Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Author Cecelia Dowdy - JOHN'S QUEST - Free Book

I'm happy to welcome Cecelia to this blog.

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

I’m not really sure how much of myself I write into my characters. It’s not something I particularly notice. However, people I know will tell me that they notice certain things my characters will do or say that will remind them of something I would do or say.

I love to bake, so for my first novel, I gave my heroine a profession I’d love to do someday: a baker. Also, I love food in general, and my sister told me she noticed how I love to describe food in my novels.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I don’t really consider myself to be quirky. However, my friends have told me it was unusual that I used to travel around the world….alone! I’ve been to many countries and most of those travels were done solo. Reason being, I used to work for a travel agency and I got free airline tickets, and sometimes I was able to get free or reduced room and board. I was only allowed to bring spouse and children with me at this free/reduced rate. At the time, I was unmarried and had no children. Most of my friends weren’t interested in traveling to the places I was going and they had no money to go, so I went solo! I went on three cruises plus I went to Europe, several places in the Caribbean, New Zealand and Tahiti! I do recall while traveling in the Caribbean alone, I got a lot of male attention! When those men see a woman traveling alone, they want to take you out and show you their island! Some of them can be pretty fresh too! I’d advise women traveling alone to be cautious!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

One day, when I was twenty-eight years old, I discovered I didn’t have a book to read during my lunch break. So I started to write. I’ve been writing ever since.

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

Any kind of fiction. However, over the last five or six years, my reading has been about eighty percent Christian fiction and twenty percent secular and non-fiction titles. I suppose since I write Christian fiction, I like to keep myself well-read about what’s out there, plus, I’ve found that I enjoy Christian fiction so much!

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

Too many to name. I had a lot of duds in the beginning that will NEVER see the light of day. There is one title I wrote that was based upon a secondary character in my published novel, FIRST MATES, however, I couldn’t find a house for it. I currently have a women’s fiction with strong romantic elements that I’m shopping around. I also have two other titles that will be released through Barbour’s Heartsong Presents line.

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

Since I’ve gotten married and had a child, I’ve found that my mind is very cluttered, plus with working full time, it’s hard to stay focused and get my writing done. However, I’ve discovered that I have to focus on one task at a time, and only take certain moments to reflect upon the big picture. If I keep one thing in the front of my mind during my hectic days, it’ll usually get done quickly, but, there’s always a lengthy list of other things to do! After I finish one task, I bring another to mind and focus on that! I’ve found that I’ve had to let some things go, and place some things on the back burner for now while I focus on certain projects, both business and personal projects.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I have a baby-name book. When I’m creating a new character, I’ll scan through the book and choose a name I like.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Both my husband and I are proud of our two-year-old son! Birthing him, raising him, it’s a lot of work but it’s fulfilling! He’s our biggest accomplishment, and I’m glad to enjoy motherhood!

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

A dolphin. I love watching them perform in shows! They are some of the smartest aquatic animals around!

What is your favorite food?

Don’t ask me that! I love so many things! I love sweets! I have a lot of favorite sweet treats: lemon pound cake, sweet potato pie, apple pie, chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies to name a few! I also love seafood. I love catfish, shrimp, and crabs, and I also like pasta dishes like spaghetti and lasagna.

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

Learning the craft. At first, I didn’t want a critique partner because I was scared to get my writing critiqued. I wish I’d had a partner or entered a contest sooner. Getting others to read my work offered me great feedback, and I learned about a few resources out there to help me with my writing. Due to time constraints, I no longer have a partner, but I still brainstorm sometimes with writing friends.

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

Join a writers group and do all you can to hone your craft! Join ACFW and go to their annual conference. Read some books about fiction writing. One of my favorites is Self Editing For Fiction Writers.

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

John’s Quest is about an agnostic scientist who finds romantic love while searching for Jesus. I wanted to write a story to show how someone who’s not sure of Jesus’ existence may search for the truth about our Savior.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

http://www.ceceliadowdy.com/ and http://www.ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/

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

Readers, look at that cover. Isn't it beautiful?

