Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Warm Welcome to C.J. Darlington

Is there a story behind your book Jupiter Winds?
I had a lot of fun writing Jupiter Winds! I love to read YA fiction and knew I wanted to write a YA novel of my own someday. I wrote Jupiter Winds without an outline and only a basic plot idea, and I was truly surprised by some of the plot twists! This is the novel I wanted to read but couldn’t find on the bookshelves. 

What started you on your writing journey?
I’ve loved reading and writing ever since I was a little kid. I would sit at my dad’s old word processor and type out stories about my pets and animals. When I was twelve I started thinking about what it would be like to publish something I wrote. Had no idea how to do it, but the dream was sparked! When I was fifteen I began the story which fifteen years later would become my first published novel, Thicker than Blood. It was the love of story that first got me going, and it’s what always draws me back, too.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
The internet. It’s so easy to feel like you’re busy when you’re online, but at the end of the day you have nothing to show for it.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love to read character-drive suspense novels, YA stories, and more! Some of my favorite authors are Sibella Giorello (if you haven’t read her Raleigh Harmon mystery series, you must!), James Scott Bell, Frank Peretti, M.K. Gilory, Kathy Tyers, and so many others.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Mrs. March, a spry eighty-year-old-plus woman who knows far more than anyone realizes, stole the show in spots. She’s much more than first meets the eye, and I think readers will be pleasantly surprised at just who she really is. Ultimately though, my main character, Grey Alexander, interested me throughout the entire tale. 

If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?
There’s an artist named Carrie Ballantyne who paints the most gorgeous pieces featuring modern-day cowgirls and cowboys with such amazing realism. I love her work.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Alas, I’m not all that quirky. Ha ha.

What is your strangest habit?
Hmm… well, I always try to mow the lawn in the same pattern and love to see the neat “lines” the mower leaves behind when I’m done. Also, my family thinks I’m silly when I read a book and barely crack it open as I read to keep the spine intact.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
Always my pets. If it’s not one of the dogs, it’s our horse!

What is your favorite season of the year? 
Fall. Hands down. Cool, dry days. Crisp, cold nights. What’s not to like?

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
No fires, earthquakes, or tornadoes. Usually at least. I would love to live out West actually, but I despise fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes. I truly hate summer’s humidity, but fall and spring here in Pennsylvania is something to enjoy. And fall colors!

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
I’m not a fan of talking on the phone, though I am better about it than I used to be. I don’t like doing taxes either.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
The American West. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I am in love with big mountains. Wish I had some where I live now, but not having them makes me love them even more when I do see them.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
Oh, yes. My travels in Colorado inspired the settings of my novels Thicker than Blood, Bound by Guilt, and Ties that Bind, all of which take place partially on a modern-day cattle ranch in Colorado. I created a fictional town, Elk Valley, but based it on the real-life town of La Veta, Colorado.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
I love a good hamburger! With lettuce, tomato, mustard, and onion. Delicious! I am also a big fan of homemade macaroni and cheese. For desert, nothing beats a huge bowl of ice cream. Okay, now you’ve made me hungry…

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
The theme that no one is ever too far gone for God to love is threaded through almost all of my stories. I love telling stories of forgiveness. In Jupiter Winds my characters discover that no matter where they go, God is there.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
In my basement I have a comfortable chair I turn to any time I need to think or pray or cry or ponder.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.   
My favorite verse is in Romans 5:6-8
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
I absolutely love how this verse explains how even while we were still sinners God was wooing us with his love.

Do you have another book in the works?
I’m about to start work on the sequel to Jupiter Winds!

Back Cover

 In 2160, a teenager becomes the bait to capture her missing revolutionary parents she thinks are long dead.

Grey Alexander has one goal—to keep herself and her younger sister Orinda alive. Not an easy feat living unconnected in the North American Wildlife Preserve, where they survive by smuggling contraband into the Mazdaar government's city zones. If the invisible electric border fence doesn't kill them, a human-like patrol drone could.

When her worst fear comes true, Grey questions everything she thought she knew about life, her missing parents, and God. Could another planet, whose sky swirls with orange vapors and where extinct-on-Earth creatures roam free, hold the key to reuniting her family?

To buy C.J.'s book

About C.J.
C. J. Darlington got her big break in publishing when her first novel Thicker than Blood won the Christian Writers Guild 2008 Operation First Novel contest. She hasn't slowed down since and wrote and published her second and third contemporary novels Bound by Guilt and Ties that Bind. Her newest novel Jupiter Winds is a YA/dystopian/space adventure.

In 2013 C. J. started her own publishing company, Mountainview Books, LLC, with her mom and sister. The goal of the press is to publish fresh fiction to inspire your faith. A homeschool graduate, C. J. makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and a paint horse named Sky.

To connect with C.J.

C.J. Darlington is giving away a copy of Juniper Winds.  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 may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Boos Mum said...

I would really like to read this book. I too want to move out west, but I am scared of tornados and fires as well. Thanks for the giveaway.
sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

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