12 July 2012

Getting to know you Thursdays with Naomi Rawlings

Please join me in welcoming Naomi Rawlings to my blog today. Naomi's debut book was out with LIH in April.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a mother of two young boys, and I spend my days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. My husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where my family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. We live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. I write bold, dramatic stories containing passionate words and powerful journeys. Sanctuary for a Lady is my first published novel, and it released April 1, 2012 from Love Inspired Historical.

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
I loved reading inspirational romance novels, just like what I write now. I grew up on stories by Lori Wick and Jeanette Oke and Gilbert Morris. In fact, I was such a prolific reader that my mom would force me to put my books down and go outside during the summer. I always obeyed, of course, by grabbing a blanket from my closet, spreading it under the ash tree out back, and continuing to read my book. (Jenny here as an adult these authors inspired me infact Gilbert Morris to this day is my favourite author I learnt some interesting facts in his books).

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?
Romance. Romance. Historical Romance, and um, more Romance. I rarely find myself finishing a book that isn’t a romance novel. I have all these good intentions, like “I should read The Help or Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or The Marriage Plot or some other bestselling book by some famous author. So I’ll get the book and read about the first 50 pages before I see some romance novel on sale and get distracted by a love story.
As far as writing romances goes, I don’t ever see myself writing a book without a romantic thread of some sort in it or getting tired of writing romances. Human love is rooted in God’s love. And God’s love is so rich and deep, with endless facets and dimensions. As a writer, I see myself exploring the theme of “love” for a very long time.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
I already mentioned several, but Lori Wick was my all-time favorite.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
After my first son was born, I had a miscarriage. Since I’d planned to do the “mom thing” for a while and having a slew of kids, I was taken aback when I found myself wanting to wait before I attempted another pregnancy. My toddler took long naps in the afternoon and went to bed early, so I had a lot of spare time. That spare time soon turned into writing time.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?
When I first started writing, I didn’t know anything about the publishing industry or blogs or writers’ conferences. I didn’t know anything about the craft of writing a novel or plotting or conflict. I simply started up my computer, got a story in my mind, and began typing.  I didn’t even bother revising the manuscripts I wrote. When I finished my first one, I researched publishers and decided to write a novel for Love Inspired Historical because I didn’t need to have an agent to submit something to them. So I started my second novel and sent it in.
It got rejected, of course, as it wasn’t anywhere near publishable. But that rejection provided the impetus for me to join the American Christian Fiction writers and a critique group. From there I began studying more about novel writing and plot and conflict. After I finished writing Sanctuary for a Lady, I entered it in every contest imaginable to try to garner some interest in the book. My efforts paid off, and I soon found myself with both an agent and a publishing contract.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
I don’t know. A mom, I guess, which I already am. But if I didn’t write, I think I’d stay busy just being a mom to my little men.

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
We live in a beautiful area for hiking, right on the southern shore of Lake Superior. (Lake Superior is the world’s largest fresh water lake, and it’s along the Canada/United States border.) The area isn’t very populated, and there’s lots of hills and rocks and wilderness. I really love hiking the trails with my husband and boys.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
I’d love to tour northwestern France, where my novel is set, but there’s no research trip on the horizon. 

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
Um, I don’t know. Probably Nora Roberts because, my goodness, the woman has over 300,000,000 copies of her books in print. That’s crazy! I’d love to pick her brain. I’m really not sure who else I would pick. Maybe Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help. That book is really powerful and does a lot to highlight the multifaceted civil rights movement of the 1960’ United States. After that, I’m not sure.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will
be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.
I don’t have a set date for another book release at the moment. I have a completed novel with my publisher right now, and I’m waiting to hear back from my editor about acquiring it. Then I have a proposal for a sequel to Sanctuary for a Lady ready to be sent to my editor. I’m really excited about this sequel. It will feature the villain of Sanctuary for a Lady (who turns good at the end). I’ve got some smuggling, a spy, and a widow with five kids thrown into the mix. It should be fun!

If you’re interested in more information about me and my novels, or in staying updated about my coming books, you can find me on my website, at www.naomirawlings.com or at my blog http://makinghomeworkblog.blogspot.com

Thanks for having me, Jenny! It’s fun to be here and meet an Australian audience.

Book Description:

 The injured young woman Michel Belanger finds in the woods is certainly an aristocrat. And in the midst of France's bloody revolution, sheltering nobility merits a trip to the guillotine. Yet despite the risk, Michel knows he must bring the wounded girl to his cottage to heal.
Attacked by soldiers and left for dead, Isabelle de La Rouchecauld has lost everything. A duke's daughter cannot hope for mercy in France, so escaping to England is her best chance of survival. The only thing more dangerous than staying would be falling in love with this gruff yet tender man of the land. Even if she sees, for the first time, how truly noble a heart can be…. 


Naomi Rawlings said...

Hi Jenny! Thanks for having me today. It's fun to be here and meet some of people from the other side of the globe.

I'm so glad you're feeling well enough to even host me. :-)

Naomi Rawlings said...

And I also wanted to say that I was just teaching my five year old about kangaroos, which of course led to a discussion about Australia. Now my son wants to come visit. :-)

Melissa Jagears said...

Um, you only chose 2 people to dine with, the 3rd should be me. :)

Naomi Rawlings said...

Of course. How could I have forgotten to mention that I'd love to eat dinner with Melissa Jagears for my third famous person? :-)

Lyn Cote said...

Hi Naomi,
Hope we can meet sometime since we live so near one another.

Myra Johnson said...

Hi, Naomi! Nice to learn a little more about you. Mom of two boys? My #1 daughter could probably spend hours chatting with you about the joys of raising sons. She has three!

Thanks for having Naomi on your blog today, Jenny!

Ausjenny said...

Hey Melissa I thought she may want to have a meal with me after all I hosted her! It didn't have to be famous people.

Thanks for dropping by and thanks also to Lyn and Myra. Lyn would be great if you two could meet up.

Naomi would love to see you visit here. we actually have Kangaroos in the scrub nearby. When I babysat about 10 mins from the town there is alot of bushland and they would see them in the mornings and at night.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Lyn, it would be great to meet up! If you ever take a little vacation to Lake Superior, let me know. :-)

Naomi Rawlings said...

How fun to see you, Myra. And if your daughter as boys older than mine, I'd love to pick her brain about what on earth to do with them. Wow! Do they keep me busy. :-)

Naomi Rawlings said...

AusJenny, how fun to have kangaroos living so close! You probably think nothing of it, and here I'd be mesmerized if I ever saw one. But then, there are animals up here that you'd probably be mesmerized by, and I barely notice them. Guess it all depends on what you're used to!

Ausjenny said...

Oh dont get me started on squirrels. my friends daughter in Canada nicked named me Squirrel after my obsession with them. they are so cute and chipmunks are adorable. the raccoons were cute too. (glad I missed the skunk)
I remember talking to a friend about the squirrels and chipmunks and she said have you seen an echidna and I was yes we had one in our yard when we were children. She then said I lit up about the squirrels etc but talked about the echidna like you can see it anyday, where as her friends went mad about the echidna but squirrels are pests to them.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Too funny! And I've got to admit that squirrels and especially chipmunks aren't all that well liked around here. But I do think the chipmunks are cute . . . when they aren't eating holes through your house or garage.

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