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Monday, February 9, 2009

A Beautiful Lady Pirate Meets Her Match!

CONGRATULATIONS TO CHERYL FOR WINNING AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE RED SIREN!


As a college English instructor, I present my students with a book list from which they must choose a novel to read and then give an oral report. One of my students chose The Falcon and the Sparrow by M. L. Tyndall. In her report, my student said that she was like Chase Randal, the hero of the story, in that she had turned away from God. Through reading Tyndall’s book, this young lady returned to her childhood faith and was filled with joy. This is the value of Christian fiction, and this is why I am delighted to present Ms. Tyndall’s next book. The Red Siren is truly a delightful tale, but it is also about the spiritual odyssey of two people who are drawn together despite their differences. Even more than that, the hero and heroine are drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of their souls. Read on. Louise M. Gouge

Faith Westcott abandoned her shallow faith when a series of tragedies struck her family. To save herself and her sisters from forced marriages, this fiery, born-to-the-manor redhead is a lady by day and a pirate by night. How long can she maintain this dual identity before she’s caught red-handed?

God-fearing Dajon Waite, who scours the Carolina coast, expunging it of pirates, is a more-than-capable captain in the British Royal Navy. But when he is asked to take on the guardianship of Faith and her sisters, he’s headed for deep water. Having vowed to avoid women, what will he do when he finds himself falling for Faith?
Will Faith regain her trust in God only to find herself headed for the gallows? Will Dajon scuttle his good name—and neck—to save her?


Meet MaryLu, aka, M. L. Tyndall
Q: Pirates and adventures on the high seas are topics you love to write about. What draws you to craft stories about these topics?
A: Tall ships in the Age of Sail have always been a passion of mine—one that I gained early on as I grew up on the beaches of South Florida. I used to lie on the sand, listen to the waves lapping onshore, and dream of grand adventures on the sea. There is something romantic, yet dangerous, about the sea, and I admire the men and women who ventured upon it seeking new lands, fortune, and adventure. No matter what story I formulate in my mind, it always tends to include at least one of those magnificent ships sailing the ocean blue.


Q: How did you get your start in writing?
A: I’ve written my entire life. It’s always been something I’ve enjoyed, but it was more of a hobby for many years than anything else. The very first time I sat down to write a novel that I intended to submit to a publishing house was four years ago after I had watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie with my daughter. I felt the Lord tugging on me to write a story about a Christian pirate—a man who had once been wicked and done vile things but who had given his life over to God. I had so much fun writing that book, but I still knew the odds were slim that I would ever see it in print. God had a different idea. Three months after I finished The Redemption, I was offered a 3-book contract from Barbour publishing.


Q: In The Red Siren, the story of Faith Westcott is taken from the parable of Matthew 13 in which the farmer sowed a seed on rocky soil. When the plant came up, it was withered and scorched because it had no root. What are the foundations that are so important in order for us to develop a faith with roots?
A: Great question! I believe the biggest and most important foundation for a victorious Christian life is to know God. By knowing God, I mean to really know Who He is. To know His character, His desires, His sorrows, and most of all His love. And like any relationship, you cannot get to know someone unless you spend time with him. To know God should be our greatest desire. And we do this by reading His Word often, by praying without ceasing and by abiding in His presence. When we do these things, despite our enemies’ continual attempts to stop us, we will come to see how wonderful, how faithful, how glorious and how powerful our God is. But most of all, we will get a glimpse into how much He truly loves each one of us. Then when bad things happen as they did to Faith in The Red Siren, we won’t fall away or become scorched by our trials. Why? Because we know that God loves us, and no matter how bleak things appear, He is working all things out for our good.


Q: How do you think God uses tragedies for good in our lives?
A: In answer to this question, allow me to give an example most of us can relate to—a parent. Suppose there were two little boys. One was raised by loving parents but in a family where there was no discipline. He was allowed every freedom possible and received everything he wanted. When he grew to manhood and left home, he had not learned to work hard and thus couldn’t hold down a job. He had not learned to get along with others, so he had no friends. He had not learned to live without the things he coveted so he stole them and ended up spending his life in prison. The other boy grew up with loving parents who disciplined him. He was not given every freedom. In fact, he had to earn each freedom he received by proving that he could be trusted. Though it pained them, his parents allowed difficulties to come into his life to teach him the value of integrity, patience, honor and courage. When he grew to manhood and left home, he worked hard at his chosen profession, got married, had children and lived a happy, successful life. The moral of the story? God uses bad things in our lives to teach us to be more like Him and to become more effective for His Kingdom and, in essence, to have successful lives and be filled with joy!


