Friday, November 5, 2010

Karen Witemeyer ~ Interview + Giveaway!

*You can earn up to 6 entries in this giveaway. Read below for details*

Today author Karen Witemeyer is telling us about her new book, Head in the Clouds (October 2010). She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Karen! Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a deacon's wife and an incurable romantic who believes this world needs more happily-ever-afters. So, in order to help meet that need, I combine my fascination for bygone eras with my passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels full of love and laughter. I'm also an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bake a mean apple cobbler. I live in Abilene, TX with my hunky, computer nerd husband and three children who are kind enough to put up with Mom's imaginary friends.

Tell us about your salvation experience.
I grew up in a Christian family, so my faith developed rather organically. I was baptized into Christ when I was ten years old, but it was six years later, when my father died unexpectedly, that my personal faith really solidified. There's something about going through trials that refines us for eternity in a way everyday living cannot.

Are you:

A spontaneous writer or a scheduled writer?
I guess I fall somewhere in between. I'm scheduled in that I have consistent writing goals, such as completing one polished chapter a week. However, I have to be flexible because I work full-time and am a mother to three school-age kids. Interruptions happen all the time, so I have to be able to turn the creativity off and on at a moment's notice.

Stubborn, or compliant?
It depends who you ask. LOL I am definitely a follow-the-rules kind of girl, so in that sense, I am very compliant. But if you ask my husband about my tendency to keep doing things the old, comfortable way when there are new, faster ways to get them done, he would definitely vote for stubborn.

Organized or completely chaotic?
I am definitely organized. Clutter stresses me out. I don't need everything spotless, but I have to have things tidy and organized. I know exactly where to find my research books, my web links are categorized for easy access, and all of my writing files are organized into folders and sub-folders and more sub-folders.

How do you handle disasters/BIG problems? Do you have a funny or interesting story showcasing how you handle them?
I tend to be very task-oriented. Give me a task, I work it till it's done, then move on to the next one. When things go wrong, however, emotions get thrown into the mix, and that can get rather messy. Not too long ago, I was working on a marketing questionnaire that my publisher asked me to complete. I had spent several hours crafting just the right answers only to have everything disappear from the computer when I accidentally closed the wrong window. Panic set in as I tried everything I could think of to get it back. Then desperation hit. I begged my computer savvy husband to work his magic, but there was nothing he could do. Then I became distraught. Tears pooled in my eyes followed by anger over the injustice of the situation. Four hours of work down the drain. Finally, I came to a point of acceptance, realizing I had no option but to recreate the entire document. This is where the task-orientation came back into play. I shoved aside the distracting emotions that threatened to draw me back into a pity party, and worked the problem. In an hour and a half the project was complete. And properly saved this time!

In your opinion, what is your best trait? What is your worst?
I would say that my best trait is my optimism. Hope, and joy, love and laughter – these are the things that give my life meaning and make everything else bearable. I make it a point to spend my energy cultivating these blessings and letting the more discouraging aspects of life go.

My worst trait? Ummm…I am a horrible mingler. Small talk strangles me. So if you see me at a writing conference or book event and I stare at you with a blank look, please take pity instead of taking offense. I'm probably inwardly scrambling for something intelligent to say and not coming up with much. Help from a friendly source is always appreciated.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
This may not be all that surprising since I write historical romance, but I adore old Hollywood musicals. Singing in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Sound of Music, The Harvey Girls, Summer Stock, My Fair Lady … I could go on and on. This summer I joined Netflix just so that I could introduce my 12 year old daughter to several of these classics. I've had so much fun revisiting these favorites, and she seems to like them, too. Hooray!

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in your books?
My books are similar in style to Deeanne Gist with a little Cathy Marie Hake and Tamera Alexander mixed in. I would rate the level of romance in my books as PG. There is physical attraction, romantic thoughts, and kissing in my stories but the romantic love always grows out of a friendship, mutual respect, and common value system between the characters to form a foundation for a love that is deep, lasting, and true.

What are you working on now or going to write next?
I'm currently working on the rewrites for my next novel called To Win Her Heart which is supposed to release early summer, 2011. It is set in Texas in the late 1880s and asks the question – what happens after the prodigal son returns? So many times, we focus on the wonderful homecoming the lost son received from his father, but have you ever asked what life was like for him after the celebration was over? How did he relate to his bitter older brother or the servants and townspeople who were only too aware of his past arrogance and wild living?

