Author Spotlight: CJ Darlington

Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winners from last week’s Author Spotlight with Rachel Hauck and Denise Hunter are Britney Adams (Once Upon a Prince) and Liliya (Barefoot Summer)! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address (ckrumm@litfusegroup.com).

This week welcome CJ Darlington!  To win a copy of CJ’s Thicker than Blood (Tyndale, 2009), leave a comment on this post.

cj-hatTell us a little about your new book . . .

Ties that Bind is the story of a young woman who, on a quest to find her father, discovers she has two sisters who have no idea she exists. Mix in a first edition set of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility, and a troubled horse named Lacey, and I hope you have an engaging reading combination!

For anyone who’s wondering, this novel stands completely by itself from my first books Thicker than Blood and Bound by Guilt, so don’t think you have to read them to enjoy it. But if you have read the

m, you’ll perhaps get one extra layer to the tale as some characters who’ve featured prominently in my other novels do return in Ties that Bind.

How can readers find you and your books?

I like to keep active online. I have links to everything on my website, including Facebook, Twitter & Goodreads: http://www.cjdarlington.com — There you can also sign up for my mailing list where you’ll be the first to know about new happenings. I do answer every e-mail, do don’t be shy to contact me.

Anything new for you on the book horizon?

Ties that Bind is hot off the press! I’m excited to hear what my readers think, and I hope to make some new ones too. That said, I am hard at work on a new novel. I can’t share much about it yet, but it’s something really fresh and new for me. Its tentative release date is later this fall. I’ll keep you posted!

What is the smartest writing advice you ever got?

I’ve been blessed to receive so much wonderful advice, much of if from various craft how-to books I’ve read. But one of the nuggets that sticks out for me is from author James Scott Bell. Once when I was in a slump he encouraged me by saying that writing itself was the best cure for the writing blues. I like that. When times get tough, keep writing. And after that, write some more.

Why do you write?

My goal with my stories has always been to point people to the Lord. Some projects require a subtle touch, others can be more blatant, but above all, I want to share this theme: no one is ever too far gone for God to love. It’s a thread that flows through just about everything I’ve written.

I’m inspired by…

So many things! When I watch a good movie I’m often incredibly inspired. Seeing a story unfold in front of your eyes is awesome. When I read an amazing book I’m inspired too. Then sometimes I’ll be surrounded by nature or a friend will tell me a story, and a spark will light a tale in my heart. That’s happened more than once. Or maybe I’ll watch a documentary and ask myself, “What if?”

My great adventure has been…

During my early twenties I had the opportunity to travel the country in an RV for my family’s used book business. Every month or two we’d have a new adventure. I’ve been to 44 states, driving through many of them. I’m so thankful for the memories I now have spending time with my family barreling down the interstate, especially now with gas prices what they are. When we started gas was $.99 a gallon! I spotted my first bald eagle near Flagstaff, Arizona; helped put out a forest fire in Colorado; spent the night in a garage in Ohio; and had so many other crazy adventures.

If I could go anywhere, it would be…

I would love to visit Alaska. I am in love with mountains. To see the highest in North America would be amazing.

Describe yourself in one word.

Analytical.

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?

Besides any family members, my dogs. Nothing material matters as much as they do. And I actually have to be careful not to visualize this happening as it’s something I try hard not to fear!

thicker-than-blood-200What has been your most surreal, “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment so far?

Winning the 2008 Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest with my novel Thicker than Blood. I went to that year’s Writing for the Soul conference only knowing my manuscript was a finalist. Imagine my shock when Jerry announced it as the winner the very first night, and Tyndale House surprised me with the book cover. I was on cloud ten for the rest of the conference. It was such a huge, huge blessing, and gave me my start in the Christian publishing world. I’ll forever be grateful to Jerry, his staff, and the Tyndale House editors for that chance.

What drives you to succeed?

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish I could’ve done things differently. I want the fruit of my hands to be a blessing to people. But success to the Lord might not mean the same thing to me, so I desire for His ideals to be mine, that I’d travel down the path He has for me.

Best Saturday Afternoon Read

I love Christian fiction, especially character-driven suspense. If I have a new book by one of my favorite authors, like Sibella Giorello for example, I will be a happy camper! I’ve also really enjoyed novels like the Hunger Games and Divergent.

Best Indulgence

Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream!

If you could give your ten-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Trust the Lord to lead you. Don’t stress about the future because He’s got it covered! Pursue your interests with abandon, and don’t be afraid to be silly! Actually, this advice applies to any age.

If a picture paints a thousand words, what are you doing on that picture?

I’m riding my beautiful paint mare Sky. She’s worth looking at for any length of time (I’m not biased at all), and I think if you examine the picture closely you’d see the serene look on my face and know that on Sky and around animals, I am oh so happy.

Tweetable

This week on @SuzanneWoodsFisher’s Author Spotlight meet CJ Darlington and enter to win one of her books! Tweet it.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Comments

  1. I love finding new authors, especially Christian fiction, and C.J. Darlington sounds like another great one! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. felecia says:

    I would love to read this.

  3. Karen Spillman says:

    Sounds like a great read! Can’t wait. Would love to win it!

  4. Nat Holmgren says:

    Love this author! 😉

  5. Melissa L. says:

    These sound like books that I need to look into for reading. I love to find new authors to read. Thank you for the chance to win.

