Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Interview with Virginia Smith and Book Giveaway!

I'm happy to have here today Virginia Smith, author of Stuck in the Middle, Just as I Am and her new book Sincerely Mayla as another stop on her blog tour. If you haven't read any of her books, I highly recommend you pick one of them. Also...

I'm giving away a brand new copy of today's book! Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Tuesday, May 20. US readers only. Good luck!

Here is a link to my review of Sincerely Mayla.

Mayla Strong’s life is finally starting to seem normal. She has been working at the same job for four years, living with a good friend, and enjoying a deep relationship with God. But when Mayla is suddenly laid off, the placid surface of her life is shattered. In this touching sequel to Just As I Am, Mayla comes face-to-face with the responsibilities and joys of friends and family. As Mayla tries to help her friends, she realizes that God has all the answers—the trick is letting go long enough to let Him prove it.

And without further adieu, an interview with Virginia Smith!

1. Have you ever dyed your hair purple or gotten a nose ring?

Strangely, I never have. But I know lots of young people (and even a few not-so-young people) who have done both. A good friend recently pierced her nose. And my daughter dyed her hair green once.

I have wanted to get a tattoo, does that count? My sister and I had a deal that if we ever got tattoos, we’d do it together. Then one day a couple of years ago she called me and said, “I betrayed you. I’m sorry. I was caught up in the moment.” She was visiting a friend who also had a theater background as she did. One thing led to another, and they got theater masks tattooed on their… uh, their hips. I’ve nursed a grudge since then, but so far I haven’t retaliated.

2. Mayla is one of the most realistic 20-something characters I have ever read. How did you research for her character and have her act her age? (most of the time it's kinda obvious that some authors don't really know how 20-somethings really act)

Thank you! I worked really hard at that. Mayla is the same age as my daughter, and I made her that age specifically so I could make sure her behavior was age-appropriate. A lot of Mayla’s opinions and even experiences have been mine, but her voice comes straight from my daughter and her friends. As I wrote Sincerely, Mayla I would occasionally call my daughter and ask, “How would you say that?” I still do it, in fact. In my last book I wrote the bachelor party of a 24-yr-old Christian guy. My daughter got married last July, and I asked my son-in-law details not only about what they did at the party, but how he phrased certain things. And I watch them very carefully to see them acting naturally in a variety of situations.

3. Would you rescue a frozen wild bunny from the road?

Absolutely! But I would be very careful about where I put him when I got him home. There were two models for Harvey, the rabbit Mayla rescues. The first is a friend’s pet. She didn’t know when her son got the rabbit that they love to chew wood. She soon found out, though, after he destroyed the expensive wood siding on their hot tub. The other model for Harvey is a big rabbit who lives at the nursing home where my father lives. That rabbit has quite a personality. And he plays catch!

4. Will we be hearing from Mayla and Pastor Paul again? What else are you working on?

I don’t have a third Mayla book contracted, but I can tell you that I always planned to write three. If I were to write a third book, I already know what happens. There’s a wedding. No, it’s not Aunt Louise’s. And no, it’s not Mayla’s either. It’s someone you—and Mayla—wouldn’t expect. I also want to spend some time exploring Sylvia’s life. In every book, I throw Mayla against some hot contemporary issues that young people really do encounter. With a bartender for a roommate, you can imagine the one I want her to tackle next.

5. Any last words?

If you read Sincerely, Mayla, I hope you’ll let me know what you think. I love to hear from readers. You can send me a comment through my website – www.virginiasmith.org. And be sure to check out the “Fun Stuff” page, because I’m constantly giving away books and other fun stuff.


  1. Please enter me in the drawing! Sounds great!


    vernetlh at yahoo dot com

  2. If you haven't read Just As I Am yet, read it! I'm sure this book is just as good :)

  3. I have not read Just As I Am, but from the sounds of "Sincerely, Mayla", I think I want to read them both! Please enter me.
    Thank you!
    jimmynmatthewsmom [at] gmail [dot] com

  4. This book looks amazing. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.


  5. Ooops, I could see book three already in the works! Hahaaha.

    Don't enter me in the drawing.


  6. I love Virginia Smith. Please enter me in this drawing.

  7. Hi, I love the cover of the book. The story line sounds like a fun book to read. Maybe, I can relieve being 20 again!!!!! Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks,Cindi

  8. Enjoyed the interview! Would love to be entered in the drawing for this book.


  9. Anonymous6:25 PM

    Sounds like a great book - would love to read it. Thanks!


  10. Fun interview! I'd love to be entered to win a copy.

  11. I've enjoyed reading the reviews of "Sincerely, Mayla" and would love to win a copy. Thank you for the opportunity.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  12. Please enter my name into your drawing. I love her work.



  13. Pick me! Pick me! I read Just As I Am and would love to see how Mayla is doing now! Send to my new e-mail addy at: kcwcomm at rgv dot rr dot com.

  14. Anonymous9:36 PM

    Please enter me!
    Fmartin816 at comcast dot net

  15. Anonymous7:07 AM

    The interview and the reviews for "Sincerely Mayla" sound terrific. Please enter me in the drawing!


  16. Ooo, I wanna read it! Enter me please!


  17. Please sign me up!!
    aidenadara (at) yahoo (dot) com

  18. As always, it's a pleasure "appearing" on your blog! Thanks for participating in the blog tour for SINCERELY, MAYLA. And thanks to everyone for the kind comments.

  19. Enjoyed the interview, ladies - and great questions, Deborah! *grin*

    eviesmommo at yahoo dot com

  20. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Please enter me!

  21. Anonymous9:17 PM

    The cover of your book is beautiful. I would love a chance to read it. Please include me in your drawing.

  22. I will definitely have to get the first book in this series. I haven't read any of her books yet, but they sound fantastic, especially this newest one!


    mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com


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