Monday, December 27, 2010

Giveaway and Author Interview: Ozark Weddings

Today I am hosting Anita Higman and the interview has been shared with her co-author, Janice Thompson. Read to the end to find out how to have the chance to win one of two books!!

Your Barbour Heartsong 3-in-1 collection is entitled, Ozark Weddings. Tell us a little bit about the three stories.


Anita: All three stories are set in Arkansas—Eureka Springs, Little Rock, and Hot Springs. Larkspur Dreams and Castles in the Air are romantic comedy, while the middle story, The Love Song, is more dramatic in tone.

Janice: Larkspur Dreams is a lighthearted, whimsical tale that will appeal to inspirational romance readers, particularly those with artistic leanings. The Love Song reaches into the depths of the reader’s soul, dealing with the topic of overcoming past hurts. Castles in the Air provides a humorous look at the way we are perceived by others, and teaches us that our prejudices (comical as they might be) often keep us from the very thing God has planned for us.



Anita, you and Janice co-authored the three stories in Ozark Weddings. How do writers go about co-authoring?



Anita: There are a number of ways to co-author a novel. One writer might do the research and the other writer may actually write the story. Or co-authors may each choose a character and write from that character’s POV. In the three novels, I guess you could say I wrote the body and wings of the stories, and Janice helped to make them fly. She has a gift for critiquing.

Janice: Working with Anita is a breeze because she conceives and fully plots the stories then lets me add my thoughts/tidbits to give them flavor. She is so quirky and fun to work with, and I am very proud of the stories we have co-produced.

Were there times when it was hard to work together?

Anita: Janice is not only talented, but easy to work with. There were a few times in one of the novels that I found myself writing in a way that strayed from the general concept of a Heartsong romance. Janice made some good suggestions, which steered me in the right direction.

Janice: I can honestly say that I’ve never worked with anyone who was so willing to accept critique and/or take suggestions as Anita. She is a precious friend and collaborative partner. I already knew she was talented (even before we began this project) but had no idea how gracious she would be. Since I’ve written for the Heartsong line for years, I was able to “teach her the ropes” (as it were) and she was a ready learner! That’s not to say she hasn’t taught me a thing or two. I’ve learned much from her throughout this process, particularly as it applies to romantic tension. She’s far better at that than I am, and I’m happy to admit it.



Why did you choose to be a writer?

Anita: Ever since I was a little girl, I had this need to express myself in some sort of artistic medium. I’ve tried a number of things: piano, painting, decorating, and acting. But I’ve never been very good at any these endeavors, except writing. I guess really then—writing chose me.

Janice: Like Anita, I’ve always been artistic. As a youngster, I sang, danced and played the piano. I was also very involved in theater as a young person. I’ve been writing since childhood. I wrote my first novella in 6th grade, then went on to write musical comedies for the stage before turning to books in the mid-90’s. Like Anita, I can truly say that I didn’t choose writing; it chose me. Or, perhaps I should say that God chose it for me, as a gift.



When did you have your first success as a writer?

Anita: After several years of writing, I had some gradual success—books for children, books of one-act plays, and nonfiction for women. These successes were enough to keep me going toward my ultimate goal, which was to write novels.

Janice: This may sound a bit silly, but my first real writing “success” happened my senior year in high school, when I was chosen to help write the senior production. I had a blast, and the scene I crafted (a 1930’s/Busby Berkeley-esque “The Show Must Go On” scene) was a huge success. I can’t tell you what fun I had, or how great it felt for people to respond as they did.



Do you have any special methods of getting into the writing zone, such as favorite scents, music, or certain foods?



Anita: In the past I used to go to a French cafĂ©, order coffee and scrambled eggs, and then write a rough chapter. The noise, music, and bustle always energized me creatively. But now I’m more of a homebody, so I sit for long hours in my office, working on my stories.

Janice: An "ideal" writing situation for me would involve someplace like Starbucks (or otherwise) with a cup of my favorite hot beverage in my hand (to be discussed below). Ironically, when I'm at home, I can't stand having music going. I find it terribly distracting... something about the "beat" drives me nutty. Having the television on is okay, but it's often muted. Crazy, I know. I'm a fanatic about my Diet Dr. Pepper and several flavors of hot tea. I particularly love Earl Grey and Chai Latte, among others. And I'm nuts about hot chocolate in the wintertime. I'm also crazy about my puppies. I have two red mini-dachshunds named Sasha and Copper. They usually settle in next to me on the sofa, Sasha on my right, Copper on my left. When we're all in place (with a cup of tea or a Diet Dr. Pepper on the end table, depending on the season) I'm ready to begin. Of course, I usually have to weed through several emails (clearing a path) before I can actually start writing. Whew! Sounds like quite a process, doesn't it?! It's a wonder I get anything done at all!



What is your best advice for aspiring writers?



Anita: If you feel called to write, don’t let people discourage you. I’m sure they don’t realize the impact of their words, but negative remarks can undermine our courage and joy. Comments similar to: “Maybe you weren’t really meant to be published.” Or, “Are you making any money at this yet?” Perhaps you’ve heard, “Why can’t you write like my favorite author?” Honestly, I could go on and on here. Writing is a great and honorable profession—one that can challenge, inspire, and change people’s lives. If you love words and love arranging them into stories, then don’t let the battering influence of dispiriting comments shatter your dream. Keep pressing on!



