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27 July 2011

"Gut-Wrenching" Interview B- Marianne Evans

This week's hostess is *Michelle Massaro

Today we have Marianne Evans with us, author of Hearts Crossing.
(Excerpt B)

Outside of her writing, Marianne is an avid gardener (weed pulling = an opportunity to plot!) and she also loves to find and collect antique salt cellars. If you’re curious, Google the topic. They’re beautiful, and such fun! Her dream is to continue her work as a writing missionary because it allows her to highlight her love for Christ, and her love for heart-stirring romance! You can connect with Marianne and find out more about her faith-affirming fiction at: http://www.marianneevans.com/.

What was your top reading pick of the last year?

This might make you laugh – it’s not just one book, it’s a series—Karen Kingsbury’s Redemption series. I’ve never read such an engaging, powerful book series. For me, she’s the benchmark for what excellent Christian fiction should be. One of the happiest reviews I ever received compared my writing style to hers. I nearly cried.

I would too! She's a fabulous author. Have you learned anything new about God's character through this book?

God is always present – always waiting – and He loves us beyond all knowing. What a comfort and gift!

Most definitely, Marianne. What a beautiful truth. Now the nitty-gritty about you as a writer. Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?

I used to be a pantser, but contracting books on the basis of a synopsis has transformed me into a bit more of a plotter, because I need to have a strong idea of what my story is, and what it will be, before it’s ever written. That calls for outlines and character sketches and a lot of research, but I’ve found there are benefits to both methods of writing. It’s truly up to the author and what works best for them.

Interesting--I've heard similar thoughts from several authors lately about sort of being in-between those two labels. Writing against a contract deadline surely takes some discipline and scheduling. When's your favorite time to write?

In all seriousness, I write whenever I possibly can. It’s my passion and a driving force in my life, and my faith walk. I consider it to be my own form of mission work.

What a fantastic place to be at, mentally and spiritually, when you sit down to write. I'm almost embarrassed to ask my next question after that, but we're here to have fun, right? Okay, what snack do you like to have nearby as you write?

I adore popcorn, made fresh on the stovetop, with just a touch of butter, naturally….. 

Naturally! I think you, me, Adam, and Andrea need to get together for a popcorn party! LOL.  Marianne, please share something about the book that you think readers would like to know.

Writing Hearts Crossing was a learning experience for me – an exploration of finding God amidst tragedy. I had to ask myself difficult questions during its creation, and find my way to answers I believe we all struggle with as Christians when bad times hit. Bottom line? Our God is ever faithful, and never leaves us in a void. That’s what I’d love readers to know, and take away, from reading Hearts Crossing. This book earned publication after winning White Rose Publishing’s Hearts Crossing contest last year; it went on to final in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest and was also a CAPA finalist at The Romance Studio for Inspirational Romance of the Year.

Wow, that sounds like my kind of book. I write along similar themes. Congrats on all the awards and recognition. And thank you for visiting with us today.

Q for Readers:

Hearts Crossing is all about coming home again, and re-discovering God’s grace. When I discuss Hearts Crossing with readers, I love to find out about instances in their own lives when they’ve leaned on God’s forgiveness and ever-present love – especially when times are tough. When have you needed to re-find God’s mercy and grace? What happened as the result?

Alright everybody, jump on in! Join the conversation in the comments below by answering Marianne's question, or posing one of your own for her to answer. Participating earns you entries into our drawing, so don't be shy! And come back on Friday to find out which excerpt will be awarded the COTT crown, and which of you will receive a free book.

*Michelle's passion is evangelizing through fiction. She writes contemporary inspirational novels with heart-rending themes intended to frame the message of God’s healing love. Michelle has written for Romantic Times, Circle Of Friends, and Pentalk Community, among others. Find her on her blog, Adventures in Writing, and join the fun.
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April Gardner said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Hi Marianne! It lovely having you. I HAD to google salt cellars, and I discovered that I saw those in antique store all across England while I lived there. Had no idea what they were though. :-( They are beautiful and I see why you collect them. Congrats on all the recognition Hearts Crossing has received! That's superb!

Gail Pallotta said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Hi Marianne,

Congratulations on your writing and your awards. I love that you think of your books as a mission.
I'm so happy to meet you. Your question is an easy one and a hard one at the same time. Easy because I need God's mercy and grace every single day. Hard to narrow it down to one single event.

Linda Glaz said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

None of us could ever deny God's grace or His forgiveness. How beautiful to see this brought out in books.

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Hi, April! I would have loved to see the "Salts" you discovered in England...I'll bet they were gorgeous! Finding them there would be double the fun, because you can find treasures much older, and more unique, than the ones found here in the states. Hmmm....perhaps a trip to England is in order.... (I wish! LOL!!!) Glad you 'Did the Google!' God bless!

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Gail, thanks so much for your sweet words, and I'm so glad to 'meet' you as well! I agree...no singl event can ever display the enormity of God's grace and love. It's constant...and so beautiful. :-)

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Amen, Linda! So glad you stopped by! Like you, I enjoy books that embrace the truth of God's love, all the while working the hero and heroine through whatever circumstances life throws their way. :-) God bless!

Anonymous said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Very nice blog! Marianne you are an inspiration to aspiring writers like myself :)

Neecy said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

I posted a comment the other day on Facebook, "God determines who walks into your life.....it's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go..." I think it fits perfectly here and along with both of your books, Hearts Crossing, and Hearts Surrender. I really enjoyed them both.
Many Blessings,

Christine Lindsay said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Congratulations on not only writing this book, but on the awards it has won. This 'gut-wrenching'story sounds exactly the kind of thing I like to read. I hope to get my hands on it soon.

