the search for truth and real answers to life.

FINDING YOUR SUPERPOWERS, a children’s activity book based on the Beatitudes of the Bible was my latest endeavor. Filled with puzzles, word searches, stories, games, and experiments, it’s a fun project for any kid ages 6-12.

All my books are available on Amazon, and can be viewed on my website, casimonson.com

16. Can you tell us a little about your current project?

I’ve started research for another novel about a rebel immigrant pre-teen who faced the rugged trek from Venezuela to find his father in the United States. In looking for acceptance, this boy will get involved with rebel groups. The problem – he doesn’t know who or where his father is, and his father doesn’t know he has a son.


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