Yesterday we had Melanie with her latest release, and today Kari is the proud Mama of her latest novel, For Richer or Poorer. So stay away from the doors and windows, keep close to the fire and read on. Oh, I know, Onisha, you're already warm down in Florida. One day I hope to join you for a glass of lemonade!
Could you share a little about yourself and what led you to become a writer?
I am a writer of Christian fiction, homeschooling mom of 4, and wife. I’ve always had stories in my head, but it took having a friend who finally fulfilled her dream of writing before I believed enough in myself to do it. I loved writing, but thought my gift was helping others. Well stand up and take a bow, because you did it!
Do you write full time? How much of your life is set aside for writing?
I don’t. With running a house, homeschooling, and other activities I can’t devote my full days to it yet. I do devote two hours a night to writing. I must write at least 1000 words a night, 6 days a week. That is still quite the goal!
Could you tell us a little about your novel?
For Richer or Poorer is a historical novel set half in Kansas (like the first book in the series) and half on the Minnesota/Canada border. It centers on Elizabeth Whitte who has run away to find a husband to beat her sister to the inheritance in their father’s will. She is stranded there for a time and meets Robert, a Canadian Mountie, who turns her world upside down.
Would you take us on a brief tour of your novel and the world you’ve created?
I am from central MN so the first half of the novel takes place close to where I grew up. MN has many lakes and rivers, with beautiful conifer trees and snow at least four months a year. Fort Frances does exist today, but the Fort Frances in my story is out of my imagination. It is directly across the border from International Falls, MN.
Where does the inspiration for your main character and story come from?
Elizabeth was a secondary character in the first novel in the Western Vows Series, she was mean and nasty. She desperately needed Jesus and I couldn’t wait to watch her take steps to mature and grow, at the start by accident, then to really become a beautiful woman inside and out. I can't wait to see how you pulled that off. It sounds like a wonderful story of growth.
What do you think makes a good romance story?
A good romance needs two main characters that when they finally do realize they have this growing relationship are better together than they are apart.
How do you handle the emotional side of romance writing?
A box of tissues and a secret stash of chocolate. Ooh, I can do chocolate! In all seriousness, the emotional side is difficult because I do want my readers to love my characters as much as I do, voluntarily putting yourself through these situations can wring you out, but it is worth it. True, I remember finishing an emotional scene feeling like I'd run a marathon. It felt like I had gone through the trials in the story.
Which elements do you think are more important in this type of writing?
Understanding people and how they would react to a situation, realizing that it isn’t always how you would. People are a palette of emotion and in romance, you need a narrow brush and a lot of colors. As an artist who loves painting, I approve of your analogy.
What is the message behind the story? Was it something you specifically wrote a story around or did it develop as your characters came to life?
This is, at its heart, a redemption story. Elizabeth seems hopelessly lost, but through trials and situations, she learns how she used to act toward people, how she hurt them. Not only that, she learns that forgiveness is more than just what you say. This was not intentional, I fully believe that I am meant to grow and learn right along with my characters. I learn new truths as the characters live it.
Do you work from an outline or just go with the flow? If you use an outline, how detailed is it?
I have tried both ways, but I’ve had the most success with seat of my pants writing. Plotting so far has felt restrictive, though I would eventually like to get into that mode of writing. From a fellow 'pantster', Tis a noble goal!
What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years?
The novel spans roughly nine months. I like my romances to take a little time.
Quite a bit, I studied the Canadian Mounties, Anishinaabe Native People, fashions of 1900-1901, dance cards, Percherons, Nurses and maps of the Northern border of MN. I find the research part of writing fun. Isn’t it now? How awesome is it that we get to learn so much just from our writing?
Could you tell us how you go about your research, how you ‘catalogue’ information to make it all work?
For this book, I had to go to the library and look up some things, those facts were put in a notebook for future reference. Many things I look up are done with simple online searches. I keep folders on my search engine for each novel. That way, it is easy to locate a site if I need to remember anything.
How have the changes in present-day publishing impacted your schedule as a writer?
I love that as a self-published author I can make my own deadlines, and I do make them. When you promise people you will have a novel out in a given month, you’d better have it ready.
How do you handle marketing? Do you have a plan, a publicist or just take one day at a time?
I do have a marketing plan, it focuses on my goals and how many people I can reach. I don’t have a publicist, so I look for opportunities to fulfill my marketing goals. I have a list of daily things that I do, then keep my eyes open for other ways to achieve those goals faster. You should come back and share these daily things. I’m sure other authors could use some good ideas.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Never stop learning and getting your work critiqued. The more you learn and receive good feedback, the better you will get at your craft.
Could you tell us what you’re working on now?
I am currently working on the prequel to the Western Vows Series, Forsaking All Others and the third book in the series To Love and Comfort. I have the start of another series outlined (so you see I do outline a little). That one is scheduled for writing in October of 2016. We'll keep an eye out for it.
For Richer or Poorer
Western Vows, Book 2
By Kari Trumbo
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Elizabeth Whitte finds herself on the frigid border of Minnesota and Canada as winter is about to set in. When her plans of finding a husband and rushing back to Kansas fall through, she has to stay and learn a few things…like how to care for others.
Robert is a Mountie in Fort Frances, Canada. When he meets Elizabeth, his first instinct is to send her home. He’s been burned by wealthy women in the past and knows his life isn’t suited for them. Elizabeth’s pull is strong, but he cannot leave his beloved Canada.
As Elizabeth matures in many ways, Robert must decide if sending her back to Kansas is still a good idea. Could she learn to love him, even if he can’t provide all
that she’s used to having?
Excerpt from For Richer or Poorer
Elizabeth gasped, she’d forgotten to get something for Robert. That would have been a good thing to do. She hadn’t had much time with Meg here, but what a terrible excuse.
Luc handed her a ball of entwined branches with delicate, tear-shaped leaves and white berries, a red ribbon tied to it as a hanger.
“Sticks?” She looked at him through her eyebrows. “You want me to give the man I want to convince to marry me a ball of sticks?” She held her hand back to throw it at him.
“It isn’t just sticks.” He raised up his hands to catch it if she followed through with her threat. “It’s a mistletoe ball. Don’t you know about mistletoe?”
“No. I don’t know why leaves would help me or be a good gift, hence, why I want to throw this at you.”
“Well don’t. It’s pretty fragile. I just made it this morning. A mistletoe ball is placed in a doorway and the woman caught underneath it must be given a kiss.”
Elizabeth considered this. “Kissing sticks?” She laughed inspecting the little green ball with one eyebrow notched dangerously high. “Does Robert know of this nonsense, or am I going to have to explain it?”
“I’m sure Robert knows. I think I even caught him a year or two ago kissing some unsuspecting lass under the mistletoe.”
Elizabeth shot daggers at him with her eyes. “Where can I find him?”
About the Author:
Kari Trumbo is a writer of Christian Historical Romance and a stay-at-home mom to four vibrant children. She does freelance developmental editing, blogging, and book reviews. When she isn’t writing or editing, she homeschools her children and pretends to keep up with them. Kari has written two other novels in the Western Vows series and one prequel/novella. The second novel in the series, For Richer or Poorer will be released in February. Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing with the worship team, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of eighteen years, two daughters, two sons, and four cats.
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