Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WINGS OF A DREAM - Anne Mateer - Free Book

I'm happy to introduce your readers to another debut author, my friend, Anne Mateer. Welcome, Anne. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
When I first started writing, my main characters were very like me. They seem to have become less so over the course of many books. (I wrote 4 unpublished novels before Wings of a Dream.) Now I think I often bleed into my characters without my realizing it. One of my friends noticed that Rebekah, the heroine of Wings of a Dream sometimes bites her fingernails, as I do. I hadn’t consciously paid attention to that!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
That’s a hard one! I’m really a very predictable, boring person who rarely does anything out of the ordinary. Maybe the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is stand up in front of the entire ACFW Conference in 2007 wearing a blonde wig on and acting like Deb Raney!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’d always been a reader, but the summer before 5th grade I went to an enrichment course at my school. Half the time we did science. The other half we studied and wrote poetry. I discovered that I hated science and I loved writing words. I think my desire to be a writer was born that summer.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Like my taste in music, my taste in books runs over a wide range. I love, love, love the classics. I try to read at least one or two a year that I haven’t read before, although sometimes my favorites call me back. I read a lot of Christian fiction--women’s fiction and historical fiction. An occasional NYTimes bestseller (but usually years after everyone else has read them!). I enjoy mysteries (especially historical ones) and some fantasy (but not sci-fi). I still love YA and children’s literature, too! On occasion I will read suspense, but I can only handle the stress of those once or twice a year!

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Not very well! I keep thinking my world will slow as each child leaves for college, but it never seems to happen. I guess my main sanity comes in the form of a weekly lunch with my best friend of 20 years. My world literally stops for three hours as we rehash our week, laugh and cry with each other, and encourage each other in the Lord.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
My characters’ names come from various sources. Some are names connected with my family history. Others are pulled from the names in my current circle of acquaintances. Sometimes a name will just pop in my head. Many times I find them in newspaper articles of the time period I’m writing about. But I always check to make sure the name is time period appropriate.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
 My marriage. My husband and I married at 20 and 21, each with a lot of growing up to do. But we persevered through some difficult years and I’m proud of the relationship we have today. It’s not perfect, but we’ve learned to love each other in spite of our imperfections.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m not particularly fond of animals, but if I had to be one, I think I’d be a cat. Cats seem to live life on their own terms, not caring what anyone else thinks. I don’t always do that very well. 

What is your favorite food?
Definitely chocolate. All kinds. I’m not picky in that respect!

I've never met a chocolate I didn't like, except fudge with peanut butter in it. Tell us a little about your journey to publication.
After learning I loved words in elementary school and writing, writing, writing through high school and college, I suddenly found myself married and having babies, with little time to concentrate on that dream. During those years I simply read--and dreamed of writing. When my youngest child went to kindergarten in 2000, I took some creative writing classes to get back in the groove. I found a local writers group. I entered contests and submitted articles and stories to magazines. I received tons of rejections and a few acceptances. I finished 4 novels. In 2009, I reached the final round of the historical fiction category of the ACFW Genesis contest. A Bethany House editor read my entry and asked for the manuscript. Eleven months and two rewrites later, I had a contract!

That is exciting. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest problem has been story--that is, plot and structure. I seemed to have a knack for dialogue and creating character from the beginning, but having something happen was an issue for me. Overcoming it took reading lots of books on plot and story and also lots of practice crafting story. I think it helped me learn this when I wasn’t trying to write in the genre of my heart--historical fiction. Of my 4 unpublished novels, 3 are contemporary women’s fiction.  Once I returned to historical fiction after those three experiments in contemporary, where I really wrestled with plot, I found that story flowed more easily, though it is the still the point on which I concentrate my efforts.

What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?
Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Realize that even innate talent requires discipline and learning. (I always compare it to an athlete. The physical abilities are born in them, but they must still work to shape their muscles and hone their skills for their particular sport.)

Tell us about the featured book.
Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family's farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promises adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he's the man she's meant to marry. While she waits for the Great War to end and Arthur to return to her so they can pursue all their plans, her mother's sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, seeing this chance to be closer to Arthur's training camp as God's approval of her plans. But the Spanish flu epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt's death, Arthur's indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebekah is torn between the desire to escape the type of life she's always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Chapter 1
October 1918

“Rebekah Grace, if you don’t hurry we’ll be late for the lecture.” Mama refrained from shouting, though her voice carried easily up the stairs and into my bedroom. Ladies didn’t raise their voices, after all.

“Coming, Mama.” I pinned my wide-brimmed hat over my light brown hair before turning my head from side to side, trying to get the whole view in the small looking glass mounted on the wall. The hat wasn’t the latest style, but it would do. At least for Downington, Oklahoma.

Thankful that Mama had relented to skirts above my ankles, I raced down the stairs, hopping over the final step, then stopped to catch my breath before heading outside to meet Mama and Daddy. In spite of my excitement, I forced my feet to carry me with the slow dignity Mama expected of a young woman just turned nineteen.

My copy arrived this week. Can't wait to read it. How can the readers find you on the Internet?
You can read my blog and find out other things at, I have an author page on facebook at, and you can follow me on twitter I’d love to connect with you through any of those venues!

