That all depends on the character. I hope there’s not much of me in the villains. Miranda, the homeschooling heroine of When Sparrows Fall, has a lot in common with me because I homeschooled my children too, but I also put some of my own habits and quirks into the character of Jack. I love Shakespeare, so I enjoyed creating this guy who goes around quoting lines from Hamlet but also appreciates Dr. Seuss.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Years ago, I went to Disney World with a girlfriend when we were both single. We slipped into an “employees only” area near the Jungle Boat ride, hid in the greenery, and waved at the boats as they went by. None of the guides noticed us, but some of the tourists waved back. I was too worried about getting caught to enjoy the escapade as much as my friend did.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I think I loved to write as soon as I learned to spell. When I was in third grade, the little local newspaper printed a short poem that I’d written. I can’t remember who submitted it—my mother or my teacher—but seeing my words in print sealed the deal. I knew I had to be a real writer someday.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Call me omnivorous. I have a thing for Brit-lit oldies (Dorothy L. Sayers, Josephine Tey, P.G. Wodehouse) and current grit-lit (Joshilyn Jackson, River
, and a few other southern authors). I just finished Ted Dekker’s tender-hearted thriller, The Bride Collector, and loved it. I also enjoy a variety of nonfiction and poetry. Jordan
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Oh, am I supposed to be sane?! I’m learning to roll with the punches and trust the Lord to get me through the tough spots. My life has been crazy lately, including a fractured humerus, months of physical therapy, a tornado, my elderly mom going into hospice care, and all the work that goes into launching a book. I’m very thankful for all the help I’ve received from friends, family, and the wonderful people at Multnomah Books.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I usually try different names until one of them clicks. Sometimes I browse a phone book or a baby-name book. For surnames and names of towns, I like to look on maps. Sometimes names just pop into my head and beg to be made into characters.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
With my husband, raising three wonderful children to adulthood.
I would probably be a cat. Cats love their solitude and like to think they’re independent, but they need friends too. I would be a coffee-loving cat. They do exist. I know one of them.
What is your favorite food?
At the moment, an avocado with a little salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar. I could happily eat avocados for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maybe even dessert.
Tell us a little about your journey to publication.
I’ve always enjoyed writing poetry and short fiction, and eventually I wrote newspaper columns, but fiction is my real love. The first novel I wrote was awful, though. It will never see publication. I promise. But I started learning the craft from writers’ groups, conferences, and books, and I began to get “good” rejection letters that said I showed promise even if I wasn’t ready for publication. Finally my agent matched up one of my novels with an editor who was perfect for it. She understood the story completely and knew how to make it better.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I have difficulty with plotting. I tend to start with characters and let them meander through their problems for a while, but that makes a weak story. The process of editing When Sparrows Fall taught me a lot about how to structure a novel, but I’ll probably always struggle with plot to some extent.
What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?
Get involved in a critique group before you try to sell your book. A good critique partner can save you a lot of grief. You might not agree with every critique, but you can still learn from each one. You can learn from how-to-write books too, but I think it’s even more important to read good literature and absorb it.
Tell us about the featured book.
A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life. When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling brand of “shepherding”. But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets only he knows, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she’ll be unable to protect her children.
College professor Jack Hanford is more than surprised when he gets a call from his estranged sister-in-law’s oldest son, Timothy, informing him that Miranda has taken a serious fall and he has been named legal guardian of her children while she recovers. Quickly charmed by Miranda’s children, Jack brings some much-needed life into the sheltered household. But his constant challenging of the family’s conservative lifestyle makes the recovering mother uneasy and defensive—despite Jack’s unnerving appeal.
As Jack tries to make sense of the mysterious Miranda and the secrets she holds so tightly, Mason’s pressure on her increases. With her emotions stirring and freedom calling, can Miranda find a way to unshackle her family without losing everything?
Please give us the first page of the book.
If running late showed a streak of rebellion, Miranda Hanford was already in trouble. Pulling her van to the side of the narrow road, she tallied the other vehicles lined up on the shoulder. She wasn’t the last to arrive at Mason’s emergency meeting. She could steal a moment with Jezebel.
She picked up her camera and climbed out. Working quickly in the cold, she framed the last sliver of sun, as red as a forest fire above the pine-stubbled peaks. In the foreground, a maple sapling curled its bare limbs around the sunset, unwilling to let go—like sweet, stubborn Martha at bedtime, refusing to believe the day was over.
Miranda clicked the shutter. Before the sun abandoned the
Blue Ridge to the night, she nailed five promising shots. She tucked the camera into its case and locked it in the van. An old lady who’d seen more of the world than her owner ever would, Jezebel deserved tender care.
Holding her cape closed, Miranda hurried up the long, steep driveway. Mason had called only the single women for this meeting. Six who hadn’t married yet and two widows.
How can the readers find you on the Internet?My website is www.megmoseley.com, and my blog is www.megmoseley.wordpress.com.
You can also find a longer excerpt from When Sparrows Fall at http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/2011/01/14/sneak-peek-when-sparrows-fall-by-meg-moseley/
Meg, thanks for dropping by.
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 if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.