Monday, January 9, 2012

a book begins...

A book begins with falling in love. You lose your heart to a place, a house, an avenue of trees, or with a character who walks in and takes complete possession of you. Imagination glows and there is the seed of your book.
~Elizabeth Goudge

I'm in the midst of writing book 2 of The Ballantyne Legacy and it's quite a thrill:) Yesterday I scribbled down all the characters filling my head and heart. Hmmm. This new cast has 20 and I'm not done counting! Some are minor but necessary. When you move from the frontier to more civilized locales, more people pop up. More of them to love, I guess...

I think this image by Brandon Hill, photographer/designer is so beautiful and evocative. It's on the back cover of Rose's Pledge, a colonial novel that released this month. He's also the designer for Love's Reckoning. I hope you're still looking for that cover! I certainly am:)

Recently someone asked me the impetus or "seed" behind the books I've published. Here goes...

The Frontiersman's Daughter - Growing up in Kentucky, I often wondered what it would have been like being the daughter of Daniel Boone. He had several children, including adopted children, but his favorite daughter was said to be Jemima. My cousins and I used to dress up colonial-style and pretend to be Boone and his family, right down to the turkey shoot (the turkey was my little brother;)

Courting Morrow Little - I've read countless captivity stories since childhood and have always been especially intrigued by the tales of captives who didn't want to return to the white world but remained with the Indians. Some of the most interesting, heartfelt reader mail I've received since Morrow released is from descendants of captives.

The Colonel's Lady - If you've read the author note at the beginning of the book, you'll know it was infatuation with George Rogers Clark that led me to write this novel. George was the brother of William who was a leader of the famed Lewis & Clark expedition. Those Clark boys were natural heroes! And that flame-red hair didn't hurt;)

Love's Reckoning - There was a custom among 18th-century gunsmith apprentices to marry into the master gunsmith's family in America. This also extended to other trades during that time period. Marrying for love was still considered a novel concept. My gunsmith had to switch to another trade but I won't tell you which one he finds himself in - you'll just have to read the book!

If you're writing a book, what led you to write your story? If you've ever thought about writing a book, what would you write and why?


  1. Love reading about the inspiration behind your stories. Can't wait to find out our hero's occupation in Love's Reckoning! The picture you posted is lovely, and since that's the artist who will be doing the cover for LR, I'm now more excited than ever to see it!

    I have to say, I also have a real fascination with Native American customs/captivity stories. CML got my interest right away when I found what the storyline was about. And then I fell completely in love with Red Shirt for so many reasons. I was always a tad bit jealous of Morrow... :)

  2. He couldn't be a gunsmith?? I've read books in the CBA that are gunsmiths...

    I'm still looking! Not really sure *where* exactly, but I am. ;-)

    And I love that image! Oh my, what a lovely picture. Rose's Pledge must be book 2?

    Excited as always, Laura. :)

  3. Hi Laura! That photograph drew me in immediately! What planted the seeds . . . For my first book, it was a love of a certain SC beach and a dream about a inheritance. For the historical I'm working on now, it started with the love of a television show about a deaf FBI agent. What if no one knows she's deaf, because she reads lips so well?

    Can't wait for your next book to come out! I'm in withdrawal. ;)

  4. Do you have an expected release date??????

    Eagerly awaiting....

    Love, Erin

  5. Christina, Your comment is priceless:) Like you, I was a bit jealous of our Morrow. In fact, I would have run *TO* RS and not *AWAY* from him when he surprised her in the barn at first! It's so interesting to know what piqued your interest about CML. I always wonder how readers end up with my books!

    Brandon Hill is an amazing photographer/designer. I had an image of a frontiersman he did on this post and then somehow the image evaporated - Blogger is having issues this morning! If you or anyone have time to go to his website, he's done a very interesting video on shooting historical covers if anyone is interested. Just looking at his historical cover images over there is quite inspiring.

