Ask the Author: Miralee Ferrell + GIVEAWAY

17 Nov

Miralee Ferrell- headshot
I am thrilled to welcome Miralee Ferrell back to Buzzing About Books!  Miralee loves interacting with readers and wants to answer your questions.  She is graciously offering one book from her Love Blossoms in Oregon series, winner’s choice.  To enter, simply ask Miralee a question in the comments below and stop by later to read her answer.

 

 

Miralee and her husband, Allen, live on eleven acres in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington State, where they love to garden, play with their dogs, take walks, and go sailing. She is also able to combine two other passions—horseback riding and spending time with her grown children—since her married daughter lives nearby, and they often ride together on the wooded trails near their home. During early 2013 the family welcomed a baby granddaughter, and Miralee is totally in love with being a grandmother to baby Kate.

Ironically, Miralee, now the author of nine novels and a contributor in four compilations, never had a burning desire to write—at least more than her own memoirs for her children. So she was shocked when God called her to start writing after she turned fifty. To Miralee, writing is a ministry that she hopes will impact hearts, and she anticipates how God will use each of her books to bless and change lives.

An avid reader, Miralee has a large collection of first edition Zane Grey books that she started collecting as a young teen. Her love for his storytelling ability inspired her desire to write fiction set in the Old West. “But I started writing historical fiction without even meaning to,” Miralee says, laughing. She’d always planned on writing contemporary women’s fiction, but God had other ideas. After signing her first contract for the novel Love Find You in Last Chance, California, she decided to research the town and area. To her dismay, she discovered the town no longer existed and hadn’t since the 1960s. Though it had been a booming town in the late 1880s, it had pretty much died out in the 1930s. So her editor suggested switching to a historical version, and Miralee agreed, although she’d never even considered that era.

It didn’t take long to discover she had a natural flair for that time period, having read and watched so many Western stories while growing up. From that point on she was hooked. Her 1880s stories continue to grow in acclaim each year. Her novel Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction, and Universal Studios requested a copy of her debut novel, The Other Daughter, for a potential family movie.

Aside from writing and her outdoor activities, Miralee has lived a varied life. She and her husband have been deeply involved in building two of their own homes over the years, as well as doing a full remodel on a one-hundred-year-old Craftsman style home they owned and loved for four years. They also owned a saw mill at the time and were able to provide much of the interior wood products. Miralee has done everything from driving a fork lift, to stoking the huge, 120 year-old-boiler, and off-bearing lumber, to running a small planer and staking boards in the dry kiln.

Besides their horse friends, Miralee and her husband have owned cats, dogs (a six-pound, long-haired Chihuahua named Lacey was often curled up on her lap as she wrote this book), rabbits, and yes, even two cougars, Spunky and Sierra, rescued from breeders who didn’t have the ability or means to care for them properly.

Miralee and Allen have lived in Alaska and the San Juan Islands for just under a year each, where she became actively involved in women’s ministry. Later, she took a counseling course and earned her accreditation with the American Association of Christian Counselors, as well as being a licensed minister (not a pastor) through her denomination.

Miralee also speaks at women’s groups, libraries, historical societies, and churches about her writing journey.

http://www.miraleeferrell.com
http://www.twitter.com/miraleeferrell
http://www.facebook.com/miraleeferrell

 

RECENT RELEASES:

DreamingDaisies_Revised

 When her father’s debts, brought on by heavy drinking, threaten Leah Carlson’s family ranch, she fights to save it. When handsome banker Steven Harding must decline her loan request, he determines to do what he can to help. Just as he arrives to serve as a much-needed ranch hand, Leah’s family secrets—and the pain of her past—come to a head. They could destroy everything she’s fought for. And they could keep her from ever opening her heart again.

 

The Nativity Bride

 

Deborah Summers has waited five years and prayed for Curt Warren to return to Goldendale, Washington, passing up another marriage proposal by believing in her first love. When tragedy finally brings him home, will a rift with his father drive him away too quickly?

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY!

To enter to win your choice of one Love Blossoms in Oregon book, please ask Miralee a question in the comments below.  Then, enter the Rafflecopter.  Be sure to stop back by and read Miralee’s answers!  This giveaways is open to US residents only and ends Saturday, November 22 at 11:59 CST.   

