Thursday, March 31, 2011

Questions, Challenges, & Conferences

In Monday's post, I asked you to share questions that you'd like to ask your favorite author. As always, you came through splendidly, offering fun and unique questions. Here they are:

Wendy wanted to know who their favorite character to write was, and why.

Jennifer S. is interested in writing routines and time frames - how long did the book take to write?

Susan W. wonders about their favorite kind of writing.

Jules asked, "Does the toilet paper roll go over the top or...?" (This really can tell a lot about someone, you know.)

Joylene brings another important one to the table. How does one maintain their faith and keep going after many rejections?

Arlee wants to know, "When is it time to give up on an idea, if there ever is a time?" Robyn voices a similar thought, particularly if the project has years invested in it.

Marja wonders what the biggest struggle in the writing process is.

"What do they do to relax?" Hilary asked something I was wondering too.

Here's another good one. Jennifer B. asks,"If your life could be summed up in a book title, what would it be?"

Warren says, "What do you read? How do you research? How do you keep track of your ideas, thoughts, notes?"

Time management is on Cecelia's mind. She wants to know how they manage to keep it together in this way.

Lisa and Donna are curious about the best writing advice this author has ever received.

"I always like to know what motivates an author to write, as well as their process," says Susan R.

Lydia posed this question, "What writing habit do you have that you think others would benefit in their own writing?"

Carla's curious about how writers balance a small business and their writing.

Cheryl wants to know, "What is the most unusual thing you've done in the name of research?

Terri's looking to find insight on this one. "Did you want to give up often?

Rhonda's thoughts are similar. She wonders how they stay encouraged and fresh, how they hang in there and don't give up.

Angela offered this thought, "A question I'd ask is how much their life changed once they went from writer to author, both how they looked at the industry and their part in it, and how it affected their personal life."

"How much money did you have in the bank when you quit your day job and decided to write full time? Or, did you just take a leap of faith out over the gaping chasm of tomorrow, and trust the Lord?" Good thinking, Jeanette!

Lynn says, "I always like to know how many books the author has written (and in a special place in her closet) before they were published."

What a wonderful list of questions. Thank you all so much! Perhaps this will inspire someone to do an interview...:)

A to Z Challenge

April is the featured month for the A to Z Challenge sponsored by some of my blogging friends. To jump into the fun, stop by the blog of Arlee Bird, Alex Cavanaugh, Jen Daiker, or Stephen Tremp. Challenge begins April 1; it should be a great adventure!

Conference Info                                               

Write to Publish Conference, Wheaton, IL, June  8- 11, 2011

Romance Writers of America, NY, NY,  June 28 - July 7, 2011

American Christian Fiction Writers, St. Louis, MO, September 22 - 25, 2011

Thank You

It's been a great Blogoversary month; thanks for celebrating with me! This week's winner will be posted on Saturday, and then I will be taking a break for a bit. See you on or around April 11.

With all these great questions floating around, are you tempted to contact your favorite author for an interview? If you could interview anyone, living or deceased, who would it be?

Happy weekend,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Turning the Tables & Blogoversary Giveaway

You might have noticed that my Second Blogoversary month had a bit of an interview theme. What better way to celebrate than to feature talented authors? The added bonus, of course, was that they all kindly offered a book to give away.

For the final week, I decided to turn the tables and let you ask the questions. What would you ask if you were interviewing a favorite author? And, okay, I can't resist; I have to ask one question - what would we be surprised to learn about you?

(If you happened to miss any of the interviews this month check them out: Patti Lacy, Marja Meijers, and Ann Gabhart.)

Final Blogoversary Giveaway                                                             

This week's giveaway includes a copy of She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell and a giant Hershey bar.  What would a Blogoversary celebration be without a good book and chocolate?  :)

To enter, please review the following details. Note the requirements - you must be a follower and leave your email address. I am thankful for everyone who stops by my blog, but my regular followers provide support and encouragement. This giveaway is meant to show my appreciation for those who take the time to stop by, comment, and share the writing adventure.           

Giveaway Details

• You must be a follower and leave a comment with your email address.
• Gain a bonus entry by posting this on Facebook, your blog, &/or Twitter. Please include link w/comment.
• Open to residents of the US and Canada.
• Deadline to enter is midnight EST, Friday April 1, 2011. Winner will be announced Saturday, April 2 and notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Don't forget to share your thoughts on these questions:

What would you ask if you were interviewing a favorite author? What would we be surprised to learn about you?

