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23 February 2011

Romantic Moments 2-- Interview with Lorna Seilstad

Today's hostess is Michelle Massaro

Today we get to spend time with Lorna Seilstad! Lorna's excerpt, from her book Making Waves, was nominated by Title Trakk reviewer Julia Reffner, who had this to say:
My favorite romantic moment from a book I reviewed in 2010 is taken from Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad.  My favorite scene is where Tripp and Marguerite meet and Marguerite falls into the lake.  Talk about making a first impression!  I think funny can be quite romantic personally!
So let's get to know this author, the first to come to us via nomination! Lorna Seilstad has called Iowa home her whole life. She received her B.S. in education from Lubbock Christian University. After her first child was born, she quit teaching and became a professional wiper. "I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby's bottoms, and countertops every day. But at naptime, I wrote." Today, she writes historical fiction with a generous dash of humor, and lives in Iowa with her husband and three children--ages 18, 16, and 11. 
Some fun facts:
I grew up going to antique auctions every Sunday afternoon just like some families would watch baseball. My parents also took us to every historical landmark and museum within a day’s drive of our home, too. My parents wanted us to understand history in a personal way.
Besides writing, I do graphic design work, I’m known as The Cookie Lady, and I do wedding coordinating and flowers. I’ve had over 400 roses in my home at one time.
If Oreos were people, they’d be my best friends. (me too, Lorna!)
My dream is to glorify God in all that I do. I long to sit at Jesus’ feet for thousands of years and soak up His presence.
Amen! Now for my questions...

Michelle: Lorna, your excerpt was nominated by Title Trakk reviewer Julia Reffner.  How does it feel to be acknowledged in this way?

Lorna: I was blown away and very honored that a reader would take the time to submit a scene from Making Waves, and I'm pleased as punch that it was this scene. It's always hard to know if the same scenes I see as romantic are the same ones that move readers. I agree wholeheartedly that funny and romance can go hand in hand. Just look at all the romantic comedy movies out there. And now that I know that it was Title Trakk reviewer Julia, I am even more delighted!
Michelle: It did stand out, so you obviously have a knack for this. What elements do you reach for when writing a romantic scene?
Lorna: When I write a romantic scene, I want readers to connect on every level possible. I want them to feel what my characters are feeling—the excitement, the thrill, the fear. Because my books have a generous dash of humor, even the romantic scenes tend to have a touch of that in them. There is nothing better than laughing with someone you love.
Michelle: So true! So do you draw from real life when you write? Can you share a romantic moment with us?
Lorna: My husband can be quite romantic, so I have a lot of experiences to draw from. One of those occurred a few years ago when my husband took me to the Anniversary Mansion in Lincoln, Nebraska (http://www.bbonline.com/ne/anniversary/). It’s a 1902 mansion and is an elegant place to stay. Besides the beautiful room, there was a separate parlor with a fireplace. My hubby snuck our wedding tape in his suitcase and we watched it together. It was all very romantic, and then it started snowing. We walked to dinner with the big, fluffy flakes falling around us. By morning, we were snowed in.
Michelle: Describe how God fits into the romantic aspects of your story.
Lorna: I believe romantic love is one of God’s greatest gifts. When each person is moving toward a closer relationship with Him, they cannot help move closer together in the process. I try to have my characters turn to God for direction on choosing a person to love. Loving someone is a big risk, so it’s natural for Christian characters to seek God’s direction.
Michelle: Tell us about your hero and heroine.  What makes them the perfect couple?
Lorna: Marguerite is a spunky young woman who longs for adventure. She knows what she wants and will do whatever it takes to get it—even tell a few white lies along the way. After all, she says, she wouldn’t have to if men didn’t have all these rules for what women could do.
Trip is a man of honor. He’s strong, dimpled, and swoon-worthy. He’s also a little judgmental. Having been a victim of lies, he values truth. So when Marguerite lies to him, it almost ruins their relationship.
They are the perfect couple because they know each other so well. Trip comes to admire the adventurous spirit in Marguerite, and she needs someone strong to help her with boundaries. When Marguerite’s world is turned upside down, it’s Trip’s honest words which open her eyes.
Michelle: Do they ever get their happily ever after?
Lorna: Well, all I can say is I’m a hopeless romantic.
Michelle: Ah ha! *grin*. Tell us about this book's journey from concept to print.
Lorna: I’ve lived in Iowa my whole life and Lake Manawa is about a ten minute drive from my house. Since my dad lived there as a child, I’d heard stories about the resort’s heyday, but I had no idea just what a fascinating place it was until I began to research it. After I did, I had to write a story set there. I wanted to bring the area back to life—at least on paper.
At the 2008 ACFW conference, I presented this manuscript to Andrea Doering, Revell’s senior acquitions editor at the time. I completely forgot my pitch and just handed her my one sheet. Then, I sat there while she read two chapters. Thank goodness, she laughed in the right places! I knew I was in trouble if she didn’t.
After she was done, she complimented my fresh voice and asked me to send of full copy to her. Less than a month after I submitted the manuscript, I received an e-mail asking for a couple more ideas to make this into a possible series. A month later, Revell offered me a contract.
Michelle: Having just come from my first writing conference, I can relate to how you felt in front of that editor!  We're all so glad that door to publication was opened for you. Is there anything you'd like to say to our readers before we say goodbye?
Lorna: I love to connect with readers. I’d love for you to sign up for my newsletter through my website www.lornaseilstad.com. I’ll be doing a big drawing from the newsletter list when book 2 in the Lake Manawa Summers series, A Great Catch, releases in May!
Michelle: Thank you, Lorna.  It was wonderful getting to know you!

