Friday, April 1, 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway - Karen Witemeyer

Hello readers! Today I am happy to welcome Karn Witemeyer - author of A Tailor-Made Bride, Head in the Clouds, and upcoming release To Win Her Heart - to Reviews By Jane!




First off, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself and something about you that might surprise your readers?

I'm a deacon's wife and an incurable romantic who believes this world needs more happily-ever-
afters. So, in order to help meet that need, I combine my fascination for bygone eras with my
passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels full of love and
laughter. I'm also an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bake a mean apple cobbler. I live in
Abilene, TX with my hunky, computer nerd husband and three children who are kind enough to
put up with Mom's imaginary friends.



Wow sounds like quite the life! 
What inspired you to write Head in the Clouds?


Since I enjoy regency romances as well as those set in the American West, I thought it would be fun to blend the two by bringing an English nobleman to Texas. This book started with a clear idea for theme and the story grew out of that. I wanted to write about a woman with big dreams who grows impatient when God doesn't seem to be answering her prayers. The longer God is silent, the more confused and frustrated she becomes until she finally takes matters into her own hands and pursues her dreams in the way she thinks best. In the process, she makes a thorough mess of things. It is only when she learns to wait on the Lord that he begins to work in her life to bring about blessings she never before imagined.



What prompted you to write a story that took place in the 1800s?

I've always loved historical novels, and the 19th century is one of my favorite eras. Since I live in Texas, I wanted to set my stories here, and the late 1800s was a time of great expansion. By the 1880s, the Indians were no longer raiding and the railroad was making its way across the central and western areas of the state. New towns were cropping up and families were moving in, a perfect scenario for creating cozy, small town backdrops for my characters.



Yes I loved the setting and also how you had Gideon run a sheep farm instead of cattle - creative!
Has your faith influenced your writings? How?

My faith is an integral part of my writing. My characters are people of faith who struggle with
the same everyday issues that we do today. In fact, the themes that inspire me are often areas
in my own life where I need to grow spiritually. For example, in Head in the Clouds, Adelaide
grows impatient when God doesn't seem to be answering her prayers and has to learn to fully
submit to the Lord's plan for her life and his timing. Even though this was my second published
book, it was actually written before my debut novel, so while I was writing this story, I was
struggling as an unpublished author, wondering when God was going to open that door I felt sure
he called me to walk through. Submission is a hard lesson to learn when impatience is clawing
at you to take action. I had to wade through a series of rejections and a period of soul searching
much like Adelaide did before God opened my door to being a published author.

Did you base any of your characters on people you really know?

No, my characters live solely in the world of my imagination. Many of my own attributes and
emotions find their way into my characters, and I leaned on my experience as a mom when it
came time to write young Isabella's scenes, but none of my characters were inspired by any real
person.


That's cool how you're life experiences - being a mom - have helped you when writing about Isabella. 
Which book that you've written was your favorite to write?

That's nearly impossible to answer. That's like asking me to choose a favorite among my three children. There are times in the writing process for every book where I love what I'm writing and the words flow with ease. But there are many more times that I agonize and fret over words that come about as easily as pulled teeth. So which was my favorite? Whichever one I last finished writing. That feeling of relief when I turn in a manuscript is hard to beat.

Haha I understand - each one must be special in it's own way!
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?

I do a little of both. I usually write a detailed synopsis (5-8 pages) at the outset, researching the plausibility of the plot points I've been brainstorming, so that I have a good feel for the direction
in which the story is headed. I need to know how the hero and heroine will meet, what conflicts
they will have to overcome, the ultimate resolution, and a few major plot points along the way.
Once I have that nailed down, I jump into the writing, and let the characters lead me through the
story. No outlines or in-depth plotting, just a general idea of where I'm going and few landmarks
to look for along the way.

You've written and published several books. Which one required the most research? Which
took the longest time to write?

My writing pace is a pretty consistent one-book-a-year pace. My debut book, A Tailor-Made
Bride, was contracted before it was finished and due to an early opening in the publishing
schedule, my editor asked me to finish earlier. I wrote that one in about 8 months. My most
recent book, To Win Her Heart (coming in May), probably required the most research. I studied
prison life and convict labor camps. I studied the craft of blacksmithing and limestone quarrying.
For my librarian heroine, I researched the Victorian art of flower pressing and 19th century
Hugh Jackman as Gideon
literature. It is amazing to me how research can uncover wonderful historical tidbits that lead
me to the exact time and place for the setting of my story that allows all the plot points to work
together. That's what happened with To Win Her Heart.

Who would you have play Adelaide, Gideon, and Bella if your book were made into a movie?

I would choose Hugh Jackman for Gideon, because really – who didn’t love him in Kate &
Leopold? His dimples aren't quite as pronounced as Gideon's but with his Aussie background, I
bet he can manage an enchanting British accent.