Q: In the book, Dajon struggles between doing good works for God and simply accepting God’s grace. How has this been a struggle for you?
A: When I became a Christian, I had spent years doing many bad things. Consequently, it was hard for me to accept God’s complete forgiveness. I wanted to pay Him back by doing as many good deeds as I could: volunteering at church, visiting the sick in hospitals and tithing great amounts of money. None of those things made me feel any better about myself. In fact, they made me feel much worse as I looked around and saw others doing even more. The truth of the matter is, God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation is free and undeserved and can never be paid back, no matter what we do. Getting that through my thick skull has been a challenge, but once I began to really understand, it changed my whole perspective on God. I no longer viewed Him as a gift giver I needed to repay, but as a gift giver I needed to worship. God has done it all, and I can do nothing except bow before His throne with eternal love and gratefulness and completely surrender my life to Him,not because I’m trying to pay Him back but because of who He is!


Q: A character in the novel struggles to believe in the existence of God. What would you say to someone like him?
A: I would say that God has made Himself evident in His creation and in our hearts and that He promises that if we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him. My husband was a non-believer for many years and though I tried every Christian apologetic tactic on him to convince him of God’s existence, nothing worked. One day, frustrated, I told him to find a spot where he could be alone and ask God to reveal Himself. So my husband went for a walk on the hill behind our house and did just that. And guess what? God showed up. In a big way, and my non-believing, scientist husband came down from that hill a changed man. The key I believe was that my husband was really seeking. He really wanted to know God, and he was open to finding Him. God’s Word is true. If we truly seek Him and keep seeking Him, He will make Himself known.


Q: Of the three sisters in The Red Siren, who do you relate to most and why?
A: I’d like to say that I relate to Faith the most. She’s independent, strong, confident, and courageous: everything I’ve wanted to be most of my life! Plus, who wouldn’t want to try their hand at being a pirate? But, in all honesty, Hope is the sister I relate to the most. She’s had a rough go of things. She’s insecure, wounded and she’s seeking more than anything to be valued and loved. She longs to be strong like Faith and to be pious like Grace, but she finds she can be neither. Though she knows about God, she doesn’t value herself enough to think that God would give her a passing glance. So, she is easily drawn away from Him by the things of this world. This was my life before I came back to the Lord, so Hope’s story (The Blue Enchantress, summer 2009) is very dear to my heart.

Thank you, MaryLu.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE RED SIREN, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW and YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sweet Forever: Terrific Beach Reading

CONGRATULATIONS TO AUSJENNY FOR WINNING A COPY OF SWEET FOREVER!

It's been forever since I posted anything new, but fortunately, I have a Sweet Forever to talk about.









Ramona Cecil is a friend and fellow author. Below my short review is my interview with Ramona. Don't miss reading about her journey to become a published author! Leave a comment and your email address to be entered in the drawing for an autographed copy of Sweet Forever.

Sweet Forever makes perfect beach reading for this summer. Ramona Cecil’s stories always touch the heart, and this is no exception. Many people carry some sort of emotional baggage in this life and wonder how God will view the wrong things they’ve done. Rosaleen Archer is no exception. In fact, she’s had a double dose of condemnation. Raised to believe she is unredeemable, forced into an unsavory life, Rosaleen longs to be forgiven . . . and loved. Her complicated view of a vengeful God conflicts with the simple faith of Reverend Jacob Hale, through whom the healing love of Jesus Christ shines to the lost. Which view of the Almighty will Rosaleen take to heart? Sweet Forever is a gentle, satisfying story of God’s redeeming love that every person can carry into his or her life and eternal soul.

Now, here are Ramona's responses to my interview quesitons:
1. What book or project is coming out or has come out that you’d like to tell us about?

