Interview with Lara Van Hulzen & GIVEAWAY

Interview with Lara Van Hulzen & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordLara Van Hulzen received her BA in Journalism from Point Loma Nazarene Universtity in 1994. Her first published article was when she was a senior in high school. She has worked as a book reviewer for the past 18 years with various organizations such as Crossings Doubleday, YouthWorker Journal, and www.radiantlit.com. She is a member of Romance Writers of America as well as Inspire Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband and three children in Northern California. For more, visit www.laramvanhulzen.com

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Savanna:  Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Lara. Congratulations on your upcoming release, Get To Me. Can you tell us what first inspired this book and what first drew you to write the Men of Honor series?

Interview with Lara Van Hulzen & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordLara:  Thank you.  I was actually listening to music one day and a scene came into my head of Ben and Tess from Remember Me, Book 1 in the Men of Honor series. That story formed from there. Dane and Aimee, the main characters in Get To Me, show up as secondary characters in Remember Me and again, I just pictured them in my head and went from there. I start all my stories with the characters. I’m a people person so I love character driven stories. I think about their likes and dislikes, their background, why they do what they do. Then I play the “what if” game and plot lines form from there.

I saw Aimee right away as a feisty redhead. Athletic, fun, chatty. And I saw Dane as a cowboy, a more quiet, level-headed balance to Aimee.

Savanna:  I read on your website that you published your first article while you were still in high school. What were some of the earliest topics you wrote about?

Lara:  My father died when I was seven in a hot air balloon accident. My mom ended up writing some books about being a single parent and I had a magazine ask me to write an article about what it’s like to have a parent date.

My writing really began in non-fiction. My degree is in journalism and I was a freelance writer for various papers and magazines over the years. Topics ranged from people starting a new business to how to potty train twins. (I have a daughter and twin boys 🙂 )

I’ve always loved fiction writing though as well. I’m constantly forming scenes in my head. And I love to try and understand what makes people tick. With fiction writing, I get to decide that. It’s fun.

Savanna:  What a journey it’s been for you. Thanks for sharing it with us. Can you name a favorite book you’ve read so far this year that stands out to you? If so, why?

Interview with Lara Van Hulzen & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordLara:  I can’t say one book but one author, Dora Hiers, is a new favorite. I love her characters and stories and she doesn’t hit you over the head with the faith aspect. It’s woven into who the characters are and I love that. I try to do that myself in my books.

Savanna:  Since you are a romantic-at-heart like the rest of us, what is your favorite romantic movie and favorite romantic book?

Lara:  That’s a tough one! There are so many to choose from. A favorite movie is You’ve Got Mail. I watch it every fall. And also While You Were Sleeping. That’s a favorite at Christmas time.

As far as favorite romantic book, I would say that choosing just one is impossible. But I will say Catherine Bybee is one of my favorite romance authors. I love all her books. And RaeAnne Thayne. You can’t go wrong with either of those authors.

Savanna:  Can you share with us a piece of writing advice that has made a difference in your career?

Lara:  Write from the heart, not what people expect of you. It’s tougher than it sounds. With social media now, authors are able to hear quite a bit of what people like and don’t like about books. It’s easy to get wrapped up in trying to please everyone. But when I step away and immerse myself in my characters and their world and write their story, I think that’s when my best work reveals itself.

Also, good is better than fast. That’s another tough tightrope to walk in this business because readers want books sooner rather than later. And deadlines are a must. But readers want your best work and that takes time. So I try to find a balance between having a deadline and also letting the work flow the way it wants.

Savanna:  That’s great advice, thank you. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?

Lara:  I’m currently working on Rescue Me, Book 3 in the Men of Honor series. That will be coming out winter 2015.

Savanna:  Looks like it’s going to be a busy year for you. Hope it’s a blessed one! Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Lara.

GIVEAWAY!!

Lara has graciously offered to give away a copy of Get To Me to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends April 28, 2015.  The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody! 😉

Posted in Author Interviews, Giveaways
36 comments on “Interview with Lara Van Hulzen & GIVEAWAY
  1. Dana Michael says:

    I always love getting to know a new author that i haven’t read before and how they got started writing. Thanks for the interview.

