Welcome to Cindy's Book Reviews (CBR) Chautona, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Chautona and I love to write..
Chautona... yeah. The name. Probably should explain that. It is my real name. It is not "Native American" or French and I am not "African American." It is 100%, totally adulterated, Okie. I was named after apartments in Bakersfield California. Yeah. Born in Oklahoma to an Okie father. Doesn't get much more Okie than that. Just sayin'.
It's Shuh-TONE-uh. If it matters to you. It seems to be important to some people... the rest could care less. I'm good either way. I live in California's Mojave Desert, 90 miles from any decent shopping. Since I hate to shop, this doesn't bother me in the least.
I'm married to Kevin, a computer scientist with the DOD... thank you for paying your taxes. I have nine children and three grandchildren (ok, I've got the world's greatest son-in-law too). Yes they're all ours, we had them the old fashioned way... one at a time... no twins... no we're not Mormon, no we're not Catholic, no we didn't have a TV for 18 years of our marriage, and yes, as a matter of fact, we did drive a school bus (Gave it away a couple of years ago and bought 2 cars. Yippee). My thanks to Rick Boyer who inspired that little ditty.
I sew, smock, make cards, and spend several hours a day writing. I'm a bit obsessed with writing. Just sayin'.
*steps away from mic, stumbles, picks self up off the floor, dusts self off, laughs at self, slinks away before I do anything else mortifying*
(If it matters, it's not my latest book... I'm just promoting Ready or Not as a prelude to my new book release this summer)Your latest book Ready or Not is now on Amazon (free download at this date), tell the CBR readers a bit about your book?
Ready or Not is Murphy's Law as a novel. It started with a question. What happens if a 22 year old recent college grad becomes an insta-mom... to eight children?
After the tragic death of her sister and brother-in-law, Aggie finds herself flung into the role of "mommy-aunt." With no real experience with children, her life becomes a series of trials... and errors. A crazy grandmother-in-law, new house in need of remodel, and a pair of twins determined to give her gray hair before she reaches 23, Aggie has her work cut out for her.
In this first book of the Aggie's Inheritance Series, Aggie learns the ropes of that rewarding and wacky world some like to call "mothering."
How cliche is it if I say "all my life?" It's partly true, however for the first 30 years of that life, I wrote mostly in my mind, spinning stories as a way to put me to sleep or to keep me occupied as on long trips across the western half of the US. I'd sit in the back of our Chevy S-10 pickup, ensconced in what we liked to call an "Okie camper" (refrigerator box dumped in the bed), singing, telling myself tales, and dreaming of the day I lived in a little yellow cottage writing all day with my collie "Shep" at my feet.How long have you been writing?
And because you are a new author to the CBR blog, tell us a bit about your genre that you write in, I have the book downloaded and will be reading it myself soon, but please just share a bit.
I write primarily contemporary Christian fiction. Most of my books are interconnected stories centered around my fictional metropolis of "Rockland" that is on the eastern side of the midwest somewhere. The Aggie's Inheritance Series fits into the Rockland Chronicles, but the other two books in print there are not necessary to read before Ready or Not. However, this series should be read in order. This summer's release, "Thirty Days Hath..." is another book in the Chronicles, but isn't a sequel to anything.
I also write youth fiction. My Annals of Wynnewood series is medieval fantasy that takes place in Northern England in the mid thirteenth century. It is mostly historically accurate, but I took liberties in the name of "fantasy." I wanted a series that had all the appeal of most fantasy without "magical elements" that many parents object to. Dove is one of my favorite characters.
Also in that genre, I have the "Not-So-Fairy Tales." Princess Paisley is kind of a spoof on the traditional fairytale and written with a bit of a sarcastic narrator style. The second book in that "series" (again, loosely connected) is also releasing this summer.
Oh, and I have a futuristic sci-fi book, an adult semi-fantasy, historical-- let's just say I'm eclectic, shall we?
Also the titles of your other books?
The Rockland Chronicles includes:
Noble Pursuits (a man on the hunt for a "traditional wife")
Argosy Junction (a church-turned cult drives a family away from the Lord and an inner city man shows them their faith again)
-- Ready or Not
-- For Keeps
-- Here We Come
Thirty Days Hath... (Coming Summer 2012)
The Annals of Wynnewood includes:
Shadows & Secrets
Cloaked in Secrets
Beneath the Cloak
The Not-So-Fairy Tales includes:
Everard (coming Summer 2012)
What made you want to be an author?
Picture it: Summer 1982. Ventura, California. The salt breeze flows through my bedroom. Mom has just given me a new book to read-- a new OLD book. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." I devour it between bites of pickle (inspired by the book), cookies (also inspired by the book), and milk (not so much by the book.) Then it happens.
Heroine Francie Nolan is in class just before Thanksgiving. Her teacher has a tiny little pie she's offering to anyone who wants it. No student will overcome their pride and beg. Finally, Francie raises her hand and says she wants it for someone else. Of course, she eats it on the way home. Monday the teacher asks... "How did they like it?" She spins a tale of two twin girls whose lives were saved from starvation by that tiny little pie. The teacher suggests it is a bit improbable and Francie confesses.
I remember the swell of my throat, the pounding of my heart-- all of it as I read the brilliant lines spoken by that teacher. "Tell what happened; write what should have happened." Finally, someone understood why I hated the truth. I hated lies just as much, but truth bothered me and of course, it bothered me that truth bothered me! This explained it. I wanted to tell "what should have happened." I think that's the day I knew I didn't just want to write-- I NEEDED to write.
Tell us one or two things that might surprise your book readers about yourself.
Um... I'm a homeschool mom who hates homeschooling.
In regards to writing, it takes every ounce of ... SOMETHING... in me to add "romance" of any kind to my books. The funny thing is, the harder it is for me to do it, the better written I think it is. I get nervous when it's easier than usual. I put it away and come back a few days later. And hit the delete button every time. It's always pathetic unless I am emotionally wrung and physically exhausted just trying to hint that a kiss might have happened. As you can imagine, my husband and I are not naturally romantical sorts. Yes, not romantic with nine children. Laugh now. I did.
Well, I'm all over the internet.Where can CBR readers learn more about you?
And where are your books available for purchase?
You can purchase them from me (happy to sign upon request) or from Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com Local bookstores can order them with an isbn number. Our local store caries them because they love me-- or at least let me think they do. :)
Thank you for joining us at CBR, we love new authors here, just one last thought before you go, what do you hope your readers walk away from with your books? What is the idea/concept/faith issue etc you hope the book promotes?
I strive to write about average people with genuine problems, and how they strive to live their lives to the glory of God. Some of their methods are unconventional, and their situations aren't pristine and free from the taint of sin in this world, but all care more about serving the Lord and each other than obtaining some Utopian ideal. Or, much more succinctly:
FAITH, without apology., without pretense, lived not preached.
I'd love to give away 3 copies of the book to your readers. If they own it, I'd be thrilled to substitute with another one. :)
I made that part bigger, PLEASE leave a comment for a drawing for a copy of Chautona's book