Welcome, Stacey. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The spiritual battles my characters face are often very similar to struggles I’ve had in the past or are representative of the tough theology questions that I am working through. I often think “what if” and I put my characters in those situations and make them apply right theology to their circumstances. It can get messy – but life is messy.
My debut novel showed more of me than any other book. I was writing what I knew.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Like many families with multiple children, we’ve had seasons that were financially very tight. During one such stretch, I painted our two area rugs to give them new life. They were old, very stained, and almost completely flat like indoor / outdoor rugs. I thought, why not? We got another full year out of them and the paint held up well!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I attended a writers’ conference and felt very much like an imposter until one presenter spoke directly to that feeling. He said something along these lines: “A paycheck, traditional contract, or published book is not what makes you a writer.” Writing is what makes you a writer. After I left that conference, I started owning the title with confidence.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy crime novels as long as it is not gory. I enjoy suspense as long as it is not dark. I enjoy romance as long as it is clean. Those boundary lines keep me mostly in the inspirational aisle of the library. I also enjoy Christian non-fiction that is deep and challenging, but easy to understand. I’m not an academic reader, but I want more than fluff in my non-fiction.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
The most important thing I do every day is meet with the Lord. When I seek Him first, I find that no matter what the day brings, I am able to cope in a healthier way. I try to model a healthy well-balanced life-style to our kids. They see me in the Word, they see me prioritize exercise and healthy meals. I pray they will also see the rewards of these choices.
I under-schedule my life to leave room for the unexpected. I am very careful to not over commit. I give myself lots of time to complete my tasks. We homeschool and we are a ministry family, so I’m learning to be flexible.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I use an online random name generator and keep trying until I find something I like. One time after I input all the character’s background information, it suggested the perfect name – but the name (first and last name) was my brother-in-law. What are the odds of that?
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of our family accomplishment of making the decision to homeschool our kids. I never thought I would be able to do this; I never thought I would ever consider doing this, but we are and we love it. It is a group effort, and we all benefit from the way this frees up our schedule. This decision has relieved some of the “run, run, run” pressure in question 5 J We had a good public school experience, but found with ministry demands, we were not getting enough time with our kids when they were in school all day and we were busy on the weekend with church commitments. This has been a wonderful lifestyle change for our family.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I didn’t know how to answer this question so I asked my kids. Here is what they said:
Nick says: I would be a cat because cats are cuddly. (Nick’s the youngest. Can you tell?)
Jon says: I would be a bunny because I’m nice and bunnies are great mothers. (Awe, isn’t he the sweetest??)
Kate says: I would be a monkey because I am social, or a parrot because I talk a lot. (This is funny because our Kate is such a talker I sometimes tell her that my ears are tired!)
What is your favorite food?
I love a good hamburger, but I also love pasta. That’s a tough question. I love food!
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock was fear. What if I never published a book? Or worse, what if I did and nobody read it? Even worse still, what if they read it and they didn’t like it? It took me a long time to remove myself from the equation. A critique of my writing or story wasn’t necessarily a personal attack. I began to promote the message of the book rather than promote me and that changed me. I realized that fear of man is just pride wrapped up in a humble looking package, but fear of man is still sinful. At the end of the day, if I put something out there that glorifies the Lord, then I’ve hit my mark. Nothing else matters.
Tell us about the featured book.
It was murder. She was sure. And that assurance could cost her life.
Undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Rick Chandler poses as a detective in the small town of Chenaniah River. He is investigating the possibility of a corrupt police force when Jessie returns to bury her brother, and she refuses to believe evidence that point to her deceased brother's involvement in drug trafficking. Soon, the same person that murdered her brother targets her. Can Rick help Jessie dodge bullets, escape fires, and exonerate her brother before the attacks escalate?
Jessie Berns has returned to her hometown to find answers about her brother’s suspicious death. With the help of an old friend, Detective Rick Chandler, they pursue a truth that someone is willing to do anything to keep hidden—even kill again. They uncover decades-old secrets that expose hidden sins and threaten the lifestyles of high-powered people in their small town. As they close in on the devious mastermind manipulating the community, it becomes frighteningly clear to Rick that Jessie is not the one calling the shots in her amateur investigation. She is the killer’s new target.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Jessica Berns eased open the front door of her old family home, now her brother’s house. It creaked on its hinges like it did when she was young, shooting memories through her mind that she’d rather forget. Her chest tightened as she set down her suitcase. She wiped her damp hands on her denim pants and stamped the snow from her boots.
“Hello?” She flicked the light switch in the entryway with no luck. She toggled it up and down, and an eeriness tightened the back of her neck. What were the odds that the college-aged kids stirring up trouble outside hadn’t ventured inside?
She slipped down the hall, trailing a finger along the faded wallpaper her mother had chosen the year before she had died in childbirth. The paper looked every day of its twenty-eight years. Jessie tried the kitchen light switch. Still nothing. The kids outside must have turned everything off at the breaker box. She rummaged through a kitchen drawer for a flashlight and hip-checked it shut when she couldn’t find one.
The sensation that something wasn't right increased as she made her way toward the electrical panel in her brother’s home office.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Blogs and Quarterly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cZgDb9
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Stacey-Weeks/e/B01ED0LW5Y
Thank you, Stacey, for sharing this book with us. I’m eager to read it, and I know my readers are, too.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: