Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Interview & Book Giveaway with Author Shirley Kiger Connolly

It's a pleasure to welcome today's guest, author Shirley Kiger Connolly!

Q:  What was your inspiration for Say Goodbye to Yesterday?
A:  As the wife of a retired pastor, for many years, I have counseled Christian women about their marriages and life situations. Many times we were able to work through those situations together with the help of God and through inspiration from His Word. I also did a lot of research on events that actually happened in the nineteenth century with Army wives and through personal diaries. It's interesting how so much of this information was not freely discussed years ago.

Q:  How does your faith impact your writing?
A:  My faith IS my writing. It is me. So there isn't much I can do without my faith entering into the scenario of what I'm writing, doing, saying, or thinking. In one way or another, faith becomes the theme.

Q:  Do you plot out your story ahead of time, or do you think it up as you go?
A:  I can't plot my story out first. I've tried. What I do end up doing, rather, is begin to brainstorm my way through, at least for a while. Once I get through about five or six chapters, I can begin to go back and see the thread, and the outline begins to take form. I guess you would call me a pantser more than a plotter.

Q:  Do you treat yourself to something special when a project is completed?
A:  A new pair of shoes. Probably Mary Janes. I LOVE SHOES. (LOL)

Q: After becoming a published author, what surprised you the most?
A:  That my first book was really accepted! (As I look at that first book now, I realize how much I still didn't know back then about being a good writer, and what I've learned since then! I also know I STILL have a long way to go.)

Q:  If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
A:  I couldn’t NOT be a writer, Jen. But if I wasn't, I would be doing what I already do -- teach women, do needlework, decorate and re-design my rooms, tend my animals, doodle around in my greenhouse with my veggies and flowers, and, oh, yes, sing and play my guitar and piano more. But the truth is, I'd still find a way to write…something!

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 e-books, self-publishing, and such?
A:  I am published through two small publishing companies, where one does both print and e-book, and where the other, still newer, is quite active with e-books and plans to add the print at a future date. I have come to love the e-books, where I thought I wouldn't. I enjoy the fact that they are so assessable and you can change the font size to whatever you want. If your eyes are tired, the e-book will read out loud to you. It saves room, for you can put thousands of e-books in one leather book-sized folder. You can make notes on your pages, if there's something you want to remember for later. Just lots of things. It doesn't mean I no longer read print books. I do. But it's true, they do fill up the bookcase awfully fast. No, I don't think the print book will ever completely die out.

Self-publishing is another story, at least for me, personally. I shy away from them, but I don't look down on those who choose to go that route if they can truly write. I treasure every copy editor that's provided for me through my publishers. They are such a great asset in helping me fix my problems before it's too late. I also wouldn’t want to have to PAY to have my book published as you do when you self-publish. To me, it's just not the same. Besides, I don't have that kind of money. But I guess there are many who have enough confidence in what they do to go that route. Knowing my limitations, I'm not one of them.

Scenario: You’re about to be dropped off on a deserted island. You can take along one survival item, one book, and one person (living or dead… but they’ll be alive on the island). What and who do you take?
A:  The one survival item I would take? The one survival item would probably a fruit bearing tree, like a coconut because it has meat and liquid in it to keep me alive. The book I would take: My BIBLE most definitely. The one person I would take: I think that would be my husband. He is such a part of me.

Thanks for visiting with us today, Shirley!

Shirley Kiger Connolly, a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature, believes she uses both sides of her brain when it comes to writing. With her creative and inspirational mind she pens historical fiction romances, but with her more logical thinking cap, she writes nonfiction devotional books. It helps that she loves different hats. With another trusty hat she hopes contains a bit of wisdom, Shirley prepares and teaches Koinonia women's bible studies and mini-seminars and shares teaching reflections at retreats or luncheons. Outside her writing and speaking time, Shirley, an active mom and grandma, enjoys rearranging her furniture, cross-stitching, and watching old movies on TCM. As a part-time farm woman, Shirley devotes a lot of time to the veggies growing in her greenhouse, and mothers her chickens, ducks, dogs, and cats. She stays active in American Christian Fiction Writers and at Faith-Hope-Love, RWA where she presently serves as Critique Database Coordinator.

