This week, we have not one, but TWO spotlights on two fantastic authors. Don't miss out on Donita's spotlight right below this one from Wednesday. You can leave comments on any spotlights to be entered in the drawings for free books OR state that you'd rather not be included. Either way, feel free to show your support to these authors and their latest releases.
Now, for today's feature:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie (Tyndale), named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal. Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home in Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.
RETURN TO ME
By Robin Lee Hatcher
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1. A smalltown girl who set off for stardom and winds up back where she
started, among the people she tried to leave behind. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
Roxy Burke introduced herself to me while I was on a promotional tour for another book. I was in my hotel room, waiting to be picked up and driven to the TV station, when these lines came into my head:
There exists a strange moment between sleep and wakefulness when dreams cease and realism remains at bay. That was when Roxy's heart spoke to her.
It's time to go home.
Roxanne Burke had given Nashville seven years to discover her. She'd offered her voice, her face, her fortune—and eventually, her body—but despite her desperate grasps at the brass ring, country music and stardom didn't want her.
Roxy was worse than a has-been. She was a never-was.
I was immediately captivated by Roxy and knew I had to discover the rest of her story. I can't say for sure how soon I knew that this was a story of the prodigal and her family, but it wasn't very long.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Roxy, Wyatta and Elana? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
There are pieces of me in all of my characters, but I don't have any specific experiences that influenced my main characters in Return to Me. This was very much their story as they told it to me, and they are very much their own people.
3. What themes exist in Return to Me that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?
I knew early on that this was a modern day telling of the biblical parable of the prodigal son. I had Roxy, the reckless, headstrong prodigal, and I had her "perfect" sister, Elena, the daughter who works for their father in the family firm. I read the parable in several different versions and somewhere along the way knew that the real theme of the book was about grace and how richly it is poured out upon us.
4. What were your favorite parts to write? Your most difficult?
For me, the openings of books always come fairly easy. Everything after that is hard. But my favorite part is writing the ending. I love the sense that I have found the perfect way to draw a novel to a close. This all held true for Return to Me.
5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
In November, I have a Christmas novella coming from Steeple Hill, Hearts Evergreen.
My next full length novel is The Perfect Life, a Women of Faith novel from Thomas Nelson, due to release in March 2008. Katherine Clarkson believes she has the perfect life—a wonderful husband who is head of a charitable foundation, two wonderful daughters who are both expecting, a lovely home, a terrific church. And then her husband is accused of both mismanaging the funds of the foundation and of having an affair. Perhaps the life she's led is a perfect lie instead.
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Thank you, Robin, for being in the spotlight. Readers, feel free to leave a comment for your chance to be entered in the drawing for a FREE, autographed book. This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.