Thursday, December 2, 2010

Author Interview & Giveaway - Katie McCurdy

Today I am interviewing author Katie McCurdy - author of Journey Of Faith, who happens to be a very good friend of mine! Hope you enjoy this interview!

First off, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself and something about you that might surprise your readers?
Sure! I am now 18 years old and am third eldest in a family of ten children. It's always busy and crazy at my house, but I wouldn't trade my life for anything! I've been writing since I was about twelve or thirteen. When I first began writing, my family - and even myself - didn’t think that I was seriously going to write and compete a book, let alone publish. Well, I did finish, and once my extended family found out I was writing, they helped me get it self-published by Outskirts Press. Once I completed that first book, Journey of Faith, I was hooked on writing and have been writing ever since!

Hmm...something that might surprise my readers...? Well, I have about half a dozen other books - not connected with the Legacy of Purpose series - that I have started and would, one day, like to see finished. :-) I know I should probably focus on one book at a time, but when I get a good idea, I just have to write out the outline and do the first few chapters! Maybe, Lord willing, I will be able to finish them all!

I can relate with you there! With 7 younger siblings myself, we are quite busy!
What inspired you to write your book, Journey Of Faith, and work-in-progress, Journey of the Heart?
I have always loved to read historical books. I got the idea for Journey of Faith because I had recently read a book that was centered on the Oregon Trail. The life seemed so hard, and often times people didn’t make it to their new life, or they didn't prosper and ended up worse than ever. That's when I decided I wanted to write a story about a large family that did make it to the end of the trail and who did prosper in their new life.

I didn't begin writing, though. I always thought being an author was for when I got older, so I stored this idea in the back of my head, thinking that "one day" I would write about it. That's when a friend let me borrow Avery Hitch's first book, Be Thee Thankful. I enjoyed the book and was surprised when I found out that she was a 15 year old author! "If she can do it, then so can I!" was my reasoning. So a few weeks afterwards is when I began Journey of Faith. :-)

That's great! I, too, was inspired by your and Avery Hitch's writing.
What prompted you to write in the 1800s?

It is my favorite historical time period! It's when people were moving west, settling in untamed land. They were building ranches and raising and moving cattle. I loved their clothing during this time. [;-)] And it was during this century that the War Between the States took place - the one war in history that I seem to have a passion for! In fact, if my Legacy of Purpose series continues to pan out the way I expect, Faith Martin is going to get an up-close look at that historical, and very controversial, war!

How has your faith influenced your writings?
Honestly, this writing experience has nurtured my faith in more ways than one! There was one instance, when I was writing away, expanding a plot, when I suddenly realized that what one of the characters was going through was almost exactly like what I had been going through spiritually during that time. I didn't plan it this way, but as Faith experienced this inner turmoil and trial and found comfort in God's promises - so did I! It was amazing and I don't think I'll ever forget it! I didn't even make the connection until I was at the end of Faith's ordeal and sat back and thought - "That's just like me..." It is astounding the way the Lord works! He used my writing to minister to my soul! After that, I was even more energized to continue writing!

One way my faith has influenced my writing is, Lord willing, in the way the Martin family treats each other. I stressed the family's harmony and good spirits because I wanted my book to set an example to my younger siblings - and other siblings - in the way that siblings should treat, love, and help each other. The Martin's still had their squabbles - as my family does - but they learned how to work through them and remain close-knit siblings who are always there for each other.

That's awesome!
Did you base any of your characters on people you really know?

Yes. The Martin family resembles my family - in the number of children they have and their age and genders. The Martin's characteristics are also based upon my siblings. Some of the friends that the Martins meet and make along the way are also loosely based off of some of my close friend's families. When I was fourteen, I thought it was a fun way to add characters into my book by using my friends!

