Monday, September 22, 2014

The Fruitcake Challenge by Carrie Fancett Pagels PLUS Danny Gokey's CD/MP3 ends 9/29

Please welcome Carrie Fancett Pagels to my blog! Carrie is a talented author. Her last novella, The Fruitcake Challenge is a wonderful Christmas story and so much fun to read. Carrie is giving away a choice of The Fruitcake Challenge PLUS Danny Gokey's CD/MP3. Be sure to answer her question for a chance to win and don't forget to let me know if you are a feedburner follower to double chances of winning!

Feeling It: Inspiration for Characters

Music has a lot to do with setting the emotional tone for my stories. I’ve always been a music lover, and almost went into music for college before changing to psychology (I was a psychologist for 25 years.) Usually what happens with me in my writing is that I already have the story and I have it plotted out and get to business. But I have my ears open for inspirational music (this was something recommended by My Book Therapy authors Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren that resonated with me.) Sometimes, for instance with a story about Pontiac’s Rebellion, I specifically looked for a Scottish fiddle song that my hero could relate to. I also used that same tune for another character. Both men were widowers and the song was a mournful lament (Neil Gow’s Lament for His Second Wife.) The song on YouTube for Archer’s Fiddle school was my favorite version.

For my current release, The Fruitcake Challenge, I was driving along listening to K-Love radio, which I adore, and I heard this amazing song, “Hope in Front of Me.” I am not a television watcher. I follow Joyce Meyer faithfully, some HGTV, Downton Abbey, and a few shows on Hallmark. So I had no clue who Danny Gokey was or that he was on American Idol. But I did know this—when I listened to his song, I began to cry because I totally understood how my character, Josephine “Jo” Christy, felt stuck in that lumber camp and not seeing any way out yet trying, on her own, to find a way onto a new life! So now I was feeling her emotion. And emotion is what we want on the pages. So as I wrote the final scenes, I was especially in touch with the turmoil Jo was feeling. I was Jo, as I wrote, and as God began to work, that “hope in front of me” became real.

In 2013, when I was writing my story “Snowed In: A Northwoods Christmas” for Guidepost Books A Cup of Christmas Cheer I listened to a lot of music from the 1940’s, in particular a lot of Bing Crosby, who I really enjoyed listening to as a child. So I’d be out on my deck, where I write, in the 80 degree heat of May pounding out my story as Bing was crooning, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.”

Sometimes a song is very unexpected as an inspiration. We happened to have a music awards show on the television in 2013 and these young contemporary music singers belted out this amazing tune that I immediately knew was my hero, Matthew Scott’s, and my heroine, Angelina Rose’s, song! A very popular song, “I Will Wait for You” by Mumford and Sons. It really had that old timey Civil War era feeling, with the banjos and the harmonizing vocals! Plus that was exactly was Matthew and Angelina were both doing—he was waiting for her and she was waiting to free her nephew and niece from slavery. Sometimes I listened to the song as Angelina and other times I listened as Matthew, dependent upon whose scene I was working on!

Besides music, I’ll do other things, like have certain scents going or nearby, e.g., lilacs for Mackinac Island, that also inspire me. But no, I did not bake any fruitcakes while writing The Fruitcake Challenge! I’ll save that for this Christmas.

Question: Does it surprise you that music can inspire or evoke the emotions of a character?

GIVEAWAY: Ebook copy of The Fruitcake Challenge and your choice of Danny

Gokey’s CD or MP3 collection.

More about Carrie:
Carrie Fancett Pagels Ph.D. is an award-winning, best-selling, and multi-published Christian historical romance author. Carrie was a psychologist for twenty-five years. Married for twenty-seven years with two children. Carrie resides in Virginia’s Historic Triangle and enjoys reading, traveling and researching. She’s a finalist for the 2014 Maggie Awards for Excellence.
Website: www.carriefancettpagels.com
Blogs: Overcoming With God and Colonial Quills
Facebook Author Page
Facebook Personal Page
Twitter
Pinterest
goodreads
LinkedIn

Links to purchase:
The Fruitcake Challenge (2014) on Amazon


A Cup of Christmas Cheer, Guidepost Books (2013)
Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance (Helping Hands Press, 2013) on Amazon in ebook
On Barnes and Noble in ebook

God’s Provision in Tough Times Lighthouse of the Carolinas (2013) on Amazon

70 comments:

  1. So glad to have you here this week, Carrie!!

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    1. I replied from my iPhone but it apparently got lost in cyberspace. Thanks so much, DL, and I am giving away a copy of my ebook plus the winner also gets to choose an MP3 or CD of the Danny Gokey album. Sorry for the confusion!

