Meeting authors was the best part of the Christian Book Expo back in March. Of course, I loved meeting those who were already on my "must-read" list. But it was equally delightful discovering new ones as well!
Erynn Mangum is a darling new (and young!) author who released her first trilogy (Miss Match, ReMatch, and Match Point) in the last year. Although categorized as “chick-lit”, it’s certainly not meaningless. And since coffee plays a big part in her books, we hit it off immediately! (Her favorite coffee drink, after all, is mocha!) It was fun having a few minutes to chat with her.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started writing.
I've been writing since I was a little kid, but it was my senior year in high school that I decided that this was something I want to do for the rest of my life. My parents were really encouraging. So I joined the Christian Writers Guild and took their courses and I was just messing around one day and started writing Miss Match.
So did you send it in blind to publishers? And did you get immediately get the contract for all three books?
I had an agent – it was actually through one of the conferences that I met the contact that got me published. They signed a two-book contract and did an option for the third.
Tell me about this series. . .is it a romance?
Somewhat. When I started writing this book, I wasn’t married and wasn’t really in a relationship and the character in the story was a lot like that. But God used the things that came up in my life . . . in the book as well – the things I was learning in my devotions, and I ended up meeting my husband during the writing of this series. It was a fun series to write.
Do you have another series in the works?
Cool Beans, the first book of my next series, is coming out in April 2010 with the second book coming out in July 2010. It’s called the Maya Davis series.
So you're continuing with the coffee theme?!
Yes! Maya is a barista at her favorite coffeehouse who is enjoying life when her best friend starts unknowingly dating the high school sweetheart Maya almost married. Can Maya learn to trust God when it seems like only an endless bowl of fudge-covered ice cream will help?
So have you had any mentors in this writing process?
I had two different mentors with the guild – Terry White and Brandilyn Collins, and they were both amazing. The difference in my writing was astronomical. It was a fantastic experience. I can’t say enough about it.
Erynn has a fun website as well as a blog, where last week she announced that her upcoming series won't be the only new arrival at her house in 2010! Congratulations, Erynn!
Here's the blurb from the back cover of Miss Match:
Lauren Holbrook has found her life's calling: matchmaking for the romantically challenged. And with the eclectic cast of characters in her world, there's tons of potential to play "connect the friends." Inspired by the recent success of matching her sister and new husband, Lauren sets out to introduce Nick, her carefree singles' pastor, to Ruby, her neurotic coworker who plans every second of every day. What could possibly go wrong? Just about everything. When Lauren's foolproof plan begins to unravel, she learns that a simple introduction between friends can bring about complicated results. And as she reconsiders her new role as Cupid (as well as her vow to stay single forever), will Lauren finally decide that God's plan is always good enough?
I have read Miss Match and ReMatch, and Match Point is in my TBR stack. These are charming books that would be wonderful gifts for the young adult in your life. They portray single young adults in normal every-day settings -- at work, at home, at Bible Study -- encountering normal emotions, frustrations, and even misunderstandings in their friendships and relationships, all while learning to trust God with the details of their lives. After reading about Lauren Holbrook and her friends in this first trilogy, I am eagerly anticipating being introduced to Maya Davis in April!
I have an autographed copy of Miss Match for one of you. And of course, I just have to toss in a Starbucks gift card so you can grab a mocha (or your favorite drink) to enjoy or give with the book! To enter, just leave a comment on this post by Thursday, 12/3/09 at 8:00 pm CST. Remember: if you post my blog on your sidebar and let me know about it, you receive an additional entry! US Residents only, please.
Check back tomorrow for a bonus Booked for the Holidays giveaway!
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