Friday, June 14, 2013

A Warm Welcome to Lyvonne Lehman

It's so nice to have Lyvone Lehman visiting this week on the Barn Door Loft. Please welcome her by leaving a comment! Now on to her interview:
Is there a story behind your book, The Caretaker’s Son?
One of my daughters visited Savannah, GA and brought back magazines. She said I should write a book about that city. So my daughters, Lisa and Cindy, and I visited Savannah. I was so intrigued with its beauty and variety, I decided to write a series. In the first I wanted to contrast the differences in social standing, ante-bellum mansions and cottages, old money and new money, etc. In the second I wanted to bring out the history. In the third, I wanted to focus on River Street and the influence of pirates on that area.

What started you on your writing journey?
A long story precedes this, but my beginning was when I attended the Billy Graham School of Christian Writing in Minneapolis MN over thirty years ago. That opened up a whole new world to me and I can’t imagine not being in it.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)
All kinds, in the secular and Christian market. As long as the story is entertaining and keeps my attention, it may be a sweet romance or a thriller. It needs to be well crafted and creative, but not include detracting uncreative and ridiculous words and actions.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Symon DeBerry Sinclair interests me most because he is the son of the caretaker and lived in a cottage on the grounds of the ante-bellum mansion. Under the influence of the woman who lived in the mansion, helped him turn his lies into stories, he became a well-known author. I like writing about writers because I have an understanding of such.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
I’m not musical, can’t sing a lick, but I’ve said if I could come back as anything, I’d love to be a ballet dancer. So, perhaps I’d be a waltz? I don’t know if ballet dancers waltz, but I reckon I could if I wanted to.

If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?
Michelangelo – I could just lie on my back for years and paint ceilings – kind of like his “Creation of David.” Love his sculpture of David. Also like his quote, “The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.” So profound.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Probably dress like a turtle and ride around on a turtle scooter while my son read The Tortoise and the Hare in front of all the people at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference at Ridgecrest on opening night when I was director. Or when I rode into the room on a Harley. Or had a cop handcuff me and drag me in.
What is your strangest habit? (you pick which one—just something to have fun with and show some personality.)
Me? Strange? I don’t think it’s strange but a lot of people comment on my rolling eyes.

What is your favorite season of the year? 
Fall – I love the cool weather, the changing leaves, how the lush green of these mountains turn into every color imaginable and some unimaginable. It’s a peaceful time to me.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I live in the mountains of western North Carolina. Hundreds of thousands of people come here because of the spectacular beauty. Four distinct seasons, high mountains, low valleys, interesting sights and artistic things to do and see.
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Miscellaneous, picky stuff that has to be done or organized.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
I loved Israel. Also Paris. But my family, then in later years my husband and I vacationed in Charleston SC a lot – loved that and wrote many books set in that area: historic Charleston, a private island, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Hilton Head.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
When we vacationed in Charleston that inspired several books, mainly based on the fact I could deduct the trip from my taxes. I haven’t written about Israel, but it has inspired me in so many ways, brought a greater depth to my faith, gave me a different awe and inspiration about the presence of God. It’s like I walked on the Bible. That surely must inspire the faith of my characters, since they are my creation.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends? (and feel free to share a recipe with us!)
I love Christmas. Through the years my four children, with spouses and their own children have to divide their time. So, when we can all get together, before or after Christmas if not on the 24th or 25th, we set a date and have a meal. I provide the entrée and they all bring something.

On Sundays after church, I go out to eat with friends. We have about eight different restaurants from which we choose.

I love going to lunch with a friend. My recipe is whatever is on the menu, cooked by somebody else and they can do the clean-up.


Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
I’ve written 54 books, so there are many themes, many different problems and conflicts. I suppose the main theme in them all is hope. Regardless of the difficulty, whether our problem is solved or needs to be accepted, there is always hope of a better day with God’s presence, and definitely in eternity.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
First thing in the morning, the coffee drips while the pomeranian goes out. He comes in and he runs up to the office, while I climb the stairs with my coffee. He jumps up on the wide soft chair in front of the window. I set my coffee down and rough-house him then he settles down to look out the window. I sit beside him with my Bible, Magnificent Prayer book, and whatever materials I might choose. I pray aloud and I peek at him when I thank God for Rigel, his name. He glances at me, then back at the window.
A few weeks ago it was still dark outside when we went up there so there was no view from my windows. When I opened my eyes at the “Amen” the sky was pink and gold. The neighbor’s completely covered pink-blossomed tree seemed to be in my face. The most spectacular picture.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
“Show me the wonders of your great love.” (Psalm 17:7) – Because I’d wallowed in defeat, self-pity, negativity and got sick of it. So I asked God to bless me, show me. And he did.

What are you most proud of in your writing journey? And why?
During the years I thought my writing was the purpose and plan God had for me. And it is. During the years I directed the Blue Ridge Conference, I thought it was sort of a sideline, something I needed to do because I started it when there was a need for one in this area. The only others were the Billy Graham one in MN and Mount Hermon in CA. During those years I was so busy working with it, planning, getting faculty, directing, I didn’t have time to think of the impact on others although I knew it had an impact. Now that I’m no longer directing, I’ve become aware that was the ministry of my life, more so than my books. I’m in awe that God used me in that way.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My second book in the Savannah, GA series is Lessons in Love, due out in August.

My third, Seeking Mr. Perfect, is scheduled for November.

I would love to tell about them in your blog when release time is near, if you allow me to do that.

To buy her books, go here:Amazon

Author Bio:
Yvonne is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 3,000,000 books in print,
who founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, is now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She mentors for the Christian Writers Guild. She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Her latest releases include eight ebooks for Barbour’s Truly Yours line, A Knight to Remember (Heartsong), Let it Snow (Harlequin/Heartsong, February 2013), and a Harlequin/Heartsong series set in Savannah GA (The Caretaker’s Son, Lessons in Love, The Pirate and the Priest, April, August, & November 2013). Her 50th novel was Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the Titanic (Abingdon – March 2012)

To connect with Yvonne, go here:

Yvonne is giving away a copy of The Caretaker's Son. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


sm said...

I would love to read THE CARETAKER'S SON by Yvonne Leyman. sharon, ca

Anonymous said...

Please put my name in the drawing for Yvonne's book. Thanks. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

cjajsmommy said...

Yvonne, you sound like a fun person! Please enter my name for your book. djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

Merry said...

Yvonne sounds like a fun lady... I wish I could have seen her at some of those conferences!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Patricia Bradley said...

I am so mad at Yvonne! The Caretaker's Son kept me up until 1 this morning. And now I need a nap...but I can't wait for the next one to come out. Thanks for the great interview.

Erin said...

You sound like such a character and fun person to be around! I too live surrounded by beautiful mountains, only in southwest Virginia instead of NC. I'd love to go to Charleston one day. Maybe I'll make it there! What a lovely interview! Thanks! :)

emstclair {at} gmail {dot} com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cheri Swalwell said...

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for this opportunity.


In Him,

Cheri :)

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of The Caretaker's Son.

Thank you,
Janice H.

Teela said...

Lyvonne, interesting name and intrguing book, I would like to win and read this book, the Caretaker's son. thanks, teelayoung at hotmail dot com

Library Lady said...

I would love to win this book to give to my friend who lives in Savannah.
Janet E.

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