Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Author Sharlene MacLaren - COURTING EMMA

I'm happy to welcome Sharlene MacLaren back to the blog. We all enjoyed the first two books in this series. And I know I awaited Courting Emma with great anticipation. I have to tell you that, if possible, this book was better than the first two in the Little Hickman Creek series.

Welcome, Sharlene. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

My greatest joy is to write about triumph through struggles, victory in the midst of heartache, and hope in the face of sorrow. All my stories involve some sort of tragic event, which puts my characters on a quest for truth, healing, and wholeness. I love weaving scripture passages throughout in the hopes it will prompt my readers to open their Bibles and find answers for their own struggles.

And you do that really well. What other books of yours are coming out soon?

After Courting Emma, I will be releasing a contemporary novel titled Long Journey Home. This book will release in September ’08. Then beginning in January ’09, I’m launching my next 3-book historical series – The Daughters of Jacob Kane.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?

I think I’d have to say Beth Moore. I love her Bible studies. She is a dynamic individual with a huge heart for women. I have learned so much from her wonderful studies.

I've been in the studio audience when an interview with her and husband was recorded by James Robison. She has a powerful presence. How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?

I’ve always enjoyed writing—but I didn’t actually write my first novel until the ripe age of 52! I was a couple of years away from retirement and already fretting about what I was going to do with myself. I pled with God to give me a new direction for my life, something that would fulfill me – as my teaching career had done. It started with a dream. I know that sounds “cliché-ish”, but it’s true. I dreamt I’d written a book. I thought the dream was odd, but after dreaming it three more times, I sat up, took notice, and thought, hmm, is God trying to tell me something? (Slow learner!) So, with much trepidation and an idea for a story floating around in my head, I sat at my computer one fine summer day in the year 2000 and started writing, and I’ve been at it ever since.

It's a wonderful life for sure. What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?

Never allow those rejection letters to discourage you to the point of quitting. Okay, you can quit for a day or so, but then jump right back into it. If you have a strong urge to write, and you believe in your heart God gave you a passion for it, then chances are good you’ll publish someday. The trick is to keep plugging away. Honing your skill takes hours of hard work and study, not to mention attending conferences, reading in your genre, joining critique groups, and learning the industry. Pray, pray, pray. If God wants you published, it will happen, but bear in mind, it’s all about Him and His perfect timing.

That is so true. Now, Sharlene, tell us about the featured book.

Here’s a brief synopsis of my latest book, COURTING EMMA, third and final installment in The Little Hickman Creek Series: Twenty-eight-year old Emma Browning has experienced a good deal of life in her young age. Sole owner of Emma's Boardinghouse, she is "mother" to an array of beefy, unkempt, often rowdy characters. Though many men would like to get to know the steely, hard-edged, yet surprisingly lovely, proprietress, none has truly succeeded. That is, not until the town's new pastor, Jonathan Atkins, takes up residence in the boardinghouse, affecting not only her with his devout faith and strong convictions, but her clientele as well. Emma clings desperately to her stubborn ways, refusing to acknowledge God's love—until all of Little Hickman witnesses a real-life miracle! Only then will Emma begin to experience God's power at work.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Oh, do please come visit me. I will always reply to emails or comments on my website or blog. Here’s my contact information, and thanks for the opportunity you’ve given me to share. This has been wonderful fun. May God bless each of you with bountiful grace and joy!

Thank you for spending this time with us Sharlene.

Readers, do check her websites. She's just as gracious as she sounds.

You'll want to get a copy of Courting Emma. Leave a comment and you might win one.


Cherie J said...

Wonderful interview! Would like to be entered in the drawing for this book.

Ruth Dell said...

Hi Lena and Shar

I'd just read Shar's interview in ACFW's spotlight before looking at Lena's blog. I was surprised to find Shar featured here too! I'm glad to have a chance to win 'Courting Emma.' Please enter me in the drawing.

Thank you.

God bless

Ruth Dell

ladystorm said...

I had the pleasure of reviewing this book and I just wanted to let everyone know that it is a great book. It was the first book I read of Sharlene's and I now want to get her other Little Hickman books so I can get in on the other great stories. :)


Kathy at Sumballo said...

I enjoyed the interview - and words of encouragement. I'd enjoy reading her book.
sumballo [at] gmail [dot]com

Patricia said...

Yay!! Sharlene. Your success at beginning your writing career at a young 50 gives me hope. : )
Great interview. I'll have to check into your books and give them a read.

Sherrie Ashcraft said...

What a great interview! I, too, had just read Shar's interview featured on ACFW and was pleased to see another one here. I've got to get her books, as they sound very interesting. Please enter me in the drawing.

ForstRose said...

I love historicals and this one sounds great. Please enter me in the drawing.


Anonymous said...

Great interview. Would love to add Sharlene's books to my bookshelf. Please enter me in the drawing.
Kay C.

Carolynn W. said...

I loved the first two books in this series and am so excited to see that the third one is out! I can't wait to read it! Please enter me, thanks!

Carole said...

This is an enjoyable series, and I would love to win a copy of Courting Emma. Thank you for the opportunity!

Sharlene, I think Beth Moore would also be my choice to spend an evening with.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Abi said...

Oh, I'd love to read this book. Thanks for the interview.

Donna Moore said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Lena thank you agian for a great interview.

runninmama at sbcglobal dot net

Anonymous said...

Please enter me into this drawing as well.


danelli04 [at] hotmail [dot] com

Emma said...

Great interview. Please enter me in the drawing for a chance to win 'Courting Emma.
Thank you.This book sound wonderful.

Tara said...

please enter me! thanks.

taradawnrobertson at hotmail dot com

windycindy said...

Hello! What a lovely cover on her book! The story sounds very good! Please enter me in your drawing. I enjoyed your interview with Sharlene. Thanks,Cindi

Sharlene MacLaren said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS! I just returned from a two-day stint in Florida (TV interview), checked out Lena's blog, and found 16 comments already. Thank you, thank you, thank you, ladies. Oh, I wish I could give you each a hug for stopping by, but I guess I'll just have to settle for sending you this little note of thanks instead.

May you all reap abundant blessings!


ChristyJan said...

What a thoroughly enjoyable spotlight/interview!

Please enter me to win a copy of Courting Emma

Karin said...

Enjoyed the interview. Sounds like a good read.

Doreen said...

Sounds great!! Please enter me for this book. :)

Ausjenny said...

please enter me i have heard good things about htis book.

angelaandconnor at gmail.com said...

I'd love to have a copy.. summer break is coming up and I'd love to have some new books to keep me occupied!

Norma said...

I hope I'm not too late for this one - it does sound interesting!