Allie Pleiter: The Conclusion of The Bridegroom Brothers Series
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE SETTING OF THIS NOVEL? AND HOW DID IT CONTRIBUTE TO AN INTERESTING STORY?
It would be hard to find a more epic and dramatic event in U.S. history than the Oklahoma Land Rush. The dash for Oklahoma's fertile farmlands embodied the very heart of the American Dream. I loved exploring not only the American participation in that dream, but the immigrants who sought their futures on the expanding frontier as well.
Where did you get the original inspiration for this book? Love Inspired launches several "continuity series" each year, and I've been privileged to be part of two more before this Bridegroom Brothers series. It's a fascinating exercise in story-crafting. I, along with two other authors, am given the basic bones of a story that spans three books—one for each author. It's up to me to flush out the story with my own unique touch, to mesh my story with those of the other authors, and in this case I also had to deliver a satisfying wrap up to the series. These series are reader favorites--not only for the full series, but for the individual stories that stand on their own as great books.
WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH DID YOU CONDUCT WHILE WRITING IT?
Like all historical authors, I do a lot of digging around in the era and location where my story is set. I read several first-person accounts of the Land Rush as well as government documents, and historical accounts. There are lots of compelling photos of these events as well. I also had great fun researching the Danish culture that is Katrine’s heritage, especially the fairy tales.
DID YOU FIND THIS PROJECT PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING IN ANY WAY?
It's always a challenge to balance the necessary danger for a story with a villain as nasty as Samuel McGraw. I needed just enough darkness to drive Clint and Katrine together, but not so much that you lost the extraordinary hope and optimism that drove people to carve out new futures on the frontier. That was my major challenge, along with ensuring that my story gave the full series the finale it deserved.
WHAT DO YOU THINK READERS WILL ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT THIS NOVEL?
Even though Clint Thornton is a dark and brooding guy, he has such a soft spot for Katrine and her dreams of a perfect life. He's convinced himself happiness will always elude him, and I think readers will love to watch his walls come down. Also, some of my favorite heroines are those women who discover they are stronger than they knew, and Katrine is one of those.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS FOR A FANTASTIC HISTORICAL NOVEL?
I think the best historical novels have lush, engaging details that pull the reader to another time and place. It's an escape of sorts, a transportation to a time with some element missing from our own. Still, every historical novel needs to have a timeless, identifiable core that lets us fall in love with the character and wish we could meet them. I write both historical and contemporary novels, and I'm especially fond of the scale and scope history can give. That's a pretty funny concept when you realize history was my least favorite subject in school!