For Adelaide, I'd select Alyssa Milano. I need someone petite to match Adelaide's stature, and I
thought Alyssa could carry off the "girl next door" look that I always imagined for my heroine.

Casting Bella would be a challenge since child actresses grow up so quickly. But Joey King is a cutie, and her blue eyes and golden hair remind me of Bella.


Alyssa Milano as Adelaide

Oh Hugh Jackman is PERFECT for Gideon's part, and I love your choice for Adelaide and Bella, too!
Who is your favorite author?


In the Christian market, some of my favorites include Deeanne Gist, Vickie McDonough, and
Lorna Seilstad. In the general market, I enjoy Julia Quinn, Jodie Thomas, and the old historicals
from Julie Garwood.





Great authors!
Do you have another book in the making? Can you give us some insight on what it's about?


To Win Her Heart, my May 1st release, pairs a blacksmith with a criminal past with an uppity
librarian who holds lofty ideals. But attraction definitely sparks between these two opposites.
Joey King as Bella

This story plays on the question – what happens after the prodigal son returns? So many times, we focus on the wonderful homecoming the lost son received from his father, but have you ever asked what life was like for him after the celebration was over? How did he relate to his bitter older brother or the servants and townspeople who were only too aware of his past arrogance and wild living?

In To Win Her Heart, I play on those very questions. My hero is a man recently released from prison who has returned to his faith roots and rededicated his life to the Lord. The heroine is a woman who has been disappointed by men in the past and has little tolerance of those who don't meet her high standards. In an effort to make a clean start, Levi hides his past and Eden believes
she has finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when his prodigal past comes to light, old hurts are exposed, and Eden must decide if she can give her heart to a knight with tarnished
armor.

WOW! Sounds amazing! I look forward to reading it! 
How can our reader's reach you?

I'd love to have you visit me at my website: www.karenwitemeyer.com. I host a monthly
giveaway of Christian historical novels from a variety of well-known authors as well as post
interesting tidbits about my characters and the research behind their stories.

You can also find me on Facebook. Send me a message sometime. I'd be honored to chat with
you.

Thanks for visiting Reviews By Jane!








Not only has Karen been gracious enough to allow me to interview her, but she is also willing to giveaway a copy of her upcoming release - To Win Her Heat - to one lucky commenter! USA ONLY! Enter soon! This giveaway ends on April 15th!

REQUIRED ENTRY:
Follow this blog via GFC and leave a comment saying what you found most interesting in the interview above.


For Extra Entries:
Comment on another review of mine (+1 per comment - maximum amount of entries is 3)
Subscribe to this blog(+1)
Post about our giveaway on your blog(+2)
Twitter this giveaway(+1 per tweet per day)
Follow me on Twitter(+1)

Digg this post and any other post(+1 entry per Digg per post)

56 comments:

lgm52 said...

Most interesting: another book in the making!
lgm52@hotmail.com

Leah said...

The thing I found most interesting:
All the research!!
I cant wait to read this book!
I love Karen's other books, and this one sounds just as good.(If not better!:)
I LOVE the cover!
dymesich(at)juno(dot)com

Courtney said...

I love Karen's books!! There are so amazing! The most interesting thing about this interview to me is what was said about the upcoming new release to win her heart. The idea of an uppity librarian paired with a blacksmith with a criminal past just sounds thrilling! :-)

kcmelone{at}yahoo{dot}com

I commented on 2 of your reviews!!

I was already a subscriber to your blog!

I made a post on my blog about the giveaway:
http://courtney-courtneyschitterchatter.blogspot.com/

I am now a follower on Twitter!!

I made a tweet about the giveaway: http://twitter.com/#!/kcmelone

Can you tell I really really want to win this book, I love Karen's book...my favorite was A Tailor Made Bride!! Loved it!!

kcmelone{at}yahoo{dot}com

Diane said...

Her covers are all beautiful!!! She had me at Hugh Jackman...... dreamy! Sounds like another great book. :O)

I follow on GFC.

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

diana said...

I loved Head in the Clouds and would love to win this as well!

dianalflowers@aol.com

diana said...

I already subscribed to this blog via email.

dianalflowers@aol.com

diana said...

I am GFC follower and the thing that I found most interesting in the interview was Karen's research in prisons and convict labor camps.

diana said...

Last but not least, Carman, that little darling, sent me.:)

Amanda said...

