Hillary Lodge: Thanks for joining in on the blog today, Becky! Share with us about your most recent release, Meant to be Mine.
Ty and Celia marry in a Las Vegas wedding chapel after a whirlwind romance. He
realizes the next morning that he's made a mistake. They part ways. The story picks up more than five years later, when Ty tracks Celia down in search of a divorce. He discovers that he — they — have a child he knew nothing about.
Like all my books, Meant to Be Mine is a wry, modern (hopefully heartwarming) love story with a faith story woven through.
HL: In Meant to Be Mine, Celia dreams of owning a pastry shop. What inspired her love for baking?
BW: My love for pastry. Unlike Celia, I'm not a very good cook or baker. Even so, I have a tremendous sweet tooth. My sisters and husband make fun of me because I'm always willing to splurge on desserts. My thinking goes something like, "We had frozen yogurt a whole hour ago. I think enough time has passed to treat ourselves to cookies!" or "Oh! A bakery! I’m suddenly hungry for a scone."
HL: I cannot relate to the at all. At. All. (Brushes crumbs off self.) What was your favorite part of Ty and Celia's journey?
BW: Something painful happens to Ty more than a third of the way into the story. My favorite part: the conversation he has with Celia afterward, when he realizes that she brings him calm and peace.
BW: In general, I'm drawn to larger than life characters. In all my books, one of my characters is larger than life. Matt (from My Stubborn Heart) was a great pro hockey player. Meg (from Undeniably Yours) was an heiress who inherited a mind-boggling fortune. Ty (from Meant to Be Mine) was a famous bull rider. The manuscript I'll be starting this fall will star a pro football player.
I'm fascinated by people who are different in extraordinary ways. I'm interested in giving those people challenges and flaws and discovering how they handle them. Plus, it's fun for me as a writer to live in the shoes of someone who is amazingly talented, or famous, or wealthy. It's enjoyable to 'be them' in my imagination.
Athletes are especially attractive to me, and not just because of their fitness or
physical abilities (though those two things don't hurt). To become one of the best in the world at a sport you have to possess uncommon drive, focus, and competitiveness. Athletes are disciplined. They're willing to push their bodies through pain and I'm somewhat in awe of that.
HL: You've written for both the General and Christian markets. Other than the inclusion of faith elements in CBA, what other differences have you observed?
BW: Regarding CBA books: They're more likely to be set in small town America. Many of the novels are for an older reader. Many feature Amish characters. Many have a sort of slow sweetness to them, whereas ABA books (even straight romances without suspense) tend to be more fast-paced. The characters in CBA tend to be less flawed. Contemporary romance and speculative romance are both a smaller part of the market in the CBA than the ABA.
Regarding CBA publishers: I've only worked with one ABA publisher and one CBA publisher. I've found Bethany House to be very nurturing and supportive of their authors. When I first signed with Bethany, they flew me to their headquarters to meet the staff face-to-face!
HL: Let's chat writing process - what time of day do you write?
BW: I most like to write in the mid-morning when my kids are in school. The house is quiet and organized and I can concentrate! Creatively, late afternoon is also a good time for me. Typically, though, I'm carting my kids around town in the afternoon, which isn't ever-so-conducive to penning novels.
HL: What aspect of the publishing process do you find the most challenging?
BW: Writing the first one hundred pages of a new book. Even though I've done all kinds of character work by the time I begin Chapter One, I'm still getting to know each character's point of view for the first one hundred pages and so we feel a bit like strangers.
HL: What do you find the most rewarding?
BW: The writing of the final few chapters. By then, I'm completely immersed in the characters and their emotions. The stakes are high. Their love for each other is heady.
HL: Rumor has it your next book features Jake Porter. What can you tell readers about his story?
BW: My next book, A Love Like Ours, does indeed feature Jake Porter. (For those who haven't read my Porter books, Jake is a former Marine who struggles with PTSD. He's also a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer.)
A Love Like Ours begins when Lyndie James, the best friend of Jake's childhood, moves back to town. She's just as brave and optimistic as she ever was. Her way with horses is unchanged and so Jake hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds.
Like a lot of my readers, I'm a sucker for a wounded, brooding hero. Jake is definitely that and I did my best to squeeze every drop of angst and drama and love out of him that I could.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Shiloh. Can you share about your Cavy?
BW: I adore sharing about my Cavy! His name is Sam and he's a four year old male Tri-Color. He's unbelievably sweet, mellow, obedient, and affectionate. Before Sam, we'd only owned cats. My kids begged for a dog for years and my husband and I finally relented. Since I knew I'd be the dog's main caregiver, I figured I might as well get the kind of dog I wanted, so I got a Cavalier.
The kids are crazy about Sam, but to my surprise, I'm the one who loves him the most. He's my company and my writing companion and the one I cuddle with when I'm watching TV.
HL: He's adorable! I think Sam has more of a snout than Shiloh. I love the shot of Sam on the bed — I've seen Shiloh with that pose and expression often!
Thanks for stopping by, Becky, and for sharing photos of Sam!
~ Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Meant to Be Mine! Just mention your favorite baked good in the text of your comment. ~
Becky makes her home in Dallas, Texas with her husband, three children, and one adoring (and adored) cavalier spaniel. Her CBA debut, My Stubborn Heart, was a finalist in both the RITA and INSPY awards. Undeniably Yours kicked off her Texas-set Porter Family series and has received Inspirational Reader's Choice and Carol nominations. Her newest contemporary romance, Meant to Be Mine, released in May. To connect with Becky via social media and find out more about her books, visit beckywade.com.