Monday, May 6, 2013

Featured Author Interview: Lauraine Snelling

Lauraine Snelling is a member of the more than Two Million Books In Print club, but when she first began, she was a mother of three teenagers with a simple dream to write “horse books for kids.” 

Writing about real issues within a compelling story is a hallmark of Lauraine’s style. She also writes for a wide range of magazines and teaches at writers' conferences across the country.

All told, she has over 70 books published, consistently appearing on CBA bestseller lists and frequently featured in the Crossings Book Club.

The following is a May 2013 interview with Lauraine.

Tell us a little about yourself. 

Life is getting more exciting and mind-blowing all the time. I dreamed of writing horse stories for girls until my 40's when God put his foot in the middle of my back and said NOW.  I attended the Warner Pacific writers conference in 1980 and I've never looked back. I was and am where God wants me to be. What an adventure.  

I wrote horse books -- Tragedy on the Toutle started it and went on to add in adult romances, then historical novels, which I told God I was not going to write. He laughed and I've been writing them ever since.  I got to add contemporary women's fiction -- by the way this is all in the Christian/inspiration market.

I tried everything in the beginning,  articles, short stories, devotions, newspaper, magazine, advertising, plays, even a tiny bit of poetry and non fiction books. But I LOVE fiction the most.

I lived in Washington State when started and we are now in California. I am privileged to be the mother of three children, one of whom, Marie, is now waiting for us to join her in heaven. I am married to the same man, Wayne, in spite of how many times we've tried to finish off the relationship.  Isn't our God the most amazing?  He loves us so much.

I love horses, you'll see that in my writing, animals of all kinds, people, gardening, all needlework, painting -- one of my latest dreams God is allowing me to have fun with.  I LOVE laughter and hugs and Jesus, not necessarily in that order.

How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write? 

I sort of answered that in the above.  1982 my first novel came out.  I wrote my first story in grade school. I found a copy of it in my Mother's things after she died. I had no idea I had started that soon... I thought high school.  Like my love of horses, it never went away. Thank you, Lord God.

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

We can tell our stories knowing that God is going to use them in the way He desires. But that is true of everything we as His children write.  Stories are truth because HE created us that way. We can trust that.  Since He gives us our stories, we know this to be true. He never makes junk.  I know people would like to argue with me on this, but, oh well.  I write what I know. And you do too.  SOOOOO Christian fiction will change lives. Isn't that an awe striking thing?

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

With joy, delight and perhaps a tear or two and laughter.

What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

Those that say that -- and there have been many -- they say my stories changed their lives, but we know that God did that.  He uses what we write for His purpose. Such peace we have with that promise. His word will not come back void.

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

He feeds me in this way because He created me this way and knows what I need and will use the best. So, in spite of me, I love Him more every day and He blows my mind.  I want to write the best I can and keep getting better.

Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life? 

See above.  I have been praying for a goal bigger than me and I think I got a glimpse of it today.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Read, garden, paint, write, Facebook and gee, maybe someday I'll even enjoy cleaning house. You think He will take this adventure even that far? Or make me organized?  Woohoo. Who knows?

What can you tell us about your latest novels? 

They are done?  Thank you Lord for that. I finished the Wild West Series with A Place to Belong. How I love Cassie and her story set in South Dakota in early 1900's. It just came out.

Reunion which included part of my life -- not that all books don't, this one just more detailed -- is the word I guess.  Set in Minnesota, a family learns the horrors of secrets and what they can continue to do to mess up lives.

I also get to write with a partner our kid's series called S.A.V.E. Squad, where 12 year old girls rescue various animals.  Book three in the series just came out, Second Hand Horses. Kids and older folks too are loving them. They make this author and her partner Kathleen Wright, laugh when we read them too. Still.

I have written 75 books I think, you can see numbers are not my best friends. But I am soooo grateful I get to write.  Oh and I got to write another novella too [included in A Prairie Christmas Collection], out next Christmas. Another of my favorite things.

Valley of Dreams (Wild West Wind #1)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

Whispers in the Wind (Wild West Wind #2)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

A Place to Belong (Wild West Wind #3)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

Dog Daze (S.A.V.E. Squad #1)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

The Great Cat Caper (S.A.V.E. Squad #2)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

Secondhand Horses (S.A.V.E. Squad #3)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

No Ordinary Owl (S.A.V.E. Squad #4)

What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

This summer will bring Wake the Dawn, my border patrol story that came about in the most unusual way. God is like that, surprises us about the time we think we have something figured out.

National bestselling author Lauraine Snelling brings a small mountain town to thrilling life when a natural disaster threatens to destroy lives. 

U.S. Border Patrol agent Ben James' life is in tatters. A tragic accident stole the love of his life and he never finished grieving. Turning to the bottle for support, he lost sight of what was important. While making his last patrol run before a storm rolls in, Ben's canine partner Bo finds an abandoned baby hidden in the woods. As Ben rushes the child to the only clinic in the area, the storm strikes with unexpected fury.

Esther Hanson runs a second-rate clinic in the small community of Pineville, Minnesota, on the Canadian border. Though she has fought for years to get the equipment she needs, the town refuses to approve the funding. When the unprecedented storm ravishes the area, cutting them off from all outside help, Esther struggles to help her patients without giving in to overwhelming emotions. The event triggers a long-suppressed memory, and Esther must come face to face with the reality of her past and learn to forgive herself. Brought together by the life of a child, Ben and Esther become each other's reason to change.

No Ordinary Owl [S.A.V.E. Squad #4] will come in the fall.

Oh and the big news! Ingeborg, my favorite character, both for me and my readers, lives in a town in North Dakota called Blessing. An Untamed Heart, a prequel to the other series about Blessing, called Red River series, will come out in October. Ingeborg is a young woman in this story that takes place in Norway before she emigrates to America in 1880.  What fun I have.

The Long-Awaited Prequel to the RED RIVER OF THE NORTH Series

Eighteen-year-old Ingeborg Strand is certain she is destined to be an old maid. She's had several suitors but none she deemed worthy of spending her life with. That is, until she meets a university student from Oslo, and feelings stronger than friendship begin to develop between them. But tragedy strikes, and the future begins to look bleaker than ever.

Grief settles heavily over Ingeborg, and her mother suggests that she leave Norway and start afresh in America, as so many others have done before her. But how will she accomplish that with little money and no one to accompany her?

It isn't long before she meets Roald Bjorklund, a widower who has been planning to go to America for some time, lured by the promise of free land. He's a good man, a hard-working man--and he has a young son who desperately needs a mother. He's clearly interested in Ingeborg, but is he the answer to her prayers? And what about love? This isn't how she's always imagined it.

Ingeborg Strand has a heartrending decision to make...

Wake the Dawn
[Pre-Order: | Amazon Kindle]

An Untamed Heart (Red River of the North Prequel)
[Pre-Order: | Amazon Kindle]

A Prairie Christmas Collection
[Pre-Order: | Amazon Kindle]

What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

The same as I say to all my readers, all over the world -- welcome to the adventure. Hope you have as much fun reading this as I had writing it.  Blessings and Hugs. I am so blessed with and by my readers. Can you believe all over the world?  Blows me away.

Do you have any parting words?

See above.  Thank you for allowing me to write this on a "walking on water" day.  May you be blessed with all the hugs and laughter you want and need. Oh, and happy reading.

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