Janice: I often say this to young/new writers: Learn the craft, but don’t necessarily write what the publishers/agents/houses tell you to write. Trends change. Stick with the stories God places on your heart and if He intends them to be published, He will find the right publishing house in the right time.



What are your writing plans for the future?

Anita: I’d love to just keep doing what I’m doing. But I think I’d also enjoy writing novels for the young adult market.

Janice: I’m open to whatever God wants (and I really mean that). If He shifts me in a new direction (women’s fiction, for example) I’m following His lead! If He asks me to lay the writing down for a season in order to accomplish a different task, I’m open to that, too.



We’d love for you to visit our websites at http://www.anitahigman.com/  and http://www.janiceathompson.com/ . If you’re interested in our Heartsong collection, Ozark Weddings, it can be purchased in bookstores or ordered online at http://www.amazon.com/

Okay readers here is your chance to check out Anita and Janice's new book! TWO copies will be given away!!

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 group blog, The Writer's Alley 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 January 8th, 2011.

64 comments:

  1. Sounds like a cup of Joe and a table at a cafe is a favorite spot for writers.
    I am a email subscriber and a google follower and a email and google follower of The Writer's Alley.
    Thanks Casey
    Rebecca
    rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am also an email subscriber and google follower of Operation Encourage An Author.
    rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a follower.
    umdmaurer(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. This book sounds very interesting. I have read a few of Janice's books and have loved them. They are such a fun read. I haven't read anything by Anita yet and am looking forward to it.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a follower

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm a subscriber

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for featuring our book, Ozark Weddings! Janice and I really appreciate it.

    Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

    Blessings,
    Anita Higman
    www.anitahigman.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am an email subscriber and follower. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Sounds really good. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great combination of writers! I would love to win a copy of this book. I am a subscriber and a follower (of both blogs). Thank you.
    carlyberd[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Would love a chance to win this book thanks.
    Love weddings

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  11. gfc follower
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  12. email subscriber
    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  13. writers alley gfc follower

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm a follower and a subscriber!

    FYI, your photos aren't showing up for me on this post.

    blessings,
    Doreen
    priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. This book set, Ozark stories from Arkansas sound wonderful. Want to win one but also want to buy them for my cousin who lives near Little Rock, Ark. Juanita W
    whisper97304@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. This book sounds wonderful, and the beautiful cover draws me in.

    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I follow you on GFC

    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am an email subscriber


    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I subscribe to the Writer's Alley


    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great interview/s! :) Thanks so much for doing this!

    I am a follower.
    Blessings,
    Karen
    klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I would love to be included in the drawing for this book!
    Great interview!

    I'm a subscriber and a follower through GFC

    dancealert at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. thanks for the chance to read this fabulous book...

    i'm a follower
    i'm an email subscriber, too

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'd love to win this book!

    leanniegehrke(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm an e-mail subscriber.

    leanniegehrke(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm a follower.

    leanniegehrke(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I also follow your group blog.

    leanniegehrke(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time. Thank you for the opportunity to try to win it.


    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am a Google Friend Connect follower of this blog.


    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I enjoy my e-mail Subscription to this blog.


    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I enjoy my e-mail Subscription to this blog.


    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I enjoy my e-mail Subscription to this blog.


    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am a Google Friend Connect Follower of The Writer's Alley.


    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Please enter me.
    I follow this blog.
    I follow your group blog.

    Thanks!
    ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Great interview. Anita and Janice are both great authors so this has to be a great book. Please include me in the drawing. Thanks

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am a follower

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Email subscriber

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Followinw group blog, The Writer's Alley

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Please enter me. Thanks for the chance.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am a follower.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  40. Looks like some fun clean and inspirational reads.
    tressa(dot)sherman(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. GFC follower.
    tressa(dot)sherman(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Email subscriber.
    tressa(dot)sherman(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sounds like a great collection of stories!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am a follower.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I am an email subscriber.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I follow The Writer's Alley.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  47. Weddings, I may be 68 but still love to ready about weddings. ybutler@oppcatv.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Follow on Google Friend Connect ybutler@oppcatv.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I subscribe by e-mail ybutler@oppcatv.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Wow great giveaway! I hope I win! ;-)

    I'm a follower on this blog and The Writers Alley. :-)
    Thanks!

    Kait
    momiswayweird(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I love reading books that have more than one story in it.

    amyholbrook2003 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  53. Wow, what a great response...so many entries! Thank you for your kind words and for your interest in Ozark Weddings. It is truly appreciated!

    Blessings,
    Anita Higman
    www.anitahigman.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Sounds so interesting...would love to win!
    lgm52@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. email subscriber
    lgm52@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. First, Carman sent me.

    Would love to learn about Ozark weddings, as I'm from MN.

    I'm a follower by GFC.

    I subscribe my email

    I just signed up to follow The Writer's Alley by GFC.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thanks for the great giveaway. I live in Little Rock so I am really interested in reading this :)

    mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am following Writing for Christ~~The Audience of One with GFC.
    Username: missreneer :)

    mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks for this giveaway!
    Blessings,
    Charlotte
    chakasa58 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  60. Please enter me! :)

    Emily.kreger2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  61. I'm following!

    Emily.kreger2@gmail.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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