Is there a story behind this book?
Stories featuring a master of disguise have always intrigued me. Add to that a fascination with southern Arizona during the Tombstone era, and you have the makings for some interesting situations. The fact that Ellie, (an undercover Pinkerton agent who is also our mistress of disguise) has a background in the theater but no experience at all as a detective only made things more fun!
What started you on your writing journey?
I’ve loved books as long as I can remember, and I’ve read voraciously since I was a small child. The moment I realized there were people who got to sit down and write all those wonderful stories, I knew that had to be the best job in the world. No matter what other avenues my life followed over the years, the dream of writing books for other people to read never left me. I felt blessed beyond measure when that dream finally became a reality!
What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Life. J Between homeschooling my daughter, responsibilities in the two churches my husband pastors, family activities, and community obligations, it isn’t unusual for me to find myself stretched a bit thin. I have to maintain a flexible schedule (remember Gumby?—that kind of flexibility), and my biggest challenge is in keeping my priorities straight, something I work on constantly.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)
I enjoy a wide variety of genres, everything from Christian fiction to Agatha Christie’s mysteries, to the quirky humor of P.G. Wodehouse, one of my favorite authors of all time.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
That would be Ellie Moore, the heroine of Love in Disguise. Ellie saw herself as plain and unattractive. Even when she got the chance to remake herself into two very different characters, she still found it hard to feel any sense of worth. Her struggle to find her true identity and value is one I think many of us can relate to.
If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Hmm. My tastes in music are as diverse as the types of books I enjoy. Some of my favorite styles are: country, contemporary Christian, and classical. Would that make me a Contemporary Classical Country Christian?
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
There’s a long list of things I’ve done that would qualify for that. How about the time our church hosted a Mother’s Day luncheon, and all the women attending were supposed to wear hats they decorated themselves. The idea sounded good on paper, but I don’t look good in hats. Never have, probably never will. What to do? I decided if I was going to look peculiar anyway, I’d make sure I looked really peculiar. I went on a shopping foray, picking out the most bizarre decorations I could find. Starting out with a floppy blue sun hat as the base for my creation, I tacked rows of half-inflated balloons around the brim, added a plastic tiara with multi-colored lights that flashed at the touch of a button, and topped the whole thing off with a large flower made of craft foam bobbing on a pipe cleaner stem. It definitely stood out among the other ladies’ projects. And surely there’s no connection between that and the fact that we’ve never done another hat-related event since then.
What is your favorite season of the year?
I love spring and fall. Spring brings new life, a reminder of the promise of heaven, while fall, with that first nip of frost in the air, always puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step.
What is a favorite (season) memory from your childhood?
My mother, grandmother, and I traveled to Joplin, Missouri, the winter I was four years old to attend an elderly relative’s funeral, and it snowed while we were there. Being born and raised in Phoenix, it was the first time I’d ever seen snow outside of movies and TV, and I was totally enthralled. My great-great aunt took me outside to play in that lovely white stuff and helped me scoop up enough to make snow ice cream. I’ve always remembered that experience as one of pure joy.
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Far too many! If I don’t keep a tight rein on my self and my time, I can be one of the world’s great procrastinators. A couple of years ago, I printed out a sign that says: “Do It Now!” and hung it over my desk. It makes a great reminder to stay focused . . . as long as I remember to look at it.
What's your favorite meal with family and friends? (and feel free to share a recipe with us!)
Grilling dinners out on the front porch is one of our favorite things to do as soon as the weather is warm enough. There’s something so relaxing about cooking outdoors and not having to rush around the kitchen. The clean-up is easy, too, which is a big plus when a deadline is closing in!
My family loves grilled mahi-mahi. One of our favorite ways to prepare it is to sprinkle the meat with lemon juice, top each piece with sprigs of rosemary snipped fresh from the herb garden, then wrap it all in foil and grill for about 25 minutes. Yum!
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
While I admire writers who know from the outset what theme they plan to explore when they begin writing a book, I am not one of them. I may get a sense of the theme as a book is being written, but often as not, I may not discover it until the story is complete. The theme of trust is one that seems to recur throughout many of my stories.
Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
We live in a time when so many things clamor for our attention, things that can steal our joy. This verse is a wonderful reminder to put our focus on the Lord instead of our circumstances and find our joy in Him.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book is coming out in 2013, but I don’t have a firm release date for it yet. It’s set in the fictional town of Cedar Ridge in central Arizona. The hero—a widower with an ornery young son—and the heroine—a former governess who has had her fill of dealing with unruly children—are vying for control of a mercantile while dealing with demanding customers and quirky townspeople, as well as trying to find out who’s behind the sinister happenings that have been plaguing the town. I’m in the middle of edits on this book at the moment, and I love the suggestions my editor has made, so I’m very excited about the end results!
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Carol Cox is giving away a copy of Love in Disguise The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
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Until next time. . . Sharon A Lavy