Good morning, Blog Studio!!! Isn't this a beautiful cover? This is the newest release by my dear friend, Laurie Kingery. I'm honored to be able to interview her here in the studio this morning. This will be my final interview of the year. I always take the last two months of the year to wrap myself around family and holidays. That's why I'm thrilled with Laurie's book. I had the pleasure to purchase this book at the Central Ohio Fiction Writer's conference in September. This book captured me from the first page and kept me turning the pages until the last sigh on page 279. This story has something for everyone: mystery, suspense, romance, and breathtaking scenery. With Laurie's vivid descriptions, you'll easily feel you are walking the streets of Llano Crossing, Texas in 1867. But I'd much rather have Laurie tell you about the book. Before I bring her onstage let me tell you a bit about Laurie.
Laurie Kingery makes her home in central Ohio where she is a "Texan-in-exile." Formerly writing as Laurie Grant for Harlequin Historicals and other publishers, she is the author of sixteen previous books and the 1994 winner of the "Readers' Choice Award" in the short historical category. She has been nominated for "Best first medieval" and "Career Achievement in Western Historical Romance" by "Romantic Times." When not writing her historicals, she loves to travel, read, read her email and write her blog on www.lauriekingery.com. Please put your hands together and welcome my special guest, Laurie Kingery!
**LAURIE WALKS ONSTAGE. SHE HUGS CAROL ANN AND TAKES THE CHAIR OPPOSITE HER IN THE STUDIO.**
CAROL ANN: Laurie, thanks for coming. It's a pleasure to have you in the blog studio today.
LAURIE: Thanks for having me. I've been excited about being interviewed.
CAROL ANN: I've been raving about your book, which I must tell you, I loved, loved, loved! The audience has been waiting to hear more from you. So, please tell us more about your book.
LAURIE: Hill Country Christmas is the story of Delia, a preacher's granddaughter in a small town in post-Civil War Texas, already poor, who faces destitution when her grandfather dies. Then a stranger appears in town bringing her news of her inherited fortune. She's attracted to him, but he claims not to be good enough for her. Very well, she thinks, at least now, as a rich woman, she is the equal of the mayor's son, for whom she has always had feelings. Now he returns those feelings, but is he really what he seems? Meanwhile, the mysterious stranger can't seem to make himself move on. Harboring a secret of his own, he's compelled to stay around to make sure Delia is all right. Will Delia and the stranger learn to trust one another, and God, to know what's best for them? I think I got the idea by wondering what would happen to a Christian who suddenly won the lottery--would sudden wealth destroy him or her? This is just a 19th-century version of that.
CAROL ANN: And, it truly is! I know that you also work full-time like me. Would you mind sharing with the audience what you feel is the hardest thing about being a writer?
LAURIE: Maintaining the discipline to put my derriere in the chair whether I'm feeling "inspired" or not. Actually, these days, inspiration follows a good session of writing rather than preceding it. Once I really get going, it's hard to stop. And that can take an hour or two, some days.
CAROL ANN: How did you realize the God was calling you to write?
LAURIE: I've been writing since I was old enough to string sentences together, and even before that, when I could only "draw" (I'm using that term VERY loosely) and tell the story of the sentences. Dad let me borrow an old typewriter, and I started out telling animal stories. In junior high, I wrote stories of the Beatles and my friends. This might have faded out as a childish hobby, but God allowed me success in selling my very first attempt. And then, after I had written 16 historical romances as Laurie Grant, I was ready to quit and the Lord essentially told me I wasn't to waste the talent He had given me. He had my agent urge me to submit to the newly-forming Love Inspired Historical line, and here I am.
CAROL ANN: What stumbling blocks have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
LAURIE: I sold my first book, but I've had other books I couldn't sell--such as a medical suspense I wrote. To date, I haven't sold this book, but I still have hope. I've gone three years without a book out, twice now. And I've seen the door close in my face in the ABA (secular) historical romance market. One overcomes these things just by keeping on keeping on. You only fail if you stop trying.
CAROL ANN: Do you collect anything?
LAURIE: Books, of course! After going through a blizzard in 1978 without anything to read (oh horrors!) I shook my fist a la Scarlet O'Hara and vowed never to be bookless again. Now, if I stopped buying books today, I'd still have a TBR pile when I died. I confess many books have been in that pile for years.
CAROL ANN: Oh, I hear you! Me, too. I think this is true for most authors. I have a question I pose to all the authors I interview, and you, my friend, will have to answer as well. Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword?
LAURIE: I think more minds have been affected by words in a positive way than ever by force (a sword).
CAROL ANN: Very well put! The weather has turned really cool here in central Ohio. I love autumn. I love the color changes and the brisk air when the sun is shining. It insires me greatly. Which inspires you more? A brisk walk in the autumn with the leaves changing color, or in the spring when the flowers are and trees are budding? Why?
LAURIE: I love both seasons! Do I have to choose?
CAROL ANN: **LAUGH** No, of course not. Actually I enjoy both as well. All right, here's another question. No time to think of a response in advance. You are sitting in a restaurant with several friends when someone walks up to you and thrusts a microphone in your hand. You have one minute to tell the world something....what will it be?
LAURIE: "God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you."
CAROL ANN: You are great! Have you ever thought about hosting interviews? You'd be a great hostess.
LAURIE: Thanks, I think.
CAROL ANN: How do you balance your "real" life with your "writing" life?
LAURIE: Since I still must work outside of writing (as a full-time ER nurse) that's a challenge. Except when I'm on deadline, I pretty much write only in the afternoons, and there are whole days where I can't get to write at all. At deadline times, though, or when I have revisions to do, the balance shifts so that I am only writing, eating, and sleeping--and working my other job. Appointments and lunches will have to wait, and the dinners I cook are very, very basic.
CAROL ANN: Laurie, our time is finished already. I'm sorry to have to end here. But before we go please tell the audience where they can learn more about you and your books.
LAURIE: My website is www.LaurieKingery.com. You can write me via that. My blog is right there too. My books can be ordered through eHarlequin.com or through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. If you want to check out my old books as Laurie Grant, go to www.sffnet/people/LaurieGrant
CAROL ANN: Wonderful. Thanks again, Laurie, for taking time out of your busy day to join me here in my studio.
LAURIE: It's been my pleasure, Carol Ann.