Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Please Welcome My New Friend, Naomi Musch!

Don't forget your comment and email address for a chance to win her book.


How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?

I have loved writing all my life or at least since grade school. As a young adult I wrestled with the issue of "calling" and came to believe that when God puts a great desire in you for something, responding to that desire in whatever way you think will bring Him glory both honors Him and answers His call.

What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

I most often write historical romance. Some might call it women's fiction with a strong romantic element. My stories are inspirational as well, but often the inspirational elements may be subtle. Lately I've been writing some contemporary romance also, but that is new ground for me.

Outside of fiction, I do a lot of writing for the encouragement of the homeschool community and I also write for the Midwestern Christian newspaper Living Stones News (http://www.livingstonesnews.com/) which highlights the testimonies and ministries of regular people whose lives were changed by Christ. Every Christian has a dramatic story to tell, whether they think so or not.

 How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
I've tried establishing word-count goals, but that doesn't seem to work very well for me. Though I write by an outline, I'm a seat of the pants person when it comes to flow. By that I mean I may write 400 words in a day or 4000, depending on how the scene is flowing and where the characters lead. If it gets stuck, I go back to the outline and try to imagine it another way. I'm satisfied when I reach a climax moment in a scene. I don't write every day. Now that I have a couple of books out, a good deal of my time is spent just trying to get the word out.

But back to the last part of your question, I like to spend a year on a novel if it's historical, or even longer if I can. I like to give a lot of effort to research and let the story marinade long and hard before I start to write it.

You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?

I've actually just published two books. "The Green Veil" is the first in the 3-book series "Empire in Pine" published by Desert Breeze Publishing. It takes place in 1840s Wisconsin Territory.

Colette Palmer is a young woman who has loved timber cruiser Manason Kade since her youth. But time, distance, and circumstances compel her to marry a lumber baron who will stop at nothing to crush his enemies - especially Manason. When Manason and Colette finally meet again, she is forced to choose between her first love and her commitment to her marriage vows, a choice that has her faith and an empire in pine hanging in the balance.

My other book "Heart Not Taken" is a contemporary novella published in December by Black Lyon Publishing. It's the story of a high school English teacher Sean Heart, who is haunted by a past indiscretion as well as a mentor's betrayal. His faith is about to slip away, until he meets his family's landscape architect, Jordyn Delaney. But Jordyn is having a crisis of her own. At least with Sean in her life, there’s someone she can depend on and trust. Or can she?

When the situation Sean most dreads threatens to sabotage their budding relationship, he and Jordyn discover that a renovation of the heart and spirit might be the most complicated job of all.

What is the spiritual message in your book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?

Scripture tells us that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?" The Green Veil challenges the common notion that we should follow our hearts. Our hearts can often tend to get us into trouble, and sometimes we don’t know our hearts as well as we think we do.

The message in Heart Not Taken is all about regrets and forgiveness. Both in trusting God's forgiveness, and being willing to extend that same grace to others.

Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?

Missionary, and Olympic champion Eric Liddell said, "I feel (God's) pleasure when I run." That quote has buoyed me and put my writing into perspective when I've been down. It reminds me that no matter what becomes of my writing, or if anything at all becomes of it, I write for God's pleasure alone, because He gave me the gift and desire to do it. If He is the only one that sees what I've written, then that is audience enough. It has to be. Remembering that can do a lot to keep frustration at bay.

Who’s inspired you the most?

Wow; that's a hard question. My inspiration comes mostly from God's nudges. As for people, I'm inspired by authors I admire. Also from writers who've proven themselves to be historians as well like Bodie Thoene, Laura Frantz, Angela Hunt, my friend K.M. Weiland, and even Charles Dickens come to mind.

Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?

I'd had several (what writers call) "good" rejections from bigger publishing houses. By that, I mean they read the full manuscript, took it to committee, and wrote personal notes on the final rejection. To get to that stage is HUGE. But... at the same time, it took many months of go-arounds. I decided to submit to a smaller publisher because I felt that there might be a lesser-tapped opportunity there. In the end, I went with Desert Breeze Publishing, though they were only publishing e-books, because I liked what I was hearing about them. They liked my proposal and offered me a contract for my series. They've been wonderful to work with so far, and very personal. My novella "Heart Not Taken" is with Black Lyon Publishing. I'd written that story for a contest. When it didn't win, I decided to tweak it and send it someplace else. BLP was opening a new inspirational novella e-imprint at the time, and I decided to leap through that open door.

Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

I once wanted to travel the world, but as I've gotten older I've come to really appreciate the beauties and interests my own state of Wisconsin has to offer. I really like exploring the locales my stories are set in, and researching their history. If I do go anywhere else, I'd like to go to Alaska someday.

Other than that, my hubby and I live on a ramshackle old farm and raise a menagerie of critters. I love to be in the outdoors swimming, camping, or gardening. It's a low-key lifestyle. We love it.

Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

I love hearing from readers and sharing news of what's coming up!
  • Stop by my site at http://www.naomimusch.com/ or look me up on Facebook or Twitter: NMusch.
  • My books are available at all the usual online outlets: amazon.com, b&n.com, christianbook.com, and the publisher's sites as well.
  • If real-life stories of changed lives thrill you, you might also like to check out Living Stones News on the web
  • or my site for homeschoolers: http://www.applesofgoldnews.com/

Thank you, Naomi!
Email addresses and comments will give you a chance to win her book, readers!
Blessings.

32 comments:

Sheila said...

Sound like great books!

