I just love featuring this author and friend on my blog. Welcome, Shar. Since you’re being published regularly, what new avenues will your future books take?
Since I am what you’d call a “seat-of-the-pants” writer, is it all right for me to answer with, ‘I have no idea!’? Sorry for starting on a facetious note, but I seem to live my life in a constant state of anticipation, a “What’s next, God?” mode. As for story ideas, they are forever swirling around in my head, begging to be set free on the computer screen. Will I ever run out of them? No time soon as far as I can tell.
What conferences will you be attending this year? Will you be a speaker at any of them? I will be attending the ACFW conference in
in September. St. Louis
Presently, I am not scheduled to speak at any writers’ events, but I am speaking at some upcoming community events as well as a women’s retreat.
If you were in charge of planning the panel discussion at a writing conference, what topic would the panel cover, and who would you ask to be on the panel, and why?
I think I’d love a discussion on “How to Breathe Life Into Your Characters.” My panel would consist of writers who I believe do an excellent job at writing stories with characters that engage. Here’s my list: Julie Lessman, Loree Lough, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Tracie Peterson, and, hmm, I’d love to invite
Lena Nelson Dooley! There are countless others, but these are the names that first jumped out at me.
That would be a fun and interesting panel. Thanks for including me. How important is it to you to be active in writing organizations?
I think it’s essential to every author to stay active in organizations. It is one way to stay current with writing trends. We all reach that point of needing a battery charge, too, and retreats and conferences provide a wonderful opportunity for growth.
Where in the community or your church do you volunteer?
As a vocalist, I’ve always been passionate about music, so I stay active in choir and worship teams. I love the privilege of leading people into a spirit of worship. Such an honor! My husband and I are also involved in small group Bible studies, and, of course, whenever I get the chance I love speaking at libraries and other community organizations about my writing journey.
Who are the five people who have made the most impact on your life, and how?
I don’t know if I can narrow it to five (grins), but I’ll try. First, Mom and Dad were such stable forces in my life, very in love with each other and the Lord and encouraging me from a very young age to give my heart to Jesus and then to love His Word. They taught me so much by mere example. Second, my wonderful, loving, understanding, and Godly husband, Cecil. Over the course of our 36 years together, I have fallen more in love than I ever thought possible! Third, my darling daughters for unwittingly “teaching” me the meaning of depthless love. Fourth, countless Sunday school teachers, pastors, and college professors. (Oh, my goodness, I’ve broken the rule and gone way over five! I think I’ll just stop there.)
If you could write the inscription on your tombstone, what would it be?
“She lived her life with abundant joy in the Lord!”
Tell us about the featured book.
Here is the back cover blurb for Livvie’s Song: Life is far from a breeze for Olivia Beckman, owner of Livvie's Kitchen, a favorite of locals in
. The widowed mother of two is struggling to make ends meet–no simple feat, especially when her cook turns in his resignation. Yet, she's determined to pull through on her own, just as she did when God failed to save her beloved Frank. Newly released from a ten–year prison sentence, Will Taylor is ready for a fresh start. With harmonica in hand–the only possession he values, aside from his Bible–he makes his way to Wabash, where a late–night meal at Livvie's Kitchen turns into a job opportunity when the outgoing cook learns about his restaurant experience. What he doesn't know is that the "restaurant" was a prison cafeteria. But Will became a new man behind bars, thanks to a Christian friend, and he credits God's providence with landing him a job he loves. Soon, he cooks and bakes his way into the stomachs of his customers–and the heart of his employer. Both are hesitant, though, still healing from past hurts. A recipe for love between them will require sharing secrets, braving dangers, and believing God for a bright future. Wabash, Indiana
Please share the first page with us.
Here you go:
Smoke rings rose and circled the heads of Charley Arnold and Roy Scott as they sat in Livvie’s Kitchen, each partaking of steaming coffee, roast beef and gravy, and conversation, every so often guffawing at one or the other’s blather, neither caring much who heard them since the place buzzed with midday talk. Folks liked coming to Livvie’s Kitchen to fill their stomachs, but getting their ears full could be just as satisfying. Behind the counter, utensils banged against metal, and pots and pans sizzled and boiled with steam and smoke. Joe Stewart, the cook, hollered, “Order’s up!” to which Olivia Beckman, the restaurant’s 31-year-old proprietress, slapped down two hamburger platters in front of Mr. and Mrs. Waters and delivered a hasty smile. With a twist of her body, her knee-length, cotton floral skirt flared. She mopped her brow and blew several strawberry blond strands of damp hair off her face then hustled to the counter. “You boys put out those disgusting nicotine sticks,” she scolded on the run. “How many times do I have to tell you I don’t allow smoking in my establishment? I don’t even have ashtrays.”
“Aw, Livvie, how you expect us to enjoy a proper cup of coffee without a cigarette? ‘Sides, ar’ saucers work fine for ashtrays,” Charlie whined to her back.
“Saucers are not ashtrays,” said old Mrs. Garner who sat in the booth behind the men, craning her long, skinny neck to train her owl eyes on them, her lips pinched in a tight frown. Mr. Garner had nothing to say, of course. He rarely did, just let her do the talking, as usual, and sipped wordlessly on his tomato soup.
Livvie snatched the order form from the counter and gave it a glance, lifted two more plates, one with macaroni and cheese and a roll and the other a chicken drumstick with mashed potatoes, then whirled back around, eyeing both men with firmness. “I expect you to follow my rules, boys”—she traipsed past them—“or go find yourselves another eatery where the smoke’s as thick as cow dung.”
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to share with your readers,email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lena. Here is my contact info:
What a pleasure, Sharlene. You'll have to come again.
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