Erica Vetsch! Erica is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.
You refer to yourself as a “history museum addict.” I can relate! What are some of the coolest or strangest things you’ve seen in museums?
The 28th Virginia battle flag captured by the 1st Minnesota Volunteers July 3rd, 1863 during Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg during the Civil War.
Detective Cummings’ gun that wounded John Dillinger during a gunfight in St. Paul, MN.
The skirt Mary Schwandt Schmidt was wearing when captured during the Dakota War of 1862. The skirt has three bullet holes near the hem.
Yes, I’d say those count as cool. :-) What is the most interesting (or unusual) thing you’ve done in the name of research for one of your novels?
Researching how to blow up an outhouse would certainly rank high on the oddity list. J Writing that scene in The Cactus Creek Challenge was a hoot!
When you start a new book, do you tend to begin with a character and find her story, or do you have a story idea and discover who lives it out?
I am a plot-first novelist. I ask myself a what-if question and that gets the story idea going. What if a sheriff and a schoolteacher had to switch jobs for a month? What sort of chaos would ensue? And why might it be difficult for each of them to give up their job to another, even for just 30 days?
Reading fiction can be a way to escape reality for a while, but those stories can still teach some valuable lessons. What points do you hope readers take away from your books?
First, I hope readers will take away an enjoyable experience. Second, from The Cactus Creek Challenge the lesson that we all need a little help sometimes. We can’t do this life on our own, and we need to give and receive help when we need to.
Can you tell us about any other projects you have in the works?
I’m currently working on a story for the Love Inspired Historicals Blurb2Book contest. My story, The Snowflake Bride, has made it to the final round of the contest and the deadline is July 15! EEK! So I’m turning it in and will know in about six weeks if my entry will result in a contract.
In closing, what advice can you share with novice writers?
It’s hard, but don’t be discouraged. Avoid comparisons to other writers’ journeys, since every journey is unique. Be brave. And when you’re not brave, do what every other author does…fake it. ;)
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And … we had some great conversation yesterday, but it doesn’t have to stop there! Leave your answer to this question from Erica or click on the Rafflecopter entry to be entered in our drawing to win a copy of Erica’s latest novel, The Cactus Creek Challenge! One U.S. entrant will win a copy later this week.
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen in a museum?
Thanks so much for hanging out with us at Novel PASTimes! We appreciate you!