Gabrielle Meyer’s Love Inspired Historical, A Mother in the Making, releases September 1st, 2016.
Be one of the first to read it by entering to win a hot-off-the-presses paperback copy below via the Rafflecopter link.
I had the pleasure of meeting Gabrielle recently at my first ever American Christian Fiction Writers meeting at our local chapter, MN NICE. And, by the way, I had sure been missing some great fellowship with some great people and talented writers! At the meeting, Gabrielle and I discovered we lived within 15-20 minutes of each other. We chatted about our central Minnesota home and her passion for setting her stories in the fascinating history of our state.
When I asked if she would be okay with me doing a book giveaway and Q & A on my website, she said, “That would be great!”
So, here we are, without further ado, the questions she was gracious enough to answer for this Nosy Nellie (yours truly):
1. Which of your stories has been your favorite to write, and why?
G: My favorite story to write is the one releasing in December from Love Inspired Historical called A Family Arrangement. It’s the first in the Little Falls Legacy series. It’s my favorite for a few reasons.
First, I have dreamed of writing this series of books since I was about nineteen-years-old when I worked at our local historical society. I discovered the history of my hometown and I wanted to write a series highlighting some of the true stories that took place here. A Family Arrangement is inspired by the people and events that formed Little Falls in the mid-1850’s.
Second, I love the hero and heroine, Abram and Charlotte. Every time I reread the story, I fall in love with them all over again and I cheer for them until they reach their happily-ever-after. I never tire of their story. I was sad to leave them behind when I started my next one. If any two characters should be together, it’s these two.
And, third, I had so much fun creating the cast of characters who fill the pages, including Abram’s three adorable sons, and a handsome circuit pastor who almost steals the heroine’s heart, and in the process earned a place as the hero in the third book (yet to be written!).
2. When did you first know you wanted to become a writer?
G: There are three things that stand out to me when people ask this question. I was about nine or ten when I started dreaming about becoming a writer. First, I failed my fourth grade spelling! I was a horrible speller. My teacher told me I needed to read as many books as I possibly could, so I went to the school library and found my very first Babysitter’s Club Book. I was hooked! I read every chance I could get.
That same year, my teacher asked the class to write a story about something that had happened to us. I remember asking if it had to be a true story, or if I could make it up. She said I could write whatever I wanted—so that’s what I did. I made up an elaborate story about my best friend and me making mud pies when we were three-years-old. Again, it was that same year, when my older cousin wrote a story and read it to me. I remember being amazed that she could create such life-like characters, and that her story had moved me with amazing depth of emotion. I was also amazed that she had done this outside of school, just for fun. I went home and immediately began to create my own stories.
3. How has your life in Central MN influenced your writing and the stories you tell?
G: In every single way. Almost all of my stories are inspired by real people, places, and events in Minnesota history. I’m the fourth generation to call central Minnesota home, and my roots run deep here. Growing up, I read stories set all over the world, but I could never find a story set in central Minnesota. I want to bring this area, and its history, to life in my stories.
4. What can you tell us about your female lead in A Mother in the Making? What do you love about her? Is there anything that makes you want to shake some sense into her?
G: The heroine in A Mother in the Making is Marjorie Maren. Marjorie is young, vivacious, whimsical, and has a deep desire to be loved. She comes to Little Falls from Chicago, where she has just jilted the most eligible bachelor in town because he didn’t love her. She agrees to become a temporary nanny to Dr. John Orton’s children, though she’s never held a baby in her life and has no idea what she’s doing. She soon falls in love with the children and with their strong-willed father, yet she’s trying to find him a wife.
I love Marjorie because she has a big heart and wants what’s best for John and his children. She’s his complete opposite, and nothing like his first wife, but she is perfect for him. I also love that she creates a special bond with each of the children and truly loves them as much as she does their father.
There isn’t any time I want to shake some sense into her—but I do want to shake some sense into John on more than one occasion!
5. As an aspiring author, I just have to know, what was it like to get “the call” that your book would be published? And how did you celebrate?
G: A Mother in the Making was contracted from Love Inspired Historical through a contest called Blurb2Book. There were three rounds. The first was a hundred-word blurb and the first page. There were over three hundred and twenty entrants. In my division (historical), they narrowed it down to twenty authors who wrote the first three chapters and synopsis. After that, they narrowed it down to the top ten who had to write the full book in two months. Out of all of the entrants, they contracted seven authors (and one was mine).
