ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RUTH AXTELL MORREN has published 12 romances with Steeple Hill/Love Inspired Books. Her 13th, a Love Inspired Historical, Hometown Cinderella will be out February 2012. She will have a single title regency out in March 2013 for Revell Books, and another Downeast Maine-set historical tentatively titled Her Good Name with Moody Books. Her books have been translated into Dutch, Italian, Polish, Czech and Afrikaans. She was a Golden Heart finalist in 1994. Her second published book, Wild Rose, was a Booklist “Top Ten Christian Fiction” selection in 2005. She is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and RWA (Romance Writers of America). Ruth studied comparative literature at Smith College, and has lived in both Europe and the U.S. Shortly after college, she committed her life to Christ. Fourteen years later, she committed her writing to Him. Currently, Ruth lives in Maine with her three children and two cats.
by Ruth Axtell Morren
Published by Love Inspired Historical
ABOUT THE BOOK
I didn’t realize I had written a fairytale of my own until the editorial & marketing team at Love Inspired discovered it for me.
Small Town, Big Dreams
After years of traveling in Europe with her musician husband, all that widow Mara Hoffman wants is security for her son. A half-share in her father’s Maine farmhouse is the only refuge she has left, even if her resentful stepmother treats Mara as little more than a servant. But there is one bright spot: the unexpected kindness of neighbor Gideon Jakeman.
A widowed farmer with a teenage daughter, Gideon hardly pictures himself as anyone’s Prince Charming. Especially a woman of Mara’s refinement. Yet his quiet, rugged strength makes her feel as though she’s found her rightful place by his side, if they can find faith enough to forge their own happy ending.
Readers, buy your copy of HOMETOWN CINDERELLA today!
AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR FEATURE AUTHOR
Finding—and Keeping—Your Voice
Stick around fiction writing any length of time and you are sure to hear about author’s “voice.” No one knows precisely how to define it, but we all know it when we hear it.
It’s what draws us to our favorite authors, whose books become keepers. It’s the distinct quality of that author’s writing that is hard to define but is clear as a clarion when reading his/her novels.
I’ve just discovered a new writer, Melanie Dickerson. She has two young adult fiction books out now with Zondervan Publishing. They are both retellings of fairytales. What an irresistible combination, right? The first, The Healer’s Apprentice is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty, and the one I just finished reading, The Merchant’s Daughter, on Beauty and the Beast. One of the things I like about them is that she takes liberties with the original tales so they are quite original. She also weaves the Scriptures very adroitly through the medieval stories. But what I love most about her stories is her voice. They are most distinctly Melanie Dickerson stories. I could probably identify them if I didn’t have the author’s name on the cover.
Well, for a while there, I had thought I had lost my voice—or at least compromised it to a large extent by trying to fit a publishing house’s guidelines and styles. Then, when a manuscript was turned down, I decided (on faith) to continuing writing it with no invisible editor hovering over my shoulder. I would just write the story I believed the Lord had given me and worry about whether it “worked” or not afterwards when it came time to edit and revise. It was a very liberating and at the same time scary experience, since I hadn’t done this kind of writing without a safety net since my pre-published days. But just this month, I not only sold this story to a new publisher, but I finished the first draft, and ta-da!, read it over and am really pleased with how it turned out. As I said at the outset, I feel as if I’ve rediscovered my voice. We tend to write what we like to read, and I feel I’m back to the kind of stories I best like to read: lots of interplay and emotional conflict between the hero & heroine, but also lots of spiritual growth in them as the story progresses.
I told my daughter when I finished the manuscript, “This is why writers write. To reach this adrenalin high when one has done it—finished the book, a euphoria that will pass when I buckle down to revise and polish. But for the moment, what a feeling!
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Thank you, Ruth, for sharing with us today.
Guest Question: If you are a writer or love to write, do you feel you have discovered your voice in writing? When did you realize it? If you are a reader, have you ever loved a certain author's voice only to discover they change it with a new novel? How did you feel? Would you prefer an author maintain the same voice throughout books, or does it matter to you? Why or why not?
ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book featured above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered. And if you don’t like to read teen science fiction, maybe there is a teen in your life who’d like the book.
The contest is open to US/Canada residents only.
The Weekend Edition
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