Author Interview/Giveaway With Melinda Evaul and a winner!

Yay! We have a winner of Melinda Evaul’s new release “Grow Old With Me.”

Drumroll please…the winner is Pegg Thomas. Pegg, Melinda will be contacting you soon by email. Congratulations! Thank you again to all who entered and don’t forget, for those of you who didn’t win, Melinda’s book is available on Kindle on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Grow-Old-Quilt-Trail-ebook/dp/B004IE9VEU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301063336&sr=1-1 or the paperback version at www.melindaevaul.com

Please join me next Thursday when I’ll be hosting nonfiction author Stephanie Shott for an interview and another giveaway. In the meantime, check out the post https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/the-fifty-cent-prayer/ about God hearing our every prayer.

Below is the interview with Melinda…

I am thrilled to have author Melinda Evaul as a guest on my blog. I am in the middle of reading her novel Grow Old With Me and it is fantastic! Already it has earned the highest five-star rating  from me and I can’t wait to finish reading it. Plus, Melinda is giving away an autographed copy to one lucky commenter, so be sure to leave a comment before the March 24 deadline. 

And now, without any further ado, I introduce to you – Melinda Evaul!

Melinda Evaul

Please tell us a bit about yourself.  Thank you for asking me to be a special guest today. It’s an honor to be your featured author. I appreciate the invitation to interact with your blog readers. Born and raised in NC, I’m a transplant to TN. I’m a pastor’s wife, mother of two, and Mimi to my three grand children. Life is busy in the town of Soddy Daisy. Yes, I get many questions about that name. It’s a suburb of Chattanooga. I’m a part-time RN in a doctor’s office. Most mornings you’d find me teaching water aerobics. During the afternoon, I’m at my keyboard, marketing my novel somewhere, busy with church activities, or rambling along some back road in search of quilt barns or interesting rural photos. If quilt barns leaves you clueless, visit my website and photo galleries after you read the rest of this post.

I love quilts and am amazed at the detail and time that goes into them! So, Melinda, tell us about your writing journey.  I won writing awards during my school years but I never considered pursuing it as a profession. I began writing when my mother needed full-time care and moved in with us. Her soap operas and game shows didn’t interest me. Writing became a pastime and a medium to share my Christianity. After my mother’s death, I continued the newfound career and my regular jobs. Several of my articles were published and I sought homes for two of my four novels. It’s an arduous task to find an agent or publisher. After much prayer and thought, I chose to form my micro-publishing company, Winding Road Ink, and have Snowfall Press print Grow Old With Me. I knew there was a good market for the book among quilters, the areas around Love Valley, and people who support agri-tourism along the quilt barn trails.

As I mentioned before, I am really enjoying your debut novel “Grow Old With Me.” Can you give us a short blurb? Grow Old With Me is the first novel in my Quilt Trail Series. Here is a short blurb:

A modern day Beauty and the Beast meet in their fifties when a disfigured carpenter becomes a guest at a bed and breakfast in the western-style tourist town of Love Valley, NC.

Benjamin Pruitt plans to repair the town’s buildings before retiring to a solitary life. Sarah Campbell longs for freedom since her long task as caregiver has ended.

Can Benjamin and Sarah piece the tattered remnants of their lives into a beautiful design to warm their waning years?

I really like the plot line. Can you tell us about the setting? I set Grow Old With Me in the real town of Love Valley, NC. Most descriptions are true to the town. You’ll find pictures of Love Valley on my website. The characters and some structural details are fiction. Mosey Inn doesn’t exist. The house on the cover is many miles from Love Valley. I found that house while following a quilt barn trail. When we pulled in the drive, I discovered that The Unicoi County Heritage Museum in Erwin, TN was the exterior of the house I saw in my head while writing. A bed and breakfast near New Orleans inspired the interior layout of Sarah’s home.

The cover is beautiful. So, what advice would you give to other writers who want to publish a book? Be certain your readers can relate to your characters. Identify your target audience and establish roads to reach them. As publishers shrink their yearly acquisitions, the field for new writers becomes very narrow. If the traditional publishing route isn’t working for you, publish your own books. Be prepared to market your books via many avenues. In this day of e-books and POD companies, the cost can be reasonable and your story won’t languish in some draw or hard drive. I believe I have a book worth reading. God will place it in the hands of those He wants to reach with its Christian message.

