Melissa Jagears is a stay-at-home mother to three small children on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. Her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly.
For more about Melissa and her writing, visit her website: http://melissajagears.com/
Can you tell us what was your favorite part about writing this story?
Melissa: My favorite part about writing this story was how I got to bring back so many characters from A Bride for Keeps that I never intended to. I never meant the series to be connected books, but when my publisher asked for a prequel novella about my hero’s neighbors, I figured I should at least make the hero for A Bride in Store come from A Bride for Keeps as well, but as I plotted and wrote, other secondary characters “raised their hand” and volunteered to show up again. 🙂
Savanna: What do you hope your readers will take away from this series?
Melissa: Both my hero and heroine have a dream that seems unattainable. I don’t hope my readers get any particular answer to anything from my book, but I hope they look at their dreams and goals and make sure it’s worth striving for, if it’s hurting them in other areas, if they need to pursue it even harder, etc.
Savanna: On your website, you mentioned all the mail-order bride stories you researched and the various dilemmas those women faced. Can you share with us one of the more memorable stories that really stood out to you, maybe even surprised you?
Melissa: Oh my, so many were interesting. I remember a really sad one where a young teenage girl was corresponding with a man in his late twenties for months unbeknownst to her parents, when they got engaged in their letters and he came up to visit, her parents were adamant that they could not marry because of the age difference and his lack of wealth. The couple tried several times and several ways to convince the parents to let them marry. When the girl decided they’d never let them marry, she asked her fiancé how to kill a dog that was terrorizing the neighborhood in one of the many meetings/letters they still secretly exchanged. She killed herself with his advice for how to kill the dog, and upon hearing she’d committed suicide, he killed himself in the same manner…..I so wanted to write that story, so full of emotion and angst and conflict, but that sure wouldn’t be the happily ever after I want to be known for, so I’ll pass on writing the true-life mail-order bride version of Romeo and Juliet.
Savanna: Wow! What an incredible story. So sad, yet intriguing at the same time!
I read on your website that you and your husband share a fascination for homesteading. What’s been one of your favorite things to learn about this lifestyle?
Melissa: We’re not good at it; it’s still mostly a dream! But we do like the aspect of relying on ourselves and making do. We make our own soap, hang out the laundry, raise our own poultry, fashion needed clothing out of things I pick up from the thrift store, cook at home from scratch, etc. The self-reliance is a kick, though I’m happy to have a grocery store. I soooo do not have a green thumb. Which probably makes you want to roll your eyes at me since you’re a gardener/seed company person, and it probably makes it worse when I tell you my mother’s entire yard has basically been converted into gardens and greenhouses, etc. She’s the plant person and evidently did not pass that gene down to me.
Savanna: I think that’s awesome! I love to see people pursuing homesteading and living off the land. There are so many rewards to that lifestyle, no matter how you go about it. Believe me, I still have a lot to learn when it comes to gardening. How about you show me how to make my own soap and I’ll help you become a gardener?! 😉
So what does your writing schedule look like from day to day? Any helpful tips – or secrets – on how you manage all your writing responsibilities?
Melissa: My writing schedule mainly consists of trying to do marketing and all the non-writing activities that come with writing in between homeschooling and caring for the kids during the day. Then when everyone goes to bed, I write. I try to go to bed by midnight, but I’ve been known to stay up until two…..or four when I’m behind on deadline.
One hint is don’t have a newborn and a contractual obligation at the same time! 🙂 But if I can write a book and keep a baby alive, then no one has an excuse for not getting something done! But really, that’s the thing, it’s not working around things, but simply not doing them. If you want to (insert your dream), but “don’t have the time” …. well, that’s not true. You have the time, but are doing something else that you’re placing a higher value on—which might be good, might be bad. Some things you might have to give up if you want your dream more could be really good things, but don’t tell me you don’t have time…. especially if you watch television! I haven’t had a TV for nearly eight years now and being without one makes it so much easier to see my friends lose time to that thing. So if you really want something and still watch TV, I’d consider kicking that to the curb first!
Savanna: What is one of your most unforgettable moments from your writing career to date?
Melissa: Ha, I’d say it was having a baby while I was supposed to be hosting a blog post to promote my books. So, I’m commenting on this really active blog because my critique partner and I are the hosts and only plan to be gone for an hour for a doctor appointment where the doctor becomes concerned for the baby so instead of returning home to comment some more, I end up in the hospital to start an emergency induction. Well, the Pitocin took forever and I was so bored, so I got out my old kindle because wifi was broken at the hospital and it had 3G (I don’t own a cell phone) and hopped back on to the blog to talk about how bored I was in labor…. and if you’ve ever typed on a kindle keyboard, you know exactly how bored I was. So while everyone in the world was sleeping, I’m commenting with a few late nighters on Seekerville about my book, critique partner, and labor. So my having a baby is permanently recorded on the internet comment section of Seekerville.
Savanna: Love that! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Melissa. I’m so glad you could join us today.
Readers, connect with Melissa by visiting the links below:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/melissajagearsauthor
Facebook Blog Page: https://www.facebook.com/InspirationalHistoricalFictionIndex
Melissa has graciously offered one copy of A BRIDE IN STORE to one lucky winner!
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