Sunday, January 18, 2009

Author Robin Shope - THE VALENTINE EDITION - Free Book

We're back with Robin Shope's second Edition book. Welcome, Robon. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

Hopefully more of the same. I am happy in my job as the Special Education Coordinator at the Juvenile Justice Alternative Educational Program. I hope to make a positive difference in the lives of troubled teens. The adults I work with are dedicated and interesting people. Everyday I am inspired by attorneys, case managers, probation officers, judges and fine teachers.

Last year I sold five magazine articles and several short stories. I also have five books out, the sixth one releasing in late April of this year. Meanwhile, I am editing one book and writing two more. Several publishers have requested to read my book proposals.

Adding to these blessings, my husband and I are looking forward to greeting our first grandchild in the spring.

Grandchildren are awesome. James and I have our first great grandchild. Also a wonderful thing. Now, Robin, please tell us a little about your family.
This summer Rick and I are celebrating our thirty-third anniversary. We met at an Illinois church where he was the assistant pastor. After we were married, we travelled the world as missionaries for several years. After we returned to the states, Rick became the pastor of a small country church before we moved to Texas where we live now. Our two children are grown. Kimberly works for PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Dallas and worked on the Obama health plan. Matthew is a certified nurse’s aide. Rick is now in the business world. Instead of taking family vacations, we save that money for his yearly missions’ trips overseas to third world countries. This past year, he made his seventh trip to India.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
And how! I cannot just read and enjoy a book anymore. I find myself editing, learning from the book how to improve my own writing. I also analyze the story, the structure, the characters, muse over really well-written sentences. I miss just reading for pleasure.

I know what you mean. One book I read this month had a first page that was so wonderfully written, I had to reread and savor it several times before I finally turned the page. What are you working on right now?
I am working on several books right now. First on my plate is polishing a mystery book about a female forensic profiler. Almost ready to submit it, I have a good friend who is a Chicago defense lawyer and he is considering joining me on this one, so I am holding off. He says the whole story intrigues him. He could add such depth to this - I am saying my prayers. This friend is also Jewish so I think the mix with both of us would make it fascinating with added layers.

What outside interests do you have?
I love geology, archeology, and certain aspects of history. I love to look at mummies in museums and try to imagine them as a person who once lived. What kind of lives did they have and were they happy.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Setting is dictated by the story itself. For instance my next book, Wildcard, a stand alone, is out in late April 2009. Ivy Dillon is working as an Intern for the secretary of the President of the United States. During her last week at The White House, Ivy overhears a conversation about missing software that would rig voting machines and change the results of the next election. The subject dictates it be set in Washington, DC. Ivy has clues to find the software and begins following them across the United States, at last ending back in the capital where her ex-fiancĂ© helps clear her name since she has also been accused of killing the president’s secretary.

The Turtle Creek Edition series is set in a small Wisconsin town. I started the series with The Christmas Edition. I live in Texas and many of our Christmases are spent with the air conditioner running. However, when I think of Christmas, I think of snow and hot chocolate and real Christmas trees. Born and raised in Wisconsin, it was easy for me to set that series there. Now The Valentine Edition is out and it’s still quite cold in Turtle Creek, Wisconsin. Have you been following the northern weather forecast lately? One snowstorm after the next.

Yes, I have. My brother lives in Indiana, and I have close friends who live up North. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I would love to spend an evening with Albert Schweitzer. He was my first hero. This talented, German doctor gave up a lucrative medical practice to live in Gabon, Africa, and build a clinic to help meet the health needs of the natives. When I was young, I would watch him on The Jack Parr Show. Doctor S. had a marvelous sense of humor along with his passion for helping others. At night, at the end of a long day, he would sit at his organ and play. I can only imagine how wonderful that sounded in the night air in the jungle. In middle school I wrote to him all the time, asking if I could come and visit. When he died, my friends who had laughed at my vision for wanting to have spent time at a medical clinic said to me, “Well, it looks like you will not be going now!” Weeks later I received a letter with pictures of the Doctor and of the facility, from one of his Dutch coworkers, Mrs. Obermann.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Not to head hop – and what that meant. (For blog readers, that means to jump from one person's thoughts to another all the time, instead of staying in one point of view per scene.)

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To be joyful no matter the season. The most important relationship I have is the one I share with Him. He balances me, shows me the important stuff in life. God gives me beauty from ashes. When I get to heaven it isn’t going to matter what others think of me, only His opinion will carry weight there. There are many voices in the world. But the sheep know God’s voice and they follow Him.

Very well said, and exactly what I feel, too. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Everyone has an opinion if you should have an agent or not. What publisher to use, or not use. Listen to the advice and pray about what is right for you. You are the one living your life, not another. But remember this, I guarantee God isn’t going to ask you who your publisher or agent was when you get to heaven. There is this motto I have on my wall. It reads; "One small life will soon be past. Only what is done for God will last." It was the way my Grandmother lived her life. She went to heaven at the age of 101.
2. Keep studying the market. I do. One of my writer friends told me she doesn’t need to study the market because her agent does it for her. Agent or no, I want to be informed. So you be informed. Know what is going on in the publishing world. With the Internet there is no reason not to be.
3. Read. Read. Read. If you are like me, you will be studying/reading every book. It helps us with sentence formation, vocabulary, character development, plot expansion, grammar, punctuation, and the like.

