Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Q&A with Charlotte Hubbard, HARVEST OF BLESSINGS

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
When you consider how many hours of most days I spend in my imagination, and how many story worlds I’ve created over the thirty years I’ve been a published writer, I’ve had hundreds of imaginary friends! Why, just in EMMA BLOOMS AT LAST, I’ve created twelve in the Brubaker bunch, four in Emma Graber’s family, eight in Abby Lambright’s family—not to mention the Yutzy clan, the Ropps, the Nissleys, the Masts, and other neighbors who have figured into this series over its four books.

And for each of the series (or stand-alone books) I’ve written, I’ve created a collage of pictures from magazines so I can keep better track of all these people and what they look like, sort of. Each time I begin a new book, or switch from writing a story in one Amish series to writing for the other one, I put the appropriate collage on the wall above my computer. Those imaginary friends keep me focused on whose story I’m telling, and remind me which world I’m living in as I write.

My mind’s a very busy, populated, exciting place! It sure beats dealing with reality full-time.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, but don’t tell Ramona she’s a dog! Does her nickname, “Ramona, Ruler of the Universe” clue you in to her place in the family . . . and to my place?

I have always had dogs (or rather, they have had me). When I was 9, I got a collie puppy in my Christmas stocking and Fluff lived until the week before I took my first teaching job, when I was 21! Shortly after Neal and I married, we had an Irish setter: beautiful dog, but Heidi was usually headed in the opposite direction at a full run whenever you called her.

Then we adopted a pound puppy, a border collie-mix we called Kelly. Wonderful dog—quite the Frisbee whiz—and she was way smarter than I was. Ramona also came from a shelter, and I found her on PetFinders.com. Soon as I saw that little black face with the white blaze, I knew I had to drive the two hours to the adoption event to claim her. Now she’s my office manager—herds me down to my office each day to supervise me while I write.

Where do you get your best ideas?
Ideas come at me from a lot of places—research, visiting towns/homes like the ones I’m writing about, newspaper pieces sometimes. For these Amish stories, I often get nuggets from The Budget, the newspaper for/about Amish and Mennonite settlements all over the country. Mostly, ideas come at me from the ether, out of nowhere, and it’s my job to filter out the ones that won’t flesh out into book material, or just won’t sell to an editor.

The better question is when do I get my ideas, because quite often whole chunks of dialog and sections of a story will fall into place when I’m in that semi-awake state that happens when you wake up at 3 in the morning and can’t doze off again. A lot of times, characters in my series generate backstory and help me concoct other people in their families to write about. Family “secrets” are also a great source for story lines!

The tranquil little town of Willow Ridge is facing a startling challenge. Wealthy Nora Glick Landwehr is determined to make it her home again—and put her past to rest. Cast out by her own family, Nora can’t reconcile with Old Amish ways or her strict father. But she’ll do anything to help her community embrace the future . . . and make amends to the daughter she had to give up.

She certainly has no time for her reckless new neighbor Luke Hooley. They disagree about almost everything. And how can she trust him if he always seems to believe the worst about her? Somehow, though, his unexpected support and passionate heart are helping her find her own way in faith. And Nora will discover that even in the face of insidious lies and unyielding judgment, God creates unexpected chances for forgiveness—and love.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz Hooley, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.

Seasons of the Heart, Book 5
Zebra (February 24, 2015)
ISBN-13: 9781420133097 •• ISBN-10: 1420133098

Click on these links to buy this book now!
The Book Depository •• Amazon •• Barnes & Noble
B-A-M •• Chapters •• IndieBound •• Powell’s •• Kensington Books
Ebook: • Kensington Books •• Kindle •• Kobo •• iBooks

Facebook page =  Charlotte.Hubbard1

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better the chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/01/virtual-book-tour-harvest-of-blessings.html

a Rafflecopter giveaway