Thursday, October 15, 2009

a question for you...

I'm posting an unprecedented amount this week and I apologize! I promise to leave this one up through the weekend:) But I do need your input as I think about my next book(s). Many of you have certain time periods in history that you prefer and specific reasons why. I'd love to hear them. My readers are so important to me and I'd love to write what you like. So the question is...

Which books would you like to see from me in future?

1. Colonial period (just like The Frontiersman's Daughter)
2. Regency (either here or in England)
3. Victorian
4. Civil War
5. The old, wild west
6. Turn of the century/1900
7. WWI, etc.

Do you like mail-order bride stories? Amish fiction? Romance? Suspense? I think I could spin a story about the intriguing photo at left. Comments appreciated!

Readers! Had you in your mind
Such stories as silent thought can bring,
O gentle Reader! You would find
A tale in everything. - Wordsworth


  1. Hi, Laura! I'm glad you asked this question. I have a new project for you to tackle: The Oregon Trail.

    The Oregon Trail migration, more correctly known as the Oregon-California Trail migration, is one of the most important events in American History. The Oregon-California trail was a 2,170 mile route from Missouri to Oregon and California that enabled the migrating of the early pioneers to the western United States.

    You know how I love the Old West!
    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  2. Hi Laura,

    Well, after The Frontiersman's Daughter reawakened my love of Colonial period fiction, I have to say I'd be more than happy to see more books for you in that vein. You write it so well! :) However, all of the other time periods you mention can be equally fascinating. I'm a huge Regency fan, which is seeing a bit of a resurgence in CBA circles with Julie Klassen & Kaye Dacus's books. Victorian-era fiction sounds intriguing, as not a single title comes to mind (untapped territory, anyone?). I always enjoy Civil War era stories (Lynn Austin's trilogy, and I used to love Gilbert Morris's older Appomattox Saga books). I cut my teeth reading westerns, but too often it seems that those turn into "prairie" romances - nothing against those, they are just not my cup of tea. However if you're talking western in the vein of Louis L'Amour, you've got my attention! :) Turn of the century fiction could be fascinating, and WW1 fiction is definitely an era that I would love to see explored. Personally my favorite era (and if I ever get back to my L-O-N-G neglected m.s., that's the time period) is WW2 history. Oh, and I have to add that Amish fiction is DEFINITELY not my cup of tea. ;-) Whew, sorry for the book length comment! :) Happy Friday!

  3. Laura, I think you could write about anything and make it fabulous!

    However, since you asked, my answer will be anything other than the old wild west. I think I'm "wested out" when it comes to reading. Strangely, I love wagon train stories but I don't really like the whole horses, cowboys, desert thing. I like Little House on the Prairie stuff but not...the whole horses, cowboys, desert thing. Am I making any sense?

    Now I'm specifically looking to read decidedly "different" stuff, like East Coast settings or England or Colonial period or turn-of-the-century.

    So, there's my two-cents. Hope it helps! By the way, love the picture you've posted. I've got a good one similar to it that I will post at Christmas.

  4. Fun! Let's see... I like the Colonial period, Regency, and turn of the century. I don't mind the old, wild west either, but I don't like war times. I pretty much skip a book if it was based around the depression or WWII.
    And I love mail-order bride stories, especially if they're funny. Deeanne Gist had one that I read earlier this year that was great.
    I also like Amish fiction and romance. I can pretty much pass suspense, unless it's really good.
    And that photo does look interesting. I can see how you'd be able to make a story from it.

  5. Colonial, Regency, Civil War, the old, wild west and the turn of the century/1900 are ALL wonderful choices! But, I don't think I have read too many American Regency novels, so that could be a unique project!

    Do you know anything about the photo you posted or was it one that you found?

    I am writing in turn of the century/1900 and I love it! But I do think that I want to do either Civil War or Colonial next. . .maybe a Regency down the road. Although, I really, really want to write something that has to do with my own heritage and/or family. . .but THAT is a project I am more than a little nervous to tackle!

  6. Virginia,
    So good to hear from you! I've been missing you. You have some amazing links and I always save them for research - thank you!
    I knew you would like the western theme:) Your Oregon Trail idea is also very interesting to me. Several years ago I boarded Amtrak in Seattle as they were commemorating the Oregon Trail and took the train along that route. We went to Portland and then east, then back again. It was one of the highlights of my history-loving life! Thank you for all of this!

  7. Ruth,
    I knew you would cover all the bases reading-wise and I'm so glad! I have Ransome's Honor from Dacus sitting in my TBR stack and am a big fan of Louis L'Amour also, especially the movies made from his books with Tom Selleck, etc. My pub has some upcoming WWII romances coming up for you beginning in March, 2010 by Sarah Sundin. I spent quite a bit of time together with Sarah in Denver (ACFW) and she's terrific.
    Oh, so many great ideas! Thank you so much.

  8. Mary,
    Bless you for your "fabulous" comment:) That sure warms an author's heart. I am a big fan of the Little House books even as an adult, also. And I really, really like wagon train stories as there is plenty of novel fodder there.
    I don't know if you've read any of Siri Mitchell but she has a new novel coming out next year that is about an east coast socialite at the turn of the century (hope I'm getting this right) and the cover is very pretty. Can't remember the title! But you might like. Thanks so much for your input here!

