Monday, June 7, 2010

Giveaway and Author Interview: The Stones

Eleanor Gustafson has been writing for several decades, the burning desire to put words on paper never leaving her. After raising her children from diapers and conquering the publishing world with a non-fiction essay, Eleanor decided to tackle a novel. She published three novels, one through self-publishing. Eleanor recent novel was recently released and is the epic story of King David in the Bible. I am pleased to present an interview I had with Eleanor recently and she graciously agreed to give away a copy of her latest book, The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David.

Welcome, Eleanor, and thank you for spending this time with us, here on Writing for Christ!


1: How long did you write before you were published?



I started making up stories shortly after graduating from diapers to potty but didn’t actually write anything until much later. My early writing efforts met with feeble enthusiasm from both my mother and an author in our church. They basically told me, “Stick to music.” I had a lot to learn. I kept working at it, and my first article was accepted for publication in 1978.



2: When you held your first book in your hands, what was your first thought?



The six free copies from Zondervan handed to me felt really good, but it didn’t hold a candle to the earlier phone call telling me they were going to publish the book. Joy, indeed, but I hadn’t yet experienced the devastating editing process. That’s when I discovered I STILL had lots to learn! But learn I did, rewriting the entire book while figuring out how to operate our first computer. Now, with four books in hand, I know what that first copy really represents: a lot of tough marketing work.



3: What do you find the hardest part about writing?



The initial writing and shaping of the story is hard for me. Editing is far easier, though I’m slow—or a perfectionist—don’t know which. A conservative estimate is at least fifty rewrites.



4: How do you coordinate time between writing and other responsibilities?



Oh, I don’t. Life is totally out of control. I am list- and need-driven: i.e., hunger regularly moves me to consider food prep. Not easy when you include growing some of it, harvesting edible weeds, cooking from scratch, and committing to healthy, nutritious eating. Dandelion greens, anyone? The church-involvement list is long, email interactions even longer, caring about people through all media, and on and on. That I get anything published is remarkable. Just yesterday I sent off my book proposal for novel #5—probably five or more years in the making.



5: What are you working on now?



Now that #5 is out of my hands, I need to focus on the next one. I have something that’s half formed—partly in my mind, partly on paper. Will I live long enough to get it out there? Only God knows, but while the passion is in me, I write.



6: Where can readers find out more about your books?



My website is http://www.eleanorgustafson.com/  Along with some fun things, you’ll find Amazon links for The Stones. Amazon still lists used copies of my earlier books. A warning: Middle Night, my only self-published book, is dark, edgy, and difficult to get into. Few people have really liked it, but it is a powerful story of redemption and grace—with no religious language at all. My experience with that book did teach me many good lessons. I just checked the Amazon site, and they list a new copy for $61.25. LOL!!! Don’t buy it at that price! Read the two reviews instead. You can get the other two for as little as one penny—plus S&H, of course. Do buy The Stones, though. You’ll like that.



7: What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?



The David story yanked me around a lot. He was complex: a shepherd, musician, warrior, king, ladies’ man, lover of God, sinner. Out of this context of blood, lust, and fully engaged worship flows the on-going story of God’s redemption, culminating in Jesus’ blood sacrifice for sinners like you and me. A holy, sovereign God offers love and grace. I want readers to see and feel the implications of that love.



8: Why did you choose this profession?



I chose music as a “profession,” but I think writing chose me. Classical music, especially, moves my soul, and with that as a backdrop on my life, the writing juices have flowed freely.



Thank you for being with us today. Any final words for readers?



Don’t read just for entertainment. Read books that will expand your mind and help you grow spiritually. Consider this brief excerpt from my upcoming novel, Dynamo:



“Maybelle,” Jeth said, “Rob told me that most Christians don’t sense God’s presence in their lives or understand his language. You understand what God is saying, don’t you?”

To Jeth’s surprise, Maybelle’s face clouded. She closed her eyes, then looked at him through deep pain. “Jeth, dear, I wish I could say you are wrong, that most Christians do have a lively conversation with our Lord. Instead, I see people who are starved and emaciated, seated at a full-spread banquet table and just nibbling…nibbling at crumbs. The food is there, but they will not eat. They’re not hungry, you see. You are hungry, my dear, and that is why God has singled you out for extraordinary things.”

May you be blessed in your reading and writing.


Okay readers here is your chance to check out Eleanor's book!
PLEASE LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS! If I draw your name and there is no email, YOU WILL NOT WIN!
For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

And a NEW one:
~Follow my friend Cathy's blog HERE

Also, PLEASE NOTE if you become a NEW follower of Cathy's blog, PLEASE let me know, if you want to know why click HERE.


Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on June 19th.

