I'm not going to lie, I had every intention of adding more to my Big Dream week last week, but somehow life got in the way. I think it's funny I'm surprised when that happens. It's a regular occurrence, should I be used it by now?
No matter. Big dreams don't have a timetable...they're an ongoing thing, and this week I am THRILLED I get to share some of my favorite big dreamers with you...and offer you a chance to WIN a super awesome BIG BOOK GIVEAWAY with a jam-packed prize package sure to excite any reader!
(Didn't that sound like ad copy? Ha.)
Anyway, today I am soooo excited to introduce you to my friend, Lynne Gentry. She has just released a new novel called Healer of Carthage and has graciously agreed to discuss her big dreams with us AND to give away a copy of her book!
This is us (she's in the glorious blue, beauty queen that she is!) at ACFW a couple years ago:
(L-R) Our agent, Sandra, me, Lynne, author friends Kellie Gilbert & Carla Stewart
Lynne and I have a lot in common. Years in ministry. Theatre background. We both teach kids and have learned a TON about writing through the process of creating characters on stage. I absolutely adore her and I think you will too!
Was there ever a time you thought you couldn't/wouldn't be able to pursue this big dream of writing a book?
Yes. December 2012 was the deadline I’d given myself to sell something big. I’d been working at this professional writing gig for 12 years. I’d sold a few short stories, some devotionals, and a short ebook. I’d even had one novel go all the way to committee six times. So close and yet still so far from achieving my dream. Then in God’s just-in-time way, The Carthage Chronicles series sold to Howard Books in January 2013 (lucky for God I hadn’t found another job.)
Did anyone ever tell you couldn't or shouldn't do this? How do you handle the discouragement?
Yes. Me. Self-doubt is my worst enemy. The ugly accuser sits on my shoulder and squawks in my ear like a Ringneck parrot. “You’re not a real writer,” she screams. The only thing that shuts her up is to put my eyes on the cross and my fingers on the keyboard and charge ahead despite the fear.
What's it feel like to put yourself out there like this--to take the risk to make your big dream come true and actually hold it in your hands?
Putting yourself out there is like standing on a very high ledge. The possibility of rejection is great. Holding the dream in your hands is exhilarating. Tangible proof of God’s faithfulness is just about the sweetest experience anyone could ever have.
What would you say to anyone with a big dream who hasn't worked up the courage to get started?
What are you waiting on? Living with regrets is no way to live. In fact, it was coming to terms with some of my regrets that spurred this particular series of books. I wondered what would it be like if I could go back in time and redo a mistake? An interesting thing happened in the process of writing Lisbeth Hasting’s story. I realized mistakes don’t have to break us. They can, in fact, make us better people. Stronger people. More faith-filled people. Pull one thread in my life and I would not be the same person.
I’d love to hear about other dreams you've had in your life and how they led you here, to writing. I know you did a lot of theatre (and still do) so I'm curious about that.
When I was a little girl, I’d cram a stick into the ground and pretend it was a microphone. In my mind I was entertaining crowds of thousands. So pursuing theater seemed the next natural step. But God had different plans. I married a minister and spent the next 30 years up to my elbows in church work. A funny thing happened on my way to thinking God forgot about my dreams. I used my theater training to teach kids. In the process of teaching characterization, I learned characterization. In the process of teaching plot, timing, and the importance of strong act endings, I learned the basics of the storytelling craft. Little did I know that God would use my dream to fulfill His dream for me.
Is there a quote or verse that's helped you keep moving forward?
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Philippians 3:13
Lynne Gentry has written for numerous publications. Her newest novel, Healer of Carthage, is the first in The Carthage Chronicles series. She is a professional acting coach, theater director, and playwright with several full-length musicals and a children’s theater curriculum to her credit. Lynne is an inspirational speaker and dramatic performer whose first love is spending time with family.
About the book: First-year resident Dr. Lisbeth Hastings is too busy to take her father’s bizarre summons seriously. But when a tragic mistake puts her career in jeopardy, answering her father’s call seems her only hope of redeeming the devastating failure that her life has become.
While exploring the haunting cave at her father’s archaeological dig, Lisbeth falls through a hidden hole, awakening to find herself the object of a slave auction and the ruins of Roman Carthage inexplicably restored to a thriving metropolis. Is it possible that she’s traveled back in time, and, if so, how can she find her way back home?
Cyprian Thascius believes God called him to rescue the mysterious woman from the slave trader’s cell. What he doesn’t understand is why saving the church of his newfound faith requires him to love a woman whose peculiar ways could get him killed. But who is he to question God?
As their different worlds collide, it sparks an intense attraction that unites Lisbeth and Cyprian in a battle against a deadly epidemic. Even as they confront persecution, uncover buried secrets, and ignite the beginnings of a medical revolution, Roman wrath threatens to separate them forever. Can they find their way to each other through all these obstacles? Or are the eighteen hundred years between them too far of a leap?
Buy the book HERE.
Now, about that giveaway...
Today is Day One of the Big Book Giveaway, and I'll be adding new books all week long. One winner will receive ALL of the books in the giveaway and you can enter on each post!
To enter today, just leave a comment on this post! That's it!
For more chances to Win, LIKE Lynne's Author page on Facebook, Tweet, Facebook, Pin or Blog this giveaway and then come back and leave a comment for each one you do! That's a lot of chances and this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more books to come!