Welcome, Mindy and Leslie. I know that this is a collaboration. How did this story come about?
Leslie: One of our dear readers told me about her Huguenot relatives and thought the topic would make a great series. She was right! I’d heard of the French Protestants, who fled
France in droves in the late 1600s,
but began seriously researching them after that. Their history was fascinating.
I shared my research with Mindy and, voila!,
a new series was born.
Did you find it easy to work together on it?
Writing a novel is never easy, but we’ve done so many books together now that we’ve definitely gotten it down to a science. I guess we’d say it was as easy as any book with two authors, two main POV characters, and two different time periods could be!
How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Mindy: Just the back and forth of working together always has a huge impact on me. Leslie is such a gifted writer that she continually raises the bar on my own writing. She’s so calm and rational that she keeps me from falling apart when the going gets tough. And mostly, she’s just such a lovely person to work with that our friendship grows with every project.
Leslie: Aww, I feel the same way about Mindy, but she’s the one who really pulls it all together as far as the plot and the mystery and tying up all of the loose ends, plus she’s a great editor. It’s really incredible to send a chunk of writing off to her and have her polish it up and make it shine. I have to say that I totally agree about the friendship aspect. Every time we finish a project, I miss Mindy! Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and co-authoring adds a nice layer of camaraderie to the experience.
What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?
Mindy: We have to set intermediate deadlines for the project so that we stay on track, time-wise, but I’m almost always late meeting those deadlines on my end. So for me, the hardest part is that constant feeling of stress and obligation knowing that the next deadline is looming but I might not make it—yet again. Ack!
Leslie: For me, it’s when I send Mindy an unpolished section because we’re on deadline (or for some other reason, lol), and I cringe at the thought of her reading it but know she can fix it faster than I can. J
What are you reading right now?
Mindy: I read audibly, and I always have three books going at once, fiction and nonfiction, for different times of the day. (Business-related or research-related stuff in the morning to get my mind rolling, and fiction as a reward in the afternoons or evenings once I meet my quota for the day.) Currently, my morning nonfiction is The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp and my after work novel is Fatal Pursuit by Martin Walker. I also often listen to a third book in bed at night, something that’s good but somewhat slow and not too exciting so I can more easily drift off to sleep. Currently, my hubby is reading us Moby Dick.
Leslie: I usually read a novel, a non-fiction book, and a writing book, concurrently. (Although when I’m close to deadline I don’t start a new novel because I binge when it comes to fiction and that can be dangerous when I need to write, write, write!) Currently, I’m reading Landfall by Ellen Urbani, a debut novel set during Katrina; Hooked: Grab Readers on Page One by Les Edgerton; and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, about our criminal justice system.
How did you choose your characters’ names?
When we were first planning out the series, Leslie came to
Pennsylvania so we could brainstorm the
plots, and part of that was figuring out the names of the main characters. They
had to be of French origin and of course we wanted them to be appealing. In the
end we came up with Renee, Madeline, and Nicole as the modern-day protagonists
and Catherine, Celeste, and Therese as the historical protagonists.
Would you want to work on another book together?
Absolutely! We’re already working on another one now, The Amish Quilter, which will be the fifth and final book in the Women of Lancaster County series and will come out in early 2018.
What do you want to tell us about the book?
My Daughter’s Legacy is the third and last book in our Cousins of the Dove series, which are all dual-timeline stories. In the modern thread, the same characters appear in each novel, but the historical threads cover three different periods of history: one in the 1600s, one in the 1700s, and the last one in the 1800s. Each of the historical stories impacts a modern character in some way. In My Daughter’s Legacy, the story of an ancestor during the Civil War inspires our modern-day girl to stand strong on her convictions and follow her heart.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Sometimes a lie was the better choice— or at least that’s what I’d always told myself. After all, lying was easier, faster, and more efficient than the truth. “I’m sick” was a more prudent option than “I’m sick of working.” “I’m busy” was a lot kinder than “I don’t want to.” But for some, lying could become a habit, the proverbial spider weaving its tangled web. Problem is, once I’d made my own web big enough, I found I was no longer spider but prey, trapped by silvery threads of my own design.
I’d spent the last year and a half— ever since the night I got loaded and slammed my car into a tree at sixty miles an hour— slowly untangling my own threads. Now, after two months of convalescence, nine months in a drug rehab facility, and two full semesters away at college, I was nearly free of all that— save for one big, fat lie that remained.
My head snapped left to see the setter knocking the volleyball into an easy arc over my head. Telling myself to focus, I bent my knees, waited for the exact right moment in its trajectory, and then shot up from the ground to slam the ball as hard as I could, spiking it straight through the upraised arms of our opponent and onto an empty space on the court behind her.
Set and game. Our victory, 3 to 2.
My team burst into cheers, jumping and hugging and laughing. When we finally calmed down, we lined up and did the high-five-and-thanks-for-a-good-game thing with the opposing team. Then we gathered for a quick huddle, mostly so our team captain could remind us, yet again, to stay in shape over the summer. Ours was just a local league in a small town in
but it was important to us.
“Together now,” she said, holding out a fist. We circled around and each placed a hand atop until all were in.
Where can our readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Mindy and Leslie, for sharing this new book with us. I’m sure my readers are as eager to read the book as I am.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.My Daughter's Legacy - Christianbook.com
My Daughter's Legacy (Cousins of the Dove) - Amazon paperback
My Daughter's Legacy (Cousins of the Dove Book 3) - Kindle
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