Welcome back, Cheryl and Mel. Tell us about your salvation experience.
My experience started out a lot like many of my friends’—raised in church, came to Christ as a child of six. But in my teens, I began to question everything in my life. I acted out. I never stopped believing in Christ, but I began to think He didn’t care about my behavior. At one point, I ran far away from home and was homeless for six weeks on the streets of a large and frightening city in Illinois. As a farm girl from the country, I learned a valuable lesson from that time in my life—home is a very good place to be. And Christ is my home.
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
I have held a few writing retreats and had a blast at every one of them. In one retreat, I met Jill Eileen Smith before she was published. That taught me that unpublished writers have a lot to teach me. In another retreat, I had three writing friends who are also editors—Lissa Halls Johnson, Miralee Ferrell (who is also a publisher), and Nancy Toback. I love engaging with writers who are also editors. I have learned so much from these wonderful women, and we are still good friends years later.
Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I did speak when we lived in Missouri, and it wasn’t hard to travel. I loved to teach about writing, or when I spoke in libraries I would talk about my writing and give away copies of books by fellow writers, hopefully introducing readers to new-to-them novelists. We now live in the wilds of Wyoming, where the pronghorn, deer, coyotes, wild horses, moose, and mountain lions outnumber people by a large margin. I’ve always been an avid hiker and explorer, and Mel has learned to love it as well. The move has cut off my speaking engagements, and I have to keep in touch with others via the internet.
The internet has been a very valuable tool for authors. I have writing friends spread across the world, including Mozambique and Australia. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you, and how did you handle it?
The most embarrassing thing happened to Mel soon after we married and began writing our first medical thriller together. His first writing conference was at Mount Hermon, where a lot of writers with well-known careers attend each year. We were at lunch soon after the conference began. I was ahead of him in line, and so I found a table where I saw a familiar face. That face just happened to belong to Francine Rivers. We were having a conversation by the time Mel arrived with his tray and sat beside me. He looked at her nametag, his eyes bugged out, he tapped me on the shoulder, and said, “Sweetheart, do you know who she IS?” And then he looked at Francine and said, “Do you KNOW who you ARE?” That has become one of our favorite inside jokes.
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
Yes, that’s happened to me a lot. I know that most people will never actually write their story, but some have, especially those who need to tell about hardships they’ve lived. I’ve seen their manuscripts, but when I put them in touch with editors or encourage them to complete their work, I think they realize that all they needed to do was get their thoughts down on paper. Many people need to write things down because it’s a helpful therapy for them. I always encourage people to write their stories.
Tell us about the featured book.
Sable Chamberlin and Paul Murphy are running for their lives on a bus during a Missouri ice storm. Because the other passengers in that bus would plunge to their deaths if they are allowed to continue along the treacherous road, Sable is forced to invite the passengers to take shelter in her sprawling family home. But the killer begins to stalk them before they even reach the house, and does not give up.
Please give us the first page of the book.
The jarring bleep of the cell phone jerked Sable Chamberlin’s eyes open to a dark room that had dropped at least ten degrees since she’d nodded off. Had to turn up the heat and change that ring tone. Not only did she hate the harsh sound but the ring often summoned her to the Boswell Community Hospital for an emergency. Being on call sixty hours a week had gotten old. She wasn’t on call this evening, however, she was in mourning.
She pulled the phone out of her pocket and answered, casting a glance through her kitchen window at the lightning over the company town of Freemont, Oklahoma. It seemed so much later than six o’clock.
“Sable, that you?” The voice of her elderly friend, Noah Erwin, held comfort.
“How’d the funeral go?”
She closed her eyes, tears still too close. Her grandfather, Josiah Kessinger, had been the only reason for her move here to Freemont from the Missouri Ozarks.
“Funerals are always hard but at least in Missouri no one’s setting him up with false accusations.”
Good hook. How can readers find you on the Internet?
The best way to find our novels is our website, www.hannahalexander.com
Thank you so much for inviting me here, Lena! I love the innovative questions you present. You are always such a giving and caring encourager!
Thank you for sharing Hidden Motives with my blog readers.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.Hidden Motive: (formerly The Crystal Cavern) (The Healing Touch Book 4)
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