Texans are fascinating folks (and they would probably agree). Since I don’t know many Lone Star State folks, and have only been there twice, I asked author Gay Lewis, a Texas lover if there ever was one, to tell us more about best places to visit, the people, the FOOD and if there could possibly be any imperfections in her favorite state.
If you aren’t familiar with Gay, she has written several fantasy novels about a klutzy angel who fulfills her duties as matchmaker with greater enthusiasm than skill. (Read more about Gay and Sarah in the bio at the end of the interview.) Recently Gay successfully tried her hand at a more serious topic—the destructive power of words—in the novella ‘Clue Into Kindness,’ the second book in the ‘Love Is’ series by Prism Book Group.
Gay is going to whet your appetite for Texas. Let’s make her really nervous and tell her we’ll all drop in on her next week. Naw, that wouldn’t scare a true Texan like Gay. Would it?
What is your favorite book? (After the Bible 🙂
Hmm? I have many (some I’ve written myself) Giggle, giggle. Besides my Sarah books, I confess to reading often Love Comes Softly by Jeanette Oke. It’s a quick read and it lifts my spirits. I’ve seen the Hallmark movie many times too. Note: ‘Clue Into Kindness’ is available as an ebook, AND in print, bundled with two other novellas in a book titled ‘Love Is Anthology No. 1.’
Who is your favorite author?
Poopty doopty! How can I answer that one? I have several. All Prism Book Group authors present wonderful books, and I constantly have one of their books on my iPad. I also enjoy Janet Evanovich for humor and Dean Koontz for fantasy and suspense.
Where is the most beautiful spot in Texas in the spring?
Oh my! There you go again with another thinker. I love the Texas Hill Country for the rolling hills and multitudes of Bluebonnets. Washington County, north of Brenham, TX has beautiful scenic vistas too.
I show up on your doorstep, hoping for a Texas-style meal. What is on the menu?
Hahahah. I’m laughing hard on this one. The first thing we’d do after I gave you a giant, Texas hug would be to get into the car and drive to the nearest restaurant. My cooking would not give you a true taste of a Texas meal. Chef Gay is not one of my titles. I wish you could have eaten at my mom’s table. She prepared the best chicken fried steak, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and banana pudding—bar none. Chicken and Dumplings with homemade fried pies were my favorite dishes at her table. But back to me….I’d take you to the nearest Tex-Mex food hang-out for a sizzling plate of cheese enchiladas.
You get to crown ‘Best Famous Texan (Dead or Alive)’ Who do you choose and why?
Sam Houston. That guy was amazing. He was born in Virginia, but arrived in Texas in time to help Texas gain independence from Mexico. Can you imagine the time it took to travel this enormous state of Texas on horseback? He held several political offices: President of the Republic of Texas, and later as Governor and Senator. He was tall, handsome, and a favorite of the ladies.
What do you love most about Texas?
I enjoy the people. Most of us are friendly and helpful. If I meet someone who isn’t, I know they weren’t born and bred in Texas, but if they stay here long enough, we rub off on ‘em.
Least? I hate the Texas heat. Winters in Houston are mild and lovely, but the summers? Yuk. If I had money in my pocket, I’d spend four months of the year in Colorado. When April arrives, I get sad. Heat comes with it. October brings a happier time for me. I know the worst is over.
Let’s assume I am a first-time visitor to Texas. I only have time to visit three places, and want to try at least one ‘off the beaten track’ spot.
Which three will you bring me to?
Merciful heavens! That’s a tough one. Let’s see. Okay, here’s what I’d do.
I’d take you on a tour of the Painted Churches. Most of these churches were established by Germans immigrants. They modeled small churches after the one they left behind in the mother country. They didn’t have marble, gold or silver to use, so they painted the interiors to resemble finer materials and elements. Many have stained glass and art work.
After the church tour, I’d take you to San Antonio for a quick look at the Alamo and then we’d explore the River Walk by boat.