In my story, I play on those very questions. My hero is a man recently released from prison who has returned to his faith roots and rededicated his life to the Lord. The heroine is a woman who has been disappointed by men in the past and has little tolerance of those who don't meet her high standards. In an effort to make a clean start, Levi hides his past and Eden believes she has finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back her affections?

How can readers get in contact with you?
I love to hear from readers. You can find me online at www.karenwitemeyer.com. I have monthly contests, a free Bible study download based on the life of Rahab, and vignettes that give you a deeper look into the background of my characters for both Head in the Clouds and A Tailor-Made Bride.

You can also find me on Facebook or email me directly at karen@karenwitemeyer.com.

Book blurb:
When a recovering romantic goes to work for a handsome ranch owner, her heart’s not the only thing in danger.

Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.

When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.

When Isabella's uncle comes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
I chose Hugh Jackman for Gideon, because really – who didn’t love him in Kate & Leopold? His dimples aren't quite as pronounced as Gideon's but with his Aussie background, I bet he can manage an enchanting British accent.

For Adelaide, I selected Alyssa Milano. I needed someone petite to match Adelaide's stature, and I thought Alyssa could carry off the "girl next door" look that I always imagined for my heroine.

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter or an excerpt of this book?
You can read the prologue and first chapter on my website at:
http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/excerpt_head.html


~~~~~
*USA or Canadian residents only, please*

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of Head in the Clouds!

TO ENTER:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.

*Here are the ways to get entries:

(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

Read and leave a comment on one or more of my recent book reviews.
+2 Don't Look Back
+2 Head in the Clouds

**You can earn a total of 6 entries if you do all of the above entry options. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**

*The contest will run from today (November 5) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (November 11). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner either directly after choosing him/her or on Friday the 12th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.

44 comments:

debbie said...

I would like to win this book, it sounds like a good read.
I am a gfc follower +1
debbie
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Kathryn said...

I have read a few different interviews with Karen around the blogosphere, and am so looking forward to reading this book! I love a good "literary" heroine, and her first chapter hooked me.

Please enter me to win :)

ksmiley2@kent.edu

Kathryn said...

+1 I follow you via my Google Reader

ksmiley2[at]kent[dot]edu

Kathryn said...

+1 for a comment on your "Head in the Clouds" review

ksmiley2[at]kent[dot]edu

Amber S. said...

This is a great interview! Thank you, Carman, and hello and welcome to Karen! :D

I have heard such great things about this book (actually both of Karen's books!), and I hope to read one or both of them soon. :)

I just love all of your responses, Karen, and I feel like in some way we could be "kindred spirits." :) I enjoy cross-stitching, too (my grandma taught me, but it's been WAY too long since I've picked up my needle!), I love to be organized and would probably panic and throw a huge pity party if the same thing happened to me (regarding your questionnaire you were working on), and I LOVED Kate & Leopold! ;)

You seem like such a sweet person, and it's so nice to get to "meet" you!

I would LOVE a chance to win this book! Thank you!

~Amber

stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net

P.S. I am a follower. :) (+1)

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Please don't enter me I just had to stop by and ask Karen if we are sisters or something? LOL. I loved My Fair Lady and I'm such a romantic and Hugh Jackman in Kate and Leopold? FAVORITE!

I loved this book and can't wait for To Win Her Heart!

XOXO~ Renee

PriviesAndPrims said...

I'm a follower and a subscriber and would love to win this book! Sounds like a great story and a fun read!

Doreen
priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Renee Ann said...

I was so happy to receive the email update from your blog that you're having another giveaway. The only thing is, every time I enter and don't win, I end up with another book on my wish list or I just break down and buy it! LOL! Please include me in this giveaway--reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

+1 I am a follower/subscriber
+2 I left a comment on your review of Don't Look Back
+2 I left a comment on your review of Head in the Clouds

Thanks, Carman!

Maureen said...

I loved your interview...and I now have added this to my must read list!


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I am a follower and a subscriber.


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot] com

Maureen said...

I left a comment on Don't Look Back.


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I left a comment on Don't Look Back.


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I left a comment on Head In the Clouds.


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I left a comment on Head In the Clouds.


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

misskallie2000 said...

Loved your interview Karen and can't wait to read Head in the Clouds. I discovered Christian writers a few months ago and have enjoyed reading a number of books they have written and really enjoyed them all.
Thanks for stopping by to chat with us.

