Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft Raelee.
Is there a story behind your book Kings and Shepherds?
A band called Plankeye put out this song years ago called “Whisper To Me,” and one day I was listening to it for like the thousandth time when line, “I watched eternity collide to bring you to Me” hit me like a MAC truck.
At that moment, I saw my place in the universe. God was a powerful King, and He had taken me into His palace and made me His princess, and I had thanked Him with treason, by betraying Him to His enemy. And He knew that. He knew exactly who I was, and He still fought the war of eternity to bring me home.
Kings and Shepherds is my story.
Question. You have an interesting design for your book cover. What can you tell us about it?
I wanted the background to look like parchment. The world I'm writing about doesn't have modern technology, and I wanted it to look like someone was hand-writing the story into a pre-printing-press book.
Interesting idea. I think you succeeded.
Question: If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?
Van Gogh. I love his work, because I’m a big-picture thinker who is also border-line obsessed with detail. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but if you study story enough, you see how the tiniest details, even ones that are blurry or don’t make sense, all rely on each other as part of the whole. They can’t contradict eachother; they have to work together.
If you look at Starry Night or Irises with a magnifying glass, the separate strokes look like a three-year-old’s art project, but when you take a step back, it’s too beautiful for words! (And as a lifelong writer, I don’t use that expression tritely.)
I look at my writing the same way, and more importantly, I look at LIFE the same way. The individual circumstances and trials of our lives often don’t make sense when we’re analyzing them from our perspective, and that can be discouraging. But God isn’t painting a single brushstroke for us. He isn’t defining our lives with one word from the dictionary. He is telling a greater story, one that has eternal importance, and He purposefully designed His story so that each of us was an indispensable part of it. When you know that, it makes you grateful for each detail, no matter how dark they seem at the time.
Question: If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
A unique cross between worship music and indie rock.
Question: What distracts you from writing the easiest?
I have ADHD, so I can be distracted by a million things. I am fortunate though, because people with my condition actually are prone to “over-focus” on the things about which they are most passionate. Because Story-telling is a lifelong passion for me, I can go “down the rabbit hole” of writing fairly easily.
Over distraction, I struggle with the motivation to write when I don’t necessarily feel inspired. Within the last couple of years, however, I’ve discovered that if I force myself to open a WIP (work-in-progress) and start reading and editing, I easily will fall into the story, and the inspiration will come.
Question: What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love all kinds of books! It really depends on my mood. I tend to lean toward contemporary stories, but sometimes I want to visit the old west or some fantastical universe. Sometimes I find a nonfiction inspirational book to be just what I need. Mostly I like books that inspire and encourage me, and it’s not hard to find that, if you’re looking. I’m a fan of Francine Rivers and Phillip Yancey, because I love the way they teach Grace, which is my favorite theme.
An incredible up-and-coming Christian author that you should check it out is Susie Finkbeiner. She’s an expert at weaving laughter with tears, and as an abolitionist and a mother, she’s an inspiring person to follow. I loved Paint Chips and My Mother’s Chamomile, and I’ve been begging her to let me beta-read her next book.
Question: What is your favorite season of the year?
Autumn, probably. Though I barely survived last winter in Michigan, and I soon hope to move to L.A. where it is summer all the time.
Question: Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
Southern California! When I move there, I’ll have to find a new answer to this question. J I once went on an amazing tour of Ireland, so maybe that will be my new favorite vacation spot. Or actually, my favorite thing to do then will be to come back here to see family members and friends I’ll leave behind.
Question: Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
GRACE! Everything I do is about Grace.
Question: Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
Isaiah 64:1-4New International Version (NIV) Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
Question: When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I’ve got several novels in editing stages right now! I don’t have any publication dates set yet, but you can find out more about my up-coming work (and link to FREE samples) here:
Readers: You may purchase the book at:
Raelee May Carpenter is giving away a Kindle copy of Kings and Shepherds.
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)