I'll share the questions in Thursday's post.


Photo credit:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Angel Sister Winner

Congratulations to Sally, the winner of a copy of Angel Sister!

Thanks to everyone who participated. 

Have a good weekend!


P.S. The final Blogoversary giveaway will be posted on Monday. 
Hope you will join me!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is Your Writing Green?

Green writing.

What does it mean to you?

Novice writers?

Articles or stories on the environment?

Writing that offers timeless appeal?

C. Hope Clark's post, Evergreen Writing, discusses the latter, and explores ways to use "evergreen" topics to sell magazine articles. You know the type, those themes that you see every year, like New Year's Resolutions and losing weight. Or holiday celebrations. Hope encourages us to research timeless topics and add a new spin as a way to sell more articles. I agree; there's always another angle waiting to be tackled. And sold.

The post got me thinking, not just about how to write creative articles, but how to expand fiction ideas too. Historical and romance novels are evergreen, aren't they? How about mysteries? What unique perspectives can we offer? Who would have thought years ago, for example, that Amish fiction would be so popular? Just think of the possibilities!

There are angles everywhere. At the coffeeshop. On the playground. Under the desk. In the laundry basket. Beside the chocolate bar in the drawer. We each see the world through different eyes. Just think of all the threads of ideas out there, waiting to be woven into something special. 

Write Hope

Write Hope is a group of international writers who are auctioning books and services (donated by writers) to benefit the people of Japan.  Visitors enter bids by posting in the comments; check out their latest posts here. Don't forget to peruse previous posts for items of interest.

Angel Sister Giveaway

Don't forget that the Second Blogoversary Giveaways continue through next week. This week's interview and giveaway features a copy of Angel Sister by Ann Gabhart. Deadline to enter is Friday at midnight. Click here to enter.

How green is your writing? Have you taken any time lately to explore new and different writing ideas?

 Happy weekend!

Photo credit: Andrewatla 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Ann Gabhart

The month long celebration for my Second Blogoversary continues! This week I welcome author Ann Gabhart, from Kentucky. Ann shares a bit about her writing and has offered a copy of her latest book, Angel Sister to one of my readers. Stay tuned for the giveaway details below.

Karen: Thank you for joining us, Ann. It’s a pleasure to have you. Congratulations on the release of Angel Sister!

Ann: Thank you, Karen. So glad to join you here on Write Now.

Karen: When did the idea for Angel Sister hit you?

I’ve been writing for a long time – since I was about ten years old. I got serious about submitting for publication when I was twenty. My first novel was published by Warner Books when I was thirty-one. So you can see this has been a long road and one that’s had some detours and potholes. My first thirteen books were published in the general market – two historical romances by Warner Books and eleven young adult and middle reader books by various publishers.

But then I hit a dry spell and began to wonder if I’d ever see another of my books in print. So I decided to go back to that basic writing advice and write what I knew. What I knew was small towns and country churches and farm life. So I came up with a preacher and his daughter in the little rural town of Hollyhill, Kentucky. That book, The Scent of Lilacs found a home with Revell Books and opened up a whole new publishing world to me in the inspirational market.

So after I had written three books about my characters in the little town of Hollyhill, I began to cast around for a new idea. Since I’d had some success using the background of my growing up years for a book, I decided to see if I could use my mother’s background. She and her three sisters always had such a good time sharing stories about their childhood years. They grew up during the Great Depression, but their memories were mostly happy ones of how their family made it through those hard times with love and perseverance. So that was the spark for the idea that became the story in Angel Sister.   

Karen: How true to life are your characters for Angel Sister? The setting?

Ann: I made the setting as true to life as I could by remembering my mother’s stories of how things were when she was a kid. I wanted to capture the feeling of the thirties and how the Depression impacted the people. I also used bits of my mother’s family’s personal background. My mother’s father was a blacksmith. The father in the story is a blacksmith. My grandfather served in WW I in France. The father in my story went to France to fight in WW I, but my grandfather was a cook and never had to go “over the top” and into battle the way Victor did in Angel Sister. My grandfather did have a drinking problem and he did overcome it in order to keep his family intact, but I know none of the real details of that. Victor’s struggle and the story of his WW I romance with Nadine are completely from my imagination. 

