Friday, November 11, 2011

Mind Over Madi

Congratulations to Donna Winters, who won a copy of THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS!

I am excited to feature my good friend and awesome crit partner Lynda Schab today. Lynda and I have been travelling the rocky road of writing together for a couple of years now. We first met at an American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference and soon had the same agent. When I responded to Lynda’s request for a critique partner, I never knew the writing relationship would quickly blossom into a friendship…but I’m grateful that it did. Now I get to celebrate with her as she launches her debut novel, the first in a 3-book series, MIND OVER MADI. Here’s the Amazon link:

So come and meet the fabulous Lynda Schab, and…


Q. Lynda, we crazy writers seem to have this driving need to put the stories in our heads down on paper. When and how did you get started?

A. I’ve always loved to read, which seems to be a precursor for all writers. I don’t remember exactly when I picked up a pen and started to write, but I remember writing a story in 6th grade called The Summer I Went to Honolulu (no, I’d never been there – and still haven’t!), complete with caricature drawings. I moved on to writing plays for my cousins and me to perform for our parents, then tried my hand at poetry. In high school, it was all about poetry – some of it was pretty good, but some was very, very bad. I still love to write poetry, but prefer to create funny, rhyming poems for retirement parties, milestone birthdays, bridal or baby showers, and other fun occasions.

Now that I know that, I expect my very own Lynda poem next birthday.

Q. What was the first thing you ever had published?

A. Besides a little blurb in a high school newsletter, my first professionally published works were greeting cards for Blue Mountain Arts.

Q. Who has encouraged you most on your writing journey?

A. Definitely my mom.

Awww…I thought it was me. But I guess there’s no trumping Mom.

A. (continued) Mom has always believed in me and encouraged me in my gift. Professionally, one of my greatest cheerleaders has been Deb Porter, administrator for From the moment I joined FaithWriters in 2004, Deb spoke blessings and positivity into my life and motivated me more than she’ll probably ever know. Another organization that has blessed me so much is ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Joining was the best thing I’ve done for my writing career. The members, many of them published authors, have served as mentors to me and some have become fabulous friends.

Q. What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?

A. Favorite: The creative process. Thinking a story through from beginning to end and then seeing my vision come to life through the characters and situations I create.

Least favorite: Definitely the self discipline it requires. Time management is something I’ve always struggled with. Making myself sit down and focus when I know the basement needs cleaning, laundry is piling up, my office needs to be organized, or I want to watch the episode of Survivor I missed the night before is my biggest challenge.

Q. Okay, now for the big question: What is Mind over Madi about?

A. Madi McCall is a 38-year-old mom of three whose insecurities are destroying her marriage. When she suspects her husband Rich is cheating with the mother of one of his fourth grade students, she kicks him out of the house and he moves in with his bachelor brother. Madi is then forced to take a deeper look at herself and her insecurities. She does this with the help of a counselor, her best friend Sylvie, and a few cartons of Edy’s Dibs. At a 20-year get-together with former high school classmates, Madi runs into “the other woman” and things come to a head. It’s a lighthearted story about taking a true look at ourselves and accepting God’s grace when we think and do dumb things.

Q. On the cover photo, Madi is wearing a tiara. What is the significance in that?

A. Madi’s therapist challenges her to think of herself as a princess – the daughter of the King. Madi has never thought of herself this way, and throughout the story, there are references to various Disney princesses as Madi tries to figure out which one she most relates to. I had fun with the theme, even giving “the other woman” the fairy tale-ish name of Fawn Witchburn.

Q. As a Christian writer, I know you want your stories to touch reader’s hearts with a message. What do you want readers to take away from Madi’s story?

A. An understanding of just how infinite God’s love is. That no matter what we’ve done, God will never stop pursuing our hearts or desiring a relationship with us. His mercies are new every morning and His grace covers our weaknesses, our mistakes, our ignorance.

Thanks, Lynda. Great answers – I expected nothing less! I’m sure you’ll have many readers looking forward to the next two books in the series: MADILY IN LOVE and SYLVIE AND GOLD.
How can readers connect with you?

My website address is I also have a blog with various writing and reading-related material at You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Lynda is the mother of 18-year old Zach and 14-year-old Lyndsey, and has been married to her husband Rob for over 23 years. Today she’s sharing one of her family’s favorite recipes, which is mentioned in MIND OVER MADI and is included in an eBook titled NOVEL MORSELS – a cookbook featuring recipes from 65 Christian Fiction authors, based on their books/characters.

Here’s the link to purchase the eBook, and here’s a little secret…USE THE CODE LYNDASCHAB TO GET THE BOOK FOR FREE!!

Excerpt from MIND OVER MADI:
I feel like Mother Hubbard. My cupboards are almost completely bare. But wait—an unopened box of mostaccioli pasta and a jar of sauce sit side-by-side on my cupboard shelf. My mostaccioli rocks, if I do say so myself. I got the recipe a long time ago from a magazine and I tweaked it a bit, perfecting it over the years. It’s the one homemade dish I make that I’m actually proud of. Okay, to be honest, it’s pretty much the only homemade dish I ever make. My family loves it. Then again, from the way Max shot down my offer to make a mostaccioli dinner for Sam sometime, I’m thinking perhaps it’s not quite as scrumptious as I’ve convinced myself.

My recipe that's featured in Novel Morsels (and Mind over Madi):

Madi's Mean Mostaccioli

1 pkg. (16 oz.) mostaccioli pasta
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 t. pepper
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 jar (28-32 oz.) Spaghetti sauce
1 can (11 oz.) Cheddar Cheese soup
3 cups (12 oz.) Shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown ground beef and drain.

Prepare pasta, as directed on package. While pasta's boiling, add seasonings, spaghetti sauce and soup to ground beef.

Simmer until pasta is ready. Drain pasta.

Combine ground beef mixture, pasta, and 2 cups mozzarella in large (3-4 qt.) baking bowl or casserole dish.

Mix well. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese, if desired, on top. Bake 40 minutes.


  1. Great interview, Lynda & Susan. I love getting to know authors better this way, especially people I've met or have contact with on-line. This sounds like such a fun book. Congrats on getting it published!

  2. Loved this post! Loved the book! And I think I'll also love the recipe :-) Great work, both of you.


  3. Really good interview, Lynda, and the book sounds interesting. Married 23 years? Hey, that's a good start!

  4. Thanks for featuring me, Susan. I cannot WAIT to return the favor and I know it won't be long. You are a fabulous writer! Hope everyone enjoys the book and the recipe! :-)

  5. Great interview! I especially loved hearing Lynda's vision for the book. I didn't even connect the tiara to the princess theme, but probably because I read an e-book version so didn't see the cover regularly.

  6. I can't wait to read your book, Lynda! It's great seeing it splashed around everywhere! So proud of you!!!!!

  7. Thank you, guys. I truly appreciate your amazing support and encouragement!