The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Author Interview: Carie Lawson

Today Carie Lawson is visiting to talk about herself and her new book, Beyond Africa – the first in the series, Twisted Roots. Carie is a fellow DBP author, a homeschooling mom like me, and I also discovered that she and I both graduated from Abilene Christian University. I'm a little older, so we missed each other by a few years. How's all that for coincidence though!

SW: Welcome Carie. To begin with would you mind telling us a little about yourself?

CL: I am the stereotypical soccer mom. There's always camp chairs, blankets and an embarrassing amount of trash in the back of my van. When we're not at soccer games or practices with my three boys, I'm taking our little girl to gymnastics/cheerleading practices. I homeschool the kids which allows us to have more family time than we would otherwise have with all of the sports stuff going on. And I rigidly enforce an hour rest time during the week so that I can carve time to write.

SW: You're a busy lady. When did you first become interested in writing?

CL: I started a story in a notebook once when I was in high school and threw it away when I went off to college--where I got a degree in finance and accounting. But all my life I've been an avid reader. I still read at least a book a week--it's almost like a little security blanket. One day I just wanted to see if I could write...turns out I love writing just as much as reading.

SW: What genres do you prefer writing and reading?

CL: Contemporary romances for both. It's just a little escape. I don't mind a few tears in the middle, but I want a happy ending.

SW: What influences you as a writer?

CL: As a writer, I can't write without incorporating elements of faith. I don't think anybody really can write without expressing what they believe.

SW: I agree with that. Even though the characters we write aren't us, they exist in a world that is framed by our views.

Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?

CL: Ups and downs is certainly a good description. When I first started writing, I didn't realize how much I didn't know about writing. I enjoyed it and wanted to keep writing, but it's taken five years to figure out how to be a good writer. I think the best thing I did for myself was become a member of a local Christian writer's group, MTCW.

SW: So true! Support from others with similar goals is so important. And also finding opinions you respect and trust for guidance.

I have to ask, because this is a struggle for me, but how do you balance writing and motherhood?

CL: When things are level at home, it's pretty easy...I just keep enforcing naptime and walk away from the dishes in the sink or the floor that should be swept. It gets a little hairy when the kids are sick, or a friend needs help. I've learned it's important not to over commit my free time. Enough things will "come up" to fill any extra time I might have.

SW: How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?

CL: Usually when the idea is in my head, I have to get it on paper...or a's almost a compulsion. Then when I get stuck, I start researching and go back and add details or change parts.

SW: Tell us about both series you're writing, and your latest release?

CL: The series is about the McCord Family and is called Twisted Roots Series. It's the story of the four siblings in the McCord family. What makes them so strong as individuals and able to change is the connection to their family. Beyond Africa is Case's story. The oldest brother who falls in love with a missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lilly is vulnerable and he wants to protect her, but has to realize that she's stronger than either of them believe.

SW: What inspired you to write this?

CL: Before I started homeschooling the kids, I taught Geography in a small Christian school. As we studied Africa, I thought it would be a cool place to set a story.

SW: That's really interesting! Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them , and what endears them to you?

CL: The McCord siblings have always been very clear in my head. Case is the oldest son, serious, good hearted, always looking out for everyone else. Zane is stubborn, hot-headed but has a soft-heart he only reveals to his family. Haven, the only girl, she's learned to stand up to anybody...maybe too well. And Jude, the baby, charming and fun. Who'd ever guess he was so hard headed under the smile? Then I had to give them someone who'd balance them. I believe in the opposites attract thing.

SW: It's funny that you say that, about the McCords being clear in your head. I feel the same way about the family in my upcoming books. Yesterday morning my husband made the comment that he hasn't read fiction in years, and I said, "what about my book?" And he said, "Well, I've lived with those characters for so long through you that they're practically real."

What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing? Any long term goals?

CL: I'll just be honest here...I'm tickled pink to have found someone who'll let me say my favorite thing to do is a "job." I can even occasionally give it priority because "I have a deadline." I just LOVE that.

SW: No Kidding! Any ideas for future projects?

CL: Right now, I have to get the rest of the McCord stories finished. If I tried to start something else, I'd still have them whispering in my ear all the things they want to do and say.