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  2. Debbie, thanks for having Carrie on The Sword and the Spirit. Hi Carrie! It's so much fun to hear about the different things that authors do to help bring inspiration to their writing, the things that bring characters and scenes to life in a writer's mind. It's amazing what God drops into our laps at just the time that we need them. I've done a little writing myself and I've found that music is a tremendous help in the writing process. Thank you, Carrie, for sharing what inspires you. :)

    bookwarp(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I've enjoyed what I have read of your writing, Angi! Keep it up. Praying for your job situation, too. Thanks for your kind words!

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    2. Thanks SO much, Carrie! :)

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    3. Hey Angi. Thanks so much for coming by. Music is one of those gifts God has given us. It can be a great comfort as well as inspiration. Good luck!

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  3. Thanks for having Carrie on your blog Debbie Lynne! Carrie, I really enjoyed your piece on the background of your stories and yes, I found it both surprising and fascinating that music inspired and evoked the emotions of your characters. But maybe that's because I've never thought about it before, because I do know certain pieces of music can induce emotions in myself! I find myself wondering how many other authors also use music for inspiration. :-)

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    1. Music definitely invokes mood n emotion Noela. I really need an inspiration song to motivate me too about the heroines theme or spiritual arc in the story. Thanks for coming by Aussie Angel!

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    2. Hello Noela,

      Thank you for stopping by my blog. I know a lot of authors that use music. I am not one that does, although maybe I should. I love music and can't sit still when it is playing even if I'm sitting down. ! LOL> Good luck!

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  4. Wonderful insight into your writing process, Carrie! Thanks for having her on, Debbie. Music plays such an important role in life. After all, God created it! It doesn't surprise me at all that it helps in getting emotion on paper. I have heard other writers talk about this as well. I know when my daughter passed away, I immersed myself in music when I was writing. Don't enter me for a book as I have them all but I would like to be entered for the music CD :) {{hugs}}

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    1. Hey Anne, I'm so sorry about the loss of your daughter. My heart hurts for you. I can really understand how music helped you. God knows how to help us through things, doesn't he? Good luck in the drawing!

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  5. Yes you n I have chatted about this before Anne. Thanks so much for coming by. Praying for you with the loss of your dad.

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  6. I have not been blessed to read anything by you so would for sure love to win this. I have lived in VA since mid '68. I love music but if I were to win this , the CD would be a gift toward my Judy's (mentally challenged) Christmas or perhaps her B'day since it is the 15th.
    God bless you and your writing. pag1936@yahoo.com Patti

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    1. Patti, actually I am giving away both a copy of the ebook and the winner's choice of either the MP3 or CD version of Danny Gokey's album! That would be a great gift for your daughter! Blessings!

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    2. Sorry about that Patti! I got that mixed up when I listed it above. Good luck and I bet your daughter would love both of those gifts!

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  7. Thanks for sharing this. As an aspiring writer I have never thought to play inspiring music as I write, but it makes sense. Music inspires! I should try it.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win. Winning is always fun, no matter the prize. ;-)
    Vicki

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    1. Yes, I highly recommend you pick the music that goes with the writing project. God always seems to send me songs, like He did with this one. I was at a stop light when I heard it and I was floored by how it was so "Josephine-like" in emotional tone! Thanks!

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    2. Hey Vicki,
      Music does inspire and in so many ways! I'm like you, I should give it a try. It can't have words in it though or I'd be singing the song and thinking about the words and not my manuscript! LOL Good luck!