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love Blossom in Oregon

 

 

62 Responses to “Ask the Author: Miralee Ferrell + GIVEAWAY”

  1. Becky B November 17, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    How did you come into owning a saw mill? That sounds like an interesting story. I enjoyed reading your interview.
    Becky

    • Miralee Ferrell November 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      Thanks, Becky, my husband is a bit of a jack-of-all trades, (airplane mechanic, heavy equipment operator, etc) and had helped a friend for one summer who owned a small mill. He was very intrigued and interested, and when the aviation industry in our area went downhill and there were no jobs, he decided to start a mill of our own.

      • Becky B November 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

        That is a great story! Thanks for writing back. 🙂

  2. Danie November 17, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    How long did it take you to write your very first Christmas book? And do you plan to keep writing Christmas stories?
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

    • Miralee Ferrell November 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Hi Danie, it probably took about 15 hours of actual writing, but a lot more time to plan, edit, tweak, etc. I enjoyed doing it, so I may do more set at Christmas, but not until next year. Thanks!

  3. Brenda Arrington November 17, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    How many books have you written?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      Hi Brenda—I’ll answer that two ways–I’ve written 15 or 16 and have 3 more in the works, but I have 12 in print. Four more will release next year and three of those are done and turned in. I have three books that are partly written that I still need to finish.

  4. Patty November 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    I understand you a writing some children’s/young adult books also. Do you find this easier or harder than adult fiction?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      Hi Patty, it was harder at first to write the kids’ books. But once I figured out the best way to structure them and started developing the story line, it became very easy. Now I love writing them!

  5. Lane Hill House November 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Did you have a favorite character in this series? If so, why, and reflective of someone you know? Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      Hi Kathleen, I actually have two favorites that appeared in all four books in the series…Frances Cooper (Mama) and Wilma Roberts, who started out as Mama’s nemesis and became her friend. Those two ladies were such fun to write and became like friends to me.

  6. Melanie Backus November 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Hi Miralee! It is a cold day here in Texas today. Do you find that your creative juices flow better when you are able to enjoy warmer weather and the great outdoors or snuggled up warm and toasty by a fireplace or heater?

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Hi Melanie, I think it’s actually easier for me to get more work done in the winter, since I’m always anxious to get outside in the spring/summer/fall and work in my flower beds or go riding with my daughter. It’s in the teens here right now, so it’s a great time to stay inside and write!

  7. Lisa Stifler November 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    Hi Miralee, great interview! Thank you for sharing. Which one of your books did you enjoy researching and writing the most? ~ Blessings ~

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

      Lisa, I’d have to say my favorite was Tombstone. My husband and I spent 4 days there investigating every museum and historical site we could find. It was amazing to see history almost come to life in front of us, and I’d love to go back again.

  8. Amy November 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    HI Miralee,
    I have enjoyed reading the Love Blossoms in Oregon series. I was wondering how your degree in counseling women has helped you with the books you write?

    Thank you for being available to answer questions and for giving us a chance to win a book.

    Thank you too Brittany for sharing this 🙂

    amylsmith at bledsoe dot net

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Hi Amy, it’s not actually a degree, but a certificate from the American Assoc of Christian counselors, usable if I’m working within a church setting or under a pastor’s covering. I took a lengthy class, tests, etc., to get certified, as well as working in a prayer ministry for many years within our church.

  9. D K Stevens November 17, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Between Alaska and the San Juan Islands and where you live now. Where is your pick to live? Where you live now, in a beautiful Columbia River Gorge with horses, wooded trails & family sounds perfect to me 🙂 Would love to read your book !
    dkstevensne @ outlook DOT com

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

      Hi DK Stevens, I’d have to say where I live now. The other two places are lovely, but you’re right…family being here (as well as the horses, which we couldn’t take with us to the San Juan’s or Alaska) wins it hands down for me. Plus, the Columbia Gorge has been home most of my life.

  10. Mallory November 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    Hi Miralee I have enjoyed reading your books what inspired you to write the love blossom series?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      Hi Mallory, it actually came about after talking to and praying for a woman who’d been deeply hurt by her mother, all her life, and who was still struggling with issues of emotional and verbal abuse. I felt the Lord calling me to write about the subject in the hopes of ministering to women’s hearts. Then it turned into a historical (at first it was going to be a contemporary) and a romance, then a full series.

  11. KayM November 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi Miralee, In what way are the Love Blossoms books related? Thank you for offering one of your books.
    may_dayzee (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      Hi Kay, most of the cast of characters are carried through the entire series. Three of the four books are set in the boardinghouse, and while new characters are introduced in each book, they will all feel familiar as you’ll get to revisit the characters you become acquainted with. Each book can stand alone, but each one is enjoyed more if you’ve read them all, as you find out more about all the main cast that way.

