Welcome to the Coffee Corner!
I’d like to introduce you to a fantastic author, Ellie Gustafson. Ellie has written a terrific book called Dynamo. If you’d like to read my review, check it out on my blog, Faithful Reviews, Dynamo by Eleanor Gustafson. I know you’ll love it, I sure did!
I’m giving away a Kindle copy of Beast of Stratton in honor of Ellie being on the Coffee Corner this week! Leave a comment with your email address to enter.
See details after the interview.
But right now, what do you say we get started with the interview?
Renee: Ellie, could you tell us how you came up with the idea for your book?
Ellie: Having loved horses all my life, writing about them seems only natural. They appear in four of my novels, but the horse world takes center stage in Dynamo. Sidebar: A horse I featured in Middle Night was ugly, nasty, but all business. I named him Glue. Dynamo, too, is nasty, but he’s a gorgeous stallion with great show possibilities. Though horses are obviously central, God (along with Maybelle) is actually the major character. Dynamo is, indeed, a dynamic stallion, and his name becomes a metaphor in Jeth’s life.
Renee: Dynamic is an appropriate description for your writing if I do say so myself! By the way, I loved Dynamo. I don’t want you to give away too much now, but what would you say is the favorite part of your book?
Ellie: My favorite parts of the story seem to come when bad things happen, but one scene in particular follows a major jumping-event victory for Jeth. The aftermath of this triumph causes deep soul searching, and Jeth falls prostrate before the Lord. Witnessing this, his boss, Rob, senses a holy presence, and even a horse nickers a welcome.
Renee: How moving…and utterly glorifying. Thank you for sharing that, Ellie. It’s amazing to see the Lord work in others’ lives and you’ve depicted it so well. Is Jeth your favorite character or has another one captured your heart?
Ellie: Actually, my favorite character, Maybelle, is an old lady who serves as Jeth’s spiritual mentor, feeding him verses and guidance at critical moments in his life. She battles the pastor on Jeth’s behalf at the time of his baptism. The pastor wins their contest over which verse should be read, but Maybelle wins the war with her prayer: “Now, El Shaddai, almighty God, clothe Jeth with power from on high—whenever and wherever it pleases You. Amen.” Jeth had felt warmed by the pastor’s remarks, but Maybelle’s last words—whenever and wherever it pleases You—turned his body to ice. He trembled uncontrollably, and it wasn’t because he was wet.
Renee: Maybelle is a mighty woman indeed. I love her! Your readers (or those who are thinking about picking up a copy of Dynamo) will absolutely love Maybelle! She’s one of those people that I would love to have in my corner. And she’s so…cool! Maybe that’s why I love her so much. But then this whole book is cool. Everything about it breathes “read me.” The plot, the characters, the setting. Where did you come up with all of this?
Much of this novel comes from my own backstory. I grew up in a small town that hosted a major horse show each summer. I rode in a few local, amateur classes but got to drink in the fine horseflesh over six wonderful days. One of the most spectacular events I witnessed became the jumping victory mentioned above. I had to use it, had to made it significant in Jeth’s spiritual life.
Renee: Do you have a funny or unique story to share about Dynamo with the crowd?
Ellie: A funny story connected—not to Dynamo—but to the Sussex County Farm and Horse show. Each year, young women were invited to represent their town, vying for the title of Miss Sussex County. Branchville had not had a candidate for several years, and the town fathers decided to Do Something About It. I and an attractive pair of twins were approached, but I wanted nothing to do with this flesh contest. I expressed my hope that we would be judged on something more substantive than looks. After about three minutes in the vacant lot next to the post office, the local VIPs dutifully chose me as Miss Branchville. Contest night was cold, with each of us riding bare shouldered around the ring in convertibles. Then came the flesh show. We walked the plank before thousands of spectators, with a British judge commenting on looks and figgers. I had been diddled. I was, of course, not chosen as Miss Sussex County, but Branchville, pop. 900 and the locus of this grand event, was represented, and the experience continues to give me many laughs.
Renee: That is well, I hate to say it, funny! Not that you’d been duped but… Sorry, Ellie, but I can’t help but laugh. I guess your favorite spot that night wasn’t in a convertible! Not that I blame you, I don’t think I’d like freezing while people gawked at me either. LOL Still, nothing wrong with memories and a bit of laughter now and then. Hey, do you have a favorite spot now that you can get away from it all (including all those goggling eyes?)
Ellie: My favorite spot—(Mmm, now you didn’t say it had to be real.) Life often gets stressful for me, and I often retreat to a special garden that is featured in my upcoming novel, An Unpresentable Glory. This garden consists of annual and perennial beds, tiny garden “rooms” that may contain a swing or bench for reflection, a miniature troll garden, and a magnificent island gazebo. Much goes on in this garden, especially after its owner, Linda Jensen, discovers a stranger sprawled on the ground near her delphiniums. All this particular garden needs now is a publisher. Would appreciate your prayers for that.
Renee: Well, now…I can relate to a garden like that. I had one of those in my first release, Beast of Stratton! Miles Stratton had a rose garden in his architectural wonder of high-rise building in New York. It had a glass roof and a little pond with a waterfall. I loved to spend time with him in that beautiful place. I can smell the roses right now!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, Ellie? I know my readers would love to know where to find you as well as your books!
Ellie: I love to interact with readers, so check out my website and email address. I’d be happy to hear from you!
About Ellie Gustafsom:
Ellie Gustafson began thinking up stories at a young age but did not begin writing and publishing until 1978. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences include gardening, house construction, tree farming, parenting, and mouse wars—all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story.
The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David: www.amazon.com/Stones-Eleanor-Gustafson/dp/1603740791/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366735533&sr=1-1&keywords=gustafson+stones
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/eleanorgustafson
Facebook: Ellie Gustafson
Goodreads Ask the Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/1969775.Eleanor_Gustafson/questions
BEAST OF STRATTON
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