Friday, June 15, 2018

LISA CARTER INTERVIEW...AND BOOK DRAWING!

Welcome, everyone! 
  
I'm delighted to introduce you to today's featured author, Lisa Carter. I know you'll love her interview, and  this chance to hear about her newest book release.  Those who leave a comment will be in her drawing for a free copy of her new book!       Roxanne Rustand


1. Lisa, can you tell us a little bit about your journey as a writer?

Thanks so much for hosting me today on your blog.

I have written stories in my head as far back as I can remember. As a child, I “told” myself a story every night to go to sleep. I thought everyone did this until I got to kindergarten and realized some people might find this strange. I was the kid, aka Phineas & Ferb, who made up imaginary tales for the other kids in the neighborhood to act out during summer vacation. Those stories were heavily dependent on what I’d watched on television—a combination of Star Trek meets Little House on the Prairie. Apparently, I was writing steampunk without knowing what steampunk was. J

As a teenager, I wrote stories to entertain myself, and the habit continued into adulthood whenever I had spare moments. During my children’s baby years, naptime was writing time for me. I see that period in my life as a time of honing my craft.

At age forty-five, God sort of said to me it was time to get serious about writing. So I stepped out of my comfort zone to attend a writing conference. I heard the stories of how long if ever the path to publication took so I felt pretty safe thinking I’ve got years before I have to deal with the publishing side of writing. Best laid plans . . . God had other plans. I left that conference with my first contract. Three months later, I had three more contracts. Talk about being thrown into the deep end.

I have always been drawn to writing inspirational fiction. I am more recognized for my romantic suspense, but I also have written two series of contemporary romances for Love Inspired. What I love about Christian fiction is the hope we can offer in Christ Jesus. And the opportunity to not just entertain, but to further His kingdom in people’s lives.

The writing journey for me has been a strange mix of sheer terror and absolute dependence on God every step of the way. Which for me is probably what He intended all along.

2.  If you could go back in time and do something differently in your writing career, what would it be?Actually, I’m not sure I would change anything. From the beginning, this journey has been so all God. He opened the door to my first contract, and I’m about to write my twenty-first novel. It’s been like a whirlwind, and I’m just trying to hang on. There have been been ups and downs, awards and setbacks, but I can see His purpose in all of it.

3. Tell us about your writing process. 
 It’s a total mess. I don’t encourage anyone to write the way I do. I’m not sure exactly how it even happens to tell you the truth. I get an idea, a character, a setting and/or situation. Sometimes, I get only one of these. I do a lot of thinking. A lot of research. I pray enormous amounts. And by the grace of God, somehow He helps me bring it all together and I meet my deadline.

4. What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
 I love spending time with my family. I love to read. Writers were readers first. I used to make quilts. I’ve made over one hundred for family and friends, but now writing doesn’t allow me the time to make any more except for new babies in the family. And one more thing—I love to travel. There is some truth to the statement that I write books to feed my travel addiction. It’s kind of my job. I mean a writer has got to research, right?

5. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your readers.
 I am a classically trained vocalist.

6.  What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring author? 
 Read a lot. And not just in your own genre.
Write every day. Writing is like a muscle. It gains agility with use, but can also become sluggish and atrophy if not exercised regularly.
Attend the best conference you can afford every year. Writers are lifelong learners, and the writing community is a wonderful network of support at every stage in your career.

7. You have a new book out right now, but what are you working on now, and when might that book be out?
 Right now, I’m working on my next romantic suspense novel, The Sound of Falling Leaves, which will release in 2019. This novel takes readers to the other side of North Carolina, the achingly beautiful, yet hauntingly mysterious Blue Ridge Mountains. Stay tuned.

8. Can you tell us about what led you to write your new book?  Tell us about your main characters, and the challenges they face in this story.
 When I became aware of the horrendously high statistic of veteran suicides, I was gutted. I began to think about what would cause someone so obviously heroic—so willing to give their life for others—to make the decision to end their own life after getting home. And I tried to understand why after overcoming so much, too many came home and lost the will to live.

Then one former soldier told me something profound. “Every soldier, one way or the other, returns a wounded soldier.”

