Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What Floats Sally Chambers' Boat? Oh, a Giveaway, too.

I AM SO DELIGHTED TO HAVE AS MY GUEST TODAY, DEBUT AUTHOR SALLY CHAMBERS, A LONGTIME (ONLINE) FRIEND. I was trying to remember when we first connected, but I think–correct me if I’m wrong, Sally–in 1995 through Sandy Brooks on AOL and her Christian Writers Fellowship International [CWFI] organization.

Anyway, I shot her some interview questions and she graciously answered them, though she said I make her work!. So sit back to learn more about Sally Chambers. Oh, we’ll talk about her debut book, The Stonekeepers, too. (See below for giveaway details.)

Sally Chambers 70 percent

So, Sally, let’s chat.

When people find out we’re writers, someone will inevitably say ‘I’ve always wanted to write a book’ or, ‘I’d like to write a book someday,’ and you’re probably no exception. What is/would be your response?

My blog title speaks to that! A year ago, I named it, Everyone Has a Story, because I believe everyone does. I think God has tucked the bud of a thought into our hearts that’s hungry to bloom—that each of us have stories to tell about a time/s in our lives we think others will enjoy hearing or profit from reading about. But! If you’re serious, learn the craft of writing well and since writing is a lonely business, join writing organizations and a critique group. Find someone who shares your passion and write your heart out! Literally.

Where is your favorite writing place?

On the southeast corner of the house, away from the living areas, there’s sunshiny, airy room that’s my haven. With large windows facing south and east, when the weather permits, they are wide open. I hear the water splashing from the small fountain in the front pond, hear the birds, and feel the breeze. The area is calm, peaceful, and conducive to putting words to work.

I’m always curious about other writer’s habits, quirks, and the like background music, or complete silence? Share some of yours.

I enjoy the serenity of silence or the sounds of nature – birds, wind through the trees, splashing water, in the background as I write. In reality though, the sounds of life happen. Like the air conditioning cycling on and off or my husband working on a noisy project or mowing the yard. And I can usually tune those out.

Do you snack when you write?

It’s probably a good thing I’m not much of a snacker, especially around my keyboard! It’s been blessed with a coffee bath (and I like honey in my coffee—a keyboard killer) as well as water and it somehow survived, so I’ve learned to head for the kitchen if I get thirsty or crave something chocolate.☺

Ooh, that must have been a sticky mess. How much of yourself goes into your characters?

I think my younger self was much like the main character in The Stonekeepers, Lexi. But, at eighteen, Lexi’s smarter, savvier, and a lot more gutsy. We’re both very loyal to our friends and family, our faith and growth as Christians is a work-in-progress, pray (still working on our trusting), and we do a lot of self-talk. Like Lexi, I’m still working on training my impulse gene. She’s impatient—it makes her crazy when her friends are late. I’m much more laid back. We share an innate curiosity about everything, love to research, and are pretty much perfectionists in many areas of our lives.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I’m fascinated with names and titles. They get prayed over and chosen with a lot of care. I comb through the baby-namer sites, listen for unusual names and look up their meanings, go through the Bible for names, and more. They have to fit and feel right to me and sometimes they get changed. Each part of the character’s name has significance to me.

What genres do you like to read?

Variety! I enjoy spiritual/inspirational fiction and nonfiction, techno-thriller, mystery, spy fiction, action-adventure, thriller-suspense, historical, and romance, many of the newer light inspirational romance novels.

And what are you reading right now?

I’m finishing Terri Tiffany’s debut novel, The Mulligan, and it’s good . . . nice twists, and has me emotionally involved. I’m also a quarter of the way through Baldacci’s King and Maxwell, but I’m able to put it down much too easily.

Let’s say you’re planning a writing retreat and there’s only space/room enough for four other authors. Who would they be, and why? Where would it be? Why there?

Well, since you didn’t hem me in with the caveat that they must all be living authors, I’ll invite, Catherine Marshall, Mark Twain, Anna Sewell, and Billy Graham. I’d invite these four because I’d like to learn why they were/are so beloved as writers. I’d invite them to be my guest for a week at the historic Baker House  1650 in the Hamptons. (Since expense is not an issue when the imagination is playing!) I opted for renting the entire Baker House because it has a reputation for having luxurious accommodations, lovely gardens, spacious, and access to nearby beaches. Amidst impeccable English gardens with sweeping lawns, is an elegant landscape with matured, natural beauty. We’d meet and walk beside vine-covered garden walls and a 200 year-old wisteria, that evokes the perfection of the English countryside.