      • KayM November 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

        Oh, great! I enjoy series like that. Thanks you. BTW, I love the titles and the covers.

  12. Heidi Robbins (@colorvibrant) November 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    What inspires the spiritual themes you include in your books?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

      Hi Heidi, I’d have to say the Lord does, but often through the counseling I’ve done, and sometimes just life in general–seeing the needs of women around me and wanting to minister to their lives and hearts.

  13. Diane Estrella November 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    Do you have a favorite state to use for the settings of your books?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Hi Diane, so far I’ve set stories in Oregon, WA., California, Arizona, & Wyoming–and a new series I’m working on will be in New Mexico. But it’s easier to write ones set in Oregon and WA, simply because it’s easier to research towns close to where I live. But I LOVE stories in an old west setting.

  14. susanlulu2013 November 17, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    At what age did you know you wanted to become an author? Why?
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      Hi Susan! I never knew I wanted to be an author, how’s that?! Seriously. I never did. The Lord spoke to me about writing when I was about 51 years old, (through a pastor who was praying for/with me). I prayed about it, and decided to be obedient and start writing. A little over two years later my first book was released. It’s truly all been a work of God.

  15. sonja1971 November 17, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    I have just read your contribution to the 12 Brides of Christmas and just loved it! Would love to read this! sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Hi Sonja, I’m so glad you enjoyed my new Christmas novella, The Nativity Bride, thank you!! If you haven’t posted a review on Amazon, I’d be so thankful if you had time to do so. I hope you have a chance to read some of my other books as well.

      • sonja1971 November 18, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

        Yes, I posted a review on my blog and 4 sites.

  16. Dixie-Lee Campbell November 18, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Hi Miralee ; I have just received info about your ask a question and book offer from Meslissa’s favourites friend on fb… You are new to me…and your book covers look fun, happy and romantic… are they ? … but my actual question where would start reading your books… a new Christmas book of your latest series ?? I have a Christmas Book Basket under my Christmastime season.. to enjoy as rereads, bits and pieces to enjoy or a whole new book to enjoy for anyone who chooses to do so. Thanks for letting me know Melissa’s Favourites.

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      Hi Dixie-Lee! So nice to meet you. The newest book, The Nativity Bride, is a short novella and priced low (at only .99) to be an affordable one to use to see if you like my writing. Then, if you want to go on, I’d suggest starting with book one in my new series, Blowing on Dandelions, then book 2, Forget Me Not, book 3, Wishing on Buttercups, and finally, Dreaming on Daisies. I’d love to hear what you think if you decide to read any of them.

  17. Lucy November 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Have you always had a desire to write. I haven’t read your books yet, but look forward to the chance to.

    • Miralee Ferrell November 18, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

      Hi Lucy, I haven’t always had a desire to write. That didn’t happen until after I turned 50, believe it or not! God put a call on my heart and I followed it, and now I have 12 books in print.

  18. cherylbbookblog November 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    What book of yours is your favorite and why?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 19, 2014 at 12:06 am #

      Hi Cheryl, I know this will sound like a cop-out, but it’s truly the book I’m working on at the time or the one that just released. I get so connected with my characters that it’s hard for me to think about the older books. But the ones I had the most fun writing are probably LFY in Sundance, WY, and LFY in Tombstone, AZ.

  19. D K Stevens November 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    Just wondering… how did you pick the flowers for you books & covers?
    d_stevens310 AT live DOTCom

    • Miralee Ferrell November 19, 2014 at 12:09 am #

      Hi DK–it started with Blowing on Dandelions. Whenever I thought about writing this book, I saw a woman sitting in a field, blowing on dandelion fluff and making a wish. After that, I had to come up with other flowers that would fit the story of the other books.

  20. Maxie Anderson November 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    Hi Miralee. Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving. I’m glad your daughter lives near you.I mean to say you are a very talented gal. Cant believe that you have used some of the machinery you did. Guess I never had enough confidence to do things like that. Sounds like you have lived in some nice places. Very interesting to hear about all of this. I still remember reading about your daughter driving cattle. I’ve never been good at growing gardens. But I love the products. I have always had too much trouble with my back and knees. But my two much older sisters did both kinds of gardens. I have a girlfriend who has drawn plans for several homes they had. They would live in it for a time then she would design another one for them and sell the other one. Each one larger and more elaborate than the next. Now a few years ago she started selling plans for home builders. and, they can’t change the plans without her permission. When were in school, she was even poorer than me. Now she is rich, but they haven’t let it change them.When are you going to set one of your books in Texas? A great place to set a western. Has lots of cowboys. 🙂 When do you find time to write with all you do? I would love to win one of your books? May GOD continue to bless you. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

    • Miralee Ferrell November 19, 2014 at 12:10 am #

      Hi Maxie, Thank you for reading my entire interview, and for sharing a bit about yourself and your friend, that’s truly a blessing! I have to carve out time and it’s not always easy. Sometimes I must write more hours than I planned so I don’t get behind. It’s definitely a juggling act for me!

