Harry Pearson woke up feeling out of sorts. Before the day ended, his unusual action—buying lottery tickets—set off a chain of events in the lives of three women. Darcy Tatum, has a sick child, Shelley Calhoun spends more time focusing on her children than her job in the hair salon, and the owner of Daisy's Diner has a people problem—she doesn’t like anyone. As these women struggle with painful life-issues, they interact with people that reach out in Christian love: a caring banker, a life coach, a handsome young doctor, and a very repentant husband are a few of the supporting characters in this story.
Can you give us a sneak peek?
Yes. Those words pretty much described his mood, and he couldn't account for the feelings. He wasn’t sick, that much he knew, but something wasn’t quite right. Everything seemed a little—off kilter. Yes, that was the expression.
Well, he’d just have to deal with it; some things are just the way they are. A person couldn't always change the circumstances of life, but he could always call on the Almighty.
Good morning, Father God, Harry Pearson here. Thank you for granting me another day in your world. Dear Lord, I need a special touch from you today, I’m just not feeling so well. Lord forgive this silly old man, you already know all about me. You know about these disturbing feelings that are hanging around me like a cloud and I humbly ask that you take them away and give me the energy to be your servant. Father God, thank you for the blessings you’ve given Edna and me. Amen.
Satisfied that he had delivered his worries to the feet of his Savior, Harry Pearson hurried to the kitchen—if a seventy-two-year-old with arthritic hips and knees could hurry. He was anxious for that first cup of coffee.
One thing about his Edna, she could make a great cup of coffee, even after all these years. At last count, they had been married—well, he’d have to think about it—but somewhere around fifty years. Harry savored each sip of the bold brew until about half the contents of the chunky mug were consumed. Then he reached across the snack bar and turned on the kitchen radio, just in time to catch the beginning of the local early morning news cast.
“Good morning, East Texas! We had a big winner in yesterday’s lottery drawing and some lucky person now has seventy-two million dollars to take to the bank. Yes, that one is over and gone, but now five million dollars is waiting for some lucky winner. But you can't win if you don’t buy a ticket, so pick out your lucky numbers. Now for the weather forecast . . . ”
Harry shook his head, thinking about today’s culture and the pie-in-the-sky attitude of so many people. He’d often heard their comments as they walked away with those little slips of hope grasped tightly.
These are my good numbers!
This is the winning ticket!
It’s my lucky day, I just feel it!
And he’d also seen the more secretive purchasers hurriedly walk away, quickly stuffing the tickets inside a purse or pocket, furtively glancing around in fear of being seen and recognized. Yet still they came and made a down payment on their dreams.
Lord, will they not look to your promises instead?
What inspired this book?
There was a gentleman in our church that talked to God in very a personal way. He always began his prayer with these words. “Good morning Father God”. I wanted to have a character that lived so closely to God, that prayed as if he were talking to his best friend, and The Lottery Tickets is the result. The Lottery Tickets began as a short story and then a novel of 85,000 words.
What has been your most challenging experience writing a book?
I guess there is more than one challenge when writing. Technically—it’s the first chapter. I find myself continuing to refine and re-edit the first page. It’s hard to find the words that will hook the reader with such curiosity they want to keep reading.
Time is also a challenge. Even though I am retired and have plenty of time for writing, I cannot allow this present occupation to control my life. This is very important to me, but never as important as my family.
And then there’s the psychological challenge—doubt. Self-doubt is a favorite tool of Satan, and sometimes after a particularly good writing session, Satan wakes me in the wee hours of the morning with questions.
What do you think you are doing? Who is going to read what you write. Get over yourself and go back to being a housewife!
Satan can certainly twists our uncertainties into a tornado of doubt. The answer to that is simple—prayer.
I have learned that writing is a craft that must be learned through trial and error. I’m very thankful for the fine authors who have published such good instruction books to help others learn the craft.
What is your favorite thing to write about, (i.e., forgiveness, rebellion, etc)?
I love to write about the personal relationships between people. I like to write about the good times and the bad times, and how these issues are handled. I love to insert an element of danger and mystery—although those elements are not a part of The Lottery Tickets. Each author of Christian fiction has a different role to play. I want to write a good story, an engaging story that is not populated with four letter words and graphic sex. All of my main characters will either find salvation, or will deepen their relationship with God. With the exception of a minister in another series there isn’t any preaching—I just want to tell a good story and share the lives of Christian people.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I write to entertain—and I hope they are entertained, but also, I want people to look at others before we judge them. I hope the readers can feel the pain of characters like Daisy Benson and as we learn her back story, understand that everyone carries a load of trouble. Perhaps we could be a little kinder to that abrupt or rude person who may have a lot of emotional or physical pain to deal with. Is there a happy ending for everyone in life as there usually is in a novel? Not necessarily, but we must always understand that God knows the beginning and the end.
What is your favorite color?
I have a degree in Interior Design, and have learned the strange emotions that color can evoke. In decorating, I like monochromatic color schemes as a quiet background for an unusual pop of color. My traditional answer to that question is blue and I wear many shades of blue—but I never use it in decorating (for the Mays family) except as an accent color. Yellow makes me happy, but I also use it sparingly in decorating and in apparel. This time of year, as we drive about the county on the back roads, I’m filled with great pleasure at the beauty of a newly greening field. It is a reminder that God has something new for us after a long hard winter—or an intense summer drought. Such along answer to a simple question—sorry.
Do you have a favorite recipe?
I’m a creative cook—always changing recipes to fit the ingredients on hand—and usually it’s edible. Lately, we have opted for non-traditional holiday meals and serve a full array of brunch dishes instead. I have several breakfast casseroles and bread recipes that I bake, but our favorite is cheese grits served with a side of tomato gravy.
If you could travel back in time when and where would you go?
I’m quite content living in the here and now. I like central heat, air-conditioning, indoor plumbing, deodorant and penicillin. I can’t imagine riding in an open wagon, or on horseback or walking to the next town. I like pedicures, perms and finding a great BOGO sale on clothing.
What project are you currently working on?
A series of books set in Three Bridges, Texas. The first of these, Blueberry Fields, is scheduled to be published later this year. To date, there are five novels in this series, and more are planned. They will be released on Kindle during the next two years.
Evelyn has offered to giveaway one free ebook. Contest rules: at least 10 people need to leave comments WITH email addresses for there to be a contest. OR you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Contest - Lottery" in the subject line. Winner announced March 7th.
Note: Book to release on or around March 15th.