1. What inspired the idea for the Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Collection? How did you become involved in writing a novel for this series?
Cynthia Hickey, the lead on this collection and a wonderful author, came up with the idea of a Mail Order Husband instead of Mail Order Bride. We see a ton of MOB stories. I was initially contacted by Cindy as I was sitting at our Tidewater Area Christian Writers luncheon (I am co-chair) and we were beginning to finish up our lunch and get started when I got a text from Cindy Hickey asking about my interest.
2. What inspired your idea for “Dime Novel Suitor” novella in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands?
My grandfather became a cowboy out west after his first wife, his childhood sweetheart, died. His parents had immigrated to Michigan from England. So I’ve often wondered how someone of British descent adapted to that life. And I’d wondered what inspired him to do so. Dime Novels were really popular then and during his father’s youth, so I’d wondered if maybe my great-grandfather may have harboured a secret fascination with the west and cowboys and Indians. My grandfather was born in 1886, and was a kid when those Wild West shows were getting popular, too. So I wanted to one day do a British cowboy story about someone influenced by those Dime Novels.
3. What do you want readers to take away from reading “Dime Novel Suitor” in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order?
God is in every situation and He works all things together for our good. SPOILER We might not realize it at the time, like in Barden’s case, where he is attacked and left in an alley, but God uses His earthly angels to pick us up and put us on the course He has planned for us. Ironically, I’m going through a difficult situation like this right now, myself, but I trust God.
4. What kind of research did you do for the historical part of “Dime Novel Suitor” in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order?
I especially spent time looking at Dime Novel history and I also ordered and read one of the books and looked at others online. There’s a reason they are also called Penny Dreadfuls! Also, our entire team worked together to share research about the area in Kansas where we set the story. We especially had to check to be sure what things were and were not in that area at the time, e.g., no railroad. Also, I was doing other research, on Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, and I found out about the troops who came from out west and had been injured in some way during the Civil War. That was fascinating. I was privileged to have a phone conference with Phil Porter!!! Why the exclamation points? I am a history geek and Mr. Porter is the esteemed author of some of the best books about Mackinac Island history AND he is Mackinac Historic Parks Director!!! Yes, I am a fan girl.
Her short story, The Quilting Contest, was Historical Fiction Winner of Family Fiction’s “The Story” national contest. Her novella, The Substitute Bride was a 2016 Maggie Award published finalist for Romance Novellas. Grand Exposé was a 2014 Maggie Award honorable mention for a novel set on Mackinac Island (now entitled My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, Barbour, July 2017). All three of her Christy Lumber Camp books were long list finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year and The Fruitcake Challenge was a Selah Award finalist. Her novel, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose/Pelican, June, 2016) received a Starred Review by RT Book Reviews.
Other Giveaway: If 10+ unique commenters post on this blog, Carrie will select one commenter to receive a print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands.
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May 30–Puddletown Reviews | Wishful Endings | Bookworm Lisa
May 31–Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen | Mel’s Shelves | Blossoms and Blessings
June 1–Singing Librarian Books | Heidi Reads… | Bookworm Lisa
June 2–Cafinated Reads | Smiling Book Reviews | A Baker’s Perspective
June 3–aTransParentMom | Paulette’s Papers