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Category Archives: Interview

Author Interview with Robin Patchen

Welcome to the Quid Pro Quills! Author Robin Patchen is here to discuss her latest novel, tell us what’s next, and relate the most valuable lesson she’s learned.

QPQ: Thanks for joining us, Robin! What’s new since Convenient Lies?

Kindle CoverRP: Book 2 in the Hidden Truth series, Twisted Lies, just released, and I’m more than halfway done writing Book 3. It’s been a busy few months!

QPQ: No kidding! Give us a glimpse into Twisted Lies and your hero and heroine.

RP: The hero, Nate, was a supporting character in Convenient Lies. He’s sort of a bookish guy—but of course very handsome. I picture him a little like Ryan Reynolds. He ran into some dangerous and terrifying issues in Convenient Lies—I won’t give it away—and while I was writing those scenes, I thought, this guy deserves his own book. Twisted Lies opens with Nate packing up his house in Queens with the plan to move home to New Hampshire in search of a quiet, drama-free life. Of course, I had to wreck those plans.

QPQ: Naturally.

RP: The heroine, Marisa, fled the country eight years ago after her fiancé was murdered, a lot of money went missing from his place of employment, and the guys who killed her fiancé thought she stole the money. She’s built a life for herself in Mexico and plans to live the rest of her life there. And then her daughter is kidnapped. She enlists Nate’s help—and together they have to discover who really stole the money in order to rescue her daughter.

QPQ: Terrifying! Obviously Marisa’s a survivor, but what’s her most endearing quality?

RP:  Her kindness, her heart for her daughter and all the orphans she works with.

QPQ: Tell us how Twisted Lies came to be.

Kindle CoverRP: Well, it started when I asked myself what kind of trouble I could get poor Nate into. He’s a reporter working in New York, so I decided the problem had to be related to his job. Then, it snowballed from there. Honestly, I have no idea where the idea came from.

QPQ: From a wonderful imagination, no doubt! What about Nate will appeal to readers?

RP: Poor Nate wants nothing more than to retreat from life. He’s suffering from PTSD—you have to read Convenient Lies to understand that—and he believes he failed to be a hero in that story. In fact, he believes other people are heroic, and he’s only here to record what others do. But when he has to be heroic in order to protect the people he loves, Nate proves himself to be the hero we always knew he was.

QPQ: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about writing or life in general?

RP: Only when we get to the point where we realize God is our only hope do we understand that He is all we need.

QPQ: True wisdom. Speaking of, do you have any wisdom for aspiring authors?

RP: Keep writing, all the time. Read books both within your genre and outside of it. Read craft books and try to apply what they suggest. Get a good critique partner—I have eight great ones! You’ll be amazed at how you all grow together.

QPQ: Tell us something we might be surprised to learn about you.

RP: I utterly despise cooked vegetables. The only exceptions are tomatoes, onions, peppers, and artichokes when mixed with copious amounts of mayo and Parmesan, as found in dip.

QPQ: Yep. Definitely surprised! What’s next for you, Robin? Can you give us a peek into the third book in your Hidden Truth series?

RP: Samantha, a supporting character from the first two books, is the heroine in book 3. She and Garrison—who made his debut in Twisted Lies—have kept in contact, but because they live so far apart, nothing has come of it. When Garrison’s son nearly overdoses on drugs at a party, Garrison knows he has to get the teen away from the negative influences of his friends while he figures out what to do. Sam offers them one of her cabins on a lake in New Hampshire. What Garrison and Aiden don’t know is that one of Aiden’s friends has stashed contraband in their car, so while they’re trying to regroup, some bad people are looking for them.

QPQ: Oh, that’s fabulous! Thanks for sharing. How might readers contact you?

RP: Readers can connect with me at my website and on Facebook.  They can also follow me on Amazon or BookBub.

QPQ: Finally, where can we find Twisted Lies?

RP: AmazonKobo, iBooksB&N, and Goodreads.

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

 

 

Animals & Authors with Kelly Klepfer

Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it? Let’s visit with Out of the Frying Pan author Kelly Klepfer and ask her about her constant companions.

QPQ: Welcome, Kelly! Introduce us to the… *squee!*… hedgehogs you’re sharing with us.