You want an out of the way place? I’ve got one for you. I’d take you to our little cabin in the Lost Pine area of Texas. Here you find the “boonies.” We have a rustic place in the middle of a forest. If you want to see people, you must drive twelve miles. Come on down! I’d love to have you visit.
Where would you tell me to avoid because it doesn’t live up to the tourist hype?
The Houston Galleria. Most tourists go there, but it is merely a glorified mall with over-priced shops.
What word or words are distinctly Texan?
Fixin.’ We’re always fixin’ to do something. “Hey, ya’ll, I’m fixin’ to fix supper.” Fixin’ means we are thinking about it or preparing to do it.
Describe the characteristics that make true Texans so unique.
Thanks for thinking we are unique. I think we are rather ordinary, but we are friendly, and we love to make you feel welcome. We probably brag too much, and we’re known for Stetson hats, cowboy boots, and pretty ladies. Most women down here wear a lot of makeup, me included—and I wouldn’t let you see me without it. I’ve been in Canada several times and strangers guess me to be from Texas, and that’s even before they hear me talk! I suppose our accent is another one of our characteristics.
You’ve been on a book tour around the world for four months. You hear a certain song and immediately it makes you homesick for Texas. What is that song?
“The Eyes of Texas.” This one would bring a tear, but if I heard the “Yellow Rose of Texas,” or “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” I’d, smile, sing along and tap my toes.
What is the second best state after Texas?
Finally, if you’d like, tell us why you love Texas and convince the readers that they will too
Stars above in the Galaxies! Now that question requires some thought. As much as I hate heat, I’m thankful we don’t shovel snow in Houston. Texans do in northern parts of the state, but not as often or as much as people north of our great state. Do you like diversity? You’ll find it in Texas. From the Cowboy to the businessman. Our economy is booming right now in spite of low oil prices. Our cities are cosmopolitan. In the county where I live, over eighty languages are spoken in the home. In our little church, we have English, Spanish, and Chinese speakers. I don’t need to travel far to experience other cultures. I can listen to them and enjoy native food in a multitude of international restaurants.
Texas has a bounty of natural beauty—from the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend, the plains of west Texas. You’ll find the Hill Country inspirational, serene lakes, rivers, and don’t forget the architectural glamour of large cities. Whatever you need, you’ll find it here. I once told my dad that I was thankful God placed him in America and then he had the good sense to see that I was born in Texas.
Thank you for an interesting bunch of questions. (Another Texas word—bunch—we do a bunch of things down here.) I’ve enjoyed thinking about them, and you’ve made me giggle a time or two.
See why I like this woman? Truly, some day I’d love to meet Gay. She is delightful and gracious, and a true lady. Want to know more about her? I thought so. Read on!
Gay N. Lewis
A native Texan, Gay lives in Fulshear—a small town west of Houston. Gay has always been involved with creative and artistic ventures. Two videos she produced—The Canadian Rockies, English and Japanese translations, and Psalms from the Mountains, were sold in Canada, America, Great Britain, as well as all international markets. Both were well received. For the San Felipe Baptist Association, she was a contributor for the video Many Churches, One Vision.
Graphic skills kept her busy as a portrait photographer, and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field.
Gay’s real love is writing and reading—both go nicely together. As a pastor’s wife, she has written, produced, and photographed many programs, and her Faith Features have been published in various church periodicals. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help the humans, but she is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles. To date, there are ten books in the series. The books are available in print, eBook, and audio. She’s under contract for three more Sarah books to go with the ten. The latest addition to hit the market on June 12, 2015
Teaching an adult Bible study every Sunday morning is Gay’s joy, and she is often called upon for speaking engagements. When needed, she plays the piano and serves as worship leader in her husband’s church in Rosenberg.
Gay’s family reside in Texas—three daughters and four grandchildren.
Take a glance at the covers and read the blurbs on Prism Book Group.
For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/
Read excerpts on www.prismbookgroup.com
Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog.
www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.
Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand