Thursday, October 21, 2010

Interview with Steve Cushman Author of Heart with Joy and GIVEAWAY!

After reading Heart with Joy, I was delighted to have the opportunity ask Steve Cushman a few questions about his writing. Take a look at what Steve had to say...

BCM: Cooking plays a large role in Heart with Joy, do you cook?

SC: Yes, I love to cook. One of the things I enjoyed about writing this books was that I got to write about some of my favorite subjects: writing (through Julian's mother's thoughts on writing), cooking (through Julian), and bird watching (through Mrs. Peters).

Like Julian, it was really the Food Network that got me cooking. I'm more of a visual learner, so watching someone cook step-by-step on TV was a much easier way to pick it up then by reading cookbooks. With that said, I do have a hefty collection of cookbooks.

BCM: What inspired this novel?

SC: Not sure it was inspired by anything other than the writer's daily need to get the story down. I knew I had this story about a father and son who were not that close and then the mother leaves and Julian and his dad are forced to deal with each other, perhaps even understand each other a little. So I had that to begin with and then I had to figure out what I could to do two bring them together and I came up with cooking and how they would talk while they ate the meals Julian cooked.

While I wasn't thinking it at the time, I see now that in the novel Julian gets to ask his father questions I never asked my father before he died. But again, when I was writing those scenes I wasn't thinking about conversations my father and I had or did not have I was simply trying to build a relationship between Julian and his father.

BCM: What do you hope readers will take from Heart with Joy?

SC: First off, I hope it's a story they enjoy and that they like the characters. Also, the idea that it's important to find that thing in life that is your passion or that fills your heart with joy and pursue it. Regardless of what it is--writing or cooking or riding horses or designing web sites or collecting stamps--whatever it is, give it your all. And don't ever, ever, no matter what anyone tells you, give up on your dreams.

BCM: Was there a part of Heart with Joy that was difficult to write? Is there a part that is your personal favorite?

SC: I don't know that any part of Heart With Joy was particularly difficult to write. The day to day of writing is difficult sometimes when your characters, and story, seem like a cliche but I've learned that if I keep working the story will eventually work itself out. I always work on more than one project at a time, so if I get tired of something, or need a break, I can just move on to this other writing project, then go back to the first one, etc... As for favorite part--like I said earlier I just liked that I got to write about so many things that matter to me.

BCM: Can you share with us what fills your heart with joy?

SC: Sure. My family and my writing are the two most important things in my life. They are what give me the most pleasure, not that either one is always easy, but I don't know what I'd do without them.

BCM: Do you have more works in progress? What's next?

SC: Right now, as I'm really busy promoting Heart With Joy and working full-time, I have been writing shorter things--poems and stories--when I have a spare minute. I do have the first draft of a new novel waiting for me. I plan on getting to work on that after the first of the year. And then there are all the started but unfinished short stories that are waiting for me. Always more work, more writing, which is just the way I like it.

Thanks, Steve, for sharing with us.

At Books Complete Me, we love having Giveaways! Complete the form below for your chance to win a copy of Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman. To enter, complete the form and tell us what fills your heart with joy.

This contest will run from Thursday, October 21, 2010- Thursday, October 28, 2010. The winner will be announced on Friday, October 29, 2010. Contest is open only to the residents of the United States.

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