Now leave a comment here for a chance to win a free copy of John's Quest, then check out Cecelia's web site and blog.

On another subject, I'm really excited about this week. I'll fly out tomorrow to go to the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference in Minneapolis.

I will be posting blogs on the regular days, but I won't choose winners on Saturday as I usually do. Saturday is my busy day. There's a public booksigning at the Mall of America from 1-3 pm. I teach a workshop from 5:15-6:15. Then I have just over an hour to get dresses and ready for the awards banquet. Pray for me, please.

And if you live close enough, come to the Mall of America and introduce yourself to me.


Sandy said...

book looks great and hugs for a peaceful week- it will all be fine

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Thanks for reading the interview and for commenting, Sandy!

My Kingdom for a Book said...

Happy BBAW. Great interview! I really enjoyed it. I'm going to have a HUGE to-read pile after this week is over!

SJ said...

I really enjoyed the interview...love hearing what authors have to say. The book looks interesting!



Janet Chester Bly said...

Cecelia: Enjoyed the interview and getting to know you better. Would love a copy of your book, if chosen.
Janet Chester Bly

Lisa Jordan said...

Very nice interview, Cecelia. I love the cover of your new novel. You'll have to tell us more about it over breakfast on Saturday!

LaShaunda said...

Cecelia and Lena,

Good interview. Enjoy your time at the conference.

Becky C. said...

This sounds like a very interesting book. Loved the interview.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.

Ruby (Mouth) said...

Hope your week is relaxing. Please enter me into the hat for this one.

windycindy said...

This book sounds like an inspirational story. Please enter me in your drwing. Many thanks, Cindi

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Happy BBAW to you, too, My Kingdom For A Book! I'm glad you enjoyed my interview!

SJ, Janet Chester Bly, Lashaunda, Becky C, and WindyCindy: I'm glad you enjoyed my interview, too. Doesn't Lena ask some marvelous questions?

Ruby, thanks for commenting, but I don't think I'll be doing much relaxing this week as Lisa Jordan mentioned, I'll be seeing her and a bunch of other writers at the annual American Christian Fiction Writers conference this week! If any of you live near Minneapolis, feel free to drop by the Mall of America this Saturday afternoon for a mega Christian booksigning.

Lisa, I look forward to having breakfast with you and the rest of the MidAtlantic Crew!

Norma said...

This book sounds interesting - count me in!

Cecelia said...

Hi, Norma! Thanks for reading my interview and for commenting!

Abi said...

Nice interview. This sounds like a good read. Love the theme finding Jesus.

Pamela J said...

My husband constantly warns me not to travel alone because he KNOWS what is in men's minds. He prefers me to take someone with me when I go so he allowed me to bring my daughter in law to the ACFW conference this weekend. We are not going as authors but to meet as many as we can. I think it's funny, Cecelia, that you named more food groups and then some of them in those groups instead of individual favorite foods. I'm right there with you, I just plain like food! Seldom will you find one I don't like. Please enter me in the drawing for John's Quest. I am looking forward to reading the book as well as meeting both of you in the lobby of the hotel Friday afternoon or evening. (we can't stay for the book signing on Saturday)
Pam Williams
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Mary said...

I would love a chance to win John's Quest. Great interview!


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Abi and Mary, thanks for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed my interview. Pamela J., I look forward to meeting you at ACFW. I am traveling there alone, as I usually do for writers conferences. I hope you'll enjoy the conference! I'm pretty sure all of us will enjoy it! :-)

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to hear of an agnostic who finds his way!

Good luck and have fun on Saturday!


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Thanks for commenting, Elizabeth! I'm sure I'll have a great time on Saturday!

sarahw said...

Sounds like a good book according to the cover and description. please enter my name in the draw. thanks
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

cpullum said...

Wow I would love to read this book great interview!