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Posts Tagged ‘Author Interview and Giveaway – Seekerville Blog Blitz’

BLOGWORDS – Thursday 18 April 2019 – CHAT THURSDAY SEEKERVILLE BLOG BLITZ– AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY – JAN DREXLER

 

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW and GIVEWAY – JAN DREXLER

“The promises we keep are important – promises to God, our husbands, our children, and ourselves. But the greatest promise of all is the promise God gives us in Jesus Christ.”

 

“Bringing you home…

…to a world of Plain living, simple values, and strong families. Stop by often as I share about my upcoming books!”

 

Please give a feathered welcome to Jan Drexler.

FAST FAVES

Call or Text  – Text

Dogs or Cats  – Dogs

Paperback or Kindle – Paperback

 

rem:  Hullo, Jan! Welcome to my little nest! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

JAN:  I was raised in south-west Michigan, and still love the Great Lakes. After I got married, we moved all around the mid-west with my husband’s job and have finally settled in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

rem:  Must be something magical about those Black Hills! Tell us three random things about yourself no one knows.

JAN:  1) I would have had a dozen children if it had been possible. (rem: ME TOO!!!)

2) I traveled around Europe after college. Just me, my backpack, and my Eurail card. (rem: HOW FUN IS THAT!)

3) I have read through the Bible seventeen times and have a good start on my eighteenth. (rem: color me impressed! I bow to you.)

rem:  What is your favourite quotation and why?

JAN: From C.S. Lewis. “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” This quote reminds me that as much as I love the things of this world, God has more, better, higher, and everlasting joys awaiting us.

rem:  So much truth in Mr. Lewis’ words!! What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

JAN:  You should see my desk. It’s full of random things! But the most random is probably my stuffed hedgehog. He’s there only because he’s cute.

rem: D’awww, how adorable is that. What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

JAN:  Favorite movie is probably Mary Poppins. My favorite TV show…that’s harder. Probably NCIS.

rem:  I do love Julie Andrews (she’s one of my most favorite actresses) and I do love me some Mark Harmon…  #swoons  If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

JAN: I’ve always like the 1910’s – the years just before World War 1. That era had its own unique innocence.

rem:  Oh yes! That was actually the setting of my last series—1912 and 1913. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

JAN: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. I am not a brave person, but this verse reminds me that I don’t have to be brave when I go where God is leading me.

rem:  I was thinking about that just a little bit ago! No matter what comes our way, if our focus is on Him, we have nothing to fear! (and yet, so hard to do… )  If you could spend an evening with a fictional character, who would it be and why?

JAN: Samwise Gamgee from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. He was content to have a simple supper by the fire and a quiet chat. Wouldn’t you love to hear Sam tell the story of his adventures?

 

rem:  I’m sure he’s quite a few stories to tell. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

JAN: Christian fiction provides stories of hope in a devastated world. Being a novelist has forced me to clarify the details of my faith. Just like teaching any subject makes you a better student of that subject, writing about the Christian faith has made me a better student of that faith.

rem:  I love how you say that, Jan. So simple and so elegant. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

JAN: My fiction pet peeve is a character I can’t like. I keep hoping they’ll change by the end of the book, but sometimes they don’t. If I can’t find a character to root for in a book, I won’t be reading that author again.

rem:  Can’t imagine a story without at least one likeable redeeming character!!!  What would you do if you weren’t writing?

JAN:  Even if I wasn’t a published author, I’d still be writing. I might be teaching, or working in a retail store, or in an office. But I’d still be writing.

rem:  When the stories be there, they come out one way or another! What are you reading right now?

JAN:  I just started Pepper Basham’s book, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream.

rem:  Oh! What a lovely, exquisite book! I love Pepper’s stories! What do you munch on while you write?

JAN:  I used to enjoy Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips. I’d eat one for every 100 words I wrote. But…well…it’s sad to say, but that wasn’t helping my waistline. So now I keep a box of sugar-free mints on my desk and have one of those when I get a craving.

 

rem:  You had me at Ghiradelli… How did you become a Seekervillian, and what do you like best about it?

