Friday, August 20, 2010

MAKING WAVES - Lorna Seilstad - Free Book

Welcome, Lorna. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I suppose they all have a part of me in them, but I don’t see it. I came up with Marguerite in Making Waves because of my sister-in-law's wit. One day I thought, what if Caronna (SIL) would have been born back in a time she couldn’t say all those funny things that pop in her head? Caronna says I need to add that that is where the similarities end between her and Marguerite.

I’m working on book 2 of the Lake Manawa Summers Series now, and Emily is probably more like me than any character I’ve written. She struggles in the elegance department, and I feel her pain.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I don’t know if this was the quirkiest, but this is at least unusual. I went to a small Christian college in a small town. There wasn’t a lot to do, so we’d go “ghosting.” In other words, we went to abandoned houses and scared one another. One of our favorite haunts was a huge empty mansion, formerly an I.O.O.F. home (International Order of Oddfellows). This place was straight out of a horror movie with a tree lined sidewalk over a block long leading to the front door. That night, one of our group insisted on walking around the whole mansion. When we got up close, a group of people ran at us from the trees and grabbed us. Of course, we’d been set up. It was one of the best scares of my life.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

In 4th grade I had an English teacher who made every Friday creative writing day. She used wonderful story prompts. One day, for example, we came to school and she’d taped black footprints down the hall, up the wall, and on the ceiling. We had to write about how they got there.

Some of the other students griped about having to write every week. I loved every minute of it. I had this teacher for fifth and sixth grade English, too. She opened the world of story-telling to me, and it was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.

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

Oh my. I read everything—science fiction, Shakespeare, non-fiction, and of course, a lot of inspirational in every genre. For me, the key is not the genre, it’s the story. If the plot is well done and the main character is someone I can root for, I can enjoy the work.

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

My kids would answer that I don’t, but honestly, I thrive on being busy. I’m at my best when I have deadlines and a lot to do. I like the pressure—as long as it’s in short bursts.

But keeping my sanity comes only when I make sure God has priority in my life. If I don’t spend time with Him and His children, I loose it rather quickly.

My husband is my anchor and my one true love. He keeps me balanced. When our children were little, he noticed I got migraines when I didn’t spend enough time by myself. He called them “ME-graines,” and from that point on, he made sure I had more time to myself.

Don't just love a supportive husband? I know I love mine. How do you choose your characters’ names?

I think names are so important. I want them appropriate for the time period, but still unusual enough to be memorable. My favorite place to find names is at old cemeteries. For this novel, I visited one in Council Bluffs. It’s an old city and the gravestones are filled with stories begging to be told.

I like visiting historical cemeteries and reading names and dates, too. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I’ve potty trained over 20 children. Does that count? How about delivering an 11 pound, 8 ounce daughter? She was three weeks early, and before any of you mothers faint, I had a c-section.

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

I guess I’d be a mamma bear. I like protecting my young, providing for my family, and I could really get into having months of hibernation.

What is your favorite food?

Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Rich, sweet, and smooth. I love Oreo cookies, too.

Tell us a little about your journey to publication.

After my youngest daughter was born, I decided I wanted to get back to the writing I’d enjoyed so much as a child –fiction. I started writing fan fiction at a wonderful Christian based site. There were over 4000 members and the readers were so supportive. The feedback I got there, encouraged me to take the next step.

At the 2008 ACFW Conference, I presented to Andrea Doering, Revell’s senior acquitions editor. I was so nervous I couldn’t even remember my pitch. I just handed her my one sheet. She read it, asked me some questions, and asked if I had any sample chapters. I sat there while she read two chapters of my manuscript. Finally, she leaned back, smiled, and said, “We’d like a full of this.”

I went back to my room and cried.

Two months after I sent her the manuscript, I had a 3-book contract. It’s been a wild and exciting ride.

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

I am an auditory writer. I hear everything all the dialogue, the way the characters say it, the wind blowing in the trees. However, I tend to forget to make sure the reader can see it all.

I now write in layers. I get my ideas down first, then go back and make sure there’s enough detail to see what is going on. One of my crit partners is wonderful at working in the beautiful, fluid descriptions, so I ask myself, “Now, can Brenda see this?” I know she’ll stop me if she can’t.

What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?

First, I have a motto that I hang onto. “His way. His words. His timing.” I know it’s hard to wait, but God is in control of it all.

Second, keep learning. Good writers are not divas. They are lifelong learners.

And last, enjoy the journey. Every step is part of that – making lifelong writer friends, discovering a crit group that gels, or finding a mentor who believes in you and challenges you to be better.

That is so true. I never want to stop learning how to write even better. Tell us about the featured book.

When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews.

