Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Author Interview - DOG GONE - Free Book

I am really pleased to introduce Eileen Key with her debut book. It was a long time coming, but well worth the wait. Welcome, Eileen. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I chose to write in first person, so there’s a touch of me in my heroine. She’s skinnier and smarter though.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

While on vacation in England, I rented a car and hit a hearse—it was on the wrong side of the road, in my opinion. No injuries sustained to people or cars.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

In fourth grade, my closest friend and I wrote a book about a lonely pine tree at Christmas. I’m sure it was made into a movie. Professionally I began writing in 2001.

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

I read mystery and suspense. I especially like those with a continuing line of characters because they draw me into their world.

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

I’ve written two other complete manuscripts which were rejected by Steeple Hill. I’m a contributor in nine anthologies and have written numerous devotionals.

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

Whew! Isn’t it difficult? I’m blessed at this season of life to have a quiet apartment with only me in residence. Turning off the tv and settling into my overstuffed chair is a requirement by the end of the week. Other days I visit my grandson and use light sabers to play Star Wars. My two-year-old granddaughter still likes to cuddle. They brighten my days.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Arabelle, or Belle, is my heroine’s name in Dog Gone. Her name came from someone I knew. I always thought it tripped off the tongue nicely. I choose names from different time periods, people I’ve known, and try saying them out loud.

My mother's name was Frances Arabella after two of her aunts, but she didn't like it. She went by Fanny Belle. I didn't know her real name until after she died. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Rearing three children as a single parent, with Jesus as my guide. They are now successful adults and love the Lord.

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

A dog. House pet of my youngest daughter because I’d be spoiled rotten.

What is your favorite food?

Steak and taters. Texas gal that I am.

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

Fear. Fear of rejection and fear of reviews. I submitted because I finally typed The End on a volume of pages and found rejection didn’t kill me. Recently Angela Hunt’s wisdom put the review thing into perspective. At the ACFW conference, Angela stated if God called us to write, someone somewhere needs to read our words. Aha! Might only be one person, but my words are there for that someone.

I learned that some time ago. When I receive a rejection from a publisher, I know the readers who need this story wouldn't be reached by that publisher, so I keep looking for the one that will reach them. What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Read, read, read, and write, write, write. So many begin a thousand books but don’t see them through until The End. Finish. Find a critique partner if possible to give it a look-see, then submit. You won’t know until you try!

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

Dog Gone introduces Belle Blevins, owner of Belle’s Featherduster Cleaning Service. When her best friend Ginnie reports that a dog has been stolen from her pet spa, Belle rushes to help find Schotzie. A loss of revenue for the kennel will be bad for Belle, since the Pampered Pooch sits on Belle’s property—and taxes are due! Then a rash of stolen pedigreed pooches begins, and Belle discovers the underworld of dognapping.

How can readers find you on the Internet?


Thank you, Lena, my mentor and friend, for this interview.
And thank you, Eileen, for spending this time with us.
Readers, if you would like to purchase a copy of this book, contact Eileen at:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.
Each week, I have at least one winner who doesn't contact me.


Lee said...

I loved Dog Gone! I was transported to Tennessee with living, breathing believable characters right away. It is refreshing the read a great story that captures you from the first page. Way to go Eileen!!

Kim Vogel Sawyer said...

Way too much to read Eileen's interview! She is one of the spunkiest, funnest ladies I have the privilege of calling a friend, and it's been a delight to see her publishing dream come true. Love you, lady!

Margie Vawter said...

We've waited a long time to see Eileen published. And I'm so pleased for her. Good interview here, Eileen. I love Dog Gone! And I'm looking forward to more from my lovely, spunky friend.

Rachel said...

Dog Gone is a fantastic read! Eileen, staying true to form, is clever and witty. Both the author and her character are faithful to the end.

SHERRY said...

I was given a copy of Dog Gone! for Christmas. I began reading and was so enthralled I took it to work with me so I could catch a snipet here and there. Alas, the book, like the dogs in the story, has disappeared!! I am on my own detective quest to find it!! If I can't, I will re-order. Loved the interview!! Keep up the good work, Eileen!

Molly Noble Bull said...

Dog-Gone but that was a great interview. Bet the book will be even better.

mez said...

I'm smiling after that interview, fun!
Please add me for the drawing, thanks.

Eileen Key said...

Wow, thank you Lee. TN is one of my favorite places to be. Kim and Margie know "spunky" can be a synonym for trubble in my life! Sherry, hope you find that elusive book.

Thanks again, Lena, for sharing my words with others.

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I love learning about what makes writers tick (no pun intended!). You are an inspiration, Eileen! I WILL continue to write, write, write and read, read, read! Can't wait to read your book!

Cynthia Villafranco

Sandra Robbins said...

Great interview, Eileen! I agree with so many of the comments that have already been made. Kim is right. You are one of the spunkiest ladies I know, and I am so happy your publishing dream came true. I also think TN is a great place to be. And last, but by no means least, I think Dog Gone is a wonderful book. I loved it, and I love the author. I can't wait to see what you do next.

Sandra Robbins

Abi said...

Oh, I love Steeple Hill Heartsong mysteries. I'd love to win this book. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Carly Kendall said...

Sounds like a good book. I love reading new authors. I would love a chance to win a copy.

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway, the book sounds great.

Kelly Irvin said...

I love it. A hearse. There's a story in there somewhere. I loved Belle, too, and her sweet guy. I know Eileen is going to knock our socks off with more books in the future.

Jean said...

I love the title and the name Belle. You hit a hearse, huh? ROFL, only a Texas gal would admit to that. I can't wait to read the book and congrats on successfully raising 3 kids, solo, to adulthood. There were two of us and many times I felt sure my kids wouldn't make it through puberty, much less adulthood. lol Gotta go buy a book, Dog Gone!

windycindy said...

I am a dog lover and a reader of mysteries. Please enter my name in your book drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

Ian Hall said...

Great looking site.

lastnerve said...

Remind me never to ride with you in England! I don't think I could ever get used to riding on the wrong side of the road. this looks like a really good book, I can't wait to read it

CandaceCalvert said...

Wonderful interview--can't wait to read the book!

Cleda said...

Good morning and thanks again for this opportunity to be included in a drawing....... the best of everything to everyone....


Stacie said...

Thanks for the interview!

Becky C. said...

This sounds like a delightful book, and I LOVE dogs.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


Mary said...

I can't wait to read Dog Gone. I also love the names you chose for your characters. Please enter me.
God Bless

Ruth said...

Hi All--
Thanks for the opportunity!


raspberrygirl said...

Please enter me!

ohiobuckeye91 [at] gmail [dot] com

Thanks so much!

Carole said...

From Eileen's picture, I can tell she is someone I would love to know personally. What a great picture! Thanks for an enjoyable interview and chance to win God Gone.

cjarivs [at] bellsouth [dot] net

HollyMag said...

Thanks for sharing the interview. This sounds like it would be a very fun read. Please include me. Blessings to you both, Holly

Mike Hooper, Jr. said...

Just finished Dog Gone today... I have to admit that I was not prepared for the incredible way that I was sucked into the story... I found myself rooting for Belle all the way. Praying with her when she prayed, rejoicing with her when she rejoiced... it was more than a pleasure read! Kudos to the enth degree! Well Done Eileen! and... Thank you.

Mike Hooper, Jr. said...

P.S. The Interview was great too! :o)

lastnerve said...

Awesome interview. I love reading from authors who have not had a book published before. It feels like a new start you know? I can't wait to read Dog Gone.