Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quick Qs and As with Stefne Miller

Today, I have a very special guest here on Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf. That guest? Well, no one other then Stefne Miller, author of the INCREDIBLE Salvaged, a book that's a must-read in my opinion.


In your opinion what are the top three reasons why teens, or even adults, should consider buying Salvaged when they see it online or in stores?
It’s different than a lot of books out there. It gives readers a different perspective of "mainstream" romance, one that mothers and daughters can share together and people from all ages can enjoy.

It helps show teenage girls that they can respect themselves and still be loved, and gives them a model of what a worthy guy acts like.

It “freakin’ rocks” – or so my best friend Tammy says. LOL!
The main characters in Salvaged are Attie and Riley, so can you tell us a little bit about each? Also, if you could offer them any advice what would you say?
Attie is a witty, independent, strong-willed, imaginative and passionate character. While she has a lot of struggles, she has a good head on her shoulders.

Riley is a charming, compassionate, protective and respectful boy. He knows what he believes and he doesn’t sway from it.

What advice would I give them? Don’t allow the choices of those around you or the circumstances you find yourselves in to negatively affect your lives. Stay firm in your convictions. Enjoy each other but don’t make each other the center of your universe.

Salvaged is told in the alternating perspective’s of Attie and Riley, so what made you decide do that? Also out of the two, did one’s story come easy to you then the other’s?
I started writing Salvaged about the time that the movie Twilight came out. I rushed and read all the books so that I could read them before the movie and I also made sure to read Midnight Sun from Stephanie Meyers website. I loved getting Edward’s perspective on the relationship. I felt like understanding his thoughts made him a more interesting character and certainly even more swoon worthy! So, when it came time to write Salvaged, I wanted to make it very personal and therefore it needed to be first person but I also wanted to get into the male mind – so, I chose to go back and forth in the POV’s. Originally, almost the entire first half of the book was written with each scene from both perspectives. Obviously, I couldn’t keep it that way or the book would’ve been 600 pages so I picked the best POV for a given scene based on which information I thought was more important. For example – the opening scene. I loved Riley’s perspective on Attie’s arrival, but it gave too much away about how he felt about her. I didn’t want it to come out quite so soon.
I would say both POV’s came rather easily for me. If I had difficulty writing from a “male mind”, I would consult with my husband. He gave me a lot of insight into what males think and the struggles they face.

In Salvaged Attie has the ability to talk to Jesus, which leaves me to wonder what made you decide to have her be able to speak to him so freely?
Attie’s conversations with Jesus are based a lot on how I talk to him (although I don’t see him standing in the room or audibly hear him speak back). My “prayers” aren’t formal or beautiful, they’re conversations. For me, it’s about relationship. In my very humble opinion, he knows everything anyway, so we might as well lay it all out there.

What made you decide to have Salvaged take place in Oklahoma?
I’m an “Army Brat” who moved around my entire life. Oklahoma was where we came to visit for the summers. I wanted to pay homage to the only place that I’ve ever truly been able to call “home”. It’s also where I now live with my family. Guthrie is a real town just a few minutes north of me. Johnnies is a real restaurant in El Reno, OK where they serve amazing “fried” burgers and conies. The river they float is visited by just about every person in the state at least once during their lifetime and a Sonic can be found on every street corner. Oh, and OU vs. OSU is huge here! The two sides can barely stand each other!

If Salvaged had a theme song, what would it be?
“You’re Not Alone” by Meredith Andrews is the song that Attie sings in the end. If you haven’t heard it – you’ve got to look it up on iTunes! It fits perfectly and when I heard it for the first time (after I was almost finished the book), I was shocked at how right on it was. Another song that fits is “I Will Not Be Moved” by Natalie Grant. It makes me think of Attie.

A “fan” of Salvaged put together a playlist of songs for me. They are songs that she felt fit perfectly with the book. It can be found on the Salvaged and Stefne Miller fan pages on Facebook under the discussion tabs. I listen to it all the time and I would agree with each choice – she did a great job picking the songs.

Do you have a favorite scene or line in Salvaged? If so, can you share it with us or tell a little about it?
So hard to choose!!

Favorite scene: When Attie and Riley have their first “knee to knee” talk. I loved writing the scene. I enjoyed the way they struggled through trying to communicate but managed to make it through no matter how uncomfortable it was. That scene makes me laugh every time I read it.