As for Kate, she too is completely from my imagination, although I did try to give her my mother’s can-do attitude. I think that’s the way to come up with good characters. Take a bit of the real and then make up the rest.

Karen: What advice do you have for writers who wish to write historical fiction?

Ann: First, if you want to write, write what you like to read. If you like historical fiction the way I do, then find some event or era that really speaks to you. Next try to figure out why it has captured your imagination. When you know that, you’ll know whether you have a story for the characters you’re ready to drop into that time.

I do a lot of research. One of my favorite ways to really get a feel for whatever era I’m writing about is to read a diary or journal of someone who lived in that time. The history in a journal might be muddled a bit by the person’s point of view and political leanings, but you can get a nice feel for how the average person felt during that era. For Angel Sister, I was fortunate enough to come across a little book of letters that a man had written home during WW I.

Karen: Great advice! What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Ann: I like to write. I really do, but I’m like most writers in that sometimes it’s hard to put my fingers on the keys and actually start writing. I do like coming up with characters and I’m always happy when my characters begin talking to one another. I enjoy writing dialogue. I have more trouble setting the scene or describing what things look like. I want to get on with whatever is happening. Of course I do have to admit that if I’m reading a book with a lot of descriptive passages, I tend to start skimming. So I guess I like writing what I like reading.

Karen: Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Ann: I don’t plot in detail. I do a “what if” bit of pre-writing. And I don’t do as much of that as I used to. Sometimes I don’t think I do enough plotting before I want the story to start spilling out. For my first inspirational novel, The Scent of Lilacs, I said what if I have a young girl whose father is a preacher who is also the editor of the local paper in a small town. What if that girl’s mother deserted the family when my young character was five? What if during the 1960s that kept her father from getting a preaching position? Everything else sort of grew out of those what if questions. So if I guess I’m sort of a combination, but lean more toward the pantster. 

It was a little different for Angel Sister since I had such a wealth of information about how I wanted my family to be. My biggest problem there was ignoring much of what I knew about my mom and her sisters so that I could come up with my fictional characters.  

Karen: I like that "What if?" idea! What advice do you have for fledgling fiction writers?

Ann: The best advice I can give anybody who wants to write is this. Write. And read. Both are essential to a writer learning his or her craft and developing his or her abilities. The next best advice is to persevere and keep writing even when things aren’t going well. Nobody is going to break down your door and demand to see what you’ve written. You’re going to have to be brave enough to put it out there for people to see. You’re going to have to risk rejection. Trust me on this – rejection is not fatal. Unpleasant but not fatal. It’s part of a writer’s world.

Karen: "Rejection is not fatal."  Wise words Ann, thanks so much. :) How can readers find out more about you and your books?

Ann: I enjoy hearing from readers and friends. You can connect with me from my website, It’s easy to find information about my books and excerpts there too along with a schedule of my events. If you want to sign up for my occasional newsletter, that’s a great way to find out about my new releases and to be the first to know about new giveaways. You can also keep up with what’s going on with my writing and down here on the farm by following my blog, One Writer’s Journal. Then there’s my author’s page on Facebook and I do tweet a little on Twitter. My user name for both is Ann H Gabhart.

Karen: So glad you decided to join us. Thanks you!

Ann: Thank you, Karen. I enjoyed coming over for a visit. So glad to meet you and your reading friends.

My Thoughts About Angel Sister

Is Kate Merritt the glue that holds her family together? At first glance, one might think so, but fourteen year old Kate struggles with issues below the surface. Victor, her father, is tormented by drink, wrestling demons from his service in WW I. Her mother Nadine depends on her, for Kate's older sister, sixteen year old Evangeline, lacks Kate's ability to keep a level head. Younger sister Victoria is not old enough to grasp all that happens in the Merritt household.

Grandfather Merritt and Grandfather Reece are forces to be reckoned with, and contribute much conflict to this heartwarming story. Journey with Kate, her family, and the unusual cast of characters in Rosey Corner, KY as they meet Lorena Birdsong. The young waif is convinced that Jesus sent Kate to rescue her. Forgiveness, truth, and trust in God play key roles as the Merritt family looks to find solutions to their challenges.

Ann's gift for telling a fine story is evident; I was hooked early on. Angel Sister will stir your heart and imagination. Thanks, Ann, for the opportunity to read it!