    Hope today is a blessed day for you! Thanks so much for being here:)

  6. So glad you're still looking, Casey! Yes, the gunsmith angle was a bit tricky though Pennsylvania, my new setting, was the birthplace of the rifle. One of the major buyers of my books is anti-violence/gun (a religious group) and so out of deference to them I had my Silas switch trades. It wasn't hard to do, actually, and the book may be better for it in the end. HOpe so:)

    I think being a cover designer is a wonderful thing! Oh, to have gone to the photo shoot for Love's Reckoning! I only hope the images are as lovely as this one. But I've never been disappointed.

    Hope this is a stellar writing/reading/work day for you! BTW, finished the Susie book. WOW:)

  7. Ohhh, I read Rose's Pledge to review it, and it is WONDERFUL! I am so happy to hear that the same person is doing YOUR cover, because I LOVED RP's cover! I had not seen the back cover, because I had gotten an ebook, so when I saw the photo on FB, I went hmm...that looks kind of familiar! :)

    Thank you for sharing a little bit behind each of your novels. I have to say I am in the same boat of Christina B. and a little bit jealous of Morrow! ;) What a blessing BOOKS are, because when we have such dreams as I had growing up (er....marrying a 'mountain man' someday...or a Native it is what calms those dreams and gives me a gift in the form of imagination. Yet, Christ gave us that creativity, and may we always desire to glorify Him IN it!

    Now, to answer your question...the work I just finished was inspired by C.S. Lewis (The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe). It came to me early on a summer's day and I did not get to really hash it out until November. The other, which I began before the one I completed (does that make sense???!!), was inspired by a short story I wrote my sophomore year in high school. Oh, I've written a many short stories over the years, but managed, so far, to beat 10,000 out of this one, which takes place during WW2 and shortly thereafter. I have spent DAYS of research on it, which was exciting to do! I can't WAIT to keep working on this one, but it has to wait, because my finished one is the first in a series. I NEED MORE TIME TO MY DAY!!!

    Something on my heart- as much as I WANT to write a novel about the love between a Native American and a "white" woman, I don't think I will ever. Although I had an emphasis in Native American culture during my college years with my anthropology degree, I am not sure I am going to go there. Partly because of CML- it was truly the book I wished to write. Partly because I think I'd get too emotional and not last a single sentence without bawling my eyes out. I think shall read those for now, and maybe, just maybe, God will deliver a book to me just as my heart desires, in that setting. Nonetheless, I am content with the words He's given me, and my sincere prayer is that whether or not they find themselves on bookshelves, my stories will inspire others in their faith.

    Many blessings to you, dear Laura, for I always see this blog as one that has a heart for readers, and what a wonderful thing that is for us fans of yours! Thank YOU! ~AMY

  8. Regina,
    Oh, so love hearing about your WIP(s)!! I'm with you about the SC beach. That sounds heavenly right now in the depths of January:) And I LOVE your premise about the deaf heroine. So much possibility there! I once took college classes to be a deaf interpreter but then life took another turn so have always had a fascination for that. I love sitting in my granny's Kentucky church behind the interpreter and watching her lovely hands.

    Oh, so happy you're in "withdrawal." Love that word! It's wonderful to see you here. My prayers are with you as you write and all else...

  9. Oh wow what a great question Laura! I'm by no means a writer, for some reason I just don't have the ability to get the stories in my head down on paper but I DO have some great inspiration for settings. The area I live is pretty rich in history, in fact George Washington was the owner of the Grist Mill that's just feet from my house and there's an old Quaker Church and cemetery about 2 miles from my house that just begs for a story. I always thought if I ever learned to flesh out my stories so to speak I'd have to have some small-town set tales. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.
    p.s. still looking for that cover of yours, it's being rather elusive I'm afraid. :-P

  10. Oh, Erin, you ask the best questions!! Release date is officially September 2012 BUT this means the book will be out mid-August. So about the same time as all my previous books. I really wish I could write more than one book a year but it's quite challenging with a family. I SO dislike waits between books!! Thanks for being there, my Kentucky friend:)

  11. Amy, One of the things I love most about blogging is learning more about you readers! For instance, I didn't have a clue you had that particular background in college. It makes so much sense that you love CML like you do, same as me:) You're right, if the Lord gives you that sort of story to write, it will happen in His good time.

