Congratulations to Becky S. ~ Our contest winner! Thanks to all who participated!!
It’s wonderful to have fellow Mantle Rock author Regina Rudd Merrick with us today. Welcome!
Could you tell us a bit about yourself, Regina? What do you enjoy doing outside of writing?
Other than writing, my favorite activity is music and decorating – well thinking about decorating! I play piano and sing in our church’s praise band, sing in the choir, and do a lot of accompanying. My grandmother was a church pianist for well over 30 years, and only stopped when I was able to take over! I’m also an HGTV-aholic, and hope someday to visit Waco, TX of Fixer Upper fame. Some friends of ours recently visited Brimfield Market, a huge flea market in Massachusetts where they go in Flea Market Flip, so that’s also on the bucket list!
Sounds like you have a great bucket list. Your debut inspirational novel is entitled, Carolina Dream. Can you share with us its main storyline and theme?
Carolina Dream came about because of – you guessed it – a dream!! In the story, the main character, Sarah, has a recurring dream about a mansion in disrepair and a man with chocolate brown eyes. In attempting to avoid the wedding of her former fiancée, she latches on to the opportunity to travel from KY to SC in order to claim an inheritance from an unknown relative. Who knew she would find a mansion – AND a man with chocolate brown eyes? Overcoming fear and doubt, Sarah and Jared find that God has better plans for them than they could have dreamed.
Great storyline! How long have you dreamed of being a novelist?
I really never thought about it until a few years ago. Oh, as a teen, I attempted to write THE sequel to Gone With the Wind in which they lived happily ever after, but later I found fan fiction. That’s what ignited the writing bug. I wrote Christian-themed fanfiction on the same website as my good friend and published author, Lorna Seilstad. She was using it as a way to practice and develop her craft, and I was just having fun. After writing several novel-length stories surrounding the television show Sue Thomas, FBEye, I was invited to join a group of writers on the site that were interested in publication. I had started Carolina Dream by then, and that spurred me on to join ACFW and attend a conference. The rest is history!
Oh I loved that series!! Watched every episode! What project are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the second book in the “Southern Breeze” series, titled Carolina Mercy. In the wings are a Western Inspy romance, and maybe a suspense!
Wow! Lots going on! What do you enjoy most about writing?
The best feeling is typing “the end.” It’s a feeling of accomplishment that is mostly unrivaled.
Amen! I know the feeling! What has been most helpful in your writing journey?
The editing process. Mantle Rock Publishing’s editor, Pam Watts Harris, is amazing. She doesn’t change the voice of the author, but every suggestion just makes it better and better. That was the most fun part of publication.
Pam is great! What advice do you have for others who are pursuing a career in writing?
Learn as much as you can about writing. Go to conferences – there are all kinds of them from large and expensive to small and inexpensive. Find a writing group. In mine, I also found my publisher. You just never know what contacts you will make when you get together with other writers!
Great advice! Could you share one interesting/funny tidbit about yourself or your writing that would bring a smile to our faces?
Oh, that’s an easy one. The very first time I met with my writing group, we met at Kathy Cretsinger’s home about 30 miles from where I live. We had a great meeting. I think it was myself, Kathy, Susan Page Davis, and Sandra Robbins. As we were leaving, I started backing out of the driveway and heard a loud “screech,” and couldn’t go any further! I thought, “Oh, no. I’ve hit somebody’s car!” No, not a car. I did, however, take out the Cretsinger’s flag pole, which was directly in my blind spot as I backed around the little loop in their drive. Fortunately, they were planning to take it down anyway, and have thanked me for accomplishing that for them. I guess they meant it, because a few years later, as owners of Mantle Rock Publishing, they published my book!
How funny! Kathy’s a good sport for sure! Thanks so much for joining us, Regina!
Carolina Dream by Regina Rudd Merrick
Sarah Crawford wants more from life than to attend the wedding of her ex-fiancée. An unexpected inheritance in South Carolina comes at the perfect time, just as Sarah is willing to use any excuse to get out of town.
When she meets potential business partner Jared Benton and discovers that a house is part of the inheritance, she is sure that God has been preparing her for this time through a recurring dream. But will a dream about an antebellum mansion, many rooms to be explored, and a man with dark brown eyes give her the confidence to take a leap of faith, leaving friends, family, and her job behind?
Regina Rudd Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and she is currently the director of a small public library in Marion, KY. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. Visit Regina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on her website at www.reginamerrick.wordpress.com.
Purchase links (Amazon.com):
Read how God works in the lives of Cynthia’s characters in her debut inspirational historical romance novel, UNDER THIS SAME SKY.
~ Available in both e-book and print: Amazon.com.