Wednesday, February 24, 2010

with Christa Allan

Patterings


Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
I’m not sure it was actually an epiphany as much as a series of confidence builders that led me in that direction. Long ago and far away, I wrote human interest columns for a newspaper. The Texas Press Association gave me an award for a column I wrote about my oldest starting kindergarten. It was enough affirmation to plant a seed that maybe, just maybe, I really could write. Over the next few years, God surrounded me with people who encouraged and supported me when I hesitantly typed paragraphs that turned into pages. In the meantime, my husband surprised me with a laptop and said, “No excuses. Go for it.” Then someone else came along and said it was time for me to start entering contests, so I did. None of the feedback suggested I toss my laptop, so I kept going! Halfway through my book, another friend threw down the gauntlet and told me if I was serious about writing, I needed to go to a conference. So I did. Through what could only be God-incidences, I signed with an agent a few months later.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
This is a blurb I wrote for a book I hope to write one day, and I plan to have fun with this one!
LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
Poor Claire.
Her husband, Jake, left her at the airport after their honeymoon.
Poor Jake.
Claire’s father, Everett, will pay any price to appease his princess daughter.
Poor Everett.
His employees, Donnie and Tyler, aren’t happy about the work force reductions.
Poor Donnie and Tyler.
They just kidnapped the wrong person.
Let the games begin.

In Walking on Broken Glass, my favorite character is Theresa, Leah’s roommate. She’s rowdy and rough, with a built-in poopy detector she isn’t afraid to use. But that shell protects a vulnerable woman, and readers will discover there’s more to Theresa than swinging braids.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
Though I wouldn’t have suspected this when I first started the book, the character that intrigued me most was Carl, Leah’s husband. He wouldn’t allow himself to be predictable.

What is your strangest habit?
I’m not sure I’ve confessed this in print…I often read the end of a book first!

LoL--I almost always read the end of the book first! That lets me savor the book and see how the author wove in all the little details needed to get the reader to the end. hehe. Works for me!
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

Getting a cold. Anything involving furniture polish or window cleaner. Stepping on a scale. Trying on bathing suits.

Confronting people when I’m upset/bothered about something that may have happened (or I think should have happened!). As much as I talk, you’d think this wouldn’t be an issue. But my swimming skills are weak, so I hate to rock the boat. . .

What would a perfect day for you look like?
Waking up without an alarm clock. Then just hanging out with my husband, my children (+ my precious son-in-law) and grandchildren. I have one child in Mississippi, one in Louisiana, and three + the grandgirls in Texas. Finding time to be together in one another’s physical presence is a scheduling nightmare. When the planets do align, and it’s possible, I am ever so grateful.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, Philippia Gregory’s series, anything by Anne Lamott or Bill Bryson or Lisa Samson or Jenny B. Jones or Mary DeMuth or Joyce Magnin, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, and The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
Popcorn, Coke Zero, anything Blue Bell, coffee, unsalted peanuts…not necessarily in that order. Sometimes consumed simultaneously.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
For me, it’s my tagline, “stories of unscripted grace.” I think we grow up expecting our lives to follow a certain “script,” and when it doesn’t, we’re sometimes thrown into a tizzy. Or, like Carl, we’re shocked to discover others write scripts for us. It took me years to realize that God is the playwright, and His script is ultimately the one I’ll follow. And I think the grace is that part where God surprises us with the knowledge that, yes, this is truly where we’re supposed to be even if it wasn’t in our plan. And, yes, grace was waiting for us just around the corner.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
Mostly always to “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.”

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it? Well, still praying for one!

Christa is giving away a copy of Walking on Broken Glass. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back next Tuesday, March 2, to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.

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10 comments:

  1. Christa better not throw that laptop away. I loved the story blurb she has, that has to be written. Soon.

    Thanks Patty for this spotlight, I've enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Christa better not throw that laptop away. I loved the story blurb she has, that has to be written. Soon.

    Thanks Patty for this spotlight, I've enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The biggest step in getting help and grace is to admit you have a problem. Your book sounds great. Your inset about a possible second sounds great also!!! Hope you write that one. Please enter me. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. With the exception of a murder mystery, I also confess to checking out the ending of books. Just can't seem to help it!

    Christa's book has been on my wish list since it was first publicized and I appreciate the chance to win a copy.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would like to read this book. Thanks.
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks! Esther
    faith4u7(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've given you an award. You may pick it up on my site.


    Best wishes.
    http://myheartbelongs2books.blogspot.com/2010/02/another-award.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous7:01 PM

    Your blog is such fun. Thanks for the opportunity to win Christa's book.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks to everyone for stopping by! You're an awesome host, Patty. I so appreciate your introducing Leah to your readers.

    Blessings to all!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous10:02 PM

    this book is on my 'wish list.' thanks for the opportunity to read it.

    karenk
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

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