Saturday, November 16, 2013

Interview with Lisa Carter, Author of Aloha Rose

Today we have the honor of hosting Lisa Carter, author of Aloha Rose and Carolina Reckoning. Lisa is a writer, teacher and speaker whose articles have appeared in FamilyFun, MomSense and Christian Parenting Today. Carolina Reckoning, her debut novel, released in August 2013. Aloha Rose, part of the Quilts of Love series, releases November 2013. She and her husband have two daughters and call North Carolina home.
When Laney Carrigan sets out to find her birth family, her only clue is the Hawaiian quilt in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island and battling fears of rejection, Laney begins a painstaking journey toward her true heritage. Kai Barnes, however, is determined to protect the people he’s come to regard as family. He thinks Laney is nothing more than a gold digger and blocks every move she makes toward her Hawaiian family. As their conflict escalates, it puts at risk the one thing that Kai and Laney both want most—a family.

Lisa, congratulations on Aloha Rose as well as your debut novel Carolina Reckoning. What was your inspiration behind writing Aloha Rose?

During my college years, I had a close friend who shared with me her struggles concerning her adoption as a baby. Although she had wonderful adoptive parents, she was left with lingering unanswered questions about her identity. There was a void within her. Years later, we reunited and she filled me in on the rest of her story. As an adult, she’d located her birth family and her father was Hawaiian. She and her family had come full circle. A few days later, my agent sent me a request from Abingdon Press for story proposals for the Quilts of Love line. This series is built upon the premise that “behind every quilt there is a story.” I’m a quilter and I know Hawaiian quilts are visually distinctive from other quilt forms. And with my friend’s recent life story still fresh in my mind, that day the seed of Aloha Rose was born.

You are right, the quilt on the cover of Aloha Rose is so pretty! I love the story of how you found out about your first publishing contract with Abingdon Press. Would you please share the story with our readers?

My first contract was for Aloha Rose. I received “the call” on my mother’s birthday, having just returned from taking her out to lunch and with her standing at my elbow when my agent called with the good news. My mother has always been my biggest fan and cheerleader so it was a special moment for her, too. And I was so glad she was able to be there to be a part of it.

What a great moment to share with your mother. Now,your author page on Amazon states “she has definite opinions on serious issues like barbeque, ACC basketball and the whole Pepsi vs. Coke controversy.” Well, we’re friends, so we can be honest, right? I’m a Yankee and I like pork barbeque with bone suckin sauce (sweet not vinegar based), diet Pepsi (because it is sweeter), and am a fan of the Duke Blue Devils (basketball only, pretty much because of Coach K). Share a true Southerner’s opinion . . . if you dare.

I’m definitely in the vinegar-based BBQ camp—the original BBQ I might add. I was raised from birth to support the Wolfpack at North Carolina State University. I like diet Pepsi, too. But you know the whole Cola War thing has us native North Carolinians in a quandary. Sure, Coke is headquartered in Atlanta and as Southerners we must support regional “cuisine.” But what a lot of people don’t realize is that Pepsi was invented in New Bern, North Carolina. So for North Carolinians, we’re torn on the issue.

Well, since Coach K. wasn't at Duke when you were born, I'll forgive you ;-) Now, back to the craft. What do you like most and least about writing?

I love creating and getting to know my characters the most. I like having to juggle writing/marketing/real world responsibilities the least.

I live in the South, but there aren’t many true Southerners down here in central North Carolina anymore. Tell us what makes you a true Southerner?

We are very friendly and hospitable. We tend to go at life at a slower pace. We enjoy being part of a family, part of a community, part of a unique cultural region. We’re proud to be Southern and most people find us charming. We’re a fun group, too. In a world increasing populated by Americans whose accents are as bland as a network news anchor, we revel in our cultural distinctiveness.

Yes, true southerners are almost a different breed! I love hearing a southern accent, which I hear less and less here in N.C. as the years pass. Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?

The key to my publication journey has been about building relationships. 
1. My relationship with God foremost—a conscious choice to pursue God’s leading. 
2. To pursue relationship with others in the publishing industry. 
3. And, to pursue relationships over pursuing contracts.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from? 
My ultimate desire is to proclaim the truth of God’s Word, His redeeming love as seen in the life of Jesus Christ and to help readers know for themselves this great, awesome God of all comfort and wisdom. He is enough for every need.

My story ideas come from everywhere—my past, my current life situations, my friends and their past/current experiences, and the news.

Lisa, thank you for joining us today! Do you have any parting words?

I hope Aloha Rose will make readers laugh. And perhaps make them cry. But most of all, I hope Aloha Rose will warm their hearts with the greatest of loves, God’s love for each of them.

See the book trailer for Aloha Rose.


  1. Great interview. Enjoyed getting to know Lisa Carter better. Love her books!

    1. Thanks, Patricia. So glad you stopped by. Have a great weekend. :)

  2. Have been reading all the Quilts of Love books. Will definitely be reading this one too.

    1. Thanks Martha for joining in the conversation. Have a great week.

    2. Martha, thanks for joining us! I am in the middle of Aloha Rose right now ~ every time I open the book I feel like I am on vacation :-) Am loving the complexity of Lacey & Kai. GREAT read!