Tuesday, September 20, 2011

with Shellie Neumeier and Lisa Lickel

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Shellie and Lisa!
People talk about life before children—what was your life before writing?

Shellie: Life before writing involved tax code and IRS newsletters unless it was the “off-tax season,” then it involved dangerous power tools and poorly constructed HGTV knock-off projects. My husband begged me at the close of one tax season to find some activity that didn’t involve his drill and power screw driver (he was afraid I’d screw through my thumb—again). What I didn’t realize was how addictive and enjoyable writing could be. And so much safer!

Is there a story behind this book?
Lisa: I saw the call for more four-in-one stories from Barbour and that sparked an idea for a generational tale. I had recently met Shellie through ACFW contacts and I had a little nudge to ask her if she’d consider writing something with me. I had tried only once to write with someone else and the experience, while a good one, didn’t work out as well as we’d hoped. Shellie and I live in rural communities, so we drew from our experiences. When Barbour didn’t accept our submission, we turned around and immediately sold it elsewhere.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Shellie: Recently I loved reading Roxanne Henke’s, After Anne. I laughed and cried till my family thought I’d lost it. Couldn’t put that one down—such a beautiful story of reticent friendship and a relationship with God that is second to none.

Lisa: I love to read a little of the genre I write, but mostly the type of stuff I don’t write, like espionage and thrillers. I’m very “in to” Steven James right now, and all set to review his next book in his Patrick Bowers series that’s titled from chess pieces. We’re up to the Queen now, so I suppose there’s only one more. ): I just bought Jill Williamson’s third in her debut fantasy series, From Darkness Won and will take the next weekend off to read it, so don’t call me. I love all of Deb Baker’s cozy series as well.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Lisa: Good grief…let me go look and see what I have in my dusty tiny little collection. Tossing aside hubby’s country stuff, looks like a lot of pop from the 70s. Okay, don’t hate me, but Neil Diamond and the Eagles have it. There’s Steven Curtis Chapman in there too and Phillip, Dean and Craig.

I agree, Lisa, the Eagles are pretty good. If you were a dessert, what would you be?
Shellie: Anything cheesecake is my favorite. Of course, since I don’t cook my favorite recipe comes from the kitchens of Olive Garden. Their Black Tie Cheesecake is worth a late night trip to the restaurant on any weekend night!

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Lisa: Nice, marinated venison steak on the grill with lots of fresh veggies just picked from the garden, homemade bread and fruit for dessert.

My marinade is minced onion and garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, fresh ground pepper and chives, turn over meal several hours before grilling. I prefer raw or steamed vegetables and will make homemade puddings in the winter with thawed raspberries or strawberries. Betty Crocker has my fav puddings. The breadmaker machine is also my friend. We tend to treat those loaves like snacks, though.

If you were to find a purple polka-dotted monster in your kitchen one morning, how would you respond?
Shellie: Hmm, a purple polka-dotted monster, eh? I’d shift it to the side and call the nearest child to get their critter off my counter top. If that didn’t work, I’d offer to keep it and considering the menagerie of pets we’ve had, it would fit right in—as long as my girls didn’t take care of it. They haven’t cleaned their fish tank in a year! Then again, if I threatened our purple friend with their care, it may run of its own accord—I know I would.

What is your strangest habit?
Lisa: My husband says “washing the dishes before I go away on a trip,” but…but then I’d come home to moldy stuff. If I have to pick only one, it would be a slightly OCD complex of making sure all the cupboards and drawers are firmly closed before I go to bed. Not sure if I fear something getting in…or out.

Tell us about one of your favorite memories or moments in your life.
Shellie: One of my favorite memories is a recent one. My kiddos and I went to the beach and for some ordained reason; none of their friends could join us. It was just our family—and the rest of the strangers at the beach, but for now we’ll pretend it was just us. My eighteen-year-old daughter carried my ten-year-old daughter like a baby doll as they traipsed through the deeper section and my son hunted them both like a starved shark. They giggled and shrieked as I watched from the sand and I wondered if this would be one of the last times they would play like this. Rachael is off to college soon and the others would wander in their own directions. But for now, I had them in one place, laughing and enjoying the moment. I wanted to freeze the day (sometimes pictures just aren’t enough, you know?), but all too soon a storm rolled in and sent us packing. I’m so glad we had that moment.

