Welcome back, Helen. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
So Christian fiction is the only option for me. I don’t want to write anything that I would be uncomfortable having others read, and I want to write stories that have the potential of touching readers in a positive way. My stories aren’t meant to preach, but to provide wholesome entertainment for Christians and portray or demonstrate a biblical principal or lesson. And it’s fun!
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
That would have to be my wedding day, which was fifty years ago this week. (May 31)
James and I will celebrate our 50th Anniversary in November. How has being published changed your life?
In a nutshell, made it busier. I now have to juggle my attention between my current work in progress, edits, promotional articles, book signings, etc.
What are you reading right now?
My last Carol Award entry
What is your current work in progress?
A historical romance set in 1885
What would be your dream vacation?
My idea of a good trip is simply going to visit my kids or close friends and spending time with them. However, if I were to decide to become a globetrotter, I would probably visit
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I tend to stick close to my home turf, feeling more secure writing what I know.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Billy Graham. I admire the integrity of the man and the Christian work and influence he has consistently wielded over the years.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I am an amateur musician and ventriloquist. I still play the piano and sing for church, but the ventriloquism has been neglected since I retired and resumed writing seriously. I also play the trumpet.
What is your most difficult obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
The Internet. It distracts me. Pulls me off onto rabbit trails. Absorbs too much of my time. And I haven’t overcome it—yet. I’m working on it. Sometimes I take a notebook and go out on the back porch and sit in the glider to write. No PC=no Internet. If I need to brainstorm, I go for a walk.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Learn the craft. Read writing blogs and books. Enter contests for feedback. And make up your mind you’re in this business for the long haul. Don’t give up. Write. Write. Write.
Tell us about the featured book.
Ozark Reunion is set toward the end of the Great Depression, when the “alphabet” agencies were prominent—WPA, CCC, NYA, etc. The hero, embittered about the death of his teenage brother, is not a Christian, while the heroine is such a strong Christian that she has become a bit pious. When she tried to lead him to the Lord years earlier, they parted in anger.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Riley Blake tramped through the trees, a rifle cradled in one arm, the other hand clutching a stick from which two dead squirrels dangled, the stick driven through the tendons of their feet. No longer walking with hunter stealth, dead leaves rustled beneath his feet.
He emerged from the woods near the road and worked his way through the strands of a barbed wire fence. As he came upright and pulled his coat tighter against the cold November air, motion to the left drew his attention. The late afternoon sun highlighted a figure in a dress flying down the hill toward him on bicycle.
He recognized Jolene Delaney’s little sister, Irene. A pretty, black haired thing, she had been a familiar sight riding up and down this road from the time she could ride. She would be about fifteen now. But the way she was bent low and pedaling furiously signaled trouble.
Alarm skittered up his spine. Could something have happened to Jolene? Not that she mattered to him in any special way. Not any more. He hopped across the ditch and waited by the gravel road.
The girl braked and skidded to a stop a few feet past him, hopped off, and backed up. “Dad cut his leg with the axe. Bad,” she added, struggling to draw air into her lungs. She looked pale and scared. She must have beaten all her speed records on the mile ride from her house.
“Let’s get Mom. She’ll know what to do.”
He set out at a fast clip for the house a hundred yards further down the road. Irene pushed her bike alongside him. “When did it happen?” he asked, the squirrels flopping against his knee.
“Sometime …this afternoon,” she managed to say between gasps. “I came home from school and found him in the kitchen floor. He had dragged himself in there and wrapped a towel around his leg.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Web page: http://www.helenbrowngray.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.gray.9081
Thank you, Helen, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Ozark Reunion - Christianbook.com
Ozark Reunion (Heartsong Presents) - Amazon
Ozark Reunion (Heartsong Presents) - Kindle
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