1. How did you come up with the idea for Love Unfeigned?
Well, as a major point, I was inspired by my conviction that imperfect people can, should, and do experience perfect love. As a minor point, I was driven by my years of longing to one day publish a book with a lot of RED on the cover, red being my favorite color for the passion it represents. For the first time in my publishing life, I designed a book cover before I had a story or plot to go along with it. I only had a title, ideas for the cover, and a desire to write about love. Once I finished the cover, the story began to take form in my imagination, drawn from over twelve chronicled dreams, unrelated story bits I wrote with plots too incomplete to even be called “short stories,” and little nuggets from my personal history. What I weaved together from all of that became Love Unfeigned.
2. What are your top five romantic movies?
Oh, gracious! Only five? Well, in inaccurate order, I’m sure: Becoming Jane (Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy), A Walk to Remember (Mandy Moore, Shane West), Pride and Prejudice (Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth), The Young Victoria (Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend), and The Nativity Story (Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac.) The last one is a strange pick, I know, but if you’re not set on a smartphone era, American, or British kind of romantic timing and turnout, and you’re not relegating it down to a Christmastime-Jesus-in-a-manger story, Mary and Joseph play it together well with a quiet kind of beauty. (I mean, look at Joseph’s eyes, when he tells Mary, “You are my wife. That is all anyone need know,” and the way Mary looks at Joseph near the end, when she says she gets her strength from him. Goodness! Anywho.)
3. What are some of your favorite traits in a leading man?
Humanness, and becoming a better human being after what he’s learned.
4. What are some of your favorite traits in a leading woman?
Humanness, and becoming a better human being after what she’s learned.
5. Are you a crier when you read, and if so, what was the last book that brought tears to your eyes?
Yep–crier, here. The last book that made me teary? Probably Rilla of Ingleside, after my third time reading it, a few weeks ago.
6. What is the most difficult part of the writing/publishing process for you?
The most difficult part is being away from a manuscript while I’m in the process of writing it. Stopping to eat, sleep, and all that becomes such a niggling afterthought when I’m in the middle of an unfolding story.
7. What is the most rewarding part of the writing/publishing process for you?
Undoubtedly, when readers tell me how a book of mine has added something to their lives, whether it helped them to view a personal circumstance of theirs differently or if they enjoyed the book so much they inhaled it in a sitting or two. I love when my writing helps people.
8. What do you enjoy most about reading?
The classic “curling up” with a paper or hardback that has a select, bona fide bookish fragrance in its pages, and going someplace I’ve never been before, or returning to a place I’ve been before and loved. Nothing like it.
9. Who is the person you go to when you need a good pep talk?
More often than not, one of my siblings.
10. Without giving spoilers, what can you tell us about Love Unfeigned that is not in the synopsis?
I gave theatre a place in the story. Becoming a stage actress is one of my side-fancies that never turned into an actual goal I plan on pursuing, so, hey. Why couldn’t I let Lorraine take a crack at it for me instead?
Time for a short word game! I’ll start the sentence, and you finish it with the first thing that comes to mind:
(A) I am happiest when…
I’m writing, reading, watching a film, or spending a minute with a guy I’ve fallen in like with.
(B) I have always wanted to travel to…
no physical place in particular, on an “always” kind of basis, though lately I’ve thought it might be nice to see Prince Edward Island.
(C) The best way to relax is…
with a book, or with a film accompanied by a good plate of vittles.
(D) It is impossible not to smile when I see…
Japan’s finest actor, Hiroyuki Sanada, in The Last Samurai.
(E) Without a doubt, the best junk food is…
Breyers All-Natural Cookies & Cream ice cream. Another bowl, if you please.