I'm delighted to welcome my dear friend and fellow author, Tanya Stowe, to Chirp 'N Chatter! I enjoyed our chat, and even learned a thing or two I didn't know about her. That's always fun... :)
Welcome, Tanya! I'm honored to have you on my blog...always! Let's talk about your latest book. What inspired you to write Santa Fe Sunrise?
I love, love, love, Santa Fe. It’s such a unique blend of history and modern. It has fantastic clothing and art, plus a background that reaches back beyond the American Revolution. And it’s pretty too. So I have to say Santa Fe and its surrounding area inspired me.
Arizona and New Mexico lay claim to some truly beautiful areas, many of which are so rich in history. Your books always make me want to make a trip to desert country. :) Which character in Santa Fe Sunrise did you most enjoy writing? Why?
I think I enjoyed writing Brett most, mainly because he underwent such a character change. He was a minor character in Sedona Sunset and frankly, I wasn’t very fond of him. He was more like a robot trapped in a pattern of obedience to his employer and he lost sight of himself. At the end of Sedona Sunset, he quit his job to go on a sabbatical across the Southwest. When we see him again in Santa Fe, he’s found his honesty, compassion and most surprising to me, his sense of humor. I loved the hero he became!
I have to agree. Brett went through a major transformation (a truly positive one!) during his sojourn between Sedona and Santa Fe. What, if anything, do you and your heroine have in common?
I like to think of myself as business-oriented like Rafaella, or at least more practically oriented. Like her, family is everything to me. I’m also a little stubborn like this heroine. So I guess we have a lot in common.
You...stubborn? :) So, what spiritual theme does this book include? How did it come to be a part of this story line?
My spiritual themes develop as the characters grow. I don’t usually plan them until the last. I like to see what kinds of spiritual problems my characters encounter with their distinct personalities. However, I have noticed a recurring theme in my stories. My characters don’t trust people, themselves…God. That theme seems to appear over and over again. Even in Santa Fe, Rafaela couldn’t believe or trust that God loved Her so much he wanted her to have her heart’s desire. So difficulty trusting runs through most of my work.
Let's talk about YOU, beyond the byline:
What household task do you most dislike?
Ugh. Me too. Which do you most enjoy?
Oh. Just when I thought we were a little alike... lol What makes you laugh out loud?
Children. A baby’s laughter. A burbling toddler. A teenager acting silly. I love their spontaneity and I’ll laugh with them.
'A baby's laughter.' Oh, what joy! What smell do you love most, and why?
Flowers. Any kind. All kinds. I don’t know why, but when I was eight years old my mother gave me a soil bed in the yard to plant vegetables or whatever I wanted. It overflowed with the prettiest purple pansies you ever saw. I know they don’t smell but I think that started my love of flowers. Gentle roses top the list of smells but all of them are wonderful.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m a very eclectic reader. Right now it’s a science fiction by Bob Mayer, part of his Area 51 Series. Bob also happens to be a very smart guy when it comes to publishing. I read his blog all the time and many of his books, so I decided to start his ground breaking first series. But How to Charm the Beekeeper Heart by Candice Sue Patterson is on my to-read-next list, so I bounce around.
God and you:
Do you usually insert a spiritual theme into your books? If so, do you have a favorite?
I don’t really know if the lack of trust in my stories relates to my personal relationship with God. But as an ex-atheist, I have to assume it does. After all these years I still question and doubt that He could love a sinner like me.
Where do you hide away when you want to pray, meditate, read, or just cuddle up with God?
Wellll…..that’s an interesting question. Since I just downsized from a 2500 square foot home to a motorhome, I’m not sure I’ve found a special spot to hide away. There’s not much room for that. But I can say that we have very large windows, and my motorhome was parked in Arizona where the sunsets were spectacular. Now I’m sitting in a forest where the bluebirds and red-headed woodpeckers are flitting around a bird feeder. I guess I can say that all of my home is my special spot, wherever it’s parked.
You have the whole world as your hideaway!
Please share a verse of scripture that is especially meaningful to you, and why it is special.
Philippians 4:13 — I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
I have a very large family—four children and twenty-one grandchildren. We’ve gone through a lot...from teenage pregnancies, to foster care, to a stroke in the womb—something I’d never even heard of before, but it happened to us. The Lord has been by our side through it all and He keeps my feet going.
Please share your conversion experience, if you’re comfortable doing so.
I had never really experienced God’s presence, so at a very early age, I doubted His existence. I also felt that if the people I was meeting were examples of His people, I wanted nothing to do with them, or Him. I began to believe that God was made up to help weak people get through the days and nights.
I accepted the emptiness of eternity but after I married and had children, the horror of eternity without them tore at me relentlessly. Not to mention the fact that life was difficult. I lived near LA and the Night Stalker was on the rampage. Crazy people were snatching children off the streets and from their own front yards. I realized that no matter how hard I tried I could not truly protect my children. Those fears kept me up at night and sent me into a deep depression. The only thing keeping me alive was the fact that I couldn’t abandon my children or my husband.
I decided that one way or another, even if I had to fake it for the rest of my life, my children were going to grow up in a church. I began instructions and for the first time, actually experienced God’s presence. In my earlier church experiences, I had heard so much about what happened after death. What I discovered in my new experience was how to survive life.
Wonderful! And from what I've seen, you've discovered also that there's no need to fake it. God is so real and so present in our lives! Tanya, thank you again for visiting. It's always a pleasure!
About Santa Fe Sunrise:
Brett Fraser has quit his job, loaded his earthly possessions into his black sports car and headed out to find himself in the great Southwest. Somewhere on his successful climb up the corporate ladder, he lost sight of the man God intended him to be. But Brett intends to find himself again.
Rafaela De Silva has an art gallery to run, a sprawling piece of family property with back taxes due, and a younger sister to care for who suffers from anorexia. She doesn't have time for broken shoe laces, sprained ankles or tumbling into the arms of a handsome stranger, especially one whose past involves scandal.
Brett's determined to help the beautiful runner he rescues from a fall. After examining the smooth edges of her broken shoelace, he's convinced her accident wasn't accidental. But if he's going to help her, he'll have to convince her to trust him'a difficult task given his past.
Under the sun-kissed skies of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Brett must rediscover his purpose in life before he loses Rafaela forever. Who is trying to harm Rafaela? Will she live long enough for Brett to win her heart?
About Tanya Stowe:
TANYA STOWE is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…gifts of the spirit and miracles, mysteries and exotic travel, even an angel or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a journey to the Old West or to contemporary adventures in foreign lands…be prepared for the extraordinary.