Tag Archives: Pelican Book Group

Author Interview with Anna Kittrell – New Release: The Commandment

I’m thrilled to welcome today’s guest, author and friend, Anna Kittrell. Anna is one of my favorite people in the world. She’s a talented writer, she’s beautiful, inside and out, and she’s soooo much fun. (Boy, do we have some stories! :)). She’s a member of my local RWA chapter, OKRWA, which is awesome, because I get to hang out with her often. I adore her and I’m so pleased to introduce her today with a new release that sounds amazing! And, a great interview. Take it away, Anna…

Where did you get the idea for your book? 

The premise for The Commandment approached me somewhat like a dream. I kept picturing a girl lying in a hospital bed, coming out from under anesthesia. A doctor asked the girl if she “still remembered,” and she replied, “yes.” This made her mother sob hysterically. I kept wondering why the girl’s mother didn’t want her to remember. What exactly was it that her mother so desperately wanted her daughter to forget? It seemed like a reverse-amnesia situation, but I didn’t have a clear idea of what was taking place until I began to outline and the story started to take shape. As it turns out, the book takes place 35 years in the future, and is the story of a girl who faces elimination on her 18th birthday because her body rejects a mandatory, God-erasing vaccine.

Where did the title come from? 

In the story, the government is attempting to “level” the thought process of all U.S. citizens by removing God (therefore, sin) from the brain. By order of The Commandment, all references to God have been erased from society as well as cyberspace.

Why did you choose this genre? 

Actually, the genre chose me. I’ve never written futuristic scifi before, and to be honest, neither have I read books from that genre. As the story unfolded, I just went with it. If I would have put too much thought into genre, I would have probably talked myself out of writing the story!

Was there anything unusual about the book that you’d like to share? 

There are so many unusual things in this book, I’m not sure which to share! Guess I’ll go with the first one that comes to mind. Main character Briar Lee’s brain is resistant to SAP, a serum formulated to numb the area of the brain that holds all God-related thought and emotion. While doing story-related research, I learned that there really was, in real life, a research tool invented to investigate the brain’s role in religious experiences called the “God Helmet” (originally known as the Koren Helmet, after its inventor, Stanley Koren.) Apparently, some people had “visions of God” while participating in experiments with the helmet. The helmet applies complex magnetic signals to the head of the person wearing it, exposing them to a very weak magnetic field near the temporal lobes.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

Time constraints. Hands down. Although I prefer to write in large blocks of time, working full time and helping to raise my four-year-old grandson rarely allows that luxury. I’ve learned to write in tiny snatches instead— before work, during my lunch hour, and on the occasional free weekend or holiday break. In doing this, I’ve discovered, with amazement, how much I can get done in those small snippets. At the time, it feels I’m crawling at a snail’s pace, barely getting the keyboard warmed up before snapping the laptop closed. But before I know it, I have a completed outline, rough draft, and then novel—one lunchbreak at a time.

What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular? 

My daughter-in-law passed away tragically while I was in the middle of writing The Commandment.  She was like a daughter to my husband and I, and was the mother of our only grandchild. My story stopped cold. I couldn’t eat or sleep, and certainly didn’t feel like writing. Three months later, I trudged back to the keyboard. In another three months, the book was finished.  The Commandment is a testament to how God’s gifts (in my case, writing) give life purpose and bring healing to the broken.  This is my “one word at a time, sweet Jesus” book.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and how do you like it? 

I have worked as a secretary in my hometown middle school for the past 17 years. Middle school children are unique—some look (and sometimes act) like itty bitty babies, while others tower over me like grown men. I enjoy my job, and often refer to my office as the “funnest” place on earth this side of Disney Land.

What is one word you would use to describe yourself? 

Introverted

What is one word you think others might use to describe you? 

Extroverted

What would you want readers to come away with after they read your book? 

I hope readers come away with an awareness about themselves as well as society. That they might take spiritual inventory, to determine what beliefs they would or would not compromise, if faced with “The Commandment.”  I also hope readers find it fun and enlightening (as I have) to ponder the “what ifs” of our future.

What is your favorite quote? 

I have two:

“Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.”

–Jerry Rice

and

“I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.”

–Oscar Wilde

Loved the interview, Anna, thank you so much for joining me! Now, please tell us about your book.

 

Blurb:

 Ten years ago, Briar’s body rejected a government mandated vaccine known as SAP (Serum to Advance Progressivism), formulated to erase God from the mind. Briar was seven years old. She’s been on house arrest ever since.

Now, just weeks from becoming a legal adult, Briar remains non-responsive to her mandatory SAP injections. Along with her rapidly approaching eighteenth birthday looms a grim reality: by order of the Commandment, adulthood means institutionalization for those resistant to SAP.

In a matter of days, Briar will become a permanent resident of the ARC—a facility shrouded in dark rumors of torture, experimentation, and death. Her only alternative is to accept a last minute ultimatum to become a laboratory test subject for a new God-dissolving serum.

With a decade of solitude behind her and a lifetime of confinement before her—what does she have to lose? Except maybe her soul.

