Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four young children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events.
Gabrielle can be found at www.gabriellemeyer.com where she writes about her passion for history, Minnesota, and her faith. You can also connect with Gabrielle on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Welcome to the blog, Gabrielle. I’m so happy to have you here today. Congratulations on your newest release, A Mother in the Making.
Can you tell us what first sparked the idea for this novel?
First, thank you for having me today, Savanna! It’s an honor to be a guest on your lovely blog.
My idea for A Mother in the Making was sparked by an old photograph I own. It’s a sad picture and it’s always tugged at my heart. It’s a father and his four children standing over the coffin of his deceased wife. Post-mortem photography was common then, but it’s still hard to look at. I’ve always wondered what happened to that dad and his children, so I decided to write their happily-ever-after ending. The picture is set sometime in the mid-1910’s, making me think of the Spanish Flu Pandemic that gripped the world in 1917 and 1918. I wondered how I could make the conflict even stronger, so I decided to make the father a doctor who is trying to nurse the community back to health when his wife contracts the disease and dies. After a month, he determines to marry again, in name only, so his children have a mother. In walks Marjorie Maren, a young socialite from Chicago on her way to California to become a film actress. She serves as his temporary governess, but she’s never held a baby and doesn’t know what she’s doing, but she’s determined to find the good doctor a wife before she leaves…never realizing that she’s exactly what he needs.
Oh wow! I love hearing the history behind the story. I can’t wait to read this! 😉
What would you say is the easiest part about being a writer and what is the hardest part?
For me, the easiest part is coming up with story ideas. I write stories inspired by real people, places, and events in Minnesota (where I live), so all I need to do is look around me and listen. I find story ideas when I pour over old newspapers, read history books, study old letters and journals, listen to stories from community members, and investigate cool buildings in town. The hardest part is finding the time to write. I’m a mother to four children, we homeschool two of them, operate my husband’s landscaping and lawn care company, volunteer in the church and community, and spend time with friends and family. It’s hard to learn to balance it all, and some days I do better than others, but now that I’m a contracted author on deadline I’ve had to sacrifice to find the time to get in my word count goals.
There have been so many cool moments. One of my recent favorites was when my grandma read my book. She’s a sweet woman, but she’s never been afraid to tell it like it is, so I’m always waiting for her honest feedback. She came to my book release party for A Mother in the Making and bought a copy of my book. The very next day she called and said she couldn’t put the book down. She had started it when she got home from the party and stayed up past her bedtime to read (that in itself is an amazing feat), then she picked it up the next morning and finished it in the afternoon. She wanted me to know how much she loved it and asked when the next one is available. It’s fascinating to me that as we seek things like publication, and think about all the people who might read our stories, it’s the people who are closest to us that matter the most when it comes to reviews.
Beautifully said. Your grandma sounds so sweet, btw. 😉
What do you love most about the state where you live?
Oh, my! This is the jackpot question. I was born and raised in the town where my husband and I live in Minnesota, but for a year and a half we lived in Ames, Iowa while he finished college. I worked at a hotel and my co-workers called me Miss Minnesota, because I love my state so much. The love affair with all things Minnesota continues. I am a huge fan of our state history, our diverse landscape, our lakes and rivers, and our people. (Notice I didn’t say our winters…) But if I had to choose one thing I couldn’t live without, I would have to say the Mississippi River. Our home is on the banks of the Mississippi (I’m looking at it as I type this), and it’s my favorite part of living here. We’re about a hundred miles south of the headwaters, so the river is narrow here. We can yell across and talk to our neighbors who live on the other side. All my stories incorporate the river, especially because it was so instrumental in our early history.
I saw on FB that you host annual writer’s retreats. That is SO cool! Can you share with us a favorite moment from this last retreat?
I’m an extrovert (which apparently is rare among writers), so I love connecting with other authors. I’m all about support groups. Since I don’t have many writer friends in my hometown, I’ve had to import them from destinations around the country. 🙂 This past June was the largest retreat I’ve hosted to date. There were eighteen authors who joined me at a historic estate in my hometown. We had so much fun. It was truly a perfect weekend and I wouldn’t change a thing. We played games, ate amazing food (courtesy of my sister and cousin who spoiled us), brainstormed, wrote, watched movies, went on a walking tour (I was a tour guide for ten years before staying home full time), watched fireworks over the river (there was a festival in town that weekend), and fellowshipped together. One of my favorite moments was one evening after it had rained the sky turned the most brilliant shade of pink I’ve ever seen. It was stunning and since the estate is on the banks of the Mississippi, it was even more so. It was picture-perfect.
That sounds like so much fun! 🙂 Thanks for joining us today, Gabrielle. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
In December I have another Love Inspired Historical novel releasing (A Family Arrangement), as well as a Barbour Novella Collection (Seven Brides for Seven Texans). I’m also working on another Love Inspired Historical, which should be released sometime next summer.
Thank you for hosting me! I had fun answering your questions.
That sounds great! Blessings to you and your stories!
Gabrielle has graciously offered to give away a copy of A Mother In the Making to one lucky reader! Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest is open to US residents only and ends October 11, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!