Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Authors Eva Marie Everson & Linda Evans Shepherd - THE SECRET'S IN THE SAUCE - Free Book

Since this book has co-authors, I'm going to talk to each one, with Eva Marie first, just because her name comes first alphabetically. Welcome, Eva Marie. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

Specifically on the Potluck books? Because women relate. If we, as writers, want to draw readers to our work we must first write books they will laugh with, cry with, and relate to all the way around. It never ceases to amaze me the number of comments I receive at “potluck book club” parties where I’m either a live guest or a phone-in guest; those that say, “I know this woman!” or “I am this woman!” or “Have you been visiting our women’s group???”

Linda and I both travel a lot and we both speak at women’s groups and we listen not only with our ears but with our hearts. What we have discovered in talking with each other is that not one single women’s group is truly different from another. The same women make up the groups. The same types of women. The same hurts. The same personality quirks. And the same love of and for God that binds them together.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

I have more than one, quite honestly. There is no “happiest.” The day I got married I was so happy I was two hours late to the wedding (I stopped to talk to someone). The day I gave birth was a pretty happy day (except when I discovered I’d lost only 11 of the 50 pounds I’d gained). The day my husband and I gained legal and permanent guardianship of our little girl by the Florida courts was an exceptionally happy day. The day of our oldest daughter’s wedding was happy (except when my husband got lost on the way to the church and we were therefore late because…well…he’s a man, and….) Then there was the day of my first book being contracted. Very happy day. I remember dancing in the kitchen. And I’d have to say one of the single BEST days of my adult life was lived out last year in Israel. It began on the shores of the Galilee and ended climbing the Arbel Cliff. I threw out my arms as my friend Miriam snapped a photo of me, high above land, with the Sea of Galilee turning lovely shades of blue and pink in the background. Really, this is one photo that says it all.

How has being published changed your life?

I work harder than I ever have in my whole life. :-) But I get to travel a lot which I love! And I get to tell people about Jesus which I love even more! I’m excited to think that one day, as we are all dancing on streets of Gold, I’ll know so many more of Heaven’s citizens from the jump than, you know, having to meet them as we go along.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading several books right now. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane which is hands down one of the best books I have read in my LIFE. We finished it last night and I cried like a child. Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. Always learning…always learning…and Bell is a masterful teacher. A Good Life by Robert Benson (a re-re-re-read) and a book I was given a few weeks ago by a fairly new Baker/Revell author, Julie Lessman, called A Passion Most Pure. I’m not a huge historical romance reader but the cover (and the author) caught my attention. I’m really enjoying it!

I just love Julie's books. What is your current work in progress?

I am currently working on a project with Baker/Revell titled This Fine Life about a young preacher who is called to the Work of God in the early 1960s. It’s told from the viewpoint of his wife, a young woman who struggles with who and what she wants to be when “she grows up” and with understanding her faith in God when laid next to her husband’s “save the world” mentality. When I’m done with writing it, Linda and I will write the final chapter (book) in the Potluck series. I’m both excited and sad. Anytime a series comes to an end, it’s a thrill to see where all the pieces will land but at the same time, it will then be a bygone era for us and for our work.

What would be your dream vacation?

See…I’m torn again. I’d return to Israel (again) in a New York minute. (Oh, and I love New York in December!) My first trip to the Holy Land was as a journalist and my second was to research for a(nother) book but I’d love to go just to be there, to shoot more photos, to learn more stuff, to drink in the presence of God. I also love the mountains. Linda and I hole up in her mountain cabin near Breckinridge, CO to do our writing for Potluck always in the winter months. I am like a wild child at Christmas when we’re up there. Linda has to force me to stop playing in the snow! But I also live near the sunny beaches of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico (I’m in Central Florida) and I think there is nothing more wonderful than being near the water. More than anything, right now, I’d like to go somewhere quiet for a week of reading, rest, and respite.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I don’t. They choose me. Recently I discovered I should be writing fiction set in the land I know best: the South. These are my people. This is my neck of the woods. So, I proposed to Baker/Revell a number of works all set in the South. I turned in the first one Things Left Unspoken in early January. The next one is tentatively titled This Fine Life.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

Oh, you had to say “alive.” I’d love to spend one more evening with my daddy, who went to Glory in 2006. But…hmmm…alive, you say…okay. Me. I like being alone with myself. I’m comfortable with who I am (most of the time). I like quiet reading. Quiet opportunities to chat on the phone uninterrupted. Quiet cups of coffee while watching quiet TV or listening to quiet music. So….me.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

my new favorite hobby is biking. That and “Twittering.” (Come! Follow me!)

Oh, yes, I Twitter, but I can only spend a little time each day there. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

You know, when you have a family and a life it is often the “time issue.” Just about the time I find myself on a roll in the writing arena, someone wants dinner…or to be driven to ballet…or to get their clothes washed…or needs to chat on the phone…or some blog questions answered…. (Oh! Oops! :-) )

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Do you believe you are supposed to do this? Okay then do it. Be aware of the closed doors. Look for the open doors. Only walk through the open ones.

Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.

