I’m happy to host Christian Romance author Regina Rudd Merrick this week. I hope you enjoy her interview and learning more about her writing and new release, Window Of Peace (Book Two in the Stained-Glass Legacy series from Scrivenings Press).
Be sure to comment below by April 25 for a chance to win an ebook copy! (US winner only)
Welcome, Regina! Please tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I’m married to my high school sweetheart – 40 years in August! – and live in the tiny town of Marion, in Kentucky, where my husband came to teach 30+ years ago, and we never left! We have two adult daughters and a son-in-law, but no grands yet. My oldest and her husband live in Brooklyn, NY, and my youngest lives in Evansville, Indiana, and is a high school English teacher.
I married my high school sweetheart, too. We celebrated 41 years last December. What hobbies do you enjoy? Have you incorporated any of them into your books?
One of my passions is music! I’m a pianist, and have worked in church music for over forty years. I’m currently playing keyboard and singing in a praise band. I did put music in my first book, Carolina Dream. My main character was a pianist, and she had her grandmother’s beautiful, HEAVY upright piano—just like me! I also love renovating and decorating, and we’ve done a rather large renovation in the last year! In my RenoVations books, the characters are part of a design/build family business, so I got to include housing in my books, as well!
More we have in common! I love music and sang in church and played the piano for many years. We’ve done a few major renovations to our home and flipped an entire house seven years ago for our daughter and her family to live in. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
LOL – a secretary. I wanted to be able to dress up, go to work, and type all day. Now, I get to type all day, but I don’t have to dress up OR leave the house! 😊
Haha, I love that! I’ve been our church’s secretary for over twenty tears. How and when did you start writing?
I started a sequel to Gone with the Wind when I was a teen, but I didn’t truly start writing until my 40s. I found a fanfiction website/forum that had stories about one of my favorite shows, Sue Thomas: FBEye, and started writing. I probably wrote the equivalent of five novels there. I was mentored by some other writers on the site who were there to practice, and then started working on a book that took 10 years to get published. Carolina Dream came to life in 2017!
Perseverance paid off. Congratulations on publishing your book! What genre do you write and what inspired you to write that particular genre?
I generally write Contemporary Romance, although my current release is a Historical Romance! I started writing in Contemporary Romance because that was what I loved to read, and the current book is part of a series I brainstormed with the other four authors about five years ago! Window of Peace is part of a four-book series by four different authors, in four different time periods, all centered around a family, a chapel, and a stained-glass window.
Sounds intriguing. How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?
Christ is our only hope, our only road to peace, and magnificently trustworthy. Many of my characters are Christians who have turned away from God because of struggles, and some are just questioning their faith. I find that this is a common theme in humanity—and sometimes in ME. I don’t like sappy, preachy books, and in some of my books there are no scenes of going to church, overt witnessing, etc. Doesn’t mean they AREN’T, I just didn’t write scenes about it. I want to write realistically about people who live in a fallen world, and learn how important trusting in God is to their everyday life.
I love reading realistic fiction with characters who learn to trust in God. What is the setting of your current novel? Is it a real location or fictional? Tell us about it.
The setting for Window of Peace is fictional Park Haven, Tennessee in 1970, during the Vietnam War. We’ve put it close to Clarksville, TN, which is easy for me because it’s the largest town between my house and Nashville! Passed through it many times. Park Haven is a small town with the requisite diner, church, downtown businesses, and, in my story, a veterinary clinic. Everybody knows everybody else, and outsiders are watched closely for a while!
Clarksville, TN is one of the towns in the book I’m working on. What a small world. What do you hope your readers take away from Window of Peace?
Life is tough, we go through tough things, and sometimes we don’t get the result we want, but you know what? God is tougher, and he knows better than us what we need.
Amen! Has a reader ever blessed your socks off? How?
Definitely! At a library “meet the author” event, I met a young woman who, as soon as she arrived, came up and hugged me, introducing me to her small children. She’d gotten a copy of my first book, Carolina Dream, and said she told her coworkers my story, blow-by-blow, on their breaks. She said everyone was so happy when they finally KISSED! I didn’t make many sales, but she made my day!
How fun. What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Two things: write, and find other writers. It can be a lonely business, but the world of Christian fiction is full of amazing authors who will bend over backward to help one another.
I agree 100%. Speaking of other amazing authors, what are you reading right now?
At this writing, I’m reading Becky Wade’s My Stubborn Heart, which I started reading immediately after reading her novel, Down Memory Lane. What a powerful book!!
As we wrap up, tell us what’s next from you.
I’m playing with a couple of series ideas. One is connected to my Southern Breeze Series, set in South Carolina, and the other is a romantic suspense series, possibly set in Washington, D.C. That would be a new genre for me, although I do like to add a little mystery to some of my books!
It’s been a pleasure getting to know you, Regina. I wish you the best with your writing. Thanks for sharing on my blog today!
Comment on this author interview with Regina Rudd Merrick by April 25 for a chance to win her #historicalromance novel Windows of Peace. #amreading #giveawayTweet
Join the conversation. Do you enjoy reading Historical Romance? Have you read any of Regina’s books? What part of Regina’s interview resonated with you most?
Be sure to scroll to the comments section below and leave your comment by April 25 for a chance to win a digital copy of Regina’s latest book, Window of Peace. (US winner only)
Window of Peace by Regina Rudd Merrick
Click the book cover for purchase link
Before being drafted, U.S. Army Lieutenant K9 Handler Michael Connor (MC) Dunne led charmed life. He had a plan. He would finish veterinary school, get married, and take over the local animal clinic. Enter the Vietnam War.
When MC arrives, injured, back in Park Haven, Tennessee, there’s a new vet in town, Nancy Jean Baker, hired when the local veterinarian suffered a heart attack. So much for his plan.
Violent flashbacks and nightmares pull him away from his faith and turn him into a hermit, fearing that he will hurt those he loves. His safe place is the family farm, working on the old cabin and chapel that his great-uncle built in the early 1900s. He assists his grandfather in repairs to the buildings and the stained-glass window that is a family treasure from Ireland.
When one of those closest to him is put in harm’s way, he has to act. If he does, will he, in a fit of rage, slide into the violence of war and become a threat instead of a solution?
But if he doesn’t, he may as well have not come back at all.
Regina Rudd Merrick started her journey as a life-long lover of reading in first grade, and eventually parlayed that love of literature into a degree in library science, with stints as both elementary and middle school librarians, and later as a public library director.
She is also a multi-published author, church musician, wife, mother, lover of all things fun, beachy, and chocolate, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Married to her husband of nearly 40 years, she is the mother of two grown daughters, and lives in the small town of Marion, KY.
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