Tuesday, January 11, 2011

THE MAILBOX - Marybeth Whalen - Free Book

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

There are pieces of me in all of my characters—my sense of humor, my own memories, things I’ve seen or felt. I heard a quote a long time ago that there is no true fiction and I agree with that. However, that’s also the reason I love fiction—you don’t know what’s true and what I’ve made up. So it keeps people guessing!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Have 6 children. Sometimes I still wonder what I and my husband were thinking. :-) There are days I don’t feel equipped to do this. (Most of them!) But I don’t ever regret it. And I’ve gotten to see God come through in amazing ways, providing abundantly (time, money, resources, information) in my lack.

You might think I am crazy, but I actually wanted to have 12 or 13. Of course, it didn't happen. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I have always processed life through writing. But it took me a long time to realize that just that one fact makes me a writer. I thought I had to have a certain number of published pieces to make me a “real” writer. Now I know a real writer is anyone who loves to write; who can’t help but write. That’s all you need.

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

I pretty much stick with contemporary women’s fiction—both CBA and ABA. As for nonfiction, I love to read writing books that help me learn more about the craft. I also like books that inspire me to a closer walk with God and to be a better wife, mother, and homemaker. But novels and writing books take up the majority of my reading time.

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

I spend time with God first thing every morning. I decided several years ago that I would not turn on my computer until I had first spent time with Him—really living my priorities and not just paying lipservice to them. I noticed that I was always making time for the computer, but not always making time for Him. This helps me focus and gets my mind in the right place for the day. I also try to go for a run, walk on the treadmill or do an exercise video every day. I think of LOTS of writing ideas while running!

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I keep a running list of names that I’d like to use. I have found it’s a way to use up all those cool names for kids that my husband vetoed. :-)

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Staying married for 19 years. It’s been a struggle at times. But we hung in there, and I am so glad we did. We’ve grown up together and I often marvel at the people we’ve become. I am glad we didn’t throw in the towel when we were tempted to!

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

I guess I’d have to say an elephant—I never forget anything and I was pregnant forever.

What is your favorite food?

Pizza. And strawberry shortcake. And chocolate.

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

Lack of time. I never thought I’d have the time to write a novel. Finally one day I just got determined to write the novel I had on my heart no matter what. I started out thinking “I’ll never really finish this.” But the more I saw the word count go up, the more motivated I was to just keep going. I learned to write anywhere, anytime. I wrote in snatches. I wrote in noise. But I finished it. And then I sold it. After that, I didn’t look back!

Tell us about the featured book.

Centered on a real landmark on the coast of North Carolina, The Mailbox blends intriguing folklore and true faith with raw contemporary issues that affect every woman. When Lindsey Adams first visits the Kindred Spirit mailbox at Sunset Beach, North Carolina, she has no idea that twenty years later she will still be visiting the mailbox—still pouring out her heart in letters that summarize the best and worst parts of her life.

Returning to Sunset for her first vacation since her husband left her, Lindsey struggles to put her sorrow into words. Memories surface of her first love, Campbell—and the rejection that followed. When Campbell reappears in her life, Lindsey must decide whether to trust in love again or guard herself from greater pain. The Mailbox is a rich novel about loss, hope, and the beauty of second chances.

I love second chances. Please give us the first page of the book.

I can do better than that—click on this link and you can read the first chapter!


How can readers find you on the Internet?

http://www.marybethwhalen.com/ and at http://www.shereads.org/ , which is the fiction division of Proverbs 31 Ministries—I am the director of that!

Thank you, Marybeth, for spending this time with us.
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. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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.



Annette W. said...

I live in PA and would love to get this in my mailbox. hehe

Diana Flowers said...

I would love to get The Mailbox in my mailbox in SC!


Patsy said...

My goodness, with 6 children I bet you stay pretty busy! Would enjoy reading your book. Thanks for the giveaway. From Southern US.

Coolestmommy said...

I love the concept of the book. And I admire anyone who can accomplish a task (like writing a book) with six kids. Three keeps me from finishing laundry. :-)

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I am from IL and would love to be entered in this giveaway. Thanks!


Marybeth Whalen said...

Thanks guys for entering the contest! I am thrilled to be visiting Lena's site today!

Daphne said...

The Mailbox was a wonderful read and brought back memories of my young years at the NC coast. It's a good gift idea for a friend.


Anonymous said...