Sweet Forever, the first book in Heartsong Presents Indiana Brides series, was released to their book club this April. The story is set in 1845 in the real town of Madison, Indiana, along the Ohio River. Rosaleen Archer thinks God hates her, so when a riverboat explosion frees her from the clutches of a notorious gambler, she doesn't look to God for help. Reverend Jacob Hale is intrigued by the lovely young woman he rescues from the banks of the Ohio River. He longs to convince her that God loves her, but she spurns his best attempts to bring her to Christ, fueling his growing self-doubts about his calling. The theme of Sweet Forever is that every soul is loved and valued by God. It is this spiritual truth I hope my readers will take away from Jacob and Rosaleen's story. The second book in the series, Everlasting Promise, is scheduled for release to the Heartsong Presents book club this August. The third book, Charity's Heart, has not yet been given a release date. Each book features different members of the same family.
2. How long had you been writing seriously before you got “the call” that you were going to be published? Tell us how you heard and what went through your head.


I had been writing seriously for about five years when I entered my historical romance novel, Larkspur, in a contest sponsored by a small publishing house. I'd found that entering contests and getting feedback from judges was a good way to discover what aspects of my writing most needed improvement. A couple months later, I learned I was one of three finalists. I was thrilled, but never imagined I would actually win the thing. Later, when the editor called me one evening to let me know my story had won first place, I nearly collapsed! Good thing I was sitting down. I knew that part of first place prize was a contract to publish the story. I just couldn't get my mind around it. Though I'd written several stories since, this was the first story I'd ever tried writing. The editor continued chatting, giving me information that just went in one ear and out the other. Fortunately, she emailed me later with the same info. I just kept thinking "I'm going to be published. I'm going to be published. . ."


3. Do you still experience self-doubts regarding your work?


All the time. There always seems to be that little insidious whisper in my ear saying, “Why do you think you can do this?” I don’t know how many times I’ve petitioned God saying, “If I’m not supposed to do this, please let me know.” After each of these petitions, He has always sent an encouragement. I just try to ignore the negative thoughts and remind myself that this work is for God. If He didn’t want me to be at this place, at this time in my writing life, I wouldn’t be here. I do think self-doubt is good in some ways. It keeps pushing me to strive to do better work. I keep the verse from Ephesians 3:20 beside my computer. “Glory be to God, who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare ask or even dream of. . .”


4. What’s the best advice you’ve heard on writing/publication?


To remember that this is about God, not about me. The most important thing is the journey, not the destination. As difficult as it is sometimes, this is the work God has given me to do. A second piece of advice was to keep working, never quit learning your craft, and never, never, never give up!


5. What’s the worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever heard?


Because I had rewritten and reworked it so many times, someone once told me to give up on my first story---the story of my heart. I didn't take their advice, and I'm glad I didn't. I eventually won that contest and it became my first published novel.

6. What’s something you wish you’d known earlier on that might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?


I wish I had found American Christian Fiction Writers' group sooner. A writer needs support—at least I do. I don’t see how anyone can do this alone. Find a good writers’ support group, get into a good critique group, and take advantage of all the free advice and writing courses offered by groups like ACFW. It is a well-spring of invaluable writing information, freely and lovingly shared.


7. Do you have a scripture or quote that has been speaking to you lately?


Yes. 1Peter 4:11 reminds me that whatever I do, I should do in a way that glorifies God. "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever."


8. Do you have a dream for the future of your writing, something you would love to accomplish?


I would like to begin writing longer stories. I have one completed 90 K word historical and ideas for several more.

9. Do you have any parting words?


Thank you, Louise, for inviting me to share my thoughts about my writing and the release of Sweet Forever. I eagerly await the release of my other two stories in Heartsong Presents' Indiana Brides, series. I'm thankful every day that God has allowed me to write the stories of my heart for Him and see Him bring them to publication, sometimes seeming against all odds. I'm constantly reminded of His promise we read in Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Don't forget to leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win an autographed copy of Sweet Forever.
Thanks, Ramona!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Laurie Alice Eakes ROCKS as an historical novelist!

CONGRATULATIONS to Pamela Williams, who won a free copy of Better Than Gold!