    Your WW2 story sounds very interesting and that is such a popular genre right now, maybe because we're wanting to remember the sacrifices made by our grandfathers, etc. And if Lewis is the impetus behind anything you write, nothing could be finer. I'm such a fan of his and can't wait to meet him in heaven:) I have no doubt he'll still be writing...

    What most readers don't know but you'll appreciate is that the first draft of CML had Morrow going to RS's Shawnee camp and falling in love with the life there. However, RS had an evil brother called Talks About Him who created all sorts of problems for Morrow and everyone else. In the end he betrayed RS and turned Morrow over to Ezekial Click and the whites. The story was about 600 pages then and I had to cry, "CUT!" But I love the original still...

    Blessings on you and your writing today - and those little ones. More time will come as they get older. I'm living proof:)

  12. Regina and Laura- guess what my mother does? She's an interpreter. I shamefully say I do NOT know sign language myself, but my MOTHER is the sweetest interpreter I know. She works in the school system, and has been God's light for the student she's worked for years for. She used her gift in the church for years, but God has called her to use her music ministry instead for now in the church setting. It is exciting to see more in books regarding deafness- I think God can use that magnificently in your book! ~AMY

  13. Renee, I'm SO thankful the Lord made you a blogger/reviewer and not a novelist;) You would be missed! And I just KNEW you were hunting for that cover. Not a word more about it lately either but I'm expecting at least a proof or template to pop up any day...

    Your area of PA is one of the most historically rich places I've ever been and one I could just wallow in:) And would you believe, because of a previous gristmill comment by you, I now have a gristmill in book 2, thanks to you! It works well and serves a very important function for the plot - but no spoilers!! I've always found them fascinating and the fact that George owned yours - oh my! There's even a Quaker church and cemetery in LR so I guess, my friend, we are on the same page with all that! When I was in PA last summer, I fell in love with all the stone houses and Quaker hx...

    You'd probably be a very good short story writer. Just a thought!

  14. Laura, I would love to hear more about what the descendants of captives have had to say--about your books and their own histories.

  15. That's a real tease for your cover, Laura. If it also has that feel to it, I'm sure it will be lovely. I like his vision.

    What a great idea to post your inspirations for your books. Sometimes it's hard, for those books that have been with me so long (my own, I'm talking about now) to even remember what was the initial inspiration. Sometimes they creep up on you. I'll have to be sure and jot mine down somewhere, from now on.

    I just finished a book about Daniel Boone and along the way learned a lot about Jemima too. I can see how she was an inspiration for Lael (and had I known about her as a child, no doubt I'd have been playing Jemima in a bonnet as well!).

    I'm currently building a cast of characters for a new work, in the very early stages, being delighted and sometimes mystified as characters come popping up to take their places on stage. It does feel a little daunting at first, when the cast keeps expanding. It's like (for us introverts) walking into a party where I'm only acquainted with a couple of people. The rest are strangers, but they've all stopped their conversations to turn and look at me expectantly.

  16. Amy! You said it so well - your mom has a gift as that is just what it is! It's NOT easy to do, at least for me. I'm afraid those classes were among the most challenging I ever took. It's wonderful to hear how she's using that as it is certainly a needed ministry - one that is beautiful and practical and moving. She's leaving a wonderful legacy - and now I know how you came by your gift of music:) Bless you for this!

  17. I'm with Sandy, I'd love to hear more of what descendents of captives have had to say about your books, if that's something you can share, in a general sense. Did that make sense? :)

  18. Sandy, I smiled when you poppped up:) Given your love of history and your recent research trip, I was reminded of how you love this sort of thing, same as me.

    I've received several letters from descendants but the two that stand out in my mind as being most memorable (other than the ones from the Boone family themselves) are the ones I fell in love with through research and actually used in my books. For example, I recently heard from a direct des. of Chloe Flinn who was captured at age 4 by Shawnee. At the time her father was mending fence and the children and their mother were at home in the cabin which the Indians set on fire. This occured in (W) Virginia in the fall of 1786. Her mother died in captivity, her little brother was traded, and her sister married within the tribe and carried a child out of captivity years later. Chloe herself was rescued by Daniel Boone and returned to her white life. In the orginial of TFD, I had a thread about Chloe being rescued and brought to the fort where she was cared for by Lael and Ma Horn. This was, sadly, lost when I edited.

