Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome, Christa Allan! It's so good to have you this week!

For a chance to win her book, please leave your comment and an email address!

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 started writing in high school after I discovered I couldn’t sing, dance, paint, play sports or act. When I started writing for a newspaper after my second child was born, it was the first time I saw my name in print. My own byline. I was hooked. The line and sinkers came later when my husband bought me a laptop several years ago, and I actually began writing my novel.

Sounds like my experience. :) What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

I write Women’s Fiction, which I would categorize as a genre where romance is not an integral part of the story, but rather how a woman or women change as a result of life circumstances.

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 am generally teaching high school full-time, but I am on a semester sabbatical. So, at least until January, I have the luxury of writing all day if I choose to do so. I’d like to say I’m one of those words a day people, but I’m not. My goal is to get the novel finished and turned in on deadline…no matter what it takes!

Groan. I know what you mean. What is the spiritual message in your book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?

The Edge of Grace released in August, and it’s currently a free Kindle download. Readers can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book distributors, Books-a-Million and other online sites.

It just received a starred review from Library Journal, and I think the reviewer truly captured the novel:

“Forgiveness, acceptance, and family ties -figure prominently in Allan’s second novel. She does not avoid tough subjects (her Walking on Broken Glass deals with alcoholism). Widow Caryn Becker is having a hard time raising her young son while getting her new business off the ground. When her brother David tells her he is gay, she is unable to cope and rejects the one person she has been able to count on. When her brother is attacked, his partner, Max, asks Caryn for help standing up against the attacker. Reluctantly, she agrees. Throughout the trial, Caryn comes to accept David and finds the grace to stand up for what is right.

VERDICT: This sophomore effort deals with a difficult subject for many Christians with sensitivity and grace, exploring Caryn’s feelings honestly while never shirking from the issue of justice and forgiveness. It is difficult to find a comparative CF novel, but readers who believe in a more forgiving and accepting God are sure to enjoy it.”

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?

I feel like giving up several times a day. When I’m writing, I’m checking my brain waves and asking myself why on earth do I subject myself to this torture. When I’m not writing, I’m asking myself why on earth am I wasting all this great material that surrounds me.

I learned with my debut novel, Walking on Broken Glass, that readers can be the kindest, most generous and exceptional people in the universe. They can also be mean, petty, and arrogant. So, I have to ride the waves and understand that it’s the direction of the boat that ultimately matters, regardless of the waves getting me there. I remind myself constantly that, even on those days when I’m baking a cake for my pity party, God doesn’t want me to write for me. He wants me to write for Him, and I have no idea who He has in mind that will read my novel and possibly be changed.
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?

After nine immediate rejections for Walking on Broken Glass, my agent pitched the novel to Abingdon Press and Barbara Scott, the Acquisitions Editor at that time, loved it. They also opened the door for me to write The Edge of Grace, and I could not be more proud of them for having the courage and faith to do so.

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

Likes: Coke Zero, cheesecake, and seafood (not all at once), reading, pens, pulling weeds, Bruno Mars

Dislikes: Mustard Greens, duck, deer, folding clothes, emptying the dishwasher, potty-mouths on students

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


TWITTER: ChristaAllan

FACEBOOK: Christa Allan, Author


Thanks so much, Christa, for visiting.
Readers, a comment and your email address will enter you in for a chance to win her book.


Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This sounds like a great book. I would love to win this. Thanks again.


Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

CarlybirdK said...

I downloaded a free copy of this book on my Nook, but I would much rather have a physical copy. It will be nice to have it side by side with my copy of Walking on Broken Glass :-) I am looking forward to reading it! Thank you very much.

Aly Logan said...

I've read and loved The Edge of Grace. I like how she tackles hard topics with compassion and heart.

Since I have a copy of Christa's book, don't enter me in the contest. I just wanted to chime in to say I'll be surprised if you don't love Christa's intelligent dive into real life.


Charity said...

This sounds like a very interesting book. I have seen Christa's older book but never read any of her titles. Please enter me! Thanks so much.


Kathryn Page Camp said...

I like to see people who aren't afraid to tackle the tough issues. Thanks, Christa!

lorlyn63 said...

This sounds like a good book and thank you for the great interview - always like to get to know more about the author! I would love to win a copy of this book, please sign me up. Thank you!


Anonymous said...

I appreciate your reminder of who we are writing for. Thanks for the interview and lesson.

Christa Sterken said...

THanks for the opportunity to win! christasterken @ att dot com

Mozi Esmé said...

I think I'd enjoy reading Christa's work!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read christa's latest novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

by Pegg Thomas said...

Thanks for the chance to win a copy. These stories sound interesting and so very on-topic for today.

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Christa is a new author to me but I am adding her books to my wish list. I would love to read The Edge of Glass and Walking on Broken Glass. Both sound like great books.
Thanks for this opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskalllie2000 at yahoo dot com

Christa Allan said...

Please, please forgive me for responding so late!

I'm on deadline for a new book, and I am trying to avoid flatlining!

I am so touched by your comments, and I appreciate your support. Reading this is such a blessing, especially when I wonder if writing "not your usual Christian fiction" is what Christian readers want!

Again, thank you.

Christa Allan said...

And one more thing!

Caroline...thank you for this lovely opportunity to meet your blog readers.

It was a pleasure to be interviewed !

Break Time!

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