Please join me in welcoming the talented and gracious Robin Lee Hatcher today! Robin is a popular and award-winning author, winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction among others. I invite you to meet Robin, learn some interesting things about her - but most of all, see the love and commitment she has for the Lord.
Robin's newest release is a very moving book called A Promise Kept, a book that will speak to the heart of everyone who reads it. Although it is a work of fiction, the story is drawn from a chapter in the life of Robin and her husband. It is one of my favorites, a book of "read again" quality, and I hope many of you will pick up a copy of this book if you haven't read it already. Please see my review of A Promise Kept here.
Now pull up a chair and let's visit with Robin . . .
Q: Robin, I can't tell you how much it means to have you with us today. Would you briefly introduce us to the "real" Robin Lee Hatcher, the inspiring woman behind so many books that we have enjoyed?
This January, I celebrated 30 years as a published author. January was also the month when my 69th book was released. Funny thing is, I didn't know I wanted to be a writer until I started writing my first book. Now I can't imagine that I ever wanted to be or do anything else.
I am a native Idahoan with a great love for my state, which is why the vast majority of my novels are set in Idaho. Although I've traveled all over the country, Idaho is home.
I'm a wife, mom, and grandmother, three of my most favorite roles in life. I'm also a horse and dog and cat enthusiast. My daughters and oldest granddaughter are the horse owners these days. It is much less expensive for me to feed my 10 lb dog and my 13 lb cat than a half-ton horse!
Q: Please share with us a little about your Christian testimony, Robin.
I was led to the Lord primarily because of the prayers of my mother and through three Christian non-fiction books plus the reading of the Living Bible New Testament. I was born again on Valentine's Day 1976. After some tough life experiences in the years that followed, I allowed the cares of this world to draw me away from closely following Christ. But eventually an even more serious life crisis brought me back because there was nowhere else to turn but to God. The only option open to me was to hang on to the foot of the cross for all I was worth.
Because of those years when my love had grown cold, I truly believed I had ruined my testimony and that God could never use me again. But He continued to do a healing work in my life and eventually brought me to the place where I knew He was calling me to write stories of faith for Him. So I turned my back on my secular writing career and began a new one writing Christian fiction. I am so very, very thankful for all that He has done in my life.
Q: What are three things that hardly anyone knows about you?
Oh, gracious. I am such an open book about everything but my weight! I'm not sure there are three things that hardly anyone knows. But I'll try:
1) I get claustrophobic in the dentist chair. It's a real mind over matter experience as I try to get through the dental cleaning every six months.
2) Because my writing attire is a t-shirt and either PJ bottoms or exercise capris (depending on the time of year), I think "dressing up" is wearing jeans and shoes and makeup.
3) I am an easy mark for anybody with a real dry sense of humor. I fall for their jokes 99% of the time.
Q: What five adjectives would you use to describe your newest novel, A Promise Kept?
Q: Tell us a little bit about A Promise Kept and specifically how your own life inspired this story.
A Promise Kept is the story of two women, Allison and her great aunt Emma, whose prayers for their marriages do not get answered in the way they'd once hoped.
Allison's part of the story is greatly inspired by events in my own life and marriage. My husband battled alcoholism throughout our 17+ years of marriage. Eventually, despite my prayers and what I believed was a promise from God about our marriage, it ended in divorce. I was heartbroken and confused, but all I knew to do was draw closer to God and keep hanging on to Him. I believed that divorce was The End to our story. I believed I was mistaken about the promise I'd thought God gave me. I was wrong on both counts.
And because of the completely unexpected way God answered my prayers, I knew one day I would write a novel that shared this hope with my readers.
Q: What important lessons did God teach you during this journey?
1) I cannot be another person's savior. The role is much too big for a mere human being.
2) I learned to go to an entirely new level of submission to the will of God, and from that comes what I consider my life lesson to be: "Nothing, absolutely nothing, enters my life that isn’t caused or allowed by God—filtered first through His loving hands—for the purpose of making me more like Jesus."
Q: I loved Gizmo, a Papillon that features prominently in your story. Do you enjoy pets?
Oh, yes. From the age of 12, I have never not owned a dog or cat or both. Sometimes more than one of each.
Gizmo is based upon my precious (and less well-behaved) Papillon, Poppet. Her registered name is Ma Poupette des Bois which means "my small doll of the woods." She is ten years old now and is much beloved.
Poppet reluctantly shares us with Princess Pinky, a black and white tuxedo rescue cat who disdains all of us most of the time (unless she wants to lie on a chest or be given some kitty treats). I got Pinky while I was going through treatment for cancer. Thus her name.
Q: What novel or project are you working on now, Robin?
I am currently revising what will be the first of a three book series of contemporary romances set in Kings Meadow (the setting for A Promise Kept). Although the book has a title, I like to wait to announce it until I have a cover—which I should have any day now. The book will release in November 2014.
Q: For those of us who enjoy your writing, what are some ways we can support and encourage you?
I am an extravert on the extreme end of the scale, so the Internet has been a wonderful boon for me. It allows me to interact with readers via my web site and blog and via email and via social media. My favorite social media site is my Facebook author page, but I can also be found on Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.
It is a real encouragement to hear from readers when they have purchased, read, and enjoyed a book. Just a few words can brighten an entire day. And when a reader loves a book and takes the time to write a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads and/or other sites, it goes a long way in supporting an author. Word of mouth by current readers remains the best way for new readers to find an author. It is so appreciated.
Robin, I have personally enjoyed getting to know you and appreciate all that you shared with us. Reading fans, have you read any of Robin's books before? Do you have a favorite book or series? Have you, like Robin, grown closer to the Lord through a personal crisis?
Robin has graciously offered a copy of A Promise Kept to one of you, so please leave a comment or question for her, and share any of the extras you've done.
Required entry - Comment or question for Robin + your e-mail address in a safe format
Bonus #1 - Follow my blog (new or current followers)
Bonus #2 - "Like" my Facebook page, The Power of Words Reviews (new or already liked)
Contest ends at midnight on Sunday, March 9.
Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on Monday, March 10.
Due to postage costs, US address only.