Saturday, August 02, 2008

Blog Tour: Surprise Packages.

By Keith Fisher

Written by best-selling LDS authors: Nancy Anderson, Lael Littke, and Carroll Morris, Surprise Packages is the third in a series called The Company of Good Women. It’s a must read, and should be added to your list today.

When I met Carroll Morris at the LDStorymakers Writer’s conference in 2007 I was impressed. I wanted to read Almost Sisters just to find out how three authors could write three different characters and knit them into a book without the seam showing.

Nevertheless, when the chance to review this book came up, I doubted I could do it justice. Being a man, I’m not a big fan of women’s fiction, but I found it fulfilling. I love the blend of characters, the way they fit together in the narrative works well.

The concept of three women meeting for the first time at BYU education week and becoming friends for life, is intriguing. With the diversity of the characters, the series provides a peek into the hectic lives of women everywhere. The desire of most women to be connected, and the everlasting friendship through it all, will be satisfied in the pages of these books and Surprise Packages is the icing on the cake.

You can find all three books in the series by visiting here, here, and here. You can read sample pages by clicking here. Visit the Crusty Old Broads website here.

In an interview with the authors, here are some of the questions I had:

Surprise Packages is the last in your trilogy, The Company of Good Women. Tell me what makes your trilogy unique.

It’s the story of three women in three different parts of the country and their quest to become Crusty Old Broads—written by three women from three different parts of the country who are self-professed Crusty Old Broads! Readers praise it for offering a realistic—but hopeful—view of the issues faced by LDS families.

Where are you from?

Lael is from Pasadena, CA; Nancy is from Sandy, UT; and Carroll lives in Green Valley, AZ.

What were the biggest challenges you faced as co-authors?

1. Merging files and making corrections. On the first book, Lael was the manuscript master. For the last two, Carroll took on that job.

2. Literary liposuction. The story of each character—told completely—would have filled its own book. So cutting the text without gutting the story was a challenge.

3. Writing the third book of the series. We knew where we were going in the first two books, but none of us had written ahead in book three. We had only general ideas about where it would go.

4. Making the series add up to something. We wanted our readers to finish the series feeling that they’d been changed by the time spent with Deenie, Juneau and Erin. We hope they will periodically read the series over, like visiting old friends.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That no matter what situation a person is in any moment, the story isn’t over yet. Never, never, never give up—on others or on yourself!

Do you three have a new project in the works?

We have an idea for a book that will have the same format as the series—we’ll each write from the viewpoint of a character. It’s a stand-alone novel set in Powell, Wyoming, during World War II. But it is on the back burner while we’re working individual projects.

Putting the testosterone aside, I am glad to read this book. Good luck in your writing—see you next week.

PS I decided to take my comment out of the comments section and put it here:

Have you noticed the cover art? In the first book we get to see the feet of the ladies from the front. In the other two, we see them going away. Do you think its symbolic?


Keith Fisher said...

have you noticed the cover art? in the first book we get to see the feet of the ladies from the front. in the other two, we see them going away. do you think its symbolic?

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hmmm. . . I hadn't thought about that. Maybe they're moving forward with their lives, and so they're walking away?

Thanks for this great review/interview, Keith!

Carroll said...

I love it that a man read Surprise Packages! And liked it! Thanks for having us stop by on our virtual tour.

Re: the cover. I think the photo on the first cover must have been a stock image, because I saw it on a big billboard in SLC advertising flooring or some such thing! The other covers were shot by Robert Casey.

Kim Thompson said...

That's a great point about the cover art. I enjoyed your review and can't wait to read the book myself.

Lael said...

Keith, it's a delight to have a man's perspective on our book. And it's been fun to stop at your house on our virtual tour.

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