|Author Rachel Fordham!|
Rachel: Thank you for having me! I love that you put the Avid Readers Book Club together. It’s so fun.
Nicole: Ever since reading your first novel, The Hope of Azure Springs, I had been eagerly anticipating the release of Yours Truly, Thomas. I loved the cameo appearances by some of the beloved residents of Azure Springs in Yours Truly, Thomas. How was the writing process for Yours Truly, Thomas compared to when you wrote The Hope of Azure Springs, and did you have any challenges in writing your second novel?
Rachel: I am not very good at keeping notes so anything specific from the world of Azure Springs required me to go and do research from my own first book. Someday I’ll become a better note taker, but when I wrote The Hope of Azure Springs, I had no idea if I would get published and no idea there would be another book set in the same town.
This new book required a great deal more revising than my first. Originally Penny’s mom is the sweetest lady ever and she’s dying. She basically tells Penny to go find a new life now that she’s not taking care of her any longer. My editor thought this opening was too sad, so I had to rewrite her motivation and give her a dog to talk to since she was unable to communicate openly with her mom. I ended up loving Honey so it worked out, but that kind of change has a trickle effect that makes for a lot of work. That’s just one example of the many changes this book went through to become the book you read. Other big differences and challenges include my life circumstances at the times these two books were written. With The Hope of Azure Springs, my son was sick during the writing of it, and so the whole experience was emotional and that emotion came through in the book. For Yours Truly, Thomas, I was BUSY with kids and a foster daughter and had to write in small doses.
Nicole: Yours Truly, Thomas is a beautiful story of redemption, second chances, and finding love. What message or inspiration do you hope that people will get from reading Yours Truly, Thomas?
That love doesn’t always look one way. Sometimes love is roses and moonlit strolls and sometimes it’s sharing struggles and crying on each other’s shoulder. I tried to portray this through Dinah’s story and of course Penny and Thomas’s love story.
I also wanted to show that pain isn’t always the enemy. The hard struggles we face can be teaching, refining things. Thomas is a better man at the end of the book than at the beginning and pain was a huge catalyst for his growth. This is something I’ve seen so many times in my own life. We don’t have to love the trial, but we can love the biproducts.
I also hope readers get lost in it and just enjoy the ride.
Nicole: I love being a member of the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook group and participating in so many wonderful discussions within the group. As a reader, I get to share my love of Christian fiction with the other members in the group, and I have discovered so many new-to-me authors who have become must-read authors. From an author’s perspective, what do you like best about participating in the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group, and what has been your favorite part of having Yours Truly, Thomas as the book club selection this month?
Rachel: For me, it’s all about connections! I love chatting with like-minded people about books, characters, trends, etc. That’s been my favorite thing about being a published author. This work of my heart brings people into my life that I would have never met otherwise. I LOVE it. With the Live events, we get to connect in real time, which is even more fun.
I’m not going to lie. It’s encouraging to hear from readers and makes me anxious to write more. It’s fun!
Nicole: You had two very special guests, Laura Frantz and Kate Breslin, join us during the live book club chat, and it’s always fun to have the opportunity to chat with a variety of authors. Since Laura Frantz and Kate Breslin live near you and write in the same genre, do the three of you ever meet up to discuss plotlines or brainstorm ideas together?
Rachel: Laura is not here full time, and she’s had a lot of family commitments with aging parents that have kept her busy, but we’ve gone to lunch and talk about getting together more often. Kate and I cross paths from time to time and whenever we do, we have a blast. We really need to make it a regular thing.
Nicole: Can you share any information about your future releases and/or your current work in progress?
Rachel: My 2020 release, A Life Once Dreamed, is actually the book I wrote after writing The Hope of Azure Springs. They aren’t coming out in the same order I wrote them in. This book has a new setting and cast, but I believe it has the same “heart.” A schoolteacher in the Dakotas has a secret that she’s kept locked inside but when the new doctor arrives in town, he threatens to unlock and unravel it all.
Nicole: Rachel, thank you again for joining us today! This has been a pleasure to chat with you!
Rachel: Absolutely! I love what you are doing for authors and grateful for your enthusiasm.
Nicole is generously providing a brand new paperback copy of BOTH Yours Truly, Thomas and The Hope of Azure Springs. Participate below!
Rachel Fordham is the author of The Hope of Azure Springs. She started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She'd pull a book from the shelf, but they'd insist she make one up. Finally, she paired her love of good stories with her love of writing and hasn't stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.
The Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group is a wonderful discussion group for book enthusiasts to talk about what Christian fiction books they are reading. Participation in the group is the perfect way to discover many new Christian fiction authors and books. The group is comprised of numerous Christian fiction authors and readers and is very well moderated. Any readers or authors interested in joining the group can click on the following link and answer a few questions to be added. The questions are easy and are meant to keep out spammers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/AvidChristFicReaders/
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER KATIE W!