Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Interview with Lisa Jordan

I'm excited to welcome author Lisa Jordan to my blog today! I met Lisa a few years ago when I went to my first ACFW Conference in Dallas, Texas. Lisa is an award-winning novelist by night, an early childhood educator by day, and the coordinator of the My Book Therapy Voices. I can't wait for you to meet her!

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Lisa and me at the 2013 ACFW Conference during
our agency breakfast.

GM: Welcome to my blog, Lisa! I’m excited you stopped by to visit today and talk about your newest release, Lakeside Redemption.

LJ: Thanks for having me, Gabe. J I love talking to other readers, and such great timing to talk about my newest release. ;)

GM: I'm thrilled that you're here to talk about your fourth Love Inspired book, Lakeside Redemption. For readers meeting you here for the first time, can you tell us a little about yourself and your publication story?

LJ: I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 16 and had just finished reading The Promise by Danielle Steel. I wanted to make readers feel that same heart-sigh I felt after reading “The End.” I set the dream aside for about a decade while I got married and started a family. In 2004, I completed my first novel during NaNoWriMo. My husband realized I was serious about this writing stuff and bought me a laptop. The next year, I joined ACFW, attended my very first writers conference and met the incredible Susan May Warren, who was so amazing to hang out with. She took me under her wing. Under her friendship and mentorship, I learned how to write a novel that would attract an agent’s attention. In 2009, I finaled in ACFW’s Genesis contest. I had pitched to Rachelle Gardner, who requested the full. A week before my birthday in March 2010, she offered representation. On January 7, 2011, Melissa Endlich of Love Inspired offered a contract for what became Lakeside Reunion, the story of my heart. That novel won the 2012 Carol Award for short contemporary romance. Now I’m working on my fifth novel, and I couldn’t be happier to be living my dream.

GM: And I know so many readers who couldn't be happier that you're living your dream! Can you tell us a little about Lakeside Redemption? 

LJ: My third novel, Lakeside Sweethearts, was inspired by a local woman’s dream to open a home for women released from prison to help them readjust to society once again. In Lakeside Sweethearts, Ian and Agnes work together to restore an old house into Agape House for Ian’s sister who was going to be released from prison soon.

Lakeside Redemption is the story of Zoe, Ian’s sister, a year after her stay at Agape House. She has been given a fresh start...just like all of us have been. We serve a God of second chances. I wanted this book to show there is nothing that will destroy the love God has for each one of us. He may not approve of our negative choices, but nothing separates us from His love. We are redeemed.

GM: I love the heart behind your fiction--and behind everything else you do. I’m so impressed with how you manage your day job as a daycare provider, your work as an award-winning novelist, and all the other ways you volunteer in your community and in the publishing industry. What is your best advice for keeping yourself organized?

LJ: I’m a bit of a control freak. I thrive on lists, order and the ability to do more than one thing at a time. Some days are harder than others, especially when I’m on deadline. I believe in making S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals. I use my calendar and planner to keep track of deadlines, word counts, and appointments. I plan a menu for the month, and I do grocery shopping for a month. Our boys are in their 20s now, so I’m not caring for little ones in the evenings. That’s when I do most of my writing. Each writer needs to create a system that works best for her family and situation. Um, did I mention...and a whole lotta prayer.

GM: I love your acronym for setting goals. I'm in the process of creating my goals for 2015 and I'll have to make sure they fall under S.M.A.R.T. Since we just celebrated a new year, I’d love to know your best memory of 2014.

LJ: I’m going to be very honest and say 2014 was an incredibly hard year for my family. We were already mourning the loss of my dad. Each month brought another trial, including losing my father-in-law to cancer. The hardest battle we had to fight was when our youngest son became critically ill and nearly died the same week Lakeside Redemption was due to my editor. I spent a week begging God to spare his life. God answered that prayer with a yes. I’m so incredibly blessed by the amazing power of prayer that circled the globe on my son’s behalf. To me, that was my best memory—so many people loved us and cared for us to pray for someone they didn’t even know. I can’t even type about it without getting teary eyed.

GM: I'm sorry to hear 2014 was a tough year. Here's hoping 2015 will be a much better year for you and your family.

I have one more question, just for fun. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

LJ: I am so longing to be on a sun-kissed beach right now. Due to some life events, we haven’t had a family vacation since 2009. This week, I’ve been searching for beach vacations. I love lying on the warm sugar sand as the salty air breezes my skin while I listen to the cawing of the sea gulls as they dip and soar over the white-crested surf. Give me sand, sun, and surf, baby.

GM: Right now I could go for some sand, sun, and surf, too!!

Thank you for answering my questions, Lisa! It’s been a pleasure to have you stop by my blog.

Your Turn, Reader: What is your favorite memory of 2014?

Be sure to comment below and enter to win a copy of Lakeside Redemption!

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Fresh Start Family
Zoe James is starting over. She's worked hard to get past the foolish mistakes that landed her in trouble four years ago. Now the young mom is back in Shelby Lake and ready to reconnect with her son. When she bumps into old friend Caleb Sullivan and his two adorable girls, she sees the possibility of a happy future. Caleb has always secretly loved Zoe, but her turbulent past brings up tough memories of his own. As they spend time together training his girls' new puppy, Zoe and Caleb will learn that if they can forgive themselves, they might have a chance at a new life—and new love—together.
Zoe James is starting over. She's worked hard to get past the foolish mistakes that landed her in trouble four years ago. Now the young mom is back in Shelby Lake and ready to reconnect with her son. When she bumps into old friend Caleb Sullivan and his two adorable girls, she sees the possibility of a happy future. Caleb has always secretly loved Zoe, but her turbulent past brings up tough memories of his own. As they spend time together training his girls' new puppy, Zoe and Caleb will learn that if they can forgive themselves, they might have a chance at a new life— and new love—together.

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Meet Lisa Jordan:

Heart, home and faith have always been important to Lisa Jordan, so writing stories with those elements come naturally. She has been writing contemporary Christian romance for more than a decade. Happily married for over twenty years, she and her husband have two sons. When she isn't writing or caring for children in her family childcare, Lisa enjoys family time, romantic comedies, good books, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. 

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Last Week's Winner:
 
The winner of last week's drawing for Susan May Warren's, Always on my Mind, is Melissa Mailhiot Oldaker!! Melissa, I'll be sending you an email soon.
 
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 comments:

  1. Gabe, thank you for having me! When I talked about my favorite memory of 2014, I totally blanked on another one--my hubby and I renewed our wedding vows on our 25th anniversary. That was very special to me. <3

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    1. I remember hearing about your vow renewal, Lisa! Congrats on 25 years. That's quite an accomplishment. And thanks, again, for being my guest.

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  2. Great interview. And the new book is amazing.

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    1. Thanks, chickie! So glad you stopped by.

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