I'd love to read it! I've been reading Marybeth's blog for years and have heard her speak - she's great!

windycindy said...

What a fun and interesting interview with Marybeth! Her book sounds delightful...
Many thanks, Cindi

Casey said...

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

I live in OR.

pinkdaisyjane said...

Already have read the Mailbox on my plane ride back to Massachusetts, but it was so wonderful, I'd love to gift it to someone else.

Lisa said...

I have a copy of The Mailbox!! It's already well-loved! I would love to have a nice copy to gift!

Anonymous said...

Interesting story, Miriam from Ohio

Laney4 said...

I really enjoyed the first chapter. Thanks for sharing it - even with someone from Ontario in Canada!
You remind me of a phrase I often use: Books are the gift that keep on giving. How true, how true, as I pass all my books on to various friends once I've read them (and I have read over 250 books/year since 1974!).

Anonymous said...

I live in NC where at this time we have been getting a small amount of snow/ice/rain. Great post/the book sounds intersting. Please enterm.Blessings

Merry said...

The Mailbox sounds like a touching, romantic story. The beach setting makes it perfect! Please include me.
Merry in TX

Unknown said...

Well, my pc crashed just as I finished my comment, so I'll try it again. I find Mary Beth's book cover very intriguing and I definitely would pick it up to peruse if I were shopping in a book store. It seems a bit eerie, and draws me into the book. The story line reminds me of when my mind has gone back to my school days and thought of the serious relationships I had. Should I have married this one or that one; until I see them again, and I'm very happy for the last choice I made. My high school and college years were spent in Kansas where I was born and raised. We're now living in Arlington, TX - where we moved after my husband's retirement from the army. Thank you for this book as the giveaway and the chance to win it. This story is very appealing and I hope I win it.

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

fredamans said...

Please enter this lady from Ontario, Canada. I like surprises in my Mailbox too! ;-)

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a great book!

I am from So Cal.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

karenk said...

would love to read this novel...thanks for the chance.

karenk (from pa)
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I live in Georgia..
I am a sap about love stories and love HEA. The Mailbox sounds like a great book with intense feelings between the characters. I would love to win..
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

cynthia said...

I live in California. I love stories about second chances at love. Thanks for the chance at winning the book. I can't wait to read it.

dancealertreads.blogspot.com said...

Please enter me! I would love to win this book, and find it in my mail box here in Michigan!!

I'm a subsciber

dancealert at aol dot com

Cindy W. said...

I live in Auburn, Indiana and would love to win a copy of The Mailbox. Thank you for the opportunity.

Cindy W.


apple blossom said...

I live in ND please include me in this book giveaway thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Katie Marie said...

Looks like a neat book! It's a new one for me - never heard of it before. But Id love a chance to win it!

from Florida

Julia M. Reffner said...

I like reading Marybeth's devotions and admire all she does. The concept sounds intriguing.


Unknown said...

Lots of entries to this contest. i am currently in Arizona, in summer i am in Alberta Canada. i love to read about midwives, and suspense and romance, so would love to be entered into this contest. Mom would have loved to have a dozen children, she only had me.

holdenj said...

Sounds like a great book and wonderful setting! I can't imagine how Marybeth gets it all done with six kids! Way to go! Hello to you from MN, can't wait to read it.

kristen said...

Sounds fun! Please enter me!
Kristen from WA

amber said...

I would like to be entered!! I live in TN.


Anonymous said...

My name is Angela and I am from Kentucky.

I would love to win a copy of this book>

Julie Arduini said...

Marybeth looks 19, not that she would be married 19 years. I want her secret on that!

Seriously, I'm an fan of her work and would love to read this in Ohio.

Judy Cooper said...

Thanks for the chance to enter, I live in Louisiana and look forward to reading "The Mailbox".

Anonymous said...

Marybeth is a new author to me but her book sounds intriguing. Thanks for the interview and the book giveaway.


Bakersdozen said...

I would love to read this. I live in S. California. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

D.A. said...

This sounds fascinating! I'm from SC.
dawhittemore22 at gmail dot com

rbooth43 said...

With six children, when does Marybeth find the time to write. We are glad she does find the time, and I am looking forward to reading The Mailbox especially because the setting is at Sunset Beach, North Carolina. My home is in the piedmont of NC where I have lived all my life and I enjoy reading books wriiten about NC.
rbooth43 at Yahoo dot com

Nancye said...

This book sounds great! Thanks for the chance.

Nancye in KY
nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net