I thought a lot about the cost of war on a personal level. The price, the sacrifice, that these men and women paid on our behalf. Freedom is not free.

I read about quilts of valor that are sent to wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital. So the idea came to me about what would happen if a recent amputee who’d lost the will to live received a quilt like that. The quilt would have given him a lot of comfort during grueling physical therapy sessions. And suppose at the end of all hope for a future beyond his injury, he decided to return the quilt to the quilt maker identified on the quilt label, express his gratitude and then end his life?

An added inducement would be that the quilt originated on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and he’d never seen the ocean before. But what would happen if the old lady quilt maker he expected turned out to be a young woman grieving her own losses? Throw in a murderer on the loose and you have yourself a story. That’s what I do, after all, I kill people on paper.

And you just know there’s got to be a happily-ever-after at the end. That’s where the romance comes in. People falling in love while dodging bullets.

Thus was born A Vast and Gracious Tide, about a grievously wounded young soldier desperate to find a reason to live again. In a Southern setting with a lot of Southern characters. Some of us have character. Others of us are characters. J

I like to describe what I write as “Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder.”


A Vast and Gracious Tide

A murder on the tranquil beaches of the Outer Banks puts two strangers on a path to uncover the truth

Caden Wallis has suffered several devastating blows that have left him reeling. He’s lost friends and now his girlfriend to the ravages of war. He arrives on the Outer Banks for one final mission—to thank the woman who sent him a quilt while he was recuperating from his wounds at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

McKenna Dockery knows all about loss. She juggles the family business, her ailing father, and an aging grandmother. Much to Caden’s surprise, she is the quilter—not some elderly lady. The quilt was something she’d begun for her future husband but shipped to the military hospital after the tragic death of her fiancé.

When a man is found snared in a net and murdered on McKenna’s property, she and Caden must work together to bring the killer to justice. Each must learn to trust the other, or no one will be safe in the tangled web of conspiracy, greed, and deceit lurking in the tidal marshlands of the Outer Banks. A nor’easter, a sea turtle named Cecil, and a surf-crazy hound named Ginger conspire to bring these two searching hearts together through the vast and gracious tide of God’s love.

About the author...
Multi-published author Lisa Carter likes to describe her romantic suspense novels as “Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder.” A Vast and Gracious Tide released in June 2018. The Stronghold won a 2017 Daphne du Maurier. Under a Turquoise Sky won the 2015 Carol Award. Beyond the Cherokee Trail was a 4 ½ star Romantic Times Top Pick. She also has two contemporary romance series with Love Inspired.  Currently, she is writing her twenty-first novel set in the hauntingly beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Lisa enjoys traveling and researching her next fictional adventure. When not writing, she loves spending time with family and teaching writing workshops. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball.
Follow her at:

56 comments:

  1. nice interview

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  2. I've never read any of your books, but they are going on my TBR list. My father was a WWII vet & my husband is a disabled Vietnam era vet --and I would have to agree with the "wounded" quote.

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    1. Hope you will enjoy. Thanks for joining the conversation.

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  3. Hi Lisa, thanks for this interview. You have certainly led an interesting life and it is apparent that God has been in control. I haven't read any of your books but The Vast and Gracious Tide sounds wonderful!
    Thank you for a chance to win.
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. Interesting interview--thanks for sharing! Your book summary sounds right up my reading alley and I appreciate the chance to win it. :)
    dawn dot nicol (at) gmail (dot) com

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  5. Thank you for the interview. As a mother of a soldier with PTSD, who has often been suicidal, the plot of your book is near and dear to me. It is a constant struggle for these men and women. We, as a nation, need to do more for them. I will have to read your book when I get a chance.

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    1. Our nation does need to do more. I respect these men and women who serve so much.

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  6. eldora2193@comcast.net

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  7. Thank you for a chance to win. Christian romantic suspense is my favorite genre.
    lhanberry1(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I have always loved reading mysteries and suspense. So surprise I would be drawn to writing it, too. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. I enjoyed the interview! I like the quilt idea. Quilts are often tied up in special memories. I have a few and each are very unique. Thanks for letting us know about your writing.
    perrianne(DOT)askew(AT)me[DOT)com
    Perrianne

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    1. I have a few from both of my grandmothers and some older ones that were passed down through my extended family.

