Friday, September 27, 2013

Maine Author Carla Olson Gade

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Carla! Is there a story behind Mistletoe Memories?

In 1815 the mineral spring on Schooley's Mountain, the setting for Mistletoe Memories, was declared the purest and best chalybeate water known at that time in the country. Before the days that the wealthy resorted to the shore, they retreated to this mountain spring in Washington County, New Jersey. George Washington even stayed at the renowned Health House resort as well as many more of the rich and famous throughout its years of popularity. Today, the mountain spring is hidden and unused, concealed during road work of the 20th century. The authors are glad to bring this remote place to life again in our book.

What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?

It’s a reproduction of Joan Walsh Anglund’s children’s book What Color is Love (1966). I created a tiny book and bound it with a brass fastener. I copied the words and illustrated it with my crayons. I obviously didn’t know about copyright laws then, I was only five or six at the time. As far as original work, I have a poem that I wrote in fourth grade and a short story from fifth grade.

Who is the most fun character you ever created?

I always have fun writing children into my stories. In Mistletoe Memories you’ll meet a little boy named Rory Schroeder.  I’m especially fond of boys since I have two of my own and a grandson so he was fun to write about. He’s a deep thinker, very bright, and rambunctious! When Rory is anxious he rambles out his thoughts in German, the language spoken at home.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?

It happens, for sure. And for me it usually shows up about chapter five. But I don’t believe in giving in to it. Writer’s block is not an excuse for not writing especially when you are on deadline. When I get stumped my solution is prayer. I begin to brainstorm and with God’s direction he opens up the door of creativity. I often find that my story takes a unique turn, that had I not been stuck, I wouldn’t have found. Writing is always an adventure!

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? 

I never really abandon ideas, I’d say they are archived. Once a story has begun to be told it never really dies. If I decide to put it away it is often because another story takes precedence or calls out to me to be written. I have many tales tucked away and I have returned to some incrementally, especially those that require a great deal of research. Some stories require brewing over a long period of time. Now that I am published, contracts usually dictate the stories I write and others have to wait.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write? 

I do quick edits as I go along, thanks to Microsoft Word that points them out. Then after each chapter I do another scan before sending it off to my “first editor” who goes over the chapter, while I continue on to the next. She calls me with spelling and grammar edits, and general observations. We do this over the phone, although it could be done with track changes in MW. But she’s my Mom so it’s good to talk and sometimes we’ll discuss other potential revisions. We repeat the process until the book is completed.

What distracts you from writing the easiest? 

Email, social networking, marketing, blogging, but that’s all part being a writer. Moderation matters. But really it is more that
writing distracts me from other things…like eating, housework, socializing.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

Guideposts is releasing A Cup of Christmas Cheer this fall, a Christmas short story anthology. In it you’ll find my tale called “Upon a Christmas Tree Schooner”. It’s a story of love and healing in the 19th century when a captain on the great lakes brings a haul of Christmas trees to eager German immigrants and in the process finds the love of a little boy.

Thanks for sharing with us today! Best wishes on your writing adventures!

Connect with Carla Olson Gades at:


Carla Olson Gade is giving away a copy of Mistletoe Memories. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


Wendy Newcomb said...

Nice interview, love the cover and I'm looking forward to reading the book. Thank you for the chance to win it.


Linda Marie Finn said...

I also loved the cover and I look forward to reading it, the review really helps to make a decision on to read or not and here it made me want to read it.

Linda Finn

Anonymous said...

Hello Carla. This book sounds like a good story to read close to Christmas. I always wonder how you authors find time for FB, Blogs, Chat Parties, emails, interviews , conferences and get any books written. And then their is your family etc.also. Sure glad it works out tho. I've heard others talk about getting stories they wrote a long time back and redo it a little and find a Publisher for it. That's neat. Seems weird for the publishers to tell you what kind of book to write. I thought they all say that GOD puts the story in their head. Then I hear this. Whatever, keep up the good work and may GOD continue to bless you. Please put my name in Karen. Thanks!
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

nylnestill said...

Historical romances are great t Christmas.

Sugar Sluts Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE Christmas Novellas! Hope to win a copy!

Geralyn Beauchamp said...

Oh gads, left a comment but was signed in under the wrong account! (screen name I use for my blogs regarding sugar addiction and other health issues has a rather catchy name, perhaps too catchy but it definitely catches your attention) ANYWAY ... I love Christmas novellas! Will be looking forward to this one!


susanlulu said...

I love Christmas books and love getting to know new authors I'm not familiar with. Hope to win!

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Patricia Bradley said...

Loved getting to know Carla, and I also love Christmas stories. pat at ptbradley dot com

HomePlace Gatherings said...

Always love the Christmas stories. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

Priviesandprims@yahoo dot com

Cindi A said...

Please enter me in the drawing to win a copy of Mistletoe Memories.

Merry said...

I enjoyed getting to know Carla a bit better. It's great to have such a supportive mom in her writing process.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Boos Mum said...

Looks like a great Christmas read and one to get you in the holiday mood. Love the cover. Please enter me.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

MsRubyKat said...

Great interview. Love reading Christmas books. Would love to win and read this one. Thank you for the chance.

Karen G.

bonton said...

Such an interesting interview, Carla!

I enjoyed reading about the history of Schooley's Mountain, & amazed that you were writing at such an early age! I can identify with being consumed with something - in your case, writing, & in mine - being on the computer. I'm pretty driven when I do something, & hate to be distracted - even to eat, or clean, as you mentioned.

Looking forward to reading your books!


Carla Olson Gade said...

Such wonderful comments! Thank you all. And thanks to the Barn Door Book Loft for having me. Blessings!

sam said...

I really like Christmas fiction so will enjoy winning this book! I like that writing distracts you from other things!-sounds like you love to write so books should be wonderful. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Rhonda's Doings said...

rhonda_nash_hall (AT) comcast (DOT) net

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