Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Seeds of Summer, by Deborah Vogts, is:
dianemestrella@ . . .
Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!
Now let's meet novelist Gail Sattler, author of The Narrow Path (Abingdon Press, May 2010).
Gail Sattler lives in Vancouver, BC, where you don't have to shovel rain, with her husband, sons, dogs, and lizard, who is quite cuddly for a reptile. When she's not busy writing, Gail plays bass guitar (loud) for her worship team. Gail also enjoys playing bass in a local jazz band, and that's loud, too.
Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Narrow Path.
Except for sharing the same denomination, modern Mennonite Miranda Klassen and Old Order Mennonite Ted Weibe have nothing in common. Ted's church embraces old-style roots, where a women never wears pants, has no body piercing--including ears--wears no makeup, and lives in accordance with old-fashioned values. Miranda thrives in her modern big city lifestyle, embracing the latest styles and technology. When Miranda enters Ted's church and community she feels like she's been transported back into Little House On The Prairie, with cars. Ted's head spins when Miranda reads her Bible on her cell phone.
Ted is supposed to help Miranda fit in, and Miranda is supposed to help his church reach out into the community. When it's time to start planning and organizing, then the fun really begins. Depending on one's definition of fun . . .
What is it about your lead character that will make your readers care about her?
Most people can relate to being a fish out of water, and that's what Miranda feels like when she moves into Ted's community and church. She tries her best, but doesn't always succeed. Yet, even though she's different, everybody still likes her. Well, almost everybody.
Why will readers enjoy your novel?
Strangely, this is a question I've never asked myself before. I would think different people would enjoy it for different reasons. The heroine is thrown out of her environment into a world where she doesn't fit in, and she does her best to belong and accomplish her task and not hurt anyone in this protected community with her progressive and modern ways. Some people will like the solid and thoughtful Ted as he does the best he can with the obstacles that are thrown in his path, which is mainly the heroine. Others will enjoy reading about the community and the way the Mennonite people live and care for each other. Others will enjoy the gentle humor wound around a serious topic.
I honestly didn't realize there were Mennonites like Miranda, so the dichotomy between her ways and Ted's would be a draw for me as a reader.
If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?
I think Nicole de Boer would play Miranda,
and Peter Cambor would play Ted.
One of the advantages of traditional publishing is the amount of editing one's manuscript receives before the publisher releases it as a novel. How much editing do your manuscripts typically get before you release them to your publisher?
That's hard to say, as it differs book to book and chapter to chapter. Some of my books have received more editing, some very little. I had a critique partner for a number of years, and I'm in a critique group now, but I've done most of my books without a critique partner or group. I guess it depends on the book.
What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with?
For me, the easiest is characterization. I've never had problems with giving each character their separate personalities and quirks, and making them like real people to the reader. But I struggle with giving my characters deep personal issues that they have to struggle to overcome. Not that my characters are shallow, but they don't need a psychiatrist to help them overcome their personal issues.
Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.
I had no idea what to say, so I asked my husband, and he said a big fuzzy teddy bear. I guess that means that despite the times I growl I'm really just a softie.
And cuddly, right?
What is the last book you read that moved you?
Moved me . . . that's different than saying simply "enjoyed". So as to moved, I have a rather strange answer. That would be Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. The heroine is very aware of her flaws and kept trying to send the hero packing, but he kept coming back anyway.
Yes, Crusie is skilled at creating flawed, believable heroines. Certainly not a read for the CBA, but I enjoy her writing, too. She's excellent at what she does.
What are you working on now?
Believe it or not, I'm working on a supernatural thriller with my husband.
Where else can readers find you or your writing online?
The book is available online via the buttons below:
Thanks, Gail, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Gail has offered to give a copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 24. To enter, leave a comment for Gail, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.
Check out my interviews with Lisa Lickell and Susan Marlow, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their books.
Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.