Giveaway Details

• Leave a comment with your email address. Entries without email address are not eligible.
• Receive an extra entry by becoming a follower, or by reminding me that you already follow.
• Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on Facebook, your blog, &/or Twitter. Please  comment telling me so.
• This is open to residents of the US and Canada.
• Deadline to enter is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Friday March 25, 2011. Winner will be announced Saturday, March 26 and notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Do you write fiction? Non-fiction? Some of both? Do you draw your ideas from family, like Ann did for Angel Sister?


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Winner of Grace of Giving

Congratulations to Robyn Campbell, the winner of Grace of Giving by Marja Meijers!

Thanks to all who participated. :)

Don't forget, there are two more weeks of giveaways to celebrate Blogoversary month.

Stay tuned!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Book Review: Mine is the Night

Mine is the Night     
by Liz Curtis Higgs

Waterbrook Multnomah

It is April of 1746. Elisabeth Kerr and her mother in law, the Lady Marjory Kerr, are penniless. Both widows must flee their home in Edinburgh; Marjory hopes to find refuge in her old hometown with a distant cousin. 

This sequel to Here Burns My Candle finds Elisabeth and Marjory en route to Selkirk. The trip is a dangerous one, for unrest over recent political conflict is afoot. Dragoons patrol the roads, harassing travelers as they search for traitors to the Crown. There is no guarantee either, that they will be welcomed by Cousin Anne. The only option is to trust their Heavenly Father. Elisabeth aims to trust Him, but can Marjory?

The late Donald Kerr, Elisabeth's husband, left a less than stellar legacy for his devoted wife. Even so, Elisabeth chooses to remain by her mother in law's side. The cost of this decision remains to be seen, but like Ruth in The Old Testament, Elisabeth's devotion to Marjory is steadfast.

Lady Marjory struggles to grasp the reality of her loss of social standing, possessions, and her sons. Trusting the Lord does not come easily to a lady who is used to being in control. All that remains of her past life are a few items in her trunk, her daughter in law, and memories. Even her devoted former servant, Neil Gibson, who was paid to deliver a message to Cousin Anne, is nowhere to be found.

Residents of Selkirk are gearing up for the arrival of Lord Jack Buchanan. Recently retired from the Royal Navy, Admiral Buchanan looks to settle into his English estate. He is hiring servants, and Elisabeth hopes to secure a position as a seamstress. Despite the fact that she was a lady of means, the skills her father (a tailor) taught her, may now come in handy.

The Kerr ladies struggle to make their way through the complicated labyrinth of society. Where is their place? Who will accept them? Does Elisabeth, at age 24, dare to hope to find love again?  I will not give any secrets away, but can assure you that there is a happy ending. For that I was very glad. It is an outstanding conclusion to Book One.

Ms. Higgs is one of the most gifted storytellers I know. Her fiction is filled with layers of rich and meaningful details. Biblical parallels abound, and stir the reader beyond the fictional realm. I savored every morsel of this tale. It will surely be counted among my favorite books.

To read an excerpt of Mine is the Night, click here.

To view the book trailer, visit here.

I received this review copy for free from the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

What gems have you read lately?

Happy weekend,

Thursday, March 17, 2011


March 17 is my sister Wendy's birthday. She left this earth somewhat unexpectedly last November. It is difficult to articulate her absence; my usual writerly self stumbles to express thoughts that float about in our hearts and minds.


We love you.

Your generous, giving spirit was always appreciated.

Your nieces and nephews knew they were loved.

Your 3 sisters still tell our inside jokes, knowing if you were here, you'd laugh.

We're thankful that you are in heaven. With Mom.

We're blessed that God made you just for our family.

We miss you.

Happy Birthday.

Hug your loved ones today. Thanks for coming by.

Blessings to you all,


Tulip photo credit: Colleen T. -

Monday, March 14, 2011

Interview with Marja Meijers

Join me as I welcome Marja Meijers. author of Grace of Giving. Marja is a faithful blogging friend; I am so pleased to share this interview with you. Marja's also offered a copy of Grace of Giving for a giveaway. Details follow below; this giveaway is open to all our blogging friends, stateside or otherwise. :)

Karen: Welcome Marja! It’s great to have you here. Congrats on your newest book, Grace of Giving, part of the Ten Commandment Series. What prompted you to begin this series?

