Erin. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your
I love humor. My husband is the funniest guy I know, and I like to think I have a good sense of humor as well. So, it’s important that at least a couple of my main characters can highlight the ridiculous and deliver their lines in ways that hopefully make readers smile too.
In Dove Strong, my main character, Dove, is the opposite of me in most ways. She is super blunt when she speaks, she doesn’t care for others’ opinions—especially what they think of her—and she rarely apologizes. It was so refreshing writing from the perspective of someone so confident!
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I can’t think of anything truly “quirky” that I’ve ever done! How sad.
Here are two unique things about myself off the top of my head: 1) I raised guide dogs as a teenager, so I often embarrassed my young self by having to wrestle with a dog in public. Looking back, there were some hilarious moments...like lugging my 50-pound dog out of JCPennys in my arms when she started to pee. 2) I’m currently a lunch lady, which can be humbling as well as fun. Chicken-wich and tots anyone?
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Roughly six years ago, a mind-blowing story idea popped into my head while I shoveled snow. I decided to sit down and type it up. I finished shoveling. Then I did!
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I am addicted to reading, but I am also probably one of the world’s pickiest readers. I don’t read anything that plants disturbing images in my head. Because of that, I read and reread a wide range of young adult books—from anything written by good old Betsy Byars to The Hunger Games. Of the adult genre, I choose older books, such as ones written by Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, and Mary Stewart. My favorite Christian author of all time is Grace Livingston Hill. I do read some modern books too, but I’m pretty selective.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I quit working full time when our first daughter was born, and God has super blessed us. For the past eleven years, I’ve been able to stay home and work only a few hours a week, mostly from home. Jobs have included medical transcript work, a part-time church manager position, and my current job moonlighting as a lunch lady at my daughter’s elementary school.
This opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom and wife has allowed me to have a close and precious relationship with both my daughters, the youngest who is now eight, and with my husband. He and I work well together as a team, and because I’m able to get most the household tasks done during the day, we have time most evenings to take walks, laugh, and share what’s going on. We might not have the biggest house or go on fancy vacations, but it sure helps my sanity to spend daily time with my family and just talk.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I chose the Christian characters in Dove Strong to have nature-related names or Biblical names. Examples are Reed, Stone, and
Gilead. I named my non-Christian characters anything I
wanted, though some of their names sound pretty worldly to me. One of my
favorite characters is a spunky, nonbeliever little girl named Jezebel.
Biblically, her name is associated with not so great stuff, but names can fool
I have a self-proclaimed Jezebel in my book The 12 Gifts of Christmas that released in September. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Becoming a published author through Pelican Book Group is definitely up high on my list of accomplishments!
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
How funny! I just discussed this question with my eight-year-old last week. I’d choose to be a giant panda. I’m not a panda expert, but I believe that due to their size, they are not prey to predators. Whew! They also are strictly vegetarian; I don’t relish ripping up other animals as my main food source. Pandas seem to live peaceful lives in the bamboo forests. Plus, Kung Fu Panda is an awesome movie.
What is your favorite food?
If I lived as a hermit with no one to judge me, I’d probably eat nothing but homemade cookies and cake. And I’d wash the sweets down with a never-ending supply of Diet Pepsi.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest challenge in my Dove Strong journey came when my first publishing house closed its doors a month before my book’s release. I was so distraught, I felt sick. Then I spent quite a bit of time talking with God about the situation and put it in His hands. I came away totally at peace—no anger or frustration. I followed my husband’s good advice about submitting to a different publishing house...and ta-da!
Tell us about the featured book.
Here is the book’s official blurb: Dove Strong loves God. She loves standing chin up, fists clenched when facing Satan’s attacks. But there’s one thing she doesn’t love—other people. So when this spiritually-gifted, antisocial teenager is chosen to join other believers in a trek across Satan’s territory, rattlesnakes and evil-intentioned Heathen aren’t her biggest challenges. But failure isn’t an option. In a month, the Christian Councils will decide the Reclaim, a vote on whether there’ll be a war between Christ’s and Satan’s followers to take back
It is up to Dove, God’s messenger for peace, to reach her Council in time.
Because if she doesn’t, things could get bloody. America
Please give us the first page of the book.
I had two choices.
Either ignore my brother,
Or knock him out of the tree.
Then, the limb under my feet tried to buck me off.
“Quit it.” I snatched at an iffy branch near my ears while widening my stance.
How dumb of me not to have acted quicker. So what if a major reason I was about to risk my life trekking across the enemy’s territory was to save my brother’s? It would be kind of pointless if I killed
now. But at least he wouldn’t be here, twenty feet in the air, annoying me.
The shaking lessened some, but I still grappled with the branches next to me.
“So help me,
Gilead, I will
tell Grandpa if you break my neck. What’s more, breaking my neck won’t help my
survival rate for the trip. I’ll jump when it’s time, and it’s not time yet, so
As the shaking eased off, I squinted through the sunlit greenery at my brother. A foot taller than me, he perched on nearby limbs in the shade at the oak’s trunk with one foot still planted on my branch. His arm, one that could haul me over his shoulder without trying, gestured at a limb below us. It was the first step in a climb down into dead bushes and the water I’d soon land in.
Interesting! How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.erinlorence.com . They can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.
Erin, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me.
Readers, here are links to the book.Dove Strong - Paperback
Dove Strong - Kindle
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