Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BEYOND SUMMER - Lisa Wingate - Free Book

Welcome back, Lisa. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I’ve always written stories about spiritual journey. When I started writing mainstream fiction, the dividing line between ABA and CBA fiction was more defined than it is now. In 2001, when my first book, Tending Roses, was released by Penguin Putnam, faith-based stories in ABA mainstream fiction were a rarity, which made it an exciting, and sometimes challenging, place to be. Over the years, the Christian and secular markets have developed and converged, and when I was given the opportunity write for Bethany House as well as Penguin Putnam, I jumped at the chance. My greatest desire as a writer is to create books that have the potential to bring Christian and secular readers together and generate discussion.

My goal in writing has always been to build understanding by allowing one person to walk in another’s shoes. When we know how it feels to live within the mind, and heart, and body of someone else, we realize that everyone hurts, everyone struggles, everyone breaks down and gets up, then tries to put the pieces back together. We’re all products of our own experiences. When we feel the suffering and the triumphs of others, we’re better able to look at each other with the sense of grace God intends.

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

I don’t know that I could narrow down to one specific day, but my happiest moments and happiest days have involved my children. I love having a job as wonderful as writing, but far and away my greatest achievement is raising two wonderful boys. Having grown up with brothers, I always envisioned that I’d someday be the mother of lacy little pink bundles who didn’t play with bugs, and smell like fish, and leave sweaty football clothes in the corner behind the bed. In my years of motherhood, I have learned, however, that boys are wonderful when they’re your own. My sons remind me to appreciate life’s little wonders each day and give thanks for ordinary blessings. I may have wished for girls, but I think I was given exactly what I needed.

I always wanted a boy, and I finally got some as grandsons. How has being published changed your life?

I’ve always loved to write, and I’ve wanted to be a writer for about as long as I can remember. A special first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhardt, put that idea into my head when she wrote on my report card that she expected to see my name in a magazine one day. Even though I came from a family prone to believing that young people should pursue careers proven to actually provide a living, I always dreamed of writing books and sending them into the world to make a difference, to entertain, to build bridges.

Writing as a career is an odd paradox, in that it is a solitary profession in which you spend your time trying to communicate thought, feeling, emotion, or experience to other people. What you find, after talking to enough people (real and imaginary), is that the human condition changes very little from life to life, from generation to generation. We all want happiness, contentment, a sense of belonging, to love and be loved. We all feel the spiritual pull of needing to understand why we’re here, in this place, at this time. We’re all seeking life’s purpose. On any given road, you’re never the only traveler. God puts people ahead and people behind. They walk in shoes like your own and shoes that are different. Writing, and then sharing with readers, is a chance to help stock a virtual shoe store. When readers contact me and say that reading one of my stories helped them to think, to seek, to rebuild a relationship, to try something new, to extend a kindness, to forgive, to build a stronger faith, to reconnect with a church, I feel incredibly blessed and thankful. And then, of course, I can’t wait to start writing the next story!

What are you reading right now?
Lately, I’ve been reading Janice Hanna Thompson’s, Weddings by Bella series, which is, as we say in Texas, a hoot! I’ve also had the pleasure of reading some pre-published books for endorsement, including Suzanne Woods Fisher’s The Waiting, and Judy Christie’s, Goodness Gracious Green—two great books that will be coming out next year. Right now I’m in the middle of Reinventing Rachel, by Alison Strobel, due out in September from David C. Cook publishers. In terms of great reads, I’m batting a thousand this season!
What is your current work in progress?

I’m currently working on the first book in a new series for Bethany House, Larkspur Cove, to be released in Feb, 2011 as the first book in the Moses Lake series. This summer, I’ll also be putting the final touches on the next book for Penguin Putnam, titled Dandelion Summer (July 2011) , which will follow Beyond Summer in the Blue Sky Hill series.

