Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Interview with Carla Stewart & Giveaway - Part 2

Carla Stewart, author of  "Chasing Lilacs" and "Broken Wings," joins us today for the second part of our interview. Giveaway details are at the bottom of this post. We interrupt this post for an important announcement:

NEWSFLASH! After you finish this post, I hope you'll pop over to Jill Kemerer's blog where I'm answering her "Five Easy Questions."

4) Hi, Carla! I'm brimming with questions for you. What advice would you give writers seeking publication?

Community is the best gift you can give yourself. Writing groups, conferences, critique partners - the human interaction keeps the solitary life of writing from feeling like you are alone. Although it's a cliche, iron really does sharpen iron. Pay attention to what those who've walked before have to offer in craft and networking. For your writing, don't be afraid of being unique.

5) I notice you're fairly active with Social Media. How do you strike a balance between writing and marketing? What's your favorite Social Media outlet and why?

Marketing is a huge time gobbler. I struggle continuously with it and am still eager to learn more about how to be an effective marketer. My favorite is FaceBook. Even with its drawbacks, it's the most efficient way for me to interact with family, friends, colleagues, and readers. I'm by nature a social person, so I like being able to offer congrats, condolences, and words of encouragement to a variety of people all in one place. I'm not crazy about the "selling something" aspect. Hopefully, people will buy my books because I've developed a relationship with them.

6) What authors influenced your work in the early days of your career?

I've always been a fan of mysteries and thought when I wrote my own novels, they'd be mysteries. I did write one, and it was terrible (the one in the bottom of the closet). Then I discovered Anne Tyler, and I knew relationship stories were what resonated in my heart. Rosamund Pilcher, Barbara Kingsolver, Billie Letts, and Sue Monk Kidd were some early influencers and great examples of literary women's fiction writers.

I didn't know CBA had literary equivalents and was delighted to learn of Lisa Samson, Susan Meissner, Mary DeMuth, Dale Cramer, and Charles Martin. So many wonderful authors to love and learn from.

7) I'm looking forward to reading more of your books. Can you share about your current WIP?

"Stardust" (Faith Words) will be out early next summer. It's lighter in tone than "Broken Wings," but still has some knotty issues. I've returned to a nostalgic time and found some real characters in the bayou country of East Texas. The year is 1952 at the height of the polio epidemic. Here's a thumbnail sketch:

The Stardust Tourist Court beckons an East Texas widow to a new life, but when her dead husband's mistress arrives and polio strikes, George Peyton's dreams are crippled.

Susan, thank you for having me! I've had a grand time!

Bio: Carla Stewart's writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She's the author of two current novels, "Chasing Lilacs" and "Broken Wings," an alum of the Guideposts Writer's Workshop, two-time winner of the ACFW Genesis contest, and a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. She believes in Jesus, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. She and her husband have four adult sons and six grandchildren. You can find Carla at Follow her on Twitter:!/ChasingLilacs and FaceBook:

Giveaway details:
1) To enter, comment on this post, including your email. Sorry - no email, no entry. You can have up to two entries by commenting on Part 1 and Part 2 of the interview.

2) Residents of the U.S. are eligible for this giveaway. It is void where prohibited, and the winner is responsible for their eligibility.

3) You must be a Follower of Christian Writer/Reader Connection to enter the giveaway.

4) Deadline: Saturday, 10/22/11, 11:59 p.m. The winner will be selected by random drawing, emailed, and announced on the blog on Sunday, 10/23/11. When I receive the winner's snail mail address, I'll forward it to Carla, who will mail you her book, "Broken Wings."
Disclaimer: I have not received any remuneration for doing this interview from the author or the publisher. I loved the book and wanted to showcase the author.

Writers: Carla said, "...don't be afraid of being unique." Do you shy away from writing something that's not a current favorite? Also, what authors have influenced your writing journey?

Readers: What was your favorite part of this interview and why?


Jessica Nelson said...

I just read my first Anne Tyler and really enjoyed it. Also love Charles Martin!
No fave part of the interview, I just enjoy learning more about Carla. :-)
Now I'm hopping over to read your interview! :-)

Sarah Forgrave said...

I've heard great things about Carla's writing and would love to be entered for the giveaway! Thanks for a great interview, Susan.

sarah (at) sarahforgrave (dot) com

Karen Lange said...

Great interview! I always enjoy learning how other writers think and work. I like Carla's points about community - good stuff!

Would love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks to both of you for doing it.


Loree Huebner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loree Huebner said...

I just followed you over from Jill's blog. This is my first time here.

I enjoy reading about other authors writing experiences on their journey.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess - I haven't heard of either of those authors. I'll have to do some research. :)

Hi Sarah - Everything you've heard is true. I loved her book.

Hi Karen - Writers' journeys inspire me to press on. Thanks for entering again.

Hi Loree - Welcome, and thank you for becoming a Follower. I've also signed up at your blog. :)


Unknown said...

Carla definitely gives great advice. I think being part of the community is so important. Not marketing, but just the joy that comes from getting to know people.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nisa -

Did you want to enter the giveaway? Please comment again and leave your email address. :)


Jeanette Levellie said...

Wonderful interview, you two! Please enter my name in the drawing; I am a follower.


My fave part is that Carla confesses that social media is a challenge to her; I like that authenticity.

Read your interview at Jill's!

carla stewart said...

Thank you all for your great comments! And I'm sorry for not getting by here yesterday. The page proofs for Stardust demanded my attention. It's always something, but I'm delighted that Susan invited me here. So nice to meet all of you!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jeanette - I'm still on the learning curve with Twitter. I did tweet about this interview and giveaway, as well as the one at Jill's blog.

Hi Carla - I'm adding Stardust to my Wish List. Thanks for making the giveaway possible.

Susan :)