Saturday, April 19, 2008

Christian Author Nicole Petrino-Salter and Giveaway

I "met" Nicole on Shelfari. She sent me a post saying she'd released her book The Famous One. I asked her if she'd want to send it to me to review and then post and she was gracious enough to do just that. She has now agreed to do an interview and give away her book.

As a review I would have to say The Famous One is "edgy", especially the way Nicole explains it in our interview. The main character, Joey, grows up pretty much without any positive influences aside from his grandma and grandpa. He lives in the it's fullest...and that's where I would say the "edgy" comes in. Nicole isn't graphic, she just allows the reader to know what is going to happen. There's no swearing in the book, but she allows for the reader to fill in the blank, literally! Joey's life isn't easy, to say the least and we see how he struggles thru his early years not even realizing his need for God. Then, as it always is, God's timing is perfect with a woman who is brought into his life out of the blue and shines the light of the Lord into his world, his empty world. From there, changes Joey never expected begin to happen and we follow that thru to the end of the story. I was surprised at the ending and it touched my heart.

Here is what is written on the back of the book:

What drives the handsome, troubled Joey Parr in his search for “real”? Joey Parr’s journey from a troubled childhood and rebellious adolescence leads him into a career in film and reluctant celebrity. The Famous One chronicles his life and allows the reader to share in his beginnings, his awkward fame, and the love which finally finds him when he least expects it. As his dream of having a family unfolds, he is stunned to learn something is still missing from his near perfect life.

The Famous One takes an introverted yet passionate character of few words and deep running emotion and puts him into the spotlight of fame where he is hungry for value, substance, and real love but struggles to find them.

“An engaging plot; characters that are real and intriguing; true craftsmanship—what more can you ask? Nicole Petrino-Salter’s writing is certain to touch many people.”––Robert Liparulo, author of Deadfall, Germ, and Comes a Horseman

The following is my interview with Nicole Petrino-Salter.

Nicole, tell us about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

Born and raised a city girl in Seattle, Washington, somehow I loved horses from "the beginning", so apparently God ordained it. I was never fond of school although I did well in it and had a lot of friends. So when my parents wanted me to go to college, I dutifully attended the University of Washington for one year and took primarily literature classes but decided to quit when spring quarter ended and go to work to save my money for a trip to Europe to chase after a British actor. I met him on my last day in London--he'd just gotten married. You have to understand I didn't yet know my Savior Jesus Christ even though I've always believed in God. When I returned from Europe, I went back to the U. for a quarter and then finally found the racetrack where I could be around horses everyday. Over 30 years later my husband and I finally "retired" from horse racing. I'm married, have two sons, one adorable daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. There's a lot of "stuff" in there before finding Jesus that isn't pretty.

I realize it can sound cliché, but I really have been writing for as long as I can remember, although certainly more at some times during my life than others.

Do you love living in the Northwest? It was where I spent a bulk of my growing up years. I miss the mountains, the Puget Sound, the greenery, and yes even the rain!

You know, I really do. As far as I'm concerned, it's the near perfect climate. We have the desert-type weather on the eastern side of the state and the more mild, and, yes, rainy climate on the western side. Very seldom do we have severe weather, the worst being flooding in certain areas. It's truly beautiful here, and we have just about everything within reach (forests, mountains, ocean, lakes, the Sound, islands, farms, the desert).
What other books have you written?

You're referring to my first novel Hope Of Glory, a story about one race meet at a middle echelon Thoroughbred racetrack. I can honestly say it is the most comprehensive novel written about American horse racing for adults, capturing the language, lifestyle, and culture of racing. It even has a Glossary of Terms in the back for those who don't recognize some of the "lingo". (This particular novel is only available from me, and I will send you a copy of it, Mimi, if you want one.) However, it is very much a first effort, technically imperfect, but I'm not ashamed of the effort because I wrote it in direct response to the Lord's direction once I yielded any talent he might have given me for writing to Him.

The second novel is The Famous One, written after another "dramatic" experience with the Lord. These are the only two published books of seven complete novels. The others are Sweet Release, Wounds . . . and Healings, Destination, The Fixer, and Breath of Life. I'm working on number 8 right now.

Do you feel like you have a genre you’d write more for?

I call what I write "non-traditonal" romance, but, honestly, I don't think that says enough. I wish I could write a mystery, but, so far, the Lord has kept me in whatever place I'm in, and I trust His leading far more than my own.
What kind of books do you like to read and do you read a lot?

I read a lot, yes, and sometimes too much. The kind of books I prefer to read generally aren't being written right now. I write the kind of books I like to read, meaning long novels as in sagas or epics. I want to know the ins and outs of everything about the characters, the scenes, the plot--all of it. But, no, today we get the slam, bang, "lean" writing for the most part. Not my favorite. Give me Dostoevsky over Hemingway any day. I read mysteries and thrillers, not too many straight romance novels anymore because so many of them seem cloned--and that's nothing against the authors because they're just writing what they need/want to meet their personal or publishing obligations.

Ok, so your new book is called The Famous One, how did you come up with the idea for this book?

