Erica Vetsch Interview
I met Erica this year at the ACFW writing conference. She's a new author, but her first book won't be the last! Read on to find out more about her . . .
How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear "call?" Or have you just loved writing all your life?
- I have always loved spinning stories in my head, and I have always loved reading fiction, so I suppose it was a natural progression to want to write those stories down. I recently heard it said that there are those who are called by God to write, and those that write because they want to, and both offer their writing as an offering to God. I don’t know that I was necessarily ‘called’ to write, but I do love it and I try to glorify God with my fiction.
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
- I write historical romance. HR is a story set in another era, usually WW2 or before, where the primary focus of the story is the romance between the hero and heroine. The setting and giving the reader a sense of being transported to another place and time are important reasons why a reader might choose to read historical romance. And the story must have a happily-ever-after ending to be a true romance.
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
- I am a home school mom as well as the company bookkeeper for our family lumber business, so those activities take quite a bit of my time. I write mostly in the afternoons, and occasionally on the weekends. I try not to write in the evenings after my husband gets home from work.
- I set word count goals for myself each writing day. And I keep a word counter on my blog to mark my progress. I’m very goal oriented, so setting word counts is an excellent way to motivate myself.
- From the planning stage to the final draft takes about three months, barring unforeseen obstacles. This is for a category romance. Obviously a trade-length romance will take longer.
What is the spiritual message in your latest book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?
- In The Bartered Bride, the characters both struggle with God’s sovereignty. The hero wants God to change someone else’s heart, when what he really needs is for his own heart to be changed. And the heroine needs to learn that God’s plan for us won’t be helped by forcing the issue.
- I hope the readers get, first, an enjoyable read. I hope they are able to see how God is in control of every situation, even those that seem so out of control.
- The Bartered Bride, Heartsong Presents Romance #875, just came out this fall. Here’s a little bit from the back cover:
- Jonathan Kennebrae is furious when his grandfather informs him that his future has been decided. He will marry Melissa Brooke or be disinherited. Jonathan has invested years of his life in Kennabrae Shipping, but heaven help him if Grandfather decides to take it all away for this.
- Melissa, too, is devastated when her parents make their announcement. As little more than a bargaining chip in her father’s business maneuvers, she feels her secure world slipping away. Engaged to marry a man she has never met—someone "considerably older" than herself? What have her parents done?
- Can Jonathan and Melissa find a way out of this loveless marriage, or must they find a way forward together?
The Bartered Bride is available at http://www.christianbook.com/ and also by calling the publisher directly at (740) 922-7280.
Where do you get ideas? Character names? Do you find your characters similar to you in any way?
- A lot of my ideas come from reading history books. I come across something interesting, then wonder what it would be like to have lived through it. Character names come from all over the place. I try to pick a name I think suits the personality of the character. I also find interesting names in my reading. As to my characters being similar to me...not so much. My characters are always people I WISH I could be. J
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do youcare to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?
- There were definitely times when I wondered why I was doing this, when those rejections would come, or I didn’t seem to be making any progress. But I don’t think I ever seriously considered throwing in the towel. Writing is hard. It’s hard work, it’s hard on the emotions, and it’s hard to persevere. My greatest encouragement has come from my family and from my writing friends who understand how difficult this journey is.
- I do love to hear stories of people sticking with it and finding success. A couple of writers who have inspired me with their perseverance are Mary Connealy and Debbie Macomber.
Would you explain how you "chose" (or was chosen) a publisher? Do you just go "inny, minny, miny, moe?" Grin. Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
- After submitting several trade-length manuscripts to publishers and getting rejected, I had the idea for a romance I thought would fit Heartsong Presents guidelines. Knowing that Heartsong published more than fifty romances a year, and that they were open to new authors, I thought this might be a good place to start. I wrote the story, pitched it at the 2007 ACFW Conference, and a year later was thrilled to hear my editor award me a contract at the 2008 ACFW Conference. The wait nearly killed me!
- After that first contract, I got busy and have written several more novels that are also contracted. The current release schedule looks like this:
The Kennebrae Brides Series:
- The Bartered Bride: November, 2009
- The Marriage Masquerade: January 2010
- The Engineered Engagement: June 2010
The Brides of Money Creek:
- Clara and the Cowboy – April 2010
- Lily and the Lawman – August 2010
- Maggie and the Maverick – November 2010
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
- I love reading and loathe seafood. Love swimming, don’t like coffee. College basketball rocks, but I don’t care who is Dancing With The Stars. J
- Hobbies: Writing has nudged out a lot of other hobbies, but when I can, I cross-stitch, crochet, watch movies, and hang with friends.
- If I could travel, I’d love to see The British Museum, The Pyramids, and The Southern Alps.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
- You can find me on the web at www.onthewritepath.blogspot.com/
- I’d love it if folks would drop by and say hello.
- I’m giving away a copy of The Bartered Bride to a commenter here. Please leave a comment and a way for Carole to contact you.
What a fun interview. Don't her books sound fantastic? Thanks, Erica, for sharing with us a part of your world.
Folks, you like gentle love stories? Then leave a comment or email me and you just might be the person to win a book from Erica!