Archive for the ‘ Interview ’ Category

Interview with Christy award winning author—Chris Fabry

Interview with Christy award-winning author—Chris Fabry

Chris Fabry is the winner of multiple Christy awards, has his own daily radio show, and is the author of adult and children’s titles alike. And now he has teamed up with Gary Chapman, the New York Times Bestselling Author, to write A Marriage Carol. Sure to become a Christmas favorite, this Dickensian tale will take you on a journey of discovery where snow has the power to illuminate choices and it’s never too late to get a second chance.

Chris shares his writing life journey including what has led him to write this story so check it out!

 

Buy this perfect Christmas gift at your local Christian bookstore or one of our participating vendors:

Amazon, CBD (Christian Book Distributors), and Family Bookstores.

For more information on the Author’s radio shows and other titles go to Chris Fabry’s or Gary Chapman’s websites.

The radio broadcast of A Marriage Carol was just completed last week and is still in production. It should be airing on Moody Radio around the holidays. Stay tuned for dates and times!

5 Terrific Things for Tuesday: Fun Facts about Author Jocelyn Green

Hello Fiction Friends,

I had the pleasure of meeting one of our great authors this weekend. When I first started working here at Moody Publishers, I was corresponding with Jocelyn Green and noticed on her email signature that she lives on the same street that I did when I attended the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. It was a fun little coincidence to me. Well, my husband and I took a little trip back to that area this past weekend for a get together with some of his college buddies and their wives and I was able to pop in on Jocelyn and finally meet her face to face. This was my first sit down with an author and it was really neat to hear about her process and see firsthand the different ways in which she organizes herself and her thoughts. Here are 5 fun little facts that I learned about Jocelyn and her writing process:

1) The 4 Civil War fiction novels that Jocelyn is writing for us are her first fiction novels. She has done so much research. In order to keep her ideas organized, she tapes colored index cards to the wall with one line running east to west with actual historical events and then cards running north and south that are fiction lines she is adding in.

 

 

 

 

2) She also keeps bulletin boards that are packed with pictures of real people from the specific time and place she is writing about, samples of clothes, and pictures of the actual places.

 

 

 

3) She has her own writing room where she keeps all of her materials and said her necessary items include a cup of coffee, her coffee cup warmer, a candle, and writing pants.

 

 

 

 

4) Jocelyn is a wife and mother of 2 children on top of being a busy author. She keeps her house rolling smoothly by preparing dinners in bulk and freezing them so that her family can still sit down together for dinner at night even though she is working hard at writing.

 

 

 

 

 

5) My favorite thing that Jocelyn told me is that at one point in time it was relaxing to have her cat pounce around while she was writing but now she has to keep an eye on the cat because not too long ago he caught his tail on fire while playing too close to Jocelyn’s candle. That would be a little stressful I would say! He looks so sweet and innocent here!

 

 

 

 

It was so great meeting Jocelyn and getting a chance to learn firsthand what a writer does in preparation for a novel. Thanks again for your time and hospitality! Go Panthers!

~Brittany

 

5 Terrific Things for Tuesday: (We know it is Wednesday!)

5 fantastic books to read now that the kids are back in school

Now that your children are happily situated back at school you will have plenty of time to read! If you do happen to catch a few spare moments here are some suggestions from the fiction fanatics at River North.

Unveiled Freedom – by Jeanette Windle

This believable and timely story is told through 3 characters; Amy a young Christian NGO worker, Jamil a tortured soul and native Afghan, and Steve a cynical independent security contractor. Their lives intersect against the back drop of Afghanistan after the democratic elections and the implementation of Sharia law.  I appreciated the author’s grace-filled approach to Afghan culture and the challenging questions raised about Christian “interference”.  It has been 2-3 months since I finished Unveiled Freedom and I continue to ponder The Great Commission and closed cultures; it is that impactful.

–Holly, Marketing

 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society–by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Set shortly after the end of WWII main character and author Juliet Ashton receives a letter from one of the book club members on the tiny island of Guernsey. Written in epistolary form, Juliet’s circle of friends on the tiny island grows as they share their enchanting and moving stories of living through the darkness of war. They are all drawn closer together as a community because of one of the inspirational inhabitants of the island. I wanted to catch the next flight to England and meet all the book club members when I finished reading. You too will feel like you have a larger circle of friends. Check out the audio book at your local library, if you can. Lovely to hear all of the voices of the characters—it adds a lot to the telling of the story.

