Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Meet Robin Lee Hatcher - Day 1

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. Winner of the Christy, the RITA, the Carol, the Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and many other awards, Robin is also a recipient of the prestigious RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the author of 70 novels and novellas with over four million copies in print.

Welcome, Robin Lee Hatcher! What an honor to have you join us at Novel PASTimes!

First of all, let me say that the premise for your new release sounds very intriguing. Please tell us a little bit about this latest novel, Beloved.

The three books in the Where the Heart Lives series tell the stories of the Brennan children who were sent west on the orphan train after their mother died. Each went to different homes in different locations. Beloved features the youngest of the siblings, Diana.

At 17, Diana fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word from him in years, Diana’s infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.
But when Tyson returns, claiming to be a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom.
He agrees with one condition—she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.

Help us get a glimpse of the main characters.

To say the least, it was inconsiderate of Diana’s almost-dead husband to show up at her engagement party.

When they married, Tyson was a charming cad, and Diana was a girl with stars in her eyes. Then he walked out, abandoning his young bride without a word.

Years later, Tyson has returned to Idaho a changed man. Changed by war. Changed by God. He wants a second chance to make things right, first and foremost with the wife he treated so poorly.

Diana isn't about to fall for Tyson's easy charms a second time. Feeling that she doesn't have any other choice, she strikes a bargain with the man who broke her heart, but she is determined to be free of him in the end.

As the author, I lost my heart to Tyson and Diana from the opening line of chapter one. I'm a sucker for second chance stories, mostly because I'm so thankful for all the second chances I've been given in life, by God and by others. Tyson definitely needs a second chance, but it isn't going to come easily. As for Diana, she has abandonment issues and those old wounds need to be healed.

Tell us about your writing journey. Did you always know you wanted to write?

No, I didn't always know. I always loved to read and write, but I never thought about being a writer as a profession. However, I was a storyteller from a very young age, and I loved to entertain. I thought I would be an actress, and I did perform with a theater troupe during my twenties. But just before my 30th birthday, I decided to put on paper a story that had been rattling around in my head. It eventually became my first published novel.

What interested you in writing historical fiction?

My favorite subjects in school were English and history. I love reading about other places and other times. To be honest, I could spend my life researching and never get around to writing because it is simply so much fun. And nothing a novelist learns ever goes to waste.

I have been a fan of historical fiction since I was in my teens. Biblical fiction. Ancient Rome. Australia. Regency and Victorian England. I love them all. One of my favorite books is Gone With the Wind, so it is no surprise that my first novel was a Civil War saga.

You have written 70 novels (I’m so impressed!). Do you have any favorites and, if so, what makes them special to you?

Picking a favorite book is like picking a favorite child.  Can't do it. Each book was written because something about the characters and/or the situations intrigued me. But there are books that are special to me.

The Forgiving Hour and Ribbon of Years are the two novels most often named as a reader's favorite. Both of them have stories that God has used to heal hurts and give hope, and both of them have opened up opportunities for me to minister to others in ways I never expected.

Catching Katie and Fit To Be Tied are the most lighthearted romances I've written, and I absolutely adore the couples in each of them: Katie and Ben, and Cleo and Sherwood. Just thinking about their stories makes me smile.

Beyond the Shadows and my upcoming January release, A Promise Kept, are deeply personal stories, many parts taken from the pages of my own life (and pages of my own journals).

With so many published books, how do you balance the publicity and marketing for one book while going through writing and editing for another project?

It isn't easy. In fact, I would have to answer that I balance it poorly. In August, I received revision letters on two different books (one novel and one novella) on the same day and a few days later I received the page proofs of a third book. All while I'm supposed to be writing a new story. And then a new book released. Some days I truly do feel like I'm chasing my tail and getting nowhere fast.

7. What would you say has been the most difficult aspect of being a writer and why?

To read the answer to these and more interview questions, please come back tomorrow for Day 2 of our interview with Robin Lee Hatcher!

Robin is giving away a copy of Beloved to one lucky winner. To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment with your e-mail address and answer Robin's question which, I'm delighted to say, is accompanied by an adorable photo. :) 

Here is Robin's question: 

I love my dog and cat, Poppet and Pinky (See their photo on the right). If you were getting a new puppy or kitten today, what would you name it?