    Another fascinating letter was from a des. of the Ruddell brothers who were taken by Shawnee at a young age. One came to love the Indians though he later gained his freedom and became a Baptist preacher. The other brother hated them and caused many problems for them. Both knew Tecumseh and were involved in his history and the history of Ohio.

    The wonderful thing about hearing from these descendants is that they tell "the rest of the story," not always found in history books.

    The most heartwarming thing is that they tell me they find my books historically accurate, based on their own research/genealogy/family history and a reminder of their rich heritage. I'm so thankful for that:)

  19. Lori, I'm so glad to see interest hear about those descendant's letters. I never dreamed I'd hear from them or that somehow they'd find my books. Kudos to Revell's marketing team for getting the word out...

    That's a wonderful description of creating a novel at first and meeting those characters! I hope you do a blog post on that:) So true for us introverts, yes! I'll always be a little bowled over (well, a lot, actually) by characters you DIDN'T create who stubbornly appear, like David Greathouse in LR. Only you know the significance of that. He just strode on stage and the rest of the book fell into place - so not according to the orignal plan! That's the beauty of writing, I guess, especially being a panster, is being open to befriending those you wouldn't have given a second glance otherwise;)

    I am wondering if you've read Robert Morgan's book on Boone. I think it's my favorite Boone book though I tend to love them all. Your comments on Jemima made me think of him and that particular book. You know, Jemima was rumored to NOT be Boone's but his brother, Ned's. That was the thread of Ransom and Neddy in TFD. And what a fun thread that was!

    Praying you're having a good writing day today! Love hearing about your work...

  20. OH MY! Typos abound! You all have generated such excited my fingers can't keep up:) Pardon!

  21. Oh, so much to comment on!
    Thank you for posting about how your books started! I loved reading it! I am now even more excited to read “Loves Reckoning” since you shared a bit of the history included! My mind is trying to connect the details I know, but I’m sure it will be above my ponderings.

    You said you like to know how readers came to read your books. I must have seen “The Frontiersman’s Daughter” in a CBD magazine. After longing to read it, I choose to wait for our summer vacation to SC (2010). I started it as we drove through KY. Wow! So real, I could keep writing here! I would not put the book down. We got to SC, but I kept reading – a day in the hammock and a few nights up until 2:30am. Good memories (sigh) and my fingers are reaching for it to read again. So of course, I had to read more of your books and fall in love with each one!

    C.S. Lewis. I wouldn’t be able to say enough about the skills God gave him. During the school year 10 – 11, I taught a small group for middle school kids in my church. The theme was symbols in “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”. It was great and even I learned so much more than I thought I would.

    Sign Language. I know how to sign, but I haven’t learned it as a language. Let’s say I can’t communicate with it. What I can do with it, is sign songs. I choose a Christian song and sign the words. It adds more depth to the words and is a beautiful act of worship.
    Ok, I’ll stop writing now

  22. Lovely to get to spend some time with you here today, Laura. I enjoyed your post, as well as taking a peek at the front and back cover of the book you mentioned. It's beautiful, and gives a little glimpse into how beautiful the cover of "Love's Reckoning" will be, since it's the same designer. : )

    Have a blessed day!
    Love & Prayers,

  23. Ok, now I'm dying to read the "uncut" version of CML! What you've described sounds so wonderful and I'd be more than happy to read all 600 pages. Darn those silly editors. :) It would be so lovely if Revell would one day let you re-release a longer version for us die hard fans.

    Kind of like the director's cut version of a film...

    And perhaps a sequel with Red Shirt and Morrow's descendents. Sigh. Can you tell I'm more than slightly infatuated with this book? :)

  24. Christina, Oh, YES! An uncut version:) That's dear to this author's heart if not the editor! I've had two computer crashes since the CML cuts but managed to save them in hard copy. I have so much ppwk and believe the story is in an antique dresser in our garage. RIP;)

    I was approached recently by 2 historical authors to do a novella using past characters. The idea is so appealing and I was sad to turn it down but my schedule is so loaded I knew I couldn't give it the attention it deserved. I would love to continue Jess's story (Morrow's brother, to those of you who are fuzzy about this) and also RS and Morrow's children. There was a sequel of TFD, too, but I'd better not get into that!