But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's gambling problems threaten to ruin the family forever. Marguerite has to decide if she will follow her heart or save her family’s name and fortune by marrying Roger.

Just the time period I enjoy reading. Please give us the first page of the book.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1895

If forced to endure Roger Gordon for five more minutes, Marguerite Westing would die. Dead. Gone. Buried. Six feet under Greenlawn Cemetery.

Her parents would need to purchase a large headstone to fit all the words of the epitaph, but they could do it. Money wasn’t an issue, and after bearing this unbelievable torture, she deserved an enormous marble marker complete with a plethora of flowery engravings. She could see the words now:

Here lies Marguerite Westing.
Only nineteen, but now she’s resting.
Strolling through the park with Roger Gordon,
Once full of life, she died of boredom.

Marguerite giggled.

Roger stopped on the cobblestone path of the park and frowned at her. “I don’t see anything funny about my uncle Myron’s carbuncle, Marguerite.”

“I’m sorry. My mind wandered for a minute.”

“You do seem prone to that. Perhaps you should work on your self-control.” He patted her hand, lodged in the crook of his arm, like a parent would an errant child.

And perhaps you should work on making yourself more interesting than milk toast. She bit her lip hard to keep the words from escaping. Good grief. What did he expect when he was talking to her about a boil?

“Now, as I was saying, Uncle Myron . . .” He droned on, his dark mustache twitching like a wriggling fuzzy caterpillar on his upper lip. “Marguerite, are you listening?”

She forced a smile. “Of course I am. How terrible for your dear uncle.”

This whole ordeal was her mother’s fault. If her mother hadn’t insisted she accept Roger’s attentions, she could be home enjoying her newest book about the stars.

I can hardly wait for my book to come. How can the readers find you on the Internet?

Readers can find me at my website , at the 10-writer blog I’m part of at , on Facebook and on Twitter. I love connecting with readers and would love to have readers sign up for my newletter on my website.

Thank you, Lorna, for the interesting interview.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it 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.


Coolestmommy said...

Can we get together to eat chocolate, chocolate, chocolate while we discuss the book??

coolestmommy2000 at

Lorna said...

Absolutely, Robin. I think chocolate goes with everything, but is especially appropriate for book discussions. :)

Regina Merrick said...

Count me in on the chocolate! LOL I'm so excited to read your book, Lorna, and Lena, thank you so much for sharing this interview! It was terrific!!

Jennifer said...

Sounds like such a fun book to read.

Patsy said...

Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for giving away a copy.

Michelle said...

Sounds like a great book!

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

grannyvon said...

The cover will attract many readers when it is put on the shelves. It is very inticing. I would want the book even without reading the first page. Thanks for the chance to WIN!

Linda Fulkerson said...

Thanks, Lena, for this great interview! And Lorna, I'm anxiously waiting to hold a copy of your book in my hand!

Can't wait to see you both in just a few short weeks!

Hugs, Linda Fulkerson
mail [at] lindafulkerson [dot] com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

jHey Lorna,

You really need to tell that you had a daycare for many years, so readers won't wonder about all that potty-training.

Lorna's a great writer. She never got a rejection because her first draft sings.

Lorna said...

I'm so glad you all are looking forward to reading Making Waves.

Grannyvon, didn't the Revell artists outdo themselves on the cover? I'm so happy with it.

Linda, can't wait to see you either.

Dawn Ford said...

Hello Lena!

Hello Lorna!!

Did somebody say chocolate?? Count me in.

Lorna has a great way to twist humor and romance into her historicals. I can't wait for my book(s) to be in my mailbox and I get to read it for real.

holdenj said...

Marguerite looks like a great character! Thanks for the info and chance to win. There was an Oddfellows house in the town where I went to college too, I think the name just evokes ghost like ideas!

Merry said...

Making Waves sounds fun and sassy, please include me, I'd love to win it!

Kav said...

Lorna, so fun to track you down here. Lena, that was a great the questions. the quirkiest thing one. I never pictured Lorna as a ghost hunter!

Don't enter me in the draw because I have my copy on order from my Christian bookstore...Just two weeks or so...I can't wait!!!!!!!

Dawn Ford said...

I also have several copies of Lorna's book myself so don't enter me in.

Don't leave without posting a comment here everyone!!! It's a great book, you don't want to miss this opportunity.


Jan Finger said...

I've got my chocolate and I'm ready to start reading! :-) I love the cover and the first page! I'm so thrilled for you in your writing success and wish you every success in the future. It's obvious, God wanted you to do this! :-) Looking forward to seeing your wonderful family again when you make it up our way. In His Love, Jan Finger

HandyFamily said...

