Wednesday, June 24, 2009

with Cara Putman

Cara Putnam is an incredible lady. I still haven't figured out how she manages all that she does, but that's okay. LoL I'm just tickled she's visiting us today! :-) Cara is doing a book giveaway, also, so be sure to leave a comment for her to be entered in the drawing. The giveaway will be open through Saturday evening and the winner posted on Sunday.

Welcome to Patterings, Cara! Tell us about yourself and how you juggle all the things you do and still keep your sanity.
First, thanks so much for having me, Patty. I was so honored when you asked.

I’ve been married for 13 years to a wonderful man. Eric, a boy from Indiana, and I met, a girl from Nebraska, met in Colorado when we were 18 and 16. I’ve always said only God could pull off something like that. Eric says I’m the speedboat zipping around his ocean liner. It’s a great description. I race through life, from project to project, and absolutely nothing fazes him.

We have three children with one in heaven and we homeschool. I’m an attorney who lectures in business law at a Big Ten University. I also write books, am active in our church and American Christian Fiction Writers. I have a hard time saying no because I love to help others, but that means I don’t get an abundance of sleep.


Tell us about your new World War II series.
My second series for Heartsong Presents is set in Ohio during the war and each book highlights a different sibling. Evactuated children, top-secret projects, and baseball, oh my!

Where did you get the idea for this series?
JoAnne Simmons posted a list of states that were still available, and Ohio is next door. I’d done some research on children evacuated from Britain to the states, and knew that some found their way to Ohio. That provided a hook to the state. I emailed JoAnne that I might be intrested in Ohio, then went back to writing another book. Several months later she emailed me and said that she needed to pick the author for that series, did I have my ideas for her? Needless to say, I hopped on Google and prayed for direction since she needed the proposal in a week. It was so cool to watch God lead me to the two additional historical hooks that I needed to make the three-book series.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?  And why.
Great question, Patty. I’ve enjoyed each book, but I am actually having a blast writing the last book in the Ohio series right now. I’m not a huge baseball fan, football is much more my speed…but I am having a blast writing Kat Miller’s story. She’s a 17 year old heroine with tons of spunk, trying to live our her faith away from home. Who hasn’t done that? And Jack Raymond, the hero, is a rogue that’s just waiting to be redeemed. :-)

You also write romantic suspense for Love Inspired. Tell us about that series.
Deadly Exposure, which released last year, launched the series. Trial by Fire releases in October, and Love Inspired has a proposal for three more books in the series. My romantic suspense is clean, fun, intense, and you just have to race to the end. This series is set in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Trial by Fire allowed me to research arson. You should have seen the librarians as I checked out videos on arson investigation. I can just imagine what they were thinking!

Did you have an epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication?
For me it occurred in 2005 when I insisted on going to a book signing at our local Christian bookstore, Carpenter’s Son. I didn’t know then why I was so determined, but there I met Colleen Coble. For reasons unknown to me, she took me under her wing.

That fall I attended my first ACFW conference. I had a partial suspense manuscript and tried to soak in everything I could. I left the conference with three invitations to submit to editors. I followed up on those, and received my first contract at the ACFW conference in 2006. That book, Canteen Dreams, was my first printed and the ACFW 2008 Book of the Year in Short Historical.

Crazy as this sounds, my husband had just started a graduate program in addition to his job, so I decided the timing was good for me to dedicate evenings to writing. He’d be busy with classes and I could focus on creating books like I’d dreamed.


What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Wow, great question. Umm, I can’t think of anything at the moment. :-)


Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
Last night it was hummus with multi-grain Wheat Thins. Tonight it was a homemade chocolate chip scone. And always sweet tea.


Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I pray my readers get the sense that God is active in our lives. That He cares deeply about us. And that He is always there, even when we think He doesn’t care or doesn’t see.


What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
Do I really trust Him? Or do I pay lip service to allowing Him to control my life? I say my career is in His hands, but is it really? He continues to ask me to trust Him and allow Him to direct my life.


When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Captive Dreams, the third in my Nebraska historical series for Heartsong Presents, is set in the middle of prisoner of war camps and an airbase. Anna Goodman’s mother is dead, her father has given up on life, and her brother, Brent, goes missing in action in World War II. Even though she has a full-time war job, she feels she must keep the family farm going so that Brent will have something to come home to. She won't let herself think that he might never return. Any dreams Anna has for her future are held captive by the responsibilities the war and life have thrust upon her.

If only Anna didn't have to rely on help from German prisoners -- or from Specialist Sid Chance, the cocky know-it-all who oversees the prinsoers' work. In her heart, she knows she can't do everything demanded of her, but whom can she trust to carry the burden with her?

A Promise Kept releases to the Heartsong Presents book club this month! It’s my married romance, women’s fiction, historical. Josie and Art Wilson marry in the opening scene. It was a challenge in a fun way to explore what early married love looks like. This book also pushed me deeper because of the women’s fiction angle – Josie experiences a miscarriage. This grows out of my own experience with a miscarriage a couple years ago. Even though I had two children then, three now, that miscarriage was the most painful experience of my life to date. I still grieve for the child I won’t know this side of heaven. Our family is incomplete, yet God has turned even that into good. Don’t worry, the book doesn’t preach about miscarriage, but how the couple handles the experience plays an important role in the book.

The historical hook is that they welcome a distant cousin from England into their lives. More than 2000 children were evacuated to the United States, with many more families ready to welcome them before the Germans torpedoed a ship containing evacuated children, ending the program. I read some fascinating books filled with stories of these kids experiences and the research on the impact. Great stuff!

How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
I post at least three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) on my blog Cara's Musings. I frequently giveaway books and talk about my writing as well as introduce readers to other authors. They can also read excerpts from my books at www.caraputman.com.

Thanks again, Patty!

Thanks so much for being here with us, Cara! It was wonderful getting to know you a bit!


Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for a free copy of A Promise Kept.

8 comments:

  1. And I thought I was busy! She sounds like a wonderful lady and the books sound great! Enjoyed this greatly.

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  2. Nice to meet you. I love your blog title and header. Such a refreshing stop along the trail. I look forward to getting to know you more.

    Dancing in the rain in Costa RIca,
    Sarah Dawn

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  3. For as long as I have read Cara's blogs, this would be my first opportunity to win one of her books. And, yes, she is one BUSY lady. I don't have a clue how she fits it all in.
    Please enter me. Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  4. Thanks so much for stopping by! Wish I could give you each a book...

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  5. Glad I stopped by! I must remember to do it more often:) Thanks for the reminder to dance in all kinds of weather.

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  6. This book sounds really good. I would love a chance to win a copy. Thank you very much.
    carlyberd[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  7. What a great interview! I wish you the best!

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