Saturday, October 20, 2007
BLOG TOUR: Miralee Ferrell
I'm over 50, married for 35 years this July, and have two wonderful children, Marnee and Steven. I'm active at our small church, serving on staff with my miisterial license and working with women in a counseling/ministering capacity. My husband and I are looking forward to full retirement soon and taking off for a few months at a time on our 51' sailboat, where my writing will take on an entirely new creativity. We have a horse, a dog and three cats that my daughter and her husband will inherit while we're gone. Thankfully, they live on the adjoining property and are animals lovers.
The Other Daughter—the story of David and Susanne Carson, a couple with an already fragile marriage that’s rocked to its foundation when a young teenaged girl appears at the door….
Here’s a brief summary:
The girl standing at the door took a deep breath, pulling her suitcase a little closer to her trembling legs. "My mama's dead. He's my daddy."
Susanne Carson knew that she could trust the love of her life—her husband, David—until she discovered a strange, unkempt young girl on their doorstep, claiming to be David's daughter.
Not that their marriage had ever been perfect—David's decision to embrace the Christian faith had strained their relationship. Susanne may not have agreed with his beliefs, but at least she trusted him. Had David been hiding this not-so-little secret from his past? He wanted Susanne to believe in his God, but believing hadn't done much to keep David out of another woman's arms.
As David confronts the truth of his past, Susanne must face her own moment of truth as her marriage is taken to the breaking point and the life of one young girl is left in her hands.
You have a book about forgiveness, secrets, healing and faith. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
Great question and one has a very personal answer. I was brainstorming with a friend who suggested I use an experience from my life as the basis or theme for my first novel. I ran through several scenarios in my head, as we've had many interesting things happen in our marriage...some great, some not. This personal incident did indeed capture the essence of secrets, forgiveness and healing...not as much in my life as in our marriage and the life of an 18 yr old girl. About 17 yrs ago my husband received a letter stating a young woman believed him to be her biological father she'd never met. We agreed to meet and hear her story, and after some investigation came to believe he probably was her dad. The episode was similar to that of David in the book...a one night stand prior to his becoming a Christian, but that's where the similarity stops. He was not dating me at the time, and I had a strong relationship with the Lord and didn't have a problem accepting Trish into our lives.
Take us through your process of writing a novel briefly—from conception to revision.
I’m more of a seat-of-the-pants writer…I get an idea, decide who the main characters are and start writing. I don’t follow a lot of rules, and tend to get better acquainted with my characters as I go. I have a basic overview of the story line in very simple outline form…I’m talking, a few sentences that might fill one page, at most, with very few details.
It does make it a bit more time intensive, in that I probably have more revisions than an organized writer, but I’ve found I can be more creative if everything isn’t mapped out along the way. My characters have more room to grow, change, and make some of their own decisions…I’ve had things happen in my story line that weren’t planned, but that fit beautifully and strengthened the plot. After writing the rough draft, I’ll submit it to my crit group a few chapters at a time, as well as having an editor I trust review the first third to half of the book for plot holes and inconsistencies, then start revising and editing.
What have you learned throughout the process of writing, pitching - and now, promoting - a novel?
I didn't come down the usual path that many writer's come....I started writing Christian fiction just two years ago, when I started The Other Daughter, and didn't belong to any writer's groups, hadn't read a single writing book, didn't have a crit partner, and only had my sister and one other gal who's an editor of E-books, that helped keep me on the path. They both had experience in editing and pointed out many of the mistakes I made...common ones such as Point of View and telling the reader what was happening rather than showing.
Marketing on the other hand, is a joy and very easy for me, as I worked in sales much of my adult life before starting to write. I spend anywhere from 2-4 hrs per day on the computer with marketing...not every day or every month, but that's been the average per day since about two months ago when I began to push hard on marketing The Other Daughter.
What have I learned? That other Christian writer's are some of the most unselfish, caring, giving people on the face of the earth. Instead of competing and trying to cut one another off at the knees, they practically break their necks to help.
