Sunday, December 07, 2008

Author Gwen Ford Faulkenberry - LOVE FINDS YOU IN ROMEO, COLORADO - Free Book

I'm impressed with the new Summerside Press. Here's the third author we're featuring from them. Welcome, Gwen, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

While none of the characters in this novel “are” me, they all contain pieces of me and other people I know. One of the beauties of fiction is that you can take a piece of yourself—or a quality you’ve observed in another—and construct a whole puzzle around that piece to make an interesting character. An example of that in this book is Abuela. While my maternal grandmother was not Mexican, rich, nor as vocal about her faith as Abuela; she was a strong, beautiful woman who nurtured the good in me and whose love is still is a very powerful force in my life.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

The quirkiest thing…hmm. It’s tough to pick just one. Singing “To God be the Glory” from the top of Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland; jumping into a fountain with my clothes on to illustrate God’s grace to a Bible study group; not kissing my husband till our wedding day; dancing in the rain with my two-year old; skinny dipping in the Mediterranean Sea; hitchhiking; getting a tattoo; and numerous other fun but quirky things I wouldn’t necessarily advise.

You sound like a really fun person. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

In my fourth grade year, my teacher “published” several “books” I wrote by putting them on the shelf in our class—and the other students actually read them!

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

My taste in books is pretty eclectic. I love classics, and specifically the Victorians. I also enjoy—and often identify with--Southern writers. In contemporary literature, I like Roy Lessin, Elisabeth Elliot, T. Davis Bunn, Jan Karon, Khaled Hosseini, Ian McEwan, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jhumpa Lahiri, and the poet Franz Wright.

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

Published—a gift book entitled God’s Heart Through You.
Not published (yet)—a devotional called The Shepherd’s Voice, co-authored with Roy Lessin, and a novel, Small Town Girl.

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

My husband and I are very strategic with our time. Family comes first; which means saying “no” to lots of other good things. Keeping my family spiritually healthy goes a long way toward promoting sanity for me. Other rituals I enjoy are long walks, hot baths, playing music, and cooking.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I love names. I had names picked out for my children by the time I was in fifth grade. Sometimes I choose a character’s name because of its meaning, and sometimes to convey cultural background or advance the story. In this book, Claire’s son is named Graeme because of his father’s Scottish heritage. Desirae, the nurse, is named that because I wanted Claire to be bothered by the spelling.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Being married for fourteen years to the same great guy, and being a mother of three adorable children.

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

I’d be a bald eagle. Of all of the animals in the world, they have to be the most awe-inspiring. We have some that come where I live (on a high bluff on the Arkansas River) in winter. They fly right by my deck at eye-level, and it takes my breath away every time I see one. I love the Biblical implications of Isaiah 40:31, and I also love it that eagles are the symbol of America. To me, they represent timeless beauty, fierce intelligence, and absolute freedom.

What is your favorite food?

Mexican

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

I think my greatest roadblock has been a fear of failure. This may sound silly, but for years I had a dream of writing the great American novel, winning the Pulitzer Prize, doing something grandiose like that. Because my life as a mother of three small children doesn’t lend itself to writing several hours a day to create “one true sentence,” as Hemingway put it, I didn’t even try writing anything other than cards or newspaper articles. I was afraid it wouldn’t be worth anything.

Then, DaySpring sent me to a writer’s conference where I met T. Davis Bunn. He told me not to wait till my children were grown to start writing, but to write what I could now, with them “crawling around my feet.” He said, “All that time you can be learning more, honing your craft, and contributing something valuable to the world.”

He didn’t make fun of my dreams, even though he must have thought they were naïve. Instead he told me, “If that world-changing novel happens for you one day, great. But you have to start somewhere. Be faithful now, working within the life God has given you, and leave the future to Him.” That was great advice, and I have followed it.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Probably the same advice Davis gave me.

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

Long version: In Love Finds You in Romeo, Colorado, Claire Caspian is a young widow who has moved back to her hometown of Romeo, Colorado, to live with her grandmother and raise her five-year-old son, Graeme.

