Briefly stepping away from her usual romance story, Robin Lee Hatcher teamed with Deborah Bedford to author The Story Jar. The collaboration first profiles a pastor’s
wife with two young daughters who faces cancer just as her own mother
did before her; and then a remarried mother working through a difficult
relationship with a rebellious runaway daughter. The third woman, alone
with two teenaged boys who no longer pay much attention to her and seem
headed for trouble, discovers the long-lost “story jar” and its
significance. She comes to realize she can bring her own sorrows and
frustrations to the feet of the Good Shepherd, the Great Physician, the
Healer of the brokenhearted. She too will have memories for her own
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE THE STORY JAR?
I share a long version about the writing of The Story Jar in the book itself. Here’s an abbreviated version: At a speaking event, I was given a “story jar.” The mason jar was filled with odd items (a baby spoon, a pen, buttons, etc.). The instructions that came with it said that when a writer struggled to come up with an idea to write about she was to stare at the items in the jar and ask questions. What character used that spoon as a baby? Where did he live? Was the family wealthy or poor?
Writers love to play the “what if” game, and so I loved my story jar. Coming back from a retreat with other writers, I shared the idea with Deborah Bedford, and before you knew it, we were brainstorming the stories that would become The Story Jar.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
There are so very many writers who have inspired and continue to inspire me. But I’m always afraid that I will leave out too many when I start to make a list, so I will limit my answer to the author whose writing first planted the desire in my heart to write for God: Francine Rivers. When I read Redeeming Love in 1991, I was overwhelmed by the power of fiction to change a heart. I was still writing for the general market then, but God began a work in my heart from that moment on.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
In every way, really. I write about fallen people in a fallen world and the power of God to change lives for the better when people trust in Him. Everything I have experienced in my own walk of faith eventually finds its way into my books and into the lives of my characters.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
I was just shy of my 30th birthday when I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. I was a voracious reader and a compulsive writer before that, but I never thought about writing a novel until then.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
I hope that readers will be entertained, of course, but I also hope when they put down a Robin Lee Hatcher they will find themselves hungry for more of God. And I hope they will be more aware than ever of the wondrous grace that He has poured out for them.