Vicki, thank you for joining us on Favorite PASTimes today. Could you share with us some of the surprises you’ve encountered along the road to publishing?
The other surprise came during my second book. I had no idea how much effort goes into a book after it’s been accepted. Revisions come first, then we do a line edit, proofreading, an art fact sheet for the cover and title lists, and that’s all before the promo starts. There’s so much more to this business than I knew!
Please tell us about your latest novel, Kansas Courtship.
Because this is a continuity book, I was assigned a hero and heroine by an editor. That’s how I ended up writing about Dr. Nora Mitchell and Zeb Garrison, a town founder and the owner of a mill. Dr. Nora is cutting edge for her time, and she’s not shy. Zeb has an old fashioned streak when it comes to lady doctors. My favorite parts of the story are when Zeb and Nora go toe-to-toe.
What made you decide to write historical novels?
I’ve always loved westerns. When I started to write seriously in 1999, the Old West was a natural fit. I very much wanted my books to reflect my faith. Given the publishing climate at the time, westerns gave me the most flexibility in terms of the inspirational elements. Faith was a part of the culture, so I could include the faith element in books for the mainstream market. I’m not at all surprised that westerns are so solid in the inspirational market. It’s a perfect fit!
You wrote for Harlequin before you wrote for Steeple Hill. What made you decide to switch from a successful career in the secular market to a focus on the inspirational market?
This is such an interesting question . . . In my heart of hearts, I want to write books with inspirational themes for women who’d never set foot in a Christian bookstore. I still feel that way, but the mainstream market went in directions I couldn’t go without compromising my beliefs. I had decided to try my hand at a contemporary inspirational when a Steeple Hill editor asked me for a proposal for a western for Love Inspired Historicals. It’s turned out to be a perfect fit. Love Inspired Historicals are in Walmart, K-Mart, Borders, etc., all places where anyone can find them.
I love that your inspirational stories focus on redemption from the past, and forgiveness. What makes those themes important to you?
I’ve seen God’s grace over and over in my own life and the lives of family members. Is there anyone who doesn’t have something in their lives that’s less than perfect? The joy of being a Christian author is showing that God loves us in spite of our mistakes, and that we really can move on from the past. My books are also about people who have been hurt by others and learned to forgive. I believe thoroughly in new beginnings, second chances, etc., but those times don’t come until we face our own humanity. It’s incredibly exciting to see darkness turn into light!
What are some of the historical novels that you’ve most enjoyed reading?