Friday, May 21, 2010

Interview With Karen Witemeyer and Book Giveaway!!



I hope you all read the interview yesterday with Robert Whitlow. If you didn't get the chance to, please go back and read it. For today, we have an interview with Karen Witemeyer, author of Tailor-Maid Bride. She has graciously offered to give away one copy of the book, so please read to the end:)

Thanks for being with us today Karen!! When did you decide you wanted to be an author?

I had always been an avid reader, and as I grew to adulthood, I toyed with the idea of putting my own stories to paper. I'd daydream romantic plot lines and jot down my ideas in a journal, but I never committed myself to writing. First, college kept me busy. Then kids entered the picture. But in 2003 when my husband learned his job was being cut, the urge to turn someday into this day became too strong to ignore. The busyness didn't disappear, of course. I started working full-time outside the home, and the kids were still young and in need of my attention. However, the Lord had sent me a wake-up call, and I knew I had to answer.

Can you tell us a little about your debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride?

A Tailor-Made Bride is a fun-filled romp in which a feisty seamstress tangles with a set-in-his-ways livery owner in 1880s Texas.

Here's the scoop:

Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with Coventry, Texas's new dressmaker. He's all too familiar with her kind--shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothing, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.

Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?


When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to uproarious consequences for the whole town--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?



Where did you get the idea for this book?

It all started with a question: What happens when believers disagree about what the Christian life should look like?

Hannah Richards believes she is being a good steward of the talents the Lord has blessed her with by turning her needle to creating dresses that are pleasing to look upon. She is imitating the Creator God who designed wildflowers, rainbows, and sunsets.

Jericho Tucker, on the other hand, believes that fancy dress goods encourage women to focus their attention on vain, superficial beauty instead of the inner attributes of a gentle and quiet spirit that Scripture promotes as true loveliness.

Both are right. Yet both see the other as wrong. By throwing Jericho's sister Cordelia into the mix, I forced these two characters to face their differences and learn from each other, to mend those tears of condemnation with threads of grace.

And why Texas?

I grew up in California, but I came to Texas for college, married a Texan, and never left. I fell in love with the glorious sunsets, frontier spirit, and the friendliness of the people. I knew I wanted to set my stories in this great state. Living here, I'm also able to bring authenticity to my writing since I can research the setting firsthand.


Are you a regimented writer? Or do you write when the urge hits:)

If I only wrote when I felt like it, I'd still be stuck in the middle of my first book instead of nearly finished with my third. There are just those days where I would rather have a tooth pulled than try to figure out what needs to happen next with my characters. I pray a lot on those days.

I don't set daily word count goals because I need flexibility in my writing schedule to accommodate my day job and the demands of being mom for three kids. So, instead of a word count goal, I set chapter goals. My normal pace is one polished chapter a week. When I need to step it up for a deadline, I increase to 3 polished chapters every 2 weeks. My chapters are generally 7-8 pages long, so this averages out to about two pages a day. Some days I write 3 pages, some days I struggle to get 2 good paragraphs. That's why I like the flexibility of the chapter goal instead of the specific word count.

You seem to have a love for history, do you use it mainly for research or have you always loved it?

Historical romance is my genre of choice, yet I hated history in school. I guess there wasn't enough romance in all those dates and wars and lists of presidents for me. However, I love digging into my research and finding tidbits that shed light on my character's lives. For instance, my heroine, Hannah Richards, in A Tailor-Made Bride is a 19th century fitness maven. In my search to discover if this portrayal could be historically accurate, I ran across a man named Dio Lewis who wrote several books in the mid-1800s on this very subject. He particularly targeted women and children and even set up an academy to train physical education teachers who would then work in the schools. I was able to locate scanned copies of many of his original works through Google Books including The New Gymnastics, the book my heroine used as her pattern. Those are the types of finds that really excite me.


If there was one event you could be at, what would it be? Historical or in the future.

There's not a particular event that I would necessarily want to be present at, but I've always thought it would be fun to spend a week or so in my favorite time period, the 1880s. I'd love to truly step into the shoes of my characters, although I'd like to magically know how to cook on a wood stove, lace up a corset, and all those other 19th century necessities so I wouldn't look like an idiot.

