Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite Christian fiction books to release this year. Not only was I able to review an early copy, but I was also able to be a part of her critique team. Some of my feedback helped shaped the final draft. 🙂 After sending my novels through this process, I’m honored to take part in the work of my friend and fellow author, Krista Noorman.
Keep reading for more information on the book, my personal review of Goodbye, Magnolia, my interview with the author, and your chance to win an ebook copy and a Starbucks gift card.
Wedding photography is Maggie’s passion. The art of capturing a moment forever in time is magical to her, and she’s worked hard to become the best of the best. Week after week, she works with couples as they plan their happily ever afters, but she hasn’t been so lucky in love.
Behind the camera, it’s easy to hide from the pain and rejection of her past. The life she has made for herself is safe and predictable, until the owner of a rival photography studio sets up shop in her small town and comes to her with an unexpected proposal. Suddenly, everything she has worked so hard to build is threatened and her simple, controlled life is thrown into chaos.
As she travels the state of Michigan photographing weddings, she struggles to keep her business afloat and the wall around her heart intact. But along the way, she learns more about loyalty and love than she ever imagined.
My personal review:
As a historical fiction fan and author, I find Krista Noorman’s contemporary writing style, both, refreshing and heart warming. I love getting to know her down-to-earth characters through the trails of life. Goodbye, Magnolia is a sweet tale of dealing with life’s disappointments and learning to follow God’s plan. You’ll find yourself falling in love and reaching for a cup of coffee.
I sat down with Krista, via Facebook, and got to know her and her beloved novel better.You can read my interview with her below:
I love hearing the story behind the story. Please share the origins of Goodbye, Magnolia:
It was October 2008 and my hubby had taken part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) a year or two before. I wondered if I could do it. I wondered if I could actually write a novel in 30 days. I was in the midst of photographing weddings. I had one every weekend that month. So, obviously being surrounded by weddings at that point in my life, a lot of the book was inspired by that. So I went for it. At midnight on October 31st, 2008, I began to write. I knew I wanted Maggie to be someone who was surrounded by happy couples, but had not found happily ever after in her own life. By the end of November, I had written the first draft.
Wow! From photography to writing! How many years did you spend in photography before making the switch?
I started my photography business in 2004 after shooting some candids for a few friends’ weddings that summer. So it was about 4 years before I sat down to write that first novel in 2008. And then I wrote another during NaNoWriMo 2009 (The Truth About Drew). My photography business continued on until the fall of 2012 when I became very burned out and just didn’t feel it was what I should be doing anymore. Writing made me so happy and I knew that’s what I should focus on.
You can peek at some of my wedding work here if you want to:
Are there any lessons that you learned during your picture snapping days that carried over to your life as an author?
Photography helped me to see things more clearly. Like the little details of the weddings, the decorations and such, but also it sharpened my people watching skills. It also helped me to appreciate my own life and my family more, to stop sometimes, slow down, see the beauty in the little things. I think this helps when I’m thinking about scenes and details in my books.
Did you take the picture for your book cover?
Absolutely. That’s my beautiful cousin, Sarah.
I want to see how similar you and your husband are to your characters, Maggie and Simon.
I found Simon to be a confident, womanizing, persistent sort of fella. In what ways is he similar to your husband? How is he different?
Jake is for sure confident. I’ve always thought that about him. He’s very talkative and not afraid to speak to anyone, gets along easily with pretty much everyone. Very much like Simon in that way. Very likable. He’s far from a womanizer, though, having had one steady girlfriend before me. But he is persistent, like Simon. He liked me for a long time and hung in there for almost a year while I was going through my own heartbreak. His friendship was important to me and he eventually wore me down.
I found Maggie to be a coffee-addicted, goal-minded, prejudiced sort of lady. How is she like you? How is she different?
Maggie is very much me. From her coffee addiction to her broken engagement to her attitude toward Simon. She’s very quick to judge, which is something I’m guilty of sometimes. I gave her my photography style, some of my own story, my hurt, my insecurities, my struggles with my business. So much. So I feel pretty vulnerable putting this book out there into the world. But it is fiction, so she’s not completely like me. Maggie is more blunt than I am. She’s not afraid to tell Simon what she thinks of him. I would never do that. I’m more quiet and keep things inside and don’t like it when people are mad at me. She also knew when she went to college what she wanted to do with her life – photography. I went to college unsure of my path and left college early to get married. It was many years before I ventured into my own photography business and then eventually found writing to be the thing I wanted to do with my life.
We try various kinds. We’ve got a Keurig, so it’s K-cups all the way for us. My favorites are Caribou and Donut Shoppe.
Do you drink out of any coffee cup or only one special cup?
Whatever’s clean. I do like my clear coffee mugs that I got for Christmas and a cute green mug I got on a girls trip with my mom, aunt, and cousin a couple summers ago. *Note: her favorite cups are pictured here.
Cream? Sugar? Both?
Both, of course! The sweeter the better!
Flavor Cream? If so, what’s your favorite flavor?
I’ve tried many different kinds, but my go to flavor is hazelnut.
Favorite Coffee shop?
Wherever they make a good mocha latte. Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Biggby, our local State Grounds, which is featured in the book.
How many cups a day do you drink?
One in the morning to start my day. Sometimes I’ll have one in the evening, too, especially if I’m writing, but not very often.
Can you show us where your fictional world comes to life?
My space is in the corner of our little bedroom. Nothing really exciting. A few of our past Christmas cards photos hanging on the wall, my souvenir from a vacation to Universal to Harry Potter world, a #1 Mom card that Chloe stuck on the wall for me when she was younger, a couple prints of my book covers that I was gonna stick to the wall next to the family pics but didn’t yet. My notebook/to do list. And coffee … of course. Oh, that pretty blanket was crocheted for me by my mother-in-law in my photography business colors and that little glimpse of yellow off to the right is a mug my mom got me that I keep pens in that says, “Photographers always keep things in focus”.
I’m trying to get my hubby to build me a desk out of some reclaimed barn wood from a small building my dad knocked down at the farm. I dream of a pretty little sun room/office with lots of windows and natural light. Although, I might get too distracted by the beautiful outdoors to get any writing done.
Anyway … that’s my space.
KRISTA NOORMAN is the author of the young adult novel, The Truth About Drew, and the contemporary romance, Goodbye, Magnolia. Most of her life has been spent scribbling away in journals, honing her writing skills, while documenting her every day life. But it wasn’t until she took part in National Novel Writing Month in 2008, that she found her true calling and turned her pen (or rather her computer keyboard) to fiction.
Krista studied music education at Cornerstone University. After college, she turned to her love of photography and spent nearly a decade running her own wedding photography business. She is constantly inspired by books and movies, enjoys beautiful instagram feeds, and loves a great cup of coffee. Krista makes her home in a small town in western Michigan with her husband, Jacob, and their two children.
She writes about life, family, faith and whatever else comes to mind at bykrista.com.
You can visit Krista online:
My blog: http://bykrista.com
Facebook author page: http://facebook.com/bykristanoorman
Enter this week’s giveaway for a Kindle copy of Goodbye, Magnolia and a $15 Starbucks Gift Card! Giveaway closes May 27th. Winner announced on Thursday, May 28th.