Since I live in West Michigan, and they always say you should write what you know, the setting for this series came easily. I love the late 1800s, early 1900s, perhaps because my grandparents were born in that era. As for storyline, I always have about a dozen or so stories churning up in my head, so I just snatch one down and start building scenarios in my mind and on paper. Once I think I’ve constructed a workable plot, I develop character sketches, gather information through research, and start putting down my thoughts. (I’m not one to drag out the planning stages. I get antsy to start writing, so as I do, the story just sort of “comes to me.”) Before you know it, I’m off and running – and then there’s no stopping me!
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
That’s a tough question because there are so many wonderfully talented authors out there. But I suppose I would have to go for the “fun” aspect, ladies I know who like to party-hearty, and by that I mean – GIGGLE and GOOF OFF! Therefore, at my “party” I would have Michelle Sutton-Hutchinson, Trish Perry, Brandilyn Collins, Ane Mulligan, Lena Nelson Dooley, and—and—and (I can only have one more?)—and Deb Raney. Whew! That was painful.
I'd love to attend a party with that group. Wouldn't we have fun? Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Okay, this will be a more “serious” party because we need to get some brainstorming done, especially since my mindset is in the historical fiction genre right now, I’m up against a deadline, and I’m in a solemn mood. Seriously! So, here’s my guest list: Julie Lessman (Oops! There goes the formal atmosphere!), Kim Vogel Sawyer, Francine Rivers, Cathy Marie Hake, Deeanne Gist, Lyn Cote. These authors are all so talented and I respect them so much. I’m sure I will glean something helpful from each of them at these “parties.” Oooh, this makes me excited for the next ACFW conference because those are sort of like parties, but with lots of learning opportunities.
Denver, here we come! 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?
Deadlines! Gone are the days of writing for the pure, simple pleasure of writing. Oh, I still truly love it beyond measure, but there is now the added ingredient of pressure to accomplish goals and the stress that goes with it. Writing novels is a full-time job, and one that requires MUCH self-discipline, something I sorely lack. The more books you publish, the more your fan base wants you to produce, not to mention your publisher! I keep hearing from readers, and the number one thing they ask is, “Can’t you write any faster?” I know they’re only jesting, but there’s that part of them that honestly means business! Ha!
Sharlene, tell us about the featured book.
1903 ~ Sandy Shores, Michigan
The eldest of Jacob Kane’s three daughters, Hannah Grace is feisty and strong-willed, yet practical. Between working at her father’s general store and courting the town’s physician, Ralston Van Huff, Hannah has her life planned out in an orderly, meaningful way. Or, so the thinks.
Hannah’s world turns upside down when the new sheriff comes to town. Gabriel Devlin is strong, outspoken, and a Christian to boot—but he’s sworn off women, having met ones mostly interested in the Devlin family fortune and apathetic about God.
Determined to ignore the newcomer’s handsome looks, Hannah is drawn to him nonetheless by a runaway orphan boy named Jesse. While Hannah works to befriend the shy vagabond, who’s living with Gabriel until other arrangements can be made, God works in her heart. What plans does He have in store for this young woman who thought she had it all together?
Readers, this is just a hint at all this book contains. Sharlene, how can readers find you on the Internet?
Oh, I do so love visitors to my Web sites, and I will always write back—unless time constraints simply don’t allow it. You can find me at these places:
*I am also on Facebook, so once you go to FB, simply type Sharlene MacLaren into the search line and request me as a friend. I’ll gladly accept.
I know. I have both a regular Profile and a Fan Page on Facebook, and I, too, welcome people both places.
Sharlene, thank you for this time with us. Go out and get some chocolate. :-)
Readers, you can order Hannah Grace by clicking this link:
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