Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To write about BEYOND EVER AFTER can really tell a story. Just check it out.

Carie Lawson makes her home outside Nashville, TN. She has four busy kids, a wonderful husband and a long-suffering Labrador. Most of her time is spent homeschooling the kids and driving the SUV to and from various practices. When there’s a spare moment, she sneaks away to her computer to work on her next book.

SDC: Hi, Carie. I’m excited to be able to share you with the world in the next few days. Tell us about what brought you to the place you are in today as a writer.

CL: Thanks for having me! It’s so fun to be here. I have ALWAYS been a reader. One day I wondered if writing could be as much fun as reading. I started my first novel, which eventually became Beyond Africa, in 2002. I finished three books before I sold my first novel, which actually was Beyond Ever After. Since Desert Breeze contracted the Twisted Roots Series, I have been rewriting and editing furiously.

SDC: Most people go through a lot to find that perfect publisher for them. What made you believe so strongly that you had a story worth picking up?

CL: Like most writers, the list of rejections for my writing was long and at times discouraging. But I knew that each time there was a no in my inbox, I learned something. There was a time when I was so discouraged, I asked the Lord if He wanted me to give it up. And if He did want me to, please just let me know. Later that weekend I found out that I had finaled in the Heart of the Rockies Contest. I took that as a “no.”

SDC: That's a great, positive way to look at things. What audience do you enjoy writing the most for, and why?

CL: I want my stories to connect with people who love the Lord and know that they are imperfect. The characters in my stories are FAR from angelic. On my website, , I have the statement “Messy Middles, Blessed Ever Endings” because I know I get things wrong… a lot… but my heavenly father continues to bless my life, despite my mistakes.

SDC: How realistic is your kind of writing? And what was the key to getting started and staying with it?

CL: Beyond Ever After looks at the relationship of a couple who made lots of mistakes in their dating and married life, and come to the place where they know they can’t make it right. So they begin to look to the Lord for help. Now, if that isn’t a realistic situation, I don’t know what is.

As far as staying with writing, I continue to do it because I love to write. If it ended up that just me and three of my closest friends enjoyed it, I would continue just for the fun.

SDC: A true writer at heart, that's you. How did you select your favorite characters in this story? How would you do so in any story?

CL: I really love the characters who appear in the story fully formed, the way two little girls in Beyond Summer did. It was as if they sat on my shoulder and whispered in my ear what they would do while I wrote. The characters in Beyond Ever After appeared in the first two books. First Haven, as she became a friend to the heroine, Lilly, in Beyond Africa. Then Brody, who appeared as a rival to Zane, in Beyond Summer. I thought, “ooh, who is he and why do they hate each other?” And away we went on another adventure.

SDC: You write strictly for the Christian Market. Why do you think it’s so important to write for a Christian Market only? And do you believe your book would be well read by a secular audience as well?

CL: It would be too hard for me to set aside what I believe to write for the secular market, so I’ve never tried. I really hope that a secular audience reads it though, because my stories are full of the blessings we receive when we are willing to go with God’s plans instead of our own. In Beyond Ever After, Brody is not a Christian in the beginning of the book and when he goes on a mission trip with Haven, his beliefs are stretched.

SDC: What kind of reading material do you look to that you believe helps you with your style of writing?

CL: I still read continuously. I’m constantly asking myself, “What makes this book so great…or not so great.” I try to learn as much as I can from both.

SDC: We are always learning, aren't we, Carie. We are thrilled that you are willing to donate a copy of one of your books to one of our readers. Will you give us a short excerpt from your book to entice our interest?

CL: I’d love to!

That night, as Haven and Brody lay side by side on their narrow mattress, Haven rolled over to face her husband, propping her head up on her hand. "It looks like you got a lot done today."

"Hmm." Brody's lashed fluttered down on his cheeks. "Yeah. The only problem is I'm not able to work on the hospital repairs while we turn the school into a shelter."

She put a hand on his arm. "I guess it's just prioritizing. I know you'll do as much as you can on the hospital before we go home."

Brody looked away from her. Something dark and akin to fear slid into her chest, but what should she fear? She wouldn't look for something to go wrong when everything was finally going right.

He opened his eyes. "I was hoping to make some progress this week."

"You are, Brody, just different progress than you'd planned on."

He rolled on his side to face her. "I think we'll probably finish up the school house tomorrow. That'll give us a little time to get the people moved in there."

His face was just inches from her. It would be easy to steal a kiss, but she didn't move. "There won't be much room for anything other than the people."

Brody's eyes traveled her face. "No. We're going to move the benches out to make more room. I guess their stuff isn't that important, just keeping people dry and safe."

She flopped on her back and stared at the ceiling. "Sorry to keep you up. I know you need some sleep."