When the novel opens, Claire is in her office at Adams State University, where she has just accepted a job as an assistant professor in the English department. She sits at her desk grading papers when the phone rings and she finds out her son has been rushed to the hospital with an asthma attack.

Enter Stephen Reyes, the doctor who takes care of Graeme in the ER. He is good-looking, gentle, and divorced. A few sparks of interest fly between them in that first encounter, but is a rocky road they take to finally finding true love—and letting love find them.

The rest of the book chronicles Claire and Stephen’s journey along that road. He must come to terms with his failed first marriage—and his fault in it—and she must put past heartache behind her and allow herself to love again. It’s a journey of forgiveness, trust and healing, by renewing the faith they both thought they’d lost. A host of colorful characters help them along the way: Claire’s feisty Abuela, the richest woman in the county; Stephen’s sister Maria, his friend Joe, the football coach who takes him to a Bible study; a crusty old professor named Oscar, a burly nurse named Victor, other friends and neighbors, and even a child--Claire’s five-year-old son. Set in the beautiful and mysterious San Luis Valley, the novel blends local flavor with timeless truths to give readers an experience that will both engage the mind and touch the heart.

Short version: Buy it!

How can readers find you on the Internet?

They can find me at http://www.lovefindsyou.wordpress.com/, or email me at gfaulkenberry@hotmail.com.

Lena,
Thank you very much for your interest and time. It was fun answering your thought-provoking questions.

And thank you, Gwen, for this fun interview.

Readers, you can order the book by clicking on this link:

Also, you can leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. If you don't, you can still use the link.

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39 comments:

Carolynn W. said...

Great interview!
The book sounds wonderful, I would love to read it. Thanks for the chance to win!
carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

Kristi said...

I had the opportunity to live in Colorado for a year and absolutely loved it! This sounds like a great book. Please enter me for a chance to win.

Thanks
Kristi
kherbrand(at)comcast(dot)net

Pat said...

Pat
Please enter me for a chance to win as the book sounds most interesting.
grist@mweb.co.za

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the interview and am so interested that most writer's worse roadblock is fear. Perhaps God will help me overcome mine so I might right the novels I feel I have within me.

I would love to win a copy of Faulkenberry's book. I would be grateful if you will enter me,

Gayla Collins
gayla.c@bresnan.net

Becky C. said...

I loved reading the interview.

The books sounds like a great read.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.

rec(at)hiwaay(dot)net

Jo said...

what a great interview! Really enjoyed reading it and the book sounds wonderful as well. I would love to read it. Please enter me in the drawing.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Donna Moore said...

I love "the love finds you" line. I would love to read this one. Please enter me.

Donna
runninmama at sbcglobal dot net

Martha A. said...

That is a neat interview! That is neat you started writing while you had little children! It encourages me!

martha(at)lclink(dot)com

ladystorm said...

I love the Love Finds You book and would love to read this one.

Thanks,
Stormi

ladystorm282001[@]yahoo[dot]com

windycindy said...

Thanks for another fun author interview. Love learning some experiences of authors! Please enter my name in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Mary said...

I enjoyed the interview. Please include my name for Love Finds You in Romeo, Colorado.
Thanks!
worthy2Bpraised{at}gmail{dot}com

Janice said...

Great interview Lena and Gwen.
Janice

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Lena and Gwen,
This sounds like a wonderful story! I am excited to see this is Gwen's first published novel. I hope there will be many more. Thanks for sharing this great interview. Please enter me in the drawing.
Carrie(at)turansky(dot)com

Marla said...

Please enter me in this giveaway. I love a new book. This sounds like a real-to-life type of story. Thank you.

anneofgg said...

This book is sure to be inspiring and thought-provoking! Thank you so much for the chance to win!

Cherie J said...

Great interview! Sounds like a wonderful story.

Pamela J said...

