Welcome, Melody. Please tell us about your salvation experience.
I grew up in an “unchurched” home with divorced parents and some dysfunction. I declared myself an atheist when I was twelve. I actually think it was a desperate cry for God to reveal himself to me. Fortunately that happened in high school when I was “kidnapped” to a Young Life meeting and heard the gospel for the first time ever. I did a complete turn around—going from darkness to light—and I immediately began trying to bring all my old wild party friends with me.
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
I’d probably pick four of my favorite author friends, including Robin Jones Gunn (she’s such a natural encourager and gifted storyteller) and Jane Kirkpatrick (always interesting to talk to and an incredible historical writer) and Heather Harpham Kopp (because she’s a fabulous writer and we need to catch up) and then I’d pick an author I don’t know very well Christa Allan (because I’m reading her book Walking on Glass right now and it’s really good).
Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I prefer spending my time writing, but I do speak occasionally. I’m most easily enticed to speak to teens, because I feel that I have the most impact there. Right now I’m considering doing a cross-country tour next fall (to visit schools and libraries and meet more teens).
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
I can’t think of too many embarrassing moments. But I do recall a writing related incident. I was doing a book signing at Walmart and my table was set up in the men’s underwear department—don’t ask me why! I was supposed to be signing my Diary of a Teenage Girl books, but not a single teen girl ventured to that particular section of the store. However I did manage to scare away quite a few bewildered male shoppers. That was kind of embarrassing—and funny.
Thank goodness my first, and only, Walmart signing was set up near the checkout stands. People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I tell them to go for it. The only way to “write a book” is to sit down and actually do it. However, some people get more focused on a “publishing” a book than really writing it. That’s a whole different challenge. But if you truly want to write, you should just jump in and just do it. Then do it some more. The only way you improve at anything is by doing it a lot. Then I’d recommend the usual things, take some writing classes, join a good critique group, attend writers’ conferences, read the kinds of books you aspire to write, and if you’re seeking publishing, study the market and consider self publishing ebooks.
Tell us about the featured book.
River’s Call is the second book in a trilogy (The Inn at Shining Waters). It’s a story about several generations of women, and set on a beautiful coastal river in
with a slight focus on Native American history. The main character Anna is
establishing an inn with the hopes of encouraging her guests to enjoy peace and
practice forgiveness. However, she is constantly challenged by the various
members of her own extended family, including a “grown” daughter who’s somewhat
entitled and difficult. Oregon
Please give us the first page of the book.
Anna’s dugout canoe sliced a quiet path through the glasslike surface of the river. Today the Siuslaw was the color of topaz, with reflections of trees along its edges. Interspersed between spruce and firs, maple trees shone in shades of gold and rust and red. Anna turned the canoe around, paddling back to the inn where she would start breakfast, when the silvery form of a good-sized fish shot out of the water. Soaring nearly a foot into the morning air, it arched then gracefully came down with a quiet splash. The third one she’d seen this morning.
Spawning season had begun. The salmon were beginning their annual migration upriver, and in a day or two the whole river would be hopping with them, with fishermen not far behind. Grandma Pearl used to say that the salmon were practicing their jumping skills, getting strong enough to make it up mountain streams and small waterfalls in order to lay their eggs in the same spots their ancestors had been procreating their young for hundreds of years.
October had always been Anna’s favorite month on the river. With mild weather, good fishing, harvest moons, and gorgeous sunsets, who could complain? And this year—her first October back on the Siuslaw in twenty years—she was sharing this special month with Clark! Only two weeks since returning from their honeymoon, Anna and Clark had already fallen into a comfortable pattern. It was amazing how compatible they were. Both enjoyed the quietness of the morning, a good cup of coffee, and the great outdoors.
How can readers find you on the Internet?http://www.melodycarlson.com
Thank you, Melody, for visiting with us today. It's always a pleasure.
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River's Call - The Inn at Shining Waters Series - paperback
River's Call - Kindle
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