Today I have the honor of interviewing another freshly published author by the name of Carlene Havel. A while back Ms. Havel asked me to read her book A Hero’s Homecoming. Well brilliant person that I am I “misplaced” her book in my library and unfortunately didn’t find it until early Monday morning of this week. (SMH) I quickly opened the book and read it in one sitting!!!
So after apologizing profusely in an email, I talked her into letting me interview her for today’s post.
So with all that being said, please welcome to the blog Ms. Carlene Havel!
Hi Carlene! Thanks for joining us today. Since there are probably some newcomers to the blog and to your work, would you please tell us a little about yourself and how long have you been writing?
Hello Shineka, and everyone. Thank you for inviting me to be interviewed! I grew up in Texas and married a military officer. It seems I was always packing or unpacking my household for the next few years, but the payoff was a chance to live in a great variety of interesting places. After settling down—back in Texas, of course—I worked in human resources for a while, and finally ended up designing and testing HR computer applications. I had no interest in writing until 2005, when I became a believer in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. Along with everything else that changed, I developed a passion for writing.
Is A Hero’s Homecoming your first published book? And do you have any others that we should be on the look out for?
A Hero’s Homecoming was my debut novel. “Daughter of the King”, which I wrote with co-author Sharon Faucheux is the love story of King David and Princess Michal, and was published in December 2012. My next contemporary romance, “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” is scheduled to be released in September.
What was your inspiration for this story?
I wanted to create a deep volume of theology, but knew I didn’t have the knowledge or skill. So instead, I decided to write about a spiritual journey to demonstrate a remarkable effect. The redemption story in A Hero’s Homecoming is intertwined with the hero’s falling in love with a believer. Charlotte appears to be unattainable, but Rich Martino is a man who can’t resist a challenge. Drawing on my long association with the military, I created the situation and the main characters. Then Rich and Charlotte took over and told the story for me!
Who was your favorite character in this story and why?
I’m going to call this a tie between Jerry McClain and Lottie Browne. Lottie captured my heart by making me laugh. Jerry? Because he tries, but fails, to disguise his teddy-bear heart with a crusty exterior.
I love that Homecoming has a salvation message in it. Was there any other messages/plot points that you wanted your readers to take away from the book?
Busted! You’re exactly right – I really wanted to tell the story of Rich’s spiritual transformation. In addition, I wanted to affirm there’s hope of true romance, even for those of us who aren’t young, model-thin, and magazine-cover beautiful.
So I’m an army brat (and proud of it!) and I love that your hero in the book is a retiring Army Colonel. Do you have military members in your family? Have you had a chance to travel and where all have you been?
My husband spent his military career in the US Air Force. Each time we settled into a new place to live, I would start looking for a job. I’ve worked as a civilian for the Army, Air Force, and the Department of Defense Headquarters.
So I have to ask at least one personality question. When you were a little girl what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
I desperately wanted to be a grownup; however, I never had any career aspirations. I was endlessly jealous of women who were old enough to drive, vote, wear makeup and choose their own clothes. This shallow short-sightedness may account for the wide variety of jobs I’ve held! Software tester, compensation manager, and banana biller, just to name a few.
Carlene, It’s been great talking to you today. Before you leave us, Is there any words of advice or wisdom you’d like to give to any aspiring writers?
Aspiring authors, never give up! Pursue your dreams relentlessly.
Thank you again, Shineka. It’s been such a pleasure talking with you.
A Hero’s Welcome is the story of Rich Martino and Charlotte Phillips.
Colonel Richard Martino has just retired from the military and has been through an endless amount of plane delays, trying to make it home to San Antonio from the Philippines only to find that his house been sold, his wife has disappeared with all of his money, and his father is in the hospital in a coma. Oh and the greatest fact of all that he has been mistakenly declared dead!
Charlotte Phillips, is a psychologist who had been counseling Dick Martino (Richard’s father), and because of their friendship has been made the executor/guardian for his funds in case he becomes incapacitated.
Sparks fly when these two meet! First is anger then something more.
Will Richard be able to find real love in this world? Will Charlotte be able to let down her guard and let someone new into her heart?
Hmm…I guess you’ll have to read the book to find the answers to these questions and so many more!
3 out of 5 stars
I read this in one sitting and have been back a few times to read certain parts.
4 out of 5 stars
Love the banter between Charlotte and Rich and I would so love to be kissed like he kissed her at the end!