That is a great idea and I had a fun time picking out which of our friends represented who. :-)
Who was your favorite character to write? Which do you think you are most like?
My favorite character? Actually, I really enjoyed and grew attached to Benjamin Martin! He had such a wonderful, uplifting outlook on life, was always caring, loved his sisters and always protected them. Add to all that, he was really easy to get to know and write! It took little or no effort for me to write scenes with him in it - he had such a sunny disposition! And as I continued writing his character in the second book, Journey of the Heart, he continued to grow and mature into an amazing, cheerful, Christian young man! So, yes - after Faith (who doesn’t enjoy writing about the main character??) - I really enjoyed writing Ben's character!
Who am I most like? Faith Martin - since I kind of planned for it to be that way! ;-) Though I will admit that Faith has some character qualities that I wish I had! lol
When you started writing, where did you begin? With an outline? Or did you just jump into it and let the story form as you wrote?
For my first book, I wrote an outline and stuck fairly close to it. I did this for the second book, as well. But as I was writing the second book, it began to go a whole different direction. Instead of reigning it back to the outline, I let the characters have the reigns and when I finally finished the last chapter...I couldn't believe it! It was 100% more intense, more complex, and more compelling than my original outline! So...while I usually write an outline before beginning a book - just to have a direction - I now usually let the story go where it wills and see what happens!! :-)

You've written and self published a book, are working on its sequel, and have written several other short stories. Which book/story was your favorite to write? Which one required the most research? And which took the longest time to write?
My favorite? Journey of the Heart. I am still amazing at where that story went and everything that happened within it's pages. The one that required the most research? That would be the one that I am currently working on with you, my dear Kait - Scattered Tears!!! And the one that took the longest, so far, has been my first - Journey of Faith. That one took me roughly 4 or 5 years to write before I published it. :-)

Yes, Scattered Tears is requiring MUCH research! But it's been fun! ;-)
In Journey of Faith, Faith is your main character. If your book were made into a movie, who would you have play her part?

Hmm...I don't think I've yet found an actress that looks exactly like what I pictured for Faith, but Felicity Jones gets very close! She has the same facial features and sweet smile that I imagined for Faith, and her curly brown hair is what I had pictured for Faith as well! So, if they were made a movie, Felicity Jones would be my choice to play Faith!

Oh I strongly agree!
Who is your favorite author?

Ohh....I have SO MANY favorite authors - I honestly don’t think I can pin it down to just one. But I can list you my top favorites, how’s that? They would be...Sheridan Claude, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Chuck Black, L. A. Kelly, and Kacy Barnett-Gramckow! All these authors are AMAZING!!

Wow isn't that strange! We like the EXACT same authors! ;-)
Can you give us some insight on the sequel to Journey Of Faith: Journey of the Heart?

Sure! I haven't written a synopsis for the book yet, but here is a little sneak peek into the story - "The town of Prairie Grove gets many drifters, but when a man by the name of Jedidiah Brass comes to their quiet town, it turns Faith’s comfortable and quiet life upside-down and affects the lives of everyone she knows. At 17, Faith, along with 18 year old Hope, is eligible for marriage. But is the first eligible Christian man who comes along the one that God has ordained for them? How does Faith learn to separate her earthly feelings and desires from God’s will for her life? And when a terrible incident leaves Hope seemingly scarred for life, has her chance as a wife and mother been destroyed forever?"

Well, there you go! :-) It isn't much, but that's a quick look at it! Want more? Here's a scene I took from the book that might wet your appetite! It hasn't been edited and is subject to change, but it will give you an idea! ;-)

Hours later as the supper hour was slowly receding into history, Faith exited the examining room and glanced over at the bookwork Miranda was leaning over. “Well, I guess we won’t have to worry about being too busy today. I think I’ve cleaned those instruments twice just to have something to do.”

“Would you like to get us some coffee from upstairs?” Miranda suggested without looking up.

Faith shrugged. “Sure. Something to do is better than nothing!” Mounting the stairs, she was soon pouring the hot, black liquid into two tin cups. As she lifted them up carefully, she was startled by a sudden ruckus from below. Pausing to listen, she heard it again - pounding, as if many boots were running around. Faith wasn’t surprised when Miranda loudly called her name, her voice tinged with urgency.

Setting the cups down carefully, Faith hurried down the stairs. As she reached the waiting room, her jaw went slack as she paused on the last step and took in the scene. Mr. Cuthbert and Mike were supporting Daniel’s bleeding form between them, his arms wrapped around their shoulders. Blood oozed down Daniel’s ripped pant leg, forming a dark puddle on the floor. Daniel’s wife, Kathy, was just shutting the clinic door, her eyes red and brimming with unshed tears.

Faith’s hand rose to her throat as she hurried to Daniel’s side. Miranda was already on her knees, inspecting his wound carefully. “What happened?” Faith dared to ask.

“He’s been shot. Accidently,” Miranda added shortly as she rose and moved toward the examining room. “We need to get that bullet out and sew it up; he’s lost a lot of blood already.”