–Deb, Acquisitions 

The Pioneer Woman Cooks-by Ree Drummond

Every once in a while we all find ourselves in a routine for dinners that needs to be broken. This cookbook is the place for inspiration. The Pioneer Woman is a mother of 4 and a rancher’s wife. If she has time to whip up these great recipes, hopefully you can find time too, especially with school having started again. She has a great recipe for pizza with a homemade crust that is whole wheat and simple. She does a little bit of everything from Chicken Fried Steak to Asian Noodles with a very tasty glaze. There are plenty of pictures to draw you in and show you what you are aiming for. She also has plenty of dessert recipes to add to your collection. I have tried a handful of the recipes myself and our household is always satisfied, it is a little down home and a lot of delicious.

–Brittany, Editorial 

Almost Heaven – by Chris Fabry

As I read Almost Heaven, I couldn’t help but be touched deeply by the characters.  I was struck by their ordinary lives and ordinary dreams that God used in very mighty ways if even in a small community.   The tenderness of the main character was evident throughout the book even though he endured significant losses and unexpected turns.  Billy lived his life with the deepest desire to serve God & bring glory to Him in the midst of hardship, disappointment & failures.   I was profoundly moved by the gentleness of his spirit and the way in which God wove a beautiful tapestry out of the brokenness of Billy’s life.  Almost Heaven will encourage you to live your life, however ordinary you think it is, seeing the value in touching people’s lives not gaining wealth or notoriety. It will bring focus to what is important in this life and you will see the greatness of being used by God in ways you might never have expected.  Billy didn’t change the entire world, but God used him to change the lives of those he touched every day.  What more could we ask for?!

–Michele, Sales

Texas Trails Series – by Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, and Darlene Franklin

Finally, we have to recommend a title of our own. Lone Star Trail and Captive Trail are two new releases here that we are so excited about. They are the first two in a series of six and they are sure to get you hooked.

The six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896 begins with Lone Star Trail.  Judson (Jud) Morgan’s father died for Texas’ freedom during the war for independence.  So when the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas (the Verein) attempts to colonize a New Germany in his country, he takes a stand against them. After Wande Fleischers’ fiancée marries someone else, the young fraulein determines to make new life for herself in Texas.  With the help of Jud’s sister Marion, Wande learns English and becomes a trusted friend to the entire Morgan family. As much as Jud dislikes the German invasion, he can’t help admiring Wande.  She is sweet and cheerful as she serves the Lord and all those around her.  Can the rancher put aside his prejudice to forge a new future? Through Jud and Wande, we learn the powerful lessons of forgiveness and reconciliation among a diverse community of believers.

Captive Trail is second in a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896.  Although a series, each book can be read on its own. Taabe Waipu has run away from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in Texas on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family’s teepee.  The horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted.  She staggers onto a road near Fort Chadbourne and collapses. On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station.  They come across a woman who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission. With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas, and the two end up defending the mission station. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.

We hope you find these suggestions helpful!

~Your fiction team!

Meet Texas Trails Series Author Vickie McDonough

Hello Fiction Fans,

Our acquisitions Editor Deb Keiser interviewed Texas Trails author Vickie McDonough. She wrote Long Trail Home, book 3 of the 6 book series, and you can look for it in November.

Tell us about yourself. Who is Vickie McDonough?

I’m a wife of almost thirty-six years, mother of four grown sons (one married) and grandma to a smart, feisty five-year-old girl. I’ve lived in Oklahoma all of my life except for a year when I was newly married and my husband and I lived on a kibbutz in Israel. I’ve always been a reader and loved Christian fiction when it came on the scene back in the 1980s. I never dreamed then that I’d one day write a book, especially since English was one of my least favorite classes way back when I was in school.
Besides reading, I love traveling, watching movies (especially romance and adventure ones), and gardening. I am currently serving as the national treasure for the American Christian Fiction Writers group.

You’ve had 23 books published. How do you come up with new and fresh ideas after writing so many books?

Ideas come from everywhere—a line in a movie, something I read in a book, a newspaper article, asking “what if?” question.
Coming up with the initial story idea isn’t usually too hard, but fleshing it out and developing it so that it’s different from my other books can be challenging. That’s where brainstorming with my critique partners is a huge help. Each person sees situations from a different angle and offers a different perspective, which helps me come up with new predicaments for my characters.

How do you balance family with writing?

Fortunately, my boys are all grown, although several still live at home. When I have pressing deadlines, it’s every man for himself. We eat lots of take-out and the house isn’t as clean as normal, but guys don’t care too much about the house, as long as their belly is full. My husband often works long hours too, so it works for us.

What’s a typical writing day like for you?

There is no typical day. I try to start writing or working on edits by ten a.m. but it varies. I’m primary caregiver to my mom and also babysit my granddaughter most weeks, so I have to work around time with them. On days when a deadline is looming, I may work until the wee hours of the morning, taking breaks to read emails, take my puppy outside, and to grab a meal or snack. 

