Rosemary Opens Her Heart by Naomi King – Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to Author Naomi King

I’ve called Missouri home for most of my life, and most folks don’t realize that several Old Older Amish and Mennonite communities make their home here, as well. The rolling pastureland, woods, and small towns along county highways make a wonderful setting for Plain populations—and for stories about them, too! While Jamesport, Missouri is the largest Old Order Amish settlement west of the Mississippi River, other communities have also found the affordable farm land ideal for raising crops, livestock, and running the small family-owned businesses that support their families.
Like my heroine, Miriam Lantz, of my new Seasons of the Heart series, I love to feed people—to share my hearth and home. I bake bread and goodies and I love to try new recipes. I put up jars and jars of green beans, tomatoes, beets and other veggies every summer. All my adult life, I’ve been a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and we hosted a potluck group in our home for more than twenty years.
Like Abby Lambright, heroine of my new Home at Cedar Creek series, I consider it a personal mission to be a listener and a peacemaker—to heal broken hearts and wounded souls. Faith and family, farming and frugality matter to me: like Abby, I sew and enjoy fabric arts—I made my wedding dress and the one Mom wore, too, when I married into an Iowa farm family more than thirty-five years ago! When I’m not writing, I crochet and sew, and I love to travel.
I recently moved to Minnesota when my husband got a wonderful new job, so now he and I and our border collie, Ramona, are exploring our new state and making new friends.

Links

Interview

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?

          I would invite my mom back. While I wouldn’t want to subject her to some of the *stuff* that went on with Dad after she died, I really miss talking to her (especially on my birthday) and getting those weekly hand-written letters in her unique back-slanted cursive.  Mom and I weren’t best girlfriends or constant companionsshe was a very private person, and we lived hours away from each other once I got marriedbut we had a great relationship. Makes me wish we could’ve done more chick trips after she retired…but then, who knew she would only last a few years before lung cancer jumped her bones and took her down? Love your moms while you’ve got them!

Night owl, or early bird?

            Up at 5 every morning6, on vacation!which means I turn in pretty early most nights, too. That’s been my time warp all my life and I can’t seem to change it even when I’d love to sleep in.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 

          LOTS of other books under contract, thank goodness! It’s been a banner year, with SUMMER OF SECRETS and ABBY FINDS HER CALLING  out last spring and AUTUMN WINDS and ROSEMARY OPENS HER HEART out now. I’m pleased that both of my publishers have me writing full-time through the end of 2014. It’s a huge leap of faith on their part, that this wave of Amish popularity will still be rolling then. And it’s a rare, wonderful thing to be in the right place with the right stories at the right time, for a change!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

          We’ve moved several times in our marriage, and eventually every new town became home. That said, I would give serious thought to selling all the “stuff” and living aboard a cruise ship full timethere are people who do that! What’s not to love about seeing the world, having your room cleaned twice a day, and being treated like a queen by the staff?

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

           I would like to think that some of my finer qualities are reflected in the strong women I love to writeeven in these Amish books, where it’s very difficult for females to speak up for what they want. Truth be told, these heroines are much tougher, wittier, more generous and compassionate, and more clever and daring than I am. I write these ladies the way I would love to be myself!

How do you react to a bad review?

          At a recent writers conference, when the head guys at GoodReads and Amazon pointed out that a few 1-star reviews sprinkled among the glowing raves made your review stream appear more realistic, I saw their point. I used to get upset when somebody dissed my books, but anymore there are so many people who do that without even reading my books that I just shrug and give it up. It’s envy on their part, I suspect. Nothing I can do about it, so I don’t waste my energy getting peeved anymore.

What do you do in your free time? 

          Free time? I vaguely remember having that, years ago! After I signed on to write these two Amish series, I reached a point where I realized I HAD to set aside time to read for fun, or go places with friends, or get involved in choir and church projects, or crochet, or bake bread again. I bought a nice guitar this summer and I take lessonsdiddled around with a lot of instruments when I was a kid, so now I’m learning how to play something besides chords. You know, there are worse ways to spend a half hour each week than being closed into a small room with an intriguing, hot young man who got a degree in bass guitar. I try not to remind myself that he could be my son.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

           NO REST FOR THE WICKED! What with writing two Amish series that have back-to-back deadlines every three to four months, my life’s a busy place. But I wouldn’t want to be anyone else!

