Monday, March 12, 2012

Talented friends...GIVE-AWAY!

I'm always in awe of how God uses people.  How he puts a desire in their heart and then some people actually follow through and do something with it.  I like to think that I'm on the path to doing something...to following through.  It may be slow...baby steps;)  I got brave and started the blog;)  A few years ago I finally started my Etsy store.  I eventually got around to doing a show.  But going a little further and getting that book published or creating something and figuring out how to have it made...that's so amazing.

 
Two of my friends have done just that.  My first "talented friend" is Courtney Walsh.  She writes the blog Telling Stories...which is appropriately titled, because this girl can spin a tale.  She recently got a novel printed.  CAN YOU IMAGINE?!  I knew her before, and can I just say I'm busting at the seams to think of her writing this book.  I just finished it.  SO GOOD!  It's just weaved with goodness all throughout.  It was weird reading a book from someone I knew.  I tried really hard to detach myself, so I could be objective...and I did.  I was able to forget that my Courtney was behind the characters.  I thought it would be fun to get inside her creative process.  Here's a little interview...

 



How did you come up with the story line?
We were gifted a weekend in a cottage by some friends of ours, and they told us the story of this little cottage community where the homes were passed down through the generations--some homes had been in the family since the early 1900's! I found that so fascinating...the history those homes had seen, and I knew that in that community, people mainly came for the summers...when we were there, I just started imagining what that looked like for the people in that community. I started picturing a group of women who grew up there, but only saw each other during the summer...and I thought a scrapbook was the perfect way for them to stay in touch...
 

Did you draw from personal experience to develop the characters? I did in a lot of ways, yes. There are elements of me and my story in many of the characters, and I found myself drawing on my personal experiences to shape the character's lives. But then, there are a lot of ways that these women don't resemble me at all too. ha.


Did you take classes or major in writing? I majored in journalism and theatre...and while you'd think the journalism degree helps me most in writing, the truth is, I think it was my time in the theatre that's helped me most. When you're an actor, you have to learn how to develop a character, to bring someone who only exists on the page to life...and I think there's a lot of the same techniques that go into writing a character. Also, dialogue is my favorite thing to write, and I think that's because I started by writing for the stage.


Do you ever get writer's block?
I do...sometimes when I get stuck I meander around the story until something hits me...and then I'm off again. Other times, I have to shut the laptop and walk away. It's funny, I could be cleaning the bathroom when a new idea strikes and I'm back to writing! :)


What inspires you to write? 
Usually it's the characters...I have this innate need to tell their stories...to explore them, to find out what happens next. I also want to write in hopes that maybe someone else will benefit from it...storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to change lives...to allow people to have an experience. There's just nothing like it.




When, how, where do you write?
I used to do almost all my writing at Barnes and Noble. We lived in Illinois, and my mom came up once a week to hang out with my kids so I could do that...but then we moved to Colorado and everything shifted. Now, I have a work from home job, so I pretty much only write on the weekends. Under headphones, listening to Pandora...


Lots of people have ideas for books...how do you get published? You do a lot of research! There are tons of websites out there with great writing advice. For me, the key was going to a writer's conference and learning everything I could absorb. I read a lot of books and blogs about the topic, wrote a book (not the one that's published!) and the wrote a proposal. The next step is to find an agent and then do a lot of praying. It's a hurry up and wait kind of thing, and it's a TON of work...but it's worth it in the long run!


Are you going on tour?
The most I've done is travel home to Illinois for my first signing and a launch party...then I've done some live events here in Colorado, but that's it! With the ease of the Internet, many writers rely on that nowadays!




What's next for you??
I have two more books releasing this year in the Sweethaven series, so that's what I'm focusing on right now. My final deadline for the third book, A Sweethaven Christmas, is this weekend, so that's my main writing focus right now! But then there's always the science fair projects and swim lessons to contend with! :)


Where can we get the book? It's at amazon in paperback and on the Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Sweethaven-Summer-Courtney-Walsh/dp/0824945190/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330629533&sr=1-1


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Another friend of mine Suzanne had an awesome product idea.  You know all the little cards that are thrown into your wallet that you can never find??  She came up with a GENIUS way of keeping them organized.  Oh how I love organization!


I LOVE my Cardkeyper!  Now when I'm at the grocery store or standing in line at Sweet Frog...I don't have to hunt for 10 minutes, in my bottomless pit of a purse, to look for that punch card.  It's all in one spot and it doesn't take up my entire wallet. 

 

Both of these gals are giving their goodies away today:)
  I'll pick two winners!!  Each will receive a signed copy of  Courtney's Sweethaven book and Suzanne's Cardkeyper

To win leave me a comment about what dreams you have seen become reality in your life. 
I'll announce the winner Friday.






***Oh and I'm posting at Beautifully Rooted today.  Don't forget to head over there and check it out.  It's about Making it Yours.




Have a blessed day.


494.  sunday afternoon naps
495.  longer lightfilled days
496.  spring blossoms...white and fluffy
497.  the freckles that sprinkle my girls faces
498.  a 22 year dating anniversary with my honey;)


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