Well . . . I watched a film. I'll just say it wasn't a drama. That very night the Lord dropped the actor so strongly into my heart that I could barely say his name aloud without tearing up. So a small part of this novel is semi-autobiographical. I carried the burden for this actor's salvation like none I've had before it for two years. This book literally erupted from the experience as I was going through it.
Do you have any history in the Hollywood scene? What was the research like?

My only experience in the Hollywood scene is a love for good movies, few and far between as they are. I've always been a drama queen of sorts. I was able to have a communication several years ago with a television screenwriter who at the time was writing for the series JAG. He wrote several episodes which were distinctly Christian in "flavor", so I wrote to him to praise the episodes and inquire as to his faith. Turns out he was an agnostic man of Jewish heritage, but he wrote back a couple of times and ended up sending me an autographed copy of one of the "Christian" scripts completely unsolicited.

The only other "connection" I have to the scene is the incredible burdens for prayer for a few of its constituents.

The research for The Famous One consisted of a couple of books on movie production and about the actor, a few websites. As you know, Mimi, the film references and the ins and outs of "the biz" in the novel are very general on purpose.
I think readers would consider this an “edgy” Christian story, would you agree?

"Edgy" is a term which conjures up all kinds of debates and controversy. If by "edgy" you mean it's not "fluff", it addresses sinful issues plainly without judgment, and it shows the lifestyle of a young person growing up without God in his life, then, yes, without a doubt it is an "edgy" Christian story.
Was it hard for you to get your book published in a Christian market that involves sexual, drinking, and drug issues?

I had to publish it myself. Early on I made it to the final process at a top Christian literary agency, but in the end they declined it. I'm not so sure the length in today's market is more undesirable than the frank dealing with sexual, drinking, and drug issues. This novel is 143,000+ words, a definite no-no.

When you started writing this book, did you know who you wanted Joey to end up with? There were a couple times I thought, “Oh she would be perfect for him”, but in the end I think you picked the best one, of course!

I'm a "seatof thepants" writer so I knew there was "the" one out there, but I had no idea when or where or who she would ultimately be until she "appeared", but I did know some things about her. Other readers have said the same thing you just did about the girls who came before "the" one.
Did you know how you wanted to end the book when this story came to mind?

No, I did not.
Where can our readers get in touch with you? I know you have a Shelfari site, but anywhere else?

I really do love to hear from people. Please visit my blog and leave a comment on any post of your choice, and I will definitely get back to you. You can also find me at:
Thank you so much for doing this interview and I pray that your book is enjoyed by many people!

The pleasure was all mine, Mimi. Thanks for asking such thoughtful questions. I hope my answers weren't too long or ridiculous. May the face of the Lord shine upon you for your willingness to present a nobody-in-the-industry with such a wonderful opportunity. Thank you.

So, has this whet your appetite to read The Famous One? If so, leave a comment and a way to reach you. I will draw a winner April 23 at 8pm.


Eileen Astels Watson said...

Nicole, it sounds like you write "real" very well! I'm sure there is much to be learned from your story.

I must say the cover gives off an eerie feel to me, it actually looks like a mystery novel cover.

Wishing you all the best!


The Book Club Network - TBCN said...

This does sound really good. Since I used to work with stars and professional theatre I would really be interested in this story. Please put my name in for the drawing.

Stormi said...

This sounds interesting. Please put me in the drawing. :)

ladystorm282001 at yahoo dot com

Janna said...

How intriguing! I'd love the opportunity to get to read this, please enter me...

ryanx6 at msn dot com

Patty said...

This is intriguing. I would love to read it.

pleblanc_1 at charter dot net

Anonymous said...

Ladies, I am truly blessed that you've expressed an interest in this story. I wish you all could win a copy! This is a book that men have actually liked, too. Some of mine are more for women. Thank you so much for your interest.

Anonymous said...

sounds great, please enter me, thanks!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like an interesting story. Thanks for the great interview! Your burdens of prayer are interesting. Bless you for having a heart that listens!

Carole said...

I enjoy this kind of contemporary fiction, and appreciated learning more in the interview. Thank you for the oppostunity to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

M. C. Pearson said...

Great interview!

I've your link up on FIRST and Teen FIRST now. :-D

Anonymous said...

Okay, Ladies. Since you have all been so encouraging, IF you don't win a copy of The Famous One, you are eligible for my consolation prize. :)

IF you are interested, and I do mean IF because this book isn't for everyone, after you find out the results of Mimi's drawing, I will send a copy of Hope Of Glory to those non-winners. IF you're interested in receiving a copy, please visit my blog and leave a comment on any post, and I'll e-mail you for the necessary information. Is that fair?

Keep in mind this novel is about horse racing, and it's 744 pages of the gut-level goings on at a racetrack. And it is not written for kids. It is an adult novel.

Thank you all who are interested in The Famous One. It's an honor to be featured here.

Mimi N said...

Nicole, thanks so much for that offer! Alrighty, you are some lucky ladies!!! I'll be in touch with at least one of you in a couple of days!

In Christ,

ChristyJan said...

I enjoyed this interview and your review has whet my appetite to read the FAMOUS ONE.

Thanks for introducing me to a new (to me) author.

hawkes AT

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.