Hey Jane & Karen! :) LOVE this interview!! Gosh, I found so much interesting about it! First, Karen is one of my favorite authors so any info I can get on her or her books is always interesting ;) I love what she shared about her own faith experiences coming into play with Head in the Clouds. I loved that book and the trust and faith building process Adelaide had to go through. Letting go and letting God lead is something I’m still learning but this book really blessed me :) OH, and the plot for To Win Her Heart sounds like it’s gonna be an AWESOME read – not that I would expect less from Karen! ;) What happened “after” his father embraced him and welcomed him home usually aren’t the kind of questions that come to mind when you read the story of the prodigal son – at least it wasn’t for me. But Karen has given me something to think about and made me even more excited to get my hands on this one! I’ve said it in my reviews on these books but it bears repeating, I don’t think any other Christian/inspirational authors blend the Word of God in with their fiction the way Karen does. Its so effortless and real, nothing preachy, only a huge blessing for the reader! TWHH is one of the books I am most anticipating this year!! THANK YOU both for the chance to win it!!

Jane, I just subscribed to your blog

I am now a follower of your blog

I commented on 2 of your other reviews :)

Blessings,
Amanda
mrose608{at}gmail{dot}com

PriviesAndPrims said...

The submission of waiting on the Lord is what I can relate to. Right now I'm waiting to sell my house and it's sometimes hard to deal with the wait when I want to move on and start somewhere else.

Carman sent me over here~

I'm following this blog~

Doreen
priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Karen Lange said...

Great interview, thank you Karen and Jane, for sharing it! I enjoyed all of it, but the part about how the story delves into the Prodigal Son after his return - now that sounds interesting.

I am a new GFC follower. Thanks for doing this.
Blessings,
Karen

Karen Lange said...

Forgot to leave my email, sorry.
klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

amber said...

Oooh, enter me! What I found interesting is the story behind "Head in the Clouds." I can totally relate to being frustrated when waiting on God sometimes :-)

I follow your blog.

afren07[at]gmail[dot]com

Sylvia said...

I have enjoyed both of Karen Whitemeyer's other books and look forward to reading this one too. One interesting thing about the interview is all the research she does to make her books accurate. I know alot of authors do this, but I never realized how extensive it is. I'm certainly glad though.

I am a follower of this blog.

nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

Sylvia said...

+1

I have commented on the review of the Batter Blaster.

nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

Faye Rhys said...

Carman sent me

crazi(dot)swans(at)gmail.com

Bluerose said...

The thing I found most interesting...Hugh Jackman, of course! ;) I always have to joke a bit when he's in an interview!!
I actually didn't know that Gideon was a sheep farmer, so that will be really cool to read about once I get Head in the Clouds.

I would love to be entered! To Win Her Heart is at the very top of my want list, with Head in the Clouds!

I'm a new follower.

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

Amy said...

This books sounds great. What I found most interesting is her idea to tell the story after the celebration of the prodigal son returning.
Please enter me and Carman sent me.

arsmelser6{at]gmail[dot]com

rubynreba said...

I am a follower. I really enjoyed the answer to your question on who she would have play the characters in her book if it were made into a movie.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Charlotte Kay said...

I love it that Karen uses her own areas of her life in which she feel she needs to grow spiritually for her characters!!! That's what makes us want to read her books. She is REAL!

I am a follower:)
Charlotte Kay
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I am an email subscriber:)
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I follow on Twitter:)
@CHAKASA58
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

I tweeted this giveaway:)
@CHAKASA58
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read karen's 2nd masterpiece :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

email subscriber :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Thank you so much for everyone who stopped by to read the interview. What a wonderful blessing to hear all your encouraging words. Amanda - you blow me away, girl.

And I'm so glad I'm not the only one who finds Hugh Jackman the ideal hero. Dreamy!

Blessings,
~Karen

Pam said...

Thanks for the interview and book giveaway. I am a subscriber. I'd love to win Karen's new book.

pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Anne Payne said...

Karen, you have such a delightful sense of humor and your characters are charming! Hugh Jackman...yeah, he's dreamy alright! Loved the first two books, and look forward to reading this next one. Thanks for the giveaway.

http://duhpaynes.blogspot.com

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Lisa Nelson said...

Carmen sent me.
Please enter me in this drawing!
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed
A Tailor-Maid Bride and Head in the Clouds!
Thank you!
Lisa Nelson
storyreader617(at)gmail.com

Lisa Nelson said...

I just signed up to follow your blog.
Please count me for another entry.
Thank you!
Lisa

Shawna said...

Wow, what a way to make me start a new blog. I'm a follower on here on my personal blog - JusShawna - and now I started a new blog and posted your author interview/giveaway link there. I've wanted to review books and such for a LONG time now, so you just pushed me in that direction! I'm also a follower by email.

I find it highly interesting on your choices of who would play your characters. I'd definately watch the movie with Alyssa Milano in it. Awesome actress..that Hugh Jackman is just hot in every aspect and li'l Joey is just adorable and will one day become a beautiful young lady!!!

