Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The idea for Love Remains originally came to me back in 2002–2003 when I discovered a new coworker (a very handsome new coworker) had been stationed at White Sands Missile Range back in 1988 when he was in the Army. My father had still worked there at that time, so of course my imagination went wild with what-ifs. And because Jane Austen’s Persuasion is my favorite novel, those what-ifs started falling into a very Persuasion-ish kind of storyline, with a modern setting, naturally. I wrote the original draft of the story in 2003, but then set it aside after finishing it when I got the idea for Stand-In Groom. Last year, when looking for story ideas for a new series, I remembered Love Remains and knew it would be perfect to revamp for the new Matchmakers series.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
My six invites would go out to Ronie Kendig, Tamara Leigh, Annalisa Daughety, Jen Stephens, Nicole O’Dell, and Jenny B. Jones. Why this group of people? Well, because I know Ronie, Tamara, Annalisa, and Jen from spending time with them, and I know Nicole from editing her books, and Jenny from being “agent sisters” (we’re both represented by Chip MacGregor) and sitting with her at the famous Clan MacGregor table at the ACFW banquet every year. And while there’s definitely a lot of romance writers in this group, it’s also a group of great individuals who have a lot to say about a lot of different topics. And that’s what makes a party fun.
I've spent time with some of those people. The party should really hop. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
This is so much harder to narrow down, because I know so many more historical fiction authors and wouldn’t want to leave anyone out. But if I could invite only six, I’d have to invite MaryLu Tyndall, Julie Klassen, Julie Lessman, Laura Frantz, Shar MacLaren, and Linda Windsor. Again, lots of romance going on with these authors’ books, but having met all of them (well—all except Laura, whom I’m looking forward to meeting at ACFW next month), I know this would be a great mix of interests and talents that would keep the conversation going until the wee hours of the morning.
Oh, yes. I've spent a lot of time laughing with Shar and Julie Lessman. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
For me, it’s a problem mixed in a blessing. With two publishing houses I’m writing for, each wanting to continue to put my books out (one house wanting to do two each year and the other publishing one each year), that means that I’m committed to writing three books every year. And because as a newer author, I didn’t have much say in negotiating my deadlines, it’s meant that for a couple of my books (this year), I’ve only had about two months to write them after finishing the previous book. And even with putting out three books a year, I’m still not able to be a “full-time writer.” I still have to work about three-quarter time as a freelance editor to pay the bills and have money for conferences and trips to visit my family. I’m actually working harder and more hours now than the few years when I was working full-time, attending college part-time, working as an officer for ACFW, and writing. But I wouldn’t give it up for anything. It’s my dream job, and, once the stress of deadline is over, a job I love having.
Tell us about the featured book.
Oh, I like that. Please give us the first page of the book.
“You’d think she won the lottery or something.” Katrina Breitinger glared at the woman flouncing by, nose in the air.
“She’ll be lording it over all of us until someone else achieves the same feat.” Lindy Patterson crossed her arms and blew a lock of blond hair from her eyes.
“One would think she’d be mortified that it happened when she’s still so young.” Celeste Evans craned her neck to continue watching the woman in question.
Helen Bradley made a derisive raspberry sound. “Young, my foot! You know she’s had work done.”
“The least she could do would be to stop coloring her own hair.” Maureen O’Connor touched her professionally hued auburn tresses. “Hers always looks so brassy.”
Trina clicked her tongue, feeling slightly guilty. “Listen to the five of us. Standing here being catty about someone in church.”
“You’re right. Someone might overhear us and tell her.” Lindy looked over both shoulders.
“We sound just like teenagers. It’s unbecoming of us to speak ill of someone else.” Trina set her lips in a firm line and looked at her four companions.
“To speak ill of her, but not to think ill of her?” Lindy, Trina’s best friend since high school, winked.
“You know what I mean. Honestly. We’re over eighty years old, and we’re still acting like sorority girls.” Trina raised her hand to signal her husband, who’d just entered the back of the sanctuary.
“But what are we going to do about her?” Helen jutted her chin toward the object of their ire.
“There’s nothing we can do. Until one of our grandchildren get married, she’ll keep taunting us with the fact that she’ll have great-grandchildren before we do.”
Lindy grabbed Trina’s arm. “That’s it!”
“What?” Maureen asked.
“All of us have grandkids who’re getting up into their twenties and thirties. High time they should be getting married.” Lindy pulled the rest of the girls into a huddle.
“Don’t remind us,” Helen wailed.
“No, listen. We make a pact. Since each of us prides ourselves on knowing our offspring well, we’re going to be very picky about whom our grandchildren choose. So we narrow the pool.”
Trina stared at Lindy, following the train of thought to the next logical step. “We set our grandkids up with each other’s grandkids.”
“Exactly! We take the guesswork out of finding suitable partners for them.”
“But how—?” Celeste’s question was cut off by the organist beginning the prelude.
“We’ll work that out later—we’ll talk about it at coffee on Thursday.” Lindy stuck her right hand into the middle of the circle. “Who’s with me?”
Trina hesitated only a second before placing her hand on top of Lindy’s. Celeste, Helen, and Maureen quickly followed suit.
Lindy looked around at each of them, beaming. “I hereby dub us the Matchmakers.”
Fun! How can readers find you on the Internet?
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Thank you for this interesting interview, Kaye.
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