November 15, 2007

Interview with MIRALEE FERRELL

This is so cool --- my first author interview! Miralee Ferrell's debut novel THE OTHER DAUGHTER just released in October and I can't wait to read it!

Miralee is wrapping up her blog tour tomorrow, sadly, putting this slightly quiet blog at the tail end of the tour.

But if you're visiting here, it's not too late to POST A COMMENT and add your name to the drawing for a FREE COPY of the book. Isn't that easy? I love free stuff, it's right up there on my list with Costco-sized saran wrap that lasts about 12 1/2 years.

I met Miralee at my local Portland chapter of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). At the first meeting I attended, Miralee was showing off - and rightly so - the cover photo for this book and telling us the story behind it. Mind if I tell the story Miralee? I'll get to the normal questions in a sec, even though after 30 days of blog touring, you've probably been asked more questions than Lindsay Lohan in all her court depositions combined.


Here's a summary of the book, so you'll get an idea about the photo needed:

The girl standing at the door took a deep breath, pulling her suitcase a little closer to her trembling legs. "My mama's dead. He's my daddy."

Susanne Carson knew that she could trust the love of her life—her husband, David—until she discovered a strange, unkempt young girl on their doorstep, claiming to be David's daughter. Not that their marriage had ever been perfect—David's decision to embrace the Christian faith had strained their relationship. Susanne may not have agreed with his beliefs, but at least she trusted him.

Had David been hiding this not-so-little secret from his past? He wanted Susanne to believe in his God, but believing hadn't done much to keep David out of another woman's arms. As David confronts the truth of his past, Susanne must face her own moment of truth as her marriage is taken to the breaking point and the life of one young girl is left in her hands.


The publishers offered Miralee some nice photos for this book, but the girls in the photos just didn't have that poor waif look Miralee had in mind for Brianna, the girl in the story. The pubbers were running out of time (imagine a ticking countdown clock) and options, so Miralee offered to shoot some pics herself.

She grabbed up a kid off the street - not really, she actually borrowed the daughter of a friend who fit Miralee's mental idea of the character - then snagged her some faded jeans and a beat up looking suitcase from the thrift store. Then Miralee, also armed with a camera and a mental idea of the front step of the house in her story, went to another acquaintance with just the right look and set up the shot using their front door.

With literally seconds left on the clock, Miralee handed off her photo. A tense moment of silence followed as the pubbers studied the shot. It was so quiet you could hear the nose hairs whistling in the room. Just a guess. Well, not only did they love her photo, they shot it over to the cool people in the art dept who jazzed it up with some rockin color and special effects, making it "pop", to quote the author/photographer.


So, Miralee not only saved the day, she got a chance to bring something that existed only in her imagination to life, something that should be left to trained professionals and should definitely not be attempted by amateurs. Or postal employees.

I had to tell that story - now check out this cover!

Is this an awesome photo, or what? Miralee, you're not only a talented writer, you're a great photographer; just an all around artist. Careful --- you're bordering on being a stinkin overachiever.

Hmmm. What else can we find out about this author? Extreme Keyboarding asked Miralee to share a little about her debutante novel experience.

EK: How did it make you feel to become published?

M: I got my boxes of author copies just few weeks ago, so I’m still floating around and celebrating! My books arrived a few days early, so it was an added surprise and shock to find them sitting on my doorstep when I got home. I came close to crying, but ended up jumping around instead. I called and emailed everyone I knew, and cranked up my level of marketing another notch.

Hmmm, a shocking surprise waiting on your doorstep....I think I'm getting an idea for a story......

EK: What were your most difficult parts to write?

M: The most difficult parts were the revising. I didn't really experience any struggles in the initial flew from my fingers and mind onto the computer screen as fast as I was able to type. I did the initial rough draft in five weeks, but the revising and editing and additional scenes took several times that long, as I had so much to learn. I found it difficult to tone down a couple of people who needed to be rude and or snotty, but also had to do so in a believable way. My first attempt was very sad....they were straight out of a Grade B movie, LOL!