Ah, that was my mistake. But I like your choices. What is your favorite food?

Parmesan crusted chicken or pepperoni-pineapple pizza

That sounds yummy, except the pineapple part. Fun question: If you’d been born into the animal kingdom instead of the human race, what would you be, and why?

A German shepherd trained to search and rescue. I’d be on call to go all over the world to search and rescue those lost. I’d be physically fit, smart, obedient, and agile!

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not family) who would it be, and, of course, why?

JK Rowling. why? Aside from doing so much good with her wealth and her volunteering, since her last book was published, she said openly that she was a Christian. I’d like to listen and learn how large a part her faith played as she wrote her books.

Okay, now let’s talk about your debut book. How did you come to write it?

The Stonekeepers Cover 2First, a name that leapt from the page of a magazine and sparked my imagination. Then ideas that caught fire as I mentored junior high school girls to help lower the school dropout numbers in my area. I’d been writing for children and the desire grew to write for the older girls—a novel, but nothing like what they were used to reading. Through story, I wanted them to get to know a girl a little older than they were, someone they could relate to, learn from, and look up to. But . . . someone who faced the things of life from a background of faith. A girl similar to the teenaged Christian girls I was teaching in a Sunday school class, who had plenty of problems, but chose to pray about them. Girls who read the Bible and learned from it, and who loved the Lord, all just as naturally as breathing.

Fascinating! What kind of research did you have to do?

Since I wanted my protagonist to face a variety of challenges, I threw mountains at Lexi to deal with, like suddenly secretive and overly protective parents, finding herself involved with something priceless, having her life threatened, and more. That meant every time I imagined and wrote about one of those challenges, I had to make sure it was believable. That took me into researching things like airline schedules, early 19th century door handles, paparazzi, night vision goggles, papyrus, the strength of gold, and the effects of ether, Israeli Intelligence and Special Operations, shaay,—endless and fascinating research.

What’s on the back cover (the ‘blurb’)?

For the past eighteen years, Lexi Christensen has been sheltered from the truth by a soft-cushioned life of normalcy, until the contents of an envelope link her to an ancient vow. All Lexi wants is to get out from between the vise grips of her suddenly protective parents, rescue an historic mansion before she leaves for college, and stop herself from falling in love with the man her best friend claims to love. But finding the envelope thrusts her into difficult and dangerous choices. Someone knows more about Lexi’s heritage than she does, wants what she’s found, and threatens her life to get it.

As her future twists into an incredible mission that propels her from her sand-ringed island home to a foreign mountaintop, Lexi is in a race against both time and danger. Her faith may be strong, but is God asking too much?

Great teaser. That’s usually the first thing I check when I’m looking for a new book to read.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Sally is giving away one free paperback copy of The Stonekeepers to one of you readers. Sorry, Lower 48 States only. TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with your name and contact information, like this, zippity (at) doodah (dot) com, replacing the red words with your info. so we can notify you in case you win.

Giveaway ends at Midnight, Tuesday, July 7 Central Time. To make it fair, I require  a minimum of 5 (five) entries. So, if you want to win, tell your friends to enter. Hey, one chance out of five or more, is better than no chance at all. Right?

Winner will be determined through Random.org

Many thanks to Sally for sharing herself and her time with Whispers in Purple, and to YOU READERS who visit. Be sure to come back on July 15 for an interview with Sally's character Lexi Christensen. 

God Bless!


[bctt tweet="Someone desperately wants what Lexi has found. Sally Chambers’@sallychambers2 ‘The Stonekeepers’ #YA #fiction" via="no"]


  1. Thank you, Peg! Thanks for the opportunity to share with your readers and mine, and to tell of our long-time friendship online. I've always loved reading your Whispers in Purple blog. (That purple header is beautiful! and so are the subjects you choose.) Your interview questions were a fun challenge, and I enjoyed every minute of putting answers together for you.
    I'll be checking in on and off all day today and the rest of the week to reply to comments. Can't wait to see who will be chosen to receive a copy of The Stonekeepers!
    Later . . .

  2. Thanks, Sally. for the love and complements. I love this blog, too. Took a lot of time and messing around to get it to this point, and I'm quite satisfied. I'm looking forward to see who wins the book, too.

