Sunday, November 24, 2019

"Lone Falcon" by Merrijoy Wennerlind Buist -- Author Interview, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Cover concept (flat v3)
Book: Lone Falcon
Author: Merrijoy Wennerlind Buist
Genre: Christian Romance/Coming of Age
Release Date: October 2, 2018
What if you had to choose between your friends and your faith?
It is 1971. Eighteen year-old Carrie Falconer goes to college and joins the rowing team, where she receives praise and popularity for the first time. She also finds her first boyfriend. Not just anyone, but the heart-throb men’s crew captain! As coxswain of the varsity squad, she leads her team to four gold medals, allowing them to qualify for Nationals. However, while pursuing her collegiate dreams, she has left behind most of her traditional religious beliefs. While preparing for the National tournament, she is hit by a life changing consequence and is forced to decide between pleasing her team or letting them down by following what she believes to be the right path.

Click here to get your copy.
Author Interview

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I am not a plotter but a ‘pantser’. I fly by the seat of my pants to where an idea leads me. Sometimes characters who appear out of nowhere can take over the story. I find myself writing down the dialogue and actions they give to me. These become my favorite characters.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in 6th grade, I stapled together a little book and wrote a story about my sister, myself, and our friends. I decided right then I loved writing because there is no exact answer set or single path to proceed. To this day, I struggle with genre formulas since I want to be free to create something from nothing.
How long does it usually take you to write a book?

This is a funny question since I started Lone Falcon in college and it was finally published in October 2018, forty years later. I didn’t, however, spend all that time writing. Life got in the way, but when I got serious and became part of a writing critique group, it took about two years. I kept the 70s setting for both Lone Falcon and the upcoming sequel, Lone Choices. I tend to work a year on the first draft, and then with emotional distance do my re-editing and prep for publishing.

What is your work schedule/routine when you write?

I envy writers who can write and correct as they go. My first draft gets the idea out, and it’s mostly dialogue, which is my strong suit. The next day, I take these rough pages and edit them. I end up writing in the margins and sometimes even back of the pages. Sometimes there is more pen ink on the page than computer print. I return to the computer, put in all the edits, and polish it. I’ll print it out again and then proof it. Then I print copies for my critique group to review. I incorporate their suggestions later.

Do bits of yourself/friends show up in your characters?

When my mother first read Lone Falcon, she freaked out thinking Carrie was me, and this is what I did in college. No! I assured her this is not a memoir. She then went through each of my characters and matched them up to the various friends I have. I found this hilarious since my characters are a compilation of people I know.

I was brought up in a Christian family, so a lot of my faith comes through in my characters. I myself went through a great crisis of faith when I moved from a Christian college to a secular University, so Carrie experiences a lot of what I did.

Now, Mandy is a character who got a lot of flak from my early readers. Everyone seemed to hate her. They’re responding to scenes where she reacts out of jealousy to Carrie. I wondered why I was so hurt when people put Mandy down until I realized - Mandy was me! I know what it’s like when someone else has a boyfriend and you don’t, and how it can bring out your nasty jealous shadowy side.

About the Author

Mjs Author Photo

The first four chapters of Lone Falcon and the general plot were written when Merrijoy Wennerlind, was a student at the University of Washington. The rest was finished up years later by Merrijoy (MJ.) Buist who worked hard to keep her 24-year-old spirit alive.
MJ. is currently a Diaconal Minister at the Anaheim United Methodist Church. A native of Seattle and a UW graduate, she lives in Santa Ana, California with her husband and two sons. She is currently working on the sequel, Lone Choices, which tells how Carrie lives out her decision. You can reach MJ. at her facebook page: Merrijoy Wennerlind Buist@mjwb

More from MJ

How far would you go to research your book? Would you sit on a narrow crew boat with eight other women and learn to row? That’s what I did to get a feel for what my main character, Carrie Falconer, in Lone Falcon experiences as she joins and excels in the college crew team.
Why did I choose rowing over another sport? I couldn’t resist the metaphor of steering your own boat, which led me to the sport of rowing and its navigator, the coxswain. I fell in love with the idea of choosing your own path and what happens when one goes off course.
You, the reader, will follow Carrie from her strict Christian upbringing to attending a secular college, experiencing her joys and victories as she rises to popularity, and of her first love, the hunky Lenny, men’s team captain. You will struggle along with her as she makes a life decision of whether to turn back to her faith or do what her friends ask.
I originally wrote Lone Falcon in response to all the Young Adult (YA) books and T.V. shows of the times which said, “Your parents and their beliefs are all wrong, do what your friends and the times say.” In the wisdom I’ve acquired in my years of mothering, earning my master’s degree, and becoming a Minister, I adjusted my theme to making your own choices, not what others and society may tell you to do.
I hope this book will encourage other brave young women to live up to what they believe within and not be influenced by what others without tell them to do.

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews , November 23
Blossoms and Blessings, November 24 (Author Interview)
CarpeDiem, November 25
Texas Book-aholic, November 29
janicesbookreviews, November 30
Through the Fire Blogs, December 1 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, December 3
Godly Book Reviews, December 5


To celebrate her tour, M.J. is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Barnes and Nobles Gift Card, autographed copy of Lone Falcon, and autographed copy of Lone Choices when it comes out!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Debbie P said...

This sounds like a really good read.

Dianna said...

I love the happy ending for the author -- that a story from 40 years ago came to life for her! I tell my students to save the stories they write (they're in 6th grade) because they will want to be able to look back at their "early work" someday.

Melissa W said...

I love hearing more from the author!

Caryl Kane said...

I enjoyed the interview!