KK: Daisy and Daffodil have been with us since the spring. The girls are still pups (uhhhh, piglets, uuuuhh hedgehoglets…. No… hoglets.  There is room for interpretation over what they are called. Yes. I googled this.) We sought out hedgehogs because…. Well. Weird long story I’ll try to shorten.

13133234_10156826620615375_2682422256088890960_n-1I’ve loved hedgehogs from a distance ever since I was a little girl and I read Miss Jaster’s Garden. But I never thought I’d own one. My husband had a knee replacement which then got infected. As archaic as it sounds they literally removed the knee and left him without one, putting in a cement antibiotic ball-type spacer to help the healing process. Since he had no knee he was limited. He watched a lot of Netflix. There are reasons binge watching is not a good idea, pet obsession is one of them. Kidding. Anyway he watched one show in particular that was set in Europe where hedgies run wild. Tiggywinkles wild animal hospital in the UK rescues hedgehogs and adopt them out to folks who will give them a lovely backyard and possibly even a charming little hedgehog house. Oddly, it’s much more difficult to obtain a hedgehog here in the states. Many states have forbidden them. I believe this is due to the fact that in a milder climate their population might explode and we’d then be like the UK needing to rescue wild hedgehogs. In Iowa and Nebraska you have to be a certified breeder. And these cute little things are not inexpensive to purchase. So. As my husband’s want grew, I let our adult children know of the perfect Father’s Day gift. I also found a breeder who was running a spring sale.  Our hoglets were almost a BOGO (buy one get one free).

They are inexpensive to feed, mostly, they eat high protein cat food and not much of it. In the wild they eat snakes and bugs so I would definitely recommend you adopt a few if you are in the UK. Surprisingly, they don’t smell as bad as hamsters and guinea pigs. I use shredded paper bedding. They have solid plastic wheels they run in and smooth large plastic bins they live in so their little toes don’t get caught and injured. Temperature seems to be the biggest concern most of the time. If they get chilled they can go into hibernation mode which will kill them so I run a ceramic heat source over their cages to keep them cozy. They also have micro fiber pineapple cozy tents that they spend 90% of their time in.

14322462_10157365831775375_2955655823267440153_nAre they sharp? Heck yeah! You know those wire grill brushes? That sharp. And they don’t like to be picked up. And they will be happy to live in cozy pineapples and eat the food you provide every day and then hiss and jump and puff and pout when you want to interact with them. The biggest thing to do to tame them is get over being scared and cuddle with them every day. I have sewn little snuggle bags that I slide them in hold every night so we bond.. You pick them up gingerly by sliding your hands up under them. If they are freaked out they are literally a ball of dried out Christmas tree needles, If you turn them over belly up they will eventually unroll and begin moving then walking around. Note: Walking around generally involves an initial poo session so be prepared. Once that’s over, it’s all good. Their tails pop out when they get ready to go so there is a bit of warning. Or you could put them in a large hamster ball and let them get it out of their system before cuddle time, but note there is much cleanup involved there, too.

If you’re fascinated with the idea of hedgehogs, go meet one first. Mine are not likely going to become internet sensations because I’m not going to be making them little hats and setting up cute tea party scenes. I might consider putting them in muffin tins, but I only have two. Daffodil is a little fuller figured and might be a bit of a huge muffin top.

QPQ: Wow. That’s quite the introduction to your hedgehogs!  I hope your husband has made a full recovery. It’s clear that Daisy and Daffodil bring you both joy. Tell us how you came up with their names?

61tvSrINcpLKK: I gave my husband suggestions. We had to do something alliteration-ish because we have the beagles, Gertrude and Gladys and it only seemed right. Miss Jaster’s Garden involved flowers and hedgehogs so I thought Daisy and Daffodil might be good choices. In the end the man on pain meds picked.

QPQ: Perfect! How do Daisy and Daffodil help you in your writing?

KK: Not in the least. Okay, they give me another angle to find metaphors or similes?

QPQ: Have you ever written one of your hedgehogs into a story?

KK: I have not yet. But who knows, there’s plenty of inspiration. Especially with character development.

QPQ: Tell us three things you and Daisy and Daffodil have in common.

KK: Oh, my if I could sleep in a cozy micro-fleece pineapple many hours of the day, I believe I would. Two, sometimes I get bristly but I’m a sweetheart once I unroll. Three, I can do a huffy puffy complaint session like nobody’s business. But once I’m over it I move on.

QPQ: Well said, Kelly! Thank you for visiting the Quid Pro Quills.

 unnamedKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas . . . she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled Dregs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.

 

 

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Author Chat with Candice Sue Patterson

Today, we’re talking setting with one of our own, fellow Quid member Candice Sue Patterson. Candice writes Inspirational contemporary romance with Pelican Book Group. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart is now available in paperback candiceportraits009-xland eBook format at major online book retailers.

QPQ: Candice, tell us a little about your story.

CSP: Thank you, ladies, for hosting me! How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart is about a beekeeper–Huck–who inherits a building occupied by the owner of a bridal boutique. He has his reasons for being against weddings, and since the boutique is struggling to survive anyway, he decides to evict the owner and open a sporting goods store. However, his eviction notice brings a surprise for him when he discovers the boutique owner is Arianne, a woman he’s indebted to for a mistake he made years ago. Old attractions flare, life brings unforeseen circumstances, and Huck and Arianne find themselves needing each other in ways they never expected.

There’s humor, drama, lots of romantic tension, and some nostalgia sprinkled in as well.

QPQ: Sounds like both characters get more than they bargained for! This novel is set in Maine, near Acadia National Park. Why did you choose that setting?

CSP: After visiting Downeast, Maine in 2011, I knew I had to write a book about it. The landscape is breathtaking, the food is die for, and the pebble beaches are like no other. As cheesy as it sounds, I left a piece of my heart behind.

How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart is set in the fictional towns of Pine Bay and Summerville, Maine. On a map, Pine Bay—the town where Arianne’s bridal boutique is located—would sit in the Ellsworth area. Summerville—where Huck’s home and honey farm are located—is Somesville, Acadia National Park territory.

Maine is home to some of the world’s best produce such as blueberries, cranberries, apples (and many more). These crops need bees for pollination to produce a good yield. That alone made this area a great setting, but it’s also fun contrasted with Huck’s southern personality.

QPQ: Reading this book, I felt like I was really in Maine. I could almost feel the sea spray! Tell us why a good setting is important in a book and how you achieve that.

maine-2CSP: Without a setting, a book is nothing but a story playing out on a blank canvas. I don’t live in black and white. I live in color. Therefore, I want the stories I read to paint a vivid palette in my mind. I expect no less from my readers. A good setting grounds the reader into the story, whisks them away for a while, and, if done right, can become like a character itself.

I’m a very detail-oriented person (sometimes to a fault), and it shows in my writing. If I want to create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind, make them feel like they’re really there, I can’t just say, “The ocean waves roared onto shore.” Yes, the reader gets the picture, but the vagueness only draws an outline. But if I write, “Foamy waves crashed against the jagged boulders, churning the greenish water. The color reminded Arianne of the jade Depression glass her grandma used to display on shelves in the summer kitchen.”

See the difference? Foamy waves gives the water texture, jagged boulders gives the scene dimension, and greenish water gives us color. But it doesn’t stop there. The color of jade Depression glass tells the reader exactly what shade of green and gives the moment depth as it shows a glimmer of the character’s past. All things combined, it creates sound in the reader’s mind as well, since our brains know the bubbly sound foam makes and the surge of water against rocks.

I achieve these details either by looking at pictures—tourism guides work great!—recalling a personal memory, or even listening to soundtracks that bring the desired effect. I sometimes even burn candles with scents that will set a desired mood.

QPQ: That’s a lot of action to create a couple of sentences! But it works. Your settings transport me. What else you can tell us about a good setting?

CSP: If you’re a writer, take your time perfecting your setting. Most of us read to escape our lives for a little while, so don’t cheat your reader. Make them feel like they’ve really traveled there, because it may be a place they’ll never get to see in person. Like well-crafted characters who make us miss the story long after the book has been read, a well-crafted setting can do the same.

QPQ: Thanks for talking setting with us today, Candice! How can readers connect with you?

CSP: Readers can always contact me through my website www.candicesuepatterson.com, and find me at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Candice-Sue-Patterson-Author-420360958035447/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/candicesue_patt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/CandiceSuePatterson   available-now

 

My novel can also be found at the following retailers. Thanks again for having me today!