  2. Alyssa Faith says:

    I also write Non-Fiction. Recently I’ve written a short piece on forgiveness and I’ve also written a few short poems. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

  3. Caryl Kane says:

    Hey Savanna! I enjoy non-fiction. One of my favorites is Bob Sorge’s “The Fire of Delayed Answers”. Lara is a new-to-me author. I enjoyed learning more about her. 🙂

  4. Melanie Backus says:

    Lara is a new author to me and I can’t wait to read her work. Thank you for the opportunity.

  5. Danielle Hull says:

    Love your advice about not writing to please others!

  6. Joan Arning says:

    I’ve not heard of Lara before but am always ready to read a new author!

  7. Laura Pol says:

    I really like the writing advice you gave in writing from the heart and not what people expect of you!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      It’s definitely something I want to remember as well. Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting, Laura. Hope you get to read Lara’s work soon. 😉

  8. Deanna S says:

    I enjoyed today’s post & meeting a new to me author.. thanks for the giveaway!
    dkstevensneAToutlookD otCO M

  9. Connie Saunders says:

    Hi Savanna, thanks you for this introduction to Lara. I always enjoy the questions and answers and I also appreciate the book giveaways. Lara, I wish you continued success.
    Blessings to both of you.
    Connie
    cps1950AtgmailDotcom

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Thank you, Connie, for taking the time to stop by so often and comment and enter. It means a lot to the authors and to me as well. Blessings to you, my friend!

  10. MS Barb says:

    Thanks for sharing this interview! I’m putting your books on my L-O-N-G wish list for when the County Bookmobile comes to my town (I have to pick 6-10 books, depending on if there are any holidays coming up, because I still work full time)

  11. Alison Boss says:

    Thanks for sharing Lara’s interview. I had not heard of her before. It’s great to know new author’s & other books to add to my “Books to Read” list 🙂

  12. Edward Arrington says:

    I just enjoy reading so much that it’s hard to select a favorite non-fiction book. As I said in response to someone, the last one I read is often my favorite.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      I know what you mean, Edward. That’s a hard genre to narrow down to one favorite too. 🙂 Love your response. Good luck in the giveaway and happy reading!

  13. Maxie Anderson says:

    I would love to win your book Lara. You are new-to-me. GOD bless you and your writing. Maxie

  14. bn100 says:

    no fav non-fiction book

  15. Trixi O. says:

    I’m not a real big non-fiction fan, but if I had to choose one, it would definitely be the Bible. What better book to live your life the right way, better then those so called “self-help” ones in the world!
    Lara, you are a new-to-me author but I love what you have to say about your books. You try to live out your faith through your characters. I don’t mind a “preachy” book, but if I see the characters living our their faith in everyday life, I think that speaks louder then words! We all need to do this, let our actions and words speak the gospel message for us. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s always a time and place to be “preachy” but people want to see it in action too! Let us be true reflections of who Christ is 🙂 Thanks for taking time to come and tell us a little more about yourself and your books! “Get to Me” sounds like a good book, thank you for the chance to win a copy!
    Savanna, thank you for a great author interview! And, once again, introducing me to a new writer. May God shine down His love and grace upon both of you! Until next time….blessings!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Love what you said here, Trixi… “We all need to do this, let our actions and words speak the gospel message for us… Let us be true reflections of who Christ is.” So true! A great reminder for all of us. Thanks for sharing with us. I’m so glad you take the time to swing by these interviews. It blesses my heart each time!

  16. Deanne Patterson says:

    This book sounds fascinating to me. It’s by a new to me author that In would love to read this book as a first book by them. I don’t have a favorite non fiction author. The topics I enjoy reading are pull on your heart strings topics : civil war, slavery,orphan trains,underground rail roads, the old south and the old north, plantation homes. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity !

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Sounds like you and I share some similar reading interests, Deanne. 😉 So glad you stopped by. Hope you get to read this book as well! Have a great week.

  17. Misty J says:

    Nice interview! I’m looking forward to reading Lara’s books!

  18. Tandi Cortez says:

    Would love to read this! Thanks for the chance to win!

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