Wednesday, September 05, 2012

STILL LIFE IN SHADOWS - Alice J Wisler - One Free Book

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I hope to write more novels and also to write another non-fiction book or two. Most of all, I want to be able to trust God for his provision in my life. I mean, for everything! I so want to live more by faith and not by my limited sight.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have four kids---three on earth and one in Heaven. The three here are Rachel, Ben and Liz. Daniel died at age four from cancer treatments in 1997. His short life has inspired me in my writing and speaking. I’m married to Carl. We’ve just started a business called Carved By Heart. We make engraved plaques and memorials from oak, pine and poplar. You can see some of our work here:

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Oh, yes. Sometimes it’s hard to read for pleasure because my editor hat is always on. On the other hand, when I read something that speaks to me, I know the author worked hard to get that portion of the book to sound just right and that good writing is tedious to accomplish.

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on many writing projects. One is another novel for River North that I’ve titled, Lessons in Blue, about adoption, grief and loss.

What outside interests do you have?
I’ve recently taking up leather crafting. I enjoy pounding tools into leather with my mallet and seeing the outcome. I also walk three miles each day. Walking and I get along so well, that I’ve incorporated it into my devotional (Getting Out of Bed in the Morning) that comes out in January. There are sections in my book that are especially for walkers as they commune with God on the trail.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
All five of my novels are set in North Carolina. I live in Durham, NC, and find writing about this state to work well.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I’d like to meet with Mary Lincoln. She lost two children to death and really lost herself, keeping her curtains closed and refusing to go out in public. If she’d allow me in, I’d like to have a cup of tea and ask her some questions, and more than that, I’d want to give her a hug.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I should have listened better in English Grammar class.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Patience. Patience as I wait upon God. I tell myself that God loves my kids and loved ones more than I do and has a plan for each of their lives.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Practice your craft each day.
Read what you like to write.
Accept criticism about your work; be willing to change your ideas in order to make your story shine.

Tell us about the featured book?
I call Still Life in Shadows an ex-Amish novel, because it follows the life of Gideon Miller who left his community due to an abusive father. About eighteen months ago, I watched a documentary on Amish youth who “escaped” the Old Order lifestyle to pursue “English” lives. As I watched, I took notes and from there read a lot online about what the Amish face when they choose to leave their homes. I was lucky enough to be interviewed in the Columbia Daily Tribune with my inspiration for my novel, ex-Amish, Mose Gingerich. My story is written from Gideon’s viewpoint as well as that of a thirteen-year-old autistic girl named Kiki. It’s a tale about wanting to belong and learning to forgive, especially yourself.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Kiki had to get out, get going, or she’d punch a hole in something. This two-bedroom house was as cramped as a coffin and nearlysmelled like one, as the aroma of fried food saturated the walls. Mari had told her to stay close, dinner was almost ready. But who wanted to wait around inside as her sister stir-fried green peppers, onions, and potatoes—again?

In her room, Kiki laced her neon green tennis shoes as quickly as her fingers could maneuver the frayed strings. She grabbed Yoneko, her cotton tabby-cat puppet, and scrambled to her feet. Too quickly. The blood all rushed from her head. She steadied herself against her closet door and waited for the sensation to pass. Slow down, slow down, for Pete’s sake. Then with tiny steps, she ventured into the hallway.

Her sister Mari—a lanky figure still wearing the tea shop’s frilly apron—stood in front of the stove. With her back to Kiki, she turned vegetables over with a spatula and hummed some song—probably from the last century. Mari liked those old romantic songs by the Beatles and
Bob Dylan because, as she put it, they had meaning for her heart.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please find me on the Internet!
Sign up for my newsletter:

Thank you, Alice, for sharing this book with us. 

Readers, I've read this one and not only is it unique, it is also well-written. You'll want to read it.

Here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Still Life in Shadows - paperback
Still Life in Shadows - Kindle

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.


Alice. J. Wisler said...

Thanks, Lena, for the interview! I enjoyed being at your site.

Patty said...

What an interesting premise. I've seen previews recently for some reality show covering youth who leave the Amish life. Would be very scary I think.

Patty in SC

Jackie Tessnair said...

I would love to win this book.I have been wanting to read it.Great interview.Thanks...Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Sparks of Ember said...

I attended a church a few years ago where the pastor's wife was raised Amish. Only from what I understand, her entire family left. This sounds like a fascinating story.

From the Black Hills of SD.

Sidney W. Frost said...

I'm more than halfway through the book and highly recommend it. It didn't sound or look like my usual choice for a novel, but turns out it is. Makes me think I need to try new things more. Excellent. I'll do a review after I've finished it.

monica said...

I love Amish stories!

Monica, Ontario

Sandra McLeod Humphrey said...

What a multi-faceted author and Alice's book is already on my "To-Read" list! Great interview, great author, and sounds like a great book!

Evlin said...

It would be a pleasure to win this book. My library doesn't have it. Thank you for the giveaway.

Kevlin in NY

Alice. J. Wisler said...

Thanks for all your comments here! said...

I've never read an Amish book, but I'm intrigued by yours, Alice.

Lena, I love your writing style. I have two of your books on Kindle.

Elaine in Warner Robins, Ga.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Elaine, you'll love Alice's book, too.

Which two books of mine do you have on your Kindle?

Teena Stewart said...

I've always wrestled with the Amish lifestyle. It seems many idealize it, glossy over the unhealthy parts. This book sounds admirably honest. I appreciate the bravery it took to write and and wish you the best of luck with this and future writing.

Mary Preston said...

STILL LIFE IN SHADOWS is a must read for me. A fascinating subject.

Mary P


Alice. J. Wisler said...

I hope you'll all enjoy meeting my characters---Kiki, Gideon and even Ormond! There are many Amish leaving their homes for better lives. I think we've idealized the Amish too much and several of my former Amish friends would agree.

Karen G. said...

Interesting interview. I would love to win and read this book. I have it on my wish list.

Karen from Troy, NY

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a very interesting story, thank you for hosting the giveaway.

Wendy from FL

Unknown said...

Heard some good reviews for this book. It does sounds like a good read. Please enter my name. Thank you.

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

Janet Kerr said...

Your cover catches my does the storyline. I would like to read this one.
Please enter me in your draw.

Jan from Canada

Shopgirl said...

I love the twist on the usual Amish novel! I live in MN.

Dana Wilkerson Spille said...

I would love to read this book it looks very very interesting .I love to read Amish books .Last week I watched Amish Grace and started to cry at the end was very moving and 2 weeks before that on a Sunday I watch the show Amish Out Of Order with Mose Gingerich almost all day day . Thank you so much .Blessings ,Dana Wilkerson Spille

Glenda Parker Fiction Writer said...

Great interview, the story sounds intriguing and I always love to hear where authors get their ideas. Would love to win a book. I love the books I have read of yours. God bless you both.

Glenda Parker

Diana Gardner said...

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

Kristie said...

I LOVE Amish fiction so this would be a great book to win. I have watched those TV shows too and wonder about the ex-Amish stories. I had a girl come to my library to check out some Amish fiction because her boyfriend was ex-Amish. That was interesting. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Jo said...

I would love to read this book as finding that I am enjoying Amish fiction more and more.

Jo from Southern Arizona