In The Promise Box
(Zondervan), Tricia Goyer’s second installment to her Seven Brides for Seven
Bachelors series, Lydia is torn between two very different worlds as she
struggles to make sense of secrets that haunt her past. While she deals with the loss of her mother, she finds hope in reading prayers from her mother’s
Q: In your newest book, The Promise Box, your main character is
a writer, like yourself. Did you enjoy writing from her perspective?
It was great fun to create a character who sees the world as I
do. Lydia (like me) processes the world through words. She reflects by
putting words to paper. That is why her Mom's Promise Box means so much to
her—it's her mother's words. It's her mother's heart, on the page. It was also
fun to write scenes from Lydia's point-of-view in the chapters. It was a chance
to be creative within my creative character! Yes, Lydia was more like me than
many of my characters. It was fun!
Q: What do you think
readers will enjoy about this book?
Readers will be drawn to both Lydia and Gideon's stories of
discovering the truth. Layer by layer readers will find out more about their
stories. Lydia's revelations come through reading her mother's letters, and
Gideon's come from talking with those in the community who were there during a
traumatic event when Gideon was a child. Hopefully readers will dig deep into
their own hearts as they walk through Lydia and Gideon's discoveries. Oh, and
if you enjoy a good laugh or a good cry, be prepared for that, too!
Q: What kind of research
do you typically do for your books?
Since I'm familiar with the West Kootenai area the setting was
the easiest part for me. I'm also familiar with Lydia's role as an editor, so
the greatest amount of my research went into two things: research about horse
training, and research into the personal stories of those who were conceived by
rape (like Lydia) or who faced a traumatic childhood event (like Gideon). I'm
so thankful for YouTube and videos on the internet. Hearing the thoughts and
emotions from people, in their own words, greatly helped me.
Overall, I research anything I can't write with
confidence—whether it be setting, characters, or a character's occupation or
experiences. If I pause when I'm writing, unsure, then it's a sign that I need
to research it!
Q: What is your writing
process like? Are you a quick and dirty, get-it-down-on-paper writer or a slow
and steady, perfectionist?
I'm a mess! Well, at least when I first start to write. I start
by thinking of my characters and theme—what is the “big issue” that they're
going to deal with in this book? For example, in The Memory Jar the
theme was “Discovering who you were created to be leads to your God-given
destiny.” For The Promise Box it's, “Discovering the truth of the past
brings healing in the present and hope for the future.” Once I know my themes
then the scenes of the book start coming to life in my mind. I ask things like,
“What are ways to hide the truth or reveal the truth? How will the truth bring
conflict?” As I think of the scenes, I write bits and pieces. So I might write
part of the beginning, then part of the end, then something in the middle. Once
I have the “big pieces” in place I start at the beginning again, with chapter
one, and write through the story, editing as I go, and ending with THE END.
It's not a conventional way to write, but it works for me!
Q: Who is your favorite
character in The Promise Box?
Do I have to pick? I love both Lydia and Gideon. I love Gideon's
gentle nature and his way with horse. I love Lydia's heart that longs to feel
loved and cherished. If they were real they'd be great friends
Q: This is your second
book in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series. What can readers expect
for future additions?
Future additions will continue to share the lives of bachelors
who visit West Kootenai . . . and the young women who catch their eye. Book
number three, The Kissing Bridge,
releases next spring and the main character, Rebecca, has decided to leave the
Amish and is heading to Washington State. She takes a short stop in West
Kootenai to visit her friend Marianna and a handsome bachelor catches her eye.
So, ja, Rebecca's plans change.
I'm also writing about these bachelors in some upcoming
novellas, so stay tuned!