What would be your dream vacation?
Anything involving mountains and family. We love finding little cabins in out-of-the way spots and enjoying summer days of hiking, fishing, and photography, or winter days of skiing and snow fun.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I never quite know where a story will go when I begin working out the concept and the first chapters. In terms of setting, I usually being with only a vague idea—small town, big city, suburb. As I’m getting to know the characters, the settings begin to develop, as well. Places and secondary characters take on shape. Most of those places and characters are composites of places I’ve been and people I’ve met, combined with a healthy dose of fiction and whimsy. Writing the story then becomes a journey discovery, the setting becoming more integral and real as the characters move from an existence that feels incomplete, to a life that is authentic, that is filled with spirit and a sense of God’s purpose.

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

Right now, as a Texan who just released a book set on the Gulf Coast, I’d like to be in on a British Petroleum board meeting. Grrrrr!

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Other than reading and writing, raising kids, and teaching youth at church, one of my passions has always been horses. I can remember being horse-crazy from the age of three or four. I’m not sure why, because we lived in costal Florida, and horses were rare there, but still I yearned for one. It was the only thing in my Christmas list for years, but I guess Santa couldn’t figure out how to attach the horse trailer to his sleigh. When I was around ten, my parents finally said I could have a horse if I saved my own money and bought it. Horses being expensive, I think they felt safe making this commitment. I was determined, however, and within about a year, I bought a scrappy little albino mixed-breed horse who was cheap because she was too underweight even for the canners. I didn’t know she wasn’t much to look at. She was beautiful in my eyes, and the rest is history. We’ve had horses ever since.
As a teenager, I was also a gymnast, harboring big dreams of going to the Olympics. Unfortunately, along with the gymnast in my head was the horse lover with dreams of winning the National Finals Rodeo, and a book lover with dreams of writing novels. One dream out of three isn’t bad!

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

People often ask me if I have trouble with writer’s block. I don’t battle writer’s block nearly as much as I battle writer’s laziness. For me, the battle isn’t so much about what to write as it is about getting myself to the keyboard and getting down to business. On any given day, there are a million other things that seem tempting—there’s email to answer, the house is dirty, something neat is happening in town, the kids think it would be fun to go swimming (so do I), I don’t want Dr. Phil to miss me when he comes on TV at 3:00. You name it, I can become distracted by it. That, for me, is the biggest writing struggle. I battle it by setting a page quota for myself daily and forcing myself to stick to it. If I’m a slacker in the morning, I know it will make for a rough afternoon. I’ve also learned that, in terms of getting a book together, it’s easier to make something from something than something from nothing. Even if I feel that what I’m writing that day isn’t particularly great, I’ve learned to push through it and get something on paper with the idea that I can always revise it later, and that will be easier when the first draft is finished.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

First, finish a novel. It’s almost impossible to sell a partial if you’re unpublished. Polish it and send it out, because as much as we’d like them to, editors won’t come looking in your desk drawer. While you’re waiting for news, write another book. If the first one sells, you’ll be set for a two-book deal. If the first one doesn’t sell, you have eggs in another basket. Don’t take a critique too seriously if you hear it from one editor/agent, unless there’s an imminent contract involved. Editors and agents, just like the rest of us, are individuals. What works for one may not work for another. If you receive the same comment from multiple sources, consider revising your manuscript before you send it elsewhere. Be tenacious, be as thick-skinned as possible, keep writing while you wait for news. Never stop creating new material—that’s where the joy is, and if you keep the joy of this business, you keep the magic of it.

Tell us about the featured book?.

