Let’s Chat! Author Carlene Havel

Welcome, Readers! And Welcome, Carlene Havel!

This week we’re welcoming Carlene Havel as guest blogger. Carlene and I have been writers-group friends for several years. 

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.

**Join in the conversation below to be entered into a drawing for a print copy of Song of the Shepherd Woman.**

Postscript: Congratulations to Leona Atkinson, winner of a print copy of Carlene Havel’s Song of the Shepherd Woman.

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

Carlene HavelThe 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

Carlene HavelFor 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

Carlene HavelI 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

Carlene HavelIn 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

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarleneHavel

http://www.chavelbooks.com   

https://twitter.com/authorcarlene

You can purchase Song of the Shepherd Woman on Amazon.

~ ~ ~

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

19 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Carlene Havel

  1. Carlene delves into the Bible and other research materials for her books. She never disappoints with her stories. I’ve read them all.

     
     
  2. Marilyn R

    Nice meeting Carlene Havel her on your blog, Linda. Perseverance and praying will always win when God is in it. “Song of the Shepherd Woman” calls my name. I enjoy Biblical fiction and how God inspires authors to write them. Blessings.

     
     
    1. I’m with you 100%, Marilyn! Thanks for joining us.

       
       
  3. I love Carlene’s books! I highly recommend this one as well as her others.

     
     
    1. It’s great to have you in our circle, Gail. You’ve encouraged us both!

       
       
  4. I have never read one of Charlene’s books but I surely hope to now. I love reading historical biblical fiction and look forward to reading this book Song of the Shepherd Woman.

     
     
    1. You’re entered in the drawing, Leona. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll come again.

       
       
  5. I’ve enjoyed all of Carlene’s books. Great interview!

     
     
    1. Thanks for joining us, Kim!

       
       
  6. Inspiration comes the same way for me, Carlene! It could be just a word I read, a person I see, or something else entirely. Great interview, ladies! 🙂

     
     
    1. Thanks for joining us, Emily.

       
       
  7. Julie Cosgrove

    I love Charlene’s Biblical character books. They really bring the time period to life. I think Song of the Shepherd Woman is my favorite…or maybe The Scarlet Chord…or the Daughter of the King. I can’t decide. Don;t make me decide!! Just keep writing them.

     
     
    1. Love it, Julie! How can anyone resist such a recommendation? I can’t!

       
       
  8. All of Carlene’s books are awe inspiring. Lovely writing, descriptive scenes and believable characters.

     
     
    1. So good to have you in our circle, Vicki. You’ve encouraged Carlene and me both. And you’re entered.

       
       
  9. I loved The song of the Shepherd Woman. The characters and setting seemed so real.

     
     
    1. Hi, Billie. I loved Carlene’s description of how inspiration comes to her. It inspired me 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

       
       
  10. I love your comment about perseverance. It is the first and maybe an author’s most important discipline.

     
     
    1. Agreed, Pat. Thanks so much for popping in. You’re entered!

       
       

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Join Our Author Chat With Carlene Havel

Hello and Welcome

Welcome, readers. Today we’re circling our wagons around author Carlene Havel, recipient of the Readers’ Choice and EPIC Awards. Carlene havel_carlenewrites stories of faith, hope, and love. How refreshing is that!

Who is Carlene from my perspective?

First, I‘m honored to participate in the same writers’ group as Carlene. More importantly, I know Carlene to be a woman of reader-favorite-award_badgefaith who exudes a sense of peace. She’s an individual you’ll want to know better. And you’ll want to read her inspirational novels. 

*Now join our chat by making comments at the end of this piece. You’ll be included in a drawing for a free print or ebook copy of one of Carlene’s books. 

*Congratulations to Debra Duncan, winner of the drawing for one of Carlene’s books! Tune in next week for another opportunity, ya’ll.

