BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

GIVEAWAY & INTERVIEW WITH STEPHEN BLY



STEPHEN'S BIO: Stephen Bly has authored 100 books and hundreds of articles. His book, THE LONG TRAIL HOME, (Broadman & Holman), won the prestigious 2002 CHRISTY AWARD for excellence in Christian fiction in the category western novel. Three other books, PICTURE ROCK (Crossway Books), THE OUTLAW'S TWIN SISTER (Crossway Books), and LAST OF THE TEXAS CAMP (Broadman & Holman), were Christy Award finalists. He speaks at colleges, churches, camps and conferences across the U.S. and Canada. He is the pastor of Winchester Community Church, and served as mayor of Winchester, Idaho (2000-2007). He has spoken on numerous television and radio programs, including Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family. He is an Active Member of the Western Writers of America. Steve graduated summa cum laude in Philosophy from Fresno State University and received a M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Janet (who is also a writer) live at 4,000 ft. elevation in the mountains of north-central Idaho, in the pine trees, next to a lake on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.


1. How did you get the idea for Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon? What was your inspiration? Did you have a say so in the cover of this book. I really like it.


It seems quite natural for me to write about a grandpa and the game of cribbage. My grandpa taught me to play when I was 4-years-old. I played him once or twice a week until he died when I turned 15. In the book Pop’s name is Theodore and his wife is Katie, same as my grandparents.

This is not my story. However, what makes it personal is that I was 10-years-old in 1954. I grew up on a ranch in California. And I did hear accounts about the “old days.” I did not know Quirt, Bronc, Thad, Shorty, Coosie or Pop. But I knew men much like them. Most folks called my Grandpa Wilson “Pop.” I met an old-timer in Magdalena, New Mexico, who had been a sheriff in the 1930s. He still packed a pistol and watched the door, just in case someone he sent to prison got out and scouted him for revenge. I based him on my character, Quirt Payton.

No, I didn’t have input on the cover of this new novel. But I’m pleased with it. Glad you like it too.

What was your favorite scene to write in Cowboys for a Rainy Afternoon? What was your most difficult to write? Why?


My favorite scene. . . “If you feel prodded, Shorty, it’s the shovel of the Lord. He’s diggin’ you up and intends on restorin’ you.” The narrator’s granddaddy, called Pop by the other cowboys, has been waiting all afternoon to chide the others with the Gospel. He loves them all way too much to keep silent. He’s hoping that 50 years of friendship and 5 minutes of Jesus will open their eyes.

All history, as well as fiction, is filtered through the eyes of the beholder. That’s one of the joys of being a writer. . .posing through your own world view. Every author does it.

Most difficult. . .not a scene, but a minor technical detail. Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon is set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You think Albuquerque is tough to spell? You’re right. It ranks #4 in the most misspelled list on none other than ePodunk.com. The other contenders are Cincinnati, Tucson and Pittsburgh. I had to spell it right a bazillion times.

(Nora: That is hilarious Stephen, I can feel for you. I would have had a hard time with that myself)

2. What inspired you to write Creede of Old Montana? Was this always the title for the book? If not what was your working title?

I wanted to write a story set in the Missouri River Breaks area of Montana. Creede of Old Montana is set in Fort Benton, Montana, in the 1880s. The title is mine, but not the original one. I liked “Missouri Breaks Reunion,” but realized many readers would think the story’s set in Missouri. The double meaning of Creede (creed) gave this title a certain flair for me.

A few years back I spent a couple weeks in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, west of Great Falls. I sat around a campfire one night with an old-time cowboy called Blue Moon. He told how the cowboys still change the life of a town when they arrive.

“We ride to Augusta on the July 4th weekend,” Blue Moon said, “for the rodeo and celebrations. The stores board up the glass windows and doors. The sheriff tries to hire more deputies. For that long weekend, cowboys rule.”

Not much different than Old West days. Some say much has changed in a hundred plus years. But out West there are still unaltered lands, especially the rivers, mountains, sage and prairies. You can feel what the nineteenth century early settlers felt in your own bones. There is this bond with history. That’s what I felt the first time I sauntered from the hotel in Fort Benton down to the Missouri River and stared into the slow moving water. The Missouri River Breaks region of eastern Montana was a wild and remote part of the Old West. An easy place to get lost, either by accident or on purpose. It still is. The frontier’s still here. It just has a fresh coat of paint . . . in some places.

 In the Discussion questions for One Step Over The Border you talked about obsession. Did you ever have any obsessions when you were that age? What were they? How did they influence your life?

People grab onto “idiot obsessions” because of the goal (or perceived goal) in their mind it will accomplish something, produce something, change something. This obsession is the only way they know how to achieve that result. Have I had one? Are you kidding? Being a full time fiction writer is an idiot obsession. Most people have the good sense to avoid such an occupation. What pushes me to write over 100 books? Fire in my belly. Stories in my heart fighting to get out.

