Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Deeanne!! Will you tell us a little about yourself and your new book, It Happened at the Fair?
My husband and I have just celebrated our 30th anniversary. We have four grown children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and a dog named Cowboy—who makes a cameo appearance in It Happened at the Fair.
A little about the new book:
Our hero, Cullen McNamara, travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention, but the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.
He becomes distracted watching her lips and finds his attraction for her growing with each encounter. This isn’t good because not only does he have big plans for his future, but he has a girl back home. Della Wentworth could ruin everything.
What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you?
Kristan Higgins, a wonderfully talented author and very good friend of mine, leaned over at lunch one day and said, “We have decided you were a cheerleader in high school and that you married the captain of the football team. Are we right?”
“I was a cheerleader,” I admitted, “but I didn’t marry the captain of the football team.”
I shook my head. “He was Athlete of the Year … twice.”
So there you have it. I’m a cliché. J
Do you have any writing quirks?
The following few sentences took me three hours to write. I’ll explain why after your read it:
Cullen curled his tongue against his teeth and whistled for the dog. “Cowboy! Come here, fella. Get on up here and let’s see if this is working again.”
A black-and-white border collie bounded across the yard and onto the animal-powered treadmill, activating the flywheel, which moved the walking beam up and down, which then pumped the churn-dasher attached to it.
The backdoor opened again. “Charlie!” Mrs. Sappington called, stepping onto the porch. “Oh, Cullen. Ya fixed it.”
Pushing the brake lever, he stopped the treadmill and let Cowboy jump off. “It was no problem, ma’am. Your new churn’s just a little shallower than the last. All I had to do was drill a new hole closer to the fulcrum.”
She smiled, her round cheeks rosy from the warmth of the kitchen. “The problem wasn’t drillin’ the hole. The problem was knowing the exact spot ta drill it in. I sure do ’preciate it.”
In this passage I was trying to give readers a glimpse of Cullen’s mechanical genius. So first, I had to come up with something original and interesting for him to invent. That took a lot of hunting and discarding of ideas before stumbling across a dog-powered treadmill that people used back in the day to power their butter churns and various other devices.
Then, I had to figure out what parts of the treadmill could break (so he could fix it). In order to do that, I had to read up on exactly how it was built and how it worked.
Then I tried to find what its weak points were. I ended up sending a diagram of it to my dad (who happens to be a mechanical genius) and interviewing him. He described three different ways it could break and why they might be a challenge for someone who wasn’t mechanically minded. I chose the placement of the fulcrum because it was the least complicated to describe and it also took into account some mathematical calculations.
Bottom line, what looks like a little interesting tidbit included for a bit of color (which it is) will many times have taken me several hours to research and write.
Where do you like to write?
I write in a study just off my breakfast room. I’m most productive when I have complete silence and I have turned off the internet in order to keep from being distracted.
What is the best and/or worst part about being a writer?
The best part is receiving the finished bound book in the mail and hearing from my readers. The worst part is the deadlines. Hate those. :-/
A few this-or-that questions:
Coffee or Tea? Coffee.
Early-bird or Night-owl? Early bird.
Cats or Dogs? Love them both! We currently have a dog, but I grew up with cats.
Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?
Readers can actually get a sneak peek at the two main characters in next year’s book by downloading an electronic short story, Tempest in the White City. It’s about Hunter Scott who is one of the elite. An 1893 Chicago World’s Fair guard specifically chosen for his height, physique, character and ability to serve and protect. When he is overcome with debilitating abdominal pain, he stumbles to an infirmary only to discover the doctor is female. Female. But even worse, she has the nerve to diagnose him, the toughest man west of anyplace east, with constipation—an unspeakable ailment in mixed company. The two of them face off in the short story and my 2014 release will tell their full story.
Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
I have a very active community on my website (IWantHerBooks.com) and on facebook (Facebook.com/DeesFriends) and would love for you to join me! I’ll also be doing a live webcast on May 22nd, 8:00pm EDT. There will be lots of giveaways and interaction. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/deesfriends/app_361311570652139
Want to win a copy of Deeanne's new book, In Happened At The Fair? Enter via the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win. Giveaway is only open to residents of the Continental US. Ends 5/14