I had the pleasure of interviewing the ladies of The Quilt of Love series Thursday on Living Inspired! They were so fun to chat with. If you didn’t have the chance to listen to the interview, you can do so by clicking here. And if you haven’t had the chance to read their books yet, be sure to read through the rest of this post because you’ll have the chance to win their books at the end! (And if you didn’t catch yesterday’s post with the first two authors, be sure to read it here.)
Last night, here in Portland, we had a window rattling thunder storm. Our entire family was awakened and I heard some nervous conversation in my teenage daughter’s room. The boys, usually heavy sleepers, woke up, too.
This was the second such storm we have had this week, and since we don’t get that many thunder-boomers, it was a little nerve-wracking. This morning, as we all discussed the midnight noise, I asked the kids if it helped them understand the terror that an F5 tornado would bring. Yes, they all agreed that they couldn’t begin to imagine what living in tornado alley would be like and were thankful that the weather around here is simply soggy most of the time.
Since I wrote Beyond the Storm, there have been a number of devastating tornadoes that touched down in our country. These things always stir questions such as, “Why would a loving God permit such horror?” Beyond the Storm wrestles with and eventually answers some of these questions and reminds us that He is with us in the valley of the shadow.
Carolyn Zane is the best selling, award-winning author of more than thirty novels for three publishers: Random House/Waterbrook Press, Multnomah Publishing and Harlequin/Silhouette where her sales numbers consistently finished strong. Her writing has earned numerous awards, including the prestigious Kay Snow Award and a Moondance nod for her screenplay. Carolyn lives with her husband, Matt and their five children and three dogs in the scenic Willamette Valley in Oregon.
My latest book is called Pieces of the Heart. The main theme of the series is that “every quilt has a story.” Well I’m here to tell you that the quilt on my cover has TWO stories! The centerpiece of this novel is a traditional African American quilting pattern called the Pinecone Quilt, or in some circles it is also called a Pine Burr Quilt. It was designated the official quilt of the State of Alabama by their legislature on March 11, 1997. There was a Pinecone Quilt in my family, but it was lost in the flooding of Wilkes Barre, PA, during Hurricane Agnes in 1972.
Try as I might I couldn’t find a Pinecone quilt to use for my cover. I did find one. It was a gorgeous example, but it was one that Oprah bought for Maya Angelou as a gift, and I REALLY didn’t think she’d be partial to letting me plaster her gift all over the covers of my books. So in my brain . . . I came up with what I will now refer to as a Lucille Ball moment.
OK, so my idea wasn’t really as hair-brained as an original Lucy! But it sure felt that way.
I’m a novelist by God and a seamstress and clothing designer by profession. My first thought was, “How difficult could a Pinecone Quilt be?”
I’m extremely good at making my own clothing patterns in the natural world, but I forgot to tell you. I loathe picky small stuff—especially crafts. I would rather have a root canal with a rusty nail than be forced to scrapbook or the like. LOL! No disrespect meant to scrapbookers!
So to continue with my Lucille Ball moment . . . I announced to Abingdon that my search was fruitless, and I would see if I could “make” one. OK, I hear the laughing out there now. Well I won’t describe my first couple tries because they were pathetic to the point that I just plain threw them away rather than rework them About 40 hours later, I came upon my rhythm. And it started to come together. I had about a three-foot circle.
Now at this point you would think I was cheering and giving myself high-fives. I chose reds, whites, and blues because this is a WWII story and I was feeling the whole patriotic thing. About that time, Abingdon sent me the first cover copy.
They had found a gorgeous quilt in oranges, yellows, and greens—and the perfect matching kitchen for below it on the cover. Exactly the kitchen I had envisioned. Only one problem! It was a Chrysanthemum quilt instead of a Pinecone quilt. On a Chrysanthemum the points face outward. On a Pinecone quilt the points face inward. And my quilt color scheme and Abingdon’s color scheme were polar opposites. I cried on the quilt and pulled my hair out. Not really, but it sounded like a great idea at the time.
About a half hour of thinking and I had a solution. Thanks to the creative magic of electronic photoshopping techniques and the amazing cover department at Abingdon, my sample quilt now has the correct colors on this cover!
Bonnie S. Calhoun is Owner/Director of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance helping to promote Christian fiction with blog tours. She is owner/publishes of Christian Fiction Online Magazine devoted to readers and writers of Christian fiction. As Northeast Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she was named ‘2011 Mentor of the Year.” She is President of (CAN) Christian Authors Network, and also Appointment Coordinator for both the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference.
In her spare time she is an avid social media junkie, and teaches Facebook, Twitter, blogging and HTML. Bonnie and her husband live in a log cabin on 15 acres in upstate area of Binghamton, New York with a dog and cat who consider the humans as wait-staff. Connect with Bonnie on Facebook and Twitter.