Please leave your questions and comments for Lorna!
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Regina Merrick said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Lorna! Roomie! I loved that excerpt. When I can laugh and swoon at the same time, it's the BEST - even if I do sometimes fall down. ;) Can't wait for "A Great Catch!" Many, many hugs, Regina

Brenda S. Anderson said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

That is a fun excerpt. But, it's one of many romantic & funny excerpts in Making Waves.

Loved the interview too. There's always something new I learn about you.

Kav said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Hey Lorna -- I just love that first meet too. Love the combination of humour and romance. And I got goosebumps reading your 'discovery' story. I know you put in years of hard work before your 'overnight' discovery and now you're embracing the publicity side of your craft with such grace and humour. I can't wait for Great Catch to hit the bookstore stands. I'll be first in line to buy my copy.

J.S. Marlo said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

That scene sets the tone for the entire book. It's a great read! I can't wait for A Great Catch.


Faith Hope and Cherrytea said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Luvly intro Michelle ~ Thank you!
and so pleased to meet you, Lorna!

Lorna said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Good morning, ladies! Be careful about laughing and swooning at the same time. It's always best to read romances sitting down.

Brenda,my crit partner extraordinaire, thank you for stopping by.

Lorna said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Kav, I'm getting excited about A Great Catch's release, too. What could be better than baseball in the summer--even if half the players are in bloomers.

Marlene,those first scenes in a book are so important aren't they? I love setting the mood for the book on those first pages.

Faith, it's great to meet you, too.

frenchmk@msn.com said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

I just know that I am so proud of you. And knew all along you could do anything you set your mind to. I so enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next one! Pete said its the best one he has read for quite sometime. Love you, and I'm proud to know you, even if you weren't an author! Marilyn.

Linda Fulkerson said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Lorna, I absolutely LOVED Making Waves and can't wait to read A Great Catch. Marlene is right about that first scene setting the tone for the book. I enjoy romantic comedies and I love historicals. Your book is a perfect combination of both genres!

Lorna said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Thank you Marilyn. You and Pete have been such wonderful support to me. Love ya bunches!

Lorna said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Linda, I'm so glad you enjoyed Making Waves, and I hope you'll like A Great Catch, too. Both books were so much fun to write. I'm working on book three in the series now, and it's proving to be just as much fun to write.

Michelle Massaro said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Wow, thank you all for chatting with us today! Excellent conversations and feedback. I love it!