  6. Connie Price says:

    Always love to discover new(to me) authors!! would love to read this!!!

  7. Connie R. says:

    Sounds great! Love the adventures you’ve been on, and your comments to the questions! I’d love to read the book.

  8. Charity says:

    This book sounds really good. I hope I win I would love to read it.

  9. Brittany McEuen says:

    I love reading these interviews on your blog and either learning more about authors and their books or, as in this case, discovering a new author and their books. I would love to win!

  10. Donna Harmon says:

    I so enjoy reading your blog and this spotlight adds another book to my must read list! Would love to win a copy.

  11. Sharon Holweger says:

    this books sounds great I would love to own a copy

  12. sharon says:

    thanks for this interesting spotlight and your book sounds wonderful.

  13. What an exciting life C.J. has had! Her books sound just great and I’ll be adding them to my TBR list! Thank you for sharing such an interesting story.

  14. Penny McGuire says:

    Love finding new authors!

  15. Linda Paul says:

    This sounds like a wonderful book!

  16. Love to find new authors!

  17. Jasmine A. says:

    Sounds like a great book! And I agree with you C.J. about dogs. I love my Alaskan Malamutes, they are such good company and make the best friends.

    Blessings!
    Jasmine A.
    montanamade(at)gmail(dot)com

  18. Phyllis says:

    Pick Me!. I would love to win.

  19. KayM says:

    CJ Darlington is an author that I haven’t tried. I would enjoy winning Thicker than Blood.

  20. sandi Ansell says:

    I have never read her books…would love to read this book.

  21. I’d love to win this, it looks like an awesome book!

  22. aimymichelle says:

    would love to win

    aimymichelle[at]gmail[dot]com

  23. Martha J. Sturm says:

    New to me author. Will have to go back and find her first books.
    What an amazing thing to have been able to travel across the country!

  24. This was very interesting C J. I love the picture of Sky. I live paints. I used to own a horse named Cochise. Loved that horse, but I’m not real secure with horses and could never make him go where I wanted to go, but where he wanted to. Made my rides a struggle instead of a pleasure. Later gave him to my son-in-law so all of the grandkids could enjoy him. I would love to read this book of yours. Haven’t read any yet. Thanks Suzanne for having CJ. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

  25. Susan Johnson says:

    It sounds like a good book. I would love to win it.

  26. Mary Dean says:

    Will be adding these to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.

  27. Robin in NC says:

    Finding out about authors that are new to me is always exciting! Thank you for sharing with us Suzanne & CJ!!

  28. Molly Loggins says:

    Hi, CJ,
    Your words were quite inspiring. Spending time with your family in an RV selling used books must have been so much fun! What an experience! Would love to win Ties That Bind! Have a good day!

  29. Lisa Stifler says:

    Sounds like a good book. Thank you for the chance to win!

  30. Carol Edwards says:

    Looks like a great read and I would love a chance to read it.

  31. Sharon Timmer says:

    This looks like a good read – I would love to win a copy!

  32. Sue says:

    Thanks for the chance to win this title.

  33. Linda D. McFarland says:

    Love to find new-to-me authors. Thanks for the opportunity to win! Linda

  34. kathy says:

    sounds like another good book! please count me in the giveaway!

  35. deanie bradshaw says:

    would love to have these I have 2 and3 but cant find 1. so I keep waiting to see if I can get it

  36. Robyn Conners says:

    Yahoo, another one to put on the TBR list. Thanks!

  37. Sherri Smith says:

    Sounds like another cool new author to add to my list.

  38. Barbara Lima says:

    This sounds good!

  39. Janet O. says:

    Sounds like a good book that I would LOVE to win & read!!!

  40. Susan Fletcher says:

    This sounds like a great book to read! Hope to win!
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

  41. Love to read books that don’t have profanity in them, and also contain a good message/story.

  42. Karen G says:

    Sounds like a good book. Would love to win a copy.

  43. Cindi Altman says:

    CJ’s book looks very interesting. I’d love to win a copy.

  44. Donna Tyler says:

    I love CJ Darlington’s book and purchase them when I can to donate to my local library. I also purchase all of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s books, too.

  45. Karen Carter says:

    This sounds right up my alley. Can’t wait.

  46. Ola Norman says:

    Sounds like a great book! I’d love to win.

  47. sharon miller says:

    I would like to read this after I win !
    sharon, ca

  48. Erin Reed says:

    I am excited to read these books. Thanks for introducing me to this author.

  49. Suzanne says:

    So glad you were featured, C.J. Always enjoy learning more about you…and your advice from James Scott Bell was spot-on! Thanks for taking time to pop in!
    Blessings on this new book,
    Suzanne

  50. bonnie says:

    Wonderful storyline – enjoyed your interview & would love to read your book!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

  51. Thank you for having me, Suzanne!! I really appreciate it. And thank you to everyone who took the time to read the interview and comment. I wish all of you could win!

  52. Sandy says:

    I haven’t read any of your books but would love to. Hope I win a copy !

  53. Melanie Backus says:

    Keeping my fingers crossed for a great read.

  54. Mrs. K says:

    Can’t Wait To Read It!

  55. K. Finn says:

    The Jane Austin and horse combo does sound like a good combo. Plus, I like chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream too. 🙂