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