I'm pleased to welcome Lacy with her debut book. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
It depends on the character! Depending on the book, I may relate more to the heroine or I may feel closer to the hero. In MARRYING MISS MARSHAL, the heroine has a lot of me in her: her independence (I am a very independent person, just ask my husband!); her desire for a family (I wrote this book primarily while “trying” and then waiting on my first child to be born); her sense of duty/loyalty. In my next book (not sold yet), the hero has a little more of my personality: he is a family man with strong devotion to his kids. He also talks to his animals (mainly a milk cow)—I converse with my dogs frequently… and they are great listeners!
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I am not a very “quirky” person (again, just ask my husband… he is the impulsive one out of the two of us). I like things to be planned and I am a list-maker. But since my husband likes to do things last-minute sometimes, probably the most unusual thing I’ve ever done is take an impromptu trip out-of-state just to eat at his favorite childhood restaurant. Road trip!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wanted to be an author since my childhood. I wrote a neighborhood newsletter and lots of stories. But I probably didn’t discover that I had what it took to be a “real” writer until high school, when I took a correspondence course with the
’s Literature. That was my first experience submitting to an editor who critiqued my work. The course taught me a lot about having a thick skin and the importance of learning craft, and whetted my appetite to be published eventually. Institute of Children
Having been blessed to see some of your earlier writing, I knew you would make it. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Well, I’m one of those weirdos who likes to read a little bit of everything. In the last 18 months I have read everything from the Hunger Games trilogy (mainstream YA) to gentle historical inspirational romance by Kim Vogel Sawyer (one of my favorite authors) to westerns by Louis L’Amour (one of my dad’s favorite authors). I enjoy romantic suspense, speculative/fantasy fiction, but my all-time favorite genre is romance. I love happy endings.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
This is a really relevant question for me because I am one of those people who frequently gets caught up in “running.” A lot of times I feel like God has to whack me upside the head to remind me to take a few minutes and remember Who is in control and just enjoy what is happening right now. Two examples: back before my first child was born when I was still working, I rushed to work most days (sometimes running late). One morning there was a rainbow that looked like it touched down RIGHT in the middle of the road in front of me. What an awesome reminder of God’s creation and power. Then a few weeks ago, I was trying to get a lot of writing stuff done and my daughter wasn’t feeling well and was acting VERY clingy that day—which meant I couldn’t get anything done. Mid-morning, we headed out into the front yard to play, and she still wasn’t feeling very well and just wanted to sit in my lap. We ended up watching the birds together for about twenty minutes in a very peaceful way (which is unusual because my daughter is also a “go, go, go” personality) and it was such a warm, quiet moment between the two of us. Those kind of things remind me to slow down and enjoy the here and now while I can.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Usually, the character’s first name comes to me naturally while I am brainstorming about “who” that character really is—their personality, background, traits, physical attributes, etc. I have a really hard time with last names and my method of solving that problem is to find a list of surnames common to the area I’m writing about during the time period I’m writing about, and I just pick from the list. For secondary characters, sometimes I have to change a name halfway throughout the book because I’ve realized I have five people with names starting with the same letter (Sam, Saul, Sarah…).
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My daughter. She is an incredible little person, even though I feel like most of what makes her special isn’t something I’ve “done”, she just IS who she is. I can’t wait to meet her little brother in September!
I guess that means I won't be seeing you at the ACFW conference this year. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a dog, my all-time favorite animal. I love dogs for their loyalty, because you always know where you stand with them (how can you misunderstand a growl or a wagging tail???), and because they are always so happy to see you—even if you’ve only been gone for five minutes. Right now, our family has three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels; they are such a joy to have around and are so good with our toddler daughter (I have my camera ready and am still waiting for that first time she dresses up Mr. Bingley in a tiara and tutu).
What is your favorite food?
I am an ice cream fanatic. Chocolate, rocky road, sundaes, milkshakes… if it’s chocolate and ice cream then I am in heaven.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest problem has probably been the fear of submitting (to an editor/agent). I can talk about my book just fine, but when it comes time to send that puppy off into the great unknown (also known as the “pile on the editor’s desk”)… it really freaks me out. Overcoming it has been only with a lot of prayer (and more prayers that then I won’t worry about it!) and also with pushing from my husband and critique partners to “go for it”. And the truth is, you can never be published if an editor never sees your work, right? So it was definitely something that I had to come face-to-face with and persevere through.
Tell us about the featured book.
Danna Carpenter has sworn to protect the people of her small town in
; problem is: they don’t want to be protected by a woman. It’s not proper. Chas O’Grady is a tenderfoot detective from the big city who has been assigned a job tracking down some cattle rustlers; problem is: he isn’t good at handling the rugged Wyoming terrain. Danna and Chas strike a deal to work together that will benefit them both; problem is: they get caught up in a scandal and end up married. Can they take care of the bad guys in town? And will they fall in love along the way? Wyoming
Publisher’s Weekly calls it "warmly romantic with a hint of adventure and an unconventional heroine" and says, "Williams's storytelling style is ... easy to follow to its cheery conclusion" (June)
RT Book Reviews says, "Williams’ debut is a great story with a twist, and it will keep readers riveted." (August)
Please give us the first page of the book.
The report of a rifle echoed through the red-walled canyon, ringing in Marshal Danna Carpenter's chest. A second report sounded close after the first.
She reined in her mount and pushed back her Stetson, instantly alert and scanning the area for trouble.
The shots could've been someone hunting game—although there wasn't much of it to be found in these washed-out ravines southwest of town—or it could've been someone discharging their weapon for a more nefarious purpose. As town marshal, she had to be prepared for both possibilities.
Danna's horse shifted beneath her, its movements telling her it sensed something wrong as well. But what?
Then she saw him, in the last rays of sunlight slipping over the canyon's edge. A man staggering along the canyon floor, booted feet dragging in the sandy soil. He carried some kind of luggage over his shoulder. From this distance, she couldn't see a rifle….
Too far away to determine his identity, Danna guessed she didn't know him. His clothes were too fine for these parts—dark pants, vest, jacket, and a bright white shirt. Most folks around here wore woolen trousers or denims, and plain cotton shirts.
What was he doing so far from town? And on foot? Any halfway intelligent person knew you didn't traipse around the unforgiving
landscape without a horse, or a mule at the very least. Wyoming
Before she could decide whether to waste the last of the sunlight to check on the stranger, or to head out of the canyon toward home, her horse's ears flicked back and his shoulder quivered beneath her gloved hand. The ground trembled.
From around a natural bend in the canyon, a cloud of dust rose like steam from a kettle and sent fear skittering down Danna's spine.
And the terrible sound she was hearing began to make sense: hundreds of pounding hooves, getting closer every second.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.lacywilliams.net is my main author website
I’m doing promotion through www.marryingmissmarshal.com right now
I am also active on facebook www.facebook.com/lacywilliamsbooks
and twitter www.twitter.com/lacy_williams.
Thank you for the interesting visit, Lacy.
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