Sharon said...

I love reading the blogs of authors/writers. Very interesting things blogged about. this interview was great and I loved it. Thank you for the invite.

Kathryn Page Camp said...

It's nice to see a romance where the heroine is already married but her heart is elsewhere, because this is a real-world situation that many Christians face but few books address. Thank you, Naomi.

kcamp1951@aol.com

Courtney said...

Both those books sounds like a very interesting story. I am intrigued by the spiritual aspect you mentioned about the heart can be deceiving. I would love to read these! Adding them to my TBR list! :-) Thanks for a chance to win!

kcmelone at yahoo dot com

Jody said...

I've known Naomi for years dating back to our high school days. I've always admired her for her determination and strength to be true to herself, which I believe contributes to her success as a writer. Keep putting your pen to the page Naomi. You have a lot to give.

Naomi Musch said...

Thanks for dropping in gals! Feedback is always so encouraging.If you win a book, or get the chance to read one otherwise, I'd love to hear your after-thoughts, on whether you think those "heart themes" were pulled off as well as I hope. It's very nice to be introduced to each of you!

Awe... Jody -- such kind thoughts! You're a stong, much-to-be-admired lady yourself!It's great to have reconnected after so many years. Thanks for encouraging me.

Blessings~

A Little Scrappin' and Stampin' said...

Thank you for the interview...I love learning a bit more about the authors. Both of these books sound like great reads...thanks for offering them!
Blessings.
Joy
ibjoy1953[at]yahoo[dot]com

Mary Ellis said...

Naomi sounds like my kind of laid-back country girl, and her books sounds super too. Thanks for a great interview, Carole.

Naomi Musch said...

Mary, you have me pegged! :)

karenk said...

a wonderful posting...looking forward to reading your novels :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jo said...

Great interview and both books sound very interesting.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Melanie Ski said...

Great interview. The Green Veil sounds exciting!
melanieinoh2003@yahoo.com
Carman sent me

susan said...

Would love to read this book! Thanks so much!
Susandyer1962 at aol dot com

Naomi Musch said...

Thank you, Karen and Jo (and anyone I've missed). I hope you do get to read and enjoy the novels. I'm getting really excited to get back into editing the 2nd of the Empire in Pine coming out this Oct. (Called The Red Fury). I think it just might be my favorite so far.
Blessings in the drawing!

Faye Rhys said...

Great interveiw!

I liked how Naomi wrote a book challenging the idea of following your heart, cause it can be big trouble since we humans have deceitful hearts.

crazi.swans at gmail dot com

M&M said...

Loved reading your interview Naomi! Can't wait to read your new books! Keep up the good work! Tammy

Charity U said...

Please enter me! They sounds like wonderful books.

photographer4ever832[at]gmail[dot]com

Wendy said...

I am new to this blogging thing, but Carman sent me and after reading about your books I would love to win one.

wfnren at aol dot com

Jan Marie said...

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this interview. Both books sound very interesting. I usually prefer contemporary fiction but Wisconsin is such a beautiful state that it would be interesting to read about it in days of yore. Please enter me in the drawing - thanks for the opportunity.

janmarien[at]embarqmail[dot]com

Shawna said...

Definately a very interesting interview! I've saved your (Naomi's) blog to visit often since I didn't find a follower's link there. I also liked you on facebook. I love budding aspiring writers and you appealed to me when I read about your ranch and raising critters. We have a lot in common except I'm just now "trying" to write my first book.

I would love a copy of your book so I can do a review and put it on my review blog. It sounds like a wonderful story with some really neat characters.

Thanks for offering the chance to win the book. I'm looking forward to reading the book whether I win it or not.

Carman sent me here, too. :)

Shawna
mzshawnaj[at]gmail[dot]com

Marci J said...

thank you for the interview and chance to win!
junegirl26 at hotmail dot com

Naomi Musch said...

Thanks for entering, gals! It's so neat to see more people dropping by each day and expressing interest. @Shawna, I dropped by your blog and guess what, we have another thing in common -- I'm a teacher's aide too! Crazy little ol' world, huh? I hope you keep working on that book!

EvangelineHan said...

Eric Liddell's quote is one of my favorite quotes!

Please enter me if this giveaway is open worldwide. Carman sent me.

writer.chicka[at]gmail.com

Mary Ann... said...

A great interview. I would love to read her books. Please enter me!

amomwithablog at yahoo dot com

Thanks! :)

Mozi Esmé said...

Loved meeting Naomi!

Janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Nia for Jesus said...

Great interview!
Enter me !

niastrong21 at gmail dot com

Molly said...

Awesome sounding books! Thanks for the great interview and the chance to win either of this great books!

Molly AT reviewsbymolly DOT com

Annette W. said...

I think it's great to be content where you are...Wisconsin sounds beautiful!

I'd love to try these out!
derekannette at gmail dot com

MomRedding said...

Both of these books sound great! I would love to read wither one of them!

Thank you for the offer!

grannyvon said...

Both sound good but I am a historical reader and I'm sure that one would be my favorite. I would love to win. ybutler@oppcatv.com

Caroline said...

Actually, Katy, you're in! Contest doesn't end till tonight. :)

Naomi Musch said...

Wow! What a great flood of comments! I just stumbled upon Carman's blog the other day (which rounds up a lot of the current Christian book giveaways). What a great idea, and from such a young lady to boot!

There'll be more drawings in the future too!

Also -- there are excerpts posted on my blog if anyone wants to take another look.

God bless in the drawing!