Welcome, Readers! And Welcome, Carlene Havel!
Carlene Havel writes historical stories set in Biblical times. This week she’s sharing some background on the creation of her latest release, Song of the Shepherd Woman.
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In Her Own Words: Carlene Havel
Readers almost always ask authors two questions. First, how on earth can you write a whole book? And then, where do the ideas come from?
How Carlene Does It
The first question is simple: perseverance. I’ve realized, to my regret, that the fairytale of the shoemaker elves does not play out in real life. Books don’t write themselves! Therefore, if I want to be an author (and I do, oh, I do!), the price tag is sitting in front of my computer, transferring the thoughts in my head onto a manuscript. I sometimes visualize each word as a snowflake, small and insignificant in and of itself. Yet when enough of them accumulate, they can become an avalanche.
Where Carlene’s Ideas Come From
For me, inspiration comes suddenly, unexpected, for no obvious reason. Most often, I imagine a dramatic scene. For no particular reason I can figure out, I see some characters, hear them speak, and feel their emotions. When I see this “method” on paper, it seems crazy. Maybe it is, but it works for me.
For example, my latest release Song of the Shepherd Woman began at Christmastime, although it’s not a Christmas story per se. As I read through the familiar verses from the second chapter of Luke, the shepherds abiding in the fields captured my imagination. How amazed they were to receive Christ’s birth announcement from an angelic choir. What joy and hope they must have felt as they ran to the stable in Bethlehem.
But then, how did others react to their story afterwards? Was it possible people thought the shepherds drank too much wine? Or simply fabricated a fantastic story? And what if one of the shepherds had a child, a baby boy, who happened to be in Bethlehem when Herod’s henchmen came looking for the Christ child?
Totally without my consent, a character took shape, a disappointed idealist, a man whose life and dreams were shattered early in his life. But suppose, after years of hopelessness, this man was given another chance? What if . . .
How Carlene Havel Crafted The Shepherd Woman
I didn’t start writing immediately. Instead, I bought a book on raising sheep. When I couldn’t put the book down, I knew I was hooked. I kept thinking about the old shepherd, somehow reluctantly accepting responsibility for an innocent child. I felt his conflicting emotions, and I knew I had to tell his story.
Writing Song of the Shepherd Woman, like all of my books, was a labor of love. Sharon Faucheux wove her historical research into my narrative, resulting in a story we hope readers will love as much as we do.
Song of the Shepherd Woman
In the first century, Channa’s stepfather gives her to her maternal great-uncle Avram to raise. He is known to be a peculiar, perhaps dangerous, man with a wife who cannot speak. Nevertheless, they are kind to Channah and teach her how to care for sheep. When her stepfather unexpectedly announces her betrothal to a Jerusalem tanner, the girl is forced to leave the only home she knows.
Channah looks forward to a loving husband, but soon learns she is to be Enos the tanner’s second wife. The beautiful first wife is barren, and she resents her youthful rival. Channa struggles to adjust to marriage and city life, cherishing the hope of someday having her own child to love.
How You Can Connect With Carlene
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Dear Lord, we bow before you in submission, trusting You as our Good Shepherd You feed us, sustain us, and protect us. You and You alone are worthy of our praise. As authors and readers, we thank You for the gift of words and the messages they transmit. We thank You for calling Carlene to write messages of the Savior. Please bless each word she writes for You.
~For Jesus’ sake