We are so excited to have Lisa Jones Baker stop by and chat with us. Her new book, Annie’s Recipe, releases today. If you don’t have a copy yet don’t worry. We are giving away an ARC (advanced reader copy) to one lucky winner. See how to enter at the end of our chat with Lisa. And now our chat…
TG: You grew up near an Amish town. Can you tell us what your favorite thing was about going there with your parents?
LJB: There are so many things I like about Arthur! From the time I was 4 or 5, I’ve always felt right at home there. What fascinates me most about the area is the horse-pulled buggy. Since childhood, I’ve been intrigued.
TG: Could you be Amish? What would be the easiest thing to give up? The most difficult?
LJB: At this point in my life, it would be extremely difficult for me to become Amish. I admire them in every way. They’re so strong. Dedicated. And their word is gold. I would miss my laptop and cell phone. My Amish friend does have a phone, but it’s in the barn where they keep their livestock. They check messages at certain times of the day. A friend’s husband left the Amish church, and he says what he misses most is the quiet. I’ve gone without television now for three months to experience what it would be like at night without media. I’m adjusting, but I do really miss just having the picture on and watching the news. I find myself going to bed earlier and being more productive.
TG: How did you come up with your Hope Chest of Dreams series?
LJB: Kensington Hobbyreads did a blog, which I posted on my facebook page, that explains my fascination with hope chests from when I was a little girl. Over fifty-nine years ago, my father made my mother a hope chest and gave it to her before they married. Now, nearly 60 years later, my parents are still married, and the hope chest is filled with love letters from my father to my mother, my mother’s wedding veil, and their most precious things. To me there’s a natural connection between my mother’s hope chest and the ones made by creative genius Old Sam.
TG: How many books are there in the Hope Chest of Dreams series? Are any of the charactes based on people you know or are they created by you?
LJB: There are three books in the series: Rebecca’s Bouquet, Annie’s Recipe, and Rachel’s Dream. I love my characters; to me, they are real. But they are all fictitious. Out of the three females, I bonded the most with Rachel because I fall in love with every animal I meet!
TG: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
LJB: When I was a child, my mother was a librarian. It was rare to see her without a book in her hand. I spent a lot of time at the library with her; I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer, but I most certainly knew I loved to read!
TG: What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a book?
LJB: The most difficult part of the writing process is reading the book out loud for repetition. It takes forever!
TG: Who is your favorite author? Your favorite book?
LJB: Joel Osteen is my favorite author. I love listening to him and reading his books. I absolutely love how he pairs his stories with scripture.
TG: If you weren’t an author, what would your dream job be?
LJB: There’s nothing I’d rather do than write! Of course, I work another job for steady income. It’s crazy, but I struggled over twenty-four years for a publishing contract. Amazingly, I never gave up. So much of it has to do with timing. All along, I had prayed every night for publication. Finally, I realized that it might not be God’s plan for me, so I added “if it be your will” to my prayer, and not long after that I was offered a contract. I’ve learned many lessons in my fifty-seven years, and one of them is to realize that God’s in charge of my life, not me. He sees a much larger picture than me. Every set-back I’ve ever gone through is okay…because it’s in His plan. Only He knows what the end result will be.
TG: What piece of advice would you give someone who wants to write and be published?
LJB: My advice to anyone seeking publication is to be patient and pray! Also, you can’t do it alone. Over the years, many people have supported me, helped me to hone my writing, etc.
TG: Can you share with us what you are currently working on?
LJB: I’m currently dreaming up new characters, and their stories will center around “Pebble Creek.”
TG: Do you have a critique partner and if so, how important is that relationship to you?
LJB: Lisa Norato is my critique partner; she has been with me on this journey for nearly 30 years! I trust her, and throughout our nearly 30-year friendship, we have always supported each other. Lisa is so creative, and her writing is beautiful. And her Christian outlook on life is comparable to mine.
A big Two Girls and a Book thank you to Lisa Jones Baker for stopping by today. We are so happy she took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us and let us get to know her better. And now, for a chance to win an ARC copy of Annie’s Recipe……
Leave a comment letting us know if you had/have a hope chest and what special items you have in yours. Contest will run through Saturday, March 4 and a winner will be announced March 5. Good luck to you all and as always….happy reading!!!!