Friday, September 17, 2010
I’ve attended church my whole life, and I honestly can’t pinpoint a specific date that I was saved. I gave my heart to God as a child and rededicated myself to him on numerous occasions. As a teenager, I did sow some wild oats, but I repented. Sometimes I wish I had a dynamic salvation experience, but growing up a child of the King isn’t bad at all. Now, I hope to use my writing as a ministry to Him and a testimony of how God can bless a person with a dream you never knew you had.
You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Oh, man. That’s a hard question. There are so many I’d like to go on a retreat with. Since I write mostly historicals, I’ll focus on authors who write that genre. One would be Susan Page Davis, because she’s a good friend, a great writer, and a wonderful brain-stormer. The others would be DeeAnne Gist and MaryLu Tyndale, so I can pick their brains and learn how they plot such exciting books. Lastly, would be Tracie Peterson, because she is such a wealth of historical information and so knowledgeable about writing. (I actually went on a retreat with Tracie and some other historical writers this past spring, and I was so intimidated, I don’t think I ever talked to her.)
You should have. She was a lot of fun there. Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
A tiny one. This is an area I’m growing in, ever so slowly. I don’t like getting up in front of groups and talking. It scares me to death. But as a published author, I know this is something I need to do. I’m speaking next weekend to a writers group actually, but I’m going with my good friend and fellow writer, Margaret Daley. I love to help other writers, but I’m just more comfortable doing it via emails.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
I’m not sure I can talk about it here. Uh. . .well, I suppose you can delete this question if you think this is too off-the-wall. I sprained my ankle real bad and was on crutches. I had hobbled across the street to see a friend and was standing at the curb, waiting to cross back to my house. This red car drives by super slow, and I can see the driver-a young male-gawking at me. I’m like what’s the deal? I glance down, and to my horror, as I was walking, my shirt had worked it’s way up and was sitting on the top of my bra. I was standing there in broad daylight showing off my shortcomings to everyone. Very embarrassing!!
I hate it when something like that happens to me. People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I have had people say that to me. I nod my head and wonder can tell they are clueless. I usually tell them it’s a lot of hard work and not a lot of pay. Then I tell them that if they’re serious that they need to study the craft, join a writer’s group, and write and write and write.
Tell us about the featured book.
Second Chance Brides is the second book in my Texas Boardinghouse Brides book and the sequel to The Anonymous Bride.
It’s the story of two mail-order brides who arrived in town to marry the same man, except he chose to marry someone else. Now Shannon and Leah are stranded in Texas with no means of support. They must find a job—a difficult fete in their tiny town—or find another man to marry. Shannon finds romance in a most surprising man, and Leah quickly loses her heart, only to be stunned by a tragic event that changes everything.
Sounds like a book I'll love. Please give us the first page of the book.
Any moment the wedding would commence and signal an end to her dreams. Shannon O’Neil cast a longing glance back toward the safety of the boardinghouse. Whoever heard of a mail-order bride attending the wedding of the man she was to marry—especially when he was marrying someone else. “We should not be here.” Her voice trembled almost as much as her legs.
Her gaze flitted over the huge crowd gathered in the open field next door to the church. Only because her friend Rachel had requested her presence had she agreed to come. “People are staring at us.”
Leah Bennett sidled up beside her, mouth twisted to one side. “They’ve gawked at us ever since we came to town. Besides, we’ve got just as much right to be at this wedding as anyone else. Even more if you ask me. All things considered.”
Shannon shored up her apprehension and forced her steps forward. She squeezed through the group of men clustered around an array of makeshift benches and hurried toward one of the few remaining spots on the back bench.
Several men gaped at them and then whispered among themselves. That was nothing new, since she and Leah were mail-order brides without a groom. She’d been in Lookout more than a month but still hadn’t gotten used to being the focus of attention. Shannon dropped her gaze to the ground, but that did nothing to silence the loud murmurs. Leah sat next on her left, her nose pointed in the air, not in the snooty way it sometimes was, but in a way that dared anybody to challenge her right to attend the wedding.
“I can’t believe they had the nerve to show up,” a man to their right slurred, his tone dripping sour like unsweetened lemonade.
“They’ll ruin everything,” another said.
“Of all the nerve. This is Luke and Rachel’s special day, not theirs.”
Crushing the handkerchief in her hand, Shannon willed her trembling to cease. But her efforts were futile. She leaned toward Leah. “Perhaps ’twould be better if we left.”
“We’re staying put. Rachel wants us here, and that’s what matters. If those folks don’t like it, they can leave.” The sternness in Leah’s voice made Shannon feel like a scolded child. If only she had Leah’s boldness, perhaps her future wouldn’t look so bleak.
Shannon peered up at the ash gray clouds—clouds that mirrored her future. Clouds that swirled in waves, taunting and threatening like a schoolyard bully. Never had she seen clouds such as these, not in all of Ireland nor during the seven months she’d lived in America.
The oppressive heat sent streams of sweat trickling down her temple, back, and chest. A canvas canopy, erected to protect the bride and groom in the event of rain, lifted on the breeze and deflated as if it were a living and breathing being.
Let it rain. At least if showers fell, no one would notice her tears.
Now I can't wait to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.vickiemcdonough.com/ Sign my guestbook, and you’ll be entered in my next quarterly drawing for a copy of Second Chance Brides.
I’m also a regular contributor at: http://www.bustlesandspurs.com/
I’m on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Shoutlife
Also, I will soon be publishing a newsletter, if readers would like to sign up, they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so must for hosting me again!
My pleasure, Vickie.
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