Tell us a little about your family.
I have the greatest husband in the world. You can ask anyone who really knows him and they’ll tell you I’m not just spouting words here. My hubby is one of a kind—godly, loving, trusting, supportive, funny, compassionate, loyal, faithful, generous to the core . . .and the list goes on. My children and grandchildren (my original cast of characters) are real people with wonderful attributes and just as many faults and failings. They’re still growing, with all the resultant growing pains. Of course, if they’d just listen to me, their lives would be perfect, right? But with all of their warts and wrinkles, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
Isn't that the truth. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I’ll pick up any genre of book and crack the cover. Story’s the key. However, I’ve become a bit fussy these days about a quality read. I know how hard writing is, so I’m thrilled and inspired by a well-written novel. Still, I have more patience with a great story in a clumsy package than a snooze wrapped in flashy prose.
What are you working on right now?
Barbour Publishing has trusted me with another three-book contract. The series title is Backwoods Buccaneers, and it’s been so much fun to research and write. It's the story of three generations of land pirates--a quirky band of crooks who make their living by raiding and stealing in the aftermath of the civil war. The story begins in Scuffletown,
I can hardly wait. You must let me feature them on my blog. What outside interests do you have?
I’ve become a bit health conscious lately, so I love to pore over whole food cookbooks and surf the Web for healthy recipes. I’ve filled my kitchen with free-range poultry, organic produce, almond milk, quinoa, and brown rice. It’s challenging and fun to turn unusual foods into something palatable, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’m trying to shore up these old walls against Father Time’s relentless attack. That doesn’t mean I won’t still order the triple-chocolate turtle cheesecake for dessert. One must remain balanced! (wink)
How do you choose your settings for each book?
My ears perk up at the mention of a great historical story. We travel a lot, and I’ve found that every town, large or small, has exciting tales of heroes and outlaws of the past. These men and women are wonderful fodder for a fictional story. I love to marry fact with fiction and rewrite the story in my mind. It’s great fun to step back in time to an era where these legends lived and loved.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Jesus, the greatest historical figure of all time. When I read the Gospel accounts of the Master’s daily interactions with His disciples, I close my eyes and imagine how it might have been to know Him in the flesh. I get a little jealous of the Apostle John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and think how awesome it would’ve been to lean close to him in loving fellowship. I often wonder why God chose me for this time and not theirs when I would’ve been so good at “reclining next to Him.”
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I once gazed fondly at the goal of becoming a published writer. . .then reality dawned. I’m joking here, because I love writing books. I just never realized how hard it could be. I caution those seeking this crazy life to be certain it’s what you want, and in the case of a Christian author, be sure it’s your call. You must be totally committed or you won’t be ready for the consumption of your time or the sacrifices you and your family will have to make.
What new lesson is the Lord teaching you right now?
This answer goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. God is teaching me to trust Him with this new writing life. I have to believe He’s in control because one of us has to be!
Yes, I had to learn tht lesson early in my writing career, too. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Be sure you’re where you’re supposed to be (see above).
2. Learn your craft inside out then trust your own voice.3. Surround yourself with the best writers you can find. They’ll inevitably pull you up to their level. It’s a natural law.
Tell us about the featured book?
Emmy’s Equal, book three of the Texas Fortunes series, jumps to 1907. When a high-spirited girl lands in country thick with cattle, cactus, and cowboys, the
Please give us the first page of the book.
August, 1906. Humble,
The stagnant well appeared bottomless, as dank and murky as a grave. Emmy rested her arms on the cold, jagged stones and leaned to peer into the abyss. Mama’s embroidered lace hankie, shimmering in the meager light, hung from an outcropping of rock about four feet down. Narrowing her eyes, she peered at the spot of white that stood out from the surrounding darkness and heaved a sigh, stirring the fetid air below and raising a noxious odor that took her breath.
She pushed up her sleeves and blasted a droopy blonde ringlet from her eyes with a frustrated puff of air. There was no help for it—at the risk of certain death, she had to retrieve that handkerchief.
A figure loomed, drawing alongside her with a grunt. She jumped, and her heart shot past her throat. Chest pounding, she wasted a glare on the dark profile, noticing for the first time a scatter of lines around his eyes and tiny gray curlicues in his sideburns.
“Nash! I nearly leapt over the side.” She swatted his sleeve. “I’ve asked you to stop sneaking up on me. I’ve a good mind to fit you with a cowbell.”
A chuckle rumbled from his chest, as deep as the chasm. “I didn’t go to scare you, Miss Emmy.” He bent his lanky body so far she feared he’d tumble headfirst into the never-ending shaft. “Say, what we looking for inside this hole?”
“We’re not looking for anything. I’ve already found it.” Emmy clutched his arm and pulled him away. “Go fetch me a lantern, and be quick about it.” She tucked her chin in the direction of the palomino pony languishing under a nearby oak, nibbling at the circle of high grass around the trunk. “Take Trouble. He’ll be quicker than walking.”
Nash frowned and rubbed the knuckles of one hand along his temple, as if an ache had sprung up there. “What you need a lantern for, with the sun up and shining the past five hours? There’s plenty of light to see.”
She braced herself and pointed. “Not down there.”
Nash’s sleepy eyes flew open. His startled gaze bounced along her finger to the circular wall of weathered stones. “Down there?” He took a cautious step back. “What’s in this sour old pit that might concern you?”
Emmy swallowed hard. She could trust Nash with anything, but dreaded his reaction all the same. “It’s. . .one of mama’s hankies.” She squeezed her eyes shut and ducked her head.
His shoulders eased, and he ambled over to gaze inside. “Is that all?”
If only it were. Emmy risked a peek at him. “You don’t understand.”
He winced as if she’d spoken a bad omen. “Uh, uh. Not from her good batch? Them she’s always cackling about?”
Emmy cringed and nodded.
The delicate, lacy linens held an uncommon depth of meaning for Emmy’s mama. Hand embroidered in
Nash’s stunned expression hardened into an accusing glare. “Why, Miss Emmy? Why you done brought about such misery? You ain’t s’posed to touch ‘em, and you know it.” His graying brows fluttered up and down, like two moths bent on escape. “There’s scarce few left, and your mama blames you for them what’s missing.”
She moaned and flapped her hands. “I didn’t mean to take the silly thing. It was warm when I rode out this morning. I knew I’d likely sweat, so I snagged a hankie from the clothesline. I never looked at it until a few minutes ago. That’s how this terrible mishap came about. I held it up as I rode, staring in disbelief. Trouble was galloping across the yard when the wind caught it and. . .” She motioned behind her. “The willful rag drifted down the well before I could stop the horse and chase after it.”
Emmy lowered her eyes then peered up at him through her lashes. “None of this is my fault, Nash. Papa should’ve covered this smelly cistern months ago, and those wretched handkerchiefs have a mind of their own.”
The hint of a smile played around Nash’s lips. “If so, they harbor a mighty poor opinion of you.”
Marcia, I love your writing. You drew us straight into the story on the first page. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can contact me through my website, www.marciagruver.com or my blog at www.yieldedquill.blogspot.com. I’d love to hear from them. They can also find me on Facebook and Shoutlife. For an autographed copy of any of my books, they can go to www.signedbytheauthor.com and search for me by name or title.
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