The Inside Scoop!
and her Victorian novel
A Haven on Orchard Lane
I grew up in…Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
I was inspired to write my first published novel by…my mother.
The books that have most influenced my life are…biographies, actually!
My biggest challenge when writing is…staying focused.
One of my favourite authors is…Rosamunde Pilcher.
If I wasn’t a writer, I would be…a geologist. I fell in love with rocks on a family vacation to Tennessee in 7th grade. South Lousiana has none beyond the size of gravel.
The superhero talent I would love to have is…to fly. As tempting as it is to ask for speed for getting everything done, I’d love to soar over rooftops.
In difficult circumstances, Charlotte Ward, once a famed stage actress, tries to restart her career–only to experience disaster. Against her better judgment, her estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother’s rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village.
Charlotte is grateful to get to know Rosalind after years apart. As one who has regrets about her own romantic past, it’s a joy for Charlotte to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it’s time away from teaching–and now she must care for the mother who wasn’t there for her. And what could be more complicated than romance?
Together, mother and daughter discover that healing is best accomplished when they focus less on themselves and more on the needs of others.
My latest novel can be described by these 5 adjectives…Victorian, British, multi-plotted, humorous, reflective.
My main character is…Charlotte Ward, age 50, former London stage actress. Plump, thrice-married, regretful, hopeful, and compassionate.
My main characters resemble….Charlotte represents all older women who wish for do-overs. Her daughter, Rosamund, age 27, represents younger women who stuggle to reconcile the past with the present, and find themselves surprised by life’s gifts.
A previously unknown fact about this novel is…the setting, fictitious Port Stilwell, is loosely based upon the seaside town of Beer, Devon.
My story’s spiritual theme is…forgiveness.
While writing this novel I learned…how to portray two mistreated boys without wallowing in misery every scene.
The title was chosen by…my editors at Bethany House. They always chose my titles after asking for my suggestions. Choosing titles is not my gift, and I’m grateful that they’re good at it.
As an author, the hardest scenes for me to write are…romantic scenes. I don’t know why, but I would rather make you smile than swoon. Which is why some of my romantic scenes are humorous.
The story I’m currently working on is…another Victorian.
You may not know this about me, but I…worked hard to overcome shyness.
If I could be a character in any novel, I would want to be…Flannery Curry in Patricia Hickman’s Tiny Dancer.