|A Shore Thing: Otter Bay Series #2|
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Callie Duflay just isn't like the rest of her family. While they've built white collar lives, she prefers getting her hands dirty by working with children and local California causes. When Callie learns that a beloved piece of untouched property in her town of Otter Bay may soon be developed, she confronts the architect assigned to the project.Gage Mitchell may be an easygoing, eco-friendly professional, but he's not about to back off this job no matter how cute Callie or her pet pooch, Moondoggy, may be. His reasons and hers are noble-both have a heart for protecting God's creation, and the truth is these two would be perfect for each other outside of this face-off. But will they ever figure that out?
Julie Carobini writes women's fiction for the ‘young at heart.’ Her novels are inspired by God's grace, coastal living, and her rambunctious family, Julie lives with her husband and children in Southern California.
Favorite Verse: Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Our Interview with Julie Carobini
What was your inspiration for writing in the CBA market?
Reading my father’s interviews of such luminaries as Fred Astaire and Fred MacMurray, while still a teenager, fanned the writing spark in my life. I too became an article writer almost twenty years ago, and now have hundreds of stories in print. On the side, I (not-so) secretly wrote a couple of romance novels that never sold. But as they say, third time’s a charm, and my debut novel, Chocolate Beach, released in 2007. By that time, I had a renewed faith in God as well as a redefined focus on the kinds of stories He was leading me to write. I’m thrilled to write for the CBA market!
What inspired the concept for A Shore Thing?
I’m fascinated by my brother, Daniel Navarro’s career as a ‘green’ architect, and I started to think about how his work honors God. I became equally fascinated thinking about how a person in his position could be in direct conflict with someone of the same mind, but who approaches their beliefs in a different way. Enter Callie, an eco-conscious gal who loves God, children, and the open land of Otter Bay. I kept wondering how these two could find ‘common ground’ and that was the seed for the story.
Is any part of A Shore Thing factual?
Readers may learn a thing or two about an architect’s work, or about life as an assistant camp director, but other than that it’s pure fiction!
How closely is A Shore Thing based on your life experiences?
I’ve been a camp counselor four times and I regularly host a group of middle schoolers at my home, so the scenes with children came from my heart. Other than that, Callie’s far different from me. Trust me, I would NEVER pick up a mouse!
How did you choose the location for the setting?
A Shore Thing is set in a fictional town on the rocky Central California coast, in an area similar to San Simeon and Cambria (near Hearst Castle). This part of California is part of the National Marine Sanctuary, and I chose this location for its breathtaking landscape and its protection of otters as mentioned in the book.
How long did A Shore Thing take you to complete?
About five months.
Do you have a favorite character in A Shore Thing? Why?
I love them all, but just thinking about Moondoggy, Callie’s adopted stray pet, makes me smile.
How much research did A Shore Thing take?
Lots! I’ve been a counselor at camps in both Forest Home and Catalina, California. Think: late nights, silly songs, prayers around the fire… I pulled Callie’s camp work from those experiences.
As for architecture, particularly ‘green’ architecture, I knew nothing! My brother, Daniel Navarro, helped me immensely by answering each of my tedious questions with great care.
What was the most interesting fact that you learned while writing A Shore Thing?
Early in the writing of A Shore Thing I completely stalled out. Could not figure out why. Then I switched gears and began writing Gage’s point-of-view, something I had not done in my books before. After that, the book just flowed. Turns out, that man had things to say!
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
One of the biggest challenges is allowing myself time away from the computer to recharge. When I do, I almost always return ready to write with a new freshness. So why am I always so stubborn?
How many books will be in the Otter Bay Series?
Three … so far.
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
Wearing flip flops to work.
What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in-between?)
I begin with the first chapter, then switch over to outlining…not the dry kind taught in elementary school, though. I like using Angela Hunt’s Plot Skeleton method in order to figure out the basic structure of my story. Then I’ll write a few more chapters before going back to that skeleton and adding ‘meat’ to those bones. At this point I’m ready to work up a more complete outline. Guess you could say I fall somewhere in between the two basic methods!
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
Oh, absolutely! This is kind of funny, but I often refer to my characters in every day conversation…like they’re real. For instance, the other day my son needed to order a corsage for his prom date. I recommended he go downtown to ‘Gaby’s’ shop, then I laughed, realizing Gaby was my heroine in Truffles by the Sea. She ran a florist shop that looks just like one in downtown Ventura. Needless to say, he ordered the prettiest corsage there
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I’ve just completed the third Otter Bay Novel, which will release in summer, 2011!
Who was the person who influenced you the most with your writing?
I’ve been influenced by my parents, encouraged by my husband, and inspired by some awesome authors. Karen Ball, who happens to be my editor now (yay!), even influenced me years ago when we met at a writer’s conference in the mid-90s. After reading my work, she set it down, looked me in the eye and said something like, “You’ve crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s …but there’s no passion in this manuscript.” She then went on to encourage me to find out what I’m passionate about. It took awhile, but I finally did. The tagline on my website is Faith, Flip Flops, and Waves of Grace … elements of life that I’m passionate about and that are found in all of my books.
What message would you like your readers to take from A Shore Thing?
For Callie and Gage, giving up is hard to do. I hope A Shore Thing demonstrates that no matter what our particular will in a situation is, the only way to be truly wise is to build our lives on the rock (see Matthew 7:24).
What was your favorite book(s) as a child?
Anything Nancy Drew!
What is your goal or mission as a writer?
I hope that readers are entertained. I hope they get lost in the setting…that they draw in the ocean breezes, and sense the brisk wind licking their cheeks. But I also hope that readers perceive the bigger picture of grace and blessing that God has in store for those who love and follow him.
What do you do to get away from it all?
I live near the beach and go there often to pray, think and wander aimlessly…
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just that God took all the lows and highs in my life and created something new with them. Believe me when I tell you that I had no plans of my own to write beach-themed novels one day. I just kept praying and writing and seeking until an idea popped into my head. I followed that idea, and now find myself with five novels filled with ‘waves of grace’, as I’ve come to think of these stories.
Thanks so much for inviting me here, Dianne! Readers, please visit me at www.juliecarobini.com