Monday, June 21, 2010

NO DISTANCE TOO FAR - Lauraine Snelling - Free Book

I'm honored to host Lauraine Snelling on my blog. I've been blessed when readers told me that my writing reminds them of hers. Welcome, Lauraine. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I would say very little, until I realized how many of my life experiences end up in characters; ie my knowledge of horses for the girls’ books, my daughter’s death and how I/we responded to that, used in both One Perfect Day and earlier than that, The Healing Quilt. While determined is another word for stubborn, I’ve been accused of both and many of my characters deal with and through that trait. I spent several years as a child on our farm in Minnesota with no electricity. Who would have dreamed God was preparing me to write my historical farming novels? I don’t think one can write fiction and not put herself into the characters. I mean, who do you know any better? Or at least if you are going to write fiction, you better plan on getting to know you better than you ever did before.

Maybe the reason readers compared my writing to yours is because I've written six books set in Minnesota, five of them historical. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Quirky? Moi? Now to figure out how to define quirky. Become a writer? One needs a slight dose of insanity to be willing to subject yourself and your life to the scrutiny of your characters and also your faithful readers. One man said to me, “I’ve read many of your books and I’ve heard you speak and I’ve listened to your teaching tapes. I know an awful lot about you.” Hmm, is that good or bad? He’s become a good friend, thank you, God. What if----ah, my most famous and used two words---what if he’d been a stalker? A writer for The Enquirer? What secrets have I given away?

Now that I’ve answered all the questions and come back to this, I think one quirky thing is the discussions on my Face Book page re How to eat a chocolate bunny and the other regarding blowing up peeps. We had such fun with those.

I've got to go check thos ot. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I used to think I made that decision when I was a senior in high school, but going through my mother’s things, she was a saver of the first degree, I found a little brown notebook, this was pre-spiral binding, with lined pages and written in it was a story with chapters no less. This must have been from the fifth or sixth grade. So I guess it went back that far. I’ve always loved telling stories.

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

I think this changes as I’ve gone through life. As a kid, I read ALL the horse and dog books, never read Nancy Drew, moved into cozy mysteries, romances, suspense, rarely fantasy or sci-fi, never out and out horror. Hate gruesome stuff. Love children’s books, read more nonfiction now than I ever did, including memoirs, biographies, natural science and of course historical research. I usually have at least one novel going, a devotional, a business book, self-improvement one and research things. I have a tremendous sense of curiosity so I read books about whatever grabs my attention. I find now that I stay away from some of the darker suspense that I used to read, dislike too much violence, sex and filthy language. Life is too short to waste on books that irritate me. I love to read, would rather read than anything else. And I love to do lots of things, but reading tops them all.

I agree with you. There are too many good books being published today to waste time on books that don't grab you. What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I’ve written 68 books, I think, including 21 what used to be YA and is now tweeners, or middle grade, three non fiction and the rest fiction, both contemporary and historical. All the books I’ve written have been published. There are a lot of starts in my files that never went anywhere, but I’ve operated under the credo that I don’t write a book until I’ve sold it. I learned that at the first writer’s conference at Warner Pacific Colleg in Portland, OR in 1980. I’ve been in this business for a long time which is another one of those hard to believe things in my life.

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

Good question, who says I’m sane? I depend on God’s word to help keep me tethered to reality, but then I write fiction so I live in my imaginary worlds. When things get out of hand, I realize I’m not spending enough time with my journal and The Word. I also learned how to relax years ago due to severe headaches. Taking a deep breath, holding it until the count of ten and slowly exhaling, done three times, goes a long way to releasing the tension. Try it. Whenever I can, I get off the merry go round and read. Reading always helps keep me sane.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Character names are very important to me. I find out the meaning of names, have several baby naming books to help with this, and name my characters for either who they are or who they are to become. I like finding nicknames too. Since I write historicals, many of them with Norwegian immigrants, I use a lot of Norwegian names. I also pay attention to the sounds of the names. In several books, I had to rename a character because they insisted. They, meaning the characters.

I had one of those in my newest release. It took three times for me to please him, and he was a relatively minor character. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

That Wayne and I have been married for forty-seven years. This is truly one of God’s miracles or maybe it is forty-seven years of small miracles. But if you mean what I did, I’m not sure. Guess I’ll come back to this one later.

Well, this is later and I still am not sure. I guess that I write books firstly to entertain, that is my goal, but the wondrous thing is that God uses those stories to speak to people. I am in awe that I get to be part of this. Changing lives, God’s job but He lets us help. Can’t get much better than this.

