Interview With Inspy Author Stacy Monson and Giveaway

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Mindy Lee “Minnie” Carlson’s dream job has dropped into her hands, but there’s a catch. She has four months to revive Open Circle, the town’s only Senior Adult Day Center, or the doors will close, leaving her beloved seniors stranded, and eliminating the only job she’s ever wanted.

Globe-trotting photographer Jackson Young documents the forgotten people of the world, focusing on the poor and elderly. After decades on the road, he’s stunned to learn his beloved Grandma Em is still alive in the small town he’d had to leave decades earlier.

Overjoyed, Jackson races back into town to reconnect with her and discovers she’s been Minnie’s adopted grandma for the past twenty years. When Grandma Em has a stroke, his ideas about her care pit him against Minnie’s determination and expertise. For Grandma Em’s sake, and the future of Open Circle, they’ll need to do the impossible—find a way to work together.

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As you guys may know, it’s not my policy to agree to review books in exchange for a free copy, but something about this one caught my eye. I can’t say why that is, exactly. This book came to me a perfect time. I needed an inspy and this one fit the bill. As a bonus, I found a new writer friend!

After I read Open Circle, I asked Stacy if she would be willing to do an interview for us, and she said she’d be happy to!

I loved the idea of setting a story in an elder care environment. Can you tell us a little bit about your inspiration for choosing this particular setting?
I started writing Open Circle while my mom was in the midst of her Alzheimer’s journey. It’s such a terrible disease, and yet we experienced moments of joy, even humor through those years. I got to know caregivers, administrators, and other families on a similar journey. I also learned about the wide variety of programs available for families, research, and organizations committed to providing support, encouragement, and education for clients and family members/caregivers. As difficult as the journey was, watching my fiercely independent mother decline over nearly a decade, I was inspired by the people who cared for her, as well as the others like her. She’s been gone nearly 7 years now, which is hard to believe.

What are the main things you want readers to take away from Open Circle?
That everyone deserves respect no matter their age, mental capacity, illness, and that our elders have earned the right to age with dignity, and be loved unconditionally. All of my books have the underlying theme of who we are in Christ; our identity in Him doesn’t change just because we lose our memory, or our bodies get old.
I love the title. Can you tell us what the title means to you and why you chose to name the adult daycare center in your novel Open Circle?

It’s actually the name of an adult day program where my in-laws were involved. I co-facilitated a caregiver support group with Carol, the social worker of that program. I got to know the staff and was immensely impressed with all of them and their programming.

What can we look forward to reading about in your future work?

I have several ideas percolating! What I’m working on right now is a series called My Father’s House, about sisters who discover (as young adults) that they’re adopted. Two of them have been raised as twins. The stories (each book follows one of the sisters on her journey to discover who she “really” is) look at adoption, identity, family, consequences. After that, I’m focusing on a more lighthearted book, perhaps a novella, about online dating.  🙂

My question for all of YOU:  I’d love to know which genres are your favorites. Comment below and you’ll be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy of Open Circle.
My favorite is contemporary (obviously!) but I’ve also grown to love historicals as I know a number of historical authors and appreciate all the work they put into making their stories accurate as well as interesting!

About Stacy

Stacy Monson is the award-winning author of The Chain of Lakes series, including Shattered Image, Dance of Grace, and The Color of Truth. Her stories reveal an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the MN Christian Writers Guild (MCWG), Stacy is the area coordinator for ACFW in Minnesota, past president of ACFW MN-NICE, and is the Events Director for MN Christian Writers Guild. Residing in the Twin Cities, she is the wife of a juggling, unicycling physical education teacher, mom to two amazing kids and two wonderful in-law kids, and a very proud grandma of 3 grands.

For news about upcoming books, contests, giveaways, and other fun stuff – stop by Stacy’s Author Website here. 

To learn about bringing Stacy’s speaking ministry, WINGS, to your event, visit her blog here.

She also on Facebook  Twitter  Instragram and  Pinterest.

Thank you, Stacy!

I struggle to pick a favorite type of fiction. It’s like asking me to go to the buffet and pick one favorite food. I love a good story that makes me laugh or cry. The best ones do both.

OK, ya’ll, we have TWO  Giveaways!

Giveaway ONE

Leave a comment below to enter Stacy’s giveaway for an autographed copy.

Giveaway TWO

As an EXTRA, sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win an ecopy of Open Circle. If you’re on my mailing list and provide a valid email, you are in. One chance for  an ecopy per email valid address, but you can enter BOTH giveaways one and two.

Both giveaways close on May 31.2018.

Linked up at Literacy Musing Mondays #LMMLINKUP.

