Interview with author Robin Lee Hatcher
Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd’s Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels. Her historical romance Catching Katie was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.
Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying plays under the stars. She makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet, the high-maintenance Papillon, and Princess Pinky, the kitten who currently terrorizes the household.
To find out more about Robin, please visit her at http://www.robinleehatcher.com
What inspired you to write your first book?
I have always been a storyteller and entertainer from a very young age. I was also a voracious reader. But it wasn’t until my late twenties that I began thinking about writing a novel. I toyed with the idea for some time, then I read a book that had an ending I hated. So I decided to put my money where my mouth is, as the saying goes. I sat down and began to write (long hand on yellow legal pads, then typing what I wrote on the office typewriter on my lunch hours). Six months later, the book was done. That was 1981. I’ve been writing ever since.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I am known for known for my “heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love.” Years ago, I analyzed what it is I do best as a writer. I don’t write sexy books. I don’t write scary books. I don’t write funny books. What I do best is tug at the emotions, and my books often make readers cry.
How did you come up with the title?
Every book is a bit different when it comes to titles. Some I know right away. Some take time to get right. To be honest, Belonging was more the result of brainstorming several titles that begin with the letter B. I came up with the list while talking with my editor.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
How much of the book is realistic?
Well, I certainly hope all of it is realistic. I write historical fiction, so I do everything I can to make it true to the time period and setting.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As a novelist, everything I read, hear, experience, see, etc., goes into the “vault” for potential use later. There is a piece of me in every character. There cannot help but be. Some novels are “ripped” a little more from my own life, but with over 60 novels under my belt, there isn’t a whole lot from my ordinary life that I can use. Still, every lesson that God has taught me or is teaching me eventually makes its way into my novels.
What books have most influenced your life most?
First and foremost, it would be the Bible. It guides my life and is the way God most often speaks to me. In fiction, it would be Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. This was the novel that first planted the seed to leave my general market career and begin writing stories of faith. Many other novels and non-fiction books have touched my heart and influenced me in different ways, but the list would be incredibly long.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
To be honest, I could not name just one. I am blessed with so very many writer friends.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished Laura Bush’s Spoken From the Heart and have just begun Radical by David Platt. And I’m proofing the Kindle version of my 2002 novel, Firstborn, so it can be released for eBooks.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help. Brilliance. Sheer brilliance. Hard to believe it’s her first novel.
What are your current projects?
I’m writing the second book in the Where The Heart Lives series, Betrayed. The first book, Belonging, arrives in stores in August 2011. And a stand alone novel for Women of Faith Fiction will release in February 2012.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’ve been fortunate to have the support of family and friends throughout my career. And writers’ organizations such as Ninc, RWA, and ACFW have also been wonderful support systems, too.
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