Monday, 23 January 2012
Author Spotlight - Q&A with BJ Robinson
STEPH: I don't know much about "Southern Superstitions." What's it about?
BJ: Prayer versus Southern superstitions when a woman's husband mysteriously disappears in the swamp on a deer-hunting trip. As steamy as the hot, thick, sticky heat of Louisiana, this page-turner will keep readers in suspense, as the author spins a tale of love, loss, superstition, pain, heartache, and faith in God. God and the power of prayer versus Southern superstitions.
Reviewer Kathy Boswell says, "Very good! She never gives up hope that Andy will return to her someday. She puts it all in God's hands like she's done every crisis in her life. She knows He will take care of this for her." Through belief, faith, hard work, the power of prayer, and God's help, this powerful, moving story is a thought-provoking Christian romantic suspense about a young couple who fall in love, but have to change her mother's mind in more ways than one, if their relationship is to survive. Can Andy convince June there's more to their relationship than friends? Will he win the approval of Myrtle, her mother, and can love survive strawberry season and an April flood? Will June be able to give Andy a child?
The Lord Has Something Better in Mind is the free companion to Southern Superstitions, and they are side-by-side on the publisher's homepage. I developed my new release from the short story that is the freebie. It was a first-prize winning one in fiction-writing competition in college. I had to alter the story some from its original version to develop the novel but June, Andy, and Myrtle are still the main character. The original short story was published in Southeastern Louisiana University's literary magazine and ran as a three-part serial on the front page of my hometown newspaper along with my picture for three weeks in a row. It was later published in St. Cloud in the News and an online magazine.
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
BJ: It took nine months to write, and I spent another six months reworking and rewriting it. I had fun writing this novel about the South where I grew up, and I feel I grew as a writer by reworking and rewriting it.
STEPH: Did you have to do a lot of research for the novel?
BJ: I didn't have much research for this one since I lived in the area and was reared with strawberries, God's Word, and southern superstitions. I picked berries before school in the morning for a local schoolteacher and worked in them on the weekends for my aunt to earn extra spending money.
STEPH: Where did you get the inspiration for the story?
BJ: I grew up listening to Mom harp on superstitions and quote Bible verses. I thought the conflict between superstitions vs. faith and prayer would make an interesting novel, and Mom loved the idea and the rough draft that my youngest sister read to her over and over before her death. I felt like I captured part of my mother in Myrtle's character, and mother's middle name was Myrtle. As I said she had the book read to her before her death and loved it, even the character's name. Other inspiration came from watching the hard life of strawberry farmers and their plight when the season and weather didn't make earning a living easy. I wanted to illustrate the power of prayer and pen a novel that would showcase it.
STEPH:What do you hope will resonate with readers after they read the story?
BJ: Devotion to God, faith, hope, and appreciation for life's simple pleasures and nature. Our creative God gifted us with so many free gifts to make life enjoyable and worth living. People don't have to spend a lot of money on a date to have one worth remembering. The simple things in life matter most and will be remembered more. Place your trust in God, faith, and prayer instead of superstitions.
STEPH: Hollywood is calling. Cast the lead characters.
BJ: Carrie Underwood is June because she has faith, loves country music, and is hard working. Brad Paisley could be Andy, but he has the wrong coloring. I picture him more as a Kenny Chesney type as far as looks.
STEPH: June is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weakness?
BJ: June is a hard-working woman who doesn't give up easily, and her faith is much stronger than a mustard seed. It's what keeps her going. She's determined and uses her time productively. Those are her strengths. Her weaknesses are letting Myrtle bring her spirits down, and worrying about giving Andy a child. Even though she has great faith, she still worries about certain things. Her love for Andy is so strong she feels lost without him by her side, but she doesn't give up hope.
STEPH: What does Andy find attractive about June?
BJ: He loves the fact that she appreciates nature as he does, and she's not afraid of getting dirty to follow him on excursions through the woods. She's down-to-earth, honest, hardworking, and doesn't put on airs, all qualities he likes. He's also attracted to her outward beauty, but he's more interested in her interior qualities.
STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?
BJ: I have a Nook, but I got an iPad for my birthday/Christmas present and use it now instead. I love the iPad because it has a built-in light that allows me to read after dark, unlike my Nook. I could use the Nook with a lamp though. I love eReading and no longer like to read paperbacks or hardbacks because I can read so much better and faster, and it's much easier on my eyes. I also travel much lighter with 200 books instead of a tote bag heavy with a few.
STEPH: Fun question: Do you make New Year's resolutions? Any you care to share?
BJ:I used to make them, but I don't anymore. I wonder if I ever kept them. If I had made any, they would have been to exercise more, lose weight, and write more.
Watch the book trailer for Southern Superstitions created by Michelle Sutton:
Author Shawna K. Williams endorses Southern Superstitions and says, " Southern Superstitions is an inspirational story that’s full of personality, as well as intricacy in the way it explores the complexities of family and the conflict between faith and luck. Barbara does a great job at pulling together the deeply rooted superstitions of the South and entwining them into a suspenseful tale of faith, romance and endurance. I especially enjoyed the setting and culture of the deep South."
Read the first two chapters free at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Superstitions-ebook/dp/B006X8GAWA/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326620592&sr=1-6
Author and book reviewer Dolores Ayotte says, "BJ Robinson has done it again! Her novel Southern Superstitions hits home and shows her devotion to God, her love for strawberry farming, and her appreciation for life's simple pleasures." Read the first interview for my new release here and see what else Dolores has to say about Southern Superstitions.
Read a free excerpt at my publisher's, Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and if you need a PDF file to read on your laptop or computer, here's the place to snag one. Epub files are also available here.
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Visit another interview at: http://cuffesisters.com/2012/complimentary-cuffes/visiting-with-barbara-j-robinson/