James and I will celebrate our forty-sixth anniversary this year. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

Most people who know me would think I’d say a horse, because I dearly love horse. But then I can’t picture life without a dog either. And I love elephants and whales. Pigs are really cool people, talk about personality and smart, oh my. So, I’m thinking, what animal really loves making people happy? Unconditional love comes from dogs. And I want to love the way Jesus loves, unconditionally. So I guess I’m a golden retriever, pure love wrapped up in gold fur.

What is your favorite food?

Oh fiddle, bad question. I like food, I like cooking food, growing food, and enjoying a good meal with friends. But favorite depends on what day and mood I am in. And what meal time it is. I love home made cinnamon rolls, salads with lots of bright and tasty vegetables and grilled chicken, a good rib steak, with the bone in, thank you. Potatoes baked, fried, mashed, salad, especially the red potatoes grown in the Red River Valley of ND. So how can I say a favorite? That’s like asking me which of my children is my favorite. Sheesh.

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

Who says I’ve overcome it? Greatest problem is always BIC. Butt in chair. I’ve overcome a lot of procrastination but some hangs on. Once I start writing, I can go fast but the pressure has to be on. I used to meet my deadlines, hit a bad patch, and am back on track. Now to stay that way.

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

Get thee to a writer’s conference, learn all you can about the craft, and keep on writing. You need alligator hide and bull dog tenacity to make it in this industry. Also make sure this is where God is calling you to be. There are other livelihoods far easier.

Amen to that. Tell us about the featured book?

No Distance too Far is the second in the Home to Blessing series, in which Astrid Bjorklund is the main character. In A Measure of Mercy, Astrid graduates from Blessing High School and has to decide whether she should continue working with Dr. Elizabeth and/or go to Chicago for a surgical rotation to improve her surgical skills. Or is Joshua Landsverk to be the love of her life and she stay in Blessing to be near him? Both these books are about Astrid trying to understand what God wants her to do with her life. Is He calling her to be a surgeon, or is that a call to the medical mission field she is hearing? Astrid believes she is a healer like her mother and prays that God will use her to help restore the ill and injured. But what about Africa? I’m working on the third and final book in the series, A Heart for Home, due out next March.

I'd love to have you back on the blog with that book. Please give us the first page of this one.

March 1904
Athens, Georgia

The dream was a lie. She was in Georgia, not Blessing.

Staring out the window did nothing to calm the butterflies rampaging in her middle. Astrid tried swallowing—once, twice—no matter, they continued to spiral and cavort. She laid a hand on her diaphragm and closed her eyes. Please, Lord, fill me with your calm and peace.

A throat being cleared behind her caught her attention. She turned, swallowed again, and smiled. At least she hoped she smiled.

"Dean Highsmith will see you now." The young man needed to loosen his collar. He appeared to be near to strangling.

"Thank you."

"Come this way." He motioned her to accompany him, opened a heavy carved door, and escorted her in. "Dr. Bjorklund to see you, sir."

What a hook! How can readers find you on the Internet?

I am on Twitter, laurainesnellin; Face Book, Lauraine Snelling, which I have a ball on; and I have two web sites. and Blessing is the town I created in the Red River Series and this website brings the town news, and the events that are going on now, including Blessing Square in Drayton ND and the play, Bound for Blessing, based on the first three books of the series. There will be four performances of the play in Drayton in July. See my website for further information. Hope to see you there.

Thank you, Lauraine, for the enjoyable time with you.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using the link when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Wendy said...

I have already read this book, so don't enter me. I just wanted to say that I love Lauraine's books and I love this set of series that are set in North Dakota.I devour the books when they come out.

Edna said...

I would love this book I really liked your interview with Laurine she write some great books, I have some of hers


kathy taylor said...

I traveled to St Paul many times for medical treatment and fell in love with the people from Minnesota. I want to read some of Lauraine's books. I think I'll start with The Healing Quilt.

Emily said...

I would love to win this book!
Please enter me!


karenk said...

please count me in...thanks :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Nancye said...

This sounds like a book I'd enjoy. Thanks for including me!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Cherie J said...

Wonderful interview! Would love to read this book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

Marla said...

I love Lauraine's books. She's a great author. Thank you for the entry into the giveaway.


~Brenda said...

Great interview to read. Love the BIC comment! Ha!

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

Lauraine Snelling said...

I wish someone would invent a keeper in the seat something. seat belts---too easy to snap off.

