This week Kelly Irvin is here to share with us. Hi, Kelly. Please tell us about your book Love Redeemed.
Love Redeemed is a very personal story for me. When I was eight months pregnant with my son (who’s 22 now), I lost a brother in a tragic accident. With this story, I explore those feelings of grief that are universal at the loss of a loved one. I wanted to explore the faith issues related to grief and death and knowing that God has a plan for each one of us and that he knows the number of days we will be on this earth. Love Redeemed also explores God’s grace and forgiveness. Phoebe and Michael make a decision that seems innocent enough, but has terrible consequences. How they come to accept God’s forgiveness and his grace and learn to forgive themselves is a story of love redeemed.
This sounds like a deep read. How long did it take you to write it?
This book poured out of me. I’m a fast writer because I used to be a newspaper reporter so I was accustomed to writing on deadline everyday. But I couldn’t get this story down fast enough. I think I wrote the first draft in three or four months. Then I asked my editor to take a look at it even though the book wasn’t due yet. She had some suggestions that really helped me with character development and making sure Phoebe and Michael were who I meant them to be as people. In the end, it took probably six months total for a 107,000 word manuscript.
Yep, I’d say that’s some fast writing. 🙂
How did you come up with the idea of this story?
As I said earlier, this really comes from a personal experience in my life, but also wanting to explore the spiritual theme of God’s grace and forgiveness. Sometimes we forget that He will forget anything if we ask him and repent. Forgiving ourselves can be the hardest thing to do.
How long have you been writing?
All my life. When I was in grade school my sister and I had our own little newspaper. I wrote short stories, poems and plays through middle school and high school. I received a degree in journalism and worked as a reporter for ten years before going into public relations. I’ve written nonfiction magazine articles, columns, and features as part of jobs throughout my career. I always wanted to write novels, however. I woke up on my forty-fifth birthday and thought, if I’m ever going to do this, I better do it now or it’s going to be too late. It took another seven years to get my first novel, a romantic suspense called A Deadly Wilderness, published. Love Redeemed will be my eighth published novel. I’m a late bloomer!
What is your favorite part of being a writer?
When I get into a story so deeply I’m lost in the characters and what’s happening to them. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer so I don’t outline and sometimes a character will appear or one of the main characters will do something or say something that comes as a complete surprise to me. I love it when that happens. When the story takes on a life of its own and I’m just the conduit.
Finally my sixteen year old son was sitting next to me when I put this month’s interview questions together. I let him choose a question and he would like to know why all Great American Novels end in death?
I think many writers are also deep thinkers who are trying to puzzle their way through the really important issues that we face as human beings. We so want to be in control of our destinies and we’re not. We can overcome all/most obstacles, but not death. We all will face it and most of us don’t know when or where. That scares people, regardless of their faith. Death or the fear of death or trying to avoid death or trying to go on after losing a loved one to death makes for powerful stories. It certainly is a huge part of the story line and the faith message in Love Redeemed. I tried to reconcile our human fear of death with our faith in God and his promise of salvation and eternal life. He gave his only son so that we don’t have to afraid of dying. That makes for a powerful story too!
Anyone who would like to be entered into a drawing for Kelly’s book needs to leave her a comment.
Drawing Rules: Drawing is open to USA mailing addresses only. The drawing ends 7/07/2014. The winner will be contacted by email on 7/08/14 and have until 7/13/2014 to respond or forfeit–no new winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited by law.
Kelly Irvin is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest Housing Publishing. Her latest release is Love Redeemed, set in Amish country in Missouri, which debuted in March. It will be followed by the final book in the series, A Plain Love Song, in July. She is currently working on The Beekeeper’s Son, the first book in the Amish of Bee County series, for Zondervan. She has also penned two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.
The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter. She currently works full-time in public relations Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-six years. They have two young adult children, one gorgeous new granddaughter, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.