and her historical romance
The Midwife’s Choice
I grew up in southern New Jersey during the 50s and 60s when life was so much simpler than it is today. We had a party-line telephone we shared with another family and a black and white TV my parents shared with us. The township library, where I volunteered, was my second home and the place where I discovered the absolute wonder of reading.
I was inspired to write my first published novel by my sister, Carol Beth. She dared me to write a novel, so I did. In fact, I wrote four, but it was the fifth book, Evergreen, that became my first published book. Over twenty years later, she’s still encouraging me to write.
The books that have most influenced my life, particularly my writing life, are mostly non-fiction history books. It is from those sources that I’ve been able to create historical fictional characters who have the same needs for faith and love, family and friends that we do today.
My biggest challenge when writing is keeping track of the time. When I’m writing, I’m “there” – in the story – and the real world just slips away, along with all sense of time. I’ve lost complete days while writing, which is why I have to set an alarm (several in fact) if I have an appointment to keep!
One of my favorite authors is . . . uh oh. I’m not really comfortable answering this one. I have so many wonderful author friends, I couldn’t possibly choose one of them. I do, however, especially love the historical authors at Bethany House.
If I wasn’t a writer, I would be a teacher. Actually, I was a high school teacher for twenty-five years and wrote during summer break until I retired from the classroom in 2012. Now I do volunteer work with teenage “first offenders” in court and with the local turtle watch program that helps endangered loggerhead turtles to nest and hatch safely, and I still have time to write.
The superhero talent I would love to have is the ability to fly! I have a large family spread between Florida, Texas and New Jersey. It would be so much fun to be able to zip through the sky to visit them on a whim, especially my seven grandchildren. Just imagine what a great “show and tell” this grandmom would be!
In a time when the traditional ways of medicine are constantly being questioned by new doctors fresh from medical school, midwife Martha Cade tries to balance her life’s calling with the demands of her family. Recently reunited with her estranged seventeen-year-old daughter, Martha finds herself torn between guiding her child and allowing her to be an adult. At the same time, she must decide whether she’ll risk reopening the heart she’d long closed off to love.
Though a small town, Trinity, Pennsylvania, is fraught with secrets, and as a midwife, Martha moves among its people. She knows which homes are filled with light and love, which families have slipped into grief, which wives are unhappy, and which husbands dare to cross lines…As Martha struggles with the conflicts of being a mother, a midwife, and a woman, she learns the greatest lessons of all–that hope can shine even in the darkest hours, and that faith has a way of making the impossible possible.
My latest novel can be described by these five adjectives: spiritual, emotional, timely, unpredictable and empowering.
My main character is Martha Cade, and she loves her sweets! In fact, she’s been known to start her meal with dessert and occasionally makes a full meal of her sweet treats. Now that my children are grown and not around at my house at mealtime, I have to admit I’ve treated myself to an occasional “dessert supper.” Just don’t tell my grandchildren.
My main characters (Martha and Thomas) resemble women and men today who find themselves all alone and single, with a second chance to find love. They also find this experience to be a roller-coaster ride, both emotionally and spiritually. For some, especially in the past, economic necessity is a driving force, but for all, it is the yearning for love and companionship that gives them the courage to take the leap when love comes around the second time.
A previously unknown fact about this novel is that when I was writing the first draft, I had no idea that there would be a very important new character arriving in Trinity. He almost didn’t make it, but he popped in right at the end and proved essential in the final book of the trilogy, The Midwife’s Dilemma.
My story’s spiritual theme is God’s unfailing ability to provide us all with His love and guidance so we can follow the path He has set before us.
While writing this novel I was challenged by reuniting Martha with her runaway daughter who has finally come home. The emotional dynamics between them were difficult to manage, but well worth the effort in the end. I do believe there is a bond between mothers and daughters that can often be tested, but only rarely broken forever. I wanted Martha and her daughter to repair the rift between them and find their way back to a loving relationship.
The title was chosen in a collaborative effort between myself, my editor, and a great team at Bethany House. We work so well together that I’m always very pleased with the titles for my books, most especially those in the At Home in Trinity
As an author, the hardest scenes for me to write are scenes where my heroine is in a situation where she can respond either with anger or disappointment. I need to decide which response is more appropriate and whether or not she might need to respond appropriately or not, in terms of where the story is at that point. Not easy for me to do.
The story I’m currently working on is the final book in the trilogy, The Midwife’s Dilemma, which is set for release in late March 2016. Midwife Martha Cade has some very tough decisions to make, and I want to be sure they’re the right ones for her!
You may not know this about me, but I can paint a room, hang wallpaper, and tackle most any home improvement project with the tools I store in my most treasured piece of furniture: my workbench! I do draw the line, however, at almost everything electrical. I’m also a thrift store shopper, and I almost never pass a thrift store without dropping in to see what second-hand treasures I can find and restore.
If I could be a character in any novel, I would be Allan Karlsson, a nursing home resident in The-Hundred-Year Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Allan is so anxious to avoid the party planned to celebrate his 100th birthday that he escapes through the window and embarks on a series of grand adventures. Actually, I’m excited by the possibility that if I live to be 100, I would be physically able to climb out of a window! That would be an adventure in itself.
Thank you, Delia.