Welcome to the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for Season of Hope by Carol James. I enjoyed chatting with Carol about the writing porcess!
About the Book
Book: Season of Hope
Author: Carol James
Genre: 20th Century Christian Historical Romance
Hope Stockton’s life is dead, frozen in a winter of guilt, deceit, and fear. When a handsome young pastor, Josh Lewis, comes to serve in her church, she wonders if she can trust him with her past. Will he be able to help her find the answers to the questions that have been buried in her heart for years? Or will his own secrets drive them apart and prevent him from helping Hope find her spring of forgiveness?
Set in small town Texas in the years during and following the Vietnam war, Seasons of Hope is a story of forgiveness and restoration.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction. She lives in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell “Terrorist,” Zoe.
Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she’d been encouraged by the works of other authors of inspirational fiction.
Her debut novel, Rescuing Faith, has been a number one best seller on Amazon.
Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church. And most days, in the late hours of the night or the wee hours of the morning, she can be found bringing her newest novel to life.
Interview with Carol
Q: In which fiction genre do you write and is it the same genre you prefer to read?
A: I write inspirational romance. Before I began writing, I read mostly what some might call “guys’ fiction.” A lot of mystery and detective books, history and war novels, westerns and biographies. Never romance. And then I discovered Christian romance, and it became my favorite genre.
Q: How did you get started writing fiction?
A: My writing journey was birthed out of adversity. It’s a long, but amazing story. I was teaching part-time at a Christian school. I loved my work and considered it my personal ministry. Then my husband suffered a health issue and lost his job. With two daughters in college, I had to find full time work. So I had to leave not only my job, but my personal ministry. Yet God promised me He was doing a new work in my life and would provide me a new ministry. One of my students’ parents offered me a position at a business he owned, and I accepted it. There I met the person who set me on the path to writing. And once I began, I knew this was the new ministry God was calling me to.
Q: Who has influenced you the most in your fiction writing journey?
A: So many people have influenced me. While writing is most often a singular activity, it is not done alone. But the person who influenced me the most was my boss at my new job. She was a closet writer, and because of my (well-deserved) reputation as the grammar police, she asked if I would read and edit some of her stories. She was the person who first encouraged me to give writing a try.
Q: Is there a particular theme that runs through all of your novels?
A: Yes, but it was never intentional. After I wrote my first two or three novels, I noticed that the common theme was forgiveness. And I love that, because isn’t that what the world needs?
Q: What kind of research do you do? (Internet, travel, interviews, etc.)
A: Oh, I love the internet! I can’t imagine being a writer at a time when you had to go to the library whenever you needed to do a bit of research. For one of my books, I interviewed a policewoman just to make sure I got the procedure correct. And for another, a nurse to make certain my wording was correct.
Q: Which of your characters do you most identify with? (Please cite title.)
A: This is a tough one. There’s a little bit of who I am or who I desire to be in all of my heroines. But if I have to choose one, I’ll say Faith in Rescuing Faith. She’s a teacher in a private school (which I was) who goes on a mission trip to Ecuador (which I have done), and amid her perceived failures, she struggles with accepting who she is in Christ (which I am still learning to do).
Q: Do you have a favorite setting?
A: All of my novels are set in a fictional Texas town, Crescent Bluff, located someplace in a circle around Austin, Waco, Fort Worth, and Dallas.
Q: What role does faith play in your fiction?
A: One time a person asked me to define inspirational romance. I told him it was a story that had three major characters rather than two – a hero, a heroine, and God. Whether people realize it or not, whether they are believers or not, we are all on a faith journey. My characters’ faith is central to the story and their growth. I can’t imagine trying to write without including a faith element.
Q: Are you part of a critique group or other writers’ group?
A: Writers tend to be one of the most giving and encouraging groups around. I am a member of several professional groups. I learn so much from the programs we have and the information fellow authors share. I am a member of two critique groups and love the guidance they provide. Iron sharpening iron.
Q: Is there that one book that you are dying to write, but for some reason have been unable to?
A: Right after I first started writing, I learned about the Japanese art of kintsugi. I’d never heard of it before, but it is the art of repairing broken ceramic or pottery pieces by joining them with gold. What a beautiful picture of God’s work in our broken lives! I knew then I’d include that idea in one of my novels. And, that is the story I am now beginning to plot out.
More from Carol
Overcoming the Darkness
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
I’ve read or heard this verse hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. But I remember exactly the moment I truly understood the picture it paints.
I sat in church one Sunday morning. For weeks, I’d been elbow-deep in crafting a manuscript set in the years following the Vietnam war. The title was Season of Hope.
In the squeaky voice our congregation loved, Pastor Buddy read this scripture and then asked a simple question. “Have you ever thought that light always overcomes darkness?”
Of course I’d thought that. I knew The Light was Jesus. I knew through His perfect sacrifice, He overcame the darkness of sin and death to give us life and light.
But then, in his folksy manner that would sneak up on you and drop the truth right in your lap, Buddy’s sermon began to paint a poignant illustration.
You can walk into a dark room with any amount of light, no matter how small—a candle flame, a flashlight beam, or even the illumination from the face of your phone—and the light will always…always…invade the darkness.
But the opposite is never true. No matter how great the darkness and how small the light, darkness never prevails. Never overcomes the light.
And what little you manage to see in the darkness is distorted, not an accurate representation of reality. Because darkness hides reality. It shows us only colorless, indistinct imitations. Light, however, shows us beauty and truth.
Simple, right? Maybe. But like so many truths in the Bible, the idea is rich and full of meaning when you meditate on it.
When I left church that day, I knew my heroine’s battle was to be a clash between light and darkness, truth and lies.
In Season of Hope, Hope Stockton’s heart is frozen in the dark winter of her past. She’s spent so many years hiding her failures and fears from the light of truth, she questions whether her heart will ever feel the warmth of spring again.
Then she meets Josh Lewis, and she wonders, can she entrust him with the dark secrets that have been buried in her heart all these years?
Texas Book-aholic, August 6
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7
Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Author Interview)
Inklings and notions, August 9
For Him and My Family, August 10
deb’s Book Review, August 11
Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Author Interview)
CarpeDiem, August 13
SusanK. Beatty, Author, August 14 (Author Interview)
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 15
Musings of Sassy Bookish Mama, August 16
Sodbuster Living, August 17
Batya’s Bits, August 18
Blossoms and Blessings, August 19 (Author Interview)
To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize package of a digital copy of Season of Hope and a $40 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.