Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Carlene Havel's on the Mine and Giving Away $$$

I’m so excited right now, I can barely speak…or should I say type? I have a treat for y’all. We have Carlene Havel right here on the Diamond Mine! She’s even giving away $$$! Well, a $10.00 Amazon gift card…same thing, right? Are you ready? I am…let’s get this show on the Road.

Renee: Hey, Carlene, welcome to the Diamond Mine. Everybody’s on the edge of their seat so I guess, we should get right on with the interview.

Carlene: Fine with me…let’s go.

Renee: Is writing easy or hard for you? How about editing?

Carlene: Some of each. I am easily sidetracked until I get started writing, but once the fingers are on the keyboard the words flow. The first half of a book rips along at top speed. Then, somewhere between 50 and 60% into the story, I slow down because I start to despise it. The plot seems trite, the characters unbelievable, the whole thing a stupid, hateful mess no one in their right mind would ever read. I give it a few days of rest, plow through a few more chapters, and start to think the book may be all right after all. Toward the end, I get excited again, recovering from those gut-wrenching insecurities. Strange as it may seem, this pattern has repeated with each book I’ve written. Editing comes naturally. If there’s a typo on a page, my eyes fly to that spot instantly—provided I’m reading something I didn’t write myself. Someone else has to edit my work. I simply cannot spot my own errors. This probably says something I’d rather not admit about myself!

Renee: LOL My husband has a shirt that says, “I may have my faults but being wrong isn’t one of them.” Maybe I should send you one. But then again, you do let others edit your work! Do you have a particular “way” you write or do you just “wing” it?

Carlene: First, I write out a brief outline on paper, nursing the delusion my story will unfold accordingly. Then I do some preliminary work, which includes a short sketch of the main characters, a time line of major events, and the physical layout of any important building or home. After a few chapters I have a better idea, abandon the outline and fly by the seat of my pants from there on. Makes me wonder why I bother with the outline in the first place.

Renee: For the good scratch paper later on? If anything, I could see how it you’re your brain going. Kind of like my character sketches do for me. But what do like the most about your job and why? Dislike?

Carlene: Funny, I never think of writing as a job. For me, it is a pleasure. I’ve always loved word games, puns, crossword puzzles, and words themselves. There is something immensely satisfying about conveying emotions, describing people, and building books from words. I enjoy creating a story that makes a reader laugh, or cry, or both. The most frustrating result of this love affair is to sense the need for the “perfect” word, feel certain it exists, and be unable to think of it. I’ll give it a day or so before calling on one of the fellow word lovers among my friends for help.

Renee: Writing is a joy for me as well. But if I don’t treat it as a job, I’d do it ALL the time. I’ve had to learn time management. Back to writing, what’s special or unique about your book?

Carlene: My latest release is dedicated to my father, who passed away this summer after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Henry Youngblood, the hero of “Baxter Road Miracle,” is a man of great faith, who expects and receives miraculous help from God to plant a church. My dad, of course, was the model for Rev. Youngblood.

Renee: I’m so sorry, Carlene. Both for your loss and his struggle. It's awesome that you modeled and dedicated Baxter Road to him though. Life can be difficult. What would you do if you couldn’t write anymore?

Carlene: After giving up the piano because of an uncooperative finger, I learned the importance of adjusting to a new normal in such situations. If I could no longer write, I’d mourn for a while then fire up my kindle and read a bushel of books. Then I’d crochet, sew, maybe study a new language.

Renee: But not give up. That’s why I admire writers. They are a special breed and know how to persevere. Let me see, what should I ask for this last question? I know…if you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Carlene: Interesting question!  I would choose Paris, for its romance, elegant architecture, fascinating people and fabulous food.  Now that’s for a week’s visit.  I can’t imagine making my permanent home anywhere other than Texas.

Renee: Of course you wouldn’t! You’re a true Texan gal. Thanks for stopping by the Diamond Mine, Carlene. It’s been a pleasure.