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

           I recall it clearly, on an afternoon in early 1990 when I was at our home in Jefferson City, MOin the kitchenwhen the phone rang. It was Ann LaFarge of Zebra books telling me they wanted to buy my Western bodice-ripper romance, COLORADO CAPTIVE, andin her immortal words she was going to “make me a star.”

          Hoo-boy, what I’ve learned about publishing since THAT call! But I somehow made it through the conversation coherently, and when I hung up I started jumping up and down to the point my dog began barking along with my shouting …a radical departure from my usual cool, calm demeanor! I was working part-time at Waldenbooks then, and my manager was really excited for me, too…except not long after that, Ann also bought my second and third books, so I quit at the bookstore. Needed the time to write! Never looked back!

Print or Ebook?

          I used to swear I loved the feel of holding a print book so much that digital would never tempt me, but my iPad has changed my reading habit! I have a Nook app and an Amazon app, and I’ve come to love reading on a backlit screen with a bigger fontespecially when we’re on car trips at night.

City or Country?

           While I love looking out over a city at night, when the lights are twinkling in a myriad of colors, I don’t care to live there. My husband and I recently shared a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment in downtown St. Paul after he got his new job and we transferred up here to MNand I did fine with that for two months. But the pay-off was the town home we were having completely remodeled in the burbs.

          My parents owned a farm (belongs to my aunt now) and I dearly love to spend time in the renovated (1860’s vintage) log house there. It’s so quiet at night you can hear the coyotes yipping in the distance and so dark the stars pop right out of the sky while you’re sitting on the wrap-around porch. Wouldn’t bother me a bit to live there, out in the middle of nowhere, on a gravel road. But I grew up in the burbs of Kansas City, and I guess I’ll always be a Burb Girl.

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?

          Yes. Both. While I write a fairly detailed synopsis for each book before I write itboth because my editors require them, and because they give me a road map for my storythat 20-page tool still leaves more than 300 pages where I depend on some serendipity and out-there ideas to appear from out of the blue.

          Same goes for my life in general. While I like to know when I’ll be traveling and with whom and where we’re headed, there’s a real zing to going with the moment and taking a side trip or two along the way.

Beach or Pool?

          Yes. Both. No place I’d rather be than walking a beach at sunriseI’ve never been a sun worshipper, but I love to let the waves lap around my ankles and watch the shore birds feed as I listen to the pulse of the surf. But I’m also an avid pool person when it comes to water aerobics.

Cats or Dog?

           Do NOT even mention cats to my Border collie, Ramona! And frankly, the thought of having a litter box in my house and then having the occupant of that litter box walking all over my kitchen counter tops? No way. I had a couple of outdoor cats when I was a kid, and I’m fine with other folks having cats, but I’ve been a dog person all my life and at this point I don’t care to change that!

Text or Talk?

           TEXT?? Yeah, I’ve learned how but it’s a painful process. When the little dinger tells me I’ve got a message, I have to find my cell, and then I have to find my reading glasses, and THEN I have to keep deleting all the wrong keys I hit in my reply even though I touch them with the tip of my pinkie instead of doing the double-thumbs thing. I’m truly envious of folks who can whip through texting as fast as I used to type in typing class (yes, before electric typewriters came about). But, hey. Nobody is good at everything!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Rosemary Opens Her Heart

Another spring reminds the Amish of Cedar Creek, Missouri, that for everything there is a season.

Zanna Lambright is finally marrying Jonny Ropp, and friends and family have come from far and wide to celebrate. Among them is young widow Rosemary Yutzy, mother of toddler Katie, whose husband was tragically killed last fall. With a willing heart Rosemary has taken over care of her in-law’s family and continued to run a baked goods business from home, but privately she still mourns her lost Joe…and is unprepared for the changes that are coming…

Rosemary’s father-in-law wants to merge his lamb-raising business with Matt Lambright’s—a move that will require the Yutzys to relocate from their nearby town to Cedar Creek. Moreoever, it will bring Rosemary into constant contact with Matt, who is making no secret of his romantic interest in her. The challenges of contemplating a future unlike any she expected are overwhelming for Rosemary. And although Matt is strong and kind, his courtship is so persistent, she often wants to run the other way. As Rosemary struggles to see beyond her immediate joys and sorrows, will she embrace the outpouring of welcome and support from the people of Cedar Creek…and accept this new chance to open her heart to a more abundant life?

Giveaway Deatils
1 copy of Rosemary Opens Her Heart
Open to US only
Ends 11/30/12

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