    Thanks so much for the fun discussion here today! Makes a rainy Monday so much nicer:)

  25. Jennie, Thanks for your wonderful comments! I feel so strongly that signing hymns and Christian songs is truly an act of worship like you said. It's just beautiful to watch and I never get tired of doing so. I think being able to do that would be so meaningful! Strangely enough, learned the signing alphabet in grade school and can still do it! But I can't read it when anyone else signs for me, sadly. I am sign-challenged, for sure!

    I'm thrilled to learn you met Lael on vacation and cruising through KY:) Woo-hoo! That hammock time sounds heavenly, as is the stay-up- late reading time. I love when a book grabs me and makes me want to skip some sleep! I just finished one that was like that and am ready for another.

    So happy you're a Lewis fan. I imagine, teaching it like you did (my fav of his is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) opens your eyes to many new things. He was so deep and wrote such layered stories that I think you could mine them repeatedly and learn new things. I'm sure the kids loved it!

    Hope Love's Reckoning delights your reading heart:) It was a joy to write though it's very different than the first 3. Can't wait to show you that cover when it gets here. Bless you for being here and brightening the day!

  26. Michelle, Thinking of you today and wondering if you're teaching! Or baking! Do I have a cake recipe for you! I'm going to post it here for Valentine's Day, maybe before. With you in mind, of course:)

    I love this image, too. So much in fact that I wish it had been for LR! Only my heroine, bless her, isn't a blonde though they have the colonial costume right. Would love if my hero appeared in profile on the back cover in a similar portrait like this. We will see...:) Thinking of you today and always.

  27. Mmmm . . . looking forward to that cake recipe! : )

    My kiddos just went back to school today. No teaching for me today, but I may squeeze in some baking a little later.

    Just doing a little bit of "this and that" today. Enjoying the quiet, and getting ready to do some reading.

    Thank you for thinking of me! (((HUGS)))

  28. Ooo I'll be looking for that grist mill and Quaker church!! Don't worry if I ever decided to write a book I'd definitely still keep the blog.
    Too bad you couldn't do that novella b/c I would definitely read it!!! If you ever have the time I say go for it even if it's a few years in the future b/c all of us who love Morrow and Red Shirt would be willing to wait that long. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  29. I am DYING to see the cover to your upcoming release! I am not trying to wish the year away but oh I am excited! :)

  30. Someday (it's one of my dreams) I would love to be a model on the cover of a book, or even just sit in on a shoot. Jamie Carie's video was so close to being that, but it would be such fun to be LIVE!

    Oh and btw, I received your very lovely card in the mail and have it on my writing desk--I smile when I see it. Thank you so much! It made my day so very special. :)

  31. Ruth, Here's hoping the both of us give a HUGE woot when that cover appears and you can hear me clear to TN;) I'm a bit on pins and needles! But always pray...

    So happy your're there and such a huge support. Whatever would I do without you...?!

  32. Casey,
    Wasn't Jamie's cover shoot a dream? She said she cried through it and I nearly cried right along with her the first time I saw it. Very well done, moving, and a true glimpse of how the process works. So creative! The music was wonderful, too.

    Glad that little card is at home on your writing desk. Can't think of a better place for it to be:)

  33. Hi Laura! Thanks for sharing your inspirations! How disappointing that they wouldn't let your LR hero be a gunsmith! I'm telling you, there's something wrong with the world these days. :-S

    "For the Sake of One Lost" is the book that I'm querying. It's a time travel romance I began at seventeen. (Back then it was little more than a shallow adventure story). In 2008, I began to re-write it around the theme of taking up one's cross, and surrendering one's expectations of life in order to serve and please the Lord. At the time, an in-law was living with me and my husband, and doing everything they could to destroy our marriage. On top of that, our house was in foreclosure. It was a very painful year, and I think I poured more of my heart into this book than I have any other.

    "The Way of Impressions", my current WIP, was inspired by a desire to show how easy and dangerous deception is. This is the first time I've attempted to write about people who actually lived. I'm a little nervous about it because the story line is fictional, and one of my hero's descendants (the 11th Marquess of Sligo) is still living.

  34. Hi Jennie- Signing songs is so meaningful, so tender to see....what a gift you give others through that! I have seen several different ladies sign songs for church services, and each one, in their own unique way, shared God's love with such awesome clarity.

    I love reading the conversations here. You learn so much! And Laura, my jaw dropped to the floor when you begun to tell us about the 600 page story you had with CML! I DEMAND a RE-RELEASE! LOL! That just!!!!

  35. Laura, it is Robert Morgan's book on Boone. I bought my own copy and it is chock full of post it notes. I may never write about Boone, but I sure learned a lot about the kind of man he was, the kind of men I like to write about too. Morgan included such wonderful detail, bits of which I'd never come across in all my years of frontier research. So, anyone interested in learning more about Daniel Boone really should check out Robert Morgan's book, BOONE, A BIOGRAPHY. Because of it I know exactly who Cloe Flinn is. I was also very taken with her story, or the bit of it included in this book.

    I now have books on the French & Indian War and more of the Rev War to wade through, to be sure this new story has wings. I hope it will fly.

  36. I am actually working on two novels both still extreme works in progress. One that actually has a few chapters is set in the present time about sisters who find their way back to their home town. Naturally set in Kentucky in a fictional town based a couple of towns that I spent my childhood summers in.

    The other novel in progress is a historical novel set in Kentucky I just haven't figured out the time period I want to set it in. I was thinking I would either have set during the Civil War. Or I was also thinking of sitting the novel around the time the Frontier Nursing service got started.

  37. Great post Laura. I checked out the link to Mr. Hill's photos, thanks for sharing.

    Inspiration behind my stories? Hmmm.
    Book 1, I'd have to say was inspired by the childless Amish couple who mentored my husband and his mom when they were in a time and place that needed the stability of steady friendship--this kind that takes the time to share every day life with you. Katie and Henry were an influence that truly touched our lives for the good. But, it's not an Amish book, only based on their character.

    Book 2, I'd have to say is more inspired by my own story of finding my way as a nurse practitioner and the doubts that creep in when we are placed in a new role that pushes us out of our comfort zone.

    But, overall, I'm in love with history. I firmly believe our roots shape us. The past casts a light on the future.

  38. Carissa, I wasn't sure if you were writing but now I know and am SO glad! Given your nursing background, the one story would be a perfect fit. But the one about sisters in a small town is very appealing, too. Aren't I a big help? I like them both! For some reason I'm reminded of the latest Kentucky story by Lynn Austin called Wonderland Creek. It's set in KY and has to do with the start of rural libraries during the depression era in eastern KY. My kind of book - only I haven't read it yet.

    With your graduation coming up, you may have more writing time. Hope so. I love hearing about what you're doing nursing-wise and writing-wise. Praying this semester is your best yet!

  39. Gwen, Truly, morphing my Silas into something else was a bit painful - and then I had to change his last name as it had already been used in the CBA in another series, one I didn't know about but was big! Before publishing, I never realized the things that could pop up to block creativity;)

    Love hearing about your stories. I will do a shameless plug and say how much I enjoy your one blog where you share excerpts of your WIP!! That is brave and exciting and you have some faithful readers over there:)

    Your titles are so interesting for both works. Knowing the heartache behind the one book reminds me that so much of my own writing has been a blessed escape from heartache and things beyond my control. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. Based on my own experience, the Lord has used the past to strengthen me and help others and I know He'll do the same for you. A lot of my angst comes out in my books, if you can't tell. I sense the same about you when you say your heart is so wrapped up in the one book. I'm sure it's all the better for that!

    Oh, the Marquess of Sligo got my attention:) Love anything with a title and that kind of hx!! Makes me a fan already...

    Thanks so much for such great comments. They really do make my day! Praying for you, too.

  40. Anne, Thx for taking the time to check out Hill's work. He really is very talented and versatile - some of his contemp covers made me laugh out loud:) I'm all for historical drama and angst though...