This book sounds like it would be right up my alley! Can't wait to read it! Thanks for the opportunity to win it!


Lorna said...

Shannon, you're right. Folks may need to know that after I quit teaching high school, I started doing daycare for teachers. That's why I've potty trained so many kids. LOL

Hi Dawn! Thank you for stopping by.

Holdenj, you had an I.O.O.F. home, too! Wow, it's a small world.

Merry, you've pegged Marguerite. She is most certainly sassy. Hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I enjoyed writing about her.

Bakersdozen said...

I loved this interview. I also would like a chocolate get-together. And the book sounds wonderful! vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lorna said...

Kav, you don't picture me as a ghost hunter? That's probably because I would faint dead away if I saw anything that looked like a "real" ghost. We all tend to do things in college that we would do at any other time, right?

Jan, thank you for stopping by! I can't wait to see you all again.

HandyFamily, if you like to laugh and cry, then Making Waves might just be the book for you. :)

Lorna said...

Bakersdozen, I think we'd make great chocolate loving friends.

Melissa Jagears said...

sounds funny, sign me up.
rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

Linda Kish said...

I love the cover. I'd love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! I also love chocolate. I have a huge sweet tooth. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

Sylvia said...

I'd like to read this book. If I remember correctly I think I used to be apart of that forum she was talking about. This sounds great!


Anonymous said...

This book is on my "wish list" for sure....please enter me. Thanks!!!

karenk said...

please count me in...thanks :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Lorna said...

I'm thrilled so many of you are excited about Making Waves, and I can't wait to hear what you think of it. Thank you all for welcoming me today.

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Unknown said...

Thanks for offering it.

apple blossom said...

Love the cover. Please include me in this giveaway

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

A J Hawke said...

MAKING WAVES sound like a fun read.

Please put my name in the draw.

A J Hawke

ajhawkeauthor at aol dot com

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Sounds awesome! Please drop my name in the hat!

Michelle said...

I've had this one on my wish list for awhile. Would love the opportunity to win! Thank you for entering me!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

rubynreba said...

Sounds like an amazing book I would love to have.

Tammy G. said...

Love chocolate and would love to read this book while eating chocolate! :)

Theresa N. said...

This character sounds like a lot of fun.
Theresa N
weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com said...

Please enter me! I love chocolate also! The new book looks great!

dancealert at aol dot com

wmmahaney said...

This book sounds like a fun read.

Brenda S. Anderson said...

Lorna, you've become very good at painting your scenes for me. :)

As one of Lorna's first readers, I can guarantee that you all will love Making Waves. She combines wit with an engaging story and layers in a vivid & unique setting.

You don't have to put me in the drawing either. I've already got my copies coming.

Pain SUX said...

Great interview. Great cover. I really want to read this book :)


kristen said...

What a fun cover. Love it!
Please enter me.

Unknown said...

Lorna's interview was great and I learned a few tips about the skill of writing from her. I like the cover of the appeals to my sense of interest in that time period. Lorna must be full of wit, I laughed at Marguerite's poem and truly yawned at Roger. Thanks for the chance to win this book. And...chocolate!!! Uhmmmmm

Sharing Christ's Love,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Carman said...

Please enter me. Can't wait to read this book. It looks fabulous!


Carole said...

I love Lorna's road to publication story! Making Waves has a fresh & different look and I'm eager to read it. Thank you for the interview and chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Lorna, I love ghost stories so I would have been right at home with you..I love the story line of Making Waves.. Have my Hersheys Dark Chocolate bar and a butterfinger for back up.. lol
Thanks for stopping by to chat with us.
Lena, thanks for hosting this giveaway and for this opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Sounds fun!

ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Nancye said...

After delivering an 11 pound 8 ounce baby---you should be allowed to have all the chocolate you want!! Wow! I thought delivering my son was hard and he only weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces. Your book sounds great! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Cynthia A. Lovely said...

Love the cover of this book
and the story line sounds
wonderful. From one chocoholic
to another...

Unknown said...

The first paragraph is awesome! Totally made me laugh and really want to read the rest of this book past the first little blurb given! :)

Bluerose said...

That is so clever to visit cemetaries for names!! Such a wonderful idea!:)
I'm always intrigued by the names on the gravestones, but I never thought about that.

Megan (Inspired by Fiction) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julia M. Reffner said...

I would love to read Making Waves. I got a chuckle out of your college "exploits" and I love your saying about writing. I think I am going to write that down so I remember to look back at it.

Julia M. Reffner said...

I would love to read Making Waves. I got a chuckle out of your college "exploits" and I love your saying about writing. I think I am going to write that down so I remember to look back at it.

Judylynn said...

I'd love to win this book. Please enter me! Thank you.