Thursday, November 1, 2012

Giveaway and Interview for "Autumn Changes" by Bev Nault

I'd like to introduce Beverly Nault to my readers. Bev is a great writer and she is also my editor for "Death in Dahlonega" and "Murder in Marietta."  Let's give Bev a warm welcome and read on to learn more about her and her writing career.


Interview Questions
  1. Tell us a little about yourself. I’ve wanted to be an author ever since elementary school when I published a story about a line who wanted to be in a parade (you read that right…a line). If you count running off copies on the mimeograph machine, and stapling the edges together “published.” In the spirit of a lemonade stand, I had a book signing, and people lined up down the sidewalk to buy copies. Well, my mom and dad came. I think my older sister had a date that night. But I was hooked.
  2. Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on. “Autumn Changes” is set in a  “Mitford-esque” fictional community. Cherryvale has been called a mash up between “Desperate Housewives” and Mayberry. The first book, “Fresh Start Summer” began the series, but readers can begin anywhere. Each one has unique storylines, and as you can tell, a definite “seasonal” setting. In “Autumn Changes,” preparations for the Harvest Festival loom, but the main characters, Grace & Maggie, have their hands full with teenagers they’re mentoring, and their friendship’s strained when they can’t agree over how to tackle the various challenges.
  3. Why did you choose this particular genre? To create an escape where the folks are friendly, and even though the characters are flawed like all of us, and their problems can feel real, you’ll want to return again and again to “rest” from your own worries. In Cherryvale, “the neighbors care, gardeners share, and God allows do-overs.” I sprinkle in “Kodak moments,” lots of furry pets, a touch of mystery. I believe a cozy read should provide a beautiful setting, funny moments, and encouragement for your day. Many fans tell me they purposely read slowly so they won’t finish too soon, and they’d love to move to the ‘Vale. I call them my honorary ‘Valers.
  4. What was your journey to publication like? I wrote for businesses for years, and tried to throw in the odd line of dialog or scenery, but the editors really discouraged that in software manuals. C’mon, lighten up! So the creative side in me burbled for years, and when our youngest child began college, I said to myself, “Self, what do you want to do with all your spare time?” No brainer! I enrolled in the Christian Writer’s Guild What’s Your Story Apprentice program to fine tune my skills for the general market. From that excellent online course, I birthed both my first fiction and nonfiction books in the same month, March 2011. I call “Fresh Start Summer,” and “Lessons from the Mountain, What I Learned from Erin Walton” (co-written with Mary Beth McDonough) my fraternal twins.
  5. What are a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now? My favorite classic books include “Gone With the Wind,” which has an actual part in “Fresh Start Summer,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which appears in “Autumn Changes.” Right now I’m reading “A Severe Mercy,” by Sheldon Vanauken, about the love affair with his wife that became their love affair with God. And Joanne Bischof’s new, lovely historical fiction, “Be Still My Soul,” is on my bedside table as well. Who can read one book at a time?
  1. What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it? Of course! I’m preparing to release Cherryvale’s winter story, “Christmas Bells.” Think “Survivor; Cherryvale.” A blizzard threatens to ruin the town’s live nativity pageant and Grace’s wedding anniversary plans as well, but in God’s awesome way, He has lessons for everyone about the real meaning of the holiday. I’m also co-authoring another nonfiction memoir about a physician’s journey raising her son who struggles with ADHD and bi-polarism. Our working title is “God Stops; A pediatrician shares her faith lessons, offering hope from her personal journey raising a child with multiple behavioral and cognitive challenges.” Heavy title, worthy stuff.
  2. What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication? First, have your head examined! Just kidding (sort of), but know it can be thrilling, grueling, disappointing, exhilarating, frustrating, joy filled….ahem. OK, begin by calling yourself a writer… out loud. Then write. And share your writing with people who are ahead of you in the journey, because they understand where you are headed. Find a class, join a brutally honest critique group, go to writer’s conferences. Read in your genre, and read ABOVE your genre…figure out how it’s done right, and what doesn’t work. Think of it as a business, and then you will be able to accept input. I imagine my “one” reader, and my “One” reader. Then I write to please her, but to glorify Him.
  3. Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us? I actually wrote a blog post about this, so perhaps this is a good place to mention, “Bev Said What?” where I try to behave myself, and often succeed. Here’s the post where I chat with my friend, Danny, about getting started writing;  
  4. Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered? I am thrilled to share that “Fresh Start Summer” just received the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild Nancy Bayless Excellence in Writing Award. I wish this was a “sense-a-blog,” because the plaque’s so new it’s still got that “new award smell.” >laughs< Also, I’m writing shorter novellas that are perfect for new readers to see if they like my style. “Hearts Unlocked, A Thanksgiving Romance Novella,” will be free for three days on Kindle, November 18-20th. It’s a cozy read, perfect for kicking back and relaxing after tackling the turkey, and hitting those black Friday sales. Again, it’s a stand-alone story, but spoiler alert, the romance kindles a flame between two characters from “Autumn Changes.” But that was totally out of my control, I swear.  Did I mention “Hearts Unlocked” will be FREE?!
  5. Please let us know where we can find you on the web. I will, and thanks for having me, Debbie!!
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