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I’m excited to have the opportunity to introduce you to a brand new author today! Karin Beery’s new novel, Summer Plans and Other Disasters, looks like a fun story. Before we visit with Karin, let’s take a quick look at the back cover so you can see what I mean.
Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God’s plan for her life—she even made a list to keep her on track.
Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right?
Trying to figure out God’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best laid plans were truly God-inspired.
Welcome, Karin! Who is your favorite secondary character in Summer Plans and Other Disasters, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
I love Stacy Chapman, and I hope to write her story someday! Stacy is loosely based on a gal that I used to work with. She grew up in a pretty dysfunctional household, but you never would have known it by her attitude and work ethic – she often inspired me to stop whining and feeling sorry for myself. That’s Stacy.
We all need a fresh perspective sometimes. Why did you choose this particular setting, and have you been there?
I set this story at the lighthouse on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City, Michigan because I’ve had the opportunity to stay there and it was such a unique experience that I wanted to write about it. Plus, most of the lighthouse stories out there are historical, and I wanted to use it in a contemporary story. I’ve always loved lighthouses (I grew up near one), so I was thrilled to be able to use one in a story!
Very fun! Do you have personal experience with any of the events in your story, and if so, could you share about that?
Yes! I was the queen of making my own plans, then asking God to bless them. As I’ve grown in my faith and studied the Bible more closely, I realize that many times I was doing things backwards. Today, I spend more time asking God to lead me in what he wants for my life, then I let those be my plans instead.
Oh, how many times I’ve done the same… I’m so thankful He’s patient with us as we learn! Which authors have had the most impact on your writing?
Janet Evanovich, because she helped me realize that books can be laugh-out-loud funny. Tamara Leigh, because she helped me realize that you can write a contemporary, Christian story that’s neither Amish nor preachy. Jeff Gerke’s teaching books (The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction and Plot Versus Character) really clicked with me and helped me improve my technique.
Aside from reading and writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I’m a unit leader for our local American Heritage Girls troop, president of the Elk Rapids Women (a local service group), and a big fan of football and action hero movies. I’m ridiculously extroverted, so I really just enjoy being around other people, whether we’re hanging out at home or going to a show.
Those could keep you quite busy, in addition to all your writing and editing. How do you juggle all of the demands on your time, so that you can maintain your sanity?
“I didn’t say no because I’m too busy. I said no so I won’t be too busy.”
I read that quote a while ago, and I love it! I’d been living that life for a while, but it was encouraging to see someone else also embracing it. The truth is that I skip out on a lot (birthday parties, networking events, fundraisers), but I don’t really miss them. So many people seem to think that the only acceptable excuse not to attend an event is sickness or another event; it’s okay to just stay home!
That’s an excellent point! Can you share (briefly) about something you feel the Lord has been teaching you recently?
Proverbs 3:5 – Don’t trust in your own understanding.
I hear it all the time: I don’t understand how/why God would do that, so it couldn’t be him. I used to be in that camp, but this verse clearly tells us not to trust our understanding. There are so many things in life that don’t make sense, but God doesn’t say they’re supposed to. Instead, he tells us not to trust in our own understanding.
We want so badly to understand, but some things we won’t here on Earth. Whether it made sense at the time or not, can you share about a time when you knew that God was in control and/or had your back?
When my husband was diagnosed with cancer. He was the primary breadwinner but didn’t have insurance yet and I’d just quit my job. I started thinking about asking for my job back and how else we could make money to afford cancer treatment. An overwhelming peace settled over us, and we knew I wasn’t supposed to get my job back; we were just supposed to trust God to provide for us. Not only did Matt end up getting everything covered by medical insurance, but all of our expenses were paid during his treatment, and we even managed to pay off some debt. (And my husband has been cancer free for eight years now!)
Praise the Lord! Such an awesome testimony! Thanks for taking the time to share with us today, Karin. 🙂
Your turn! Are you more of an introvert (you get energy from time to yourself) or an extrovert (you get energy from being around other people)?
More about Karin:
Karin Beery grew up in a small, rural Michigan town where she wrote her first novel in high school. She’s still writing today, telling contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s editing or teaching it. And when she’s not doing that, she enjoys time at home with her husband and fur babies, once again living in a small, rural Michigan town.
Summer Plans and Other Disasters Giveaway:
Karin has generously offered to give away a paperback copy of Summer Plans and Other Disasters. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.