Please enter me in the giveaway. I truly appreciate it.
Oh, my link to my review blog is:
http://justreview--abookloversdream.blogspot.com/
(it's BRAND NEW -- today new..LOL!) Thanks for the "push" in the right direction. I needed it!

Oh, and Carman sent me!

Katy said...

Hey girl! Great giveaway!

Karen, your new book looks wonderful! I have Head in the Clouds in my TBR pile and hope to get to it sometime soon. :-)

I'd love to be entered into this giveaway! Thanks!

I am a follower!

~ Katy
agirlslegacy(at)yahoo(dot)com

Wendy and Roger said...

Carman sent me, and this book looks like something I'd really like to read.

wfnren[at]aol[dot]com

Charity said...

I am already a follower and would love to be entered in this giveaway! I loved both of Karen's other books and this one looks just as entertaining:) The thing I found interesting was that she had to finish her first book in 8 months. I can't imagine! Please enter me:) Thanks

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Charity said...

Following you on Twitter-kingsdaughter24

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Charity said...

Also Dugg this post:)

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Charity said...

And tweeted 4/5.
http://twitter.com/#!/kingsdaughter24/status/55338797986095104

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Sarah said...

I find it interesting how mature all the featured members are and the plot's twists into that

Sarah said...

I follow via GFC

Marianne said...

Hi Jane... i love cross-stitching...i used to do in my sleep (hahaha) but got burned out abit, so now am into cardmaking. After reading about the research that went into this book, i would like to read it and find out how it comes out in the book! Thanks for the chance to win!

Marianne said...

i subscribe to your blog via email

Marianne said...

i follow via GFC

Marianne said...

i posted on my blog about your giveaway and your blog!
mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

splashesofjoy said...

I read Karen's Head in the Clouds...and it is WONDERFUL! I also just ordered A Tailor Made Bride....so I really want to win this one!!
Blessings.....Joy
ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com

splashesofjoy said...

Ok I am also a subscriber
I twitted
I added your giveaway on my blog
And I commented on 3 of your reviews
And I am a follower
Blessings.....Joy
ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com

Patsy said...

What I found most interesting is that Karen is an avid cross-stitcher. I've done alot of cross stitching in the past and loved it. I don't have time anymore since I keep my grandbaby.

Would love to read her book. I know it will be great.

plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

jettaspaghetta said...

I thought it was really interesting that she doesn't base her characters off of anyone she knows!
Man, she has been cranking out these books quickly. 8 months! I love it.

Carmen sent me.

jedakiah[at]frontier[dot]com

Beth said...

I think the most interesting part to me is the actors she would pick to play her characters. That always puts them in perspective.

Hope I did this right...I commented on another review, became a follower and subscribed to your blog...3 entries, I believe.

Thanks so much for the giveaway!

bharbin07[at]gmail[dot]com

Carmen sent me!

lgm52 said...

Interesting! Love the book covers too.

Follow via gfc (lgm52)

Tweet! (lgm52)

Tonya said...

Great interview thank you so much. The book sounds awesome looking forward to reading it soon. I enjoyed reading the whole interview, but I like the fact that Karen uses characters of faith in her novels and also the issues behind these characters. Even though the setting is in a different era they are the same problems that we deal with today as Christians. This is what I'm looking for in a good Christian Novel. I can tell this Novel will be inspiring encouraging and uplifting. Thank you for this great offer. Blessings.

Faye Rhys said...

I just read one of her books and loved it!

please sign me up for the drawing.

crazi.swans at gmail dot com

thesweetandthesassy said...

I found who she would chose to play her charecters in a movie really interesting! This book looks very good, Just like her others! I'll be posting this giveaway on my blog thesassyandthesweet(dot)wordpress(dot)com.

MomRedding said...

I love seeing who you would pick to play the characters! I love to picture characters in books and now I don't have to create my own pictures, Hugh and Alyssa are great subjects!

Thank you for offering this book, I really hope I win it!

Chris said...

I enjoyed the part where she shared who she would cast for her characters! (it is always fun to get a visual from the author as to their characters appearance)

kissyjensen at gmail dot com

A Cooking Bookworm said...

GFC Follower: A Cooking Bookworm

I've read both A Tailor-Made Bride and Head in the Clouds - loved them! Most interesting in the interview? I love reading which authors another author enjoys reading! I enjoyed seeing that Karen likes Lorna and Vickie - two new-to-me authors that I also like and look forward to their new releases!

Thanks for the chance to win To Win Her Heart!

Stephanie
mybabyblessings [at] gmail [dot] com

diana said...

I highly recommend Karen's books to everyone. I will soon be doing a co-review with Carrie Pagels on Head in the Clouds on her blog Overcoming Through Time.

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