~ ~ ~

Welcome, Carlene Havel 

Tell us about yourself, Carlene. What was your pre-author life? Your books? Have any tidbits of wisdom you gleaned along the way? Take it away, Carlene …

Carlene Havel’s Pre-author Life

I grew up in a deeply religious home. Daddy preached and Mama handled music, Sunday school, vacation Bible school, and potluck dinners. We attended visitation on Tuesday, prayer meeting on Wednesday, piano-623189_1280and church services at least twice on Sunday. 

When a revival took place, we listened to a full-length sermon every evening for two weeks straight, homework notwithstanding. I could honestly say, “I don’t drink, dance, cuss, nor chew; and I don’t go with the boys that do!”

On my Own

Thus prepared, I enrolled in a college away from home. Life became all about me and making up for lost time. I relegated God to my rear view mirror. Things turned nasty with my “anything goes” attitude.

That’s not to say my life was all gloom and doom. Not at all, but something significant was missing. Honestly, I didn’t want to figure out what it was. Severe adversity forced me to admit how empty I felt inside.

cross-sun-background_god-1772560_1280When I finally came to the end of myself, I found Someone willing to clean up the mess and help me start over. This rebellious preacher’s kid came running back into the arms of a patient, loving God.

Carlene Havel’s Debut Experience

I majored in English yet had no plans to write the great American novel.

While I was sitting in church one Sunday in 2005, an alien thought bible-1245795_1280interrupted my concentration. “You should write a romance.” You? Second person? Is He talking to me?

I tuned back in to the sermon. My pastor spoke of a woman who wanted to contribute to a mission. Having little money, she wrote a poem and gave it to the cause. A musician set the words to music. It became popular, and greatly benefitted the mission. (Tweet That!)

Oh. I couldn’t type fast enough to capture the romance novel pouring out of my mind. When it was finished, the first publisher I contacted offered me a contract.

A Word of Caution …

It was all so easy, until the publisher put the bite on me to fund “some of the publishing costs.” My advice? Never do this. 

  • First, RUN from anyone who wants you to pay for anything associated with publication.
  • Then, block their phone calls 
  • Delete their emails, and
  • Never ever sign a contract with them!

What Came Next for Carlene Havel

While writing the next book, I beat my head against the wall with this publisher. When they started offering erotica, I asked them to return the rights to my book. To my surprise, they agreed. I still don’t know which one of us was more relieved to sever our relationship.

I wrote another book. A magazine took a poem, and another printed a short article. But nothing happened with full-length novels. Many of the places where I pitched them didn’t bother to reply.

A Time of Discouragement and Renewal

Later–three chapters into book number three–I reached a point of total discouragement. Someone on an email group I was about to opt out of mentioned a new publisher was seeking submissions. Assuming I was wasting my time, I sent one manuscript to Inspired Romance Novels (now Prism Book Group). Prism has now published seven of my books.

Now I feel as if I’m doing what I was meant to do, creating stories of faith, hope, and love. (Tweet That!)

~ ~ ~

Readers,
Here’s how you can find Carlene Havel:
Website: www.chavelbooks.com
Facebook: bit.ly/2fydfFE
Purchase link: http://amzn.to/2fSdZcA

The Scarlet Cord

havel_the-scarlet-threadWhen confession and sacrifice are done, it is as if the wrongdoing never occurred. Rahab, a resourceful beauty, struggles to survive in the pagan culture of ancient Jericho. As years of harsh labor begin to lift her and her family from poverty, a foreign army threatens the well-fortified city. Rahab is forced to make an immediate decision. Will she put her faith in the fabled walls of Jericho or the powerful God of the Hebrews? Either choice may cost her life. By Carlene Havel and Karen Faucheaux

havel_daughter-of-the-king_coverDaughter of the King 

A heartwarming story about the resilience of true love, inspired by a biblical account of greatness, courage, and foretold prophecy… Princess Michal was the youngest daughter of Saul, the first king of Israel. In an age when fathers arranged marriages, Michal dared to fall in love with a handsome young musician named David, from the little town of Bethlehem. By Carlene Havel and Karen Faucheaux