SW: Any other hobbies or interests to share?

CL: Not really. I truly ENJOY being the mom right now. The kids are at fun ages and keep me plenty busy.

SW: Well, since you're an avid reader, what book, other than yours -- which sounds wonderful btw -- do you recommend?

CL: The Heart's Journey Home by Jen Stephens is a good one I've read recently.

SW: Thank you, Carie, and best of luck to you. I enjoyed our interview very much, and look forward to reading your book.

Carie has offered a copy of her book, Beyond Africa, as a prize for my weekly drawing. Usual rules. Just leave Carie a comment or question and you're entered. I'll announce Thursday morning.

Have a nice week!

To purchase, Beyond Africa:
Also available at Amazon Kindle, Allromance ebooks, and Books on Board. Soon to be available at Barnes and Noble and Sony Reader Store.

For more about Carie Lawson and the Twisted Roots series:


  1. What a great interview and I'm very excited about Carie's book. It sounds great! I also believe opposites attract. I would like to be entered for a chance to win this giveway. Thank you! Best wishes for all your future books.



  2. Hey there, nice interview! I love Desert Breeze and Jen Stephens is a sweetheart (so is Shawna, a-hem). Thanks for the interesting info.

  3. I love reading about African settings. This book sounds great. Please enter me.


  4. I love missions and want to visit Africa someday.

  5. Enjoyed the interview. Beyond Africa sounds interesting. Include me in your drawing.


  6. Carie,
    I enjoyed your interview. Your book sounds interesting.


  7. Thanks guys! I'm so late checking in today. Mondays! It's great to see support for Carie. I love her cover!

    DBP's cover artist, Jenifer Ranieri, just won the Quasar award for another of her covers. She really did justice for Cari's book. It looks captivating.

  8. Hey there! Thanks for all the encouraging words. We had dentist appointments this morning--four kids, no cavities, hip hip hooray! But this has been my first chance to pop in and say hi. Thanks again Shawna for having me on your blog today.

  9. Oh, and just in case anyone wants to pop in to see my website, is up and ready for use.

  10. Great interview! HHMMM I want to implement that hour rest time to have some "mom time". The book sounds great. Can't wait to check it out.

  11. I fixed it so there's a link to your website, Carie, instead of DBP's author page. Sorry, I should have checked this last night.

  12. Carie,

    What is your opinion on book trailers? Do you think they help in book sales?

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  13. Hey Tracey! I'm a newbie to the publishing scene, so I'm honestly not too sure. One reason that I've not done one is that I like the pictures a book paints in my head. Lilly might not look exactly the same to you, as a reader, as she does to me, the writer. So even if I find the perfect Lilly and Case to put in a trailer, they might "ruin" them to you. I'd be interested in knowing the answer to that question though.

  14. Shawna,
    Thanks for adding the website. I meant to tell you about it in the e-mail...but you and I know that I was just lucky to remember my own name at that point:)

  15. This sounds like a terrific book; please add my name to the mix!

    Blessings -


    FYI - I have two book giveaways on my blog - please stop by!

  16. Gotcha Andrea. Be sure you guys check back Thursday morning for the winner.

    Carie, I know what you mean. Here's a bad one. Hubby called home the other day when he was out in the pasture, asking if I'd look up a phone number online. So I did, and he wanted it to make a call. Before telling him, I asked him if he had his phone with him. There was silence for a few seconds, and then he said, "What did you say?" And, I did it again, "Do you have your phone with you?" As I'm talking to him on the phone!

    I have nothing to say for myself on this one.

  17. Shawna,I love it. We'll call it the writer's gene!

  18. Wow, this sounds very interesting. Thanks for bringing this author to my attention. Could you please put my name in the at. Thanks.

    Nora :D
    Finding Hope Through Fiction

  19. Gotcha, Nora! Thanks for stopping by.

  20. I know I'm late for the drawing, but I wanted to stop by anyway. So glad I did! Enjoyed getting to you know you a little Carie. You're a homeschool, writer mom after my own heart! Your book sounds great. Congrats on the release! Give mom a hug from me, next time you see her.


1970 Olds 442


If you're curious about the story behind the name of my blog, click on the car. :)