Saturday, November 22, 2008

Let Them Eat Fruitcake...and an Interview!



The Christmas season is a magical time of the year when there is peace on earth, winter wonderlands, and rockin’ parties . . . right? With the holiday season upon them, the roommates of 86 Bloomberg Place are feeling far from peaceful, and the rockin’ party they’re planning isn’t coming together as planned.
Megan is struggling with a difficult boss and is forced to spend Christmas alone. Lelani can’t afford to fly home, and she isn’t sure she’d be welcomed. Anna’s old boyfriend has sailed back into her life, just when she’s met a for-real “nice guy” that she has been keeping away from her crazy Latino family. And Kendall has a crush on a famous actor who just might be the answer to her money woes . . . if only she could convince him she’s the love of his life.
Let’s face it, relationships can be hard work-whether they’re with family and friends, coworkers and customers, or boyfriends and girlfriends. And when you’ve got your first apartment, a real job, and grown-up responsibilities, relationships are loaded with confusion, emotion, and secrets you can’t tell anyone but God. Thank goodness He’s always around to listen!
Melody Carlson has published over 150 books, with sales totaling more than three million dollars. Among those titles, many have appeared on the ECPA Bestsellers List and several have won awards including the Gold Medallion and the RITA Award. She and her husband, Chris, live in the Pacific Northwest near their two grown sons.
Learn more about Melody at


What’s your favorite Christmas tradition? We’re pretty low key about the holidays. Mostly we enjoy being with family members and try to keep things light and bright. My husband’s birthday happens to be Christmas day and years ago, he decided he prefers lasagna to turkey so we have “Christmas lasagna.”

What has God been teaching you lately? It seems like I have to keep learning some lessons over and over again. Particularly patience. I am, by nature, the most impatient person I know. I want it done and I want it done now. And I want it done right…yada-yada. But that’s not how life generally works. And it’s not how God usually works. So I have to continually remind myself to keep my mouth shut, to keep praying, and to JUST WAIT. You’d think I’d have it down by now (hear my impatience there?) but I don’t. I probably never will. I can imagine being 100 years old and on my deathbed, saying, “Okay, God, could you just hurry it up, please?”

How did you get involved in writing? In my mid-thirties, I got the strongest desire to get serious about writing. I’d been doing some op-ed pieces for the newspaper and suddenly I just wanted to write a book. Fiction, of course. So I simply began writing and it seems I’ve been writing ever since.

How do you find time to write? I treat writing as a fulltime job, which it is for me. Aside from procrastinating, I usually write daily (Monday through Friday, office hours) until the book is finished and then I give myself “time off” until it’s time to start the next one.

What did you enjoy most about the writing process? I love not knowing exactly what’s going to happen next. I don’t outline and I’m as surprised as the reader when a story takes a twist or turn.

Where did you get the idea for the book? Having written for teens for nearly a decade, I wondered about my readers who were in their twenties now. I think that’s a hard age these days and I wanted to create something that would speak to that young career woman who’s trying to sort out her life, her values, her friends, her faith…. I think fiction is a great way to teach truth and my hope was that these 86 Bloomberg Place characters living together under one roof would inspire readers to be better friends, share their faith, and live life more fully.

What are the major themes of the book? I jokingly tell people that 86 Bloomberg Place is like that old TV sitcom “Friends” with faith mixed in. The main themes are relationships, life decisions, and where faith fits in.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book? I hope they’ll enjoy a few laughs, a peek into the lives of some very human-like characters, and perhaps a spiritual challenge that they’ve found tucked between the lines.
Will we see any of these characters again? Let Them Eat Fruitcake is the second book in a four book series (86 Bloomberg Place). The next installment is titled Spring Broke and the housemates end up going to Maui, where some mysteries about Lelani’s life are resolved. Also, there is romance and few other surprises. The final book is Three Weddings and a Bar Mitzvah.
Purchase your copy of Let Them Eat Fruitcake at Amazon!

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