A Hero’s Homecoming

Colonel Rich Martino returns havel_a-hero-homecoming_coverrhome from overseas to find everything has changed and nothing makes sense. His wife Rita has disappeared. His credit cards are invalid. A stranger is living in his house and he keeps running into people who are convinced he was killed in action months ago. Worst of all, his wealthy father has suffered a stroke. By Carlene Havel

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

Disappointed, dumped, heretoday-gonetomorrow-coverdivorced. Everything Casey Slaughter counted on is gone. While contemporaries start their families, Casey works two jobs to haul herself out of debt. Friends and family recommend a new husband to solve all her problems, but Casey resists all well-intentioned advice. By Carlene Havel

Baxter Road Miracle: 

Can faith move mountains? The Youngbloods are about to find out. Henry Youngblood is determined to plant a new church in Buffalo Creek, havel_baxter-road-miracle_coverdespite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Meanwhile, his pregnant wife worries about paying the bills. One daughter dreams of a college education she cannot afford, and the other wants nothing more than popularity. It will take a miracle for the Youngblood family’s dreams to come true. By Carlene Havel

Evidence not Seen 

Although attorney Jeff Galloway’s career is in high gear, his personal life is a mess. Just before his father returns home from a 27-year stretch in havel_evidence-not-seen_coverprison, his girlfriend dumps him. When a chance encounter begins to blossom into new romance, soft-hearted Melanie Clark encourages Jeff to find a way to forgive his father’s long absence. By Carlene Havel

A Sharecropper Christmas 

What kind of Christmas will her children have? The Great Depression left the Shoemaker family hungry and homeless. Their desperate prayers are finally answered when Herbert Shoemaker finds work as a sharecropper. Alice makes havel_a-sharecropper-christmas_coverthe best of the hard times without complaint, though she dreams of giving her little family a special Christmas. By Carlene Havel

Dried Flowers 

These and twelve more sweet, clean historical and contemporary short stories will keep you entertained, amused, and surprised. By two inspirational authors who typically write full-length fiction. (By Carlene Havel and Karen Faucheaux)

Christmas Blessings 

For the true magic of Christmas cannot be found in a wrapped gift under the tree…Three touching stories of Christmas blessings to warm the heart. (By Carlene Havel, Claire Sanders, and Kimberly B. Jackson)

Love Is

An anthology of three love stories (By Carlene Havel, Julie B. Cosgrove, and Gail Pallotta)

~ ~ ~

Lord, we are in awe at Your kindness. You have stooped to call us into your vineyard–some into offices, others into classrooms, and still others to writing desks. We offer to You our work and our sacrifices of praise. ~ For Jesus’ sake.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Join Our Author Chat With Carlene Havel

  1. Debra Duncan

    Thank you Carlene for being so open with us. I havent read any yet but after reading this and the brief description of them i am certainly going to get them. Great interview!!

     
     
    1. So glad you joined the chat, Debra. You’re entered!

       
       
    2. Thank you for the kinds words, Debra.

       
       
  2. Mary Beth Cook

    I haven’t had the privilege of reading Carmen’s books yet, but from everything I’ve read here tonight I can’t wait to start!

     
     
    1. Mary Beth Cook

      Carlene’s books. My apologies. My autocorrect thought it knew better. 🙂

       
       
      1. Oh, the perils of autocorrect! We’ve all been there.

         
         
        1. We all get bitten by that auto-correct grinch now and then. It’s even worse on my phone than on the computer. Woo Hoo somehow got changed to Woo Hop, which makes no sense at all.

           
           
    2. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂 And you’re entered, by the way!

       
       
    3. Thank you for considering my books, Mary Beth!

       
       
  3. Carlene is a lovely story-teller. Thank you for sharing your inspiring advice!

     
     
    1. Thanks for joining our circle, Lisa. You’re entered!

       
       
    2. What a nice comment, Lisa. Thank you very much.

       
       
  4. Thanks for the interview, Linda!

     
     
    1. My honor and pleasure, Carlene.

       
       

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