Oh dear Lord! Faith didn’t need to ask: she knew how severe the situation could grow if the patient lost too much blood. Amid her billowing skirts, she quickly entered the examining room and prepared the table.

“Put him on the table, gentleman,” Miranda instructed. “There. Thank you. Please go wait outside with Kathy. I’ll let you know when we’re through. Faith, get ready.”

Apprehension burned in Faith’s chest as she nervously tied on an apron and rushed to prepare the needle and catgut thread. Oh God, please help Daniel to make it! Help us stop the bleeding. He’s got a wonderful life ahead of him. He just got married…pull him through, Lord!

Miranda’s voice cut through her prayers. “Easy now, Daniel. Just lie back and let us take care of that leg for you.” She cast a quick glance at Faith. “Give him something for the pain so we can begin.”

Her hands shook slightly as she grabbed a brown bottle from a nearby counter. Slipping a hand underneath Daniel’s head, she helped him take a few sips of the drug before laying him back down. “Give it a minute to take effect, Miranda,” Faith said softly as she twisted the cap back on.

“Okay,” Miranda replied shortly as she tore his pantleg away from the wound and inspected it closely, though without touching it. “It doesn’t look like it hit an artery or anything. It’s just bled a lot.”

“How’d it happen?” Faith queried as she glanced at Daniel’s ashen face. He was already relaxing under the influence of the medicine and she motioned to Miranda that they could start.

“An accident. One of the Cuthbert’s didn’t know a gun was loaded and when he put it down…something happened. I don’t have all the details, but Daniel got it in his thigh.” Miranda spoke as she cut open the wound and looked for the ball. An hour slowly rolled by and Faith head hurt from the strain. Through it all she never stopped praying for Daniel’s recovery, even as she continued to mop up his blood from off the table. Finally, Miranda finished sewing the last stitch and the gash was closed. Washing the wound again, they administered some disinfectant before bandaging it up securely.

“There,” Miranda sighed, her shoulders sagging with relief. “We’ve done all we can. The wound should heal, but he has lost a lot of blood already. If he lives for an hour, he should pull through. As soon as he is awake we will give him liquid to replace what blood he’s lost. You did well, Faith,” she added as she nudged Faith with her shoulder, her hands still stained with blood. “You kept your head through it all.”

“Thanks,” Faith shrugged as she stepped over to the sink.

“Why don’t you go tell the family while I clean up in here? Only Kathy can come in, if she wants to, though.”

Nodding, Faith finished washing her hands and made sure to take off her apron, which was splattered with blood, before stepping into the waiting room. The whole Cuthbert family was there and they all rose from their seats as she entered.

“He’s okay. For now,” Faith assured them. “We’ve removed the bullet and sewed up the wound. We’ll have to watch him closely for an hour or so, but by then he should be out of danger.”

Elise Cuthbert touched her arm, her eyes red from crying. “Are you sure he’ll be alright?”

“I believe he’ll be fine.”

“Can I see him now?” Kathy, his young, pretty, brunette wife asked, concern constricting her voice.

Faith gave her a small smile as she opened the door. “Yes, go on in. Miranda said you could.”

A voice in the corner asked, “So does that mean you won’t be ready to go home anytime soon?”

Who…? Faith’s eyes turned toward Sandy, who was leaning against the door frame. “Oh, I didn’t know you were here! Where’s Ben? Is it that time already?” Her eyes flew to the clock.

“No, it’s about an hour past that,” Sandy chuckled. “Ben couldn’t make it. But Michael came in with me. He’s over at the saloon getting a drink right now. We’ve been waiting.”

“I’m sorry!” Faith exclaimed apologetically.

“That’s fine, but it’s already dark outside. We should get home soon or they’ll begin to worry about us. I told them we’d be in before nightfall.”

Faith turned to grab the door handle. “Okay, let me tell Miranda that I’m going. I’m done here.”

“Alright, I’ll get the horses saddled and pick up Michael,” he agreed as he opened the clinic door.

Once Sandy left, Faith stuck her head into the room and softly told Miranda the news. “Oh, I haven’t looked at the time. Of course you should go. I’ll see you at church tomorrow, maybe. All depends on Daniel. If he’s out of danger, Kathy has said she’ll stay with him while I go. But we’ll see.”

