Welcome, Andrea. Please give us a quick overview of your book.
Amanda Lewis may lose the only home she’s known—the cottage at North Point Light. Captain Ezra Danfield intends to give up his ship to provide his daughter some stability. When a violent storm threatens their lives, Amanda’s efforts in the lighthouse guide them safely into harbor. Ezra thanks her and cannot refuse when she asks for his help, though he must face the darkest recesses of his heart.
Was there anything in particular that inspired you to write this book?
I grew up a couple of miles away from the North Point Light in Milwaukee, so it’s always been one of my favorites—and, yes, I’m a lighthouse lover. But in 1999, when I first began researching it for a Barbour novella collection, the lighthouse and cottage were in such disrepair that the Coast Guard, who possessed control of it, refused to allow me entrance for my own protection. Fast forward twenty years, and not only am I a very different writer now but the North Point Light has been taken over by a private organization which has renovated the lighthouse and cottage and, after touring it, I was inspired to rewrite and revise this story which I’ve always had a soft spot for in my heart.
That sounds like serious commitment, one that held fast over the years. What is the primary focus of this story?
My hope is readers will see the parallel between God, who is Light and Love and who saves human souls, and a lighthouse which saves ships from running aground. I hold dear the biblical theme of the Lord Jesus seeking us out and making us His own because of his miraculous love, grace, and complete sacrifice. In that respect, I see this story more than a romance.
Since Christ is such a central motivation for your writing, how do you share Him in your books?
It depends on the story. Sometimes the message of Christ’s love and the cross are overt. Other times it’s subtle. However, in beginning my own publishing company, I’m free to make the message as strong as I feel necessary and no editor will override it with a lukewarm reference. Therefore, beginning with Love’s Guiding Light, I’ve decided to share the message of Christ and His love for us in plain language. I’ve also included online references for readers to peruse.
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
I always loved to write, ever since I was a little girl. I heard God’s call after I became a Christian in 1991, although it took a while for me to understand. At the time, I longed to become the next Danielle Steel or Rebecca Brandewyne (that’s dating myself!). I soon realized, though, that the fiction I was writing didn’t honor or glorify God in any way. It made me sad to think of giving it up completely. Little did I know that God had other plans for my writing. When I finally realized it and wrote my first Christian romance in 1994, an editor at Barbour Publishing picked it up for its newly formed Heartsong Presents line. My first book was number 79. I haven’t stopped writing since.
What a great history that shows the Lord’s leading so clearly. Why do you write romance?
At the heart of it all, I am a Christian romance writer. But I’ve noticed my work changing as I mature—a nice way of saying I’m getting old. 😊 While I still enjoy writing romantic fiction, I’ve noticed that I’m enjoying researching the history entwined in my stories, such as my Shenandoah Valley Saga. I’m also realizing that I excel as an author when writing books set during the American Civil War. I love to pick apart the whys and what-fors, as there are many, many facets of that war.
Even in the face of success, many people seem to have an unfulfilled dream. Do you?
I do—and I’m working to fulfill it. I have wanted to earn my bachelor’s degree for the past 32 years. So I’m taking classes and I’m very close to obtaining it. Afterwards, I hope to substitute teach. I may also go on for my master’s so that I can teach writing as an adjunct professor at the many online universities.
Most writers are avid readers – it comes with the occupation. What do you read for pleasure, and can you tell us what you’re reading right now?
I usually read books set in the same time period as I’m writing—not to plagiarize in any way, but to keep my mind on that timeframe. Right now I’m reading MaryLu Tyndall’s Forsaken Dreams, set just after the Civil War. My critique partner writes Civil War fiction, so I read her novels too.
What’s up next for you as an author?
I’m working on the third book in my Shenandoah Valley Saga, set during the Civil War. It’s titled There is a Season and will release in April 2019. I’m very excited about it.
Thank you, Andrea, for giving us a glimpse of your life and writing.
Learn more about Andrea and her books via Andrea’s website.
May all that you read be uplifting!