Today we welcome B J Bassett to my blog. B J is very graciously giving away one print copy of Lily (USA only). To enter, leave a comment and include contact information.
Its good to have you stop by, B J. Tell us about the book – can you share the blurb?
BJB: Lily is set in California, 1900—nestled in the foothills of the northern California coast, the town of Laurel Springs is home to high-spirited Lily Blair, the daughter of Rev. William Blair. Lily delights in being spoiled by her grandmother and father, and even though she lost her mother to childbirth, she glories in life itself and continuously pushes the bonds of propriety.
Having her every whim indulged as a child leads to a tough road as an adult. Lily falls in love with James Conti and wants to marry him, but James heads off to fight in the Great War, leaving Lily alone and heartbroken. When her father wants to send her off to boarding school, Lily makes yet another rash decision and marries a man she does not love.
In the ensuing years, Lily endures hardship and loss, a sharp detour from the pampered existence she once enjoyed. Yet as Lily struggles to cope with these unexpected changes, she discovers just how powerful God’s love and forgiveness can be. But will it be enough to get her through the darkest days yet to come?
Lily is an emotional story that celebrates the strength of the human spirit.
I kept a journal while writing Lily. It contains not only my writing struggles and triumphs but what was happening in my personal life as well. If interested, it starts on January 2013 at http://bjbassett.wordpress.com.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
BJB: I’ve always been a daydreamer, even when it was considered a bad thing. While in school, I looked out the window and daydreamed instead of paying attention to the teacher in the front of the classroom. We sat alphabetically. With Schwartz as my last name I was seated at the back of the room. I had poor eyesight, so I couldn’t see the blackboard. I should have been in the front of the room so I could have focused better. Also, I’m probably ADD, but over the years I’ve learned to live with it. As a Christian, I believe God has called me to write—so He is my inspiration. He made me a daydreamer.
What's your key environment that helps you get to writing? Do you have a writer’s nook, corner, getaway? Where do you do your most productive writing?
BJB: I can write most anywhere. While raising my children I didn’t have a room of my own, but I was able to write in the family room with the TV on. I tried to write in the laundry room, but the washer and dryer distracted me. Some of my most productive writing is when I’m away from home—traveling in the car while my husband drove; driving to the beach and parking on a cliff overlooking the Pacific; sitting on my deck in the sunshine; sitting in my recliner. For the last 30 years I’ve had my own home office. I don’t do all my writing there, but it’s great to have a place of my own to store my stuff.
What are you saying in your book(s) that will encourage Christians today?
BJB: Lily: God died for sinners. (For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 NIV)
Gillian’s Heart: forgiveness and a believer should not marry an unbeliever (Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 RSV)
Sweet Charity: forgiveness and salvation (For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 RSV)
All my books contain the Gospel. It’s my calling and my witness of God’s love, forgiveness, and grace. My goal for writing my books is for readers to share them with unbelievers.
How do you pick names for your characters?
BJB: this is one of my favorite things to do as a writer. Lily is rebellious, so she is named for the wild red lily. Her grandmother sees the good in her, so I named her Anna after my own sweet grandmother. Selfish-righteous Aunt Agatha took longer to name. Some of the names I considered were Agnes, Harriet, Myrtle, etc., until I listened to my character Lily call her Agatha Pagath. White Dove is a mixed blood Kickapoo Indian, a Christian, and Lily’s only female friend.
How important are reviews to you?
BJB: an instructor at a writer’s conference said, “Never read your reviews.” She felt bad reviews would discourage writers. I didn’t take her advice. I read my reviews because they encourage me.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What genre is your favorite? What books have you enjoyed lately?
I mostly read secular authors. I enjoy a good story, biographies, and some memoirs. My all-time favorite is still Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
B. J. Bassett encourages others as an author, teacher and speaker. Her books include a contemporary novel, Gillian’s Heart; a historical novel Lily; A Touch of Grace—The G.R.A.C.E. Ministries Story; and coauthor of a children’s devotional My Time with God, Focus on the Family, Heritage Builders, with over 55,000 copies sold.
As a contributing writer, publications consist of Writer’s Handbook 2000, The Writer, and The Focus on the Family Guide to Growing a Healthy Home, Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc.—consistently on Bookstore Journal’s Best-selling Christian Books List from November 1990 - February 1991, and voted the 10 Best Books for 1990 by Today’s Christian Woman.
Magazines, devotional booklets, curriculum and newspaper publishers include Focus on the Family, Woman’s World, The Quiet Hour, Pathways to God, Devotions, Harcourt Brace, WordAction, Gospel Publishing and Times Standard (newspaper).
She teaches writing workshops at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, OR and at writer’s conferences. As a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she tells her story of rejection and acceptance, not only in life, but as a writer as well. She also offers book talks, including discussion questions and shares the journey—from the seed of an idea to a published book.
She enjoys reading, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, munching warm scones oozing with butter and strawberry jam and sipping earl grey tea.
A native Californian, she lives with her husband of 60 years in Roseburg, Oregon.
My books are available on Amazon. Enter Books by B. J. Bassett
B J Bassett