“Okay. Lord willing I’ll see you there tomorrow.” Grabbing her hat and cloak, Faith moved around the Cuthbert family, who were waiting anxiously for a chance to see Daniel. Once outside, she wrapped her cloak tightly around her, as the night’s were still chilly. Faith tipped her head back slightly, just enjoying the silence. A sigh of relief escaped her lips and she saw her breath in the cold, crisp air. God, you are in control of everything. Bring healing to Daniel’s body. She prayed earnestly as she started walking down the sidewalk toward the livery, swinging her hat casually from its strings.

I rarely get to be in town when it’s dark, but the stars are still just as beautiful here as on the ranch. It’s such a wonderful night! A smile spread across her lips and she let her fingers trace the wall of a building before it sharply turned the corner into an ally. As the small, dark lane disappeared from her peripheral vision, she was suddenly grabbed around the waist and yanked into the ally with such force that a scream would have escaped her lips if a large, cold hand hadn’t been clamped forcefully over her mouth.

Oh wow that looks intriguing Katie! I can't wait to read the whole book!
 How can our reader's reach you?

Check out my website at

Or come by and visit my blog - In both places you should be able to find my email address. But if not, feel free to email me directly at legacy1992(at)gmail(dot)com. I love hearing your thoughts or advice on my writing!

Thanks so much for being willing to do an interview and giveaway with us!
Thank you SO much for having me, Kait! This was a lot of fun!!

Not only has Katie been gracious enough to allow me to interview her, but she is also willing to giveaway the first book in her series, Journey Of Faith, to one of our lucky readers! To enter, simply follow this blog and leave a comment with your email address! It's that simple! USA only please.

For Extra Entries:
Subscribe to this blog(+1)
Post about our giveaway on your blog(+2)
Twitter this giveaway(+1 per tweet per day)
Comment on a post on my other blog, Book Ponderings(+2)

Hurry and enter! This giveaway ends on Friday, December 17th!


Charlotte Kay said...

What a wonderful interview!
It had such a personal touch!
Please consider me for this giveaway!
I am a GFC follower.

I subscribe to this blog(+1)
I commented on the post about The Shape of Mercy on your other blog, Book Ponderings(+2)

Katie M said...

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Kait! I had fun! :-)

If any of your readers have any other questions or comments, I'll check back in on occasion until the giveaway is over!

Thanks again - Katy

Ariel said...

I've been hoping for this book for awhile! Katie is sweet :)


Diane said...

Congrats on the book. It was great getting to know you a little more. Good luck on the rest of the series! :O)

Cindy W. said...

I am a GFC follower.

Cindy W.


Emily said...

Sounds good! :)

karenk said...

what a wonderful interview...i'm looking forward to reading your novel, katy...thanks for the opportunity :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a follower :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Patricia said...

As a third child in a family of 8 children who also writes, we are probably kindred spirits. :) Great success on your book. Put my name in the pile of supporters who would love a copy of your book.

Cathy W said...

Follow via GFC
cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Cathy W said...

cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Oh almost forgot, Carman sent me!

Katie M said...

Aww, thank you all for your sweet words! The support is encouraging!

Patricia, looks like we have a few things in common! ;-)

- Katy

Renee Ann said...

What an exciting excerpt! Congrats on completing such a well-written book, Katie! And thanks for sharing this interview, Kait!

barbjan10 said...

This is a very fine interview full of information. The excerpt ended and I was wishing to go further into the story. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win. Sure hope I do!

Blessings of Joy,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

barbjan10 said...

I've posted about this interview and giveaway on my blog.

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

barbjan10 said...

I'm a follower of this blog.

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

barbjan10 said...

I made a comment on Book Ponderings.

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

apple blossom said...

I'm a follower thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Mystica said...

Dont enter me as I am overseas but please come over and enter my giveaway - my first and its sponsored by CSN Stores and is a gift card.

rubynreba said...

Great interview. I'm anxious to start reading this series. Please enter me.

Patsy said...

This book sounds great. Count me in on the giveaway. Thanks for giving away a copy.

Jolee said...

Thanks for counting me! Intriguing book. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Benita said...

I'm a follower. Please count me in.


Bria said...

I am a follower!

Bria said...

I just posted on my blog:

Carmen7351 said...

The subtitle, Legacy of Purpose, caught my eye. Looking forward to some great Scriptural lessons.

Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Kait said...

Thanks to everyone who entered! This giveaway is now CLOSED.

Nonners said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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