What's one of your dreaded things to do? Do you put things off if you dread them?
Shellie: Oooh. Easy question. I hate cooking. While my husband, our resident gourmet chef, is away my kids are treated to frozen dinners and breakfast-for-dinner. The whole cooking thing makes me grateful God put my husband and me together. My kids would be malnourished without him.

Lisa: If I dread something, I try to get to it pronto, then reward myself with reading time. I put things off because I usually am more effective when I can do like things together, so if time allows, I save stuff up, then make a run at it. Then I read something.

What is the Lord teaching you, or recently taught you?
Shellie: As our family prepares to move to a new state, transition two children out of our home, all while trying to sell one home and buy another, I’m struck by how important it is to remind myself of God’s promises. To recall and re-study those precious Bible verses that show His caretaker-type traits, the ones I really need to hear about while I’m left without the ability to control many of the events occurring around me. I’m also reminded how grateful I am that I love a God who cares for me and my family. I don’t know how folks live this crazy life without that reassurance.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
Lisa: My theme verse is Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” The verse reminds me that I have responsibilities too – I should hold on, and I should profess, because of the great gift I have been given.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Shellie: In February 2012, my mid-grade chapter book, The Wishing Ring, is due to be released. The Wishing Ring was written in conjunction with my youngest two children so it’s a wild adventure through a mythical world on the back of a creature that’s part greyhound, part polar bear, and part eagle. If the Creator’s Wishing Ring isn’t found in time, a country may be destroyed, a family left broken, and a Princess ostracized.

Lisa: Nice! Thanks for asking. Although A Summer in Oakville is coming soon, I signed a contract to have my former Barbour cozy mystery series resurrected, which I’m very excited about. It’s been three years since The Gold Standard came out, so those who have been waiting to see what Judy and Hart and Carranza’s son, Pancho Villa, are up to next can find out when The Map Quilt comes out next April. It’s possible that The Gold Standard will be reissued as well, so if you missed it, you have another chance to read it then in electronic form.

You can purchase A Summer in Oakville from Amazon.

Shellie and Lisa are giving away a copy of A Summer in Oakville. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


marybelle said...

Thank you for sharing. I was touched by your beach story. Moments like that are incredibly precious.


wfnren said...

Thank you for the interview and hosting the giveaway.


Tracy Smith said...

Another great interview!!I really enjoy them. Thank you for hosting this giveawaay.

countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

Anonymous said...

Great interview!
I'd really like to read this book.


Amanda Stephan said...

I've heard of this book! whether I win it or not, I WILL read this one ~ thanks for the opportunity, Barn Door!

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This book looks amazing. I would love to read this. Thanks again.


apple blossom said...

love to be entered thanks
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lisa Lickel said...

Glad to meet all of you--thanks for dropping in. And Amanda is a great writer, too! Always fun to learn more tidbits abot each other; Patty asks intriguing questions.

cjajsmommy said...

Thank you for the opportunity to win this book.

lgm52 said...

Interesting interview. I'd love to read this book

ann said...

Enjoyed reading your review and the book sounds like my kind of reading material to .

amhengst at verizon dot net

karenk said...

thanks, ladies, for the chance to read this wonderful story.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Joanne Sher said...

Enter enter ENTER me!!! :D

Joanne Sher said...

Enter enter ENTER me!!! :D

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jo said...

I really want to read this book. Please enter me.


Amy said...

Please enter me. Thanks for the giveaway, sounds like a great book.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Teela said...

please enter me in the drawing for SUMMER IN OAKVILLE! Respectfully, teelayoung at hotmail dot com

Judy said...

It was nice getting to know a little bit about Shellie and Lisa. I know "A Summer in Oakville" sounds like a great read. I'd love to win a copy of it.



Joy said...

Thank you for the interview! Would love to read this book!

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