Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TWANG - Julie L Cannon - One Free Book

Julie L. Cannon is the author of the award-winning Homegrown series, published by Simon & Schuster and described as ‘Southern-fried soul food.’ Her novel I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Summerside Press, Sept. ‘10, made the CBA Bestseller List as well as Nielsen’s Top 50 Inspirational Titles. Abingdon Press will release Twang  in August 2012, and Scarlett Says in October 2013. When she isn’t busy tending her tomato patch, Julie can be found listening to country music or teaching memoir-writing workshops. She lives in Watkinsville, Georgia. Visit her website at and connect with her on Facebook at and on Twitter at JulieLCannon. 

Welcome, Julie. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
When I was a junior in college, I had my first ‘encounter’ with the supernatural. It happened when the bicycle I was on collided with a car. After a lengthy and miraculous recovery, a diagnosis of brain injury, I started asking a lot of questions. It was a brand new, earth-shaking experience that blew the door wide open to my soul. I’ve often heard people say it was their suffering that drew them closer to God. That in the depths of despair they discovered God was all they needed. That is true for me, and now I’m out to share this through my books. My intention is to illustrate how God can redeem the seemingly unredeemable. My characters find grace, even beauty in the ugliest memories and events.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Hmmmm. How can I answer this? Every day I get out of bed, feeling well and content is happy. But, if you want specific days, I’ll say it’s the day I married, each of the days I gave birth to my three children, that afternoon when I won a short story contest that led to the unexpected sale of my first novel, and every time since that I hear I’ve got a new book deal and can continue to do this thing I love. 

How has being published changed your life?
It validates my passion, my obsession. Another good thing is that at first I was a very reluctant public speaker. Now I’m paid to give keynote speeches and teach writing workshops. Having to learn to hawk my books taught me to rely on God’s wisdom and strength to overcome fears.

What are you reading right now?
Just finished Mia Farrow’s memoir, What Falls Away, and I’m in the middle of Save Me From Myself a memoir by Brian ‘Head’ Welch, former lead guitarist of Korn. Farrow’s book tore my heart out, and Welch writes about the depths of his depravity, and then the amazing life he’s found in Christ.

What is your current work in progress?
I’m on the final scene of Scarlett Says, coming out October 2013 from Abingdon Press. It’s about how words - what we speak, hear and read - have a life of their own and affect us for good and bad.

What would be your dream vacation?
It’s a toss up between staying a month in either Hawaii or Paris.  

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I know the South, and my settings for all seven published novels have been Georgia and Tennessee. I’ve lived in both states. 

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My agent, Sandra Bishop. We met over the internet, have had many conversations by phone, but I live in Georgia and she lives in Oregon and I’ve yet to sit down and drink a cup of coffee with her and talk eye-to-eye about books and life. 

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love listening to country music, painting with acrylics and watercolors, and going to junk/thrift stores. 

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
It’s the public speaking thing. The marketing of my books. I rely on PRAyer and PRActice to see me through each new novel’s release. I ask God for help, and I do my part; I write out my book talks, the workshops I teach, and then I stand in front of the mirror and practice.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write constantly, read constantly, study books and websites on the craft of writing, listen to critiques and heed advice, submit often, and never, ever give up.

Tell us about the featured book.
Twang shows how art (in this case song-writing) can be cathartic. It shows how to trust God with your ugly memories. It’s about finding grace, even beauty in the ugliest memories and events.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Those first days in Nashville were happy. Happier than any I could recall. It was no accident I had Mac’s cousin pull his sputtering Vega to the curb on the corner of Music Circle East and Division Street. The Best Western was in walking distance of Music Row.

All my belongings were stuffed into two huggable paper sacks, and when I marched down that strip of red carpeting into a marble-floored lobby with a chandelier, I knew it was a palace compared to that drafty cabin in Blue Ridge with peeling wallpaper and warped floorboards. Room 316 had pretty gold and maroon carpet; gold curtains at a window with an air conditioning unit beneath it; two queen beds; two glossy wood tables—one in the corner with a lamp, an ice bucket and a coffee maker, and the other between the beds with a phone, a clock, and a remote for the television. There was even a little bitty refrigerator, a microwave, an ironing board and an iron.

What else could a person need?

More curious about having my own indoor bathroom than a television, I tiptoed in there first. Nothing had prepared me for what met my eyes. Clean white tiles on the floor, a marbled sink, a blow-dryer, a stack of sweet

Way to leave us hanging, Julie. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Julie, for spending this time with us today.

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 4 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.


Amy C said...

That sounds amazing! Great interview! Thanks.
Amy Campbell
southwest VA

Brooke @ i blog 4 books said...

Twang sounds like a great book! Loved this interview ... Lena, you always ask such great questions! Julie, it's great to get to know a little more about you. :)

Brooke (Southeast USA)

Patty said...

Sounds interesting, thanks for introducing us to Julie!

Patty in SC

Julie L. Cannon said...

Thanks Amy and Brooke and Patty! I, too, appreciate so much what Lena's doing for the inspirational fiction market.

She makes me think, hard, about my unexamined self!

Hope y'all like "Twang"

Thanks for your comments,

Truly, Julie

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the interview, Lena. You do have great questions. Thank you for introducing Julie to me, and for the great giveaway!

Marianne from Northern Alberta


Clark G Vanderpool said...

Insightful interview. Living in West Tennessee, I especially appreciate Julie's perspective. It's great to have authors who write fiction with a realistic Christ-centered world view. I have sons living in Nashville. I look forward to "Twang". Thanks!

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

Mary Preston said...

TWANG does look very interesting. I enjoyed the interview thank you.

Mary P


Julie L. Cannon said...

Thanks Y'all! I had a lot of fun writing Twang, and wish I could send each of you a copy, but then my husband would be furious at me and I'd probably have to develop more 'other income streams.' Guess it's good I married a business-type person.

Debbie Hearne said...

Looking forward to reading Twang! Love Julie Cannon, I think of her everytime I eat a tomato sandwich('Mater Biscuit)!
Debbie from Catawba, NC

Maggie Carr said...

sounds like a great read- i'd love to win!
maggie in northern indiana

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Twang sounds great! Public speaking is also one of my weak areas, but I am working to change that. :) Please drop my name in the hat. Thanks for the giveaway!

Anna W. from GA

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Julie L. Cannon said...

Hey Debbie - I like what Lewis Grizzard calls tomato sandwiches - 'Over-the-sink-sandwich'
Anna - I still engage in much PRAyer and PRActice every time a new book is out and I have to go and hawk my wares. Believe me, if I can do it, you can too!
Blessings to all you writers and readers and tomato sandwich eaters!

Jackie Tessnair said...

Sounds great.Please enter me.Thanks..Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Dee-Dee's Nana/Illinois said...

This sounds like a wonderful book, would love to win. Thanks Dee-Dee's Nana

rubynreba said...

I'd enjoy reading this.
Beth from Iowa

Julie L. Cannon said...

Went to hear Alison Krauss Friday night, and learned she made her first recording at age 14. One of the songs in her encore was about how Jesus draws her closer through the hard times and it was like hearing "Twang" in a song form!

Jo said...

Great interview! This sounds so interesting and would love to read it. Thanks for the opportunity!

Jo from Southern Arizona

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win

live in ND

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