I am so excited to have my good friend Laurie Alice Eakes as my guest for these next few days. PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AND YOUR EMAIL ADDY SO YOU CAN BE ENTERED IN THE DRAWING FOR HER LATEST RELEASE!



1. Laurie Alice, what book or project is coming out or has come out that you’d like to tell us about?

Better than Gold, Heartsong Presents, Barbour Publishing. It's been released to the book club this month and is available from the publisher. 1876 Iowa.

2. How long had you been writing seriously before you got “the call” that you were going to be published? Tell us how you heard and what went through your head.

This is always a difficult question to answer. My writing has taken many twists and turns over the years with long hiatuses for things like grad school and work schedules that left no time for writing. So I tend to say two years from when I finished grad school and when I got "The Call". I'm ashamed to say that my reaction was, "It's about time." Not that I wasn't ecstatic, but I was also relieved.

3. What’s the best advice you’ve heard on writing/publication?

If you want to be published, sit in the chair and write.

4. What’s something you wish you’d known earlier on that might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?

I could write whole books on this, except I think people have. Probably make sure your agent knows the genre for which you are writing. Or make sure you know the genre for which you are writing.

5. Do you have a scripture or quote that has been speaking to you lately?

Matthew 28:19-20: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

6. What piece of writing have you done that you’re particularly proud of and why?

My master's thesis novel, True as Fate. It's complex both in plot and character emotion, and sometimes I think I managed to pull off that which I set out to do—create a novel that readers couldn't put down. Ironically, I haven't yet tried to sell it. (Louise speaking now. I must add that this as an awesome, exciting novel!)

7. Can you give us a view into a typical day of your writing life?

On my favorite kind of writing days, of which I get too few due to other commitments, I get up at 4:00 in the morning, write for three hours, then go to the gym for 30-45 minutes, eat breakfast, shower, nap, then put in another two-three hours of work. Since I live in the city, I love the early hours when everything is quiet. No one is Iming me or calling me or wanting me to do something. And my brain is fresh. Later in the day, if I don't have a nap, I just can't get that energy up to be creative.



8. If you could choose to have one strength of another writer, what would it be and from whom?

The answer to this question can be found at http://www.inspirationaleditor.blogspot.com/

And visit Laurie Alice at her Web site and blog: http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com/

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Lena Dooley's Artful Novels

CONGRATULATIONS to Margaret Chind for winning Carolina Carpenter Brides!!

Welcome, Lena. Here are some questions readers would love to have answered.


1. How do you come up with the ideas for a story?

I spend time with the Lord. I believe He gave me the imagination, so I could write, but spending time with Him often sparks another story idea. Sometimes I see something in the newspaper in real life that sparks one, too.

2. You write both historical and contemporary books. Do you like writing one more than the other? If so, why?

I enjoy both. Some stories work better as historicals, others as contemporary. I’ve sold more historicals, but I also love to write about the present, too.

3. If you were planning a party with contemporary Christian authors, what six people would you invite and why?

I just love to get together with people and have fun.
Tosca Lee – where does she come up with her stories? And she’d add a touch of glamour
James Scott Bell – we need at least one male, and I love his stories.
DiAnn Mills – Her novels about the Sudan should be read by everyone.
Linda Windsor – She’d keep us all laughing.
Nikki Arana – She’ll keep us in touch with what’s going on in some areas we might not visit.
Robin Caroll – I love her Bayou suspense books.

Actually, this was hard. There are so many others I’d want to invite, too.

4. Now let’s do that for a party for historical Christian authors, what six people would you invite and why?

This won’t be any easier, but here goes.
Kathleen Y’Barbo – Have you read Beloved Castaway? Where did she get her ideas?
Terry Burns – The masculine member. Besides he writes wonderful westerns
MaryLu Tyndall – Pirates, pirates, and more pirates
Tricia Goyer – No one else has gotten me to read war stories and like them. Quite a feat.
Tracey V. Bateman – Her soul series was just too good to pass.
And I’d ask you, Louise, I loved your Ahab’s family series.

5. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?

Just like unpublished authors and newly published authors, I have to submit proposals to see more books. Right now, I’m working on several proposals. It takes a lot of work to present new fresh ideas.