What role does faith play in your writing? Huge! God gives every person talents and gifts. He expects us to use them. I enjoy writing about real life in small-town American. I love flawed characters that need God’s healing touch. I’m not in this for money or fame. (That seldom happens in the publishing world) God can reach someone through a work of fiction who would never open a Bible. My goal is to show readers a personal relationship with Christ in a non-preachy way. As I write, I try to find God’s theme for the book. The Holy Spirit leads me to write words that will honor our Creator and further God’s kingdom.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? I can’t say that any one verse is my favorite. God provides different verses to further my faith, strength, and spiritual growth on a daily basis. My focus verses for Grow Old With Me came from Heb. 4:15-16. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (KJV) Just think about it! Christ faced every tough question and temptation of life. God lets us boldly ask questions. He can equip us to face every need and never turns us away when we seek answers. What an awesome promise. That was the message Benjamin and Sarah needed to learn. I’ve faced some tough questions in my Christian walk too. My works of fiction allow me to share some answers with readers who face similar fears and questions.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In other words, what are your hopes, dreams, and goals? I don’t want to handle the stress of a huge writing contract. I’d love to keep writing Christian fiction and living my life much as I do now. That’s another advantage to self-publication. I’m under no obligation to fulfill a deadline or contract unless I self-impose one. Time with family and travel are high priorities. My children want to take a long excursion across America when the grand children are older. 

What’s next on your writing agenda? I have five books planned for the Quilt Trail Novels. Each book will focus on a different aspect of quilting and rural American life. Several readers have asked about recurring characters. Each book will be a stand alone held together by the common thread of quilts. I may bring a former character back from time to time. I’m still planning and plotting. I didn’t start Grow Old With Me with a series in mind. It happened as I became interested in Quilt Barn Trails and met people with stories worth telling. My target audience influenced my plans for the series. The next book in my Quilt Trail Series will feature a Christmas tree grower and a quilt barn painter.

I’m looking forward to reading the next books in the series, Melinda. Can you tell us where can readers connect with you? My website is www.melindaevaul.com and my blog, Road Ramblings, is located there as well. I send out a newsletter at least quarterly to update my readers about events, appearances, or happenings in the Evaul family. Readers can contact me through the website or my publishing company email windingroadink@att.net My FB page is Melinda Evaul-Author. I have an author page on www.goodreads.com I also post a monthly writing lesson for teens on Lynn Dean’s website www.aNOVELwritingsite.com

Can you tell us how and where readers can order a copy of Grow Old With Me?Readers can order Grow Old With Me as an e-book from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Grow-Old-Quilt-Trail-ebook/dp/B004IE9VEU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300372086&sr=1-1  or in paperback via my website at www.melindaevaul.com 

Thank you again, Melinda, for being my guest.  It was great to have you here. Now don’t forget, readers, to leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Grow Old With Me. Giveaway ends March 24.

Advertisements

40 thoughts on “Author Interview/Giveaway With Melinda Evaul and a winner!

  1. Wow! I love where your inspiration comes from! I think you have a beautiful website and love the pictures of your grandbabies on your blog! I’ve saved your website and have subscribed to your email feed for your blog. I look forward to reading your books!

    Thanks!
    Shawna
    mzshawnaj@gmail.com
    mzshawnaj at gmail dot com

  2. I love the title!
    I always tell my husband to just grow old with me, so the title is so appropriate for us!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Many Blessings and Smiles,
    Charlotte Kay

  3. Great interview, and a great book! Please don’t enter me in the contest since I’ve already read the story, but just had to say that I enjoyed every page! This is one of those stories where the characters come to life and linger in memory long after “The End.”

  4. Hi Melinda, I enjoyed your interview and love your fictional Love Valley town. I am so glad I found Christian Fiction authors. I have enjoyed reading many books and it is nice not to have to skim or skip over parts you don’t care to read. I have your book on my wish list and can’t wait to read. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us your life and writings.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  5. I always thought about growing old together. We’d know about each other. Great title for your book. Love your farm scene on your site and blog. I came from the farm.

    Please enter me in the drawing for your book.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  6. Thank you for the wonderful comments. You’re all very kind.
    I loved creating the characters in Grow Old With Me. I still think of them as “real” people I know and love. Writing about an older couple added to my fun–closer to my age so I easily relate.
    I appreciate the comments about my website too. Isn’t that farm banner gorgeous? I found it on the web and knew it was perfect for my writing themes. My web designer pulled it all together to show off my husbands lovely photos as well.
    I’m holding a book signing in Love Valley on April 22-23. Can’t wait to go back and visit people who helped me with research.
    I’m off to write a new blog post about a recent quilt barn trail adventure. I’ll pop in at least once a day to comment.
    Thanks again for the gracious compliments.
    Melinda

