Friday, April 29, 2011


So glad to have you back, Stephen. Tell us about your salvation experience.

My job as foreman for one of my uncle’s ranches provided a secure future, good pay, and we enjoyed country living. Also, I wanted to guard and protect our growing family, which now consisted of my wife, Janet, and two sons, Russell and Michael. But I was restless. Janet and I often had these conversations: “Should I go back to college? You know how I love politics. Should I train for a possible change in careers? The years seemed to loom ahead, boring and predictable. Did I dare chance a break from our cozy mold?

Then Janet’s thoughts turned to God. She longed to know if he existed. If he did, could he help her with the challenges of being a parent and wife. One day I found her at home reading a Bible. Somehow it clicked. Maybe some helps and direction could be found there. I suggested we read it together. We began at the preface to the King James red letter edition. After we dug into the Old Testament, I was amazed. Here was a record of people who walked with God, talked with God, knew him as a friend. Sometimes they obeyed him. Other times not. But he was real in their lives.

Soon after, we attended a nearby church and got involved with a small home Bible study. One evening the group’s leader asked each of us, “Do you know for a fact that you have eternal life? Who do you say that Jesus is?”

The time for intellectual contemplation was over for me. Out on my cotton picking machine several weeks later I gave my life to Christ and all that would mean. Janet did the same. After we read more in the New Testament, I found my life verse: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Writing has become part of the ‘added things.’

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?

Only four? Well, let’s start with Randy Alcorn, James Scott Bell, Angela Hunt, Terri Blackstock, Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, Robin Lee Hatcher, Jerry B. Jenkins, Jane Kirkpatrick, Nancy Moser, Bill Myers, Stephanie Grace Whitson, Lauraine Snelling . . . whoops, that’s way more than four. Better stop. Maybe some of them can’t come. It’s like over-booking airplane seats.

 Why? Because they’re all friends we haven’t seen in a while. We’d talk shop and catch up on what’s going on in our lives…and pray for our needs. I admire their books, enjoy their company.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.

I have spoken at churches, family conferences and writers’ retreats all over the United States and parts of Canada, since the 1980s. It has been another of the ‘added things’ in ministry outreach. Last summer I spoke at a Maranatha Conference in Michigan. I suspected that might be my final travel and speak time. Since then, I’ve had to turn down a number of requests as my health has declined to the point that I’m confined mostly to my home. Rather than bemoan this condition, I’m grateful for all the opportunities the Lord gave me over the years to meet so many of his faithful people, to see what God’s doing through them, and partner with him in their spiritual growth.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?

Writing wise…I was contracted to produce a novel for a well-known country singing duo. Lots of work and re-writes. A lot of hoopla and announcements were made. Then, just days before the huge release, with all the publicity in place, the singers backed out of the deal. This caused major consternation and complications for everyone along the line…agent, publisher, publicist, editor, me. A big disappointment for my family, friends, and fans too. How I handled it? Acceptance of what I could not change. In time, the novel (with another re-write) got published under my name alone, with a different title. It’s helped to remember that any deals go under the “if the Lord wills” or “success is never certain, but failure is never final” categories.

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?

Anybody can write a book. A writer writes. Simple as that. All he or she has to do is commit to drafting a page or two every day or at least once a week. Sooner a later you’ll reach that goal. Now, getting it published, that’s a whole different run around the corral. First step: go to a writer’s conference. That’s absolutely necessary to get guidance for your next step.

Tell us about the featured book.

Throw The Devil Off The Train is a western romance, released in hardback.

Book blurb: It’s 1880. Catherine Draper has got to escape from Virginia…and she’s desperate that no one knows her real last name. She’s on her way to Paradise Springs to join her fiancĂ© Philip for a fresh start. She’ll do almost anything to find the means to get there.

Race Hillyard’s bent on revenge for his brother’s death…and seeks rest and sleep for his exhaustion. He collides with Catherine at the train station while she’s in a compromising situation. They despise each other on sight. But it’s a long, cramped, chaotic ride from Omaha to Sacramento. . .and something evil’s on board. Will they make a truce long enough to throw the devil off the train?

Sounds interesting. Please give us the first page of the book.

First Page

Throw The Devil Off The Train


 “Is he dead?” The high-pitched voice whined.

“If he isn’t,” came a low rumble, “I could fix that.”

“I ain’t killin’ no man over a saddle.”

“And a gun. He’s got one of them new Colt revolvers.”

“I still ain’t killing no man over a saddle and a gun.”

