Merry Christmas from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the privilege of interviewing the interviewer! Davalynn Spencer serves on my team of author interviewers—but today it’s her turn to be grilled. Davalynn has made a name for herself with her western romances, which have won multiple awards, including the prestigious Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award.
Welcome, Davalynn! Please tell us about your latest book.
A High-Country Christmas is a two-novella set including my recently released Just in Time for Christmas and last year’s endearing Snow Angel. Each is a sweet tale of mishaps, memories, and emotions that test the mettle of Western couples in the Colorado high country at Christmas. Cowboys, anyone?
Yes, please! And just in time for Christmas. What inspired you to write this book?
I live in one of the most romantic locales known to romance readers–Colorado. At least that’s my biased opinion. And I love Christmas stories. This combination alone sets me up to write historical novellas that are perfect for the busy holiday season, offering readers a quick escape into another time and place. Life wasn’t easier in the Old West of the 1800s but it was simpler. I like to read stories that show daily challenges during that time period and how people overcame them, which means I like to write them too.
Simpler, not easier—that sums up the appeal of historical fiction. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
In the first novella of the set, Just in Time for Christmas, Abigale Millerton is forced to look at the difference between faith and trust. This was an exercise taking place in my own life while I was writing the story, so concepts and ideas flowed directly from my real day-to-day to the fictional page-to-page. I hope readers will discover again how incredibly personal our God is.
Isn’t it amazing how the Lord uses our own stories to teach us? So, how do you share Christ in your writing?
In my books, I like to share Christ in everyday settings, the same way I do in my everyday life. Preaching is not my goal. I want readers to see God’s love and companionship in a way they can apply to their own lives. One of my most cherished comments from a reader stated an appreciation for my “lifestyle” approach to Christian fiction rather than just an obligatory Scripture thrown in to qualify for the genre.
I love that approach! What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
After writing thirteen books, I see common threads of forgiveness and second chances. Another way to put it is “redemption.” I aim for redemptive stories.
Wonderful! Why do you love writing?
Can I say I self-medicate with words?
Yes, you may. And thank you for the laugh!
We all have dreams—do you have an unfulfilled dream?
I want to see Scotland. But that means I’d have to drive to the Denver airport first. The initial leg of the trip has me second-guessing already! However, traveling is a real dream. Not just to the Scotland of my grandfather, but also Ireland, Wales, Italy, Israel, and Vermont in the fall.
I hear you. I love traveling enough to brave the traffic through the San Francisco Bay Area. So, what ministries are you involved in, and why?
I’ve played the piano since I was five years old. For most of my life I’ve served on worship teams or led worship in informal settings such as Cowboy Church at rodeos where my enjoyment of singing and playing the guitar comes in real handy. I also teach Wednesday evening Bible studies at my church and write material that is distributed for those studies.
Do you have pets and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
Blue the Cowdog is my 17-year-old Queensland heeler, and Oakley is his partner in camping out all day. Oakley’s litter mate, Annie, went to coyote heaven a couple of years ago (we live in the country), and I anticipate Blue’s departure to happier trails any day. Blue’s age and determination influenced the characterization for Chester, the beloved old dog in Just in Time for Christmas.
He sounds adorable (both Blue and Chester). Please tell us about your next project.
Book 3 of my popular Front Range Brides series, An Impossible Price, is set for a March 2020 release.
Sounds fantastic! Thank you for visiting with us today, Davalynn!
Writing for Him,