 

Animals & Authors with Candice Sue Patterson

candice1Welcome, Friends! We’re featuring one of our own, author Candice Sue Patterson. Candice’s new novel, How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart, releases November 1st.

QPQ: I’m thrilled to hear your new novel has a release date, Candice! I’ve been waiting a long time to see this one in stores. It’s already available in electronic format, right?

CSP: That’s correct. If you have a reader, you can get the e-version on October 28th. Print copies are available now at Amazon, Books-A-Million, Walmart (online), and Target (online). Barnes & Noble, Pelican Book Group, and other retailers will release them on November 1st.

QPQ: Thanks for the clarification. I can’t wait to have a print copy! Introduce us to your furry friends.

indyCSP: Our dog, Indiana Bones, is a stray we took in several years ago after he moved into our vacant dog house and refused to leave.

QPQ: Who could let him leave with a face like that? He’s adorable. And what a great name for him! How did you come to choose that name?

CSP: I actually let my kids name the dog. They were big into Indiana Jones at the time, and since the dog is part beagle, he was constantly following a trail to anticipated treasure. Always digging. We call him Indy for short.

QPQ: I love a dog who lives up to his name. Who else are you sharing with us today?

CSP: This is Baby Kitty. He’s long past babyhood at age fifteen. I got him as a kitten, and his was meant to be a temporary name, but after a while the name stuck. His personality is much like mine, which may not be a good thing. 😉

QPQ: I’m sure it’s a wonderful thing! Do Indy and Baby Kitty help you write?

baby-kittyCSP: Indy doesn’t help much as he’s an outside dog, but Baby Kitty keeps my side warm, snuggling with me while I write. He’s actually a character in my novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart, as the kitten Huck surprises Emma with. Unfortunately, in real life, Baby Kitty is old and having health problems so I wanted a way to keep him alive after he’s gone.

QPQ: That’s a wonderful idea. A beautiful tribute for a beloved pet. What a sweet face he has! Other than Baby Kitty, have you written previous pets into your stories?

CSP: Absolutely! I sprinkle a lot of my life into my stories. My Australian Blue Heeler, Katie, who passed away right before Indy moved in (hence, the vacant dog house) is in my current manuscript as a farm dog. She loved living in the country, so this part is perfect for her.

QPQ: That’s awesome. I have a Blue Heeler, too. He and I are much alike. We both love to eat, hate riding in the car, and get a little cantankerous when the doorbell rings. What do you have in common with your pets?

CSP: Hmm…with Baby Kitty, I’d say our mutual affection for being lazy. Like him, I enjoy stretching out on the couch and napping (or in my case reading a good book). We both love soaking up the sunshine that pours through our windows, and we can both be temperamental from time to time.

As for Indy, our common interest is adventure. We both love to see and explore new places.

QPQ: You have two precious pets, Candice. Thank you so much for sharing them with us! We wish both Baby Kitty and Indy well. Where on the web can readers connect with you and your books?

CSP: Thanks for hosting me, friends! I love reader mail, so you can find me at the following places:

Website: www.candicesuepatterson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Candice-Sue-Patterson-Author-420360958035447/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/candicesue_patt

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/CandiceSuePatterson

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/candicesuepatte/

Blog: www.candicesuepatterson.blogspot.com and www.quidproquills.com

 

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Out of The Frying Pan: Behind the Story

The September 9th and 23rd posts showcased the romance/mystery novel, Out of the Frying Pan by authors Michelle Griep and Kelly Klepfer. Today we learn how the story materialized!61tvSrINcpL

Kelly, welcome back! Tell us how you and Michelle came to write Out of the Frying Pan.

Michelle and I met a very long time ago. In fact we say we are sisters from another mother but didn’t meet until we began interacting on an on-line Christian fiction critique group. We knew right away that we were soul sisters. We both consider our major spiritual gifts to be sarcasm and smacking. I know that’s not Biblical, but let’s just say we employ both of these skills often so it’s good that we have each other.  

