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Monday, October 01, 2012

BOOK CLUB TALK WITH CARA PUTNAM




ABOUT AUTHOR: CARA PUTNAM
I graduated from high school at sixteen, college at 20, and completed my law degree when I was 27. My writing journey started in 2005 when I decided to write my first novel. Now I have fifteen books published with more on the way.

People say I've accomplished a lot and that I must have life by the proverbial tail. Hardly! I grew up as a homeschooled kid when homeschoolers were misunderstood and oddities.

I struggle with balancing my writing and law career, plus being a good mom and wife.
I often fear people won't like my books.

I've walked through the deep pain of miscarriage. Really, I'm just like you – I don't have it all together and have gone through tough times. But in His strength, I've discovered a strength I never knew I had. A strength I want you to discover, too.

In the end I'm just an ordinary mom who has seen God do some wonderful things as I've been obedient to step into the calling He's led me into. 

Thanks for sharing this Cara and about your book club experience!


What have been the benefits to you in having relationships with reading groups?

I love getting to talk to readers. The book clubs I’ve connected with have been a lot of fun to interact with.

Where would you like to see your relationship with reading groups grow? How do you think your goals can be met?

I would love to interact with more book clubs. I enjoy having phone calls with them if they’re reading one of my books. If I can, being there in person is a blast, too.

Do you have a set size a reading group has to be before you'll talk to them on the phone or in person? What do you feel most comfortable doing?

Not really. If it’s on the phone, I’m willing to do it for as few as five people. I always learn something as I listen to readers interact with my stories and characters. Writing is so solitary, so I really enjoy the interaction.

Which type of book club meeting do you prefer? Why?

If it’s close enough, I don’t mind driving. I’m an extrovert, so really don’t have a preference.

Have you been surprised by readers’ reactions to one of your books? Characters? If so, which ones?

I’ve been delighted by how taken readers have been with Stars in the Night. Because it’s set primarily in 1942 Hollywood, it has a strong black and white movie feel. Many readers with blogs went through classic movie actors and actresses to pick who they thought would have “played” each character. I loved looking at who they picked and finding where we overlapped.
  

Has your book club experience - getting feed back from reading groups - helped you in writing future books? If so, how has it helped you?

It’s always helpful to learn what readers takeaway from a book — and see how that matches with what I anticipated ahead of time. That then helps me tweak future stories. 

What was your most memorable reading group experience? What made it so fun?

It was a lot of fun connecting with readers in North Platte, Nebraska, who read my first novel Canteen Dreams, which was set in North Platte. Getting their take on the story set in their hometown made that call very enjoyable.  

I know that you are a lawyer by trade. As I read about the courtroom scenes and how your main characters were preparing for their cases I couldn't help but wonder how much of your experiences are included in your books? Are there certain areas of your job you can't talk about in novels? Do Tell!

Nora, that’s a great question. In Cherry Blossom Capers, Daniel and Ciara are both attorneys in Old Town Alexandria, VA. I spent my first eight years out of undergrad in that area. Ciara actually lived in my old townhouse :-) I didn’t practice law in Old Town, but I did clerk for a federal judge, so I used that for their backstory. And I incorporated the close relationship you build with fellow clerks and the judge into their story. I also incorporated my awesome paralegal as Ciara’s wiser mentor. Linda gets some great scenes and it was a delight to dedicate the novella to her. And I’ve had some domestic cases, like those that Daniel and Ciara were involved in though theirs weren’t too similar to any of mine.   

Why write Christian Fiction? What is the draw for you?

I want to write stories that resonate with hope. Life can be pretty awful some days. But through it all, God is with us. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, and even when He doesn’t smooth the road, He’s there. That’s the message that I hope readers take from my books.  

What do you hope readers take away from your new book?

I hope they get a sense that we can build community, no matter how big the city or busy your life. I also hope they leave the book with an “ahhh, what a satisfying romantic mystery.” They’ll get touches of what I love, too: Classic movies, Washington, D.C., and a great romance. 

Can you give us a peek at what you are working on now? When will it be out?

I’m working on marketing for my books that release in April (A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island — a full-length romantic mystery from Barbour set on that beautiful Island) and May (a novella in Rainbow’s End, geocaching in the Ozarks with a twist of suspense.) I’m also working on a proposal with good writing buds Tricia Goyer and Sarah Sundin for a novella series set in the Heartland during World War II. I also have a World War II proposal I’m letting percolate before going over it one more time.

Cara C. Putman
http://www.caraputman.com/  --- http://www.facebook.com/caraputman
Releasing in 2012: Cherry Blossom Capers, A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island, & Rainbow's End (all Barbour) ACFW Publicity Officer Http://www.acfw.com




Thanks for stopping by Cara so we can get to know you and your books better. If you are an author that has book club experience and would like to share it here please contact me norafindinghope@yahoo.com

Blessings

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network CEO
www.bookfun.org

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