Is there something about you most people don't know? A secret hobby, secret wish, etc:)

I love old Judy Garland musicals and Audrey Hepburn movies. I'm an avid cross-stitcher and have squirreled away more projects than I can ever hope to finish. I also have a weakness for buying patterns that remind me of my novels.
What person would you love to meet?

As a diehard romantic, I'd love to meet the future spouses of my kids. Of course, they'd only be in grade school for my boys, and junior high or possibly senior high for my daughter, but as a mother I can't help but think how great it would be to see who these young folks were growing up to be. Then again, I might be horrified, and it could prejudice me for life. Maybe that's not such a good idea after all.


And any last thoughts for your readers? Where can they contact you?


I would love to have readers visit my Web site at: http://karenwitemeyer.com. You can find fun information about the hobbies and interests of the characters featured in A Tailor-Made Bride as well contests for free books every month and a free download for a biblical fiction piece inspired by the life of Rahab.

You can also find me on Facebook. Come by and visit any time. I'd love to hear from you!



Thanks again for being here today!

READERS- Did you catch what she said about her site? She has contests for free books and she would love for you to head over and enter:)

Now, to enter my giveaway, leave a comment with your favorite time period.
That is the mandatory entry.

Extra Entries- Become a subscriber through RSS feed. I just recently put this up and I would like to know how many people are using it. If you already subscribe, let me know.
2.Become a follower of my blog. If you already follow, please leave a comment.
3.Tweet about this giveaway. Can be done once a day. You can get 7 entries just on this!!
4.Go enter Karen's contest:) And come back and let me know you did.

This giveaway will end 5/29. Winner will be chosen through Random.org. They must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.

70 comments:

Misty said...

My favorite time period would be in the 1890's!
mommy2skie@yahoo.com

Misty said...

subscribe in google reader.

Misty said...

follow your blog.

Casey said...

I would love to read this book, I have heard great things about it!

I follow. :)

Email in profile

Little Tesoro said...

I would love to enter your giveaway. I love the 1800's.

Lisa.2713 at gmail dot com

Little Tesoro said...

I am also a new blog follower in google reader

Trinity Rose said...

Hi,
Great interview and giveaway. Would love to win.
Thanks,
Trinity Rose
wandaelaine at gmail dot com
I'm a follower.
I subscribe to your RSS feed

Karen Lange said...

My favorite time period is probably the 1800's, but I enjoy anything pre-1960 as well. Great interview, thanks for doing it! I've heard of the book but didn't know much about it.
Blessings,
Karen
klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

Karen Lange said...

I am a follower:)

Karen
klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

bluerose_shelnut said...

I'm a follower. Please enter me. Thanks! :)
bluerose_shelnut(at)yahoo(dot)com

bluerose_shelnut said...

My favorite time period is the late 1800s. I entered Karen's contest.
bluerose_shelnut(at)yahoo(dot)com

K said...

I have to say my favourite time period would be the medieval period. I just really enjoy reading books from that era! :)

I am a follower of your blog.

I have also already subscribed to the RSS feed (my favourite way to follow blogs)

and I have also already entered Karen's contest. We'll see how I do! :)

K said...

Whoops! I forgot to put my name and email address on my above comment! :S lol
God bless!
Kim
lonebanana(at)msn(dot)com

Ashley said...

My favorite time period would be 1920s.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Ashley said...

I'm a google follower.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

Ashley said...

I entered Karen's giveaway.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

misskallie2000 said...

My favorite era is the 1700s through 1800's.


misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I follow via google


misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

follow via twitter(@misskalllie2000)

tweet
misskallie2000 http://giveawaygal.blogspot.com/2010/05/interview-with-karen-witemeyer-and-book.html
less than 5 seconds ago via web

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I joined Karen's newsletter and entered contest. Love to win books...lol

Also requested friend to Karen on FB


misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Hope said...

I love the 1860's-the Civil War era!
onepilgrim86[at]yahoo.com

LAMusing said...

My favorite time period - the turn of the century late 1890's - so much was changing!

LAMusing said...

I entered Karen's contest :)

adrianecoros(at)gmail.com

Jenna Wood said...

My favorite time period is the Elizabethan Age.
six_one_nine_girlie86 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Jenna Wood said...

I follow
six_one_nine_girlie86 (at) yahoo (dot) com

DK's Book Reviews said...

Favorite time period is the late 1800's.

dkay401@gmail.com

DK's Book Reviews said...