One Step Over The Border is a romp. A road adventure. It’s CowboyLit. Rodeo cowboy Hap Bowman’s on a search for Juanita, the gal of his dreams, whom he hasn’t seen in 18 years. He seems stuck on 12-years-old and the enchanting girl he met then. And he wants to give her a small box of treasures.

An idiot obsession,” his roping partner, Laramie Majors, chides. But Laramie agrees to a final summer’s trek along the Rio Grande. If they don’t find Juanita during those months, Hap promises to drop the idea of the gal. But if they find her, will she feel the same as Hap does about their years ago interlude?




I’m sure you must be working on a brand new book by now; can you tell us a little something about what this series will be about? Any sneak peeks for us about what we can look forward to?

September 1st is deadline for my WIP, which has the working title, “Throw Away Heart.” Most of the story happens on a train ride from Omaha to Sacramento in the late 1870s. The title sounds like a romance, which it is, but the editor wants a more western sounding name for their base of Bly fans. So, I’ll brainstorm that while I finish the project. It should be released early Spring of 2011. The theme: forgiveness, redemption, and taking a stand against evil. I also have a whole list of other ideas waiting to be fleshed out.

Could you share with us a little bit about your testimony?

At age 23 I was married and had 2 sons. I loved my job working on ranches for my uncle and father and had a good life. To work outdoors. The hard labor, yes, but also freedom of spirit. But still, something seemed to be missing. Janet & I began reading a Bible together every night. We realized the people in this book knew God. Sometimes they obeyed him, other times not. But he was real in their lives. We realized that wasn’t true for us. We started going to church, which led to signing up for a weekly Navigator’s home study.

There, the leader challenged us one night, “You’ve asked the questions, done the research. Now it’s time to decide. . .are you going to commit your lives to follow Jesus Christ?”

After several weeks of thought to consider what I sensed would be a major turning point for me, I received Christ while doing ranch chores. I’ve never regretted that surrender to him. Early on, my life verse has been Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” God has been gracious to bless me with a lot of ‘added things.’ Getting books published is one.

 What is "cowboy pride" anyway?

All the aged cowboys I ever met wore long-sleeved shirts, usually some worn shade of white, with the collar buttoned. This kept the dirt out when he rode down the trail or behind a herd of slow moving cows. Also, an old beat-up Stetson and yellow cigarette stains on their fingers. Long-sleeved white shirts, buttoned at the top, no tie. It’s the old-time cowboy uniform for when he traveled to town. That’s often the garb for the western cowboy to this day.

A cowboy’s a man who makes a living by horseback. Most were crippled up a bit, lost a few teeth, but never their cowboy pride. They lost a lot of memory too, but never seemed to forget a friend, a horse, or a pretty girl. Part of the loneliness and solitude of the lifestyle.
QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK!!
1. What actor best personifies your definition of a cowboy? Someone that was your role model.

Gary Cooper in the movie, High Noon.










2. If you had 24 hours to hang out with any TWO PEOPLE alive or dead in the history of the world (besides Jesus); what two people would you pick & Why? What would you do?

Either Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer, so we could play 18 holes at the Old Works Golf Course in Anaconda, Montana. Or Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln—we’d hang out at Starbucks and talk politics.



3. Could you name three everyday things you just couldn't live without? (or wouldn't want to anyway!)


a) the delete button on my computer

b) Titleist golf balls

c) Indoor plumbing

3. What do cowboys eat for breakfast? What is your favorite breakfast meal?

Bacon, biscuits and beans. I’d love to be able to eat steak, eggs, biscuits and gravy every morning.

4. Name three of your favorite cowboy western movies?

a) High Noon, with Gary Cooper & Grace Kelly

b) Stagecoach (1939 version)

c) The Shootist, with John Wayne  & Lauren Bacall

Check out my Top Ten list posted on our blog: http://www.blybooks.blogspot.com/

5. Cowboys love their horses. What is your favorite type of horse to ride and why?

Hands-down. . .a quarter horse. They are smart enough to take care of themselves and me!


FINAL COMMENTS YOU’D LIKE TO LEAVE MY READERS WITH??

Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon features a 10-year-old boy. Six old cowboys. A ’49 Plymouth with open trunk. And a damsel in distress. All the fixings for adventure on a summer’s day in 1954 Albuquerque. Maybe you weren’t born 100 years too late!

Thanks for stopping by and letting readers get to know you and your books.  Blessings to you on your new writing adventures. I appreciate you offering the give away of your newest book.

MANDATORY - PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT About the interview for your name to be entered in the drawing for a chance to in a copy of Stephen Bly's new book Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon.

Be sure to leave your email address so that if you win I can contact you.