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  9. This book sounds great!
    smincer10(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for joining the conversation today.

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  10. This book sounds amazing, and I enjoyed the interview. Thanks for sharing of yourself! bcrug(at)twc(dot)com

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    1. I am so honored to be here with the Suspense Sisters today. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. I totally understand the sheer terror and absolute dependence! Thanks for such an interesting post.

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    1. Hope our paths will cross at a conference this year, Patricia. Happy writing.

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  12. Oh, I’d love to read this! My father in law served in WWII and received a quilt of valor a few months before he passed away. I now have that quilt. I videoed the presentation. This novel sounds very intriguing!
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. It was really fascinating when I did my research on the quilts of valor. I know you cherish your father's quilt. :)

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  13. I really enjoyed this interview, and look forward to reading your new book!

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    1. Thanks so much. Have a great weekend.

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  14. Lisa I can relate to this story on several levels. And making the beach the location is a plus! I was 22 before I saw the mountains. When you have the beach you don't think about mountains but I've grown to appreciate them as well. I enjoyed reading the interview which had a few things I didn't know about you. See you soon.

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    1. My first love was the ocean, but my husband is a mountains guy. I've come to appreciate both.

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  15. It was interesting to read this and learn more about the book and you. I know you enjoy being an author.

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  16. Love your books, Lisa. So glad you've got another one out. Very powerful comment by the soldier about all of them coming home wounded in some way. Blessings!

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  17. I appreciate this interview and the varying locales these books are set in. I've read and enjoyed a number, will look forward to this one, too. Keep up the great (& hard) work!

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    1. Thank you. Not many people appreciate what hard but satifying work it is. :)

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  18. Your books are new to me but I look forward to adding them to my wish list. Thank you for the chance. Blessings

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  19. Would love to win a print copy of your book, Lisa especially since I haven't read any yet by you, but am very interested:) Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway! God bless! Lual Krautter

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    1. Thanks for joining the conversation, Lual. Have a great weekend.

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  20. I too tell stories in my head to help me fall asleep. Doesn’t everyone do this? My father can home from WWII as a 29 year old. He never spoke of the action he was in until the last couple of years of his life. I wish he had said more. That part of his history is forever gone.

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    1. As a 19 year old. Sorry about that.

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    2. I wish I had more stories from all 3 of my uncles who served in World War II. They didn't like to talk about it, either. I once as a teenager asked my Uncle Tom what it was like at Guadacanal. He referred me to a book written by a buddy of his who was also there. He said that would tell me everything I needed to know. They were surely the greatest generation—although our current men and women fighting extremism may also later receive this distiction, too.

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  21. Clean romantic suspense is my favorite genre. Look forward to reading your book. Winning one would be an extra blessing. 😁

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  22. Thanks for the lovely interview. I enjoyed learning more about you, Lisa. Your new book sounds fascinating and is so pertinent in our society. I'd love to win a copy.

    whthomas13 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks for joining the conversation today.

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  23. Living in a military city we see the effects of war and ptsd on people. Would enjoy reading this book. Vivian Furbay jtandviv(at)q(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for visiting with me today, Vivian.

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  24. Interesting interview. Would enjoy reading this book.
    betsylu2@msn.com

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  25. Your book sounds wonderful. God id such a awesome God.
    Blessings
    Diana
    joeym11atfrontierdotcom

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    1. He certainly is. Thanks for reaching out, Diana.

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  26. I would love to read your book. It sounds so very good! Thank you so very much for the chance to win!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

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  27. Lisa, I've not yet head the pleasure of reading your books. I love how you describe them - “Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder.” Perfect combination!

    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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    1. Thanks for joining the conversation.

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  28. Thanks so much to the Suspense Sisters for hosting me and A Vast and Gracious Tide this weekend. Happy reading everyone.

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  29. Loved the interview and the book sounds awesome. You are a new author to me, but I am putting your book on my the list. I grew up in North Carolina and have visited some of the places in the book. Thanks for the chance to win. rose blackard (at) gmail (dot) com

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