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4 BK GIVEAWAY - SIBELLA GIORELLO - INTERVIEW



SIBELLA GIORELLO BIO: She grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons.


How did you go from getting a degree in Geology to being a fiction writer?
Well, first of all, I wouldn't have a geology degree if my dad didn't tell me to "fail." His advice when I was leaving for college was to take all the classes that were outside my comfort zone. Even if I was going to fail them. He said, "Don't worry about grades. Worry about growing your mind."
Amazing advice from an amazing man.

And since the Alaska landscape always fascinated me, I signed up for lots of geology courses. That meant adding physics, chemistry, and higher math to understand the geology, and I wasn't just bad at these subjects: I was AWFUL. A math professor once gave me a D and said it was a gift.

But I passed every one of these courses, mostly by writing extra-credit papers. I couldn't do the theorems but I could write about them.
Later, I gravitated into newspapers writing features. Geology was just a minor hobby at that point. But one day I read about the FBI's mineralogy lab. My first thought was: "The Bureau hires geologists?" My second thought was to pick up the phone. FBI headquarters in DC gave me clearance to interview its geologists. They were very smart, very helpful people. And immediately I knew the material was for a mystery novel. Felt it in my bones.

To this day, I continue to rely on forensic geologists to help me figure out the science that comes up in each book.

I love the titles to your books. The Stones Cry Out, The River Run Dry, The Clouds Roll Away, The Mountains Bow Down. How did you come up with the titles? What were the working title to your books; if these weren’t what you started out with?

Fortunately the titles dropped into my lap. Really, like a gift from God. If only all writing was such easy gleaning. Instead it's sweat and doubt and prayers. Many, many prayers.





Where did you come up with the character Raleigh? Why write about a female FBI agent? How did you pick her name? I like it. I like the fact she’s honest about her feelings and her struggle with God to be in the drivers’ seat of her life 24/7.

On my way to work at the newspaper in Richmond, Virginia, I would walk past a decrepit but elegant house on Monument Avenue. Like most readers and writers, my mind wants to daydream. And it amused me to think about who might live in that odd house. A young woman, beautiful but lonely. Her mother, colorful, not quite sane. A small black dog with uncanny intelligence. And a sarcastic boarder who treated them all with love and contempt.

Even before I started writing fiction, these people wandered across the pages of my journal.

But I agree with you: Raleigh's honesty makes her great company. She's not perfect. And she knows it. But she knows God is perfect and He loves her, no matter what.

What scene in The Mountains Bow Down was your favorite to write? Why?

Can I pick two? Both take place in the cruise ship's medical clinic. One, when Raleigh discovers the man she detests is utterly fabulous in a crisis. And two, when she's alone with her thoughts and prayers, and realizes the full scope of life on earth. The same God who made these sky-scraping mountains also knows every hair on her troubled head. Those two scenes really touched me.

In your book The Mountains Bow Down the book’s setting is an Alaskan cruise. What made you pick that as a back drop? The Alaskan mountains, landscape, stones, gems all play a big part of the story. What came first for you, when decided to write this story?

Setting came first. I had been reading Agatha Christe's train-mysteries, marveling at how she kept the story going despite the very confined space. That seemed like a fun challenge, particularly with Raleigh Harmon being a forensic geologist who usually solves crime through soil analysis. On a cruise ship, where would she find geology?

But geology goes far beyond soil, stretching from building materials such as gypsum board to asbestos to the minerals used in lipsticks and face powders. And yes, precious gems. Those are wonderful because of their dramatic background stories and "curses."





For research we took a cruise to Alaska. My family frolicked. I tried to figure out how to kill my fellow passengers -- and the cruise director helped me! A Christian with a heart for art, he took me behind the scenes. Engine room. Captain's bridge. The kitchen full of screaming Italians. He was another gift from God, I am certain. I came home with a notebook packed with information.

I read that you were born in Alaska and you mentioned in the acknowledgements that Belle and Frances were responsible for your idea for The Mountains Bow Down; A. What ideas exactly did Belle and Frances give you that helped in your new story? B. Why set your book on a book in Alaska? C. What helped you in coming up with such a mysterious web of deception, betrayal and murder? Wow! I enjoyed the story very much and didn’t guess who did it until you told me? Of course I thought it was the husband like one of your characters kept saying all through the book! Grin! How did it all work out for you when you wrote the end?

My grandmothers, Belle and Frances, really conditioned me for a writing life. Pioneer women, they told me jaw-dropping stories about Alaska pre-statehood. Belle was kidnaped by the Tlingit Indians and Frances was also the Juneau librarian -- she kept a steady diet of good books. Later, when I was a teenager, we would sit in the criminal courtrooms, listening to cases. Hey, we didn't have television! This was our version of "Law and Order." I loved it.