Excerpt:

Briar turned from the scalpel cuts crisscrossing the old woman’s spine like mountain switchbacks. Tears, hotter than the rinse water stung her eyes. How could this be happening? They were human beings. Flesh, blood, and bone. Their only crime—a predisposed ability to believe in God. Something no one had any control over.

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://goo.gl/Fuca4k

Pelican/Prism: https://goo.gl/9BbDod

Barnes and Noble: https://goo.gl/UWgq3Y

Bio:

Anna works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown of Anadarko, Oklahoma, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Tim. She has written for as long as she can remember, and still has many of her tattered creations—stories she used to sell on the playground for a dime, written on notebook paper. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.

 

Contact Links:

Website:          annakittrellauthor (https://sites.google.com/view/anna-kittrell/home)

The Commandment Trailer:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRLTQp4S-aA

Author Facebook Page:          https://www.facebook.com/AKittrell

The Commandment FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheCommandment2017/?ref=br_rs

Amazon Author Page:            https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B009OWBPMM

Email:                                      kittrellbooks@gmail.com

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Interview with Pamela Thibodeaux & Re-Release of The Inheritance

Please help me welcome my friend, Pamela Thibodeaux, sharing her ‘refurbished’ release, The Inheritance…

Welcome, Pamela. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

A native of SW Louisiana, I live on the outskirts of the city of Iowa, which is about 20 miles east of Lake Charles. I am the mother of 4 (2 by blood, 2 by marriage), mother-in-law to 2 and grandmother of 3 (1 girl, 2 boys) and a German Shepherd.

Where did you get the idea for The Inheritance?

The Inheritance evolved out of one thought: They say life begins at 40 but for Rebecca Sinclair that’s far from the truth. Of course, being the nosy person I am, I had to find out why this was so for her.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

When I first began writing, I wrote romance…steamy, sensual romance, but after I recommitted my life to Christ, and my writing to Him, the focus of my stories became more spiritual. Although I do write “Inspirational with an Edge!”

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it? I’ve worked in many occupations and am currently a licensed insurance agent and yes, if I have to work, it is the most fulfilling (so far).

What was your first job? I was a bookkeeper for my father’s construction and home improvement business.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time? My job LOL! Seriously, if I could make a living off my writing and writing related endeavors, that’s exactly what I would do.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? Actually it’s the Born In trilogy by Nora Roberts. There is something about the characters in those books that touch my heart in a way that is indescribable. What’s your favorite childhood book? Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read The Inheritance. God is a god of second chances, we can start over in any given moment and love and forgiveness are the keys to both.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be? A Cross (to remind me to pray and never give up hope), a picture of my family (to love them in spirit as I can’t be there to love them in person) and a deck of cards (to occupy my time and keep my mind active and alert)

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? “You can’t have that in a Christian novel.” What has been the best compliment? Actually a reviewer said, “Although undeniably Christian, it is never dogmatic or insular — she offers faith rather than religion.” (Review of Tempered Dreams; Reviewed by Elizabeth Burton ~ Blue Iris Journal (2001))

How did your interest in writing originate? 

I’ve always been an avid reader but it wasn’t until my early twenties, and pregnant with my daughter (who is now 34) I got plain fed up with one-too-many romances and thought I could do better. A bit arrogant I know and much harder than I thought, but that was the impetus to my writing career.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?  Nora Roberts, I adore her power of description and characterization.

Your favorite… 

Movie: Actually I have 2 favorites that I watch every chance I get: Pretty Woman and A Few Good Men. Different ends of the spectrum I know but there is something touching and powerful in both.

Music: With the exception of heavy metal and rap I enjoy all kinds of music!

Place you’ve visited: I love to travel! This past summer I went on a 7 week camping trip, travelled through 14 states and visited 15 National Parks, 1 National Historic Park and a famous lake.

Place you’d like to visit: Ireland

TV show from adulthood: Heartland

Food: Bread

Sports team: New Orleans Saints

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Card – I love playing solitaire (traditional or on my computer) to decompress.

 

Thank you, Pamela. I enjoyed getting to know more about you. Tell us about your book. Readers, check out Pamela’s Rafflecopter giveaway!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4752b1262/?

 

Book Title: The Inheritance (2nd edition – newly edited, revised, and updated!)

Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/1nXB8Z0

 

After her husband’s death she discovers a future she never expected and a family she never imagined.

Blurb: Widowed at age thirty-nine and suffering from empty nest syndrome, Rebecca Sinclair is overshadowed by grief and loneliness.  Her husband has been deceased for a year, her oldest child has moved to New York in pursuit of an acting career and her youngest child is attending college in France. Having spent over half of her life as a wife and mother, she has no idea what God has in store for her now.  Will an unexpected inheritance in the wine country of New York bring meaning and purpose to her life and give her the courage to love again?

US Postal worker Raymond Jacobey has been in love with the little widow since he first set eyes on her.  A wanderer searching for the ever-illusive soul mate, Ray has never stayed in one place too long. Raised by self-centered, high-power executives, he’s longed for the idyllic life of residing in a cozy house in a small town with the love of his life. Will he gain the heart of the lovely widow or will he lose her to the wine country of New York?

 

Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” 

Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2fzAdN7

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pamela-s-thibodeaux

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Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway