Christian author Lori Copeland answers a few questions about her historical romance Under the Summer Sky (Harvest House): Sometimes even when you’re not looking for trouble, trouble finds you — and there’s no trouble like love trouble.
Q: WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WRITING UNDER THE SUMMER SKY?
So many readers fell in love with one of the secondary characters, Pauline. When the book was through they wanted to know what happened to this elderly woman and surprisingly there was more to her story! So Under the Summer Sky is an unplanned sequel to Love Blooms in Winter.
Q: FACT VS. FICTION – WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME EXAMPLES IN UNDER THE SUMMER SKY WHERE YOU TOOK SOME LIBERTIES WITH THE FACTS?
What a great question and I’m afraid I don’t recall any exact place where I took liberties with facts in Under the Summer Sky. Any piece of fiction is questionable and often an author can’t pinpoint an exact detail. The project I’m working on now is fraught with “maybe” facts. The old Missouri outlaws for instance; most didn’t live long and information on deaths and where they were at a certain time are hard to come by. The dates and years vary as much as ten to fifteen years, and then some information just says authorities were never able to confirm certain data. So I stay as true as possible to my sources and hope no one writes to correct me!
Q: WHICH CHARACTER IN UNDER THE SUMMER SKY SURPRISED YOU MOST?
Benjamin, the old prospector. When I started the book I had no idea the part he would play in the story until the writing moved ahead and he was always there patiently waiting for his turn in the plot. When it came it was one of those “why of course” moments—the kind an author lives for. He’s a strong character with a lot to offer.
Q: WHAT DO YOU HOPE READERS GET OUT OF YOUR WORK?
I strive to give my particular reader the story they’re hoping for from me; one with chuckles throughout but a spiritual thread they can carry away. I walk a fine line with readers. Humor is subjective and when a person is seeking a deep philosophical story they’re likely to take me to task for my lightness, but I believe that God uses all personalities (and my personality is evident in every book) for His Kingdom. If the whole world was vanilla it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.
Q: WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
One that I am truly excited about! I know all authors say the same but I am writing a historical novel set in my home state, Missouri, about the Spooklight that’s been evident in Joplin, Mo and parts of Oklahoma since the late 1800’s. There’s no reasonable explanation for this phenomenon and it’s been a source of speculation and tourist attraction in these parts for longer than I can remember. How did I mix a Lori Copeland Christian historical with a Spooklight? Readers will have to read the book to find out, but I can say I’ve had more fun writing this story that I have with any book in a very long time.