Long Trail Home is the third of six books in the Texas Trails series. Texas Trails is unique in that it features three different authors. How did you connect with fellow authors Susan Page Davis and Darlene Franklin?

Our agent was the one who thought up the idea of three authors working together on a series and brought the three of us together. Sue and I have worked on several projects together before and were already friends. I knew Darlene online and from a writers’ group that we’re both members of. The three of us got together online and brainstormed different ideas for this series and came up with the generational story of the Morgan family that incorporates tidbits of Texas history.

What were the special challenges of writing a series with other authors?

Each of us had our own ideas for the series, and at one time or another, had to compromise to make it all work. It was a give and take situation, but I think the end product turned out fabulous and that readers will love it.

What did you enjoy most about writing Long Trail Home?

I enjoyed writing Annie’s spunky character, but I think I liked even more seeing Riley heal from his internal wounds and find love. I have a son who is a soldier in Egypt, so I suppose that’s why I enjoyed seeing my fictional soldier make peace with God and find love.

Your heroine lived at the Wilcox School for the Blind. Was that a real facility?

No, it was strictly fictional. Originally, I’d planned to use the actual Asylum for the Blind in Austin for my story, but when doing additional research I discovered the school closed during the Civil War and didn’t reopen until several years later. In fact, George Custer used that building for his headquarters when he was stationed in Austin. 

Riley Morgan faced several big losses and was angry with God for a time, but renewed faith in God helped him to move on. Has there ever been a time in your life where you had to cling to your faith?

Yes, there have been several times. During the past three years, my husband has been laid off four times and has gone months without a job. I could have gotten upset and worried all the time, but I chose to trust that God would take care of us and open another door. Even though my husband was off work so much, we never got behind on our bills or went without the things we needed. PLT! Sometimes trusting God comes down to making a choice to just do it, and then to keep doing it.

What’s next for the Morgan family?

A Ranger’s Trail by Darlene Franklin is the fourth book in the Texas Trails series. Here’s the blurb: When Leta Denning’s husband is killed by the German mob at the beginning of the Hoo Doo War, she vows to seek vengeance on his behalf. William Meino “Buck” Morgan, one of the Texas Rangers called in to quell the violence, has ties to one of the German families. Will Leta’s quest for vengeance keep her from discovering love the second time around?

Well, now that you have met all three of the authors for the Texas Trails Series, pick up books 1 and 2, Lone Star Trail, and Captive Trail, and keep an eye out for number 3, Long Trail Home in November.

A Little Online Love

Check out the love that River North Fiction is getting from Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times! A Marriage Carol is our Christmas novella that was written by Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman that will be released in September. Just in time to get a head start on your stocking-stuffers or small gift ideas.

 

A Marriage Carol
Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman. Moody/River North, $14.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-8024-0264-6 
Christmas Eve marks Jacob and Marlee Ebenezer’s wedding anniversary and, 20 years later, the official dissolution of their marriage. Their journey to sign the divorce papers, however, turns into much more when a blizzard and an accident threaten lives. Marlee finds safety in a farmhouse where “Jay” helps her see her past, present, and future and offers a new way of seeing herself, husband, and marriage. The authors seamlessly blend the cleansing qualities of snow (“Melting snow exposes. Each flake is like a choice we make”) with transparent reference to Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to create a challenging yet heartwarming tale that will touch readers long beyond the holiday season. This novella—combining the storytelling prowess of Fabry (Almost Heaven) and the marriage expertise of Chapman (The Five Love Languages series)—will change lives with its message “that there is great power in small choices.” Chapman’s afterword and discussion questions deepen the impact. This is a tiny book with a huge message. (Sept.)
Check out http://amarriagecarol.com/ for more information and a cool interactive site.
 
Romantic Times gave Lone Star Trail, the first book of the Texas Trails Series, a nice review!
“The first book in Franklin’s Texas Trail series, is both uplifting and heartwrenching. It is a story that is filled with tragedy, heartache, compassion, understanding and touching romance.”
You all know that there are six books in the series and they were written by the fantastic team of Darlene Franklin, Susan Page Davis, and Vickie McDonough. Check out our “Reviews” tab for more information on the love that our newest River North Titles are getting. We couldn’t be happier. Enjoy your weekend!!

An Interview with Darlene Franklin from the Texas Trails Series

Hello Fiction Fans,

You were introduced to Texas Trails author Darlene Franklin here, then here, now we would like to dig in a little deeper with this interview. Deb sat down with Darlene and this is what we learned about her and the book Lone Star Trail, the first in the six book Texas Trails Series that will begin being released early next month:

Lone Star Trail highlights the roots of German influence in Texas. What drew you to this subject?

