Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Author Virginia Smith - AGE BEFORE BEAUTY - Free Book

Welcome back, Virginia. I like the new picture. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

It’s different with every book, and usually the spiritual theme has something to do with whatever the Lord is teaching me at that point in my life. I do a lot of introspection and praying when I’m writing a book. In Age before Beauty, the main character, Allie, wrestles with two issues. The first is a fear of abandonment. Since her father abandoned her when she was a young teenager, she’s afraid her husband will do the same. That is a piece of baggage that I brought into my own marriage, since my father was often absent during my childhood.

Allie also takes self-reliance to extremes, and feels like she has to solve not only her own problems, but everyone else’s. I’m the oldest sister in my family, so I know that feeling as well. Of course, I’ve learned that God is the answer to both of those problems. And Allie learns… well, I can’t give away all my secrets up front, can I?

What other books of yours are coming out soon?

Last year was a busy year for me, and this year I’m reaping the rewards of all that work. In April, I’ll release my eighth novel, Murder at Eagle Summit. That’s a romantic suspense that takes place at a ski resort in Park City, Utah. It’s the first book I’ve written that isn’t set in my native state of Kentucky. Then in June, Scent of Murder, another romantic suspense, will hit bookstores. That one is set in Little Nashville, an artist colony in the Blue Hills of Indiana. Those are books 2 and 3 of my Classical Trio Series from Steeple Hill.

Beyond that, I’ve just finished Last but Not Least, which will be out in February of 2010. That story will wrap up the Sister-to-Sister Series with more of the faith, fun, and family relationships readers have enjoyed in Stuck in the Middle and Age before Beauty. And I’ve thrown in a couple of surprises I think they’ll like.

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

Maya Angelou. I read an article not long ago about her, and I think she’s at fascinating woman. At one point in her life she was on the streets as a teenager, an unwed mother, victim of a violent past. In this article she described a turning point in her life when she went to the home of a trusted mentor in a fit of rage and he handed her a notebook and said, “Write down everything you’re thankful for.” She filled a page and a half, and it was a turning point for her. Of course, she’s gone on to touch millions of people with her writing. I’d love to have the opportunity to talk with her.

How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?

I first tried my hand at writing when I was in my early twenties, but back then I didn’t really consider writing novels – just short stories. Several years later I decided to write a novel, and did. Then another. And another. In all, I wrote dozens of short stories and six novels – two for adults and four middle-grade novels – before I finally wrote the one that landed the contract. Since I was 45 years old when I received the contract for Just As I Am, that means it took me more than twenty years from the first time I thought, “I think I’ll try writing a story.”

What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?

Don’t give up! And save all those rejection letters – every single one of them. Right now they’re really painful, but one day you’ll wear them like a badge of honor, a sort of proof that you paid your dues. Not long after my first novel came out, I counted all the rejection letters I’d received over those long, long years of writing. They totaled an astounding one hundred forty-three! So if I can persevere, so can you.

I couldn’t see it at the time when I was collecting those rejections, but now I can truthfully say that the Lord was at work in my writing career all along. I could not have written my break-through novel before that point. I wasn’t mature enough as a writer or as a person. But God was using all those life experiences to mold me until I was ready to write the book He gave me. So my advice is to turn your writing over to Him, and then trust that He’s got everything well in hand.

And when the mailman delivers another rejection, permit yourself fifteen minutes of teeth-gnashing. Yes, that’s all – fifteen minutes. If it’s a particularly painful one, you may have twenty. Then eat a piece of chocolate, brush it off, and get back to work.

Tell us about the featured book.

In Age before Beauty, Allie Harrod is desperate to stay home with her baby, so she launches a new career – selling makeup and household cleaning products. Because Allie has obsessive tendencies, she quickly takes things to an extreme level with some pretty funny results. And then her mother-in-law shows up on her doorstep and announces that she’s moving in! The book isn’t all fun and games, though. Allie faces some pretty tough issues, especially when it looks like her marriage is beginning to crumble.

One thing I loved about writing this book was delving into my memories to come up with the emotions and desires of a young mom. My baby is twenty-six, so I had to dig pretty deep! But my sister gave birth to a beautiful little girl right before I started writing this story, so I had her to use as a recent role model.

Age before Beauty is book 2 in the Sister-to-Sister Series, following Stuck in the Middle. The series has continuing characters and a continuing thread, but this story stands alone.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website is http://www.virginiasmith.org/.

I also have a bi-monthly eNewsletter, with a sign-up form on my website. I’m a notoriously bad blogger, so I don’t have a blog, per se, but I do have Ginny’s Journal, which I update whenever I have something I think is worth saying. Or maybe just when I’m killing time and trying to avoid writing! It can be found on my website, too.

Thank you, Virginia, for spending this time with us. We want you back for each of your other novels, too.

Readers, you can order Age Before Beauty using 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 won. Winners are announced every Saturday. If you don't want to miss a single post or winner announcement, sign up for FeedBlitz in the upper right hand corner of the blog. The posts will come to your Inbox.


Grateful Gramma said...

I just finished reading Ginny's second Mayla book so I'd love to give this one a try. Thanks for the opportunity!

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

Sounds great! I think i've heard of her other book in this series. So please enter me! thnx!

Rae Byuel

Abi said...

Oh, I'd love to win this book. Thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

darbyscloset said...

Oh I like the sound of this series and I understand this story stands alone yet I would like to read the whole series which I will if I win.
Thanks so much
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Virginia Smith said...

Thanks, everyone! And Lena, thanks for the terrific interview. Lots of fun!

windycindy said...

This author is new to me. Her book sounds interesting with the abandonment issue and the self-reliance that she shows.
Many thanks, Cindi

hippmom said...

Sounds like a good book. Love to give it a read.

angelahipp at charter dot net

mez said...

This series about sisters sounds great, please include me in the drawing for Age Before Beauty. Thanks!

Cleda said...

Appreciate another wonderful interview and another add to my bookmarked author's folder... and another opportunity to be included in a drawing..... have an utterly awesome day......


Ruth said...

This book and the series sound intriguing!
God bless you both!

Susan Stitch said...

Great interview -- I had no idea Ginny had received so many rejections. I'm glad she's persistent, because I love her books! Please enter my name in the contest.


bigguysmama said...

Thanks for this interview! Can't believe she continued on with those rejection letters coming in! Wow, that's perseverance! I'm so glad that she did and is doing so great with her books. Please enter me to win.

Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Stacie said...

Thanks again for a great interview and opportunity!

Becky C. said...

This sounds like a wonderful book,

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


Cynthia said...

Sibling relationships can be so
complicated. I know I would enjoy
your book!

lilac grandma said...

I would love to read your book!
Love and prayers Melody
msproule1225at gmaildotcom

Martha A. said...

Don't enter me.....but I wanted to say I loved this book!!! It was so well written and drew me into the story so well.

Cheryl said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in the contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

Norma said...

I'd love to read this book - please enter me.

Marla said...

This really sounds like an enjoyable read. Please count me in. Thanks!

Edna said...

This is another new author that I would love to win a book so I can see her wtitting style

Anonymous said...

I've read one of her books, but i know i would like to read more!

mommyjen99 said...

I would love to win this book and get hooked on a new author!!

Katie said...

I would LOVE to red this book....thanks