Q&A: Lauralee Bliss
The author shares about her 3-in-1 romance collection Red Rock Weddings (Romancing America):
Visit beautiful Utah and experience the wonder of love experienced by three different women.
Q: Your 'Romancing America' book started out as separate
titles for the Heartsong Presents readers. Tell us how the individual novels
are linked together into a larger picture.
The common thread that
joined the books together was, of course, the state of Utah. But as one who loves
scenic beauty, which Utah is known for in its multiple national park
designations that display its scenic wonders – each of the books focus on a
part of Utah’s natural setting – from the wild Colorado River and the unique
arches of Arches National Park, to the mystery of the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon,
to the mountainous Wasatch Range flanking the largest metropolitan city in the
state, Salt Lake City. And together they paint a portrait of God’s hand in
Q: When you were originally writing the series, how much
were you focused on each individual title -- and how much were your eyes on how
each piece fit into the larger story?
I wanted to use the rocky ruggedness inherent in the Utah
landscape to bring forth the idea of “ruggedness” within each of the
characters. The characters struggle with different trials in their lives. As
they let go and trust God, the seeming ruggedness of those trials can turn into
a thing of beauty as well as knit them with the special person God has brought
into their lives. This theme runs through each of the books in the
Q: What was your inspiration for the original series?
(And how much did your original plan change over the course of the arc?)
My inspiration was
to take each of the stories a step further than normal formula romance. That
is, allowing the characters to experience situations that may not be normally written
about, and to do it with total sensitivity and a firm basis in biblical Christianity.
Yes, there are some gritty issues tackled like immorality, issues that have
tested a few of my readers it seems. But each story is built on a solid
foundation of faith and the redemptive work of Christ in the hearts of the
characters. I would not have it any other way.
Q: How does your faith influence your writing?
Faith is all that matters
in this work I do and as a writer on the whole. I view writing novels as a
ministry, a way to reach readers with nuggets of spiritual truth woven into the
fabric of an enthralling story. It is God’s work in me through the words I
write. Faith is what drives the story forward to reach the heart.
Q: What do you most hope readers get out of your fiction?
My hope is that readers will enjoy
a good page-turning story while feasting on spiritual food that will nourish
them in their Christian walk and affect those around them.I hope they will write me about their
experiences with this collection. I look forward to it.