Monday, June 8, 2015

Love is in the Air: Author interview featuring Davalynn Spencer's book Romancing the Widow

An author with whom you should be on a first-name basis by now, returns to the blog today to promote her book Romancing the Widow.

Romancing the Widow is Book #3 in Davalynn's Canon City collection and the focus of her interview today. So sit back, relax and enjoy the interview of this talented journalist-turned-author! :)

*Words from Alexis in bold, words from Davalynn not in bold*

Alexis: Romancing the Widow is Book #3 in your Canon City collection. Tell us about the series.

Davalynn: The three books all stand alone, but they tell the ongoing story of the Hutton family. In Romancing the Widow, Martha Hutton Stanton takes the stage as heroine. She is the widowed daughter of Annie and Caleb Hutton from the first book, The Cowboy Takes a Wife. Her brother Whit Hutton’s story is in the second book, Branding the Wrangler’s Heart.

What inspired the Canon City series?

I live in Cañon City, and it is full of little-known Western historical gems. Each of the three books offers a peek at an actual event that took place here in the 1800s. I had a couple of other books lined up in the series, but Harlequin is no longer publishing the Heartsong Presents series after June. Perhaps those other stories will appear elsewhere.

What are the names of the other books in the series?

The Cowboy Takes a Wife and Branding the Wrangler’s Heart

Let’s talk about Romancing the Widow. Why did you write it?

After getting to know Annie Whitaker and Caleb Hutton from the first book, I wanted to continue their story from the viewpoints of their two children, Whit and Martha. Martha is the young childless widow who returns home to Cañon City bereft, grief stricken, and can we say “resentful”?

Tell us about your heroine Martha Stanton. What does she fear? What does she hope for in life? What broke her heart? How will she ever love again (or will she)?

Martha is certain she will never love again. Her preacher husband is shot and killed by the stray bullet of a drunken cowboy. With no children and no prospects, she does the only thing she can: return home.

Tell us about your hero Haskell Jacobs. Describe his looks, personality, and character. What does he want out of life? What makes him so mysterious?

Oh, I’m so glad you see Haskell as mysterious, for he is! Tall, dark, and secretive, he covers his heart quite well and drives himself to stay on task. What he wants from life and what he’s getting blister to the surface in this story.

Share a synopsis of the scene where Haskell meets Martha. Why does he take interest in Martha?

Haskell sees Martha step down from the train and is struck by the bold contrast of her widow’s garb and auburn hair. He sees her again the next day at the mercantile, and is similarly moved by her manner. But he doesn’t really meet her until she walks unwittingly in front of his horse on Main Street and is nearly trampled.

Haskell is a very unique name I’d say. How did you create it?

I first saw the name Haskell in a funeral notice as the surviving brother of a deceased friend. Immediately I knew that was my character’s name, or the rest of his name. For I already had Tillman Jacobs. Tillman was my grandfather’s name and combining the two bold and uncommon names added to the mystery of my 1800s Colorado Ranger.

What would you say was the greatest challenge in creating your main characters?

These two main characters, Martha and Haskell, came alive on the page for me. No difficulty at all as I watched their personalities unfold, other than keeping to my targeted word count!

If you could spend an hour with one of your characters in this book, who would it be and why? Share details on how you’d spend that hour.

If I could spend an hour with Haskell, I’d disguise myself in men’s clothing and ride beside him on his quest for the horse thief. I’d be quiet enough to gain his confidence, for I’d love to hear his musings about his life as a Ranger, following in the steps of his father, also a Colorado Ranger.

What was your favorite memory in writing Romancing the Widow?

I was quite moved by the ending – as silly as that sounds coming from the author. Of course, I can’t give away the scene here, but the unexpected tenderness in one of the characters touched me deeply. Sometimes in the writing process, the author simply sits back and watches a scene unfold. That’s what happened for me this time.

What advice do you have for unpublished authors?

As trite and commonplace as it sounds, my advice is this: Don’t quit.

When you’re on deadline, what food or drink must you always consume?

Coffee, chocolate, and gummy bears.

What do you love the most about being a writer?

I love living vicariously through the lives of my characters. This is also my goal for readers—that they can escape for a time into the pages of my books and see another world.

What do you love the most about springtime?

Springtime in the Rockies is spectacular. The sky is piercingly blue, columbines appear, aspens leaf out. Everything is so colorful and clear. Except when a spring snowstorm sweeps down! But even those are beautiful.

Complete this sentence: After I wrote "The end" to Romancing the Widow, I felt ______________because___________________.

After I wrote “The end” to Romancing the Widow, I felt satisfied because I knew it was all going to work out for Martha and Haskell.

Author bio:
Davalynn Spencer writes inspirational Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges, and their loves. 

Her work has finaled for the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the Selah, and the Holt Medallion. 

Davalynn teaches writing at Pueblo Community College and at various writing workshops. She and her own handsome cowboy make their home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue. 
Buy Davalynn's book: -
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Connect with Davalynn:
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Twitter - @davalynnspencer

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