While slicing-and-dicing each other’s writing, one of us suggested we write a book together. I had a story idea birthed long before. One of my former co-workers (The woman had a Bachelor’s Degree in theater. Nuff said.) used to run a non-profit alongside mine. She worked with retired adults. We enjoyed her interactions way too much. One day she ran across a name. “Kelly! This name needs to be a character in a book. A murder mystery. Zula. Isn’t that a wonderful name?” I agreed. And when I shared this tiny seed of an idea with Michelle the brainstorming blossomed into Out of the Frying Pan and the larger than life Fern and Zula Hopkins.

photo (11)Of course, that was the beginning. And this novel has taken a 10 year journey to see the light of day.

The plot line was skeletonized super speedy. We knew our murderer, our red herring coulda-woulda folks, the motives and the major characters right off the bat.

We wrote Out of the Frying Pan from different states, bouncing ideas off of each other and putting each other in challenging literary hot water. I wrote two major characters, Michelle wrote the other two. We’d write a scene, tag the other person and wait for a response with the scene cliffhanger. It was really challenging and fun. Michelle would work her magic and write about her character’s world, weaving my character in and causing me to have to rethink what I thought she’d be doing next–and vice versa. It really stretched us as writers and our characters grew more three-dimensional because of it. As Michelle wrote about my characters, they grew even more loveable because someone I cared about was describing them to me.

We had two publishers early on interested in the book but the cozy mystery portion of their house shut down before anything materialized there. Then we sat on the book for a long period. Michelle wrote and published a couple of books in that time frame. I sunk into a season of insecurity in my skill set and was not writing at all. Michelle finally told me that we needed to start pushing the story again. I agreed to massive editing and finishing the final chapters. Interestingly, while I wasn’t writing, I was reading and reviewing during my dry spell. During that time, some of the areas in which I struggled became more natural and part of who I was as a writer. That season was valuable because I grew into my training and stored knowledge.

So if you happen to be a discouraged writer and aren’t able to write right now, read. qtRead good books and think about what makes them good and why you love them. And read not-so-good books and decide what makes them a bit on the stinky side and how you might do something different as a writer. You might just discover the rules begin to gel and become part of you, too. I’d been trying so hard not to break the rules that I was stilted and stunted in my writing, until the rules worked their way into me. And this has spiritual application. How many walk and struggle to obey God’s rules in their own weak power? Instead, Jesus offers us His indwelling. He works to make the rules a natural part of us.

Michelle had an agent at the time. We finished the book and she shopped it for us. We had a couple of bites but nothing real tempting. She ended up parting ways with her agent and a year later we landed this contract. When our Bling! Editor read it she suggested we ramp up the romance angle and sell it as a romance. So, newly challenged, we recreated deeper pasts for our former secondary characters and wove in more action. The whole process has been so challenging, involved, and exhausting, but most of all, fun.

Over all, my favorite comments and delightful moments are recent. Michelle is a genius editor and will not let a book go to a final print without her last go-through. She texted me throughout that weekend. “I am laughing out loud. How can I think this book is so funny when we stinking wrote it?” “I love our characters. I mean love them.” “Favorite paragraph: Oy. The heat from Zula’s blistering gaze began to melt Fern’s rubber-soled Keds. She didn’t even need to look in that direction to know that two baby blue beams were fixed, locked, and loaded. How was she going to get out of this situation without any open veins? A story. A good story.This says it all. Some of Michelle’s admiration might come from the fact that people die and are injured in Out of the Frying Pan. Because she loves nitty-gritty historicals, she’s always killing off a character or two, so there’s that. Remember our “spiritual” gifts. ♦

unnamedKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas… she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled Dregs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.

 

 

View More: http://bethanyaleshire.pass.us/michellekelly

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Historical romance is her usual haunt. THE CAPTIVE HEART is her latest release. Follow her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 

~ Jericha Kingston

 

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Animals & Authors with Michelle Griep

Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it really? Let’s visit with author Michelle Griep and ask her about her constant companion.

QPQ: Welcome, Michelle! Introduce us to the fuzzy-muzzle of love you’re sharing with us today.

Ada & IMG: I live with a slightly-neurotic . . . wait a minute . . . scratch that. I live with a super-psychotic boxer named Ada Clare. After meeting her mother and father (okay, so, yeah, I’m the psycho here) my husband and I decided to adopt a pup from their litter. We chose the black one. Really she’s brindle, but you can only see brown if the sun shines on her just right. That was 2 ½ years ago and we’ve been loving her ever since.

