Thursday, August 5, 2010

Interview and Giveaway for "No Other" by Shawna Williams


This will be the second giveaway for the month of August! I am so excited to have Shawna with us to share about her debut book "No Other" which is out in ebook form. Thank you so much Shawna for sharing your precious time with us. I have a Nook which I got for Christmas and I have throughly enjoyed it. There will always be paper books, but I think ebooks are going to be very popular in just a few years.

Shawna has graciously offered a free ebook of "No Other" as well as a bracelet she made to go along with it. Also, anyone who signs up for the two giveaways this month will be entered into a special giveaway I'm going to have when I reach 100 followers. I am 95 so it is not far away. We have lot's to talk about with Susan so without further ado here is Shawna Williams!


BACK COVER: In the aftermath of WWII all Jakob Wilheimer wants is to get over his pain, get on with life, and if at all possible, forgive those who've wronged his family -- including himself. But it's hard to do when there are constant reminders. One of them being his former schoolmate, now teacher, Meri Parker -- Miss Port Delamar Pearl, Mayor's daughter, Belle of the town -- Meri Parker.

After enduring the stigma and isolation associated with the internment camp, the awkwardness of going back to school should've been a cake walk. But Jakob didn't expect to find himself inexplicably drawn to Meri. Or to discover that the pain and loneliness of her life surpassed his own. She needed to be rescued from the wretched people seeking to control her life. And more than anything, he needed to be the one to save her.

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I'm a lot of things: a Christian, wife, mother, friend, author, artist, rock hound, science geek and animal lover. The first four take priority. The rest tend to jostle for my attention. Since I'm always a dreamer, author usually wins.

Indeed, my first two books are the result of a dream -- an actual dream. It nagged me for six months as I mentally tried to fill in all of the gaps. I finally had to write it down. Since then, God has continued to bless with me inspiration at times of His choosing.

Technically, I'm an Inspirational Romance writer. But I like to think that romance includes more than the relationship between two people. It can also be about the era or place, or even a single moment in time, when an elusive whisper reaches inward and ever so gently taps the soul, saying, "This. Remember this."

It's my desire that my stories create such a moment.

Some of my methods for filling my creative reservoir are reading about the histories of small towns, pouring over old photos in antique shops and people's homes (if I'm at yours, I'll ask to see your picture albums) and asking prying questions about your best family stories. Oh! And if you ever see a lady on the side of the road, taking pictures of old, dilapidated houses and buildings, it's probably me.

MY TAKE: Once again, as I started reading "No Other" I wasn't sure what I was in for. From the very beginning I fell in love with the characters in this book. Shawna possessed great ability to make this story come alive. She took me to a place many of us are not familiar with - because we were too young, or we were not aware of what was going on right in America at that time. What and when was this? It was during WWII when many Americans of German decent were rounded up and put into interment camps to wait out the end of the war. "No Other" gives an inside view of what happens to someone who looses everything through no fault of their own. Watch the anger one young man, Jakob, holds onto melt away when he falls for his teacher, Meri, who is going through her own prison. You will be taken on a journey of freedom for both of these young people. The journey will not be smooth, but they begin to trust in the One who is stronger than both of them. I am really looking forward to the next installment of "No Other".

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130


1. Did you always want to be a writer?
No. I actually didn't. I've always had a knack for writing, but it wasn't something I considered doing. About eight years ago I had a dream that was a really great story, and after thinking about if for six months I started writing. At first it was just so I could make sense of it. I still didn't consider trying to get published until almost three years ago.

2. How did you come up with the story and the characters for "No Other"?
It was that dream again. The dream was in scenes, and sometimes I was one of the characters and sometimes I was watching. But it mainly broke down into a young couple falling in love, parents with young children, the struggles of career vs family, and an old woman in a chair, watching a family who didn't know her. Some of this you'll recognize in No Other, and some in the sequel, In All things.

There were some things I always knew about the story, like my characters' names. I also knew that Meri was slightly older than Jakob, and somehow was his teacher. I knew that Jakob's family had been discriminated against, and last – and this goes with In All Things, which comes out in November – I knew that Meri eventually became an actress. Filling in all the gaps was an interesting experience, and that's how I came to really know and love the characters.

