Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Author Interview - Jeanette Levellie - Part 1

Let me say upfront: I'm totally biased when it comes to my good friend, Jeanette Levellie. She's a star in my estimation. Even though I'd read bits and pieces of her work over the years, I was unprepared for the effect her book had on me. My emotions ran the gamut of laughing, crying, and "wow, I never thought of it that way."

Her book launches this month. It's in both print and Ebook format (Kindle, Nook). This book is a read-it-more-than-once keeper.

Jen is doing a a super drawing on her Facebook pages. There will be free downloads of her book for ten winners, who like one of her Facebook pages. A second giveaway is a drawing for those who read her book and answer ten EASY questions. The winner will get a $100 gift card to one of the following: Amazon, B and N, CBD, WalMart, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, or Ruby Tuesday.

I'm happy to welcome her to Christian Writer/Reader Connection to share the details of her journey.

1) What prompted you to embark on a writing career? I never intended to have a career at it--I wrote articles and devotionals and calendar poems for several years. Then I had an idea to approach my newspaper's editor and ask if I could do a column combining humor and inspiration. He agreed. That was 11 years ago.

Over that time, many people have told me I needed to turn the columns into a book. I always said, "NO, I don't. Getting a book published is too much work and trouble. I just want to have fun (hey, that sounds like a song title!). After so many people asking me to write a book, I started seeking the Lord to see if He wanted me to pursue publication. He led me to a friend, Clella Camp, who published a devo called, Just Walking, and she encouraged me to attend a writers conference. That was in 2008.

2) What was it like moving from writing columns and short pieces to tackling a book? What was the hardest part of the transition? The easiest?

The book is a compilation of columns and short pieces, but I needed a theme to weave them together. I noticed that I write a lot about the Lord's grace and mercy, so I decided to choose the articles that focused on that theme. Plus, I tried to pick ones that had an element of humor in them.

The hardest part of any book is writing the proposal. I've written four now, and I think we should receive a million dollars, a mink coat, and a trip around the world each time one is complete. Oh, and a boatload of chocolate!

The easiest part was looking up Scriptures to go with each piece. I love to peruse the Word of God and find fun, wise nuggets in there. It never grows old; it's like a perpetual ice cream cone that doesn't deplete, no matter how many bites you take. How blessed we are to serve a God that has given us this living, breathing book to guide, encourage and help us.

3) Please tell us a little about the book.

Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top is a light-hearted look at God's enormous heart. I've taken 72 stories of everyday battles, brouhahas, and bliss and added a touch of humor. My goal is to make you laugh, help you like yourself, and enable you to receive God's love. I've aimed it primarily at Christians, but it has some "salt" sprinkled in it as well, to make pre-believers thirsty to know Jesus.

Susan: We'll share Part 2 of the interview next Wednesday, April 11, 2012.

Question for writers:  Have you considered writing a non-fiction book? If yes, what type?

Question for readers: Is humor an important element in non-fiction books for you? If so, why?

Personally, I'm a spoonful-of-sugar-makes-the-medicine-go-down type of gal!


Jessica Nelson said...

I don't read a whole lot of non-fiction anymore. I used to but now my spare time is spent immersed in fiction. However...I know Jeanette's book is going to ROCK!!! I'm so excited to get a peek at her funny yet thought-provoking stories. :-)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Thanks, Susan, for having me today; what an honor to be here.

Jessie: Wow, it's a compliment that you would read my book, since you rarely read nf. Since it's full of anecdotes and stories, it reads a bit like a fiction book, so it won't bog you down in theology--I leave that to my DH.

Bless you,

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Oh my goodness ladies... again a lovely duo, Susan & Jeanette, does it get any better? I read Jeanettes stuff on and off (sorry, not enough time to read it ALL) and I think she's crazy... well, crazy with fun! LOVE her writings. Thanks for this interview Susan.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Thanks, Marja--that's a great compliment! I appreciate you stopping by,

Loree Huebner said...

It's almost here! Can't wait to read it! So exciting!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess - I know you'd enjoy Jen's brand of humor. :)

Hi Jen - Thanks for giving me a spot in your busy schedule.

Hi Marja - LOL! Lucy & Ethel?

Hi Loree - I've read the ARC, and it was a blast!

Susan :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Susan: You need to pop over to my blog and see the Snoopy Love I sent your way today!


Denise said...

Great interview.

quietspirit said...

Yes, I have considered writing a non-fiction book. I thought about a series of Bible studies.
As a reader, I appreciate humor in books. As one who went through a time of depression, I value the ability to laugh as a gift from God.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen - I'll go as soon as I finish saying, "Hi," to everyone here! I've been battling a migraine today, so haven't done much blog hopping.

Hi Denise - Thank you!

Hi Cecelia - A number of publishing houses are always looking for Bible Study books. Jen's book is a gem. :)


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Everyone -

I wanted to let you know that Jen's book is available on Amazon NOW! I ordered my copy tonight. :)


Jeanette Levellie said...

Loree: Thanks for ordering it!

Denise: Thanks; Suze thought of this, and I'm happy she's the first in my list of blog tour participants.

Quiet Spirit: You can do it!

Susan: Wow, thanks! I hope it looks better in it's finished form than all the boo-boos we found in the arc's.

Karen Lange said...

Great interview ladies! Of course, I might be a bit biased too, as you both are among my favorite writers. :) Wishing Jen all the best!

Rhonda Schrock said...

Great interview - both of you! So exciting, Jeanette, to see your dream come to fruition.

You go, girl!!

Carol J. Garvin said...

It's so nice to get this peek at the background of your writing. Thanks for this interview, Jen and Susan.

I'm looking forward to getting my copy of your book. What an exciting time for you! I haven't considered writing a NF book, although I've written my share of articles and always feel I do a better job with them than I do with my fiction.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen - I'm sure it will be fine. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Hi Karen - Thanks for your kind words. I'm biased when it comes to you and Jen as well. :)

Hi Rhonda - I'm having such fun doing these interviews.

Hi Carol - It sounds like you're writing path is similar to mine. I started out with non-fiction and now do a combination.

Susan :)

Nancy said...

What a great interview. I will be getting Jeanette's book soon.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

I'm sure Jen will be thrilled. :)


JD said...


I’ve been on humorous sites, and I’ve been on inspirational sites. But writing in both a humorous and inspiring style as you do is difficult, and I’m glad you’re sharing that blessing with us through your words.

I had never heard the term “pre-believers” before. Good for you for sprinkling enough “salt” as you say in your book to keep the pre-believers thirsty for more of God’s love and grace.


Thank you for this interview!

Be well, ladies.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janette -

I loved that term as well. Jeanette has so many expressions that speak to my heart.

Susan :)