Monday, September 25, 2006

Muncy Chapman

This week we're talking to Muncy Chapman, who has written several books. She's been published by Heartsong Presents, who has published many of my books, too. Leave a comment for a chance to win the featured book.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

Almost all of my stories are set in my home state of Florida, and I include a lot of real life situations. In my first novel, What Love Remembers, although I didn’t realize it, my three daughters told me the protagonist, Kristen Kelly, was just like me. I’m not so sure about that, but they seem to think so. We once owned a vacation house on one of Florida’s beautiful barrier islands, so lot of the things that happen in that first book actually happened to us or to someone we knew.

We once lived in a condominium, and my book, Condomania, is loaded with events from those years. Of course, all the characters are fictional, but some seem to bear a striking resemblance to people who lived nearby.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Gee, I don’t know. Maybe riding in a hot air balloon race. (We won!)

That's cool. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I’ve been making up stories and poems ever since I learned to hold a pencil. It’s an inborn passion.

That's right. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading. I read every day. My interests are expansive. In addition to daily Bible reading, I like inspirational romance, mystery, historical, just about everything. I don’t like erotic books. I’m not a prude, but I think it’s much more romantic to “keep the bedroom door closed.” I believe a really good story doesn’t need a “crutch” to stand on.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

My husband and I collaborate to write historical novels set in the early Florida Territory. So far, I’ve had twelve of my books published. My favorite, Search for Samantha, has not been published. It doesn’t really fit a specific genre, and it’s pretty long, so I haven’t been able to market it yet. Maybe I’ll keep trying, but right now I have too much else going on. Blue Glass Candy Jar is under consideration by a major publishing house, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

I try to keep my priorities straight. God is first, of course, but my family and their needs come way ahead of writing. With a wonderful husband, 4 married children, 11 grandchildren, and one tiny great-granddaughter, I am constantly celebrating birthdays, engagements, weddings, births, etc. My happiest times are spent with my family. Daily prayer and Bible reading helps to keep everything in focus.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Sometimes I use the names of my family members, friends, or someone I know, but sometimes a character almost seems to name him- or herself. I wonder myself where some of the names come from.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I am a member of National League of American Pen Women. In 2003, at their annual state convention, they honored me with their annual Florida Achievement Award. But at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll have to say that I consider my children my greatest achievement. They’ve all made me very proud.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A dolphin. I enjoy watching them roll and play in the Gulf of Mexico. They’re happy, harmless, and lovable creatures who seem to love the Florida sun and sand as much as I do.

What is your favorite food?

I like all Spanish and Italian food. I also like Southern soul-food, like black-eyed peas, cornbread, collard greens, okra, etc. And yes, I like grits with my eggs!

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

I’d like to think the reviewer was right when she said One Small Spark was a book all teenagers should read. It’s an adult book, though, so I think I’d hope all parents and grandparents of teenagers would read it too. This same reviewer said One Small Spark should be on the New York Times bestseller list, and I wouldn’t mind that either, of course! :-) It was a fun book to write, and I hated to let the characters go after I finished it.

Thank you for spending time with us, Muncy. We'll hope for the publication of Blue Glass Candy Jar right along with you.

Readers, remember to leave a comment for a chance to win One Small Spark.

There's still time to leave a comment for a chance to win the two Nikki Arana books. And come back next week to see if you won. We'll have a new interview up then.


Jennifer Y. said...

Great interview! I love the Heartsong Presents books.

Kristy Dykes said...

Great interview. Nice finding out some more things about you, Muncy! I'm from Florida, too, and enjoy setting stories in my beautiful home state, and, I love grits with my eggs. We have lots of things in common. Congrats on all you've accomplished!

Cherie said...

Great Interview! I enjoyed learning more about Muncy. I am also from Florida. Although, unlike Muncy and Kristy I am not a fan of grits. :-)

Cherie Japp