Tell me about Stay With Me:
With the encouragement of her brash sister, Abby, Rebecca has moved out of their overbearing father’s home. When a chance encounter with a good-looking guy named Chris ends with an invitation, Rebecca is emboldened to say yes. The authentic way Chris lives his Catholic faith and his life attracts Rebecca, and a family wedding, a camping trip, and a ride on his Harley-Davidson later, she’s in love, though she can’t bring herself to tell him.
Chris loves Rebecca and her innocence, but he’s confounded by the emotional scars she bears from her mother’s abandonment, her father’s cruelty, and an attempted assault. Coupled with her past, their differing faiths and her father’s disdain for both Chris’s religion and his career threaten their future.
With the counsel of their mutual friend Father John, can Rebecca and Chris overcome all the obstacles in their path and bridge the deepening gulf between them and her dad? Or will a crucial lapse in judgment and its repercussions end their relationship?
Who is the book primarily for?
Stay With Me is aimed primarily at Christian women who enjoy an edgy but clean romance.
I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing, but I was inspired to tackle fiction-writing by a newspaper clipping that generated an intriguing plot and the challenge of National Novel Writing Month in 2010. You could say that’s when I was bitten by the novel-writing bug.
Where do you write? What does your writing space look like?
Most of my writing is done on my laptop at the dining room table. I’d love to have a sturdy desk with an inspiring view, but due to lack of space and the need to be near my children and write in dribs and drabs, my dining room setup works best.
Where do you find inspiration?
The ideas come from living, observing, and reading. The inspiration for developing them is getting outdoors or doing something physical that requires minimal concentration such as washing dishes, sorting dirty laundry, or driving. It allows my mind to wander and my daydreams to unfold.
What are you reading now?
The Thief by Stephanie Landsem. She’s an excellent writer, and I had the pleasure of meeting her at a writer’s conference this summer. The Thief is biblical fiction that is contemporaneous to Jesus’ crucifixion.
What is one of your favorite lines or character quotes from your current book?
“But when they climbed back onto his bike and she wrapped her arms around his waist, she realized the fissure was already being soothed and filled, that love was spilling into all the brittle cracks and crevices that the pain had etched.”
Wow, that’s a great line. What got you interested in your genre?
Oddly enough, I didn’t begin reading in my genre in earnest until I started writing in it. My first manuscript took on a life of its own. At that point, I knew I had to both familiarize myself with the genre and study the craft of writing.
What legacy would you like to leave to the next generation? To your readers?
I’d like my children to understand that if you seek to follow God’s will, all things are possible through Him, even those that are difficult or that you’ve failed at again and again. Also that your value lies not in what you do but in who you are. For readers, I’d like them to appreciate that it’s possible to be entertained and uplifted. That truth isn’t necessarily best transmitted in nonfiction but in engaging fiction as well.
What deep spiritual truth do you want your reader to know?
That our relationship with God should permeate every aspect of our lives, including romance and sexuality, not in a burdensome, oppressive way that diminishes it, but in a holistic way that uplifts, enhances, and glorifies.
Awesome truth, Carolyn. Thanks for joining us today!