Beyond Summer is really a story pulled from today’s economic headlines. In a time when reversals of fortune have become common due to mortgage problems and over-extended family budgets, many people are finding themselves in circumstances and living situations they never expected to face. In the previous book in the series, The Summer Kitchen, the Blue Sky Hill neighborhood was under siege by unscrupulous development companies. It occurred to me to wonder whether some of the CEOs of those companies, who collect paychecks while remaining comfortably above the dirty work, really understand the devastation their faulty mortgages can cause to a family of moderate means. Then, it occurred to me to wonder what would happen if one of those comfortably-wealthy families lost everything and found themselves with no place left to live but a tiny house in Blue Sky Hill, right across the street from one of their intended victims. If identities weren’t revealed, would the families become friends? Would they begin to lean on one another and care about one another? What would happen when the truth came out? Beyond Summer is a story families, friendships, and about community--how we find it, what it means, and how strong communities help us to survive in difficult times.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Chapter 1

Tam Lambert

It’s strange, the things you look past in a normal day--the big picture you don’t see, while you’re busy focusing on all the little things that seem to matter in the moment. Good hair, an outfit that looks just right, a green light ahead when you’re in a hurry to make an appointment, a short line at Starbucks, a straight shot down the fairway in a game of golf, a smile from a cute guy in the parking lot. You rub your life like Aladdin’s lamp, and magic floats out in little clouds. It works time, after time, after time. You never stop to consider that there could be a day when a charmed life isn’t charmed anymore. At that point, the wishes become prayers, and you hope against hope that God will take up where the wishing lamp left off.

The summer I turned eighteen became the summer of unanswered prayers. I was hoping that, since the lease was up on the hand-me-down mini Cooper I’d been driving, there was a new car in the works for my birthday—a combination getting-ready-for-college and welcome-to-adulthood present. And maybe a surprise party—something Hawaiian themed, out on the patio, with floating tiki torches in the pool, grass skirts and coconut bras, and a caterer filling the cabana with fruit baskets carved out of watermelons, perfect for early July.

Instead, I got a phone call letting me know that my stepmother had rammed her Escalade into the front doors of the Baby Bundles Upscale Resale shop while delivering a load of gently-worn or still-had-tags-on-them kiddie clothes. The accident wasn’t her fault. It was the stilettos that did it…

I can hardly wait for my copy. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love keeping in touch with readers and sharing the stories behind the stories. Readers can find me on my website . Just for signing up for the e-newsletter, you’ll be entered in a monthly drawing for a free, autographed book! Readers can and also find me on Facebook or Youtube.

Lisa, thank you for giving us another peek inside your world.
Readers, by using this link, 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.


misskallie2000 said...

Wow!! Beyond Summer sounds like a terrific book. I have wondered the same thing, what if these CEO's, and other big wigs found themselves in the same position as others who are losing everything, how would they feel. The banks and mortgage lending industry literally destroyed the american dream by allowing people who could not afford the home they wanted, to purchase by allowing the ballon notes.
Great interview Lisa and keep writing these great books.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter this great giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Katrina said...

sounds like a good read....and I love the cover

Sandy Jay said...

This series sounds really interesting. I'd love to win this book.

forwhlz at gmail dot com

kathy taylor said...

Beyond Summer sounds wonderful. It's refreshing to see someone write about the issues most of us have had to face because of the economic downturn. Florida construction: an oxymoron these days. God bless you, Lisa.

runner10 said...

Great excerpt. Makes me want to read more.

Lisa Wingate said...

Hi Everyone! Thanks for the great comments about Beyond Summer. The story has a strong basis in reality, but the great thing about fiction is that you can make things turn out the way you wish they would in the real world!

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Mrs. Smith said...

When I had my baby girl 4 years ago she through my world for a loop. I already had a 3 year old son who was basically an "easy" baby. Well my little girl was a "velcro" baby, and I quickly found myself sitting in a recliner nursing and holding her a LOT. It was one of the best things that could have happened to me, because all that sitting gave me the opportunity to slow down and rekindle my love of reading fiction. I went to my small town local library and was immediately drawn to Tending Roses. I could not have chosen a better book at that point in my life. Between my aging mother and my young children, Tending Roses and the lessons of Grandma Rose taught me some priceless lessons about what is important in life. I really believe God pulled me toward that amazing book for the purpose of changing my life for the better. It was more than a book, and Grandma Rose is more than a character. The lessons she taught me are timeless!!

