Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's All About Meme

It's meme time! I got tagged last week by my buddy Jen but had just put up the interview with Tricia so I'm keeping my promise to do the meme today. Here goes!

1. A friend who has blessed me: There are too many to name. I easily could name Jen and pay the favor back but I’ll pass it on and say my friend Lori.

2. An unexpected gift: My husband has been getting me technorized (new word—should be in Webster’s by 2008) as of late. The most recent gift is making my new laptop into a card-free wireless laptop—very cool!

3. A kind word shared with me recently: I received several compliments on the interview I did with Tricia Goyer. It was the first interview where I wrote up all the questions alone, and was rather nervous about doing so.

4. Something that makes me stop and praise God: Hugs from former students.

5. Something I'm looking forward to: Having fun in Dallas at ACFW.

6. A particular part of me I'm pleased with: At the moment, my toes—they are pretty and sparkly--oooh!

7. Something in my life that I wanted but never expected: Hope for the future.

8. A place that moved/moves me: Ireland—standing in the ruins of the place where my ancestors were married.

9. One thing/person that always makes me smile: Ditto on Jen, my kids (ditto on the hair-pulling part too—see, you’ll have to go read hers.)

10. Most recent "love note" from God: A new story idea—He whispers them every so often and I heard a new one just last night.

And so, now, I have kept my word and it is time for me to tag someone else. Who, who could I tag? Just to be ornery, although I highly doubt he'll do it, I tag my beloved hubby, Phil.

And to every one else, abundant blessings!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Win a Copy of Arms of Deliverance by Tricia Goyer

So, dear reader, here we are at the end of summer (or so it seems) and the children will be starting classes at my school come Monday. Therefore, this weekend I am trying to finish up something I should have completd weeks ago. Please do not let my procrastion lead you to the eronous assumption that Tricia Goyer's latest novel, Arms of Deliverance, is anything other than wonderful. And just to prove that fact, I am offering a free, author signed copy of Arms of Deliverance to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog (for this post) and I put your name in a drawing to be held in one week (Saturday, August 19, 2006). Just in case you are reading this and wondering if you want to take the time or not, I have three (count'm t-h-r-e-e) tidbits to help you make your decission.

1. If you click on this link, Arms Of Deliverance, you will find my review of the book.

2. If you click on the title of this blog post, you can link to the first chapter of the book--you will need to scroll down a little bit. And,

3. if that's not enough incentive to leave me an appreciative comment, keep on reading. I have an interview with none other than Tricia Goyer herself.

So, without further ado, here's the interview.

JC: Welcome Tricia! Before we get started, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started as a writer.

TG: Thanks Jenny. I'm a wife to a wonderful guy, mom of three kids whom I homeschool, and I also mentor teen moms. Oh yes, I write books too . . . because I've discovered I can actually CONTROL the people in my mind better than the real people in my life. Ha!

I started writing in 1994, when I was 22-years-old and pregnant with my third child. (Yes, I was a teen mom, and all the nitty-gritty details in that can be found in Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom)

I attended my first writer's conference with a friend, and I actually sold a magazine article at that conference. I think it was just God's way of letting me know I was on the right track because I didn't sell anything else for 2 1/2 years. After that, I began regularly writing magazine articles, curriculum, Bible Study notes, devotionals . . . and eventually fiction and non-fiction books. I'm one of those crazy writers who want to write about everything in my life, so I tell the truth of my life in non-fiction, and explore the themes of my life in fiction.

JC: You've had four novels now set during WWII. What about that era draws you?

TG: When I first started writing proposals for novels I wanted to write contemporary. I thought research was too much work. Then I was on vacation in Europe and I met a historian who told me the true stories behind the liberation of Gusen and Mauthausen concentration camps. The story was so amazing it inspired my first WWII novel, From Dust and Ashes.

As I wrote that first novel, I was blessed to be able to meet and interview some of the veterans who were there. Their stories sparked more novel ideas, and so I kept writing about the area.

I think the one thing that draws me is the idea that God's hope and love can be found even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances.

JC: What sets Arms of Deliverance apart from your other WWII novels?

TG: Well, for one, there is a little more romance, and the characters actually get to spend time together. In my other WWII novels the characters are drawn a part during the war. In Arms of Deliverance, it's the war that brings them together.

Also in Arms of Deliverance I expore a number of POV characters, who really give insight into the various thoughts and motives behind different people involved in the war.

JC: You've touched on some diverse and unusal occupations for women of the era in your books. If you were to be able to go back and live during that time period, how would you have contributed to the war effort?

TG: Yes, I've had some strong female characters in occupations not formerly open to them before the war. In Dawn of a Thousand Nights I have female pilots. In Arms of Deliverance I have female war correspondents. Someday I'd love to write about the women in the factories.

Of course, I'm a big chicken. I can explore these exciting occupations while still remaining safe. I'd most likely grow a victory garden or pack bundles to send over the soldiers. Or write about the war . . . a safe distance away from the front lines.

JC: I understand (big grin). What lessons do you think we can learn from those who fought or kept the homefires burning during WWII? How can this generation apply them to the war we fight?

TG: During World War II our country lived with a strong trust in God. They looked to Him for guidance and help. So many times today, we try to figure everything out ourselves. We try to succeed in our own strength, but I truly believe that in our weakness God's strength is complete. When we are weak, God has a chance to be strong in us.

JC: Is there something you've learned in your research that you want to make sure your kids understand?

TG: I suppose the only thing I stress over and over is that we should be grateful for those who fought so hard for our freedom. All my children have been with me when I interview veterans--we've even had some veterans visit our home. We've also attending Veteran's Day ceremonies and have been the only people there under 50-years-old. It's easy for kids to be self-centered these days. It's good when we can get them to look beyond themselves and their circumstances.

JC: I understand your next novel will take on a different time period. Can you tell us about that? Do you think you will ever write about the WWII era again?

TG: My next novel is as close to WWII as you can get without being about WWII. It's about the Spanish Civil War. Here's a short overview of the series:

Nazi tanks roll across the hillsides and German bombers roar overhead, dropping bombs on the helpless citizens below. Italian troops fight alongside them, and their opponents attempt to stand strong—Americans, British, Irishmen—in unison with other volunteers from dozens of countries. And their battleground? The beautiful Spanish countryside.

From July 1936-April 1939, well before America was involved in World War II, another battle was fought on the hillsides of Spain. On one side, the Spanish Republicans, joined by the Soviet Union and The International Brigade—men and women from all over the world who have volunteered to fight Fascism. Opposing them, Franco and his Fascist military leaders, supported with troops, machinery, and weapons from Hitler and Mussolini. The Spanish Civil War, considered the “training ground” for the war to come, boasted of thousands of American volunteers who joined to fight on the Republican side, half of which never returned home.

And to answer your question, yes, I'll most likely write about WWII again. There are so many amazing stories I've heard that would make fantastic novels.

JC: Where can readers get a copy of Arms of Deliverance?

TG: On on-line book stores . . . or any local bookstore can order a copy too!

JC: Any last words?

TG: Thank you for the interview!

JC: Thank you so much for dropping by, Tricia!

And thank you, dear reader, for checking out my blog. Be sure to leave a comment and I will put you in for the drawing next Saturday. Also, do check out the link to the first chapter of Arms of Deliverance. You won't be disappointed.

Abundant blessings!