Secret’s in the Sauce? Ohmygoodness….this book is so stinkin’ funny. These “potluck gals,” I have to tell ya…they are a hoot. And yet they have some of the most poignant issues in their lives. Secret’s in the Sauce has an important lesson from me. I won’t get into it but it should be suffice to say that everyone has had tremendous burdens in their lives and chosen to run anywhere and everywhere but to God with them, only to discover they’ve made a bigger mess than what they had before. I learned it the hard way. I’m just so happy I had friends (like our potluck gals) to love me through it.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Here’s my new thing. I love to Twitter (did I mention that?) Facebook and MySpace are good, too, and I can be “followed” at my website. Here are all my current locations:

Website: http://www.evamarieeverson.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/EvaMarieEverson

Now, we're going to visit with Linda. Welcome, Linda. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I once got asked what it felt like to write ‘fluff.’

That question could only be asked by someone who had not read our series. The truth is Eva and I use the power of a great story, combined with the power of humor, to broach topics that most Christian authors won’t tackle. By using humorous stories, we’re able to bring healing and help as well as a few good laughs to our readers.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

The day I brought my youngest child home from the hospital was probably my happiest day. For when I placed baby Jimmy into his sister’s arms, the excitement of the moment actually woke two-year-old Laura from a year-long coma that was the result of a car accident. What a moment!

Wow, sounds powerful! How has being published changed your life?

I’d probably be a lot more carefree if I weren’t living the disciplined life of a writer. But despite my long hours at the keyboard, writing has led me to a world of wonderful characters, creative friends and dear readers.

What are you reading right now?

All the Tea in China by Jane Orcutt.

That's one of my favorite books. What is your current work in progress?

I’m currently working on my new book, tentatively titled Be Your Own Prayer Project, due out in January from Revell. That, and a screenplay about a historical character from Colorado’s past.
What would be your dream vacation?

I’ve vacationed in wonderful places around the world, but my favorite location is any place with a great book and a beach.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I live in Colorado and enjoy the beauty of the mountains. I wanted to turn that majesty into not just a cardboard backdrop, but a rich, intriguing force. So choosing the Colorado high country as our backdrop was a no-brainer.

I love the Colorado Rockies, too. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

I love to read John Grisham novels and I would be tickled pink to invite John and his wife to dinner.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I am the founder and CEO of a nonprofit ministry called Right to the Heart. Among other things we minister to the depressed and suicidal on the Internet, publish a weekly ezine called Right to the Heart of Women, conduct the women’s conference Stepping into Destiny and minister to the top Christian women who write and speak through our Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

I’m such a terrible speller that I sometimes refer to myself the Typo Queen. My secret weapons against misspelled words and other typos are spellcheck, editing my work till my eyeballs pop out, and of course having a wonderful writing partner who often sees what I miss. But actually, my forced attention to detail has helped me become a better writer.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

A. Read the classics so you will know how to recognize a good story.
B. Study the craft of writing a great story.
C. Ink your own great story to paper.
D. Send your great story to publishers.
E. While you wait for your first big break, write your next great story.

Tell us about the featured book.

Though the characters in our new series, The Potluck Catering Club, are the same characters as in the Potluck Club series, they have all new secrets. These very secrets have helped spread the rumor that The Potluck Catering Club The Secret’s in the Sauce is a bit of a page turner. This is rumor that I won’t deny, but if you want to know more, you’ll have to go to Summit View, Colorado, and visit our characters (six church ladies) so you can get to the bottom of this controversy. (You won’t believe what these dear friends are trying to hide.)

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Ha, the question is how can they not? I love creating webpages and have over 100 domain names. I create pages for all my new series or books, like http://www.potluckclub.com/.
You can link to many of my web pages at http://www.visitlinda.com/.
But my all time favorite webpage is http://www.godtest.com/.
Eve Marie and Linda, thank you for spending this time with us.
Readers for your convenience, here's a link to order the book:

You can leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Just remember to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.


apple blossom said...

I love books that make you laugh. This sounds like one I'd love to read. Thanks for the give away.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lindsey said...

This looks like such a good book - I need a laugh and some friends... and some food of course! :-)

Enjoyed the interviews!

ladyufshalott at yahoo.com

windycindy said...

I think these two ladies are wonderful! Humorous books with friends sounds great to me.....
Thanks, Cindi

Unknown said...

I love the advice you give to up and coming authors. I consider myself to be one and sometimes feel overwhelmed as to where to start. I love humor in my books. Thanks so much for posting today, it rocked!

hippmom said...

Two interviews! How fun to write together. Love t win thier book.

Edna said...

so great to read about all these authors, sure would love to win one of these new ones, try ever author to win a book, never hurts to try. I buy a lot of books also,

Julie said...

This sounds really good. It sounds like they make it very real to women today. I would love to win a copy.

I really enjoy your interviews - thanks!!

Sheila Deeth said...

I wasn't at all sure what sort of book this would be, but I think I'm hooked from this interview. Such interesting people - authors and characters! And the interviews have left me with a smile.

Marla said...

This sounds like a book my fiance and I would love to read together. Thank you for the entry.


Holly Magnuson said...

How exciting to see a book by Eva Marie Everson! I read her Shadows Series. I would love a chance to read this book. Please enter me. Blessings, hollymag[at]gmail[dot]com

Unknown said...

Good morning, Lena, appreciate again a wonderful interview or should say interviews..... these ladies sound like wonderful people who share wonderful stories and advice..... thanks for including me in the drawing....


kalea_kane said...

This looks like a great series. I love books that have characters who almost become good friends. I would love a chance to win this. Great interviews as always. :)



Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway.

Edna said...

Please enter me into the contest, sould like a good book to make me feel happy. May God Bless