Maureen said...

This book sounds so interesting. Heels and a car crash!
Please enter me!

Maureen said...

This book sounds wonderful. Loved the interview!
Please enter me!

holdenj said...

Beyond Summer looks great, I can't wait to read it. Very nice interview too! Thanks for the chance to win.

Anonymous said...

I have bought other books by Lisa Wingate and like them very much. I would therefore love to win this one.
Kaye Whitney

Lisa Wingate said...

Thanks, all! Traci, I love the comment about Tending Roses and the velcro baby. My second one was a velcro baby, too. I'm sure my grandmother (the real Grandma Rose) would have told me to enjoy it while it lasted!

Virginia said...

Beyond Summer is awesome....Lisa has the most wonderful gift of taking you to the places and sitting among the people and being a part of the whole story. That Lisa can write the way she does is truly a gift from God. Love her!!!love her books..... vrush729(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good book. Hope to win a copy.Great Interview!!

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel...what a breathtaking cover :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Pam Kellogg said...

Thank you for your interview with Lisa Wingate. I would love to win her new book, Beyond Summer. The cover is lovely; I'm sure the inside is great too!

pmk56 at sbcglobal dot net

Tina said...

I just discovered Lisa Wingate and have read two of her books. I would love to read this one.

BrendaT said...

Thanks for the great interview lena I have enjoyed Lisa's book ever since my librarian friend introduced them to me a few years ago. i have read them all and I can't wait to read Beyond Summer. Thanks for the teaser it makes me want to go and buy it right now! If I do, and I win a copy i will share it with my friend lisa{ The librarian}, to say thanks again for introducing me to such wonderful stories.

Lisa Wingate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Wingate said...

Posting this for Angela:

Angela Muehlberg Denny
Gave up. Tried five times to leave a comment but it wouldn't take. Here is what I would have posted for all to see: "Loved Summer's Kitchen and cannot wait to ready Beyond Summer. Reading a book written by Lisa Wingate will make your heart smile and will soothe your soul."

bluerose_shelnut said...

The cover looks so peaceful! i would love to read this Beyond Summer.
Please enter me.

Lisa Wingate said...

Great being here with all of you today. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the sweet notes of encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Sounds great I would love to win this. thanks

Cindy W. said...

I have heard wonderful things about Lisa Wingate's work but I haven't had the opportunity to read any of her work yet. I would love to win a copy of Beyond Summer. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Linda Kish said...

Love the title, love the cover. Please pick me. I would love to read her book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Merry said...

I'd love to read this whole series, it sounds real and engaging. I appreciate the spiritual journeys involved in Lisa's books. Please include me in the drawing for Beyond Summer. Thanks!

Theresa N. said...

Blue Sky Hill sounds like a great place to live, please sign me up.
Theresa N

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I just love the cover. Please enter me. Thanks!


rbooth43 said...

Lisa Wingate is one of my favorite authors. Can't wait to read Beyond Summer.
I had a mother-in-law named Rosa. A very special person who loved Roses. I did a Cross-stitch pillow for her with this inscription.
The Last Rose
The Lord in all his wisdom,
When he came down one day
To fill the earth with beauty
With Flowers from his bouquet,
Left one rose unplanted,
Reserved for just my day,
And now this rose is blooming
As I grow old and gray.
So touch my pen with beauty
That I might paint this rose,
With words that she will cherish
Each day this flower grows;
And Lord, when you have finished
With this rose now on display,
Lord, I pray you'll place her
Again in your bouquet.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

rbooth, thanks for posting that poem. My middle name is Rose. I really liked reading it.

Naasom A. Sousa said...

In the life we need books that tell us abaut other fantastic people. This is wonderful. This book sound like a great book. I'd love win.

letrassantas at hotmail dot com

Lorna G. Poston said...

Great interview. I look forward to reading this book!