Chain----what if I have to run to the bathroom.

bunge cords---my husband fixes everything with bunge cords.

what oh what can conquer BIC?
and if you say "self discipline" well, there is a place for such as you.

hugs toall, Lauraine

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway.


Casey said...

I would love to read this, thank you for the chance!

Sue said...

Thank you for the chance to read this book.

grannyvon said...

Injoyed the interview I guess because it sounds a lot like me, although I grew up on a farm in south Alabama. My family rodeo's so we love horses and dogs, we all got them. Big, little and middle sized. I would love to win the book. When I finished all the other women in the family will read it and then we pass it on to the local nursing home. Thanks for the chance to win!

diana said...

Would love to win this book! Also loved the interview!

Lauraine Snelling said...

I love passing books on to my family, friends, the library, others in need. Every book needs to be read more than once. One way all readers can help their favorite authors is to post their thoughts of the book on Amazon, CBD or online through social media. Good comments are always appreciated. blessings all. I am off to paint. see you later tonight.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I got to hear Lauraine in person when she was in Minot last year. Down to earth, easy to listen to and to talk to. Wonderful books. Would love a chance to win this one.

Cindy W. said...

What a beautiful cover on No Distance Too Far. Thank you for the great interview I would really love to read this book. Thank you for the opportunity to win it.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


holdenj said...

What a great interview and intro to the book. I agree about not wanting to read books that irriate me! Thanks for the chance to win.

Linda Kish said...

I would like to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Lauraine Snelling said...

thank you for your kind words, Bonnie B. I so enjoy meeting new folks and talking about what I do. I am blessed by all of you and always pray that these books can make a difference. Isn't that what we are here for, to make a difference and share Christ's love with all we meet. blessings,

Kitty Bucholtz said...

What a great opening line! I love it! Thanks for the great interview, I really enjoyed it!

Love and Hugs!
Kitty B

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Anita Yancey said...

A book I would very much like to read. Please enter me. Thanks!


Robyn said...

Wow! What a first page. Now I've got to read the book.

coolestmommy2000 at gamil dot com

apple blossom said...

Oh, yes, My hand is real high on this book giveaway. I have all of Lauraine Snelling Dakota books. I live in the area where she set them in. I'd love, love, love, love to win thanks.
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Desiree said...

Would love to add this to our church library!
davidndes at comcast dot com

A J Hawke said...

I love the BIC comment. The bunge cord idea is great.

Please enter me and thanks for the opportunity.

A J Hawke

misskallie2000 said...

I laughed about BIC.. This could come in handy with small children or adult children when you want their attention.. funny.

I love stories were women are fighting for the right to be in a profession usually restricted to men. When I saw Athens, Georgia on the first page that sold me. I am a Georgian Peach and very proud of my State and really love to read books set in Georgia.
Thanks for stopping by to Chat Lauraine, I enjoyed your interview.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter to win No Distance Too Far.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I love the books that I have read by this author. thank you for the contest :)

Brenda said...

Please enter me! dancealert at aol dot com

ceemee said...

Seems like a lovely and inspiring book to have!

Donna K. said...

I'd love to read this! Please enter me.

Carman said...

Please enter me! I really want to read this series. :)

kristen said...

I love Lauraine's writing.
Please enter me:)

Trinity Rose said...

I love books by Lauraine.
Please enter me.
Trinity Rose

bluerose_shelnut said...

Wonderful interview!! I need to put your tension advice to use!! :) I would love to read this book. Please enter me. Thanks!

Debbie F said...

Please include me.


dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie said...

I'm blessed to have spent some time with Lauraine today and when I told her that I hope to one day have free time to do some pleasure reading again, she suggested that I just go to bed 10 minutes early every night and spend that time reading. Wow. What a way to take care of ME! Thanks, Lauraine. I'm going to start tonight! :-D

Elyssa said...

I'd love to read this! Please enter me!

Maureen said...

I love Lauraine's books...please enter me!

Anonymous said...

I have read a lot of her books and I love them! She is one of my favorite Christian authors! Please enter me in the drawing,

a . w . squishy @ gmail . com

Anonymous said...

I love her books! Please enter me.

ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Carole said...

I would love to read this book! When I realized that the Bjorklund saga started several years ago, I began reading the first Red River of the North series and am enjoying working my way through.

Thank you for the interview and chance to win No Distance Too Far.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Molly(Buukluvr81) said...

Would love to win this!

Memawof2boys said...

I absolutely love Lauraine's work! Please include me.