6. Tell us about the featured book.

My story in Carolina Carpenter Brides is titled Can You Help Me? It contains misunderstanding and learning to trust someone who has withheld vital information. Set in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, the story starts in a home improvement superstore.

7. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Actually, I’m several places. My web site is: http://www.lenanelsondooley.com/
My blog, where I interview authors, is: http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/
I’m also on Shoutlife: www.shoutlife.com/lenanelsondooley

I give away free copies of my books on my web site and free copies of the other authors’ books on my blog.


Thank you, Louise, for having me.


LEAVE A COMMENT AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF LENA'S Carolina Carpenter Brides.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

DiAnn Mills' Awaken My Heart

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER OF DiAnn'S BOOK: Susan K. Marlow!


When I was a kid, I used to get spanked for lying. Now I get paid for it! Ah, such is the life of a fiction writer. Hi, I’m DiAnn Mills, and I’m excited about Awaken My Heart, my new historical novel published by Avon Inspire.

I live in Texas, the Lone Star State, where history and adventure are carved out of ordinary people and presented in novels and across the screen. Texas provides the perfect setting for tales of adventure. Here you can find cowboys and rodeos, deserts and mountains, bluebonnets and cactus, rattlesnakes and alligators, trail rides and space exploration. The romance and intrigue of those who helped build this State weave powerful stories. You name it, and Texas has it. But it’s the stories about the courageous people who stand tall and make this state what it is today that capture the readers’ attention.

If you’ve ever thought about writing your own novel, remember that characterization is the key to a dynamic and unforgettable story. Spend time getting to know your protagonists and antagonists, because well-written characters will make your manuscript stand out from others when you are looking for a publisher.

Now, let me introduce you to my February release and its cast of unforgettable characters!

Awaken My Heart is set in 1803, when Texas was Tejas, a colony ruled by Spain. Indians, Mestizos (native-Spanish lineage), and the elite ruling class of the Spanish lived and died here. The priests living in the Catholic missions helped educate and train the people in various crafts and how to serve God. From this culture was born my story of forbidden love.

Which brings me to one of my favorite heroes—Zorro. Who can forget the handsome, daring masked man who championed the poor and fought the injustices his people faced? His flashing sword, generous smile, and chivalry would bend the strongest woman’s resolve. It also helped Zorro’s cause to be portrayed by Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro (1998) and The Legend of Zorro (2005).

Is it any wonder that I call Awaken My Heart my Zorro book? My hero, Armando Garcia, is passionate about the cause of his poverty-stricken people, but his passion also extends to Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy Texas rancher. The wealthy and the peasant. The Diablo and his angel. And her daddy ain’t happy. Oops! I mean Marianne’s father is out for blood.

When mestizos kidnap Marianne, they hope that her father will trade land for her freedom. But rebel leader Armando Garcia is enchanted with this young woman whose faith is so strong---and arranges for her escape. How much will Marianne and Armando risk to give their love a chance?

This isn’t the first book I’ve written about historical Texas. The Texas Legacy Series was set in the period of the Old West when lawlessness reigned and unscrupulous characters crawled out from under rocks and attempted to claim the state. I chose unlikely heroes and heroines who made a courageous stand for what they believed in.

Hop into the saddle and grab the reins. This ride will keep you up all night.

http://www.diannmills.com/ Let me hear from you!

Leave a comment and win a copy of Awaken My Heart.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

AN INTERVIEW WITH SHARON K. SOUZA


Author of Every Good and Perfect Gift

1 . Your debut novel Every Good & Perfect Gift is releasing this month from Nav Press. Can you tell us a little about the book?

DeeDee and Gabby have been friends since the sixth grade, when headstrong and courageous DeeDee began mapping out their lives. But after twenty years with her husband DeeDee changes her plan. Nearing forty years old, she wants a baby - now! Two years of infertility, prayers, and outrageous behavior finally results in the birth of DeeDee's demand.
Gabby is present for all of it, noting the increasingly strange behavior of her lifelong friend after the baby's birth. Then comes a diagnosis that threatens to shatter their world. Gabby must find the strength and faith to carry DeeDee and herself through the dark unknown, but is she up for it?