Robyn said...

As a person who went through mortgage issues with the bank and whose parents lost their retirement in the Enron fiasco, this sounds like a book I'd like to read.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Tammi said...

This book, Beyond Summer by Lisa Wingate,sounds like a great read. What if someone of means, losses everything and has to live like someone with low to moderate income?

I normally read historical fiction, but this book has caught my attention. Please enter my name into the "hat".

grannyvon said...

I don't have a clue where this book is going after reading the first few paragraphs but I want to win this book and find out. Thanks for the chance.

Cynthia said...

I think I've read all of Lisa's
books -enjoyed every one.
Would love to take this book
on summer vacation!

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

Sheila Deeth said...

This sounds neat - topical and interesting. I'd love to read it.

A J Hawke said...

Great concept for a novel, especially in today's world.

Please enter me.

A J Hawke
ajhawkeauthor at aol dot com

Patsy said...

I know this book will be an interesting read. I think most everyone can relate to the difficult times we're in. After reading Lisa's interview and the sneek peek at the book, I've really got to read more. Thanks for the chance for the giveaway.

BrendaT said...

rbooth, that is a beautiful poem. When i first read about Grandma Rose, I was hooked. I had a Grandma Rose too, she died in 2003 at the age of 96. i did not live close to her, but we were always close.My sister and i went to visit her every summer until we were grown. I miss her very much. The Tending Roses series touched my heart so much. Thank you for your poem r booth and thank you Lisa for touching our hearts with your books. like I said yesterday i can't wait to read Beyond Summer.

BrendaT said...

rbooth I loved your poem. I too had a Grandma Rose, she passed away in 2003 at the age of 96. I never lived close to her but we were close. The Tending Roses series is my favorite of Lisa's {if i have to pick one.} It touched my heart so much. Thank you rbooth and Thank you Lisa for touching our hearts with your books. Like I said yesterday i can't wait to read Beyond Summer.

BrendaT said...

oops! sorry about the double posting ididn't think the first one posted so i wrote another one! i guess ya'll get the idea i like the books! lol

Annette M. Irby said...

Hi Lena. I've loved reading Lisa's books. Please sign me up. :)


Molly(Buukluvr81) said...

Please accept this as my entry! Would love to read this book! Lisa is such a beautiful and talented author. Thanks for this chance.

kristen said...

Sounds great.
Please enter me:)

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Kameko said...

Enjoyed your interview, Lisa - especially the part about putting horses on your Christmas lists! I did the same thing, but never ended up with one. Instead, I read all the books I could about them growing up. "Beyond Summer" sounds like a wonderful book & very much in line with the current times.

Thank you for an opportunity to win a copy of your book~



Brenda said...

Please enter me! Sounds like a great book!

dancealert at aol dot com

Julia M. Reffner said...

I love the cover. Feels so peaceful and I would love to read Lisa's book.


Bakersdozen said...

I am interested in this book. Thanks so much for the great interview. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carole said...

I enjoyed the interview and definitely want to read Beyond Summer. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Larkspur Cove just went on my wish list for 2011!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

apple blossom said...

Beautiful cover. Thanks for the interview. Please include me in the giveaway. Thanks
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Marla said...

Would love to win. Please enter me in drawing.

Laura said...

Thanks for hosting this giveaway! My email is lauraleighanderson(at)

Charleydog said...

The title of the book "Beyond Summer" sends shivers up my spine - what rests beyond summer is WINTER and I HATE winter.

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

Charleydog said...

The title of the book "Beyond Summer" sends shivers up my spine - what rests beyond summer is WINTER and I HATE winter.

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

grannyvon said...

This book sounds good and I would love to win it. This was a good interview, I recently read an interview with Lisa and thought it was good, too. The more I learn about the author the better the book is. Thanks for the chance.

Pam at Daysong Reflections said...

Always enjoy Lisa's books. Good interview! Please enter me.

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!