Tell us about the featured book.
It’s a holiday book and a fun light-hearted read. However, it deals with real life problems such as forgiveness. Jodi has men issues because her father deserted her when she was a child. This changed her world and molded her into the person she is when we first meet her, driving down an icy Wisconsin country road in the dead of winter. Later we learn of another betrayal of close friends. These two significant incidents from her past, sets her up for someone new to blow apart a potential relationship she is developing with a man of God.

Here is a blurb:
The last place in the world Jodi Williams wanted to live was Turtle Creek, Wisconsin, but when her stepdad refused to put in a good word for her at the Chicago paper, she had no other choice than to accept the first job offer that came her way. Josh Thomas was Turtle Creek's veterinarian, but he also happened to be single and quite handsome. His life was pretty peaceful until a pretty, young stranger came to his clinic with a dog that had been hit by a car. While his first reaction was to care for the injured animal, he couldn't help a few glances at this unique young woman. That day was one of quite a few new beginnings. Jodi came to the aid of an injured animal, earning her the respect of a handsome man, she started a new job as a reporter for The Turtle Creek Newspaper, and she gained the wrath of the vet's receptionist. Della had her sights set on Joshua, and she wasn't about to let anyone come between her and the man of her dreams.

And here is the first page of The Valentine Edition:

Jodi Williams sighed for the hundredth time as she waved goodbye to the Chicago skyline, catching the last of the city in her car's rearview mirror. Dreams of working at The Tribune were dead right along with drinking green tea latte's at Starbucks anytime she wanted.

Hope behind her.

The unknown ahead.

She steered toward Wisconsin. An hour later, Jodi looked out the window at the open fields of frozen ground and cows standing along snowy fences. The comparison between her two lives the previous and the present were startling. Jodi attempted to shift her body in the seat but was pretty well anchored into the one position with her belongings crammed into the compact car from the trunk to the front. The turn-by-turn directions she had printed out were hard to follow since not all the roads were actually marked in this neck of the country. She decided to refer to them as mystery turns. Finally, Jodi pulled over to the shoulder and unfolded the road map to try to figure it out one more time. According to her calculations, she was almost there at the end of civilization.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Robin, for spending this time with us.
Readers, you can order The Valentine Edition with this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you have won.

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I haven't heard from these winners:

fecarly (2 books)
Pat (grist)


Jo said...

I really enjoyed this interview and would love to be placed in the drawing to win a copy of this book.


Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Good interview Lena and Robin. The first page hooked me to want to read on! Good job.
Happy Writing,
Patricia PacJac Carroll

Robin Jansen said...

Hi Jo and Patricia! Thank you for commenting. If you want to know more about me, especially my MOST embarrassing moments and how I got saved (you won't believe WHERE I was at the time!) go over to see me at Shoutlife and read the blog. Part of life's most terrible, wonderful, embarassing, hardest moment is on Lena's blog on her Shoutlife page! Blessings to all! Robin

Anonymous said...

Robin's entire series sounds exciting. I'm anxious to read it. Please put me in the drawing.


Cathy Bryant said...

I would love to be entered in the drawing for this book! It sounds wonderful! Thanks, ladies, for the wonderful interview! Blessings!


windycindy said...

Hello! Wonderful interview, ladies!
This books sounds wonderful. A Valentinte's Edition even more so. Please enter me in your book drawing. Many thanks.....Cindi

lilac grandma said...

"To be joyful no matter the season"
Thanks for that, Robin. Enjoyed this interview very much and would LOVE to win this book!
Thanks, Lena,for another great interview!
Love and prayers Melody
msproule1225at gmaildotcom

Robin Jansen said...

Its so good to hear from you all! Thank you for taking time to read the interview and for commenting. What a great bunch of gals!

Holly Magnuson said...

Robin, thanks for sharing your story. Also, I'm glad someone like you is working with a troubled kids. Unfortunately, there are not enough good influences in that area. Blessings to you.

I would love the chance to win a copy of your book

apple blossom said...

I read the Christmas edition. I'd love to win this one.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the interview very much, and would love to read the book.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


Robin Jansen said...

Hollymag, thank you for a sweet compliment. Hi wishes! Great talking to you both..

G.R.I.T.S. said...

Awesome Blurb!!! Please enter me!


Unknown said...

Well I think its neat that this book takes place in WI, because I'm from the cold and snowy state of WI myself! I'd love to be entered please thanks!

SHARLENE said...

What a great interview, Lena and Robin. I really would love to read this book. I loved her "Christmas Edition". Keep writing, Robin. God has given you a talent!

Robin Jansen said...

And the Lord has given me wonderful friends such as Lena and Shar and all of you who have taken the time to comment. I wish I had a book for all of you. Love you all!

Merry said...

Great quote about what is lasting, our life serving the Saviour is eternal treasure. Please include me for The Valentine Edition, sounds like a book I would love!

Marla said...

Sounds like a great book. Would love to win. thank you for the entry.

Simply Stacie said...

Thanks for the great interview and the chance to win.

hippmom said...

Thanks for doing the interview. I'd love to win this book.

angelahipp at charter dot net

Robin Jansen said...

I want to thank Lena for hosting this interview and also to everyone who read this blog whether they left a message or not. To those of you who did leave a message, I wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

new author to me but she sounds like a good one. please enter my name in the draw. thanks,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

Carolynn said...

I would love to win this book, please enter me, thanks!
carolynnwald at hotmail dot com

Ausjenny said...

I think I forgot to post and say what a great book this is and thankd for the interview.
dont enter me.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read this!

Norma said...

This book sounds so interesting - please enter me.

Edna said...

I would love to win this book, may God bless all.