I am a follower.

dkay401@gmail.com

Edna said...

my time period would be in the 1800's I like the way things were back then

mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Edna said...

I follow


mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Edna said...

have your link on my blog http://edna-myfavoritethings.blogspot.com/



mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Edna said...

I entered Karen's contest


mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

karenk said...

i like the time period that we are living now. but i do enjoy reading historical fiction very much :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i signed up to receive karen's newsletter :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a subscriber :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

lotus82 said...

The early 1900s are my favorite time period

~Steph
soklad@hotmail.com

lotus82 said...

I entered Karen's giveaway by signing up for her email.

~Steph
soklad@hotmail.com

lotus82 said...

I am also a follower of yours. Love your blog!\

~Steph
soklad@hotmail.com

lotus82 said...

I also follow your feeds on RSS...This is a new but interesting feature of these blogs for me.

~Steph
soklad@hotmail.com

Julia M. Reffner said...

My favorite time period is the Victorian era without a doubt.

julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

Julia M. Reffner said...

subscribe through google

Brenda said...

My favorite time period is the 1800s I also signed up for Karen's giveways by signing up for her newsletter.kittycrochettwo@msn.com

Esther Y.M. said...

My favorite time period in now...the present...

But if possible I would have loved to have been around during the time of our Saviour.

please enter me

estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

Esther Y.M. said...

I am a google follower.

estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

Esther Y.M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Esther Y.M. said...

and I have subscribed to Karen's newsletter and entered her contest too..

estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anna W. said...

The Old West is one of my favorite time periods.

writer_weaver at yahoo dot com

Anna W. said...

Also, I'm a google follower. :)

MomLovesDeals said...

I love contemporary fiction.

Carman said...

Please enter me! My favorite time period... I don't have one! I love them all. Historical is my favorite book to read, no matter what time period. :D

booklovercb[at]yahoo[dot]com

Katie G. said...

Hi! Carman sent me over here through her blog. I would love to be entered into the giveaway! This sounds like a great book! Hmm... favorite time period... Well, I have always like medival-type things, but I also love historical fiction, so really I like it all! :)

I follow your blog now! :)

God bless!

~Katie G.

Amanda said...

My favorite time period would be anything in the 1800's!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Amanda said...

I follow on GFC!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Amanda said...

I subscribe via reader now!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Amanda said...

I signed up for Karen's contest!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Linda Kish said...

I would have to say the 1960s..I loved that era.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

pixie13 said...

I don't really have a favorite time period, I like reading across time. I do find the french revolution fascinating.
GFC Follower
tweet http://twitter.com/pixie13sweeps/status/14957525377

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

Esther Y.M. said...

Tweeted at :

http://twitter.com/estherym

estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

tina reynolds said...

I would say 1900's - 1930's thanks for the chance eaglesforjack@gmail.com

tina reynolds said...

i follow your blog

Nancy said...

My favorite time period is the 1860's.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Nancy said...

I follow via Google Friend: allibrary.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Nancy said...

I entered Karen's contest.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Nancy said...

I subscribed to your RSS feed.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

cas said...

I really enjoyed the interview. The book looks awesome! I can't wait to read it. I checked out Karen's website and signed up for her newsletter :) I'm a follower. Please enter me in to win! :)
Thanks!
randomness.is.awesome@gmail.com

cas said...

Oh! And my favorite historical era is what I like to call the Jane Austen Era. The 18th century!

nmetzler said...

I love the 18th century- "Jane Austen Era".

This book looks great!

natashasiegrist at hotmail dot com

Sheila said...

Thanks for the great interview & giveaway!

My Favorite time period is late Victorian, around 1890.

4mypersonalreview at gmail dot com

Katy said...

My favorite time period is the 1800s.

srfbluemama[at]gmail[dot]com

Carman sent me. :)

Trinity Rose said...

Hi,
I forgot to tell you my favorite time period. I guess it would be in the 1800's.
Have a great day,
Trinity Rose

wandaelaine at gmail dot com

Teresa said...

This is the first time I've looked at your blog. Saw your link in one of your post at paperbackswap.com. This book particularly caught my eye. I love historical romance, and have discovered so many Christian books for this genre. I really like reading books set in the 1800s, especially those involving the west. Books about wagon trains and mail-order brides are favorites.
I would love this book. I'll be checking your blog often. Great interview, too.

tgriffis31503 at gmail.com

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