Rally 'Round Green, Green Series #4Rally 'Round Green, Green Series #4
Judy Christie
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Lois and Chris are eager to settle into a calm married life, but that won't happen. While Green continues to recover from a horrendous tornado, the state of Louisiana announces plans to close Green's schools, citing poor academic performance and the area's shrinking population. Lois and Chris know the loss will crush the community and harm students forced to travel more than an hour to classes.

Despite warnings from her coach husband, Lois gets in the middle of the controversy, butting heads with a new teacher, who appears to be a spy for bureaucrats, and pushing the state Legislature with Mayor Eva and Molly, who walks to Baton Rouge in protest. The hotshot consultant sent in to monitor the school is none other than Mayor Eva's long-ago, almost-forgotten ex-husband, mixing up Eva's renewed friendship with Dub McCuller. The district's legal woes bring attorney Terrence to town, much to Dr. Kevin's delight. The highway continues to creep forward, raising more doubts about the future of Green, and Lois learns that to make lasting changes, she will have to refuse to conform but be transformed.
     


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Judy ChristieJudy Christie, after working as a journalist for twenty-five years, left the daily news business to open a consulting firm that works with individuals, businesses, and churches on strategies for meaningful life and work, including goal-setting, living fully, and balancing personal and professional lives. She is the author of Gone to Green, Goodness Gracious Green, and The Glory of the Green, all part of the six-part Green fiction series, Hurry Less, Worry Less; Hurry Less, Worry Less at Christmas; Hurry Less, Worry Less for Moms; and co-author of Awesome Altars. Judy and her husband live in northwest Louisiana.

Favorite Verse: Ephesians 3:20 Common English BibleGlory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us.”


 

 Our Interview with Judy Christie


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Many of my joyful times seem to involve sitting: visiting with friends and family on our vintage green Kitchen Couch (bought for $40 for the church where I grew up), reading in the porch swing and writing in my journal on an antique glider! A longtime journalist, I entered the newspaper world as the editor of The Barret Banner in elementary school. I’m the author of the Green series of novels and the nonfiction Hurry Less Worry Less series. My first Young Adult novel, Wreath, will be out in October 2011. You can find me on the web at www.judychristie.com, and I love to visit with readers on Facebook!
 
What is your favorite Bible verse (translation too, please)? Why?

“Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 Common English Bible

I’m thankful for all that God does in my life, and I am awed that he can do more than I can ask (because I can ask a lot!) or imagine (because I have an active imagination!). I decided when I was fifty to write my first novel, and now, at age 54, I have four published novels with two more on the way! God can do WAY more than I can ask or imagine.

What was your inspiration to develop the Green series?

As a former newspaper editor and native southerner, I thought it would be interesting to plop a big-city journalist down into a little Louisiana town and see what happened. The first book was “Gone to Green,” about Lois Barker’s move to Green. I knew immediately that I wanted to write a series and let readers watch the characters develop.  There’s always a lot going on in Green, from marriages to tornadoes to the current threat to close the school. 

How much research did Rally Round Green take?
 
Since Rally ‘Round Green is the fourth book in the Green series, I know a lot about the town – so some of the research requires going back to my notes! Some days I feel like I live in Green.  I researched school closings and followed the stories of area communities with small schools that might be closed.

Is Green based on an actual city?

Many Louisiana readers think it’s their town. Green is fictional, but it includes the personalities of several North Louisiana towns. It’s much like small towns all over the United States.

 

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Rally Round Green?

A very strange thing happened after I had written much of Rally ‘Round Green:  The issue of closing schools became a big deal in North Louisiana. I attended a meeting in a small-town gymnasium and listened to the residents talk with such passion about what a school means to a community. I also learned a lot about the design and construction of the Louisiana State Capitol, where people from Green gather to rally ‘round their school.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Maintaining the daily discipline of sitting down at the computer and writing. There are many distractions, and they often seem more urgent than the need to finish a manuscript. My agent told me early on to guard my writing time, and I try to live by that advice.  I also find that I have to take a fresh look at my life and work on a regular basis to make sure that I’m spending my time and energy on What’s Most Important.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I am thankful for the opportunity to be a writer.  I absolutely love being drawn into a story, inventing towns and people, and watching them take shape. I have a great time playing with words.  I believe I’m using a gift that God has given me, so that makes this work a special pleasure.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

American Christian Fiction Writers, which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to write inspirational novels.

I’m also a member of a group of published writers who share ideas and answer questions for each other, and I attend at least one writing workshop each year to improve my craft. I also read books on all aspects of writing, which I find very helpful. There’s so much to learn!

What new projects are on the horizon?

Downtown Green,” the fifth book in the Green series, will be out in spring 2012, and I can’t wait for readers to see what Lois and her crew are up to! Many small towns are struggling to stay vibrant, and Green is no different – so Lois will have to come up with a way to turn things around.

My first Young Adult novel, “Wreath,” will be released by Barbour Publishing in October. Wreath is a 16-year-old girl who lives in a junkyard for a year after her mother dies. She’s committed to getting her high-school degree and works at a local furniture store, where she is the catalyst for lots of changes. I fell in love with this teen-age girl!

My “Hurry Less Worry Less” nonfiction series is blossoming, and I pray that it will encourage busy folks.  “Hurry Less Worry Less for Moms” will be released in October 2011, and an enhanced version of “Hurry Less Worry Less for Christmas” is coming out this fall, too. The latter includes an Advent study guide and lots of great recipes, among other things!

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Rally Round Green?
 
Readers bring different perspectives to a novel and take away different lessons, depending on what’s going on in their lives. I hope that readers come away with a fresh sense of the importance of coming together to make good things happen. 

What were your favorite books as a child?

“The Boxcar Children” series. “Me and Caleb.” A biography of Harriet Tubman. The first place I drove when I got my license was to the public library.

 

What is your greatest achievement?

I have many blessings and enjoy life. I like to celebrate everything. As a child I was quite poor, and we lived in the government projects. From that beginning, I’ve had amazing adventures – including lunch at the White House with Nancy Reagan, cruising on the Amazon River and flying in a hot air balloon.  I didn’t get married until I was 35, so having a fun, supportive husband is quite an achievement! We have two adorable granddaughters. The most amazing thing I’ve ever done – since I’m not in the least athletic – is run two marathons, 26.2 miles each. 

What do you do to get away from it all?

I try to take my own advice every single day – slow down; enjoy life more.  I sit in the porch swing, go to movies with my husband, antique with girlfriends, and go to used bookstores. I’m quite an extrovert, but I also enjoy time alone to read and write.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I think we all should slow down and enjoy each day more. I also believe that each person can make a difference in the world – wherever you are and whoever you are.  Dream big and become the person you were created to be because God can do more than you can ask or imagine.

Thank you so much!

 


 

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