Author Interviews

4 Questions With Bestselling Author Deeanne Gist

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

Guys.

Look who is on the blog today. Look! Yep, the very same I always mention is absolutely hilarious and how I love all her books. The bestselling author herself, Deeanne Gist! Do you know how exciting it is for me to be able to host my favorite authors on this little corner of the web? All I’m saying is I’ve been known to dance around the room from excitement. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did and be sure to pick up one of her books stat!

Deeanne Gist — known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee — has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary love stories. Add to this four RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.

You can connect with Deeanne on at her website, Twitter or Facebook!

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
In the last five years we’ve seen 2 kids get married, 2 graduate college, and 1 move to the other side of the country to pursue a career in music. In that time, as Greg and I became empty nesters, our sweet border collie suddenly moved way up in the pecking order. He’s not *quite* top dog, but he’s close. Never did I dream we’d let him on the furniture with us, on our bed, in our hotel rooms, and hardly ever out of our sight. Our kids are all shaking their heads at this sad state of affairs.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Oh, goodness. There are too many to count, much less narrow down to one. So many words I’ve let spill out that I’d love to recapture. So many decisions I’ve made that I so wish I’d never fallen through on. So many falls I took that could have so been avoided. One thing? Hardly.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
I remember looking out the window above the kitchen sink while washing up some dishes. The day was glorious and the girls were playing hula-hoop on the deck and the boys were eating popsicles while they watched Greg work on a fort he was building for them. I remember resting my hands against the sink and thinking, “You know, life just doesn’t get any better than this.”

Before
After

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I hope the next generation never forgets that though they are connected to “friends” all over the globe with a touch of their fingers, that it is still extremely important to have friends they spend time with, play with, and share with–live and in person. No amount of texting, tweeting, or facebooking can ever replace the rewards which come from those face-to-face, day-to-day relationships.

Thank you so much Deeanne! Such a pleasure to host you at Books and Beverages!

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Author Interviews

4 Questions With New York Times Bestseller Jonathan Eig

Before a trip to Atlanta several years back, my mom gave me Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season by Jonathan Eig for plane reading material. It was a fantastic read that truly brought to life Robinson’s first season. It’s one of my favorite biographies to date.

He’s also documented the life of Lou Gehrig in Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig. And his most recent book? Get Capone. Y’all…did I ever mention I have a strange obsession with the mafia? So you know that’s a good book with a title like that. It’s all about Al Capone and what it took to capture him. That one is definitely on my to read list because who doesn’t love a good book about the mafia??

Jonathan Eig is the best-selling author of “Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig” and “Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season.” His most recent book is “Get Capone,” which the New York Times called a “gore-spattered thriller.” Eig is a former senior writer for The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Chicago with his wife and children. For more information, go to http://www.getcapone.com or http://www.jonathaneig.com.

So excited to have Jonathan on the blog with 4 Questions!

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
After writing books on baseball and crime, I’m currently at work telling the story of the team of rebels who invented the birth control pill. If you had told me that five years ago, I would have thought you were nuts. But it’s a great story and I’m having a blast. I think it’s going to be my best book.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Life’s too short to think about what I would have done differently. But I suppose, if you were to give me this magical power to go back and do things differently, I might try to read more, write better, and waste less time on TV and the Web. And I would not have eaten that Frito Pie.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Happiest moments are the usual ones: marriage and children. I’ve been incredibly blessed on the home front. On the professional side: finishing my first book and seeing it in stores.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
If they know what’s good for them, members of the next generation will heed this advice: be nice to my kids.

Thank you so much for stopping by Jonathan!

Author Interviews

4 Questions with Author Melanie Dobson

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

As soon as I find out someone adopted or fosters kids, my first thoughts are “Can we be friends? And I promise I’m not a creeper.” As I’ve mentioned, it’s something I love (and who knows maybe one day I’ll join those ranks) and I love to hear people’s stories about adoption.

Then I found out that award winning author Melanie Dobson has a background in journalism. What! What! (Had to give a shout out to my major 🙂 ). Then I read some of her books and score! I first read Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan and knew we could totally be friends. Then I read one about the mafia and that confirmed my fandom.

Not only is she a fantastic writer, but a genuine person too. No wonder her novels are refreshing and enjoyable. She really does write novels that stir your heart!

