What a joy to celebrate with Norma Gail as her debut novel, Land of My Dreams, releases TODAY from Lighthouse of the Carolinas! Be sure to leave a comment for Norma Gail and you’ll be in the drawing for a signed copy of her book!
Welcome to The Christian Writer’s Den, Norma Gail. First of all, please tell us how you started writing.
I have always had a vivid imagination, and wrote stories from childhood and all through college. My degree is in nursing, and with marriage, a job, and children, I didnâ€™t write much for about 20 years.
When I broke my right foot and ended up in a wheelchair, I needed something to keep me occupied. Land of My Dreams is the result. I began attending writerâ€™s conferences which helped me learn and gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people who have helped me along the way.
I have always felt compelled to write: poetry, letters to the editor, devotionals to open the Bible study I lead, and stories for my kids about their adoptions. I wanted to see my name on a book. Never give up on your dream.
This may come as a surprise to new writers, but you and I know the writing life isn’t easy. What was the greatest problem you faced in writing this book?
It was challenging to write about a country I had only visited for two weeks and couldnâ€™t return to for more research. It didnâ€™t matter when I was just making up a story, but when I became serious, I needed to be accurate.
I spent hours researching, read everything I could find, watched movies and documentaries, listened to music, and made a screen-saver with over 400 photos, and a Scottish-Gaelic dictionary on-line, and also sites with slang and common terms. I found a wonderful writer and editor, through the ACFW romance loop. Amy Drown lived in Scotland and was willing to read my book for accuracy.
It must have worked because it convinced one editor I must have lived there!
Well, that’s a confirmation for sure! What do you want your readers to gain by reading your book?
Of course I want to entertain. As a Bible study leader and devotional writer, I have seen a lot of people struggle with trusting God when hard times come, and I have struggled myself. It is helpful to use real-life situations to illustrate biblical principles.
Good fiction can teach valuable spiritual lessons. People who would never attend a Bible study will read a novel, and they can learn how to live the Christian life. A novel is a very non-threatening way to introduce someone to the gospel or get a spiritual message across. It might open someone open up to talk about things they might not otherwise discuss.
I totally agree, Norma Gail. And I believe it applies to every area of creativity. So, how did you come up with the idea for Land of My Dreams?
Scotland has intrigued me since I discovered that one of my great grandmothers was from Scotland. My husband and I spend two weeks there for our 30th anniversary and I felt at home from the moment our plane landed in Edinburgh.
We met a woman from Phoenix who married a Scot while in the Peace Corps. It made me wonder what it would be like to transplant your life to another country. My husbandâ€™s family immigrated to the US from The Netherlands, so I knew a little about it.
I loved the green fields with their sheep and dry-stone walls. One night I dreamed about a sheep farm, and the idea began to come together.
Tell us something about the book.
Land of My Dreams is a sweet romance about two people who have been hurt by life and no longer trust in God.
Alone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated.
Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny returns to New Mexico for her best friendâ€™s wedding, her former fiancĂ© reenters her life. Four thousand miles away, Kieranâ€™s loneliness draws him to an attractive former student.
How will Bonny decide between her two rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future?
Land of My Dreams spans the distance between New Mexicoâ€™s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.
My goodness, this sounds like a book we’d all love! Thank you for sharing your story with us, Norma Gail!
And readers, remember, if you’d like to be in the drawing for a free copy of Land of My Dreams, simply leave a comment for Norma Gail and you could be the winner! But you must be sure to come back next week to find out. đź™‚
And for those who want to go ahead and get your own copy of Norma Gail’s book, here’s the Amazon link to Land of My Dreams. Happy reading!
BIO: I live in the mountains of New Mexico with my husband of 37 years. We have two adult children and a lovely daughter-in-law. I love mountains, and enjoy tackling 4×4 trails in my Jeep. I am a former RN and homeschool/soccer mom who loves family research, history, and Scotland. My passion is leading womenâ€™s Bible studies, and I have done so for eighteen years. My devotionals, poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in â€śThe Secret Place.â€ť I belong to American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, and the newly formed New Mexico Christian Novelists. My website, www.normagail.com, includes a weekly devotional blog, daily scriptures, poetry, and will soon have a writerâ€™s blog.
To connect with Norma and find out more about her writings and ministry, you can email her at NormaGailwrites@gmail.com. She also has a Pinterest board for Land of My Dreams where readers can find photos that helped inspire the book: http://pinterest.com/normagailth/boards.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Norma-GailAuthor/725237467493500.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQbZIoC_JSE
And Here Are Some Writing Opportunities I’ve Found Just For YOU!
Thanks to Edie Melson for sharing many of these opportunities with us today. Be sure to check out Edie’s award-winning writing blog, The Write Conversation!
1.Â Inspire a Fire is always looking for articles. Here are Inspire a Fire submission guidelines.Â
2.Â Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest: You must hurry–deadline is May 1, 2014!
3.Â THE DREAM QUEST ONE POETRY & WRITING CONTEST is open to anyone who loves expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings into the beautiful literary art of poetry and/or writing a story that is worth telling everyone. Guidelines: (1) Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, form or style. And/or (2) Write a short story five pages maximum length, single or double line spacing, on any subject or theme, fiction or non-fiction. Multiple entries are accepted. Prizes: Writing First Prize is $500; Second: $250; Third: $100. Poetry First Prize: $250; Second: $125; Third: $50. Entry fees: $5 per poem/$10 per story. Postmark deadline: JULY 31, 2014. How to enter, visit: http://www.dreamquestone.com
4.Â Adirondack Life: Writers’ guidelines for Adirondack Life
5.Â Ladies’ Home Journal: How to write for Ladies’ Home Journal.
6.Â Highlights Magazineâ€“Theyâ€™re always looking for submissions!
7.Â Educational Markets for Children’s Writers: LOTS of markets listed here for children’s writers!
9.Â Free Spirit Publishing:Â Their mission is to provide children and teens with the tools they need to succeed in life and to make a difference in the world. They publish high-quality nonfiction books and learning materials for children and teens, parents, educators, counselors, and others who live and work with young people.
11. Go Galavanting, a magazine for women travelers. Read Submission guidelines for Go Galavanting here.
12. In Site Magazine:Â InSite, the bimonthly flagship publication of Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA), seeks to inform and inspire professionals serving in the Christian camp and conference community. InSite Magazine writers guidelines here.
So…now that you have these guidelines before you, what are you going to do about it? đź™‚
Well, that does it for another day at the Christian Writer’s Den. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the joy of writing with me!