2. What inspired you to write Every Good & Perfect Gift?
I wanted to write a book about a "Jonathan and David" type friendship between two women, knowing that I was ultimately going to tell the story of a young woman who is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's. I have a close friend who, at the age of 42, began to exhibit many of the symptoms portrayed in the book. Since completing the book I've learned that another close friend has been diagnosed with EOA. What are the odds? In determining what course the friendship between Gabby and DeeDee would take, I asked myself: What is the greatest way one woman can express friendship to another? The answer: By helping her have a child if she's unable to, which one character is willing to do if it comes to that.

3. You've incorporated two major issues in Every Good & Perfect Gift: infertility and Early Onset Alzheimer's. Why not focus on one or the other? Why both?
The theme of Gift is extraordinary friendship. The foundation for the friendship is established between the characters in their childhood, tested through the issue of infertility, and exemplified through catastrophic illness. Infertility was the catalyst to get to that level of friendship expressed because of the illness. One character's growth was accomplished because of infertility, while the other character's growth came as a result of the Alzheimer's.

4. Why did you use humor to tell a story with such serious issues?
It's exactly because the issues are so serious that I chose humor to tell the story. Our life experiences are heavy enough without adding to them as we read for pleasure. That's not to say there aren't serious moments in the book, but hopefully the reader is buoyed by the lighter sections, rather than overloaded with the weightier ones.

5. What are your feelings about egg donation and other modern solutions that help women overcome infertility?
There are some things I might not personally opt for, but infertility was never an issue with me. If it had been I might have been willing to try anything. As it stands, I'm not opposed to in vitro fertilization or sperm donation, things of that nature. I don't find anything in Scripture that would cause me to be against it.

6. What are your feelings about a couple's decision to intentionally not have children?
Again, that wasn't my experience. I had three babies in quick succession and would not have done anything differently. But not every adult is cut out to be a parent. If an individual or couple realizes that they aren't equipped for parenthood, or if they feel their lives are full as they are, I don't' believe it's a sin not to have children. In fact, I think it's wise. That's not to say a person's feelings may not change in time, like it did for DeeDee. Then it's up to the couple to make the choice that's right for them.

7. What do you want your readers to take away from this book?
I spent several years in my early adulthood without a close friend. When the first one came into my life, I realized what I had missed and truly saw her as a gift from the Lord. But beyond that, I've experienced the truth of Proverbs 18:24: ". . . there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." In her darkest moments, Gabby learned that the Lord reaches out to us in compassion, spanning the gap between our need and His provision. That's been the case in my life over and over.

8. Do you base any of your characters on real people?
The concept of the story was based on a real situation in regards to the Early Onset Alzheimer's. But the characters are not based on real people. I do typically use people I know/have known and then take their personality traits/quirks to extremes--almost like a caricature--in order to make the character as interesting as possible. Almost always my daughters will recognize something of themselves in my make-believe world. It makes for fun conversation.

9. If the characters are primarily fictional, what about the setting? Is that someplace known to you?
I actually wrote the entire story in a fictional setting, without ever naming it. I just placed the town in the San Joaquin valley. My editor suggested I nail down the location, even a fictitious one. As we talked back and forth, I decided to use my real "home town" of Lodi. I grew up in the Sacramento area, but have lived in or around Lodi since my husband and I got married. There's some debate about whether or not "our" Lodi is the subject of the 1969 Credence Clearwater Revival song, "Stuck in Lodi." Right or wrong, I choose to think it is. But not for a minute do I feel stuck. I love Lodi.

10. What is your purpose in writing inspirational fiction?
I've had well-meaning friends ask why I write fiction at all. If I want to share the Gospel, why not write "the truth." Two answers come to mind. First, that "burning fire shut up in my bones" (Jer. 20:9) finds its release in fiction. Second, when Jesus wanted to get a heavenly truth across, He didn't deliver a three-point sermon. He told stories. My desire in writing inspirational fiction is that women who read my books will find them easy to share with other women who haven't yet come into relationship with Jesus, and that those women will be directed to the One who loves them with an everlasting love.

Sharon K. Souza is available for speaking engagements or futher interview

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