$10 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY

Amazon $10 Gift Card

Carlene’s giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one person this week. How do you enter? It’s rather simple. We all have a favorite...something…color, dessert? Take a guess as to one of Carlene Havel’s favorites and you’re entered in the drawing!
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About the Author, Carlene Havel:

Carlene Havel writes Christian-themed romances and historical novels. She has lived in Turkey, Republic of the Philippines, and numerous US states. After a career in human resources and software development, she began writing in 2005. The Havels live in Texas, surrounded by their extended family.

About the Book, "Baxter Road Miracle":

Henry Youngblood is determined to plant a new church in Buffalo Creek, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Meanwhile, his pregnant wife worries about paying the bills. One daughter dreams of a college education she cannot afford, and the other wants nothing more than popularity. It will take a miracle for the Youngblood family’s dreams to come true.


Rebekah Millet said...

Welcome Carlene! It's nice to know I'm not alone in the love/hate/love relationship we have in the writing process of our books.

Great interview Renee!

Ann Ellison said...

Really enjoyed the interview and as a Texas girl, I love discovering an author that is a fellow Texan. To guess a favorite of Carlene's, I will guess maybe chocolate cake would be her favorite dessert. Baxter Road Miracle really sounds like a good one.

Renee Blare said...

It's definitely a great read, Ann. And chocolate cake's a good guess. LOL Thanks for stopping by. :)

Deanna Stevens said...

I would like to read this book! I think one of her favorite things is books :) & Diamonds... & Texas!
dkstevensneAToutlook (D0t)com

Renee Blare said...

Hah hah! Good one, Deanna! That's cheating. LOL But I have to say, I think you're right on that one. Thanks for stopping by!

Lana said...

I think her favorite color might be blue.

Renee Blare said...

Hi Lana, that's a good guess too! We'll have to see. Time's quickly approaching for the drawing. Thanks for stopping by. Oh, what's your email in case I draw your name?

Carlene Havel said...

Thank you for interviewing me on "the Mine", Renee.
FYI, I'm in the midst (or maybe in the mist) of round 1 edits for "Evidence Not Seen", a cozy romantic mystery coming out with Prism's "Love is" series around Valentine's day. The series of novellas, written by a whole slew of authors, is based on the 13th chapter of ! Corinthians. Each writer took one phrase, such as "Love is patient" or "Love is kind" from the Bible and created a story around it. Mine sippet is "Love keeps no record of wrongs." The series is Joan Alley's idea. Clever!

Julie b Cosgrove said...

I love all of your books so far, but I know Baxter Road Miracle touched your heart. I could feel it through your words. No wonder it soars so high on Amazon! Great story.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

HI Carlene, I hear you about not seeing mistakes in your own drafts. It's always easier to see others', I think because we already know what our writing is supposed to say so that's what we see. :-)

Gail Kittleson said...

I'm a big believer in having someone else edit for us, after we've re-re-re-re-re edited ourselves! And for some reason, I think Carlene would favor the color green. For what it's worth!

Renee Blare said...

Thanks for stopping by the Mine, everyone! The drawing is tomorrow! :)

Lynden Blossom said...

Hello - I've just recently heard about you from my 'connection' with Prism Book Group as I am an Audiobook Narrator. I enjoyed the Interview above and I look forward to exploring your writings. Once upon a time, back when I was a young Pastor's Wife, we planted a church. Sounds like this book might 'relate' to that time in my life... I'm thinking that 'Words' might be something of a favorite of yours! ;-}

Lynden Blossom said...

(Reminded myself to include this and then still forgot... Thinking positively, it might be important... Ldb1408@aol.com )

Renee Blare said...

Nice to meet you, Lynden! And you made it! I'll be drawing this afternoon actually so anybody who wants to comment can still enter for the giveaway until NOON (Mountain Time) 10/7/2015. :)

Renee Blare said...

And the winner of the giveaway is Lynden Blossom! Congratulations!