Monday, August 1, 2011
Beverly Nault's "Fresh Start Summer"
Title: Fresh Start Summer
Publisher: Lamp Post Publishing
Cover blurb: Pack your bags for Cherryvale, where neighbors care, gardeners share and God allows do-overs. With a touch of humor, a smattering of faith and a glimpse at movie-making glamour, Fresh Start Summer introduces you to the folks living on The CherryPath, a unique artery that stitches lives together as one in heart and mind. Follow the fun when this peaceful community meets Hollywood, and the bike-riding, muffin-baking town organizer, Grace Harkins, has to choose between her quiet retirement and rescuing a friendship in danger.
1) How did this story come to you?
I read about a development in our town that planned the homes’ front doors facing a common area, their garages on a back alley. Kind of an inside out community. Their idea was to force—ahem, encourage—neighbors to sit on their porches, chat over the fence, enticing the old-fashioned, small-town-in-a-bigger-city atmosphere. They were going for the opposite of driving your car into the garage at night and disappearing. After I picked myself up off the floor laughing in disbelief that people would really live like that, I realized that sounded nice, and the idea for Cherryvale blossomed. Then I added in the concept that friendships, family relationships and sometimes even entire communities often need a fresh start, and the story was born. (Oh, and from what I hear, the people in that planned community live in perfect harmony as the developers dreamed. Right.)
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I was enrolled in Christian Writer’s Guild when I first had the desire to write “gentle” fiction. When Cherryvale came to me, I took early samples to my critique group, attended workshops, and sought advice at the San Diego Christian Writer’s conference. And of course I prayed that the Lord would have His hand on the project.
Then the country’s economy tanked, so I decided Cherryvale would also experience a downturn, but instead of waiting around for handouts, ‘Valers came up with a unique solution to attract tourism by making over their town. The fresh start thing again.
Anywhooo…when the manuscript was nearly ready (drafts are never 100% unless you’re Angela Hunt), I met the acquisitions editor for Lamp Post and sent her a proposal. Ashley got my vision and, as all great editors can do, came alongside and cracked the proverbial red pen over my head. The final product is uber different from the first scratchings, but I couldn’t be more proud. Lamp Post’s products are incredible. From my gorgeous cover and incredible layout, to the itty-bitty muffins they used for scene breaks, it all makes me smile.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
This is fun. Okay, number one. I’ve lived in seven states (ten cities) and two countries. Moving so much has given me rich experiences and exposed me to many different people and cultures. So grateful to social networking so I can reconnect with friends from past lives. Er, moves.
And two, speaking of reconnecting, I’ve recently had a fresh start in friendships of my own with classmates from my high school. We ladies especially (about fifty of us) have been having tons of fun finding out we were all just a bundle of hormones and anxieties back then, glad now we can laugh over what at the time seemed dramatically important. And there are also secret things we talk about that they would kill me for if I revealed them here. I think a story idea is coming to me. >scratches out note<
Three. Not sure if I’d call it an addiction—or even a secret for that matter—but I adore all kinds of entertainment. Television, movies, books, theater, art. You name it, I’ve dabbled in almost all of them in a “stick my little toe in” kind of way. I was a props mistress/set decorator for Community Theater, I’ve been an extra in television shows and one movie (catch a glimpse of me in the nosebleed section of Like Mike.) I was in a short film as a Katie Couric-type reporter. Not as easy as it looks folks. Oh, and I was the co-author of Lessons from the Mountain, What I Learned from Erin Walton (Kensington Publishing) with Mary McDonough. The experience of a lifetime, working with and writing about Hollywood legends. Meeting Earl Hamner in person? Only an extreme honor. Okay, maybe it is an addiction. Hand me the remote.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Fresh Start Summer is the first book in The Seasons of Cherryvale, which, you guessed it, has a book for each season. Autumn Changes is next. We also plan several novellas for digital readers to supplement the series. In the first one, Grace and Maggie Across the Pond, the main characters from Fresh Start Summer get sidetracked while fulfilling a bucket list dream traveling in England.
5) Parting comments?
I’m really enjoying hearing from readers who want to move to Cherryvale. It’s fun having people join me in the little world I created in my head. My dream was to write about a place where you want to go, populated with people you want to know. An escape from, or just a change from, our day-to-day lives. And to perhaps be inspired to make a fresh start in a friendship or career, hobby or goal.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My personal page is http://www.beverlynault.com/ and I tweet @bevnault. I have an author page, Beverly Nault, on Facebook. I enjoy the Goodreads.com community as well. (And whatever other social networking sites have exploded overnight while we were sleeping.) The books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, other fine stores, and through the publishers.
Cherryvale blessings, and thanks for having me!