Tuesday, February 8, 2011

with Connie Stevens

Welcome to the Book Loft, Connie!
What started you on your writing journey?

I wrote during my teen years just because I loved it. Over the next few decades, writing got interrupted by life, and it didn’t occur to me to use something I loved—writing—to help smooth over the rough places. When I finally picked it up again, it was purely as a hobby. At some point I’ve been unable to discern, the hobby quietly morphed into a passion. I began writing more seriously in 1994-95. In 1997, I attended a one-day seminar to learn more about what writing as a profession entailed, and from there I started attending writer’s conferences to soak in everything I could.
What distracts you from writing the easiest? 
I must admit I am easily distracted. I wish I could have music playing while I write, but I can’t concentrate. It doesn’t take much to yank my attention away…email, the cat jumping up on the desk, suddenly remembering something I forgot to write on the grocery list, the dryer buzzing… On the other hand, once I really get into researching something, I can forget what time it is.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
My first choice is always something historical. I love Tracie Peterson’s books because she is so meticulous about accurately researching the smallest historical detail. Kim Vogel Sawyer’s books whisk me away to another time and place because of the way she sets her stage and breathes life into her characters. So, I enjoy reading books that make me feel as though I am part of the script, stories that draw me so deeply into the time and setting that when my phone rings I’m startled by the sound and for a split second I think, “What’s that?”
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
  My heroine, Tessa Langford, was faced with a mountain of challenges during her time of grief. I drew from the well of my own grief and challenges to create Tessa. Her issues were different than mine, but all of us encounter obstacles in our lives, and nobody’s grief or difficulty is exactly like anyone else’s. Seeking strength and encouragement from God’s word is the best fuel for navigating the rough places we all face at one time or another.
If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Probably Southern Gospel. I like the down home, country feel that makes people get comfortable and settle in as they fellowship with each other with God in the midst.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?  
I may regret this, but I’m letting my husband answer this one (probably a dangerous thing to do!).
>>John here:  My wife collects teddy bears, and she names each one. She has something like 200+ bears all over the house and she can tell you each one’s name. When she buys a new bear (she calls it ADOPTING a new bear), if the sales clerk puts it in a bag, my wife gasps and yanks the plastic away from the bear’s head. At Christmas time, she puts little toboggan hats or Santa hats and sweaters and scarves on the bears. I once told her if she brought one more bear into the house I was going to leave. And she said, “I’m going to miss you, honey.”
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
You mean like washing windows or cleaning my husband’s man cave?
What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Hmm, several come to mind. I love those times when everyone brings something and all the food is spread out for everyone to help themselves. Those seem to be the times when we all relax and do a lot of laughing. One of the dishes I most often take to that kind of gathering is a casserole that I call John’s Favorite Hot Chicken Salad.
Connie Stevens Hot Chicken Salad

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
Over the past several years, God has taught me more about trusting Him in the hard times than I ever believed possible. On the other side of that trust is God’s mercy, so those spiritual themes go hand in hand, and are very close to my heart.
Share a  verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
“It is through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions (mercies) fail not. They are new every morning; great is His faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 

In 2005, our son was diagnosed with cancer. During those days and weeks of walking through the dark, through the unfamiliar, through the uncertainty, I became intimately aware of God’s mercy. I drank it and breathed it, I wore it like a cloak when God wrapped it around me, and I danced with it. For ten months, we took one five-minutes at a time. There were countless times the fear could have utterly consumed me, but because of God’s mercy and comfort, and because He had always been faithful in the past, I knew I could trust His promises.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My first book that came out in January, LEAVE ME NEVER, is book one of a three book series-- Home To Willow Creek. Book two, REVEALING FIRE, will be released in March, and book three, SCARS OF MERCY, will be released in July.

You can purchase Leave Me Never from Heartsong Presents.

Connie is giving away a copy of Leave Me Never. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Deb R. said...

Please enter me for a copy of this book.

Anonymous said...

Would love to win Connie's first book!!!!!! I just became her friend on Facebook and can't wait to read her novel!!!!!

Dianna Bupp

apple blossom said...

thanks for this post. I love the Love inspired books. please include me in the drawing thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Joanne Sher said...

Okay, Connie - I LOVE that you let your husband share your quirkiest thing. Makes me wonder (but not brave enough to ask LOL) what mine would say!

Please enter me :)

Marianne said...

Thanks for the chance to win! i found it interesting that Connie and i both enjoy the same things - collecting teddy bears (just any kind, for me as long as they're soft) gardening, browsing (any gift shops for me) and gardening! Please enter me in the contest. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

diana said...

I would love a chance to win this book! Thank you for the opportunity!


Charity U said...

Please enter me!

Maureen said...

Yummy recipe ...Thanks! Please include me!


Charity said...

I would love to be entered for this book. Sounds great!
And Connie, I am with you on the music:) I love Southern Gospel! A big fan.


Leanne said...

Oooookay, I see now. you can ignore my question on the last post. :)

I'd love to win this book!

leanniegehrke at hotmail dot com

lgm52 said...

This book sounds great..Please enter me.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great read!

Meredith said...

That recipe looks delicious! I'll have to try it!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

A Restful Place said...

This looks good!!

arestfulplace @ gmail . com

Charity U said...

Happy birthday, Jim!

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