Marja: Well, I have to be honest, it wasn’t my idea to begin with, not at all! It was about the last thing I had on my mind when during my prayer time the Holy Spirit prompted me to write my first book, Sacred Sabbath, on Isaiah 58:13. I wasn’t too excited at first, I was willing to write on fun stuff but not so much on law and grace. But God changed my heart and attitude and I actually started to enjoy  studying this subject. Halfway through that first book it became clear that it was going to be the first one in a series about the Ten Commandments with emphasis on fulfilling the law in love.

Karen: Who is your target audience?

Marja: I am happy with whoever reads my books; I have received comments from new and old Christians alike, but also from atheists, scholars, pastors and teenagers. You’ll never know where your books will end up.

Basically I am looking for Christians who have a desire to learn more about God’s Word, but shy away from theological books or complicated Bible studies. I have noticed that most Christians (women in particular) would rather read romance than non-fiction study books, so I try to write my books as low key and inviting as possible. They are, however, thought-provoking and I hope they will inspire and motivate readers to dig deeper and study God’s Word.

Karen: Tell us a little about how you connected with your publisher. Did you have an agent?

Marja: When I finished my first manuscript I considered my options: self publishing, agency, or publisher. I passed on self publishing for starters and found both an agency and a publisher seeking new authors. I submitted my manuscript and received a contract from the agency and the publisher! So, I had a choice and I decided to go with Tate Publishing in Oklahoma.

Karen: I like what you said in Grace of Giving on page 109,

“There is no seven steps plan to become a cheerful giver; it requires a change from the inside out, a change in our whole being.”

How do you feel this change from “the inside out” happens in our lives?

Marja: In various ways. I believe it is God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, who changes our heart. The reading and understanding of the Word changes our attitude and the practice of what we've learned changes our life!

Karen: You divide your time between California and Holland. When you are in the states, what do you miss about Holland? And vice versa?

Marja: When I am in California I miss the social life in Holland. In Holland, friends, family and neighbors visit each other all the time for coffee, tea and conversation; it is part of everyday life. I find society here on the West Coast very lonely. When I am in Holland I miss the beautiful weather in California and the incredible landscapes of the South West…and brownies of course.

Karen: I love tossing out random questions, so here are a few:

Do you prefer coffee or tea? Tea

Writing in longhand or on the computer? Laptop

Favorite writing snack? None

Dream vacation? With a stack of good books on the beach.

What author, living or deceased, would you like to meet? Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life). That book really made an impact on my life and it has sold very well for a Christian book. Rick has withdrawn and is busy with other projects. I wonder how he looks back on the success.

Karen: What advice do you have for someone who wants to write a book but doesn’t know where to start?

Marja: Hmm, that’s probably different for everyone, depending whether you desire to write fiction or non-fiction. Looking at my own situation, I had no clue what I was going to write. All I had was a scripture and a very clear word from the Lord: “This is your book.” I made a folder in my computer which I simply called ‘my book’ and I added 10 sub folders which I simply called ‘chapter one, two, three, etc.’ Then I started praying and waiting for revelation.

Still, it might help to answer two questions before starting: What do I want write and why do I want to write it? Answering these questions will guide you in a certain direction. Then make sure your desk is empty because clutter distracts. Next, start a rough draft. Write whatever comes to mind first and work from there. The hardest thing about writing is the beginning…Sometimes all I need is an opening phrase for my columns for example, once I have one, it flows from there. Be alert, listen, read and learn from others.

Karen: How can readers find out more about your books and blog?

Marja: My blog can be found hereIt consists of news and updates on my books as well as meditations and short articles. My profile can be viewed at Goodreads by following this link.

Karen: Thanks so much for joining us. It’s been a great pleasure!

Marja: Thank you Karen, I truly appreciate your hospitality, I feel welcome and at home and always enjoy your writing.

Karen: You are most welcome, and thank you. :)

Giveaway Details

To enter to win a copy of Marja's book, Grace of Giving, note these important details:

• Leave a comment with your email address. Entries without email address are ineligible.

• Receive an extra entry by becoming a follower, or by reminding me that you already follow.

• Receive a bonus entry by posting about this on Facebook, your blog, and/or Twitter. Please be sure and comment telling me so.

• This is open to United States and International readers.

• Deadline to enter is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Friday March 18, 2011. Winner will be announced Saturday, March 19, notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

What are your answers to Marja's writing advice questions? Above, she asks, "What do I want write and why do I want to write it?"

