*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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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?
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:
*USA or Canadian residents only, please*
Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of Head in the Clouds!
*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.