DRAWING WILL BE - OCTOBER 2nd


For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can

1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
2. Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/NoraStlaurent (1) entry - please make a separate comment
3. Grab my button on my site and add it to yours (1)entry - please make a separate comment for each entry

4. Make a post on your blog about this contest (1) entries - please make a separate comment for each entry


Contest will end -- PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you (Use (At) and (dot) so that peole won't be able to spam your email address)


ALL THE BEST TO YOU
Blessings
Nora :D

********DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****

33 comments:

  1. I see Stephen Bly likes steak, eggs, biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I do too!! Although it's been a long time sense I've had this.
    moma3homeschool(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. I am a public follower
    moma3homeschool(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. I have your button on my right sidebar
    moma3homeschool(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. Sounds like a great book... I am a sucker for anything western.. loved reading your faves... The Shootist is a fave movie here... watched it again just recently. Looking forward to reading your book
    Barb C

    Christianhomes [at] gmail [dot] com

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  5. I like High Noon, too! Thanks for the giveaway.

    hismercysurrounding(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  6. Appreciate all the comments so far. Look forward to giving away a copy of Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon to someone here.
    On the trail,
    Steve
    http://BlyBooks.blogspot.com

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  7. I love reading your books. My husband and I read them aloud to each other.
    sandyminnich@gmail.com

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  8. I learned cribbage as a youngster too. I've played it with my grandparents many times when I was younger, and with my mom and now my grandsons. Enjoy all your books!
    Deanna M sprout-62838(at)mypacks(dot)net

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  9. Great Interview.
    Please add me to the drawing.
    Thank you for the chance.
    Wendy
    wdesirees@yahoo.com

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  10. Hahaha the comment about the quarter horse made me laugh! Thanks for the chance to win!

    Kait
    knownasjane@yahoo.com

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  11. I'm a follower!

    Kait
    knownasjane@yahoo.com

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  12. I just finished this book and loved it. It was a really fun read (it made me wonder how Stephen's brain worked with all the side stories and comments going on.)
    Please do not enter me in the contest, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the book.
    Wendy

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  13. I would love to win this book by Bly. Some of his books make me laugh, and some just make me think. clairjuly (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  14. I really am enthralled at how each interview is different and gives us a slightly different pciture of Steve. I am in compete agreement about enjoying indoor plumbing! Thanks for a wonderful chat time. So excited about the new book being written.....can't get enough of Steve and Janet's writings! Blessings, Connie Sue

    csthankful(at)midrivers(dot)com

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  15. Oh I always loved Gary Cooper movies too, especially High Noon. Would love to win a copy of Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon. Thanks for the chance.

    Smiles,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  16. Ah, you like some of my husband's favorite movies. He loves anything John Wayne. Your book sounds really good. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for giving away a copy.Carman sent me.
    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  17. It's good to meet authors I haven't read yet. Stirs up my curiosity. I have a longing to travel out west. My favorite cowboys are Tom Mix and Gene Autry. Hmm, guess that dates me.
    meredithlbl@yahoo.com

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  18. I'd love a chance at winning this book. Looks like a nice read!

    legacy1992(at)gmail(dot)com

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  19. I am a follower of this blog!

    legacy1992(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. What a great interview. I would love to read his books and I would love to win. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. Really enjoyed the interview. I used to love cribbage Would love to read his books.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  22. I'm a follower

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I follow you on twitter

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I loved the interview and would love to read the book. I laughed outloud about not wanting to live without "the delete button" on his computer. Thanks for the interview Nora!

    Gail Mundy

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  25. Great Interview, I love the questions that you asked. I have a sore throat today and don't feel like eating anything today except those biscuits in the cowboy breakfast above. That would make me about as happy as winning this book!

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  26. I follow this blog happily with GFC!

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)

    ReplyDelete
  27. It sounded like you had a wonderful childhood! That guy who used to be a Sheriff must have been a character.
    I grew up in Schenectady....as kid that was quite a city to spell!
    Please enter me!
    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  28. I am a follower!

    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great interview! Believe it or not, I'm new to Stephen's writings and I have no excuse except I must have been looking in the wrong direction. I enjoyed reading what he said in the interview. I'm hooked on cowboy and western stories. Thanks, Stephen for the giveaway and my appreciation to Nora for the chance to win. I hope I do!!

    Sharing Christ's Love,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  30. I'm a folloower.

    Thanks,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm a follower of Nora on Twitter.

    Thank You,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I posted about this interview and giveaway on Twitter.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hey, I love horses too! : ). I am at the age where I can finally settle down and have my own very soon. I love watching westerns with hubby. I fell in love with western novels after reading Lori Copeland & Susan Mae Warren western series. I am excited to add a real cowboy and a few others I have now discovered after facebook adds to my winter list of must have westerns to read. I do enjoy the Bly's blog & fb post. Looking forward to reading, Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon. Thanks for the detail interview Nora.

    Barbara Span
    barbarainvadaze@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete