Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Author Interview~Melinda Evau~BOOK GIVEAWAYl

I love this book. Here is my review link if you would like to see.

Melinda, thanks for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you answering these few questions. It will be fun to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself. Thank you for asking me to be a special guest today, Wanda. It’s an honor to be here. Born and raised in NC, I’m a transplant to TN. I’m a pastor’s wife, mother of two, and Mimi to my three grandchildren. I work two days/month as a nurse in a doctor’s office. I’m a certified water aerobic instructor. When I add writer to that list, I’d say I wear far too many hats for the allotted hours in a day.

How long did you write before you were published? I began writing about 6 years ago when my mother needed full-time care and moved in with us. Her soap operas and game shows didn’t interest me. Writing became a pastime and a way to share my Christianity. After my mother’s death, I continued to write. Several of my articles won awards and found publishing homes. I sought placement for two of my four novels. It’s an arduous task to find an agent or publisher. After much prayer and thought, I opted to form my own publishing company, Winding Road Ink, and have Snowfall Press print Grow Old With Me. I knew there was a market for the book among quilters, the areas around Love Valley, and people who support agri-tourism along the quilt barn trails. (If quilt barns leaves you clueless, visit my website and photo galleries after you read the rest of this post.)

Tell us about “Grow Old With Me,” the featured book. Grow Old With Me Novel # 1 in the Quilt Trail Series A modern day Beauty and the Beast meet in their fifties when a disfigured carpenter becomes a long-term guest at a bed and breakfast in the western-style tourist town of Love Valley, NC. Benjamin Pruitt plans to repair the town’s buildings before retiring to a solitary life. Sarah Campbell longs for freedom since her long task as caregiver has ended. Can Benjamin and Sarah piece the tattered remnants of their lives into a beautiful design to warm their waning years? Benjamin and Sarah are middle-aged and they’ve never married. They’re damaged, hurting people who find comfort, companionship, and love. My book asks some tough questions about faith and the rough things people face in life. It’s set in the real town of Love Valley, NC. Most descriptions are true to the town. I have pictures of Love Valley on my website. My characters and some structural details are fiction. Mosey Inn doesn’t exist. The house on the cover is miles from Love Valley. I found the Unicoi County Heritage Museum in Erwin, TN while following a quilt trail. I pulled into the drive and saw the house I’d seen in my mind while writing about Sarah’s B&B.

Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey? My husband believed in me and encouraged me to devote time to writing. We often plot or work on a scene together. He’s my final proofreader. My critique partner, Lynn Dean, saw me through many edits and pushed me to write the best book possible. She helped my husband create the beautiful cover design and drew the interior quilt graphics for “Grow Old With Me.” I wouldn’t be writing blog interviews without these two special people God placed in my life.

What message do you want to be clear to your readers? I love writing about flawed characters that need God’s healing touch. My goal is to show readers a personal relationship with Christ. I want to strengthen their faith as they enjoy a good book. God can reach someone through a work of fiction who would never open a Bible.

What are some of your likes and dislikes? I love ice cream in any flavor. Well, vanilla needs some sort of chocolate topping. Add a good cup of coffee to that and I’m a happy lady. I hate shopping. No fun to look when you can’t afford to buy or find things that fit. Shoe shopping is the worst. I have a closet full and they all hurt my feet or my back.

Your hobbies, interests? Reading is a favorite pastime but it’s hard to find the time in my schedule. The swimming pool is my second home. I either teach or take a water aerobics class 3-4 days/week.

Where do you like to vacation? I love cruises. My husband and I have enjoyed three trips to the Caribbean. Every island is unique. I enjoy hiking and snorkeling. I love to visit the remote areas of an island instead of the tourist sights. Remember, I’m not a shopper. We’ve traveled the US extensively, mostly in a tent or a camper. I hope to take my grandchildren on a grand tour of the US some day.

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know. I sailed on the USS Nimitz from Hawaii to San Diego. They Navy sent roughly 1000 crewmembers home by plane. Selected parents and children boarded in Hawaii to travel the last leg with their sailor. I’ll never forget that special trip home with my son. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

How do you spend your writing days? Mornings are devoted to the pool, so I write during the afternoon and evenings. I’m in the research phase for my next book. It’s the time where I get to know my characters, learn about their spiritual needs, and form the plot in my head. It’s hard for me to rough draft. Most of my book is in my mind before I begin the writing phase. I’m a semi-pantser but detailed character sketches are vital.

Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? I try to set a goal but my “to do” list often gets in the way. The hard part for me is marketing and writing at the same time. Currently marketing outweighs writing.

Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel? “Grow Old With Me” took a year of serious writing time. I did little else besides my water exercises. Polishing it and formatting the book for print took several more months. I’ve allotted six months to promote the book before I jump into full-time writing again. By then, I should have a good reader base and know my new characters fairly well. My goal is to release the next novel around Christmas of 2011. I learned things writing “Grow Old With Me” that should speed along the writing process on this next book.

What are you currently reading? At this time, I’m between books. Ronie Kendig’s “Digitalis” is next on my list. Recent reads include Jo Ann Durgin’s “Awakening” and Penny Zeller’s “McKenzie” and “Kaydie.” Earlier in the month I read Irene Hannon’s “Against All Odds” and Richard Mabry’s “Code Blue.” I read a variety of genres but suspense or thrillers are my favorites.

Do you grow flowers or vegetables? My thumb is not green. I had a vegetable garden when my children were young. We actually harvested a great crop.

What are your favorite flowers? I love daffodils. They’re so bright and cheerful after a long winter. My mom begged and harvested from every flowerbed in town so I could have daffodils in the church for my March wedding. That was 33 years ago, by the way.

What are you writing now? My next book will feature a quilt barn painter and a Christmas tree grower. They’re people with troubled pasts and family situations that need mending. This novel will continue the quilt theme as the painter and tree grower struggle to overcome the old patterns of life with new ones.

How can readers find you on the Internet? My website is I send a quarterly newsletter to those who subscribe. I have a blog at the same location. Readers can order a paperback copy of “Grow Old With Me” from my website. It’s on Amazon as an e-book. I’ll format it for Nook and other e-readers next month. I’ll eventually place the paperback on other Internet sites. I’m doing a book signing tour during April and May. I’ll be in seven different towns. Those events are on my Facebook page Melinda Evaul-Author and on my website. If you live nearby one of these locations, drop by and say hello.

And thanks for spending this time with us, Melinda. We wish you much success. Thank you, Wanda. It was a pleasure to be here. Thank you for promoting my novel. I’ll stop by to make comments and see who wins the giveaway copy.

Melinda is offering her book Grow Old With Me to one of you.

Leave a comment with your name and email address.

You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

Here are the ways to get extra entries:

~Be or become a follower +1

~Be or become an email subscriber +1

~Be or become a networked blog follower +1

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- ENTRY DEADLINE April 18, 2011


Carmen said...

How interesting to see the house you are picturing in your mind. Sounds like a sweet romance for two people who have lived a hard life. Please enter me. Thank you.

I'm a follower.

I am a subscriber by email.

I'm a networked blog follower.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Penny Zeller said...

Wonderful interview, Melinda! I absolutely loved reading "Grow Old With Me." Whoever wins it will be blessed indeed!
In Christ,
Penny Zeller

Cindy said...

Would love to win this book. They say there is someone for everyone. Whether you find that person when your young or old. Finding that one person to share your feelings and find support and give the same in return.
I'm a GFC follower - Cindy Macbeth
cindymacbeth at gmail dot com

Patsy said...

Would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway,


Unknown said...

i like that the characters are middle aged and that the town is an actual place. Thanks for the interview and the chance to win this book. i am an email subscriber and a networked blog followers.
mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com from Arizona

Unknown said...

Loved the Book and the opportunity to meet you. Just a note to you about a quilt I was given after several tragic events that happened to me as a gift to start over. I so love that quilt. It is in much need of repair but we still use it often on our bed. God Bless You!

kykitty said...

Love the description of the book and would be thrilled to win a copy.

kykitty said...

I am an email subscriber.

Melinda said...

Thanks to each person for the nice comments. I appreciate your support in spreading the news about my book. Tell all your friends!

Marianne, I enjoyed writing about middle-aged people. Being there myself makes it easy to relate to their hardships and joys. I'll be in Love Valley, NC on April 22-23 to sign books and visit with my friends. If you live nearby, come see me. There will be new pics on my website after the event.