I've also learned that if you're not giving God the glory and asking Him to keep your priorities straight, writing will become an albatross around your neck instead of the joyful journey He means it to be. HE is the one who has brought me success in my book by acquiring an agent, then a contract, so quickly, I can claim no credit for that. I've written a summary of my entire journey from start to contract on my website....HE is an amazing God and I write for Him. If I wrote for myself or for the readers, I'd probably have given up by now.
Any exciting things happening before or during the time period while the book is releasing?
Yes! I’m so excited! I received a Four Star review from Romantic Times Review Magazine. I assumed that Five Stars would be the top rating, but I was so blessed when I found out Four and a half was the best you could get, making Four Stars quite good indeed. I’ve also gotten some very good reviews, including a glowing one from Novel Journey, one of the top Christian review blogs. The Other Daughter is also climbing it’s way up the best sellers list on CBD…at the two week mark prior to release (when this was written) it had hit #15 in women’s contemporary fiction and #103 in overall fiction (out of 9,584 books), very respectable for a book not yet released. I’d love to see it reach the top 75 in overall fiction, but am leaving that in the Lord’s hands.
How can we pray for you on the next stage of your writing life?
I so need to be able to stay focused on my writing. Life has a way of distracting me and steering me off my intended writing course. We’ve just completed a year long project of building a new home and are in the process of moving in, so I’m hoping things will settle down and I can get back to some serious keyboard time soon.
Also, at the time of this writing, I’m awaiting the verdict from a major motion picture studio concerning the acquisition of my book as a potential family movie. The studio rep read the book, stated she really liked it and felt it had a strong plot and very memorable characters. She requested a lengthy summary of the book showing how I would soften the faith elements to make it acceptable for a family, rather than Christian, movie, as their studio is not faith based. I’ve done so and she’ll be reviewing the summary over the next few weeks. This isn’t something I or my agent sought—the studio rep came to us when she saw a short summary of the book in a publishers newsletter—so I’m not counting on it or expecting anything at this point. It’s in the Lord’s hands and I’m trusting Him that if He wants to use the book to touch lives in the secular world by making it into a family movie, that’s great. If not, that’s okay too….my book is being published, which is more than I dreamed would happen two years ago.
Miralee is on world wide tour stop by the other sites on her tour.
Oct. 20th, Karen Phillips---Sky-High View
LaShaunda - SORMAG Tours
21st Angie Arndt---The Road I'm Traveling
22nd Deena Peterson---Deena's Books
22nd Teresa Morgan---Teresa Morgan's Blog
23rd Rose McCauley---Stories of Faith, Hope and Love
23rd Pattie Reitz----Fresh Brewed Writer
24th Cecelia Dowdy---New Christian Fiction Reviews
Tiffany Amber Stockton--A Fiction-Filled Life
25th Bonnie Way---The Koala Bear Writer
Stormi Johnson---Write Thoughts
26th Robin Grant---Queen Of Perseverance
27th Delia Latham---The Melody Within
28th Jennie McGhan---Jen's Life Journey
29th Susan Lohrer ---Inspirational Editor
30th Carla Stewart---Carla’s Writing Café
31st Christina Berry--- Posting with Purpose
1st Bonnie Leon---Bonnie's Blog
2nd Jan Parrish---Bold and Free
3rd Tina Helmuth---The Ink's Not Dry
4th Teresa Slack---ShoutLife Blog
5th Pam Meyers---A Writer’s Journey
6th Betsy St. Amant---Betsy Ann's Blog
7th Megan DiMaria---A Prisoner of Hope
8th Christa Allan---CBAllan WordPress
9th Susan Marlow---Suzy Scribbles---Homeschool Blogger
10th Jamie Driggers---Surviving the Chaos
11th Cindy Bauer----Christian Fiction Author & Speaker
12th Angie Breidenbach---God Uses Broken Vessels
13th Patricia Carroll---Patricia PacJac Carroll
14th Toni V. Lee---Spreading Truth Through Fiction
15th Camille Eide---Faith Inspiring Fiction
16th Lisa Jordan---Musings