Monday, August 16, 2010

Arlene James' "Baby makes a Match"


We're happy to have Arlene James with us today talking about her book, Baby Makes a Match. To learn more about Arlene and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
I had a pregnant friend whose car broke down on the side of the road, and neither her husband nor I could get to her. She had to accept a ride from a kind stranger, and though she was on the phone with her husband the whole time, it was an “uncomfortable” (okay, scary) incident. When I decided to do a contemporary “marriage of convenience” story for Chandler Chatam, who first appeared in Book 2 of the Chatam House series (A MATCH MADE IN TEXAS), I remembered my friend’s experience, and that became the catalyst for my premise.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I’ve been blessed to publish steadily for 3 decades and work almost exclusively on pre-sold book contracts. My agent negotiates a multiple-book contract with my publisher based on the popularity and sell-through figures of my previous books. Then I propose premises until I spark my editor’s interest, at which point I submit a formal proposal. We usually hammer out the details between us, and I go to work. Publishing was an entirely different world in the beginning of my career, and the truth is that God simply opened a door for me. I went through that door, and I’ve never looked back.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Hm, I’m not sure much would surprise my readers at this point. They know that I grew up on a ranch, love rodeo and hockey, and agreed to marry my husband of 34 years on our first date. What haven’t I told them? Let me see… Well, I sing (contralto/tenor); I love to throw large dinner parties (25-30 people), and I’m in the process of moving from Texas, where I’ve lived for the last 33 years, to northwest Arkansas.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on two projects at the moment: Book 2 in the Love Inspired Rocky Mountain Heirs continuity series (THE LAWMAN’S RUNAWAY BRIDE), and Book 5 of my Chatam House series. After that, I’ll be working on Book 6 of that series, at which point I’ll be at the end of my current contract.

5) Parting comments?
Writing has been the best of all possible worlds for me, and I thank God for putting me where I am. When my children were small, I was able to be at home with them AND work. When my husband’s career had us traveling all over the world, I was able to pack up my laptop and go without having to “take time off.” Now that he is retired, I’m able to work while spending time with him. I can’t imagine giving up this life until God calls me home, at which point someone will probably have to pry the keyboard out of my cold, dead fingers. Ha!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
In all the usual places (Facebook, Amazon.com, eHarlequin…) and at my two websites: http://arlenejames.com/ and––my personal favorite––http://chatamhouseseries.com. I’m available via email at deararlenejames@sbcglobal.net.

Elizabeth Goddard's "Exposing Amber"


We're happy to have Elizabeth Goddard with us today talking about her book, Exposing Amber. To learn more about Elizabeth and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
I’ve always wanted to do a story about a fossil dig and I found a museum that was connected to one and knew it would make the perfect setting for a book.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
For some, especially these days, it seems the journey to publication happens quickly. For me it’s been long and arduous. I started working toward publication in 2001, though at the time I hadn’t yet decided to focus on novel writing. But when I attended my first conference, ACW, and met DiAnn Mills I knew I wanted to write novels. I didn’t receive my first contract until 2007.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’d rather go to Yellowstone National Park than Disney World. I prefer action movies over chic flicks. I haven’t read any Amish novels. Not even one.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I recently turned in a romantic suspense proposal to a category romance publisher and I’m working on a big story for my agent right now. I’m very excited about both stories, but I don’t want to give away any company secrets.

5) Parting comments?
I’m so thankful the Lord opened these doors for me—I love to write!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Bethgoddard.com

Michael Sullivan's "Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgiveness"


We're happy to have Michael Sullivan with us today talking about his book, Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgiveness. To learn more about Michael and his book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
There is a great deal of autobiographical material in the story. I actually had a dream back in May of 2007. I was in the streets of First Century Jerusalem and it was Palm Sunday. I knew then I wanted to send my characters back to the last week of Christ’s life.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I first started writing the core of this story when I was homeless, back in 1983-84. I was riding the E-train (NYC subway line) at night. To keep myself awake at night, I wrote many of the autobiographical material now featured in the book. Two decades would pass before I became serious about attempting to write the novel. Necessary Heartbreak was first self-published two years ago. Simon & Schuster liked the story enough to offer me a contract. I added over 100 pages to the story for the S&S edition. Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgiveness will also come out in a mass market edition next April. Currently, my agent, Irene Webb, is pitching the story to four movie producers.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m not sure there’s anything that would be surprising. In this particular story, I’ve incorporated many of my likes and dislikes into the main character. I’ve taken a very deep, emotional and honest look at myself too, using the bluntness as the core of the main character’s personality.
However, I do like to cook. I enjoy seeing my children eat a great meal. I wish I could work someday in Disney World. I love to see children smile. And I hope someday to take up ballroom dancing.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
It’s the sequel to Necessary Heartbreak: A Novel of Faith and Forgiveness. The title of the story is called The Greatest Christmas Ever.
5) Parting comments?
Enjoy today. It’s our greatest unopened gift. It may sound corny, but ultimately it’s the absolute truth. Unwrap your gift today. Absorb the beauty of God’s world. Make it even more beautiful with your smile and your strength.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Whentimeforgets.com