Cindy, I have friends who found that someone and married in their later years. It's never too late for love.

Carmen, it was a gift from God to "see" my Mosey Inn. That museum has become a big supporter of my book and the curator is now a good friend.

Laura, I'm glad you have a special quilt to cherish. Stating over is always possible with God. May He bless you.

Waving at my friend Penny. Congrats on your new release "Kaydie." It's a great read.

Anonymous said...

WOuld love to have this book. Thanks much for the interview.

Pam said...

I love the house pictured on the cover as well as the thought of growing old with someone you love. I enjoyed the interview with Melinda and would like to win her book.
I'm a subscriber and a follower.
Thanks for having this giveaway.


Melinda said...

Your comments are all so kind. Wish you could all win. I'm traveling to many book signing events in the next few weeks. Had a poster-sized copy of the cover that's laminated on a foam board made to display at my signing. Looks great as an 12x18 picture! I have an event tomorrow and get to use it for the first time. I'll post a pic on my blog afterwards so everyone can see it.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Faith said...

Great interview. Please enter me.

crazi.swans at gmail(dot) com

PriviesAndPrims said...

We actually have a Quilt Trail here in NC!

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

p.s. Carman sent me over.

Charity U said...

Please enter me!


MaureenT said...

I agree love Cruises..back when my Hubby was well we went on the Alaska, and Western Caribbean.
Please include me!


Melinda said...

PrivesandPrims, many of the quilt barn pics on my website come from NC quilt trails.

Maureen, I'd love to take a cruise to Alaska. It's one of my dreams. That Western Caribbean one is great.

I appreciate the enthusiasm. Thanks for the kind comments. Book Signing today. Keep me in prayer as I travel.

Unknown said...

I had to admit when I saw that you and your husband like cruises I had a huge grin on my face. My husband have taken our first one with our two teenage boys in December of 2009. In Feb. of 2012 we are taking our second one to Belize City Belize, Honduras and Cozumel. We love cruising!

I find your book very interesting in your explanations. I would love to read and review a copy on my new review blogspot.

Thanks for the chance to win a copy. I think it's awesome when authors do this!

I am a networked follower, a follower and an email subscriber, and Carman sent me this way!


Anonymous said...

thank you for the chance
junegirl26 at hotmail dot com

Mary Ann said...

I would to read this book. Sounds like a wonderful story. Please enter me.

amomwithablog at yahoo dot com

Thanks! :)

Mozi Esme said...

Looks interesting!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Wilma said...

Sounds like a great book. I'd love to read it.

rubynreba said...

What a great romance story!

rubynreba said...

I am a follower.

MomRedding said...

This book sounds wonderful! If I don't win it, I will surely be looking for it!

I also became a follower!

Melinda said...

Many nice comments since I checked in last. My thanks to each of you. If you don't win the giveaway, I hope you'll visit my website to buy a copy.
I'll be wearing my Mimi hat for a few days as I babysit my grandsons.
I'm meeting with a quilter's group on Thursday to discuss the book and quilt barns. Busy weeks ahead as I travel to 6 places for a book signing.

Melinda said...

I'm so excited! My book was nominated for the Global eBook Award for 2011. What a great honor.

Trinity Rose said...

We are very proud of you Melinda and so happy. Praise the Lord! Congrats!

Melinda said...

Just came back from a quilters circle meeting. Had a wonderful time telling them about my novel and holding a book signing. One of the ladies brought a Carpenter's Wheel quilt made by her grandmother. That's the pattern on the cover and on Benjamin's bed at Sarah's Bed and Breakfast.

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Miss Hillbilly said...

I would love to have a chance to win this book.

Miss Hillbilly said...

I am a new follower and very happy to find you via Melinda's facebook page. I love to read but don't get to near as much as I'd like. I mostly only read Christian books with the exception of historical fiction for my son's schooling and old classics. I love them as well.

Annette W. said...

The title alone does it for me!
derekannette at gmail dot com

karenk said...

would enjoy reading this beautiful book...thanks for the opportunity :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a follower :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Book sounds great. Carmen sent me

Nancye said...

I am a follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

email subscriber

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow you on Networked Blogs

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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