Lorna said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Thank you, Michelle, for having me as your guest. It's been a lot of fun.

April Gardner said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Amazing Revell story, Lorna. That's every unpublished author's dream. So glad it came true for you! Since you brought up romantic comedies, I must ask--do you have a favorite?

Lorna said... Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

Hi April, what a great question. A couple of the romantic comedy movies I love are Sleepless in Seattle, 50 First Dates, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Bookwise, I love Mary Connealy's books. I think Husband Tree is my favorite, but I love them all.

April Gardner said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

All great movies! Except Bookwise, which I've never heard of. Curious...Netflix, here I come! My absolute favorite is You've Got Mail. And Mary is a doll! And she's got romantic comedy nailed, although I haven't read Husband Tree yet. Will have to do so!

Elaine Marie Cooper said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

Lorna, so nice to get to know you better here at COTT. Loved your interview! And I share some of your romantic comedy favorites, although, "While You Were Sleeping" is probably my all time pick for biggest laughs! Humor is, indeed, a huge part of romance! Looking forward to reading your books.

Ann H Gabhart said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

Fun interview, Lorna. I've got Making Waves on my to read stack. I'm thinking I might have to move it to the top after reading about all the scenes that are going to make me laugh. Laughter works good like a medicine. That's sort of how the Proverbs verse goes.

So glad I got to meet you at ACFW and then have more time together in CA.

Lorna said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

April, sorry I didn't write that correctly. By bookwise, I meant in the area of books as opposed to movies. I don't think there's a movie by that title, so maybe someone should jump on that and claim it.:)

Elaine, I've enjoyed meeting you, a fellow Iowan, as well.Hasn't it been fun being on COTT?

Lorna said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

Hi Ann, guess what? I've got my copy of Angel Sister on top of my TBR pile. that's one of my favorite proverbs. I loved getting to spend time with you at ACFW and in CA. It was one of the highlights of those trips.

April Gardner said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

LOL, Lorna! It seems to be my week for making a dummy of myself. :-D I saw the period as a comma. And I thought it was a great name for a movie! Haha!! I love a good laugh. Ok, so maybe I'll just Netflix 50 First Dates since I've never seen it. I've only got two weeks until Hubby gets home. I plan to take full advantage of my 8month monopoly on the tv! :-)

Michelle Massaro said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

Wow, I'm so excited to get these book suggestions rolling in! I could use a good laugh. This has been a GREAT discussion!

Lorna said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

April, too funny. While your 8 month monopoly on the tv sound wonderful, I don't think I'd want it at the cost of not having my hubby around. I'm sure you can't wait to hug your hubby's neck.

Michelle,how big is your TBR (To Be Read) pile? Personally, I don't think I could ever have enough books.Another of my favorite romantic comedy books is Forevermore by Cathy Hake.

Michelle Massaro said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

Let's see... I'm finishing one today, then I have 2 more from my mentor, 1 I started and set aside for awhile, and Frank Peretti's Monster is still unread on my nightstand. So, that makes 4 books after the one I'm polishing off today/tonight for sure. Not to mention my "wishing to read" list, which hasn't made it to my person yet but is on the brain. Lots of Clash competitors on that list!

Judith Miller said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

Fun interview, Lorna. Loved Making Waves and especially your sense of humor and learning the history of Lake Manawa. Look forward to all the stories in your future!

Lorna said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

Oh my Michelle, if we start talking about Wish Lists, we'll really be in trouble. :)

Judy, thank you for stopping by. And everyone, if you haven't read Judy's newest book, A Bond Never Broken, you need to put it on your TBR pile too. I just received it the other day and its soooooo good.

April Gardner said... Thursday, 24 February, 2011

Lorna, for all my tough talk, i'll gladly relinquish the remote control.I might even watch football. ;-)

A Bond Never Broken, now there's an intriguing title for ya!

Has anyone read Cathy Hake's Letter Perfect? It's on my TBR pile.

Item Reviewed: Romantic Moments 2-- Interview with Lorna Seilstad Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Michelle Massaro