Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cara Putnam



Cara Catlett Putman is a wife,homeschooling mother, attorney, active in church, President of the Indiana chapter of ACFW, instructor at Purdue University (in business law,)daughter,granddaughter, sibling, aunt, mini-marathon runner, publicity officer of the national AmericanChristianFictionWriters, blogger, Kanner Lake character,Suspense writer blogger,football fan,voracious reader, probably some things I'm missing, and oh, yeah, a published author of a historical romance with many more books in the works and being brainstormed as I write.

(Are you tired yet? )This (very) active young woman was an active child,too, training restaurant employees by age 12 and starting college by the age of 16. Just this month she released her very first (of more to come, of course)  book through Heartsong Presents called Canteen Dreams, a story based on her grandparents' love story.

First, let's find out how this fireball started out. Then, you'll want to check out her first book:

Childhood Ambition:

My childhood ambitions centered on journalism and politics. I was either going to be the next Katie Couric or run for office. So I worked at a TV station for the first two years of college, and then worked at the Nebraska Unicameral during my last two years of college. During the summer between my junior and senior years, I wrote an honors thesis on a constitutional law question. Wouldn’t you know, I feel in love with law research. How crazy is that! So I spent a couple years trying to talk myself out of law school before enrolling. After four years of law school, I became an attorney and added judge to the list of really cool jobs I’d like to have.

Fondest Memory (then):

A family trip we took to San Antonio when I was eleven or twelve. My dad had National Guard training at Fort Sam Houston. Mom and all four of us kids explored San Antonio, Austin, and surrounding areas for the two weeks he was buried in books. We got the best end of the deal. And I will never forget the tour guide who made the Alamo come to life, or how small the Alamo really is.

Proudest Moment (now or then):

Then:My proudest moment as a young adult was being selected as a Harry S. Truman Scholar. The application process was incredibly rigorous. I finaled as a sophomore, and won the scholarship as a junior. In many ways it was such affirmation that my homeschool education was every bit as good as anyone else’s.

Now: Wow, it’s hard to say, because so many of the occasions that I would qualify as proud moments, I really don’t have much to do with. God has blessed me abundantly with a wonderful husband, two delightful children, and a dream come true with my first book coming out in October. And He’s made it clear we aren’t done yet!

Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

My dad’s National Guard unit was activated for the first Gulf War when I was sixteen and a freshman in college. That was a hard time to have him gone for six months. My mom is an amazing woman, and worked so hard to keep our family businesses going, homeschool my siblings, and be there for us. I look back and wonder how she did it.


Runza Restaurants

My First Job: Working in our family’s franchise, Runza restaurants. By the time I was 12, I was training new employees. It was always fun to keep people guessing about how old I really was.



(Are you hungry yet? Yum, this looks good!)


Favorite Outfit as a Child:

What a great question. There was a particular sundress that I literally wore out as a child. It was made of strips of calico in green and brown shades. And I would wear that dress every day that it was clean. I’m not quite sure why; maybe I felt like a princess in it

Favorite Childhood Movie:

As a child, I really enjoyed Charlotte’s Web. As a teenager, I LOVED Gone with the Wind. I practically memorized that movie, loved the book, and memorized every detail about the creation of the movie that I came across. I’ve always loved “how-they-made-it” shows.

Favorite Childhood Book:

Little House on the Prairie as a young girl, followed closely by Anne of Green Gables. What’s been fun is introducing my nieces and daughter to these books now that they are seven to eleven. And to see them enjoy the books and movies just as much as I did – and that I still enjoy them.

Childhood Heroes:

Esther, Deborah, and Margaret Thatcher.


Cara's JUST RELEASED book:

Canteen Dreams, Heartsong Presents,October 2007


About the book:

In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Audrey Stone wants to help in the war effort. But what’s a young schoolteacher from Nebraska to do? When her community starts a canteen at the train station, Audrey finds her place. She spends nearly every spare moment there, offering food and kindness to the soldiers passing through. Despite her busyness, Audrey does allow some time to get to know a handsome rancher.

Willard Johnson worries about his brother who joined the navy to get off the ranch and see the world. When Willard’s worst fear is confirmed, he feels he must avenge by enlisting himself. But will his budding relationship with Audrey survive the war? Or will one of the many soldiers at the canteen steal her away from him? Can two such determined people find their place in the war and with each other?

More books by Cara Putnam to watch for:

Canteen Dreams will be followed by Sandhill Dreams (Heartsong Presents) in May 2008,Captive Dreams (Heartsong Presents) in September 2008.

 Deadly Exposure (Love Inspired Suspense) in June 2008

To be eligible for a free copy of Canteen Dreams, enter a comment here for a drawing (only U.S. addresses.) You will need to provide me with your email address, if I don't already have it. Enter your email as :nameATispaddressdotcom

Check back on Monday for the winner!


Trish Perry said...

Fun interview, Crystal and Cara! Cara, you're such a dynamo--I'm always impressed with people who are so focused at such a young age. I'm sure you know what a blessing that focus is. You have your whole life ahead of you, and look what you've already achieved. Amazing!


Cherie J said...

Great interview! Would love to enter the drawing for Cara's book. Thank you!

Unknown said...

I would love to be in the drawing for Cara's book. I spent some tiem in Nebraska and remember runza well. (smile)

Amy said...

Wow, you have lived many lifetimes!

Cara Putman said...

Thanks, Trish. God has been amazing to me. I'm literally trying to hang on and keep up with Him :-)

Cherie, one of these times you have to win!

Janna said...

What a great interview, Cara!


April Erwin said...

Fantastic interview, I enjoyed reading Cara's answers. Canteen Dreams looks like a great read. I'm crossing my fingers now. :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent interview Crystal and Cara. I'm reading Canteen Dreams and enjoying this slice of our country's history. Great job, Cara.

Frank Creed said...

You aspire to be a judge--you've way more courage than I. I'm a fan of Law and Order--no way I could do that.

Congrats on your first novel. I'd love a copy of Canteen Dreams, but I don't want to win one. You've been inked on my Christmas list for a few weeks now--I'll get it the old fashioned way. One more mark for the NYT Bestsellers list.


Cara Putman said...

Thanks, Janet. Considering how much I love your historical writing, it means a lot that you like Canteen Dreams.

Frank, we can get that book to you :-)

There really is nothing like Runza. Once you've had one, you can't get enough!

Janna, isn't it fun how the interviews are all different.

Good luck, April. I hope you enjoy the book if you're the lucky reader.

Crystal Laine said...

Cara, Thanks again for doing this!

Two more days until I draw for the book, so check in on Monday.

Frank, since I bought the copy (yes, believe it or not, I singlehandedly keep the Christian book industry in business,) it counts in Cara's book sales... (But I'm sure everyone else is glad you bowed out!)

Cara is barely allowing the ink to dry on this book before moving on to more books. Look forward to seeing more of your works, Cara. Be sure to check out Trish Perry's interview on Chat 'n' Chew, also!

Rose McCauley said...

I enjoyed learning morea bout cara and hope I'm not too late to win a copy of her book! rose