For several years I’ve written mainly inspirational romance because that’s a genre in which I feel comfortable and the opportunity is provided by the editors. However, I’ve written many types of books (humorous, romantic, historical, contemporary) and in many genres (romance, women’s fiction, mainstream, mystery). Not staying with one genre can be a disadvantage, but I have to do something with all the ideas I have and can’t settle down to just one kind of book. My writing has been as varied as my reading.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The happiest day in my life was when I stepped on the ground in
. I’ve known about the Lord since early childhood and asked Jesus into my heart because adults taught me that was right and I believed it. “Knowing” the Lord however, has been (and still is) a growing, learning, failing, succeeding, losing, gaining, experience. I’ve known the blessings and adversities that bring me closer to him. But being in Israel I felt God’s presence in a new and different way. The Bible came alive. I stood on the Mount of Beatitudes and listened to my son read and talk about the beatitudes and saw him as my teacher instead of my son and thought of how Mary had to see Jesus as her Lord and not just her son. I walked where Jesus walked and saw where he was crucified, and stood in Caiaphas’ courtyard where Peter denied Jesus, and I cried. Being there, I experienced a spiritual happiness. Israel
How has being published changed your life?
Being published has changed my life by giving me a particular way in which to use the abilities God has given me. I can put my thoughts on paper no matter how wild or weird and make a story and incorporate faith that touches the lives of others. I don’t think I have the ability or desire to do that in any other way but through my stories. I do make an effort to show others I care, but it does involve effort. Writing is work, but that’s where I can express my deepest, most meaningful feelings and beliefs.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading Nancy Moser’s Masquerade (what a unique idea!). Her details are wonderful. In my devotional time, in addition to the Bible, I’m reading (for the third time) Magnificent Prayer, daily prayer thoughts compiled by Nick Harrison. I’m also reading C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters. Recently read Deb Raney’s Almost Forever (love her stories), Stephanie Grace Whitson’s Sixteen Brides (lots of characters to keep straight, but she did it), and Jim Bell’s Breach of Promise (intriguing male pov). All these are excellent reading.
What is your current work in progress?
For the first time in decades I don’t have a contract. I’m working on proposals, sending them to my agent and trying to figure out what to do with OP books. And, I’m planning my first Blue Ridge “Summer in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat to be held in conjunction with the Gideon Film Festival
August 6-11, 2011 and my fifth Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat to be held October 16-20, 2011.
What would be your dream vacation?
I would love to return to
, but that would mainly be for the spiritual side of things. Not that it wouldn’t be fun, but in thinking of fun I’d choose Israel . That may be because the last three books I wrote were about Hawaii and what I’ve heard about it sounds fabulous. Hawaii
How do you choose your setting for each book?
When thinking of a series, I usually choose places where I’ve lived, vacationed, or visited so I can be more accurate about the descriptions and not require so much research, such as the mountains of western
North Carolina and the beaches of . I set a series of YA books in southern South Carolina when I lived there. The first in the series was titled Tornado Alley, and that’s what the area was called. I chose Illinois Africa for one after friends of mine served as missionary journeymen there and I had access to their photos and hard copies of their speeches about their adventures and work. An editor asked if I’d like to write a series set in . Some settings are chosen according to the occupation of my characters, such as Hawaii New York for my opera star, for my fashion model. The setting of the California was because we sponsored a child there and the theme of the book was about a sponsored girl. Sometimes I want to write a book set in a particular place, other times the characters’ needs determine the setting. Philippines
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
That’s hard to answer. It wouldn’t be some famous person to whom I’d want to ask questions. I enjoy being with writers, friends, family, and acquaintances. But to choose one, that would be my youngest daughter, Cindy. I took her to
Israel; she took me to . We are perfectly frank with each other, have become friends and feel comfortable in each other’s company, particularly when I’m rubbing her feet or back. Paris
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I could say exercise, but that’s really a necessity. My nightly habit and enjoyment is watching a movie on TV and eating popcorn. For a while I took violin lessons and enjoyed playing hymns…at home only. That’s really for someone who begins early in life, not late. I’m considering learning to play the hammer dulcimer.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My most difficult obstacle is now, when I don’t have a contract. Seems I’m always waiting or procrastinating. I like having that deadline and goal to reach. Otherwise I feel rather lost doing miscellaneous. I overcome it by…um…doing interviews, writing for blogs, preparing my novel retreats, mentoring CWG students, writing proposals. I don’t have a problem going to the computer since I now live alone. I can basically set my own schedule but don’t get as much done as when I have deadlines and limited time.
What advice would you give to a beginning writer?
Stop making excuses. Make time to read, study, learn, take courses, attend conferences and most of all…write, re-write, and re-write. You learn most by doing.
Aloha Brides is a collection of three historical Heartsong Presents novels, set in
. I did scads of research, talked with my three daughters who visited there many years ago, read fiction and nonfiction Hawaii books, and most importantly talked with writer/friend Carmel Leal who lives there. She clued me in to some of the history. If I’d known there was so much history and changes I might never have consented to writing them. However Aloha Love takes place in the late 1800’s, has an engaged American heroine, a Hawaiian cowboy, ranching, and royalty. My Picture Bride goes to Hawaii to find her younger sister who set off to marry a man she’d never seen. This features the actual picture bride era that began in the early 1900’s when thousands of Japanese men worked on Hawaii Hawaii sugar plantations and were paired with women in by photos and a matchmaker. Love from Ashes takes place in 1946, right after WWII when an American man goes to Japan Hawaii to visit Pearl Harbor where his brother was killed. He finds many unexpected secrets. When I began these, I had a minor character who decided to become a prominent, endearing character in each of the books.
I know I'll love reading this book. Please give us the first page of the book.
Chapter 1- Aloha Brides
1889, The Big
The Little People won’t let the Night Marchers hurt me, will they, Daddy?” five-year-old Leia asked as Makana Lalama MacCauley tucked her in for the night.
"You know they’ll keep you safe, Leia. And so will I.”
Her little pink lips turned into a smile, and her big brown eyes—so like her mother’s—held confidence that her daddy would not tell her a lie. “Aloha au la oe, Daddy.”
Mak bent to kiss her forehead. “I love you, too.”
Tucking his daughter in safely for the night was a special time, but he dreaded what would follow. As her eyes closed, his smiled faded. Her words resounded in his mind, but there were places in his heart even they couldn’t touch. Reaching over to turn down the wick in the whale-oil lamp was like inviting the chill, beckoning the darkness with its never-ending feeling of loss, that aching loneliness, the unfairness of it all.
When Mak left the room, leaving the door open a few inches, his mother stepped from the doorway of her room. Observing the expression of displeasure on his mother’s face, he braced himself for a reprimand. They walked down the
hallway and into the kitchen.
He didn’t sit, and she didn’t follow her usual routine of brewing a cup of hot tea. Instead, she sighed and held onto the back of a chair. “I heard what Leia said, Mak. How long are you going to let her believe in those idols and myths?”
“She’s a child, Mother. And the myths of the Little People are fun. The paniolos’ children she plays with tell these stories like my friends and I did when I was a child. Besides,” he added, “I believed in faeries, brownies, and silkies.”
“But you were taught by your dad and me the difference between myth and truth.”
“Don’t you teach her the truth, Mother?”
“She needs to know what her dad believes, too.”
His stare caused her to look away. They both knew his current beliefs were not fit for a child’s ears.
He shook his head and walked toward the screen door rather than say something disrespectful to his mother.
But his mother did not allow him the same courtesy. She constantly badgered him about God and letting Leia go to the mission school. His own early education had been at the mission school, so he knew his mother was teaching Leia
more than she would learn there—and in less time.
They’d been through this many times. With a deep sigh, he walked out into the calm night. His heart was heavy. How could he keep his little girl safe when he hadn’t kept his own wife safe? And how could he give Leia assurance that
God would keep her safe when he had stopped believing in the love of the God who had let his young wife die?
How can readers find you on the internet?
Website: www.yvonnelehman.com and facebook and firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Yvonne, for sharing this with us.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.