Scorned with disgrace, Annabelle Jordan and her daughters are no longer welcome in her reverend uncle’s community. She knows she needs a fresh touch of grace, but Annabelle’s in no mood to seek mercy. Not after carrying on her youthful affair with the same man, long enough to produce two daughters before she finally drove him out of her life.

Now without a home, Annabelle’s convinced her answer is to find the father again and force that marriage once and for all. At least the man who pledged her, his hand years earlier could provide her daughters the name, home, security, and future they need. Who else would show interest in a soiled, aging woman over thirty with two growing children?

That was before Major Carlton Radcliffe entered Annabelle’s life. How's she supposed to deal with a man far beyond her reach, loyal to the faith she's been fleeing, and honorably pledged to a wife and family of his own?

If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of the e-book, Say Goodbye to Yesterday, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Monday, September 5th. 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.)


Anne K. Albert said...

Huge congrats, Shirley.

How you find time to write, blog, garden, read AND be so gracious to other authors (like myself) I have no idea.

You're an inspiration.

annekalbert AT gmail DOT com

Thanks, Jennifer, for the great interview!

Shirley Kiger Connolly said...

Thanks for writing in, Anne. I am sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I've been out of town all day. But i really appreciate your coming by during your busy day. Take care and God bless. And the Lord bless you too, Jen.

Christy said...

Loved the interview, Jennifer!

And Shirley...how practical you are to take a coconut tree with you to a deserted island! I couldn't survive if I had to rely on catching fish for my meals, so I think I'd have to take a tree with me, too. :o)

I'd love to sign up for the giveaway.

southernsassythings at gmail dot com

Debra E. Marvin said...

Congratulations on your newest book, Shirley!

Love the cover.

I will always remember sitting with you the first night of my first ACFW conference. You made me feel very comfortable.

karenk said...

would love to read shirley's novel...thanks for the chance...

shirley, love your blog, too :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Judy said...

Shirley, very interesting interview. You are one busy lady. I love how your faith shines through. I love that you would take your husband along to the deserted island with you. That tells me a lot. I too would have to chose my husband. I'd be lost with out him and we've only been married for 7 1/2 years.

I would love to win a copy of your book, Say Goodbye to Yesterday.

God Bless You!

Shirley Kiger Connolly said...

Hi, Christy, Thanks for your comment. I know the coconuts would work, but they are a real tough nut to crack, I have to admit. (My husband is the only one who can do it in this house. See why I need him? We figured that out while we were in Australia.)
Hi, to Debra too. Yes, it was great meeting you at that conference. I do hope I'll see you again.
Waving your way, Karen. So glad you took a sec to write in.
Hi to you too, Judy. Sometimes, it is tricky finding out how to manage one's day, isn't it.
Blessings to all. SHIRLEY

Mary Moore said...

Hi Shirley,

How great you beat me to the blog! I miss our critique group, but I'm so happy you've been busy with your new book. It's great to learn more about you...I'm a shoe-aholic, too!

Can't wait to read your book! God Bless You!

In Him,
Mary Moore

Shirley Kiger Connolly said...

Hi, Mary!
So good to see you here! I miss our critique group too. But I will be there soon with the sequel I'm working on. (NEED YOUR INPUT). You will find when you read Say Goodbye to Yesterday a familiar group mentioned on the dedication page. The Scribes mean a lot to me. Thanks so much for coming by. Shirley

Jennifer AlLee said...

I'm a little late... the winner is Christy! I'm forwarding your email address to Shirley so she can tell you how to access your book.

A big thanks to all who stopped by, and to Shirley for visiting.