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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Yvonne Lehman

Yvonne Lehman

Yvonne Lehman lives in the mountains of western North Carolina, which provide the setting for many of her novels. The author of more 40 books for adults and young adults, including inspirational romance and mystery, Yvonne was founder and director of the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference for 17 years. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Dwight L. Moody Award for Excellence in Christian Literature.
Q&A: Yvonne Lehman

Q&A: Yvonne Lehman

(April 2011)
The author shares about her 3-in-1 historical romance collection Aloha Brides (Romancing America): Relive history in the Hawaiian Islands as three women face fearful challenges in their lives and hearts.

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.
They're linked together by presenting different historical periods in Hawaii, the cowboys and ranches in the late 1890s, the picture bride era in early 1900s, and 1946 right after WWII. The major setting is Hilo on the island of Hawaii. I had intended to have different characters in each book but it turned out that some could easily reappear in another book. What seemed to be minor character became a major character in each book and of course she aged throughout the series. She was not the main character but definitely a major character in each story and much of the faith message came through her, Matilda.

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 focused on each individual title because my main characters in each one young people were meeting and falling in love. As mentioned above however, some of the major characters in one would be a minor character in another.

Q: What was your inspiration for the original series? (And how much did your original plan change over the course of the arc?)
The inspiration came from the editor asking if I'd like to write a historical series set in Hawaii. I thought it would be easy. However, my research revealed major changes occuring in Hawaii through the years. The history intrigued me, having royalty in the first one, and industry changing through the years from whaling, to ranching, to sugarcane fields, to picture brides, to war. After I decided on the year and historic events, my plan only changed when I learned of volcanic eruptions and tsunamis I'd need to include.

Q: How does your faith influence your writing?
The way it influences my life. It's in what I do, say, and be so faith and God cannot be omitted. It may be one person not believing, another being strong in faith, some trying to find how God and faith fits into their lives, just as we human beings do.

Q: What do you most hope readers get out of your fiction?
Primarily an entertaining story. I want them to enjoy reading my books. Learn something they didn't know before. I want them to see the human condition and know that with God in our lives there is always hope and help and He works in different ways in different characters, just as he does in us.


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