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  8. Thank you for sharing your writing journey, Carrie! Music certainly evokes emotion and I loved learning about the songs that were inspirational to you. Hugs and blessings!

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    1. TY, Britney! I'm really happy for YouTube and I wish I had a music app or attachment for my new iPhone. I need to figure out how to use it to play downloaded songs! Blessings!

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    2. Hey Britney, thanks for coming by. Good luck in the drawing.

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  9. I enjoyed this post.Music I think can inspire anyone,so it doesn't surprise me.I loved hearing how this song affected Carrie and how it made her think about the characters in her books.I love reading,it takes me back into time and to places I will never get to visit.I always feel the characters are real,and often wonder long after I am finished with a book what they are up to.I also enjoy and love music.Music has a way that can lift any mood.Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I often wish readers would listen to my inspiration music before they read my stories. I think it might make for an enhanced experience. Thanks for coming by, Jackie! Hugs!

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    2. Hey Jackie! Thanks so much for coming by and sharing. I love it when I read a story that the characters are so multidimensional that they feel real and I think about them long after I finished the book. Best book reading ever! Good luck!

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  10. Hi Carrie, I was praying for you just this morning, so it's fun to "visit" with you here this evening. I didn't know that you (or other authors) used music in such a magnificent way. I know, of course, how music can affect us all in our everyday life, but I hadn't thought of it as kind of setting up the scene for writing. I'm so happy for you that you are so attuned to God's blessing that you have recognized the gifts of special songs He has sent your way at the right times. Isn't He amazing?
    may_dayzee (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

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    1. I know, I have been SO humbled and pleased and blessed that God would send me special songs at just the right time and I get so EXCITED when that happens! God is good! Thanks for coming by, Kay!

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    2. Amen, Kay! He is amazing. And just think how blessed we are because of how the music speaks to Carrie. Because of it we have these awesome stories! Good luck!

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  11. ack! I tried to comment and it disappeared. I loved this discussion, ladies. What a great idea to use not only music but scents to immerse yourself in your character's world. I use pinterest to capture some of the sights, but sound and scent are just as powerful, if not more so. I can't live without music, myself, and I am deeply moved by some songs, especially when they connect to my writing themes. I wish there were a way to create a resource to capture all five senses. :)

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    1. I love the pinterest idea, Kathy. I really need to try some of these ideas!

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    2. I use Pinterest too but not so good at it Kathy! Music really pulls at the emotions which we want to do with our stories too. Big hugs!

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  12. I love Lilacs too! My body was is always Lilac scented. :) I have been wanting to read your book. It's on my TBR list! Thank you for the chance! :)

    Wanda Barefoot
    abookloversretreat(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I love the smell of lilacs in bloom. Thanks for coming by, Wanda and good luck in the drawing.

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    2. Lilacs bloomed outside my bedroom window growing up. Love lilac perfume n all that Wanda. Hope u get to read this story of Hope!

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  13. I am not at all surprised that music can inspire writing and character development. And being a true and open fruitcake lover, I'm intrigued by the title and subject of this new book!!

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    1. Thanks for coming by Anonymous. Please leave your email addy so I can enter you in the drawing.

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  14. I love Carrie's books. I grew up around Classical music as a child. It was always playing in the background of my house. My dad's favorite thing.

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    1. Hey Sonja, Carrie is an awesome writer! I grew up with the big bands. Still love to hear them today. Isn't it funny how music you grew up with can follow you through your life? So cool. Good luck!

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    2. Bless you Sonja!!! I love classical music and played flute for many years.

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  15. Carrie I went and listened to this guy's music. Wow! Danny Gokey has a beautiful voice.

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  16. I am not at all surprised by your use of music to help inspire you -- I also find music a great comfort and inspiration -- listen to it while I work, drive and when i'm relaxing, especially. I grew up in the Midwest and revisited Mackinac Island last summer for the first time in years, on a special trip with my parents. I will be looking for your book set in MI. Thanks for sharing your heart and talent with all of us. I find it most interesting that you are writing after a long career in psychology. Blessings!

