BY MELODY CARLSON
The Christmas season is a magical time of the year when there is peace on earth, winter wonderlands, and rockin’ parties . . . right? With the holiday season upon them, the roommates of 86 Bloomberg Place are feeling far from peaceful, and the rockin’ party they’re planning isn’t coming together as planned.
Megan is struggling with a difficult boss and is forced to spend Christmas alone. Lelani can’t afford to fly home, and she isn’t sure she’d be welcomed. Anna’s old boyfriend has sailed back into her life, just when she’s met a for-real “nice guy” that she has been keeping away from her crazy Latino family. And Kendall has a crush on a famous actor who just might be the answer to her money woes . . . if only she could convince him she’s the love of his life.
Let’s face it, relationships can be hard work-whether they’re with family and friends, coworkers and customers, or boyfriends and girlfriends. And when you’ve got your first apartment, a real job, and grown-up responsibilities, relationships are loaded with confusion, emotion, and secrets you can’t tell anyone but God. Thank goodness He’s always around to listen!
About the Author:
Melody Carlson has published over 150 books, with sales totaling more than three million dollars. Among those titles, many have appeared on the ECPA Bestsellers List and several have won awards including the Gold Medallion and the RITA Award. She and her husband, Chris, live in the Pacific Northwest near their two grown sons.
Learn more about Melody at http://melodycarlson.com.
Tell me a little bit about your background and your family.
I grew up in a non-church-going home with divorced parents and considered myself an atheist until my teens when I did a complete 180 turn and gave my heart to Christ. I’ve been married 30 years (to the same guy!) and I have two grown sons and a four year old granddaughter. Also a lovable chocolate Labrador named Bailey. We live in the Cascades mountains in Oregon. I’m a full time writer.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies?
I like being outdoors (biking, walking, camping, gardening). I also enjoy dabbling in interior design-our current project is a tiny beach cabin that’s turned into a complete redo from the ground up. We hope to finish it this fall.
What has God been teaching you lately?
It seems like I have to keep learning some lessons over and over again. Particularly patience. I am, by nature, the most impatient person I know. I want it done and I want it done now. And I want it done right…yada-yada. But that’s not how life generally works. And it’s not how God usually works. So I have to continually remind myself to keep my mouth shut, to keep praying, and to JUST WAIT. You’d think I’d have it down by now (hear my impatience there?) but I don’t. I probably never will. I can imagine being 100 years old and on my deathbed, saying, “Okay, God, could you just hurry it up, please?”
What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?
We’re pretty low key about the holidays. Mostly we enjoy being with family members and try to keep things light and bright. My husband’s birthday happens to be Christmas day and years ago, he decided he prefers lasagna to turkey so we have “Christmas lasagna.”
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
What a great question. Without a doubt it would be the power to heal. I know a lot of people who are hurting over various things (including mental illnesses, which is always a challenge) I would absolutely love to heal people. And then, of course, give God the credit since he’s the giver of the gifts.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think it changed a lot. Everything from a lawyer (since I loved to argue) to a doctor (except I don’t like gore) to a teacher (probably because my mom was one). I never seriously considered being a writer (although I wrote all the time) because that seemed like the impossible dream to me.
Where are you headed next?
Literally, we’re headed for home in the next day or two (we’re at the beach right now). As far as my writing goes…I’m just finishing up my final Diary of a Teenage Girl book (#16). I’m also working with a producer in Hollywood who’s enthusiastically pitching some of my books and teen series for TV and movies.
How did you get involved in writing?
In my mid-thirties, I got the strongest desire to get serious about writing. I’d been doing some op-ed pieces for the newspaper and suddenly I just wanted to write a book. Fiction, of course. So I simply began writing and it seems I’ve been writing ever since.
How do you find time to write?
I treat writing as a fulltime job, which it is for me. Aside from procrastinating, I usually write daily (Monday through Friday, office hours) until the book is finished and then I give myself “time off” until it’s time to start the next one.
What was the most difficult aspect of the writing process?
Sometimes I’ll procrastinate. I’m not even sure why exactly, but it’s like I get distracted with any little thing that will keep me from sitting down to write. But then, once I sit down, I write pretty fast anyway, so maybe my procrastination is actually a way of stewing on a story before I begin putting it all down in writing.
When you write do you generally know where you’re headed or are you sometimes as surprised as your characters about the way things end?
Yes, as I said above, I don’t know. I guess it’s that impatient thing again, but I would be bored if I knew where the story was going. I’m a by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. That used to worry me…until I realized there are others out there just like me. Viva la difference!
Tell me about your road to publication.
I really wanted to write fiction, but back when I started writing there wasn’t a lot of fiction in the Christian market. To me that meant there should be more. To publishers it meant “it won’t sell.” Thankfully I was right-there needed to be more. But for my first few years, I was rejected time and again (for fiction). I just kept on writing until I had about five books completed (some adult, some teen). And finally an editor who believed in me asked if I’d consider writing nonfiction. So I did and it sold. About the same time I began to sell my fiction as well. Fortunately I have my little stockpile of books, all which sold. And, over the years, I’ve published with some of the very same publishers who originally rejected me. I guess, besides being impatient, I’m also persistent. In the publishing arena, persistence pays off.
What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author?
Like I just said, be persistent. But besides that, write and read A LOT. Take a writing class. And perhaps most importantly (to me) was to join a critique group. I learned so much from that group. Also try to keep an eye on the market-ask yourself what kind of books are selling? What kind of books are not? Finally, write from your heart-you’re a one-of-a-kind original and you probably have some one-of-a-kind stories to tell.
CONTEST FOR COMMENTORS!
Leave a comment on this post or any other post in the tour by 5pm CST on November 21, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to the Collin Street Bakery. The Collin Street Bakery is world-famous for its – you guessed it – fruitcake and will deliver your baked goods almost anywhere in the world. Readers can enter multiple times by commenting on more than one post (but only one comment per post will be counted). You are also eligible to enter by commenting on other posts in the tour
M. Carlson – Blog Tour Stops
Here are the blogs featuring Let Them Eat Fruitcake during our NOV 10 – NOV 21 Tour.
A Little Bit of Sunshine
A Peek at My Bookshelf
Behind the Mountain
Blog Tour Spot
Bluebonnet in the Snow
Book Nook Club
Christy’s Book Blog
Gatorskunz and Mudcats
His Reading List
i don’t believe in grammar
Kells Creative Musings
Leap of Faith
Lone Star Latte and Libre
Mystery, Suspense, and God, Oh My!
Real Women Scrap
Refresh My Soul
So Many Books… So Little Time
The Friendly Book Nook
The Writing Road
wandering, wonderings of a whacked-out woman
Write by Faith