All four of my mother’s grandparents arrived in America in the great wave of immigration in the late nineteenth century; I have an abiding interest in the people who left their homes and everything they knew to risk it all in a new land. Also, when I started writing books set in Texas, with Texas authors, they were quick to point out “there’s a huge German influence in Texas.”  So when Susan, Vickie and I brainstormed ideas for our Texas series, I knew I wanted to write about the German Verein. 

What research did you do in preparation for writing Lone Star Trail?

I did my usual online research and also ordered books. One book in particular, German Seed in Texas Soil, gave the kind of detailed information that writers live for: what crops did they grow? How much did a cow cost? Where did they live? How was their way of life different from their American neighbors? I also got to take a trip through the Texas hill country, the heart of German culture in Texas. I spent two nights in historic Fredericksburg, drove to the modern port of Puerto LaVaca which is in the general vicinity of Carshafen (the original town was destroyed by two hurricanes), and spent another night in Victoria, the setting for Lone Star Trail. In Fredericksburg, I went to the Pioneer Museum Complex. I got to poke around Sunday houses, a one room school, half-timbered dwellings (amazingly cool in the hot summer heat!). I enjoyed chatting with the docent about the Verein. 

Tell us a little about the German influx into Texas in the mid-1800s.

Prince Carl von Braunfels founded the “Adelsverein,” the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas, in 1842. At the time, Texas was an independent country. The Society was an attempt to colonize a New Germany within Texas borders—the source of Jud Morgan’s displeasure. Texas was encouraging immigration, however, and offering land to any who wanted it. Although the Verein was organized by a noble, it appealed to the common man, and the immigrants flooded the port of Carlshafen in 1844-1845. Faced with limited resources, no way to get to the promised land, and disease, the members of the Verein bonded together, formed societies to learn from each other, and created a vital community. A later group of German intelligentsia arrived in 1848, after revolutions rocked their homeland.

 Lone Star Trail is the first of six books in the Texas Trails series. Texas Trails is unique in that it features three different authors. How did you connect with fellow authors Susan Page Davis and Vickie McDonough?

I’ve known Susan and Vickie for years; Susan and I met when I was looking for authors from the state of Maine; and Vickie lives just down the road from me (I’m in Oklahoma City and she’s in Tulsa). We’ve written a number of novella anthologies together, although this is the first time all three of us have worked on the same project. We also happen to share the same agent: Chip MacGregor. Chip asked the three of us to develop a series of historical romances set in Texas. We jumped at the chance! 

Jud Morgan, the hero of Lone Star Trail, was thrust into his position as head of the Morgan family at a young age. Tell us a little bit of his history.

Jud’s parents moved to Texas when he was only a small child and worked on establishing the Running M Ranch. By 1834, things looked bright for the family—Jud had been joined by his brother Calder and his sisters Marion and Billie. Then Jud’s father went off to fight in Texas’s war for independence from Mexico and never came back. Jud jumped into position as the head of the family. Time passed him by while his brother Calder married and left home and his sister Billie was captured by Comanche. He’s stayed so busy taking care of his brothers and sisters, he wonders if he will ever have a family of his own.

What were the special challenges about writing the first book in a six-book series?

Myriad! I had to not only set up Jud’s story, but the family background for all six books. Also, being first meant I had a little less time for every step of the publication process than Susan or Vickie. I also carry the responsibility of introducing the Morgan family and the series to our readers. If they love Lone Star Trail, they’ll be enticed to read Captive Trail and Long Trail Home. If they don’t, I’ve let down River North as well as Susan and Vickie.         

What’s next for the Morgan family?

The Running M Ranch remains in operation, but the family scatters. Our readers will meet stage-coach owners, nuns, civil war vets, Texas Rangers, ranchers, cowboys (and cowgirls) and more.

What did you enjoy most about writing Lone Star Trail?

I enjoyed looking into German customs. A lot of my readers know about the origins of the Christmas tree, but maybe they’ll be as surprised as I was to learn about the Easter egg tree!

How can today’s reader identify with the pioneer experience?

Pioneers represent much of the best of America. Brave, resilient, resourceful, they depended on each other—and God—to see them through the worst of times. In spite of the difficulties they faced, they maintained faith and fought for what they believed in. Isn’t that what we still want for our nation?

Wande Fleischer represents the millions of immigrants who came to America in search of a better life. What can we learn from her today?

Reach for the brass ring. . .how much are we willing to risk to live the life we’ve always dreamed of? What do we cling to when we’re separated from everything familiar?

Look for Lone Star Trail at your favorite local bookstore or online at your favorite store early September.