Monday, July 2, 2012

Author Interview & Giveaway - Paula Rose Michelson - Part 1

Paula Rose Michelson and I "met" when I won her book on Dorothy Adamek's blog, Ink Dots. We've since corresponded about her work and the challenges of writing.

She's offered to do a GIVEAWAY of Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing. Check out the details below.

1) Welcome, Paula! What was the inspiration for your series, "Casa de Naomi?"

A friend kept asking me if I was pursuing my craft. When I discovered she was a publisher, I set up a meeting. We discussed my idea for a book about 3 women, who meet while hiking the Appalachian Trail, and how the believing one's faith affects the others.

Knowing very little about the Sephardic (Spanish) Jews that had to be baptized into the Catholic faith to survive during the Inquisition, I had to research Naomi's background. After several weeks, the publisher contacted me to find out why I hadn't sent her an outline. When she heard I was writing a character sketch for Naomi, she requested I send her my notes.

She emailed me, and said I'd begun writing a book. When I told her she was mistaken, she suggested I go back three days and read the emails I'd sent her. She was right! A few days later, the characters began speaking to me, and I kept writing until they were done talking.

While I kept Naomi, I did not go with the original idea of 3 women on the Appalachian Trail. I'll share more about the book later.

2) What is the overall message of the books?

The book grew out of my work as founder and head of LAMB Ministries, which uses Scripture and prayer to heal the wounds of women abused in childhood. It was my desire to help others view their issues through Naomi, a teenager living a fearful existence because she was taught that who she is and what she believes could lead to her death.

I've set up a blog called, The Casa de Naomi Reflections blog, where I post weekly. I encourage readers to think about Naomi's issues and look at Scriptural choices without preaching. To find out more about LAMB Ministries and begin your healing, visit my website.

Book 1 in the series ends without a resolution to worldly issues. I believe the reader will take away that although people think they know us, they only know what we choose to show them. When thinking of Naomi's difficulties, we discover that no imagined issues are worth subjugating ourselves and all we can become. The key to freedom is: owning who we are and claiming all that Messiah did for us.

3. Could you share how you researched before writing?

My initial research into the Spanish and Mexican Inquisitions made me curious. I interviewed several women from the Sephardic population and included pertinent historical notes at the beginning of each book.

We'll continue our interview with Paula on Monday, 7/9/12.

Giveaway Details:
1) You must be a Follower of Christian Writer/Reader Connection and a resident of the U.S.
2) To enter, comment on this post. Please leave your email address, so I can reach you
3) Deadline: Saturday, 7/7/12, at midnight. The winner will be announced on the blog and notified by email. When I receive your snail mail address, I will forward it to Paula. She will send you the book.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any remuneration for this interview or giveaway.

Writers: Have any of your ideas sprung from actual historical events? Please share.
Readers: How much historical detail do you like in a book: just the flavor or served up in gourmet fashion?


Karen Lange said...

Thank you both for this wonderful interview! Susan, I appreciate getting to know Paula a little bit better. Paula, I enjoyed hearing about your book and writing process.

Happy 4th of July!

Thanks and blessings,

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow, it's great to know that publishers are so proactive to encourage young writers to keep on! What a great story, Paula.

I'd love to win your book; thanks for your generosity.


Blessings to you both!

DenaNetherton said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this book and receiving an education about on what the Jews went through under the oppression of the Spanish Inquisition.

Paula Rose Michelson said...


I to am grateful to Susan for inviting me to guest on her blog. In fact, when thinking about my research, writing experience, and becoming a published author, I realize that gratitude is the word that resonates within my heart. Every step of this journey required that I trust God, allow Him to led me, and give up control.

Last month I was amazed when I sent my friend and 2 time cancer survivor Melanie information that I had been given in 2008 to corroborate research and she took it to her doctor who ran tests that showed her the best option for her continued health its preventative surgery. That Smithsonian article about Breast Cancer is posted on my website.

Paula Rose Michelson said...


Thanks! You sound like I did when I realized that my friend was more than a fan! She proved that again when Casa de Naomi became to big a project for her to handle.

Imagine, having and a publisher, and then discovering that I needed to find a publisher for this six-book saga. To say I was concerned is an understatement because I had to leave my job to do as Messiah wanted me to. So without a publisher, my husband told me to resign, within 24 hours Janey Hays at Tate told me they wanted the saga, and fourteen months later I began working with my editor!

Paula Rose Michelson said...


Although only one person will win a volume of Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, Historic Notes, Sephardic Voices, and chapter one are posted on my website.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen - You're welcome. Paula made it easy. :)

Hi Jeanette - God opened the doors for Paula. Her story helped restore my hope.

Hi Dena - One interesting fact: The laws concerning the Inquisition were not repealed until the early 1990's!


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Paula -

Thanks for holding down the fort while I was away today. I appreciate your dedication.

Susan :)