Let’s Chat! Author Andrea Lucado

Welcome, Everyone!

Andrea Lucado joins our chat circle this week. My husband and I have had the privilege of knowing Andrea and her family for about twenty-five years. I watched Andrea grow from a little tyke crawling around on the church pews to the beautiful debut author of English Lessons.

Please join our conversation. Andrea is offering an autographed book to someone who comments below. I will announce the winner next Tuesday, the 30th, on this site, Facebook, and Twitter.

Congratulations to Marilyn Ridgway, winner of an autographed copy of English Lessons. All Marilyn did was comment, so join in this coming week’s chat for a chance to win another author’s book.

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Andrea Lucado, the girl

I grew up in San Antonio, Texas. As a pastor’s daughter, church felt like my home. I spent as much time there as I did in our house. I knew every hallway and back staircase. I learned about Jesus in that church. It’s where I met some of my lifelong best friends and where I felt most comfortable.

College Years

From San Antonio, I traveled to West Texas to attend school at Abilene Christian University and studied abroad in Oxford. I fell in love with the city and vowed to go back and live there one day.

After I graduated from ACU, I did just that. I lived in Oxford for a year and attended a school called Oxford-Brookes University where I earned my master’s in English Literature. I also started blogging while I was there. I prophetically titled my blog “English Lessons.” (Tweet That!)

Andrea Lucado, the grown-up author

English Lessons: The Crooked Path of Growing Toward Faith released May 2, and man, has it been a journey. The writing process was pretty organic. I sat down one morning at 5:30 before work (I was working in book publishing at the time) to write just for fun. I hadn’t done that in a long time. I thought I would write about women’s issues. Women in the church or women and beauty. Something like that.

Andrea’s Writing Journey

Instead, I wrote a story about two people I met while I was living abroad in Oxford. I wrote about the park we sat in, what the weather was like and what we had talked about. I wrote about how we walked to an ice cream shop and what I had worn. Navy shorts and a pink top. For the next several months I continued to get up at 5:30 on Mondays and write and all that came out were stories from Oxford. 

After a few months of writing for fun, I started collecting these stories into essay-form. I sent a few to my dad (also a writer) and asked what he thought. With his encouragement I kept going until I had a good ten chapters finished. My dad’s agent, one of our best family friends, agreed to represent me. He has been such a gift!

I think the hardest part of the process was when it came time to send my work to the people I wrote about. Because it’s a memoir, I was required to get story release forms from most of the people mentioned in the book. That felt incredibly vulnerable and while most of my friends were very kind about the whole thing, a few of them were not thrilled to be in a book. I had to cut chapters and make major edits. It was hard to get their feedback but also a very stretching and strengthening time. I learned that as a writer, I will never please everyone.
 (Tweet That!)

What’s Next for Andrea Lucado

I haven’t started working on another book yet, but I hope to soon. I want to see through this release of English Lessons and be sure I do it well. Then, I will sit down and see what comes out. English Lessons is largely about faith and doubt. (Tweet That!)

The year I lived in England I asked those big questions: Why do I believe what I believe? Would I still be a Christian if I hadn’t been raised in a Christian home? Etc.

Now I ask different questions but they do include doubt. Doubt in God’s character, in his goodness. My relationship with him has deepened so much since Oxford. Perhaps my next book will be about that.

Where to find Andrea Lucado

You can find me on my blog and website: AndreaLucado.com.
On Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorAndreaLucado/
On Twitter: twitter.com/andrealucado
And on Instagram: Instagram.com/andrealucado

Lord, You’re our refuge in times of trouble, our safe harbor in storms. You’re our good Shepherd who leads us into green pastures beside still waters. You restore us and feed us and comfort us. What more could we want? Thank you for Your faithfulness.
Bless Andrea as she seeks you and shares her insights with readers.
~ For Jesus’ sake

14 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Andrea Lucado

  1. I’ll be looking for “English Lessons”. It sound like my kind of book.

    1. Thanks for joining the conversation, Carlene. Andrea’s memoir is honest and inspiring. She’s a wise young woman.

    2. Great! So glad it sounds like something you’ll like 🙂

  2. Andrea, It is true! You will never please everyone. 🙂 We just can’t seem to do that! Even Jesus didn’t please everyone. Your writing will reach the people who need your insight and knowledge.

    1. Learning you’ll never please everyone is a hard lesson. I’m 70 years old and still learning. 🙂 So you’re way ahead of me, Andrea. I can surely identify with your feeling of vulnerability when you put your writing out there. That’s the word I used to describe my emotions when my novel was first out. (I said it to your dad, matter of fact.) Vulnerable. Your insight through this memoir will touch many hearts, girl!