QPQ: Boxers are such amazing dogs! Since you’re an author and you come up with names all the time, how did you come up with Ada Clare?

MG:I’m a Dickens freak and Bleak House is one of my favorites of his. Ada Clare is a sweet but strong character in that story.

IMG_8963QPQ: I wondered if Bleak House was the inspiration for your Ada Clare! How does Ada help you in your writing?

MG: Being that I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, she keeps my feet warm. Or if she lays on them too long, they go numb.

QPQ: Oh my. Can’t relate to that kind of cold! Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?

MG: Not one of mine but one of my mom’s. She seriously had the world’s ugliest dog. In my new release written with co-author Kelly Klepfer, we wrote in a pup that only a mother could love.

IMG_8990QPQ: Let me guess… that would be Fifi The Wonder Dog! Tell us three things you and Ada have in common.

MG: One, we love treats and snoozing. Two, taking walks is one of our favorite things to do. Three, chin whiskers. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

QPQ: Too funny, Michelle! Thank you for visiting here at the Quid Pro Quills. Where can readers find your new release?

MG: For zany fun with the world’s ugliest dog, check out my co-authored release of OUT OF THE FRYING PAN.

Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for Fern and Zula Hopkins. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective Jared Flynn. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.

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View More: http://bethanyaleshire.pass.us/michellekellyMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Historical romance is her usual haunt, THE CAPTIVE HEART her latest release. Follow her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

 

~ Jericha Kingston

 

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Freeing Ellie: Author Chat with Joan Deneve

View More: http://photos.pass.us/joan-deneveQPQ: Today’s a great day to visit the Quid Pro Quills. We’re thrilled to bring you another interview with Author Joan Deneve. Thank you for joining us, Joan! Tell us what’s new since Saving Eric.

JD: Hello, Jericha. Great to be with you again! Eric and Ellie’s story continues in my new novel Freeing Ellie.

QPQ: Eric and Ellie… together at last! What are some of the challenges they face in Freeing Ellie?

JD: You’re right about challenges. Life seems to be full of them, doesn’t it?

One of Ellie’s greatest fears comes to pass: Eric has to return to his former professional skills in an attempt to rescue someone dear to them both.

Most importantly, though, Ellie has to deal with some baggage from her past: Guilt over past mistakes; depression; doubts about God’s love and forgiveness. These things rear their ugly heads as she and Eric deal with tragedy, as well as complications from a crisis pregnancy.

QPQ: Oh my. Can’t wait to read how they address these challenges. What’s Ellie’s most endearing quality?

JD:  Ellie is sweet, even when she is having a hard time. This quality is endearing but not always helpful. In an attempt not to be a bother to anyone, she bottles up her pain and tries to handle it all on her own.

QPQ: I think a lot of women can relate. Tell us how your book, Freeing Ellie, came to be.

Freeing Ellie FRONT COVERJD: I love books that end with Happily Ever After, but I always want to know what happens to a couple after the wedding when real life hits them square in the face. I love Eric and Ellie, and I wanted to take their journey farther and deeper. Since they were both new Christians when they married, I wanted to show their growth as believers and also the strengthening of their own relationship as husband and wife.

QPQ: Anyone who’s read about Eric and Ellie will definitely want to know more. What resources did you utilize to gather information for Freeing Ellie?

JD: My own life experiences! I was not reared in a Christian home. In fact, my childhood was often violent and troubled due to having a mentally ill father. I was gloriously saved two weeks before my sixteenth birthday! I entered this wonderful faith with a lot of baggage from my childhood. God graciously created the perfect storm of challenges and trials aimed specifically at my fears and doubts to bring me to the place where I could fully trust Him.

Although Ellie’s struggles were different from my own, I think the concept is the same for every believer. God knows the deep secrets and fears in our hearts. He often allows us to go through tribulations (which are trials we can’t handle on our own) in an effort to free us once and for all from the things that have bound us spiritually or emotionally.

I love the line from the novel: Retreat to the truth, not your feelings.

Our thoughts and feelings are often colored by lies we inadvertently tell ourselves such as, God doesn’t care; I’ll never change; Not even God can fix this mess…. We must learn to counter the lies we believe with the truth of His word. God’s truth will make you free. John 8:32.

