Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sparks Featuring Carlene Havel

I hope you’ve been enjoying the “Sparks” posts.  These small nuggets from successful authors are intended to give readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the thoughts that go into a story and encourage writers to not overlook even the smallest of life experiences when crafting a scene.  Gay N. Lewis highlighted the value of research, Bonnie McCune noted the importance of not only looking at your own experiences, but considering those around you.  This week Carlene discusses traditions, family stories and childhood memories.

Carlene Havel: My family has a tradition of story-telling.  Some of my fondest childhood memories involve nestling in a relative’s lap, trying to stay awake while someone spun a yarn from times past.  During the 2012 holidays, I was thinking about the hardships my grandparents faced during the Great Depression.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to incorporate some of these wonderful treasures into a book? This kernel of an idea grew into a short novel to be entitled “A Sharecropper’s Christmas”.  It’s mainly about my paternal grandmother, based loosely on her experiences as a farm wife during the 1930s.  I admit to changing names and locations, along with invoking some literary license.  For the most part, I drew on my own recollections of family stories, and my mother helped by providing additional details.  While “A Sharecropper’s Christmas” won’t be classified as an adventure novel per se, the story is about life—the greatest adventure of all! 
Carlene is a Texan.  Her published novels include the love story of Princess Michal and King David in, Daughter of the King, and the contemporary Christian romance, A Hero’s Homecoming. Both novels are available at For more on Carlene follow her blog at


  1. I love anything Carlene writes. She never seems to be without ideas for great stories. When I see her name with a story, I know it will be good. So are yours, Kim. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for using this post, Kim!

  3. Thank you, Gay. That's a great compiment from the imaginative creator of that wacky little angel named Sarah!

  4. What a great concept, and a nice tribute to your family at the same time! :-)