JAN: When Seekerville was rebooted at the end of 2017, I was invited to become part of the second generation of Seekers. The thing I love is helping new writers navigate the steep learning curve ahead of them, and the friends I’ve made through the blog.

rem:  So.Many.Friends in this industry! (wish I’d had someone to help me navigate when I was thrown in the deep end… of a deep ocean… in a tsunami… LOL )  What was your first Seekerville post?

JAN:  It was back on October 19, 2013, titled “Keeping Calm and Carrying On.” It was my first guest post, and I can’t describe how nervous I was!

rem:  Me too, when I’m writing a guest post. Love the title! Which of the recipes on the Yankee Belle Café is your favorite?

JAN:  Wow! Do you know how many recipes we have on that blog??? (rem: bwahahahah) But I think my favorite is one Ruthy shared years ago for New England Scalloped Potatoes. That is a perfect comfort-food dish!

 

rem:  Mmmmmm!!! I love scalloped potatoes = comfort food.  You have a rich heritage of “Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants” from which to draw upon for your stories. True confession: have you ever used a true story in one of your novels? How much did you have to adapt it to “protect the innocent?” #winkwink

JAN: I’m not shy to say yes! I’ve gleaned most of my story ideas from dinner table conversations and genealogy details. I usually change the names, and I’m always quick to say that the stories are only based on a single detail and a lot of “what ifs!”

rem:  That’s some wisdom there. I mean, don’t most of our stories germinate from something or someone in our real lives?  You’ve lived in several states before you landed in South Dakota. Moving ranges from traumatic to comical. Share with us an anecdote from one of your moves.

JAN:  Let me just say up front: I hate moving. (rem: ME TOO!!!)  One of the most memorable moving stories, though, has to do with my little oak table. I love my little oak table. It was the first piece of furniture I bought for my first apartment, purchased at a garage sale for ten dollars. I still use it as my desk.

During one move (from Texas to Indiana,) one of the movers decided to remove the legs when he packed the table in the moving van. You guessed it – when they unloaded our furniture at the other end, one leg was missing. (I still don’t know how one table leg can go missing from a locked truck…or why.)

A couple years after the move, we found a woodworker who was willing to try to replicate the missing leg. He did a perfect job, and now I can’t tell which leg the replacement is!

rem:  Oh my!!! Glad you found someone to replace the “runaway!” How are you surviving this season’s Arctic-opalypse?

JAN:  I love snow! I love cold weather! Surviving isn’t a problem for me. 😊

rem:  That’s a good thing! LOL I don’t mind the cold so much, but it makes the RA quite disagreeable. What’s your favorite thing about Black Hills?

JAN:  Everything. The climate, the mountains, the cowboys, the history… And there is nothing like the sound of the wind in the pine trees or the smell of pine needles on a hot summer day. I even like the million tourist who fill up our city every summer (but I also love it when they go home in the fall!)

rem:  Love the history, and especially love-love-love the sound and smell of pine trees. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

JAN:  I started writing for publication in 2011, when my youngest boys reached the end of their high school years. Up until then, homeschooling satisfied my creative bent. I sold my first book to Love Inspired Historical in 2012, and I’ve been busy ever since.

rem:  Yeah, once that writing fever strikes, there’s really no cure. LOL  What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

JAN: Now that we’re practically empty-nesters, I finally have an office to call my own. With a door. That locks. *happy sigh* That’s where I do all my writing. I write five days a week, and usually during the hours just before and after lunch. I seem to be most productive then.

rem:  So. Disciplined. Said me, who is definitely not a morning person OR that structured. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

JAN:  I always had a hard time in school because I couldn’t stop daydreaming and making up stories. Now I get paid for it. How cool is that?

rem:  Oh yes, I totally get that!! #mymindwanderstoo  #allthetime  What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

JAN:  The hardest thing is making time for all the extras – the marketing, blogging, book signings, etc. Even though all those things are enjoyable, I need to squeeze them in around my writing time.

The easiest thing is when my editor sends me my revision letter. Going through the story and making those changes puts the finishing touches on a story I already love and making it stronger is pure joy.

rem:  The marketing is still a struggle for me. UGH  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

JAN: 1) DO give yourself time to learn. It’s a steep learning curve.

2) DO read as much as you can – fiction, non-fiction, new books, old books.

3) DO learn what makes a story work. Either through reading books in your genre or reading books on the writing craft, you need to understand “story” before you write one.