Melanie Dobson has written ten contemporary and historical novels including five releases in Summerside’s Love Finds You series. In 2011, two of her releases won Carol Awards: Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (for historical romance) and The Silent Order (for romantic suspense). She enjoys the research process that comes along with being an author of historical fiction so much that she often has a difficult time stopping the research on the history and locale in order to start the writing. Because Melanie visits each location she writes about, she’s been able to spend time in the beautiful and fascinating towns across the country that bring her stories to life.

Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master’s degree in communication from Regent University. Prior to her writing career, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and a publicist for The Family Channel. She later launched her own public relations company and worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for more than fifteen years.

Connect with Melanie at http://www.melaniedobson.com or Facebook!

1) What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined five years ago?
Five years ago, I began writing historical fiction, and I never dreamed I would be able to visit so many wonderful places as I researched for these novels. Last year, I took my daughters on a road trip along the Oregon Trail to research for “Where the Trail Ends” and then my oldest daughter and I toured Williamsburg in July for my upcoming book, “Courier of Caswell Hall.” In March I’m going to Normandy to find out what life would have been like for my aristocratic heroine during World War II. I can’t wait to dive in…

2) What is the one thing you would go back and do differently if you could?
I’ve made many mistakes in my life, but with each mistake, God has brought me closer to my understanding of Him. I wouldn’t change any of those opportunities to grow. If I had to change something,. I wouldn’t have stressed nearly as much as I waited for my first book contracts and spent that time instead playing with my girls.

3) What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Standing in front of my family and friends at an old lodge in Colorado, listening to my amazing groom sing a song he wrote for our wedding day. That was fifteen years ago, and I still get goosebumps!

4) What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I’m trying to teach my girls how to guard their heart and mind against what our culture calls “entertainment” and fill themselves instead with everything good and right. I would love it if this next generation recognized the negative influence that today’s entertainment has over people of all ages and realized that they can say “no” to harmful movies, TV shows, games, and music. And it would be amazing if this generation created powerful, life-altering stories and songs that inspired hope and peace for all generations.

Author Interviews

4 Questions with Bestselling Author Diane Chamberlain

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories. Of people. Of life. Of adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

I’m a fan of people who are honest and real. It’s refreshing and inspiring. And I love it when that spills over into their work. The perfect example? Diane Chamberlain!

First, just check out her blog. I like that it’s a bit of everything, whether writing ideas, book clubs or posts about personal life, it’s awesome to follow and be encouraged by. Second, read her books! One of my book club reads was The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes and it was a great read. I look forward to reading more of her books!

Diane Chamberlain is the best-selling author of 20 novels. Her books, frequently set in the southeastern United States, are complex stories about love, compassion and forgiveness with a touch of mystery and suspense. Diane’s background in psychology and her work in hospitals have given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create real, living, breathing characters. More than a decade ago, Diane was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which changed the way she works: She sometimes types using voice recognition software. She feels fortunate that her arthritis is not more severe and that she is able to enjoy everyday activities as well as keep up with a busy work and travel schedule. Diane has three married stepdaughters, three grandchildren, and two shelties. She lives with photographer John Pagliuca in North Carolina where she’s at work on her 21th novel.

And now on to the 4 Questions! Thank you again Diane!!

Photo credit: John Pagliuca

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
I’ve been published for more than twenty years, so I didn’t think anything could surprise me, but a year ago publishers in the United States and United Kingdom started bidding against one another for the rights to my next book. After a fairly quiet career with a few nice ups and a few depressing downs, it was amazing to suddenly to be in hot demand. The first book in that new contract, Stealing Tomorrow, will be out next summer and I can’t wait.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Hmm, in life or in writing? There are thousands of things I’d do differently if we’re talking about life, but I think I’ll stick with career to be on the safe side! I wish I’d realized much earlier how important it is to have a great agent. My agent is fabulous, but she and I didn’t hook up until a few years ago. Her passion and her business savvy made me wish I’d found an agent like her long ago.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
The simplest things can make me happy. My family is fairly spread out geographically, but a couple of years ago we got together at my sister’s house, and one evening we all started singing. A few of us played instruments and we had a little impromptu sing-along. It filled me with love for my family and the joy having us all together for a change. I wish I could have bottled up the experience to carry around with me.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
That we’re all connected. One of my favorite things to do is to imagine myself in the shoes of everyone I see during the day. It’s an eye-opening exercise and reminds me that life is not all about me me me. We’re all in this together.