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Have you had an opportunity to read any of Ane Mulligan’s Chapel Springs books? She has just released the fourth book in this fun series. (She shared Chapel Springs Survival with us here.) If you haven’t had an opportunity to meet Ane before, you’re in for a treat today! But before we begin our visit, let’s take a look at this newest story, Life in Chapel Springs.
Is it a midlife pregnancy or … cancer? Claire will keep her secret until she’s sure—but it isn’t easy. Between gold fever hitting Chapel Springs, a nationwide art tour and her health, Claire’s life is upside down. Shy Lacey Dawson was happily writing murder mysteries for the community theater, but a freak accident results in traumatic injuries. When the bandages come off, Lacey’s world is tuned inside out.
Anxious to start reading? You can pick up a copy here:
Welcome back, Ane! Tell us a little about Life in Chapel Springs. What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?
An overheard conversation. Hey, I’m a novelist – I eavesdrop. That started the first one, but the characters turned out to be so much fun, and the response from readers was overwhelming, that another book was born. Plus our eldest son provided the fodder when he got himself a 21st Century mail-order bride.
I have always had a group of girlfriends, from my youngest days. Like Claire and Patsy, my BFF and I met when we were under six months old and have gone through it all together. I can’t imagine life without these friends. In moving across the country, I gained new ones too. We’re never to old to gain new old friends.
That plays out in my stories. Friendships. Women sharing with one another, going through weddings, divorces, kids … you know … LIFE!
Those “for life” friendships are such a blessing! Do you have a favorite character from this story? Why is this character your favorite?
Claire will always be my favorite. She has some of me in her and some traits I wish were mine. Lacey, the other main character, was hard to write. I’ve wanted to tell her story for years, but she’s so quiet and shy, she wasn’t even talking to me. I had to write two other books in between to get her to finally open up.
LOL — I imagine some of us could relate to her quiet nature. 😉 Have you given any of your own personality quirks to your characters? If so, would you be willing to share about them?
Oh yes. Every character has some of every author’s quirks or flaws. I’ve always moved and spoken too fast, which can result in one or both feet in my mouth. I gave Claire those characteristics or a face plant. There are also times when I don’t speak what I’m thinking and later wish I could. I gave Claire the first two traits and then had her voice her thoughts without first thinking. Like I wish I could. Although for Claire, they are usually better left unsaid.
She sounds like a fun character! What do you hope your readers take away from Life in Chapel Springs?
I find that all my books tend to be about trusting God, whether with your dreams or for your health. Lacey didn’t really know God, so her journey is about understanding that He knew her before he formed her in her mother’s womb. To accept who she is, she has to accept His love and His constancy.
Sometimes that can be difficult to do… Authors are busy people. How do you juggle all of the demands on your time, so that you can maintain your sanity?
Who says I’m sane? Actually, God didn’t call me to write novels until I was 56. I was a published playwright, who turned to novels in 2003. My kids were grown, so the only demand on me was when to eat dinner. I started the Community Theatre at the age of 67. So writing and theatre are the demands on my time. They work well together because rehearsals and performances in theatre are mostly at night. I write best during the day.
That sounds like a great combination for you! Would you tell us about something crazy that you’ve done or would love to do?
Performing my own stunt in a live stage play. I never should have done it, but inside my head I’m half the age I really am. I ended up with a bad break to my wrist and thumb. And that’s the reason I now direct instead of act. lol
Ouch! Yes, keeping your feet on the ground might be a good idea. 😉 Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?
Yes, two actually. First is Phil 1:6. I’m so thankful God isn’t leaving me in the state I’m in but will continue to refine and grow me until Jesus returns. My other verse is Prov 17:22 Laughter is good medicine and that’s why I love to include laughable scenes in my books.
It is, indeed. And there are some seasons when we desperately need that medicine. Can you share about a time when you knew that God was in control and/or had your back?
In 1970 I had a massive heart attack and was clinically dead for over 30 minutes. When God raises you from the dead, it tends to get your attention. It certainly did mine. I was saved, but I hadn’t made Jesus the Lord of my life or, as my pastor says, the Boss.
We moved across the country three months later, and I’ve seen God direct my path ever since. When you reach your golden years (as they are called, although I haven’t seen any gold yet) you can look back and see His hand moving. You see where He had your back. And you know going forward, He’ll be there too.
Wow! That’s one way to get your attention. I love that those pull-the-rug-from-under-you times are what He uses, though, to grow our faith and confidence in Him! Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Ane!
Your turn! Claire sounds like she’s more outgoing, while Lacey is definitely quiet. Which one are you more like?
More about Ane:
While a floppy straw hat is her favorite, award-winning author Ane Mulligan has worn many: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), CEO of a Community Theatre, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Ane resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband. You can find her on her website, Amazon Author page, Novel Rocket, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
Life in Chapel Springs Giveaway:
Ane has generously offered to give away a copy of Life in Chapel Springs (winner’s choice: paperback in the US, e-copy anywhere). Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.