Wednesday, August 03, 2011

My Friend Lynne

Last year at the ACFW conference, one of my silver sandals broke right before the semi-formal dinner.

What to do?

Lynne Gentry rushed over like an experienced ER doctor. "We need duct tape. Quick."

Within seconds, she returned with a roll of just the right shade of silver duct tape. As the crowd began filling in, Lynne Gentry reinvented my left sandal and sealed our friendship forever. I'll never forget her kindness.

Lynne's debut novel, Reinventing Leona, just came out and I love it! Talk about unforgettable people--I woke up this morning missing her book characters. It's that good. It's written in a way that made me want to call all novel-loving friends and say, "Listen to this sentence..."

Don't you love her book cover?

Here's what the back cover says:

"Leona Harper loves being a pastor's wife. Her impressive resume touts thirty years of coaxing hot water from rusty parsonage plumbing, planning church potlucks, and standing beside her husband while members take potshots at his sermons. Except for the little tiff with her grown children, Leona feels her life is right on track with the Almighty...until her husband drops dead in the pulpit.

When the church board decides to fill the Reverend's vacated position, Leona is forced to find a paying job, mend her fractured family, and tackle her fears. With life spiraling out of control, Leona might find the church antics comical if she weren't so completely panicked. Can the faith of an overwhelmed widow withstand the added heartache of two resentful children and several underhanded church members? If Leona can't trust God, how will she learn to trust herself?"

Welcome, Lynne. Tell us, what brings Leona to the point of changing?

Circumstances beyond her control. Like many of us, Leona doesn't like change. But none of us escape the twists and turns of life. Whether it's the loss of a spouse or the loss of a thirty-year career, nothing stays the same.

Humor is tough to write, but you did a spectacular job, especially considering dear Leona's circumstances. Any writing secrets you'd like to share?

Learning to laugh, especially at myself, has helped me cope with the scrutiny that comes to those living in a glass house. But as a minister's wife, it's not always appropriate for me to say what I'm thinking, let alone laugh out loud. So, with the quirky cast in Mt. Hope, I get to say and do all sorts of things a good pastor's wife would never say or do, but I often think. And I'm happy to report that laughter is good for the soul.

Where did you get the incredible idea to reinvent Leona?

I watched three of my older friends lose their husbands. Two of them regrouped, rebuilt, and reinvented their lives. One shriveled up and died in a nursing home. Observing their choices made me ask, what if tragedy struck me? What would I do? Do I have the spiritual chops to pick myself up and start over? Could I trust God to lead me through a dark valley?

Thank you so much, Lynne. It's been an honor. I can't wait to see you again next month at the ACFW conference.

P.S. My dress is black and green. I'll probably wear black shoes. Bring coordinating duct tape, please, ma'am.

You can purchase Reinventing Leona here on amazon and right now, it's free for your Kindle. Or go to Lynne's website.



Emii said...

This book looks great! I love books that make me laugh out loud -- like, they're my favourite kind. Great interview, and love the creativeness of fixing shoes!:D

f9233468-80de-11e0-81b6-000f20980440 said...

wow. Lynne's book sounds so awesome! I want to read it in order to find out just how Leona copes and reinvents her life after such a tragedy. I have a good feeling that God's faithfulness with take some major spotlight in this novel :)

Julie Garmon said...

Emii, I'm telling you. I laughed out loud!!

Such a sweet comment from our second person too! God's faithfulness. I love that.