ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers), Troubled Waters (Bethany House), The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She has released three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1: Scoop (WaterBrook Press).
She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Occupational Hazards Books are a series of books about seven homeschooled siblings whose last name is Hazard. The parents died in a freak accident leaving the kids ages 16-26 with a lucrative clown business but the kids realize that God has other plans which doesn't include being a family of clowns for the rest of their lives.Scoop, is the first of the series and centers around Hayden, who was age 20 when her parents died. If you haven't yet guessed by the series title, this book is packed with many laugh out loud moments and great one liners.
Hayden is a strong Christian who, having been homeschooled, lacks some of the politically correct social norms...like not praying in front of everyone during a crisis. She finds herself in an internship at a television news station with a boss that takes stress pills, an aging news anchor that everyone wishes Botox on, a weatherman who wants to predict love for himself and Hayden, and a reporter struggling with his own politically correctness of being a good reporter and being a Christian.
Old School meets New School meets Homeschool. A smart and funny read.
Rel: Unfortunately Scoop hasn't made its way Down Under yet but having read and loved every one of Rene's previous books (both humourous and suspense), I have no doubt Scoop will be a keeper.
Here is a brief interview Rene was kind enough to give me on short notice:-
You have a young family, what does a typical writing day look like for you?
It's been easier since the kids have gotten into school. My son goes all day in 1st and my daughter half a day in Pre-K, so I write every afternoon for 2 1/2 hours, and on Tuesday and Thursday mornings as well. I'm trying my best not to work on weekends.
Characters or plot - what comes first for you?
It truly depends on the story. Sometimes the characters have come first, sometimes the plot, and sometimes the 'what if' question!
Who reads your books to check the humour really works?
Ha! That's a good question! Well, of course my editors always look at them and give me feedback, but pretty much the only person that decides if the humor really works is me. However, I have a really high standard. If I'm not laughing out loud then I know my readers won't either.
How many Occupational Hazard books can we expect?
So far three! Next up is Snitch, due out in May, and then Skid, coming in 2008.
Choose a cast for Scoop ( remember running a competition for Boo?! I won a book!)
Well, let's see, I don't really have one in mind yet. I will have to give this some thought...
Do we see glimpses of you in Scoop?
Oh sure. I'm in nearly every character, except maybe Hayden. I would like more of Hayden in me.
Your favourite fiction reads?
Right now I'm taking a little break from fiction, catching up on some non-fiction I've been wanting to read. Jesus by Leith Anderson is phenomenal. Life changing! I am loving it. Also highly recommend Lessons from the Carpenter by H. Michael Brewer. Okay, you asked for fiction! I have a lot of favorites, too many to list here.
Share some of your faith journey
Lately I've been learning about a heart of gratitude. It's really a life changing lesson, and one that I'm only getting small glimpses of right now. But I know if I can grab a hold of this, it's really going to make my life amazing.
Thanks Rene - a pleasure as always :)