Interview & Giveaway: The Fall by Chana Keefer

Welcome to Author Chana Keefer

A little about me—I’m a mom of four and wife to the best man alive. Inside, I’m Laura Ingalls Wilder living life in the suburbs of southern California. I try to channel Martha Stewart, but our household generally feels more like The Keystone Cops.

There are many things I could be passionate about, but just a few that make the difference, for me, between a life well lived and a life frittered away. Those things that spur me on to fewer regrets and more than my fair share of joy and fun—those are the topics discussed here. My areas of expertise are few and any knowledge was beaten into my skull by hard knocks. But if, somehow, the gold discovered in the midst of crisis can spare you a lump or two—yea!

Mostly, I’m a bemused traveler gleaning from much wiser brains than my own. I’m sure you qualify in that department, that you have your own unique story and nuggets that could help the rest of us, so please share.

It’s hard to find a kind corner in this world—a place where you’re heard and can gain perspective to handle life’s craziness. I hope this site can be where The Keystone Cops throw on the brakes for a chat, a cup of tea and piece of cake on the honey-suckle-scented porch of Little House on the Prairie.

One lump or two?

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But only if we had a few hours for me to pick his brain.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
I’m a southern gal so it’s homemade biscuits and gravy all the way.

Night owl, or early bird?
I am definitely an early bird—after 10 p.m. ya ain’t gonna get much good outta me.

How do you react to a bad review?
I haven’t gotten a bad review since THE FALL has been published. My hardest critic was an author who would read my drafts and give me “constructive” criticism that would have me in tears and depressed for a couple days until I would own the fact that, “Damn. He’s right,” and I would buckle under for the six months or so of writing the next draft. Hopefully, when I get the inevitable bad reviews, I will swallow it, realize everybody’s got an opinion, and move on. (I really do need to develop a thicker skin if I’m going to write such a controversial novel.)

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
The sequel to THE FALL, of course, but I have two other novels and a self-help about sexual responsibility/purity for young people. The first novel is titled Rock Star, about a country-bred, good girl who meets and falls for the rock star of her dreams and worlds collide. The second is Annabelle, a sweet ghost story set in an aging mansion in Texas where the past reaches forward to prevent a family’s implosion. The self-help is called Sex For Life and spells out how sex can be poison or sex can be life-giving and empowering—it depends on your CHOICES. I have pretty eclectic taste and pour myself into what I’m passionate about so I’m not an easily-boxed-author and kick against the whole niche thing. I’ve gotta be passionate about my writing or it’s not gonna kick my booty out of bed at 4:30 a.m!

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
My favorite children’s book (and I really want to locate and read it again if anybody out there remembers it) was called The Snowstorm and involved children who move out to the country with their eccentric aunt who disappears in a snowstorm and they are left to fend for themselves in a creepy house where past and present begin to meld to help each of the children overcome their pet weaknesses. When they shake a little snowglobe, magic seems to happen. I’ve seen other books with the same title but haven’t been able to locate this particular one that I acquired through one of those scholastic book club fliers in second grade. (God, I loved getting a pile of books to read from those!) Also (sorry, I’m on a roll) there was one called No Flying in the House about a little girl whose parents were part fairy and she has a miniature dog that comes to life to instruct her, teaching her to fly and helping to protect her. (I see a bit of a Harry Potter vibe there) Both of those paperbacks were read-ragged and most likely dissolved to dust.

Who or what inspired you to become an author?
Although writing a book was on my bucket list, my inspiration actually came from a dream. (fer real) I had this awesome dream about being twenty-years-old again (nice dream) and I met Sting backstage. (again, nice dream) I couldn’t get it out of my head and over the course of the next week, it kept expanding until I had an entire novel bouncing around in my cranium. I began typing away thinking that I would “get it out of my system.” Talk about naïve. I got absolutely addicted and that first draft of Rock Star took me ten crazy, sleep-deprived, blissful months.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Ask me again at the end.

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
The movie I am looking forward to this year—The Hobbit. I’m a total Tolkien-geek.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
The books I’m embarrassed to admit I read—but I’m about to broadcast—The “Fae” series by Karen Marie Moning. Too risqué’ for my usual taste but the main character was strong, funny, self-effacing and raised in the South. Plus it took place in Ireland and… I’m a sucker for Celtic.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
The best advice anyone ever gave me was when I was eighteen and struggling with whether a gal like me, seriously in love with God, had any business trying my hand at modeling. As I struggled with the issue, an older and wiser friend told me, “Chana, God needs his people in every walk of life.” Those words set me free and freed up my image of pleasing God as well.

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world… which would it be?
If I could jump into any book, it would be Pride and Prejudice. Although I’d probably be dying for a chai and a computer within a week.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
In my first novel, Rock Star, the main character, Esther, is totally me when I was twenty—frizzy hair, journalism student, klutz, dreamer, mediocre model, the whole enchilada. I took that recommendation to “Write what you know” to heart. Although, the fun part of writing is that I get to be completely schizophrenic, exploring quirks and personalities I never knew I had. Did I mention that Lucifer is one of the main characters in The Rapha Chronicles: THE FALL?

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
The Rapha Chronicles, Book 1: THE FALL is a transformational journey that inspires, excites, shreds, enlightens, heals… and you’ll be so glad you read it early before everyone else.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
Craziest writing idea I ever had would have to be The Rapha Chronicles: THE FALL. Talk about not-yer-typical novel! As a matter of fact, when I wrote down all the “out there” ideas I was having and my husband and writer friends advised I write a novel about it, my response was, “Yeah, it’d be a great novel… but I’m not up to THAT! It stretched the hell out of me and drove me in and out of sanity. But the intimacy with God was dizzying and addictive. I truly felt His love just overwhelm me so many times and my heart would break and I would face my little wall at Starbucks and cry and try to just breathe and let it out. The whole thing remained WAY beyond me but, one-teaspoonful-a-day, the mountain got moved.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
As far as song/songs to go with my book and characters, I have recently discovered Gungor and their “Ghosts Upon the Earth” CD. You would think they had been looking over my shoulder as I wrote THE FALL because they describe creation, the fall, redemption and other epic themes with descriptions that sound lifted from the pages of my novel. One of the songs is even called “The Fall.” It all fits beautifully with the movie in my head—you know, when Steven Spielberg and George Lucas come to call and Russell Crowe begs to play the role of Rapha.

The Rapha Chronicles Book 1: The Fall

The story has been told-but never like this.

No, Rapha would not strike with physical force this day. But he could not resist goading his enemy just once. Looking up, he fixed the peace of Adonai on Lucifer like a laser, held that malicious gaze for one eternal second-and smiled. A flicker of uncertainty stirred in Lucifer’s eyes.

Rapha opened a single thought to Lucifer as he disappeared with the creature still cradled to his breast:

“You always did hate secrets.”

Rapha, a powerful angel, had seen it in all in his countless years of service. At least he thought he had. Then he met Adam.
Lucifer had it all, Adonai’s favor, Rapha’s friendship and unrivalled power throughout creation. But he wanted more.

Signed copies available:

Giveaway Details
1 paperback plus a CD of the first chapter read by the author – Open to US only.
1 Kindle ebook copy – Open to anyone who can receive a Kindle ebook.
Ends 2/15/12

Optional Extra Entries:
+1 Follow on Twitter:!/chanakeefer
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Paperback: Ricki @Reading Challenged
Kindle Ebook: Erica Nicholas