    The impetus behind your first story is fascinating as it stems from personal experience. I've often found that the best novels are often reality-based like you've described here (am thinking of the pheonom "The Help"). Makes me want to climb right into Katie and Henry's world! Even the little glimpse you've shared here about that rare friendship intrigues me so much. And I love learning you have NP roots:) Somehow that just fits with what I know about you.

    Beautiful what you said at the last about history. So true. Amen to that.

  41. LOL! Guess most everyone wants the sprawling, uncut, let it all hang out version of CML:) Bless you for that...

  42. This is such a beautiful image! I love the color and look of it. I cant wait to see your cover, this is always so exciting! I know its supposed to be different from the others. I'm so glad you're doing a trilogy and we wont have to say goodbye to the characters once and for all after one book is done. I cant wait! Im also curious to see what kind of work your hero does...hmm...perhaps something to do with horses? Or a mason? Something that gets him in the middle of the action, I'm sure!

  43. Heather, I wondered if this photo would be up your alley:) You have a flair for this sort of thing - and a love of old photographs, like me. I sure hope you like my hero's occupation! Gunsmith was somehow a bit more dangerous and romantic but alas...

    And I have good news - this is a 4 book series so you'll have one more thrown in for good measure though I've had readers tell me they won't read any till the last one is out, just collect them and wait. Now that's patience!

    I hope your own creativity is soaring this cold January. I had some buzz about an art show you're in:) Huge congrats on that!!

  44. Four in the series is DIVINE NEWS! Thanks for that information! HEHE! Although, don't count me in to be one of the readers who waits until the entire series is released before I begin reading!

    I feel like a blog stalker! Since Laura mentioned Heather's art I went over to HER blog and checked it out. LOVE IT! I noticed also, Laura, that HEATHER was published in Artful Blogging, one of those magazines I told you about! How neat is that?!?!! ~AMY

  45. Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin is wonderful book if you get a chance to read it. The author did a great job with the research and writing the novel.

  46. My first novel, The Memory of Drowning, came about because my very first childhood memory is of nearly drowning when I was four. I alwasy marveled that the memory wasn't scary or unpleasant. Parts of it are actually nice! That got me thinking and then writing.

  47. It's worth reading through comment after comment! 4 Books!!! This must be a big step! Good for you, Laura!

    Thank you Laura and Sweet Peripety for your sweet comments about signing to music. It's all for God's glory alone.

  48. LOL about the blog stalking, dear Amy:) I've felt like that a time or two myself. Isn't our Heather amazing!? And she's in one of the magazines you like so much!!! I'm not surprised...

    I'm very happy to know you aren't one of the readers who will wait to read all 4 books back to back! Love the "divine" word. I sure hope they're worth the wait!

  49. Carissa, If you like WC then I know I will. I'm always hestitant to read a book about KY from a non-native but Austin is such a stellar writer I don't think she could go wrong. Thanks for telling me you enjoyed it so much! I will read now:)

  50. Sarah, That's one of the most fascinating things I've ever heard! I remembered your title as it's so distinct/unusual but had no idea it was based on personal experience, something that's been touched upon here. Well, I, for one, am glad you didn't expire at age 4!

    You may remember I had that near-drowning experience for Morrow in CML. She was terrified which may or may not be realistic given what you've shared here. On the other hand, adults associate water with danger oftentimes and children may not have that same fear. I'm guessing you loved the water then and maybe now. Very interesting to think about...

    Like we've said here, the best stories seem to stem from actual experience. I'm sure yours is no exception:)

  51. Jennie, Now I'll always think of you signing:) That's such a lovely thing to know.

    And yes, you do understand about those 4 books. A leap of faith it was! If you only knew... Bless you for checking back in and enjoying our discussion here. I enjoy all the comments so much, too.

  52. Lovely post and looking forward to your next book. I suspect I know his new profession but I won't say.

  53. Carrie, Thx for keeping it under your bonnet;) You DO know as your link to CW was so helpful in researching. I am so curious as to waht you'll say about this particular book. Lael might be mystified!!