Her family does not approve of Ben however and, though he has returned to Kansas, they continue to discourage Amelia’s interest in him – even to the point of forbidding her to write to him. Can Ben win Amelia from her family? Can Amelia wait for Ben and God’s timing in the face of her family’s opposition? Will the trials they’ll go through to to be together end up driving them apart?
WHAT INSPIRED AMELIA’S JOURNEY?
Amelia’s Journey came about because of requests to know more about Ben and Mellie Haynes, Lucy’s aunt and uncle in Becoming Lucy. My editor asked if I could write their story and I said yes. I used the information about them in the series, Winds Across the Prairie, to develop their character and personalities for the prequel. I’m so glad I was able to tell their story.
WHEN MAKING UP STORIES, HOW MUCH DO YOU DRAW ON YOUR OWN LIFE
EXPERIENCES AND PEOPLE YOU KNOW, VERSUS DRAWING ON RESEARCH ABOUT
I use personalities of people I know and of family
members, especially myself, as I develop my characters, but as I make
out the chart for
each major character, I combine those traits. As for what they
experience, at my age I’ve had so many different kinds of experiences
and have seen the Lord work in such a variety of ways with both my
family and friends that I don’t think I’ll ever run out of experiences
for my characters. By the time I really get started with my books, my
characters are not strangers at all. I feel like I really know them.
Well, I must know them because they talk to me all the time, even when
I’m not writing about them.
IN YOUR NEW NOVEL, WHO IS THE
CHARACTER IN THIS STORY WHO SURPRISED YOU MOST?
In this story, Amelia’s
father surprised me the most. I wasn’t expecting him to have the turn
around he did. Originally, he was to have opposed the union right up to
the wedding, but as it worked out, he came around sooner. Ben surprised
me, too. I didn’t have him giving up his ranch to return to Boston in my
outline and synopsis. Even when I plan and plot, strange things or
different events will pop into the story without
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
At the present
time I am completing a novel for Christmas. It’s the story of a young
ex-con and a school marm in 1898 Kansas. It’s due February 1. Soon as
it’s in, I’ll begin a new series set at the end of the Civil War. It is
based on letters and stories from my great-grandparents and my
FACT VS. FICTION – WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT
SOME EXAMPLES IN YOUR NOVEL WHERE YOU TOOK SOME LIBERTIES WITH THE
I do a lot of careful research in history for my stories and
don’t usually take many liberties with the facts. In Amelia’s Journey I
read a number of old medical articles and journals to learn about
miscarriages, and I took a few liberties with the one in this book. One
of the things I dislike in historical fiction is taking liberty with
facts, so I try to avoid it as much as possible. In my next series, I
may have to go back on that some because the
details are rather sketchy as to exactly what happened the day my
great-grandfather was released from a prison camp and exchanged in 1865.
I will also have to add to and flesh out some of the experiences he
wrote about in his letters to my great-grandmother.