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Looking Out The Window: Award Winning Author E.A. West Talks About Redeeming Honor, Her Latest Novel. Serializes A Free Read On Her Blog.

A Warm Welcome to E.A. West

E.A.’s serializing a novel, Tapas: Out of Her Element, on her blog, and readers can access it for FREE. Read chapter one here and the rest of the chapters here

Hi E.A., first, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m an author who writes sweet and inspirational romance, contemporary young adult fiction, women’s fiction, and any other genre that catches my fancy. Most people don’t realize it, but I have learning disabilities, including dyslexia. It makes writing and editing a challenge at times, but the reward of seeing my books available for readers is worth it. I’m also autistic, which can make for some interesting challenges of its own.

What an inspiration you are. Lots of writers enjoyed reading as children. How about you? If so, what did you read?

I loved reading as a child (still do, actually). I spent hours reading my way through my local library’s children’s department. Most of what I read was fiction, but sometimes I picked out a nonfiction title. My favorite types of books usually involved adventure, animals, or both.

Let's talk about your writing. Why do you do it?

I write because I love to create stories and share them with other people. Or you could say I write to get the characters in my head to shut up. Lol

Lol. Tell us about your latest book.

Redeeming Honor is an inspirational romance between an American woman and an Afghan man. Meghan Carpenter owns an alpaca farm and yarn business; Basir Hamidi is a former interpreter for the Marine Corps. After he’s injured in Afghanistan and undergoes medical treatment in the United States, Meghan’s brother talks her into letting him stay on her farm with them. What follows is an unusual romance that has to overcome cultural and personal challenges in order to happen.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

I’ve been writing romances with veterans for several years, and I absorbed a lot of information about the war in Afghanistan in the process. One thing that caught my attention was the interpreters. Learning about them and the danger they face inspired the character Basir Hamidi.

That sounds so interesting. What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?

I loved the challenge of writing about a character from a culture vastly different from my own. It gave me a deeper respect for the Afghan interpreters and made me consider things I hadn’t thought about before, such as how a religion can become so ingrained in a people that it influences the culture. I hope Redeeming Honor will help readers see another side to the war in Afghanistan and understand the challenges immigrants face when transitioned to American culture.

More About Redeeming Honor

 One man’s honor is another man’s shame.
Meghan Carpenter loves God, her yarn business, and her twin brother Ryan — a former marine who currently lives with her. When she agrees to let his wounded buddy live with them on her small Indiana alpaca farm, she expects an American marine. What she gets is a former Afghan interpreter who’s painfully shy around women.

Scarred from the war, both physically and emotionally, Basir Hamidi is grateful for a place to live. But his attraction to Meghan is a problem. With his honor destroyed by events in his homeland, and nothing to offer her but his broken, scarred self, he vows to avoid her and protect her reputation. Yet he is drawn to her with a strength that can only be God's leading. For a man who has lost everything, letting go of the past is a difficult process. When he must also redeem his honor, his only chance of success is to rely on God.

Buy Redeeming Honor 

Where do you get ideas for your books?

Like many authors, I get ideas from a variety of sources. I’ve been inspired by television shows, movies, books, conversations, news reports, posts on social media, etc. Literally anything can give me an idea for a story.

In three words describe your style of writing.

Clean. Hopeful. Literary.

What themes do you write about?

I write about a wide variety of themes. My books have covered PTSD, veterans going to college, autism, immigration, street children in Bogota, disabilities, having a step-parent, and more.

Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?

My faith does affect my writing simply because it influences the way I see the world. Even in my books that aren’t inherently Christian, you can see glimpses of my faith in the way the characters behave and think.

What are you working on right now?

I’m serializing a novel on my blog and Tapas (formerly Tapastic) called Out of Her Element. It’s the story of a twenty-year-old Palestinian immigrant woman who goes from dirt-poor and homeless to living a life of luxury in the blink of an eye, thanks to wealthy family friends. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy a life as she might hope.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Writing for publication is hard work. It gets discouraging at times, and rejections or poor reviews can be downright depressing. But if you truly want to be an author, want to see your work published and available for the world to read, you have to keep going. Learn to accept constructive criticism and apply it to your writing. Realize that a bad review about your book isn’t about you as a person. If you develop a thick skin, never stop learning, and persevere despite the inevitable discouragement, you have the opportunity to go far.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

If I weren’t an author, I would probably be an artist. Believe it or not, art was my first love. I actually hated writing when I was a kid, so painting and drawing were my creative outlets.

An Excerpt from Redeeming Honor

The oven timer dinged, and Meghan grabbed a hot pad. Golden-brown cookies filled the air with the delicious scents of vanilla and chocolate. She set the tray on the granite counter, shut off the oven, and then turned to the task of transferring chocolate chip cookies to the cooling rack.

As she set the baking sheet in the sink, the front door opened. Meghan’s heart jumped, and she hurried from the kitchen, eager to see which of Ryan’s friends would be living in her house. She stepped into the hall and spotted her brother and a swarthy-skinned, black-haired man wearing huge dark sunglasses. Each of them carried a black suitcase.

Ryan grinned as his friend closed the door. “Hey, Meghan, this is my buddy Basir Hamidi. Basir, meet my sister, Meghan.”

The black-haired man removed his sunglasses to reveal a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and scar tissue around his tawny-brown eyes. “Thank you for letting me stay in your home.”

Meghan swallowed her surprise at his heavy accent and pushed aside her sorrow that he had endured something terrible to cause the scars. Regardless of what he had been through, the only thing that should matter to her was helping him to feel comfortable in her home. She offered a warm smile and clasped her hands at her waist. “I’m glad I had an empty guestroom for you. I’ll let Ryan give you the grand tour of the place while I put the finishing touches on lunch, but remember that this is your home, too, for however long you need it.”

“Thank you.” He inclined his head, his right hand over his heart. Then, he lowered his hand and glanced at Ryan.

Her brother slung an arm around Basir’s shoulders and guided him to the stairs. “Your room’s up here.”

Meghan returned to the kitchen and struggled to wrap her mind around her new houseguest. She’d expected an American marine, but her brother had brought home an Afghan man. Had Basir somehow become a marine? Had he been part of the Afghan army? Questions flowed in a steady stream as she chopped hardboiled eggs for the chef’s salads she’d planned.

Bio: Award-winning author E.A. West is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A.

on her website
sign up for her newsletter
join her on Facebook


Jody said…
Sounds like such compelling premise! Looking forward to reading this one.
I loved this book! You did a great job of showing how cultures have differing views on the smallest of things. What a great sweet romance. Thanks for the post.
Wow EA wonderful interview and excerpt!
Love your cover too.
Good luck and God's blessings
E.A. West said…
Thank you! I enjoyed learning about the differences in culture and how those things could affect daily life so I could include them in the story.
E.A. West said…
Thanks, Pam! This is one of my favorite covers.
E.A. West said…
Thank you for having me here today, Gail! :)
Miss Mae said…
Sounds like an interesting read, E.A., and original too. I'm sure you'll do well with this one!
Gail Pallotta said…
Hi E.A.,

Having you is my pleasure!
E.A. West said…
Thanks, Miss Mae!
E.A. This is a great undertaking you've done on this story. My hat is off to you for a story line such as this. It sounds like a warm story, the type I like where there seems to be a gap between the man and woman, something that may be difficult to overcome. Just the type story I like. The research must have been tremendous but rewarding for this novel.
Thanks, Gail, for having E.A. Her stories are always clean and inspiring.
E.A. West said…
Thank you, Larry! I did have to do quite a bit of research, but as you said, it was rewarding.

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