Come back tomorrow for the rest of our interview with Robin Lee Hatcher!


Amy C said...

Well, we have a weimaraner named Cinder and a gray cat named Smokey. So, if we got another cat or dog, we Would have to name it Ash or Ashes.
Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com

Susan P said...

The story sounds unique and intriguing! Great interview.
I love silly names for my pets. I have a cat named Lemon. I have always wanted to name a pet "petunia".
lattebooks at hotmail dot com

Linda Marie Finn said...

Oh If I could get a male puppy english shepard , I would name him Beau... I had to give up a nice one I owned in TN when we moved back to NY. I do so miss him and He is getting older 9 this year. He was the best dog we ever had. He lives with a friend there. Since my children are younger, a puppy could grow up with them even if my personal dog. Your cat looks like a cat we had many years ago PJ for pussum boots !
I so love the sounds of your new book and Elaine knows I love her new one ! God bless you both.
Linda Finn
Faithful Acres Books

Patty said...

I have read the first two books in the series and really enjoyed them, especially the second one! I would love a copy of Beloved.

I have a cat, she is black, her name is Spooky. Not very creative I know=)

I would love a puppy, but living alone and working full time I think a cat is a much better fit. If I had a puppy I would name it??? Have no idea, would have to see get to know it first=)


Merry said...

I usually try to match a name to how my pet looks or acts. We had a Papillon we named Dashing Beau but called Dash because he was so energetic. I'm loving this series!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Lis said...

I love Robin Lee Hatcher's books. My daughter is really into the Wiggles right now so she suggested the name "Wags" if we ever got a dog.

Robin Lee Hatcher said...

I love reading everyone's answers above. Thanks for participating and thanks for telling me that you've enjoyed the first two books in the series. Music to a writer's ears. ;-)

KayM said...

The storyline for Beloved is intriguing and I'm looking forward to reading it. Thank you for offering a copy.

Your pets are darling. Right now, I don't have a pet. Usually, I name my pets by some feature or personality trait, so it is hard to say what I'd name a new one. I do like mostly gray, salt and pepper colored cats. I've had two of those--Raisin and Raisin too. I've had an all gray cat named Smokey and a calico with patches of yellow named Taffy. I had an all yellow cat named Peaches, which I gave to a friend and she renamed him Humphrey. Oh, I had a white cat named Snowball. His mother (not mine) was also white and was named Snowflake.

windycindy said...

Hi Robin, My older brother was a Veterinarian for 33 years, before he passed away. I come from a family of animal lovers! If I were to get another pet, I would call it "Lucky", because we have so many and my husband says, no more for now.
Many thanks, Cindi

Trueheart said...

Since I am not a cat person, I would have to get a dog. I would like to name my dog "Bear", BUT I would never name a pet before meeting him (yes, him, girl dogs are just too much drama ...grin). I mean, really? What if I decided to name my dog Bear, but someone gave me a whippet. That would be tragic! Or what if I decided to name him Bjorn (yes, my boy dogs names usually start with "B")and I ended up with a Collie. Yikes! He would probably suffer an identity crisis. So all I can tell you is that my dog would be male and his name would start with "B". Unless it doesn't.

karenk said...

If I had a puppy, I would call her MOLLY.

Thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Elaine Marie Cooper said...

Ladies, I am delighted with the variety of answers! Your personalities shine through!! Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and be sure to come back tomorrow for Day 2 of our interview with Robin Lee. And Robin, your furry babies are adorable. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't think we would get a cat. If we got a dog, my son would name it Bass (after one of his favorite video game characters).


My email is davec777 at yahoo dot com

onorman said...

Can't wait to read this new book. Robin is one of my favorite authors. Her books keep me up till I finish them!

Carolyn Fever said...

I also loved Redeeming Love - it still is one of my favorite novels because it is a story of the blessings of obedience and love, grace and mercy. I'm glad to know that Robin feels the same way! Robin's new book sounds terrific, too.
My grandmother-in-law's dog was named Luv, so she could say "come her, Luv." Or we would name a dog or cat Spring or Scarlet since we could never name one of our children that: Spring Fever, Scarlet Fever. ;-)

Robin Lee Hatcher said...

Thanks, everyone, for participating. I loved reading your pet names.