  9. Adge,
    Soooo glad to hear from you as I know you are an avid reader across the spectrum:) I'm not much of a suspense fan either but my mom sure is and I'm not a big war-time reader either but that could change. Am wondering if you like the "Love Finds You" historicals popular right now? I was given one at the conference but haven't had time for it yet.
    Thank you for your input! It really is helpful to me.

  10. Laura,

    Sarah Sundin's first book is on my Amazon wishlist - I cannot WAIT to read it!

    I'm loving the brainstorming going on here. :) BTW, the name of Siri Mitchell's upcoming book is She Walks In Beauty - and the cover is gorgeous, I agree!

  11. Ashli,
    I hope you write that family history based novel as that sounds terrific! That's basically the impetus behind TFD as you know. Since you're a reviewer for Revell/Baker you are going to get some great upcoming historicals in future. Please keep going on your turn of the century novel. I love that time period also!

  12. Ruth, Thanks for reminding me of Siri's next title - it really does look like a keeper of a book and she said it has a happy ending:)
    Am so glad you have A Distant Melody in your upcoming stack of good books:) Sarah would like that!

    Ashli, I uploaded this old photo from the Flickr! site. It's such an intriguing photo as the woman appears to be in mourning clothes and the baby is a boy in a dress, per the times. Her posture is a bit unusual with that hand up. And I can't see if she's wearing a wedding ring. I just know this is Civil War era - no names, nothing, sadly. But she is beautiful.

  13. I wish I could say I've read the Love Finds You in series but I haven't. I have read a lot of other books from the assortment of authors that contributed to that series though. I especially read a lot of 4 or 3 in 1s, as I call it, where they have four or three stories in one.

  14. Laura,

    I would say that any of the eras you mentioned would be wonderful.

    I love to read anything that involves history. I do enjoy Amish stories, so that is always good for me, although the market seems a bit saturated with them right now.

    If I am looking for a new book to read then I generally find English Regency a lot of fun to read.

    Although, like I said... any of them sound great. I am sorry! I don't think I was much help! :-)

    Thank you for your kind response to my email! I am really enjoying your blog.

  15. i'm definitely not into the victorian era. maybe a bit too "stuffy" for my taste?
    i love anything about pioneers, i like the oregon trail idea or even homesteading in Oregon.
    have you read the books by Jane Kirkpatrick (i think?) about the Aurora settlement and Emma Geisy? Those were very interesting.

    i also think something set during the civil war or ww2 would be great. it makes me think of 2 historical movies.... cold mountain and pearl harbor.

    i'm sure whatever time period you decide to write about will be wonderful.

  16. I'd love to see more Colonial books or other unusual settings. While I enjoy westerns I don't think we need more of those there are plenty already and I'm a bit tired of them.

  17. Anything you've got will be read by me ;-) But my fav genre is romantic suspense....just saying!

  18. While I'm partial to nineteenth century America (hence why my books are set in the mid nineteenth century), I'd say go with what you feel most comfortable with. When you feel comfortable in your writing, the stesses don't affect you and God can really speak to where you hear Him clearly and can listen! If you go with something you're unsure of, you are always questioning what you are writing and if it makes sense/is correct/follows the proper direction. Makes it a little difficult in hearing what He is saying.

  19. Lisa, I knew you were a reader after my own heart as you love James Thom and now Jane Kirkpatrick. I have read some of her books and they're all very well done. I haven't read the particular book you've mentioned here but will have to look it up. I was sad as she did a great endorsement for TFD but it wasn't put on the back cover copy:( Not sure why. Maybe next time! Thanks so much for the reader input:)

  20. Rebecca, I know you read a HUGE amount of books yearly and I encourage others to check out your wonderful blog. Also you make great Amazon lists of upcoming books, often including ones I'm not even aware of!
    I'm sure you're not surprised that the western-era books are the biggest sellers in fiction so that may account for the flood of them. I think the colonial period needs more attention but then I'm terribly biased:) Thanks for chiming in!

  21. Rel,
    I'm a fan of romantic suspense myself. I think I learned to write by reading every Victoria Holt novel I could get my hands on as a teen (her pen name was Jean Plaidy but she had several pen names). She was the romantic suspense queen! I know that really dates me so don't worry if you've never heard of her.
    And thanks for the gracious comments about reading whatever I write. I sure like that!
    I invite readers to take a trip to Australia and visit Rel's wonderful blog. She has so many author interviews and books you'll never lack for a good read!
    Bless you, Rel!

  22. Stacey,
    So glad to hear from you again! Your comments are really helpful to me. Bet you've read some of Linore Rose Burkhart (sp?) or Julie Klassen as far as Regency romance goes. There are many, many Amish stories like you said and lots more on the way! I don't think they need any books from me that way, that's for sure, though they're all immediate bestsellers which would be a nice perk:)
    You said it well - you like anything to do with history. That just about sums it up for me, too!