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    1. God works all things together for the good of those who love him! My love of music n love for God plus that background as a psych make my stories a little different. TY for coming by!

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    2. I love music too. It does help me relax and just lifts my spirits. It also is wonderful to unstress me and help me get my mind on the Lord instead of my problems.

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  17. I am not sure if my answer came in so I am going to put it down one more time. :)
    I am not surprised at how music can connect us to characters and inspire or evoke the emotions of a character. Music has spoken to me in so many ways throughout my life. What girl hasn't listened to a breakup song more than once to assist in crying the experience out, a high energy sound track is just what I need to continue a tough workout, and I believe that God uses music to minister to us. Hey even David used his harp to calm Saul. I love when authors share about playlists that inspired their writing and drew them closer to their characters. Keep it up! We love it! Thank you for sharing Carrie, and for the chance!
    KellysShining(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Exactly Kelly! Totally agree! Thanks so much for sharing. Blessings

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    2. Thanks for coming by, Kelly. Great example of David calming Saul. I was just saying above that I love to listen to music when I'm stressed. Good luck!

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  18. Hi Carrie, I really enjoyed your comments on how music influences your writing.
    I think most music can play an important part in our lives, to help calm our spirits and minds when we listen to it. Thank you ,
    mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. Debbie Thank you for hosting Carrie
    Carrie Music can be so real It can put you in a different place It can relate to what you are writing
    God bless u
    Chris
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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    1. Love finding music that does that Chris! Blessings n hugs

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    2. Hey Chris!!! Good Morning to you!!!! :o) I love my music and can't imagine life without it. But God knew how it would sooth our souls and so He blessed us with it.

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  20. Hello Debbie. Thanks for having carrie here. She is a wise and encouraging lady. Love her. Music is a good idea. It can evoke many feelings. Some makes you sad and some makes you smile. Some inspires you and seems to give you energy while you do your tedious work, and makes time go faster. So many songs make me sad, tho I like the music. Brings back memories. (of course I cry easy.) Keep up the good work girls. Maxie >mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. Thanks, Maxie. I love having Carrie on here. She's such a sweetie. And good news she'll be back in a few weeks!!

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  21. Love you, too, Maxie! You are such an encouragement to all of us at OWG blog! I wish I had more music playing around the house while I'm doing things. Used to have it all the time before our son began having aversions to music. But he's over that PTL! Hugs!

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  22. I LOVE the title of this story!!! Would love the opportunity to win this. Thanks for the give away!
    hollymag(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. TY, Holly! When I was thinking of Tom and how he sets this up with Jo, the word challenge was what came to mind. He is kind of a challenge to her in general, so that really FIT!!! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting! Blessings!

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    2. Thanks for coming by Holly. Good luck!

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  23. It is amazing how music can affect our stories. I like to set up a whole list of songs to listen to that's unique to the manuscript I'm currently working on. By the time I'm done writing the story, the songs are ingrained in the fabric of the story.

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    1. I usually have one song that gets me in the mood or puts me in mind of the theme of the story. If I get too many songs going, I start to feel cluttered. That is cool that you can multi-music like that, Erin! Need to see you soon! Blessings!

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    2. Wow, that is a cool idea, Erin. Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

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  24. Music is a language that can express the longings, joys and stuggles of all we are- spirit, soul and body. I love when an author includes references to songs/music, I will look up the music and play it... it makes the story so much richer. Wonderful post!
    I'm a follower.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. Merry, I love that, too, and I feel if a reader listens tot he music and reads my story then yes, they should get a richer experience, exactly! Thanks so much for commenting! Blessings!

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    2. Thanks for following, Merry and for coming by. That is so neat that you will look up a song and listen to it if you read it. Love that you do that!

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  25. I was a traveling musician for many years, so it doesn't surprise me that music is inspirational to characters and to writing. It's one of my favorite forms of expression, second only to writing. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    writer_weaverATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Anna. I bet that was interesting traveling and seeing different places. Good luck!

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    2. That is so cool, Anna! I'd think that would be a difficult life, though, unless you enjoyed all that traveling. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting.

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