Happy writing,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rhythm of Secrets Winner

Congratulations to Maria Morgan, winner of Patti Lacy's Rhythm of Secrets. Thanks to all who participated! If you missed the interview with Patti and would like to see it, click here.

I hope you will join me next week when my Second Blogoversary Celebration continues with an interview and book giveaway with author Marja Meijers.

Have a great weekend!

Photo credit:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Blog Baby?

My husband listened patiently while I reviewed my to-do list out loud. When I mentioned having to write a blog post a thought hit me, and I said,

"My blog is just like a baby. It requires regular attention and care."

The significance was lost on dear hubby, supportive as he is, for who truly knows what it takes to maintain a blog unless you actually have one? The idea stuck with me. A baby. Yes, that's about right, it is...this roamed about in my head for about a week or so.

And now the thought is a blog post. Who knew? (Most of you, right? We're writers, after all.)

Don't get me wrong. I love blogging. But the fact remains that blogs require a lot of care if we want them to succeed. They need to be fed, changed, and maintained by us blogging mommies and daddies.

So what's a parent to do? Here are a few things I've discovered after two years of blogging.

1) Keep it short.

Great posts don't have to be long. Knowing that they don't have to be novel length can make the process less daunting. Our visitors' time is usually limited, so this helps them out too.

2) Write and schedule posts in advance.

Blogger allows you to save and schedule posts. This handy feature is helpful when going away or facing a jam-packed bunch of days. It's also great if an idea strikes and you have a bit of time to write but don't want to post it just yet. Lee at Tossing it Out discusses it a little more in Scheduling Posts.

3) Offer regular features.

Friday Roundup is a staple at Susan J. Reinhardt's Christian Writer/Reader Connection. Susan shares a brief commentary and a link or two to close out the work week. This type of post might help structure thoughts and can be easily written and scheduled in advance, too.

4) Post less often.

When I started blogging, I nearly swooned at the thought of posting five days a week. There was no way I could work that into my schedule. Three days a week seemed less daunting, but I knew that would be pushing it too. So I compromised, posting two days a week, and that's worked out pretty well. (So regular bouts of hyperventilating were avoided.) I've even considered posting once a week when things are super busy. It's an option worth keeping open if it reduces stress.

5) Take a break.

I need to take my own advice and do this more often. Some blogger friends take the third week of the month (or similar) off. A little time to regroup, refresh, and catch up on other things can be downright therapeutic. Oh yeah, and don't forget the chocolate.

6) Watch for ways to manage time efficiently.

I like to think that I manage my time well, but this is not always the case. And some weeks produce events that just blow my perfectly planned agenda out of the water, and adjustments are necessary. So I'm always looking for ways to streamline and weed out things from an oft overcommitted schedule.

Jody Hedlund offers time management tips in her post, When Social Media Becomes a Time-Suck.
One point she makes, "Realize the world will go on fine without us," hit home. Really? The blog world will continue to spin if I don't post? Okay, a bit hard to swallow, but true nonetheless.

Another thought she offers, "Give ourselves permission NOT to keep up," is a revelation that I must heed now and then. What's more important, keeping up with everything or preserving our sanity? I'm choosing sanity.

What about you, is your blog a baby? TLC is important, but every parent knows that boundaries are too.

Don't Forget...

Monday's Blogoversary Giveaway featuring Patti Lacy's Rhythm of Secrets; the deadline to enter is Friday 3/11 at midnight. Click here for details.

And...there's a Blogoversary celebration giveaway each week this month! Next week Marja Meijers will be stopping by; she's offered a copy of her book, Grace of Giving, to one of my followers.

A new workshop session begins over at the  Coffeehouse for Writers on Monday 3/14. Hop over and check out what they have to offer!

What steps do you take to care for your blog baby?

Happy weekend!


Photo Credit: Andrewp001

Monday, March 7, 2011

Patti Lacy Interview & Book Giveaway

I love Patti Lacy! So I was thrilled when she agreed to stop by for a visit. Her newest book, Rhythm of Secrets is now out! Patti has offered a giveaway copy too, so check out those details following the interview.  

Karen: Thanks so much for joining us at Write Now! Congratulations on your upcoming books, Rhythm of Secrets and Reclaiming Lily. What inspired you to write Rhythm?