  23. Dana,
    You've made an important point. It really is all about what He's called us to write. I think he puts a certain time period on our heart and we have the freedom and joy to follow that path. I just love the colonial era like you love mid-19th century. I may have to make a change from writing colonial books at some point but right now it isn't very appealing, maybe because He has more in mind for me to do. Thankfully there's a huge number of good books out there to satisfy any genre lover. Bless you as you write this week!

  24. Adge,
    I'm familiar with those 4 or 3 in ones as you call them as they are at our Wal-mart here. Very popular books!

  25. I love to read and write 19th century historicals, but I'm also getting into 18th century. Susan Page Davis does a great job with that time period. I'm going to pick up your book soon, haven't had the pleasure yet as I've been working my way through a pile of "to read" and "to review". I read so much sometimes that I find myself not writing. But I'm always reading with a writer's eye.

    As far as what good things I've heard about your writing so far, you might want to consider sticking with the 18th century for a bit as you gain a following. Many readers are looking for something "new" and the 18th century just might be it!

  26. Carla,
    You just spoke the desire of my heart - to stick with the 18th c. for awhile, (if not forever, which is what I'd like). That is very wise advice. Readers do need to be able to count on an author for a certain type read and genre-hopping by an author can be confusing. I believe in writing what you know well.

    I'm finding the opposite struggle right now in my writing life - writing so much I don't have as much time for reading as I like. Thank you for the mention of Susan Page Davis. She is new to me but I took a quick look on Amazon and she is prolific and looks quite popular! Will have to add her name to my list:) Esp. her colonial books.

    Thanks so much for your advice - it's very appreciated. Please keep in touch!

  27. Hi Laura, I think anything you write about would be wonderful.....and I love stories on the pioneers/Oregon Trail. Have you ever seen the movie " Westward The Women"? It's a late 50's early 60's movie and the series " Here Come The Brides" maybe in the late 70's? I love stories of strong women who travel to become someone's bride and to make their home and family out in a territory that is strange and new to them, not knowing what lies ahead, but determined to make the best of it. Have a great weekend, blessings,Kathleen

  28. Kathleen,
    So good to hear from you again! I have vivid memories of watching Here Comes the Brides in my childhood and it being about Seattle and look where I ended up! Well, on the way back to Ky, that is:) Lord willing!
    I haven't heard about the other but it sounds like something I would really like. You probably don't have much time to read but based on what you've said I bet you'd really like Jane Kirkpatrick's books. They are exactly as you described - strong women and new territory.
    Thank you, Kathleen! Hope you're having a wonderful Texas weekend. I sure enjoy your blog(s).

  29. Since I have no gift for the creative part of writing (I do a mean proofread, however)...I leave that up to you, Laura. To listen well to the Spirit within for the story that needs to be told next. You will know...

  30. Myrna,
    A timely reminder that I need to have before me again and again. They are His stories first and He supplies what is needed. That sure takes the pressure off! I've heard that we really write for an audience of One.
    I bet you do do a mean proofread:) You'd make a great editor! Wonderful to hear from you again.

  31. Laura - yes, westerns do sell well and I will always be fond of them as it was western-set stories for children (the Little House books and the American girl Kirsten books) that first got me interested in historical fiction as a child! I don't think I will ever completely stop reading westerns but I love to see books with unusual settings, especially since I'll often learn something new about the history of that place/time from the book.

  32. Me, too, Rebecca - I like books that teach me something, like Linda Chaikin's books set in the south seas, Russia, and other parts, to name just one author. Reading is such a blessing. You don't have to leave your chair and can travel anywhere!

  33. Hi Laura..I have many pictures of my Grandmother (Nellie born 1895) and I love stories about the years she would have been growing up.
    My Grandmother was a very special Lady and I still miss her every day and have some of her things that no one wanted but they are very special to me

  34. Nancy,
    Your granny sounds as dear to you as mine was to me. Mine passed away when The Frontiersman's Daughter was being published. I have some of her things too and treasure them like you do. I hope you keep those stories about your granny close to your heart! They are such keepsakes! I wish now I'd written down every little thing my granny told me.
    Bless you today!

  35. Laura, I'm chiming in late. I fell behind on blog reading while I dealt with the Swine Flu, but I wanted to answer your question.

    My all-time favorite stories are those about mail-order brides. Marriage of convenience stories come next. My favorite period is the Victorian era.

    That said, I've recently enjoyed some Regency romances. And then there is this talented writer I know who brought the Colonial period and the state of Kentucky to life in vivid detail and with such artistic prose that she's one of my must-read authors now. I'm currently awaiting her second book. ;-)

    As for what I'd like to see you write. I want you to write the stories God puts on your heart, those you can pour yourself into. They will be winners no matter when or where they're set.

  36. Keli,
    You've said something so important - writing the stories God places on our heart. That is such a pleasure and it will surely show in our work!

    Very thankful you're feeling better! We had it here also a couple of weeks ago and still aren't up to speed. This is one bad bug.

    You've inspired me to write a mail order bride story!

  37. Laura, I hope you and your family feel better soon, but being four weeks into this myself, I know this piggy pest is a persistent one.