Today's guest is Christian fiction author Carrie Turansky. Welcome, Carrie!
A: I wrote Surrendered Hearts as a sequel to my first novel, Along Came Love. A few years ago I read an article in Real Simple magazine about a small town in Vermont. The article focused on the friendships of the women there, and that piqued my interest and set my imagination off on a journey. I visited Vermont and did some research and found an art and antique gallery in the converted barn that inspired the setting for both books. I’ve included photos of Country House Gifts and Antiques on my website. I also read an article in my local newspaper about a gas pipeline explosion and all the damage that did. I used that as part of my heroine’s past, and then had her work through accepting her scars and coming to faith through that experience as the main plot line for the story.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A: I’ve always loved to read and be creative. But I was an art major in college and studied graphic design. I didn’t start writing until 1998 after our family returned from a spending a year in Kenya as missionaries. I missed Kenya so much, I decided to write a story set there as a way to relive some of those experiences. That became the setting for my first novel. I wrote five full-length novels and one novella before my first novella, Wherever Love Takes Us in Wedded Bliss, was accepted for publication in 2005. It took a lot of faith and perseverance to keep writing and submitting my books.
Q: How does your faith impact your writing?
A: My faith has a huge impact on my life and my worldview, so it is very evident in my writing. I like to put my characters in tough situations where they discover new things about their faith and how God can help them in their situation. Through my stories readers can see my characters learn about issues like forgiveness, honesty in relationships, self-sacrifice for the sake of someone you love, and other issues. In Surrendered Hearts, my heroine struggles with revealing her scars to others and reconnecting with God after some very painful losses. I hope my readers will be drawn closer to God by reading my stories and stepping into the lives of my characters.
Q: Do you plot out your story ahead of time, or do you think it up as you go?
A: I outline my stories and plot out the main points. I need to know where I am going and what makes my characters tick, but I don’t fill in all the details. That gives me some room to be creative and enjoy the writing process. Most of the publishers I have written for require a synopsis, so I have to plot it out for them to consider contacting the book.
Q: What do you think about writing contests? Have you participated in any? What’s the benefit to an unpublished writer?
A: I entered several writing contests before I was published and I appreciate the feedback and critiques I received from the judges. Those suggestions showed me how to improve my writing. I was a finalist in several contests and the winner of one. That gave me motivation to keep pressing on to publication.
Q: What does your family think about your crazy career?
A: My family is very supportive of my writing. My husband and my daughters all read my books and have offered me a lot of encouragement. My mother-in-law is also a great encouragement to me. I am blessed that they are interested in my books and writing career.
Q: There’s been a lot said about the future of publishing and the possible death of the print book. What’s your take on eBooks, self-publishing, and such?
A: My featured book for this interview is a self-published e-book. I believe this is the wave of the future, and I want to jump in and ride that wave. I believe there will always be a market for print books, but e-books are on the rise as more readers purchase e-readers and that becomes the norm. I think it is an exciting time to be an author. I’ve written two articles about self-publishing my e-book and readers can read those in the notes section on Facebook if they’d like more info on that.
Q: Why did you decide to self-publish?
A: I wrote Surrendered Hearts a few years ago and submitted it to two publishers, but it did not find a publishing home. Because it is 60,000 words, it was not long enough to be considered by most CBA publisher who usually like their novels to be about 80 – 90,000 words. But I LOVE this story, and I wanted to make it available to my readers, so I decided to try the e-publishing route.
Q: Have you been happy with your decision to self-publish?
A: Yes, I have been very happy with this decision. It has been exciting to learn all these new aspects of publishing and promotion.
Q: What’s the biggest obstacle for a self-published author? What’s the biggest blessing?
A: You need to spend quite a bit of time on promotion to get the word out which can cut into your writing time, so you need to be careful and plan wisely. The biggest blessing is knowing a story that I love is now out there for readers to enjoy.
Thanks, Carrie. It was fun and informative :+}
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of eight inspirational romance novels and novellas. She has been a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, The ACFW Genesis, and ACFW Carol Award and winner of the WRW Crystal Globe Award. She has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers since 2000. Her latest releases are Christmas Mail-Order Brides, Seeking His Love, and Surrendered Hearts. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, speaker and counselor. They have five young adult children. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys gardening, reading, flower arranging, and cooking for friends and Family. You may contact her though her website: http://www.carrieturansky.com/
ABOUT THE BOOK - Surrendered Hearts
Jennifer Evan’s life changes forever when a gas pipeline explodes, starting a fire at her apartment. Losing her home and beloved dog are terrible blows, but the ugly scars that cover her arm, neck and shoulder steal her confidence and cause her fiancé to desert her. With her funds depleted and her job on hold, she heads for Vermont where she hopes to reconnect with her brother and find a way to rebuild her shattered life. Bill Morgan, a strong and quiet man whose faith runs deep, challenges her view of God and faith. Will she hold on to the pain of her past, or will she surrender her heart and find the faith and love she seeks?
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win Surrendered Hearts, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Wednesday, May 18th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Since this is an e-book, you will receive a coupon code to use at the Smashwords website for the free book. They have formats that will work for just about any e-reader or for the computer. Good luck!