3. What have been the biggest challenges in your writing and what advice would you give novice writers like myself?
The biggest challenge is balance. Writing isn't something I can work on one minute, go cook dinner, and then come back and pick right up where I left off. I have to have quiet, and get myself focused on my characters' situation and state of mind. This takes me a little while, but I feel like this is one of the reasons my characters come through as believable. I usually write at night, and take care of my family during the day. The last few months have been demanding though because I've had two more books with deadlines. My family is great, and has helped a lot. But I'd like to become more disciplined in finding a way to balance writing and promotion with family and home life. I hate having a dirty house and right now mine is driving me bananas!

As for advice for new writer, I do have some. I've said this in other interviews, but I’m going to say it again because I think it's that important. Find your voice, and learn how to use writing guidelines (not rules) to compliment it, instead of impede it. Also, critique groups are great! And always pay attention to the criticism, but be mindful that suggestions on how to fix it are coming from someone with his or her own unique style, so listen, and see how a story can be tweaked with your unique style in mind. In the end you have to trust in God, and the ability that He gave you. I recommend praying for His direction every time you sit down to write. You'll be totally amazed at what happens.

4. What do you have planned for your next book/project?
In All Things comes out in November. It’s the sequel to No Other. I love No Other, but I think I might love In All Things a little more, probably because of the completeness. No Other and In All Things were originally one story. Now, the story has morphed quite a bit, but the core message has always been the same. I explained that in a previous question. Everything from my dream is still there.

Orphaned Hearts comes out in December. It's a sweet story, set in 1930s Arkansas. It's inspired by my granddad, who grew up in an orphanage during this era.

I've got several ideas brewing at the moment, but I'm not sure which one I'll tackle first. One of them is another historical, one is a contemporary, and one is science fiction. Lol! I actually love scifi, and intend to write one at some point under the pen name Dene' Stone (my middle name and mother's maiden. Hubby picked it out) I'm involved in edits right now, but once I'm done I'll start working on rough outlines and see which story gels first.

5. Can you tell us a little about the bracelets that you make and do you sell them? If so where can we go to learn more about them?
Since No Other is only available as an ebook at the moment, I thought something tangible might be a nice addition to the giveaway, so I've made these bracelets, and there's a story behind them that relates to why I chose to describe my stories, like No Other, as "Grace-Inspired."

A pearl starts as an irritant within the shell of an oyster. It's shape is determined by the way the oyster coats it so that it will be easier to live with -- not unlike people, and how our experiences -- good and bad -- mold us. Freshwater pearls are imperfect, but each is unique; and when they're strung together by an artist they form something beautiful. I like to think that God takes each of us and uses the experiences of our lives to do the same thing. We are transformed through His Grace into a one-of-a-kind work of art. Imperfect, but lovely just the same. So I plan to keep making these bracelets to go with my books, because as people read I want them to remember this, not just for the characters in the story, but for themselves.

I do plan to sell them. I may start on my blog, but I want to eventually have a site up. I actually make a lot of jewelry, and all of it will be for sale. These bracelets are special though, and I want to link them to my writing. Though one will not have to buy a book to get a bracelet. I just feel there's an important message there with the bracelet and the stories God gives me, and I hope that both can be used to glorify Him by touching someone's heart.

6. What do you want people to take from this story?
I wrote "No Other" because I wanted to tell an inspirational story about getting up after you fall. About how Christians don't just struggle, sometimes we blow it, but God doesn't abandon us. Even when our efforts to right things fail, He's still in control. Him, and No Other.

"In All Things" continues with this theme, by reminding us that we see the little picture, but God see the big one. And sometimes tragedy serves a purpose further down the road. I love this story! Sorry, I just do.

I love them both. They have been with me for so very long and it feels wonderful to have them out in words and to be able to share them with others.


1. Be a follower or sign up as a follower.
2. Visit Shawna's website at
3. Leave an email address so you can be contacted.
4. Tell me what you think the future holds for ebooks.

Contest ends Saturday, August 20th, 2010. Be sure and tell your friends!