  3. Thank you for the nice plug and you did an awesome interview!! I hope your book does fantastic. I look forward to reading it. Going to tweet it too! Terri Tiffany talker445 at Yahoo dot com

  4. You're welcome, Terri! The Mulligan was wonderful read Good to see you're working on another one. Thanks for stopping by, for entering the giveaway--and for the tweet!

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Terri. I'm really excited about Sally's book. It was a great read. And now, methinks I must check out your book!

  6. Loved this interview! This story sounds intriguing. I'm putting it on my Kindle wish list--just in case I don't win a copy. mzzlily (at) gmail (dot) com.

  7. Hi, Lilly! Thank you so much for joining the fun. This is an awesome book, I promise. You are #3 to enter, so if you want that chance to win, get your friends over here! :)

  8. Peg asks interesting and thought-provoking questions! Loved doing this, Lily. The Stonekeepers fits perfectly on a Kindle ☺ but just maybe you won't have to place that order. ☺ Nice to meet you here with Peg. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. Hi, Pat...how great to see you here again! And we'll most certainly add you to the drawing. You'll LOVE the book. I promise.
    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. And, as Sally said, it fits great on a Kindle. Matter of fact, watch for a post here on July 15. I am interviewing Sally's protagonist, Lexi. Ther'll be an ebook giveaway for all our International readers, and a chance for another paperback. :)

  10. Hi Patti, Thanks for stopping by and commenting and hoping (or was that hopping up and down with Pick Me! LOL) for the book!

    I did get your email and I replied. I'll go be sure I sent it to the right email address though.

    Hope to see you back here on July 15th!

  11. […] Event: June 26 through July 7, 2015. An interview What Floats Sally Chambers’ Boat? And a Book Giveaway  Leave a comment for a chance to […]

  12. I would love to win. It's great meeting new authors. I remember corresponding with a Sally Chambers with CWFI when we had a loop going. Is this her? Thanks for sharing. It's a super interview, Peg. I'm with Sally. I like silence when I write unless I'm outside with nature noise.

  13. Yes, Janet, it's the same Sally :)
    Thanks for dropping in today. Got your name in the kitty.

  14. Checking in tonight to say a special "Hi Janet!" Yes, it's me, and that was a while ago when Christian Writers Fellowship International was going strong. Loved our close family of encouraging. supportive writers back then!
    So happy you stopped by, and I'm anxious to see who I'll be sending the book to--maybe it will be you?☺

  15. Hi, Sally! Your book sounds fascinating. I wonder, is it too mature for my ten-year-old granddaughter? If it is, and I am blessed to win it, I will read it and save it for her for another year or so. bengstrom@hotmail.com

  16. Hi Bonnie~ Good to see you here. So glad you stopped by and commented! The Stonekeepers is a clean read, but it is a little suspenseful and may be a little mature for her at age ten. However . . . give her just a little more growing-up time and she will love it (you will too)! Even if you don't win, come back on July 15th for another try. Peg's interviewing my main character, Lexi Christensen. ☺

  17. Thanks, Sally. I will return on July 15 with high hopes.

  18. Lexi's story sounds so intriguing! I know I wouldn't get bored for a minute reading your book!! I love your description of your writing area - sounds like the perfect place!

  19. Thanks for stopping by, Janet. Sally's book is fascinating, I promise. Did you want to be entered in the drawing? The giveaway deadline is tomorrow, Tuesday. If so, please leave another comment with your contact information as shown in the interview post. And be sure to come back on the 15th when I interview Lexi, and another chance to win...if you don't this time. :)

  20. I'm anxious to read your debut novel! Sounds like it has all the elements of an exciting story! I know what you mean about needing silence and the sounds of nature while you write. My sun-filled writing room/spare bedroom serves the same purpose for me!

  21. Hi Janet~ Nice to meet you at Peg's place! Love her Whispers in Purple banner and blog articles. Thanks for stopping by, and as Peg suggested, if you'd like to, stop by tomorrow and leave just a line with your email address for us. I'd love for you to have an opportunity to read Lexi's story!

  22. Hi Donna! So glad you stopped by and commented. Your writing room sounds so inviting. I pray lots of wonderful works will come from that sun-filled space. I hope you enjoy The Stonekeepers -- it is an exciting story. And if you can, we'd love to have you stop by again on July 15th for Lexi's interview with Peg. Blessings!