Homeschooling, carpooling, and writing are all in a day’s work for Carie Lawson, whose first novel was released this spring. A self-described “simple girl,” Carie loves the new technology of e-books.
Her Twisted Roots series is available in all popular e-reader formats.
You recently released your first novel, an e-book, entitled Beyond Africa. Please tell us about the story.
Africa was home to Lilly. When she finally makes it back to the Democratic Republic of Congo, she meets two men. Case, an American pilot who only wants to go home, and Sam, a three-year-old lost orphan who runs into Lilly’s arms and refuses to let go.
Case is immediately drawn to Lilly, her innocence and fragility, her kind heart. He doesn’t want to leave her alone in a country that can be turbulent. After a group of militants gets too close to the mission, Case talks Lilly into returning home with him to protect Sam.
When Lilly starts having romantic feelings for Case, she pushes them aside because he isn’t a Christian and doesn’t want to stay in Africa. Eventually Lilly will have to choose between what she knows God wants for her and what her heart wants most.
E-books are the “future now.” How do your readers relate to buying through this medium? When you’re promoting and/or interacting with readers, do you miss the brick and mortar connection? What are the pros and cons?
I think it’s becoming easier and easier to connect with a variety of people because of technology. Though my writing, I’ve had the chance to connect with readers through e-mail and Facebook in ways I couldn’t have in person. It’s been really fun. Of course, in some ways it’s easier to sell a book that’s in hand than one that has to be purchased through the internet.
As a busy mom, how I relate to the Kindle and e-books is that they are EASY and FAST. That is something we can all relate to. I don’t know very many people who aren’t looking for ways to make their lives simpler.
The day I fell in love with my Kindle was when we were packing to go on a trip. I always pack a couple of books and my Bible. (I have a secret fear of being somewhere with nothing to read.) Well, I downloaded a free copy of the Bible to my Kindle and picked out a couple of books that I wanted and threw the Kindle in my purse. No extra weight, no trip to Wally World to find the right book. I also have a Kindle app on my phone for those times when I didn’t think to pack my Kindle, but I could use a little reading material to pass the time.
Your second book, Beyond Summer, will be out in September (also with Desert Breeze Publishing). Is this a series?
It is a series named Twisted Roots. In it are the four separate stories of the McCord siblings. Zane is the second oldest brother. Oh my, he’s the stubborn one, the temper, the big heart.
He’s been burned once by a beauty who left Zane and their son behind for a man with a bigger paycheck. Carly, a former beauty queen, arrives in his life as a nanny for the summer. Zane has a hard time trusting her because of her pretty face. Just when he starts to believe that Carly’s beauty is more than skin deep, he finds out her secrets are bigger than his ex-wife’s.
Besides entertainment, what do you hope readers will take away from your books?
Love is a blessing. Love of your family, your spouse, your children. None of it should be taken lightly or for granted.
How does your faith play into your writing? Do you begin with an inspirational theme, or does the inspirational thread for each book evolve as you write?
I don’t think I either start with or look for an inspirational thread. God is just there. I hope He’s pleased with what I’m doing, that my stories might be illustrations of His principles and not lessons.
Lisa Whelchel in her book, Creative Correction, describes obedience to the Father as an umbrella of protection. God’s laws protect us from many of the hurts we experience in our lives. My books show the blessings of living under the umbrella and sometimes magnify the hair-and-makeup-ruining mess that can happen when we step out from under it.
Please tell us about your personal writing journey. How long have you been writing?
I started writing about seven years ago, when my daughter was a baby. I spent many hours typing one handed with her in my other arm. It became my favorite past time. Writing is what I love. I have no artistic ability whatsoever, but I like to paint pretty pictures and stories with words.
You are a home schooling mom of four. How do you find time to write? When/where do you write?
At our house, we have rest time. As a matter of fact, we’re having it right now : ) It’s usually an hour a day. The kids can read or color. Some of the time, they can play a quiet game in their rooms. The added side benefit is that all my kids love books. Part of that is because when given the choice between laying down and doing NOTHING and reading, reading seems like a pretty fun thing.
Who/what has influenced your writing career the most?
Without a doubt, the greatest influence has been Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. The opportunity to meet with other writers and learn, and share frustrations and joy has been a huge blessing.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
Oh, yes. I like the point when I can look back at a difficult time and see God’s hand. It’s so hard to see Him when I’m going through those unexpected detours. But when road is clear it’s nice to be able to look back and see His plans unfolding.
Most writers are readers first. What genre do you prefer to read when kicking back with a good book?
I am a romance junkie. I read other stuff, but I like the lighthearted, love stories the most. When I step into a book, I want to be happy. At least by the end of the book I want to be happy.
A small factoid many people may not know. You were the adult model for the cover of Jen Stephens’ book, The Hearts Journey Home. Have you done other modeling? Any career aspirations there?
It was so fun to do that cover with Jen and the photographer, Terri Pettit. The fact that Jen had that picture up in her head and knew how to translate it so well just amazes me.
And I definitely don’t have any career aspirations there. Had there been anyone else in the car with us when she asked, I’d have assumed she was speaking to the other person. It was an honor though, and something I’ll never forget. I had a friend of mine who read Jen’s book tell me that as she read The Heart’s Journey Home she compared Kate to me. She’d think to herself, “Carie would never say that” or “that sounds just like Carie.” It tickled me. (DD Note: Follow this link to The Heart’s Journey Home cover featuring Carie: www.divinedetour.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/THJHCMYKnoprint1.jpg.)
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Coffee and chocolate. Without a doubt. Dark chocolate is best. As a matter of fact I just heard the timer on my coffee pot ding. Can you hear the coffee calling?
This website features writers as well as musicians, so I like to mix it up a bit. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
Ahem…no. I wish. I do have a son who’s learning to play the drums. He likes me to try the different rhythms and laugh at me because I can’t begin to play them.
What kind of music do you listen to when you’re relaxing with the radio or an mp3 player? Does music help you write?
I love country music. It’s hard for me to write while listening to music because the words of the song interfere with the words in my head. I have enough trouble keeping the words in my head straight without any competition.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
I’d without a doubt be a folk song. I’m just a simple girl.
Are you a major or a minor chord?
I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’m guessing minor. I’m not the lead, just a support person.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I’m the mom. A stereotypical mom—although I generally avoid baggie sweats, and we recently swapped the minivan with an SUV. Things that make me happy are the sound of the dishwasher running, an empty laundry basket, a grubby fist clutched around a handful of dandelions pointed in my direction.
Please tell us about your pets, your hobbies, your family, etc.
Writing really is my favorite—and probably only—hobby. I have great friends. We have a chocolate lab, Cocoa, who’s a sweetie. I love living outside of Nashville. It’s a wonderful place to raise kids.
Thanks for sharing with us, Carie!
Thank you for having me, Kathy!
For more information about Carie’s books, logon to http://www.carielawsonbooks.com/.
To order Beyond Africa for Kindle, logon onto http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003AKY3WS.
To order Beyond Africa for Barnes & Noble NOOK, logon to http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Beyond-Africa/Carie-Lawson/e/9781936000777/?itm=1&USRI=Beyond+Africa.
To order Beyond Africa for Sony e-Reader, logon to http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/carie-lawson/beyond-africa/_/R-400000000000000233111.
For more information about Desert Breeze Publishing, visit http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/.