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Monday, July 07, 2008

CFBA Blog Tour - Kristen Heitzmann and On the Edge of Recall

I'm pleased and honored to be able to spotlight one of my all-time favorite authors here today. I met Kristen a few years ago at the Mid-Atlantic Writer's Conference and she gave me some fantastic advice that stirred the embers of my writing passion. Five years later and 6 books sold, I'm well on my way toward catching up to her. :) And now, we even live in the same town! God is awesome!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
On the Edge of Recall
(Bethany House - July 1, 2008)
by Kristen Heitzmann

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Of her three main interests, art, music and writing, Kristen chose to study English at the University of Colorado and thrived on Creative Writing and Literature classes. She married her husband Jim, and turned her energy to building a family. They have four children whom they have home-schooled for all or most of their education. Kristen is a music minister with the Ecumenical Covenant Community People of Praise.

Once she realized the stories in her head were truly a calling from the Lord, she made writing not just a passion, but a ministry. She has written seven historical fiction novels as part of the The Rocky Mountain Legacy series, the Diamond of the Rockies series, and the Christy Award winner, Secrets. Most recently, she has written several contemporary fiction novels, including Echoes, Freefall and Unforgotten.

Kristen and her husband, Jim, and their family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she serves as worship leader in their church.

ON THE EDGE OF RECALL
by Kristen Heitzmann
Published by Bethany House

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tessa Young, an up-and-coming landscape architect who specializes in the design and creation of labyrinths, has immersed herself in the mythological, spiritual, and healing aspects of the elaborate structures. She also is searching for God and hoping to make sense of the nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.

When Smith Chandler, an estranged colleague--with whom she'd half fallen in love a dozen times before catching herself every time--calls to propose a project he claims is the opportunity of a lifetime, she reluctantly agrees to check it out. Smith is reconstructing a pre-Revolutionary War abbey for wealthy clients. Among its remarkable features is an overgrown labyrinth.

Unable to resist, Tessa accepts his offer to work with him. Soon she is immersed in the project of a lifetime. But one evening, after weeks of work in the labyrinth, Tessa and Smith are attacked. While protecting Tessa, Smith is stabbed, and the nightmare begins...again.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

My daughter Jessica and I conceived this story together. We had wanted to co-author it until her plans changed.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

Tessa was a more unstable character than I have written in the past. In developing her, I wanted a somewhat unreliable narrator who was not even certain of her own mind, someone trying very hard to succeed within her limitations, damaged and yet tenacious. I used the labyrinth as a motif to show a character searching for God and yet at the same time limiting him. I had recently gone through a rough time and found trusting God difficult. Making Tessa process her reluctance to be in relationship with the Father who had not answered her prayers as she had wanted forced me to see the distance I had put in my own relationship.

Smith on the other hand was a delight to write, his being British so much fun, especially in his interaction with Tessa. He's a bit fastidious and has this sort of horrified fascination with her that drives him crazy. He's constantly afraid of offending her, yet can't help ribbing and rubbing her wrong.

3. What themes exist in On the Edge of Recall that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

I never start with a theme, so whatever is there emerges from the characters' trials and triumphs. Trust became an element in this story early on, playing out in multiple characters. Forgiveness and surrender more subtle themes.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The hardest part of creating this story was starting it as a collaboration, then having to fly solo. My daughter Jessica had conceived the characters, and I had to get to know them through her eyes first, then flesh them into my own. We had brainstormed the basic plot, but the labyrinth and architectural elements required a lot of research.

My favorite part was writing the two Brits, Smith and Bair, creating a villain unlike any other, and the pointed repartee between the leads.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next book Rules of Contact is coming out for the general market in the summer '09. It is a darkly redemptive thriller with intense moral relevance and a poignant love story. Five years ago, the story came to me in a dream, but I didn't see how I could write it, so I tried to put it out of my head. The next night I dreamed it again—I never repeat a dream!—and that time the second half of the plot came clear. I decided to jot it down just in case and couldn't stop. During the one week I had between contracted books, I wrote two hundred pages. It's one of the most exciting things I've ever done, and I can't wait to see where the Lord takes it.

* * * * *

Thank you, Kristen, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of On the Edge of Recall.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

Make sure you leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com/net) or that there's a way to contact you. Otherwise, you won't be entered. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

* * * * *

16 comments:

cpullum said...

Would love to win!!!!
cpullum@yahoo.com

windycindy said...

I love to design my own flower beds and there is a wonderful labyrinth in the Botanical Gardens! I would love to read her book. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

bigguysmama said...

Amber, I'd love to win a copy of Kristen's book. Enjoyed your interview. Very excited already for her next book! I'm a huge fan.

In Christ,
Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

luv2read said...

Enter me in drawing. spowell01(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Stacey said...

Great contest. Please enter my name. Thank you.

stacey_dale[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cherie J said...

Ooh! That sounds great! Great spotlight Tiff!

Lindsey said...

I'd love to win a copy - this book sounds so good! :-) And thanks for the interview!

Lindsey
ladyufshalott at yahoo dot com

~Ley said...

I've been hearing sooo much about this book! It sounds great. I'd love to win.

ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

Donna M said...

I'd love to win this novel. I am a big fan of Kristen's and love her contemporary novels. I hope I win!!

runninmama[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Rachel Holliday said...

I have all of Kristen's books, and cannot wait to read her latest. Please enter me in the contest. Thanks!

mrholliday93@verizon.net

CherryBlossomMJ said...

OH OH OH OH OH!!!! I just finished this book and loved it! I WOULD JUST DIE to have an autographed copy!!! Please please please Tiff!!! *sigh* I'll be quiet now...

cherryblossommj (at) gmail [dot] com

See my review here: cherryblossommj.blogspot.com

MJ

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

Gracious! The spotlight's only been up 2 days, and we already have 11 entries for the drawing. Wow!

You'd think Kristen was a popular author or something. :)

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

Carolynn W. said...

I love Kristen Heitzmann's books so much! Please enter me to win this one, thanks!

ChristyJan said...

Wonderful interview! This sounds like a great book ~ please enter me.
hawkes (at) citlink.net

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing, and that is:

RACHEL!

Congratulations! I've emailed you for your mailing information so your book can be mailed out.

Thank you to all for your continued support. Check out the other winners from the past 2 weeks' worth of drawings to see if you've won.

And 3 more drawings this week. Enter for your chance to win.