But all that listening trained me to piece together fictional mysteries. Sometimes we don't really know the truth until the closing argument, or when the jury delivers its verdict. That's often the case when writing. The ending isn't known until it unspools from my fingertips.

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you’re working on now? Have a release date yet?
I'm finishing up The Stars Shine Bright, which will be out next year. Raleigh goes undercover. And it's a doozy. The girl is still so honest it takes my breath away.




QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK!

What are three things you’d rather not live without?


God, my family, and books
















What movie impacted you most as a child? Why?

Fantasia. The music told stories so well, as if written.

A friend of yours just invented a time machine and is going to let you use it, but you can only use it to witness two events in the history of the world. What two events would you love to experience? Why?



Call me provincial, but I'd like to see Alaska during the Gold Rush. And my parents meeting each other. Big world events are too large for me. I always choose the tree over the forest.






Name three of your favorite books you read as a kid?

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and Harriet the Spy.






If you could hang out with two people (alive or dead) in the history of the world, which would it be and what would you do? (Besides Jesus).

C.S. Lewis and my great-great uncle who was an adventure/travel writer back in the 1800s.





What do you do to relax and get away from life’s stressors’? I run on mountain trails, a lot.



ANY FINAL COMMENTS FOR MY READERS?

Just tell them thank you. It seems to me readers are saving the world, one word at a time.
Sibella





Thank you for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your books better. I really enjoyed The Mountains Bow Down and will be checking out your other books! Thanks for this giveaway opportunity! I'm excited about your blog tour and the give away opporutnities there next week. Stay tuned readers!We'll be talking again Sibella!




Giving Away - (2) copies of The Rivers Run Dry and (2) copies of The Clouds Roll Away - Sibella's Older Books - and the beginning of the Raleigh Harmon novels.


MANDATORY -
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT About the interview for your name to be entered in the drawing.

Be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win. Winners chosen using Randomnumber.org.

DRAWING WILL BE - APRIL 3rd
For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can

1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
2. Twitter about this interview and give away!! (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 drawing (2) entries - please make a separate comment for each entry

PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you (Use (At) and (dot) so that people won't be able to spam your email address; I'll be contacting the winner via email.
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 *****

56 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to read one of Sibella's books. It was fun to read this interview and get to know more about her. :)

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  2. THis was a great interview - enjoyed getting to "know" Sibella!

    I am a follower!

    edwina(dot)cowgill(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  3. Nora, Great interview! You have introduced me to yet another great author and now I have a whole new series to read! Ginger ginger58atgmxdotcom

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  4. I follow your blog by email and rss. Always enjoy meeting the new authors through your interviews. Ginger ginger58atgmxdotcom

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  5. I admit I don't always read entire interviews, but this one had me from the get go :) Alaska has always been a dream place to visit so I really enjoyed this one. And who wouldn't want to talk to CS Lewis?!? Thank you for the opportunity to win one of Sibella's books!

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  6. I'm a follower :)

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  7. Got your button on my blog :)

    http://duhpaynes.blogspot.com

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  8. What a great interview and the books sound terrific. Definitely want to check them out. Please enter me in the giveaway.

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

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  9. I'm a follower

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

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  10. Oops! Forgot to leave my email address:
    debraney[at]mac[dot]com

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  11. Interesting interview...each of the books sounds great and ones I'd love to read.
    lgm52@hotmail.com

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  12. Nora, I am amazed at the photos you included with this interview -- I actually gasped seeing the cover of "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase." It was like seeing an old friend from childhood.

    Thank you for your keen questions and for letting me answer with a lot of words. :-) It's been wonderful getting to know you.

    Sibella

    PS. You really have to watch out for that Deb Raney. She's way too talented for a mere mortal. ;-)

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  13. I enjoyed meeting Sibella in your interview and look forward to reading her books. Tisha

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  14. These books sound wonderful.

    Running on mountain trails would be a great way to relieve stress.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  15. I was impressed with The Mountains Bow Down, as most of the action takes place aboard the cruise ship. A difficult job done supremely.

    As to which book, I'd go with whatever one came first. I try to read them in order. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  16. I'm a follower.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  17. Tweeted here:
    http://twitter.com/#!/onedesertrose
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  18. Thanks for the interesting interview. I am always looking for a new favorite Christian author.
    sonflower277 at gmail dot com

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  19. Thank you for hosting Sibella and making her answer such fun questions. I think she's one of the most innovative writers in the Christian market today. Beautiful writing. Gorgeous.

    Tessa
    tessaafshar@cox.net

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  20. I've just discovered Sibella's books. I just downloaded her first one to my kindle reader and haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to it! God Bless.
    Lynetteeason (AT) lynetteeason (dot) com.