“I bet he has a bag of gold on him.” The lower voice had the power of a salesman on a slow day. “He’s as dirty as a prospector.”

“He ain’t as dirty as us.”

“Suppose he does have gold. Would it be alright to kill him then?”

The high-pitched bleat continued. “How much gold you reckon he has?”

“At least a couple twenty-dollar gold coins.”

“Maybe you’re right. For forty dollars, why cain’t I just hit him over the head with this fence post?”

“If you don’t knock him clean out, I’ll have to shoot him.”

“You got a gun?”

“I’ll use his.”

“Okay, but you do the shootin’. I ain’t shot nobody since the war.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Through your favorite online bookstore, including and at our website and blog

Thank you, Stephen, for dropping by today.

Readers, 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 if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.



Sarah said...

Wow this book sounds really goood! I am definitely going to have to read this one! And I really enjoyed the interview!

Sarah from Ohio

lovedandamazed said...

I've been a fan of Steve's books since I was about 10 years old. Nathan T. Riggins started the obsession. :-) I'm sorry to hear about Steve's decline from health, but what a great testimony through it all.

Thanks for the chance to win!
Erin in Missouri

Coolestmommy said...

Sounds like a fantastic western tale. I especially love that they are on the train from Omaha since I'm from NE.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

windycindy said...

What an interesting interview!
His book sounds fabulous...
Many thanks!

Melissa M. said...

I'd like to read this! Westerns are fun.

Wendy said...

I love Stephen's books. Thanks for offering it. I am praying for his recovering.
Wendy in Buffalo, MN

Anne Payne said...

I haven't read any of Stephen's books but just checked out The Senator's Other Daughter from the library yesterday. Thank you for the opportunity to win one of his books!

Anne, rural NC

apple blossom said...

love to win this book thanks

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Bakersdozen said...

I have just started "The Outlaw's Twin Sister" by Stephen Bly and would love to read this book also. I live in S. California. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Hi, enter me for this book, sounds great...

Mona G./Ohio

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen,
Can you give me more info on the book you wrote on the country duo?....I love country music and love reading about all the country stars...If you don't mind posting it on here or I can give you my personal email and you can send it to me there.....just let me know on here.....Thanks

Mona G/Ohio

Mark said...

Sounds like a great read. I'd like to enter, thanks. Ohio here

Pam K. said...

I didn't think I would like western romances until I read several books by Stephen Bly and Mary Connealy. I enjoy the generous dash of humor in his books.
I'd love to win "Throw the Devil off the Train."

Stephen Bly said...

I sure enjoyed reading each of your comments. Thanks so much for the notes. I am writing this from a hospital bed. May be here a while. But I have my laptop with me, so should be able to get some writing done too.
Blessings to you all
On the trail,

Unknown said...

Well, I've read almost all of Steve and Janet's books. Steve is a master of characterization and dialogue, as he showed us at our writer's conference here in Republic, WA. Keep that ol' laptop tapping, Stephen. We are all praying for you, and we are lifting up your family, too. Rusty from WA

Rick said...

Florida native, here. Sounds like a great book, just like the rest of Mr. Bly's books! Lifting you up in prayers, sir

Anonymous said...

I love westerns--especially with romance and adventure! The book title alone---is very catchy! Am a midwesterner--who would rather live out west!

beemama said...

I love the concept of the trail ride. You just can't beat a western with a little romance thrown in.
As to your health, Stephen, you will be in my prayers.
Brooksville, MS

Anonymous said...

Would love to win this book. Please enter my name for this contest...


Angela C./Ohio

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to win this book. Sounds like a book I could get into.


Anonymous said...

Would love to read this book, put me in for the drawing.Thanks,

Shirley T. /Illinois

Jenny McLeod Carlisle said...

I love Stephen Bly's books. He makes the West come alive, and seem real, instead of just some stereo-typed movie set. Even his minor characters are rich and entertaining. I'd love to win this book!

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

Nancye from Kentucky
nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Anonymous said...

Oh the thrill of excitement knowing Stephen Bly has a new book out. I completely get caught up in the book and forget I am not in the wild west. They are mini vacations.
I am sorry you are in the hospital again but am praying you are feeling better and getting stronger everyday. Thanks for a chance to win your book!

Vannie said...

Sounds like another great book. And I really enjoyed reading the interview and finding out more about Mr. Bly.


Margie Mijares said...

Would love a chance to win!! Sounds like a great read!!! margie at mijares dot net