Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Getting to know Christa Parrish and open giveaway

Christa Parrish's debut novel is garnering great reviews and rightly so! Initially intending to pursue a career in medicine, Christa changed tack working in theatre and journalism before staying home after the birth of her son.

Now balancing teaching, writing and home schooling, Christa still found the time to share with us about her life and her novel, Home Another Way, available now from Bethany House.

Here's Christa:~

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

I've always liked Kate. Plain, simple, no fuss. That's I.

Your first pet's name?

Acorn - he was a toy Pomeranian.

Your best friend's name in primary (elementary) school?

I didn't have one. I was a complete tomboy and got dirty with all the boys, and the boys didn't really do the “best friend” thing
as the girls did.

Rel: You and m
e both!

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? P
lease describe.

Nope. I wasn't a toy kid. I liked boxes, tape, rope, paper - anything to create with.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Mint Choc
olate Chip.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would
you go?

Africa. I know, it's a huge continent, but I'd be happy to go anywhere in it.

What's your favourite book?

Can I say that I'm terrible with “favorites?” My son is always asking me about my favorite song, or movie, or food, and I can't answer. I do have some authors who inspire me - Sheri Reynolds, Lorrie Moore, Michael Ondaatje, Cormac McCarthy, and Lisa Samson.

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

Homeschooling my son. He's such a neat kid, and I love that I get to know him more every day.

What's your favourite movie?

Again, I couldn't say. I do like movies, and tend to lean towards quirky, independent films, intelligent thrillers, and original dramas. Two of the best movies I've seen in the past few years are “Lars and the Real Girl” and “Pan's Labyrinth.”

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

The Badlands in South Dakota. Amazing.

What's your most fervent prayer?

For God to use me for His glory.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

One of my favorites is Matthew 25:21- His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' When I read it, just think of how I'd love to please God this way, and hear Him tell me, “Well done,” when I meet Him someday.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

I can't think of any, so I guess it couldn't have been that bad.

Ask your son one thing he thinks is special about you and share it with us, please!

He said, “You're writing a book,” and looked at me like, what else did you think I'd say?

Home Another Way

Sarah is in many ways the antithesis of the usual female lead in a Christian novel (yay!)~ tell us a bit about how she came to be.

Honestly, one
night she was just there. I was in bed, and the idea for the novel came to me.

How much of you do we see in Sarah, if at all?

Not much. I'm actually more like Jack - specifically his propensity to get bogged down in guilt. But I do
have Sarah's independent streak, and have difficulty asking people for help.

What came first for you ~ the story or the characters?

For the most part,
my characters and my main plot line developed together - they both just sort of appeared at the starting point, and then grew, the smaller details branching off as I wrote. Except Memory Jones; she was a late addition to the book. I heard the name - yes, at least one person out there really has that name - and I knew she was what was missing from the novel.

In five words or less, describe the process of writing your first novel!

Much easier than my second!

What do you hope readers take away from this story?

One of my passions is to see the church acting like the Church, and I wanted to show this in Home Another Way. As Christians, we can't let excuses--even good, valid excuses--keep us from doing what we're called to do for both one another and “the least of these.” Many of the characters in this book could plead, “Well, I can't do this, Lord, because I'm a sinner,” or, “Sorry, Lord,
I have my own problems.” But they understand God uses His flawed, faithful people to bring His purposes to pass.

Also, I think as Christians we sometimes have little patience for those, like Sarah, who carry the burdens of past sorrows. Underneath all those things, however, is someone God loves. We need to remember that.

What's next in your writing pipeline?

My work-in-progress is about a small-town sheriff who finds a newborn infant (still alive!) wrapped in a plastic grocery bag and abandoned in the field of a local cattle farm. The novel follows the intertwining lives of this sheriff, his wife, and a
teenaged boy - who knows who the baby's mother is - as the crime is investigated, and as all three struggle with their own problems.

It should be released Fall 2009 from Bethany House.

Christa ~ thanks so much for sharing with us! I loved your debut novel and can't wait to see what you do next :)

Relz Reviewz Extras

Read my review of Home Another Way

Visit Christa's website and blog

Buy Christa's book at Amazon or Koorong


Christa is generously offering to signed copy of her book to one of my readers! To enter:~

1. Post a comment before midnight Sunday 12th October, 2008

2. Tell me your favourite ending to a novel from the following:

a. Happily ever after
b. All the loose ends tied up
c. Up in the air so you can imagine the outcome yourself
d. A few bows but some loose strings also
e. Real life - sometimes a bit messy!

Have fun!


Dawn said...

I'm so glad that there are other people that really don't have "favorites".
I was beginning to thing I might need a little therapy :)

Anonymous said...

That was a great interview and I'd love to read her book! As for the ending of stories that I prefer...well, I guess I like a few bows but some loose strings too. (That's reality.)

Thanks for having the giveaway!


Lalycairn said...

I like happy endings, but only if they make sense. Mostly I guess I like "real life" endings, 'cause life doesn't always get wrapped up in cute little bows.
Great interview, by the way. It's nice to "meet" someone else who was a tomboy, didn't have a best friend, and doesn't always know what her favorite is. ;)

Anonymous said...

firstly, let me say, you are the best book-reviewing blogger i know. you do such an awesome job that i stand in awe of you in this field. :)

secondly, please enter me.

thirdly, to answer your question, i think i'd have to go with having all the loose ends tied up. i do like happy endings, however, only if they actually feel like "real life". i prefer "real life" stories but i hate a tragic ending with no resolution. :P so i guess i have to go with at least having the loose ends tied up...

thanks, rel!!!

you're lucky getting this book...i tried and couldn't. :(

ReadingRobin said...