EK: What else are you working on?

M: I’m working on Past Shadows, the sequel to The Other Daughter, and plan to turn in to my editor in mid November. I’ve also started something new for me, an 1880’s novel set in Washington state…I’m hesitating to say it’s a romance, but it looks like it might be heading that direction. I’m playing around with another idea for a stand-alone women’s contemporary with an unusual twist. I’m hoping to start it as soon as Past Shadows is finished. There could also be a #3 and 4 in this series, and if so, we’ll continue on with the characters we meet in #2, then return to Brianna, the 13 yr old girl who arrives at the Carson’s door…at the age of 23.

EK: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

M: There are two…one in the spiritual realm, one in the natural. The spiritual accomplishment is already getting feedback from readers letting me know the book has touched their life in some way. I’m hoping that type of feedback continues, as that was my goal in writing it. In the natural realm, that a major motion picture company in Hollywood contacted my agent, asking to read my book. They like it and are considering it as a potential family movie. No offer at this time, but it’s being considered.

EK: What have you learned throughout the process of writing, pitching and promoting a novel?

M: I didn't come down the usual path that many writer's come....I started writing Christian fiction just two years ago, when I started The Other Daughter, and didn't belong to any writer's groups, hadn't read a single writing book, didn't have a crit partner, and only had my sister and one other gal who's an editor of E-books, that helped keep me on the path. They both had experience in editing and pointed out many of the mistakes I made...common ones such as Point of View and telling the reader what was happening rather than showing.

Marketing on the other hand, is a joy and very easy for me, as I worked in sales much of my adult life before starting to write. I spend anywhere from 2-4 hrs per day on the computer with marketing...not every day or every month, but that's been the average per day since about two months ago when I began to push hard on marketing The Other Daughter.

What have I learned? That other Christian writer's are some of the most unselfish, caring, giving people on the face of the earth. Instead of competing and trying to cut one another off at the knees, they practically break their necks to help.

I've also learned that if you're not giving God the glory and asking Him to keep your priorities straight, writing will become an albatross around your neck instead of the joyful journey He means it to be. HE is the one who has brought me success in my book by acquiring an agent, then a contract, so quickly, I can claim no credit for that. I've written a summary of my entire journey from start to contract on my website....HE is an amazing God and I write for Him. If I wrote for myself or for the readers, I'd probably have given up by now.

Thanks Miralee! Blessings to you on this journey, and on the success of your next book!

You can read the opening page of this book on her website at

Don’t’ forget to POST A COMMENT (did I say that already?) if you want a chance to win a book.

But if you don’t win the drawing, or you do but you want to give some as gifts for Christmas and there’s no WAY you’re giving up your specially autographed prize, you can find THE OTHER DAUGHTER at these fabulous booksellers:


Story and Logic Media Group said...

I've been reading about this book and know it is a must read. I can't put off ordering it much longer.

C.J. Darlington said...

Loved learning about the cover. Thanks for posting and sharing!

Miralee Ferrell said...

Hey girl friend! I LOVE your intro about the book cover. What a nice surprise and I chuckled and grinned all the way thru at your write up. What fun to be on your blog and I wish the best to you and your readers. Hopefully one of them will win the signed book, but if not, maybe they'll all rush out and buy one instead, LOL! Blessings and hugs, Miralee

Caroline said...

Camille, really enjoyed reading your blog interview with Miralee. She's a friendly gal. Put my name in that bag for a freebie book. I can't wait to read it whether I get it free or buy it!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I loved the story about the cover. For my book NEVER SAY NEVER, I sent a picture of my husband standing by the railing of a cruise ship. I told them I wanted something like this, but with the couple and maybe a sunset or island in the background. I got the sunset.

It's a lot of fun being involved that way. They took the railing from my picture and used it.

Don't put me in the drawing. I have a copy of the book.



I've published five novels and 2 novellas (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have six (going on seven) grandkiddos. Decent trade, really.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.