Q&A: Yvonne Lehman
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
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
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?)
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?
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.