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Interview With Carrie Turansky

1.) Hi Carrie! Thank you so much for taking time to answer some questions for curious minds like mine! One of my very favorite things is to learn more about an author’s daily life. So, introduce yourself to us. Name, info on your family, number of books authored, etc...

My name is Carrie Turansky. I live in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, with my husband Scott who is senior pastor at Calvary Chapel of Mercer County. We have been married for twenty-seven years and are blessed with five great kids, a lovely daughter-in-law, and an adorable grandson. I have my first book coming out this fall.

2) Tell us a little bit about your road to publication.

I have been seriously working on writing fiction since 1998. I joined ACRW in 2000 and found a wonderful family of writers who have given me encouragement, practical advice, and the mentoring I needed. I’ve had several articles, devotionals, and short stories published. And this November WEDDED BLISS? which includes my novella "Wherever Love Takes Us" will be published by Barbour. I also have a novel, ALONG CAME LOVE, coming out with Steeple Hill Love Inspired in April 2006.

3) Do you write full time? If yes, can you give us a glimpse into your daily writing life? If not, what is your day job?

I am a full-time wife and home schooling mom. I fit writing in around my home and ministry responsibilities. My two youngest daughters are seniors in high school this year, so they are independent learners and don’t need as much help with school work as they did when they were younger. That frees up more time for writing. I also lead the women’s ministry at my church and assist my husband in our church ministry, so I lead a busy and rewarding life.

4) What was your biggest obstacle in regard to writing and/or getting published? How did you overcome it?

The biggest obstacle has been overcoming the discouragement that goes along with the long wait for publication. I completed six novels and 2 novellas before one was accepted. I won and placed in several contests and I had an agent, but I didn’t have a book contract until seven years after I began seriously seeking publication. Being involved in a great critique group and receiving encouragement from my agent, friends, and family helped me hang in there and believe I could make it if I kept working, learning, growing, writing and submitting.

5) What has been the highest moment of your writing/publishing career?

Receiving the phone call from my agent telling me my first novel was accepted for publication was a very exciting moment.

6) Who/What is your greatest inspiration to write? Where do your story ideas come from?

My greatest inspiration to write comes from my relationship with the Lord and His work in my life. I often write about themes and truths that are important to me and include lessons I am learning. I love to read biographies of missionaries and others who have strong faith that has helped them overcome difficulties. Their stories inspire me and often prompt me to create characters and plots. I also find many story ideas in the newspaper or magazines. My family always laughs when we hear about an unusual event on the radio or TV. They’ve come to expect to hear me say, "Wow, that would make a great story." I’ve been blessed to travel and live in several countries, so those settings often inspire my stories.

7) Are you a seat-of-the-pants writer, or do you plot extensively before your fingers hit the keyboard?

Both actually. I usually begin with a brief story idea. Then I do character worksheets and an outline of the story. Depending on the publisher I am working with I will then do either a chapter-by-chapter synopsis or a 3-page synopsis. So I do have a "map" of where I am going, but then I like to leave my imagination open so I can "sight see" along the way. Sometimes I end up making major changes in my story as I go along.

8) I’m notorious for *snacking* while I write! Do you have any favorite munchies you wouldn’t mind us knowing about?

I spilled water on my keyboard once, so I am very careful now! But I do like to snack on red grapes and honey wheat pretzels. I keep my ice water far away from my computer!

9) How do you strike an agreeable "balance" between your writing time and other responsibilities?

Spending time with the Lord first thing in the morning helps me hear from Him and set my priorities for the day. I also try to get my 30-minute walk in early several mornings a week before I sit down at the computer. Otherwise I will get sucked into my story or email and not want to stop to exercise, read my Bible, or pray. Since my children are older and able to drive themselves, this gives me more time for writing. This is the first year when they all have their licenses, so that’s a blessing! I home school my two youngest daughters, teach women’s Bible study, and enjoy reading and gardening.

10) Who is your favorite character in your books, and how did you come up with that character?

My favorite character is Wesley Evans, the hero in ALONG CAME LOVE. Wes is an ex-missionary who feels he has failed God and can no longer be used by Him. But he can’t get away from his calling to love and serve others. Several of my readers say they have fallen in love with Wes. Wes is a composite character who was inspired by the stories of several missionaries I know or have read about. One was imprisoned in Iran for three months. His faith and courage in such difficult circumstances gave me a great example for a hero.

11) How do you deal with publisher rejections? Crawl in bed under the covers for an entire day? Indulge in double-fudge chocolate? Or just brush it off?

They used to really get me down, but now that I’ve sold two books, I don’t let them bother me too much. I tell myself it’s just not the right editor at the right time. I’m usually only disappointed for a short time and then I’m able to move on. If I get feedback from an editor, I am grateful. It pushes me to change and improve my novels.

12) Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

I hope I will have several more books completed and sold. I’ll probably be encouraging new authors and helping them improve their writing. I look forward to connecting with readers and blessing them with great stories that entertain and lift their spirits.

13) These have been fairly standard questions. What is one thing you’d like to share with up-and-coming writers that they may not even know to ask yet?

A wise writer will have humble and teachable attitude. Attend conferences and take classes. Keep on learning and developing as a person and a writer. Stay close to the Lord so that you hear what is on His heart and then you will know what to write about and how to tell the story.

14) You have a new title coming out, right? Tell us about it.

WEDDED BLISS? is a four-in-one romance collection of Barbour. It features four couples who are approaching their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Each faces a difficult situation that could destroy their marriage or make it stronger. My partners are Kristy Dykes, Susan Downs, and Sally Laity. We have been married for at least twenty-five years, and three of us are pastors’ wives. We’ve all seen our share of struggling marriages and we know what it takes to make marriages in mid-life thrive. We poured our hearts and experiences into these stories.

In my novella, "Wherever Love Takes Us" Matt and Tessa Malone are trying to rebuild trust and closeness after a business failure that sucked their savings dry and forced them to "downsize" their home and lifestyle. Then Matt inherits property across the country and wants to move the family there and start a new business. Tessa can’t imagine leaving her extended family, friends, and the cozy teashop she co-owns with her sister. They must choose whose dream they will follow and then discover how much those choices will cost their marriage.

I can’t wait to read Matt & Tessa’s story! It sounds wonderful. Carrie, thank you so much for opening your life and heart to us. It’s been fun getting to know Carrie, the author, just a bit more!

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