Favorite line: “I was near and no more monsters would come for her tonight.” I think it sums up who Riley is and what makes him so special. He’s protective and sweet and that line says it all. (I use it in book two – but won’t tell you how)

Is there a specific message you hope readers take from Salvaged?
There are so many messages wrapped into that book that it even surprises me! There’s the spiritual message that Jesus wants an intimate relationship with us. Not based on rules or doctrine – but a relationship. There’s the message that girls are a prize to be won and they should be treated accordingly. No girl should put up with or accept a boy who won’t respect her, her beliefs, her boundaries, etc. It’s a matter of waiting to find the right one. It’s about realizing that nobody is perfect and we all have struggles and issues that we have to deal with. I think every person that reads the book comes away with their own message – that’s one of the things I love about it.

How does it feel knowing that Salvaged is now out in stores and online?
It’s the strangest feeling ever! Before Salvaged, other than keeping a blog throughout the adoption of our son, I’d never written anything. I didn’t even keep a journal, and honestly never even thought about being a writer or wanted to be a writer. I knew I had an active imagination but I just thought I was slightly “off” and I spent a lot of time in la-la land (of course that could still be debated). So now when I realize that out of nowhere I wrote a book and its out there and people are reading it and responding to, it almost feels like it isn’t real at all. But it’s also exciting. The response the book is receiving has been so positive that I can’t help but be thrilled. I’m honored that out of everyone God could have used, he chose me to tell this particular story.
By the way – my children are completely unimpressed! LOL!

What were you like as a teenager? Were you similar to Attie or Riley in any ways?
I was a normal girl with average looks. I was a cheerleader but I wasn’t necessarily popular and I didn’t belong to any specific group. I certainly never captured a boy’s attention the way Attie does, but she and I are a lot alike in other ways. I moved the summer before my senior year. I flew ahead and tried out for the cheer squad and made it, like she did. (A lot of my experiences are in book 2) Her personality is a lot like mine. Her faith is a lot like mine. I knew who I was and who I wasn’t; so I wasn’t easily swayed by other people. I was (and still am) a HUGE OU football fan. My similarity with Riley is the stable, supportive, close-knit family. Our family was very much that way while I was growing up.

If you could live in any book besides your own for a day, which one would you pick?
Pride and Prejudice (or anything by Jane Austen).

What’s your typical day like?
I’m married and a mom to three boys, ages 14, 12, and 11. I worked in politics and ministry for most of my adult years but now I’m a full time mom/writer. I get the boys up and off to school and then I sit down and write or do book marketing stuff. I’m the worst homemaker ever. I hate doing laundry and would rather sit behind my desk and live in the make believe worlds that I create than sweep or dust or go to the grocery store. I also occupy my time by keeping up on Facebook. I LOVE Facebook – if you aren’t my friend – you need to be! LOL! Look me up!
Since Salvaged was just released on May 18th, I spend a lot of time sitting around trying to find ways to get the word out about the book. It’s a lot more difficult than I ever would have imagined but I enjoy it.
What’s up next for you book wise?
I just finished the sequel to Salvaged; it’s titled Rise. Now I just sit back and see if Salvaged sells enough copies to make the publisher want to go ahead and release the sequel. (Keep your fingers crossed!)

I am 1/3 of the way through a 3rd book which has no relation to Salvaged and I’ve also started a 4th. I can’t decide which one to concentrate on next. As of right now, the characters from book four are really occupying my time so I may dabble in it a bit and see where it takes me.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
One little piece of insider info: Most of the friends in the book (Tammy, Anne, Jennifer, Tess and Chase) are my real life friends. The characters are completely based on them and most of the names are real. I just made them (a lot) younger in the book!

I’d like to say thank you for this opportunity. I hope that everyone enjoys the book!

Thanks, Stefne!

To find out more about Stefne, as well as Salvaged and where you can buy your own copy, head over to her website!

Side Note: Stefne has been awesome enough to set up a special deal for my readers out there. That deal? Well, she's offering up copies of Salvaged  for $14.99 ($3 less than Amazon, B&N, etc). They will be personalized, signed copies and come directly from her. To cash in on this awesome deal, head over here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's a great interview and a great deal on the book. Love this blog! I wanted to let you know that I have an award for you at my blog :)


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