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  21. Wow I havent read any of these, but would love to. Thanks for the cool interview.
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com
    http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

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  22. I am a follower

    Blessings.....Joy
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com
    http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

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  23. Your button is already on my blog
    http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

    Blessings.....Joy
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com
    http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

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  24. I posted your giveaway on my blog....
    http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/


    Blessings.....Joy
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com
    http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

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  25. I have not read any of her books yet, but I will certainly change that soon after reading this great interview.
    Thanks for the chance to win.
    Many Blessings and Smiles:)
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

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  26. I am now a follower.
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

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  27. I tweeted this giveaway.
    @CHAKASA58
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

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  28. Sibella's dad's quote: "Don't worry about grades, worry about growing your mind." I think that is so, so true! I really need to remind myself about that.

    writer.chicka[at]gmail[dot]com

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  29. Enjoyed the interview and hoping to win the giveaway.

    Email is: sneezybee23 at yahoo dot com.

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  30. All these books look AMAZING!!
    I bet it was fun riding your motorcycle across the country huh?:)
    I cant wait to read these books.
    dymesich(at)juno(dot)com

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  31. I enjoyed reading this interview. I also second the recommendation for the book "My Hands Came Away Red". It was a fantastic book. I am a member of paperbackswap.com and I have read many of your reviews there Nora. I have used them as a tool to find other books to add to my wishlist.
    dmruss & sysmatrix.net

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  32. I'd love to win. :) Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  33. I'm a follower. :) Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  34. I like that she read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" as a kid because I did too!!

    afren07[at[gmail[dot]com

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  35. I follow your blog!!

    afren07[at[gmail[dot]com

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  36. I grabbed your button!!

    afren07[at[gmail[dot]com

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  37. a wonderful posting...would love to read sibella's latest novel...thanks for the chance.

    i'm a follower, too

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  38. folower by email and will tweet u wheni can get signed in.
    grace_89408@hotmail.com
    love those books
    Anne

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  39. I was excited to learn more about the author. I read The River Runs Dry and loved it. I would love to win The Clouds Roll By.

    teaching by writing [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  40. Sucha a great interview! I can't wait to read this book & the whole Raliegh series!!!

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  41. I'm a follower of your blog too!!!

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  42. It sounds like you had a really awesome childhood!! As well, I went on a cruise at one point and would have absolutely loved to see all the places that you got to see on the boat haha. There was a tour on our ship, but they chose the most random time as possible to give it.

    Would love to read the books!

    Jessica

    (angelcat714(at)aol(dot)com)

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  43. Wow! These books sound great! I cannot believe your grandmother was kidnapped by indians. I'd love to hear more about that. Did you parents meet in an extraordinary way? You said you would love to have been there when they met.

    nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

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  44. I am a follower of this blog.

    nina4/sm/at/gmail/dot/com

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  45. I have just started reading The Stones Cry Out and am enjoying getting to know the character of Raleigh. I intend to find the other books by Sibella as well! Would love to win a couple!!

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  46. I would love to win this book.
    Carman sent me!!
    judyjohn2004@yahoo.com

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  47. what a fantastic interview! awesome, interesting and very thorough questions! i love the pictures too!
    anovelsource@gmail.com

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  48. How fascinating that you went from Geology to a Christian author? do you plan to incorporate Geology into any of your storylines? would love to give you a try and add you to my favorite author list.
    canscrap4u2@gmail.com

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  49. I'd love to be included in this giveway - I love Sibella's work! I haven't read all of her Raleigh Harmon series, so would love to win so I can read em! :-D

    ~ Katy
    agirlslegacy(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  50. Would love a chance in this giveaway. Enjoyed the interview and especially the advice from dad and 'failing'. I had to share with my son the comment on how a D was a gift! He's currently struggling with calculus and I thought he'd appreciate the comment. He however mistakenly thought I was giving out the same advice as Sibella's dad! Well, I must say, I got my first B in math when I entered calculus so I know how difficult the material can be. Thanks!

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  51. Hi, Im a brand new follower, thanks!

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  52. Hi, added your button to my site (Im just setting up a new site).

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  53. Wow! I had no idea there were Christian Suspense/Romance. Would be cool to win one.

    Tamara
    davara64(at)live(dot)com

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  54. Enjoyed the interview. Books sound great. Carmen sent me.

    true_sheila at yahoo dot com

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  55. Great series of books by a great author. Thanks for the interview. Hope it's not too late to enter contest :)

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  56. I'm so glad you all enjoyed the interview, but I think credit goes to the questions asked. Nora is both a keen reader -- and a generous woman!

    Thank you all for posting your thoughts and feelings. It's been fun to meet you.

    Sibella

    PS Congrats to the winners!

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