Pls enter me in the drawing.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Old follower via GFC and email subscriber

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Left comment on Don't Look Back review

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Left comment on Head in the Clouds review

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Thanks for all the great comments. I appreciate everyone stopping by today.

Karen Witemeyer said...

Amber - I think we are indeed kindred spirits. Cross-stitching, Kate & Leopold - we are definitely cut from the same cloth. My best friend in high school got me interested in cross-stitching and I even worked one summer in a needlework store. That was a great job! I didn't stitch much while I was in college, but I picked it back up after graduation. At Christmas time, you'll see evidence of it all over my house - stockings, Christmas tree skirt, ornaments, etc., etc. Now that I'm writing, I don't do it as much as I would like, but I always have a project going even if I only work on it once a month. I hope you pick your needle up again. I bet you'd like it.

Emma said...

Great interview.Head in the Clouds sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

+1 I am a subscriber
+2 I left a comment on your review of Don't Look Back
+2 I left a comment on your review of Head in the Clouds
augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.

Karen Witemeyer said...

Renee -

Great to see you here! It's hard to beat Audrey Hepburn, isn't it? I loved her in Sabrina, too. And Hugh Jackman - my favorite leading man. :-)

We are definitely sisters at heart.

Anne Payne said...

I love Karen's books! I always myself laughing out loud. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this one. I'm sure it will be great :)

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Anne Payne said...

I'm a follower of your blog!

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Anne Payne said...

I left a comment on your review of Head in the Clouds.

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Bluerose said...

I left a comment earlier, but blogger is always messing up my comments, so I'll leave it again.

I absolutely adored A Tailor-Made Bride, so I've really been looking forward to reading this one!
And since Karen named Hugh Jackman as the leading man, I mean, come on, I HAVE to read it now!! ;) My hubby knows Hugh is my #1 ON-screen man. :)

I'm a follower.

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

amber said...

This looks good!!!

Amber (afren07@gmail.com)

amber said...

I also follow your blog.

Amber (afren07@gmail.com)

Michelle said...

YAY! I am so happy to see another giveaway for this book! Thank you so much for the chance to win! I've read so many wonderful things about this book! I also loved your first book, Karen!

Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Michelle said...

+1 entry I am an email subscriber.

Thank you,
Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

By the way, Amber mentioned being "kindred spirits" with Karen, and I wanted to add that I LOVE old Hollywood musicals and cross stitching, too (though I haven't done it in years). I LOVE all the movies that you mentioned, Karen! I adore just about anything with Judy Garland, and don't even get me started on Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. ;-) Have you seen Take Me Out to the Ballgame? I LOVE that one!

Michelle said...

+2 I left a comment on Head in the Clouds.

Thank you!
Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Michelle said...

+2 entries for commenting on Don't Look Back.

Thank you!
Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

justpeachy36 said...

Please enter me in the giveaway.

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

I am a GFC follower and e-mail subscriber

jenmmcclure said...

I would love to read this book! It sounds like a great book. please enter me to win this.
Thanks
Jennifer

+1 entered
+1 follow

jenmmcclure(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I believe Hugh Jackman to be a VERY good looking older man... is that weird? Anyways, I would love to read this book, because I read the Tailor-Made Bride and enjoyed it thoroughly! WOW! I stayed up late reading it... felt the after effects, but ya know, it WAS worth it!
April
apeygirl at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I love it when you ask the authors who they would choose as actors for the lead roles of their books!
I would love to see more of Alyssa Milano!

Please enter me in this giveaway!
I feel privileged!
chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I am a follower and I subscribe to your blog by email.
chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

+2 I read the review for "Don't Look Back" and commented on it:)

Charlotte Kay said...

+2 I read the review for "Head in the Clouds" and commented on it:)

Jan Marie said...

I can easily envision Hugh Jackman as Gideon in this book - it is so much more fun to read when you have a mental image of the character in your head.

I am a follower of this blog. (+1)

I left a comment on your review of "Head in the Clouds." (+2)

I also read and left a comment on your review of "Don't Look Back." (+2)

janmarien[at]embarqmail[dot]com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Maybe we should start a Hugh Jackman fan club! :-) I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my admiration.

Michelle - I can't remember if I've seen Take Me Out To The Ballgame or not. If so, it was years ago. But yes, I adore Gene Kelly - he and Judy Garland in Summer Stock are one of my all time favorite pairings.

Michelle said...

Gene Kelly and Judy Garland are fantastic together in The Pirate and For Me and My Gal, too! LOVE them both!

HandyFamily said...

I can't wait to read this book! Please enter me.

Wendi

wowendi{at}gmail{dot}com

+1 I am a follower :)

HandyFamily said...

+2 I also left a comment on your review of 'Head in the Clouds'

Wendi

wowendi{at}gmail{dot}com