Ok, avid readers. We've got a beautiful romantic suspense novel for you this week! Check out that gorgeous cover! To Soar On Eagle's Wings is the first in this series of books set in the mountains.
Spring’s in the air. While the sun shines in Timber Springs, snow falls on the Snowy Range, and trouble’s brewing in the meadows. The area’s new game warden, Steve Mitchell launches his first wildlife investigation of the season but the trouble follows him—straight to town.
Rachel Fitzgerald’s on Spring Break. Or at least she’s trying. Between paperwork, and harassing phone calls, she may as well have stayed in her classroom. So much for relaxation. A ‘chance’ meeting with her brother’s old roommate offers her weary soul a shred of hope, but she discovers love, like life, isn’t easy.
He talks with the wisdom of the Lord but rejects the future. She wants to soar with the eagles but walks alone. And trusting God proves to be more of a challenge than ever before…
Now let's take a look behind the scenes of this novel as the author talks about her wonderfully unique characters. Renee, you've created a very interesting main character. Steve "talks with the wisdom of the Lord but rejects the future." How much of yourself did you write into Steve Mitchell?
I sprinkle a bit of myself into every character I write, even the “bad” ones. It makes them real to me.
Steve’s love for wildlife and respect for God’s creatures is a characteristic we share as well as his anger at violations against them. I may not be a conservationist in the radical sense of the word, but I live in Wyoming. In this state, we’ve learned to strike a balance with the precious environment around us, or we’ll destroy it.
His spiritual battle I gleaned from watching someone close to me struggle each day let go of the past. It was a one step forward, two steps backwards kind of thing until he let God cut the control it had on his life. I took a little of what I saw in that battle and put it into Steve struggle with his father’s job and death.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
Mmmm…that’s a tough one. I like all of my characters in this particular book, but if I had to pick a favorite, I’d choose Melissa Hampton. She’s the best friend who’s always poking and prodding, keeping Rachel on her toes. We all need a friend like that, don’t we? Someone to keep us accountable but loves us no matter what. That’s the type of relationship Melissa and Rachel have. But she isn’t a one-dimensional character…she has secrets of her own. Her story makes you wonder what’s in store in the future. At least she made me start thinking about it while I was writing!
Now that is a good question. I would have to say Michael, Rachel’s twin. Their mother’s death impacts him in such a way that he experiences a drastic emotional, and mental shift. This switch impacts many others characters in the book, especially Rachel. The challenge was showing this transformation in the few lines that Michael has in the book. He doesn’t make much of an appearance in To Soar so the time that he’s there had to count.
What helps you the most when you're developing your characters?
I use the character sketch component of the first writing program I ever bought, New Novelist. I don’t use the program to write with anymore. I reverted back to Word a long time ago. It’s easier to let the words flow out my brain onto the page than try to line them up into a specific order. Besides, I like the features of Word. I’ve tried Scrivener, and all kinds of other things…nope…not for me. I don’t have time to learn a new program. Not with my schedule!
Anyway, during my research phase, I think about my characters. What do they look like? Do they like to eat anything special, weird? Are they allergic to anything? How do they move when they walk? How do they talk? Do they have a special style of clothes they like to wear? Scars? Are they strong or weak (not just physically, but emotionally too)? Stocky, lanky? Do they have a habit or unique joke they like? Music?
Does this sound a little excessive? Not to me. I call it fleshing them out. After all, I’m going to spending a lot of time with these people for the next 6 months, maybe even a year. And since it’s a series, a lot longer than that!
Now let's get a little more personal and talk about life beyond books. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I would have to say the day I married my best friend…my husband twenty six years ago. What a glorious day that was! It was a hot summer day in Casper, Wyoming. In the presence of family and friends, the Lord joined me to the one person who has stood beside me through more than I’d ever dreamed possible. Thank you, Father!
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Fishing, although my husband would tell you that I spend more time reading than putting a line in the water. NOT TRUE! I love to fish. Picking on my dusty classical guitar or even my husband’s fancy electric one. J Latch hook and cross stitch, although I don’t get to do it much anymore.
Thank you for sharing about your writing and your life! It's always exciting to get a glimpse of a romance author's personal love story.
Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and she's been counting pills ever since. While writing's her first love, well, after the Lord and husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
Nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat, she serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist and pens her Christian stories, keeping them interesting with action and intrigue, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.
Group Blog: http://diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com/