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23 comments

  1. I also like Historical Fiction. Also like to read Christian fiction. Sometimes I just need a little up living and those books hit the spot

    1. Beth, who are your favorite historical writers? I’m partial to Julie Klassen and Michelle Griep, for starters. I just love well-written books, whatever the genre!

  2. I’m glad Open Circle caught your eye, Donna Jo! It’s my 4th book but I think it will forever have a special place in my heart. And I’m with you on good books – if it can make me laugh or cry, or both!, I’ll love it in any genre.

  3. I really enjoy dystopia. Something about the world-building and the warning fascinates and jars me. But as has been stated I really just enjoy something that will make me laugh and cry – in human ways. I don’t always just want a humorous escape, I want a well-placed, well-crafted, witticism. And I don’t just want my heart strings pulled or sentimentalism engaged. I want to cry over the human things: tragedy, sacrifice, love, loss. But not nihilism. I know, dystopia can be nihilistic, but the point for most of the foundational books in the genre is to warn us not to become that society. The Hunger Games Trilogy actually ends with hope and newness. So, there you go. 🙂

  4. I couldn’t believe I actually liked The Hunger Games since dystopia isn’t something I gravitate toward, but it was so well written. And I agree about not liking sentiment for its own sake – I cry (and laugh) over things I can relate to.

  5. My absolute favorite genre is Christ laced speculative fiction. I love G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis and Tolkien and George MacDonald, and from more recent years, Calvin Miller. I also enjoy historical fiction (especially Rudyard Kipling and Louisa May Alcott) and children’s classics (Francis Hodgeson Burnett, Gene Stratton-Porter, L.M. Montgomery, Kate DiCamillo.) Right now I’m reading a biography and some poetry (“The Fellowship, the Literary Lives of the Inklings” by Philip and Carol Zaleski, and “Sounding the Seasons, Poetry for the Christian Year” by Malcolm Guite.) I only actually started properly reading Robert Frost last year, which is sad. He has a beautiful voice.
    I read a good bit of fanfiction and an enormous number of comics, too, but that doesn’t sound as cool or impressive. (Heh.) What I look for first in my favorite books is interest. Do the characters show a love of life and are they observant? Then I look for some sort of depth – being willing to deal with real issues, with the darkness in human nature, and still show clearly where there’s hope on the other side. It doesn’t hurt if there’s a lot of philosophical underlay, either. (“The Last Unicorn” by Peter S. Beagle and “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende are clearly not Christian, but manage to contain some real truths and beautiful themes. They’re also FULL of philosophy, but don’t get bogged down by it. Score!)
    If you boil it all down, maybe it could be summed up by this : I want to see us, see humanity, see myself as we are. And then find grace, and out of grace, strength.

    1. Kathy, what an amazing repertoire of favorites! I’ve written down some of those “new” books that I haven’t had a chance to read (so many books – so little time!). Thanks for sharing. (And I think comics are cool, so you must be too!)

  6. I like contemporary romances. I can’t resist a good love story. But, I really like time-travel romances, which you don’t see much of right now. I love history and time-travels allows me to “go back in time” through the experiences of the characters. Since I love history, I enjoy historicals romances also. I just like a well told love story with characters and plot that pull me into their world.

    I had heard about Open Circle in a review and it sounds like a story I would enjoy.

    1. Gloria, I’d love to go back in time too, although probably only for a visit! That’s what’s so amazing about books – we get to meet new people, travel, go on adventures, all from the comfort of our home. 🙂 And who doesn’t love a good romance?! But it’s definitely about the characters, for me. If I don’t love the characters, I probably won’t like the story no matter how well it’s written.

  7. Hi Stacy! I just found your site from Gayl’s linkup. This book sounds wonderful and I’d love to read it. Sadly, I’ve only recently allowed myself to begin reading for leisure so I don’t have a favorite genre – but I’d have to say when you weave Christ into a story – it’s the book for me. I think I’ll order a couple of these books as there are so many of us dealing with this stage of life.

    1. Hi Char! Glad you’re getting the chance to read for fun – there are so many fabulous reads out there. I’m with you – if Christ is at the heart of the story, it’s got my attention! Thanks for stopping by. Happy reading. 🙂

  8. Great interview! I will have to get this book. As far as my favorite genre, that’s hard. I love reading in almost all genres. I guess if I had to pick one it would be YA I get lost in books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and yes Twilight.

    1. I love YA, too. I finally broke down and read Twilight. Then I had a discussion with my daughter about weird stalkery guys and appropriate boundaries in relationships! We loved Hunger Games.

    2. Hey Jakki, I was surprised to discover how much enjoyed Hunger Games (not sure if “enjoyed” is the right word for that series!). I really enjoyed Dawn Ford’s YA Knee Hi Lies as well.

  9. Great interview and great summary. Not typically my genre, but you’ve created the desire for me to read the book! Well done!

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