Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blogside Chat | Robin Lee Hatcher

I recently read Belonging and Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher. How in the world am I just now discovering her?! If you're a fan of historical fiction, I think you'll really enjoy these books! Robin was gracious enough to stop by and chat about her latest novel Heart of Gold today. Give her a warm welcome!

i blog 4 books: Robin, thanks so much for stopping by! For any readers who might not be familiar with you, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Robin Lee Hatcher: I'm the author of 65 books (to date). I began my writing career in the general mass market (30 releases), but I answered God's call to write for Him in 1997. My first Christian novel, The Forgiving Hour, was released in February 1999. I'm a native Idahoan, and I love everything about my state which is why most of my books are set here. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma (the latter being one of the coolest things to "be" that was ever invented). In my spare time, I like to spoil my dog and cat, take rides on my bike along the Boise River Greenbelt, and knit prayer shawls and funky scarves.

ib4b: Give us a little background on your latest novel.
RLH: My latest novel is Heart of Gold, which officially released on Valentine's Day 2012. It is set in the Boise Basin (the mountains north of Boise) in a gold rush town called Grand Coeur in 1864. Spoiled and headstrong, Shannon, the heroine, is a displaced Virginian and an ardent supporter of her beloved South. The hero, Matthew, is one of the best stagecoach drivers west of the Mississippi, but he has been forced to settle down, at least temporarily, while he cares for his ailing sister and her son. What neither of them knows is that God is at work behind the scenes and is lovingly bringing them together to discover the true desires of their hearts.

ib4b: What was the inspiration for Heart of Gold?
RLH: Many, many years ago, while researching for another book set in Idaho Territory during the Civil War, I came across the information about Confederate supporters attempting to steal and send gold shipments to the South. This happened in Idaho and throughout the western states and territories, all of which "belonged" to the Union. I was fascinated by it, but it wasn't useful for the particular book I was writing at the time. When I began thinking about the book that would become Heart of Gold, I remembered that tidbit of research and the story began coming together in my mind.

ib4b: I loved this aspect of the story. There's so much history that I'm not even aware of! What do you hope readers will take away from reading it?
RLH: I believe the underlying thread that runs through all of my books is about the amazing grace of God and how He is working in our lives, even when we are completely unaware of it.

ib4b: If your book was being made into a movie, who would you cast as the main character(s)?
RLH: I would want a young (30-ish) George Strait to play Matthew. I know casting doesn't work that way, but that's who I envisioned when I wrote the book. I am unable to come up with an actress who I think would embody Shannon. Maybe Reese Witherspoon with red hair. I think she can play spoiled and headstrong.

ib4b: I can definitely see George Strait and Reese Witherspoon in those roles! It seems like most authors have quite an interesting journey to getting published. What did you do in your "former life"?
RLH: My former work life was bookkeeping and office administration. In 1981, I decided to try to write a book. I wrote in the evenings and on weekends. That book and its sequel were published in early 1984. In 1990, the month my ninth book was published, I quit my day job to write full time. I've been at it ever since.

ib4b: What were some of your favorite books growing up?
RLH: Little Women; Jo's Boys; the complete Trixie Beldon series; Old Bones; Champion Dog Prince Tom; Irish Red

ib4b: Little Women is my all-time favorite book. Can you believe I've never read anything else by Louisa May Alcott? What was the last "must read" Christian fiction book that you read?
RLH: Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs

ib4b: My husband and I often talk about what concerts we can only dream of going to. What bands/artists make your list?
RLH: George Strait; Brad Paisley; Carrie Underwood; Steven Curtis Chapman; Nicole C. Mullen; Babbie Mason; and plenty more

ib4b: We may be kindred spirits where music is concerned. [Grin!] What's your favorite movie?
RLH: Once again, too many to give just one. I have a huge DVD collection and watch my favorites over and over and over again. Among my favorites: An Ideal Husband; Sense and Sensibilities; Pride and Prejudice; Fiddler on the Roof; About a Boy; The Help

ib4b: If you painted every room in your house only one color, which color would you choose?
RLH: Something in either the mauve tones or the teal tones. Those are my favorite colors. I uses to have a bedroom with mauve and teal walls. Loved it. But I'm not sure I would want those colors in every room in the house, year after year. Light tan (the color of all the walls of my current home) probably serves me best.

ib4b: Do you have a "life verse" or favorite Scripture?
RLH: I have countless favorite Bible verses. I've been reading and studying the Bible daily for decades. But the verse God used to change the direction of my writing career is this one:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, NASB95)

ib4b: I love that verse too! I'm so thankful that we are created in Christ! Can you tell us a bit about what you're working on now? When can we expect to see it in stores?
RLH: As I answer these questions, I'm in the midst of revisions for Betrayal, the second book in the Where the Heart Lives trilogy (releasing in late 2012). And as soon as the revisions are done, I will return to writing Beloved, the third book in the Where the Heart Lives trilogy. It will release in May or June of 2013.

ib4b: You are one busy lady! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the Where the Heart Lives trilogy! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Robin Lee Hatcher Online
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