Through words and pictures, we walk the winding trails of the untamed west. As a Wyoming Christian author, I breathe in the beauty around me and put it on paper, but I dare all to take a leap into God's country. Learn of its untold stories and discover . . . where the wild meets the Forgiven.
Paige Skeen's on the Coffee Corner with a Magnolia Lake Giveaway
Hello, everyone, welcome to the Coffee Corner on Inspirational Moments!
time to celebrate another author’s success. Grab a cup and stay awhile. Today,
I have a special treat. Fellow Prism Book Group author, Paige Skeen has released
her book, Magnolia Lake and she’s here to talk about it.
Oh, I almost forgot! She’s also giving away a copy of
it! See details about the giveaway after the post…let’s get started.
Hi Paige, welcome to the Coffee Corner! I’m so excited about your new release.
I’m sure you’re about questioned out, but bear with me…we want to hear about Magnolia Lake from your lips. How did
you come up with the idea for this book?
funny, but I began writing Magnolia Lake
so many years ago that I honestly don’t remember where the original idea came
from. And the book has gone through tons of changes since that first draft.
Honestly, because Magnolia
Lake was my first attempt at a novel, I just wrote as the ideas came to me.
I knew I wanted to use it to inspire people and glorify God, but I wasn’t sure
exactly how. I started with a general outline of my major characters, but that’s
about it as far as planning.
Do you have a favorite character? If so, why?
Landon, by far! He’s just the most perfect book boyfriend you can have, I
think. He’s this simple, boy-next-door, loyal type but also surprisingly
A good friend of mine who knew me in high school asked
once if the male characters in Magnolia
Lake were inspired by former love interests of mine, and I think they were,
to an extent. Not intentionally or very specifically, just in small ways. That
sort of thing happens when you’re a writer—you draw from your own experiences
So to really get into the right mindset for creating Landon’s
character, I took a little bit of the good from every high school relationship
I had and combined it to make the ideal leading man. I felt that it was
important to channel those specific
relationships (sorry, hubby!) in order to be able to write the situations and
emotions of Magnolia Lake in a real,
relatable way. Adult relationships are much different than those of our teenage
years. And when I first sat down to write the story, I was in college, so the
intense emotions of those high school days were fresh. That really helped me
connect with the characters and see the story through their eyes.
Is there a particular reason you chose your setting?
seemed inevitable. I was born and raised in a small Georgia town, so that’s how
the fictional city of Davis came to be. Also, I love the South! And so often it
tends to be looked down on—as if living in the deep south automatically makes
you uneducated and close-minded. I wanted to represent small-town America in a
Additionally, one piece of advice I read when I began
this journey was to write what you know. It helps you create believable
stories; that was very true for me when it came to Magnolia Lake. And I suppose it was also comfortable—I didn’t have
to do any research!
Being from the Deep South myself (Louisiana), I can relate to what you’re
saying. Assumptions and typecasting is common of the region. It’s hard to break
through that barrier as a writer…only one of many challenges of an author.
Speaking of challenges, what would be your biggest?
There’s never enough time. I have all these ideas for stories but can’t draw
enough hours out of each day to get them all down on paper. It’s especially
difficult at this stage in my life, with two little ones under five years old.
Some days I wonder how I’ll ever get everything done, but then I remind myself
of what’s really important in life—for me, that’s God and my family—and I give
myself some grace.
have to agree with that! I don’t think there’s enough time in a day. I never
dreamt writing would make my life so busy. If you weren’t a writer, what do
you think you’d be?
answer would’ve been much different some years ago, but full-time wife and
mother. Sure, there are a few things I think it’d be fun to do (like wedding
planning or fashion buying, for example), but I can’t imagine tearing myself
away from my kids to pursue any career other than writing. This is my passion,
and it gives me the flexibility to spend the kind of time I’ve always wanted to
spend with my children.
Even as a child, I knew in my heart that I’d choose
motherhood over a career if necessary. But God knows what He’s doing. He put
this writing passion and talent inside me so that I could have a little bit of
it all and live out both my dreams: writing and motherhood.
amazing, Paige! I’m so happy for you! To have both of your loves is a dream
come true for anybody. As we all know, God uses life to teach us many lessons.
Can you share one of your lessons with us?
one I’m in the middle of right now, so I can’t say how it will pan out. But
back in 2014, my husband and I decided to buy a house. We’d been renting for
the duration of our marriage, and we wanted a piece of property to call our
own. We found a cute little fixer-upper on five acres, and we were sold. Didn’t
even look another house (crazy, I know!). After months and months of constant
renovations, remodeling, and unexpected issues, we were distraught. All our
time and money was going into this place, and we were both constantly stressed
out—which is never good when you’ve got two little ones to take care of and
you’re trying to build a writing career.
We knew we needed a home with a better flow and fewer
problems, but we didn’t think we’d be able to make a move with our current
lifestyle. We started doubting—and seriously regretting—our decision to buy
this house, even though we had both prayed hard about it and felt sure that God
was urging us on at the time.
Well, my amazing real state friend came out a month or
so ago and gave us an estimate of what we can make if we sell this place, and
it’s much more than we’d even dreamt possible. So now we’re in the midst of
getting the process started to sell our current house and buy something that
better meets our needs. If everything works out, we’ll be at more of a
financial advantage than we’ve ever been in our marriage and we’ll have a new
If we hadn’t trusted God when He told us to buy this
place two years ago, there’s no telling where we’d be right now. It’s been a
true test of faith, and I often wondered why I felt so led by Him to make what
I was considering such a huge mistake. I won’t go into all the details, but
let’s just say I will never doubt God again. He always knows what’s best, even
when your life seems to fall apart. He can turn anything around when you trust
Trusting God instead of ourselves is a big lesson. In fact, I think I’m
learning many lessons all the time about that! Or maybe it’s because I’m a slow
learner. Thank you for sharing your story with us today, Paige. I can’t wait to
read Magnolia Lake.
and beautiful, Cora Stephens has it all— including the perfect football-star
boyfriend— until one fateful afternoon. Facing heartache and betrayal, Cora
turns to long-time friend, Landon, for comfort. While his love for her grows,
she does everything in her power to avoid getting hurt again—including flinging
herself into the arms of another boy.
as Cora’s shattered world starts putting itself back together, life throws
something her way that’s more horrific than she ever could have imagined.
Through the emotional and physical pain, she begins to lose hope and abandon
her faith. Will this once light-hearted, happy prom queen find her way back
Born and raised in a small Georgia town,
Emily Paige Skeen takes from her own life experiences to create real, relatable
characters for her novels. She loves to intertwine small-town charm with deep
emotion and intrigue, creating stories that inspire readers.
When she’s not writing or chasing after
her two youngsters - both under the age of five - you can find Emily reading,
soaking up the sun whenever possible, or shopping. She, her husband, and their
kids make their home in a tiny little town an hour south of Atlanta, on a
five-acre plot of land right off a bumpy red-dirt road. Emily loves to sit and
listen as the ever-present crickets and frogs perform their harmonious concerts
in the still, quiet evening hours.
Writing has always been Emily’s passion,
ever since she crafted her first sloppily hand-written story plastered over
spiral notebook paper at the emotionally-charged age of thirteen. Now, she
strives to encourage and inspire girls and young women with her writing. She
believes that with a little bit of faith and a whole lot of love, anything’s