Patti: I read a Chicago Tribune article about a woman who found her birth child. “Go slowly,” she had told the cabbie driving her from the hospital back to the home, where her child would be given to adoptive parents. “I have one cab ride to give this baby a lifetime of love.”

Oh, that story ripped my heart in two, haunted me, day and night. So I plopped it into a Word file and began to plot, plot, plot.

Karen: Can you give us a sneak peek into the story?

Patti: OF COURSE! You know how I like to expose secrets!

Sheila Alexander has lived three separate lives. Now a conservative pastor’s wife, she is skilled at hiding secrets birthed in a New Orleans brothel. When the son she gave up years ago comes knocking, memories revive her heart but threaten her security.

Torn between preserving her marriage and again losing her son, Sheila faces a difficult decision. Will she give in to the legalistic demands of her husband and his congregation? Or will she help her son…and find a lost girl named Sheba?

Karen: Are you a plotter or pantster?

Patti: BOTH! I love the freedom of adding twists but just cannot clarify goal/motivation to the degree I need without some plotting. Plus, my agent Natasha wields a big stick and demands a DETAILED proposal!

Karen: I enjoyed your blog posts about your trip to China and the research for Reclaiming Lily. What specific things were you looking to experience and research to help you with the book?

The flavor and sounds and smells of an extraordinary country. Getting up close and personal with the gorgeous Chinese people. Capturing the dimensions and magnitude of the country. Sigh. I didn’t get to visit an orphanage, though. But there’s tons of books…and testimonies…available.

Karen: Love the title, Reclaiming Lily. What inspired you to choose this name? Is the book set in the present?

Patti: Oh, Thanks! Of course Bethany House will mull over my choice. So it’s not for sure.

The birth sister of a Chinese teenage has a terrible reason to “reclaim” the adoptive daughter of an American pastor and his wife. Reclaiming Lily examines the concept of sacrifice and grapples with the problem of who really owns another human being. Get ready for a tearjerker!!

Karen: What was the biggest surprise you encountered while in China?

Patti: How much the people liked Americans, though they DID NOT like our chocolate!!! Even gourmet bars! And to think I toted them thousands of miles for that!!!

Karen: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Patti: No! I had no idea God would plop me into this quirky profession. I started in 2005.

Karen: Here are some quick and random questions just for fun -

Favorite color? Blue

Favorite meal? Oh, no. I like nearly ALL food except organ meats. Hmmm. Seafood pasta with steamed garden-fresh vegetables, sour dough bread, and olive oil/balsamic vinegar polished off with chocolate cheesecake.

Favorite vacation spot? Another impossible question! Places I cherish: Maine, Washington state, Oregon, Switzerland, Ireland, CHINA!!!!

Favorite season? FALL!

Karen: What was your most memorable writing conference moment?

Patti: Hearing Lynn Austin speak at Right to Publish in 2005.

Karen: What advice do you have for someone who would like to write a novel?

Patti: Write for the Audience of One with all your heart, soul, and mind and try to forget everything else.

Karen: What are your favorite writing resources?

Patti: Oh, an EASY ONE!!! Bird by Bird by Lamott, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King, and The Moral Premise by Williams.

LOVED being here today. Thanks!

Karen: Thank you, Patti!

Stop by and see Patti at her blog. While you're there, check out her website too. She has loads of good stuff there, including info on her other books. She'd love to see you!

Giveaway Details

To enter to win a copy of Patti's latest, Rhythm of Secrets, note these important details:
  • Leave a comment with your email address. Entries without email address are not eligible.
  • Receive an extra entry by becoming a follower, or by reminding me that you already follow.
  • Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on Facebook, your blog, and/or Twitter. Please be sure and comment telling me so.
  • This is only open to US residents. 
  • Deadline to enter is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Friday March 11, 2011. Winner will be announced Saturday March 12 and notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Have you read any new releases so far this year?

Happy reading and writing,

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blogoversary Preview

It's my Blogoversary! Two years ago this month, I began my amazing blogging adventure. To mark this special occasion, I'll be featuring interviews with authors Ann Gabhart, Patti Lacy, and Marja Meijers.

What else? I'm glad you asked! Each week's interview includes a book giveaway. There just might be an additional giveaway that happens to have some chocolate in it too. You just never know...

Won't you celebrate with me?

How long have you been blogging?

Happy Weekend!


Photo credit: Davidlat