Brody's voice rough voice said, "Come here, Haven."

When she complied, closing the few inches in between them, Brody tucked her up in his arms and let his hand pillow her face. Haven didn't move for fear of breaking the moment. The feel of her husband's arms around her, his scent and warmth embracing her, was a bandage to her bruised, but healing heart. Brody took a deep breath with his face buried in her hair. Happiness surrounded her as surely as his arms. She was married to the love of her life and, wonder of all wonders, it seemed he was in love with her, too.

SDC: Sounds very good! After you tell the readers where they can find your books and look you up, what question you would like one of our visitors to answer to help me select a winner?

CL: You can find me at  or on Facebook, I have a fan page, Carie Lawson Books – that’s probably what I keep up most with as far as updating and adding information. My books are available at , , , , and

(CARIE'S QUESTION FOR YOU?) What is the best book you’ve read in the last year and why?

READERS: Be sure to answer Carie's question above to try to win a copy of her book!

Congratulations to Pegg Thomas of Ossineke, MI. You just won a copy of Carie's books!


  1. Good interview. I didnt know about your before carrie. Now I'm curious. I had about four favorite books last year. Usually the reason they become a favorite is because I hate them to end.
    Enter me please.
    Janice Ian

  2. Thanks Janice! And good luck. I've really enjoyed getting to know the McCord Family. I hope you will too I'd you read Beyond Ever After.
    And thank again for having me Shirley! It's been fun;)

  3. Boy, I would love to know how you homeschool four children and write! I am homeschooling four boys and they keep me on my toes! I barely have brain power to make dinner sometimes!
    I would love to write as I have all the ideas in my head driving me insane! book last year...I would have to say a non-christian fiction book I read called The Diplomat's wife is one that comes to mind. I mostly only read Christian, but this one was a grabber. Also, The Seamstress about a holocaust survivor was another incredible one.

  4. As a former home schooling mom, I'm amazed at what you're able to accomplish! So I have to pick ONE favorite book in the last year? Golly... that's a tall order. I'll pick "The Killer Angels", even though it was the 2nd time I've read it, because Michael Shaara really brings the battle of Gettysburg to life in a way that I haven't found it in numerous other books I've read about that battle. I could feel the sweat, smell the gunpowder and was deafened by the cannons as I read.

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  5. Martha,
    I hope you can find some time to get those ideas down on paper. I'm a big believer in an hour of quiet time every day. It rejuvenates me for the evening and the kids use it to read. And it looks like I'll be adding to my to be read list! Thanks for your comments.

  6. Peg, I'm curious now, would Killer Angels be appropriate for my 7th grader? I LOVE fiction that teaches history. I think kids identify with history better that way. Thanks for your comment.

  7. I love the premise of your story. Some of us been taught "happily-ever-after" as kids growing up. As the saying goes, (with the Lord's help) they are making lemonade out of lemons. But it has to come through the Lord.

    My fave book this year had been Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes. I love it for the multiple mysteries, romance, but also for the historical aspect. Stays with you! Great book!

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  8. Oh, I read Killer Angels too -- three times, in fact. What I loved about that book was its accuracy about the Civil War period. For a seventh or eight grade class I would think it should be required reading if they are in process of studying the War Between the States. Excellent Read. Now I want to go read it again. (It's worth adding to your library shelf if you haven't yet.)

  9. Thanks, Linda! Sounds like another book I need to read!

  10. Shirley, I'm definitely going to try and find it for my boys to read! I have so enjoyed hearing about all these books. Now if I could figure a couple more hours in the day! Lol

  11. Let me know if you ever find those hours, Carie. I'm still looking!

  12. Really enjoyed your interview and learning about you. I love the way that I keep finding new authors to add to my wish list and new books to read.

    The best book that I have read this past year was "Finding Jenna" by Miralee Ferrell. I enjoyed it because no matter what happened she just kept fighting and not giving up even when it meant having to live in a woman's shelter.


  13. Jo, that sounds like a book that would help put life in perspective! Sounds like the heroine had a tough road. Thanks for your comment.

  14. I don't want to be entered into the drawing because I have already read Beyond Ever After and it's fantastic. If you have never read a Carie Lawson book you are missing out! The Twisted Roots Series is TOPS! I just LOVE the McCord Family! Carie writes with realism and heart. I guess you can tell she's a favorite author of mine!

    Anyway, just wanted to encourage prospective readers to pick up her books!

  15. Aw thanks, Sherry! You always brighten my day!

  16. I would have to say the most dynamic book I've read was not a fiction book but it was very important to my husband and me. I heard it talked about on facebook so looked it up. It was about Bohnhoffer. and if any of you write fiction stories about the time of World War 2 it is a really good book for research. just a thought. Betty Wooden, Iowa