Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Have a Holly Jolly April!

Yes, you read that title right! And Merry Christmas to you. What's better than reading about snow and presents on a sunny April day? Today amongst the merrymaking, we have author Emily Paige Skeen. She is sharing her Christmas novella, Saving Apple Blossom Ranch. (Hence the Christmas chatter. J) And she's agreed to give away a free present, a copy of this very book! Ho, ho, ho.

PT:  Welcome, Emily! So thankful you've stopped by to spread a little holiday cheer! On such a beautiful day, describe what a perfect morning looks like to you? 

EPS:  As a stay-at-home mama of two small children, I don’t see many “perfect” mornings. I suppose an ideal writing morning for me would include complete silence, a steaming cup of coffee (that I haven’t reheated a million times), a peaceful view of nature, and ideas flowing freely in my mind.

Of course, the likelihood of that happening is slim, so I’ve learned to write around the chaos of life. Now what I consider perfect looks like this: little hands reaching for me, silly giggles interrupting my train of thought, big hugs, and sloppy kisses. Although it’s sometimes frustrating, I remind myself often that there are people in this world who would give anything to have a little one disrupting their work. And I wouldn’t trade it for a million silent mornings.  

PT:  Getting to the real message of, ahem, Christmas, what is your favorite Bible verse? 

EPS:  I have several, but one I often think of when I’m discouraged is Jeremiah 29:11. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It reminds me that God wants me to succeed and that He’ll give me a future better than I could possibly dream up, if I’ll only turn to Him.

PT:  What an absolutely wonderful sentiment for any time of the year! So back to Christmas, where did you get the idea for Saving Apple Blossom Ranch?

EPS:  My publisher, Prism Book Group, was doing a series called “A Cowboy Christmas.” I was born and raised in a small southern town, but I’ve never actually lived on a farm or ranch. My husband and I recently bought some land and had a house built in an area that’s mostly farmland, so we’re surrounded by livestock. Driving into town, to my daughter’s school, or anywhere else, we pass cows, horses, goats, etc. along the way.
I absolutely love remote areas, and I’ve always been intrigued by the farming lifestyle. So, I decided to pitch an idea for the Christmas series. It was contracted, and I dug my heels in.
Before beginning to write Saving Apple Blossom Ranch, I did a lot—and I mean a LOT—of research about cattle ranches, specifically those in Georgia since that’s where the story takes place. I spent many late nights researching everything from how to breed cattle to the exact responsibilities of a foreman...and anything in-between that I could find.
During the process of writing Saving Apple Blossom Ranch, I not only fell in love with Savannah and Bo, but also with ranch life in general.

PT:  Wow! You are thorough! And research always deepens a novel. Now for my fav segment. Tell 5 things fast about Emily Paige Skeen that have nothing to do with writing. And go!

1. I have an obsession with all things “old”: antique furniture, oldies music, vintage jewelry, classic literature, black and white movies and TV shows.
2. I love to shop, be pampered, and wear high heels...but I’m a country girl at heart.
3. I’d rather listen to crickets chirping than cars zooming by.
4. I hate doors being left open, especially cabinet doors.
5. I thoroughly enjoy getting scared silly by horror movies or paranormal shows.

PT:  Fans are looking forward not only to Christmas time, (only 243 days left!) but also to what your future plans are. Is there another book on the horizon? 

EPS:  Most definitely! I have a novel-length follow-up to “Saving Apple Blossom Ranch” in the works, but it may be put on hold as I dip my toes in the water of the mystery/thriller genre. I don’t want to give anything away, but I’m excited to step a bit out of my comfort zone for my next book. I’m currently praying for direction as I decide what project should get my immediate attention next.

PT: Sounds fascinating! Fans will be thrilled to see your next release. And now, it is your time. If you want to sit on that swing, in the sunshine brushed by a wisp of a breeze, your nose dug in to Christmas with Saving Apple Blossom Ranch, leave a comment and your email! We want to hear from you! And God bless us everyone.


Becky Smith said...

Enjoyed this post! Thank you! Looking forward to reading this book - even in April!!

Peggy Trotter said...

I think so too, Becky!

Emily Paige Skeen said...

Thanks for joining us, Becky!

Anonymous said...

Growing up on a farm/mini ranch I can't wait to read "Saving Apple Blossom Ranch". I also enjoyed your interview.

ellen kroliczak said...

Love Holiday stories...looking forward to it!

ellen kroliczak said...

Love Holiday stories...looking forward to it!

Emily Paige Skeen said...

Thanks for checking out the interview, everyone! We will have a winner soon!