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Jennifer, thank you so much for the lovely compliment, and for paying a visit! If writing is a calling on your heart, never, ever give up. I came so close on several occasions. Good luck, and God bless.

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Neecy, THANK YOU! You're such a treasure! God bless you, dear one - and xo right back! :-)

Dana said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

God's grace is my greatest treasure. He loves me beyond all human reason and there's no accounting for it. And no matter if I drift away, how long I stay away or how much trouble I have getting back to Him, He's always waiting with open arms. Your book illustrates that wonderfully, Marianne. Thanks =-)

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Amen, Dana - and so well said. And,coming from you, the praise about Hearts Crossing means a great deal! :-) Blessings to you!!

Tanya Hanson said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Marianne, it's always so great to "hear" you. I wish we lived closer. I just finished Hearts Communion review copy and will be penning my thoughts (LOVED IT) very soon. Thanks for the arc honor. Woodland Church...I wish it were real.

And I totally agree about having to become a plotter. Best wishes for continued success, my wonderful friend. oxoxx

Judy said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

I drifted away from God when I was in my 20's and 30's. I didn't need God; yes, I believed in Him but I could run my own life couldn't I? I went through a divorce after 25 years of marriage (ex-hubby found the love of his life!) I thought God had abandoned me. This life changing incident literally brought me to my knees. I prayed for restoration of my marriage..it didn't happen. God! where are you I'd cry out. Why aren't you answering my prayers, I demanded!! When I finally figured out that God wanted my repentance and complete surrender to Him I started to see a closeness to God that I never had before. God never gave up on me but granted me complete Mercy and Grace!

Today I am happily married to a wonderful Godly man that God brought into my life. I will serve God the rest of my days!

Sheila Deeth said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Life without salt cellars? I'd imagined everyone used them! Congratulations. And like you, I like books where hero and/or heroine have to work to find their answers.

April Gardner said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Thank you everyone for stopping by! Judy, it sounds like you have your own heart-wrenching story. Perfect display of God's unending mercy and grace. Thank you for sharing your heart with us today.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Wonderful interview Marianne! Great question & awe-inspiring stories.

I've walked with God so long it is hard to determine when I needed His grace & mercy more than when my husband was diagnosed with heart disease/failure/etc and then cancer and his subsequent death - I needed God's grace, mercy & STRENGTH to get up every day - He never let me down and even brought new love into my life.

Our God is an AWESOME God!

PS: LOVE this series btw!

Dora Hiers said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Great interview, ladies. Marianne, I don't know where I'd be without God's mercy and grace, fresh and new every day. Thank God He never leaves us or gives up on us.

I'm off to google salt cellar...

Anonymous said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

I can't say enough good things about the Woodland Series...it's phenomenal. LOVE what I've read so far: Hearts Crossing and Hearts Surrender. Amazing writing by an author whose love for God shines through every word.

I had to Google salt cellars too. Found a huge variety of them, and can only imagine what an interesting collection you have! :)

Raquel Byrnes said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Wow, pantser to plotter! This is a great interview,Marianne! And popcorn from the stovetop...yum!

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Tanya, the honor was all mine - thank you sooo much for the advance read! You're amazing. :-) God bless!

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Judy, oh how your story touched my heart. Thank you so very, very much for your visit and your moving testimony of God's faithfulness. He is so Good!!!! God bless you!!

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Sheila, your comment made me giggle! The first question I'm always asked when I talk about Salt Cellars is: 'What in the world are they??'LOL!!!

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Pam, I so agree...I can't imagine NOT walking with God...especially during life's toughest spots. God doesn't keep you from feeling pain, or frustration, or anger and betrayal, but He keeps close, is ever present, and in the end, works all to His good. Thanks for stopping by!

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Amen, Dora!! Well said. ::Marianne stands and applauds:: :-) Thanks for stopping by!

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Delia, you truly put the sweet in sweetheart. We're a mutual fan club, that's for sure! Thank you so much for the lovely compliments on Woodland. God bless you, my friend!

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Hi, Raquel! :-D

Pantster to Plotster was quite a shift in emphasis as a writer, but what is it they say? Necessity is the mother of invention...?? LOL!

Popcorn on the stovetop...can't you just smell it right now??

Robin Bayne said... Thursday, 28 July, 2011

Also love this series! And also use weeding time to work on plot!

Marianne Evans said... Thursday, 28 July, 2011

Robin, thanks for stopping by!
Your compliment about the Woodland Series means so much to me. God bless!

LoRee Peery said... Thursday, 28 July, 2011

Terrific and encouraging words, as always, Marianne.
I didn't log on yesterday because Bill and I celebrated our 37th anniversary. He got sick, though, with a heat index of 109. All he wanted to eat was popcorn, too bad he couldn't enjoy it.
Continue with your wonderful plots.

Marianne Evans said... Thursday, 28 July, 2011

Happy anniversary to you and Bill, LoRee - I'm so sorry about the illness- and the 109 heat index...yikes! Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by. You're such an awesome Rose!! :-)

Michelle Massaro said... Thursday, 28 July, 2011

Hi Marianne! I'm loving all the great responses to our interview. So happy for the interaction. I was at Sea World yesterday so this is the first I've seen all these wonderful comments. Thanks everyone! Marianne, I've so enjoyed this clash. =)

Michelle Massaro said... Thursday, 28 July, 2011
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marianne Evans said... Thursday, 28 July, 2011

Michelle, the honor and pleasure is all mine. Thanks for being such a big part of COTT. I love that this site is such a wonderful advocate of uniting readers and writers of Christian fiction. God bless!

Item Reviewed: "Gut-Wrenching" Interview B- Marianne Evans Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Michelle Massaro