It was a Thursday, and I was making an appointment for one of my children when I heard a text come through. It was my agent, Mary, asking if she could call. I said, ‘Yes!’ She called and said my story had been chosen, and then said the editor (Executive Editor Tina James) wanted to call me. Within a couple minutes, I was talking to the head editor at Love Inspired and I was in shock! They made the announcement online that very day and I that evening my hubby took me out to eat. It was a wonderful day.
6. Do you have any advice for those pursuing a dream of publishing their writing?
G: My best advice is to finish the story you’re working on and then move on to another. I know many writers who work on the same story for years, and never seem to progress on their journey. It’s the writer who finishes a story, moves to the next, finishes that story, and then moves on to the next that really learns the craft of writing. I had over 500,000 words written in fiction form before my first 20,000 words were ever published. On average, an author has two to three stories written before she gets her first contract.
7. Are there other authors that you look up to—that inspire you in your writing and/or Christian journey?
G: More than I could possibly mention. The Christian Fiction community is one of the most amazing groups of people I’ve ever met in my life. I’m especially blessed to have some of the best right here in Minnesota! Susan May Warren, Julie Klassen, Erica Vetsch, and Michelle Griep are just a handful. Outside Minnesota, some that inspire me are Laura Frantz, Jody Hedlund, Karen Witemeyer, Lauraine Snelling, Cynthia Ruchti, Lori Benton…I could go on and on all day!
8. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
G: I love being with my husband, David, and our four kiddos. We have two daughters who are twelve and ten, and twin boys who are six. We spend a lot of time in the water during the summer (we live on the banks of the Mississippi), and we homeschool the rest of the year. We travel, read books together, visit historic sites and museums, watch old movies, and spend time with extended family and friends. We’re involved in a great church and the kids are in a lot of activities year-round. Basketball is a family favorite.
9. What are you working on now?
G: Right now I’m working on my Spring 2017 Love Inspired Historical Novel. It will be my third Love Inspired Historical and the second in the Little Falls Legacy Series. It’s set in Little Falls in 1857 during the Little Falls War. There was a shootout in downtown Little Falls between a group of concerned citizens and a gang of “desperados” who had been gambling, breaking into stores and peddlers’ carts, and giving the justice of the peace a hard time (they actually tore down the justice’s shanty wall and pulled him out to beat him). The story is about a woman who travels to Little Falls from Rockford, Illinois to claim her inheritance: a hotel. When she arrives, she discovers her father had a business partner who owns fifty percent of the hotel, and the partner had no idea she was coming! Both try to get the other one to sell out, but they’re stubborn and refuse to budge. The heroine’s younger sister falls for one of the gang members, and the hero is entangled in the war to remove the desperados from town. It’s a fun story!
10. What should we look for next from you?
G: In December 2016, I’ll have two books releasing. One is A Family Arrangement (which I spoke about in question one), the first in the Little Falls Legacy series. The second book to release in December is a Barbour novella collection called Seven Brides for Seven Texans. The collection is set in Hartville, Texas and it’s about seven brothers who have been given an ultimatum from their father: either marry within the year, or lose their inheritance (their portion of the Seven Hart Ranch). Each story is written in chronological order, starting with mine called First Comes Love. There are seven authors in the collection and we had a blast writing together. It was quite a challenge, but the collection is so amazing, it was worth all the work!
Thank you, Gabrielle, for your thoughtful answers and indulging my curious musings! It is so cool to meet the person behind the pages. Blessings to you in all of your writing endeavors.
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Gabrielle Meyer lives on the banks of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing stories inspired by real people, events, and places. Her newest release, A Mother in the Making, is available in September wherever books are sold. Seven Brides for Seven Texans and A Family Arrangement will release in December. Gabrielle can be found on her website www.gabriellemeyer.com or her group blog www.coffeecupsandcamisoles.blogspot.com. She loves connecting with friends and readers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorGabrielleMeyer, on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/gabriellemeyer, and Instagram at www.instagram.com/gabrielle_meyer.
Sneak peek at the back cover for A Mother in the Making (used with permission):
Matchmaking with a Mission
Practical, steady, levelheaded: all qualities single father Dr. John Orton expects in both a governess and a wife. But his children’s temporary governess Miss Marjorie Maren seems set on finding him an impractical woman to love…despite his plans of marrying solely for convenience. Nothing could be more exasperating to the handsome widower—except his increasing interest in Marjorie.
Vivacious and fun-loving: that’s the kind of bride the reserved doctor needs. Before Marjorie leaves to pursue her acting dreams, she intends to match him with a suitable wife candidate. Yet growing affection for her four charges and their dashing father has awakened a new hope—that she might be his perfect bride. But can she convince her employer to take a chance on love and claim real happiness before it slips away?