Angela Dolbear's "The Garden Key"


We're happy to have Anglea Dolbear with us today talking about her book, The Garden Key. Angela has been kind enough to offer to give away a copy to one lucky blog reader. To register to win, place your e-mail address in the box to the right (subscribe to my blog via e-mail) if you've not done so and leave Angela a comment with your e-mail address at the bottom of her interview. To learn more about Angela and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
I have two golden retrievers and a big backyard, so cleaning up after them is a lengthy process, so I spend this time in prayer. The story for THE GARDEN KEY, actually the full novel, was given to me during my weekly “Doody Duty.”
It made perfect sense. At the time, I was studying the Song of Solomon with my husband, Tim, and the book is rooted in Songs 4:12 – “A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.” THE GARDEN KEY is a fictitious look at pursuing purity in a relationship, and living out an obedient life in Christ in the midst of temptation and pressures from outside, as well as inside influences.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Hmm…how much time do you have?! It’s been quite an adventure. The first traditional publishing contract I signed seemed all good at the time. But I soon found out that the publisher had not completely read my book, and the editor was adamant about deleting the climactic scene where the resolve is tested of the two main characters to stay pure in their relationship. Without that scene, the message of obtaining God’s victorious power through prayer and study of His Word would just be a bunch of religious words.
Also, the publisher wanted to change how they were going to market and distribute (online only – which I could do myself), as well as decrease my royalty percentage. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff that I don’t want to get into. It was only by the grace of God that I was able to get out of that contract. Nice people, but it wasn’t a good fit. The publisher I am with now is small, but gives me complete artistic freedom and is generous with my royalty percentage. I am blessed.


3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. Writing and music rival each other as my first love (actually, my fourth love: first is God, second is my hubby, and third is the family which includes my son Kyle and my four-legged muses, Gracie & Caleb). I am far more comfortable considering myself a singer/songwriter/worship leader than I am a published author.
2. Love, love, love Monster trucks. “Grave Digger” is the best and my all-time favorite.
3. Madeleine, the main character in THE GARDNE KEY is not me. A lot of readers assume the book is about me, but it is not. It was inspired by many events that took place in real life, but Maddy is far braver and more obedient in her walk with Christ than I am.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
The sequel to THE GARDEN KEY. In this novel, Madeleine struggles with her doubts and fears, so instead of professing to be a “Lust-o-holic” as she does in THE GARDEN KEY, she is now a self-proclaimed “Fear-o-holic.”
The full-length CD of songs that were written at the same time as the book, and recorder by my band CHILD OF THE SON at Eclectica Studios here in Austin, TX, will be released in the Fall of 2010. It’s like a soundtrack for THE GARDEN KEY.
Also, THE GARDEN KEY Prayer Team is growing (I’m so grateful – I can’t begin to tell you how much), so we are stepping up the communication of specific prayer needs through “Blog-letters” and other internet venues. The Lord told me a while ago that this is not simply a novel (or series of novels) it’s a ministry. From all the emails I’ve received describing how this book has changed lives, I believe Him. And I am greatly humbled.

5) Parting comments?
Writing has been a great blessing in my life, and hope it is for others as well. When I sit down to write it’s like a date with God, a time to receive what He has for me. Nothing comes (worthy of printing, that is) until I have prayed and asked Him for it.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I’m on Facebook, please feel free to “friend” me. I love meeting new people. I lurk about Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/book/show/7675580-the-garden-key
too. Also, http://www.thegardenkey.com/, Amazon.com, and http://www.cloudpillarpublishing.com/, my publisher’s website, which is the best place to purchase a copy of THE GARDEN KEY (paperback or ebook versions) because my publisher charges less for shipping than Amazon.com and you’ll receive a signed copy. What a deal!
Thanks for taking the time read this interview. Blessings to you today!