Thank you, Anne, for spending this time with us.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Jo said...

What a great interview and learning about a new author to me. "Wings of a Dream" sounds like a great book. Please enter me in the giveaway.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Tracy Smith said...

Very nice interview and the book sounds wonderful. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

Have a great day!!
Tracy in Ohio
countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

Rebecca said...

This looks like an amazing book. I would love to win this. Thanks for the chance to win this.

I am from Oklahoma.

peachykath said...

I love hearing about new author's. This book sounds really interesting. I can't wait to read it. Please enter me in the drawing for this book. Thank you.

Katherine from Northern California

Charity U said...

Please enter me! It looks very fun. :)

Charity - NE

Marianne said...

i love it when the author writes some of herself into a story, and i suppose most do, even if it is as insignificant as biting fingernails! Thanks for the great post and giveaway, Anne and Lena. Blessings on you. and please enter me in the giveaway. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com from Peace River Country, Alberta

Robyn said...

My daughter's name is Rebekah (with kah instead of cca...just like the Bible). So I already have a great love for her in your book. Can't wait to read your debut. Congratulations!!!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Anne Mateer said...

Y'all are so sweet for dropping by--and for giving a new author a chance! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Doesn't Lena ask great questions?

Susanne Dietze said...

I loved the interview! Thanks for the advice for writers, Anne. I find writing dialogue and characters easier than coming up with plots, too.

Please don't enter me into the drawing...I've already got my hands on a copy of Anne's fantastic book!

Patty said...

I love historical fiction but most of what I've read is pre 1900, so this would be something a bit different.

Patty in SC

Robin said...

Hey friend of 20 years! Great interview Lena!

Great book, readers! Don't miss this one. It will change your perspective on what the Lord is doing in your own life and heart!

I devoured it, loved it and am now reading it a second time to simply enjoy it.

Thank you Anne! Blessings, Lena!

Lorna Faith said...

Anne...I love your 1st page...can't wait to read your book! Thanks for sharing your writing journey, I feel inspired. I've only entered contests so far...but am working on my 1st historical fiction:) Congrats on being published!
Please enter me in the giveaway.

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Joanna Richmond said...

this looks like a interesting book. please enter me in the contest Joanna Richmond, Blanch N.C.

Sylvia said...

I'm from NC and am really looking forward to reading this book. The plot sounds good, but different then the cookie-cutter books of this type.


Sharon Richmond said...

Sounds Very interesting, I love to read, and would love to win this book.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Ms. Mona said...

Hi Anne, love how you said you keep your sanity,,,,,,I think that is something all of us should do....I have friends in different states and rarely get to see them....and I miss our times we used to go out for dinner,shopping,and just bumming around....this sounds like a great book, would love to win it...Thanks Ms. Mona/Ohio

Abigail said...

Looks and sounds interesting.
My middle name is Grace.
Please enter me in the drawing.
Thanks, And God Bless!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Anne Mateer said...

Patty--I hadn't paid much attention myself to those early years of the 20th century. But they are fascinating!

Lorna--so glad you liked the first page! Keep working on your own books. It can be a long hard road but the Lord uses it all to change you and to glorify Him!

You are such a great cheerleader, Robin! :)

Anne Mateer said...

Abigail, Sharon, Sylvia, Joanna--so glad something in the story already pulls you in!

Ms. Mona, I know I am very, very blessed to have my BFF close. We actually lived next door to each other at one point in our lives--on purpose! Now she lives an hour and a half away but we still manage our weekly lunches. Couldn't do without them!

scottsgal said...

Gotta love an author who's favorite food is chocolate! sounds like a wonderful book
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

sounds delish! thankyou for this opp to win ")
thank you for introducing us to so much good writing! from CA

Wilma said...

Sounds like a great book. Would love to win it.

Wilma in Tennessee

Sarah said...

Looks interesting! Please enter me in the drawing.
By the way my middle name is Rebekah.
Sarah Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Anne Mateer said...

Welcome Wilma, Sarah and others! So glad you stopped in for a chance to win! :)

Nathanael Richmond said...

Looks interesting! Please enter me in the drawing.
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Cindy W. said...

What a beautiful cover on Wings of a Dream! It sounds like a wonderful read. Thank you so much for the interview and chance to win a copy of Anne Mateer's book.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Megan said...

This story sounds so interesting, I would love to read this book. Please enter me in the drawing.

From Illinois

lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

Krista said...

Looks like a wonderful book! Please enter me!

Krista from Gresham, OR

Kristie said...

Sounds wonderful! Historical fiction is so interesting. Lots of research by the author though. Glad you made that effort. I'll add this to my to-read list. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Courtney said...

I love learning about a new author and this book sounds great!! Thanks for the chance to win it!

Courtney from WA state

Anne Mateer said...

Thanks for stopping by, y'all! You've made me feel quite welcome here!

Sarah said...

Would love to win!

Sarah H

dancealert said...

The book sounds great and I would love to read it! Please enter me.

I'm a subscriber and I follow gfc.

I posted this to my blog:

dancealert at aol dot com

dancealert said...

whoops forgot something!

dancealert at aol dot com

Brenda from Michigan!