Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the joy of interviewing historical novelist Vickie McDonough, who is a bestselling author of more than fifty (!) novels and novellas! Vickie is also a long-time member of CAN, and you’ll enjoy what she has to share.
Welcome, Vickie! Please tell us about your book The Anonymous Bride.
1 Marshal. 3 Brides—no, make that 4.
A marshal confides to friends that he’d marry if he met the right woman. Soon, three mail-order brides arrive, each expecting to marry Luke Davis–but he didn’t order a bride. A friendly contest ensues to determine which gal is the best choice, but besides the three entries Luke expects, there’s a fourth—an anonymous entry.
Fun concept! What inspired you to write this book?
The Anonymous Bride actually started as a “what if” question. I was brainstorming ideas for a new series, when I thought of this: What if three brides show up all at once in a small town, expecting to marry the same man? I brainstormed that concept and it led to writing my Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, which includes The Anonymous Bride, Second Chance Brides, and Finally a Bride.
What is the primary focus of your book?
My main focus for The Anonymous Bride was to show that although bad things may have happened in your past, God has good plans for your future. It’s a story of hope and second chances.
Sounds lovely! What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
Rachel’s feisty eleven-year-old daughter, Jacqueline, aka Jack, surprised me by becoming a key character who runs through the whole series. She also adds a lot of humor to the stories. In fact, she ends up being the main heroine of the third book, Finally a Bride.
I love when side characters take on a big role! When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
I never once planned to be a writer. In fact, way back in school, I hated writing. I didn’t care much for history or English either. I was basically a kid who loved math, reading, horses, and playing softball, so it seemed odd I’d become a writer. For years, I’d prayed for a home business so I could earn some income but still be home with my boys. One day a story started coming to me. It was like watching a movie over and over in my mind. It got to where I couldn’t sleep much because the story wouldn’t stop. I decided to write it down in hopes it would go away. I wrote that whole 77,000-word story in a spiral.
Right after that ,another story came, so I moved to our PC Junior to type it out. After completing the second book, I got to wondering if God was trying to get my attention. My husband agreed, so I started taking writing classes, joined online writers groups, and attended my first conference. I started writing in January 2001. Since then, I’ve had fifty books and novellas published, none of which are the first two stories I wrote.
Your start in writing is very similar to mine! So, why do you write historical fiction?
When I was young, I watched westerns with my dad. As a kid, I had a passion for horses and read every book I could find with a horse on the cover. My love for reading historicals set in the late 1800s hasn’t waned, so it seemed natural that I’d write stories for the inspirational historical romance genre. I have also written three contemporaries and will soon be writing two more, as well as a word search puzzle book called USA Word Find and an educational coloring book titled, Stained Glass Mandalas.
You’ve been very busy! Please tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.
A lady emailed me and told me she’d picked up one of my books at a thrift shop. She read it at a time when her marriage was on the rocks. She told me that she was inspired by my story and stated attending church again. Her husband soon started going with her, and their marriage was eventually healed. She told me that she was attracted by the cover design. I have to tell you that of all my books, that cover was my least favorite. But God knew just what cover that book needed.
I love that! No detail is too small for the Lord. So, Vickie, do you have an unfulfilled dream?
I would love to travel more. There are so many places I want to see, both in the U.S. and other countries.
What ministries are you involved in, and why?
My husband and I are involved in Junior Bible Quiz at our church. We also help out at our annual Day of Hope, which is a ministry to the families who live near our church.
Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
I have three small birds. One is a yellow parrotlet that loves sit on my shoulder. Parrotlets are the second-smallest parrots in the world and are very social. My other two birds are beautiful Lady Gouldian finches. I suggest you look them up to see all of the lovely colors they come in. I enjoy writing with the birds’ soft chirps in the background. It’s a bit like being outside, except no extreme weather or mosquitos.
They sound adorable! What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I love to read. I’ve been learning stained-glass and have made a few projects. I enjoy doing graphic design, except that I have little artistic skill. I’m toying with the idea to learn to paint watercolors next year.
How fun! Please tell us about your next project.
I’ve gotten the rights back on The Bull Rider’s Bride, so I’m going to be self-publishing it. Originally, it was one of three stories in a collection written by different authors. Dusty is the hero, and I’m going in and making minor changes to his story, then I’ll be writing the stories of his two brothers. All three stories should be out in 2020.
I also have a new release coming out in January called The Mail-Order Standoff.
Sounds like you have plenty to keep you busy in 2020! Thank you for sharing with us, Vickie!
Writing for Him,