Sunday, February 13, 2011

with Naomi Musch

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Naomi!
What started you on your writing journey?

I've been writing since 4th grade. I can still remember some of the stories I gave to my teacher. The poor woman was so gracious! Through high school I focused on journalism and received a couple of prestigious state-wide awards and scholarships. But my love has always been fiction. Learning to craft it has been a long, honing process. God is continually refining and humbling me. I think of this time as being enrolled in God's college for whatever my work will be in heaven some day.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
I'm most distracted by the day-to-day things, a messy house, chores, meals to make. I also have five kids. They're mostly grown, but sometimes I think their issues and circumstances as young adults are more distracting than those from when they were little. Toss into the mix a passion for homeschooling. That's a good distraction. We have one still to graduate. She's a junior.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I absolutely love historical fiction, especially if it's kind of gritty. I really love Laura Frantz's work, and Bodie Thoene's historicals have been known to make me cry. Angela Hunt and Francine Rivers have both written some historicals that really excite me, too. I like stories that are layered, with many characters, and several plot threads running through them.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
I have an attachment to almost all the characters, but I have to say that a larger-than-life secondary character named Joe became really fun to write. He breathed personality from the moment he stepped onto the page. It's funny when characters spring to life and start insinuating themselves like that -- when you don't expect it. But I also loved writing Manason, the hero/protagonist. He had foibles that made him real. And though I've been told that a lot of writers don't like writing their antagonist, I found it very intriguing to characterize mine because he's a very complicated guy. Colette, my heroine was very difficult. I had to rewrite her because, at first, it seemed that stuff kept happening to her, when in fact, I needed to show that her decisions and impulses drove her own circumstances.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Swing (at least today :))

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
What really comes to my mind is the time I volunteered to write and perform a one-person mime skit for a father/son banquet. Yeah, I mimed a dad staying at home alone with his baby the first time in front of a room full of men. The silence was SO intimidating, and I looked SO ridiculous. But in the end, the guys cracked up, and it was really fun.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
House projects, like painting. Blech! I also tend to hang onto things forever (clothes, mementos). I really avoid sorting and cleaning out closets.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Since I write historical fiction, or "earthy" stories, I guess I'll go with a good beef or venison stew. (Goose works good too.) My boys, especially, love this recipe.
1-2 pounds of stew meat, cut up. (Beef, Venison, Goose)
4-5 potatoes, peeled, cut into large chunks,
4-5 large carrots, dice in 1 inch chunks
1 large can of tomato soup, and ½ can of water.
1 pkg. of onion soup mix
Any other seasonings that sound good to you. I throw in some parsley, maybe a little sage or marjoram or thyme. But just plain old salt (or seasoning salt) & pepper are fine, too.
Put it all in a baking dish or roaster and cover. Cook it at about 300 degrees for a couple of hours. This is also a TERRIFIC dish in the crock pot. Cook it for 8 or 9 hours, or overnight. YUM!

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Life isn't easy. Answers to our spiritual problems aren't easily solved. I don't like writing about simple solutions. We often hear that God doesn't take away our problems, but he helps us through them. That's what I like to show -- characters, who, whether because of circumstances or their own sin, find themselves in deep dilemmas, and have to trust God through them, rather than just escaping them.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
Psalm 40 is important to me, because it tells where I was headed and how God redirected me. It's a psalm of testimony. I think, in a way, it tells about the kind of people in my stories too. The first 2 verses say, "I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD."

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
The Green Veil just released in January. Book 2, The Red Fury will be available in October 15, 2011, and book 3, The Black Rose, summer of 2012. The Red Fury picks up the Empire in Pine saga 20 years after The Green Veil, when Colette's daughter Elaina strikes off on her own to escape a string of heartaches. Believing herself a shrew, breaking society's rules, and living life on the edge, she strikes up a camaraderie with a pair of brothers who are civil war veterans fighting their own levels of "soldier's heart" (post traumatic stress). Then the most devastating fire in American history strikes the young state of Wisconsin. Millions of acres are destroyed, thousands of lives taken. Which brother will overcome his own torment to break through the walls around her heart? And will the threesome escape Peshtigo's red fury, and what of the fury in their hearts?

You can purchase The Green Veil from Amazon.

Naomi is giving away a copy of The Green Veil. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


lgm52 said...

Loved the interview. This sounds like an interesting book!

Joanne Sher said...

This sounds great. PLEASE enter me :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great read!

Maureen said...

I enjoyed this interview, and I love the peacefulness of your cover.


cjajsmommy said...

Thank you for the author interview -- very informative. She sounds like she would be a fun neighbor to have.

diana said...

I am really excited about this series AND the stew! Please enter me for the first book in the series!

Joy Tamsin David said...

It was great getting to know Naomi better. I'd love to win a copy of her book.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Joy GLee G@aol. com

Elaine Cooper said...

Still hooked and would LOVE to win a copy of "The Green Veil!"

Charity U said...

Sounds terrific! Please enter me!

Meredith said...

Great interview! The stew sounds delicious!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Naomi Musch said...

It's been lovely to hear everyone's comments. I wish you could all win! If you're interested again, there's a game going on over at the Desert Breeze Publishing Group -- It's a scavenger hunt on the DP site for the names of the heroes and heroines in books. More free books for the winners! Have a lovely Valentine's Day!

Trinity Rose said...

Would love to win this book. I was born and raised in WI and love that state.
Have a super day.
Trinity Rose
wandaelaine at gmail dot com

diana said...

I have written this whole series down on my wishlist. I hope I win the first one...The Green Veil! Thanks for the opportunity!

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Katy said...

Please enter me!

~ Katy

Charity U said...

Happy birthday, Jim!

diana said...

Carman sent me and Happy Birthday, Jim!

diana said...

I sent title to Jim's new book to your email, Patty!

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