 

1) DON’T compare your writing journey to someone else’s. That’s their story, not yours.

2) DON’T let the fear of success stop you. Yes, fear of success. Give it to God and forget about it. Just write the best story you can. (rem: agree 1000%)

3) DON’T let the fear of failure stop you. Write the best story you can, knowing that you will have opportunities to change it and make it better. Nobody writes a finished draft on their first time through.

rem:  Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

JAN:  I develop my characters and decide on the major plot points before I start writing. If I plan too much, I don’t have anything left to give to the story. If I plan too little, I don’t have a road map to follow to keep the story on track.

rem:  That’s the best balance I’ve heard!!  #plottervspantzer  What is your current project?

JAN:  I’m working on the third book in “The Amish of Weaver’s Creek” series for Revell.

rem:  Tell us about why you wrote this book.

JAN:  The heroine of the story has been a secondary character in the first two books of the series. Pretty much all we know about her after the first book is that she married young and married the wrong man. Everyone is sad for her, but no one knows how to help. In this book, we see her transform from a victim to a strong young woman with a future.

rem:  I love bringing in secondary characters to star in their own story! What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

JAN: My favorite part (yet to be written, actually!) is when Elizabeth realizes that she’s been lying to herself and everyone else. She realizes that she’s been acting the part of a content, single woman and member of the church. But that was before God started working on her! I hope as my readers read it, they will find themselves examining why they are part of their own church. Social reasons? Family reasons? Or is it because of their relationship with Jesus Christ?

rem:  Ooohh, love that! Please give us the first page of the book.

JAN:

June 1865

Weaver’s Creek, Ohio

Elizabeth Kaufman closed her eyes, leaning her head against the back of the rocking chair on the shaded front porch. A bird sang somewhere above the roof, its fluid call carrying through the quiet afternoon air like an autumn leaf falling. It rose, then paused. Rose again, then swooped down only to end on a high trilling note.

She sighed. Contentment.

A shriek from inside the house brought an abrupt end to the bird song. Katie’s pounding feet on the stairway and more shrieks brought Elizabeth to her feet, her knitting falling to the porch floor.

“He’s coming!” Katie Stuckey slammed the wooden screen door open and grabbed Elizabeth’s arms, spinning her in a circle. “I saw him from the window! On the road!”

Katie jumped off the porch and headed down the lane toward the road, leaving Elizabeth breathless and alone on the porch.

“Who?” Elizabeth called after her, then laughed to herself.  Who else could it be? The long-awaited day had finally arrived. Jonas was home.

It was a happy day, for sure. Elizabeth picked up her knitting and went into the house. Katie’s reunion with Jonas should be private, but they wouldn’t be alone for long. The family and members of their Amish community would be gathering together at her parents’ house to welcome him home. Elizabeth’s brother had been away for three long years with only brief, occasional visits to Katie and the family. Even those had ended after the first year as the war had dragged on.

rem:  What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

JAN:  My tag line is “Bringing you home…” I hope that my books give readers a longing for home – both here on earth and our greater Home yet to come.

rem:  Jan, that’s lovely. Anything you’d like to add?

JAN:  Thank you for having me! It has been a lot of fun!

rem:  My pleasure, Jan. Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

 

“Jan Drexler explores the vast chasm between law and grace….between forgiveness and bitterness….between relationship and duty….”

 

www.JanDrexler.com (be sure to subscribe to my newsletter!)

www.facebook.com/JanDrexlerAuthor

www.bookbub.com/profile/jan-drexler

http://seekerville.blogspot.com/

http://yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/JanDrexler

https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Drexler/e/B00CLGAGAK?

 

GIVEAWAY

Jan is offering a print copy of Convenient Amish Proposal OR The Sound of Distant Thunder. (US only, please.)

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway will begin at midnight on Thursday 18 April and end at 11:59 on Thursday 25 April. Giveaway is subject to the policies found on Robin’s Nest.

 

RAFFLECOPTER

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b485f64b16/?

 

“Amish women spend many hours in their kitchens, providing delicious meals for their families… some of my favorite recipes have been handed down from my mother and grandmothers.”

http://yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com/2016/09/jans-best-molasses-cookies.html

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview and Giveaway – Seekerville Blog Blitz, Jan Drexler

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