    2. It has been on of the hardest lessons, but also one of the most important. Here’s to being ourselves, even if that means disappointing others.

  3. Marilyn R

    Linda, a beautiful interview with Andrea Lucado. So nice to visit and get to know authors through blog posts. English Lessons: The Crooked Path of Growing Toward Faith, being a memoir, will be an amazing read to minister to others to increase their their own walk with God and draw others into the fold. God’s blessings to you both and your ministry.

    1. So glad you joined the conversation, Marilyn. Andrea’s memoir is beautiful. I know you’ll think so too.

  4. joyce heart"wings"

    Linda and Andrea, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with you! I am looking forward to reading “English Lessons.”

    I am not an author, but can imagine how challenging writing this book must have been. I am quite sure that it will minister to many people through your telling of your story. Personal testimony is such a valuable tool in reaching our to other hearts for God.

    Congratulations on your release earlier this month! j

    1. Thanks for joining the conversation, Joyce. You’ve encouraged me, as I’m sure you have Andrea.

    2. Thank you, Joyce!

  5. A wonderful generational blessing! So glad Andrea Lucado is exercising the gifts and talents the Lord has given her. I pray English Lessons: The Crooked Path of Growing Toward Faith ministers around the world!

    1. Amen, Clarice! Thanks for joining our chat.

    2. Thank you for your prayer!


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Join our Author Chat with Gail Kittleson

Today I’m delighted to welcome to our circle Gail Kittleson, author of memoir and women’s fiction. Gail hosts the delightful website, Dare to Bloom.

Gather ’round as we get to know a bit about Gail’s pre-author life, some influences along the way, her journey thus far, and maybe a tip or two.

Welcome, Gail

Thank you, Gail, for carving out a spot in your busy schedule for a visit. We’re excited to get to know you. Thank you also for offering a give-away of an autographed copy of your novel In Times Like These to someone who joins our chat.

**Congratulations to Mary L. Ball, winner of Gail’s novel, In Times Like These!**

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Gail’s Pre-Author Life

I’m an Iowa farm girl, born and bred. I still dip my forefinger into the eggshell when I’m baking, to be certain no speck goes to waste. My grandparents lost a farm in the Depression and earned it back through sheer determination and hard work. They affected me greatly—especially Grandma.

She raised 1,000 chickens and worked from dawn to dusk. She loved to fish, but rarely took the time. I’m told she played the violin, but never heard her. Her mother died when she was eleven, so she started “working out” at other homes, doing those nasty turn-of-the-century necessary daily tasks. You can imagine.

She reared five children, and in later life, made do with her $62 monthly Social Security check. Working in the garden with her stands out in my memory—not one dry lima bean went unused for seed the next year. I’d have to say this contributed to my “crazies.” One can be ridiculously frugal—a kind of crazy I’ve struggled with most of my adult life.

Grandma died when I was a college freshman. I don’t remember her funeral, but certainly recall her advice: If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all—things like that. 

(Tweet That!) 

I taught college expository writing and English as a Second Language. Now I write memoir and women’s fiction and facilitate writing workshops and women’s retreats. My husband and I make our home in northern Iowa, where we enjoy our grandchildren and gardening. In winter, the Arizona mountains provide new novel fodder.

Gail Kittleson’s Author Debut 

Catching Up with Daylight by Gail Kittleson. WhiteFire Publishing, November 2013 http://amzn.to/2kMlWOG

Catching Up with Daylight was my first publication. This book inspires through memoir, contemporary women’s stories, ancient meditation practices, and encouragement to live in the present moment.

In This Together

This was my first novel. I met the editor at a small writing conference, and she gave me an open-ended invitation to submit. A couple of years later, I did, and my experience with this company taught me a lot.

First, it’s great working with an editor who cares about your work’s quality. I also learned that you give up control when you sign a contract.

The first box of books arrived during my little writing class, and one member took pictures of me hugging the Fed Ex man. (:

Second chances are the farthest thing from widow Dottie Kyle’s mind as she cooks and cleans at a local boarding house.

Wild Rose Press-Vintage Imprint, November 2015 Purchase link: http://amzn.to/1HXdTCV

But every morning and evening as she treks to work, her lonely next-door widower neighbor observes her, hoping somehow to win her heart.

