Recently, in case you haven't noticed, I've been interviewing authors who get their books published traditionally instead of Indie pubs. Of course, I still love my fellow Indie authors, but I thought it would be nice to pick the brain of an author who does it a different way.
When I first began my love affair with the written word, I, of course, adored the Christian romance and Inspirational fiction genres. And, one of the first authors I "adopted" into my library was Robin Lee Hatcher. The first book I read of hers was A Vote of Confidence and when I found out this was the first of a series, I was ecstatic. According to her Amazon page, she is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Winner of the Christy, the RITA, the Carol, the Inspirational Reader's Choice, and many other industry awards, Robin is also a recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She is the author of 75+ novels and novellas with over five million copies in print.
Needless to say, I was thrilled to be able to interview this talented author. Keep reading to find out more about her newest work, You're Gonna Love Me.
AJ: Thank you so much for interviewing with me! I am a huge fan of your work. You've recently released your newest book, "You're Gonna Love Me," bringing us back to Thunder Creek. What is it about this place that makes us want to return for more? And, from where did you get the idea of Thunder Creek?
RLH: I love writing about small towns. I usually create my own towns, just so I can put the bank or church or hardware store where I want it rather than where they exist in real towns. However, my towns are always based on real places. For Thunder Creek, I knew I wanted it to be located near the fruit orchards and vineyards of SW Idaho. As for why readers want to return, that’s easy. It’s the people who make you want to go back to any location, I think. Whether real or fictional.
AJ: Samantha Winters, who returns to Thunder Creek to take care of her grandmother, is not a risk-taker, especially since she watched her father die tragically. Can you relate to her character? Or are you an adventurous person? What's the craziest thing you've done for your writing career?
RLH: Hmm. I think I’m a combination of cautious and adventurous. I don’t think I would have been one of the pioneers who crossed on the Oregon Trail. I like my four star hotels and nice restaurants. On the other hand, I’ve done plenty of camping in the mountains and riding of horses on narrow trails in my lifetime and white water rafting on some awesome rivers in the West.
The riskiest thing I did for my writing career was when I quit my full time job to try to make it as a writer. At the time I quit, my writing income was a fraction of what my salary was, but I took the risk. I’ve been writing full time for over 25 years now. It’s been bumpy and scary at times but always worth it.
AJ: Without giving away too much of the book, can you tell us how Samantha evolves over the course of the story?
RLH: Samantha mostly has to learn that she cannot control life. Instead she must trust God. As a recovering codependent (i.e. control freak), it is a lesson that I had to learn in my own life. One I have to relearn at times. In fact, it’s a very common life lesson for many people.
AJ: Samantha's long-lost love is Nick Chastain. If you could summarize Nick in just five words, what would they be? Can you explain your answer?
RLH: Former thrill-seeker, adrenaline junkie. The Nick who Samantha fell in love with the first time is very different from the man she discovers two years later. While he was changed by his life-threatening accident, he was transformed by a new relationship with God. He is a new man.
AJ: What was your goal, or mission, in writing "You're Gonna Love Me"? What would you like readers to bring away with them?
RLH: My goal for every book I write is to entertain, first and foremost. I love to take readers on a romantic rollercoaster ride, letting them experience vicariously the emotions of falling in love and working through the issues that might keep two people apart. And my take away goal is the same for every book as well. I hope that every book that I write will bring a reader one step closer to God.
AJ: What was the most challenging part of writing this story?
RLH: I think the most challenging was researching TBIs and then using that research to create a realistic situation for Nick. Some traumatic brain injuries are much more devastating than Nick’s. I needed his to be serious enough to rock his world, but not so debilitating that he wouldn’t be able to work in any capacity, for instance.
AJ: According to your website, you've written forty-four books, so far. What, or who inspires you to keep writing?
RLH: Actually, I have had 78 books released over the course of my career (1984 to present), but my website doesn’t list the 30 books I wrote for the general fiction market (mass market romances published in 1999 and before). I don’t list those because I don’t encourage readers to choose those books. I prefer to promote my Christian fiction.
As for inspiration, God made me a storyteller. It’s my passion. Writing is hard, but there is a joy in telling stories. That inspires me to keep writing.
AJ: I'm sure with your busy writing schedule and deadlines, you may not have time to read much. However, what do you like to read when you have the time? Is there a new author that has captured your attention?
RLH: If it weren’t for audiobooks and Audible.com, I really wouldn’t read many books in a year. I’m an eclectic reader. I read both general market fiction (a la All the Light We Cannot See and Before We Were Yours) and Christian fiction (The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers is one I’ve been eagerly awaiting). I read biographies/autobiographies/histories (Amazing Grace and Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas are two of my recent favorites) and non-fiction (lately these have been for college courses). I read Christian living books and devotionals too (Whisper by Mark Batterson is on my TBR).
AJ: How can readers discover more about you?
RLH: Naturally, there is lots of information available on my website. I also enjoy interacting with readers on social media:
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If you would like to find or follow Mrs. Hatcher, click any of the links above, or pictures, to be redirected to her sites and pages.