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Lee Carver and I met at a meeting of the DFW Ready Writers, a chapter of ACFW. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her in a critique group that Lena Nelson Dooley hosts. What a hoot! This lady makes me laugh!
However, her dedication to her craft is anything but funny. Focused and thoroughly researched, her writing is a delight to critique. Her attention to detail also makes her a fabulous
freelance editor! Contact her for information on that. Anytime I’m struggling with sentence structure, I channel my inner-Lee! You can reach her at her website: LeeCarverWriter.com.
Marji – What inspired you to become a writer?
Lee – I never intended to “become a writer.” It snuck up on me gradually. I’d collected quite a few true stories of international life that were great to tell over coffee after dinner. Not wanting to forget these gems, I began to write them down. Not just bad experiences with a passport in Singapore, but really funny stories with a punch line. As they collected, I thought I’d print them out and give them to a few hundred of my closest friends.
Then a professor of creative writing at UCLA moved to Sao Paulo and we became great buddies. She was pushed into teaching a course at home for people like myself, and my stories became my first book, now morphed into “The Most Excellent Adventure”. It’s totally true, non-fiction, and reads sort of like an international Reader’s Digest contributors’ page.
Marji – What is your ultimate goal for writing in general?
Lee – For my writing to be uplifting, encouraging, appropriate entertainment for Christians–it’s all about living out my commitment to God through building up his people and, the very highest goal of all, to lead someone to love Jesus.
Marji – How does Love’s Second Verse satisfy that goal?
Lee – The story was supposed to be about Julia overcoming adversity through her faith in God. I wanted to print the last verse of the hymn “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” and name the book “Truimph Song”, but the combination of copyright laws and my agent’s title ideas nixed that. The subplot concerning Julia’s evil brother-in-law came by surprise. Can someone think he’s a Christian and not be? And what changes in his life come about when Jesus takes over? I write by plotting, but I felt that God hijacked my novel and made it far better.
Marji – What inspired this particular story?
Marji – What actors might play your main characters if they made a movie of this?
Lee – I had a few short stories and articles published, and was pressured into trying a novel. My standard response was that I would write a novel when God gave me a plot. A few years later, I had to make good on that promise.
Marji – What’s a lasting line from your novel – like the “Frankly, dear …” from Gone with the Wind, or “You had me at hello.”
Lee – I do have models in mind for my characters, but they aren’t movie stars. For the sake of the wider audience, let’s say that Paul is a tall, handsome, quiet professional, a bit like Gregory Peck. And Julia, well, do you know the wife in the new TV series, “The Firm”? But blonde and a soprano.
Lee – How I wish I’d written those lines! To avoid giving away the ending, I looked at the first chapter and was reminded of Julia’s prayer when it seemed everything was crumbling. She prayed, “You love me, and I can trust you with my life.”
Marji – How does writing fit into your regular day-in-the-life?
Lee – Can’t say that it does. Short stories maybe, but novels require hours and hours of dedicated research and writing. Especially my current effort on characters in WW2 Germany and America. Wow! How did I ever get into this? If it weren’t for the accountability of my Thursday night critique group, my chapters would come a lot slower–or not at all.
Oh and that WWII novel is SO INTENSE! Gives me shivers all down my spine, or maybe that’s the cold medicine I took. Either way, that story is so exciting and I can’t wait for the next chapter!
I’m so glad that Lee was able to share her life and stories with us today! I know that her books are only 99 cents at Smashwords and Amazon, so I hope you’ll take advantage of the great price!
Lee Carver has retired from her globe-trotting life as the wife of a senior vice president of the world’s largest bank. She and her husband served as volunteer missionaries for six years, while he was a pilot in the Brazilian Amazon. Lee ran their home as a free missionary guesthouse.
Lee lived in six foreign countries and studied nine languages. She has taught biology and chemistry, served as volunteer church musician, and is a currently participates in her church choir, Room in the Inn for homeless women, and Prayer Shawl Ministry. The Carvers, married forty-four years TODAY, have two adult children and five grandchildren.