Today I have Faith Blum on my blog for an interview. Faith recently published Amazing Grace, book 3 of the Hymns of the West series, which I really enjoyed. You can read my full review over at Shire Reviews. If you like good, Christian historical fiction, you'll love Amazing Grace. But without further ado, here's Faith.
Hi, Faith! Welcome to my blog. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, Morgan! Thanks for having me. Sure! I’m a twenty-something author of three books (so far). I live at home with my family and currently write full time. I love to play games with my family, read, write, do crafts, and play piano.
For anyone who doesn’t know, the Hymns of the West series is a series of Christian Westerns. Could you tell us a little more about it?
The Hymns of the West series is the story about two families and how God’s providence leads them together in a way only He can.
What gave you the idea for the Hymns of the West series, and what made you decide to title the books after hymns?
I’ll answer the last half of the question first. When I was editing A Mighty Fortress, the first book, I didn’t have a really good title. Then I started to notice that the characters quoted, mentioned, or sang the hymn a lot. So the title was born. When I decided to make it into a series, I thought the title Hymns of the West would be unique for a series and also promote some of my favorite hymns that are so rich with good theology.
Do you ever base your characters on real people?
My sister asked me that question just a few weeks ago. She’s one of my beta-readers and had just finished my novellas. Anyway, the answer is no. Not on purpose anyway. I might put elements of different people in my characters, but that’s pretty hard to avoid unless you go with super unrealistic characters.
Which of the Amazing Grace characters would you most like to spend the day with?
Ooo! That is hard! I think Rachel. She might only be ten, but I think she would be a lot of fun to be around for a whole day.
Let’s talk about writing. I get writer’s block quite a bit. What do you do when you get stuck?
I haven’t had writer’s block much, but I did for two horrible weeks the end of last year. I didn’t end up doing any writing or editing. Since then, I have tried something new. When I get stuck, if I know something I want to write about a few scenes (or half the book) ahead, I’ll skip ahead to that and come back when I figure out how to get unstuck. That has helped a lot!
I really like to drink tea while I write. Do you have any special drinks or snacks for writing?
Water. When I get hungry, I like to have smoothies if someone makes them. Otherwise, I just write without or scrounge around for something.
What is your favorite part of writing?
The first draft. After that the writing and editing and rewriting and more editing just gets monotonous. But not always. Sometimes writing the first draft is the hardest and the rewriting and editing is the best part. That was the case for Amazing Grace. The writing was hard. The editing was, too, but it didn’t seem as bad as with A Mighty Fortress and Be Thou My Vision.
On a final note, do you have any advice for someone who would love to write a Western, but doesn’t know where to start?
Read. If you haven’t read a Western, don’t try to write one. Also, remember that not everything in the Old West was shootouts and Indian fights. Try a little variety.
About the Book
Caleb hurried to the post office. He had to get in and out before his sister finished at the general store. “Any mail for the Stuarts?” he asked the postmaster.
The postmaster took a lazy look at him over the top of his eyeglasses and gave a heaving sigh as he turned around to check. “Yep. Somethin’ from Ohio and somethin’ from Montana.”
Tapping his foot, Caleb waited until the large man put the letters lazily in his hand. As he left he wondered why Anna had written someone in Montana and who she knew in Montana. It was really none of his business, but he was still curious. He folded the Ohio letter in half and stashed it in his back pocket. It would get wrinkled, but at least Anna wouldn’t know about it.
As Caleb struggles through some inner battles, he secretly starts a correspondence with a widow and her daughter. Their unabashed faith in God convicts him and increases his inner struggles.
Unable to find a steady job, Maggie places an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her daughter, Rachel, is her motivation and encouragement, but if Maggie doesn’t find a job or husband soon, Rachel might not survive through the next year.
Can Caleb learn to trust God despite his past? Can Maggie and Rachel hold onto their faith despite all their trials? What will happen when they meet in person?
About the Author
As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.
You can find Faith on her Website, Blog, Facebook, and Twitter
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