Dottie grieves her son, lost in WWII, and longs to meet her two little grandchildren in California, but the long train ride from Iowa calls up her worst fears. Readers will resonate to Dottie’s down-home integrity and cheer her on as she faces her fears.


How Gail’s Journey Has Continued

In Times Like These by Gail Kittleson http://amzn.to/1VFEoYh

In Times Like These, Book 1 of Women of the Heartland series, taught me even more. A professional in the field of verbal abuse, Patricia Evans, read the manuscript and gave her endorsement. She’s sharing my work on her website: www.verbalabuse.com which displays her own non-fiction books.

In Times Like These

In this story Pearl Harbor has been attacked, and the United States is at war.

But Addie fights her own battles on the Iowa home front. Her controlling husband Harold vents his rage when his father’s stroke prevents him from joining the military. He degrades Addie, ridicules her productive victory garden, and even labels her childlessness as God’s punishment.

When he manipulates his way into a military unit bound for Normandy, Addie learns that her best friend Kate’s pilot husband has died on a mission, leaving her stranded in London in desperate straits.

Will Addie be able to help Kate, and find courage to trust God with her future?

Coming Up for Gail Kittleson

The sequel, With Each New Dawn, releases on February 24. The research for this book transported me to London (in my imagination) and Southern France—pure joy.

In this story American RAF widow Kate Isaacs leaves war-torn London to parachute into southern France and aid the French Resistance. Her alliance with grieving Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter Domingo Ibarra brings both sorrow and relief as she discovers her familial roots, along with second chances.

Preorder at http://tinyurl.com/jmvc36a.

More About Gail Kittleson

Reader responses are the very best perk—people thank me for not making things easy for my characters, for allowing them to ask honest questions, even of God. One fan says, “I’ve earmarked Addie’s story so often it looks like my Bible. She’s helping me with a difficult relationship.”

Doesn’t get any better than that, imho.

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Thank you again, Gail. I’m preordering With Each New Dawn along with In Times Like These. Can’t wait!

To learn more about Gail’s books, please visit her website at www.gailkittleson.com

Purchase links:

Amazon.com – http://amzn.to/1HXdTCV

All Romance – ebook – http://tinyurl.com/p8y7u4e

BookStrand.com – ebook – http://tinyurl.com/pj7sowz

Kobo Books – ebook – http://tinyurl.com/nvbasf3

Barnes & Noble – ebook – http://tinyurl.com/ob3szbq

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Father, You are the Lord of Angel Armies, the God of Second Chances, and Author of The Greatest Story Ever Told. We bow before You in awe and thanksgiving. Bless Gail with far-reaching influence for good through her stories and make our lives testimonies to Your goodness. For Jesus’ sake



9 thoughts on “Join our Author Chat with Gail Kittleson

  1. Ann Ellison

    Enjoyed the interview with Gail. I love her books. I was blessed to be a beta reader for With Each New Dawn and loved it.

    1. Thanks so much for joining us, Ann.

  2. Hi Clarice and Debra,

    Clarice, I thought I responded to you before, but something must’ve gone wrong. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and I mentioned that for me, writing contemporary just doesn’t work – I’ve tried it, and do so much better at historical. I guess we each have our niche, eh?

    And Debra, I’m excited about your love for historical. There’s DEFINITELY a wringer washer In In Times Like These — and in my own childhood. Glad for a new reader!!

    Thanks, both of you, and Linda for having me visit.


  3. Gail’s books sound fantastic. I cyber met Gail a couple years back, she’s a wonderful lady. Blessings with all your pursuits.

    1. Hi, Mary. So glad you joined us. You’re entered for the drawing. 🙂

  4. Debra Duncan

    These books sound amazing. I love historical books and i truly appreciate how you show their struggles. I cannot wait to read. Thank you so much for sharing your memories. I also have gond menories of time with my grandparents, working in the garden, washing clothes in the wringer washer and hanging on line. I still love those old fashioned traditions.

    1. I enjoy remembering (and giving honor to) the older ways and those who led lives of worth. We owe them so much! Thanks for joining the discussion, Debra. You’ve encouraged Gail and me both.

  5. Hanging out here with fellow female authors is fun! Thanks, Linda, for finding some interesting people out there. Gail Kittleson’s historical settings intrigue me, probably because I’ve yet to try writing one! And I love it when an author gives back through teaching and mentoring others in the craft. Kudos to you, Gail!

    1. Yes, Clarice. Gail’s all-around terrific. Her soon-to-be released With Each New Dawn is on my TBR list for sure. Thanks so much for joining in. You’ve affirmed Gail and me both.


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