Today we have with us author Shawna Williams. She is the author of the new book, No Other. She has agreed to give away an e-copy of this book. She is also going to be sending the winner a very nice bracelet which she made herself!! Please read to the end for instructions on how to win this book. And you can find out how to enter for her big giveaway!! She is holding a big giveaway and there will be one winner. So please read to the end!!
Charity, thank you so much for having me! I'm really happy to be here. I hope you don't mind if I elaborate on this question a bit, because it's not one I can answer quickly. Writing came to me as a passion later than most. It's actually not something I intended to do, but God has a way of directing us where He wants us. I was content with being a stay-at-homeschooling mom, and a wife to my dear husband. Then eight and a half yrs ago I had this bizarre dream. It was like I was an observer of the phases of life; a young couple falling in love, struggling with raising children, then the pull of a demanding career – and last, as an old woman whose children had grown up without her. I puzzled over the dream for about six months trying to fill in details before I started to write. Two yrs later I had a horrible book (which I thought was great at the time) and it was dreadfully long (167,000 + words). For the next few years I went though periods of pulling it out and revising, and then putting it away again. At one point I think I went over a year without looking at it. About two and a half yrs ago, I really felt like God was telling me that it was time to get serious. So, that's when I plunged into critique groups, invested in tons of books on writing, started submitting short stories and the works. I forged a wonderful friendship with another writer, and she and I still spur each other on, tell each other the blunt truth on our works, and offer suggestions. NO OTHER is the result of all of this. It, and its sequel, IN ALL THINGS, are based on my dream. But God has also shown me that there's plenty of ideas tucked away in my mind, and I have a third book coming out in Dec. 2010 that's not related to that long-ago dream.
Are you a regimented writer? Or do you write when the urge hits?
I'm fairly regimented. I have specific times that I sit down to write, which is generally after everyone is asleep. Having said that, I can't write until I'm in the mood, or more like, in character. Sounds strange, huh? I have to give myself awhile to contemplate my character's situation, struggles, and feelings before I can begin to write. Sometimes this takes as little as five minutes, sometimes an hour later I'm still staring at my computer like a zombie, going "Duh..."
Do you have someone you look up to? Maybe another author or a relative?
Wow! There's a lot I can say to this. As if you aren't already noticing that I'm kind of a chatty person. Yes! Absolutely! I don't know what it's like for other writers, but for me, telling a story practically consumes me. The characters get in my head and I live and breathe them until I feel like they've been adequately expressed. This causes me to be a bit forgetful sometimes. Like maybe we're going to eat eggs for dinner again because I forgot to go to the store or thaw anything. My kids and husband are so supportive. I feel so blessed to have the family that I do. The same for my parents! Their encouragement means a great deal. And then there's that writing friend I mentioned earlier (ahem...Kat Hechenbach) and I look up to her so much. Not just for her amazing writing talent, but as a person she truly inspires me. I could go on. Both my grandfathers have passed, but one of them was an accomplished poet, and I'd like to think that in some way I'm carrying on something of him through writing. The other grew up as an orphan. My December book, ORPHANED HEARTS. is inspired by his story, and in that way I feel like I'm passing on something of him too. As far as other authors go, there's one that really stands out, and I think many Inspirational writers feel the same about her as I do, and that's Francine Rivers. I have a confession, and I don't mean it to sound disrespectful in anyway. But the first few books of Christian Fiction that I picked up were discouraging to me. It's not because there was anything wrong in the message. It had to do with my own expectations. I just picked up the wrong titles for me at that time in my life. The books were very sweet stories, but I was looking for guidance, and something that comforted me in knowing that others shared my struggles. Francine's books were the first to really do that. I actually feel like God changed me through her work
Do you have a place you have always wanted to go? Maybe a vacation spot or somewhere overseas?
Hmm...another good question. I'll try to keep this answer short. I would love to go on an archeological dig on the Island of Santorini. I'm really fascinated by ancient cultures, namely the Minoan and Greek. Wouldn't mind poking around the ruins of a Medieval castle either.
Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?
I love rocks. I don't know why. I just think they're fascinating. I'm really interested in crystal formations (for the record, I don't believe they have mystical properties) However, I can tell you that the molecular formula for quartz in SiO2. And Amethyst is quartz that gets it's coloration from manganese, and if it's heated to high temps within the earth's crust it changes to yellow, thus becoming citrine.
I also make jewelry with, you guessed it, crystals. They're pretty!
What one event would you have loved to be at? Either historical or future?
About five yrs ago I did a Beth Moore study on the Life of Christ, and it impacted me in ways I didn't think possible. Just amazing! I get chills remembering. There was a point in the study, where we were talking about Christ's resurrection, and how he appeared to the two Mary's after the Angel had told them Jesus wasn't in the tomb. I have this picture in my mind of these two women, huddling together, hopeful but afraid, as they walked away. And then, Jesus appears and they realize he really is alive. I see Christ as smiling and laughing, and these two women being overjoyed to the point of nearly bursting. I can imagine them running to tell the disciples, mumbling under their breath, laughing, almost incoherent with excitement to the point of it being funny -- in a most serious way. I'd love to witness that!
Any last thoughts for your readers?
I wrote No Other because I wanted to tell the story of a good kid, who loves the Lord but has some issues to work on, and how good intentions sometimes get mangled with personal desires and lead us the wrong way. But, God doesn't abandon us, and when we turn to Him for guidance, He's there with us. There may still be consequences, but we have a Father to lean on, and sometimes a miracle or two is the result. I hope this story leaves the reader feeling comforted in God's Grace. We all need it. Also, there may be a few little things that raise your brow, especially concerning a certain promise Jakob makes toward the end that might seem a little misguided. Just so you know, Jakob is a little like me in that he has a tendency to revert to old patterns -- not a quick learner. That's why there's a sequel.
Thanks for the opportunity to share, and God bless!
Thank you Shawna!!
Readers, below is the information on how to enter her big giveaway. This is not to enter for my giveaway of the e-copy and bracelet.
For the month of May I'm running a contest with three prizes – a Good one, a Great one, and a Grand one. You can enter multiple times, the details are here.
Anyone leaving a comment on Charity's blog for my interview gets one entry (please leave your email. I promise these will all be destroyed after the drawing) And, if you can answer this question you get another entry.
"What three letters were left on the envelope after Jakob burned it?"
The answer can be found in the first chapter, viewable on my blog, here.
Or through Freado, where you can also read the first four chapters.
Readers, to enter my giveaway, leave a comment about the interview. Anything related to what is in the interview.
EXTRA entries- 1.Be a follower of my blog. If you are already a follower, please leave 2 comments:)
2.Post this on Facebook, blog about it, or Tweet about it. Anything to get it out there!! And come back and leave a comment!! You can tweet once a day, so you can get 7 entries for Tweeting:)
This giveaway will end next Monday. Winner will be chosen through Random.org. They will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Thanks so much everyone for entering and please keep an eye out for more giveaways this month!! I have several lined up:) I also have where you can subscribe to my blog now. It is in the left sidebar at the top.