This week I’m starting it off with an author interview with Cara Luecht. She’s talking about her latest release Devil in the Dust. It sounds like it’s going to be a great read. Sit back and learn more about Ms. Luecht’s writing!
About the Book
Their small Oklahoma town is dying. Lillian remembers how acres and acres of wheat once waved under jewel-blue skies. Now the dirt stretches across the flat land as far as she can see.
Emma’s husband is missing. She keeps house, keeps her five children fed as best as she can, and keeps smiling as her hope fades. But when the days stretch to weeks, she faces the possibility that he will never come home. Left with the likelihood of losing their farm, and the ever-present pangs of hunger, she is forced to consider opportunities that, under normal circumstances, she would never contemplated.
Jessie, Emma’s oldest daughter, completes her tasks as if numb. Forced to wear her mother’s shoes to avoid the humiliation of bare feet, she watches the dead, dirt road for signs of life.
And then he comes.
His new car and shiny shoes and generous way with gifts and money catch Jessie’s eye, much to the dismay of her mother … and much to the concern of the minister’s wife, Lillian. He’s too smooth, too willing to help, and much too eager to spend time with a girl less than half his age. But who is to say he is not the miracle they all prayed for?”
I wanted to write about faith when times are hard. I think—maybe because most of us grew up watching sitcoms—that we tend to think of hardship as a temporary situation. But many people struggle with ongoing situations that, because of their duration, threaten our faith. I wanted to examine the shape faith takes in the midst of a prolonged struggle. The dustbowl lasted a decade! It was the perfect setting.
Definitely a perfect setting! This seems to be a heavy topic, did writing it energize or exhaust you?
Both. Because this novel is character driven, the voices allowed me to dig in deep and really study the rhythm of each character’s language. That kind of crafting work energizes me. However, because one of the main storylines is from the point of view of the minister’s wife, the struggles hit close to home, as I grew up in a pastor’s family.
I love how God can weave our experiences into our writing. Makes it very personal. What is the message you hope readers will receive after reading Devil in the Dust?
That we were not put on this earth to fix the problems here. We were put on this earth to support each other when problems arise.
Yes! The Body of Christ is a living support system. As we continue in our writing journey, we grow and learn more than we thought possible. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Even after you are published, publication is not where you find satisfaction. Satisfaction still comes in that rare place of magic when the words on the page actually match what is in your soul. Business doesn’t satisfy. Art does.
Love that! What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
That depends on the type of story I am writing. Researching the dust bowl was a little difficult because, considering the scale of the disaster, there is not a lot of information out there.
My process is to write an opening scene or two, and then spend a couple of months researching and thinking about the characters and setting and letting the story take shape in my mind. Once I feel like I have an idea about the main conflict, then I write until about the halfway point without an outline, letting the story take me where it will. About halfway through, my logical side panics, and I outline the rest of the novel, do additional research, and get to writing the finish.
Sounds like a fluid process, yet one that has structure! My pantser mind is whirling! How about some fun questions?
Flat water or sparkling?
M&Ms or Skittles?
Skittles…unless they are Peanut M&Ms. I have no “off” button for those.
Peanut M&Ms are great! Apples or oranges?
Apples but orange juice
Apples all the way! Tea or coffee?
Same here! Books or movies?
Is this a trick question? 😊 Of course books…but I love movies, too.
Lol, books and movies often go hand in hand. 🙂 Thank you so much for joining me today. Before you leave can you share how readers can help you in your publishing journey?
Read and then review. Before becoming an author, I never reviewed books because I had no idea how important it was. Amazon sells the majority of books, and they base the author’s exposure on the number of reviews. So, if you like a book, please review it. The author will be so grateful.
Also, I am now booking speaking engagements or book club meetings! If you are part of a church or another organization that is looking for a speaker, contact me through my website and let’s see if we can make it happen!
Here here on reviews! Thanks again for stopping by. Readers, do you have any questions for Ms. Luecht?
About the Author
Cara has four published novels: Soul Painter, Soul’s Prisoner, and Gathered Waters, and Devil in the Dust. Soul Painter and Soul’s Prisoner will be joined by a third novel in the series, Soul’s Cry, in 2017.