Friday, March 12, 2010

Interview with Carie Lawson - author of "Beyond Africa"

Carie Lawson has a new release out with Desert Breeze, "Beyond Africa," a contemporary inspirational romance and I'm honored to have her pop into "Romance Under the Romance" today. Now, onto the interview.

STEPH - Where did you find the inspiration for Beyond Africa?

CARIE: The inspiration for Beyond Africa came from being a Geography teacher for a couple of years. Africa is such an interesting, inspiring place to begin with. The Democratic Republic of Congo has a sad history that I honestly didn't know much about before we started studying about it. I spent quite a bit of time researching the country before I wrote the book. I think missionaries willing to go to places like the DRC are far braver than anyone gives them credit for.

STEPH - Is Beyond Africa your first book?

CARIE: Yes. But after I finished it I wrote Beyond Summer and Beyond Ever After. Then Desert Breeze contracted the series and I went back and rewrote Beyond Africa. I think I ended up cutting about three quarters of the book and rewriting it using the current "rules" of writing--showing instead of telling and third person deep POV. It is without a doubt a much better book now than it was the first time.

STEPH - I haven't had a chance to read the book. Can you tell us a little about the plot?

CARIE: Sure. Lilly returns to the mission her parent worked at when she was a child. She's looking for security in one of the least secure places in the world. Case is the pilot who takes her to the mission...and can't stand the thought of leaving a young, vulnerable woman in a dangerous part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He keeps finding reasons to go back to the mission and check on Lilly, until he finds a way to convince her to leave.

STEPH - Cast the characters. Who do you see as Case? Lilly?

CARIE: Case looks like Matt Damon. No question there. Hmm, Lilly might be Laura Vandervoort. It's hard to cast her as a movie star because I see her as very vulnerable, a trait not super popular in Hollywood right now.

STEPH - What romance genres do you like to read?

CARIE: Contemporary Romance and Contemporary Christian Romance.

STEPH - Who are your favorite authors?

CARIE: Tamara Leigh and Susan May Warren.

STEPH: - What was the last movie you saw?

CARIE: Other than a kid's movie. I think Four Christmases. My husband and I watched it while wrapping presents.

Here's a link to Desert Breeze and Amazon where you can buy Carie's book. Thanks so much for popping in today, Carie!


Links: Desert Breeze:

Amazon Kindle:


  1. Congrats on your book release, Carie and the contract for the series. Africa sounds like a great backdrop. It holds a lot of attraction and many unknowns for people.

  2. Steph, thanks for having me today.
    Tina, I love your picture and thank you!

  3. Hi Carie and Steph. I'm currently reading a novel set mainly in Ethiopia and it's always interesting delving into other cultures. Do you bring in a lot of cultural detail along with the story? Many authors skim the details, which is fine, but I'm always curious.

  4. Enjoyed the interview, Carie. I agree that this is a wonderful setting!

  5. LK--I think the culture of the mission is given in more detail than the country. There is little of the Africa portrayed outside the mission itself. BUT, one of my favorite parts of the book involves the migration of butterflies, which really does happen in that part of Africa. In fact, at one time, the book was going to be titled Butterfly Fields. Such an interesting place.