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Author Interview: Neena Gaynor

Happy Monday, Y’all. Please join me in welcoming a New-To-Me and Debut Author, Neena Gaynor. Here is a blurb of her debut novel, "The Birds and the Bees"

When Larkin Maybie buries her mother in the foothills of Appalachia, she is left all alone. Her only inheritance? A crazy aunt, a mountain of debt, and a run-down, secluded cabin left by a mysterious benefactor. While Larkin thinks an escape to a cabin miles from anything familiar might be exactly what she needs, the quick answer to her problems only leaves her with more questions... Questions concerning her true identity. As Larkin searches for her link to the Lewandowski Estate, she begins to accept the kindness of strangers on Presque Isle and the affection of professional baseball player, Ketch Devine. Charged with caring for the cabin’s honey bees and haunted by past choices, Larkin struggles to move forward in a new direction and is running out of time. With summer and baseball season coming to an end, she must decide: what is the value of true love?

Hi Neena, welcome to the blog. Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Neena- When not chasing after my two joyful little boys, I enjoy beekeeping, gardening, and writing. I've spent much of the last decade traveling with my husband, Wade, a former professional baseball player. Throughout the 29 changes of address and the stresses of moving a young family, I've learned to embrace the peace that only comes from the steady accompaniment of Christ.

Cindy- I know what chasing little boys feel like. And how exciting that your husband played professional baseball. My husband and I love all things baseball and brought our two boys up playing from the time they were old enough to throw the little white ball. 😊 It must have been amazing seeing so many places and making so many friends across the country. Though I can only imagine how stressful that was on you as well. But I bet you have many stories from all the places you’ve lived and that is definitely an advantage in the writing world. Cindy- I love the title. How did you come up with the title for this book?

Neena- The Bird and the Bees is a title with intended depth and layers. Superficially, the book is about a girl named Larkin (named for the songbird) who is tending to a bunch of nuisance honey bees. Larkin’s burdensome secret is something she would never want to confess, never want to actually say…

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Neena- This is a hard question. You know, the theme of The Bird and the Bees is choice. How much of our lives are a result of the choices we make—big and small. I know there are a million things that shape our lives that we wouldn’t choose, and the book explores this a bit, like a flat tire or a global pandemic. But we do get to choose how we will respond. I’ve always put a lot of stock into my own ability to “fix” or “do” or “be.” I would remind myself to trust Jesus. Through all of life’s happenings and many choices, there is a choice that will bring life or light to the world. Choose that. Choose Him. Every. Single. Time.

What is the first book that made you cry?

Neena-The Diary of Anne Frank. It’s the first book I remember keeping on my nightstand with a bookmark.

Cindy- That is one of the all-time greatest books.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Neena- By flipping through The Bible or botanical field guides.

Cindy- I love that you look for names from the Bible and the botanical field guides, what a brilliant idea! That is one I will definitely start using. I love unique names.

If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Neena- Appalachia. I grew up in Eastern Kentucky’s foothills, but I would love to live on a huge, lush mountain.

Cindy- Me too. I love the mountains.

What inspired you to write this story?

Neena- I wanted to write a story that reached the hearts of women, something that glorified Christ and illuminated His grace, hope, and love. It’s also worth mentioning that Appalachia provides a wealth of beautiful inspiration.

Cindy- Beautiful reasons.

If you had to give up either snacks and drinks during writing sessions, or music, which would you find more difficult to say goodbye to?

Neena- I like to write in silence, it just rarely happens in a house with little boys running wild! The boys make the coffee necessary and impossible to let go…

Cindy- Lol! Unfortunately, I can’t blame my coffee drinking addiction on anyone 😊

What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

Neena- Religious nonfiction. I love to learn about our faith and be inspired by other’s testimonies.

Cindy- That’s a wonderful way to grow in our faith.

What is your most unusual writing quirk?

Neena- Haha! I’m not sure! Maybe exactly how much coffee I consume… but that’s probably more concerning than quirky.

Cindy- I have a terrible habit of putting periods in place of question marks and vice/versa 😊

Thank you, Neena, for joining us today. I really enjoyed getting to know you better. I wish you blessings on your new book and your writing journey.

You can find Neena here ...

Thank you all for stopping by.

Neena’s new release “The Birds and the Bees” will be available for purchase tomorrow. Stop by Amazon and get yours.

God Bless,

Cindy Patterson

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