Winner of the Book, Her Unlikely Family is...Hannah!
Missy Tippens, A Cutie from the Beginning
You are going to laugh and love reading about Missy Tippens. She was a part of a gang as a child (well, the Eastland Park Girls hung together) and her gang jacket? A "poodle" jacket. (I've heard of poodle skirts, but this was a first for a poodle jacket.)
Her childhood has wonderful memories, humorous moments and a rich fabric of family, friends and traditions that were sure to have added to her fiction. Check out Missy back in the day:
Childhood Ambition: Early on, I really wanted to be a teacher. And I wanted my name to be Kathy. But later, in high school, I wanted to be a microbiologist—which I did become!
Fondest Memory (then): I have so many great memories of Christmas. My parents would go all out to make it very special. And I loved our tradition of eating out at Pizza Hut before going to the candle light service at church, then going home to open one small gift. It was pure torture not to be able to open them all! But I loved that little taste.
Missy, Age 9
Proudest Moment (then): I was so very proud when I won a coloring contest in elementary school. I think it was at Sears or some other store downtown. I won a pair of pantyhose—a big thrill for a little girl. Of course, then my mother wouldn’t let me wear them! She said I was too young. (What were they thinking, giving pantyhose as a prize for a coloring contest??!)
Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen: Self-esteem, especially as a teen. I think it’s a big problem for many girls. I didn’t look like all the models on TV or in magazines (didn’t have the stick figure or the big hair), so I felt like I didn’t measure up. I thought I was fat then at 115-120 pounds. If only I weighed that now!
My First Job: I got my first job after I started driving. My mother decided they weren’t going to pay for all the gas I was using to haul my friends around, so I got a part-time job at Long John Silver’s. When the new mall was built in town, I changed jobs and went to work at The Peanut Shack, and then for an eye doctor in the mall.
Missy and little sister, Mindy
(Don't you love their poofy matching dresses?)
Childhood Indulgence: Though we didn’t have a lot of money, my younger sister and I were indulged children. Our parents tried to make sure we had the things our friends had (even if it wasn’t always the name brand). And I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Europe with my family, then later with my high school band, then once more with a study abroad program before college. Our parents were always very focused on education and on making sure we were raised thinking we could do anything we set our minds to doing.
Favorite Outfit as a Child: Oh, my goodness, I remember this great jacket that a bunch of my friends and I all bought in about 7th grade. They were made of fluffy, white fake fur with white fake (oh, maybe I should say faux) shiny “leather” trim, and we called them our poodle coats. We were the Poodle Patrol. So fun! And we wore them with our high-waisted, elephant-leg jeans. Don’t you know we looked good! LOL
Favorite Childhood Movie and/or TV Show: I loved to watch The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights. I have great memories of my sister and I sitting by the fireplace to dry our freshly-washed hair while watching. I also remember my family watching The Love Boat (which, now that I think about it, probably wasn’t very appropriate! LOL)
Favorite Childhood Book: World Book’s Childcraft Library. I’m pretty sure the one I loved so much was Volume 1. It was full of nursery rhymes, and I memorized almost all of them. I loved to have my dad read them to me, too. I also remember loving to have my mother read The Children’s Bible to me in the doctor’s office while we waited. I think we eventually bought a copy for home.
Favorite Childhood Activity/Pastime: I loved to climb the mimosa tree in my front yard. It was a great place to sit and read. And I loved to play with my Barbies. In fifth grade, we moved to a house that had a neighborhood pool, and I pretty much lived there in the summers all the way through high school. Of course, now I cringe at the fact that I baked myself in the sun every day with baby oil and iodine!
Childhood Hero: I don’t remember any heroes, unless you count Bobby Sherman! (Am I showing my age?) Oh, and I loved, loved, loved Carol Burnett. I thought she was so funny, and I remember wanting to make people laugh like she did. I cried years later when her last show aired.
Childhood Pets and/or Friends? We always had cats and even had a couple of dogs. I guess I grew up with a cat or dog sleeping in my bed every night. As for friends, we had a large group of girls in my neighborhood. We called ourselves the Eastland Park girls. We hung out a lot outside, riding bikes, playing Kick the Can and hide-and-go-seek, and we spent the night together a good bit.
Anything else you would like to share with readers about your childhood which affected the writer you have become? I think growing up in the South has affected my writing more than anything. I grew up in Kentucky and have now lived half my life in Georgia. I tend to write about small southern towns and love them as settings.
Missy was born and raised in Kentucky, and met her very own hero when she headed off to grad school in Atlanta, Georgia. She promptly fell in love and hasn’t left Georgia since. She and her pastor husband have been married 20-plus years now, and have been blessed with three wonderful children along with an assortment of pets.
In L.B.C. (Life Before Children), Missy worked as a clinical microbiologist. Once she had her first baby, she retired to become a stay-at-home mom. She’s grateful to God that she was able to do that for 16 years and had the opportunity to pursue her writing during that time. Nowadays, in addition to her writing, she teaches as an adjunct instructor at a local technical college.
Missy is an award-winning writer and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest. After ten years of pursuing her dream, she made her first sale of a full-length novel to Steeple Hill Love Inspired. She still pinches herself to see if it really happened!
Opposites attract when an uptight banker encounters a free-spirited waitress during the search for his runaway teenage niece. As they work together to heal the young girl's damaged spirit, an unlikely family begins to form...
Places to get Missy's Book
http://www.eharlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=16511&cid=236, http://www.amazon.com/Her-Unlikely-Family-Love-Inspired/dp/0373874707/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1201511286&sr=8-1, http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=Her+Unlikely+Family&z=y, and http://www.cbd.com/.
Missy likes to blog! Check out her blog thoughts:
Her personal blog, LifeWithMissy, where she discusses writing, reading, life, and family. She also does author interviews and the occasional contest/book giveaway.
A group blog, F.A.I.T.H., where she posts on Thursdays. They blog about the writing life, about faith, about family and anything else that the writers may be dealing with. They also have guest authors and post book reviews. F.A.I.T.H. is an acronym for Following Always, Intently Trusting Him.
A group blog, Seekerville, with a group of her writer friends. Entering manuscripts in the contest circuit is what brought them together, so they discuss contests and the journey toward publication. When the group formed, one of the group was newly contracted. Now, six of the fifteen of this group are published! They have experience for the writing for publication journey.
Another story by Missy:
Come meet Mark and Amelia. He's the new pastor in town, and he seems to be having a tad of trouble with the stingy, controlling church treasurer!
Available at BelleBooks.com and bookstores near you, this collective novel contains her first sale--a short story.