  1. What a great interview with Shawna. The World War II era is one of the most exciting times in our history, well that's my opinion. I think E-books will gain in popularity as technology advances and people become more interested in "greener" lifestyles. withgreatmercy at yahoo dot com

  2. Nice interview! E-books will definitely grow in popularity, especially as there are more and more gadgets that can read them (Droid phones, iPads, Kindles, etc....

    andrealschultz [at] gmail [dot] com

  3. Thanks guys! It is exciting to see how the publishing industry adapts. In the long run digital tech will result in less waste. Paper books will still be with us though too. I think both formats will evolve to compliment each other very well.

    Deborah, thanks so much for interviewing me. I really enjoy the opportunity to share about my book.

  4. I am so impressed with Shawna and her writing. Please enter me in the giveaway. Deborah, butterflies are among my favorite creatures. I have become a follower of your blog. I was born in time to know some things about WWII. Just a little girl then - I have memories of family members being in the war. We were elated when the safe ones came home; and sad that we greeted some who had been victims of warfare and prisoner of war. I can relate to the book in that I've had to start my life over after a crippling illness that almost took my life. Praise God for 2nd chances. Congratulations to you, Shawna....keep moving on.

    Grace & Peace in Christ,
    Barb Shelton

  5. Whoops, forgot to comment on ebooks. I'm excited about them. I'm just hoping they are Kindle adaptable. Thanks for asking.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  6. Looks like we are off to a great start. Love the picture of you, Shawna on your horse. I rode horses when I was younger, but due to Fibromyalgia I can no longer ride. I still love them though.

    Thank you everyone for your support.

    Deborah M.

  7. From reading "library talk" to internet chatter, ebooks look like they have a promising future.

  8. I have read Shawna's book already and just wanted to add my 'two cents' - it is a lovely, romantic read that should satisfy romance enthusiasts, but also has'substance' - if I can put it that way, in terms of its historical setting and the social issues surrounding the period. I highly recommend it. Great interview, Deborah, by the way!

  9. Hi, what a fantastic interview! Deborah, your site is beautiful. Shawna, I so love it that your idea came to you in a dream. Good luck and blessings to both of you.

  10. Great interview. Please enter me into your giveaway. As of e-books, I would love to have an e-reader and I think they are going to grow in popularity, BUT I don't believe that the traditional book form will ever be replaced with them.

    Cindy W.


  11. I've read a small excerpt of No Other and it transported me to another place, it was beautiful. Please include me, I'd love to win Shawna's book.
    I think e-books will be continue to be popular, it is another way to always have a book at your finger tips.
    I'm a follower.

  12. Thanks for all of your encouraging comments. I'm truly touched. It still floors me that people read something that came out of my head! And like it!

  13. Thanks for doing this interview. I am looking forward to reading Shawna's ebook next month in the ACFW book club.

  14. Shawna I love your interview. I find out a little bit more about you each time I read a new interview. I would love to win No Other and read In All Things when it is released. Thanks for stopping to chat with us.

    I already follow Shawna's website.

    I am not sure if ebooks will continue to be big sellers. Now they are a novelty but in time they may take a back seat to printed books. As convient as the ereader is I still think they will never replace the book. Most avid readers perfer to hold a printed book while reading and for this reason I think they will always be available.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  15. Great interview. I am intrigued by the book. I am a new kindle owner and love reading on it. It is so easy to carry so many books with me. I think that e books will continue to grow but I don't think it will totally replace printed books. I love to go into a bookstore and hold the books and read back covers to pick a new book.
    Kim Thorne

  16. Great interview! Though I am not a huge WWII fan her book sounds interesting.

    I like ebooks and I am sure they are going to be more and more popular but I just can't help but like holding a paperback in my hands.


  17. I believe E-books will continue to grow in popularity. I've heard that there are young people in their teens and twenties who only have read E-books. I realize there is a group who will always want to hold the book, but there's a place for E-books, and it's growing.

    I enjoyed the interview with Shawna and stopped by her Web site. I'd love to read No Other.

    pallotta at gailpallotta dot com

  18. Great interview.A follower. No Other sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway. tHE future for ebooks is good.
    augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

  19. Great interview! I enjoyed learning more about Shawna and about her new book. Thanks for the giveaway. I am a follower.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  20. I visited Shawna's website. Very cool and informative!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  21. I think ebooks are the wave of the future. As much as I hate to say this, ebooks are here to stay. As an Old Fashioned, I will always prefer a book in my hands that I will physically hold, touch, and turn the pages! Like I saidd, I am Old Fashioned!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net