49 comments:

  1. I really want to read this one. David's story is comforting in showing God's love for all of us and that he can redeem us even through the messes we have created for ourselves.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a great book! Please enter me!

    I am a NEW follower of your friend's blog.

    I follow your blog.

    God bless!

    ~Katie G.

    katiegalyean (@) yahoo (.) com

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  3. I love to read stories based on the Bible and the Christians followers and characters from the Bible.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter

    I follow your blog via GFC

    I am email subscriber

    Old follower of Cathy's blog

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Please include me in this giveaway

    I follow

    I'm subscribed

    I follow Cathy's blog


    readingatthebeach(@)gmail(.)com

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  5. Ellie here with gratitude in my heart for Casey's interview with me. And all you readers out there--if you do read The Stones, I'd love to hear from you, even if you didn't like it. That's egus@me.com

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Please enter me; I would enjoy reading this book. Thanks!

    naburcaw@gmail.com

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  8. I am a follower.
    naburcaw@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I subscribe via bloglines.
    naburcaw@gmail.com

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  10. Great interview! I'd not heard of this book; thanks to both of you for sharing this with us.
    Blessings,
    Karen
    klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  11. Great interview. I would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance. ybutler@oppcatv.com

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  12. I subscribe by e-mail. ybutler@oppcatv.com

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  13. I follow on Google Friend Connect. ybutler@oppcatv,com

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  14. I already am a follower on Kathy's blog. Thanks for the extra entries. ybutler@oppcatv.com

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  15. Hmmm.... I'm not sure what happened but I left a comment here several hours ago and it hasn't shown yet so I guess I'll try again.

    First of all, I wanted to say that I really enjoyed the interview with Eleanor Gustafson. She and I seem to have much in common since I also have a classical music background, although she is MUCH more advanced along the writing path than I am or probably ever will be. :)

    I have always had conflicting feelings regarding David's life and his role in fulfilling God's work and promises. I would love to read The Stones and see how Eleanor portrays him! Please enter me to win.

    I am already both a subscriber and a follower of this blog and of Cathy's blog also.

    janmarien[at]embarqmail[dot]com

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  16. I love to read stories based on the Bible. Would love to read Stones. plhouston@bellsouth.net

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  17. I love stories based on the bible.

    Count me in.

    I am already a follower.

    estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  18. I am a subscriber too

    estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  19. And I am a follower of Kathy's blog.

    estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  20. Love to read this!
    shawnawilliams (at) allegiance (dot) tv

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  21. Wow, 'Stones' looks great. I love it that she did the non-fiction and then tried her hand at fiction..by the looks of the book and the description..it was a good move for her. Can't wait to read it.

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

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  22. I follow you on GFC

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I subscribe to your blog via email.

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I also follow Elanore on GFC.

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Looks interesting. Please enter me.
    gijanechosen(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  26. thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous book :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  27. email subscriber :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  28. I would love to read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  29. Please enter my name.

    Thanks so much,
    Ann Lee Miller
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oooh, the excerpt of the next one sounds great...but I know I'd enjoy The Stones!

    We posted about your giveaway at Winning Readings.

    inspiredbyfiction[at]gmail[dot]com

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  31. I found your review to be intriguing and one that I think I would take pleasure in reading.

    Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway.

    steven(dot)capell(at)gmail(dot)com

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  32. The Stones is on my wish list. Would love an opportunity to win this. Please include me: bnredeemed/at/gmail/dot/com

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  33. The Stones about King David, a book I am very interested in.
    I am a follower, subscriber, old follower of Cathy's blog, just as I am of yours. Both blogs are awesome.

    rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  34. This sounds good; I'm looking for books that do encourage and teach me good spiritual/Biblical lessons.

    hismercysurrounding(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Please enter me in this giveaway.

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am a follower.

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I am a follower of Cathy's blog.

    (Oh, and Carman sent me!)

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Amy
    artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

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  39. Sounds interesting! I too am trying to complete a novel so I love to hear the stories from others!

    natashasiegrist at hotmail dot com

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  40. I have always enjoyed biblical fiction and The Stones has been on my wish list for a long time. I enjoyed the interview with Eleanor and appreciate the chance to win a copy.

    I follow your blog, Casey.

    I also subscribe.

    And I subscribe to Cathy's blog.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  41. This sounds like an amazing book. Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I would love to read this!

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Extra entries:

    I follow WforC!

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Extra entries:

    I subscribe to WforC!

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Extra entries:

    I follow Word Vessel!

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Please enter me!
    I am a follower and subscriber.

    krhmoseslake(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  47. This looks like something I would really enjoy reading. Please enter me in the drawing!
    victoriaaford@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thanks for the chance!
    six_one_nine_girlie86 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'm a new follower
    six_one_nine_girlie86 (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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