A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad

My guest today is Lorna Seilstad.

Lorna has called Iowa home her whole life. She received her B.S. in education from Lubbock Christian University. After her first child was born, she quit teaching and became a professional wiper.

"I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby's bottoms, and countertops every day. But at naptime, I wrote."

Today, she writes historical fiction with a generous dash of humor, and lives with her husband and three children—ages 19, 17, and 12.

She grew up attending antique auctions with her parents, and from that, grew a love for history. The love of Oreos is all her own.

When she’s not writing or chauffeuring her kids around, she’s teaching Bible classes, working with her 4-H club, or baking cookies.

Welcome, Lorna. Okay, let’s talk writing and books!

Anne - When did you first realize you were destined to write romance?

Lorna - I’ve always been a storyteller. You know the kid who tells everyone else, “Let’s pretend you’re a an alien and I’ll be the astronaut.” In 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, I had an English teacher who gave us a creative writing assignment every Friday. For example, one Friday, we came to school and there were paper footprints taped on the walls and ceiling and we had to write how the footprints got there. I loved it. It was the highlight of my week. In high school, I became involved in journalism. It wasn’t until I started writing fan fiction online that I realized I loved writing romance. I wrote a lot of stories at Romancefanfiction.net as Oreolover before I ever tried to publish anything.

Anne - Tell us about your book.

Lorna – It’s called A Great Catch.

She wants to change the world.

He wants to change her mind.

It's the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham's meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next.

Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

The perfect summer novel, A Great Catch will enchant you with its breezy setting and endearing characters.

Anne – What are readers saying about A Great Catch?

Lorna - Laura Frantz, author of The Frontiersman's Daughter and Courting Morrow Little said, "A Great Catch weaves humor, history, romance, and spiritual truths into a delicious story that will delight readers' hearts. What a fun, relaxing read! I'd like to remain at Lake Manawa forever."

Sarah Sundin, author of the Wings of Glory series said, "A Great Catch is a grand slam! In a story as refreshing and invigorating as lemonade, Seilstad raises deep questions about a woman's relationship with God, her dreams, and the people in her life--while making me laugh so loudly my kids came running to get in on the joke."

Anne - Is there a message in A Great Catch you want readers to grasp?

Lorna - Oh yes. Although A Great Catch has a generous dash of humor, the heroine, Emily, struggles with juggling all of her commitments. She is dealing with her commitment to the suffrage cause, to her new love, to her family, and to God. We tend to think women “back then” didn’t have to deal with what we do today, but I believe they did and A Great Catch is about setting priorities and making those tough choices.

Anne - What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Lorna - This winter, my husband developed pneumonia and had to be in the hospital for a week. A few weeks later, he had to have lung surgery because of complications from the pneumonia and even spent some time in ICU. The biggest challenge I faced was writing a humorous story when something so difficult and stressful was going on with him. It was also difficult because he spent a great of time home recuperating. I didn’t realize I’d become so used to having the house to myself!

Anne – I completely understand about having the house to yourself, but I’m also glad to hear your husband is healthy again. Any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?

Lorna - I  have five things I like to share with writers who are on the publication journey.

(1) Enjoy the journey.  While there’s nothing like holding your new “baby” in your hands, there is also nothing like the “aha moment” of finally grasping something like POV.

(2) Write. Write. Write. By writing a lot of material, many that will probably never be published, you find your own voice.

(3) Read. Read. Read. Reading teaches your mind about story and character arcs and you don’t even realize it’s happened.

(4) Develop a teachable spirit. There is always so much to learn, and as a writer, you have to understand it’s about your ability to communicate that information or story and not about you.

(5) Find writer friends. A writer’s journey can be lonely and having some friends who understand you and your imaginary friends is vital.

Anne – Great tips! Where can readers find you online?

Lorna – At my website, my blog, plus Inkspirational Messages  (a 10-writer blog). I can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Anne – We’d love to read an excerpt from A Great Catch.

Lorna – Of course!

Chapter 1

Lake Manawa, Iowa, 1901

Three blind mice.

Three little pigs.

Three days in the belly of a whale.

Emily Graham stifled a moan. Some of the worst things in life came in threes, and she was facing her favorite meddlesome trio right now.

“The right to vote won’t warm your bed at night, dear.” Aunt Millie poured fresh lemonade from a crystal pitcher into four glasses, then blotted her round face with a handkerchief. Even though the table, complete with an heirloom lace tablecloth, sat in the shade of the Grahams’ cabin at Lake Manawa, the late May heat brought a sheen to her aunt’s crinkled brow.

Emily pressed the glass of lemonade to her cheek and watched the sailboats on the lake lazily glide across the rippling surface. “As hot as it is, the last thing I want is a warm bed.”

“Honestly, what are we going to do with you?” Aunt Ethel, rail thin, stiffened in her chair, and Emily imagined her aunt would launch into a tirade concerning Emily’s faults at any minute.

Aunt Ethel turned toward her older silvery-haired sister, Emily’s grandmother. “It’s your fault, Kate. You filled her head with all those ridiculous notions of changing the world, women voting, and all that other nonsense. Now look at her. She’s twenty-three years old, and she’s still not married.”

“I’m twenty-two, Aunt Ethel.”

“But your birthday’s just around the corner.”

Emily rolled her eyes. “It’s six months away.”

“So sad. Almost a spinster.” Aunt Millie shook her head and smoothed her apron. “If we don’t do something soon, no man is going to want a woman that advanced in years.”

“I guess it’s up to us.” Aunt Ethel tsked and patted Emily’s hand. “Even though you’re no great catch, don’t worry, dear. With the three of us on the job, we’ll have a man on your arm in no time.”

“Three?” Emily felt a millstone sink to the pit of her stomach. She turned to her grandmother. “I thought you were on my side.”

Grandma Kate smiled. “I am. That’s why I’m going to help. If I leave it up to your aunts, they’ll have you married off to some spineless simpleton you’d have henpecked in a matter of days, or some bald, solid member of the community that every other bright girl has already discarded.”

“Do I even want to know what these two have in mind?”

The corners of Grandma Kate’s crinkly mouth bowed. “Probably not.”

“Trust us, dear. We have your best interests at heart.” Aunt Millie held out a plate. “Prune cake?”

Anne – What a wonderful sampling! A Great Catch is definitely on my TBR list. Thanks so much, Lorna, for the excerpt, and dropping by today to chat. It was such fun!

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Are you a romance author? Do you have a recent release?
I'd love to interview you and talk about your book(s).

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& mention “PIT blog feature” in the heading.

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