  21. wendynewcomb November 19, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    Hi Miralee, I was wondering how you come up with ideas about what to write about, do you use any of your life experiences as ideas?

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    • D K Stevens November 19, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      Blowing on Dandelions I would enjoy reading ! Miralee I liked how you came up with the name Blowing on Dandelions 🙂
      dkstevensne AT outlook DOTCom

      • Miralee Ferrell November 20, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

        Thanks so much! I’d love it if you have a chance to read Blowing on Dandelions!

    • Miralee Ferrell November 19, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

      Hi Wendy, ideas come from different places for me…a news clip, a person I’ve counseled or prayed with, a personal experience. But I will say that coming up with a new idea is often a challenge for me!

  22. Beth C November 19, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    How do you choose your beautiful covers?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 20, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      Hi Beth, I work with the graphics department at Cook. I tell them what I’d like to see and they bring it to life. I’ve been so happy with all my covers they’ve designed!

  23. Melody Durant November 19, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    I totally understand your shock at being called to write at age 50. My husband and I were perfectly happy pastoring, I was a home ec teacher when at 44… God calls us into missions. MISSIONS? It’s been 10 years now. I believe when we’re in God’s Will, everything falls in place. What do you think?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

      I totally agree with you, Melody. I know in my life, things fell into place so easily and swiftly for my first-5th book deal, as well as signing with an agent. I knew it was God directing my path. What country are you ministering in?

      • Melody Durant November 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

        We’re in Nicaragua 7 months a year and Mexico the rest. We have a church in the Reynosa, Mexico dump plus our big Christmas event, Celebrando Navidad in Rio Bravo, Mexico is right around the corner!

  24. Brittany November 20, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Hi Miralee,
    Wow! I am amazed at all of the places you have lived, things you have done, and the wide variety of animals who are part of your family!

    Thanks for the chance to win one of your books. I know that my question is one that sometimes authors don’t like to answer….because it is like picking a favorite child…but do you have a favorite book or character of from all of the stories you have written?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      Hi Brittany, I agree, we’ve lived an interesting and sometimes a bit crazy, life, LOL! Yes, it’s hard to pick….I have to say my favorite is almost always the one that just released or the one I’m working on at the time. I get so attached to my characters and it’s hard to not fall in love with them!

  25. Maryann November 21, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Have you ever tried to cook any recipes based on your books historical time period? (I am thinking of the boarding house in Blowing on Dandelions)

    • Miralee Ferrell November 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Maryann, no, I’m afraid I haven’t. I’ll admit I’m not someone who loves to cook. I even have a small cookbook of old historical recipes, but I haven’t tried a one, LOL! Maybe someday.

  26. rhondasdoings November 22, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    How do you come up with plots for your books? Do you ever base characters on people you know? Rhonda nashhall@aol.com

    • Miralee Ferrell November 22, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      Hi Rhonda, I rarely base a character on someone I know, although I have taken various personality traits of people I know and given them (in part) to a character, if that makes sense? The plots are a little harder for me, and come in various ways…rarely the same.

  27. conniepsaunders November 22, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    You mentioned your love of Zane Grey novels. Don’t you think that being an avid reader helps an author in crafting their stories?

    • Miralee Ferrell November 22, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

      Connie, Yes…being an avid reader is crucial to becoming a good writer. Most authors I know are still avid readers and love to keep up on what’s current to continue to hone their own craft.

  28. Kate March 19, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    your books sound amazing!!! I can’t wait to read blowing on dandilions! I will definitely purchase it!!! also is there anyway to use pinterest for this site?

    • Miralee Ferrell March 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

      Hi Kate, I’m sorry you missed the giveaway, but you’re in luck! 3 of my 4 books in this series are on a super sale right now on Amazon, if you happen to have a Kindle app. The books in order are: Blowing on Dandelions, Forget Me Not, Wishing on Buttercups, and Dreaming on Daisies (brand new and only $1.99 for another few days). Thank you for stopping and leaving a comment. Miralee

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