  7. Well, I officially need to visit Love Valley, NC!! Let’s plan a tour! Oh, if only…maybe a virtual tour? Melinda, again, I loved your book. And guess what? Hebrews 4:16 is THE theme verse for the second book in my series. Great verse, and your passion for writing and the love of the Lord shines through clearly. Keep up the great work. I’m so happy for you!! Blessings! JoAnn Durgin, Author of Awakening, A Christian Romance

    • Thank you all so much for stopping by and leaving comments for Melinda. I am always excited to see who wins! I hope you all have a blessed weekend.
      Hugs & Blessings,
      Penny

  8. Carmen sent me and I’m so glad she did! This looks like a great book! I’ve been making quilts for many years thanks to my Grandmother. Also I had the pleasure to spend a week with friends at their home in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee last year. What a beautiful place. As far as I’m concerned you have winner written all over you!!! Please enter me in the contest! Regardless, I plan on reading this book. Blessings, Judy

  9. I’m overwhelmed by these sweet comments. Several have signed up for my newsletter or blog. Thanks!
    I will be in Love Valley in April. I’ll document my book signing and post pictures on my website. There are some in the photo gallery now.
    I’m off to the pool. I’ll check in again later today.
    New blog post coming by 3PM eastern.

  10. I live in a small NC town as well. Lots of beautiful old homes like the one on the cover. Quilts are such a part of our heritage here in the south. I have several that my MIL has made for my children, and my sister is also a quilter. I would love tor ead this book and pass iton to my MIL. She’s an avid CHristian Fiction reader as I am.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

    blessings from rural NC 🙂

    • One reason I chose the subject is to preserve that quilting heritage and also the lovely old barns around the country. I have quilts from my mom, grandmom, and friends. I used to quilt but have little time for it now. Nice to meet fellow NC gal.

  11. Melinda’s forthright and down to earth interview impressed me with what a fine person she must be. The house on the front of her beautiful cover reminds me of my grandparent’s and great-grandparents homes; and the many houses still standing like that where I come from in Kansas. I’m happy to find her book on Penny’s blog, because I’d not heard of it before. It is a story I’d definitely love to read. Thanks for offering this book and the opportunity to win it. I hope I win it!

    Sharing His Faith
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

    • What a nice thing to say, Barb. I want my readers to know that my faith is real and that God is the answer to all needs. Being honest and forthright about myself must be part of that witness.
      I truly love my cover. A dear writer friend, Lynn Dean designed the quilted sky and the cover layout. My husband did the photoshop work on the picutures.

  12. Penny has been so gracious to have me around this week. I’ve enjoyed your kind comments. Anxious to see who the winner is. I hope those who don’t have that honor will drop by my website to order a copy of “Grow Old With Me” –or get a Kindle version of the book. While you’re shopping you should pick up Penny’s delightful books too!!

  13. I met Melinda through the internet. Not really sure it was on my blog or a quilting site or a barn trail site, but I am glad we met! She mentioned she was writing this book based in a town called Love Valley. WOW, I have been there many times. That was all it took!
    She came down to NC, we met and I took her around to several of the quilt shops to promote her book. Melinda is a wonderful and friendly person. I felt like I had know her all my life. Her novel is a great read and easily to identify with. Sarah and Benjamin are such a real life couple with real life issues. I can identify with many of the things they deal with. If you like murder mysteries and graphic novels then this is NOT for you. But if you want a real life love story which is Christ Centered then you will enjoy reading Grow Old With Me. I enjoyed every word!
    Thanks Melinda! Can’t wait for the next one.

    • I cannot thank you all enough for stopping by my blog and leaving comments for Melinda. You are all so appreciated! Melinda is an awesome writer and an awesome person and such an encourager herself.

      Well, tomorrow is the big day when we pick a winner at random. I can’t wait to see who it is!

      God’s blessings to all of you and thank you again for taking the time to check out Melinda’s book.

      Penny

    • Waving at my friend, Lisa!! Thanks for the sweet words. I too feel as if we’ve know each other forever. Lisa is one of my influencers. Without folks like her helping to spread the word, my novel would get lost in the mix of all the great books on the shelves. She took it upon herself to promote “Grow Old With Me” in my key target area. If you write, I hope you find a Lisa to become a PR person for your book.
      Meeting readers and making friends is one of the things I enjoy most about appearances and marketing. Thanks to Penny, I’ve met some exceptional people this week.

  14. Pingback: We have a winner! « Penny Zeller ~ A Day in the Life of a Wife Mom & Author

What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s