Today I’m sharing an excerpt from an interview with Gotta Write Network. I answer a few questions about my historical romance, Loving a Wild Stranger.
Q: In this historical, Kathleen Stanton flees her pampered life in Kingston, New York. Fate leaves her stranded in a small town in Michigan Territory. Why did she feel she had to leave her home? Was she looking for independence or freedom for what her family has planned for her?
A: Kathleen is running from an abusive fiancé (although at first, readers aren’t sure why she’s running away). She’s an independent woman for the time period and never fit in with how she was “supposed to” behave. This caused a lot of problems between her and her parents. After witnessing something tragic, she finally saw the light and realized leaving was her only option.
Kathleen left home in a hurry, with no real destination, just “away”. As she traveled the country, she worked several jobs to earn stagecoach fare to keep running. When her money finally ran out, she ended up stranded in Michigan Territory.
Q: What solution does she arrive at to find escape from her past, shelter, food and safety?
A: In order to get herself out of a jam, Kathleen calls herself Michelle and impersonates a stranger’s mail order bride. The man, Luther, seems nice enough, and she tells herself that the arrangement is temporary until she can move on.
Q: What do Luther and Michelle have in common?
A: They’re both considered outsiders and are not accepted by their families. They had to fend for themselves at a young age and make their own way in life. This brings them closer together and they learn to rely on each other over the course of the novel.
As the story progresses, Kathleen learns a lot about herself, how to overcome the past, and how to live a completely different (rugged) life in the wilderness. Her eyes are opened to new cultures and she transforms herself into an entirely different person.
Q: What inspired you to write this novel?
A: The idea of a woman on the run impersonating a stranger’s wife came to me one day. I started thinking about possible plots and different characters. I wanted to tell a story about a young woman who struggles against her past, herself, and her surroundings, and still finds true happiness.
Q: How much research did you do about mail order brides before writing the book?
A: A lot! Believe it or not, mail order brides are not a thing of the past. A simple Internet search leads to dozens of sites for modern-day mail order brides from all over the world. In the 1800s, many of the brides were foreigners or widows. There wasn’t much of a screening process, so basically a man wasn’t sure who (or what) he’d be getting himself into—and neither did the wife. (Luther mentions this in passing in the book.) Michelle is young and pretty, and he considers her an excellent catch. Not all mail order bride situations had happy endings, however.
Q: What makes Loving a Wild Stranger different than the other historical romances you’ve written?
A: Loving a Wild Stranger is different for a few reasons. First, it has a very mild heat level. Most of my romances (historicals and contemporaries) are spicier, with more love scenes. It also takes place in a small cabin on a remote mountain and has a very woodsy feel. My other historicals are usually set in estate houses, castles, or other elegant settings. The characters are more down-to-earth and gritty, and I deal with several “not so nice” subjects not often found in a romance.
I’m happy to say the book has received several great reviews.
Read more about this full-length romance novel and order your copy here:
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Until next time!