QPQ: Yes! God’s truth is the only truth in a world of lies. What about Eric and Ellie will appeal to readers?

JD: Their cute, sweet banter! They’re still newlyweds in this novel! They are also still relatively new Christians. I think the reader will enjoy and benefit from witnessing their growing pains in their new faith.

QPQ: Can’t wait to read it. Your dialogue is amazing! What is the single most important lesson you’ve learned about writing, or life in general?

JD: Wow! I had to really think about the answer to this question because there were many lessons along the way. But I think if I had to narrow it down to the single most important lesson in regards to writing and life in general, it would be this:

Even though my life’s calling is to be a teacher, I found I REALLY enjoyed writing. At fifty-seven, when I began this glorious writing journey, I felt that I had walked through the wardrobe door and entered a whole new world that I loved very much. Five years later, I’ve learned some things about this ‘writing Narnia’ that I could not have known when I began.

  1. Writing is a gift but it’s also a craft that must be learned, often through painstaking, patient, and humbling trial and error.
  2. Getting a book published does not bring a lasting or euphoric high that one thinks it will bring. (Nor will it bring fame or wealth.)
  3. Most importantly, I’ve learned that God wants to use my gift of writing in His time and in His way. Once I learned that lesson, the pressure was off to compete with other authors, or to complete yet another epic book. God’s will, God’s way, God’s timing. It took me a while to learn that one, and I think I’m still learning. Actually it was this year that I realized God wants to use my writing whether in a work of fiction, a Facebook post, or even the occasional blog. It doesn’t have to be an award-winning book.

Sorry. I gave you three, but I saved the most important lesson for the last.

QPQ: I’m so glad you did. Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

JD: Me? Not really. But I can tell aspiring authors what I tell myself.

Don’t let self-doubt rob you of the blessing of pursuing your dream of writing a book and getting it published. God wants to use you to help and bless (or maybe just entertain) the people with whom you share this planet.

Don’t look at the Goliaths of other great authors or great and seemingly impregnable publishing houses. As young David said, “Is there not a cause?” Yes! If God has put this desire in your heart, God wants to use you. Trust God and do it!

QPQ: Fabulous advice, Joan. Tell us something we might be surprised to learn about you.

JD: Like Ellie, I once tried to commit suicide. God wasn’t through with me. It’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about this book. God is in the business of changing lives! He changed mine! My prayer is that God uses this book to help someone who is struggling with guilt or depression. There is deliverance!

QPQ: Thank you so much for your transparency, and most importantly, for sharing the sure hope found in Christ Jesus. What’s next for you? Are you writing anything new?

JD: I could use your prayers! Teaching high school English is rewarding but very time-consuming! I also am the primary caregiver for my ninety-six year old mother, another very rewarding but time-consuming challenge. But yes! I am currently working on Loving Brock, the third and final book in the Redeemed Side of Broken Series.

QPQ: Oh goodness! There’s more to come? I can’t wait! Thank you so much for joining us. How might readers contact you?

JD: I love to hear from readers! Here are some ways to connect with me:

cjdeneve@hotmail.comFacebook: Joannie Denevejoandeneve.com

QPQ: Finally, where can we find Freeing Ellie?

JD: Freeing Ellie can be found on Amazon. ♦

~ Jericha Kingston

View More: http://photos.pass.us/joan-deneveJoan Deneve teaches English in a Christian school and has a passion to help young people fall in love with Jesus and equip them to become all God wants them to be. Joan began her walk as a Christian when she accepted Christ as her savior two weeks before her sixteenth birthday. She graduated from Tennessee Temple Bible College in 1975.

Joan and Rene’, her husband of forty-plus years, reside in Prattville, Alabama, a charming city with Southern hospitality. They count their son, daughter, son-in-law, and seven phenomenal grandchildren to be their greatest blessings on earth.

Joan enjoys time well-spent with family and friends, but finds equal joy in quiet moments of solitude on her back porch. There, surrounded by bluebirds and yellow butterflies, she began writing her debut novel, Saving Eric.

An active member of her church, Joan enjoys singing in the choir. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is currently working on the third book in the Redeemed Side of Broken Series. She enjoys chatting with fellow writers and readers. Contact her at http://www.joandeneve.com

 

 

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