The author discusses her 3-in-1 historical romance collection
Connecticut Brides: Three young women of 1930s Connecticut venture out of their comfort zones in search of something to direct their future.
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.
In the case of Connecticut
Brides, they were the last three stories of a generational series I started
with my first Heartsong Presents book, ‘Til We Meet Again, in 2000. This book
told the stories of the children of my heroes and heroines from previous
titles, and the love they found, as well as bringing a conflict with regard to
an enemy from Book One to a final close and the fulfillment of true forgiveness
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 always kept the previous titles in mind as
I wrote, as well as those I knew would come, to fit it into the greater picture
of what I hoped to achieve with the last book. At times, characters from past
and future stories made an appearance to further the underlying theme I had in
mind from the start. For instance, a favorite character of mine, Joel, a young
rapscallion at a children’s reformatory, who made his first appearance at age
ten in Book Two (Romancing America’s New York Brides) grew up throughout the
series, his secondary character important to each story and the theme I was
trying to impart as a whole – and he appeared in each book that came afterward,
a little older, at last having his own story of love in the second to last book
of this series.
Q: What was your inspiration for the
original series? (And how much did your original plan change over the course of
I went to see Titanic and came
out depressed by the tragic love story. I was inspired to create a tale about a
love that survived the Titanic tragedy and all of the conflicts that
arose from different relationships formed aboard ship, which led to Book Two,
the heroine a survivor in hiding in New York from her murdering accomplice,
then on to Book Three, involving one of the villains who’d been on the Titanic
making an appearance in story, and so on. Besides the inspiring theme of each
different story, threads were woven throughout all titles intended for the
purpose of bringing the conclusion to form a beautiful tapestry — broken
relationships mended, former enemies forgiven, leading back to the first
book, etc., in a manner that revealed God’s power and gave Him glory.
My plans changed when, as I was writing,
another idea would pop into my head for a character I’d introduced and their
story, which also aided my plan of the threads weaving together, until what had
originally been planned as a three book series became a seven book series
Q: How does your faith
influence your writing?
Greatly. I dedicate every book I write to
God. Without Him, I would not be doing this. Sometimes the lessons my
characters learn have an impact on me, and I am convicted or consoled.
Q: What do you most hope readers get out
of your fiction?
To be inspired through an entertaining story
that speaks to the heart; to be drawn closer to God. And if they do not know
the Lord, to be assured that His love for them is very great and He’s always
there to turn to and will never reject anyone, no matter what they’ve done.