Rel ~ I love your interview questions! You really know how to pull out the inner person and let us see the human side of the authors. I can relate, tomboy here too!
I like books that have a few bows but loose strings too. I like to wonder if there is a book 2 but not be left feeling like the last chapter might have been torn out of the book.

....Thanks Rel!.......

cmrobin at bellsouth net

Tracy said...

At the risk of adding to my reading pile please enter me! What can I say ~ Christmas/summer holidays are just around the bend.

My favourite wrap-up is to have all the loose ends tied. Happily ever after is nice, but like life, sometimes that just doesn't happen. When I say farewell to my new friends I want to KNOW rather than wonder!

jaana said...

I like all the loose ends tied up too. Please put my name in. I would LOVE to win this one!

Rel said...

Hey Guys!

Thanks for your lovely words of encouragement - they really mean a lot. Often I can post away and unless there is a giveaway there are very few comments, even on author interviews, and I wonder if it is reaching anyone!

Bless you!

HeatherH said...

I'm a "no loose ends" girl too. I prefer happy ever after but can cope without it, as long as I'm not left hanging... I too enjoy reading all your interviews and the new character spotlights are a fantastic idea! Thanks so much. I've discovered so many authors through your site that I'd never come across before - I used to just stick with those I knew!

Leola said...

Rel I know its been said but I have to agree - you do great interviews and I love hearing about the person behind the books. And your interviews give more insight into the characters and background of the book too. A great combination!
As for endings, I like a few bows - mostly bows, but some loose strings also. It makes thing more realistic - when in life is everything tied up nicely???
Thanks again Rel - you do a great job and I love taking some time out from what I 'should' be doing to catch up with your blog. (and do some reading too!!)

Smilingsal said...

b. All the loose ends tied up

I like happy endings too, but as long as the author finishes the story, I'll be content. :-)
smilingsal55 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Nicole said...

Always love to win a book. I'm in.

Endings: a through e. Depends on the story.

Mary S said...

I'm always up for a new read :) Please enter me! this sounds great!

Ruby (Mouth) said...

I think a good happy ending is nice, but I do enjoy a bit of life. It makes a book feel more real, though some lines still out there can lead to sequels and if the books are good, well, who wouldn't like a sequel...LOL!!

This sounds like a great book. I am curious to see how you ended it.

angelleslament @ gmail.com

Carole said...

I prefer happy endings in books because I read to escape and feel good (I'm even sometimes guilty of sneaking a peak at the ending before I commit to read). However, happy endings should still be plausible.

I definitely want to read Christa's book. Thank you for the interview.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

ad said...

Rel, I think we all enjoy your interviews and getting to know the authors but we dont always tell you .so please dont stop ,as we appreciate what you do.I like the sound of this book and I do confess that I like all the ends tied up though I know that is not always reality. AUS

lisa said...

I think it depends on the story, but most of like to read something we can relate to and we all know that more often then not life isn't the "happily ever after." So I will say I like an ending where the people involved see the finish line, the victory ahead but they all see the trails in the valley below...or not...for there are always bends in the road. So I guess my answer is 'd'.

Please enter me!

ldneuhof at hotmail dot com

Nise' said...

Love all types of endings except C!! Love your interviews too!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rel,
This book sounds good, thanks for the review and author interview. understanding the background of an author makes you even more interested in what they write. I agree often church is not that real and accepting of those with underlying issues, i will be interested to read it next time i visit melbourne.
In response to your question i would have to say it all depends on my mood. Some days a happy ending is what i am after and other days i prefer it to mimick real life as it makes it easier to relate to!

Louise Veenstra

Jen said...

Definately loose ends tied up. I get very frustrated if a book ending leaves you hanging and you don't know what has happened to the characters etc, unless there is a follow on book. Keep up the great job Rel.

Kim said...

Awesome interview!! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book!! I am blown away that Memory Jones was a late addition to the terrific cast of characters.

I recommend this book to everyone!!


Carol said...

I want allthe loose ends tied up!

Thank you for the chance to win this book. It sounds good!

mittens0831 AT aol DOT com

Lindsey said...

As a teen I wanted happily ever after - now I like all the loose ends tied up but I also like to read more real life. Thanks for the giveaway and the interview, I really enjoyed it! I can't wait to read this book. :-)

ladyufshalott at yahoo.com

Fiona said...

I like two of them d) A few bows but some loose strings to & e) real life - sometimes a bit messy.

Would you be able to put me into the draw please.

Naomi said...

I like D and E as well. I like to know major things but it kind of leaves the characters alive if you don't know everything cause then you can always wonder.

Enter me in the drawer please Rel.

Wendyb said...

I like a happy ending. I was watching that Disney movie Eight Below on Friday night about the sleigh dogs left behind for the winter and was crying all through it but kept watching as I thought Disney will have a happy ending and fortunately I was right. Great review, please enter me. Wendyb

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