Welcome back, Debra. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
I love mail-order bride stories. I was trying to think of a different twist on this one, as I had already done the brother-ordering-a-bride-for-his wife in The Unexpected Bride and a she-wasn’t-what-he-was-expecting in The Unlikely Wife. With Groom Wanted being a part of a mail-order bride series, I needed something different. So, I thought about Jake Lure from The Unlikely Wife and Michael’s sister, Leah because the two of them had become such good friends. I thought it would be interesting if they both decided to place an ad for a spouse, but for two very different reasons though. Thus, Groom Wanted, was born.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Only six, huh? Wow, that’s going to be hard, as I love so many authors and would love to party with them all. But, if I’m only allowed six, I would pick: Staci Stallings, Jillian Hart, Sandra Bricker, Sharon Gillenwater, Cheryl Wolverton, and Francine Rivers. Why? Because their writings are either very poetic or extremely memorable and romantic. I would invite them so that I could pick their brains to see how they came to write so beautifully. There are many more authors whose books are memorable, and who I would like to get to know, but, you only allowed me six. Shame on you,
Just teasing. *smiling*
Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Again, only six. Okay. Wow. Once again, there are many I would love to party with. But, if I’m confined to only six, I would first of all invite Jane Austen. Okay, okay, I know she can’t come because she’s deceased, but if she wasn’t, I would invite her. I would also invite Lori Wick, Traci Peterson, Janette Oke, Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, and Lori Copeland. Why? For the same reason I would have invited the contemporary Christian authors. Because their books are either memorable or very romantic or humorous, or all of those things combined, and I feel that I could learn so much from them. As I have from you,
Lena. Thank you for all the numerous times you have
helped me. You rock!
My pleasure and great blessing, Debra. 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?
Actually, I recently struggled with not wanting to write anymore, and I couldn’t understand why especially since it was something I used to love. I coined the words “used to” because writing was becoming a chore, and I had started to detest it, and yet I had no idea why. I hated feeling this way, so I asked God to show me what was wrong. Are you ready for this? It was Fear of Failure. Didn’t matter that I had sold ten books. Didn’t matter that the ones that are already out had great reviews. I still felt like a failure. After more soul searching and much prayer, I realized that I had allowed the editor in my head and other people’s opinions to take control of my writing instead of the Holy Spirit. I had started writing for man, to please man, instead of God. Anytime I do that, it is doomed to fail. So that’s why I was feeling like a failure. Right after the Lord revealed that to me, I sat down to write and asked the Lord to guide me. I told Him I wasn’t writing for anyone else but Him and asked Him to show me what He wanted me to say, the way He wanted me to say it, and the flow started again. I am now enjoying and loving the journey of writing again.
Another problem I have encountered is: I have to be careful to not write the same things that are in my other stories. For example: My heroine being accosted or rescued from a robber. I started to write that in my WIP and caught myself. As for others thinking I have it made, well, I have to laugh. One time, I had asked a writing loop a question concerning writing. At the time I had six published books. A person wrote me back completely befuddled. They said something like, “You’re published, right? How come you need to ask this? Don’t you already know the answer?” I had to chuckle. I, too, used to think the same thing, that multi-published authors had all the answers. I soon learned that we’re all still learning and growing with each new book we write. I think when we stop learning and growing, then our job of writing is over.
Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s the back cover blurb: It's a perfect plan—best friends Leah Bowen and Jake Lure will each advertise for mail-order spouses in the papers, and then Jake will help select Leah's future husband, while Leah picks Jake's bride-to-be! Surely the ads will find them what they seek: a wife who'll appreciate Jake's shy charm and a groom who'll take Leah away from the
she detests. When the responses to the postings pour in, it seems all Leah's
and Jake's dreams will soon come true. But the closer they each get to the
altar, the less appealing marrying a stranger becomes. Is it too late to turn
back—or to turn around and find the happiness they truly seek together, at
last? Idaho Territory
Please give us the first page of the book.
Here it is:
Nine men had replied to her "Groom Wanted" ad.
Leah Bowen couldn't believe she'd received so many that quickly. Her heart skipped as she fingered the envelopes that might very well hold her future and her only avenue of escape from the nightmares that plagued her.
"You, too, huh?"
"Twinkling stars above!" Leah gasped and whirled toward the sound of Jake Lure's deep voice. Her nose came within an inch of jamming into the napped wool shirt covering her friend's massive chest. Pleasant scents of springtime and sunshine floated from him.
Near the front door of Paradise Haven's post office Jake stood, looking over her shoulder at the posts in her hand. Most people were intimidated by his massive size, but she wasn't. Underneath that outdoorsy, muscular exterior was a gentle giant.
"What—what do you mean, 'you, too'?" Leah glanced at the top envelope with the very noticeable masculine script and tucked them into her reticule. She tossed the end of her purple knit scarf over her shoulder and gathered the edges of the collar of her wool coat closer together.
Jake held up a packet of letters. "Got these in the mail today."
"Oh? What are they?" she asked with all the innocence she could muster.
"Same thing as that stack you just put in your purse."
"What? You mean letters?"
"Those envelopes you have aren't just any ole letters." One of Jake's eyebrows rose. "They're answers to your advertisement."
Advertisement? She swallowed hard. Did he know she'd placed an ad for a husband? "What are you talking about?" Leah hated playacting, but she had no choice. She refused to offer Jake any information concerning her personal ad. Just because he had mentioned how he wanted to place an advertisement for a wife during one of the many times she and Abby had visited him over the past eleven months didn't mean she had to confide in him that she, too, had wanted to do that very same thing. So how did he know? Or was he only speculating?
How can readers find you on the Internet?You can find me at my website/blog: www.debraullrick.com or you can Tweet me at www.twitter.com @DebraUllrick
Thank you, Debra, for the fun interview. I love mail-order bride stories, too.
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Groom Wanted (Love Inspired Historical) - paperback
Groom Wanted (Love Inspired Historical) - Kindle
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