What's happening in your writing life and mine; Book Updates and recommendations; The wonderful world of reading, writing, and everything in the middle.
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, http://www.carielawsonbooks.com/ , 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."
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?