My breath was taken away when I first saw the cover picture. I can definitely identify them as Colorado mountains in the background. I've never read a book that the setting is so close to home. I LIVE just 17 miles from Adams State and I've been through Romeo. How FUN!
Please enter me in your drawing, Lena. Thanks.
Pam W
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Rae Byuel said...

Wonderful interview! I can't wait to read it, if I don't win it, I'll have to go out an buy it!!!

raebyuel @ gmail.com

Maureen said...

This sounds like a lovely story.
mce1011[at]aol[dot]com

Gwen said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments. I wish I could meet each one of you in person! And, Pam, I wish I'd met you before I wrote this book! I did hours and hours of research on the Romeo area--sounds like you could have helped me out with that! I hope you all enjoy the book!
Gwen Ford Faulkenberry

Abi said...

I've read about this series and it looks like it could be wonderful. Thanks for the interview. I'd love to win this book.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

rebornbutterfly said...

I've been interested in this one please enter me! :)

Anonymous said...

How exciting to know Gwen and to read about her book. I would love to read it and pass it on to others who also know her. She is a delightful person with many giftings. Sure hope I can win it. Kay Emery

jenna said...

I love Gwen's quirkyness! She sounds like she'd be a whole lot of fun! Great interview.
frog123 (at) cyipcom (dot) net

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview with Gwen Faulkenberry. I admire her will to keep writing while raising her family. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Jenna said...

I would love to read this over the holidays. It sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks!

Stacie said...

I'd love to read this.

stacie_vaughan@hotmail.com

Carole said...

I'm very interested in reading the "Love finds you..." series. Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

kalea_kane said...

What a wonderful interview. I checked out Summerside Press thanks to you, Lena. I really enjoyed reading what Gwen had to say about it taking a village to write a book. Wonderful! :) Please enter me. Thank you!

Kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

AmandaSue said...

It was fun to read the q&a's and this book sounds good. I'd like to be entered thank you.

Gwen said...

Hi guys,
I just wanted to drop by and say hi, and share something with you all. I got an email today that was so special--it ministered to my heart! It's from a lady who lost her husband a couple of years ago to cancer. She wrote that Love Finds You in Romeo is the first romance novel she's read in a long time and for her it was a witness of God's love. She shared that it reminded her of our hope in Jesus and helped her heal. I was just sitting in tears in front of my computer saying "Thank You Lord." I don't usually make sweeping statements, but as a writer, that really is what it's all about!
Hugs,
Gwen

sarahw said...

sounds an looks like a great book. please enter my name in the draw.
thanks,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

Megan said...

Sign me up please. I love Christian romances. They're some of the only clean ones!

megan.nadalet[at]gmail.com

Margie said...

What a great interview! This sounds like a terrific book! Thanks for the contest. Please enter me in the drawing.

Doreen said...

Hi, please sign me up for this book. It sounds great and I enjoyed reading the interview. purposedrivenlife4you (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I have read this book, but would love to win one to pass along to a friend. It is amazing!!!!! I would encourage those of you who don't win to invest your money in this purchase. You will not regret it. Gwen is a good friend of mine and I can honestly say she blesses the lives of everyone she encounters. Plus she IS quirky--in a fun special way!!!

Anonymous said...

I read the book and wow! Now reading this interview with the author, Gwen Ford Faulkenberry - double wow! She is as interesting and refreshing as her book, Love Finds You in Romeo, Colorado.

I will enjoy watching this author as she enthusiastically pursues God's plan for her life!

Exciting!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such an interesting interview. I have read Gwen's spiritual books and look forward to reading her new novel. Can't wait to see how she weaves her characters together and places God's love in her writing. Would love to win this book and it's definately going to be on my Christmas gift list to others.
Thank you,
Kathy
kdhocevar@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

My comment on "Love Finds You in Romeo Colorado". I grew up in the San Louis Valley of Colorado and was excited to find a book that took place in the area until -- it talked about the Oak trees on Adams State Collage in Alamosa.
Oak trees do not grow in that part of Colorado, they are Cottonwoods trees. In fact Alamosa means place of the cottonwood in the Spanish language spoken in that area. I read no more.