Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday Talk-Time - Why I Love Love Inspired Historicals with Linda Ford

Today at the Pink Heart we welcome Inspirational author Linda Ford, who talks to us about how exciting it is to write for a brand new line! Welcome Linda!

You probably haven't seen many of these books...well, none. They hit the stands for the first time in Jan. 08 joining the full range of books available under the Steeple Hill umbrella—Love Inspired (contemporary), Love Inspired Suspense, CafĂ© and Women's Fiction.

These books reflect their mission statement of featuring wholesome Christian entertainment that will help women to better guide themselves, their families and other women in their communities toward purposeful, faith-driven lives.

I consider myself fortunate and privileged to be involved in this new line.

The premise

Captivating historical romance: love and faith throughout the ages.

I love writing about historical settings, especially the pioneers, settlers, and those who conquered the west. One lovely thing about writing historicals in this time frame is the research. I've done road trips to various places where I poke through museums, visit historic buildings, and generally transport myself into a different time, a different place. I collect books on pioneering history. I'm in awe of some of the recorded stories of men and women conquering the challenges of their world. I once had a letter from an elderly lady who insisted there was nothing romantic about the good old days. But I feel the circumstances tended to bring out a degree of strength we perhaps don't need quite so much in our modern day. Imagine facing a winter without adequate heat or worse, adequate food, or being the first white woman to venture across the prairies. Picture coping with illness and injury by relying on your own resources. Talk about strong characters.

The characters

This new brand in the Steeple Hill imprint is a series of historical romances featuring Christian characters facing the many challenges of life and love in a variety of historical time periods.... Each story should be set in the past and focus on an emotional, satisfying and mature romance. Drama, mystery and even a touch of humor all have a place in the series. The conflict between the main characters should be an emotional one, arising naturally from the characters.

Heroines who face the constraints of their society, sometimes unable to own property, not free to decide who they will marry, or where they will live, and often treated as a piece of property, yet who found ways to impact their environment while maintaining a sense of humor . . . these are my kind of heroines. Strong yet sweet, idealistic as well as practical. One comment by my editor in the margin of an edited manuscript indicates the type of heroine that suits these stories. I have the heroine standing up to a man who is trying to control her. The editor says, "Yeah. You tell him."

The heroes, too, are shaped by their environment and dictates of their society. A man was a man and had a job to do. And yet, they had a soft side, especially when it came to the heroine. How fun to take such a man and show him the joy of revealing that soft side because these stories are, above all, rich romances.

The setting

A strong sense of time and place is necessary. Rich details interwoven into the fabric of the story should place the reader right there. ...complex stories rich in period detail that will sweep readers into the past ...from page one.

My first three-book series is set in the Dirty 30s. From the first page I hopefully put the reader into the setting with words such as drought, dust, depression, and the sight of a campfire among the trees and the heroine's expectation it was another hobo.

The faith element

An element of faith must be present in the books and should be well-integrated into the plot.

Some might find the restraints of the inspirational market restrictive. I find them challenging in a positive way. To take my characters through a conflict or struggle, to challenge their faith under adverse circumstances, then to have them grow to conquer these events is exciting. And even more exciting is to put a man and woman together to work through these things as allies or perhaps, initially, enemies. To show their attraction leading to love while upholding the boundaries of this market (Any physical interactions should emphasize emotional tenderness rather than sexual desire) is a challenge I love.

The covers

The preliminary covers look fabulous! I love mine! Romantic, evocative, just lovely. They speak of hearth and home and are very welcoming.

For upcoming titles and news, see my website at (I promise to update it real soon).
For flotsam and jetsam of my life see my blog at

Thanks Linda for joining us!

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