Thursday, April 10, 2014

Celebrating Cara Putman's New Release, Shadowed by Grace!

I am beyond excited to host my dear friend and mentor Cara Putman on The Writer's Alley today! I was privileged to be a first reader for Cara's new book, and it hooked me right from the start. Please help me welcome Cara to the Alley today! -- Ashley


1) Tell us a little bit about yourself (and why you're nicknamed superwoman).

         That nickname is definitely one I didn’t give myself! But I guess I’ve earned it because I’m an attorney who teaches graduate business law classes at a Big Ten business school and write books. Add in being a homeschooling mother to four great kids, finding time with my husband, and activities – well, life gets full – in the best way of course!

2) What inspired your new release, Shadowed by Grace?

         I stumbled across a non-fiction book about the Monuments Men at our local library. As I read the story of this elite group of men’s efforts to save western civilization during World War II, I was captivated. It didn’t take long to know I wanted to write novels with these men in them…and I decided to start at the beginning which meant Italy!

3) How is Shadowed by Grace  similar to the movie Monuments Men?

         Both are about the efforts of the Monuments Men during WWII. But my book focuses on what they did in Italy: Naples, Rome, and up into Florence, while the movie highlights pieces of what they did in Paris, Belgium and Germany.
Well, and Matt Damon and George Clooney were in the movie!

4) What types of research did you do to make this setting come alive?

         Gobs! I literally have a stack of books because I had a lot to learn about the war in Italy, the roles of the Monuments Men there, and what it was like for the Italians. I was thrilled to find a copy of an out of print book written by one of the Monuments Men in Italy at Purdue University. That meant I was able to build the timeline of the last 1/3 of the book around what they really did in and around Florence. I also found books about the women journalists in WWII and a great anecdote about what happened in the Rome newsroom when the D-Day announcement came through. I loved finding those details to add richness to the novel.

5) What do you hope readers will take away from the story?

         I hope readers will leave the story with a reminder that God’s grace will find them. That He cares deeply about them even when they feel overlooked or abandoned by those around them.

6) Many of our readers are unpublished. What advice would you give for writers who are still seeking publication and/or an agent?

         Hie thee to a writing conference. Seriously, I would not be published (at least not as many books as I have) without the connections I made and workshops I attended. I attend ACFW each year.

7) You're very active in ACFW. Would you say involvement in a writing group like ACFW can open doors for writers pursuing publishing?

            Absolutely! The first piece of advice I received from Colleen Coble when I started writing was to join ACFW. There I found a community of people who understand what it is to chase a dream as impossible as publishing. They also mentored me and coached me, and now I get to do the same thing for other aspiring writers.

8) What's your favorite quote from Shadowed by Grace?

         “God has shadowed her life with His grace, even when she didn’t know to look for Him.” Or “We are defined by what we love and respect.”

About Cara

Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. An award-winning author of seventeen books with more on the way, she is active in women's ministry at her church and is a lecturer on business and employment law to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Putman also practices law and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. Putman is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration at Krannert. She serves on the executive board of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization she has served in various roles since 2007. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana. You can connect with her online at:

Purchase links:

About the book

Rachel Justice is desperate to save her dying mother. She doesn’t want to leave her, but she accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy and photograph war images. No one knows her photography is a cover and that Rachel is really seeking to find the father she never knew, hopeful to get some help with her failing mother. Dedicated to her mission, Rachel is focused on completing it. Soon, though, she finds her priorities and plans changing when she is assigned to Lt. Scott Lindstrom, on mission as a Monument Man. Their meeting will have far-reaching consequences. Will this derail her plans? Will she ever find her father? Is her faith enough to carry her through?


Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Welcome, Cara! SO good to have you here today!

I must admit, I'm feeling exhausted after reading that bio. Working, homeschooling, writing prolifically AND studying... all at once?? How is that even humanly possible?! Pick any two of those simultaneously and it'd be enough to wipe me out. I think I need to go take a nap.... ;)

So yes, I'm pretty sure the title of superwoman is well deserved! Celebrating with you on your new release!

Pepper said...

YAY!!! It's the beautiful and talented Cara Putman!!!! SO happy to see you here today!
And I loved your answers to the questions. I think you truly are Superwoman. I'm in awe of you!

(And we still need to have that phone call I forgot about...because I was making an offer on a house ;-)

Cara Putman said...

Pepper, I would love to have that phone call :-)

Karen, thanks for having me. It's always fun to join the Alley! Enjoy you guys.

Mary Vee Writer said...

The quote you left as your favorite is very inspiring.

Speaking as a reader, we never truly understand the mountain of research behind a work like this.
Speaking as a writer, I could never convey fully the fun I have doing all the research behind my work.

What both reader and writer benefit from is the story, traveling back in time, and learning some of the "rest of the story."

Thank's Cara. Looks like a fab read.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Cara, I met you briefly through the Newcomers group for ACFW 2012, and I was blessed by your passion and humility.

Your book sounds fascinating. I loved the movie, Monuments Men. I think I'm going to have to get a hold of your book. It's fun to hear how God brought you that out-of-print book, an anecdote and other things to make your novel richer.

Thanks for sharing your insights for us aspiring writers too. :) Very helpful!

Cara Putman said...

Mary, I love the research, too. Almost too much! And Jeanne, thank you! I love helping newcomers to ACFW. and I hope you do track down Shadowed by Grace -- it was a fun book to write and the reader feedback has been great!

Cara Putman said...

oh and Pepper, superwoman is a title I wear uncomfortably. I'm only doing what God's put in front of me like so many other people :-)

Ashley Clark said...

Jeanne, I know you'll love the book!

And Pepper, you don't have much room to talk! I'm pretty sure you've got some super powers going on yourself!

Cara, so thrilled to have you! :)

Cara Putman said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, Ashley. I appreciate you!

Unknown said...

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